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HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#1 | Back to Top11-24-2009 03:47:37 PM

minervana
High Tripper
Registered: 10-10-2009
Posts: 246

Does Akio Have Feelings?

I was reading an interesting article on sociopaths. The article sounds like it was written about Akio. I'll show you what I mean:

Most of our purposes are strongly influenced by our connections and affections with others. Our relationships with others, and our love for them, give us most of the meaning in life. So if a sociopath doesn't have these things, what is left? What kind of purposes do they have?

The answer is chilling: They want to win. Take away love and relationships and all you have left is winning the game, whatever the game is. If they are in business, it is becoming rich and defeating competitors. If it is sibling rivalry, it is defeating the sibling. If it is a contest, the goal is to dominate. If a sociopath is the envious sort, winning would be making the other lose, or fail, or be frustrated or embarrassed.

A sociopath's goal is to win. And he is willing to do anything at all to win.

Sociopaths have nothing else to think about, so they can be very clever and conniving. Sociopaths are not busy being concerned with relationships or moral dilemmas or conflicting feelings, so they have much more time to think about clever ways to gain your trust and stab you in the back, and how do it without anyone knowing what's happening.

One of the questions in the list above was about boredom. This is a real problem for sociopaths and they seem fanatically driven to prevent boredom. The reason it looms so large for them (and seems so strange to us) is that our relationships with people occupy a good amount of our time and attention and interest us intensely. Take that away and all you have is "playing to win" which is rather shallow and empty in comparison. So boredom is a constant problem for sociopaths and they have an incessant urge to keep up a level of stimulation, even negative stimulation (drama, worry, upset, etc.).[/b]

Akio seems like a textbook definition of a sociopath, to me at least. However, I have to wonder, does Akio have any feelings at all? He doesn't care about anyone else––but can he feel things like sadness, anger, pleasure etc? Or are those all faked? Is the tear in the last episode fake? He can feel fear, for his own skin at least. But is all that he cares about gaining the power of Dios? (I also fail to see how gaining the power is possible--but that's another thread entirely).

My gut instinct tells me that Akio does have feelings, even very deep feelings, but not for other people. All his feelings revolve around his lust for power. He remembers what it was like to be noble and self-sacrificing, to care about the world, so he can fake it much better than an unpracticed psychopath. Perhaps he even has some altruistic instinct left, but it only ever surfaces when it's in his best interests.

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#2 | Back to Top11-24-2009 06:03:04 PM

CoyoteMemories
Juri Jeerer
From: Midwestern USA
Registered: 11-23-2009
Posts: 41

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

I'm inclined to say he does have feelings.

The only reason I'm inclined to say this is because of his reactions to Anthy. Specifically the line, "Do you still torment me?" (I'm sorry. I don't recall which episode that was in.) No one else really has any sort of ability to touch him. Utena, Kanae, Saionji, even Touga, they can't touch him. Anthy, however, knows his weaknesses and can exploit them.

However, I suppose one could make the same argument that Anthy is just as much a psychopath and just knows his buttons very well in response to what I said.

Anyway, have to run. I'll try to return to this later as it's an interesting point.

Ciao,
Coyote


Inside I'm hollow. STOP KNOCKING ON ME!

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#3 | Back to Top11-25-2009 12:54:46 AM

Mellow Morte
Saionji Slapper
From: Russia, Kaluga
Registered: 11-03-2009
Posts: 27

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

I don't think that Akio is really heartless.

Of course, the fact, that he have become the Ends of The World may shock Akio, but still... When we see him with Anthy, Akio looks depressed. The Rose Bride really can control her brother. Even Anthy quites being a witch, she won't lose her influence on Akio.  I think, there is an eternal bound, I'm sorry, I meant "bond" (or "connection") between them.

Last edited by Mellow Morte (11-25-2009 02:45:04 PM)

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#4 | Back to Top11-25-2009 03:59:31 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
Website

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

There is an eternal bound between them, I think.

I'll second that. school-eng101

I think Akio has feelings involving himself. Just no empathy for others. His younger self (as Dios the teenager) is shown with some fleeting empathy for his sister but I think he's shoved that deep inside so he can act to further his own interests without guilt (otherwise why engage in the elaborate self-justification to Utena in the second-last episode).

But we still see moments of it. So yep, feelings for himself, and a few suppressed brotherly feelings here and there. Whispers of a ghost if you will; all that remains of dead Dios.

Last edited by sharnii (11-25-2009 04:02:03 AM)

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#5 | Back to Top11-25-2009 09:50:12 AM

spoon-san
Someday Shiner
Registered: 03-18-2009
Posts: 3423

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

Feelings?  Technically, I would have to say he does.  I see no reason why not to think he has feelings.

However, as Sharnii said, his feelings do not include empathy.  He has feelings which are wholly self-centered, but his ability, in my book, to empathize for another human being is wholly non existent.  If he loves anyone, it would be Anthy, and even the one he is closest to by both blood and bond is one towards whom he would do absolutely nothing even remotely self-sacrificing or demonstrative for her.  The one closest to him is the one he uses, like he uses anything and anyone for his own gain.  He encourages her in no wise to grow as an individual.  He could care less that she eternally suffers the pain inflicted by the world.  No, he has feelings, but not in the way you or I would (hopefully) have feelings for not only ourselves but for other human beings as well...to be able to love them and do something for them in some way instead of just throwing them at anyone's mercy.

Last edited by spoon-san (11-25-2009 09:50:54 AM)

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#6 | Back to Top11-25-2009 11:43:25 AM

hollow_rose
Egghead
From: Ohio
Registered: 10-26-2008
Posts: 1074

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

I think he does, because I think he's very hurt when Anthy leaves him in the end. He may only have feelings for her, but they have such a long and complex relationship I can't imagine they don't feel something for each other, even if it's just distilled into hate at this point.


20 threads dead so far.

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#7 | Back to Top11-25-2009 01:51:26 PM

minervana
High Tripper
Registered: 10-10-2009
Posts: 246

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

Akio can experience a sort of empathy, but nothing like the empathy you or I experience. When he sees someone in pain, he recognizes it as pain. He understands the feeling without sharing it, if that makes sense.

A complete lack of empathy would require much less emotional intelligence than he possesses. It would also mean he probably wouldn't take pleasure in other people's pain, because he wouldn't know that they feel pain. Many sociopaths can't feel emotions. In consequence, they can't understand what pain feels like. It's like trying to get someone who's blind from birth to understand the differences between colors they've never seen. In the post I've linked to, the father (whose son is a psychopath) says that "Lucas is not callous just to be mean, he truly doesn’t know the difference."

I like sharnii's description of Akio's fleeting moments of empathy as "the ghost of Dios." That seems accurate.

I would say that Akio is, if not attached to Utena, he at least has some kind of connection with her. It's not simply contempt on his part. The superficial reason is, since she reminds him of himself, he's not connected to her so much as the reflection of his younger self.

Last edited by minervana (11-25-2009 08:58:10 PM)

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#8 | Back to Top11-25-2009 02:25:35 PM

winksniper
Qualified Duellist
From: Under the Cherry Moon
Registered: 09-11-2009
Posts: 764

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

Yeah, he has feelings, but like everyone has said earlier, they're not for anyone else but him and maybe Anthy.

I mean, without feelings, he probably wouldn't even think to fuck his kid sister.  That kind of thing is so sick that there has to be some story behind why he does it and why she lets him do it with a smile on her face.

They both made sacrifices in the past, and Akio's basically putting all his emotions and feelings of losing himself as a Prince onto Anthy, who suffers eternally.

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#9 | Back to Top11-25-2009 09:05:22 PM

brian
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 588

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

He seems to feel - but only himself. Or is that just another way of saying sociopath?

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#10 | Back to Top11-26-2009 12:35:48 AM

OnlyInThisLight
KING OF ALL DUCKS
Registered: 01-15-2008
Posts: 4411

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

Err.  I don't know what article you are reading, but sociopath's are defined by a lack of conscience, not emotions.  They can tell the difference between right and wrong on an intellectual level, but don't care.   They can feel pain, sorrow, and anger, but only for wrongs against themselves.  Hell, it can be argued that they can even love, though it is most likely a selfish kind of love.  Like Sharnii said, they have no true sense of empathy.

They aren't particularly driven by boredom, but by most of the same things that interest everyone - monetary gain, nice things, status, and yes, winning - (in fact, if they are driven by boredom it is because everyone human is) the only difference being they have no qualms doing whatever it takes to achieve them provided they aren't caught and punished.   

A lot of that article sounds fishy to me though.  Like stereotyping sociopaths as these super-intelligent tricksters.  There are plenty of sociopaths who aren't politicians or 'Lector, that are just petty thieves or annoying liars.


So, if asking if Akio is a sociopath, then the answer is debatable, since it depends on whether or not you think he feels guilt or remorse for his misdeeds.  Akio knows society's definition of right and wrong, and it's not that he doesn't care, it's that he truly believes it to be flawed and naive at best, and so dismisses it.

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#11 | Back to Top11-26-2009 04:27:05 PM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

Err.  I don't know what article you are reading, but sociopath's are defined by a lack of conscience, not emotions.  They can tell the difference between right and wrong on an intellectual level, but don't care.   They can feel pain, sorrow, and anger, but only for wrongs against themselves.  Hell, it can be argued that they can even love, though it is most likely a selfish kind of love.  Like Sharnii said, they have no true sense of empathy.

The category of sociopath is somewhat old-fashioned in the modern psychology - it's only used at all because of its strong popular culture status. But many studies to indicate that the people who cannot emphatize with others also have problems with other emotions. The reason why some people become serial killers is that they can't feel almost anything, but doing things that are strongly against the human behaviour norms, such as killing others give them exhilarating rush of raw emotion that can easily become addictive to one who doesn't normally feel almost anything.


Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!

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#12 | Back to Top11-27-2009 09:10:56 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
Website

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

In popular culture I've noticed the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath is usually a matter of social 'success'. Psychopaths are too, well, absorbed in their psychoses to actually function in society--they are the people they become institutionalized. A sociopath may exhibit many internally similar features but they succeed in shaping their psychotic behaviors to fit a functional societal role.

A good example is Hannibal Lecter. Clinically he would be described as a psychopath, since as Lightice said, the other term is pretty out of use in the field, but in common parlance he's considered a sociopath because despite his narcissism, ego-centrism, delusions of grandeur, and maldevelopment of a 'normal' functional morality, he functions, and indeed excels, in normal society. People don't see that he's balls out of his mind. He's perfectly capable of performing tasks of daily living and interacting to accomplish goals with others. Most of the individuals we label as psychopaths are labeled so based on their fundamental inability to do these things. This is the guy that walks naked on the highway with the severed head of their grandmother. As a sociopath, we give Hannibal the credit to know to keep the head in his fridge.

Basically the use of 'sociopath' denotes something kind of opposite the original intention--that the person does function in society, even if they don't adapt to it. The rest of the distinction is emotional. A sociopath functions among others without actually experiencing the same range of emotion. A sociopath can kill a puppy and not on an internal level understand why people are horrified. But by society's definition, he knows to fake it.

Based on that, Akio's a textbook sociopath. He's got no problem tying his shoes, and doesn't run around screaming that he's God, even if he truly believes he is. He knows to pretend he cares about things he doesn't, and is easily mistaken for perfectly normal by others. If a little unnerving.

Does he have emotions? Sure. Just not the range of emotions most people consider normal. He has a true egoist's range of emotions, as he simply bypasses emotions dominated by feelings of his own toward others. For example, he doesn't internally care about Anthy's feelings. But he cares deeply externally since her feelings dictate her willingness to do what he wants. He gets distraught in the car when he says the world's causing her pain, but it's not sympathy, it's fear for his own position.


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#13 | Back to Top11-27-2009 01:49:18 PM

Riri-kins
World's End
From: Cloud Nine
Registered: 09-22-2008
Posts: 2346

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

Giovanna wrote:

He has a true egoist's range of emotions, as he simply bypasses emotions dominated by feelings of his own toward others. For example, he doesn't internally care about Anthy's feelings. But he cares deeply externally since her feelings dictate her willingness to do what he wants. He gets distraught in the car when he says the world's causing her pain, but it's not sympathy, it's fear for his own position.

Actually, I think he does sympathize with Anthy. He just masks it by saying her pain isn't his fault. Akio's face is contorted between frustration and feeling completely helpless during that scene because he remembers what it's like to be a prince as sharnii said.

I think he wants Dios's power and purity in a way. For instance, even Utena notices that he seemed to be looking for something he lost when he looked at the stars, and I think he feels guilty becuase Anthy has to endure the Million Swords.  He loves her as well as Akio can love a human being, and maybe he even convinced himself that she "loved being a witch." He feels slightly guilty at the very least.


Proud Saionji and Mikage fangirl
My Utena fanfiction: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2000115/Riri-kins

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#14 | Back to Top11-27-2009 09:14:57 PM

brian
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 588

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

Another complication is that the dying afterglow of Dios is still there in Akio. It makes it that much easier for him to deceive Anthy and Utena.

Last edited by brian (11-27-2009 09:17:51 PM)

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#15 | Back to Top11-28-2009 04:53:35 PM

minervana
High Tripper
Registered: 10-10-2009
Posts: 246

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

Giovanna wrote:

He's perfectly capable of performing tasks of daily living and interacting to accomplish goals with others. Most of the individuals we label as psychopaths are labeled so based on their fundamental inability to do these things. This is the guy that walks naked on the highway with the severed head of their grandmother. As a sociopath, we give Hannibal the credit to know to keep the head in his fridge.

Actually, most psycho/sociopaths aren't that dysfunctional. Unfortunately, pop psychology being what it is, lots of otherwise well-informed people confuse psychosis (a complete break from reality) with psychopathy (not having a conscience). Yeah, it's possible for a psychopath to also be psychotic--but the two are different.

Chances are high that we all have met a psychopath at some point in our lives. Maybe we only talked to that person for 20 minutes, or bought a donut from them, but if that's the case, they wouldn't stand out in your memory as being crazy. You might even think they were a pretty nice person. Between 1 and 4% of the population is psychopathic or has strong psychopathic tendencies. Most of them are not serial killers, or even violent; many psychopaths just lust for power or desire to "win" the game.

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#16 | Back to Top11-29-2009 03:21:53 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
Website

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

Oh for sure. I was going strictly with psychopath. Although I suppose if you take the show as non-magic, Akio is one hell of a psychotic case and in reality is probably pacing back and forth in the 7th floor crisis ward I visit on Tuesdays. (Which he's not. God I hate that fucking class.)


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#17 | Back to Top11-29-2009 10:06:03 PM

spoon-san
Someday Shiner
Registered: 03-18-2009
Posts: 3423

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

minervana wrote:

Giovanna wrote:

He's perfectly capable of performing tasks of daily living and interacting to accomplish goals with others. Most of the individuals we label as psychopaths are labeled so based on their fundamental inability to do these things. This is the guy that walks naked on the highway with the severed head of their grandmother. As a sociopath, we give Hannibal the credit to know to keep the head in his fridge.

Actually, most psycho/sociopaths aren't that dysfunctional. Unfortunately, pop psychology being what it is, lots of otherwise well-informed people confuse psychosis (a complete break from reality) with psychopathy (not having a conscience). Yeah, it's possible for a psychopath to also be psychotic--but the two are different.

Chances are high that we all have met a psychopath at some point in our lives. Maybe we only talked to that person for 20 minutes, or bought a donut from them, but if that's the case, they wouldn't stand out in your memory as being crazy. You might even think they were a pretty nice person. Between 1 and 4% of the population is psychopathic or has strong psychopathic tendencies. Most of them are not serial killers, or even violent; many psychopaths just lust for power or desire to "win" the game.

Yeah, I've known someone who stood out to me as a psychopath but could be very charming, but oh man, with your sixth sense, you can just tell.  But I had a whole semester of classes with this person.  Made my skin crawl.  But very 'functional' otherwise.  Sometimes it's the nicest ones who are the worse, not unlike Akio who could be considered the nicest, most charming fellow on Ohtori.  Problem he's so damn smart and knows how to put on the act.  Hell, if it was me, I would have fallen for it.

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#18 | Back to Top11-30-2009 12:26:19 PM

OnlyInThisLight
KING OF ALL DUCKS
Registered: 01-15-2008
Posts: 4411

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

I can't believe the 100 dead dead boys at Nemuro Hall haven't been mentioned.  How good a player does it make Akio when our mistrust and abhorrent feelings towards him are focused not on the fact that he purposefully instigated the painful death of 100 innocent students, but on him seducing underage students and toying with their dreams?

He's good.

As far as the winning motive goes though, it almost becomes a question of which came first: The sense of power or feeling of victory?  Winning is something psychopaths strive for, specifically those whose desires manifest in dead people and acts of sexual conquest or monetary ruin for others and an increase in status for themselves, but why?  Winning is not the intrinsic value here, it's power.  Control.  Enough to almost compensate for the enormous insecurity and sense of helplessness and worthlessness inside of them usually brought upon in childhood via some tragic or humiliating event (DIOS) which is channeled into narcissism.

So yeah.  Consensus here on the Akio being a psychopath but having feelings.


(And sociopath still sounds cooler, and since it is now vintage, I shall use it to my heart's content in my mind emot-tongue )

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#19 | Back to Top04-12-2010 07:30:26 PM

minervana
High Tripper
Registered: 10-10-2009
Posts: 246

Re: Does Akio Have Feelings?

According to Dr. Robert Hare, who literally wrote the book (well, a book) on psychopathy, there is a difference between a sociopath and a psychopath, but they both exist. A psychopath is someone who cannot feel empathy and has no conscience. They are literally blind to that part of human interaction, and they learn to fake it through practice. A sociopath is someone who, when put in a situation where psychopathic behavior is encouraged or lauded, will have no or little trouble behaving like a psychopath. They can repress their normal human impulses towards empathy and act in a completely self-serving, or company-serving, manner. In normal circumstances, a sociopath will not exhibit these behaviours, even if they have a weak sense of empathy or conscience.

As an example, I would consider Light Yagami (protagonist from Death Note) a sociopath. If he'd never found the Death Note, he would still have a big ego and some problems with relating to other people, but I doubt he would have become a serial killer. Once he gets his hand on the note, though, he starts behaving like a textbook psychopath. The same could be said for guards at Nazi concentration camps, who, under other circumstances, would not have killed people or let people die, even if they were racist or cowardly or something like that.

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