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Gougai! Gougai!

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 Top12-03-2009 01:52:18 PM

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

He's Got the Power, The Power (of what?) Over Me!

I haven't seen this directly addressed in the SKU analysis catalogue. So I'll ask it here.

What exactly is the power at the heart of the series, which everyone is expending so much effort for? It's called various things, most notably "the power to revolutionize the world" and "power of Dios." But even the last episode leaves it a bit ambiguous as to what that power is, especially since we see everyone else just suddenly stop pursuing it and focusing on their lives.

Is this power a ruse? Is it Anthy's machinations? Or Akio's? Do the duelists project their own longings onto something that isn't there? Could it exist outside of Ohtori? I'm just throwing out questions because I've been thinking about this, and truthfully I have no idea what it is.

The title of this thread comes from a fantabulous Exciters song (better audio here)

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#2 | Back to Top12-03-2009 03:58:02 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
Website

Re: He's Got the Power, The Power (of what?) Over Me!

Anthy definitely has some supernatural abilities, and Akio craves the power of Dios that she sealed away. But what that power would ultimately be is probably not supposed to be defined. And it's also not than what the duellists think it must be. It has various names because it means different things to different people. Each member of the Seitokai wants the power for a personal reason and purpose, which makes them imagine it to manifest in various ways. Akio's probably in the best postion to know its true nature, and I think he still gets it wrong.

As a metaphor, I consider the power to be what adolescents consider adults to possess. The power to change the world because they're in a position to do so. The power to be in control of their own lives, make their own decisions, etc. Through the course of the series, mostly during the final arcs, the duellists all come to realize that there is no easy shortcut to adulthood and that simply being of age doesn't solve life's problems. They have to work to further themselves and that's the only way to gain some modicum of the power they were dreaming of.


http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r9/RagnarokIII/spyschool.jpg

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#3 | Back to Top12-05-2009 01:20:25 AM

Android raptor
Rose Smilee
From: North GA, USA
Registered: 08-11-2009
Posts: 126
Website

Re: He's Got the Power, The Power (of what?) Over Me!

>>we see everyone else just suddenly stop pursuing it and focusing on their lives.

That was the Power IMHO. Granted I'm a sucker for the feminist interpretation of Utena, but still, when you think about it until then there wasn't much mention of the duelists plans and life after Ohtori. And duelists that did leave seemed to be lured back in, i.e. Saionji and Ruka. Definitely gave a feeling that they were trapped in this mindless, futile cycle, a cycle that even Akio was trapped in. He kept trying the same routine over and over thinking it was the only way he could make things right (even though it would only be for himself). In a way, it parallels how society thinks trapping people in certain roles based on sex is the only way stuff can function correctly.

But Utena broke the gate, by doing things no one else had done before. Akio didn't realize the impact since he was expecting the power to be some all-of-a-sudden, You are now a glowing God!-thing. He figured the power still hadn't been released and got back up to start the cycle again. It wasn't a sudden, explosive thing, and though gradual, the Power of Dios was possibly one of the greatest powers of all: Freedom. Freedom from an oppressive, corrupt system that thinks it's the only way to do the right thing, a system that shovels people in fixed roles despite what they really want, a system that solves nothing in the end.

For the first time in the series, the duelists are focusing on what they want to do with their lives, which they seems to have control over now. Their interactions are much more friendly as well, especially evident with Saionji and Nanami not biting people's heads off left and right. Most notable of all, and probably what got Akio to start taking note, is that Anthy is finally able to leave on her own accord. She's no longer forced to be a servant to some higher authority. She can finally do as she wants, no matter what anyone else thinks she has to do.

It's kind of a first-person-to-break-the-mold-and-start-a-revolution thing I suppose.


God, hope that makes sense and isn't total repetition of common knowledge. I'm about to die from it being entirely too late at night (oh, wait, early in the morning emot-aaa ).

Last edited by Android raptor (12-05-2009 01:26:28 AM)

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#4 | Back to Top12-11-2009 07:04:28 PM

randomprojects
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 12-07-2009
Posts: 42

Re: He's Got the Power, The Power (of what?) Over Me!

Android raptor wrote:

>>we see everyone else just suddenly stop pursuing it and focusing on their lives.

That was the Power IMHO. Granted I'm a sucker for the feminist interpretation of Utena, but still, when you think about it until then there wasn't much mention of the duelists plans and life after Ohtori. And duelists that did leave seemed to be lured back in, i.e. Saionji and Ruka. Definitely gave a feeling that they were trapped in this mindless, futile cycle, a cycle that even Akio was trapped in. He kept trying the same routine over and over thinking it was the only way he could make things right (even though it would only be for himself). In a way, it parallels how society thinks trapping people in certain roles based on sex is the only way stuff can function correctly.

But Utena broke the gate, by doing things no one else had done before. Akio didn't realize the impact since he was expecting the power to be some all-of-a-sudden, You are now a glowing God!-thing. He figured the power still hadn't been released and got back up to start the cycle again. It wasn't a sudden, explosive thing, and though gradual, the Power of Dios was possibly one of the greatest powers of all: Freedom. Freedom from an oppressive, corrupt system that thinks it's the only way to do the right thing, a system that shovels people in fixed roles despite what they really want, a system that solves nothing in the end.

For the first time in the series, the duelists are focusing on what they want to do with their lives, which they seems to have control over now. Their interactions are much more friendly as well, especially evident with Saionji and Nanami not biting people's heads off left and right. Most notable of all, and probably what got Akio to start taking note, is that Anthy is finally able to leave on her own accord. She's no longer forced to be a servant to some higher authority. She can finally do as she wants, no matter what anyone else thinks she has to do.

It's kind of a first-person-to-break-the-mold-and-start-a-revolution thing I suppose.


God, hope that makes sense and isn't total repetition of common knowledge. I'm about to die from it being entirely too late at night (oh, wait, early in the morning emot-aaa ).

Agreed. When they say "grant me the power to bring the world revolution", they weren't being literal - it's about changing their perception of the world. All duelists were blinded by their own narrow-minded perception throughout the series, Akio and even Utena included.

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#5 | Back to Top12-11-2009 09:56:58 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: He's Got the Power, The Power (of what?) Over Me!

It's a tough question that's complicated by the fact that none of the characters, with the possible exceptions of Akio and Anthy, has the faintest idea what they're talking about when they rhapsodize over the power of Dios.  The Seitokai duelists each take it as shorthand for "whatever I want" -- my shining thing, the power of miracles, eternal friendship, the revolution of the world.  But none of them knows the story of Dios, so none of them knows anything about his power; all they know are the tales End of the World has fed them.

Since none of the other duelists (except probably the equally deceived Mikage) are explicitly fighting for the power of Dios, that pretty much leaves us with Akio and Anthy.  And from what we know of their backstory, neither of them believes that the power of Dios is actually something you can win or recover, though they pretend otherwise even to themselves.  Honestly, I'm inclined to take their word for it.  The power of Dios, the promise of a lost prince locked inside Anthy, is a plausible lie they made up to give themselves a way to pretend to be trying to grow while in fact sinking deeper and deeper into stagnation.  There is no such thing -- or if there is, it's something you attain through self-discovery and has absolutely nothing to do with the dueling game.  The power that Utena gains at the end is her own; it doesn't belong to Dios, to Anthy, or to any abstract prince.  For me, that's what makes Utena such a relatable character.  She doesn't have special magic.  She isn't even especially insightful or curious.  Yet she grows more than anyone else, just by trying to do the right thing, with many, many stumbles along the way.  At the end she does exactly the right thing when it's the very hardest, and that's how her power manifests itself.  I'd rather have that than the ability to extrude swords from my chest anyway.

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