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

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#1 | Back to Top12-15-2009 08:54:34 AM

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

Anthy: A Case Regarding Projection

What do you think of the idea of interpreting Anthy (being one of many interpretations) as being the recipient component in the psychological defense mechanism of projection (I realize many see Anthy as someone who people project their wants and desires onto, but I am talking about how people project ineptitude onto others)?
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All of us have experienced what it is to be an Anthy.  It is in my opinion that when we are the target of someone else's own projections (referring to the psychological defense mechanism), that we all, at that moment, become, in some archetypal manifestation, an Anthy. 

Many times, projections are a result of the projector feeling the suffering of some manner of weakness, fault, or guilt.  However, instead of confronting that these feelings stem from them and their own actions or inactions, they choose to project these faults onto others.

Anthy is an excellent example of how projection works.  In the world of Ohtori and of the world she knew before Ohtori, she was, to steal the fine words of Colin Mochrie, a "lightning rod of hate."  The beginning of her becoming the Rose Bride was because the Prince had died.  The people of the world with their demands essentially killed him. However, Anthy (and voluntarily) became the object for the masses to project their own guilt onto, hence the swords.  A sense of wrong and guilt was there, but instead of those who truly should have taken the blame taking the blame, they made an innocent individual carry their guilt.  Such marks Anthys' experiences in Ohtori.

An excellent example is between Akio and her.  The rape scene and elsewhere conveys Akio's own projections.  He accuses her of torment when he is the one who is the mastermind who not only torments her directly and indirectly, but he torments his many puppets as well (and the finest example of how they are tormented is in the case of Mikage).  I would even say Utena projects onto Anthy her own guilt after she herself slept with an engaged man as Anthy was doing the same by sleeping with him despite Kanae and despite being 'engaged' to Utena even though Utena was resisting accepting the full magnitude of what that engagement meant in actual terms and what it meant to her (aside from being engaged to protect her from being engaged to other duelists.).

I am not saying that Anthy is like an innocent bird.  She does, in my opinion, torment people with a touch of gladness.  She does cause suffering.  However, it is in my opinion that often when projection occurs that those who are being projected onto carry some of the qualities shared by the one projecting, hence why they project onto them in the first place, but that in itself is less the point than the point being that the one projecting his/her faults and weaknesses is subconsciously trying to relieve himself/herself of the guilt produced by his/her conscience than that the fact that someone else has been doing something similar.  edit:  I realize this contradicts my earlier statement regarding her and her originally being the target.

To go into personal observation mode, many people who do not carry certain faults are less inclined to intensely judge others for certain faults unless there are other more personal reasons for them to do so that may have little to nothing to do with wanting to project.  I mean, why should they be bothered by it?  It would make sense, from my vantage point, for someone to become preoccupied with someone else and their faults despite having little other reason to care or do so other than because there is something imbedded in their psyches which makes them gravitate to this person with the intent of harping on them and their faults, often with bitter and repetitive intensity. 

For I would imagine the one projecting finds justification and comfort in imagining that someone is worse than them or shares their faults.  Even more, identifying and punishing that other person's shared faults makes them feel better about themselves because they obviously have some redeeming qualities for them not to be as bad as that other person.  Perhaps it's a way of atonement for their own 'sins' by punishing it but in a way that is far easier than actually confronting their own guilt, feeling truly shamed and humbled, and going so far as to actually do something about it.

So going back to my main point, I think there is reason to draw a connection with Anthy in part representing this model of projection due to her history and relationship with other characters.  I doubt that this was something the creators actually had in mind, but I tend to think of SKU and the characters as being so deeply tied to archetypes (especially due to the connections with symbols, allegories, and myths).  Therefore, I think it natural to imagine the idea of this mechanism being something so common and being so inherant in human nature that it exists as an archetype in all of our minds.  It would be very easy to create a character who expresses this without consciously identifying this archetype.

I apologize if that was too long-winded and essay-ish, but the idea recently came to mind so I felt like coming with something worth contributing, maybe.  Please agree, disagree, whatever.  Answer in your own way.  I won't annoy you with any more elaborated thoughts as I said what I would say.

Last edited by spoon-san (12-15-2009 09:38:54 AM)

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#2 | Back to Top12-15-2009 10:46:18 AM

Katieryn
Rose Smilee
From: Not-the-City, NY
Registered: 12-08-2009
Posts: 139

Re: Anthy: A Case Regarding Projection

I think this projection serves a purpose for Anthy and Akio too--what vices, habits, or shames is this individual projecting on Anthy? That reveals a weak spot, which Anthy can then open up more and more and Akio can maneuver into...


"If Utena was a novel, you'd be studying it in college." -- EM site info

We're patient for now, and we're patient for tomorrow, when the past will redeem all the toil extreme and all the sorrow.

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#3 | Back to Top12-16-2009 06:21:39 AM

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

Re: Anthy: A Case Regarding Projection

Very nice thoughts, spoon. etc-love poptart etc-love
I think projection is common in the case of abuse, whatever form that abuse might take. Abusers see in their victims the kind of bad qualities that they need to see to justify the abuse (and the bad qualities that are actually in themselves). I've read that this is especially common when it comes to the relationship between a raper and rapee.

It doesn't make the victim completely innocent. But it does make them an object of unfair hatred...just like Anthy.

So going back to my main point, I think there is reason to draw a connection with Anthy in part representing this model of projection due to her history and relationship with other characters.  I doubt that this was something the creators actually had in mind...

I think that if any of the writers had a history of sexual abuse (or perhaps their friends or family had a history), they would have the requisite knowledge to put projection into SKU. Anthy might be magical in some senses, but I find her very realistic when it comes to representing victim-like behavior (and victim-like suffering) in the real world.

Last edited by sharnii (12-16-2009 06:21:55 AM)

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#4 | Back to Top12-17-2009 08:59:28 AM

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

Re: Anthy: A Case Regarding Projection

@Katieryn: You make an excellent point.  I am assuming you mean this benefits Akio in that others (other duelists and so on) will project their own weaknesses so that he/they can use them.

@Sharnii: Thank you very much.  It's always an honor coming from you.  And I totally agree concerning abuse.  Though I repeatedly witness this is cases of emotional, psychological, and verbal abuse where I see it.  I guess it is one of the mechanisms that enable the abuser to inwardly justify his/her abuse to the individual by putting the abused in a position where the abuser will argue that he/she deserves it.  At least from what I have witnessed. 

Great responses.  I appreciate it.

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#5 | Back to Top12-17-2009 01:02:11 PM

Katieryn
Rose Smilee
From: Not-the-City, NY
Registered: 12-08-2009
Posts: 139

Re: Anthy: A Case Regarding Projection

spoon-san wrote:

@Katieryn: You make an excellent point.  I am assuming you mean this benefits Akio in that others (other duelists and so on) will project their own weaknesses so that he/they can use them.

Yeah, I see now I was a bit unclear about that emot-mad


"If Utena was a novel, you'd be studying it in college." -- EM site info

We're patient for now, and we're patient for tomorrow, when the past will redeem all the toil extreme and all the sorrow.

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