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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 Top03-14-2010 09:15:28 PM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 689

IF Ruka = Brown Haired Boy THEN ...?

So, in minervana's Sex in SKU thread, I was reminded about the Brown Haired Boy (henceforth BHB). You know, the nameless guy who used to fence with Juri and who had a crush on her, whom Shiori "stole away" and then eventually broke up with. He's more of a plot point than a character, which I guess is reflective of how important he was to Juri (i.e., not very).

A whole lot of people, when watching the series for the first time, initially think that Ruka is BHB. (I know I did.) It's an understandable confusion! They're both male fencers with romantic links to Juri and Shiori, and at that point in the series it's been a while since we saw BHB... and even then, it was only in flashback.

Now, Ruka isn't BHB. But many of us have at least tried to reconcile the two characters into one, and I'd like to discuss that. So, I put to you: if we were to assume that BHB and Ruka were the same character, how does that change the Juri-Shiori-Ruka dynamic? What scenes chance in their significance? Does it make their relationship nonsensical, or more interesting? Do you think Ruka should have been BHB? Discuss! school-eng101

(And is anyone willing to play the devil's advocate and argue that they actually are the same person? school-devil)

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#2 | Back to Top03-14-2010 09:36:09 PM

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

Re: IF Ruka = Brown Haired Boy THEN ...?

Hmmm, interesting topic.  We know they can't be one and the same because Shiori hasn't known him that long. If they were the writers would have to explain why Shiori didn't remember "Ruka" when he returned.

I wish we did know more about that nameless boy. I like to think they were linked together somehow. (It's  my personal canon that he's Ruka's long lost little brother, and Ruka manipulated Shiori partly to get revenge for breaking his brother's heart.)

Last edited by Riri-kins (03-14-2010 09:36:24 PM)


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

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#3 | Back to Top03-14-2010 10:14:57 PM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 689

Re: IF Ruka = Brown Haired Boy THEN ...?

Riri-kins wrote:

Hmmm, interesting topic.  We know they can't be one and the same because Shiori hasn't known him that long. If they were the writers would have to explain why Shiori didn't remember "Ruka" when he returned.

Who says she didn't remember him, or that they didn't know each other long? emot-confused

If we're to assume BHB=Ruka, it just means that their little charades in the locker room were aimed at getting back together instead of at hooking up in the first place. Of course, that means their first relationship was probably just as nauseatingly superficial as the second round, but were we really expecting anything better from Shiori?

Now, the rest of the student body is another matter. They're very shocked when Shiori manages to hook Ruka, with no indication that her previous relationship with him was public knowledge. That's intriguing, because it would indicate that Shiori kept things quiet the first time around: rather than a public thing, it would have been privately aimed at Juri. The fact that she's so eager for the public attention in episode 30 would indicate to me that in the intervening time, her self-image has gone even further downhill. Why?

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#4 | Back to Top03-15-2010 10:16:39 PM

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

Re: IF Ruka = Brown Haired Boy THEN ...?

Then, during the J/Sh/R arc, Shiori was trying to be cared about by a guy who she only took from Juri to hurt her.

It would also complicate Ruka and Juri's relationship if they used to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Even if there was no feeling there on Juri's part. My interpretation of their relationship was one of teacher and student, where the teacher wants the student to be better than he is. There are some complications as well, but that's basically their relationship. It also lends credence to the theory that Ruka is in (unrequited) love with Juri.

Here's the other complicating factor. Ruka says that Juri isn't reaching her potential because she's "just" the acting captain, and because she's constrained by her obsession with Shiori. Were he her ex, he'd be angry at how other people have let her sink below her highest potential. I'm not sure who's fault that is, though. Are any of the other fencing club members better than Juri? If not, how did Ruka expect her to improve? It's like putting an Oppenheimer-level genius in a school for average kids; how could they not get lazy? In that case, Ruka's more interested in freeing his ex from her obsessions.

Also, if Ruka was BHB, he and Juri might have had sex, or at least experimented. He would also, probably, have noticed Juri's interest in her best friend.

It would also make Ruka intimately familiar with Shiori's insecurity and envy.

I have to wonder when Ruka figured out the Juri-Shiori relationship. Did he know it before he came back to the school? Were he BHB, the answer would probably be yes.

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#5 | Back to Top04-11-2010 02:19:29 AM

oldboy
Miki Molester
Registered: 12-20-2009
Posts: 38

Re: IF Ruka = Brown Haired Boy THEN ...?

minervana wrote:

Are any of the other fencing club members better than Juri? If not, how did Ruka expect her to improve? It's like putting an Oppenheimer-level genius in a school for average kids; how could they not get lazy? .

My thoughts exactly. If Juri wants to excel, it makes sense that she'd have to go up against more formidable opponents, regardless of whose picture she had in the locket. Her only coevals are Miki (sometimes), Ruka and Utena.

Were Ruka the BHB, his willingness to take Shiori back would be even more calculating and cruel, since he'd also know how lonely she is.

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#6 | Back to Top04-11-2010 04:23:34 PM

eleutheria
Saionji Slapper
From: Québec
Registered: 04-05-2010
Posts: 26

Re: IF Ruka = Brown Haired Boy THEN ...?

minervana wrote:

I have to wonder when Ruka figured out the Juri-Shiori relationship. Did he know it before he came back to the school? Were he BHB, the answer would probably be yes.

Did Ruka hook up with Shiori just to avenge Juri or did he learn about Shiori's true character during a pillow talk, as in the movie where she does this with Touga? Just a thought I'm throwing in. (But then, would Shiori ill-talk of Juri to Ruka. Hmm. It could happen if Ruka was pretending to be agreeing with her, as he seemed to do until he dumps her.)

Shiori-to-BHB and Ruka-to-Shiori is a bit of reverted mirror. She may have dumped BHB in a similar, like the ending of ep. 17 may suggest:

girl: Hey, so then what?
Shiori: So then, I said to him...
Shiori: "What are you doing?!"
girl: Really?
Shiori: Am I a brute?
girl: No, well put!
girl: Right, well put!


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/maelicia/banner-together1.jpg
"What I'm doing now is taking back what I used to be... I've taken back what I was."

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#7 | Back to Top04-12-2010 01:02:41 PM

Cherry
Mikage Mistruster
From: A Bedroom
Registered: 08-20-2009
Posts: 62
Website

Re: IF Ruka = Brown Haired Boy THEN ...?

I didn't realise Ruka wasn't BHB until I cam here! I thought Ruka was BHB simple because Shiori pretended to have polished his sword (why does that so wrong..?). emot-tongue It made sense in my head at the time. She was mooning about by the lockers and the conversation she had with Ruka indicated to me that she must have known him before, as did Juri. So I assumed he was the BHB simply because he was a boy both Juri and Shiori knew. emot-tongue Like I said, it made sense to me at the time! xD The difference in appearance between Ruka and BHB I just thought was SKU's version of spoiler tags.

I kinda do wish Ruka was the BHB now that I know he isn't. Just because, as oldboy said, it makes Ruka's relationship with Shiori during the Ruka-Juri-Shiori arc even more cruel. I think I would have preferred it that way, because I'm mean!
I think Ruka's character is quite confusing in general though. Was he even a duelist before his illness? I don't even really know what to think of him. If he was BHB, it could be argued his return and general cruel nature is the product of all that drama between himself, Shiori and Juri before. Like, Shiori's scheming hardened him. Assuming BHB ever found out about all that, that is. But maybe that'd be overestimating how mean Shiori is. I'm not even sure what point I'm trying to make here.


I never know what to write here..

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