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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 Top04-19-2010 09:10:11 PM

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

Gender Swap

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

Actually, I've been meaning to start a discussion thread of my own, where we swap the genders of each character and determine if that would change our perception of them.  Like, what if Ruka had been a girl?

Sorry, OiTL, for beating you to the punch, but that's too delicious to wait for...emot-frown

So...if the character's genders were swapped, but their personalities weren't, how would we perceive them? Would our favorites change? I think so. Here's what I imagine:

1. Utena's parents died in a car crash. He was so sad, until a beautiful princess dried his tears. He then determined to grow up to be a beautiful princess himself. At school, he wears a schoolgirl's uniform, wears his hair long, and giggles, earning him a large, admiring male fanbase. This makes the girls jealous.
2. Anthy Himemiya is a passive "girl-boy" who drives the machinery of the plot. He is picked on by all the boys, and is often beat up; these boys become victims of mysterious animal attacks and misfortune.
3. Wakaba is a very energetic, adorable guy.
4. Touga has a long, crypto-lesbian relationship with her hot-headed friend Saionji. She is known for being an equal opportunity lover, although her same sex affairs are more hinted at than stated. Her younger brother, Nanami, is clingy and refuses to go out with any girls, because Touga is so much better than all of them. Nanami also makes doomed attempts to protect his sister's "honor."
5. Juri is the least changed of the cast.
6. Akio is a lady. I'm not sure whether that's sexy or not. Like Akio as a guy, she has a hint of androgyny about her. She seduces everyone and everything, including the student council president, the "princess" Utena, her fiancées Dad, and her brother.
7. The Miki/Kozue dynamic would be a lot more disturbing when the male is the aggressor.

Last edited by minervana (04-19-2010 09:12:43 PM)

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#2 | Back to Top04-19-2010 10:30:21 PM

Katzenklavier
Wondrous Sexual Eggplant.
From: Back of your thoughts.
Registered: 09-13-2008
Posts: 1120

Re: Gender Swap

The entire dynamic of the show would have changed. So much of it is both a commentary on exterior gender relations and entrapped in its own interior politics. No females are allowed to play the same game as male. Kozue is the closest we get, and even she's reduced to background fodder in favor of her brother. Anthy holds her power by perverting a traditionally feminine role. Women are prey and men are predators to best twist the ideas of princess/prince, respectively. Besides, you can just imagine how the show might have changed if it were about a little boy who desperately wanted to become a princess when he grew up.

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#3 | Back to Top04-19-2010 11:05:14 PM

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

Re: Gender Swap

Well, I didn't mean when I posted that: what if every character was the opposite gender, I meant for specific characters and how we perceive and judge them.  Would fans be more inclined to accept Saionji's backstory as justification for his behavior towards Anthy if he were female?  Or would we be less inclined to accept it?  How would Juri (and to a good extent, Shiori) fans have reacted to a dark-blue-haired woman suddenly popping in for two episodes to toy with their emotions and attempt to 'fix' everything?

It would be nice if we could say that everyone would still treat and envision each character the same regardless, but I do think there are some cases where this wouldn't be so.


Take the Ruka example.  One thing that did honestly peeve me about his character wasn't the harm he did Juri and Shiori, even if for the greater good, but simply because he was a dude!  Juri and Shiori's story was all female action, even the brown-haired boy from their past was faceless and nondescript.  For a show about female empowerment Juri's episode was the first that was No Boys Allowed (Utena and Anthy's struggles and triumphs were heavenly woven into the actions of men: Touga, Akio and Saionji, mostly).  And then this DUDE.  This PRINCELY DUDE comes along, interjects himself into all that girl drama, and not only hurts both women, no in fact, that isn't what bothered me at all, it was that in the end he HELPED them, he was complicated and ambiguously-noble and he did them both a deal of good (Though it is arguable if he had Shiori's interests in mind or if he helped her that much or how much of his actions were driven by desire and spite, etc etc).

emot-gonk  I kinda wanted to see Juri and Shiori work it out on their own, honestly.

But if Ruka had been female, what then?  Would I have not regarded him as "Man coming in to fix all these girly problems" and been better able to see him/her for herself/himself and the part he/she played from the get-go?  How would Juri have treated Ruka?





emot-aaah man guys I am so wiped this sounds stupid:

Edit:  I actually like Ruka.  But at first his mere presence in that arc irked me.

Last edited by OnlyInThisLight (04-19-2010 11:07:30 PM)

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#4 | Back to Top04-20-2010 05:58:49 AM

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

Re: Gender Swap

What a mind-fuck this would be...
Even trying to imagine the roles minervana described made my mind spin. Nice one minervana! etc-love It'd be cool to see a well-done fanfic playing with this idea, especially as it would change the show's entire gender/power dynamic as JelliKatz describes.

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#5 | Back to Top04-20-2010 10:28:32 AM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
Website

Re: Gender Swap

Let me be the first to confess that I'm a lot more willing to forgive faults in females than I am in males. I know it's not right, but it's just how I am. So I would probably dislike boy!Anthy and constantly yell at him to grow the hell up and get away from that damned manipulative sister of his. And I would probably have a harder time forgiving him for fucking with Mikage's mind the way he did. For that matter, Mikage would become an enormously sympathetic character to me as a female. Warped maybe, but I'd feel more sorry for her than I do boy!Mikage. But the biggest change would probably be Nanami. She's repugnant in so many ways, but I let it go eventually because she's young and confused... and also because she's a girl. Boy!Nanami abusing little girl!Tsuwabuki? No, that would make her as distasteful to me as Touga is now.

So how would I feel about girl!Touga? Probably a lot the way Gio feels toward Akio. emot-redface


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#6 | Back to Top04-21-2010 10:10:24 PM

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

If Akio were a woman I probably wouldn't have gotten into Utena; its antagonist would be too threatening!  emot-gonk

This is an interesting thought experiment, though.  Going through the cast this way, character-by-character, asking how our perceptions of them would differ if we swapped their gender, helps us see who subverts their gender clichés and who plays into them.  And almost everyone plays into them!  Utena is the only main character who's obviously gender-subversive, with Akio or Saionji taking a very distant second.  The others would all feel very unconventional in the other gender -- as minervana points out!!  I think this has the effect of making Utena stand out more.  In a world full of carefully developed, multidimensional characters, Utena is the only one who's genderqueer.  It would be fun to see the companion series, where Utena is the only one enacting his gender conventionally!

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#7 | Back to Top04-21-2010 10:39:40 PM

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

Re: Gender Swap

satyreyes wrote:

In a world full of carefully developed, multidimensional characters, Utena is the only one who's genderqueer.  It would be fun to see the companion series, where Utena is the only one enacting his gender conventionally!

Sure, he'd be enacting his gender roles pretty conventionally... except for the fact that he'd still be cross-dressing. Boy!Utena was so inspired by the strong, noble female!Dios that he emulates not only her nobility but her manner of dress. That probably means skirts and poofy blouses (though for convenience's sake, he might wear light pants under his skirt in the same way that Utena wears shorts). The fact that his male classmates find his style of dress genuinely awesome makes the whole situation even more intriguing. (But I don't know if the girls would be jealous as you suggest, minervana... girl!Utena gets along pretty well with the boys at the school, since she shares many of their interests.)

However, I don't think boy!Utena is emulating a princess. We're keeping character behavior the same, so girl!Dios is a female being who goes around rescuing gallant young princes. That isn't princess behavior. But do you realize what fairy-tale figure that does fit? A fairy! Boy!Utena wants to be a noble, beautiful fairy who saves people. This genderswap just keeps getting better and better. emot-keke

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#8 | Back to Top04-21-2010 11:47:32 PM

Cyrias
Tenjou Tilter
From: Exploring the psyche
Registered: 10-04-2009
Posts: 83

Re: Gender Swap

Dallbun wrote:

satyreyes wrote:

In a world full of carefully developed, multidimensional characters, Utena is the only one who's genderqueer.  It would be fun to see the companion series, where Utena is the only one enacting his gender conventionally!

Sure, he'd be enacting his gender roles pretty conventionally... except for the fact that he'd still be cross-dressing. Boy!Utena was so inspired by the strong, noble female!Dios that he emulates not only her nobility but her manner of dress. emot-keke

emot-rofl Lol, Utena the prince wearing a dress. Now that is something I would like to see fanart of, even if it isn't a manly concept to other.... uhhh... Pie? emot-biggrin I was laughing so much at the thought, forbid the thought emot-tongue

Last edited by Cyrias (04-22-2010 12:00:07 AM)


In lumine tuo, videbimus amor ('In your light, we shall love') Slippy slippery mambo~ everyone at Ohtori is in some kind of spiritual land, created by Goddess Anthy and her brother Akio?!

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#9 | Back to Top04-24-2010 03:19:23 PM

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

Re: Gender Swap

minervana wrote:

6. Akio is a lady. I'm not sure whether that's sexy or not. Like Akio as a guy, she has a hint of androgyny about her. She seduces everyone and everything, including the student council president, the "princess" Utena, her fiancées Dad, and her brother.

Gee, that sounds like somebody we all know, but I'm not sure who...

http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/4338/movieanthy.jpg

Seriously though, this is a fascinating thread. The director probably made Nanami and Kozue  the agressors in the relationships because we'd either feel sorry for them or completely dismiss their behavior.  Stormcrow also brought an interesting point up about female Mikage. It would be sad if we excused her behavior just because the character were female.

I would positively despise female Touga. I already have mixed feelings about him as it is, but he'd remind me of so many sluts I knew in high school if he were a girl.  The weird thing is I'm a Kozue fan. I'd also feel sorrier for girl Saionji. If he were female I'd see her as jaded and would not blame her for slapping a man.  It makes me ashamed to realize I have double standards I didn't even know about. emot-frown

Oh, and if Anthy were a sweet introverted Indian guy I'd totally fangirl over him.etc-love


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

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#10 | Back to Top04-24-2010 04:31:26 PM

Ico
Juri Jeerer
From: Over the moon
Registered: 03-30-2010
Posts: 48
Website

Re: Gender Swap

Male Saionji slapping Anthy around is a lot worse for me than female Saionji slapping male Anthy, but that's because Saionji is, like, three times bigger than Anthy.  When he slaps her it literally throws her to the ground.  If she slapped him, he'd have a red cheek and it would sting. 

Thinking about Mikage is interesting, because he's the one character we really see Utena lose it around when she goes berserk on him and knocks him flat.  I suspect that scene seems a lot less brutal to the viewer because Mikage is a male character.  Even though he looks to be about the same height/weight as Utena, and doesn't fight back--the gender roles make it more "acceptable" for Utena to beat the crap out of him.  Whereas I think Utena beating up female Mikage would seem like a bully.

(I can't say I'd be more/less sympathetic to him if he were female, though.  I'm pretty sympathetic to him anyway.  I think he'd be the same.  I'd probably like his pink hair a little less because it's more subversive on him as a guy (and he wears it so well!  emot-biggrin); that would be the only difference to me.)

Juri as a guy with a crush on a boy version of Shiori would be... interesting.  Oddly, I think I'd be more sympathetic to Juri.  I'm not sure why that is, though.

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#11 | Back to Top04-24-2010 07:43:46 PM

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

Re: Gender Swap

Riri-kins wrote:

I'd also feel sorrier for girl Saionji. If he were female I'd see her as jaded and would not blame her for slapping a man.  It makes me ashamed to realize I have double standards I didn't even know about. emot-frown

Oh, and if Anthy were a sweet introverted Indian guy I'd totally fangirl over him.etc-love

You know, I don't think all double standards are bad. Most domestic violence is male perpetrated, and men are stronger (on average) than women. Slapping someone is still a shitty thing to do, but it's less threatening––and it doesn't imply hidden abuse at home. That's why women's sexual aggression is seen as exciting while male sexual aggression is (rightly) seen as a threat.

I think there would be less of a controversy over male!Anthy's moral value if he were a guy. The "witch or victim?" question would not have so much gray area, because we expect men to take initiative. Plus, there would be more of a sense of betrayal, instead of shock and awe. Imagine, for comparison, if it turned out that Shinji Ikari (Evangelion) was subtly sabotaging everyone around him, caused most of their problems, and his father actually had good reasons for staying the hell away from him. I think the response would be less "Poor guy" and more "What a psychopath!"

I like the idea of a female Mikage/Nemuro. We don't tend to think of women as being "human computers," so I'd be interested to see how the writers would deal with that. How would her relationship with a (male) Tokiko and a prepubescent girl be interpreted?

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/9710-1/Series_ep23_211.jpg

Last edited by minervana (04-24-2010 07:47:24 PM)

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#12 | Back to Top05-07-2010 12:57:07 AM

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

Re: Gender Swap

Hm, I agree with the female!Saionji slapping male!Anthy not being as bad as Male!Saionji slapping female!Anthy. A female Nemuro would be cool too, as is the idea of male!Utena wanting to become a noble fairy...

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#13 | Back to Top08-27-2010 01:30:40 PM

Grell Sutcliff
Saionji Slapper
From: Keene, NH
Registered: 04-26-2010
Posts: 25
Website

Re: Gender Swap

How would a female Nemuro act? I would think like Rei from Evangelion-all monotoned and computer-like, almost like a doll.


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#14 | Back to Top08-27-2010 03:28:09 PM

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

Re: Gender Swap

randomprojects wrote:

Hm, I agree with the female!Saionji slapping male!Anthy not being as bad as Male!Saionji slapping female!Anthy. A female Nemuro would be cool too, as is the idea of male!Utena wanting to become a noble fairy...

If their personalities were otherwise unchanged, it would be just as bad in every level. Men don't have a monopoly in abusive relationships.


Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!

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#15 | Back to Top08-27-2010 04:59:56 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Re: Gender Swap

Grell Sutcliff wrote:

How would a female Nemuro act? I would think like Rei from Evangelion-all monotoned and computer-like, almost like a doll.

I think she'd act like an automaton, but not quite like a doll -- Nemuro pretty much did what he was told, but I never got the impression he was doing it because he was commanded to. He simply didn't care enough NOT to disobey, if that makes any sense. school-devil

I think the dynamics of the Tokiko/Nemuro/Mamiya thing would be completely turned around if Nemuro had been a woman. After all, in that circumstance, she'd have been a career woman who fell in love with a man and his sister and wanted them to all be a happy family. It goes a little against the grain of Utena's princely ideals, I think, and also would echo too strongly Utena's own slip into the Feminine Ideal.


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#16 | Back to Top08-27-2010 07:58:00 PM

Esmenet
Tenjou Tilter
From: Illinois
Registered: 12-04-2008
Posts: 83

Re: Gender Swap

I think I'd feel a lot more sympathetic toward Touga (among others) if he were female. I'd read the 'playboy' behavior, the hypocritical speaking out against homosexual relationships, and the cruelty towards Nanami as more reactions against her restrictive upper-class childhood and socialization than 'Touga being a dick'. Same with Saionji, really. Even if people's basic personalities remained the same, the reasons for their actions might be very different.

The ways gender plays into social expectations are very fascinating.


The bird is struggling out of the egg. The egg is the world. Whoever wants to be born must first destroy a world. [The bird is flying to God. The name of the God is called Abraxas.]

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#17 | Back to Top09-09-2010 11:57:44 AM

kitsune_keyblader
New Student
Registered: 07-15-2010
Posts: 3

Re: Gender Swap

I love this idea! emot-dance There should definately be some fanart with this idea in mind! Hehe, kinda reminds me of 'The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.' Hehe, boy!Utena wanting to be fairy, I betcha that there'd be all sort of Cinderella references, him being a Fairy Godmother wannabe! Boy!Anthy sounds adorable! etc-love

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#18 | Back to Top09-09-2010 05:56:25 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
Website

Re: Gender Swap

It's been a while since I done these but here they are again.

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o50/spatulasama/wakababoyside.jpg
Wakaba-kun

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o50/spatulasama/anthyboyuniform.jpg
Anthony?

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o50/spatulasama/akiogirltype.jpg
Akio-chan


http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o50/spatulasama/DooDah.jpg

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#19 | Back to Top09-09-2010 09:05:37 PM

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

Re: Gender Swap

Tamago wrote:

(PICTURES)

Haha, these are awesome! Thanks! emot-dance

Wakaba-kun

Cool. He has kind of a Tatsuya look going on, but with perkier hair. Which is very appropriate!

Anthony?

I can just see him being the Miki-esque soft-spoken, fangirl-attracting romantic interest in another shoujo series. With such an innocent, unguarded expression, it's hard to imagine him playing out the creepier parts of the Anthy role, though.

(Actually, couldn't male Anthy just look like fake!Mamiya?)

Akio-chan

Urd!? emot-aaa

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#20 | Back to Top09-09-2010 10:12:19 PM

wingedbeastie
Nest Boxer
From: Sandy Eggo, CA
Registered: 03-28-2007
Posts: 1011

Re: Gender Swap

I drew some too!

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w131/AnjitheArtist/random%20artwork/GenderflipUtena1.jpg

and

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w131/AnjitheArtist/random%20artwork/GenderflipUtena2.jpg


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#21 | Back to Top09-09-2010 10:28:40 PM

Malacoda
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 07-26-2009
Posts: 180

Re: Gender Swap

For some reason or another, Anji, your male!Utena reminds me of Guybrush Threepwood.

Also, your fem!Akio looks absolutely delicious.

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#22 | Back to Top09-09-2010 10:35:42 PM

wingedbeastie
Nest Boxer
From: Sandy Eggo, CA
Registered: 03-28-2007
Posts: 1011

Re: Gender Swap

I'm pretty sure it's the hairstyle.

And thank you. For the F!Akio, I wanted her to look about as harmless as Akio looks upon first discovery. You know, before he opens his mouth.

EDIT:

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w131/AnjitheArtist/random%20artwork/GenderflipUtena3.jpg

Last edited by Anji (09-09-2010 11:55:29 PM)


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#23 | Back to Top09-10-2010 03:46:10 AM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
Website

Re: Gender Swap

With Miki, you wouldn't need to change much, just add a hint of boobage and his transformation would be complete.


http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o50/spatulasama/DooDah.jpg

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#24 | Back to Top09-10-2010 03:54:36 AM

kitsune_keyblader
New Student
Registered: 07-15-2010
Posts: 3

Re: Gender Swap

emot-aaa ...It's...soooo beautiful! etc-loveetc-love Awesome, and I recognize all of them, hooray! emot-dance

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#25 | Back to Top09-10-2010 07:20:44 AM

Epi_lepsia
Tragedian
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 11-26-2006
Posts: 1429
Website

Re: Gender Swap

Lololol.

Mikage looks exactly the same.

(Male!Shiori is SO HOT etc-saiowanketc-saiowanketc-saiowank )

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