You are not logged in.

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 Top10-17-2006 04:31:41 PM

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

Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Spinoff from the "Touga and Akio sitting in a tree" thread.

Touga is fairly clearly a power-mad Machiavelli for most of the series, and a cynical one at that.  He displays this in a hundred ways, but the sexy ones are the most interesting.  We have him and the Chairman in bed throughout the series.  We have his sexecution of Utena at the end of season one.  We even see him establishing sexual tension, if not actual sex, with Miki and Saionji.  And Nanami... god.  But people seem to typecast Touga too early and interpret everything he does as a power play.  My question -- or my argument, really -- is that he largely abandons the power game and pursues redemption late in the series. 

The thing is, I think Touga is in love with Utena... or at least very confused about his feelings for her.  Not at first, obviously, but after she beats him in Soi his attitude and body language become subtly different when he spends time with her.  To cite a dramatic example, he is pissed off when Akio shows up during their horseback ride.  And to me, the nighttime date Touga and Utena share at the pinnacle of the dueling arena feels like the sincerest thing Touga has done all series... even if he has spent too much of his life being Don Juan to know how to talk to women he actually likes.

So why duel her, you ask?  I reply that Touga's third duel is the most misunderstood duel of the series.  Touga has always been sleeping with Akio, trying vainly to manipulate him, but lately Akio has been letting his guard down and has let a little information leak to Touga.  We see the two of them talking a lot about revolution, and through these chats Touga has begun to understand, in a very broad sense, what Akio means by world revolution.  Most importantly, there is no way he's spent all this time talking about revolution with Akio and not caught the snigger in Akio's voice when he talks about the Champion Duelist.  By the time of his duel, Touga has put two and two together and deduced that when the apocalypse comes, the Champion Duelist is in for a very nasty surprise.

If Touga were the self-serving egotist most fans make of him, he would never try to take the Bride from Utena at this juncture.  He's a curious guy -- knowledge is power, after all -- but he's not masochistic.  He doesn't want to get speared by Akio's trap.  The only reason he would duel is if he wanted to make sure that Utena didn't get speared by the trap even more than he wanted to avoid it himself.  To this end, he does everything he can to make Utena willing to fight him -- pisses her off, promises the Seitokai will never challenge her for the Bride again, etc.  And mid-battle he utters the tell-all quote: "Tenjou, ore ga omae wo mamotteiru."  "Tenjou -- I am protecting you."  And again after the duel: "You've now become the one who will revolutionize the world.  But you mustn't open your heart to the End of the World, or to the Rose Bride.  That's the last thing I can say."

Of course, due to a combination of wholly justified mistrust of Touga and her usual oblivion, Utena doesn't listen.

Touga is trying to protect Utena.  He isn't yet a prince -- he's been a misogynist for too long, and doesn't have the respect for Utena's independence that Utena has for Anthy's -- but he has come very close.  So close that he's willing to sacrifice himself for her.

Thoughts?

Last edited by satyreyes (10-17-2006 08:05:10 PM)

Offline

 

#2 | Back to Top10-17-2006 04:49:29 PM

azuresquirrel
Touga Topper
From: Right behind you!
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 57
Website

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

I agree with you completely! etc-love

For a show filled with insanely complex characters, Touga always gets boiled down to either a Prince (which he's not) or a complete amoral bastard (which is closer, but still not true). I'll admit that Touga probably fills my last spot in terms of how much I like the characters, but to deny him his character arc just because I don't like him is unfair.

I believe that Touga finally does come to love Utena in the last arc of the show. However, I think he misunderstands his own feelings. After being completely self-centered for so long, Touga is completely thrown off when he finds himself caring for someone else. I think that he truly believes that Utena is his One True Princess, but that isn't the case. Utena is his redemption because she taught him how to think about others again, and maybe even patch up his old "friendship" with Saonji, if those episodes are any indication.

But he does not recognize that Utena is not his One True Love, and that is where he fails in his last duel. Yes, he dueled for noble intentions at last. He was willing to sacrifice himself to save Utena. But he still misunderstands her. He thinks that the only way he can help her is to be her Prince and to save his dear Princess. I don't fault him for this; he's spent so much time playing the Prince role to seduce women that he thinks he can use it for noble means as well. He doesn't see how important it is to Utena for herself to be a Prince, especially Anthy's Prince. That is why his love is not that of the pure soulmate, though he thinks it is. To the end, he never fully understands Utena in his misogynistic ways. I thinkt hat after the series there is hope for him to break out of that mold and possibly become a True Prince, but even then he's never going to have the Princess that he wanted in Utena.

Great topic!


Me on gender identity: "I have more gender issues than an anime character."

Offline

 

#3 | Back to Top10-17-2006 05:46:27 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
Website

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

To be honest, I mostly agree, although I tend to take his moral beginnings with a grain of salt. It's a fair bet that Touga wouldn't stick his neck out that way for someone other than his ideal... and I tend to think that that's how Touga sees Utena, not as a living, breathing person, but as the ideal.

Actually, I tend to think that should they somehow have gotten into a relationship, he'd get tired of her more reserved attitude in bed (what? Like he's not gonna try! And Utena's never really going to give up that bit of a blush over sex, she's too innocent) and annoyed that she doesn't have pretty manners and immaculate fashion sense.

The ideal of her doesn't have those flaws. The ideal of Utena is pure, strong, noble, dedicated, and something that anyone could fall in love with... but in practice, she is a bit of an airhead. And heaven help her if she forgets to take the football cleats off when walking across the Turkish carpets. Touga would go nuts within a month.

In short, I don't think it's the One True Love in his life, but I don't quite think it's just him learning how to care for people either. I've always accepted without thinking about it that he knows Akio has something nasty planned for the Champion; I'll have to figure out what gave me that impression. Regardless, Touga strikes me as the kind of person who has a very high regard for his own skin; I really don't think he'd offer to have it punctured on behalf of someone he cared about unless that someone represented an ideal he wanted for himself.

This thread is Yasha-bait. I'll shut up now and let the rest of you talk. etc-wankgirl


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#4 | Back to Top10-17-2006 06:36:21 PM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

We all know that to a large extent, Touga desires Utena because she said NO to him and for a guy who is used to having girls throw themselves at him, (including his sister) the very idea that a pretty girl would refuse him would be a major turn-on as it offers him a challenge… but I digress!

I must admit that I do finding myself agreeing with many of the comments that have been made about him in this thread but a part of me suspects that he wanted to win that last duel because he believed that he had enough knowledge and the skills required to overcome Akio and gain the power to revolutionize the world for himself.

He does care enough for Utena to want to warn her about Akio and Anthy after he lost the duel but what he doesn’t know is that Utena has her blinkers on her personal mission to save Anthy from her role as the Rose Bride even if she doesn’t understand a lot of what is actually going on.

I’m not much a wordsmith, so my ability to express my arguments and thoughts in such a way that the intended meaning(s) I want to convey is somewhat limited but I will endeavour to make myself clear as best as I could. emot-redface

Offline

 

#5 | Back to Top10-17-2006 06:39:04 PM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

satyreyes wrote:

sexecution

I'm stealing this.

Yasha wrote:

And heaven help her if she forgets to take the football cleats off when walking across the Turkish carpets. Touga would go nuts within a month.

So what you're saying is Utena's too butch for a gal like Touga.

(Warning, Yasha and I tend to pretty much agree. It's creepy.)

I think Touga's final duel was too little, too late. More of a good beginning than anything else, because for most of the series, she's a possession to him. Especially early on. She's the one thing in the store he can't afford. The cookies on the table that are absolutely off limits. Then she becomes something to conquer and make his own. And by then, not only is she something to conquer, she's something different. She's noble, and just, and independent. She doesn't need him. At that point, I think his attraction to her must have darkened a little, deep down. After all, the audacity.

Any change in this view of things probably lined up with him eventually realizing Utena was not going to be his. Once he really accepted that, there was just a sliver of room in his mentality to allow for her to be something better than a trophy.

Still, he never does see her as a person, and as an ideal, she's not even his ideal. I agree with Yasha there, I think after a couple weeks of seriously trying to deal with Utena he'd find absolutely no common ground to build a relationship on.

As to whether he's Machiavellian, I don't know. It's a book he no doubt is very familiar with, although he obviously thinks it's better to be loved. etc-love (Of course, Machiavelli didn't look quite like Touga does, so feared was probably a more practical option for him.) As for 'ends justifies the means', absolutely that's Touga. Especially since the ends in question are always his own. And when his own sweet ass turns out to be the means? Well there you go. I would say he's the kind of man that would go to disturbing lengths to get what he wants, although I suspect he'd drawn the line at looking like a fool. Had Akio told him to wear a bunny suit while they had sex, I don't think it would flown.


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

Offline

 

#6 | Back to Top10-17-2006 06:58:36 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
Website

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Giovanna wrote:

Of course, Machiavelli didn't look quite like Touga does

Wait just one minute.

If Machiavelli looked like Touga... I'd still be in my room, etc-wankgirl ing furiously with The Prince. Book, or writer. It's probably better he didn't, I'm not into necro.

My poor sex life emot-gonk

Back on topic, I do think that in part Utena was an ideal of Touga's. If you accept that he's smart enough to be trying to protect her, you have to accept that he's found something in her worth protecting. I think we're using the word 'ideal' a bit differently though.

Also, I concur on him being willing to go to disturbing lengths to get what he wants, but that might be because I do the same thing. emot-wink


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#7 | Back to Top10-17-2006 07:07:01 PM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Giovanna wrote:

Had Akio told him to wear a bunny suit while they had sex, I don't think it would flown.

I don't know about anyone else here but damn! I would love it if someone drew up a fanart sexscene with Akio with Touga in a bunnysuit but then again, I am a twisted little spunkmoney (No not Chu-Chu even if you could be forgiven for believing that school-devil )

Offline

 

#8 | Back to Top10-17-2006 07:34:09 PM

SleepDebtFairy
Revolutionary
From: Virginia
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 2095

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Very much agreed with a lot of the posts here. etc-love That's how I pretty much thought of Touga's motives near the end. The main reason for his attraction (at least at first) to Utena was from the shock of being turned down for once, and taking the challenge to get her. But I do think he was sincere when he told her he loved her near the end. After all, when he asked her to stay with him that night, what else could he have gained that he would normally want except for being with her? There was obviously no sex (that would be a big deal for Utena) and they were alone where no one else could really see them. It seemed like he just genunitely wanted to be with her then. I doubt it was true love, but he did seem to care for, or at least thought he did. And I think he did start to get concerned from her when he started catching on more about what would happen to Utena if she won. He looked pretty upset in the horseride episode. Jealous that Akio was attracting Utena, or concern for Utena because he knew what Akio was planning?

And I was going to say more, but my math homework fried my brain.

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (10-17-2006 07:34:41 PM)


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/Tushen/cupcake_mini2.gif

Offline

 

#9 | Back to Top10-17-2006 08:07:33 PM

ZSPACE
Touga Topper
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 57

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

satyreyes wrote:

Spinoff from the "Touga and Akio sitting in a tree" thread.

Touga is fairly clearly a power-mad Machiavelli for most of the series, and a cynical one at that.  He displays this in a hundred ways, but the sexy ones are the most interesting.  We have him and the Chairman in bed throughout the series.  We have his sexecution of Utena at the end of season one.  We even see him establishing sexual tension, if not actual sex, with Miki and Saionji.  And Nanami... god.  But people seem to typecast Touga too early and interpret everything he does as a power play.  My question -- or my argument, really -- is that he largely abandons the power game and pursues redemption late in the series. 

The thing is, I think Touga is in love with Utena... or at least very confused about his feelings for her.  Not at first, obviously, but after she beats him in Soi his attitude and body language become subtly different when he spends time with her.  To cite a dramatic example, he is pissed off when Akio shows up during their horseback ride.  And to me, the nighttime date Touga and Utena share at the pinnacle of the dueling arena feels like the sincerest thing Touga has done all series... even if he has spent too much of his life being Don Juan to know how to talk to women he actually likes.

So why duel her, you ask?  I reply that Touga's third duel is the most misunderstood duel of the series.  Touga has always been sleeping wiith Akio, trying vainly to manipulate him, but lately Akio has been letting his guard down and has let a little information leak to Touga.  We see the two of them talking a lot about revolution, and through these chats Touga has begun to understand, in a very broad sense, what Akio means by world revolution.  Most importantly, there is no way he's spent all this time talking about revolution with Akio and not caught the snigger in Akio's voice when he talks about the Champion Duelist.  By the time of his duel, Touga has put two and two together and deduced that when the apocalypse comes, the Champion Duelist is in for a very nasty surprise.

If Touga were the self-serving egotist most fans make of him, he would never try to take the Bride from Utena at this juncture.  He's a curious guy -- knowledge is power, after all -- but he's not masochistic.  He doesn't want to get speared by Akio's trap.  The only reason he would duel is if he wanted to make sure that Utena didn't get speared by the trap even more than he wanted to avoid it himself.  To this end, he does everything he can to make Utena willing to fight him -- pisses her off, promises the Seitokai will never challenge her for the Bride again, etc.  And mid-battle he utters the tell-all quote: "Tenjou, ore ga omae wo mamotteiru."  "Tenjou -- I am protecting you."  And again after the duel: "You've now become the one who will revolutionize the world.  But you mustn't open your heart to the End of the World, or to the Rose Bride.  That's the last thing I can say."

Of course, due to a combination of wholly justified mistrust of Touga and her usual oblivion, Utena doesn't listen.

Touga is trying to protect Utena.  He isn't yet a prince -- he's been a misogynist for too long, and doesn't have the respect for Utena's independence that Utena has for Anthy's -- but he has come very close.  So close that he's willing to sacrifice himself for her.

Thoughts?

Okay, there are some parts that i agree with ,but not MANY! To me the only reason why Touga is probably looking for redemption is that the people he was trying to manipulate grew up and are hanging around with Akio ( who is the second God of manipulation- Anthy is the first). By his third duel, Utena would have won dispite anything he could said ( after she won Anthy back from him). Plus, in that duel, it looks like Anthy was making sure Utena won. Touga started off power mad and ended up a bitch boy.

Offline

 

#10 | Back to Top10-17-2006 08:27:33 PM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

azuresquirrel wrote:

But he does not recognize that Utena is not his One True Love, and that is where he fails in his last duel. Yes, he dueled for noble intentions at last. He was willing to sacrifice himself to save Utena. But he still misunderstands her. He thinks that the only way he can help her is to be her Prince and to save his dear Princess. I don't fault him for this; he's spent so much time playing the Prince role to seduce women that he thinks he can use it for noble means as well. He doesn't see how important it is to Utena for herself to be a Prince, especially Anthy's Prince. That is why his love is not that of the pure soulmate, though he thinks it is. To the end, he never fully understands Utena in his misogynistic ways. I thinkt hat after the series there is hope for him to break out of that mold and possibly become a True Prince, but even then he's never going to have the Princess that he wanted in Utena.

Great!  This is an important point to emphasize.  Touga still hasn't broken out of his misogynist "girls cannot take care of themselves" way of thinking, even with respect to Utena.  And he doesn't understand her as an individual.  Then again, I think he realizes he doesn't understand her; he can't help but realize, after the first season.  He views her with awe and yearning, but not understanding, and I wouldn't go so far as to say he thinks they're true soulmates (though I'm sure he fantasizes about it... constantly).  And among the things he can't understand about her is that a girl can be a prince; to him, she must be a princess, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.  So he goes and protects her.  He does have to break out of his old way of thinking before he can be a prince, but he has gotten pretty close -- probably as close as Miki has, and closer than Saionji or Juri.  (Nanami is beneath mention, except maybe parenthetically.)  I think it's possible that of all the characters, he grows more over the course of the series than anyone except Anthy.

Giovanna wrote:

satyreyes wrote:

sexecution

I'm stealing this.

You can steal it, but you're stealing from a thief  emot-wink  There is some song called Sexecutioner that I heard about half of once, but the name stuck with me.

Offline

 

#11 | Back to Top10-17-2006 09:19:55 PM

ZSPACE
Touga Topper
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 57

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

satyreyes wrote:

azuresquirrel wrote:

But he does not recognize that Utena is not his One True Love, and that is where he fails in his last duel. Yes, he dueled for noble intentions at last. He was willing to sacrifice himself to save Utena. But he still misunderstands her. He thinks that the only way he can help her is to be her Prince and to save his dear Princess. I don't fault him for this; he's spent so much time playing the Prince role to seduce women that he thinks he can use it for noble means as well. He doesn't see how important it is to Utena for herself to be a Prince, especially Anthy's Prince. That is why his love is not that of the pure soulmate, though he thinks it is. To the end, he never fully understands Utena in his misogynistic ways. I thinkt hat after the series there is hope for him to break out of that mold and possibly become a True Prince, but even then he's never going to have the Princess that he wanted in Utena.

Great!  This is an important point to emphasize.  Touga still hasn't broken out of his misogynist "girls cannot take care of themselves" way of thinking, even with respect to Utena.  And he doesn't understand her as an individual.  Then again, I think he realizes he doesn't understand her; he can't help but realize, after the first season.  He views her with awe and yearning, but not understanding, and I wouldn't go so far as to say he thinks they're true soulmates (though I'm sure he fantasizes about it... constantly).  And among the things he can't understand about her is that a girl can be a prince; to him, she must be a princess, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.  So he goes and protects her.  He does have to break out of his old way of thinking before he can be a prince, but he has gotten pretty close -- probably as close as Miki has, and closer than Saionji or Juri.  (Nanami is beneath mention, except maybe parenthetically.)  I think it's possible that of all the characters, he grows more over the course of the series than anyone except Anthy.

Giovanna wrote:

satyreyes wrote:

sexecution

I'm stealing this.

You can steal it, but you're stealing from a thief  emot-wink  There is some song called Sexecutioner that I heard about half of once, but the name stuck with me.

I will steal it before you will!

Offline

 

#12 | Back to Top10-18-2006 07:19:46 AM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

He looked pretty upset in the horseride episode. Jealous that Akio was attracting Utena, or concern for Utena because he knew what Akio was planning?

I'd say a whole lot of both. Also I suspect Touga can, at that point, appreciate the sick, twisted humor in what happened there. Akio, who he knows it going to do (has already done) horrible things to Utena has just come across quite princely in saving her from Touga, who couldn't even protect her from himself when he wasn't trying to hurt her. I mean really, she fell off his horse and Akio caught her. Makes Touga look like a complete asshole.

There's something there of Akio suggesting she's safer with him than she is with Touga. The joke (and what miffed Touga), is that even with falling off a running horse, that's still totally false. It was definitely a nudge toward making Touga duel.

satyreyes wrote:

Great!  This is an important point to emphasize.  Touga still hasn't broken out of his misogynist "girls cannot take care of themselves" way of thinking, even with respect to Utena.  And he doesn't understand her as an individual.  Then again, I think he realizes he doesn't understand her; he can't help but realize, after the first season.  He views her with awe and yearning, but not understanding, and I wouldn't go so far as to say he thinks they're true soulmates (though I'm sure he fantasizes about it... constantly).  And among the things he can't understand about her is that a girl can be a prince; to him, she must be a princess, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.  So he goes and protects her.  He does have to break out of his old way of thinking before he can be a prince, but he has gotten pretty close -- probably as close as Miki has, and closer than Saionji or Juri.  (Nanami is beneath mention, except maybe parenthetically.)  I think it's possible that of all the characters, he grows more over the course of the series than anyone except Anthy.

Agreed, definitely a good point to make. emot-smile It doesn't quite sink in for him that he can't save Utena, but you do see the beginnings of it.

That's the strange thing about SKU, none of the characters, save Anthy, are completely resolved in the end. They're happy because you see them starting down a healthier road, but Touga has a lot of work to do, just as Saionji, Juri, and Miki do. That said, maybe Touga has a little longer a road than most of the characters, because his problems are so thoroughly internal. Juri and Miki suffer in response to something they see as an outside influence; naturally that they suffer shows there's something wrong inside, but for them, getting away from the bad influence was a huge step. Touga doesn't have that (no, Akio doesn't count), and Saionji chose to wait it out with Touga, though getting away from him might have accelerated his progress, had Touga not already grown up a lot.

I think even long after the series, Touga's going be a ruthless womanizer. Because at best, he's still going to be a horrible cynic, and most women will fit very comfortably in the narrow view he has of them. Also, a gorgeous man with a talented tongue* is never going to grow out of sleeping with women, sometimes two and three at a time.

*I swear to god I did not mean for that to suggest anything but that he was a smooth talker. I swear. Although I doubt there's any question of that, either. emot-wink


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

Offline

 

#13 | Back to Top10-26-2006 03:32:40 AM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Sorry for bringing this back from the low end of the second page, but I missed this topic the first time around. emot-redface

Giovanna wrote:

That's the strange thing about SKU, none of the characters, save Anthy, are completely resolved in the end. They're happy because you see them starting down a healthier road, but Touga has a lot of work to do, just as Saionji, Juri, and Miki do. That said, maybe Touga has a little longer a road than most of the characters, because his problems are so thoroughly internal. Juri and Miki suffer in response to something they see as an outside influence; naturally that they suffer shows there's something wrong inside, but for them, getting away from the bad influence was a huge step. Touga doesn't have that (no, Akio doesn't count), and Saionji chose to wait it out with Touga, though getting away from him might have accelerated his progress, had Touga not already grown up a lot.

I think even long after the series, Touga's going be a ruthless womanizer. Because at best, he's still going to be a horrible cynic, and most women will fit very comfortably in the narrow view he has of them. Also, a gorgeous man with a talented tongue* is never going to grow out of sleeping with women, sometimes two and three at a time.

*I swear to god I did not mean for that to suggest anything but that he was a smooth talker. I swear. Although I doubt there's any question of that, either. emot-wink

I may (ok, almost definitely) be being overly optimistic, but I'd like to think Touga's views of women would have changed a fair bit thanks to Utena. As has been said, I don't think Utena would have been a good match for him romantically, but as being the first time Touga's loved and lost it's possible he'll reevaluate his romantic life, or lack thereof. Touga is used to having girls (or guys) come to him, he has a real 'been there, done that' attitude to the whole thing. The only reason he has any interest in Utena is because she beats Saionji. It's possible, even at Ohtori, that there are some girls that don't fall all over themselves in Touga's pressence. And he's never given them a second, or even a first, thought. But after his failure to obtain Utena he could very well start seeking out a partner, instead of taking whoever gave him the first love letter of the day.

Then again, if he completely forgets Utena after the series ends he's screwed. emot-wink


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

Offline

 

#14 | Back to Top10-26-2006 08:52:30 AM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Ragnarok wrote:

Then again, if he completely forgets Utena after the series ends he's screwed.

But I suspect that the only reason people ended up forgetting people like Utena and Mikage and events like what happened in the Black Rose Saga was due to Anthy's witchcraft and since Anthy decided to leave Ohtori at the end of Ep 39, Im pretty sure the haze for forgetfulness will clear away, allowing everyone affected to start remembering certain people and events again. school-sherlock emot-keke

Offline

 

#15 | Back to Top10-26-2006 11:14:16 AM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Giovanna wrote:

That's the strange thing about SKU, none of the characters, save Anthy, are completely resolved in the end. They're happy because you see them starting down a healthier road, but Touga has a lot of work to do, just as Saionji, Juri, and Miki do. That said, maybe Touga has a little longer a road than most of the characters, because his problems are so thoroughly internal. Juri and Miki suffer in response to something they see as an outside influence; naturally that they suffer shows there's something wrong inside, but for them, getting away from the bad influence was a huge step. Touga doesn't have that (no, Akio doesn't count), and Saionji chose to wait it out with Touga, though getting away from him might have accelerated his progress, had Touga not already grown up a lot.

I was watching the end of SKU again this past weekend and I was thinking about this aspect of the story. I wondered if Touga and Saionji were a bit FARTHER along in their "becoming adults" arc than the other characters just because in Episode 37, Utena has a resolution scene (badminton) with Miki, Juri and Nanami early in the show while she's trying to decide what to do with Anthy. But she has her resolution scene with Touga and Saionji after she's made up her mind as she's going to meet Anthy on the way to the dueling arena. And so symbolically, since Touga and Saionji were physically farther down Utena's path, they seem closer than the others to getting there as well. I saw them really resolving their own relationship and figuring out who they want to be. It just seemed interesting the grouping of those final scenes with those characters since those scenes are Utena's last chance to influence them by her example.

Offline

 

#16 | Back to Top10-27-2006 09:05:22 PM

Crysknife
New Student
Registered: 10-27-2006
Posts: 1

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

So, I generally agree with the OP's point.  I think that Touga has, through the years, learned to behave in a certain way.  He has learned to use people for his own gain and he has been power-hungry.  Until he realizes his feelings for Utena and decides that he actually is willing to sacrifice to protect her.  I just think that he has no real experience with that and doesn't know how to express his care for Utena (especially given his past behavior towards her), but I don't think his actions towards the end are the result of selfishness or immorality.  I think that the situation won't change him in the future (especially given how it turned out) but I don't think he is just this blanket immoral megalomaniac.

Offline

 

#17 | Back to Top10-27-2006 10:45:34 PM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Great postings, especially the first one from satyreyes.

Touga is one of several apprentice-Akios. Ohtori is really a series of circles with Akio in the center. Akio has persuaded several different people including Touga that they stand in the innermost circle with him.  In different ways Anthy, Mikage, Ruka, and especially Touga come to realize that they are outsiders after all.

Touga's attitude towards Utena resembles Ruka's attitude towrd Juri and Juri's attitude toward Shiori: love without real respect and an arrogant possessive belief that manipulating her is for her own good and not being able to see his own -- well not hypocrisy perhaps, actual hyprocrisy would require more self-awareness -- brand of selfish but innocent cruelty.

Offline

 

#18 | Back to Top12-09-2012 06:26:42 PM

Kita-Ysabell
Covert Diarist
Registered: 11-18-2012
Posts: 818
Website

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Blargh, more thread necro.

In terms of Touga's personal growth and/in his relation to Utena, I keep coming back to the differences between how he seduced and tricked her before his first duel, the way her pursues her towards the end, and the way Akio does so at the same time.  Akio and first-duel Touga both court Utena's more feminine side, trying (genuinely in first-duel Touga's case, and questionably so in Akio's) to shape her into someone more like a princess.  In contrast, the way that Touga courts Utena towards the end of the show is focused on the traits that make her more princely.

For example, with the whole horse riding business, (Touga can afford a thousand-dollar dog-bicycle!  No surprises there.) Touga has Utena riding astride behind him, and doesn't go out of his way to reassure her or make it easier-- she's a capable person, she'll get a hang of it.  Akio, on the other hand, has Utena riding sidesaddle, and gives her that whole sickeningly saccharine spiel about horses.


(p.s- someone needs to re-write The Prince as if it were written by Touga and/or Akio.  Maybe I'll do it sometime.)


"Et in Arcadio ego..."

Offline

 

#19 | Back to Top12-10-2012 05:47:34 AM

Valeli
Thorn of Death
Registered: 12-05-2006
Posts: 481
Website

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Blargh, more thread necro.

Don't feel too bad.

I'm pretty sure I remember having read this thread once upon a time, but I've totally forgotten about it since. It kind of has me wanting to rewatch the show a bit with a new look. Which is great, since I've been looking for something to do the next day or two before I head out on a trip. I have all these shows and films I like sitting around on dvd/blu ray, but I rarely end up watching any more than three times or so. It's nice when you read something and are like "hey, I don't remember looking at it that way, I should turn this on again and see what I think now."

It's been awhile since I've watched the series as a whole, but I think the OP is fairly on point as best I remember. None of the characters in this show are really that flat or one dimensional ether, despite frequently appearing very much that way at first glance. Touga is definitely someone who can be pegged in a poor light at first glance (what was his first line... he's like watching the first dual with binoculars and says "you've lit the fire to my heart... baby"). That's actually the line that cracked me up and made me think this show was bad enough to be funny, getting me to end up buying it for lulz (after which my opinion of the show pulled something of a 180). Utena's easy to typecast at first too, although in a much more positive light. But no one really ends up that way once they've been given a chance to take some actions and develop over the 3 arcs.


You're re-writing the Prince as Akio/Touga idea sounds fun, if it was done well (I'd prefer Akio, but hey, what does my vote count for). Also sounds like a pretty tough/time consuming project to get done well, but I'd definitely check it out at least.

Offline

 

#20 | Back to Top01-13-2013 03:32:01 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
Website

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Bumping a Touga thread because I am a sick sad predictable individual and I heart me some Touga discussion!



I wanted to point out, as a historical note, that to begin with most fans saw Touga as THE GOOD GUY.

Yes, you heard me. They believed he was really Utena's true Prince and that they should have ended up together because TWU WUV. Or something. So I tend to go a bit further toward the other direction in my interpretations than maybe I should. Besides, evil is sexy. But it's true, Touga does end up looking for redemption and growing past being a self-involved wanker.

And Kita, I actually never sat down to think about how Touga's courtship of Utena serves as a foil for how Akio courts her-- more to the point, how Touga places her in a more princely position than Akio does. I am inclined to put that down to the writers more than the character's motivations. I don't think it's respect that motivates Touga to treat her that way. But perhaps it's the beginning of it.


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#21 | Back to Top01-13-2013 04:34:37 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Yasha wrote:

I wanted to point out, as a historical note, that to begin with most fans saw Touga as THE GOOD GUY.

Most fans must have only remembered like the last 4 eps of the TV plus that Movie.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

Offline

 

#22 | Back to Top01-13-2013 05:28:35 PM

malna
Caretaker
From: Poland
Registered: 10-03-2011
Posts: 209

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

This is probably a highly unpopular opinion, but I think Touga is one of the most complexed characters on the show, which speaks volumes seeing as SKU isn't exactly short of those.
I suspect that he had been 'saved' by Dios after his parents had died, in the similar way Utena later was. But unlike with her, Akio must have remained in touch with Touga for whatever the reason. Perhaps Touga really was the horse Akio was betting on. In episode's nine retrospect, when Touga says to Saionji "then show her something eternal" I think he already knew a lot. Perhaps he told Akio about the girl in the coffin, thus saved her, non-directly. Perhaps he merely knew that Akio would show up. But him and Akio, I'm positive they were already closely related. And if Akio took Touga under his wing back then, forming a much stronger bond than Touga could ever get a chance to develop with his adopted family, then it's no surprise the man Touga grown up to be. After all, his major influence was Akio himself.

So, Touga is brought up in certain outlook on life and then he starts applying it in his own life and see it work, all the way. It's always prey's own fault in falling for his schemes. Cruel? Yes, but that's how Touga believes the world is. I'm sure he learned that the hard way considering the person of his mentor. And he's consistent, doesn't allow double standards; after losing to Utena he's only ever more fond of her, despite that his world had just crumbled.

Okey, maybe I'll continue this tomorrow but for now I'm tired and my dreadful English became utterly uncooperative. I feel stupid posting things like this when everybody here express themselves so eloquently. emot-frown


a lot of hope in one man tent

Offline

 

#23 | Back to Top01-14-2013 08:59:22 AM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Yasha wrote:

I wanted to point out, as a historical note, that to begin with most fans saw Touga as THE GOOD GUY.

emot-rofl Well, sounds like the Utena fandom was interesting back in the day. I've been watching the show with my eleven-year-old sister (I know, but she was really bored and it seemed like a better alternative than showing her Evangelion yet. emot-tongue ) and at the end of the Student Council Saga she didn't seem to have any trouble understanding that Touga was kind of a jerk. Despite him having the prettiest hair (besides Utena).

Anyway, I do like a good redemption story, so I like to think that he does care for Utena by the end. It is interesting how he treats her more "princely" by the end too, whether that was intentional or not... Of course, he still hasn't learned respect yet.

Offline

 

#24 | Back to Top03-24-2013 05:57:30 PM

zevrem
Banned
Registered: 03-23-2013
Posts: 387

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

I think that Touga is basically someone who wants to be taken care of by The System. He was forced into the spotlight at an early age and was taught that the good opinion of others was a replacement for familial love, and that was what he was going to have to live with. That's why he can never be Akio, because Akio doesn't want to be cared for, he wants to RULE.


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

Offline

 

#25 | Back to Top03-24-2013 07:53:43 PM

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

Re: Is Touga nothing but a power-mad Machiavelli?

Interesting, zevrem!  So you think Touga doesn't want power in and of itself; he just wants other things, mostly security, and power is a means of getting that.  Is that right?  That's an interpretation of him that resonates with me, but I'm curious: if he doesn't want power in and of itself, why does he make a big deal about being Student Council President and being better than Saionji at everything and so on?

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB 1.2.23
© Copyright 2002–2008 PunBB
Forum styled and maintained by Giovanna and Yasha
Return to Empty Movement