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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 Top08-09-2010 01:39:14 AM

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

Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

This is a thread specifically about little details (or not-so-little details) in SKU that symbolize sex in some way. Also yonic, phallic etc. symbols.

I know we have a master analysis thread, but there is so much sex symbolism, it seems to warrant its own thread. Because, holy crap.

My brain is fried, but here are a few symbols I can think of:

http://ohtori.nu/gallery/var/resizes/Series/Episodes/Student_Council_Arc/01/Series_ep01_164.jpg?m=1380825445

The entire duelling game is extraordinarily sexual without any hint of sensuality. Basically, you have to put a yonic symbol on your finger (remind you of anything?) to have a phallo-duel to deflower your opponent. If your phallus deflowers your opponent you get the right to possess an evil doll. Makes perfect sense.

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/5698-2/Series_ep13_056.jpg

Roses are, I guess, used as a proxy for innocence. Which makes it ironic that Anthy has to tend over the rose garden, since her job is essentially to poison and preserve people's innocences at the same time.

http://www.enjoy-your-style.com/images/utena-manet-titian.jpg

The middle painting is of a prostitute in repose. At the time, her direct gaze, the black cat (symbol of prostitution) and the situation caused a huge scandal. (This collage comes from an essay on Lady Gaga, by the way, although it came from here originally).

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/8750-1/Series_ep21_145.jpg

The whole concept of heart-swords is very suggestive, especially because we never really know what happens to them after they're withdrawn. On that note:

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/3986-1/Series_ep09_008.jpg

and this...

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/14442-1/Series_ep34_187.jpg

and this...

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/12512-1/Series_ep30_082.jpg

but I'm not going to get into that. Pun unintended. (Oh who am I kidding. I would totally get into that.)

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#2 | Back to Top08-12-2010 11:56:45 PM

V_HappyLurker
Saionji Slapper
Registered: 08-03-2010
Posts: 21
Website

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

I'm still trying to figure out what significance (if any) the broom has in the Saionji-Touga sparring scene. I get that practice swords represent the girls fawning over their preferred male, which have a very phallic appearance and given the animation, look like they're "readied for action" if you get me. 

But when Utena speaks up, we immediately zoom in on the broom. It's a frightfully mundane and practical thing, mirroring Utena's intent when she tells the horde of girls to be quiet at the start of the match. The broom has a very classical house-wife vibe to me, something that ties in with Touga and Saionji doing what on the surface appears to be very classically male . Not to mention the fact that it's yet another phallic symbol in already phallus filled scene.  But the broom is also an item which is associated with witches and fertility rites.

Every time I watch that scene, I always come away feeling like Utena was more interested in watching the duel than (and getting a better idea of her competition?) than she was in fawning over Touga and/or Saionji. When the duel ends, she's rather matter-of-fact in her analysis of Touga while the rest of the girls start cheering and going "OH! You're the best! etc-wankgirl" over the boys.

On a side note, the near the end of this scene we get this:

http://a.imageshack.us/img23/3668/kendopeen.jpg

Seriously, there some subtext here between Saionji and Touga. And we all know what "subtext" can be rearranged into... emot-wink

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#3 | Back to Top08-23-2010 07:55:50 AM

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

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

V_HappyLurker wrote:

On a side note, the near the end of this scene we get this:

Seriously, there some subtext here between Saionji and Touga. And we all know what "subtext" can be rearranged into... emot-wink

"kendopeen.jpg" FTW. Especially with that subtitle: "Touga's the best!" emot-rofl

I think the symbolic subtext makes the story more interesting. You have to get involved in the story instead of passively consuming it. Also, when they really do show sex in the Akio arc, it makes it all the more disturbing.

Last edited by minervana (08-23-2010 07:58:17 AM)

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#4 | Back to Top11-09-2010 04:57:56 AM

CausalityStar
Caretaker
From: Idaho
Registered: 09-12-2010
Posts: 215

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

I haven't taken psychology yet, so I don't know as much about Freud's obsession with penises as you guys, but I'm going to guess that Akio's tower counts as a sex symbol.

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#5 | Back to Top11-09-2010 11:36:41 AM

CoffinBreaker
Rose Bride
From: Here and Now
Registered: 10-28-2010
Posts: 117

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

I heard somewhere that Ikuhara had fully intended for the chairman's tower to resemble a penis. (I can't say I'm surprised, considering who lives there and what goes on in the planetarium...) Methinks the builders were compensating for something? school-freud

The underlying sexual symbolism in Utena is (probably) meant to emphasize one of the main themes in the series: the clash of societal gender norms and and personal gender identity. Considering characters like, say, Miki and Juri, who blatantly defy what is considered to be masculine and feminine without even realizing it. Then there's Utena, who knowingly breaks out of both male and female roles through her desire to become a "prince"-she wants to take on a masculine role, without the loss of her femininity.

One of the reasons I am instinctively repulsed (and mildly intrigued on an intellectual level) by Akio is that he represents male sexuality in its purest form-the man's just a human-shaped mass of omnisexual testosterone. He's also a representation of someone who accepts and follows a masculine gender norm, and it seems to work out fine for him.

(I assume as this is a feminist anime that's probably why he's the antagonist.)

Anthy, in a way, represents how society expects women to be-docile and obedient towards their fathers, husbands, and men in general, much in the way the rose bride submits to the victor of the duels. She willingly sacrifices herself for Dios and continues to stay with him and serve him even after he's become Akio, because that's the only thing she knows how to do within her societal boundaries. (Well, among other reasons.)

Utena, our witless protagonist, comes into all this and takes it upon herself to bring Anthy out of her role as the rose bride (or typically feminine role).

In the end, one of the things everyone learns (as part of the coffin-breaking emot-keke ) (and one of the things I've personally experienced) is how to redefine what it means to be male or female.

(Sorry if that sounded like I was in lesbian-feminist-rage-mode, and that I sort of got off on a contingent that really had nothing to do with the original question. It's just something I feel rather strongly about.)


You don't need to understand Revolutionary Girl Utena to understand it.

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#6 | Back to Top11-09-2010 12:48:05 PM

MsDevin92
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 11-01-2010
Posts: 14

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

http://www.ohtori.nu/galerie/d/3580-1/Series_ep07_186.jpg

Juri's defeat...Yyyyeah.  I once saw an LJ icon of this labeled "Freud, eat your heart out".

Also FOR THE LOVE OF SHIORI'S CAR FORM, did Freud write this scene?

http://www.ohtori.nu/galerie/d/5440-3/Series_ep12_155.jpg

Touga defeats Utena, takes Anthy, Utena has a brief bout of Stepford-smiling before fighting him again, and then Touga makes Anthy kneel down and kiss the sword of Dios which Utena refuses to watch.  This makes the sword glow red and gives Touga the power to do lots of clothing damage to Utena and break her replacement sword.  Of course, then Anthy has a mini-love epiphany or something and Touga runs out of power, so his ass is handed to him.  My god.

The one I saw the creepiest symbolism in is when Akio and Anthy are having a drive in episode 37.  Akio is road-raging over the plot, and the way Anthy leans back in the car just makes me uncomfortable.  Not to mention for a split second, they're both naked.  I mean, I knew their nighttime run-ins were anything but healthy, this was just the cherry on top.

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#7 | Back to Top11-23-2010 12:12:41 AM

CausalityStar
Caretaker
From: Idaho
Registered: 09-12-2010
Posts: 215

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

Wait, if everyone who loses their rose in the duel is deflowered, than that means that Utena has deflowered a lot of people including almost all of the main characters and several of the minor characters from the black rose saga. (And I bet Saionji secretly liked it too. etc-saiowank )

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#8 | Back to Top11-23-2010 02:04:41 PM

liberrrty
Miki Molester
From: The land of the white rose
Registered: 08-31-2010
Posts: 39

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

Well for me, I dont think the deflowering is literally about  losing your virginity, but about the *traditionally female* emotions associated with it, which the negative ones for all the duellists in the first arc, but become more postive as they have grown and become "ready for sex." (I know it's a bit of a weird analogy and a slightly sexist one at that.)

However the one doing the deflowering doesn't affect the deflowerer. Men (ie. the sword bearer, ie. Utena/Touga that one time) are traditionally not expected to be emotionally connected to sex. In the stereotypical "male" view losing your virginity is just a notch on the bedpost to brag about to your mates and sleeping with a virgin makes no difference to you. Thats how Utena can still be so innocent yet the deflowerer of so many. She's just simply oblivious that its anything special. It's because she wasn't on the pointy end of the sword emot-tongue.

Don't forget water! Especially in the Juri eps. Flowing, gushing water is a simbol of female sexuality. Shiori is an Aquarius, the water bearer. This sign is often shown with someone holding a vase. This is a really cracky theory but this bit for me is about Juri's and Shiori's sexuality.

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/11650-1/Series_ep28_099.jpg

Juri's excited to be see Shiori. (side note: That fountain is so Juri's pick up spot. Why else does she happen to just run into girls on nighttime walks there?) Shiori's excited to see Ruka.

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/11662-1/Series_ep28_105.jpg

She sees Shiori with Ruka. Shiori sees Juri.

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/11684-1/Series_ep28_116.jpg

Juri's not so excited anymore. Shiori isn't feeling it so much anymore.

Any thoughts on this? It's a bit of a long shot I know.


Bishonen's back babies!

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#9 | Back to Top11-23-2010 06:16:53 PM

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

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

Ooh, me like that.  I knew water was often used to show Juri at her weakest - I had just assumed that it was because water was reflective and Juri is emo and all about her secrets and hidden vulnerability.  The ties to sexuality and Shiori's sign maker her the bearer of water.... that's just awesome. etc-love

Also, the two practice shinai touching are doing so between a rag and a bucket of water.  Touga and Saionji's relationship is dirty.  Soiled.  But the two of them get in the way of cleaning it.  I kinda want to know what it says on the bucket.  THE BUCKET HOLDS THE ANSWERS.

Last edited by OnlyInThisLight (11-23-2010 06:17:16 PM)

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#10 | Back to Top11-25-2010 10:45:00 AM

Zabel Z
Ohtori Paramouri
From: Brazil
Registered: 05-18-2010
Posts: 91

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/14442-1/Series_ep34_187.jpg

This.

phallic blades inducing pain by stabing her body school-freud
I really do believe this is a metaphor for Anthy's first intercourse (with Akio).


and the cocktower, we always catch a glimpse of it in the scenes where Anthy and akio are sexing. I think there's no mystery about it


Damm kids, get out of my lawn!!!

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#11 | Back to Top11-25-2010 06:38:07 PM

liberrrty
Miki Molester
From: The land of the white rose
Registered: 08-31-2010
Posts: 39

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

Jee, Akio's really bad at "deflowering." No wonder Utena was trying to divert his attention to tomorrow's lunch. (It would be funny if it didnt look so painful, ouchies! emot-frown)

More to the point, why does a bucket need writing on it anyways emot-confused? Surely it doesn't need instructions, what's inside is pretty darn obvious.

Aww thanks! emot-dance. My birthday is actually only 3 days after Shiori's, she doesn't seem to share a lot of the usual sign traits that we're meant to have though. I would explain that episode more but it's really hard to talk about water simbols without sounding quite pornographic. But I'm going to do it anyways emot-tongue.

(Side note: I was totally wrong about Juri' pick up spot. Apparantly she just wonders around the campus' water features until she finds a girl she likes the look of.

utena:  So, why are you here by yourself this late?

To eat you alive, Tenjou, to eat you alive. emot-redface Ahem!)


http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/3408-1/Series_ep07_100.jpg

The opposite of fountains and rivers, dammed still water (such as ponds or lakes) that is held back and not allowed to flow signifies supressed sexual desire. Here Juri is still unsure about Utena. She is interested in her but keeps herself in check and asks loaded questions about her boyish dress to see if she could be gay or not before pouncing.

It also be that at this point she is generally sexually surpressing herself because she is unsure of her sexual identity. (I mean even if she does have her night time wanderings it's not like she persues anything with more possiblity to explore her "feelings" school-devil.) She tries to ask Utena, the only other pants wearing girl on campus, about how she deals with her tomboyish side/percieved lesbianism so hopefully she can be more relaxed about herself. So when she basically replies;

"Oh no, I'm a totally normal girl really. I only wear these by clothes to be closer to him. And yes in that way. He was soooo cool. Wearing this without a man telling me to do it, that's weird. Look shiny engagement ring. *Squeeel* We are destined to be together forever. And ever and ever and ever. HETROSEXUALITY."

Juri isn't too pleased. :Juri schlick:

Now only to figure out what all those friggin statues are.


Bishonen's back babies!

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#12 | Back to Top11-26-2010 10:58:04 PM

Zabel Z
Ohtori Paramouri
From: Brazil
Registered: 05-18-2010
Posts: 91

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

liberrrty wrote:
"Oh no, I'm a totally normal girl really. I only wear these by clothes to be closer to him. And yes in that way. He was soooo cool. Wearing this without a man telling me to do it, that's weird. Look shiny engagement ring. *Squeeel* We are destined to be together forever. And ever and ever and ever. HETROSEXUALITY."

Trufax. school-eng101
Juri gets mad at Utena right after she blabbed about the prince.  We can also add this quote to her first duel (loss), when Juri's rose gets stabbed by Dios sword.  Like, "You're wrong, you lose, turn into a good and straight girl now"

Last edited by Zabel Z (11-26-2010 10:59:13 PM)


Damm kids, get out of my lawn!!!

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#13 | Back to Top11-27-2010 08:46:34 AM

CoffinBreaker
Rose Bride
From: Here and Now
Registered: 10-28-2010
Posts: 117

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

Ah, I think I understand now. I've actually seen similar things in real life-There are girls in my town that are on all the sports teams, dress like men, and could easily grow beards. And yet they're all perfectly straight and have boyfriends.

(But I'm the only *openly* gay one, and butch at that. WTF?)

Bringing it back from my pointless contingent to the actual point that was made...

Juri is repressed and unsure of herself, as most people questioning their sexuality (especially in an environment or situation where it is not acceptable) often are; perhaps the reason she's interested in Utena(as a friend or otherwise) is because Utena does not have that same repression? (In her boyish dress and masculine behavior.) Just a thought. Moreover, Juri is seemingly caught between her femininity and masculinity, like she can't quite decide and is unaware of the middle ground as an option.

(I talked about this in an earlier post, but I didn't quite finish some thoughts of mine.)

Juri is captain of the fencing team (SWORDS, hint hint) dresses in men's clothing, and generally acts more masculine. As such, she is emotionally repressed (as well as sexually) due to the fact that, in general, men are expected to be invulnerable-"take it like man" as it were. (hee hee, obscure pun!)

So in a sense, Juri's problem lies with figuring out how to feel her own emotions past the walls she's built to maintain her strong, macho image and to defend herself against her pain.

That, and she needs to get a girlfriend. Fast.


You don't need to understand Revolutionary Girl Utena to understand it.

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#14 | Back to Top11-27-2010 10:02:14 PM

liberrrty
Miki Molester
From: The land of the white rose
Registered: 08-31-2010
Posts: 39

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

Zabel Z and Coffin Breaker you just said it emot-keke! Coupled with the fact that in Ohtori there is no real room for much middle ground anyway. I mean just look at the uniform. Also how much attention Utena gets for breaking that mould. If Juri were to become more masculine (from a pre Utena point of view), it would only make her stand out more and further isolate her from everyone. It's either princess dress or nothing. But on the other hand she's not totally butch either. She wears a lot of dresses when not in uniform. Her problem is more of finding a balance between femininity and masculinity whilst keeping both an important part of her.

Okay! Time for lessons on how girls use water as sexual expression (or... something like that emot-confused) part 3!

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/6198-1/Series_ep15_030.jpg

A swimming pool is a highly controlled large body of water. Even more so than a pond or lake, absolutely nothing should be able to flow in or out of it without control. It's even sterilized for good measure. Kozue lifts the water out of the pool, freeing it from it's confines. The pool is her family's expectations of her including Miki's. She is still treated like a child, she even is still expected to share a room with her brother with no regard to her growing need for privacy. She knows that all Miki wants is for her to go back to being like they were as children, without the complications that adulthood brings them. Everyone wants and expects her to still be a child without any sexual emotions or knowledge at all. In a way the pool water is like Miki's sexuality. It is completely surpressed by limits and boundries, still and stagnant, he doesn't allow it to flow at all.

Kozue has to express her newfound "adultness" by rebelling against these expectations and boundries, otherwise her sexual feelings would remain completely surpressed like Miki's. Her pulling the water out of the pool is a metaphor for her sexual escapes, breaking the confines of the boundries she is put in. However this water will run out of her hand eventually returning to the pool. At the end of the day Kozue will still have to return back to her surpressed environment. She knows that her moments of being "adult" are only fleeting, she is still seen by and large as a child for the moment.

It could also be her trying to make Miki more "adult" with her. Not neccessarily in an incestuous way. But she realizes that the boundries placed on them (ie, expecting them to still live in the same room, be "good" children etc.) are unhealthy and leave no room for growth. She doesn't fully transport the water away from the pool. She doesn't want Miki to be hurt by a bad experience (metaphorically being spilt.) But she does lift it a little, she wants him to allow himself some happiness and to have some of the freedom she does, but she knows the water will just return to the pool. In the end Miki stays within the expectations of a child.

http://ohtori.nu/gallery/var/resizes/Series/Episodes/Student_Council_Arc/01/Series_ep01_031.jpg?m=1380825420

Now Anthy's sexual desire is very tightly controlled. It is surpressed to a point where she can turn on a tap, collect it and use it to water the roses. The roses are the duellists and the duelling game. Anthy fakes desire for and sleeps with certain duellists (or significant people around them) to give them motivation to duel, or to keep up the pretence of the Rose Bride and it works. The roses grow on this, an artificial highly controlled flow of water from the can. To her at this point, her sexuality is just a tool to be used.

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/13460-1/Series_ep32_080.jpg

However the tap breaks and the watering can overflows. Towards the end of the series Anthy knows she is losing a grip on her feelings for Utena. It forshadows the end of the series when her emotions win over thier repression. Her desires are allowed to run freely, uncontrolled and no longer just a tool to be used. Her "emotional tap" has been broken. The flow of water is natural, the water is flowing by itself without having Anthy to pour it. Her feelings this time are real and not faked for the sake of the dueling game.


Bishonen's back babies!

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#15 | Back to Top11-28-2010 12:10:32 AM

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

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

Also, the two practice shinai touching are doing so between a rag and a bucket of water.  Touga and Saionji's relationship is dirty.  Soiled.  But the two of them get in the way of cleaning it.  I kinda want to know what it says on the bucket.  THE BUCKET HOLDS THE ANSWERS.

Hate to say it, but I think the bucket says "Kendo Club." school-devil Although I could be wrong; I actually looked at it and thought to myself "I wish I could read that!" And then about fifteen seconds later, realised that I could. Talk about not knowing what you learned in school this year. emot-rofl (Don't mind me, I just discovered I could read the Mikage story of the fifth manga; not fluently, but I could READ it. My tutor last year swore that I'd be able to by the end of this year, and I laughed at him. Methinks I owe someone an apology...)


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

Beyond The Silver Leaves

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#16 | Back to Top11-28-2010 09:55:55 AM

CoffinBreaker
Rose Bride
From: Here and Now
Registered: 10-28-2010
Posts: 117

Re: Sex Symbols in SKU (Paging Dr. Freud)

On that note, ever wonder why both Miki and Kozue have blue hair? Perhaps it's meant to symbolize something... emot-rolleyes

(God, in this series, if someone so much as eats a sandwich we have threads debating whether it relates to their hatred of authority or lack of sexual experience. emot-gonk )


You don't need to understand Revolutionary Girl Utena to understand it.

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