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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 Top12-13-2006 02:03:23 PM

StarlightArcher
Miki Molester
From: Texas
Registered: 12-06-2006
Posts: 30

A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

I'm interested in getting feedback on something that I've been mulling over concerning Akio's logic to the dueling game.

Now, for arguments sake, we'll say that Akio's goal is to shape a heart princely enough to open the Rose Gate (whether that's true or not could fill a series of books). And it seems it's mainly because he is uncapable or unwilling to deal with his own problems. However, to achieve this end, he manipulates others by exploiting their illusions, fears, selfish desires, and general hang-ups.

Am I the only one to ask, "Now why does this seem like a good plan?" emot-confused

From conversations in the anime, it is apparent that Akio & Anthy have been at this game for a long time. So, they've had the opportunity to manipulate many duelists into fighting for them. And, they've probably seen all sorts of selfish motives and weaknesses during this time.

This begs the question that "If the prince Akio is shaping is one who fights for selfish motives or mistaken illusions, why does Akio expect their soul sword will be 'princely' enough to open the gate of Revolution?"

The inability to see the flaws in ones logic is a human quality, and Akio reveals that he and Anthy are creatures who cannot die. Now, remembering that in the Utena universe, truth is never direct. But discovered through symbolism, metaphor, and the viewers interpretation of what they are seeing. So, can they really die comes into question...which also begs the question of what does death in Ohtori really mean? But I'll save those thoughts for another day.

To me, the fact that neither him nor Anthy have realized the futility of expecting people with emotional baggage to be capable of doing what they can't, seems odd. Especially for two people who have been gnawing away at the same bone.

Or is that fact, that inability to realize something so obvious, simply the tragedy of Akio and triumph of Anthy? That, at least one of them has realized that, in the end all princes fail. That they must be the ones to free themselves.

Perhaps that's just it, but I keep thinking that answer is just too simple. I'm interested in what others think, especially since it seems almost out of character for Akio to miss something so fundimentally obvious. Any thoughts? Disagreements? Random barn yard noises? Or perhaps someone to wack me on the head and say "well DUH"


Why yes, I am made of Fabulous!

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#2 | Back to Top12-13-2006 02:14:02 PM

Blade
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
From: Darkest Canada
Registered: 12-01-2006
Posts: 181
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

I'd say Akio is trying to shape someone with a Princely soul. That's why he tempts Utena and why he, a supreme liar and wordsmith, bluntly and flatly tells her Anthy will be tortured forever rather than some comforting lie. If she hadn't fought back at him at that point, he probably wouldn't even have bothered trying to use her sword.

Nobody else in the duelling game has a chance of winning (except maybe Touga, and his only chance was to become a completely different person), so their flaws are rather irrelevent except as means to shape Utena.

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#3 | Back to Top12-13-2006 02:23:28 PM

MissMocha
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From: Tallahassee, Fl
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 4632

Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

I choose to think that when Akio says that he and Anthy can't die, it's more of a metaphorical sense, in that so long as they're in the game, they're good. It makes me wonder if Anthy was forgotten when she followed Utena into the outside world, or if people remembered her.

Something I've always been annoyed with is this principle in several religions that basically states the lower you start, the more opportunities you have to become heavenly. Did Akio think along the same lines, that the more revelation a person went through, the more "princely" they'd become? I know that in the soul swords discussion, there was some debate on the actual forging, so I guess it would be the same thought process, the more times you heat and cool the swords the stronger it becomes (but also more brittle, if I remember correctly). By the same token though, what makes starting so low better, is that you have more opportunities to take paths to make you lower, less heavenly. If they choose to keep themselves in their own coffins,  that would make them less "princely," and thus, less usable to Akio. The more trials a person goes through, the stronger they become, or the weaker and more despondent they become. I see this as having lasted a long time with hundred, maybe even thousands of duellists, but veeeeery few Princes. Like maybe two or three.

Another part of choosing to use duellists with bagagge might be because as low as he may be now, he used to be a Prince. Who's to say that someone has to be better them him to be a Prince?


The first time you looked at her curves you were hooked
And the glances you took, took hold of you and demanded that you stay
And sunk in their teeth, bit your heart and released
Such a charge that you need another touch, another taste, another fix

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#4 | Back to Top12-13-2006 02:46:18 PM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

They might be immortal, or god-like, but they are gods like the Greek gods, not gods like Jehovah.  They are not omniscient or omnipotent, they are simply more than human.  But, like humans, they have faults and tragic flaws.

I do think there is evidence that Akio's intent was to use the game to forge a Prince's sword that would open the gates.  That's pretty much what happens, and that's what he attempts to do.

I think the biggest flaw in this plan, on the surface, is...why the hell would anyone think a sword is an appropriate tool to open doors?  If it were me, I'd consider two choices.  (1) A key.  (2) A battering ram.  And a battering ram has just as much, if not more, phallic symbolism.

Consider the complete futility of that scene.  Akio plants himself in front of the Rose Gate and stabs and slashes at the stone doors until the sword snaps.  I mean, duh, Akio.  What did you think was going to happen?

I definitely think that Akio has a major blind spot when it comes to the Power of Dios.  I don't really have a complete theory on the subject, but I think that he wants to possess the power of a "prince" again without being a "prince."  I think it's completely impossible.  That's why his conclusions regarding  how to regain it don't make any sense.  His premise that he can regain it doesn't make any sense.

Ever wondered if whether after "death" of Dios, there actually IS no more Power of Dios?


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#5 | Back to Top12-13-2006 02:59:04 PM

Blade
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
From: Darkest Canada
Registered: 12-01-2006
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

rhyaniwyn wrote:

They might be immortal, or god-like, but they are gods like the Greek gods, not gods like Jehovah.  They are not omniscient or omnipotent, they are simply more than human.  But, like humans, they have faults and tragic flaws.

Actually, since this came up in the other thread too...

The concept of God being omniscient and even omnipotent is a relatively recent one, and you won't find support for it in the original Old Testament. YHWH is not omniscient, not all-good, contradicts himself on occasion, is not the only god, and is very, very arguably not omnipotent. He's still way bigger than YOU, though. emot-tongue

IE, he WAS a God like the Greek gods. So when I refer to Dios as God, I mean it in the sense of the actual literal one, not the popular public image of one. I think this is intentional by the series; the name Dios was not chosen to not give the impression he's God.

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#6 | Back to Top12-13-2006 03:14:31 PM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

The reason why I use the tag "Jehovah" is because that's a recognizable reference to the Bible (OT + NT), which is the basis for the most popular modern conception of God.  Just saying "God" is very vague in my opinion, and generally when I say or write god, I never mean "God."   I find I have communication difficulties with people when I use words like god, divine, and sacred.

In fact, I've found it interesting that for all that Judaism is considered a monotheistic religion, there is anecdotal evidence that suggests that the conception was far more similar to a pantheon than most people are willing to allow.  What with the "divine court" and some apocrypha that suggests that Yahweh's angels created some of the things on Earth.

I should perhaps go with a "Jehovah/God/Allah"... Whose images these days are primarily omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  Though there's plenty of modern theology by the faithful that suggests otherwise, as well.


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#7 | Back to Top12-13-2006 04:55:02 PM

StarlightArcher
Miki Molester
From: Texas
Registered: 12-06-2006
Posts: 30

Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

Well, after years of watching this series, and trying to pick apart what "it's really all about" I had a strange kind of revelation. When you simplify everything down to far-too-broad-generalizations, what you're left with is a pair of selfish siblings who are just as weak as the characters they manipulate.

Akio looks at his sister and says something to the effect of "Well gee, this [Dios "dying"] is going to pot. So instead of dealing with these issuses ourselves, lets screw with the emotions of people who have almost as much baggage as we do...sex now? etc-wankdude" And Anthy, out of guilt or her own new power over Akio or just glad to finally be someone's princess...goes along with this obviously flawed idea.

This is something people do every! day! ofthe! week! Because they don't want to do the work to overcome their issues, they foist the responsibility onto someone else, with the idea that "someday my prince will come to save me"

It's a cop out I'm guilty of using. And it usually takes a Wakaba-type of friend to snap me out of my unwillingness to address my problems. Best of all, they usually have the same advice too, "just deal with it Archer" And I have to recognize all over again, that my issues won't get resolved unless I'm the one to solve them.

That's what I was trying to get at. That the underlying issue of the Ohtori dueling games may not be eternity or nobility, but rather two siblings who didn't want to face their issues themselves.


Why yes, I am made of Fabulous!

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#8 | Back to Top12-14-2006 12:38:13 AM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

There's that levels thing again!

I mention his improper tools and the futility of that scene because I think they are meaningful.  But I don't have a complete theory that addresses all those aspects as of yet...

But, as I think we were saying in the Wikipedia thread... Akio presents this image of maturity, confidence, and power.  When, really, he's pretty much the opposite. 

He takes pretty much 0 responsibility for anything he does--that's a very immature behavior.  When he says to Anthy, "It's all my fault, maybe if I were trying to be a Prince like I used to be", he's lying.  He doesn't really think it's his fault.  He's got years of excuses and self-justification to insulate him from any feeling of guilt.

He's really rather easily shaken.  And his bag of tricks, though effective, is pretty limited.  That's why he has to stack the odds in all his games.  He isn't assured of winning any other way.  (Which is not to say that he WOULDN'T, just that he wouldn't be assured of it.)

Finally, he's obsessed with power.  You can't really control other people.  You can manipulate them, but once they are wise to your game, they can just refuse to play.  Like Anthy does.  Then what have you got?

I think Akio's really a complex character, not a shallow villain.  But at his core I think he's a pretty pathetic individual.  I'm sure he could fool anyone for a while.  He really is brilliant at emotional blackmail, when you think about it.

But I doubt the guy even really knows what he wants.  I'd love to hear Gio's take on that statement.

I'm exhausted, so I'm gonna stop before I get incoherent.


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#9 | Back to Top12-14-2006 12:49:58 AM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

I see Akio as a few too many beers (or cognacs, as Gio decided). Alone, he's useless. Just stays in the bottle. But when people drink of him he gets them to do things that, while they wouldn't ordinarily do those things, are not entirely against their natures. And because he's so delicious the people around him continue to drink of him and in that way he continues to have power over them. But as soon as anyone decides to abstain he loses any power or influence that he had.

Yes, this is oversimplified. But it's late and I'm tired.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#10 | Back to Top12-14-2006 08:37:15 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

rhyaniwyn wrote:

But I doubt the guy even really knows what he wants.  I'd love to hear Gio's take on that statement.

My take is that I disagree. emot-smile Because I agree with just about everything else you wrote there. Akio takes no responsibility for his actions, he's easily shaken, and he imagines himself a master of others when in fact that power is an illusion he creates that he convinces himself is true.

Akio knows what he wants. This is not, however, a product of his maturity or years of introspection. It's not that he learned what he wanted by having to sit down and figure it out. He knows what he wants in the same way a toddler knows what they want. It's just childish greed. He wants everything. He wants to keep playing spaceman with the blanket tied around his neck. The problem is there's never been anyone there to tell him it's time for bed. And there never will be. He's the emotional and psychological maturity of a child with the appearence and intellect of an adult. There are lots and lots of adults like that.

As for flaws in his plan...well now that depends. Taken at face value those are crippling flaws in his logic, but actually I think they're supposed to be there. My interpretation of the whole thing is that Akio no more wants to open the Rose Gate than he wants to do community service hours. He wants it to look like he's trying to get a prince's sword. And for all intents and purposes, he does. The thing is, he also knows he can't get a prince's sword that way. One...Utena isn't a prince. She's flawed like the rest of them and her intentions even then aren't properly pure. But boy does she look like a prince, doesn't she? If you wanted it to look like you were getting a prince's sword, she'd be a convincing one, huh?

Second, think about how completely, unyieldingly selfish Akio is. Think about how sure he is that he's the true center of the god damn universe. Does he really believe, by the definition of prince that he uses, there can be a prince shaped from a lowly, flawed human? A stupid middle school girl is going to be the prince he was? One he already knows has been stripped of every form of innocence? (Innocence would be Akio's first expectation in a true prince. He's not a prince. He's a skeptical adult. He'd never believe you could be pure in action after you've lost your purity. He's the kind of guy that would argue people donate money to charities to feel good about themselves, not to help others.)

But it has to look like he's trying. He has to at least present himself as trying. Anthy knows he doesn't mean it, but he has to make it convincing anyway, because totally throwing away all illusion of trying to save her would be the last straw. Akio is blind at times, but not stupid. If he really wanted to save Anthy, why would he go after the gate himself when he knows he's not capable of saving her? Why does he slice at it like a god damn idiot instead of trying to pull the door open? What if it worked?

Why doesn't Akio make a greater effort to stop Utena from trying to open the gate? If he really thought Utena was a prince, he wouldn't let her, half dead or not, anywhere near the gate. He'd shit a brick if she so much as glanced at it, because if Akio accepted that Utena was a true prince, he'd know the attempt, no matter how gimped she is, is dangerous to him. That is almost his first impulse, perhaps. The reason he tries to stop her. Then he remembers and he's like 'lol whatever'.

The flaw in Akio's logic turned out to be that he thought Anthy needed a prince. He spends the whole series dancing around her free will, but he's deluded himself into thinking he's done a masterful job of taking it away. He's convinced himself that his system works, and has truly removed all chance of her leaving on her own. He thinks the only threat to him is a prince. And he thinks no one in the world could possibly be a prince. (Whether that's true or not depends on the viewer. emot-wink) So he lets Utena stumble to the rose gate because he honestly doesn't believe it's in Anthy to be touched by anyone but a specter of their past that's long gone.

In short, he was too confident in his ability to delude others, when ultimately his ability to delude doesn't work on anyone quite as well as it works on him.

I need to work now. I wanna post more today but my modem's dead at home so I gotta get my IRG time in at work. emot-frown


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

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#11 | Back to Top12-14-2006 10:39:12 AM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

I totally agree with that, Gio.  AND I love your imagery there.  Haha.

I wondered why I said that...then I realized I meant it more like, "he doesn't know what he needs/what would be a genuinely fulfilling way to live."  'Course, getting your every little desire gratified is probably pretty fulfilling in some ways.  Some pretty fun ways.

Do you really think the object of the game was to keep Anthy hopeful that he might save her?  I figured Anthy did have some secret hope that he would, but I didn't think he really encouraged it beyond occasional (false) exhibitions of sympathy and guilt.  I thought he genuinely wanted more power, and I thought it was pretty funny that he's blind to the fact that it's impossible.  I always took that conversation they have:

Akio: "Perhaps if I were trying to become a Prince like in the old days, no one would have gotten hurt."
Anthy: "You are he who chose this road, knowing the whole of the world."
Akio: "Knowing the whole of you, I love you."

As meaning:
Akio: "I'm not going to try to save you." 
Anthy:  "You know everything, and continue to make the same choice."
Akio: "And so do you, but I still 'love' you."

Obviously that "love" is pretty suspect.

But everything you said on that score makes sense, even though I never thought of it in that light before.  Maybe he does know what's behind the gate (not just once he sees it, but the whole time), and the game to get the Power of Dios is more a game to preserve what little "Power" he still has, much of which apparently lies in Anthy.


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#12 | Back to Top12-14-2006 11:42:21 AM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

I think the specific subtext of that conversation depends very much on whether you think Anthy is capable of pitying him. This depends very much on whether she thinks Akio's genuinely trying to save her but is incapable of doing it his way and he won't accept that, or whether they're both lying and she knows it and they both accept the lie to make life bearable.

It could be a bit of both on Anthy's part. Remember, she loved Dios. How she feels about Akio depends on whether she sees his behavior as necessary to what he is. Dios had to save people, he fell, and Akio has to be a bastard. The line of logic would be like your nice loving grandfather losing his marbles and becoming violent. The person you loved is dead but you still care for the empty shell of them that attacks you.


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

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#13 | Back to Top12-14-2006 07:53:07 PM

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

Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

Another reason why I like the manga better: His superficial goals are easier to understand. He is trying to get rid of Anthy and replace her with Utena. When Utena refuses to leave Anthy he shrugs it off.

In the end, of course, it is still futile. If Utena had chosen him he would have either discarded or destroyed her.

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#14 | Back to Top12-14-2006 09:13:50 PM

ShatteredMirror
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From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

Giovanna wrote:

The line of logic would be like your nice loving grandfather losing his marbles and becoming violent. The person you loved is dead but you still care for the empty shell of them that attacks you.

That hit way too close to home. And that's also exactly how I see the Akio/Dios dynamic, perhaps because of my experience.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#15 | Back to Top12-14-2006 10:01:43 PM

Ger
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Registered: 10-21-2006
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

Wow, ok. I've never liked Akio, and I've never understood him, for as long as I've been an Utena fan. I still don't like him, but now I think at least I kind of understand where he's coming from. Thanks Gio.

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#16 | Back to Top12-15-2006 06:34:53 AM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

ShatteredMirror wrote:

Giovanna wrote:

The line of logic would be like your nice loving grandfather losing his marbles and becoming violent. The person you loved is dead but you still care for the empty shell of them that attacks you.

That hit way too close to home. And that's also exactly how I see the Akio/Dios dynamic, perhaps because of my experience.

I've compared Akio to a spoiled toddler and a senile geriatric in this thread. You can just taste my love for him, huh? emot-biggrin

Ger wrote:

Wow, ok. I've never liked Akio, and I've never understood him, for as long as I've been an Utena fan. I still don't like him, but now I think at least I kind of understand where he's coming from. Thanks Gio.

[bow]
You're very welcome. emot-smile

I'm flattered that so many people have told me I've changed in some way their view of Akio. One doesn't have to like him, and really, probably better they don't emot-wink, but he's undeniably an interesting character. It's just easy to miss because everyone's busy writing him off as the end boss.

Though much improved, I remember when Saionji hit women and that was the end of any consideration of his character. But the two have in common that they do bad things in a series that wouldn't just make someone behave that way for no reason. You have to ask why. What really made me fall in love with SKU was that the answers were so untypical.


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

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#17 | Back to Top12-15-2006 10:10:05 PM

alexielnet
Unfulfilled Juror
From: Arizona
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 236
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

Giovanna wrote:

It's just easy to miss because everyone's busy writing him off as the end boss.

... OK. Now I have a very disturbing image of Akio as Bowser and Utena as Mario. Utena may look cute in the little red jump suit, but the giant shell does nothing for Akio.

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#18 | Back to Top12-15-2006 10:22:33 PM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 189

Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

Now that! My friend deserves to be a fan art! Anyway though...

Akio's not all bad and he does show that he has some remnant of emotion left inside that shell of his. Once Akio had gotten back the power of Dios maybe he would have tried to make everything right? Then again... if he had known that he had no reason to want to open the Rose Gate then perhaps he is as cruel and heartless as many believe.

EDIT: Though come to think of it, he really thinks Anthy enjoys her role. I wonder what his reaction would have been if Utena had told him that she tried to kill herself to escape her fate. Would he care? He'd have to without her, he loses alll power. As Movie Akio says "The Prince's power came from the Witch" Ahem... forgive me for quoting him.

EDIT 2: In the script it has Akio saying "You don't know what'll happen!" when Utena open's the Rose Gate, rather then "Don't you realize what will happen!" as what we hear, which one can we trust though?

Last edited by Xu Yuan (12-15-2006 10:35:34 PM)


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#19 | Back to Top12-17-2006 04:14:06 PM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

alexielnet wrote:

... OK. Now I have a very disturbing image of Akio as Bowser and Utena as Mario. Utena may look cute in the little red jump suit, but the giant shell does nothing for Akio.

...so...do you defeat him by grabbing his tail and spinning him around and throwing him out of the tower?

Xu Yuan wrote:

EDIT 2: In the script it has Akio saying "You don't know what'll happen!" when Utena open's the Rose Gate, rather then "Don't you realize what will happen!" as what we hear, which one can we trust though?

I think they're close enough, although that is a fine point of interpretation that can swing things a little...except if Akio doesn't know, he's equally likely to put it either way. It'd be like him to act like he knows what will happen even if he doesn't.


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

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#20 | Back to Top12-20-2006 05:12:13 AM

Frosty
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From: United States
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

I've watched the show countless times. I've read through this thread several times, over several days, and I still don't understand Akio's grand scheme. emot-confused

So after Akio beats the champion prince, and takes their sword away, he finds he YET AGAIN cannot find the strength he needs to slice through all those dang vines covering that pesky door! Eh? Like rhyaniwyn
said, it seems futile. And ON PURPOSE.

So…WHY? Why did he do ANY of that?

Listening to our Great Akio Scholar I observed:

Giovanna wrote:

My interpretation of the whole thing is that Akio no more wants to open the Rose Gate than he wants to do community service hours. He wants it to look like he's trying to get a prince's sword. And for all intents and purposes, he does. The thing is, he also knows he can't get a prince's sword that way.

So, he does not want the power to revolutionize the world, the Power of Dios…or to turn back into a prince and rescue Anthy (ha), or anything of the sort. He really has no noble goal at the end, just wants to keep Anthy as his shield so he can to continue to play his game safely?

Is it that simple? Akio is severely more wicked than I had imagined. Did he hope to gain some sort of power so that he could eventually remove the swords from chasing his tail? I mean to ask, what did he want at the end?

Excuse my simplicity… but I find this subject very difficult to grasp. Akio's master plan, and I'm oblivious, which would make me a very easy target for the man.

Other thoughts...
Any relevance to the fact that, he seems shocked to notice the coffin, right? When Utena's at the gate, he's sipping his iced beverage... but when the coffin appears, he looks quite concerned. Did he KNOW the coffin was there the entire time? Did he know what would happen if it were opened? Apparently, because he shouted, "Don't you know what will happen!?" Or something. So he did. Well, why is that significant? He simply wanted to keep Anthy trapped, or was it, he wanted to be the one to open it himself, or was it, he wasn't sure what would happen with the swords if Anthy went back into her coffin?


Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that. / You forget some things, don't you? / Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.

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#21 | Back to Top12-20-2006 06:51:46 AM

Giovanna
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

Frosty wrote:

Great Akio Scholar

Muahahaha.

...really that's probably a Very Bad Thing. emot-frown

Frosty wrote:

So, he does not want the power to revolutionize the world, the Power of Dios…or to turn back into a prince and rescue Anthy (ha), or anything of the sort. He really has no noble goal at the end, just wants to keep Anthy as his shield so he can to continue to play his game safely?

Yep. The series, especially with Akio and Anthy, tends to offer us the truth when we don't think there's honesty in what's being said. When Akio says 'There are no Princes anywhere in this world.', he means it. Whether that's true or not is a whole other debate, but he doesn't think just anyone can be a prince. That age is over. When Anthy's walking out on him and telling him to 'Please continue playing prince in this coffin forever.', she means exactly that and knows it's what will happen. But what's so tragic and awful about Akio's fate is that we know it's pathetic, but he doesn't, even when his behavior is pointed out to him. If he's aware at all of the position he's in, he doesn't care that it's pathetic in and of itself. That might be even worse. Anthy is completely calling him out there on the lie he's fed her for centuries. She ate it willingly for so long, but what has he been doing but playing like he might be, is trying to be, will be, a prince for her? (Granted that specific behavior will probably cease when she leaves, but she was referring to her own situation with him, not what he does to others.)

Frosty wrote:

Is it that simple? Akio is severely more wicked than I had imagined. Did he hope to gain some sort of power so that he could eventually remove the swords from chasing his tail? I mean to ask, what did he want at the end?

I don't think Akio quite understood how the swords or the prince thing work. Unsurprisingly, his ignorance falls squarely on that he's selfish even about what damns him. Akio doesn't try to remove the swords, he only sees to it there's always a barrier. Akio, I suspect, doesn't believe the swords can be nullified or diverted, and he doesn't want to believe that, since it would suggest he's not the center of the universe after that. He's not the prince, but wow he must be a big deal if a million swords are after him, huh?

Akio no doubt would be all over any power he could get his hands on, but while he talks a lot about getting the Power of Dios, nothing he does makes any sense for any pursuit of it. He doesn't really think there is any such thing. Especially if you consider the PoD to be his innocence. Something Akio probably misses in a philosophical sense, but really wouldn't ever take back if given the opportunity. If you run with the PoD being the innocence that made him able to do truly selfless acts, then it's pretty amusing that Akio sends the whole student council after it for themselves. Because they mirror any pursuit he'd make for it. That they're after the PoD at all, with no understanding of what it is, is itself the reason they can't have it. They lost their innocence when they decided the power to do good things needed to serve their purposes.

I don't think Akio's chasing anything at all except his own tail in the series. He just wants to stay where he is, and continue to do what he's doing. The only thing that could ever change is the sphere of influence, but it will always be that same influence. The Prince wanted to save everyone. Akio wants everyone in the dirt with him.

Frosty wrote:

Any relevance to the fact that, he seems shocked to notice the coffin, right? When Utena's at the gate, he's sipping his iced beverage... but when the coffin appears, he looks quite concerned. Did he KNOW the coffin was there the entire time? Did he know what would happen if it were opened? Apparently, because he shouted, "Don't you know what will happen!?" Or something. So he did. Well, why is that significant? He simply wanted to keep Anthy trapped, or was it, he wanted to be the one to open it himself, or was it, he wasn't sure what would happen with the swords if Anthy went back into her coffin?

I think Akio had some idea Anthy was behind the gate. I'd have to doublecheck the sequence, it's been a while, but I always felt his freaking out at that point related very much to what I said above about the swords. Akio thinks they will always come after him. He is the prince. No one else. Even this pink-haired upstart, if she frees Anthy, won't become a prince herself. The course of events Akio's imagining is that Utena might actually reach Anthy, and Anthy might actually agree to go with her, and that means he has no Rose Bride and without that barrier, the swords will finally find their original target. He thinks the swords will come to him. He's too self-centered to imagine them ever finding another target.

Why isn't Akio wondering in the next scene why the swords didn't come after him? Because that's a question he doesn't want to answer. Someone else was worth the world's hate? Bah. And even if they were, the swords obviously weren't satisfied if Anthy's still there being his Rose Br-...hey, Anthy, where are you going???


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
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#22 | Back to Top12-20-2006 08:17:50 AM

Frosty
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

So, this makes me wonder, when Akio realizes the swords aren't going to be chasing him - what will he do? Be free to play his game, true, but for what ends? Or, would he, realizing he has nothing to run from, leave Ohtori and begin to take over the world now that he has nothing left to fear. Every villain must have a driving force, would he have lost his? Who knows! So interesting! emot-smile


Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that. / You forget some things, don't you? / Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.

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#23 | Back to Top12-20-2006 04:12:47 PM

rhyaniwyn
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

This conversation just shifts my interpretation.  It's similar, but it makes my head spin a little.

So, I was just thinking...

The Power of Dios isn't innocence so much as it's something that only an innocent person can possess.  And innocence might be giving the wrong impression (considering I don't think anyone is ever innocent)…more like idealism and a dedication to said idealism.  It's that "sincerity" that Akio recognizes in Utena, the belief she still has that faith and trying hard enough can change the world.  And Saito once said that the power to revolutionize the world was really the power to change yourself. 

Utena has a kind of power due to the way she sees the world, through being a fool, because it allows her to persevere.  Utena doesn't have the power to revolutionize the world, because she continues to be the same person and see things in the same terms she always has.  That's a fault, but Utena is still our heroine because of what she accomplishes seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.  Her stubborn foolishness keeps the world from trampling her quaint ideals and "treasured memories".  Harkening to this thread, one thing Utena does "rise above" is the notion that her worth as a woman is determined by her attractiveness to men--closely related to the idea that she necessarily loses her "innocence" and purity with her virginity.  She goes through things that could easily break her heart, but she doesn't change.  She turns her face away.  She doesn't change for the worse, but neither does she change for the better.  That's just the sort of person she is, and there are pros as well as cons.  I'd rather be an Utena than an Akio.

Akio doesn't have the Power of Dios or the power to revolutionize the world.  The first, because he is a determined cynic, the second because he lacks the capacity to change.  He doesn't want to, either.  Not only is he incapable of being a Prince, he's incapable of being the sort of person who sees any value in it, who might take a chance of walking out onto the wire with the desire to be Princely in his heart.

http://www.virtualrevolution.net/zbin/thewire.jpg
(That's the wire I'm talking about)

But we know that within the context of the series, some of the symbols are real.  The swords are symbolic, but they also exist.  Same with the coffin, etc.  So the PoD (heh) probably also exists in some form.  Probably as some form of magic that Dios had that Akio no longer has.  It's long been viewed as a godhead, though, impossible for someone to possess without sincerely taking on the duties and persona of Dios.

So does Akio know that?  Does he really want to get it?  Or is the dueling game one he plays because it amuses him and in order to give Anthy false hope?  Gio's take fits really well. 

However, I always thought he wanted it.  I thought the futility of using a sword to open the Rose Gate was something of a metaphor for an external locus of control.  Akio doesn't want to look inside himself for a reason or for revolution, he instead decides his powers are diminished because they are locked behind a gate.  He thinks that revolution is something you can impose from the outside.

Actually, from that perspective he and Utena are not so different.  Which isn't so surprising when you remember that Utena reminds Akio of the person he used to be.  That's one of the problems with the Prince.  You can do good things, but your worldview is so limited.  You can never see the whole of any person and accept it, you are doomed to only see people through some filter--Prince, Princess, Witch.

So what does Akio know and what doesn't he?  His character is, ultimately, so pathetic it's easy for me to believe he had almost everything wrong.  That he thought someday a sword would open the gates and that when that happened, he'd be able to take a piece of Dios's magic for himself.  That he had no idea the only thing behind those gates was an opportunity to redeem himself by trying to save Anthy.  So when the swords freeze and he sees that coffin, he realizes that Utena had summoned Anthy.  And he thinks, "Crap, the swords are here and the Bride is gone…they'll be after me now."  (Whether that's true or not.)  The sight of it doesn't change his mind, either, he wants to start the dueling game over.  Perhaps he, like Utena, thinks that Anthy would only have been "saved" had her Prince not "failed" and let Anthy fall.

Why did Utena head toward the gates?  Did she know Anthy was there, or was she going there because Dios told her she could save Anthy if she got the power (which they told her was behind the doors)?  What she got was simply a chance to try.

The only one I can trust, strangely, is Anthy.  She is the one who changes.  And she completely rejects the Prince, seeing it as a childish illusion only fit for someone in a coffin.

Both Utena and Akio seem to buy into the Prince, each in their own way.  Perhaps Akio does it only out of convenience, but perhaps that's part of his problem.  Both of them think that revolution is something you can do for other people.

Last edited by rhyaniwyn (12-20-2006 04:18:16 PM)


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#24 | Back to Top12-20-2006 06:04:44 PM

Ragnarok
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

Utena does change her mind there at the very end, though. Or has a moment of doubt, was another way of looking at it.

Episode 39 wrote:

Utena:  I really...couldn't become a Prince.
Utena:  I'm sorry, Himemiya. Sorry for ending up just a make-believe Prince...
Utena:  Forgive me.

This I assume is because she feels she failed in the end, by losing her grip on Anthy's hand and watching her fall away. In reality all she needed to do was open Anthy's coffin, it was up to Anthy to then walk out of it. And I think there's something there, a prince doesn't respect a princess as an equal, he saves her and carries her off on a white horse. And something Utena learns early on (after her first duel with Touga) is that she can't just tell Anthy what to do. What if a princess wanted to be saved but didn't want to marry her prince and live happily ever after? In the fairy tales she's hardly given a choice in the matter. "Oh,  you woke Sleeping Beauty? Great! She's your destined bride, then!" But it's still a hard lesson for Utena to learn, and she still tries to free Anthy of being the Rose Bride not because Anthy ever asked for help, but because Utena decided it was the right thing to do. I think Utena's last moment of realization is half of what she needed. Given time (which she isn't) I'd like to think she'd understand that she shouldn't have been trying to be Anthy's prince, she should have been trying to be Anthy's friend, and that in fact she'd succeeded.  Whereas Akio believes only a prince could ever free Anthy and that such a prince cannot exist in his view.

About the swords after Anthy falls out of view... Where do they end up? It shows them make a mess of the arena and then they head for Utena whose fate is undetermined afterwards. Akio's completely fine though, so they either ignored him or he escaped them somehow. But if the swords aren't targeting Anthy anymore, does that mean they have a new pincushion? Logically that would be Utena, which doesn't mesh with Anthy's notion that Utena's left Ohtori, nor would Akio likely be in the dark about that. So are the swords finally satisfied somehow?


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#25 | Back to Top12-21-2006 09:08:56 AM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
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Re: A Weak Spot- examining the flaws in Akio's logic

rhyaniwyn wrote:

The Power of Dios isn't innocence so much as it's something that only an innocent person can possess.  And innocence might be giving the wrong impression (considering I don't think anyone is ever innocent)…more like idealism and a dedication to said idealism.  It's that "sincerity" that Akio recognizes in Utena, the belief she still has that faith and trying hard enough can change the world.  And Saito once said that the power to revolutionize the world was really the power to change yourself.

I completely agree here, and if I seemed like I didn't, it's because I was totally railing off from Akio's POV. I keep equating the PoD with innocence because Akio does this. Only an innocent and completely pure heart can have that power, because that's how it worked for him. This is the root of the logical 'conflict' he capitalizes on. He thinks you have to be pure and innocent to really have the Power of Dios, but he also doesn't believe (rightly so, I think) that anyone's motives can be absolutely pure. That's why he's nice and safe. No one's going to save Anthy because by the calculations he does, no one can be the prince she needs.

Of course, he's wrong. It's that sincerity and dedication to the ideal that count, not the black and white absolute that once applied to him. But that's a convenient way for him to see things, isn't it? If you have to be pure of heart to save Anthy, well that puts him right out of the running. He doesn't even really have to worry about attempting to, because the option is completely not there.

And that comes to the question of whether he could have saved her. I think so. After all it wasn't a pure heart she needed, in the end. Physically speaking, Akio is as capable of helping her free herself from her torments as Utena is. It's that he's so mentally invested in not being that kind of person anymore that he might as well be totally incapable of it. The patheticness of his character that we all linger on is centered around this. That he could do everything the way the series says he should. It's that he could be redeemed. If we assume he's incapable of it, what's pathetic about it? Nothing. He has no choice. But it is pathetic, because he does have that choice. He'll just never, ever, ever make it.


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

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