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#1 | Back to Top12-22-2010 01:08:58 PM

World's End
From: Cloud Nine
Registered: 09-22-2008
Posts: 2351

Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

This has been on my mind for a while. The Shadow Girls don't exactly conceal their presence yet only Utena, Akio, and Mitsuru ever acknowledge them. Are they the only people who can see or hear them, and if so why?
Akio and Utena I could understand. He might not be human and they can see that she's destined to be the heroine, so they're trying to warn her in their own way.  Yet why would they bother to communicate with anyone else?

This leads me to one of two possibilites.
A. Only Utena, Akio, and Mitsuru are special enough to see and hear them.
B. Everyone can, but most students dismiss them as crazy drama club members.

What do you guys think?

Proud Saionji and Mikage fangirl
My Utena fanfiction:



#2 | Back to Top12-22-2010 03:11:33 PM

Queen of the Video Box
From: The whispers of twilight
Registered: 12-28-2006
Posts: 2124

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

Tokiko replied to them at one point as well, if I remember correctly.



#3 | Back to Top12-22-2010 08:32:48 PM

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

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

And I know Wakaba said hi and waved to C-ko during the Black Rose arc. Anthy, I think knows they're there, but she don't acknowledge them out of spite. Juri was in the same room as a shadow play before, but whether she actually heard them is up for debate. Movie!Shiori stole the video tape from E-ko and F-ko but I don't quite count E-ko and F-ko as Shadow Girls

Personally, I think everyone can hear the Shadow Girls (if they so choose), but only certain people can understand them.



#4 | Back to Top12-22-2010 08:53:59 PM

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

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

Yeah -- Utena, Anthy, Akio, Tokiko, and Wakaba all definitely see the Shadow Girls.  I don't remember Tsuwabuki seeing them, but if you say he did I believe you!  It seems that everyone can hear the Shadow Girls, but no one takes them seriously.  I'm not sure why not, since no one seems to know who they are (if memory serves, Ohtori Academy doesn't really have a drama club).  Maybe the Shadow Girls have Pullman-Gaiman invisibility, the kind where you slide out of people's consciousness as long as you aren't doing anything outrageous.



#5 | Back to Top12-24-2010 08:45:36 PM

Touga Topper
From: City 7
Registered: 08-22-2010
Posts: 55

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

See, I always kinda assumed they were the b) option you point out, ie, everyone just thinks they're rehearsing for shadow plays and people are all 'oh, you know, drama class people'

I was always more curious about how they seemed to have such deep insight on what was going on. But hey, it's been over a decade since I stopped trying to find logic in Utena (outside of thematic logic).



#6 | Back to Top12-24-2010 11:38:41 PM

High Tripper
From: South Kackalacky
Registered: 12-18-2010
Posts: 259

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

I kind of feel that yes, perhaps they were always "there" for the characters, who dismiss them as being background noise.

Or maybe they're only there half the time, and the other half they're only visible to the viewers?

Or MAYBE the Shadow Girls are only for the viewers, and the writers were trying to breach the Fourth Wall by having characters acknowledge them? O.O (That is, the Shadow Girls are a totally disconnected element from the actual story and serve only to give the viewer perspective. However, the characters occasional acknowledgment may be a way for the fantasy of it all to be put in perspective, reminding us that this IS just a show by reaching towards characters that aren't supposed to be there, like the audience.)

^This last one is my favored explanation. BUT MAYBE I'M READING TOO MUCH INTO THIS ORZ

Last edited by Azure (12-24-2010 11:40:08 PM)

Indefinite. Empty. Mythos & Eternity



#7 | Back to Top12-25-2010 12:27:44 PM

Wakaba Wrangler
From: California! May there be sun!
Registered: 11-30-2010
Posts: 16

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

I think that the shadow girls only let people hear them when they want to be heard, the rest of the time giving insight to the audience. They're a little bit like narrators, that way. And also, when things get extremely strange, you can always count on the good old shadow girls to keep you sane (if that makes any sense emot-rolleyes ).

Last edited by nekozoya (12-25-2010 12:27:56 PM)

etc-saiowank Need I say more?



#8 | Back to Top12-27-2010 05:48:57 PM

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

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

nekozoya wrote:

I think that the shadow girls only let people hear them when they want to be heard, the rest of the time giving insight to the audience. They're a little bit like narrators, that way. And also, when things get extremely strange, you can always count on the good old shadow girls to keep you sane (if that makes any sense emot-rolleyes ).

Agreed. They inhabit the space between us and the cast, smack middle of the Fourth Wall. When they manifest to Utena "in the flesh", they seem to vanish without a trace, and Utena seems to be the only one to notice the arrows to their theatre. I would say that people can see and hear them when they want to be seen and heard, with no limitations to by who.

Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!



#9 | Back to Top01-05-2011 11:13:24 AM

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

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

Well, this is my personal theory:

They're a glitch in Akio's illusion, "students" that aren't buying the fake world of Ohtori (possibly due to intelligence/insanity) and see that it is an illusion, but can't actually tell anyone because they wouldn't believe them. So instead they try to cryptically warn our protagonists (the play about the rose prince being a prime example).

Basically option b), with my own reason attached.

*Quick Edit*

They are frequently shown traveling in a spaceship shaped like a flying saucer. Ikuhara mentioned once that the three girls are actually aliens from planet Kashira, masquerading as humans to observe and study sentient life in our planet.

From their Wikipedia entry. Does that mean all this is just fanfiction now?

Last edited by CoffinBreaker (01-24-2011 07:37:01 AM)

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



#10 | Back to Top01-05-2011 11:24:20 PM

Network Ninja
Registered: 07-18-2007
Posts: 639

Re: Can everyone hear the Shadow Girls?

How could I not post in a thread like this?

I have spent much time considering the existence of the SPG, and pondering over how real they are. In the end, I've decided that they were girls once, who seem to have a grudge against Anthy for some reason (due to their interpretation of the story during their play), and they exist in Ohtori in a form in-between physical and spiritual. They might actually be/exist in the shadows, which is why they know everything that goes on in Ohtori, though they aren't necessarily under Akio's power (perhaps he or Anthy keeps them trapped their, or, if the space ship is any indication, they are free to do as they please). I don't think they are rooting for any particular side. They appear to study and make commentary on human behavior (so perhaps they really are aliens who are there for research purposes! emot-smile)

And I think that only a few people hear them. I always assumed that if the camera were to turn around, you would see no bodies. Although, hmm, in some of the plays you see physical items scattered by the wall, or one of the girl's arms. Well, maybe they do have physical bodies that they use to perform their plays, but they can exist as part of the shadows, seeing everything.

..... Someone needs to make a macro: C-ko is watching you/Akio masturbate. emot-biggrin

I also like CoffinBreaker's theory.

Number 1 Shadow Girl Fan



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