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#1 | Back to Top01-05-2011 07:26:54 AM

New Student
Registered: 01-05-2011
Posts: 3

Utena as a reflection of post war femenism?

Hello! I am new here emot-biggrin
I have been a fan of SKU since it was a new series (I am old, y/y? XD) and a follower of this website for some time now.... nice to met you all!

It has most likely been said before... but since I didn't see an article written I will share a SKU theory with you, I beg you to pardon my english, it is not very good:

I think that the role of the prince represents the male role left blank when men went to war during WWI... here women had never worked before and had to fill in the role left by their husbands who went to war. Akio as the prince rescued Utena, but left her behind and Utena had to become the prince; while she had no need for her prince, since she was already taking on that role herself, she still idolized him, similar to the wives that worked and missed their husbands, even if they didn't NEED them, but they hadn't realized that yet. At this point the role is undefined... she is a "man/dominant role" in the sense that she can do things herself, yet she is a "woman/passive role" in the sense that she wants to be saved.

When Akio comes back, it resembles when the men came back from war... it's like: "honey, you did a good job, now I will take things from here."; He wants to be the Prince again, and for this Utena has to step down and become a Princess. She starts doing so at first, but as many war-wives, realizes that her husband/prince is "shell-shocked" and things have changed forever.... they have already lived without them, and her husband/prince is not the man she idealized. This is when womankind decided: we don't need men. So here on out some women define themselves as "men/dominant", beginning the "revolution" of gender roles.

I need to research more... but I would like to hear your opinions!

PS: I'm not a male basher, I'm just pointing out the resemblance



#2 | Back to Top01-05-2011 10:27:35 PM

Ends of the Fandom
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8798

Re: Utena as a reflection of post war femenism?

Welcome! Worry not about being taken for a male-basher. SKU did its fair share of that and we all love SKU. emot-wink

I'm not sure if the reference Utena makes is as specific as that, but it does raise a question that I like asking about SKU regardless of the source! Male and female roles are so interdependent on each other, each defined by what defines and doesn't define the other, that can you pick up a mantle you've set down after that definition's changed? Could Utena have ever existed as a personality when the prince was around, even if another Akio had made such efforts with her? Can the Prince truly return now that people have learned to survive as they may without him? Utena aspires, and Akio pretends to aspire, to a role that has no purpose anymore. They want to be switchboard operators in the age of the internet. The world changed while they were trapped in Akio's garden.

There are a lot of characters who mourn in the show being unable to go back to where they started. It's usually in terms of a youth beyond recapture, but it applies here as well. Can you ever go back to where you were? And why the worship of that, when it's the trial you survived that...hopefully...makes you the stronger person?

Akio, you have nice turns of phrase, but your points aren't clear and you have no textual support. I can't give this a passing grade.
~ Professor Arisa Konno, Eng 1001 (Freshman Literature and Composition)



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