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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 Top01-30-2011 02:49:06 PM

utenatea
New Student
Registered: 01-30-2011
Posts: 8

My Interpretation of the Series [spoilers]

Below is purely my Interpretation of the series.

- Dios is the child version of Akio. The "girl in the coffin" is the child version of Utena.
- Childhood is a symbolism for innocence/purity and fixation on idealisms such as a prince saving a girl in need.
- This is what motivates Dios, who was "innocent" (i.e. completely, thoroughly believes in his idealisms) at the time of meeting child Utena, then "saves" her.
- This restores hope in Utena, who was also "innocent" at the time, and after this meeting, her belief in idealisms are solidified after she adopts this idealism of being a "prince," a heroic figure, to save others in need.
- This sense of belief/hope rescues Utena from utter despair and this idealism becomes her way of life: to become a prince and save others.
Conclusion: Innocence/belief/will to go on/hope is metaphorically represented by the "absolute/magical power at the end of the world that can revolutionize"


Now somewhere after this (which we are not shown), Dios grows up, and comes in touch with the adult world to have his beliefs/idealisms shattered, and becomes corrupted. This is when Dios turns into Akio, the adult version of Dios. Akio loses the 'absolute power' after he lost his innocence. Metaphorically representing how once one becomes an adult, one cannot become a child again to regain lost innocence.
- this is where "The Prince" identity splits into 2 distinct identities: Dios and Akio
Dios is more of an abstract identity being Akio's lost innocence/belief ---> i.e. the "lost/trapped power" the series refers to.
Akio is more of the physical self of of "The Prince," who is corrupted with desires for power and sex etc, and no longer has "the great power", but longs for the lost power (metaphor for his lost innocence).


- To make himself feel better, Akio creates a fabricated world full of pretentiousness, superficiality: The Campus, a seemingly beautiful magical world on the outside only to hide its true identity of Akio's darkness of secretive corruption (incestuous relationships, constant conflict over power, etc).
- To further distract everyone away from his "darkness/corruption" (metaphor for adulthood) and to hide the fact that he has lost his "absolute power" (metaphor for innocence), he uses his remaining powers to create the dueling game + Anthy to feel better about himself and tries to convince everyone that "the absolute power" exists while it is actually lost.
Conclusion: The school (along with its rules) becomes "The World" that the series keeps referring to. and Akio targets his disappointment, self-hate, condemnment onto Anthy to make the loss of innocence more bearable.


- thus everyone who exists in this "world" is driven by superficiality and strives for what is presented to them as desirable (power/sex, etc) by Akio. And everyone existing in this world is no longer innocent and perpetuates the chase for the illusion of power in Anthy while not focusing on questioning what the power really is or where it is or who it is or which it is, All of this being Akio's original exact intention.
- so basically at this point everyone (including Akio) in the school are puppets controlled by desire
- but Utena comes along, and she is the only one who is innocent, because she comes from a place outside of "the world", (aka the school created by Akio), she hasn't been corrupted and keeps questioning the Game and hopes to abolish the system for she sees it as pointless and victimizes Anthy then takes on the obligation of a "prince".
- Notice all the while others are skeptic (including Anthy) of Utena's goal because they have all lost the ability to belief/hope, ie. they've lost their innocence.


- Utena hopes to free Anthy from the system because that's the meaning of her life, to become a prince/hero to save others in need. And in this hope/belief/innocence, she receives the "great power/power to perform miracles" from Dios by having the abstract existence of Adios live on through her since Dios cannot live through Akio. This can be exemplified by the numerous times when Utena gains access to the "great power" in duels and Dios falls down and possesses her.
- All this while, Akio is pissed/jealous to see Utena possessing "the great power", the one he had greatly missed. Since he can't gain the power himself, he tries to corrupt Utena with sex/power/manipulative romance etc.
- But this doesn't work cos Utena keeps holding on to her beliefs and idealisms (she is staying innocent). So Akio's next plan is to wait until Utena releases the "great power" with her successive victories, then take it from her.


- All this while, Anthy is convinced fully that Utena will fail to free her as her prince. Not only because Utena is a girl, but also because her brother, the original prince, has not only failed in saving her, but was the one who trapped her in the first place. Notice how Anthy, along with everyone else, also has lost the ability to believe (i.e lost her innocence). This is evident when at the end she betrays Utena and she was like bitch i knew all the long you were gonna fail so dont even try.
- Thus, she has nothing to exist for other than for the purpose of the game and Akio. It is in this mentality that she becomes an abstract existence with no free will, like a puppet.
- However, in Anthy's heart she had always hoped for Utena to succeed because she truly wanted to be free.


- Utena, with her innocence, idealisms, and sense of obligation as a prince (Dios' power) being reinforced by her love/friendship for Anthy (Utena's own power) along with knowing how Anthy truly wants freedom, defeats Akios and the system, and successfully frees Anthy.
- Anthy finally sees that the hopelessness she felt was only applicable to "The World" she lived in, but not to the world outside, so she leaves "the world" (the school) to look for her own prince, Utena.


- Utena has inspired Anthy to embark on a similar journey the way Dios had inspired Utena --> to become a strong heroic figure saving others in need.
- After the ending, Anthy could or could not find Utena again, she could have went to some other school to save a weakling being bullied, or she could have became a social worker helping others in need, or a policewoman, etc. All of that is irrelevant because Anythy has regained her lost innocence, more precisely, she gained the "great power" from Utena, which is the ability to believe and to hope. This was the same sort of feeling, the will to go on, that Utena felt when she was rescued by Dios.
Conclusion: Utena has revolutionized "the world" in that she has shaken up the very fabric of its existence and ended the perpetual torment of Anthy. And Anthy reaches the "End of the world," which is the end of the campus by leaving the school.


Final Thoughts:
So i think the series is one big metaphor for the process of growing up and explores how adulthood often diminishes our ability to belief/hope/dream and we must regain that childhood innocence (ability to hope/belief) in order to escape the seemingly purposeless daily routines of adult life. And we truly live to the fullest, or exist to the fullest when we look beyond our present circumstances, and have the courage to hope and dream about whats to come, which is what children are so good at doing.

Notice how in the end of the series, Akio (who was a physical being at the beginning of the story) turns out to be an conceptual being (a puppet who ends up being controlled by his self-hate and superficial-desires), while Anthy (a puppet created by Akio) after Utena instills life into her with hope and innocence, a seemingly impossible, or as the series calls it, a miraculous task, becomes a REAL person at the end for she has her own intention and her own free will.

and lastly, I LOVE THIS SERIES.

Last edited by utenatea (02-01-2011 12:41:03 AM)

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#2 | Back to Top01-31-2011 09:13:37 PM

Randamonian
Rose Bride
From: Australia
Registered: 11-07-2010
Posts: 102

Re: My Interpretation of the Series [spoilers]

whoa, I love that explaination.

It follows the same thoughts I had about what the series is about. Congratulations on being able to write it all down so logically' for such a hard-to-understand series. I can tell you didn't come up with this all at 3 oclock in the morning.

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#3 | Back to Top01-31-2011 11:30:59 PM

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

Re: My Interpretation of the Series [spoilers]

While I like what you have for the most part, I disagree with the part about Anthy only being made "real" at the end by Utena giving her free will and innocence- she showcases will and intention numerous times throughout the series, she just hides it for the most part [She often influences the outcomes of the duels, and very passively aggressively tortures Akio].  And you cannot give a person innocence; the series makes a point of the fact that innocence lost cannot be regained, and how we must learn to live and be happy despite that - that just because our fairy tale childhood dreams aren't true doesn't mean that we can't find new dreams or follow avenues in reality to find happiness.  The point wasn't that Anthy was only a doll or an empty shell, but that she was a person trapped in a figurative coffin (death referring to stagnation, the refusal or inability to move forward and grow) that as it turns out had the power to free herself all along -she just lacked the desire.  Anthy tortured herself and took small revenges back at the world around her when she could, believing it to be, if not what she deserved, then the best a witch could hope for, since the world and its people were cruel, hypocritical and selfish.  Utena didn't tell her anything she didn't already know about her own power, but made her, the totality of her, good and bad, feel loved and appreciated simply for being herself, and gave her something worth leaving Akio and her coffin behind for - someone she loved that loved her back unconditionally, loved her and was willing to sacrifice for her.  A true friend, not a prince. 

And while reality and dreams are often very fluid and deceptive in Utena, I believe that Akio and Anthy were both real people and archetypes.  They are what would happen if princes, princesses and the like truly did exist - they would fall under the weight of their roles, bound by the perception and expectations of the world and its desires and weaknesses - they are the archetypes taken to their logical conclusion.  A real prince would constantly sacrifice but never truly love or be loved in return, as he would protect everyone, and once married would no longer be a prince  [remember all those near-kisses in the shadow girl's telling of the Tale of the Rose?).  A real fairytale prince would have to stay young, strong, valiant and single forever. He would have to stay ignorant and innocent as well, to never know what it is he is missing, to never see the true, insurmountable cruelties of the world he protected, to never grow up emotionally and thus physically - an innocence Anthy strips him of in order to save him, tragically changing the person she loved more than any other into someone else, because Dios fell too hard, too fast.   Like a large shadow cast from a small object, the perceptions of the world made Dios into the prince it wanted, but he was still a little boy, and thus he could not bear that burden.  For example, Dios is Spanish for God, and while many believe in God, and thus He is real to them and the consequences of that belief are real, God is still only an unknowable and unprovable abstract. 

I like to think this why all the people in the movie who were closest to being true princes - Touga and Dios, are dead.  emot-frown

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#4 | Back to Top02-01-2011 12:34:32 AM

utenatea
New Student
Registered: 01-30-2011
Posts: 8

Re: My Interpretation of the Series [spoilers]

Yes, I agree with you that Anthy had freewill and the ability to come up with intentions of her own. But the problem is, with her mind fully knowing the unbending circumstances of her predicament, her heart could not overcome this knowledge to believe in her desires/intentions. However, Utena was able to convince her to have belief/hope according to her freewill. This was what I meant by restoring 'innocence,' the ability to believe/hope in circumstances where the situation is absolutely unable to change. Anthy does not actually regain innocence, but rather she regains the ability to believe/hope, which metaphorically is represented as regaining 'innocence.'

I also should have specified what I meant by 'life' in Anthy, or her becoming 'real.'
Yes, she exists, along with the rest of the cast. However, her existence was so confined at the beginning of the series, she is limited to only some degree of free thought. Analogous to a thinking being, but does not have physical power over any of her surroundings, and does not constitute as a whole, real person. In our society, one can be easily distinguished by their thoughts alone. However, I felt like in the superficial/fabricated world of The Campus, where there is no basis of evaluating authentic existence, the realness of one's existence becomes less and less apparent as one adopts the pretentiousness of The Campus and slowly becomes a part of The Campus rather than a independent and individualistic entity.

think of it this way, say there is a world where every being, except for Bob, is a robot w/o freewill and only performs tasks according to external rules. And Bob has freewill about wanting/not wanting to do the tasks, yet he does not have any ability to disobey rules regarding to what actions he may perform, is Bob really any different than the rest of the robots?

Anyways, purely my interpretation, Sorry for not being clear earlier.

Last edited by utenatea (02-01-2011 12:58:33 AM)

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