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#1 | Back to Top04-01-2011 11:56:39 AM

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

Duels before the beginning of the story.

One thing that has always intrigued me is how Saionji came to be the winner of the duels by the time of Utena's arrival on the scene.

From an out-of-universe perspective, in terms of storyline structure, I get why this is the case: Saionji is a good swordsman (captain of the Kendo club!), he's easier to dislike than the other Student Council members which makes it easier to set up a conflict within just the first episode (which also has the task of introducing the concepts and the world, not to mention Utena herself). Saionji almost seems like he was created sorely to be an easy-to-hate opponent, although of course he was made much more interesting in subsequent episodes.


In-universe, I'm trying to figure out what situation led to this status quo. Here is what we know from the rest of the series:

-Saionji is the reigning champion.
-Ruka was involved in the duels, and his skill is quite high, although it is doubtful that he got far into the duels before leaving Ohtori.
-Saionji must have defeated *someone* in order to win the Rose Bride.

Those are the facts. Now, for assumptions. Because of the way Saionji proclaims to be the reigning champion in the first episode, it sounds to me as if he fought many duels. But how many, and with whom? We don't, for a fact, know of any of these duels, they are never mentioned. The closest thing we get is whenever a duellist is talking about another's skill level. I want to assume it's possible that Touga lost a duel to Saionji, he's certainly not very thrilled that his "best friend" has won the duels, and it almost looks like he's personally annoyed. After all, as we see episodes later, Touga has always been the 'winner', with Saionji following behind.

Miki and Juri are a bit more of an enigma. I don't get the impression that either of them fought many duels in the past (and we know for certain Nanami did not).

I think I haven't looked into this comprehensively enough, as I'm just drawing off the top of my head. Any thoughts on how the duels before the series took place?



#2 | Back to Top04-01-2011 08:29:33 PM

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

Re: Duels before the beginning of the story.

Yes, I thought that Saionji and Touga must have had it out many times in the past and Saionji being the current winner was just a matter of chance. I can imagine at the start, the Rose Bride was just a neat little prize they fought over. I don't know at what point Saionji fell for Anthy, but Touga probably knew he wouldn't do anything too bad to her (although he mightn't care or not), that he feels safe with her in Saionj's hands (although he has to hold back the physical abuse every so often) until a time when he feels he needs her. It's part laziness perhaps on Touga's part, someone like Saionji can keep the noobs at bay until Touga swoops in to take the prize.

As for Ruka, I've got no idea, man. He seemed to fit in so smoothly with the duels you can't help but think he was familiar with it, but I did think he just joined up and had natural confidence as the Fencing captain.



#3 | Back to Top04-01-2011 10:07:58 PM

Eternal Eschatologist
From: Tx,USA
Registered: 01-18-2010
Posts: 956

Re: Duels before the beginning of the story.

How long had the duels been going before Utena came along anyway? I was under the impression only Touga and Saionji had possessed her before the series began. Maybe Ruka's illness came at the start of the formation of the student council and that kept him from dueling?

Last edited by chrisb (04-01-2011 10:12:08 PM)



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