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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 Top05-04-2011 01:15:23 AM

OrangeRose
Saionji Slapper
From: breaking the egg's shell
Registered: 04-29-2011
Posts: 25
Website

In defense of Shiori...

Well, as I have traversed the net, and the Utena fan community at large, it has come to my attention that Shiori Takatsuki has her share of detractors-of which I am NOT one. Granted, however, I used to be one, and I DESPISED her with every fiber of my being. This was mostly due to the influence if aniother UTENA fan that mislead me with negative ideas on Shiori, and I, being the uninsightful, and at the time QUITE naieve soul I was, hated Shiori too.
So why the change? Perhaps I grew to know what it was like to be in the shadow of others more revered than I-I was always unpopular in highschool, scorned, told I was ugly, nobody wanted to date me or in some cases, even be my friend. Then enter the popular girls, to whom I had constantly been compared, coupled with the fact that at the time I was overweight and couldn't seem to lose it.
Yes, we've all been there, and we may not want to remember it, certainly not admit it, but we've all been insecure, just like Shiori. She's so hated, but is it possible that this is some sort of denial on our part, scapegoating a character who all too painfully reminds us of what we were, and might still be? For shame! I even believe that popular girls resent the concept of inferiority and unpopularity because deep down, they, TOO are insecure, even if on the surface they seem perfect!
Now with this experience under my belt, I have begun to see more and more why Shiori is the way she is. Also, I've been on the flipside in the past five years-I've lost the weight, gained popularity amongst my peers, and achieved a sense of being that I had previously desired and thought forever out of my grasp.
Yet I have also been in love with a girl who, though openly hurtful, arrogant and promiscuous to gain attention has, what I strongly believe, is a case of inferiority and unecesscary rivalry against me fueled by that inferiority complex.
Knowing what she has gone through, I choose to not reject her in spite of her clear attempts to hurt me, but to try to aid her, and help her get over this. Such choices, I think, should also be considered in the case of Shiori. Perhaps coming to terms with one's own insecurites, one may find Shiori not to be so destable after all. Yes, I'm aware that she is merely an animated character, but I still see a productive amount of transferrence to be found there.
In summary, I urge you to look past the hatred you might feel for Shiori-and realize that, deep down, she's just like any one of us.
I hope my pedantic ramblings have not driven you away. If you wish, please feel free to respond to this, I would enjoy discussing it with you.


"Your rose is MINE, Betch!"
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b140/Lcita/juri.jpg

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#2 | Back to Top05-05-2011 04:46:05 PM

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

Re: In defense of Shiori...

We have not discussed Shiori in ages! It's too bad that Be-papas seeming want Shiori to be a villain, at least in the movie. But even so there is much about her that is easy for people to identify with and it's not a pleasant thought.

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#3 | Back to Top05-22-2011 01:32:16 AM

CausalityStar
Caretaker
From: Idaho
Registered: 09-12-2010
Posts: 215

Re: In defense of Shiori...

I think that's an interesting and thoughtful analysis. I do see a lot of people on the internet who think that Shiori is basically the devil and is the most evil character ever. Firstly, they all need to give Akio more credit. He works hard to be an evil bastard dammit!  Secondly, think you're right in saying that some of the hatred toward Shiori is the result of people not wanting to relate to a character who is insecure with serious self-esteem issue, even though everyone has issues like this at some point.

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#4 | Back to Top05-22-2011 08:55:22 PM

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

Re: In defense of Shiori...

I think there's one more element that needs to be taken into account why some people dislike Shiori: Juri. People like Juri so they take her words at face value and assume Shiori is the root of Juri's pain (but seriously, Juri's only the victim of miscommunication and her own self-destructive behaviors).

Movie!Shiori is odd. She's portrayed as the witch some fans think she is, but at her core she's very much the insecure girl from the series (complete with a black rose transformation into a car).

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#5 | Back to Top05-22-2011 10:04:54 PM

Android raptor
Rose Smilee
From: North GA, USA
Registered: 08-11-2009
Posts: 126
Website

Re: In defense of Shiori...

Malacoda wrote:

I think there's one more element that needs to be taken into account why some people dislike Shiori: Juri. People like Juri so they take her words at face value and assume Shiori is the root of Juri's pain (but seriously, Juri's only the victim of miscommunication and her own self-destructive behaviors).

THIS. Especially since some Juri fans like to see her as an innocent, victimized goddess who's only fault is giving a damn about icky mean Shiori oh noez. Kind of like the Touga fangirls who refuse to see him as anything other than a beeeewtiful prince, even though he has some glaring nasty traits.

Sort of OT, but am I the only one who gets uneasy when I see fangirls splooging over Ruka as a truly noble, good character who freed Juri from icky Shiori despite the fact that's he's just as much of an arrogant douche canoe as everyone else? Especially since he sexually assaulted her and may or may not have forced her to have sex with him (depending on how you interpret the car) emot-gonk

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#6 | Back to Top05-27-2011 01:03:33 AM

CausalityStar
Caretaker
From: Idaho
Registered: 09-12-2010
Posts: 215

Re: In defense of Shiori...

I think that Malacoda and Android Raptor have some good points on where the Shiori-hate comes from. I really like Juri but I think that many of her problems are the result of her self-destructive behaviors and miscommunication in her relationship with Shiori. Shiori does go out of her way to hurt Juri, due to her self-esteem issues, but this is not the only reason why Juri has so much angst. I think that if their relationship had had better communication then Juri would have realized that Shiori had all those self-esteem issues earlier on and maybe they would have had less problems. Things also might have been easier for Juri if she had told Shiori how she felt about her too.

And Android Raptor, you're not the only person who dislikes it when people say the Ruka has beautiful noble goodness for "saving" Juri from the mean, nasty Shiori. He certainty has some nastier aspects to his character, so it's really annoying when people completely ignore his flaws while magnifying all of Shiori's flaws. While it's possible that some of Ruka's jerkass behavior was just show for the sake of his elaborate scheme to help Juri, it was all heavy-handed, to say the least. Not to mention, the scene where Ruka forcibly kisses Juri and gropes her is creepy no matter what angle you look at it from. I've never interpreted Juri's ride in the Akio Car as Ruka forcing her to have sex with him, but it's been a while since I've seen that episode.

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#7 | Back to Top06-06-2011 06:09:51 PM

artemis88
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 05-05-2011
Posts: 66

Re: In defense of Shiori...

that's very true.. Shiori must have her reasons for being the way she was. I think in the movie, since Akio killed himself, they had no great villain around to add suspense to end (though Akio does make his reappearance)

Juri is such a noble character, it hurts to see her so cruelly manipulated & harmed by Shiori. I actually didn't like Juri when I first started watching the series, because she seemed so cold and detached from everything. when she slapped Anthy I couldn't believe it, but I see similarities between Anthy & Shiori now.. small ones, lol, but, Anthy had been hurt in the past (and series-present, too), and she reacted at times in similar ways. near the ending, what Anthy does to Utena, is sort of what Shiori had done to Juri in small doses over the course of the series. but Shiori is malicious..

so yeah I used to hate Shiori too but I think she really did love Juri on some level, even if her love was overpowered by her envy?
not that Juri was perfect either, she was too detached and maybe even proud to confess her feelings to Shiori (which is what I'm guessing Shiori really wanted, too?)
like somebody above said, a lot of their tragedy was a failure to communicate

Last edited by artemis88 (06-06-2011 11:34:48 PM)

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#8 | Back to Top06-06-2011 06:15:06 PM

artemis88
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 05-05-2011
Posts: 66

Re: In defense of Shiori...

and in defense of my interpretation ..


I haven't finished watching the series yet (don't kill me D: )
I can't bear for it to be over so I've been watching it really slowly
but I'm sure I'm going to go on a binge and finish it,
then comes the rewatching emot-rofl

Last edited by artemis88 (06-06-2011 06:15:20 PM)

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#9 | Back to Top06-06-2011 11:12:05 PM

onsenmark
Spambane
From: The eastern U.S.... someplace.
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 543
Website

Re: In defense of Shiori...

*hides his Shiori Death Advocates membership card*

Okay, I admit it -- series!Shiori doesn't deserve all the hate.

MOVIE!Shiori, on the other hand... school-devil


watch me whine: onsenmark.livejournal.com

Saa, omae no tsumi o kazoero!

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#10 | Back to Top06-06-2011 11:35:32 PM

artemis88
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 05-05-2011
Posts: 66

Re: In defense of Shiori...

onsenmark wrote:

*hides his Shiori Death Advocates membership card*

Okay, I admit it -- series!Shiori doesn't deserve all the hate.

MOVIE!Shiori, on the other hand... school-devil

emot-rofl

I agree.. Movie Shiori is pretty scary :\

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#11 | Back to Top06-07-2011 03:38:59 PM

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

Re: In defense of Shiori...

I have a hard time imagining how anyone could hate Shiori over Ruka -stealing someone who you think is someone's love interest when you were a young teenager and not reciprocating a crush?  BURN AND DIE.  Forcing himself physically on same girl- throwing her up against a fekking wall, and forcing a kiss- Oh.  He must have done it because he LOVED her, and couldn't control himself.  That fact that these explanations reek of rape apologia notwithstanding.  I enjoy Ruka as a character, and love dissecting him and his motives, but just like with Saionji, a big part of that fangirling is dependent on me acknowledging that while Ruka may be a complicated and multidimensional ass, he's still an ass.  It's one of the reason's Juri could never be with him, besides the gender barrier, and why I'm filled with disgust at the thought of them as a couple.

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#12 | Back to Top06-07-2011 10:02:40 PM

Android raptor
Rose Smilee
From: North GA, USA
Registered: 08-11-2009
Posts: 126
Website

Re: In defense of Shiori...

But OITL, Ruka is a smexy bishonen with noble motives so it's okay! Unlike icky vagina creature Shoiri who no one should like because she's so icky and mean to poor Juri. Don't you realize that Juri needed Ruka to rape her to free her from the Shiori beast, which is of course the only cause of Juri's problems because she's so pure and good just like Ruka! emot-rolleyes


Rape apologia is a good way of putting that attitude, and probably why I'm so bothered by it. However noble his motives are doesn't change the fact that amongst other things he sexually assaulted their pure princess. And the thought of them paired together as anything other than a horrendously fucked-up and unstable thing makes me queasy emot-gonk

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#13 | Back to Top06-07-2011 10:40:25 PM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 689

Re: In defense of Shiori...

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

I have a hard time imagining how anyone could hate Shiori over Ruka -stealing someone who you think is someone's love interest when you were a young teenager and not reciprocating a crush?

Sorry, let me just jump in to point out that Ruka and Brown-Haired-Boy-From-the-Flashbacks are different characters. Unless you want to make a case that they are, of course!. emot-tongue

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#14 | Back to Top06-07-2011 11:27:14 PM

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

Re: In defense of Shiori...

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

I have a hard time imagining how anyone could hate Shiori over Ruka -stealing someone who you think is someone's love interest when you were a young teenager and not reciprocating a crush?  BURN AND DIE.  Forcing himself physically on same girl- throwing her up against a fekking wall, and forcing a kiss- Oh.  He must have done it because he LOVED her, and couldn't control himself.

THIS...wasn't even a point I had thought about but it's SO TRUE. And it doesn't happen with just Shiori either. If a female character who has been acting like a jerk is compared to a male character who is acting like a jerk, who do the fans auto-dislike (in general)? THE GIRL. Who do the fans still fawn over (in general)? THE BOY.

(Maybe this is what Anthy means when she says "All girls are like the rose bride".)

As far as movie!Shiori goes...why do people think she's more villain-like than her series counterpart? Besides having conversations with Touga and showing off video relating to Akio's death, she doesn't do anything her series counterpart hasn't done. Both movie!Shiori and series!Shiori motivate Juri into dueling. If you believe movie!Shiori's transformation into a car is analogous to a ride in Mikage's elevator, both have gone against Utena has black rose duelists.

Fans need to take a moment to THINK.

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#15 | Back to Top06-08-2011 12:32:34 AM

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

Re: In defense of Shiori...

Dallbun wrote:

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

I have a hard time imagining how anyone could hate Shiori over Ruka -stealing someone who you think is someone's love interest when you were a young teenager and not reciprocating a crush?

Sorry, let me just jump in to point out that Ruka and Brown-Haired-Boy-From-the-Flashbacks are different characters. Unless you want to make a case that they are, of course!. emot-tongue

How did I imply that they were?  Shiori went out with brown haired boy because she thought Juri cared for him and even when she found out about Juri's feelings for her did not reciprocate them.  I was listing Shori's "crimes" there, not Ruka's.  Replace the word "over" with "versus" or "as opposed to" or "more than" and you'll get what my intended statement was. emot-tongue

Last edited by OnlyInThisLight (06-08-2011 12:39:57 AM)

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#16 | Back to Top06-08-2011 12:53:11 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 689

Re: In defense of Shiori...

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

How did I imply that they were?  Shiori went out with brown haired boy because she thought Juri cared for him and even when she found out about Juri's feelings for her did not reciprocate them.  I was listing Shori's "crimes" there, not Ruka's.  Replace the word "over" with "versus" or "as opposed to" or "more than" and you'll get what my intended statement was. emot-tongue

Ah, sorry. The way the - was placed just made it look like you were saying the Ruka incident = the stealing incident. emot-smile

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#17 | Back to Top06-08-2011 01:13:30 AM

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

Re: In defense of Shiori...

Dallbun wrote:

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

How did I imply that they were?  Shiori went out with brown haired boy because she thought Juri cared for him and even when she found out about Juri's feelings for her did not reciprocate them.  I was listing Shori's "crimes" there, not Ruka's.  Replace the word "over" with "versus" or "as opposed to" or "more than" and you'll get what my intended statement was. emot-tongue

Ah, sorry. The way the - was placed just made it look like you were saying the Ruka incident = the stealing incident. emot-smile

I have a horrible habit of abusing and misusing hyphens -I just put them wherever I feel like a pause but don't want to bother with a comma.   Commas are lame.

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#18 | Back to Top06-08-2011 12:01:08 PM

artemis88
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 05-05-2011
Posts: 66

Re: In defense of Shiori...

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

I have a hard time imagining how anyone could hate Shiori over Ruka -stealing someone who you think is someone's love interest when you were a young teenager and not reciprocating a crush?  BURN AND DIE.  Forcing himself physically on same girl- throwing her up against a fekking wall, and forcing a kiss- Oh.  He must have done it because he LOVED her, and couldn't control himself.  That fact that these explanations reek of rape apologia notwithstanding.  I enjoy Ruka as a character, and love dissecting him and his motives, but just like with Saionji, a big part of that fangirling is dependent on me acknowledging that while Ruka may be a complicated and multidimensional ass, he's still an ass.  It's one of the reason's Juri could never be with him, besides the gender barrier, and why I'm filled with disgust at the thought of them as a couple.

I agree 1000%%%%%%%%%%

I hadn't yet gotten to any of the episodes containing Ruka yet when I started posting here, I don't understand how anyone could hate Shiori over him. :\

he's vile.. all of the men in this series are vile, save perhaps Miki and Movie!Touga

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#19 | Back to Top06-14-2011 08:51:22 AM

Chrome Homura
Poor Saionji :(
From: Oregon, USA
Registered: 06-07-2010
Posts: 517

Re: In defense of Shiori...

Malacoda wrote:

As far as movie!Shiori goes...why do people think she's more villain-like than her series counterpart? Besides having conversations with Touga and showing off video relating to Akio's death, she doesn't do anything her series counterpart hasn't done. Both movie!Shiori and series!Shiori motivate Juri into dueling. If you believe movie!Shiori's transformation into a car is analogous to a ride in Mikage's elevator, both have gone against Utena has black rose duelists.

Fans need to take a moment to THINK.

To play devil's advocate... I'd suppose it comes from a line of logic that views her as such not because her actions are necessarily "more evil", but because she comes off more obviously as being so.

For example, IMO from the series her most pointed act of cruelty is the scene in ep17 where she takes Juri's sword. But despite it being Shiori at her worst, it is brought about as a result of her ride in the Mikage elevator. After that, from my impression of things she still takes pride in knowing Juri's secret, but doesn't necessarily go out of her way to flaunt that knowledge itself to Juri or even necessarily to others... at least not in an obviously aggressive manner.

In the movie however, she has knowledge of the duels (as well as her picture in Juri's locket) from the get-go, and actively (I.E more obviously) seems to take pleasure in toying with Juri's feelings without the need for Mikage's elevator to bring her darkest self to the surface. To me, that makes her more of a villain than her series counterpart.


"My blood is steel, my heart is glass... I have emerged unvanquished from many battles... Never have I been put to flight, but neither have I stood victorious... This bearer stands here alone, forging steel atop a hill of blades... for that reason, my life has never needed meaning. My body has always...

been made of infinite swords!"

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#20 | Back to Top06-14-2011 10:05:44 AM

KaleMarsh
High Tripper
From: Washington, DC
Registered: 06-13-2011
Posts: 245

Re: In defense of Shiori...

I think it has a lot to do with Juri's tendency to fall into a state of helplessness while other characters would get back up.  Juri's prone to melancholy and over-dramatics, which makes Shiori easy to hate when she's really no more evil inside than any of the other characters in Utena.  They're all quite lovable for their ugliness.

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#21 | Back to Top06-14-2011 11:49:48 AM

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

Re: In defense of Shiori...

Those are excellent points, Chrome!

However I've just thought of something that may seem a little weird but I think it makes sense.

Movie!Shiori, at least how I interpret it, starts out with slightly nobler goals than series!Shiori. Series!Shiori wants to boost to ego, feel important, be special etc (...now I'm suddenly tempted to explore the parallels between Shiori and Wakaba) and since Juri is her ultimate measuring stick of what is perfect, she tries to be better than Juri. Movie!Shiori, on the other hand, has very different circumstances so her goals are different.

Movie!Shiori just wants a prince. However, she knows very damn well that the prince is dead so her goal is to build a prince out of Juri. To me, this point makes movie!Shiori a slightly better character than series!Shiori and (in a strange way) is a commentary on the fans who like to "prince-ify" Juri.

But then Utena shows up and proves that the prince isn't quite dead yet and we all know what happens to movie!Shiori from there.

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#22 | Back to Top06-15-2011 10:53:40 AM

poetoffire
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 01-27-2010
Posts: 65

Re: In defense of Shiori...

Personally I loved the groping scene but just because it was so sick, well-written, and tension-filled.  Ruka is a total asshole for it, and I'd never say he couldn't ~control himself~ because his feelings were so ~strong~.  It was a way of exerting domination over Juri, making Juri hate him, and perhaps a way of actually kissing her before he died.

I think the women in the series are just as creepy and messed up as the men, but they're reacting to different gender roles they're forced into.  True, there's no female Touga or Akio, but it's not right to dismiss the problems of people like Miki, Saionji, Tsubawaki, and the Onion Prince because they're dealing with masculine roles in unhealthy ways versus the women dealing with feminine roles in unhealthy ways.  It seems a double standard.

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#23 | Back to Top06-15-2011 02:28:22 PM

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

Re: In defense of Shiori...

poetoffire wrote:

I think the women in the series are just as creepy and messed up as the men, but they're reacting to different gender roles they're forced into.  True, there's no female Touga or Akio, but it's not right to dismiss the problems of people like Miki, Saionji, Tsubawaki, and the Onion Prince because they're dealing with masculine roles in unhealthy ways versus the women dealing with feminine roles in unhealthy ways.  It seems a double standard.

Most of us here don't hold any personal ire for the male characters, only frustration for the forgiveness or sugar coating most fans give them in regards to their faults.  That Shiori is still one of those virulently hated characters in the series, while characters like Ruka, Touga, and Saionji get "woobified" or turned into sekrit-princes-all-along by many in the fandom, just more commonly outside this forum, is a double standard that's still present.

Many here don't dismiss the male character's problems, we are only saying that they way they are dealing with them, their negative attributes, are far more harmful than what many of the more demonized females in the series actions are.

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#24 | Back to Top06-15-2011 05:17:11 PM

KaleMarsh
High Tripper
From: Washington, DC
Registered: 06-13-2011
Posts: 245

Re: In defense of Shiori...

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

Most of us here don't hold any personal ire for the male characters, only frustration for the forgiveness or sugar coating most fans give them in regards to their faults.  That Shiori is still one of those virulently hated characters in the series, while characters like Ruka, Touga, and Saionji get "woobified" or turned into sekrit-princes-all-along by many in the fandom, just more commonly outside this forum, is a double standard that's still present.

Many here don't dismiss the male character's problems, we are only saying that they way they are dealing with them, their negative attributes, are far more harmful than what many of the more demonized females in the series actions are.

Really?  I guess I'm outside fandom too much, but I find it far harder to make a case for demonizing many of the women in this series.  The men tend to be more action-oriented, as is the general masculine archetype, so they work as agents for much of the shit that goes down. 

The women, meanwhile, play naive victims, and much of the franchise is an attempt to reveal that this is completely ineffective and equally condemnatory.  I'm probably rehashing, but the decision made by female characters to stay within a prescribed gender role while the masculine behavior has changed is made to seem like the crux of the problem.

It's a monumental task, and I don't think it's 100% effective (probably because that isn't the only goal), but it seems like the series wants to 1) make easy targets from male characters, and 2) make the viewer look stupid by making the females into the bad guys.  In other words, people sugar-coating the males sounds like huge praise for SKU.  I'm not sure it quite deserves it.

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#25 | Back to Top06-16-2011 11:08:14 AM

poetoffire
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 01-27-2010
Posts: 65

Re: In defense of Shiori...

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

Most of us here don't hold any personal ire for the male characters, only frustration for the forgiveness or sugar coating most fans give them in regards to their faults.  That Shiori is still one of those virulently hated characters in the series, while characters like Ruka, Touga, and Saionji get "woobified" or turned into sekrit-princes-all-along by many in the fandom, just more commonly outside this forum, is a double standard that's still present.

Many here don't dismiss the male character's problems, we are only saying that they way they are dealing with them, their negative attributes, are far more harmful than what many of the more demonized females in the series actions are.

I wasn't saying that as a blanket statement.  I should have made it clearer I was reacting to the earlier:

artemis88 wrote:

he's vile.. all of the men in this series are vile, save perhaps Miki and Movie!Touga

As to the demonization of woman and why this may occur, you do find that generally in fandoms there is an extension of the virgin/whore dichotomy that either tends to embrace the female characters as perfect or dismiss them as boring/manipulative bitches.  Broody, antisocial liars with dark pasts are the epitome of cool as men and given venom as women.

Personally, when I watched the series I had the hardest time removing my own dislike and relation through memories and actual people from Saionji, Shiori, and Touga.  Now that I've watched it again and immersed myself in essays and discussions, I've let go of my knee-jerk hatred of Saionji and begun to understand Shiori and Touga fully.  I still, however, dislike the latter two.

I don't believe it is a crime to dislike a character or like a character, only to not make an attempt to grasp the complexities of them and base your affections on that.

I think if you sugarcoat literally any character in Utena you've totally missed the point.  Even Dios.

Last edited by poetoffire (06-16-2011 11:08:49 AM)

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