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#1 | Back to Top05-19-2011 06:11:32 PM

Rose Bride
Registered: 07-08-2010
Posts: 116

Utena: Anime-to-movie character changes.

This analysis was written quickly, and I didn't edit it to get rid of all the word repeats (sorry... there are a lot emot-frown ). I just really wanted to get my thoughts out on virtual paper. You can correct me if you think (or know...) that I'm wrong on any of these, as I haven't actually watched the entire movie. Comments and general discussion are much appreciated! emot-dance

Here we go.

All the characters in Utena have drastic changes in the movie.

Utena herself, instead of really trying to be a prince, openly behaves like a dependent princess in front of Touga. (This is, in fact, what she could have become in the anime had she not refused Akio.) She is still gallant and princely, but only in Touga’s absence – and after she remembers that he is dead, instead of choosing to become a prince, she lets Anthy free her from the impractical and unrealistic mindset of princes and princesses and open her mind to the real world.

Anthy, instead of pretending to be innocent and helpless (while being not-so-innocent but still imposing her own helplessness on herself) is much more open about her own nature. She does not really appear as a princess at all, being more carefree than helpless, and doesn’t try to hide her role as the witch – but somehow, she doesn’t make it seem like a bad thing; at the end of the movie, she frees herself and Utena from the restricting, black-and-white world of princesses and princesses, opening up thousands of shades of gray. She acts very lighthearted and casual, instead of being quiet like the former Anthy, and her manipulation of others is obvious rather than subtle (that doesn’t make her any less successful, however). The only person she seems to really care about is Utena, as Akio is later revealed to be dead.

Touga, as opposed to being noticed by everyone and admired all around, attracting tons of attention, is now seen by almost no one. He is a shadow from Utena’s past, her dead lover, and basically the only thing that keeps her from being herself. Instead of being burdened with unrequited love for her, he is now the man she longs for. It’s not his fault, of course, nor Utena’s – it’s just an unfortunate result of the manner of their relationship, with Touga being the prince, a strong protector, and Utena the princess, basically helpless and weak without him (despite how she tries to hide it by dressing as a boy and acting as a prince). He seems to still love Utena, but he knows he’s holding her back.

Miki has lost much of his naiveté and innocence, and appears more mature. This may have been brought on by Kozue’s far more extreme measures of trying to get his attention and keep him hers.

Juri is more noticeably vulnerable and weak when it comes to strength of will and stopping herself from performing actions that will ruin her – she knows Shiori is manipulating and controlling her, but lets her do it anyway. She is also a little less depressed and self-loathing, as shown by her flirting with Miki. She’s not altogether happy (in fact, part of her is probably a little disgusted at her own weakness), but she’s fine with the way things are. This is basically what would happen to anime!Juri, pre-revolution, if Shiori behaved in a dominant way toward her.

Saionji’s bad traits have been grossly exaggerated. He is now dominating in every respect, and obviously cruel, prideful and vindictive. While the old Saionji had his faults, his outbursts of violence were usually just temper issues and not sadism, and he only ever hit Anthy when he felt she had betrayed him. Also, in the anime he was very insecure, full of self-loathing and jealous of Touga – that seems to have disappeared. He is entirely confident in himself, and seems much more sadistic.

Shiori, rather than centering her life around her many boyfriends and trying to be better than Juri, who she despises and envies, now has tried to become the mastermind. She is extremely manipulative, not “innocent” at all, and rather than being jealous of Juri, hates her and finds her disgusting and deplorable, only a tool to be used (this is likely brought on by Shiori's dominant position in their relationship, which makes her feel superior to Juri rather than inferior). She doesn’t care about anyone – just about furthering her own goals.

Akio has essentially faded into the background – while his position in the story is somewhat mysterious for much of the movie, he has no major role in anything and is only there so Anthy can have a dominant figure in her life. Far from being the omnipotent puppet-master he once was, he now matters very little to anyone other than Anthy, his role being similar to Touga’s. The only trait he’s really retained is his selfishness.

Kozue pretty much just went way more psycho than her former incarnation. Nothing else about her has really changed.

Wakaba is basically the same.  She’s just there to have another familiar face in the story and show that many of the students do in fact lead normal lives. She’s still sinfully adorable, but that’s just Wakaba.

Last edited by Gainel (05-19-2011 06:16:20 PM)

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but wisdom is knowing not to put it on a fruit salad.



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