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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 Top12-11-2011 11:19:48 AM

Riri-kins
World's End
From: Cloud Nine
Registered: 09-22-2008
Posts: 2346

Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

We know the Power of Dios can shape the world any way its wielder wants, but why would Akio strive for that when he already plays God in Ohtori? 

Now Be-Papas was clearly influenced by Milton’s Paradise Lost when they created Akio. Both he and Milton’s Satan are charismatic, ambitious, and manipulative. The difference is that the latter wants revenge on God for being forced to serve Him. Are Earth’s princesses to Akio as God was to Satan? Is Akio bitter about rescuing all of them when he was Dios?

I think he was a little bit frustrated and when Anthy sealed him away that amount grew and made him evil. What are your opinions?


Proud Saionji and Mikage fangirl
My Utena fanfiction: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2000115/Riri-kins

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#2 | Back to Top12-11-2011 04:46:35 PM

crystalwren
Dark Whisperer
From: Brisbane
Registered: 04-21-2009
Posts: 1172
Website

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

Hmm...this is really thought-provoking. I've never even considered this interpretation. I've always put Akio's greasiness down to malice, power tripping, and a generalised 'because I can, hurr, hurr, hurr'. It's been noted before that Akio never even considers taking revenge on the ones who sent the swords to Anthy. For me, there's a parallel between Utena and a novel called 'And the Ass Saw the Angel' by Nick Cave. Obviously AASA came quite some time after Utena, but I think there are strong correlations between Euchrid Eucrow and Akio. Both of them genuinely have a reason to be pissed off the world; but they don't focus their malice on legitimate targets, on the ones that have hurt or discriminated against them. Instead they go for the vulnerable and the weak, the ones than can never fight back. It never, ever occurs to Euchrid to go after the ones who gang raped him or beat him. Instead he tortures animals and squatters and preys on the child Beth. It never, ever occurs to Akio to go after the ones who are sending the swords towards Anthy and who ripped Dios apart and turned him into the devil’s advocate. Instead he goes after the ones he knows are vulnerable. He knows damn well that princesses are weak and always need rescuing. After all, he was the one doing the rescuing. There may indeed be an element of revenge underneath his predations, but honestly I think it’s all about power and that he’s going after the ones he knows he can hurt the most with the least amount of effort. That’s why he goes after princesses. That’s why he goes after children. That’s why he goes after Mikage, who has the emotional intelligence of a toddler.

There’s definitely a contradiction in Akio’s plan to reclaim the power of Dios. Dios’ power came from the very fact that he was a god-like hero, a rescuer and redeemer. On the surface Akio wants the power but deep down he knows that without a princess there is no power. And when the coffin that is the repository for Akio’s power is opened, within it is Anthy. In the movie manga (and no, I am NOT getting involved in a anti-Saito-hates-gays-and-ruins-everything debate right now) it says very bluntly that Anthy’s power to love is so strong that she can make anyone she loves into a prince and that why she’s called a witch. But ultimately, you can’t make a purse out of a sow’s ear. You can cover it with diamonds and rubies and sapphires and on first glance everyone will go wow! That’s awesome! But on the second glance it’s obvious: underneath the jewels it’s still just a bloody pig’s ear. Oink.

When you want to get right down to it, Akio has no real power. It’s all Anthy. He’s turned into a master manipulator precisely so he can keep her power for himself, whether or not he’s consciously aware of it. And I think you can indeed make an excellent argument that Akio is targeting princesses because at some depth he wants revenge. He's not going to try and get revenge on the rest of the world, the world who toppled him from his pedestal and turned Anthy into an eternal pin cushion. It never occurs to him to do so. He might lose. There’s no power to be gained even if he wins, and everything to be lost if he doesn’t. Ultimately, he’s Euchrid Eucrow, not a masked avenger come to rescue Anthy from the million swords of fate. And what Akio wants more than anything is power, and since he is at heart a coward, he goes for the ones least able to fight back.

Princesses always need rescuing. They’re weak, they’re vulnerable, they’re easy targets. Akio probably is on some level thinking, ‘fuck you, little bitch’ but if the princesses were able to fight back he’d be flinging himself into his coffin so hard and so fast he’d smash through the back and land on his face on the floor.

EDIT: I forgot to add that this is a fantastic topic, Riri-kins! emot-dance

Last edited by crystalwren (12-11-2011 05:19:32 PM)

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#3 | Back to Top12-12-2011 10:09:38 AM

Overlord Morgus
Ruthless Deflorist
Registered: 02-22-2011
Posts: 310

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

Then again, it was the world's princesses that depleted him of his strength, and it was on their behalf that the rabble brought swords to the cottage in which he hid. ("Save my daughter!") He should have stayed a one-woman man. Dios is a great metaphor for the male in shoujo manga, he's an ideal who existed solely for the satisfaction of the boring normal girl, kind of a male Belldandy. Shoujo manga had male versions of her LONG before Fujishima's manga came out. Maybe this whole thing is Ikuhara expressing his frustration with having to service what are from his perspective vacuous fantasies while directing Sailor Moon.

If he exploits anything, it's dependence. He realizes that it is the people's dependence that gave him power, but he also realizes that too much dependence made him weak, so he exploits extraordinarily talented teenagers, who are emotionally dependent but functionally independent. Mikage Souji was, of course, an extreme example of this pattern. No one in the series is more functionally independent than him, since out of all all the duelists, he was the only one who saw through Utena's moves or could even use a computer, and no one is more desperate for praise, since he's the only character to openly accumulate disciples.

Last edited by Overlord Morgus (12-12-2011 10:41:28 AM)

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#4 | Back to Top12-14-2011 12:16:28 AM

Davine Lu Linvega
Spam Arsonist
Registered: 06-08-2011
Posts: 88

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

I don't think Akio regards princesses at all. They are non-entities to him. In his relationship with Kanae, he did only what was necessary to secure his position as acting chairman. Aside from that, he disregarded her. I think he may have taken a bit of sadistic pleasure in frustrating her desires for him, but I think his main intention towards her was to set her up as a chew toy for Anthy, so Anthy could make her suffer and in turn prove why she deserves to suffer. I think his amusement at Kanae's pain really stems from the fact that it confirms his view of Anthy.

But I do think there is a desire for vengeance in Akio's character. When I think about what moves him, I always come back to the words...

Misery loves company.

I think the main thing Akio wants to do to other people is lead them down the same path he took. The duelists are powerful and charismatic individuals who try and fail to live up to their ideals, as he did when he was Dios. They are beguiled by Anthy, as he was, their desires for her are frustrated, and the winner of the duels (normally) forsakes Anthy and accepts her eternal suffering as a necessity. 

Akio is Ikuhara's archetypal adult, that which the young characters are fated to become. And if there's anyone Akio really has it in for, I think it's not princesses but pretend princes like Utena. I'm sure he enjoys breaking the spirits of champion duelists and watching them abandon Anthy to her torment, because they had the temerity to try to be what he could not.

I once spoke to a homeless teenager who had run away from his alcoholic mother after she tried to convince the local social services that he was suicidal and needed treatment. She wanted to stop him from going to college because she feared that if he did he would leave her. He managed to get away from her anyway, but she threw a pretty big wrench into his plans and I don't know if he managed to overcome it in the end. There have been many cases where disadvantaged people will try to stop each other from getting ahead, feeling that one person's progress will demean the others. The "crabs in a bucket" effect.

Materially, Akio is anything but impoverished, but his temporal wealth stands in contrast to profound poverty of the spirit. I think he's the most miserable character in the series, because he has the memory of being Dios and the knowledge that he can never be Dios again. The expression on his face when he tells Utena "A child cannot grasp the importance of this room!" says it all. Akio created a man-made heaven to rule as an artificial god, gathering young people who remind him of himself as he was and forcing them through the same painful changes that he underwent. Because that's what _has_ to happen, that's what _always_ happens to innocents with high ideals. If that wasn't true, the knowledge would destroy him.

So I think the target of his vengeance is not the princess, but the prince. His disregard of princesses is just an expression of his hatred for the prince, as allowing Kanae to be tortured is the opposite of what Dios would have done.

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#5 | Back to Top12-14-2011 03:30:53 PM

Makubi
Touga Topper
From: SE England
Registered: 10-19-2011
Posts: 56

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

As I recall, during Utena and Akio's wacky planetarium trip through old set pieces prior to their duel, Akio mentions how he will use the power of Dios to 'revolutionize the world'. I Always found that line to be the most sinister thing Akio says in the whole series, because it's clear from the way he says it that his intentions for Dios' power are the complete opposite of what his princely self would have used it for.

I seem to recall at one point having this half baked theory that the power of Dios was actually the love of the people of the world, which doesn't really stand up when you take into account how they treated Dios, essentially as a tool to rescue their daughters, so I guess in some ways the power of Dios could be seen as a power over the people of the world. As people have mentioned before, Akio thrives on his power of people, so rather than revenge, I think he would seek some kind of dominion over the world, expanding the stage of his game from Ohtori to the entire planet.

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#6 | Back to Top12-14-2011 04:40:20 PM

Atropos
Atropos Turretslayer
From: Hampden College
Registered: 10-22-2011
Posts: 906

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

Akio as the ruler of the entire world...frightening. emot-gonk

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#7 | Back to Top12-14-2011 06:16:22 PM

crystalwren
Dark Whisperer
From: Brisbane
Registered: 04-21-2009
Posts: 1172
Website

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

Makubi wrote:

I seem to recall at one point having this half baked theory that the power of Dios was actually the love of the people of the world, which doesn't really stand up when you take into account how they treated Dios, essentially as a tool to rescue their daughters, so I guess in some ways the power of Dios could be seen as a power over the people of the world. As people have mentioned before, Akio thrives on his power of people, so rather than revenge, I think he would seek some kind of dominion over the world, expanding the stage of his game from Ohtori to the entire planet.

Honestly, if Akio were to achieve this I think he'd go into meltdown. He's frightening good at manipulating individual people, but the more people you're manipulating the harder it gets to achieve the total degree of control you'd like. He might be able to achieve some sort of gross control over populations, but he'd not be able to control the minutiae of human interaction. And that would terrify him. The coffin analogy that gets thrown around applies here: fear of change, lack of protection and walls. Akio could not cope with unlimited power, especially when it includes a demographic of strong-minded and savvy adults. Either consciously or non consciously, he'd make it so that his power (or Anthy's power, to be precise) still extends to a limited area like Ohtori. It's been said before that the duelling game is ostentatiously about revolutionising the world but is really about isolating themselves against a painful world. It gives the both of them the illusion of working towards something while justifying their refusal to connect live in the real world.

tl;dr

Akio is perfectly aware that perfect power is impossible, and that's why he stays in his coffin and plays games with the emotionally vulnerable. He'll never come out.

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#8 | Back to Top12-14-2011 07:05:02 PM

dirufacade
Ballgoer
From: Baltimore & DC
Registered: 08-03-2011
Posts: 148
Website

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

Akio as the ruler of the entire world...frightening.

Akio as the ruler of the entire world... hot. :3

I'm going to reserve most of my thoughts on this until I've gotten that last DVD set in and get a chance to go through it. but my opinions on Akio come from a slightly different perspective.

I don't believe Akio wants to "take revenge" on anyone. He doesn't seem that vengeful sort. He might hold the masses of the world in disdain, but we don't actually see him interact with those masses in any capacity in the show. The 'whole of the world' is locked out of Ohtori, so whether or not he dislikes the sorts of person who would be throwing the swords of hate, he doesn't see them. He does, however, hang out with 'princesses.' By Kanae's admission, he 'treats her well', even if he's not around all the time. He certainly didn't do anything un-toward with Wakaba, who was the 'Onion Princess.' I get the impression he feels a genuine sort of fondness towards people who still believe in their own fairytales. Hence why he would give Utena the option of being a princess.

Even in his 'manipulations' with the Duelists, is he behaving *that* much differently than he would as Dios? Instead of acting as an agent of fairy tales, he's acting as an agent of truth, but it seems that the end result of the trials he puts everyone through leaves the Duelists in better shape than they would have been before. They end the show with fewer of the derangments and complexes they showed at the beginning. Might it even be that while he's behaving as a villain, he's still acting in everyone's better interests?


~ diru

Don't talk shit. One does not hear about Abraxas by accident.

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#9 | Back to Top12-14-2011 07:13:51 PM

Overlord Morgus
Ruthless Deflorist
Registered: 02-22-2011
Posts: 310

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

That might have been simply a result of Utena's sacrifice, that's how these things work. Then again, this might have happened with previous generations of duelists, he doesn't seem to monitor them as closely as he thinks after the tournaments.

Last edited by Overlord Morgus (12-14-2011 07:14:34 PM)

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#10 | Back to Top12-14-2011 08:15:54 PM

crystalwren
Dark Whisperer
From: Brisbane
Registered: 04-21-2009
Posts: 1172
Website

Re: Does Akio want revenge on Earth's princesses?

dirufacade wrote:

[ By Kanae's admission, he 'treats her well'

Er...maybe at first, but after her Black Rose duel, one of her last scenes after that (if not THE last- haven't seen the Akio arc in a while) Akio is seen torturing her. Utena tries to enter the planaterium but Anthy stops her, saying that Akio and his fiancée are together and would like privacy. We're then treated to a glimpse of what Akio and Kanae are up too: Kanae is completely limp, face slack, with blank, dead eyes, as Akio coos at her and offers her some apple. The scene then cuts to the apple itself: it is skewered with a dozen forks. If that isn't a metaphor for torture, than I am Queen Marie Anoinette. He may not be physically torturing her but it's obvious that she is completely and utterly psychologically destroyed.

I get the impression he feels a genuine sort of fondness towards people who still believe in their own fairytales. Hence why he would give Utena the option of being a princess.

I strongly disagree with this. Utena wants to be a prince because as well as nobility and honour, it offers her a chance to help and rescue others. It's the source of her power. Trying to put Utena in the princess role is a violation and destruction of her ideals and ambitions. It's a brutal attempt at controlling her.

He certainly didn't do anything un-toward with Wakaba, who was the 'Onion Princess.'

Well, for starters it would be utterly counter to his plans. If he became involved with Wakaba and Utena had found out, it'd be the complete destruction of his plans. He might have been able to work around it eventually, but it's a huge spanner in the works. It'd take a long time for Utena to work her way up to her final duel. While Utena is eventually convinced to ignore the presence of Kanae and embark on an affair with Akio, she would NOT have been able to ignore Wakaba. Kanae is a distant upper class man; Wakaba is probably the only other person, aside from Anthy, that Utena truly loves. Utena would have found out eventually; she may be blind in some ways, but Akio would be a hell of a lot more difficult to stash in a dorm room than Saionji is. Also, Wakaba is honest enough to think that she should let Utena know that she's dating Anthy's brother. Even if she attempted to hide it she would feel considerable angst and guilt about it. Saionji isn't connected to Utena in any way that Wakaba can see, aside from a mutual dislike. Eventually, Utena would catch on that something is wrong with Wakaba. And it would take a hell of a lot to make it right. Utena refused to so much as draw a sword against Wakaba during her duel. She sure as hell isn't going to allow anything that would hurt or interfere with Wakaba. And she'd probably have a lot clearer idea of what Akio is if he'd been preying on Wakaba instead of her. It's often easier to see things from a distance than they are up close.

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