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Anime News Network asked Gio & Yasha to write an article about Utena, Empty Movement, and they totally called us superfans, omg. Think of it as a belated Valentine's to Utena, its fandom, and the excellent friendships we've made along the way. 20 Years of Utena Fandom with the Ultimate Superfans!!!

#1 | Back to Top12-24-2011 05:47:15 AM

The Second Penguin
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 12-16-2011
Posts: 14

Sanetoshi

The main Penguindrum thread has me thinking about Sanetoshi, but I don't want to hide everything with white text. Here's the quote that got me started heading down the rabbit hole of everyone's favorite ghost/librarian/wizard/doctor/rabbit/terrorist/curse-man:

Davine Lu Linvega wrote:

Another thing that really bugged me was the black rabbits -  they were basically 'accessories' for Sanetoshi but served no other purpose. I expected more from them after they were built up to be part of the Takakuras' punishment during the Goddess myth scene - like maybe they would possess people and compel them to attack the characters or something. But they just followed Sanetoshi around spouting the same lines every time they appeared, and they were completely forgotten by the ending. What did they even symbolize except to create a parallel between Sanetoshi and Momoka, both split into two halves? And Momoka's other half, the hat that went to Mario, also had very little impact on the story.]

The black rabbit twins aren't accessories, they are Sanetoshi. They didn't exist until Momoka split him in half to stop the first subway bombing. I'm drawing this primarily from the scene at the start of episode 23 where Momoka turns into hats.

Why's this interesting?

1. What do the rabbit twins do? They tell pink-haired ghost/curse Sanetoshi how smart he is. The self-praise is a good show of his vanity and cockiness. However...
2. They're also a cover for his own status as a useless person who never amounted to anything.

During the ending credits of episode 23, the rabbit twins are pushing terrorists around on a subway map with long sticks like they're pawns in a game. Pink-haired Sanetoshi is giving his speech about how people have to break out of their boxes, smash corrupt society, and watch the world burn. But the rabbit twins -- his "true form" -- are talking about how they're  going to make a fuss because they were ignored by society/stuffed in the child broiler.

It's nothing new for the criminal mastermind's big secret to be mind-warping childhood trauma. However, I think it's interesting that pink-haired Sanetoshi never acknowledges this element of his past. He's tricked by his own lies.

I'm making this distinction because I've seen a lot of theories situating Momoka as altruism/hope and Sanetoshi as hate/nihilism. However, these theories ignore the social system that had that effect on him. Since Penguin Drum is a commentary on contemporary Japanese family life (if the word of Ikuhara can be trusted), falling on a flat dichotomy makes me nervous.

All that said, I was also looking forward to seeing the rabbit twins bust out some creepy powers. Instead, they're the frightened children who were just given a gun (curse Sanetoshi) and the addresses of all the bullies who ever done them wrong.

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#2 | Back to Top12-24-2011 09:12:57 AM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6337
Website

Re: Sanetoshi

One thing I feel that we do need to watch out for is us creating the "good guy/bad guy" dichotomy that we tend to make when we read a story.

I remembered reading someone's post about Murakami (or someone else) expressing his thoughts on the Aum sarin gas attack, a lot of things turned into the "us vs. them" mentality.

One of the members of the Kiga corp, upon hearing Masako's plea to turn themselves in, said, "They'll never understand us!" The division of us/them happens not just within the Kiga corp, but perhaps the victims of the attack as well. We don't want to have anything to do with these horrible people who did such a thing because there's no way we would ever commit such a crime.

Yet it seems that that's how "villains" are made.

Interestingly, when the princess declared that the world is now ruled by the Dark Bunnies, throughout the first half of the series, everyone's going about doing selfish things. Our pivotal character, Ringo, was using her sister's diary to fulfill her own selfish desire to force together a fabricated happiness. This selfishness led to her loss of the diary, and allowed for Sanetoshi to attack the world full force.

I don't think the diary was necessarily a red herring. It probably does have some kind of magic to it, and ripping it in half probably weakened its effect on the seal on Sanetoshi.

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#3 | Back to Top12-24-2011 11:02:22 AM

Paradox
Winning Love By Daylight
From: Indianapolis, IN
Registered: 07-13-2007
Posts: 343

Re: Sanetoshi

Hiraku wrote:

One thing I feel that we do need to watch out for is us creating the "good guy/bad guy" dichotomy that we tend to make when we read a story.

I remembered reading someone's post about Murakami (or someone else) expressing his thoughts on the Aum sarin gas attack, a lot of things turned into the "us vs. them" mentality.

This!  The story wants to make it clear how dangerous "they" are.  Not "they" as a group of people, but "they" as a concept that divides us.  Rich vs poor,  revolutionary vs establishment, red vs blue, us vs them.  They are different.  They don't think like we do.  They are to blame.  It is alright to threat them poorly, they're not like us.

Sanetoshi was consumed by these divisions and grew to hate the world that he no longer felt a part of.  Kanba was his true protege and perhaps the purest form of this dissociation.  There was no grand moral message behind his destruction, just a simple division between his family and the rest of the world.  He cared about one and if the other had to burn to save it, then so be it.

You can blame it on class, economics, politics, religion, but for whatever reason, it's the dissociation itself that is dangerous.  The loss of brotherhood and empathy with other people and with the world as a whole.  It allows us to dehumanize one another, to convince ourselves that we are so morally superior that it is alright to treat others poorly.  We see it in Al-Qaeda and other religious extremists, who think it's okay to ignore their own religious teachings of peace and compassion, as long as you're only hurting them.  We see it in a debate audience cheering the idea of people dying without insurance.  They probably did something to deserve it, after all.  We see a child in China dying in the street.  No one wants to take the risk of sticking their neck out for one of them.  We see it all around us.  How many people do we pass every day but never really see?  Nothing but white and gray cutouts.  Do we think of them as real people, or just part of the scenery?  Apathy is evil for beginners.  It lets acts of kindness go undone, it avoids creating those critical connections that bind us together, it drives us apart from the them that is the rest of the world and seals us in a little box of our own creation.

Momoka gets it.  Everyone deserves compassion.  Every child deserves to feel loved.  The daughter of the crazed artist.  The boy who destroyed his own hands.  Even the children of terrorists.

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#4 | Back to Top12-24-2011 11:23:27 AM

Notebook Darling
Black Rosarian
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 12-21-2008
Posts: 372
Website

Re: Sanetoshi

The Second Penguin wrote:

1. What do the rabbit twins do? They tell pink-haired ghost/curse Sanetoshi how smart he is. The self-praise is a good show of his vanity and cockiness. However...

DFKSDJFSDF - So is that why Princess of the Crystal / Hat!Himari is telling the boys they don't amount to anything.
The hats are the opposites of the rabbits.

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#5 | Back to Top12-24-2011 11:41:41 AM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6337
Website

Re: Sanetoshi

Notebook Darling wrote:

The Second Penguin wrote:

1. What do the rabbit twins do? They tell pink-haired ghost/curse Sanetoshi how smart he is. The self-praise is a good show of his vanity and cockiness. However...

DFKSDJFSDF - So is that why Princess of the Crystal / Hat!Himari is telling the boys they don't amount to anything.
The hats are the opposites of the rabbits.

Self-praise risks stagnation. Telling the boys that they are shit would motivate them to keep looking for the Penguindrum.

For the longest time, when Sanetoshi was around to tell them, "Ehhhh... the medicine will cure your sister." Kanba and Shouma (especially Kanba) gave up on looking for Penguindrum because they thought they've found an easier solution to save their sister, and told the princess that they don't need her anymore.

But in the end, it turned out to be a cruel joke. They should've followed through instead of wasting precious times relying on the easy way out of their problems.

In spite of the princess giving them crap, when Kanba needed a real answer from her on whether or not he can save Himari, you know that her words can be trusted.

Last edited by Hiraku (12-24-2011 11:44:22 AM)

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#6 | Back to Top12-25-2011 03:20:02 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8617
Website

Re: Sanetoshi

IIRC, the 'you who will never amount to anything' thing is used both by Momoka and Sanetoshi (Momoka is obvious, but I recall Sanetoshi describing the 'boxed children' that way.) I took it be as much calling them by something they believe of themselves and shouldn't as an accusation or declaration. It's certainly a motivator from Momoka, but Sanetoshi believes it (as it's the fate of these children) and Momoka almost uses it flippantly, daring them to prove otherwise, but in doing so believing that they will.

I took him literally when he said he's a curse, or a ghost. It's definitely that he embodies that 'us vs. them' mentality, and he's the curse that that creates in the lives of people who think that way. He sees himself as an inescapable destiny because he thinks people can only truly think that way, and will always surrender to his curse in the end. Of course, no one in the story does, and I'm still unsure whether it's that he chooses to stay at the station where fate transferred or if he follows by staying, so to speak, thinking he can just start over with a new set of rose crests and-oops


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#7 | Back to Top12-31-2011 09:41:47 PM

Frau Eva
Voodoo Queen
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 802

Re: Sanetoshi

Haha, I wasn't the only one drawing parallels between Sanetoshi and SKU. I actually first compared him to Mikage in my mind, but that was partially because Momoka struck me as having a lot of parallels to Utena. A pink-haired girl is meant to change the world(according to Yuri and Keiju) but instead ended up changing the lives of only a few individual people, and to do that she had to leave this world. Sanetoshi is fascinated by Momoka because, as he says, she's just like him but has rejected him. He is a scientific type whose original goal was to save people, but instead thought that destruction would better serve his ends. He was a doctor, after all, which leads me to believe that he originally had good intentions. I'm not a big enough tool to suggest that these are at all the same character, but I as definitely struck by the parallels.

Sanetoshi's hubris is something that makes a lot of sense to me. It reminds me of a lot of people who shoot a lot of people in an effort to call attention to themselves or be remembered. Some may say they did it to draw attention to their particular cause, but that's such a weak excuse. You could slog away for whatever your cause is day in and day out and do much more for it, but no one would give a shit. You could heal hundreds of people, teach thousands, and never get even close to the amount of recognition as some asshole who blew up a building.

I want to start quoting Marilyn Manson's album from around the time the Columbine Shootings happened and what they say about the nature of celebrity and public death as spectacle, but I won't. emot-tongue

It's people's fear of dying unremembered that drives it, and you can "do" a lot more if you're destroying rather than creating. It takes countless hours, money, people, and time to feed, clothe, care for, and educate one person--and one man with a bullet destroys all of it. Sanetoshi started out wanting to do something to be remembered, and first that led him to becoming a doctor and a researcher. But like anything else, it's just your job. Nothing can match up the image of a mythic revolutionary leader. And he assumes there's always going to be someone who wants to be remembered more than they want to help people--like him. People that will do literally anything to escape being turned into nothing.

I'm glad someone already pointed out that cult members and similar organizations are definitely built up of intelligent, often thoughtful people who were caught off-guard at a vulnerable moment. Cults tend to pick up people who need some sort of sense of community, whether they've just moved to a new town or always felt like an outsider. And giving that person love and acceptance, your fruit of fate, is what it really takes to bring them back. We can see this really well with Al Quaeda, who tend to take the unaccepted and disaffected and promise them brotherhood--they're often seen in many Muslim countries sort of the way we consider gangs and gang activity. And the most effective interrogation method to these men who have been hardened by their own supposed brethren, and led to expect the worst of tortures? Talking to them. Asking about their kids, showing them pictures of your kids. Talking about soccer, about food, about anything. You make them realize that we're basically just people, not the monsters they've been led to believe. That's the only reason we ever do something so awful to people--because we've justified in our minds that they're not people.


Hat Mafia Member

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#8 | Back to Top01-01-2012 04:25:29 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8617
Website

Re: Sanetoshi

Frau Eva wrote:

Haha, I wasn't the only one drawing parallels between Sanetoshi and SKU. I actually first compared him to Mikage in my mind, but that was partially because Momoka struck me as having a lot of parallels to Utena. A pink-haired girl is meant to change the world(according to Yuri and Keiju) but instead ended up changing the lives of only a few individual people, and to do that she had to leave this world. Sanetoshi is fascinated by Momoka because, as he says, she's just like him but has rejected him. He is a scientific type whose original goal was to save people, but instead thought that destruction would better serve his ends. He was a doctor, after all, which leads me to believe that he originally had good intentions. I'm not a big enough tool to suggest that these are at all the same character, but I as definitely struck by the parallels.

It's definitely the same in illustrating how intelligence and rationale fail in defining a perspective on life and the world around you. True, nothing brings people together like huge collapsing buildings and the terrifying aftermath, but is that the best way to achieve a long term result? Probably not. Sanetoshi and Mikage (on different scales, though) both offer disaffected people a solution that 'makes sense', even if it really doesn't properly work. The Black Rose Society is also a cult of sorts, after all.

It seems to be a theme for Ikuhara to explore and illustrate the way that being unaccepted or made an outsider, either by imagined influences, real ones, or even just by the things internal to that person, leads people down paths they wouldn't ordinarily take, seeking to self-medicate. It's kind of like going to a doctor because you perceive he's a professional, and not questioning the pills he gives you. Figures like Sanetoshi and Mikage use their intelligence to assert a position of authority so that their actions aren't questioned. Members of Aum managed to experience rational acceptance of bombing subway trains because they so utterly trusted their leader's judgment. Sure, it sounds terrible to them, but that's just because they don't understand his higher thinking.

I think a lot of the unusually intelligent and thoughtful people that find themselves in these cults end up there because they want to have a higher authority. I know that sounds like I'm playing the dom/sub card, but the more intelligent you are, and the more you think about things, the more appealing it gets for some to want to have an authority they don't have to question. Intelligence doesn't necessarily make a leader out of someone, and a smart follower will still want someone to follow. He'll just expect that authority and that sense of belonging to a group with higher awareness, instead of settling for the current popular musician or whatever. You're definitely right that the best way to deal with these people is to humanize everyone involved, but it almost never gets approached that way. emot-frown

By the way, by all means drag Manson into this. A lot of that CD would be creepy apt, and if people are paying attention, there's major AMV material there. school-eng101

I wonder though, what happens to Mikage after he's released from the school. We never do know, but we get to draw the parallel to Akio in how Sanetoshi ends. Neither of them appear to have learned anything, and will continue in their hubris to believe what they will. Maybe Mikage fares better? Or would it be worse? What happens to someone like that when they realize they were wrong?


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#9 | Back to Top01-01-2012 04:41:51 PM

SeizonSenryaku
Architectonitechnician
From: Italy
Registered: 11-17-2011
Posts: 64

Re: Sanetoshi

Frau Eva wrote:

Haha, I wasn't the only one drawing parallels between Sanetoshi and SKU. I actually first compared him to Mikage in my mind, but that was partially because Momoka struck me as having a lot of parallels to Utena. A pink-haired girl is meant to change the world(according to Yuri and Keiju) but instead ended up changing the lives of only a few individual people, and to do that she had to leave this world. Sanetoshi is fascinated by Momoka because, as he says, she's just like him but has rejected him. He is a scientific type whose original goal was to save people, but instead thought that destruction would better serve his ends. He was a doctor, after all, which leads me to believe that he originally had good intentions. I'm not a big enough tool to suggest that these are at all the same character, but I as definitely struck by the parallels.

Sanetoshi's hubris is something that makes a lot of sense to me. It reminds me of a lot of people who shoot a lot of people in an effort to call attention to themselves or be remembered. Some may say they did it to draw attention to their particular cause, but that's such a weak excuse. You could slog away for whatever your cause is day in and day out and do much more for it, but no one would give a shit. You could heal hundreds of people, teach thousands, and never get even close to the amount of recognition as some asshole who blew up a building.

I want to start quoting Marilyn Manson's album from around the time the Columbine Shootings happened and what they say about the nature of celebrity and public death as spectacle, but I won't. emot-tongue

It's people's fear of dying unremembered that drives it, and you can "do" a lot more if you're destroying rather than creating. It takes countless hours, money, people, and time to feed, clothe, care for, and educate one person--and one man with a bullet destroys all of it. Sanetoshi started out wanting to do something to be remembered, and first that led him to becoming a doctor and a researcher. But like anything else, it's just your job. Nothing can match up the image of a mythic revolutionary leader. And he assumes there's always going to be someone who wants to be remembered more than they want to help people--like him. People that will do literally anything to escape being turned into nothing.

I'm glad someone already pointed out that cult members and similar organizations are definitely built up of intelligent, often thoughtful people who were caught off-guard at a vulnerable moment. Cults tend to pick up people who need some sort of sense of community, whether they've just moved to a new town or always felt like an outsider. And giving that person love and acceptance, your fruit of fate, is what it really takes to bring them back. We can see this really well with Al Quaeda, who tend to take the unaccepted and disaffected and promise them brotherhood--they're often seen in many Muslim countries sort of the way we consider gangs and gang activity. And the most effective interrogation method to these men who have been hardened by their own supposed brethren, and led to expect the worst of tortures? Talking to them. Asking about their kids, showing them pictures of your kids. Talking about soccer, about food, about anything. You make them realize that we're basically just people, not the monsters they've been led to believe. That's the only reason we ever do something so awful to people--because we've justified in our minds that they're not people.

I thank you for have posted this comment, especially the LAST PART.

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#10 | Back to Top01-20-2012 12:47:46 PM

Yams
Eternal Eschatologist
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 936

Re: Sanetoshi

Notebook Darling wrote:

The Second Penguin wrote:

1. What do the rabbit twins do? They tell pink-haired ghost/curse Sanetoshi how smart he is. The self-praise is a good show of his vanity and cockiness. However...

DFKSDJFSDF - So is that why Princess of the Crystal / Hat!Himari is telling the boys they don't amount to anything.
The hats are the opposites of the rabbits.

Everything makes sense now. O_O


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#11 | Back to Top01-22-2012 04:25:30 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8617
Website

Re: Sanetoshi

IT DOES.

So what you need is a hat and a bunny. That way you turn out rather normal.

Maybe Sanetoshi wanted the hat for himself because he was tired of being praised all the time and thought a little verbal abuse would be kinky new fun. etc-wankdude


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#12 | Back to Top02-06-2012 09:04:46 PM

Ayu Ohseki
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 12-13-2011
Posts: 12

Re: Sanetoshi

HOORAY SANETOSHI THREAD. I wanted to like this guy more than I did, but he was too damn mysterious for his own good; his way of thinking was too opaque for me to really grok, though reading through the 30-page MPD thread helped me a lot with that.

I do agree that, if we're going to compare Sanetoshi to any Utena characters, that he'd be a cross between Mikage and Akio--personally, I think more like Mikage than Akio, however much his ending may go, both from appearance to general temperament. I actually had a friend who thought that, based on Sanetoshi's appearance in the OP, that he was a woman, something that... I also thought until he actually showed up. However, I think that Sanetoshi triangulates between Mikage and Akio rather than being a clone of one or the other. All three characters have a "nice" face and an "asshole" face, but Mikage and Akio tend to maintain the former only for as long as necessary, then drop it. But Sanetoshi always smiles (or close to it), whether he's got an audience he needs to deceive or not. There's only one moment in the entire show when he actually expresses an emotion other than "disaffected and mildly amused." The parallels between him and Sakakibashi I thought brought a lot of light to his character, but I found it really interesting that Sanetoshi talks so much about how people are all in their boxes and how he left his own box and will force everyone else to leave their boxes too--but if we think of "boxing in" as "not showing how you really feel and thus not connecting with others," then the one who's the most boxed in of all is him. He probably has lived his entire life never getting this, which is probably why, as someone else noted, Sanetoshi never actually acknowledges the bad feelings that the Dark Bunnies express.

...which actually reminds me of something: in episode 17, when Himari leaves the hospital, she tells Ringo that she's OK because she got permission from the doctor to leave. Yet the Bunnies tell the brothers that she disappeared and they don't know where she went. This makes perfect sense, because Sanetoshi, lying to the Takakuras--not exactly outside the realm of imagination. But later on, when Ringo hasn't managed to return to the hospital yet, the Bunnies remark that she's a naughty girl for staying out so late and that such girls ought to be punished, which takes place just before Tabuki takes Ringo and Himari on a ride on his elevator (awww yeahhh etc-wankdude). It makes me wonder what Sanetoshi himself thought of Himari leaving, if his "true" selves are not too keen on it even when there's no Takakuras to pose for. We never actually see him give Himari permission to leave, but at the same time, I don't think Himari would have lied to Ringo about that. Any thoughts on this?

Also, the point someone made about the spells that Momoka and Sanetoshi cast on each other splitting them into things that the caster had in mind was a really interesting point too, since I used to wonder what about them was all penguin-y/rabbit-y; the idea that it's something that the other forced upon them makes much more sense.

Last edited by Ayu Ohseki (02-06-2012 09:06:52 PM)


"My brother's partner would have to be ‬attractive in face and figure,‭ ‬good at all sports,‭ ‬excellent in her studies,‭ ‬quick-witted, pretty‬ and pure of heart... luxurious and gorgeous, smooth sailing, auspicious for all occasions, born of the Pure Land, a beauty fated to die young, scandalous max, and vexatiously mysterious, at the very least!" --Kiryuu Nanami

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#13 | Back to Top12-05-2012 10:31:46 AM

Nastia
New Student
From: Hole in the Sky Library
Registered: 12-05-2012
Posts: 5

Re: Sanetoshi

Oh, this thread is quite old. However...

During the ending credits of episode 23, the rabbit twins are pushing terrorists around on a subway map with long sticks like they're pawns in a game. Pink-haired Sanetoshi is giving his speech about how people have to break out of their boxes, smash corrupt society, and watch the world burn. But the rabbit twins -- his "true form" -- are talking about how they're  going to make a fuss because they were ignored by society/stuffed in the child broiler.

Interesting emot-biggrin, I just remember how in  Chu...'s dialogue scene, the twin bunnies are fighting. When Sanetoshi says: "Your love won't come into fruition" they are crying that they don't want to hear it. Them Souya is trying to kiss Shirase, but he refuses. If the twins represent Sanetoshi's true feeling, is he having an internal struggle? emot-confused

Deleted: "Kisses are perishable."

Isn't it electrifying?... emot-wink

Note: Google Chrome identifies freeimagehosting dot com, which was used to host the image here, as a malware distributor.  Until such time as that website resolves its issues, images using that host will be removed on sight. --satyreyes

Last edited by satyreyes (12-18-2012 10:28:31 AM)


Le seul moyen d'affronter un monde sans liberté est de devenir si absolument libre qu'on fasse de sa propre existence un acte de révolte.
ALBERT CAMUS

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#14 | Back to Top03-21-2013 02:12:20 PM

foxxybox
New Student
Registered: 01-20-2012
Posts: 6

Re: Sanetoshi

Whew, I've been away too long emot-gonk Life happens, I guess~

As for Sanetoshi, I really see some strong parallels with Akio. Both tend to manipulate the main characters during emotionally vulnerable moments (Sanetoshi using Masako to illustrate a point for Kanba, Akio using practically everyone). There's also the fact that they are essentially the "fallen, all knowing quasi-villains" of the story. Sanetoshi was presumably once a good man with decent intentions, in a position to save others (doctor); Akio likewise was once a symbol of good that came to the rescue of fair maidens (prince). Both were corrupted by disillusionment (Sanetoshi with society, Akio with society), and "fell" and took on an antagonistic role. They are both very knowledgeable of the inner workings of their world, as well as the mental and emotional inner workings of their fellow castmates (which aids in their manipulation). Both utilize forces that are, in essence, ghosts (the Takakura family, Mikage).

There is also the fact that they have a mysterious supposed opposite, that is also as godlike in their knowledge of the world's rules. Momoka and Anthy are similar characters in that they influence the plot and have far greater power than at first suggested, and in turn deepily influence the motivations of their counterpart (Momoka's rejection spurs Sanetoshi evermore into his downward spiral, and her power is also his undoing in the end -or is it?-), (Anthy, at first seemingly docile and complacent, is later revealed to be part of Akio's descent into his current state, and her eventual acceptance of Utena's sacrifice causes her to leave him, perhaps preventing him from acheiving his goal). Both seemingly reject the affections of their counterpart, and "progress" while he stays behind, trapped by his own chains of disillusionment.

There really are endless ties between Utena and Penguindrum, which makes me squee with glee all the more. There's the Heroic Sacrifice that results in that character being wiped from memory, the motifs of cages and elevators, that iconic scene of something being pulled out of someone else's body... If Ikuhara ever retires, my soul might just fly off somewhere :_:


Utena: where the guys are girly, the girls are manly, and everyone's sleeping with their sibling...

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