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Hey I know you have opinions, put them in here! Translation suggestions for episodes 25-39, thanks all for your help!

ALSO!!! After the Revolution is now translated, scanlated, and ready for consumption! Thanks to everyone that's helped out! Ayu, you're awesome. Download here!

#1 | Back to Top04-30-2012 03:53:13 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
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[Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Edited on May 4, 2014 (updated to Part Twenty)
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2IeTi7UB-X4/T8WHhR79anI/AAAAAAAAAFo/ehRKqwDr5Pc/s1600/SKU_poster1_rs1.gif
Seinen Kakumei Utena:  It's a mature revolution this time around.
Left Column, from up to down: Saionji, Touga (yes, he got a "W" branded to his face now)
Middle Column: Anthy, Utena (post "process"; and yes, that's one of those swords right there)
Right Column, from up to down, left to right: Juri, Miki, Tsuwabuki
Another poster with K-taro, S-Taro, Tokiko and Mikage (all prominently featured in the story) coming up in the future.

Seinen Kakumei Utena , crossing with Penguindrum starting Part 2
Rating: T for mature (to some, sensitive) subject matters.
Timeline: 10 years post Revolution, few weeks post Fate Train Transfer
Notable "Mysteries" Covered: Nemuro Hall, Child Broiler, Million Swords, Fate Train, Shadow Girls, Invisible People
Summary (or rather, Excerpt): “The revolution succeeded; it crumbled afterwards only because those whose lives got revolutionized did not follow up on the revolutionary success,” said the Bride, her words setting their closed hearts aflame. “This time, will you help us help you?”


NEW!! Seinen Kakumei Utena - The Encyclopedia (Spoiler Text Intensive)
http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=3068
The fanfiction.net link is http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621/1/S … umei_Utena.
The LJ link is http://gorgeousshutin.livejournal.com/
The Archive Of Our Own link (thanks, crystalwren!) is http://archiveofourown.org/works/432468

WARNING: Parts of this work contain depictions of transphobia, controversial shoujo fantasy trans situation that in no way reflects real life trans people, and misogynic magic attack leading to forced masculinization.

Edited on May 4, 2014 (updated to Part Twenty)

Part One:  Flowers Adrift
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … utena.html

Part Two: The Fruits That Could Have Been
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html

Part Three: Prince, Interrupted - Prelude
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … en_16.html

Part Four: Prince, Interrupted – Main I
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … n-not.html

Part Five: Prince, Interrupted – Main II
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html

Part Six: Prince, Interrupted – Main III
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … en_20.html

Part Seven: Prince, Interrupted - Finale
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html

Part Eight: Missing Link I
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … en_30.html

Part Nine: Missing Link II
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html

Part Ten: Missing Link III
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html

Part Eleven: Victims of Fate I
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html

The Final Cut (prequel)
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2013/ … equel.html

Part Twelve: Victims of Fate II
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2013/ … einen.html

Part Thirteen: Victims of Fate III (BETA-ed by TheOnlyFlorence)
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2013/ … einen.html

Part Fourteen: Victims of Fate IV (BETA-ed by TheOnlyFlorence)
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2013/ … einen.html

Part Fifteen: Victims of Fate V (BETA-ed by TheOnlyFlorence)

Part Sixteen: Victims of Fate VI (BETA-ed by TheOnlyFlorence)

Brake Failure: Witch-Driven Princes Running Amok in the Night (BETA-ed by TheOnlyFlorence)
(Link: http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=3618) updated to Case I, Part B.

Part Twenty: Empty Movement II (BETA-ed by the wonderful TheOnlyFlorence)

Please C&C guys emot-wink

Un-formatted Part 1 here:

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and its characters belong to its various owners.

Part One: Flowers Adrift

“I don’t suppose you can count how many flowers are floating in there?” asked the petite stylist, her lushly manicured fingertips working non-stop as they undid the rollers from the model’s hair, sending thick, springy curls flouncing vibrantly about.

Without lifting her indulgent gaze, currently focused upon the slim thighs revealed underneath the stylist’s frill-adorned black skorts, the seated but still obviously glamazonian model pursed her red-painted lips. “Forty-nine thousand.”

“ . . . that exact?”

“I don’t have to count; the director’s assistant showed me the receipt when the bouquets arrived.”

They were steps above a rooftop patio, one that was rapidly turning into a shallow pool from a spraying hose.  Orange roses, cut from right underneath the sepal, drifted atop the water’s glassy surface, glowing under the glaring spotlights as they glided nimbly by the half-submerged furnishings.  The otherworldly setting was contrasted against the worldly downtown night view to eerie effects, and it was amidst such eeriness that the model-in-grooming was about to work her magic for the camera.

“While wooing you, of course.”  Having finished hairspray-ing the model’s now artfully-pinned curly updo – every orange curl contorted to resembled the roses in the pool – the stylist let out a mock-pained moan as she pulled the salon cape off of the model, revealing the crystal-studded couture gown draping over the latter’s curves like a sheen of glittering scales.   “Either way, you could’ve at least pretended to count with me.  Even after all these years, you still suck at being playfully romantic, Juri.”

“Not playful, no . . .” reaching back to pull her stylist’s maroon-haired head to herself in one suave, almost gallant motion, Arisugawa Juri purred huskily into the other woman’s shell-like ear, “but still plenty romantic enough to keep my little Shirori with me, I hope.”

“It’s unprofessional to flirt with the stylist right in front of the crew, Juri,” chided Takatsuki Shiori, even as she leaned into the bigger woman’s embrace with much familiarity.

They had been close since childhood, since back when closeness knew no deeper name other than friendship, and beauty held little meaning cause love, love was an icky notion to the children they were, something to giggle over for fun.  With adolescence came the hormonal boys, came their growing interests in the girls, and the cruel distinction between the attractive girls and the less attractive ones.  Cracks grew between stunning Juri and plain Shiori, resulting in much mind-games, much coldness, much hurting via faceless, irrelevant boys that perverted two close-knitted girls into bitter enemies.  And such enmity may well have followed the two into adulthood, if not for the series of  (in hindsight, highly fantastical) events in high school that led to both Juri’s secret love for Shiori and Shirori’s repressed obsession over Juri getting simultaneously exposed.  Then came the denial, the violent conflicts and wild heartbreaks; and when those had left them all burned out, the two were left mutually resigned to the fact that they were both way too into each other for them not to be together.  Thus together they stayed, through high school and college, up to where they were now here at this flowery scene: a model and a stylist, both currently working under the same modeling agency – the internationally renowned Aranjia.

“And speaking of being professional . . .” even as her delicate hand wandered about Juri’s supple form, Shiori’s flowing murmur started slowing into a more hesitant pace, “I’m feeling something that’s a little too budging on a supermodel of your calibre.  I think it’s time you start on this protein-fibre diet that Yuuko -” The hissing snort from Juri cut her off like the sound of a whipping foil – a sound she has since associated with their volatile youth on their fencing team back at Ohtori, the one she mustered up the courage to join after that highly fantastical event, the one Juri said was a -

“You and your obsession with being thin,” muttered her Juri of here and now, in a voice showing tints of the defensiveness that Shiori remembered so well from their old days.  “I think you’ve been hanging about Yuuko and Aiko a little too much around the pantry, trading your outrageous dieting tips and getting your views further and further warped-”   

“You know this is not about my views or how I want you to look,” hissed Shiori from underneath her breathe (they were surrounded by the crew after all), her hands since retracted from Juri’s now rigid body. “I don’t know what the clients are saying behind our backs, but the office boy has let slip that the bitches ruling the women’s department have been bitching about your figure during their meeting, said how you’ve upped two sizes since they first signed you on ten years ago, back when - ”

“Upping two sizes in ten year is bad?”

“Juri!” It took the young stylist all her control to keep her agitated voice whispery.  “You’re not doing dishwasher commercials: you model for couture brands and walk for major fashion weeks every season!   You’re not just competing against other models your age – though a good many of them are slimmer than you’ve ever been – you’re competing against girls as young as fourteen but all hitting six feet!  I mean, look at those!”  She gestured subtly towards the models’ dressing tent, illuminated from inside like some giant lantern, within which a trio of girlish, stick-thin silhouettes were seen undressing via stretchy, sinuous movements that made them appear even more elongated than they already were.   Juri arched a fine brow at their showy display.

“I see they’ve got some very nice stick insects to go with the flowers.”

Growing impatient with Juri’s counterproductive defensiveness, Shiori darkened her voice. “You studied fashion design, Juri - you know how clothes hang on budges.”

Appearing pensive (it had been a long time since Shiori had cut her with words), Juri stood up and away from Shiori.  Stepping languidly up towards the edge of the patio turned pool, she kicked nimbly at its cluttered surface, sending floating roses adrift to reveal mirror-smooth water, and her own image as reflected upon it.

She still was beautiful, of course: beautiful enough to turn heads on any street she walked, and get hit on by men at every function she attended.  But the hourglass figure of her teens – sculpted by the vigorous fencing sessions she had time/energy/money for back then – had since broadened in the middle; her face, once small and chiseled, had since gone rounded (although makeup by Shiori was already keeping it defined).  Decked in couture, she looked more award-show actress than high fashion model – the latter being her job.

Shiori had by now stepped up from behind, the reflection of her trim built seemingly breakable upon the rose-framed pool.  Juri closed her eyes.

“Maybe it’s about time for me to quit and start on that label we’ve been talking about for so long,” she finally said.  “God knows we have enough sketches between the two of us to fill at least two seasons.”

“But not the funds,” Shiori pointed out, prompting Juri to open her eyes again.  “I’ve done the calculations: even if we’d successfully pulled strings to have the models, the directors, and the marketing in place at rock-bottom rates, we still ain’t got enough to cover production, retails and other base costs.  You don’t want us to borrow excessively from banks and end up in debt, so that option’s out.”  There was a noticeable pause, before she spoke on at a more cautious pace.  “Now, if you could reconcile with your parents . . .” her words trailed off at Juri’s now frosty expression.

“We’re not asking for money from people who screwed us over and that’s final.”

Knowing Juri, and knowing the reason behind her stubborn grudge against the wealthy Arisugawas (who could’ve effortlessly funded their label beyond its first year), Shiori hung her head.  “Then it will take us at least another three years earning and saving at the current pace for us to even jumpstart our label, without considering how to keep it running beyond the quarter should stocks stall.”

Back straightening (and actually looking leaner for a moment), Juri’s expression regained some that pristine determination of her youth – the brilliance of which having once drove a younger, duller Shiori into the pits of self-pity. “We will just have to spend less in the coming months.  Try to save up enough to get our label launched within two seasons before our designs get too outdated -”

“We’ve already forced down spending to the bare min,” interjected Shiori, hating herself for having to dull Juri’s bright thunder with such tarnishing reality.  “All our social-wear are from your shows and shoots – some modified to fit me – and we’re still staying at that same unit we’ve been renting since college.  We don’t even have coffee outside unless while chatting with people in the industry.  And I know you’re making do on just fast food when working away from town, even though I told you to stick to the non-processed stuff regardless of price.” Price.  A word that had meant nothing to the Juri from ten years ago, back before her rift with her rich parents; a word that now had power enough over her as to be taboo. “Still, modeling in high-fashion, you earn much more than a second-rate stylist like me.”  What a difference money could make: that a glorious angel could be reduced to this weary showgirl without the conveniences, the pride provided by wealth. “I know how much you hate the idea of dieting, Juri, just like how you hate doing all these things other people had to do that you deem to be beneath you.”  How cruel it was of her to have launched those vicious attacks against Juri back in high school, to tarnish that golden, transient youth with such ugly memories – all because of her own unsightly pettiness.  “But we’ve both grown up now.”  Away from Ohtori, from the infuriating machinations but comforting dorms, their days were now filled with worries over trite matters, like rent and bills and taxes and future prospects. “We have no choice but to make compromises.”  Away from magical Ohtori, the machinations still were there – powered by worldly hands this time – keeping them bound as powerless cogs in their world. “Cause life isn’t going to miraculously get easier for us just because we believe it will – we’re in the real world now.”   A world that a born heiress like Juri should never have had to face, if not for getting dragged down by a commonplace bitch such as herself.

A hand clasped onto her stooped shoulder; Juri’s hand, big and strong for a woman but still so fine-boned, turning her around such that they faced each other again (when had she turned away?).  The much taller woman had that familiar indulgent look in her green eyes, the look that Shiori had (blind-sighted-ly) mistaken for pity in her twisted youth, the look that now warmed (yet also pained) her more than anything else in this world.

“Shiroi, I-”

“FIVE MINUTES TO TEST SHOOT!”

The blasting voice from the microphone cut off whatever Juri was about to say, as the submerged patio’s floor lights snapped on along with the overhead Fresnels aimed at the water, such that the many roses floating about now resembled clusters of vibrant flames engulfing the elegant patio furniture. The trio of skinny models had since exited their dressing tent, and had already stepped into the water.  Yet they remained shadow-croaked from where they strutted right in front of a glaring light source.   By their sleek silhouettes, Shiroi could only guessed that they might be wearing lingerie, along with large artificial wings crafted to resemble those of a butterfly, a cicada, and a hummingbird, respectively.  Already they were practicing their poses, contorting their thin, elongated bodies to dramatic, almost agonizing effects. 

Mind back in the present, Shiori quickly checked Juri’s hair and makeup for any potential flaws, before guiding Juri down the steps leading into the glamorized wetness.

“Watch your steps: you’d be walking on water on high heels,” cautioned Shiori, who herself wore water boots.

“And how much more difficult is this compared to everything else we’ve been through this past decade?” muttered Juri, stance assured as she stepped into the shallow pool via platform shoes so high, she actually looked like she was walking atop the shallow water in ripples of rose-coated waves.  Even though her steps appeared effortlessly graceful (thanks to her athletic coordination), Shiori (holding Juri’s hand like the makeshift servant girl she now was) could sense that tenseness in Juri invisible to the eye.   No doubt she was again dwelling on how damned difficult everything has been for them since leaving school and entering this too-real world, where the adult life that they once hoped would grant them the power of choice had turned into little more than animalistic survival. “To think I was the one who got you into all this . . .”

“Wasn’t it the other way around?” asked Shiori, voice low and somewhat timid.  “One of the reason I followed you into the fencing team was so I could have a chance at your locket while you were changing after practice.  I was the one who got hysterical after seeing my picture in it, shouting those awful things at you in the locker room that got those gossips going.  And then, having gotten dumped by some jock I was seeing then, I was the one who got drunk and went into your dorm room that very night.   After all the shouting and fighting that turned into . . . something else, everyone in the building knew by morning what we’ve done and what we’ve  . . . become.”  She was blushing furiously by then, from the shame and the remembered arousal: how Juri had conquered her senses with that strong, beautiful body; how that sheer passion had forced her to admit the base attraction she harbored beneath her jealous front.   “When words got to your parents, it was no wonder that they called up my mother, and-”

“They stopped being my parents the day they got you disowned by your mother,” stated Juri in that cold, resolute voice that allowed no argument.  “Mrs. Takatsuki loved you more than anything in this world.  If it wasn’t for those hypocrites calling her up and making those vulgar accusations, she’d never-”

“Mama’s choice of reaction was her own,” said Shiori, her voice dead even as she willed more life into it for Juri’s sake. “Her getting into that accident afterwards was also just . . . that.  There’s no need to blame other people for what happened,” no need to make her Juri feel even worse than she already did, “cause it won’t bring her back anyway.”

Juri held onto her anger (and Shiori knew it was for her sake). “They got us kicked out of Ohtori with their babbling.  We were sixteen, Shiori, and they left us with no relatives, no savings, and no permanent address.  We almost ended up on the streets!”

“But we didn’t,” soothed Shiori, her voice wistful with memories, “for you then signed the deal with Aranjia and started modeling professionally to keep us afloat.  I couldn’t have afforded college if not for you working then to support us both.”  A genuine, albeit bittersweet, smile curled her small lips.  “You had to drag out your studies because of your erratic work schedule, while I actually had the gall to switch majors at a time like that-”

“You had to switch because you got burned out from waiting tables at that damned pub!” Juri cut her off, sounding sorry and pained and so full of self-directed guilt.  “That was what messed up your studies.  I should’ve taken on more jobs back then.  You shouldn’t have had to work surrounded by those-”

“TWO MINUTES TO TEST SHOOT!” blasted the microphone, and Shiori found herself actually relieved by its grating sound.

“Just focus on the shoot for now.  Juri, remember what the director wanted: that you channel this ‘mermaid of material excess’, and glide by the pool with intense, yet inhuman wanting in your eyes of green-”

“Shiori,” persisted Juri, “I got you into this.”  This being the path of no return, a path away from the stable family, stable life that Shiori otherwise should have attained.  “I’ll do anything, even ridiculous things, to get you everything you want.”

“I followed you into this,” replied Shiori, large eyes reflecting the glittering lights from all around. “Because following you, I know everything I want, I’ll have.”  Knowing that Juri would want to kiss her now (and thus ruining her painstakingly applied makeup along with the shoot), she made light of the situation on purpose.  “Fitting that we’d be having this conversation in a pool of roses.”

Juri, who knew and understood what she was doing, went along with her and laughed lightly.  “You don’t see roses with quite this shade of orange every day.”  Thus the inane smalltalk began.

“Orange like your hair.  And aren’t their petals still pretty firm considering how long they’ve been soaking in water?”

“It’s some rare, hardy species they ordered through that new flower boutique down at the Phoenix Court Plaza.  The director insisted on something that can last even being cut and drowned.  I think he got what he wanted.”

“I know which one you’re talking about.  It’s the expensive-looking one that sells mostly roses, right?   We’ve passed by it a few times since it opened last month, and every time there were some suited gents inside buying something. I think the potted plants around the agency’s office are all from that place.  I remember it’s got some rather tacky French name . . . Château . . . Princière?”

“Château Princesse,” Juri squinted her eyes at the sign on a vehicle parked right beside the fantastical set.  “Their flower van is right there at the . . . corner . . .” 

Not yet noticing the strange manner by which Juri’s voice had died down, Shiori studied the glittery pink flower van, its design looking compact yet sturdy. “Oh, I didn’t notice that.  Château Princesse . . . wait.” Abruptly, she discovered a glaring peculiarity in what she saw. “Why is a van up here?  It’s the rooftop.”

Juri did not speak, but had clasped her hand in a tight, cool grip.  Shiori spoke on, her own voice starting to cool as well.

“It’s parked under a ray of . . . spotlight?  But where is the equipment?  There’s nothing above it but . . . the . . . sky . . .”  She felt Juri’s hand sweating – or was it her own hand sweat slicking Juri’s palm?  “And where had those skinny models gone?  I thought they were in the pool with us-”

“The plate,” Juri’s spoke up as though she did not hear a word of her fear-fueled babbling.  “Read the van’s plate.”  Shiori did.

And she saw.

“THIRTY SECONDS TO TEST SHOOT!”

Normally, Shiori the stylist would have stepped away from the set by now so Juri the model can start posing.  Not this time.  Shiori could not have let go of Juri even if she had wanted to: her entire body had since gone rigid.

The pink van bore a plate with the letters “MIKAGE”, headed by a black rose motif.

“Mikage, Mikage Souji; I must’ve forgotten this name for a lifetime,” said Juri, her voice uncharacteristically hollow, almost airy.  “I thought if I held onto my memories, they’d last beyond that time, beyond the ends of that world.  But this . . . this I’ve forgotten since way before-”

“Black rose,” Shiori’s own voice was as a whistle of the night wind, “your sword, my duel.  I went to his seminar, and he gave me the idea.”  Tears threatened to escape her wide eyes, as she realized how even in shock from dark memories returning, she still was blaming others for her own faults and inadequacies.  “I stole the sword in your heart so I could fight like you did, so I could have what I wanted.”   She still was excusing herself, even now, for hurting Juri, for being jealous.   “I fought against that handsome girl I always saw you with, the one with hair pink like Mikage’s, the one you told me had triggered the Revo-”

“Revolution.”  The word growled its way out from between Juri’s clenched teen like a bound beast breaking free.  Suddenly, she laughed, and Shiori could see Juri’s self-assuredness fast returning.   “I see now.”  Stance panther-fierce now, Juri manoeuvred herself between the ominous car and shell-shocked Shiori.  “Just like the old days.”

“J-Juri?” whimpered Shiori from behind her taut back.

“I heard and I forgot.  My sources at the time had told me rumors about Miki’s father, about who he was about to marry . . . to think that the enchantment could touch even grownups, even those outside the Academy.” As Juri spoke, Shiori gradually came to realize how she wasn’t speaking to her.   “So this is why life hasn’t been easy even away from Ohtori, because even though the views had changed, the one showing us the views had not.  Father and Mother . . . what miraculous treasures did that monster show them, that they would even go so far to crush their own daughter?  What was really behind that so-called accident that took Mrs. Takatsuki’s life?”

“Juri?”

“The crew of this shoot, the thin models, the people at the agency . . . by what strings did he puppeteer them into this elaborate set up?  Where had they gone?   Are they even real?  Or are they merely images, just like those baseball players showing up playing a game right in the middle of a Council meeting, or those shadows on the wall gossiping about Ruka’s death?”

“Juri?”  Shiori’s cold fingers were digging hard enough into the other woman’s bare shoulders to leave prints behind.  “Juri?”

“Shiori,” at last Juri addressed her, in a dramatic, resonating tone obviously meant for a third party yet unseen to hear, “I know now that life can never be easy for us in this world.  Nothing we do, no miracles we make, could ever change that, because this real world, just like Ohtori, is also his world.”  Eyes on the illuminated van, parked forty-five degrees against their point of view such that its plate and sign both were visible to them, “Isn’t that right, Himemiya?”

“TEST SHOOT BEGINS!” blasted the microphone (behind which no one was present), as the van started rotating as if on a moving stage, thus revealing the one Juri had been speaking to (no, more like against) all along. 

Out in the world away from Ohtori, Himemiya Anthy bore little resemblance to that dull, almost nerdy girl from Shiroi’s memory.  With her glasses gone and her startlingly rich tresses unbound, the dark-featured young woman looked the epitome of East Indian beauty; a beauty in full flower, Shiori suddenly realized, as the one in front of them had further blossomed as per the passing of years.  Without makeup, and dressed only in a loose scarlet tunic that would have made lesser women look inappropriately under-dressed, Himemiya instead appeared primitively exquisite – like an exotic wild flower, looking all the lovelier without the banal constrains of pots and fences and hothouses and gardens.  Out of a corner of her eye, Shiori saw Juri subconsciously raising a hand as if to touch her own foundation-coated face, before quickly forcing the hand back down.  Standing demurely upon crossed feet (like a model posing in this fashion shoot gone supernatural), Himemiya Anthy smiled at them, her expression benignly serene, and Shiori found herself and Juri both tensing up, for every expression they had seen on the malevolent Rose Bride of old looked just as benignly serene.  Undeterred by their rigid guardedness, the (divine? demonic?) apparition stepped up to the flooded patio on sandaled feet, and started walking towards them atop the floating flowers.

“Juri-sempai, Shiori-sempai, I meant neither of you harm,” said Anthy, even as Shiori cowered further behind Juri.  “You see, I came seeking your help.”

“You’re deranged if you think we’re going back to help that monster you call your brother,” Juri stood her ground.  “No matter what powers the Rose Bride might have, I know you cannot make people do anything they don’t want to, or you wouldn’t need resorting to manipulation every time back in Ohtori.”  Still moving steadily towards them, Anthy’s smile further sweetened with something akin to indulgence (or could it be veiled condescendence?).

“Making people do things they don’t want to goes quite against my nature.  It’s unlikely I’ll ever do anything of the sort nowadays, especially not for my brother; not with Utena being so disapproving of-”

“Utena is with you?” Juri almost barked out the question, right as Anthy stopped in front of her, smilingly unfazed.  “Since when?”

“Since the day I found her, of course,” answered Anthy, in the tone an educator reserved for educating the mentally handicapped.  Face twisted in rage, Juri raised a hand as if about to slap Anthy, before stopping herself as she probably remembered who she was up against.  Juri looked like she was about to speak, but Anthy beat her to it.  “I did not ‘hide’ Utena after Revolution, as you’ve so obviously been thinking, nor did my brother; nor did we make you or anyone else forget anything about the Victor who revolutionized your lives for the better – it’s something you’ve all been doing very well on your own.  Out of sight, out of mind, such is human nature.”

Juri’s cheek reddened as if struck.  “I didn’t . . .”

“You didn’t forget, Juri-sempai,” Anthy cut her off, her once-soft voice now showing steely sharpness.  “I was the one who had to forget against my will.  One of the aftereffects of the duel called Revolution was an enchantment meant to hinder my brother’s effort to search out the Victor and possibly enact retribution.  Every time he was to think about details that might lead him to Utena: her family name, her age, her background, even something as insipid as her hair color, pain akin to ones from hateful swords stabbing shall assail his head.  And should he even mention her to another, by word by writing or by any other means, his heart shall scorch as if burned by charcoal.   I, being linked to my brother by blood, was likewise affected, and the enchantment on me could not be undone until I was to meet with her in this outside world.”

“Then how did you manage to meet her?”  Shiori, who had been listening timidly all along, could not help but ask.   Anthy kept her increasingly cold eyes on an increasingly uncomfortable Juri.

“He, being loveless, dismissed Utena as a dropout from his world to avoid the enchantment’s wrath; I, being in love, persisted on searching.”  She paused to take a deep breath, as if even her now was emotional.  “It would be years later before I was to discover how Utena had merely been rushed to the neighboring town’s hospital right after Revolution; registered under her own name, even.  Had people on the Council – had anyone at all – bothered to look for her then, she would certainly be found; and I, with my senses attuned to each and every one of the Duelists, would have found her accordingly.  Why did you not look for her, Juri-sempai?”  That last question punctured Juri’s defenses like a sword thrust, and the taller woman actually doubled over slightly as if from pain.  “That game of squash right before the end, the joke about having her picture in your locket . . . had all that been but a mindless farce?  Had Tenjou Utena truly meant so little to you, to all of you?”

“Don’t blame Juri,” Shiori managed, sounding much weaker than she wanted to.  “She got caught up in a lot of things soon after the Revolution.”  Like their rocky relationship coming into fruition, then into light, then into the public scrutiny that robbed them of everything they had once took for granted . . . some good the Victor’s Revolution was to them.  But then she finally had Juri, for good; loving, loyal Juri, who was more valuable to her than any private school education any dream job in this world . . .

Anthy made no indication of having even heard her, focused as she was upon guilt-ridden Juri. “Unaware of my searching for her, Utena moved about out of . . . necessities.  It took me seven years before I finally did manage to meet her face to face.  And by that time, the damage had already been done.”

“The . . . damage?” asked Juri, voice brittle.

“No one exits my brother’s games unchanged,” stated Anthy, as she closed her eyes in apparent pain for one merciful moment.  Behind her, the pink surface of the Mikagemobile (as Shiori had come to label it/him) glinted darkly under the spotlight. “Utena now suffers from the kind of damage most in this world would consider irreversible.  It would take more than my power to have it completely undone.  Thus why I’ve come seeking your help.”  When those eyes opened anew, Shiori’s heart throbbed at realizing that she now had been included in her merciless gaze.  “Both of your help.”

“Hold!” protested Juri, regaining some of her fierce protectiveness.  “Shiori had nothing to do with this!  She barely even knew-”

“Shiori-sempai had been both duelist and bride in the games,” countered Anthy, and Juri was silenced like a radio turned off. “She has as much to do with this as you and the rest of the Student Council – all of whom had readily agreed to give aid to Utena.”  Shiori saw Juri visibly wilting at those words, and something inside her – something that drew strength from her petty, shady nature – bubbled through her fear and to the surface.

“Maybe you should get your brother to help Utena too, Anthy-san” she heard herself saying, darkly, even. “He was the one responsible for using you to hurt everyone of us, her included.  And he has power, if that’s what you’re after.”

Instead of being offended, Anthy actually appeared impressed by Shiori daring to make a pointed jab, as her lips now curled in a semi-approving smirk. “I haven’t yet clarify my request – I am seeking everyone’s help in seizing my brother’s vast power and have it redirected towards reversing the damage on Utena.”

Shiori and Juri both were stunned by her words.  “And what will become of the Chairman after we’ve taken his power away?”

“By logic he would cease being,” answered Anthy as if in reply to a common math problem.  They could detect neither hesitation nor lingering attachment from her nonchalant voice.

“You’re asking us to kill your brother to help Utena,” stated Juri.  Anthy, who by now had retreated back to beside the Mikagemobile without either of them noticing when (maybe she never had come forward to begin with), deepened her smile.

“The power we take from him will help more than just Utena, but others as well,” she ran a delicate dark hand caressingly against the van’s pink, glossy surface, “including you two.”

As if on cue, LED billboards shot up to flank all sides of the rooftop, their bright screens displaying a multitude of images: a slimmed-down Juri posing as a top brand’s exclusive model, Shiori’s lushly painted face advertising her own makeup line, the label Juri & Shiori looking resplendent with its haute couture license, Juri and Shiori at a fashion award gala, being clamored by the media, Juri and Shiori at their wedding, being accepted and blessed by all . . . 

“You’re offering as prize the miracles we want,” murmured Shiori, scared yet also somewhat wistful.  “Again.”

“What damage is Utena suffering from, that you need to bait us Ohtori-style here in this world?” asked Juri, cautious even in face of the vast temptations on display.  Anthy pursed her peach-colored lips pensively.

“I can take you both to her so you may see for yourself,” she offered, her voice kind and reasonable.  “But once you see her, there will be no backing out – you will be duty-bound to help her.”

“Can your trap be any more obvious?”  muttered Juri, but her stance now clearly lacked in resistance.  Shiori hesitated but for a moment, before raising her manicured hand like a schoolgirl in class.

“Count us in.”

Juri turned to her baffled. “Shiori!”

“We can’t refuse, Juri, not when she’s offering us the future we’ve been working towards for all these years,” stated Shiori, calmly resigned now.  “And I know you want to see and help Tenjou Utena, while I have no qualms about killing the Chairman for what he did to us.”

“Shiori . . .”

“Your old, special friends have all agreed to help, so we might as well too.  I should consider myself honored to be included.”

“You won’t regret coming along.”  Beaming, Anthy produced an electric car key (one with a black rose motif visible even at a distance), opened Mikagemobile’s door, got in, and started its now purring engine.  “Utena is so looking forward to seeing you both, and Chida-san makes the best rose tea for her guests.”

Juri arched a fine brow.  Shiori blinked.   

“Chida-san?”

A flash of metallic, pink movement their eyes cannot follow, and the two women abruptly found themselves already seated at what must be the surprisingly, sterilely neat back area of the Mikagemobile flower van, from where Anthy could be seen at the driver’s seat driving.  The van’s clear-glass windows showed flashes of light-dotted darkness moving too quick for the eyes to follow, much like how the view had been like in Akio’s red convertible, back when he was speeding them towards the ends of their worlds.

“She’s our landlady,” replied Anthy, “the one who lent him to me.  Though I still drive him around now and then, she’s really the one to keep him from rusting – his rightful driver.”  By now, Shiori could see her almost playfully enigmatic smile from the rear-view mirror.  “Much like how Juri is yours.”

Before either Shiori or Juri could ask her to elaborate on that worryingly puzzlingly statement, the car accelerated impossibly past what should’ve been the top speed for any land vehicle.  Light, bright as what the core of the Sun, speared through the windows, engulfing their senses and burning off what tenuous hold they still had on reality.   Amidst all that, Shiori thought she could hear Anthy’s voice, sounding impossibly steady against the suffocating high speed, against this overwhelmingly fantastical circumstance.

“We’re riding towards eternity, towards shining things, towards the power of miracles that which you both sought, and now is seeking again.  Do not look away; open your eyes to the power of revolution – to the Light of the World.”

Shiori looked, then cried along with Juri for one agonizingly joyful moment, before neither seeing nor hearing anything anymore as her many limited senses shut down on her all at once.

End Part One

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (04-14-2015 01:27:30 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#2 | Back to Top04-30-2012 07:25:38 PM

Chrome Homura
Poor Saionji :(
From: Oregon, USA
Registered: 06-07-2010
Posts: 516

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

YES.

Please, don't ever leave us.


"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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#3 | Back to Top04-30-2012 07:27:35 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Thanks Chrome!


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#4 | Back to Top04-30-2012 07:39:23 PM

Chrome Homura
Poor Saionji :(
From: Oregon, USA
Registered: 06-07-2010
Posts: 516

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

No problem. In case my above fan-shout isn't clear enough, I adore your writing and strongly encourage you to continue. I have a great feeling about this work, and hope that you succeed in creating a masterpiece... be sure to pierce the heavens while you're at it :p


"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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#5 | Back to Top05-02-2012 02:07:02 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

At last I managed to dodge some ads and signed up at fanfiction.net, so hopefully I'd get this fic up there by the weekend and net more c&c.

I've also been put on a waiting list on Archive of Our Own, and there were like 5000+ people ahead of me who wanted an account there . . . emot-aaa


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#6 | Back to Top05-02-2012 07:59:07 PM

Raven Nightshade
Someday Shiner
From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
Posts: 2914

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Just posting to say I liked your fic, and I'm excited for Chapter 2.

As for places to post them, there aren't many. FF.net and LiveJournal are basically it. This site and this forum are really where all the action is as far as the fandom's concerned. I suppose you could make a Tumblr and post it there, too. You could try MediaMiner, but they've gone downhill a bit since its heyday 10 years ago.


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight.

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#7 | Back to Top05-02-2012 09:00:02 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Thank you for the encouragement and the advice, Raven!   Is working on part 2 right now emot-wink

P.S.  I was originally gonna cross the fic with Mawaru Penguindrum only at the very end, but will likely push it up to chapter2.  I wonder if I should put a link to the fic in the Penguindrum forum?

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-03-2012 01:06:24 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#8 | Back to Top05-04-2012 04:24:00 AM

Chrome Homura
Poor Saionji :(
From: Oregon, USA
Registered: 06-07-2010
Posts: 516

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Forgive me if my opinion seems out of line, but... I'm not too sure I like the sound of a Penguindrum crossover. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I have anything against Ikuhara's newest piece of work... but something about the idea of crossing it with Utena just sets off warning signs in my head. I guess, if I had to say... I'm afraid the two just won't mesh properly. If it's just cameo appearances it probably won't hurt anything, but adding a whole extra set of characters to the cast/incorporating a whole extra set of plot elements... I'm just not sure. I have high hopes for this fic, and I'd just hate to see it ruined, so...

Well, this is merely one opinion. I promise not to hate you forever if you do it anyway, but... I must admit, I'm crossing my fingers. >__>;;


"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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#9 | Back to Top05-04-2012 10:02:17 AM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Hi Chrome:

Please, don't feel awkward giving opinions about my fic - C&C are the only things that can keep me writing fanfics instead of originals, actually.
I love that stuff, so fire away emot-dance

I can totally see where your concern comes from.  I myself know from experience that a bad crossover will make characters from either one or both series look like mary sues and self-inserts; on top of OC problems, OP (off plot) could occur too.

That being said, there really are too many near similar elements from both shows that I simply cannot resist mixing them a little (while hoping it won't blow up in my face, of course).

If it can make you feel a bit more reassured with the coming parts, I'll spoiler things a bit here: only certain "numbers" from MP are gonna show up in part 2, with a certain fruit being briefly mentioned - all these will have plot relevance, I swear!

p.s. I've already received a number of emails asking me to continue the fic (no comments on the blog site though, for some reason) , so Part 2 should be coming out some time this weekend cool


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#10 | Back to Top05-04-2012 11:24:35 AM

Raven Nightshade
Someday Shiner
From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
Posts: 2914

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

gorgeousshutin wrote:

P.S.  I was originally gonna cross the fic with Mawaru Penguindrum only at the very end, but will likely push it up to chapter2.  I wonder if I should put a link to the fic in the Penguindrum forum?

That's not really necessary because I don't think there's anyone here who's solely visiting the Mawaru Penguindrum sub-forum and not reading the other ones. emot-keke


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight.

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#11 | Back to Top05-07-2012 07:39:01 AM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Sorry guys, part 2 was slightly delayed due to unexpected work throughout weekend.  However, part 1 is now up on fanfiction.net after much delay due to my confusion with the rating system.

The link as below
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621/1/S … umei_Utena

My blogspot still is the place that updates the quickest though.

Part 2 should be up in a few days.  Expect strong language by way of a certain "wild animal" Ohtori ex-student showing up in the story emot-wink


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#12 | Back to Top05-07-2012 07:35:35 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part 2 is FINALLY up!!!

Part Two: The Fruits That Could Have Been 
http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … einen.html

Hope you guys think it's worth the wait!

P.S. I've just joined The Ohtori Seminar on livejournal pitching this fic.  Being the complete livejournal novice that I am, I'm crossing my fingers that I don't screw up my first post there . . .

P.P.S. I've just gotten a tumblr account at http://gorgeousshutin.tumblr.com/  I'm sure I'm doing a whole bunch of stuff wrong (since I can't get a page title nor any reblog buttons showing on my posts emot-gonk), but hopefully this can at least serve to introduce the fic to Utena fans on tumblr (hoping they will just magically come across the tumblr page and see the fic links~) .

Un-formatted version here

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and its characters belong to its various owners.

Part Two: The Fruits That Could Have Been


There was nothing beyond her sleep.  She was sleeping the sleep of the drained, the voided.  Asleep without dreams, she slumbered in the darkness after too much light, the light said to be-

“. . . I’ve told her, again and again!  I’ve told her not to involve everyone like this!  How is this any different from what he was doing? But she-”

“We’ve all come willingly to help you; we’re the only ones who can.”

Two voices, one high without being feminine, the other low and decidedly masculine, cut through the blankness of her mind, and revived in her thought possesses and memories that had lied dormant till now.  Mind working anew, she began waking amidst the loudening sounds of talking.

“I don’t need help!  I’m fine the way I’ve become, and nobody in my new life knows!  I-”

“Are you running away?”

“ . . . just don’t worry about me anymore!”

There were sounds of china breaking, of bodies slamming against wooden floor, of struggling, before a near-silence – broken but by strained breaths – ensued.  The lower-pitched voice was the first she heard speaking again.

“Are you running away?”

“ . . . I don’t want them to think they need to feel sorry for me.  Can’t you understand? I don’t want them to be dis-”

“They’ll never be disgusted with you; not you.  They’ll only be disgusted with me.”

“ . . . don’t say that.”

“Whatever you want to hear, keep you head high.  Did you not promise her that the two of you are to shine together in this time and place, ten years after Revolution?”

Eyes snapping open, she jolted up standing in a defensive stance – one that had been ingrained into her through the many years of fencing training from her childhood and youth – and quickly accessed her surroundings.

She was alone in a modern Victorian-style bedroom suite, one that remained decidedly feminine in spite of its sparse furnishings.  Cut roses, petals pristine as the pristine walls, could be seen scattered about the desk, the window stool, and parts of what she could see through the opened bathroom door in artful disarray; it took her still-hazy vision a moment to realize how they were all subtly lacquered.  Curiously, she poked at a rose with her soul sword, and found its supple petals to be crisp as eggshells . . .

“… what the hell?” exclaimed Arisugawa Juri, voice ending in a shout.  It was indeed the blade of her spirit held in her hand, the very one Shiori had once pulled from her chest while possessed by the black rose signet, the very one Ruka had -

“Shiori?” she called out while looking frantically around the rose scattered room. “Shiori!”

A flash of light from a corner of her vision sent her whirling towards the source.  It was the full-length mirror on the bedroom door, reflecting the morning sun beyond the window, along with that of her own image: curls loosened, face bare, body clad in a housedress one could sleep comfortably in.  Juri was certain she could not have looked any more ridiculous wielding her renaissance-style soul sword while in this getup.
 
“Juri!”

With that blessed sweet sound, the mirror-door flew open as her Shiori – cleaned up and in house wear just like she was – rushed in and practically dived into her arms like a frantic bird.  “You’re okay!  You’re okay!”

“Shiori,” Juri had to control her own breath to hopefully maintain her assured bearing (if she was to display even hints of uncertainty at this moment, fragile Shiori will break). “We’re both okay.” 

Nodding frantically at her words, Shiori wiped the sweat and teas off her eyes.  “When I woke up, I was already in some bedroom wearing these clothes.  I heard you calling me, and I-”.  She suddenly noticed the sword in her hand.  “Juri, is that-”

“My soul sword.”  Juri’s studied the physical manifestation of her character strength with pensive eyes.  “I don’t even know how it came out.”

Looking somewhat wistful, Shiori clasped her small hand over hers, fingertips touching the sword’s handle.  “It must have something to do with our very unusual ride on Himemiya-san’s van.”  A crease appeared between her brows.  “Did she know that strange light would knock us out?  Why did she show it to us in the first place?  She called that van ‘him’ . . . and Mikage’s name was on the plate, along with a black rose motif.  She then said this Chida-san is ‘his’ rightful driver, and that you’re mine.”

Juri snorted.  “That last past has to be awkward phrasing on her-”

A startled gasp from Shiori cut off her unfinished statement.  Glancing down, Juri did a double take as she saw her soul sword shrinking rapidly within her grasp.  In no time at all, it had become something small enough to fit on her upturned palm – an electric car key reminiscent of the one Anthy had used on the Mikage flower van, except the rose motif is maroon-colored instead of black.   They studied the transformed item in awe.

“This is . . .”

“Chu!”

Both turned towards the still open door to see the agelessly small Chu-Chu waving cutely at them from where he perched upon Himemiya Anthy’s shoulder.  Anthy, now looking very domesticated with her hair pinned up (albeit in a less rigid style than that of her Ohtori days) while wearing a large apron over her nondescript housedress, offered the two a sagely smile.

“A sword, a hat, an apple – a soul by any other expression still is the same soul,” she said.  “It’s now a car key because that’s what will be needed for upcoming events.”

“What kind of upcoming events?” asked Juri, again standing guardedly in front of Shiori to face the dark woman, whose eyes narrowed as her smile deepen.  “There were also a whole bunch of question you’ve left unanswered even now.  If you do want our help, you should-”

“We’ll be talking about this over our breakfast meeting,” she said.  “The other Duelists have gathered and are already down at the dinning room.”  Shiori looked like she wanted to say something, but Anthy spoke first.  “The clothes and accessories you wore yesterday are clean and in the laundry room.  If you deem your current wear to not be sufficient for seeing old acquaintances, Chida-san has prepared new clothing for you both here in these closets.  I’ll let you two get decent.”  She then left closing the door behind her.

It was only afterwards that Juri realized how neither they nor Himemiya had greeted each other good morning.

“I was going to ask her who changed and cleaned us, or if she used some magical witch power to transform us, or something.”  Looking disconcerted, Shiori walked up to the closet and started sliding its door open.  “Himemiya sounded so certain we’re going to change into what Chida-san has bought for . . . oh . . .”

Juri took a look in the closet’s contents herself, and had to forcibly suppress the whistle that she was about to sound. Whatever kind of person this Chida person was, whatever Anthy was plotting, she was not going to refuse Euro high-end casual wear just there for their taking.

A few minutes later, the two were elegantly dressed and already making their way down the ivory-toned spiral staircase, where each downward step brought them closer to the noises coming from the dinning room.   Already she could pick out Nanami’s voice, shrill and impatient just like all those years ago; Saionji’s voice had turned even craggier than before, albeit the tone was more controlled and civil; there was some young man’s voice whom she though she should recognize, but could not; then Miki’s voice, now sounding huskily sultry . . . wait, that was Kozue . . .

“ . . . appreciate everyone’s patience.  Yes, this meeting is taking place here at my house, but Himemiya-san is the one with the full plans.  It really is better to wait for her to come down before we commence . . .”

They were walking up to the high arc doorway (one framed by delicate tendrils of thorny, lacquered rose vines) leading into the dinning room, towards the speaker with the cultured, lady-like voice.  From her angle, Juri saw a woman who could best be described as “gamine personified”: small face, long neck, and a body delicate enough to carry a vintage-chic slim-fit suit dress.  Yet, in spite of her elegant beauty (so luminous under the natural daylight), there was something sinister about her presence.   Maybe it was an overtly antiquated quality, like she was an old Hollywood screen siren on film, or a post-war pin-up girl in print – the glamour and charm remained with the image captured, but not . . . the musing got cut short as the woman had since turned towards them, smiling a gracious hostess’ smile. 

“Arisugawa-san, Takatsuki-san,” she walked up to meet them at the doorway, extending a delicate hand towards them both.   “Chida Tokiko, a friend of Himemiya Anthy and Tenjou Utena.  Pleased to make your acquaintance.”  They exchanged handshakes, during which Juri quickly glanced past Chida Tokiko and at the occupants of the dinning room. 

Indeed most of the old gang was present.  On impulse, Juri studied the girls first, comparing their physicality to Shiori’s and even her own.   There was Kiryuu Nanami, tackily groomed like a generic blonde on daytime TV; Kaoru Kozue, enticing albeit a little too goth in the eye-liner; even Shinohara Wakaba was here, fresh-faced even as a young woman . . . with her old acquaintances in the background, and Tokiko right in front, Juri abruptly came to realize what was off about the woman: her entire person lacked vitality.  While her features were indeed more beautiful than that of all three girls combined, and her manner more refined, Chida Tokiko simply lacked the vibrant freshness of a living young woman.  She was just like any of those lacquered roses around the house: eternally stunning when uncontested by live plants, but ashen in comparison to even a fresh-picked leaf.

As if reading her thoughts, Tokiko’s smile gained a playfully self-depreciating edge.  “I see you’re every bit as sharp as your friends say you are, Arisugawa-san,””

Not quite friends, thought Juri, but her focus remained on the peculiar entity she currently faced.  “Chida-san . . .”

“When I was young, I labored to keep flowers in eternal bloom.” Eyes downcast, Tokiko gestured at the vases full of preserved flora decorating every corner of the place.  “Now that I’m old, I mourn forever the fruits that could have been, but never were.”

Strangely, Juri felt no fear towards Tokiko.  Rather, something about what she said roused deep empathy in Juri’s chest; and she knew she was not alone, with Shiori holding back a choking sob from beside them.  Still, there were questions that needed to be asked (for this woman might pose danger to them still).  “So are you like Himemiya?  Is that why you two are friends?”

“Arisugawa-san,” Tokiko’s melancholy lifted, so apparently amused as she was by the questions asked. “Himemiya Anthy is more than what human words can adequately convey, while I’m merely a preserved woman of my own making.”  A tender expression came upon her face, one that almost managed to liven up her person.  “As for why I call her a friend now, it’s because she gave me something I thought was lost to me forever.” 

“M-Mikage . . .”

Following Shiori’s shakily raised finger, Juri inhaled sharply at seeing an enlarged black and white photo hanging above the wall of the dinning room.   It showed a shorthaired Tokiko seated beside a freckled boy waif in what appeared to be the inside of a greenhouse.  Behind them stood a fine-featured, bespectacled man with shoulder-length hair – Mikage Souji, looking a few years older than how she remembered him back in Ohtori.  The texture and resolution of the image, along with the date scribbled at its corner, indicated that the photo was over three decades old.

“I knew him as Professor Nemuro,” Tokiko spoke on, wistfully.  “To many, he was a robotic scientist who turned into a monster.   To me, he was simply-”

A car’s horn, sharp and urgent, sounded from the general direction of what should have been the garage.  At the sound, Tokiko’s eyes widened like that of a mother hearing her child crying in the other room; all the still-life woodenness was lifted from her features in that unexpected moment, and she looked vibrantly human then.

“Please excuse me,” the woman quickly bowed even as she was hurrying off towards the source of the sound, leaving Juri and Shiori behind with their old schoolmates, all of whom tight-lipped as uncomfortable silence ensued.

Under their collective gazes, Juri too found herself at a loss of words.  Since leaving Ohtori with Shiori, she had had no contact with any of the Duelists, nor had she heard much about any of them since.  For there was, amidst the vigorous struggles that became daily routines, an unspoken consensus between them not to dwell on the past or its people – the future they want, and only that, was important enough to occupy their hectic thoughts.  Those assembled here were obviously not strangers to her, but they might as well have been considering how none of them had anything to do with her life for the past decade.  They were friends that could have been, but never were – the hardest group for anyone to break ice with, more so in her case. 

“Sempai,” Kaoru Miki, the closest to her in the old days, was the first to open his mouth, “Nemuro was the name of the Memorial Hall.  It’s the place holding the seminars that became a ruin overnight, the one that we all forgot about!”  An androgynous slip of a young man now, he spoke to her as though time never had passed, and they still were as familiar with each other as was at Ohtori.

“The place where Mikage-sempai – or maybe his real name is Nemuro – stabbed those black roses in our hearts and drove us to try and hurt Utena-sempai and kill the Rose Bride,” Tsuwabuki Mitsuru, now matured into a copper-haired preppy, followed Miki’s lead, setting the tone for a less awkward reunion.

“Whatever his real name, he has to be generations older than us,” stated Saionji Kyouichi, a solidly handsome man now wearing his long locks in a tight braid.  “And, he was already an adult in that vintage pic.  There was no way he should’ve been able to pass himself as a schoolboy when we were at Ohtori, but he did.”   

“Chida-san herself looks to be about our age even today,” Wakaba frowned lightly as she pinched her lower-lip.  “Could the Chairman have turned them into undying zombies with his demonic powers, like in those horror flicks?”

“Why, I’ve yet to see a flick where zombies can turn into cars,” chuckled Kozue, somewhat too wildly, “I mean, have you seen that pink van he became?  Every bit as square as he ever was.”  Steadying herself, she then faced Juri and Shiori more properly.  “But where are our manners?  It’s the distinguished Juri-sempai, whom we haven’t seen for ten years!  Let’s show our ladies’ lady some looooove!”  And she was already out of her seat and leaping straight at the bigger woman amidst Shiori’s startled scream.

“KOZUE!”

The roar impacted Kozue like a gunshot, freezing her less than a feet away from the stunned Juri before she was to slump to the floor, slacked.  It took Juri a moment before she realized that Miki was the one to have generated that harsh sound.

“Miki-kun . . .”

“I’m sorry, Juri-sempai,” muttered the agitated young man as he rushed forward to try dragging his twin up and off the floor.  “I thought I had cleared her of all recreational substances before we came here last night.  She must’ve managed to slip something past me to get high with after all.”  He then whispered to his sister, now clawing at the floor as if under demonic possession.  “Kozue, get up on your own feet please!  You’re embarrassing yourself-” A vicious claw swipe to his face cut his sentence short.

“Fuck you!”  Kozue snarled up at her brother like a wild animal cornered.  “You never fucking cared about what kinda shit I got into on my own!  It’s only when your elite friends are watching that I become an embarrassment to you!   You fucking hypocrite closet case fag!  You think I don’t know what you’ve been up to with that chicken-hawk family lawyer?  Telling the court I’m unfit to manage my share of the inheritance . . . you money gulping cocksuck!  You would’ve kicked me out already, but daddy had my name and only my name on the property, so there!”

Face twisted from savage rage as Juri had never seen on him, Miki pulled back his hand as if to strike the now hysterical Kozue.  To her continued shock, it was Saionji who stepped up and sleekly grabbed onto Miki’s slim wrist.

“Miki, if beating your sister up will get her to kick the habit, I’d beat her for you,” said the much bigger man, as Miki started to tremble at what he almost did in front of everyone.  “But it won’t.  I know addicts: beatings will only drive her even further down the addicted path.  And I know you; you’d only end up hurting yourself even worse than you’d ever hurt her.”  Letting go of Miki, Saionji picked up his now subdued twin like she weighted nothing to him, and sat her back down on her chair.  Kozue remained glassy-eyed throughout her being moved about.

Juri, for her part, moved hesitantly up to the young man she once knew.  “Miki . . . ”

Teary face scrunched up, Miki cried with the despair of a boy at the end of his world.   “She won’t quit, sempai, not after having been hooked on the stuff for ten years.  Father actually knew about this back when he was alive, but he bribed the school to turn a blind eye to Kozue’s habit.  Since then, she’s been spending money like water just to keep shooting up.  And now that our parents had both passed away, I’m the only one who takes care of her, and I don’t even how to go on-” Juri had since drew her old friend into her embrace, hushing him and patting his heaving back in a manner so familiar, she startled herself.

“Shhh, Miki, it’s alright now . . . let’s get back to the table.  We’re about to have a breakfast meeting, right?  Let’s all eat first, then worry about stuff later.” She ushered Miki towards the long dinning table, with Shiori following from right beside her.

“Words of wisdom from the plus-size model,” muttered Nanami, idly toying with her chopsticks.  While not herself offended, Juri noticed the pointed glare Shiori was directing at the blonde, and kicked her lover’s heel lightly as they got themselves seated.   Shiori composed herself, and turned pensive.

“Ten years ago . . . that was around the time when we got kicked out of Ohtori, Juri.”

Juri nodded grimly, still gently patting a shaky Miki on his back.  “The period immediately following Revolution, when we had to quickly put the whole thing behind us, because our lives abruptly got swarmed by problems.”  Her voice went heavy with regret.  “We did not went after Utena, because she took a backseat to our own survival.”  She glanced all around at the rest of the group.   “Was it like this for everyone else?  I’m asking because if we all got saddled with problems that kept us from finding Utena at the same time, then we can be certain that Ohtori Akio was the one who disrupted our lives, again, to prevent us from finding the Victor.”

Wakaba was the first to answer her.  “I wasn’t having any special problems at the time; just that my Dad got transferred overseas, and our whole family moved with him out of the country.  I did wrote back to Tatsuya asking him if he heard anything about Utena’s whereabouts, but after a few month even we stopped writing each other and drifted apart.  I would have completely put my Ohtori days behind me by now, if not for Anthy approaching me asking me to come help Utena.  She’s offering to give me whatever I name as prize, but I’d come regardless since this is Utena-sama!”  She ended her words with a cutesy beam – one that Juri felt was a little too exuberant even for her.   

“But for Akio-san to have caused something like that, he needed to have at least partial control of an international company’s overseas branch.” Tsuwabuki scratched his chin, obviously trying to look older and wiser but failing (albeit cutely).  “Is it even possible for a high school Acting Chairman to have this kind of far-reaching influence?”

“Is it still too early for your brain in the morning?”  Nanami snapped at her former errand boy, who cowered like the child he once was.  “The thing that calls himself the Ends of the World is not even human!  His influence might reach every corner of the globe for all we know!”

Tsuwabuki rubbed the back of his head self-consciously.  “Umm . . . anyway, I forgot about Utena-sempai pretty soon after she was gone.  I mean, nobody even told me much about the Revolution, and I guessed I just stop thinking about it on my own.  I was just some brat then.”  He shrugged helplessly.  “Oh, and I came here with Miki-sempai and Kozue-sempai, cause Himemiya-sempai said she’d help . . . us get through our problems if we help her.”  Beside him, the Kaoru twins remained unmoving as woodcrafts as they stared down into their empty plates in silence.  Watching them from across the table, Saionji let out a heavy, punctuated sighed.

“I suppose it’s our turn to provide convenient exposition.”  He glanced sideways at Nanami – the one seated beside him.  “What’d you say?  Can I tell them?”  Nanami, who had been defensively antagonistic for all this time, bit down on her lower lip and nodded grudgingly.  Saionji turned back towards the rest of them.  “I don’t know if you guys remember, but Touga always did have the tendency to breakdown emotionally when things get rough.”  He received blank looks from everyone (except Nanami).  “Oh C’mon, since we all remember Mikage now, some of you should remember how Touga was skipping school and hiding in his room for like the entire time we got hounded by the Black Rose Duelists – all just because he got defeated dueling Tenjou.”

Juri frowned.  Now that Saionji mentioned it, she did recall something like that: Touga going catatonic after using all the dirty tricks up his sleeve and still getting defeated by Utena, Nanami’s subsequent role as Proxy-President of the Student Council in support of her Onii-sama, and the entire deal forgotten along with all memories related to the Black Rose Duelists – until now.  In hindsight, it was cold of her and Miki to just let the elder Kiryuu rot in his room without caring; while not friends, they were acquaintances after all, and cunning as he was, Touga was really only a seventeen year old boy who could be (and was in fact) badly hurt.  Apathetic; that was how all the Student Council members really were, be they coolly rational as herself, or sweet mannered as Miki.  Was that why none of them could defeat a swordplay novice like Utena during the duels?  Because what mattered upon the arena in the sky was neither skill nor power, but the character and the heart?  Utena, the Victor to the very end, was the only one among them with the capacity to care about other people . . . 

Was apathy the reason why none of them had gone after Utena immediately after the Revolution?  There were days, weeks even, between Utena’s disappearance and her own expulsion from Ohtori; had she gone after the Victor using the intelligence network she still had before her own downfall, could she have changed history for the better?  Could she have then saved Utena, saved Shiori and herself, saved everyone?

“Anyway,” Saionji went on, “the Kiryuus and myself did indeed find our lives in turmoil soon after Revolution – about a week or so after you girls got kicked out.  I won’t go into details of what had happened, but believe me it was bad.  Touga . . . he got damaged the worst, and hasn’t really been the same since.”  Something about the way Saionji use the word “damaged” reminded Juri of how Anthy had described Utena's current situation.  But before she could prompt Saionji to elaborate further on Touga’s plight, Tsuwabuki had eagerly cut in.

“Touga-sempai was skipping school a lot that year.  Nanami-sama was unhappy all the time, but she wouldn’t tell me what was wrong no matter how I asked her.”  He gulped at seeing Nanami’s baleful glare.  “T-that’s about the time when we drifted apart, and Miki-sempai had been my closest older friend since.”

“All three of us left Ohtori right after the school year ended,” Saionji’s lids were closed as if weary.  “Like with Arisugawa and Takatsuki, everyone from Ohtori took a backseat to our problems as we struggled to stay afloat.”

“Stay afloat?” blinked Wakaba, confused. “But you were all special kids coming from old money-”       

“We were kids,” Nanami spat out the last word with much agitation.  “It took a long, uphill battle before we got the money that should’ve been ours in the first place.  And by that time, Onii-sama was already-”

“Kyu!”

Turning at the sound, everyone did a double take at seeing what appeared to be two apron-wearing blue penguins carrying a long sashimi boat through the high arc doorway.  Setting it clumsily down the long dinning table (with Shiori and Tsuwabuki quickly helping to avoid a spill-over), the penguins then bowed servant-like at them, before turning to leave upon webbed feet.   Juri noticed the numbers “2” and “3” being written on the two creatures’ respective backs as they exited the doorway.

Kozue broke out into giggles.  “Raw fish served by penguins for breakfast, now that’s living in style.”

Tsuwabuki tentatively picked up a slice of tuna toro via the “public” chopsticks, tried it on his own plate, and “ooh-ed”.  “Wow, this is really fresh and sweet!”

“Don’t touch the fugu,” warned Nanami, poking suspiciously at the colorful, lushly arranged sashimi pieces.  “The penguins might’ve been the ones to cut the fishes for all we know.”

“Well, if those penguins are good enough chefs to make these intricate floral formations with the puffer fish, I gather they’re good enough to avoid cutting the liver.”  Mouth full, Saionji picked up a label off the boat-platter, and swallowed before he read off it.  “Licensed Usuki non-toxic fugu: safe to consume.”  At his words, multiple pairs of chopsticks shot forward to pick off the pieces like ravenous bird beaks.

“The animal accomplices just prove it,” flitted Shiori, nervously picking up a slice of farmed salmon herself.  “Chida-san really is like Himemiya-san, whatever that is.”

Bride.  Witch.  Flower blossoming at the Ends of the World.  Back in the day, there had been scattered pieces of rumors floating around Ohtori regarding Himemiya Anthy, and Juri herself had utilized her eyes and eyes trying to dig deeper into the girl’s background; but none of the information she got could really define what the Rose Bride really was, at least not by rational understanding. 

“And that . . . car, is that really Mikage?”

Shiori seemed to be worrying endlessly over the human/car issue, and Juri (who got handed salmon roe seaweed salad by her weight-conscious lover) could not say she blamed her, not after the overwhelming car ride into the Light of the World, not after seeing the soul sword turning into a car key . . .

“Those women said it is,” the word “women” came out of Nanami’s still chewing mouth laced with distaste.  “Uttered some gibberish about how he could only function as a mechanical being after getting ‘graduated’ by Akio.”

“Anthy basically said it was some guilt/shame combo that made Mikage unable to function in the real world as a human being.” Saionji clucked his teeth.  “Akio apparently screwed the poor guy over real bad.”

“Chida-san said Mikage can still appear as an autistic human, and had asked us not to get scared should we see him around this house,” supplied Miki while helping his shaky-fingered, high-strung twin fill her dish.  “I haven’t seen it . . . him yet, though, so I don’t really know the extend of the damage.”

There was the word again.  Damage.  This time, Juri decided to speak up before the direction of the conversation was to stray off again.

“Has anyone seen Utena?” she asked. “From what Himemiya told us, she too is suffering from some kind of damage.”

“Anthy said Utena will be joining us this morning,” said Wakaba between mouthfuls of onion-wrapped urchins.  “We’re still waiting for them.”

“Truth be told I was also looking forward to seeing what became of Tenjou,” said Saionji between sips of his rose green tea.  “She really was the best among us, in spite of her sheer stupidity.  No wonder she can draw people towards her like fire draws moths.”  Juri could taste very diluted levels of bitterness in his tone directed at Utena, even in this here and now.

“Pardon me, but where is Kiryuu-sempai?” asked Shiori.  “It sounds to me like he should be here.”

“They told us Onii-sama is here, that’s how they got us to come,” snarled Nanami while struggling to pry the meat off an oyster she picked.

“Oh?”

“Touga went  missing a while ago,” explained Saionji.  “Himemiya approached us saying she had found him, and that he had chosen to stay with Tenjou and help.”

“But help with what?” Nanami tore the oyster’s flesh apart with much violence.  “We’ve been here since the middle of the night and I still haven’t been allowed to see my Onii-sama, let alone Utena. Those women are acting all secretive; why can’t they just give us some straight answers?  I mean they obviously need our help-”

“We do need and appreciate your help, Nanami-san; pardon us if we made you feel otherwise.”

All turned towards Anthy’s voice.  The apron wearing (former?) Rose Bride was standing beyond the high arch doorway with a food service cart carrying miso soup, desserts, and more green tea.  While her left hand was on the cart’s handle, her right hand was pulled to the side – it was clasped onto a slightly bigger, much paler hand belonging to someone off view from the dinning room’s occupants.   As if only now noticing how her companion was hiding off to the side, Anthy tugged at the hand.

“Come on out,” she said to that person; gently, pleadingly.  “There is no need to feel awkward around them.  These are all old friends who know and understand you; they are here to help, Utena.”

Everyone waited with bated breath as Utena was slowly but surely dragged out by the latter’s deceptively delicate-looking hand and into plain sight.

What followed was a moment of utter, eternal-seeming silence, before it was shattered by Nanami’s and Wakaba’s high-pitched screaming.  Juri thought she heard Kozue’s strained moaning, but was not entirely sure as her focus stayed mainly upon Miki and his fleeing the room with a hand to his mouth (with Tsuwabuki quickly following him).  Shiori and Saionji both managed to remain silent, but the stunned looks on their faces might prove even more hurtful than any sound they could have made; Juri dreaded to know what kind of expression she herself was currently betrayed by.

Tenjou Utena, the Victor of the Duels, the one who liberated their troubled youth, whom they had not seen since, now stood before them looking big-shouldered, thick-necked, flat-chested, broad-waisted, and hipless in unisex casual wear; the long pink hair was now cropped into a pageboy cut, framing a handsome face that sported a small goatee.

The girl who wanted to be a prince had now become a man.


End Part Two

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-25-2012 07:33:42 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#13 | Back to Top05-08-2012 10:53:38 PM

Katzenklavier
Wondrous Sexual Eggplant.
From: Back of your thoughts.
Registered: 09-13-2008
Posts: 1120

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Ooooh, I adore it! You do such a great job of converting the dynamic between Juri and Shiori to a more realistic setting. It's interesting to see how some of the (at least superficial) glory of the Student Council Treasurer has faded outside the bubble, while her jealous stalker is relatively more grounded and practical. I LOVE how you characterize post-series Anthy. She has the same eerie otherworldly qualities, but now they're mixed with a deeper sort of maturity and strength. It's also pretty refreshing to see a depiction of Tokiko - you do a good job of making her a little faded, but still very appealing.

I also blew my lungs out laughing at a tweaked up Kozue.


We must go forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.

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#14 | Back to Top05-08-2012 11:33:38 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Thanks Katzenklavier! cool

It's interesting to see how some of the (at least superficial) glory of the Student Council Treasurer has faded outside the bubble, while her jealous stalker is relatively more grounded and practical.

I've always thought the the canon Shiori is at once a homophobe and a closet case (in Mikage's elevator, she was shown to at first be happy (dare I say aroused?) that Juri is attracted to her prior to throwing that hissy fit).  I find it completely plausible that once she gets intimate with Juri for real, she'd be forced to shred the jealous facade and face the real reason she's so fixated on her and only her.  In my story, these two got abandoned by their families for their getting intimate, and have only each other to rely on as they survive a full decade in an uncharitable real world - there's almost no way for Shiori not to become more grounded and practical in such circumstance.  Seinen Juri, who lost her prestige but earned a Shiori who a) clings to her b) shares her weight, becomes more relaxed and laid back in comparison to that of her rigidly perfectionist old self (her non-model-like weight gain is an extension of this change). 

It's also pretty refreshing to see a depiction of Tokiko - you do a good job of making her a little faded, but still very appealing.

So few people bother writing about Tokiko in depth, so I wanted to give it a try.  She'd be a constant presence throughout the fic.

I also blew my lungs out laughing at a tweaked up Kozue.

That was actually not in my original drafts, but just  . . . happened as the story seemingly writes itself once I fleshed it out. emot-redface

I'm now working on part three (while struggling to get tumblr to put that reblog button in my posts), hopefully it comes out by next week.  Expect more adult content in this part emot-wink

P.S.  Fic just got successfully posted on http://penguindrum.livejournal.com/ tagged under fanworks.    Yay me emot-dance

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-09-2012 03:21:02 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#15 | Back to Top05-09-2012 09:49:21 PM

Chrome Homura
Poor Saionji :(
From: Oregon, USA
Registered: 06-07-2010
Posts: 516

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

And here I thought Penguindrum references were going to be the bane of my existence. The reveal at the end of Part 2...

http://www.fightersgeneration.com/characters3/solbadguy-owow.gif

Still not sure what to think of it. I'm eagerly awaiting part 3, but... let's just say I'm a little nervous.


"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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#16 | Back to Top05-10-2012 03:17:28 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Thanks for still hanging in there, Chrome!

[img]And here I thought Penguindrum references were going to be the bane of my existence. The reveal at the end of Part 2...[/img]

I myself know that part 3 will either make or break this fic, so I will take extra care checking for lose plot hinges before posting it.  That being said, nothing is ever gratuitous in Seinen Kakumei Utena, so hopefully nothing in the writing will come across being so (crossing my fingers here).

Must work now.  Will write fic later.


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#17 | Back to Top05-16-2012 09:26:59 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part 3 up!!

Part Three: Prince, Interrupted - Prelude

http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … en_16.html

Those who are good at pinpointing Utena-style plot hints will know that scandalous things are coming up ahead in Part Four school-devil

Un-formatted Version Here:

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and its characters belong to its various owners.

Part Three: Prince, Interrupted - Prelude


The kitchen’s fridge was cold, the kitchen’s fridge was stocked; the kitchen’s fridge was Antarctica-condensed and at its very best – so much so, that the two apron-wearing blue penguins currently lazing within its confines wanted to never leave it, wanting instead to snack on forever within this ultra-cool sanctuary.

“Chu!”

A crack appeared as the fridge door got pulled opened by the shivering Chu-Chu, currently decked in a miniature Eskimo’s fur coat.  In his tiny paw was a pentagon-star-shaped paper note, which the monkey mouse then passed into Number Two’s blue flipper before scurrying away out of sight.

“Kyu!”  Reading the note, Number 2 then pulled Number 3 out of the fridge with it.  Together, they hopped onto the countertop, grabbed the broad box of donuts, and exited the kitchen.  As the creatures made their way down the hallway, they passed by the dinning room and its loudly agitated occupants, passed the dark-skinned woman and the pink-haired man pushing a food service cart towards said dinning room, up the spiral staircase, past the white-painted, red-rose-lined washroom door displaying a scarlet “OCCUPIED” sign, and towards a bedroom with a shiny, stylized pentagon star bearing the letter “H” hanging upon its wooden door.

The screams from the dinning room came right as Number 3 opened the star-adorned door for Number 2 to carry the donut box inside.  Unfazed, the creatures stepped right into the dark, glittery interior, and up towards a girlishly ornamented bed veiled under red canopy curtains; two young-boyish silhouettes could be seen curled up face-to-face on the bed, each hugging a penguin to his chest (one black, one blue, beaks meeting in a kiss) . . . words, spoken in precocious, pre-pubescent tone, drifted upon the tranquil space (strangely unaffected by the noises outside) as tendrils of smoke:

“If there exists a god who listens, I want to ask him this:
“Can people do nothing but to embrace their own fates?
“And, suppose someone is to go against fate,
“Ignoring their predetermined gender and role to become someone they weren’t born to be,
“Will others still accept them as being human?
“I can’t stop thinking about the word fate . . .”

Even as the words flowed, the bedroom door closed seemingly on its own, blocking off the view and sound from within its dreamy confines.  Outside, the screams from the dinning room continued to climb both in the way of pitch and hysteria.

***

It started out with them looking at him, and him looking back; thus how they had stayed for one mercifully wordless moment.  Then came the screaming, the rushing off to throw up in revulsion, the muted looks of horror, and the tenuous orderly calm of their ten year reunion got shattered like glass. 

“Utena!”  Nanami, prone to hysterics even as a grown woman, pointed a shaky finger at him like he was covered in live roaches.  “You . . . you’ve . . . what the fuck?!”

“Don’t you swear at my Utena-sama!” Wakaba, his best friend from another lifetime, snapped at the blonde with startling violence, before turning towards him with a force smile that looked uglier than even her worst crying face  “Oh Utena-sama, just . . . just . . . what the FUCK?!”

Prior to seeing them again, Tenjou Utena had already dreaded his old friends’ possible reactions to his current maleness more than anything.  And now that he had already seen and heard for himself their revulsion against him, he felt a metallic coolness slowly but surely stabbing through his person, going in the back and coming out upfront, keeping him upright like an insect pinned upon invisible cardboard, helplessly awaiting eternal damnation.  With his entire body now stiffened from the neck down, he could turn only his accusing glare towards the one responsible – Himemiya Anthy; whose hand had tightened around his, whose wisps of stray hair stood at the back of her dark neck as if from static, whose lush tresses would have been rippling upon the still-air by now, if not for the pins holding them down; ever-mysterious Anthy, whose head was lowered like a woman either about to be struck – or about to strike out.  An inaudible sigh escaped his lips – what kind of reaction did she expect from these people, anyway?  Eternal Anthy, having already coexisted so very long alongside this world, should have known better than to think the old gang would readily accept his current self just because they had been school chums for that one (apparently very forgettable) year.  Did she not know that these people were all cogs of the world?  Be they shrewd or playful or idealistic or obsessed, they all were puppets with strings pulled by their world – a world that had always been adversarial towards him, even since before the Revolution, back when he was just some little girl in a boy’s uniform whom all the teachers hated, whom all the boys (with few exceptions) thought of as non-sexual, whom all the girls . . .

“Your . . . face!  Y-You’ve got facial hair!
How-”

“Oh Utena-sama,
what did that
evil man
do to you?”

. . . words, human words, spoken in voices girly and shrill, spoken in noises metallic and sharp; already Utena could see them – those gleaming, metallic lengths rearing their ugly heads at him in multitudes of hundreds and thousands, appearing so very real to him that Nanami and Wakaba might just as well be faded shadows fluttering across some distant walls in some other place and time as these hateful, hate-filled  swords came thrusting closer and closer and . . .

“Utena!
What
did
you
do
to
yourself?”

“U
te
na
-sa
ma
!”

“QUIET!”

Juri’s voice – stronger and even more authoritative-sounding than in her teens – blasted out like gunshot, silencing the hysterical girls and shattering his sword-filled vision like hammer against mirror.  Utena saw that she was even more beautiful in person than on Anthy’s glossy magazines, where some of the shots did made her look bulky.   While still powerfully-assured, the frosty aloofness marking her youth had apparently been warmed by the years, as the fencer-turned-model came up towards him in broad, easy strides, stopping such that her smiling face faced his.  “It’s good to see you again, Utena.”

“Juri-sempai,” he made himself smile back in reply to her earnest voice and expression.  Had he still been that foolish fairytale-obsessed girl he once was, Utena would never have questioned Juri’s apparent easy acceptance of his person.  Now that he was older and wiser, he knew to carefully analyze the “whys” behind how people act towards him; knew, and understood how he should (must) react in return.  “I see you have Shiori-sempai with you.”

From behind Juri, Shiori quickly stood up to bow at him from behind the dinning table she shared with the rest of the stunned group.  “Utena-san, good to see you again.  It’s been so long . . . ” she gestures (somewhat awkwardly) at the empty seats left, “won’t you join us for breakfast?”

“Y-Yes, Utena-sama!” Wakaba spoke as well, forcing herself to sound normal and failing.  “We got so much to catch up on, to plan . . . ” 

“Ah, please pardon me,” Miki shakily returned from where he rushed off to (with Tsuwabuki tiptoeing thief-like back towards his own seat in his background), and stepped up towards Utena as well.  “Fish went down the wrong way, and I had to get cleaned up.”  The young man offered his pale hand in a blatantly brave gesture.  “So great to see you again, Utena-sempai!”  Utena saw, from behind him, Kozue rolling her slightly bloodshot eyes.

Eyes on the young man he used to think of as a cute little brother, Utena gave him a firm, lasting handshake, and observed the goosebumps now rising on his thin neck with a sort of detached coldness.

“Utena,” Anthy had by now moved to beside the dinning table, setting the food and drinks down for their rigid guests with the languid, emotionally-void grace of a restrained lady.   “The breakfast meeting is about to start.”

Letting go of Miki (who sagged in relief), Utena walked up towards the group, all the while internally steeling himself to take on the cutting questions that were sure to come.

Surprisingly, there were no questions asked – no words at all – as everyone simply continued their breakfast in silence; the dubious glances, on the other hand, could be seen getting passed around at a much higher frequency than the teapot and the dessert tray combined. Brusquely stuffing face with Unakyu (thus not-so subtly deterring conversation directed his way), Utena saw Anthy sipping her tea while glancing across each and every uncomfortable face around the table at a measured, purposeful pace, before lowering her cup and cutting straight to the point.

“I would like to begin by thanking everyone for coming together and pledging to help the Victor,” smiling thinly, she spoke in a voice as demure as her words were shrewd.  “It’s most rare these days for people to remember favors owed, and be willing to enact repayment.  One gets pleasantly surprised when it still happens.”

Utena saw the ex-Duelists all further stiffening at the ex-Bride’s words; none of them could deny that the Victor had changed their lives for the better (albeit but for a while), yet all of them had gathered here only after being approached with the promise of miracles – solutions to their worldly problems.  They knew they were not helping him for free even after everything he did for them, and there lied the problem that ate at their own comfort zone.

Nanami, offensive spitfire that she was, was the first to strike back.   “And what does Utena need help with?”  Does he now want to turn back into a girl or something?  How did the tomboy get changed into a man in the first place, I wonder?  Was that the Power of Revolution?  Thank god I lost the duels!  Or did Utena just get man-genes from the spirit of Dios?”  She concluded her tirade by letting out the trademark spiteful laughter of her adolescent days . . . one that gradually died down under Anthy’s steady gaze.   “W-What?  You got a problem with what I said?  Talking down on us in that backhanded alien way of yours . . . I mean, sure, Utena did breeze through our lives in that foolishly open way of hers that got us to be more open ourselves, and we all became nicer to each other for a while, closer for a while . . . but her Revolution failed!  The so-called Victor just disappeared off the face of our world, and most of our lives just took bungee jumps like right afterwards!  So what the FUCK-” she punctuated the swear-word with a fist to the table that sent the plates rattling, “-kinda favor did we owe you, either of you?”  The blonde glared viciously back at the dark-featured woman, whose gaze remained steady; whose smile now gained a pitying edge.

“The revolution succeeded; it crumbled afterwards only because those whose lives got revolutionized did not follow up on the revolutionary success.”

Her listeners all jolted at Anthy’s words as if struck; Nanami, in particular, looked like she had just swallowed a frog.  “F-Follow up?”

“My brother was both exhausted and enchantment-bound in the days immediately following the Revolution.  Had even one of you summoned the resolve to seek out Utena then, he would’ve no way of stopping you, and she will be found.  I could’ve then followed your trail towards Utena, used what power I had to restore her body and soul, and together we would returned immediately to Ohtori to claim the awakened Power of Dios and stop my brother’s mad games once and for all.”  Anthy’s voice darkened as thickening clouds.  “Instead, you and the other Duelists simply went blissfully on with your days while giving the Ends of the World ample time to recover, to grow strong.  Do you now blame his present control over your world on us?”

“ . . . present control over our world?” squeaked Tsuwabuki like a trapped mouse.  Utena saw how most of the others had gone wide-eyed at this piece of info as well; not Juri, who just seemed pained and resigned.  Anthy took a dainty sip of tea prior to speaking on.

“I believe Juri-sempai was the first among you to have figured it out: that the world outside of Ohtori Academy – what used to be the real world – now too have come under the End of the World’s control.  Even this place,” she gestured with her pretty dark hand all around the elegant interior of the Victorian style mansion, “an ‘anti-Ohtori’ designed by Chida-san – and later fine-tuned by myself – as a sanctuary against external influences; even its barriers are not completely impenetrable, not against the kind of power my brother has accumulated in the past decade.”

Juri spoke up at this point.  “Some colleagues of Shiori and mine were revealed to be but stage props that could be made disappear at Himemiya’s will.  This reminded me of how, back in our day, even adults from the outside world were also similarly bewitched by the Ends of the World like us boarding students.”  She glanced ever so briefly past the Kaoru twins, before looking Anthy right in the eye. “I have no idea how this sort of thing can be accomplished outside of Ohtori, though . . .” Utena, who had since learned about Anthy’s manipulation of Mr. Kaoru (among many others) after their reunion, easily caught the subtext.

“People are deception-prone by nature,” Anthy faced Juri naturally and without apparent guilt.  “You show them crude illusions, and their eager minds will naturally perfect the images for their hungry eyes.  Remember the ‘miracles’ you saw in Ohtori?  The arena in the sky, the inverted castle, the materializing swords . . . these were all artificial projections running upon power – both his and mine; also used were the humans my brother had sacrificed for use as fuel, but those used to came in insufficient quantities . . . until now.”  Utena calmly noted how the whole group was now looking at Anthy like she had just admitted to being a mass-murder, and how the dark woman still was speaking in casual tones.  “In that period after I just walked out on him, my brother must have been devastated to find himself lacking power enough to control even a little private school.  Having already experimented with spell-bounding outsiders before, he must have somehow discovered his current method of mass-ensnaring humans from the world outside – to make them willingly surrender themselves to him for the things he could offer, and become the fuel to empower his fairytale kingdom unto eternity.”

“Turning humans into fuel . . .”  a wide-eyed Wakaba wondered out loud, tremblingly.  “Something like this-”

“This should not be news to you, Wakaba,” Anthy’s voice now was darkly husky, “ you, Shiori-sempai, Kozue, and Tsuwabuki-kun; you all rode the elevator down the morgue underneath Nemuro Memorial Hall, where the Hundred Boys of the Black Rose-” She got cut off by Shiori’s scream of sheer terror – coming so high in pitch, Utena thought for a moment that the glass windows might shatter.  Juri held onto her girl at once, protecting her like a coat of green around a young hatchling.

“T-this . . this VOICE!” Shiori now was shaking uncontrollably as she pointed an accusing finger at Anthy.  “You!  You were that dark-skinned boy together with Mikage, the one who stabbed the black rose into my heart and make me . . . make me . . .”

“. . . express your true self?” asked Anthy, and Shiori crumbled like a crushed origami piece within Juri’s strong embrace. “Like I told you before, making people do things they don’t want to goes quite against my nature – though I cannot say the same for my brother.” Anthy now locked gazes with Juri, who eyed her like one would at a black widow right upon their skin.  “Do you know? Nemuro Memorial Hall was the prototype Human Broiler – my brother’s first attempt at mass-producing human fuel; its initial success paved the way for other such broilers to be built beyond the grounds of Ohtori throughout the past decade.  There are at least three such external broilers that I know of here in Japan alone: the Aranjia Agency that you both worked for, with its avocation of unrealistic beauty standards and draining work schedules, is really a front for the Beauty Broiler designed to process vain women and men into pure, mindless fuel.  Had I not interfered when I did, I wonder how much longer it will be before strong, perfect Juri-sempai finally gets grinded down into human petroleum to power my brother’s fancy cars?” She then tittered daintily to her own words amidst their growing horror, its sound as cruel as it was provoking.

“Witch!”  Breaking under the strain, Tsuwabuki shot up from his seat.  “You’re that monster’s sister, you-” He was quickly dragged back down by Miki, who then quickly covered his mouth – in the same fearful way that a parent will cover a child’s mouth when they were held hostages by some gun-wielding criminal.

“You know,” slim elbows perched on the table, Anthy rested her small chin upon the backs of her delicately crossed fingers, “since finding Utena and settling down, I’ve had ample time to again check on the notable Duelists of her generation.  Imagine my un-surprise at seeing how all of you are still living under my brother’s control.  There’s Wakaba,” the pale-faced girl opened her mouth, but Anthy beat her to speaking, “working as an office assistant at the recreation and lifestyle section of a magazine that’s really a subsidiary of a much larger corporation ran by the Ohtori family.  Saionji-sempai works for the same magazine now and then, as a freelance photographer for the entertainment section; both him and the currently jobless Kiryuus-” she paused briefly as if only to observe the redness now inflaming Nanami’s face, “-have financial advisers watching over their accounts – guess which high school alumni they all belong to?  Kozue, the music agent your father set you up with to get you on TV – the one who introduced you to hard drug before overdosing and ‘died’ – now is a music teacher working at Ohtori.”  Kozue looked like this was all old news to her, but her twin had paled at the information.   “Miki, your family lawyer provides legal consultation to Ohtori’s Board of Trustees; he visits the Planetarium at least once a month, though he can only see my brother in his pre-adolescent Dios guise.  Tsuwabuki-kun, you are currently enrolled in the University Division of Ohtori Academy, although you do reside off campus.”  Leaning back on her chair, she now included the entire overwhelmed lot of them within her piercing, scorching gaze. “Last time, your unified apathy had wasted the Victor’s sacrifice while greatly empowering the Ends of All Your Worlds.  This time, will you all finally take action to win back your own lives – even at the cost of helping me, whom you all distrust – so I may help Utena win back hers?”  Back straightening, she faced them more solemnly.  “This time, will you help us help you?”

A heavy stillness hung over the air, as everyone appeared resolutely tight-lipped, but Utena knew this silence would not last.  Just watching them, he could see how their closed hearts had since gone aflame from Anthy’s swaying words – they knew they had no choice but to side with the Victor and the Witch if they were to escape from Akio’s choking grip on their lives.  No longer able to trust Anthy after what she had revealed herself to be, they would have to turn to him, to have him make valid their decision for them.

“Utena,” Juri, having the strongest personality from among the group, now spoke on its behalf.  “I think I can speak for everyone here that we all respect you for the things you did, and that we’re all willing to help you now, if you’ll let us.  But we will need to know what kind of help you need, and what do we have to do to give you that help.” She cast the full might of her sincere yet piercing gaze upon him.  “You’ve been quiet throughout this entire meeting Himemiya has held for you, won’t you speak up now, Utena?” A still traumatized Shiori – still huddled against the bigger woman’s embrace – nodded along with her words.

Having since put down his chopsticks, Utena wiped at his lips with a paper napkin (in a manner that he hope could rival Juri in assuredness).  “First off, there’s no reason for any of you to distrust . . . well, at least try not to fear Anthy, since she’s now with me.” He still ended up having to gulp down excess saliva prior to continuing, thus breaking the cool.  “Basically, she wants me to have my old body back, but I’m really fine with what I have now-”

“Hey, it’s fake!”

Before he could react, a bright-eyed Kozue had already reached over to pick off the paste-on goatee that he had accidentally wiped sideways.   Wakaba perked up as if having found gold.

“Then Utena-sama is still a . . .” she studied his lean but muscular built, and the excitement drained off her face,  “er . . . not.”

“Tenjou,” Saionji, silent until now, at last spoke up,  “I see that you’ve become a lot more muscular than before, but your bone structure still is small like that of a woman.  And your face . . . it looks like you’ve been cutting fat then applying shadows to make it look so angular.  You’re also wearing sport shoes indoor – are those heel lifts you got inside?”  Feeling the heat, Utena looked away from his intense gaze; the man pressed on.  “This is not some magical transformation that occurred in Ohtori, but something done here in the outside world, isn’t it?”  Lead on by Saionji’s sharp observation, everyone was looking at him now, and Utena could again spot those hateful metallic glints, currently reflected within their wide, baffled eyes.

“Utena-sempai . . . ” Miki, the smartest one among them, finally gathered his wits and started asking the on-point question.  “Have you been going through HRT?”

Lips drawn tight, Utena noticed now Nanami, Wakaba, and Shiori all inhaling sharply at hearing the term; only naïve little Tsuwabuki appeared at a loss.  “What’s HRT?”

“Why, that’s hormonal replacement therapy, Tsuwabuki-chan,” drawled Kozue, still studying the fake goatie with much interest, “trannies have it to better camouflage themselves as the opposite sex-” Miki’s slap did manage to land this time, sending his high-strung twin backwards and off her chair.  The unexpectedness of the young man’s action set of that reflexive anger in Utena that he quickly had to quench; not quickly enough, it turned out, he could now see the stacks of swords literally framing all corners of her vision, sharp tips pointing towards the oblivious blue-haired man, now towering over his sister in righteous rage.

“If you’re going to be shooting off at the mouth then stay out of our meeting!”

“Your meeting?”  Glaring up at Miki from where she fell, Kozue struggled to get back on her feet.  “You fucking want me out of your life!”  Saionji reached out a hand offering to help her up, and she slapped it away without looking.  “Why do you even bother dragging me here acting like you’re doing this to help me?  What?  Just so you can play the dutiful onii-sama to the old gang, huh?”  From beside Saionji, Nanami could be seen paling at that word, but she did not notice.  “Well, fuck you to hell, you complete TOOL!”  Finally up on her own feet, she stormed off and out of the dinning room.

Rage having since dissipated, Miki’s limbs grew rigid with awkwardness as he turned back towards Utena.  “Oh, Utena-sempai, I’m so sorry, I . . . Kozue, she was-” He was then gently pulled back down onto his seat by Juri. 

“Utena,” she gestured at him to continue. “If you could.”

“Just . . . start from the very beginning, tomboy.”  A now resigned-seeming Nanami too urged him to speak..  “What were those duels the Ends of the World made us fight back in Ohtori?  Just what exactly was the Revolution?  And if you won the final duel, how did you came to be this . . . whatever you’ve become right now?”

Utena saw, from behind the entire gang, Anthy looking encouragingly at him.  Gritting his teeth, he slapped a hand over his forehead hoping to clear the images of rattling metal from his vision, straightened his back, and started saying his piece.   “At the beginning  . . . it is.  There was once a prince living among many princesses all enamored of him, and he had a sister who loved him more than all these princesses combined . . .”

***

‘To hell with the punk; I’m so gonna leave, I . . .’

Angrily stomping up the stairs and onto the second floor of the mansion, Kaoru Kozue was about to go straight to her room and start packing, when she noticed the sound of running water.  Turning her head, she saw a closed, red-rose-lined washroom door displaying a scarlet sign that reads  “READY TO SERVE”.  Drawn by these words (so potentially vulgar for a washroom in such an elegant-seeming mansion), as well as needing to fix her makeup (she definitely needs to conceal the handprint now marring her face), she started walking up towards the washroom . . .

“Chu!!!”

Before she could even react, Chu-Chu had literally flown past her while carrying a big “OUT OF SERVICE” sign, which he then slapped onto the bathroom door.  Somersaulting back down onto the floor, he nodded approvingly at his work, prior to scurrying rapidly down the hall and out of sight. 

“ . . . what the . . .?”

That was when she heard the piano music faintly audible in the air.

It was coming from the bedroom right next to the bathroom, its star-adorned door forced open a crack by a small, crumbled up paper note stuck at its corner.  From her angle, she saw only a narrow line of glittery darkness revealed.  Intrigued, Kozue walked up to the door, and pushed.

What she then discovered made even someone like her – who had gone through all the wonders and horrors of Ohtori and beyond – cry out in surprise.

What lied beyond the door was not a bedroom – not any room at all – but what appeared to be a vast galactic space of seemingly infinite size.   The sight immediately conjured in her memories of the Ohtori Planetarium, where she and that beautiful dark monster had . . .but this seemed so much more vibrant than the projector’s already stunning illusions; so much so, she could not help but step right through the door and into this surreal space.

She did not suffocate like she would have in actual outer space, of course, but nor did she felt any need to breath once inside; nor did she waver walking without ground.  A small creaking sound from behind notified her of the fact that the door was closing on its own; turning around, she saw no trace of any door at all, only that same, infinite-seeming starry space – one that’s enriched by the pristine sound of the piano piece she heard from the outside.  So, this was what Himemiya meant by an “anti-Ohtori” . . .

“Nice to have you joining us, Kozue-chan.”

Turning at the voice, Kozue saw Chida Tokiko playing at the piano – one that was colored in pink (accompanied by a matching pink bench), with a black-rose motif printed at the side.  Beside the piano was a red-veiled bed so little-girl-ish, so mind-bendingly juvenile, she would have torched it had she a lighter in her hand.  Walking up closer, her disgust at this abnormality faded slightly as she saw the two blue penguins – the same ones she had seen before bringing sashimi into the dinning room – huddled together in an insufferably cute pile, fat bellies heaving as they snored in their sleep.

She and Miki used to sleep huddled together like this too, once upon a time. 

On the bed beside the blissful birds was an opened donut box, its contents ruffled as if from the eager hands of young children.  Sitting down on the edge of the bed, Kozue did something that surprised even herself: she picked up a piece of the messy junk food and started eating.

“There’s rose tea on the coffee table beside the bed if you would like some,” supplied Tokiko in her sweet, warm voice.  Somewhat obediently, Kozue poured herself some tea, and sipped; she had since found herself slowly but losing hold on the wild rage she had prior to entering this place, which was beginning to feel to her like a huge pool of serenity easily cooling her fire.

“It’s a nice piece you’re playing, Chida-san,” said Kozue, although she judged the woman’s skill to be inferior to that of her brilliant twin.  “Is that piano . . .?”

“Appearances are merely outward expressions of the moment,” smiled Tokiko, slim fingers tapping across glossy keys.  “A man by any other form still is the same man.”

“Must be handy having a man who can be everything around.”  Eyes downcast, Kozue’s lips quirked in a bitter smirk. “Miki can only ever be Miki, and he still sucks at everything that cannot be put into technical term-”  Suddenly realized that she had revealed way too much to this near-stranger – another “ageless” witch who happened to be the Rose Bride’s friend, even – the young woman quickly tried guiding the conversation towards another direction.  “So what’s this?  Like, a lullaby for your penguins?”

“Oh, these penguins are not mine, Kozue-chan; this is a song I’m playing for their owners, to help them remember.”  Tokiko then gestured into the distance., where two young boys were seen wandering across an impossible-seeming dark horizon fading off at its edges, with two other penguins following closely behind them.  Shadow-cloaked as the group was, Kozue still could see that one of the boys – the one with the longer, wavier hair reflecting blue-streaks – was holding a donut with both hands as he nibbled upon it squirrel-like.  They were walking with their heads high, and their steps were light to the point of being almost dance-like . . . but somehow, watching them made her feel lonely.

“Remember what?” asked Kozue, concerned without understanding why: she was never big on kids . . . although these two were around the age she and her twin were back in their Sunlit Garden days, but for a self-centred cynic like her to feel this sort of affinity towards some totally irrelevant strangers . . .

“Their way back home,” replied Tokiko, her voice and expression strangely faraway.  “All the princes I’ve known tend to forget that.”

A light, whining yawn came from the penguin marked by the number “3” as it turned in its sleep – a movement that revealed to Kozue the small piece of photo it was previously sleeping upon.  Picking it up, she saw that it was a picture taken of three children – two boys franking one little girl – standing in front of a huge aquarium tank filled with swimming penguins.  The blue light from the tank had cast everything into monochrome tableau, but Kozue still could make out the two boys to be the same ones as those currently walking under the stars.  Flipping the photo around, she saw the childish handwriting scribbled on its back:

I’ll never forget; never ever.
I love you, nii-chans.

. . . onii-chan . . . onii-chan . . .!!

Unexplainably, as if a stopper had loosened from somewhere within her construct, Kozue found herself crying for maybe the first time since that ruined concert from her childhood – the one where the brother she thought she could always rely on failed her; the hateful memory she had been struggling to forget via sex, via drugs, via the passing of years and youth, yet never could; never ever.

Just why was this making her feel so . . . moved?   

“Nee-chan, do you have brothers?”

Sometime during her crying, the boys once wandering in the distance had since moved up to the bed, and were now facing her.  Even through tear-blurred vision, Kozue now could see how these children were not really shadow-cloaked due to lighting; rather, the entire expanse of their flesh was pitch blank as if absent from existence; only their hair, colored in reddish-brown and dark-blue, could be made out from their “silhouette-lite” features, upon which hung the identical elementary school soccer uniforms they currently wore.  The penguins following them – one black, one blue – now were flanking them on either sides, their bead-like eyes unreadable as they watched her.

“You look like a sister, Nee-chan,” said the “boy” with reddish-brown hair, his narrow arm placed around the thin shoulder of the dark-blue-haired one, who was still eating the donut.  “Can your be our sister too?”


***

Extra! Extra!

Ah!  That modeling gig we did last night was soooo fly!

So very fly, that we’ve come flying right back to our old theatre roots!

Well, a profession that pays by clothes alone could send any sane person flying back to their old roots.

Anyway!           

Do you know, do you know, do you wonder what we know?

What do frogs and princes both have in common?

Is it the princess’s kiss?

The muddied feet?

Or is it . . . ?

Oooh!

Shall we go?

Shall we go?

Shall we tell them what we know?

. . . but!

What of the barriers standing in our way?

Barriers?  What of the witches standing in our way?

No matter!

Where there’s a will . . .

. . . there’s a way!

And . . .
                       
. . . so . . .

. . . we . . .

. . . go-oo-oo-oo-oo!!!


End Part Three

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-25-2012 07:45:01 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#18 | Back to Top05-17-2012 10:13:39 PM

Chrome Homura
Poor Saionji :(
From: Oregon, USA
Registered: 06-07-2010
Posts: 516

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

All I have to say is this...

I'm eagerly anticipating part 4. school-devil


"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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#19 | Back to Top05-18-2012 01:54:26 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

I'm so happy that you seem to be handling the Penguindrum elements in Part 3 well, Chrome emot-wink

My take on more mysteries of SKU (Million Swords, Shadow Girls) and Penguindrum (Fate Train, Invisible People) coming up in Part Four, which should only take another day or two before getting posted.  Oh, and more SKU characters will be poised to appear in future parts as the battle against the Ends of the World draws near (including a minor role so loved that she that she actually got a shine at Ohtori.nu).

p.s. I can't believe how no one could tell me the name of the ending music in Penguindrum ep. 24 - the one played in the background as child Kanba and Shouma walked into the starry night.  This info is quite crucial to part 4, actually.  Oh well . . .

p.p.s.  Found it, Children of Fate: I love You

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-24-2012 08:38:29 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#20 | Back to Top05-26-2012 05:33:26 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1308
Website

Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Part Four UP!!!

An apology to Chrome Homura for my having to move the scandalous things into the next part for story sectioning purpose.
For now, please kindly settle for only trans Utena angst + Kozue singing emot-redface

http://gorgeousshutin.blogspot.ca/2012/ … n-not.html
or
http://gorgeousshutin.livejournal.com/2304.html
http://gorgeousshutin.livejournal.com/2705.html

Un-formatted version:
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8086621/1/S … umei_Utena
or read here:

Seinen Kakumei Utena (it's Seinen, NOT Josei), crossing with Penguindrum starting Part 2

Genres: Real Life Problems, Yuri, Female Empowerment, Trans Man, Yaoi, Male Rape, Surreal Symbolism

Timeline: 10 years post Revolution, a few weeks post Fate Train Transfer

Notable Chars:  Trans Utena, shadow boys "K-taro" and "S-taro" (do you really need to ask who they are?)

Notable "Mysteries" Covered: Nemuro Hall, Child Broiler, Million Swords, Fate Train, Shadow Girls, Invisible People

Summary (or rather, Excerpt): “The revolution succeeded; it crumbled afterwards only because those whose lives got revolutionized did not follow up on the revolutionary success,” said the Bride, her words setting their closed hearts aflame. “This time, will you help us help you?”

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and its characters belong to its various owners.

Part Four: Prince, Interrupted – Main I

“There was once a prince living among many princesses all enamored of him, and he had a sister who loved him more than all these princesses combined.  Dios, the Rose Prince, was hailed as the hope of his world and was loved by all; he lived relied upon by all these princessess to battle the troubles in their lives for them – troubles that ranged from threats as fearsome as dragons to insipid matters like being lonely in the flower of youth; Dios’ sister, on the other hand, was just an ordinary girl: you see, for a girl could only become a princess if the Rose Prince took her as his princess, and the prince would never take his own sister to be his princess-”

“But why not?” asked Tsuwabuki, naively; he was promptly silenced by Nanami’s glare and Miki’s moody expression.  Pinching between his brows to will down his uneasy agitation (that with him telling a tale that was to get increasingly personal amidst metallic hisses droning in his head), Tenjou Utena struggled to continue on.

“Anyway, Dios eventually collapsed from over exerting himself – he had taken on so many princessess under his cape that he himself got overwhelmed by their many troubles.  He fell ill, bedridden, and was tended to on his bed by his sister.  Reliant by nature, the many princesses and their brothers and fathers all gathered at the Rose Prince’s door, all wielding swords,” he stumbled slightly at this part, “demanding that he come out to help them with their problems.”  Dry-throated somehow, he took a quick gulp of tea, during which Wakaba timidly made her comment.

“Wielding their swords and . . . sounds like they’re not asking nicely at all.”

Swallowing, Utena closed his stressed eyes, opened them anew, and spoke on.  “To protect her brother, Dios’ sister went out to face the masses, telling them that she had hidden the Rose Prince somewhere only she knew, somewhere they could never reach by their power.” He now saw the scene vividly in his mind’s eye: the hordes and hordes of hateful women and men with their weapons drawn, advancing upon Anthy, only a flimsy child then.  “The masses were livid with rage; they cursed the sister as a witch who took their Rose Prince from them, and they . . . they . . .” The image of the child Anthy in his mind was now overlapping with the adult Anthy presently facing him from behind the group, and he found himself rendered speechless by their identical expressions of dark, deathly resignation.

“And they . . .?”  Shiori timidly prompted Utena to continue after the silence had dragged on too long.

“They pierced her with their swords,” Utena’s voice sounded almost inaudible to her own ear, so loud were the buzzing, metallic curses now flooding his head, “all one million of them, skewering the Rose Prince’s sister until there was nothing left of the girl that once was, until only her pain and their hatred remained.  When her brother, struggling out of his bed and up to the door, saw what the people had done, he . . .”

“He . . .?” Miki whispered the question, almost like he was talking to himself; Utena heard it nonetheless.

“He killed them,” he answered his engrossed listener, “summoned what strength he had left in his weakened body and slaughtered his sister’s murderers – all those girls he once cherished as his princesses, all their brothers he once valued as his friends, all their fathers he once respected as his elders – in cold blood.  The moment Dios finished killing the people, he found himself no longer having the nobility that was key to his accessing his vast sum of princely power.  Depleted, with a sword-ravaged sister who was a hair’s breadth away from death, the fallen prince did the only thing his no longer noble mind could think of at the moment . . .” Through the hate-filled metallic haze, Utena saw Saionji opening his mouth, and hurried on before being interrupted once more.  “He devoured the murdered lives – all one million of them – to empower his own; just like that, the prior illness left him, and he still was immortal; he still was far more powerful than the regular people, although he now was only a pale shadow of his former brilliant self.  He then used what power he now could spare to restore his still-immortal sister – not back to the free-willed girl she once was, but to have her remade into a living doll.”  Utena’s own voice started gaining a hate-filled edge.  “The fallen prince needed his sister to be a living doll with no will of her own, because only then could he made her took those swords that were all really aiming at him-” His sentence ended in a shrill wheeze, as a sharp pain akin to his getting stabbed through the back assailed his nerves.  Jolting under the group’s widened eyes, he would have fallen off his chair, if not for the lily-like arms embracing him from behind, as a familiar dark hand gently covered his heated forehead, relieving the pain somewhat.

“Himemiya,” spoke Juri, her voice as concerned as it was cautious, “is Utena not well?”

“Utena has not been well for a very long time,” replied Anthy, resting the back of Utena’s head against her chest.  “Not since she took the swords for me during the duel called Revolution.  I thought that getting her to finally talk about this would help her release some of the bottled-up pain, but . . .”

“She took  . . . the swords . . . for you?”

“It’s because of the prince,” Utena pushed the words out, breathily; his body still slacked against Anthy’s embrace. “In his desperation, he consumed the souls of the murdered mob without properly processing them, which was like eating uncooked, worm-infested meat – that’s the closest analogy I can think of.”  Through heavy-lidded eyes, he saw a pallid-faced Nanami looking like she was about to throw up, and thought he could taste his own bile as well. “The man-eating prince did get nourished by the people’s energies, but he also got infected by their hate-filled thoughts that in turn ate at his heart, drilling away till there was nothing left in his chest but unending darkness.  The people’s hate-filled thoughts – their hatred - gained life from having consumed the prince’s essence, and manifested into a million swords shining with hate; these hate-filled swords, parasitic and undying, swarmed the prince like thick swarms of flies, slicing and dicing at his tender flesh such that he could take no more, and had to quickly transfer them towards another host . . . ” he hissed from renewed pain wrecking him from the inside, “. . . his own sister, who got turned into the Rose Bride locked in eternal servitude to the Rose Prince, who himself became the Ends of the World – a monster on an eternal quest to regain the lost Power of Dios, sealed behind the Rose Gate that will only open to a noble enough heart.  Ohtori Academy and its Rose Code are meant for seeking out someone with nobility enough to open the Rose Gate for the Ends of the World, that’s why we got put through all those things like we did.” Grabbing onto the table with both hands, he leaned forward to face the ex-Duelists, and started glaring at them from one to the next.  “All through the duels and the mind games, the Rose Bride had those . . . hateful swords inside her.”  Without thinking, he picked Saionji as the first.  “When she was getting beat up by you.”  The man’s stony expression turned brooding and heavy.  “When you bullied her by making her wear a dissolving dress at your party.”  Nanami looked away sullenly.  “When she played the piano for you.”  Miki’s eyes clouded over with old shadows.  “When you slapped her for mimicking Shiori-sempai.” Juri’s expression gained a regretful edge.  “When you tried killing her to surpass Juri-sempai.”  Shiori’s eyes were downcast.  “When you tried killing her to become an adult.” Tsuwabuki shook his head shakily in weak denial. “When you tried killing her for wearing the hairclip Saionji made for you.”  A single tear escaped Wakaba’s widen, trauma-filled eyes; wearied, Utena closed his own.  “And when I played the make-believe prince for myself and said I was doing it for her; all the while, Anthy was getting sliced and diced by the Million Swords of Hate, and we all overlooked her sufferings, thinking only of ourselves while chasing single-mindedly after those phony projections the Ends of the World was baiting us with!”   Eyes snapping open, he slammed a fist down upon the table, sending all the plates and cups rattling in front of the petrified group; Anthy’s embrace tightened around him, and he found himself struggling against it in his growing agitation and rage.  Anthy’s voice in his ear sounded alarmed

“Utena-”

“Shut up!”  He snarled, recalling everything with mind-bending clarity now: his (her) being purposely blind to Ohtori Akio being The Ends of the World despite multiples of his trademark convertible being present during those last duels, his (her) underage virginity being taken by the virile (and engaged) seducer in that motel room, his (her) finding out about the animal raping his sister, his (her) subsequent use of feminine wiles to antagonize the raped sister while competing with her for the monster’s affection, his (her) hesitation to fight the devil even unto the final duel, where he (she) then got stuffed into the pink variation of the degrading Rose Bride dress . . . he grinded his bared teeth at the remembered humiliations.

“Utena!”

“During the Duel called Revolution,” said Utena, cutting Anthy off and spitefully continuing on with his cruel recollections, “when Himemiya stabbed me through the back so her brother and prince can have my soul sword to materialize the Rose Gate, when the Million Swords of Hate swarmed out to skewer her right in front of my eyes while I was wounded on the ground, when Dios showed up telling me that I have no power and cannot save Himemiya, when Akio broke my soul sword trying to break open the Rose Gate and said I wasn’t good enough, when I stumbled over and opened the Rose Gate with bare hands and see Himemiya coffined inside, when she finally took my hand but fell out of my grasp when our world broke apart, when the Million Swords rushed me . . . I finally realized that everything turned out like this because I.  WAS.  JUST.  A.  GIRL!”  Standing up with such violence that the table tumbled to plate-flying, cries-inducing effects, Utena then flung Anthy off him like the latter was a rag doll – a rough motion that send her hair pins flying off, her curvaceous frame slamming onto the floor in a splatter of dark, serpentine waves.   Everyone else was now standing up, in fear in alarm and in absolute shock.  Wakaba, his best friend from that accursed time, was the first who tried to reach him with words.

“U-Utena-sama . . .” Her shaky words trailed off as she, along with the rest of the ex-Duelists, stared at their Victor’s lower front with bulged eyes like crude puppets.  Lower his head, Utena too saw the source of their acute horror.

It was a sword’s long, sharp blade, thrusting out point first from his groin like some grotesque symbolization of a virile manhood; this one out of a million had poked out from within the depths of his inner darkness, and was now was giving him its yet deepest cut by dehumanizing him with this obscene display.

None of those so-called old friends laughed at him, of course; not with the sword’s impossible presence upon his body stunning them into imbecility; not with the expression of utter despair he knew he was currently betrayed by. 

“This, is the outcome of the Duel called Revolution,” he muttered, gesturing at himself while concluding the macabre tale he was made to tell. “This is what becomes of the stupid girl who thought she could become a prince.”

None of them had anything to say to that, as the silence that marked the beginning of their reunion now returned like a recurring plague.  All the people in the dinning room now were still as mannequins; only the shadows remained in motion, gliding by the pristine walls in perhaps a hint too lively a manner, considering the steadiness of the natural lights from the outside . . .

***

“ . . . so this is what becomes of people who chose to die for love, huh?” murmured Kozue, her hand absently stroking the blue pelt of Number 3, seated on her lap and currently experimenting with the eye-pencil it had picked out of her vest pocket.

“That’s right!” The featureless boy with reddish brown hair nodded vigorously through his mouthful of donut.  “These people get the apple as their reward from God!”    Some distance beside him, a smug-looking Number 1 was waving a heart-shaped cookie around, with the black penguin – one with a heart-shaped face – skipping excitedly around him.

“Kenji-san was very specific about this,” the one with dark blue hair held up his paperback copy of “Night on the Galactic Railroad” with childlike authority. “It says right here that the apple is the universe itself, a universe that connects the previous world and this one!”  From beside him, a bloom-yielding Number 2 was sweeping away the snack crumbs off the white bed sheets and into the “space” beyond.

“That’s why good kids like us get to travel this glorious galaxy forever,” said the brown haired one as he reached over to hi-five him, “yay us!”

“Wicked . . .” Kozue, who had been playing along with these peculiar boys (thus had to stay on their god-awful girly bed all the while), guided the inane conversation back towards her questions.   “And you said you don’t really remember much of anything before getting dropped off into this galaxy by this . . . train?”

“Blue Hair” drooped at the question. “ . . . na uh, Nee-chan, not what we were doing, not where we came from.”  He gestured at the penguin in her lap.  “If it weren’t for Number 3 and that photo she carried, we wouldn’t even remember that we had a sister.”

“But we remember that we loved her,” said “Brown Hair”,  “and somehow, we know that us being here means that she’s fine where she is.  So it’s all good!”

“Heh . . .” A sharp pain pricked at Kozue’s heart – she knew it to be the very spot once marked by the black rose – at the words of these loving brothers; Miki, who was her twin, had never shown her such consideration; not even from before she stopped playing the piano for him.  “You know, I still don’t know what your names are.”

Even featureless, the brothers’ body languages betrayed their confusion. “Names . . .”

“You boys even forgot your own names too?”

“Brown Hair” puffed up his chest in childish defiance. “Anyway . . . !  You can call me K-taro!”  From beside him, “Blue Hair” did likewise.

“I’m S-taro!”

“ . . . very good,”  Kozue pressed on, feeling strangely insistent at finding out everything about these strange children, “and what’s you family name?  You can just give me the initial . . .”

“Errr . . .”

BEEP!

With that sound, a pink, long-armed robot marked by a black rose motif wheeled its way past “K-taro” and “S-taro”, leading them to chase after the amusing toy and away.  They ran past Tokiko, who was carrying a tray of fresh-brewed tea and up towards the coffee table beside the red canopy-draped bed.

“Mikage sure is lively around little boys . . .” muttered Kozue as she took the refilled cup offered by the woman, who remained graciously un-offended as she seated herself beside the younger girl.

“They are most certainly Cursed Children of the Fate Train Transfer.”

Kozue blinked at these terms.  “Fate Train . . . Transfer?”

“Yet another cosmic force that has apparently been harnessed by the Ends of the World,”  said Tokiko, taking a long sip from her cup before continuing.  “The materialization of the Fate Train, along with the Castle in the Sky and the Dueling Arena, were all sub-topics under Ohtori Academy’s research to grasp Eternity from over thirty years ago.”

“Around the time of that picture you had in the dinning room?” guessed Kozue.

“I was working for the Board of Directors at the time, foolishly hoping that Ohtori’s research of Eternity will help buy time for my terminally ill brother.” Tokiko’s gaze was distant, faraway.  “Of the one hundred academically strong youths selected into Professor Nerumo’s research team, there was one who got exchanged out of the program with a backup right before the . . . fire.”  Kozue now could see a tenseness harshening up the woman’s delicate features.  “That boy was known to have the top intellect from among the brilliant group, and there was word that his Fate Train Theorem – supposing that people’s fate are as “trains” upon which they are passengers, and that by ‘transferring trains’ people could supposedly take on another fate while leaving their original destiny behind – was near completion; but because the hundred had pledged their loyalty towards Himemiya Akio –Ohtori Akio now – they kept the actual progress of their work secret from even Nerumo and myself;  in retrospect, the Fate Train Tranfer sounded like a too convenient trap with which Akio could ensnare desperate lives too eager to defy fate into serving his purposes.   After the research building burned down and rendered all of those young men human fuel to power Ohtori’s mechanisms, that lucky, genius boy went on to marry the young heiress of the Ohtori Clan; he became Ohtori Tsukiichi, the real Chairman of Ohtori Academy unto this very day.”

“The real Chairman,” murmured Kozue, “said to be ill throughout my time at Ohtori . . . I always thought he was the heir, that with his foxy wife staying with him even though they all say he was a bedridden vegetable,” an heiress’ husband, whose own heiress of a daughter was engaged to that monster, now running things in his stead . . . the girl suddenly remembered something. “What happened to your brother in the end?  He was the boy in that picture together with you and Mikage, right?”

Putting down her cup, Tokiko closed her eyes as if in dull pain.  “Mamiya was dead to our world; but what actually did happen to him, was perhaps very similar to what’s happened to these Cursed Children here.”

Kozue felt like disagreeing with her here.   “Hey, you call them Cursed Children . . . but even knowing they’ve lost their memories, these little brats still can move forward with their heads high . . .”    . . . if only Miki could be even half as tough . . .

“Kozue-chan, have you ever cared for cut flowers?”

“Er?  Well, usually Miki’s the one to handle these kinda things around the house.”

“When freshly cut and immediately put in sugared water, cut flowers will go through a period where they’d blossom even more vibrantly than prior the cut, but they will always wither ahead of the rooted flora in the end.”  Tokiko’s eyes opened anew, a sharp glint scorching within their piercing depths as she observed the boys and their penguins all chasing after Mikage-bot.  “Back when Mikage and I first picked them up about two weeks ago, these boys were not quite as featureless as they are now; they still can remember what city they’re from, that they had a sister whom they had transferred onto another train prior to coming here . . . not anymore, it seems.”   At hearing that, a feeling of cold dread seeped into Kozue’s heart.

“Then, these brothers . . .”

“Without foundations, buildings collapse; without precious memories, people collapse.”  Right then, Mikage-bot did an acrobatic spin that sent the boys and their penguins clapping.  “At the rate they’re deteriorating, it won’t be long before these children are to become Invisible Souls.”

Kozue’s sucked in air at coming across yet another worryingly ominous term.  “And what are Invisible Souls?”

“The next step below the Invisible People – now already a country-wide phenomenon that still remains largely unnoticed by mainstream society, Invisible Souls are mindless shadows akin to the ones that’s been haunting Ohtori.”  Tokiko turned her gaze towards Kozue.  “Being so integral to Akio’s games at the time, you must have seen something like that at the Academy.”  Kozue’s eyes went wide at the woman’s words . . .

. . . she had already donned the grab of the bride, and was idly watching the shadows on the wall acting out their demented play; Miki was taking awfully long in the shower, as if he still was uncertain about facing the upcoming duel . . .

“ . . . oh.”

“The only way to keep these children from fading further away is to make them remember,” stated Tokiko.  “Already I have hired people to look into possible clues of who they originally were, but there had been no progress so far – unsurprising, considering how these kids may not even be from our current reality .” She tapped a manicured fingertip against the sheet music she had been playing from earlier on, now laid upon the red bed.   “This was brought to me by their familiars – you’d see them as penguins – on the night they all settled down here; it must have to do with their past.  I play this for them everyday hoping it will slow down their deterioration, but . . .”

Picking up the sheet music, ironically titled “Children of Fate”, Kozue studied the melody for a while, and then . . .

“I know

I’ll never let you go . . .”

“Kozue-chan?”  Tokiko appeared startled by the girl’s suddenly breaking into song; Kozue too did not understand how these lyrics were coming so naturally to her just from her reading the notes.  While she had studied writing lyrics in Ohtori at Miki’s insistence (so she might put words to his Sunlit Garden), it had been years since she had worded any song at all; and her singing voice, which should be brittle from drug use, now came out in a well-rounded mezzo . . . the boys and the penguins had ceased playing, as they all now listened to her, rapt; she had to continue.

“Ah

And I miss

Your reckless frantic soul . . . ”

Tokiko had since gone back to the “piano” (when did Mikage change back?), playing the tune from memory, modifying it somewhat to suit Kozue’s singing; the four penguins, producing a flute, a cello, a violin, and a small trumpet respectively from seemingly out of nowhere, started playing together with the woman as they quickly formed a mini-orchestra of sorts, accompanying her now startling strong vocals.

“When the night is long I will be looking up at the skies and I’ll see

My beloved ones walking by on that starlit galaxy

And I’ll see the light you have shown to me”

Right as her voice sailed into the whistle register, a hail of what appeared to be large, stylistic pieces of blood drops exploded from in front of K-taro’s and S-taro’s small chests, startling Kozue into almost going off-key during her ad-libbing; a closer look revealed those to be stylized red penguin faces, all opening their beaks and singing choral backup as the song reached its power-demanding chorus.

“And I know

I’ll never let you go

I’ll never let you go”

As the song went on, more and more of K-taro’s and S-taro’s previously blanked-out features started “coming to light”, revealing the brothers to be adorable lads; the complexities apparent in their harrowing expressions, however, belied their having world-scorched souls far beyond their apparent years.

“And I’ll keep

You where you’ll never fade

In my heart

I believe that we are never late

That we can conquer fate

That we can conquer fate”

The multiple red penguin faces dissipated as the song climaxed, leaving only the four “familiar” penguins behind with their owners, both wide-eyed as if having just been pulled back from a cliff they were about to fall into. 

“We did it, didn’t we?” Wide eyes wild, K-taro turned shakily towards S-taro, seizing the latter by his slim shoulders.  “The Penguindrum . . .” 

Almost teary-eyed, S-taro held onto K-taro with the desperation of a drowning man holding onto a float.  “Our apple . . . she got it . . . didn’t she?”

“Are you guys remembering?” asked Kozue, feeling eager at what she had achieved.  “Then . . . should I sing more?  If you guys can remember who you are . . . we can even bring you home to your sister-”

“No!”

The boys’ unanimous, vehement reply caught her off guard.  “No . . . ?”

“Nee-chan, we got transferred here just so our sister can stay alive and well on her end,” said S-taro, with K-taro nodding from beside him with crossed arms. 

“We are nonexistent in this new world we transferred her into; if we’re to meet again, if she is to remember, if the world changed back . . . the curse upon her could get reactivated.”

“She will be dying again, and the punishments that everybody went through will be for nothing!  No, we’re fine where we are.”

“Punishments?  What . . . .” Agitated now, Kozue raised her voice. “If this goes on, you two will fade!”

“We knew we’d fade away when we chose to die for her, Nee-chan,” said K-taro, expression-resolved as his features again started dimming around the edges.  “We’ve attained true light from saving her, that’s enough for us.”

“There’s no need to feel sad for the likes of us, Nee-chan,” said S-taro, his sad- eyed smile soon eclipsed by the blankness eating into his just regained flesh, “ours are but lows lives destined to become nothing.  As long as our sister doesn’t get hurt again . . .”

“What hurts every sister the most are brothers who don’t look after themselves,” stated Tokiko, in voice that was perhaps too stern to match her delicate features.  K-taro and S-taro, now “shaded-in” once more, faced the woman blankly, prior to latching onto Mikage-piano and urging “it” to become a robot again (with their penguins watching them motionlessly instead of joining in the fray).  Letting out a heavy sigh, Tokiko stepped away and towards Kozue.

“I suppose this is how it’s going to be, for now.”  Gently,she took the sheet music from the sullen-looking young woman.  “Thank you, Kozue-chan, you did very well in trying to help them.”

“What’s the use of trying?”  Kozue’s voice regained its usual bitter harshness.  “This is just like how it was with those hatchlings from that endangered nest I tried saving.  Miki and I spent days setting up a next box and caring for the young birds; but the parent birds never did came back for their young, and the little ones all got sick and died in the end.”   She remembered how she then just left the deadened mess there, and how her twin was the one to clean it up afterwards; that incident, which brought them closer to each other for a little while, ended up driving them even further apart than before.  “Say, it’s because of some magical magnetic field here that I can sing like that again, isn’t it?  It shouldn’t be possible, not with my vocal cords all fried . . .”

“We can do many things we think are impossible,” said Tokiko, her firm, mature-seeming conviction infectious enough to alarm the cynical girl, “so long as we’re still willing to try.”

“Oh, C’mon-”

RING!!!!!

What sounded like a household security alarm was now blasting through the once tranquil atmosphere of the starry “galaxy”; Kozue thought, for a moment, that she spotted the walls and edges of the actual room, currently submerged underneath this eerie outer space.

“W-What?”

“They’ve come,” eyes narrowing, Tokiko’s once delicate-seeming figure now is taut with sharp angles and straight lines, “just like Himemiya-san said they would, once we’ve gathered everyone into this sanctuary.”

“Who came?” asked the girl, noticing how K-taro and S-taro – along with their four penguins – were now standing in alert stances.

“Invisible Souls born of the unholy research to harness fate,” the woman’s agelss face now was frosting over as winter snow.  “Ohtori’s undying shadows.”

***

“So . . . this is it?”

Refocusing his vision, since gone hazy from overwhelming pain and humiliation, Utena saw that it was Nanami who spoke.

“This is what you’ve learned from battling the Ends of the World?” asked the wide-eyed young blonde, her voice trembling from what could be either fear or outrage.  “That to be a girl is to be weak?  That being a man is equivalent to being strong?  This, ” she pointed a shaky finger at his sword-represented manhood, currently pulsing as per his heartbeat, “is your Revolution?”

Right then, two rounded sword handles popped out from between Utena’s legs under the pulsing blade, juggling as if loosened; pushed past the limit of his self-control (and his sanity), Utena stumbled backwards while letting out a trail of broken, desperate noises that sounded at once like wheezing laughter and choked screaming.    Anthy, her hair and house dress both disheveled from earlier violence, looked like she wanted to go up to him, but was held back by wariness.

“Nanami!” Juri hissed warningly at the blonde – who was wordless once more – then visibly steeled herself as she cautiously stepped up towards him.  “Utena, it’s oka-”

“It’s NOT okay!” Utena roared like a wild man from where she was backed against the wall, and even the assured ex-fencer went rigid at his despairing rage.  “What more do you want me to say?  I was bedridden in a nearby hospital for months and none of you came to see me!  The Million Swords . . . they were plowing me inside out, night and day, calling me a girl a slut a witch a whore and ramming at my cunt my ass my mouth my breasts and none of the freaking doctors and specialists can see them!”  His fingers started clawing at the wall, clamping down upon a small, random picture frame.   “All this . . .  all just because I WAS A GIRL!!!”  He threw the item at Juri – who dodged – and it smashed a window screen that happened to be right above Wabaka’s head.

In a rather dramatic display of athleticism, Saionji had pushed Nanami aside while sweeping Wakaba off her feet and away, thus keeping both away from the showering glass shards.  Putting the young woman (trembling as she curled up in a fetal position) down, the towering hulk of a man stomped right up towards Utena, and slapped him soundly the face amidst everyone’s shocked gasps.  The bigger man would have landed another hit, if not for Juri quickly diving forward to restrain him.

“What the hell are you doing?” snapped the woman, voice and expression stern enough to cut glass. “You . . . ” Her voice trailed off at seeing the somber expression on Saionji’s face, as he looked down upon the dumbfounded, wide-eyed Utena.

“You would never let any man, or anyone, slap you around back when you were just a stupid girl trying to be a prince.” Saionji spoke in the voice of one in looking at a ruin that he knew was once spectacular and grand.   “What happened to you, Tenjou?”

“Saionji . . .” Slowly, Utena drew the name out from between his clenched, bared teeth; he was filled to the blink with hate by now.  “You . . . !”

“You used to be a prince among women,” eyes narrowed, Saionji slowly shook his head as if in painful denial. “Now, you’re just some sad, dickless punk who fakes it as a man, who feels sorry for himself and throws hissy fits like the lowliest of bitches.” Grabbing Utena by the front of his tee, he lifted up the rage-filled trans man like the latter weighted nothing.  “This is your Revolution?  You took the chance that should’ve been Touga’s, and you just let it go WASTED!”   He punctuated the last word by slamming Utena soundly against the wall amidst Juri’s alarmed exclaim.

“Get back!”  Anthy’s cry from behind them came not a moment too late, as numerous swords burst out point-first from all over Utena’s body, from every single inch; their many tips would have skewered both Saionji and Juri, had those two not leapt backwards in time.  Moving closer (more like huddled together) with the rest of the group, they all watched the giant metal sea urchin that used to be Utena in horrified awe; Utena, now totally eclipsed by the Swords and their hatred, could only glare balefully at them from where his body and mind got fenced in behind the walls of sharp metal.

“Are these . . .?”  asked Juri, trembling in spite of her upright stance.  Anthy, now standing in front of the group facing the pulsing, thrusting mass of outward pointing swords, nodded grimly.

“The Million Swords – the parasitic hatred that used to torment me back when I was the Bride; they’ve been infesting Utena for these past ten years.”

“And you just let them?” asked a hysterical Wakaba in fear and outrage.  Anthy closed her eyes as if the Swords’ very sight hurt her.

“If I could’ve found her earlier, before she tried escaping the Swords’ ongoing assailment by physically erasing her own female gender, I still might have a chance of saving her myself.  As it is now . . .”

“So these . . . they are the reason that Tenjou had to forsake her womanhood; had to butcher her body into becoming the mess that it is today;” muttered Saionji, eyeing the grotesque metals as if truly seeing them for the first time. “These, these are the maggots infesting this faux masculine form that is now her new coffin!”

“The swords cut into the weakest part of the individual’s psyche,” Anthy’s voice was distant as if from another time and place, “it’s from there that they zap strength from the mind to keep themselves nourished.  Their host will all gradually lose their character, starting from the parts that were the most vulnerable to begin with.”  Her dark, delicate fists now were clenched into balls.  “I believe you all know what I lacked back when I was Bride of the Rose; Utena now has lost something precious, something that she once had pre-Revolution.”

“Her femininity,” Miki’s light tenor now sounded low and dark.  “Or rather, her confidence in her femininity, in her being a woman.”  Blinking back tears, he turned away from the sword-ravaged spectacle that the Victor became.  “She was such a charismatic, princely girl back then . . . and now . . . !”

“Well, is there anyway to get rid of them?” Nanami’s voice came out in a squeak from where she now hid behind a trembling Tsuwabuki.  “Like, maybe give these back to your monster brother?  He was the one who killed those people in the first place!”

“That is indeed my intention,” replied Anthy; back straight, fists still clenched, she lowered her head such that thick fringes now obscured her eyes. “It’s for making that happen that I’ve gathered everyone here today.”

“. . . what do you mean?” asked Shiori, her fear visibly directed at not just the swords, but the former Rose Bride as well.  Sensing this, and likely feeling much the same, all the others too started backing away from Anthy, whose voluminous long hair now was rippling in the still air as if tossed by wild winds; they were all watching her instead of Utena now, their eyes reflecting both fear and suspicion . . .

“Anthy . . .” Saionji started, but was hushed by Anthy raising a finger to her lips.

“Listen,” she whispered under her breath, “they’ve come.”

“ . . .who?” asked Juri; warily, guardedly.

While the rest of the old gang still were as baffled as the ex-fencer, Utena already could sense their presences from where he was buried beneath the raging, hateful swords.

They were surfacing upon a wall to the side, upon which the lights were all the brighter, the shadows all the darker; already impressions of long limbs and narrow torsos could be seen on the newly formed “shadow stage”.  As their peals of girlish giggles got louder and louder, even the gathering of shell-shocked ex-duelists now were beginning to take notice of these eerie creatures intruding into the already too fantastical scene.  There appeared to be about three of them: two of them - one curly-haired, the other pigtailed – were carrying shadowy forms that resembled a carousel horse and a toilet seat-cover, respectively; the high-tailed one hogging the middle spot (one could tell by their body languages that she was indeed aggressively “hogging the spot") had both hands on her tall, phallic-shaped mic stand, and was yelling enthusiastically (while struggling not to get pushed off stage by the other two):

Extra!  Extra!

Do you wonder what we know?

End Part Four

Notes:

My thanks go to victor_vvv on Penguindrum LiveJournal for providing me the name of the music score (Children of Fate) that Tokiko and Kozue performed for K-taro and S-taro to help them remember their past.

I’d also like to thank Alan Harnum for coming up with first names for Ohtori’s real chairman (Tsukiichi), Mrs. Ohtori (Hoshimi), and Professor Nemuro (Chirikazu), in his undying classic Jaquemart: those are the names I’m going to use for the characters in the coming parts of Seinen Kakumei Utena.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-30-2012 09:46:14 AM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#21 | Back to Top05-29-2012 03:53:48 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Hi guys:

I think this is important to post in this thread.  It is about a certain aspect of Seinen Kakumei Utena that some might easily take the wrong way:

Luve wrote in the Possibility of Utena becoming a man post series? thread (http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=3057)

While I don't see her as transexual, I can accept Utena making that change with such a premise. I'm just a little concerned how it might come across for actual transexuals.

What happened to my version of Utena is like an ordinarily masculine man who was ultimatedly humilated/degraded by having his manhood repeatedly ridiculed, then tortured endlessly until he agreed to sex-change plus wear dresses for the rest of his life: that, is COMPLETELY different than a woman trapped inside a man's body (ie. real life transexual) wanting to sex-change so what's outside is closer to how she feel inside.

Real life trans men do HRT hoping to empower their own self and feel like the men that they are inside, while the swords degenerated trans Utena's self by forcing Utena to self destruct a part of her self (her womanhood) that was battered and weakened in duel; the former attains their true selves (as far as current technology permits) through HRT, the latter loses it.

Hope this clears things up for readers.


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#22 | Back to Top05-29-2012 09:28:29 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

POSTER # 1 UP!
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2IeTi7UB-X4/T8WHhR79anI/AAAAAAAAAFo/ehRKqwDr5Pc/s1600/SKU_poster1_rs1.gif
Seinen Kakumei Utena:  It's a mature revolution this time around.

Left Column, from up to down: Saionji, Touga (yes, he got a "W" branded to his face now)
Middle Column: Anthy, Utena (post "process"; and yes, that's one of those swords right there)
Right Column, from up to down, left to right: Juri, Miki, Tsuwabuki
Another poster with K-taro, S-Taro, Tokiko and Mikage (all prominently featured in the story) coming up in the future.


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#23 | Back to Top05-30-2012 06:01:12 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Poster # 2
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7EOwfkHqHqM/T8azSS9K6LI/AAAAAAAAAF0/yT6RHwc0QAs/s1600/SKU_poster1_rs2.gif

From left to right: Tokiko, Mikage, S-taro,K-taro (and a penguin)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#24 | Back to Top05-31-2012 05:15:46 PM

Ashnod
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

gorgeousshutin wrote:

If it's a story you make public, and it's Utena, then I want to read it!

Eventually...the stupid thing has stymied me for nearly 10 years (oh the irony), and I'm weary of thinking progress is about to be made only to find nothing comes of my effort.

The ENTIRE story's main point/convolutions is planned out in draft, I'll go into more detail with you once someone can tell me how to use SPOILER TEXT here in this forum.

Oh no, you don't have to be spoilerific. Just hoping you already knew what the overarching plot with Ohtori was going to be and weren't winging it. If you've already got it plotted out, then I'm content to see it develop.

I got this idea at seeing how in ep 39, we were shown Utena getting rushed by the swords (which I interpret as her moment of exit from ohtori) then followed by scene of Wakaba looking for her (clearly still remembers), all the while the swords are destroying the arena and such.  The shadow-talk that followed went as if (in my interpretation) the shadows represented the general students of Ohtori 2 months post utena's disappearance: it went like the students remember who Utena was, that they once clamored her, but no longer cares about her now that she is gone from their surroundings; I took that as the students showing the apathy we so often seen in real life people (its so easy to lose touch with people), especially teens; thus how this story comes about.

Where as I never took this as apathy. At worst, it was enchantment. At best, the scene was meant to show that life, despite the hardships of the series, was moving on and the Duelists were not held back by it as Mikage had been. Not only from the Duels themselves, but from the hangups the entire cast had up to that point. I think this aspect of the ending was meant to be optimistic to a point as something to indicate the things we find important while adolescents will not always have power over us. While some of the scene is related to the fact that Utena is gone, I don't think that they simply chose to ignore her absence as though she only mattered while directly in their immediate circle.

Nanami, in the final "student council" scene, took off the ring first and say she just want to forget the whole thing, note how Miki said he wondered "if this is something they can forget", not "if this is something they should forget".  Then Juri went on with her recalling (how she forget an unforgettable self-sacrifice-er), thus to me mean that the Council members, no matter how persistent-minded they thought they might be, too will “forget” Utena out of the apathetic inclination - towards those thought to no longer have anything to do with the present - that is part of human nature.

Again, I don't think this is apathy; see above. But this is simply a difference of interpretation between us.

But the Student Council kids were shown as wealthy, resourceful people; Juri, in particular, was mentioned to have an "intelligence network."

Sure, but how far does that power extend? The Student Council wields enormous power within the confines of Ohtori (perhaps within Hou'ou City as well), but I can't see that influence extending too far beyond it. Juri's network, which keeps her informed of the goings on within the school, would probably not extend to the hospitals of the neighboring cities.

And most importantly, apathy between people and the ruinous results it brings is MAJOR in my story, so the part about Duelists forgetting their Victor is an interpretation I can not change.

Oh, I was never suggesting that they wouldn't have forgotten. I was suggesting that they wouldn't have forgotten immediately. That they attempted to find her and failed, and thus moved on and later forgot.

But the student council (saionji knows Mikage) and even Utena (pre meeting Mikage) knows about the Mikage seminar , and there's this:

The pink van bore a plate with the letters “MIKAGE”, headed by a black rose motif.

I figured Juri is sharped-minded enough to make the connection immediately.  Oh, and the only reason she "remembers before Shiori" is because she is sharp-eyed enough to  spot the car plate prior to Shiori.

Hmm. I don't agree that this is sufficient to spark Juri's memory, especially since there appeared to be some enchantment on her memory for the whole events of the Black Rose Arc. But again, I'm a nitpicker, and this isn't exactly a narrative-shattering problem.

Being Asian - though not Japanese, we have our "sempai-term" equivalent - I can tell you this:
In STRICT traditional term, all upperclassmen in a school should be called sempai by their lowerclassmen.  Thus why Miki call Utena Tenjou-sempai even though he is on the student council and she is not.  To NOT use the word sempai on an upper classman was, in traditional terms (and older times), to think that his/her accomplishment/character do not merit the title thus can be interpreted as a form of antagonism and/or rudeness towards the upperclassman.  Utena came out in the late nineties thus was in a world where the use or unuse of the sempai term became a lot more casual than before thus kids can really do skip the sempai terms with upperclassmen that they feel (without malice) are not accomplished enough to warrant the term, and said upperclassman would likely not take offense - but he has the right to be if he want to go the "traditional" route.  Shiori's char. suffer from inferiority complex, so suppose she and Juri are together and Juri is called sempai while she is just -san, she can feel "pricked" (am I really so inferior, even though I was also on the fencing team post show, and is now Juri's colleague); considering how old Anthy really is, and how she knows the mind's workings of people she deals with, she will only use the -san on Shiori if she is to antagonize her.

Would she really be using it 10 years after they have left the school, however? It would make sense for Miki to refer to Juri as senpai all these years later as a show of respect for their time together and the relationship they once had, but Anthy never had anything like that with Shiori and as two adults who barely interacted with each other during their school years, it just reads as awkward to me. I'll defer to your judgement of cultural norms, but I can't see Anthy referring to Shiori as anything but "-san."

Being that Utena is an anime, I figure even a mature fic on it should have anime-esque elements, that being said, I thought in part 4
“Himemiya,” spoke Juri, her voice as concerned as it was cautious, “is Utena not well?”
“Utena has not been well for a very long time,” replied Anthy

Yes, but this can be interpreted any number of ways. One does not normally ascribe someone undergoing a sex-change as "not well."

What I'm concerned is whether this part in part 4 is offensive to trans person, and if so what changes should I make in the story's presentation?  I can give you the metaplot concerning UTena but I need to be able to use SPOILER TEXT.

I can't speak for female-to-male transmen here, obviously, but I didn't think you did anything overtly offensive. You didn't fetishize the transformation, which I think might have been a real concern. I still disagree with the rape analogy, particularly the bit with Utena explicitly describing how the swords violate her physically while belittling her femininity (even if it is Akio's voice and not the voices of swords' bearers from long ago).

In Seinen part 1, Anthy said: “Had people on the Council – had anyone at all – bothered to look for her then, she would certainly be found; and I, with my senses attuned to each and every one of my engaged, would have found her accordingly.”

This limits her "engaged ones" to Saionji and Touga, and puts the responsibility of doing this squarely on their shoulders. It absolves Shiori, Juri, Nanami, Miki, Tswabuki, Ruka, Keiko, Wakaba, Kanae, and Kozue of any guilt in this. Unless "engaged" refers to Duelists as a whole, in which case I'd recommend changing the wording.

I still don’t know how to use spoiler text yet, but I’ll say this: one of the Duelist will be shown ( in a future part/chapter) to have come across Utena 3 years prior to Seinen’s beginning (7 years post revolution) while neither recognize the other (this will be a crucial scene to the plot): Anytway, that was all it took for Anthy (going by painful trial and error wandering all over the world for 7 years), attuned to her duelists, to locate utena immediately.  And Anthy cannot even think of subtly mention the “revolutionary success” without immediately debilitated by the enchantment – if its gonna be this easy, Akio and his alliance would’ve found Utena long ago.

See above again for the use of "engaged" vs "Duelists" where Anthy is concerned. I'm curious how Anthy was able to track Utena down if the Duelist in question did not recognize Utena and Utena did not recognize him (I'm assuming this is Touga or Saionji, but I could be mistaken). If the enchantment can be broken by simple proximity and not by familiarity or recognition, it runs the risk of dissolving simply due to Utena using the restroom in a nearby coffeeshop while Akio orders a latte. That's just my impression given your description, mind you. You would obviously have a better understanding of how the metaphysics of your setting work.

Japan is a country notorious for having many underground, unlicensed, uninspected clinics connected to the yakuza; at such clinics, people can even buy human organs illegally for transplant.  A person who desperately wants to go through either sex-change, plastic surgery, or abortion can easily do so without any body/mind evaluations at all when they go to these clinics (which only care if they pay up), but the results of surgeries there are often problematic or out outright botched.

Sure. The question would then be asked where did Utena get the money to pay these underground facilities? What has she/he been doing the past 10 years that would enable this to take place? If the trauma and the pain of the swords is as crippling as it appears thus far, I can't see the character functioning in society very well. But this is probably something you'll be covering in a later chapter.

Last edited by Ashnod (05-31-2012 05:17:49 PM)


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#25 | Back to Top05-31-2012 06:36:44 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: [Fanfic][2012]Seinen Kakumei Utena: yes, it's the actual fic itself

Hi Ashnod:

getting back to parts of the points you cover:

Would she really be using it 10 years after they have left the school, however?

If Anthy is trying to be seen as traditionally, classically polite, with an intention (even if only at face value) to re-acquant with Shiori for longer than a few minutes, then yes.

I can't speak for female-to-male transmen here, obviously, but I didn't think you did anything overtly offensive. You didn't fetishize the transformation, which I think might have been a real concern.

Thank god, now I can sleep easier.

edit to add:  I don't know if I've covered this before, but when Juri in part 4 made the comment if Utena is unwell, it's because they see him looking strangely in constant, irregular expressions of pains/agony (the swords' effects).

This limits her "engaged ones" to Saionji and Touga, and puts the responsibility of doing this squarely on their shoulders. It absolves Shiori, Juri, Nanami, Miki, Tswabuki, Ruka, Keiko, Wakaba, Kanae, and Kozue of any guilt in this. Unless "engaged" refers to Duelists as a whole, in which case I'd recommend changing the wording.

Will do.
Start spoiler: Anthy's being attuned to the duelists works as in many asian-myth witchcraft does, by detection of the specific, signature-like chi/life-energy between individuals: (i.e. Anthy will not know the details of what exactly is happening to the duelists, but will know when their chi flow changes (reflecting their bodies/minds in different states of well-being); when one of the duelists are in close proximity to Utena, Utena's chi will impact the duelist's chi, and Anthy will detect it through her being attuned to the duelist in proximity to Utena thus knowing the location (she still needs to hurry there though, as the duelist can move about and away quickly).

See above again for the use of "engaged" vs "Duelists" where Anthy is concerned. I'm curious how Anthy was able to track Utena down if the Duelist in question did not recognize Utena and Utena did not recognize him (I'm assuming this is Touga or Saionji, but I could be mistaken). If the enchantment can be broken by simple proximity and not by familiarity or recognition, it runs the risk of dissolving simply due to Utena using the restroom in a nearby coffeeshop while Akio orders a latte. .

Start spoiler: It does, actually.  The enchantment can only be broken by a random, or as some would say, "fate-decided" meeting between Anthy/Utena or Akio/Utena. This goes with the fate-theme that's also prominent in Penguindrum

Thanks again Ashnod; will talk more when I get to go online again maybe in an hr! 

edited to add

Sure. The question would then be asked where did Utena get the money to pay these underground facilities? What has she/he been doing the past 10 years that would enable this to take place? If the trauma and the pain of the swords is as crippling as it appears thus far, I can't see the character functioning in society very well. But this is probably something you'll be covering in a later chapter.

Start spoiler: In the same way that Utena get to be in the hospital: that is a a part of the Power of "the Light of the World" that the Victor of the duel gets from opening the Rose Gates.
The following is part of my interpret of the series, mainly for the sake of this story. 
The power of the Light of the World, also called the Power of Dios, is what had transferred from Dios to Anthy during Dios' fall and Anthy's sacrifice in ancient times (thus why the shadow girls says the Witch steals away the Light of the World, and why Anthy is the one behind the Rose Gates - the Power of Dios slumbered within the Rose Bride all along).  The reason Anthy cannot control/use much of it in the series is because of the swords - and this is the problem Utena now faces as well. In Anthy/Utena's last scene together in Ep 39, the arena broke in two (prior to the swords coming down) because even with the 100 black rose boys supporting it, Anthy's powers was the main force supporting the illusion - when the power transferred out of Anthy at such a rapid rate, Anthy lost her hold on the arena, thus why it broke and misleading Utena into thinking she failed. 

But the power exists inside post-series Utena, and that power smooths things over for Utena in the real world (why she was immediately found and hospitalized, how the hospital bills were shown paid for on the Hospital's computers, how she can easily get odd jobs to sustain herself through living and HRT . . . Post-Utena is living a should have been lucky-charmed life that was grotesquely marred by the Swords that kept the power Light of the World largely restraint. 

There is also Utena's own uncertainty after she started taking HRT, thus why she altered between stopping and ongoing the treatment that ended up wrecking her own body and further weakening her ability to draw out the power more - which results in Anthy's determination in bringing down Akio and seizing his power, so she can use it help save Utena by resetting Utena's body back to its unaltered state (it's the same condition reverse power that allowed for Akio to turn Nemuro, an adult, back into Mikage, a teen).

With Anthy's help after their reunion, small portions of Utena's Light of the World can be drawn out for use, thus why Anthy can show Juri and Shiori the Light of the World in Seinen Part 1.  All the duelists in Part 2 have been "baptized" by the Light of The World, which allowed the group to easily draw out their soul swords/inner strengths and change their physical selves freely into other forms of expression (like Seinen Mikage, going from a car, a piano to a robot) as is needed for the occasion. The Light also allows' the Duelists' eyes to easily see through Akio's illusions, thus how they will from now on see the Invisible People (Penguindrum element - real form looking like toilet door men/women symbols; in my fic, they are people like a few steps above the Black Rose boys (the latter's bodies get burned and turned into Invisible Souls aka shadow-girl lite) whose life essences get taken away for Akio's fuel, leaving them empty shells of human beings.  Examples would be Juri's coworkers that can be made disappear by Anthy at will.  When the duelists walk on the streets or even watch TV, they'll see hordes of people who look like toilet gender symbols)                   


P.s. I am actually thinking of POSTING a skeleton of the story (all the events in the story in chronological order) here in this thread in spoiler text, just in case if I can never finish the story myself, someone else might be interested enough to finish it for me, so Seinen does not become one of those unfinished multi-part fics that I myself gets annoyed with.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-31-2012 09:27:31 PM)


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 42 as of Aug 08, 2017)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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