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HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#1 | Back to Top12-29-2006 01:05:45 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Ah, this is kind of a random question here, but I'd like to put it to the forum as it just occurred to me while watching random AMVs. Juri never physically lost a duel to Utena (to Ruka, yes, but that's a whole 'nother twist in the tale). She was always sort of defeated by herself, really. But! Do you believe that Juri was the superior swordswoman and Utena couldn't have won against her anyway, or did Juri's losses simply signify that she was never actually a part of the duels anyway? i.e. how can you lose a duel for the Rose Bride if you weren't actually trying in the first place?

And if that IS the case, did Akio purposely put Juri in the game as a superior fighter that Utena could defeat (to develop her confidence) because he knew Juri wasn't playing to win?

...if this makes sense to anybody else, I'd be happy to hear it. Otherwise, give me your ideas at will. emot-biggrin


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

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#2 | Back to Top12-29-2006 01:39:16 PM

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

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Skill is probably the last thing that matters. In any other normal fencing arena Utena is probably outclassed by all the duellists except Nanami.

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#3 | Back to Top12-29-2006 01:48:56 PM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 189

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Not true, Nanami really shapes up in her last duel, and both time she needed the power of Dios to defeat her. The only duelitss she doesn't defeat with the power of Dios is Miki (1st Arc), Saionji 1st round, Touga 2nd round (I swear that "I'm carrying a broken weapon compared to your sharp longsword", does show that she has skills) Wakaba, I think she also beats Touga in the 3rd Arc without the Power of Dios using once agian "You're on a motorcycle, looking as if you're going to cut off my head, but let me rush at you with sword, hardly at your waist and cut off your rose" sort of thing. Though as proven, especially in that last duel with her, Utena desperately neded the Power of Dios to beat her that time. I'd say out of all the time she activates that power, that is the most cheating time to do so, she's on the floor, Nanami's about to win, then wha? I win button? It's like utena's playing with a Gamshark during that last arc.


Please check out the MTG Utena Set Progress we have made at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?id=o … 103070805#

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#4 | Back to Top12-29-2006 02:14:44 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Clarice wrote:

She was always sort of defeated by herself, really.

I think the same could be said for all the duellists. But that might be straying from the main topic a bit.

I would say without a doubt Juri was the superior swordsman (swordswoman?) and probably the best duellist in the series. Ruka says she is, at least, potentially better than he is. But duelling isn't like chess or even boxing. In a duel you only need one lucky hit to win and all the skill in the world won't prove infallible indefintely. There's a great explanation of this in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court:

Mark Twain wrote:

But don't you know, there are some things that can beat smartness and foresight. Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn't need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn't do the thing he ought to do, and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.

Not that I think Utena is completely new to duelling, but I imagine at the beginning of the series she had more experience playing basketball than wielding a sword.

Regardless, the first duel against Juri has got to be fixed. The sword goes through the center of the rose in a perfect vertical drop. Either it should have clipped the rose closer to the stem or impaled Juri. Not to mention the odds of the sword doing that in the first place; it is indeed a miracle. The look on Anthy's face immediatly afterwards is telling as well.

Touga remarks, in his first duel, that Utena is a novice and the only problem he faces is the Power of Dios. In his second duel, believing she no longer had access to that sort of power, he shows no restraint or concern.

In both of Miki's duels he loses because his focus is broken, the first time by Anthy and the second by Kozue macking on Anthy.

I agree that Juri may not be trying her hardest to win in her second duel, but I do think she was going all out in the first one. The 'only' reason she didn't win was because she wanted to show Utena up and humiliate her for having ideals that Juri hated. Instead of stopping her sword in front of Utena's eye, she could have clipped the rose.

I think Akio knew that all the duellists would lose to Utena, in part because he (and/or Anthy) was stacking the deck in her favour and because the Student Council is made up of deeply troubled individuals who have exploitable weaknesses.

Last edited by Ragnarok (12-29-2006 02:16:17 PM)


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#5 | Back to Top12-29-2006 02:35:20 PM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Utena certainly doesn't practice kendo or fencing outside the duelling arena, so her formal skills are nonexistant. Under normal circumstances she could only win through pure luck or opponent doing a crave mistake. Then again, under normal circumstances it'd be near-impossible to cut off a rose on a person's chest without wounding them, in any case. The point, I think is that in the duelling arena ordinary skill is only a part of the package - the sincerity one fights with takes a long way, in there, since it's Akio's goal to refine the purest of hearts. The Power of Dios only adds to this by giving yet another unfair advantage to Utena, after she's been ultimately chosen as the coming winner of the duels.


Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!

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#6 | Back to Top12-29-2006 02:39:11 PM

Iris
Queen of the Video Box
From: The whispers of twilight
Registered: 12-28-2006
Posts: 2124

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

I can't recall what episode it's said in, but it's mentioned that the sword of Dios, although very strong, is still just a sword.  No matter what, the person still has to have very good fencing skills.


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#7 | Back to Top12-29-2006 02:47:53 PM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Iris wrote:

I can't recall what episode it's said in, but it's mentioned that the sword of Dios, although very strong, is still just a sword.  No matter what, the person still has to have very good fencing skills.

It was Saionji who said that, at time when he wasn't in very understanding state of mind. He said that its wielder must be a "great swordsman". He was referring to the skill, ofcourse, but at the time he didn't have slightest idea of the true nature of the duels. Still, he might have had an unintentional point - in most cultures it takes more to be a great swordsman than just skill. Samurai, knights and princes, for that matter are generally seen pursuing higher goals - sincerity and purity.


Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!

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#8 | Back to Top12-29-2006 03:18:23 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
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Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Mark Twain wrote:
But don't you know, there are some things that can beat smartness and foresight. Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn't need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn't do the thing he ought to do, and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.

In other words, the 'klutz' is more dangerous than the 'almost as skilled'.  Thats almost the unwritten basis of many characters in anime and other mediums like Sailor Moon, Inspector Gadget, Keitaro Urashima, Maxwell Smart... just to name a few from the top of my head.

Barring the power of Dios and outside influences, Utena has a lot of natural physical and athletic ability as shown in episode 1, so itís possible that she has learnt to duel pretty well even if in a melodramatic kind of way.  I must say that when it comes to the broken sword fighting technique, Utena rules like no other thatís for bloody sure. emot-dance

They keep mentioning in the series what a top-notch fencer Juri is but it would have been more telling if you could see her winning duels against opponents like Touga and Saionji even if they were only just practicing.


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#9 | Back to Top12-29-2006 03:42:51 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
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Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

I personally believe that Juri has more skill than any other. The ironic thing about Juri's duels is simply that she loses to miracles. This is why she duels, as well as why she is defeated. In her first duel anyway. Juri COULD have won the first duel, despite Dios. If you'll notice, the whole re-used clip of Dios descending to Utena happens BEFORE Juri knocks the blade from her hand. If the sword had not miraculously fallen in the EXACT way as to penetrate her rose, Utena would have lost.

The second duel is fought, in my opinion, against Juri's will. Ruka won the duel between them, and she had to do as he asked. All he asked of her was to take a ride [albiet to the End of the World! but still]. He didn't TELL her she had to duel, but he carefully planned the setup out. Playing the tape of Shiori, the mockery of her loves and beliefs...then he so casually mentions the duel. Juri isn't fighting for...anything, really, in the eyes of some. I never stop thinking that she fights for her miracle, not to disprove them. But when Utena makes her move, Juri does not loose her rose, but her locket. Yah yah, blah blah, we all know what happens. But this always sticks out to me. When she removes her rose, it becomes pretty clear that Juri would rather have her love than gain the power of revolution. She wants to love Shiori. Her fighting to disprove miracles was a guise for her wish to have one, but its debatable what her miracle really was. Some think it was so she would no longer love Shiori. But in the end, Juri would rather have the ability to feel something, even if it is pain,  than have the power to feel nothing. [this is why I believe that her miracle would be having her affection returned. But that really isn't important right now.]

But *ahem* back to the question, I think that if Juri were really trying, she could easily beat Utena. But the sad thing is, nothing would make Juri really try. She may want a miracle, but she doesn't believe that she could be granted one. So subconsciously, there isn't a chance she would give up what she feels in her heart.


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#10 | Back to Top12-29-2006 04:20:03 PM

Starfire
Rose Smilee
From: With faires, you know the ones
Registered: 12-29-2006
Posts: 127

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Exactly my sentiments.


You know you want to. You need to. You have no choice. Do it.

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#11 | Back to Top12-29-2006 05:47:02 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

dollface wrote:

But *ahem* back to the question, I think that if Juri were really trying, she could easily beat Utena. But the sad thing is, nothing would make Juri really try. She may want a miracle, but she doesn't believe that she could be granted one. So subconsciously, there isn't a chance she would give up what she feels in her heart.

I agree with this, and would add that's what makes her the best fighter in the arena. She's internally opposed to winning, she doesn't want to win, but it means she fights with a cool head, and it actually makes her better for it. Out of the arena, I wouldn't necessarily say she's the best fighter. She's the best fencer, yes, because pretty much everyone says Miki's not a good fighter. Ruka...well you don't know the story there. He taught her, but the student can always top the master. She is the fencing team's captain, so she's good. But if you're measuring skill outside the arena, Saionji competes and apparently wins repeatedly. Yet he certainly doesn't appear to be as good as Juri when it's time to face Utena. Opposite problem; he's so bent on winning that he gets too riled up and it messes with his performance. By the way Saionji speaks of it, Touga's at least as good as he is, perhaps better.

All the duelists are defeated by themselves, but Juri wants to be defeated. The others really do want to win, and the emotionally charged atmosphere tends to work against them. The only one that could remotely compete with Juri for being coolheaded in the arena is Touga. Ruka I'm not counting since I think he was more scouting the territory than trying to win.

This is kinda off the subject but didn't the BRS duelists tend to reflect the skill set and attitude of the people whose sword they took? I vaguely recall (been a while) Shiori being especially level-headed in the arena, and Wakaba was just throwing all kinds of venom around.


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
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#12 | Back to Top12-29-2006 05:48:33 PM

A Day Without Me
Still Drunk in the Morning?
From: in the tulip garden!
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 1584

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

I would agree with many others in their opinion that Juri is probably the best swordsperson in the entire series, and certainly better than Utena. Utena never really defeats her in a way - the sword falls through he rose in the first, and in the second she tears her own rose off. So, while technically Utena wins, she only won through the actions of others (the falling sword was probably Dios' effort).

EDIT: I got cut off and now I lost my train of thought emot-mad How irritating! Expect a better response from me in a bit.

Last edited by A Day Without Me (12-29-2006 08:20:46 PM)


"I'm bringing paxil back. (Yup)
My HMO might just pick up the tab. (Yup)
I got the tremors and I need a nap. (Yup)
I gave my rent check to them Pfizer cats."

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#13 | Back to Top12-29-2006 08:48:21 PM

Suyo
Tenjou Tilter
From: Washington
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 82

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

No doubt

Juri could have easily gained the Power of Revolution
if Akio and/or Anthy weren't against her.

(though they're not 'against' her, they're just all-for-utena)

I'm writing a fanfic where juri wins ;O
happy ending for juri-san!!!
though alot of people die ;D
This makes me want to write more of it..

If Akio weren't in on Utena's victory
The only reason Juri would not win is because she's too focused on her feelings for Shiori. Then again the "Revolution" is there to fulfil one's desires, right? In which case Juri should win anyway. So if Akio/Anthy didn't exist, Juri would win no matter what (though I'm slightly biased, but i dun care) XD 
Juri-san etc-love


May those who accept their fate be granted happiness. May those who defy it be granted Glory.

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#14 | Back to Top12-29-2006 10:30:42 PM

A Day Without Me
Still Drunk in the Morning?
From: in the tulip garden!
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 1584

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

I don't think Juri would've won even if Akio or Anthy weren't so diehard pulling for Utena - after all, she doesn't really want to possess the Rose Bride, as clearly evidenced by the fact that prior to Utena's appearance Juri is not in possession of the Rose Bride - it is Saionji, whom I believe Juri could've defeated in the dueling arena, because although Saionji certainly is a skilled swordsman, he lacks a cool head.

In the end, Juri only ends up dueling for the Rose Bride at all because one time she's coerced, and the other time she is specifically angry at Utena - if these conditions had not existed, Juri never would've tried for the Rose Bride at all.


"I'm bringing paxil back. (Yup)
My HMO might just pick up the tab. (Yup)
I got the tremors and I need a nap. (Yup)
I gave my rent check to them Pfizer cats."

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#15 | Back to Top12-29-2006 11:22:13 PM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

I don't think it's really possible to compare Juri to Touga and Saionji outside the arena - kendo and European fencing are two very different things and outside of the arena they would never compete the way they do within the arena - Juri doesn't do kendo and Touga and Saionji don't fence so it's really not possible to have them meet on even ground.

I do think that Juri's the best duellist because like everyone's pointed out before me, she only loses by her own actions - the falling sword and the removal of her own rose. And her loss in the first duel is indeed a miracle - the Sword of Dios could not have become situated directly above her naturally, since it flew off to the side when Juri disarmed Utena. So without that, even with the gloating Juri would have won.

I really do think that Juri didn't want to win - even without the deck stacked against her, what would she do if she won? She tells Ruka when she's in the car that even if she did win, she'd just want to protect Shiori from him. She's so used to being miserable that I don't think she knows what she'd do if she had a chance to be happy.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#16 | Back to Top12-30-2006 11:44:18 AM

Blade
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
From: Darkest Canada
Registered: 12-01-2006
Posts: 181
Website

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

I don't believe skill matters one whit in the arena, and Juri wasn't going to win regardless of what she did. As I've noted before, the duels are rigged - Anthy summons up "Dios", and even if you believe that's the real PoD (I don't), the fact remains we see that Anthy does it (plus Anthy gives Utena her sword and interferes in multiple other ways as well). Juri, even if she is better than Saionji and Touga (who are described as masters by Ruka), is still never going to win if supernatural beings who can control her perceptions are against her. Had she tried to win, she still would have lost; indeed, you can argue that's exactly what happened in her first duel. She didn't choose to lose, there, she consciously decided to beat Utena's "miracle" just to show how hollow it was, and would indeed have won the duel had the "miracle" - ie, Anthy cheating - not happened. She gets to block the Dios rush because that's part of her shtick as an opponent for Utena, rather than any innate virtue of her skill. Tsuwabuki blocks it too, after all, and we'd hardly say Tsuwabuki with Nanami's skill is better than Saionji, Miki or Touga.

I also think the reason Nanami didn't put up any sort of fight the first time, and did the second time, is also just basically due to the whim of Anthy and Akio. Though some disagree, as I noted before, I don't think anywhere outside the duelling arena could Nanami leap ten feet in the air.

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#17 | Back to Top12-30-2006 04:55:52 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
Website

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

If I'm not mistaken, I think it might actually be said in the series that only Touga can match Juri's skill. I'm not positive, I may have to rewatch it. Anyway, but as someone stated earlier, you can't really compare the two, seeing as they have different styles. Fencing and Kendo= not the same thing. Just because one person is good at chess and one is good at checkers, this doesn't mean the two are comparable in skill.


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#18 | Back to Top12-30-2006 08:25:12 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
Website

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Blade wrote:

She gets to block the Dios rush because that's part of her shtick as an opponent for Utena, rather than any innate virtue of her skill. Tsuwabuki blocks it too, after all, and we'd hardly say Tsuwabuki with Nanami's skill is better than Saionji, Miki or Touga.

I know this is being picky, but Tsuwabuki doesn't block the way Juri does. Juri sees Utena coming for her and forces the blade wide through determination and, yes, skill. Mitsuru just happens to be standing in the right position for his sword to be in the way, so it gets blasted out of his hand and Utena comes back for the final strike. One's a matter of skill and one's a matter of luck, not that the end result is much different.

Or to put it another way: The difference is Juri is still holding on to her sword and Utena isn't.

Skill doesn't determine the winner of the duels, but it is a factor in how the duels play out.

I feel that it's the emotional content of the duellists that matter in shaping Utena's prince sword, not how good they are.

On another note: The first time we see Juri and Miki duel, Miki wins.


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#19 | Back to Top12-30-2006 08:31:53 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
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Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Ragnarok wrote:

On another note: The first time we see Juri and Miki duel, Miki wins.

True, but it is followed by "You've finnally beaten me. You're improving."


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#20 | Back to Top12-30-2006 08:44:25 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
Website

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Quite so!

Much the way Saionji tells Utena that Touga's win in the kendo match was a fluke.

Skill isn't everything.


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#21 | Back to Top12-30-2006 09:43:10 PM

BioKraze
Faceless Master
From: Yuma, Arizona (USA)
Registered: 11-26-2006
Posts: 8280

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Xu Yuan wrote:

I'd say out of all the time she activates that power, that is the most cheating time to do so, she's on the floor, Nanami's about to win, then wha? I win button? It's like utena's playing with a Gamshark during that last arc.

Snarf! *giggles insanely* Here I go again!

7E0242FF = Always have Power of Dios in Duels

I have too much free time on my hands...


Roses have thorns to stop those who would dare deny their right to live.
Razara's Postulate: For every lover of lesbians out there, there is an equal and opposite attraction to Dippin' Dots.

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#22 | Back to Top12-31-2006 12:54:50 AM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Ragnarok wrote:

Much the way Saionji tells Utena that Touga's win in the kendo match was a fluke.

Perhaps that's the case but I can't help but think that Saionji was lying. But that belongs in the Saionji thread.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#23 | Back to Top12-31-2006 02:11:28 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
Website

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Yeah I sort of got that impression too... But I don't know, I like to think he's lying simply because I like Touga better. emot-wink


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#24 | Back to Top12-31-2006 10:47:56 PM

Blade
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
From: Darkest Canada
Registered: 12-01-2006
Posts: 181
Website

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

I don't really think he's lying there, mostly because if Saionji couldn't beat Touga a reasonably large percentage of the time in kendo matches, I don't think he'd continue to have them. Especially not in front of other people.

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#25 | Back to Top12-31-2006 11:00:21 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
Website

Re: Juri: Just How Good Is She?

Juri: Just How Good Is She... In Bed?

Thats a very good question, a question that Shattered-kun can answer from the pictures that I have seen *hehe*


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