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Gougai! Gougai!

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 Top10-09-2012 05:43:17 PM

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

Absolute Destiny...Apocalypse?

This is one I can't believe no one's brought up before.
What purpose does the apocalyptic imagery in Utena serve? Is it part of the 'original' story concepts that never developed? Is it supposed to reflect the 'revolutionizing of the world'? Is it just in our heads?
(I'll admit, I was disappointed by the ending on my first viewing, although now I've come to respect it.)

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#2 | Back to Top10-09-2012 07:39:19 PM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: Absolute Destiny...Apocalypse?

I think because a sort of rebirth is taking place. It also helps accentuating how daunting it is to grow up by likening it to an apocalypse.

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#3 | Back to Top10-09-2012 11:14:27 PM

TheOnlyFlorence
Revolution Televisor
Registered: 09-16-2012
Posts: 454

Re: Absolute Destiny...Apocalypse?

Well, let's break it down:

We've got the drilling of "Absolute Destiny," something set in fate's stone, "Apocalypse," we all gonna be go boom.

Following, there's "birth records, baptismal registry, death records" in accordance with three stages of life (beginning, middle somewhere, end).

Again, drill drill zoom zoom.

"My birth, absolute birth, apocalypse" can go many ways. First, it could show that the speaker's birth is of significance, tying into apocalyptic things. Second, it could show that one's birth is solidified, but all ends in destruction anyway.

Now, here's the tricky part.

"A wet-nurse and a midwife in a dark descent." Both a wet-nurse and a midwife are trained to take care of someone else's child (the former for post-natal, the latter for pre-natal). A child is given to them, and they are charged with maintaining its health. As for the dark descent, there can be a number of interpretations. First, the occupations of wet-nurse and midwife declining, meaning less available care for a child. Second, the two can be taking whoever they are charged with down with them, leading to potential corruption (overall, though, I think this interpretation is a bit flaccid, but it's there nonetheless). I lean towards the former, at any rate.

"A gold-gilded Shangri-La." Shangri-La is used as the escapist noun here, meaning an earthly paradise, especially involving retreats from the pressures of modern society. Gold-gilding just puts a nice, thin leaf of gold around it, making it all the more pretty and stuff. So, escapism!

"Day and night turning in on each other." Light and darkness symbolism, eternal conflict, yadda yadda, same ol', same ol'.

"A time-gilded lost paradise." SOMETHING ORIGINAL! Okay! As we covered before, gilding puts a thin leaf of said substance over something. The substance in this case is time. This means that something in the past is covering this 'lost paradise,' taking with it the occurrences in the past with it. So now that the paradise is gone, we can't escape! Now we have to face the horrors of whatever ordeal we're dealing with! Travastie!

"Darkness over Sodom." Hehe, debauchery. Next.

"Darkness in the light." Light/dark, blah blah. Next.

"Darkness further yonder, Never-ending darkness." Sounds like half the pages on LiveJournal.

Drill drill, then one change: "The absolute destiny, apocalyptic darkness, apocalypse." Tying in darkness with the word makes said apocalypse even more dire. No light. No sun. Just darkness everywhere.

Satyreyes brings up that "Mokushiroku" can also be interpreted as the book of Revelations. If that is the case, then that brings MANY things in. First, the idea of the resurrection of a dark force. The actual translation of the Number of the Beast refers to the revival of Nero, who was a dictator that heavily oppressed the Christian faith (sorry, no literal dragons coming out from the ocean). Revelations also deals with the Second Coming, the fusion of Heaven with Earth, the revitalization of Israel and choosing where people get to go. Then how does this relate with SKU? A possible ignorance of the symbolism with The Beast, bringing the Castle down to become a worldly plane, facing a destiny laid out before you, and a far-off place being brought back.


"Okay, good job, Florence, but now what? Answer Atropos' question!" Yes, just had to dissect.

Purpose: Showing that there is an extreme, dire situation at hand that can lead to the world's destruction if not handled. Tying in with revolution, by revolutionizing the world, whomever achieves it conquers the apocalypse (either personal or worldly) and transcends. So, to avoid all the kaboomy blam, gotta revolutionize (yourself or the world, mostly the latter).

"What the apocalypse is, Florence?" Well, the apocalypse can be many forms. Personal conflicts, interpersonal conflicts, societal conflicts, the list goes on. It seems that it can take whatever form is significant to the viewer, as long as it ties in with changing oneself and their surroundings to a new ideal that will overcome an archaic doomsday.

Sorry for any vernacular; I've been awake for too long. emot-confused


EDIT: Added some things, tagged onto Satyr's comment, fixed some spelling.

Last edited by TheOnlyFlorence (10-10-2012 06:48:01 AM)

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#4 | Back to Top10-10-2012 01:21:23 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Absolute Destiny...Apocalypse?

Somehow I've always just equated the apocalypse to the revolution, without thinking about it too much.  There are possibly some linguistic hurdles here, too.  The translation for mokushi is always given as "apocalypse," but the word apocalypse has a double meaning in English -- it can mean the end of the world as we know it, or it can mean any dramatic religious revelation.  I have no idea whether mokushi means the first one, the second one, or whether it too has a double meaning.

Mokushiroku refers specifically to the Biblical Book of Revelation, which, however, is also called the Book of Apocalypse, so this doesn't do much to untangle things.

My bottom line: Regardless of what mokushi means in Japanese, the idea denoted is the same as the one denoted by kakumei.  Whether it's a revelation or a revolution, it's an event that will radically change the world.  SKU challenges the viewer to figure out what that event is.

Last edited by satyreyes (10-10-2012 01:23:13 AM)

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#5 | Back to Top10-10-2012 01:22:57 AM

Chrome Homura
Poor Saionji :(
From: Oregon, USA
Registered: 06-07-2010
Posts: 517

Re: Absolute Destiny...Apocalypse?

...Where have you been all these years, Florence? We need more posts like yours.


"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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#6 | Back to Top10-10-2012 06:49:42 AM

TheOnlyFlorence
Revolution Televisor
Registered: 09-16-2012
Posts: 454

Re: Absolute Destiny...Apocalypse?

Aaawww, that's very nice of you to say, Chrome! emot-biggrin I'll try to write more, then, if the consensus agrees with my semi-vulgar nature. emot-dance

I added a few things to the post, fixed some things up, so hopefully it's a little more sound and not so surface-y.

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#7 | Back to Top10-10-2012 05:09:56 PM

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

Re: Absolute Destiny...Apocalypse?

The search for the 'power to bring the world revolution' is cowardice, that these people would try to resolve their personal issues with magic instead of communicating with people.
The apocalypse is the destruction of everything, allowing whatever's left to start again. It gets rid of everything constraining you, everything making you unhappy.
To clarify: The apocalypse and the revolution are both adolescent fantasies that provide a simple way out of the problems of life.

Last edited by Atropos (10-10-2012 05:14:27 PM)

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