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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 Top11-27-2012 01:07:25 PM

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

My take on the basic ethical conflict of Utena

It's a conflict between mutual aid and hierarchy. This conflict is most easily seen when Akio becomes quietly enraged at Anthy's amusement at Utena and Wakaba's interactions in episode 25.link There's no obvious physical or political reason to be pissed at this, since none of them are directing any hostility towards him, and Anthy is in a way showing amusement and even contentment with the world that he has created. What angers him is that people are creating joy and happiness without including him, that the network's routing around his authority, that there is no "higher" or "lower" in their interactions. He has no problem with subjugating others, and there's even a hint that he can fit himself into a subordinate position in a hierarchy fairly easily when he talks of the Morningstar's dependence on the setting sun. Law, loyalty, chains of command, and obedience, these are all things he can easily comprehend. Mutualism and friendship, not so much.

This mirrors, in a broader historical sense, the rise of the nation-state. Before centralization took hold in Western Europe, most towns were controlled by guilds and associations. As part of the trend of centralization and "progress," the central governments sought to corrupt and destroy all the horizontal organizations of relevance, much like Akio's concerted efforts to poison and destroy friendship and self-confidence among the duelists. So when Anthy says at the end that the revolution has taken place without his knowledge, what she means is that his efforts are being undone, that these horizontal relationships are replacing the vertical society he seeks to create.

Last edited by Overlord Morgus (11-27-2012 01:08:40 PM)

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#2 | Back to Top11-27-2012 01:16:01 PM

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

Re: My take on the basic ethical conflict of Utena

Akio likes subverting laws as much as he likes to enforce them.
I see it as a conflict between life and death, as Ohtori can be seen to be a 'living death' of sorts; in the movie this is stated clearly. Akio has 'eternity', but he might as well be dead since he refuses any change or advancement.

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#3 | Back to Top11-27-2012 01:20:57 PM

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

Re: My take on the basic ethical conflict of Utena

Hmm, I took Akio's anger to be fear that if Anthy started getting along with other people too well, he might lose his hold on her.

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#4 | Back to Top11-27-2012 01:24:01 PM

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

Re: My take on the basic ethical conflict of Utena

Akio likes subverting laws as much as he likes to enforce them.

But either way, he needs the law to survive.

I see it as a conflict between life and death, as Ohtori can be seen to be a 'living death' of sorts; in the movie this is stated clearly. Akio has 'eternity', but he might as well be dead since he refuses any change or advancement.

Yes, Akio is The State, the harbinger of stasis.

Hmm, I took Akio's anger to be fear that if Anthy started getting along with other people too well, he might lose his hold on her.

This is true of the duelists as well. He relies heavily on their propensity to fight amongst themselves.

And looking further back, Anthy's anxieties about the past center around a justifiable hatred of the rabble. When aristocrats talk of the "menace of the herd," they imply that egalitarian social structures are not universally benevolent and are often hostile to individuality and people outside of their structures. This is consistent with Anthy's experience. The Academy is an institution created specifically to discipline and educate the rabble, to make them, depending on their inclination and background, either more amenable to elite control, or members of the elites themselves. Because her experiences taught her the necessity of this function, Anthy does not leave until Utena shows her a third way, one that transcends the spiteful degeneracy of the elites and the ruthless, undirected conformity of the rabble.

Last edited by Overlord Morgus (11-27-2012 01:59:56 PM)

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