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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 Top05-05-2013 12:32:33 PM

soberdriver1
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 04-13-2013
Posts: 12

Why not a higher position?

Akio is powerful in terms of Ohtori Academy.  He runs it while the Chairman is indisposed.  But considering how much power he has at his beck and call, it is a bit odd that he doesn't try to go for something bigger like a president-for-life of a country. 

Yes, I know that a lot of it is due to symbolism of Akio being stuck in a high school in that the only way he can be considered a BMOC is by staying the biggest fish of what is really a small pond.    But I've seen people go farther with less and a lot of adults seem just as vulnerable to his charms like Kanae's mother.

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#2 | Back to Top05-05-2013 01:09:33 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

Re: Why not a higher position?

For me, Akio is a very mystical figure. He may manipulate people in the real world (although of course, the degree to which Ohtori is "real" is debatable), but his goals are phantasmal and esoteric. He's after a mysterious, undefined power to revolutionize the world. To me that doesn't equate to real world authority. He has...maybe not what I'd call "greater", but perhaps "more fundamental" ambitions than temporal human power.

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#3 | Back to Top05-05-2013 02:19:50 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

Re: Why not a higher position?

soberdriver1 wrote:

But I've seen people go farther with less and a lot of adults seem just as vulnerable to his charms like Kanae's mother.

Most adult chars in SKU have been shown to be under Akio's charms.

However, Akio's objective is that he wants the regain his lost power aka Power of Dios, which can again make him an all-encompassing god.  It is revealed in Ep 38-39 that he needed a "soul" that resembles the original Dios' - aka both strongly noble yet also innocently idealistic - to unlock the seal upon that power.  Akio had already tried using adults for this end (see Nemuro and Tokiko), but apparently they -being easily corruptible and jaded - failed him in this regard.  I figure that Akio eventually realized that only children / the childlike can have souls that that are "Dios like", thus why he targets the main cast: cynical adults just don't have the kinda soul that'd be of use to him.

He thought he had it in Utena - a 14 yr old who still believes in a Prince, and is uncertain if she's an adult or a child (see EP 18), but eventhat too end up "failing" to serve his purpose. 

.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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 Top05-05-2013 02:53:31 PM

zevrem
Banned
Registered: 03-23-2013
Posts: 387

Re: Why not a higher position?

Akio could've opened the door if he'd just treated it like any other door and pried it open with his hands, as Utena has shown. I honestly don't think he wanted to revolutionize the world, he just wanted to have sex with high-class teenagers. The Rose Duel was there to keep Anthy convinced that he wanted revolution.


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

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#5 | Back to Top05-05-2013 03:09:27 PM

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

Re: Why not a higher position?

zevrem wrote:

Akio could've opened the door if he'd just treated it like any other door and pried it open with his hands, as Utena has shown. I honestly don't think he wanted to revolutionize the world, he just wanted to have sex with high-class teenagers.

Honestly, I think such an important character trait should have been introduced before the last 10 minutes of the final episode. emot-tongue

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#6 | Back to Top05-05-2013 03:43:42 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

Re: Why not a higher position?

zevrem wrote:

Akio could've opened the door if he'd just treated it like any other door and pried it open with his hands, as Utena has shown. I honestly don't think he wanted to revolutionize the world, he just wanted to have sex with high-class teenagers. The Rose Duel was there to keep Anthy convinced that he wanted revolution.

But prying open the door and freeing Anthy will not serve Akio's selfish purpose of regaining Dios-hood: unlocking the door via a soul sword while keeping Anthy the Rosebride - according to the siblings' dialogue in Ep38 and 39 - would. 

Utena and Akio differ greatly in what they want to bring about through the Duel.  I think the kind of "revolution" Utena brought about is meaningful to Anthy while meaningless to Akio - who cares nothing about kids' minds being liberated, but simply the regaining of his full magical power.

And, it is highly likely that having the Swords of Hate run amok and rush away the "Revolutionary" is a sign of a revolution done in a "flawed" manner.

Consider the following scenario:

There's an adult (Akio) who wants to eat exotic food (regain power).  He decides to slow cook a live-frog (Anthy) by placing it in a pot, then turning on the stove (Rose Gates) and try slow-heating it (manipulation) - this is so the creature will slowly get cooked without being alerted into jumping away to escape. 

A child (Utena) used to look forward to eating the exotic meal (wanna meet prince).  But, upon realizing the cruel truth behing the frog dish, pities the live-frog and fights the adult to free it, to the point of inadvertently spreading out the gas stove's flames (Swords of Hate) and starting a fire.

The fire burns down the whole kitchen (Swords of Hate destroy Castle and Arena).   The child suffers serious burns and gets sent to the hospital (Utena gone-ed after duel).  The frog leaps away in the chaos (Anthy being freed).  The adult - supposing he's one who cares nothing for the child - tries to make the frog dish again (restart Rose Code), but the frog is now beyond his reach (Akio losing Anthy).   

This is my breaking down of the SKU ending.  Hope it makes sense to you.

P.S. I don't think Anthy wants "revolution" either: she just wants the Dios she loved - full power and glory and all - to come back into existence, and cares nothing about the rest.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-05-2013 04:12:45 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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#7 | Back to Top05-05-2013 04:41:43 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

Re: Why not a higher position?

As far as why Utena could open the door when Akio could not, here's a little mini-essay I wrote on the subject. Let's just say I think it was more complicated than simply prying it open.

---- The Coffin, and the Power of Revolution

Now, would the coffin still have been there, if Akio had somehow opened the door? There's really no answer to this, simply because it's a circular question. The keys to the door are tears and the Rose Crest. Akio could never have opened it because he can't feel the princely compassion that moved Utena to tears, and doesn't believe in the ideals of nobility and mercy that the Rose Crest represents. To him, the Rose Crest is nothing but a meaningless trinket; he doesn't even wear one. To put it more simply, the only way to open the door is to sympathize with Anthy so much it brings you to tears, and to cherish the meanings of the Rose Crest enough to wear it always.

See, it's all a loop. The Power of Revolution truly exists, and it's everything it's played up to be, but the only way to obtain it is to open the Rose Gate, and the only way to do that is to want to save Anthy, and the only way to do that is to free Anthy's heart, and the only way to do that is to reach her, and the only way to do that is to use the Power of Revolution, and the only way to obtain the Power of Revolution is to open the Rose Gate, and the only way to do that...

That's the great irony. The only way to gain the Power of Revolution is to want to help Anthy so much that you would use the Power of Revolution for that purpose, and that's the only way to obtain it in the first place!

(This idea is even more explicit in the movie, as Anthy is clearly stated to be the keeper of that power, and only the one who becomes her prince can access it. Once she decides for herself that Utena is truly her prince, she offers "any miracle and any eternity" outright to Utena, but Utena has other ideas.)

So, the moment the gate opens, and the swords stop, Utena's deepest wish was granted. But what did Utena want more than anything? To free Anthy, of course, but not to force it on her. Utena learned that lesson at Touga's hands. She doesn't want to force Anthy, she just wants the chance to reach Anthy's heart, and for Anthy to come to her by her own choice.

Last edited by Aelanie (05-05-2013 04:48:48 PM)

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#8 | Back to Top05-05-2013 06:38:47 PM

crystalwren
Dark Whisperer
From: Brisbane
Registered: 04-21-2009
Posts: 1172
Website

Re: Why not a higher position?

Aelanie wrote:

As far as why Utena could open the door when Akio could not, here's a little mini-essay I wrote on the subject.

Very well put, Aelanie. emot-keke

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#9 | Back to Top05-06-2013 12:41:05 AM

soberdriver1
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 04-13-2013
Posts: 12

Re: Why not a higher position?

I just have the feeling that if Akio did gain the power, the only thing that would change is that he'd make the world a bigger Ohtori.

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#10 | Back to Top05-06-2013 02:43:08 AM

HonorableShadow
Cow Bellhop
From: Ohio
Registered: 11-03-2006
Posts: 471
Website

Re: Why not a higher position?

Being in charge of a higher position is probably too much responsibility for him.  At Ohtori, he can have the highest position and yet he still doesn't have much responsibility at all. How many times do we see him doing something an actual school chairman would do?  It seems like all he does is hang out in his observatory, send letters to the duelists, plot ways to manipulate them, and of course have a lot of sex with the student body. I'm sure he got his fill of responsibility back when he was Dios and felt like he needed to save everyone.  As the chairman of Ohtori, he can have a position of power without having to do anything, really. He is responsible for the duel game, but he's entertained by it too and does it by choice, so it doesn't really count.

Last edited by HonorableShadow (05-06-2013 02:46:28 AM)


Rose tint my world...
Keep me safe from my trouble and pain.

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#11 | Back to Top05-06-2013 01:53:29 PM

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

Re: Why not a higher position?

I don't think it's 'purity of heart' or 'nobility' so much as a strong vision for the new world. Akio has lost any hope for the future, choosing instead to repeat the past over and over again, so there's nothing beyond the door for him.

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#12 | Back to Top05-06-2013 08:06:26 PM

soberdriver1
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 04-13-2013
Posts: 12

Re: Why not a higher position?

True, I don't see Akio as being particularly hardworking or industrious especially for anything that involved serving anybody else.  Though I can strangely see him working in the same type of industry as Mad Men in that he likes to make people see what they want to see and sell them that illusion while he profits.

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#13 | Back to Top05-08-2013 10:32:12 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8728
Website

Re: Why not a higher position?

soberdriver1 wrote:

I just have the feeling that if Akio did gain the power, the only thing that would change is that he'd make the world a bigger Ohtori.

If the moral of the story, or part of it anyway, is growing up and coming to accept and understand your place in the world, Akio fails spectacularly because of this. He can't accept that he's just another person, and that life is of value and beautiful because it's a shared experience. He likes his sandbox, and sees no reason to share the tools he builds his sand castles with.

Akio is the kind of person that plays Journey with the internet connection to the PS3 disabled. emot-biggrin

As for his actual position, Akio probably could have been the janitor and done all the same stuff. But that'd be so much less shiny. He's not in the highest position, he's in the most glamorous one.


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

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#14 | Back to Top05-09-2013 09:10:24 AM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

Re: Why not a higher position?

If we want to use the moral and/or point of SKU - and not just in-series-given facts – to analyze the why of Akio’s Chairman role, then I think Ikuhara himself has since stated it plainly in an early interview:
http://ohtori.nu/creators/a_ikuhara1.html

Ikuhara:  You know that a great many students commit suicide.
Ikuhara:  I think they're unable to imagine a happy future.
Ikuhara:  To put it more bluntly, they look at their mothers and fathers, who should be
Ikuhara:  motivating them for their future, and they can't imagine they will grow up to be happy.
Ikuhara:  The grownups they communicate with are their parents, their teachers and the like.
Ikuhara:  But looking at them, they can never be convinced that their future will be happy.
Ikuhara:  I don't think that's because of their parents, but because of their lack of imagination.
Ikuhara:  That may apply to me, too, though. I'm not so sure if I can portray this very well toward the audience, but...
Ikuhara:  Through this, you may be able to imagine a happy future,
Ikuhara:  or through this, you might be able to go on living happily. Or...
Ikuhara:  These are the sorts of things I wish to portray.
Ikuhara:  To put it nicely, this is why Utena is naive and foolish. She speaks of her Prince and the like, at her age.
Ikuhara:  To our sensibilities, we think of that as stupid.
Ikuhara:  I want to show that this sensibility of ours,
Ikuhara:  that leads us to think of that as stupid, is itself absurd.

Akio the “Ends of the World” represents the harshly cynical forces of society, specifically, the adults and adult world situations that kept children – who know they’ll become adults one day – from being able to imagine a happy future.

The reason SKU’s story have Akio as a corrupt Academy Acting Chairman (instead of a political world leader) is because the Chairman Role puts him in direct contact to the teen/tween cast – young characters his hopelessness-inducing role is intended to “drive into despair”, literally. 

Plus, the Chairman Role also allow for Akio to entrap a number of representative adult-figures in the story – the selfish mother (Mrs. Ohtori), the selfish father (Mr. Kaoru), the corrupt-able professional (Nemuro), the “betraying” lover/love interest (Tokiko), the desire-trapped unfulfilled (Nemuro’s secretary), the shallow society conformist (Guidance Councillor, Vice Principal), etc, etc – all of whom also serve to disillusion the young main cast, and show them how “hopeless” their future lives as adults will be.

SKU is intended to be about the importance of optimism in children: Utena the “fool” who speaks of her Prince at her age is intended to show audiences the value in optimism; even if said optimism unsupported by facts, it will help a person to move forward and possibly past seemingly insurmountable odds placed in their way by adult society as the Japanese knows it.

Akio is intended as the summation of those insurmountable odds: he is the powerfully limiting part of Adult Society that scares all the young people into feeling hopeless/helpless; his being the “truth” behind the “prince-myth” Utena idealizes puts the two opposing forces - cynicism and optimism – through a power struggled that is the entire show.   

Had SKU came out as Super-Politician Kakumei Utena, Akio will no doubt be designed as a Prime Minister against Utena’s Polical  Party member; had it been Salarywoman Kakumei Utena, Akio will be the CEO of the company Utena works in; as it is, SKU is S for Shoujo, so Akio can only be something that is at once powerful and relevant to a schoolgirl heroine – the "charming" Acting Chairman.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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 Top05-11-2013 04:55:31 AM

Riddle of Epicurus
Miki Molester
Registered: 12-12-2010
Posts: 33

Re: Why not a higher position?

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Had SKU came out as Super-Politician Kakumei Utena, Akio will no doubt be designed as a Prime Minister against Utena’s Polical  Party member

I... I really wanna see that now. emot-biggrin Ms. Tenjou Goes To Washington!

Last edited by Riddle of Epicurus (05-11-2013 04:55:48 AM)

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#16 | Back to Top05-11-2013 08:47:53 AM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

Re: Why not a higher position?

Riddle of Epicurus wrote:

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Had SKU came out as Super-Politician Kakumei Utena, Akio will no doubt be designed as a Prime Minister against Utena’s Polical  Party member

I... I really wanna see that now. emot-biggrin Ms. Tenjou Goes To Washington!

Hmm . . . if it’s Washington, Utena will likely be the idealistic liberal feminist politician, the SCs will all be Cabinet Members, Akio will be the “Vice” President bonking Hillary . . . I mean, the First Lady, while being engaged to the President’s daughter, with Anthy being the spy / intern doing the dirty work to destroy her brother’s opponents.   Oh, and you know the whole Duel . . . I mean, White House will eventually be flamed to the ground by those Million Media Vultures thriving on Human Ignorance.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (05-11-2013 08:53:57 AM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 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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