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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 Top09-18-2013 03:08:05 PM

gorgeousshutin
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From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

Okay, in Ep 25, Touga and Akio both witness how the Sword of Dios Utena has drawn from within Anthy somehow disappearing during the Saionji duel, and it's a event that apparently deviates from Akio's planned scenario (see Akio's reaction while watching with Touga beside him).  Also, Anthy breaks her role as passive judge and dives in to protect Utena in that duel (possibly breaking rules that Akio/Ends of Worldpreviously set for the game), before drawing out Utena’s soul sword, which is subsequently used in all duels for the rest of the show.

Akio is shown greatly angered by Anthy’s replacing Dio’s Sword with Utena’s (to the point of committing his one definite ‘rape’ in the story on his sister).  This is an anger that marked a definite change in the siblings’ relationship – from one of seemingly seamless partnership, into one of mutual manipulation/distrust.  Akio’s anger at Anthy – at the deviation she induced to their game - persists throughout the Akio Arc, and into the Apocalypse Arc (Ep 34 Touga [to Saionji]:  It seems a certain person isn't pleased with her(Utena) continuing to win...without the Sword of Dios appearing.)

Now, just what is the significance behind this change Anthy has induced upon the Game?

My theory was that Double A’s original plan involves actually using Dios’ Sword (Akio’s Soul Sword) to open the Rose Gates.  Being that it takes both strength and nobility in a sword to open the gates, and Akio as World’s End no longer has an ounce of nobility in him, they have to ‘recharge’ Dios’ Sword by having noble-minded Duelist(s) handle it – thus why the Rose Code and the Dueling Game.  Once sufficiently charged, the siblings will again try and use Dios’ Sword as key to open the Rose Gates and unseal the Power.

When Anthy changed the game such that Dios’ Sword becomes irrelevant to Utena’s dueling, it could mean the following:

1)    The Rose Bride has lost faith in Dios’ Sword a.k.a. her brother’s spirit ever again being noble/strong enough to open the Rose Gates.
2)    She sees Utena’s spirit as being noble/strong enough to open the Rose Gates.
3)    It is Anthy, not Akio, who came up with the idea to put aside Dios’ Sword, and instead rob/steal Utena’s Sword for use in opening the Rose Gates. 
4)    By changing the game and casting aside Dio’s Sword, Anthy leaves Akio feeling insulted – she is now blatantly stating his worthlessness to her -  thus why their dynamics change so sharply starting EP 25.
5)    As her feelings for Utena deepened, Anthy own cruel plan to rob/steal the Victor’s Sword (an act with lethal consequence for the Victor) comes to waver in the final episodes (see suicide rooftop in EP37, 38).  However, her craving for the unsealing of Dios’ Power – something she still believes would revert her monstrous brother back into the Dios she once loved – is simply too great, why why she chooses to go ahead with backstabbing Utena in EP 38
6)    Akio’s line in EP 39 (“Yes, it’s all my fault.  Had I still been princely, none would have to suffer.  Your friend is hurt because of me.  Do you hate me now?”) is as much a frank admittance of his having fallen low as it is a jab to crumble Anthy with guilt – because she was the one who dismissed Dio’s Sword and turned Utena's role from pawn to human sacrifice.  Hearing those words, Anthy's will crumbled, as she then gives him Utena’s Sword, while she herself continues with taking on the re-manifested Swords of Hate.

The above is my current understanding of this.  Please feel free to discuss!


(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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#2 | Back to Top09-20-2013 01:06:21 PM

Riri-kins
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

I think it's reason number two. Anthy's starting to experience real friendship for the first time in her life and trust somebody besides Dios.


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My Utena fanfiction: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2000115/Riri-kins

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#3 | Back to Top09-20-2013 10:37:25 PM

satyreyes
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

Hmm.  Well, I'm thinking first of the metanarrative reason for this: beyond why it happens in reality, why does it happen symbolically?  I think the answer to that has more to do with Utena than with Anthy.  Fighting with her own sword instead of the Sword of Dios has at least one obvious and potent symbolic meaning: it means that Utena is finally owning her real reasons for being in the arena.  She's no longer there because She Is A Prince and Princes Should Protect Princesses.  She's there because she herself loves Anthy specifically.  Her motivations are her own, not Dios's.  So it's fitting that she should use her own sword.

If that's the symbolic message, then it leads me to ask: are we sure that Anthy was really responsible for the Sword of Dios disappearing?  We know Akio blames her for it, but did she actually make the sword disappear, or did she just respond to the circumstance of its disappearance by pulling out Utena's own sword?  It seems just as plausible to me that the sword disappears because Utena is no longer an appropriate bearer for it.  Or perhaps it would be better to say that she doesn't need it anymore.  She's found her own determination and doesn't need to rely on a prince's borrowed sword as a crutch.

This is a line of thought I haven't seen anyone go down before, which means I'm even more likely than usual to be completely wrong and/or up my own butt.  emot-biggrin  Thoughts?

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#4 | Back to Top09-21-2013 08:14:24 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

satyreyes wrote:

We know Akio blames her for it, but did she actually make the sword disappear, or did she just respond to the circumstance of its disappearance by pulling out Utena's own sword?  It seems just as plausible to me that the sword disappears because Utena is no longer an appropriate bearer for it.  Or perhaps it would be better to say that she doesn't need it anymore.

Oh, I definitely agree with you about how Utena's mindwork might be changing, to the point that she no longer be 'reliant' on 'only' Dios' Sword when in duels by Ep25. 

That said, the way the show shows DS abruptly vanishing in one duel, instead of steadily growing weaker/more brittle throughout the previous episodes, does make it seem like an external force is at work on top of Utena's state of mind changing (cause that should be gradual).  And the way Akio reacts to this . . . Double A had been on their mutual quest to unseal Dios' Power since forever, and it seems unlikely that either sibling would be oblivious to the real reason Dios' Sword is getting cast off from the game.


(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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#5 | Back to Top09-21-2013 02:44:38 PM

satyreyes
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Oh, I definitely agree with you about how Utena's mindwork might be changing, to the point that she no longer be 'reliant' on 'only' Dios' Sword when in duels by Ep25. 

That said, the way the show shows DS abruptly vanishing in one duel, instead of steadily growing weaker/more brittle throughout the previous episodes, does make it seem like an external force is at work on top of Utena's state of mind changing (cause that should be gradual).  And the way Akio reacts to this . . . Double A had been on their mutual quest to unseal Dios' Power since forever, and it seems unlikely that either sibling would be oblivious to the real reason Dios' Sword is getting cast off from the game.

Unless they're both oblivious.  I mean, I agree with what you say in your suggestion in your initial post that Anthy is coming to trust in Utena's friendship or purity of purpose.  We see that directly in Episode 12.  But she still doesn't think Utena can be a prince.  She probably doesn't believe in princes, and above and beyond that, Utena is a girl.  Even as late as the final episode of the show, Anthy still doesn't think Utena can be a prince, much as she may wish it were otherwise.  So I don't think it's likely that she substitutes Utena's sword for the Sword of Dios out of a belief that Utena's sword really is noble enough to open the Rose Gate.

Of course, Akio may very well believe that that's what's happening, that Anthy is choosing Utena over Dios, and that could be part of what precipitates his anger.  Akio would be mistaken about this.  But he is mistaken about many things when it comes to Anthy, and also about a few things when it comes to Utena, so this would not be especially surprising.

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#6 | Back to Top09-21-2013 03:13:54 PM

BlackBeforeRed
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

satyreyes wrote:

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Oh, I definitely agree with you about how Utena's mindwork might be changing, to the point that she no longer be 'reliant' on 'only' Dios' Sword when in duels by Ep25. 

That said, the way the show shows DS abruptly vanishing in one duel, instead of steadily growing weaker/more brittle throughout the previous episodes, does make it seem like an external force is at work on top of Utena's state of mind changing (cause that should be gradual).  And the way Akio reacts to this . . . Double A had been on their mutual quest to unseal Dios' Power since forever, and it seems unlikely that either sibling would be oblivious to the real reason Dios' Sword is getting cast off from the game.

Unless they're both oblivious.  I mean, I agree with what you say in your suggestion in your initial post that Anthy is coming to trust in Utena's friendship or purity of purpose.  We see that directly in Episode 12.  But she still doesn't think Utena can be a prince.  She probably doesn't believe in princes, and above and beyond that, Utena is a girl.  Even as late as the final episode of the show, Anthy still doesn't think Utena can be a prince, much as she may wish it were otherwise.  So I don't think it's likely that she substitutes Utena's sword for the Sword of Dios out of a belief that Utena's sword really is noble enough to open the Rose Gate.

Of course, Akio may very well believe that that's what's happening, that Anthy is choosing Utena over Dios, and that could be part of what precipitates his anger.  Akio would be mistaken about this.  But he is mistaken about many things when it comes to Anthy, and also about a few things when it comes to Utena, so this would not be especially surprising.

I think it has a lot to do with the way Akio views Anthy and vice versa. They don't trust each other, even if they do rely on each other, so for Akio it isn't far out of line for him to think Anthy's gone and changed the plan without telling him. He might think that she did it just to screw with him, and she would do that. But not in this situation, I think the sword disappearing has more to do with Dios than it does with Anthy. He does show a will of his own and seems to know more about Utena than Anthy or Akio. I think Dios knows she's ready to bear her own sword and takes his back.

As for Akio's reaction, Double A kind of live in paranoid fear of each other despite being eternally bound to one another. Considering this is happening right around the time Anthy is starting to become close to someone who isn't him for the first time in, ever really, I'm guessing he's getting freaked about what she has up her sleeve. She isn't telling him anything anymore, and that's what tips the balance in their tedious relationship over in the later episodes.

But here, it doesn't cross his mind she might choose Utena over him, or even really be friends with her, he mostly thinks she's pissing him off on purpose

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#7 | Back to Top09-21-2013 04:05:26 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

satyreyes wrote:

Unless they're both oblivious.  I mean, I agree with what you say in your suggestion in your initial post that Anthy is coming to trust in Utena's friendship or purity of purpose.  We see that directly in Episode 12.  But she still doesn't think Utena can be a prince.  She probably doesn't believe in princes, and above and beyond that, Utena is a girl.  Even as late as the final episode of the show, Anthy still doesn't think Utena can be a prince, much as she may wish it were otherwise.  So I don't think it's likely that she substitutes Utena's sword for the Sword of Dios out of a belief that Utena's sword really is noble enough to open the Rose Gate.

Satyre, I think this is where our interpretation of the events – especially of the character Anthy, came to differ.

Quote Anthy in Ep 39:
Anthy:  You remind me of the Dios I once loved.
Anthy:  But you can't become my Prince.
Anthy:  Because you're a girl.

Reading that line over, it sounds to me that Anthy is stating Utena to be close to Dios in character (including nobility level) – why else would she allow herself to gradually be drawn towards a mere human?  Had Anthy ever doubted the nobility-quality of Utena’s sword, she would have no reason to lead the girl to the slaughter in Ep 38-39.  As it is, she still allows Utena to get on the Arena, where she then backstabs the girl and rob her sword for Akio.  This is because Anthy wants a lover in her desired prince; Anthy can desire even her own male sibling, but the predominantly straight goddess cannot truly desire anther female in that sexual/romantic sense (at that point in the story, anyway).  Utena the ‘meddlesome hero’ is, as Akio correctly calls it in EP 39, a ‘friend’ of Anthy – she may fit Anthy’s idea of Dios’ nobility, but is not the male love-interest she hungers for through all those centuries. 

It takes Utena forgiving the backstabbing, plus braving the Hate Swords - thus displaying a nobility that supposedly even surpasses that of Dios - before she can get Anthy to abandon the Rose Code and leave Akio.


(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)
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#8 | Back to Top09-21-2013 04:42:58 PM

satyreyes
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

BlackBeforeRed wrote:

As for Akio's reaction, Double A kind of live in paranoid fear of each other despite being eternally bound to one another. Considering this is happening right around the time Anthy is starting to become close to someone who isn't him for the first time in, ever really, I'm guessing he's getting freaked about what she has up her sleeve. She isn't telling him anything anymore, and that's what tips the balance in their tedious relationship over in the later episodes.

But here, it doesn't cross his mind she might choose Utena over him, or even really be friends with her, he mostly thinks she's pissing him off on purpose

Yes, when you put it like that, I think that's probably right.  Akio is probably less concerned about Anthy's connection to Utena than he is about Anthy's acting out against him.  But I think Utena is involved.  If the same thing had happened during Episode 12, and Anthy had drawn Touga's sword out of him so he could continue to fight Utena, would Akio have been that upset?  Probably not.  Akio must realize that Utena represents some kind of threat to his relationship with Anthy in a way that Touga does not, even if he doesn't grasp the full nature or extent of that threat.

shutin wrote:

Satyre, I think this is where our interpretation of the events – especially of the character Anthy, came to differ.

Quote Anthy in Ep 39:
Anthy:  You remind me of the Dios I once loved.
Anthy:  But you can't become my Prince.
Anthy:  Because you're a girl.

Reading that line over, it sounds to me that Anthy is stating Utena to be close to Dios in character (including nobility level) – why else would she allow herself to gradually be drawn towards a mere human?  Had Anthy ever doubted the nobility-quality of Utena’s sword, she would have no reason to lead the girl to the slaughter in Ep 38-39.  As it is, she still allows Utena to get on the Arena, where she then backstabs the girl and rob her sword for Akio.  This is because Anthy wants a lover in her desired prince; Anthy can desire even her own male sibling, but the predominantly straight goddess cannot truly desire anther female in that sexual/romantic sense (at that point in the story, anyway).  Utena the ‘meddlesome hero’ is, as Akio correctly calls it in EP 39, a ‘friend’ of Anthy – she may fit Anthy’s idea of Dios’ nobility, but is not the male love-interest she hungers for through all those centuries.

Yes, it's fair to say that our interpretations of the story differ here.  emot-biggrin  I don't agree with anything you said here except for the idea that Anthy is moving towards believing in Utena.  She is doing that.  But that motion, I think, is unconscious and involuntary, and probably surprising even to her.  (In episode 12, for instance, she doesn't expect -- when left alone by Touga -- to miss Utena's presence across the table.)  Anthy recognizes Utena's sincerity, and maybe even her nobility, to the extent Anthy believes in nobility.  But it supposedly doesn't take a noble sword to open the gate -- it takes a prince's sword.  And I don't think the character who, in episode 39, categorically rejects the notion that Utena can ever be a prince, could have consciously decided to groom her as one fourteen episodes earlier.

As for "you can't become my prince because you're a girl," the meaning of that sentence, transparently and overwhelmingly, is "you can't become my prince because girls can't be princes," not "you can't become my prince because I don't want to have sex with you."  Only boys can be princes.  Everyone knows that.  That's been a central tension of Utena's character throughout the whole show.  So I think any reasonable viewer should assume that this is what Anthy's alluding to.  For that sentence to mean anything else, we would need extraordinary textual evidence to that effect.

Just my 2¢. emot-smile

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#9 | Back to Top09-21-2013 06:27:07 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

satyreyes wrote:

Yes, it's fair to say that our interpretations of the story differ here.  emot-biggrin
<Skip>
But it supposedly doesn't take a noble sword to open the gate -- it takes a prince's sword.

I don't think I've heard this one before . . . is this implicitly stated via character dialogue?  And even if so, that would depend on the definition of a 'prince's sword' - and how that differs from a 'noble sword', as I doubt real royalty is needed to open the Rose Gates.

And I don't think the character who, in episode 39, categorically rejects the notion that Utena can ever be a prince, could have consciously decided to groom her as one fourteen episodes earlier.

Except Anthy never does that: she said Utena cannot become 'her prince', instead of saying she cannot become 'a prince'.  There's a huge difference there.  And quoting myself

me wrote:

Had Anthy ever doubted the nobility-quality of Utena’s sword (edited to add: by this I mean the sword's ability to open the Rose Gates), she would have no reason to lead the girl to the slaughter in Ep 38-39.

As for "you can't become my prince because you're a girl," the meaning of that sentence, transparently and overwhelmingly, is "you can't become my prince because girls can't be princes," not "you can't become my prince because I don't want to have sex with you."

Are you sure about this?  All characters in SKU have clear motives for what they do.  What motivates the Witch into 'Seeking the young and noble, to sacrifice them anew! ' (quoting Shadow Play in Ep 34), if not her clearly romantic love for the male prince Dios - whom she's trying to resurrect via her fallen brother?

Only boys can be princes.  Everyone knows that.

I know that SKU TV and Movie are different continuity, but let's remember that SKU Movie's Juri is publicly called 'the Prince'.

That's been a central tension of Utena's character throughout the whole show.  So I think any reasonable viewer should assume that this is what Anthy's alluding to.

edited to add: on topic of people who dissuade Utena from becoming a prince, 'romance' is a huge element in it.  From Touga's early eps manipulation of Utena via shaking her princely aspiration, to  "you'll never fall in love (if you keep dressing like this) from the GC in Ep 30, the point seems to be a girl who tries becoming a prince herself will have difficulty finding love in a male prince.  I think this makes it all the more reasonable to assume  that Anthy rejects Utena from ever becoming "her prince"(actual dialogue) to be one due to Anthy's romance-based craving for a princely male figure in her life.

For that sentence to mean anything else, we would need extraordinary textual evidence to that effect.

Textual evidence (by my definition) =  'my' prince (Anthy's actual dialogue) V.S. 'a' prince (mere assumption) + Anthy's robbing of Utena's sword for the clear purpose of having her brother use it to open the Rose Gates

Just my 2¢. emot-smile

*Nods.*

edited again to add: re watching parts of the show, the 'Prince' really does seem like the personification of (straight) female romantic desires, with the 'strength and nobility' being but parts of the whole that women want in their ideal lover.  The Prince term is almost always referred to in the context of women's romantic yearnings.  And Ep 34 does make it implicit that all women - the prince's sister/witch included - want the prince in 'that' way.  Utena can more than fill the 'strength and nobility' part of Anthy's prince definition, but Anthy is refusing to accept the girl as her prince/lover because she is not a guy. Thus it takes Utena failing/losing the prince hangup (see moment before swords rush her) before Anthy is to truly accept her - as a soulmate and friend, not a romantic ideal.  I see that as being pretty straightforward in the context of the story.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-22-2013 08:27:25 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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#10 | Back to Top09-22-2013 11:21:50 PM

cscratch
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

This is a really interesting discussion & am loving the back and forth.  I've always teetered between thinking in both of those headspaces about what Anthy's dialogue in the last episode means.  Is it just the strict fairytale role that Utena doesn't fit (ie - vagina versus phallus; all the masculine traits associated with the role - with all the sword imagery though...), or 'You're a girl and I don't desire girls?'   My initial gut reaction is that Anthy perceives the prince's power as all the traditional masculine traits of the fairytale that has a sexual aspect to it as well that Utena, being a girl, cannot fulfill. 

I wonder about this word choice as well since almost all of Utena is about growing up and becoming an adult in a flawed world.  Perhaps it is something of both of these discussions?  If Utena were a 'woman' versus a 'girl,' as she is perceived, would it change the equation? 

And if that is the case, how does someone like Juri fit into the duels?  In the hundreds/thousands of years of the duels occurring, has no female gotten as far as Utena?  Or is this a speech that has happened before and Utena's uniqueness is something that Anthy hasn't encountered before?

Sorry if this is disjointed; just a thought that popped up that may or may not be relevant to this thread but I thought it was interesting to consider, nonetheless.

Also poptart just for the thread.  Love it!

Last edited by cscratch (09-22-2013 11:30:32 PM)

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#11 | Back to Top09-22-2013 11:54:41 PM

satyreyes
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

I still don't agree with your interpretation, shutin, but this is not the first time we've disagreed about issues surrounding the end of the series. emot-smile  I'm content to agree to disagree here.  There is so little canon about what the Rose Gate means and what exactly Akio and Anthy are up to.  Here are two fragments that might be interesting; they might support my view, but in the end they're both pretty ambiguous, so I present them here more as curiosities than as arguments.

Thing 1!  Here is the entirety of how Utena's sword is described by Akio in episode 39.  (Anthy doesn't have a word to say about it.)

Akio:  The Million Swords that shine with people's hatred.
Akio:  They stir at the sight of this Prince's sword.

. . .

Akio:  Don't tell me you seriously intend to open this gate?
Akio:  Don't bother. The Prince's sword is already broken.

So Akio, anyway, seems to think Utena's sword is significant because it is (at least potentially) a prince's sword, not because it's a noble sword.  As I said, I'm not sure I trust Akio about this.  He is pretty dumb about princes.  But it does suggest that he thinks the plan is to open the gate with a prince's sword, which contrasts interestingly with Anthy saying that Utena can't be her prince.  This might be the best evidence yet for our old theory that neither Anthy nor Akio is sincerely trying to open the gate at all: they're just going through the motions to keep their perpetual motion machine running.


Thing 2!  Here is Anthy's actual line to Utena on the subject of princes and not becoming them.

でもあなたは私の王子さまにはなれない。女の子だから。
Demo anata wa watashi no ouji-sama ni wa narenai.*  Onna no ko dakara.
But you can't become my prince, because you're a girl.

* Could be naranai -- hard to tell because she's speaking so softly -- but narenai makes more sense here.

The interesting thing here is the double use of the particle wa, used contrastively here to stress the topic of a sentence and distinguish it from other possible topics.  As usual, disclaimer that I'm not an expert on the language.  But it looks to me like the two wa particles in this sentence are used to stress the following points:

1) "Anata wa:" Whoever else might be able to become my prince, you cannot become my prince.
2) "Watashi no ouji-sama ni wa:" Whatever else you might be able to become, you cannot become my prince.

It is possibly notable that Anthy's "my" is not emphasized.  That is, she does not categorically say: whoever else's prince you might be able to become, you cannot become my prince.  If that's right, then she's denying the possibility that Utena could ever be a prince at all, not just that she could ever be Anthy's prince.  But that may be overreading the sentence.  The fact is that there's just not much text here.

cscratch wrote:

I wonder about this word choice as well since almost all of Utena is about growing up and becoming an adult in a flawed world.  Perhaps it is something of both of these discussions?  If Utena were a 'woman' versus a 'girl,' as she is perceived, would it change the equation?

Thank you for asking this question; it's what got me to go listen to the Japanese. emot-smile  Unfortunately, I didn't get much of an answer for you.  "Onna no ko dakara" is the part that means "because you're a girl," but neither the "onna" (woman) nor the "ko" (child) gets any special grammatical stress, and it's not straightforward to discern the stress from Anthy's tone of voice, either.  I can't tell whether the emphasis is meant to be laid on Utena's sex/gender or her adulthood. emot-frown  Only my common sense tells me that it's about being a girl instead of a boy, rather than being a girl instead of a woman.

Last edited by satyreyes (09-23-2013 12:01:18 AM)

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#12 | Back to Top09-23-2013 11:01:25 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

cscratch wrote:

Is it just the strict fairytale role that Utena doesn't fit (ie - vagina versus phallus; all the masculine traits associated with the role - with all the sword imagery though...), or 'You're a girl and I don't desire girls?'

Hi, cscratch:  having very recently rewatched some parts of the show, I actually believe it is both - and that both are important to Anthy's personal definition of what her perfect, Dios-ish prince/man should be like.

Satyreyes wrote:

Thing 1!  Here is the entirety of how Utena's sword is described by Akio in episode 39.
<skipping over GREAT ANALYSIS>
So Akio, anyway, seems to think Utena's sword is significant because it is (at least potentially) a prince's sword, not because it's a noble sword.

Satyreyes, I  think much of what you wrote actually cohere with what I wrote before:

And even if so, that would depend on the definition of a 'prince's sword' - and how that differs from a 'noble sword'.

Satyreyes wrote:

As I said, I'm not sure I trust Akio about this.  He is pretty dumb about princes.

I actually disagree with this.  Akio is anything but dumb.  His statements - like the Shadow Girls' - always accurately reflects at least 'one facade' of the truth; being the manipulative villain, he of course skewers his opponent's perceptions by giving the 'half truth' that is in his own best interest.  His only two miscalculations throughout the series come near the ending, when he failed to predict Utena opening the RG barehanded, and that he thought Anthy would continue working with him after Utena vanished.  In the former case, it is Utena defying the sheer know logics of the Game; in the latter case, it is less an issue of Akio being 'dumb', and more an issue of him being too used to seeing Anthy easily abandoning her old pawns in favor of him in the past - even those he knew she 'felt for' (like Nemuro/Mikage). Anyway . . .

But it does suggest that he thinks the plan is to open the gate with a prince's sword, which contrasts interestingly with Anthy saying that Utena can't be her prince.

If we try to make the show non-contradictory - which I think is BePapa's intention -  then my interpretation upthread remains valid - that Anthy sees Utena's Sword (be it termed Prince Sword or Noble Sword) as having the potential to open the Rose Gates.  She states that Utena cannot become 'her prince' (I take that as meaning her lover/center-of-her-universe), but she is never shown denying that Utena can be 'a prince' aka bearer of a sword capable of opening RG'.  Because, if Anthy do not see Utena as 'a Prince' by reason of her nobility/strength, the she would have no reason to lead the girl to the slaughter in Ep 38-39.

Unless . . . Anthy actually intends to get Utena killed to no benefit towards herself or her brother - and has been plotting this since EP25 . . . but I honestly cannot see her being gratuitously evil like this, especially to Utena, whom she grows to appreciate as a friend/meddlesome hero.  No, Anthy must've felt a lot is at stakes then, such that she actually allows Utena into the Final Duel - one that she knew will end badly for the girl.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-23-2013 02:34:46 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)
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#13 | Back to Top09-23-2013 04:06:01 PM

crystalwren
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

cscratch wrote:

Is it just the strict fairytale role that Utena doesn't fit (ie - vagina versus phallus; all the masculine traits associated with the role - with all the sword imagery though...), or 'You're a girl and I don't desire girls?'

I'd like to weigh in here and point out the expression on Anthy's face when Kozue attempts to make out with her during Miki's duel: sad and unhappy. (Am at work, can't supply a screenshot sorry) this is one of her few genuine facial expressions throughout the series, imho. There are three possible explanations: firstly she's unhappy because she doesn't want to do this with another girl, secondly she's unhappy because it's Kozue specifically (no accounting for taste emot-tongue)  or finally she's unhappy on Miki's behalf because she knows how much this would upset him (him being her pet snail that she fondly keeps in her pencil box). My interpretation is that it's the first explanation with shades of explanation three. My personal interpretation of the series has always been that Anthy and Utena's relationship is a romantic friendship; intense emotional involvement that does not necessarily imply sex.

I think that Anthy not finding Utena sexually attractive based on gender is a strong motivation for Anthy's betrayal. BUT: I do firmly believe that by far and away the main reason for it is that, by the beginning of the series, Anthy has long given up on the search for her prince and is deliberately sabotaging the outcome of the duels, whether or not she's doing it consciously.



satyreyes wrote:

Of course, Akio may very well believe that that's what's happening, that Anthy is choosing Utena over Dios, and that could be part of what precipitates his anger.  Akio would be mistaken about this.  But he is mistaken about many things when it comes to Anthy, and also about a few things when it comes to Utena, so this would not be especially surprising.

Honestly? I think that Akio's feelings re: Anthy's gradually unfolding love for Utena can be summed up quite simply: "Mine! Mine! I hate it when other people touch my things!"



Akio:  Don't tell me you seriously intend to open this gate?
Akio:  Don't bother. The Prince's sword is already broken.

Is... it possible that Akio is mistaking Utena's soul sword for that of Dios'? It could mean that Akio simply believes that the location of Dios' sword has switched from Anthy's soul to Utena's. Then again, I vaguely remember Akio being astonished when the Dios sword disappeared. It's been too long since I watched that episode. It's probably time for me to go back through the series again. Add it to the stack...



gorgeousshutin wrote:

If we try to make the show non-contradictory - which I think is BePapa's intention -  then my interpretation upthread remains valid - that Anthy sees Utena's Sword (be it termed Prince Sword or Noble Sword) as having the potential to open the Rose Gates.  She states that Utena cannot become 'her prince' (I take that as meaning her lover/center-of-her-universe), but she is never shown denying that Utena can be 'a prince' aka bearer of a sword capable of opening RG'.  Because, if Anthy do not see Utena as 'a Prince' by reason of her nobility/strength, the she would have no reason to lead the girl to the slaughter in Ep 38-39.

This resonates strongly with me, and ties in very nicely with what cscratch says. emot-smile

Last edited by crystalwren (09-23-2013 05:33:49 PM)

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#14 | Back to Top09-23-2013 04:49:54 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

crystalwren wrote:

I'd like to weigh in here and point out the expression on Anthy's face when Kozue attempts to make out with her during Miki's duel: sad and unhappy. <Skip> There are three possible explanations: firstly she's unhappy because she doesn't want to do this with another girl

Crystalwren, I totally agree with this, but this still makes me laugh somehow emot-rofl

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/10988-1/Series_ep26_202.jpg

Poor Anthy . . .


(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)
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#15 | Back to Top09-23-2013 04:59:29 PM

satyreyes
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

That screencap emot-rofl  No kidding.  A little face makeup to add forehead wrinkles and shrink those enormous eyes, and we're in "Klingons do not make out in automobiles" territory.

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#16 | Back to Top09-23-2013 05:00:16 PM

BlackBeforeRed
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

Hmm, all this discussion about Anthy's sexuality... I don't see her not desiring Utena as the meaning behind her telling Utena she couldn't be her prince. I don't buy 100% that she's completely convinced of that herself. But she made her choice and now she's saying what she needs to say to make Utena the most hurt and the least likely to get up. Those words are gonna sting more than anything else, and she knows it.

Really, she seems way more okay with being into other girls than Utena does. I got the impression she was pretty comfortable in her sexuality. She alludes to her and Utena's ambiguous relationship a few times, though that could be just to mess with her. More than anything she just doesn't seem to give a fuck, she views herself as a witch so she doesn't follow the rules expected of a princess except in appearance. No, this isn't a matter of sexuality but of stability. As far as Anthy's concerned all girls are like the Rose Bride in the end. She believes like Dios did that Utena will lose her nobility and strength when she 'becomes a woman'. She has her own worldview challenged through Utena and her prince role, but she isn't convinced enough to trust her over Akio.


Satyreyes wrote:

Yes, when you put it like that, I think that's probably right.  Akio is probably less concerned about Anthy's connection to Utena than he is about Anthy's acting out against him.  But I think Utena is involved.  If the same thing had happened during Episode 12, and Anthy had drawn Touga's sword out of him so he could continue to fight Utena, would Akio have been that upset?  Probably not.  Akio must realize that Utena represents some kind of threat to his relationship with Anthy in a way that Touga does not, even if he doesn't grasp the full nature or extent of that threat.

Oh, definitely Utena has something to do with it. It's the unpredictability. Out of everyone else in the game, Utena is the only person Anthy doesn't hate. Or at least shows pleasure at their turmoil and suffering. Utena is a wild card, she has the potential to make it to the end and Anthy seems to be alright with her. He knows they're at the very least friendly, and the wedge that's starting to form between them probably has something to do with that. He just doesn't think of it in terms of Utena herself most likely, more a fear that Anthy has started to slip away from his tight control.

Edit to add: Oh god that screen cap emot-rofl Lie back and think of England Anthy emot-rofl

Last edited by BlackBeforeRed (09-23-2013 05:05:47 PM)

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#17 | Back to Top09-23-2013 05:31:11 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

BlackBeforeRed wrote:

Hmm, all this discussion about Anthy's sexuality... I don't see her not desiring Utena as the meaning behind her telling Utena she couldn't be her prince. I don't buy 100% that she's completely convinced of that herself. But she made her choice and now she's saying what she needs to say to make Utena the most hurt and the least likely to get up. Those words are gonna sting more than anything else, and she knows it.

BlackBeforeRed, I think you’re onto something there regarding Anthy’s choice . . . I think there is also one more element to this previously un-discussed in this thread.

Remember how conflicted Utena is (esp. in Ep30) about falling in love with Akio?  For Utena to love Akio then would mean that she’s ‘denouncing’ her 6 years spent obsessing over her ‘Prince’, and admitting that the many years wasted were wasted in foolishness.

Now, let’s recall just how old Anthy is, and the many centuries she had made herself suffer through for the purpose of re-obtaining ‘her Prince’ – a romantic ideal upon which she had no doubt obsessively placed very specific traits upon. 

Then, imagine when she is to finally find someone who fits almost all of those Princely traits she  has been craving throughout human history, only that this ‘Prince’ just happen to be a she . . .

This cruel twist of fate is likely too much for anyone to handle, goddess or not.


(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)
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#18 | Back to Top09-23-2013 06:40:59 PM

BlackBeforeRed
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

gorgeousshutin wrote:

BlackBeforeRed wrote:

Hmm, all this discussion about Anthy's sexuality... I don't see her not desiring Utena as the meaning behind her telling Utena she couldn't be her prince. I don't buy 100% that she's completely convinced of that herself. But she made her choice and now she's saying what she needs to say to make Utena the most hurt and the least likely to get up. Those words are gonna sting more than anything else, and she knows it.

BlackBeforeRed, I think you’re onto something there regarding Anthy’s choice . . . I think there is also one more element to this previously un-discussed in this thread.

Remember how conflicted Utena is (esp. in Ep30) about falling in love with Akio?  For Utena to love Akio then would mean that she’s ‘denouncing’ her 6 years spent obsessing over her ‘Prince’, and admitting that the many years wasted were wasted in foolishness.

Now, let’s recall just how old Anthy is, and the many centuries she had made herself suffer through for the purpose of re-obtaining ‘her Prince’ – a romantic ideal upon which she had no doubt obsessively placed very specific traits upon. 

Then, imagine when she is to finally find someone who fits almost all of those Princely traits she  has been craving throughout human history, only that this ‘Prince’ just happen to be a she . . .

This cruel twist of fate is likely too much for anyone to handle, goddess or not.

Well, I do think overall she's given up on the prospect of being with anyone or being anything other than a miserable Rose Bride. But realizing that there was more to this whole prince thing than she could come up with all the centuries she's had to contemplate her situation, and that she might fall in love with a prince who wasn't what she ever thought a prince could be? Yeah, it's a bit much to take in. Overwhelming enough to make her pick Akio just because she doesn't want to believe she's suffered all that time for nothing.

Among many other reasons

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#19 | Back to Top09-24-2013 02:41:44 PM

Atropos
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

Just gonna throw this in.

TheTygre on RPGNet wrote:

Akio: "Where's the sword?! Where's the sword?!"
Touga: "Shit! I think we overdid it man! I think we made him too strong!"
Akio: "Crapcrapcrapcrap..."
Touga: "We screwed the pooch, man! Game over! What the fuck do we do now?"
Akio: *pouring gasoline on platform*
Touga: "What the hell are you doing?!"
Akio: "Oh, never thought I'd be doing this again. Not since Rome, anyway. If anyone asks, this was an electrical fire."
Touga: "Chairman, you can't be serious."
Akio: "Chairman Akio Ohtori died tragically in an electrical fire. As of now, I am Lionel Hutz, attorney at law."

Last edited by Atropos (09-24-2013 02:42:03 PM)

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#20 | Back to Top09-24-2013 04:33:21 PM

crystalwren
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Re: From Dios’ Sword to Utena’s Sword – The WHY

emot-rofl

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