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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

#226 | Back to Top05-30-2007 08:18:48 PM

Yasha
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From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Oh, jeez, don't be sorry. I do like to hear from you guys, it's just that the Shiori-Ruka-Juri thing is leaking into a lot of threads that aren't really the place for it. By all means, talk, and if it's relevant, talk about them. This is getting way off topic, though.


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#227 | Back to Top05-31-2007 12:52:40 AM

dlaire
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From: Poland
Registered: 04-08-2007
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

*Ruka loves Juri. Ruka knows that Juri loves Shiori. He goes on to steal Shiori's affections, hurting Juri in the process, stays there to flaunt it in Juri's face, takes Shiori's virginity [though that's up for debate], then makes a spectacle of dumping her in public.*

My interpretation: Ruka thinks that Juri loves him-
{scene near the fountain} When he smiles to her, he thinks: jeah, you want to be in her place.
{asking to get right with Shiori} Watch carefully his words when they were struggling- "aren't you in love with capitain?".
I see dissapointment on his face when he was slapped. If he loved Juri AND wanted to hurt her, he'd be sick on mind or very stupid. But he isn't - he wants to show Juri that she can throw up her locket, that she's strong.

*Shiori's not keeping her locket a secret unlike Juri(who did a very bad job IMHO). So while she's still going about love in an immature way (come on it's still high school!) I don't think she's being repressive about it. In fact I think she's most likely trying to get attention. It'd be amusing to no end if through all of this Shiori's "loud and proud" of her feelings.*

I think Juri is mature, because she wants Shiori's happiness more than her own happiness. Despite her pride she's begging for keeping hands of Shiori, or asking for get right with her. It's pure and altruistic. She won't have any profit from that, she's not waiting for "thank you". She just can't stand Shiori's cry. Locket? Utena has a ring which is hers only connection to her prince. It's sentimentality and Juri's masochism.

I think that Juri doesn't accept her orientation, she's covering it. Maybe she's scared  and ashamed of being imperfect (remember that she get used to be the best and admirable). I understand this because I'm proud person and I made her mistakes. She's just too insolent to confess her feelings (it's more complicated in homosexual relationships and she doesn't believe that Shiori could love her- it's pointless then).
"What will people say?" "She will laugh at me" "She'll dismiss me" "I'll loose my reputation" "I'll be ruined" - this fear stops her.

Last edited by dlaire (05-31-2007 01:01:06 AM)

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#228 | Back to Top05-31-2007 01:22:53 AM

SleepDebtFairy
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From: Virginia
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 2095

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I don't mind the Juri-Shiori-Ruka discussions, is just that they seem to get too emotional. emot-frown

Also, I mostly don't want to comment on them because I feel silly saying the same things over and over again.. Either way, yes, Ruka is a jerk and is just as selfish as all the other characters. But while some people still like Shiori despite the things she did, I still like Ruka. (and I don't really plan to bash Shiori, either)

Anyway.. I rewatched two episodes of Utena, but I completely forgot what I wanted to post. emot-gonk


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#229 | Back to Top05-31-2007 01:30:13 PM

dollface
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Edited to remove a whole bunch of Dollface being wrong about things. You're not missing much!

Last edited by dollface (06-06-2017 03:01:39 AM)


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#230 | Back to Top05-31-2007 03:48:50 PM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

The reason her uniform changes is that's a flashback to before she started considering herself a member of the student council. emot-keke Still in the context of what you're saying it did seem to me like Touga was especially ruthless with her when she had the uniform. To some extent her decision to play ball in his court meant he wasn't going to go easy on her for being his sister. Especially when it afforded him such an advantage.

I always liked though that she was also the first person to dump the uniform.


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#231 | Back to Top05-31-2007 04:21:56 PM

Raven Nightshade
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From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

^Yeah, what she said. emot-keke

Depending on the version you watch, there's a caption at the top of the screen within the first second of the flashback that says 'Ohtori Academy Junior High Entrance Ceremony" or something to that effect.

Anyway, that's another reason I can't take Nanami seriously at all, aside from the filler episodes. I never really understood what she wanted out of the Duels because it was never told to me in blatant terms like everyone else. Her whole "I want to surpass everything" spiel in episode 32 didn't really mean anything to me except "I want to be better than all of you." Of course, now as I'm writing this I wonder if all she wanted was some unattainable level of perfection so that her brother wouldn't go chasing other girls for what she could so easily give him. Oddly enough, that sounds like how Anthy felt about Dios...minus the perfection part. Yet another reason I feel like Nanami's would be the next Rose Bride...


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#232 | Back to Top05-31-2007 07:06:48 PM

Hiraku
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From: Singapore
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

My best guess is that by changing her uniform into the girl uniform, it would serve as the link between the two different periods of time.
BTW, looking at this uniform thing (Which I NEVER noticed before), it reminds me of how Akio said about how then and now, Utena has always been a girl.

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#233 | Back to Top06-01-2007 10:43:27 AM

Pandora
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Registered: 04-05-2007
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Along this train of thought, if I remember rightly, Nanami's uniform is the schoolgirl one in the last scene with the duellists when they're putting the roses into the vase. That's right, isnt it? Whats the symbolism of that? I kinda thought it was to show that she was going to be going back to being a normal student again and that it strongly hinted towards the end of the duelling game, especially cus doesn't Nanami start to take off the ring?

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#234 | Back to Top06-01-2007 10:54:03 AM

Ragnarok
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Nanami actually goes back to the regular uniform before the final duel. She's wearing it when she intrudes on Utena, Miki and Juri's badminton game.

During the last duel, Saionji begins to take his ring off but Touga stops him. Nanami says (I think she's under the table at this point) that she already took hers off.

I agree that Nanami's heading back to being normal (or what passes for normal) again, and that for her she's already given up on the (childish?) ideal of gaining power which could revolutionize the world. It's not necessarily a step backwards, she'd probably look back on her time in the student council as just a phase she went through.


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#235 | Back to Top06-01-2007 03:55:46 PM

alexielnet
Unfulfilled Juror
From: Arizona
Registered: 10-16-2006
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dollface wrote:

If it is a flashback, why would her uniform change prior to it? Unless the flashback started before the title, but why?

I think the introduction bounces around in time. The first shot (featuring Nanami) shows her stopping. Her face stops moving though her hair moves forwards sharply then settles into place. They show her from a similar angle (though not as close up) when she is walking and her hair does not move as much. Then the shot fades white for a second and reappears with Nanami in the middle of the screen in her student council uniform. The screen fades white for a second and the trio appears, with Keiko only half visible behind Nanami. While the girls are complimenting her, she neither acknowledges their words or looks at them. She simply keeps on walking. Suddenly she stops and turns towards them and she is wearing her school uniform. The stop (the first shot) and then the turn both occur as flashbacks to when the girls first met and the walking Nanami who won't even look at them is the present Nanami. I think the point was to contrast that moment in the past with the present for reasons that become apparent in the full flashback.

In the full flashback of the girls first meeting, the girls speak to Nanami, causing her to turn and acknowledge them. They are asking her to be a part of the group, so it is pretty clear that this is not a present event.
the full episode
Yuuko:  Hey...
Yuuko:  You're in the same class as us, right?
Aiko:  If you like, why don't you join our group?
Keiko:  Let's be friends.


At that moment, they are equals. They are inviting her to join the group and she is acknowledging them. Their relationship completely changes a moment later when Touga addresses Nanami and they realize that the girl they just introduced themselves to is Touga's little sister.

Touga:  It was a wonderful entrance ceremony, Nanami.
Nanami:  Onii-sama!
Yuuko:  Isn't that Kiryuu Touga-sama?
Aiko:  It is, it's Touga-sama, the Student Council President!
Keiko:  Then this girl is...
Yuuko:  Touga-sama's little sister?!


Again, in the present they already know that Touga is Nanami's brother. From that moment, they are no longer equals because Nanami has leverage over them. To the girls, the cost of putting up with Nanami is less than the benefit of being close to Touga, so Nanami gets to set the rules. She no longer has to acknowledge them. The rest of the episode is about this relationship and the actual cost of being friends with Nanami, but there was this one moment of equality, and I think that is why it appears in that little scene before the title.

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#236 | Back to Top06-02-2007 06:01:08 AM

dlaire
A Whole Orange
From: Poland
Registered: 04-08-2007
Posts: 2322

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

*Along this train of thought, if I remember rightly, Nanami's uniform is the schoolgirl one in the last scene with the duellists when they're putting the roses into the vase. *

I found in book about flowers’ language about that- It means that they are bonded a promise that nothing will come out from this discussion. It’s kind of covenant. Nanami is part of revolution in Academy, and it’ll involve her.

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#237 | Back to Top06-02-2007 04:20:38 PM

bea
Saionji Slapper
From: Milan, Italy
Registered: 05-24-2007
Posts: 27

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I was rewatching Episode 31 one today (Her Tragedy), and as it usaually happens, everytime I rewatch something from SKU I notice symbology details that I hadn't caught before.

After Nanami is taken to the Chairman's Tower so that Akio can treat her ankle (Utena obviously having some déja-vus...), she leaves with Utena - she can't avoid being offered some of Anthy's infamous shaved ice, though -, and the two girls wander around in the park at sunset surrounded by couples of lovers.
At one point, they stop and talk about the Chairman himself, Nanami hinting at the fact that Utena likes him and assuming by Utena's reaction that she isn't wrong - then she ends off by whishing the best for both of them, and the scene changes.

The thing I was wondering about is the statue in the foreground - it actually changes 3 times while Nanami and Utena keep discussing in the background.

Nanami:  That sort really has it good.
Utena:  They're really flaunting it, aren't they?
Nanami:  I'm talking about the Chairman.
Utena:  Oh, um.
Nanami:  What a waste for Himemiya Anthy to have such a kind brother like that.
Utena:  How is it a waste if they're siblings?
Nanami:  Hey, anyone would get weak in the knees with a cool brother like that.
Nanami:  Even that Himemiya Anthy.
Utena:  You're the only one who's like that.
Nanami:  What're you upset about?
Nanami:  You like the Chairman, don't you?
Utena:  What're you talking about?!
Nanami:  See, I thought so!
Nanami:  So, that was it.
Nanami:  Let's both do our best.
Utena:  What's that supposed to mean?


The first time we see the statue is right after Nanami says, "I'm talking about the Chairman." - but I couldn't recognize its subject.
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x149/akaicaado/vlcsnap-34833.png

The statue's shape changes when Utena states Nanami is the only one having a big brother complex - subject still unknown to me.
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x149/akaicaado/vlcsnap-35130.png

The shapes changes again - and here I actually can tell what it becomes, since it is Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Rape of Proserpina - right after Utena denies having an interest in the Chairman and blushes.
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x149/akaicaado/vlcsnap-35416.png

The statue's last shot shows it has changed again - this time, it is the monument to the Town Musicians of Bremen -, just as Nanami says: "Let's both do our best.", and leaves.
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x149/akaicaado/vlcsnap-35611.png

Now, what I've been thinking is, are the 4 different shapes of the statue meant to evoke the progressive stages one has to surpass in order to reach freedom?
I wonder if this makes sense, but since the episode is centered on Nanami's adoration for Touga, and the discussion here is about liking someone who, both in Nanami and in Utena's case, may look appealing but is actually the wrong choice, I think it could be a good starting point for further analysis.

For what concerns the meaning of the different subjects, what I came up with is:

The first one is unknown but it is obviously a pair of children, holding something in their hands. The both look like males though (the Dioscures...?), and both couples of siblings involved in the discussion - Touga and Nanami, Akio and Anthy - follow a male-female pattern.
Anyway, this could refer to childhood relationships that forcibly change - sometimes for the better - as people grow.

The second one is also unknown, a figure carrying a lyre in her left hand. (???)

The third one is easier to read, I interpreted as a symbol of Utena having to free herself from Akio's growing influence, both from a mental, but in this context especially in a phisical point of view.

The whole "freedom as a key point" was suggested to me by the last one, the Town Musicians, because the Grimm Brothers' tale begins with the four animal deciding to leave for Bremen for the very reason it is a town renowned for its freedom.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_Musicians_of_Bremen

Could Nanami, while openly whishing for Utena and herself to succeed in their "quest" for Touga and Akio, unconsciously be talking about the exact opposite?

Last edited by bea (06-02-2007 04:28:40 PM)


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#238 | Back to Top06-02-2007 05:16:08 PM

Alexandra
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From: Dreamworld
Registered: 04-07-2007
Posts: 808

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

bea wrote:

Could Nanami, while openly whishing for Utena and herself to succeed in their "quest" for Touga and Akio, unconsciously be talking about the exact opposite?

Very good, bea!  What an interesting idea.  And it could very well be true.  People can say something and mean the exact opposite rather easily.  Maybe Nanami is wanting to break away from Touga just as much as Utena is Akio.

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#239 | Back to Top06-02-2007 10:01:34 PM

Raven Nightshade
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From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I believe the second statue is Apollo, god of light, music, and other cheerful things. I think that statue comes up with Utena's mention of Nanami's brother complex because his sister Artemis/Diana, while not obsessed on the level of Nanami, was very attached to her brother and had no interest in men. (Of course now I'm reminded of the story of Artemis and Actaeon, who she turned into a deer for catching her naked. This in turn makes me think of Anthy turning Nanami into a cow.)

Once I figure out what the first statue is, I'd be willing to bet that they somehow represent Akio.


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight.

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#240 | Back to Top06-03-2007 02:02:33 AM

dlaire
A Whole Orange
From: Poland
Registered: 04-08-2007
Posts: 2322

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Maybe this two kids are siblings, Castor i Pollux.

Polish artist, Katherine Kozyra made this: http://strasznasztuka.blox.pl/resource/ … ramida.jpg It was very controversial "sculpture" 4 years ago. It goaded discussion about bestiality. I suppose that in SKU it was symbol of sacrifice and fellowship (Nanami:  Let's both do our best.)

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#241 | Back to Top06-03-2007 10:23:45 AM

Hiraku
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From: Singapore
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dlaire wrote:

Maybe this two kids are siblings, Castor i Pollux.

Yeah, it is Castor and Pollux, because it looks like the two siblings were holding a piece of meat, which would refer back to the myth of the siblings having a competition with another twin brothers on cow-eating.
Maybe the statue symbolizes Nanami and/or Utena's idea of siblings. The extent to which they should be attached. I'm not familiar with how close Castor and Pollux are to each other, though... I don't remember them committing incest like Anthy and Akio.

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#242 | Back to Top06-03-2007 10:43:23 AM

Raven Nightshade
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From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight.

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#243 | Back to Top06-03-2007 10:53:35 PM

dlaire
A Whole Orange
From: Poland
Registered: 04-08-2007
Posts: 2322

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Ok, so maybe symbols from 39th Episode?

http://img399.imageshack.us/my.php?imag … sm1ht1.png

This rose is fading. Does it mean that Utena's childhood (pink color) is disappearing?

http://img127.imageshack.us/my.php?imag … sm2ru1.png

What do you think about that one?

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#244 | Back to Top06-04-2007 10:25:40 AM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6340
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dlaire wrote:

Ok, so maybe symbols from 39th Episode?

http://img399.imageshack.us/my.php?imag … sm1ht1.png

This rose is fading. Does it mean that Utena's childhood (pink color) is disappearing?

http://img127.imageshack.us/my.php?imag … sm2ru1.png

What do you think about that one?

With regard to the first image, I believe you are on the money there. And, the sword? I think it just goes to show how Anthy serves as Akio's meat shield. Of course, I'm stating the obvious here.

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#245 | Back to Top06-07-2007 10:29:50 PM

brian
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Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 588

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Hiraku and dlaire wrote:

This rose is fading. Does it mean that Utena's childhood (pink color) is disappearing?... With regard to the first image, I believe you are on the money there.

That makes a lot of sense. Could the change to purple also symbolize Utena being turned into a Rose Bride or Anthy or Dios being discarded?

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#246 | Back to Top06-08-2007 02:45:27 AM

dlaire
A Whole Orange
From: Poland
Registered: 04-08-2007
Posts: 2322

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

hmmm, you know, sometimes I have doubts about symbolism in SKU - maybe it is only for making ludicrous atmosphere.
for example, at Students Council meetings, many of scenes are without any sense - shooting to flowers, baloons...

I'm sure that birds in cage or statues HAVE deeper meaning, but not everything.

What do you think about scenes from Students Council meetings?

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#247 | Back to Top06-08-2007 06:34:56 AM

Stormcrow
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Each one deserves close analysis.  Take for example, Touga's knife throwing, or Nanami uncomfortably eating her letter from World's End.  Some of it might be pointless, but even the pointless ones gave me the impression that I was just missing something.  Something that I always crave in literature is subtlety, and SKU just about went over the edge with it at times, which is why I love it so.etc-love


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#248 | Back to Top06-08-2007 10:50:28 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

One of the few that make sense are the balloons. They seem to symbolize childish hopes floating away.

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#249 | Back to Top06-09-2007 12:17:58 AM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6340
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Stormcrow wrote:

Each one deserves close analysis.  Take for example, Touga's knife throwing, or Nanami uncomfortably eating her letter from World's End.  Some of it might be pointless, but even the pointless ones gave me the impression that I was just missing something.  Something that I always crave in literature is subtlety, and SKU just about went over the edge with it at times, which is why I love it so.etc-love

With regard to the knives throwing... I'm wondering if it shows that the characters are being blinded/trapped within their desires. And even when being trapped in a certain frame, Miki talks as if nothing's changed, perhaps hinting that the pain (?) brought about by the knives are what they need to stay alive. The question I have is, were Miki and Juri aware of those knives?
If so, that would probably go back to the "Anthy being skewered by swords" reference. Humans experience miseries and sufferings, but they allow those things to happen to them because (quote Akio) "We can't be happier any other way"

Last edited by Hiraku (06-09-2007 12:18:40 AM)

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#250 | Back to Top06-09-2007 02:47:57 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Hiraku wrote:

Knife throwing

Hee, now that you mention it, Miki seemed kind of like he didn't notice the knives being thrown at him. Here's another way to look at it. I think it's more logical to interpret it in the given context of episode 7. The main issue was that Juri didn't believe in miracles. So in a way, doesn't it seem amazing (if not miraculous), that none of the knives hit Miki? Even when blindfolded, Touga isn't able to hit him. Unless Touga works as a professional knife-thrower for some  wandering circus group, I don't think he'd be THAT good at throwing knives. emot-tongue And then look at Miki, who obviously represents Juri in this scene. He doesn't notice the knives and the fact that he's escaped serious injury and being hospitalized by an inch or two many many times. Miki is not aware of the knives, just like Juri isn't aware of miracles happening (quote Akio) "Miracles happen every day. It's just that people don't realize it." Or maybe she doesn't want to believe in them? I'm stll not completely sure whether she wants to or not, since the shadow girls hinted that she does while the Seitokai meeting doesn't really answer that. :/ Well, I'll be waiting Razara's analysis. emot-keke

brian wrote:

One of the few that make sense are the balloons. They seem to symbolize childish hopes floating away.

They never made sense to me. And I forgot what context it was used in, I just remember it was in one of the earlier episodes. Only thing that made sense to me about it was the colour symbolism. So could you please elaborate on it a bit more? I'm curious.


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