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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

#276 | Back to Top06-15-2007 09:41:17 AM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6340
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I second dlaire. Think you might be able to post your analysis on the ohtori.nu website as one of the analysis essays??

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#277 | Back to Top06-15-2007 09:51:17 AM

Coco Melancholy
Framed Landscaper
Registered: 06-04-2007
Posts: 415

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dlaire wrote:

I like the most your Ruka-Juri-Shiory analyss emot-smile

emot-redface strange....warm....fuzzy...feeling...its...its....I-I just don't know....

I get a little intimidated since everyone has such intelligent points to offer, *sweatdrop*, so I got a little carried away I think when I braved it to have a go. Especially since I love those three, and I love the idea that Juri was telling Ruka to believe in miracles while trying to impress Shiori at the same time.

It just makes me laugh. So hard. So, so hard. Especially Juri and Shiori, I can just imagine Juri being extra perfect to gain Shiori's affections, which if I were Shiori would feel like she was rubbing it in my face, and then giving her the cold shoulder other times because she was uncomfortable with her feelings, which if I was Shiori would feel like she was acting as if she was to good for me. Damn I should write fanfiction emot-mad

It is interesting, wondering about it.

*shakes head* SKU

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#278 | Back to Top06-17-2007 11:53:51 AM

Coco Melancholy
Framed Landscaper
Registered: 06-04-2007
Posts: 415

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Hiraku wrote:

I second dlaire. Think you might be able to post your analysis on the ohtori.nu website as one of the analysis essays??

O.O really???? Are you.....are you sure???

Um........um...emot-aaa.....um........okay.....how would I go about doing that.......

EDIT: Looking a little around the essays I don't think any of what I've written here is really up to their standard and there's already two very good essays about Juri/Ruka/Shiori.

Saying that this forum is more for picture and symbology anaylsis.

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#279 | Back to Top06-17-2007 01:14:19 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Coco: it's deep and fresh, so don't be shy about it emot-smile

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#280 | Back to Top06-18-2007 02:29:39 PM

Coco Melancholy
Framed Landscaper
Registered: 06-04-2007
Posts: 415

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Saying that this forum is more for picture and symbology anaylsis.

Hmm....maybe someone should do an anaylsis of the opening scene.emot-wink

dlaire wrote:

Coco: it's deep and fresh, so don't be shy about it emot-smile

emot-redface I'll have hot cheeks all day now lol

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#281 | Back to Top06-18-2007 06:16:07 PM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6340
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

This is something very small, but I find it special. On the episode where Utena has to duel Wakaba... I think that's the first (and possibly only) time when Utena called Anthy as "Anthy" instead of Himemiya O_o

Just rewatched the episode few minutes ago. Could've sworn she called her "Anthy"...

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#282 | Back to Top06-18-2007 06:28:48 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

While on the topic of Wakaba's duel episode, it kind of annoys me that Utena never does anything for Wakaba. Yes, I understand they think that the duelists are being brainwashed [which, IMO, is simply not true!], and I know that there are only 3 more epsiodes before everyone forgets, but still! She is supposed to be Utena's dearest friend, and she does nothing to help her after the duel. I mean, she still gives thought to Shiori and Keiko, girls whom she hardly even knows, but when her best friend tries to kill her and gives one of the most heartbreaking duel-speeches of the series... I just would have expected more from our noble Utena.

Last edited by dollface (06-18-2007 06:29:26 PM)


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#283 | Back to Top06-18-2007 06:46:31 PM

Raven Nightshade
Someday Shiner
From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
Posts: 2916

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Noble....but oblivious as hell....


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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#284 | Back to Top06-18-2007 06:50:46 PM

Romanticide
Cow Bellhop
From: Mazatlan
Registered: 10-18-2006
Posts: 447

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dollface wrote:

While on the topic of Wakaba's duel episode, it kind of annoys me that Utena never does anything for Wakaba. Yes, I understand they think that the duelists are being brainwashed [which, IMO, is simply not true!], and I know that there are only 3 more epsiodes before everyone forgets, but still! She is supposed to be Utena's dearest friend, and she does nothing to help her after the duel. I mean, she still gives thought to Shiori and Keiko, girls whom she hardly even knows, but when her best friend tries to kill her and gives one of the most heartbreaking duel-speeches of the series... I just would have expected more from our noble Utena.

True actually she doesn't seem to hang out much with Wakaba after she meets Anthy. Probably off panel but I think it would have been better to shown how good friends are they supposed to be.


http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/1390/firmautenaji0.jpg

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#285 | Back to Top06-18-2007 08:20:19 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Coco, that's a lot of analyis! O.O Ahh, I love them! etc-love There's so much to read and comment to, though.. I'll try to finish soon and see if I can summon any thoughts to post. But you've said everything so beautifully that I doubt I'll have anything to comment with.

dollface wrote:

While on the topic of Wakaba's duel episode, it kind of annoys me that Utena never does anything for Wakaba. Yes, I understand they think that the duelists are being brainwashed [which, IMO, is simply not true!], and I know that there are only 3 more epsiodes before everyone forgets, but still! She is supposed to be Utena's dearest friend, and she does nothing to help her after the duel. I mean, she still gives thought to Shiori and Keiko, girls whom she hardly even knows, but when her best friend tries to kill her and gives one of the most heartbreaking duel-speeches of the series... I just would have expected more from our noble Utena.

Wow, I never noticed that, but you're right. emot-frown I think, in general, because of Wakaba's happy-go-lucky "I'm always happy" attitude, Utena might be oblivious to a lot of her problems, because she's pretty dense.  I really need to rewatch that episode before I can say anything, though..

Anyway, I recently re-watched Nanami's first duel episode. I love that duel. etc-love

Before I get into that, I noticed one thing before her duel. When she was challenging Utena at Touga's party, Touga said that only those with the rose seal can duel, and he gave her a ring. This made me think about when Ruka dueled.. a lot of people wonder if he was previously on the student council. He has a ring, doesn't he? Because of the rule Touga mentioned, I think he might have been on the student council before.. unless, of course, Akio just recently gave him the ring to hook Juri into dueling..

Anyway, to Nanami!

First, her flashback with... the kitten. emot-frown I love Nanami, but that part makes me so sad..

I noticed that in this scene, there is a black bird perched somewhere, watching Nanami. Right after Nanami drops the box with the kitten in to the river, the bird flies off. It gave me the impression that the bird saw what she did and was flying off to tell all the other animals. This explains why all other animals seem to harass Nanami, besides Anthy's influence, of course.. it's divine justice.

Some things Nanami said in her first duel sounded very familiar, because they reminded me of Utena in the beginning, too. Nanami says something about her rose seal ring being given to her by her prince (Touga). In this duel, she is fighting for her prince.

However, in her second duel, she doesn't refer to him as a prince.. she says she is dueling to surpass her brother. She wants to find her own specialness.

This contrast reminds me of the contrast between early Utena and late Utena. She doesn't really know her prince, but she wants to find him anyway.. at the end of the series, she gets to really know her prince more, and what he really is, and then she starts fighting for herself. To be her own prince and save Anthy, instead of finding a prince for herself and being a princess. Ah, another reason why I adore Nanami, too. She grows so much in between her first and last duel.

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (06-18-2007 08:27:09 PM)


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/Tushen/cupcake_mini2.gif

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#286 | Back to Top06-19-2007 06:34:19 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

SDF, I adore Nanami, too, partially for the reasons you listed; she really does grow as a character, albiet not in all aspects, while many characters seems to remain almost exactly what they were when they began. I've been thinking of writing an essay about the parallels between Nanami and Anthy, but maybe I'll change it to Nanami and Utena... Then again, I probably won't write either, so no need to put much thought into which would be better.

Anywho, I was also rewatching some Nanami episodes, and decided, what the hell, I'll go back to the dance episode. I still find this episode rather boring, but I've just become partial to Akio Arc!Utena and the such. But, that aside, something dawned on me.
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d51/trueutenafan/Sketch20.jpg
[There isn't a screencap in the gallery, and I didn't feel like using up, oh, probably 15 seconds to find one somewhere else.]
Notice that when Utena magically removes the dress that was somehow hiding a blazer, she isn't wearing her school uniform; she's wearing her duelist uniform. We never see all these additions on Utena unless Anthy puts them there. What the hell? I mean, I understand the symbolism it could carry [ie- Duelist Utena is somehow equal to Prince Utena, and she's rescuing Anthy. Or, Duelist Utena fights for Anthy, as she is fighting... err... being socially outcast? Being bullied? Something to that extent. Ect.], but I've still got to wonder.

Last edited by dollface (06-19-2007 06:37:59 PM)


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#287 | Back to Top06-19-2007 07:09:16 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dollface, I noticed that too.. It's easy to apply symbolism for it, but that early on in the series, I'm not sure if they paid that much attention to episodes like that.. emot-frown Although, maybe the dress could magically conceal that outfit because Anthy did... something magical and witchy, I don't know. Maybe she wanted/needed to be saved and knew it. However, I think Anthy's fear of the people around her is entirely genuine. After being stabbed by the swords of human hatred, it makes sense. Her line earlier in that episode is very telling.

Anthy wrote:

But I don't care for places with lots of people. Everybody's faces begin to look the same, and I get scared.

I don't think she was faking that.. it might be why she started to tease Nanami and "teach her lessons" so mercilessly afterwards. However, I'm sure Anthy must have seen Nanami's plot coming.


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/Tushen/cupcake_mini2.gif

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#288 | Back to Top06-19-2007 10:08:10 PM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6340
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

This would go back to an earlier discussion about the breakup between Shiori and Ruka. How the rejection that took place in the duel might have appeared to be a breakup in the eyes of the non-duelists?

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#289 | Back to Top06-30-2007 10:47:05 AM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4693

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Why Kanae Is Interesting:
I love Kanae, yet I usually feel a little embarrassed to admit that. I’ve seen some minor Kanae bashing on the forum, and the majority belief seems to be that she exists for no real reason other than to start the Black Rose Saga off. But when you think about it, if Kanae’s mother, (who was on screen for about a minute and a half,) can be analyzed on a huge level, it’s only natural to assume that Kanae has something interesting about her, too, right? Like everyone else, she’s just a pawn in Akio’s game, but there’s got to be more to her than that.

Kanae gets what I like to call an, “explaining stuff episode.” At first glance, it’s hard to relate anything to her, because it’s also relevant to the overall plot. However, Saionji’s duels also take place during the explaining stuff episodes, yet the first episode is about Utena’s friendship with Wakaba, and friendship is something that plays a big role in Saionji’s character as well. Even though this is an episode where we’re learning about the Black Rose Duelists, Kanae does not exist as an example of what the upcoming Black Rose Duelists will be like and nothing more.

I’m sorry for rambling, again. But I’m actually happy that I could ramble on like this. The first time I tried to analyze Kanae, I got a whopping two pages in my notebook, and most of the second page was just reciting stuff from the episode. Thirteen pages might be a bit much, but no one’s forcing you to read it. If you start thinking, “Oh, my God, why won’t she shut up?” then please stop reading. I came up with most of this on a night when I was having trouble sleeping. Nothing cures insomnia better than analyzing symbolism.


http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps002.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps005.jpg
Mikage: “Even deep underground, where the sun cannot reach, this rose still blooms nicely.”
Mamiya: “It’s because my black rose absorbs darkness itself…You know, senpai… I’ve heard that Kiryuu Touga, the student council president, has been absent all this time. That’s why the campus has been so quiet lately--.”
Mikage: “And that’s good. A proper school should be a place of peaceful study.”

Inevitably, we see the black roses all throughout the Black Rose Saga. The rose absorbs darkness in a place where the sun doesn't shine. Those who dwell in the sun are unable to see it. In other words, the black rose is the hidden conflict within the duelist. Generally, no one is able to see the conflict of the Black Rose Duelists. You wouldn’t see Shiori passing by on the street and think, “Oh, she’s jealous of her best friend,” and even those who are close to her can’t tell. The roses absorb darkness, which is their hatred and self-conflict, where no one can see it.

Mamiya mentions that Touga has been absent all this time, and that’s why the school has been so quiet. That’s a good thing, because a “proper” school should be a place of peaceful study. After they say that, water falls onto the rose, and water is understood as something that keeps a rose alive, and makes it grow. Why does this line add to the darkness of Kanae’s rose?

For one thing, we’ve got Touga’s absence of school. Touga is absent, just as Kanae’s father, the chairman, is absent. It doesn’t make much sense to say that the school is quiet and peaceful simply because Touga is no longer around. If anything, that should cause things to become more chaotic. The school itself could symbolize Kanae. As the chairman’s daughter, she is accepting that she must marry Akio so that the school can have a new chairman, thereby maintaining the peace of the school. She is doing what she feels is the proper thing to do, as well as her duty. However, that’s what adds to the growing conflict within her.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps009.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps011.jpg
In the next scene, Utena comes home and tells Chu-Chu about how they turned their Saturday class into a party at school, but Anthy couldn’t be there. Utena and Anthy are engaged, though not quite in the normal sense. Even so, Anthy has been betraying her trust by going out to sleep with her brother every Saturday night. She couldn’t be with Utena on that day because she was off with her brother. It isn’t until Anthy returns that Utena finds out where she’s been going every Saturday.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps023.jpg
When they go to visit Akio, they find Kanae and Akio making out near the planetarium projector, which Giovanna pointed out is probably a place that Kanae went out of her way to find Akio. Introductions, yadda, yadda, yadda, Kanae’s father is the real chairman.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps028.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps031.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps032.jpg
Kanae: “Father is very fond of Akio, and we plan to be married as soon as I graduate from high school.”

I’m going to take a minute to pretend that I know anything about body language, (which I don’t,) and point out that while everyone else is sitting with their legs forward, Kanae is the only one whose body is facing away from Akio. As she says the line above, her expression progressively changes in a negative way, (damn, I forgot to get screenshots,) and by the end of the sentence, she shifts her arm in a way that almost makes it look as though she’s fidgeting nervously. However, when she goes on to say, “It’s almost an obsession. Some people say he got himself adopted into my family just to get at these facilities!” suddenly she’s leaning towards Akio and holding his hand. She looks at Akio, and then back over to Anthy as she says, “He slept here again last night, too.” Utena also looks at Anthy as she says, “Just occasionally think about me, too, alright?” “If I find a comet, I’ll name it after you.”

So, just why is it that one moment Kanae is distant from Akio, and then next moment she’s trying to get closer to him? I think that we all can agree that 18 is a little young to be getting married. Kanae’s engagement to Akio was decided for her, which is hard for anyone to go through.

This is probably debatable, but I don’t believe that Kanae really loves Akio. I think that she cares for Akio, but the bottom line is that she doesn’t love him. I don’t think that Akio ever went through all of the trouble of wooing Kanae that he put into seducing Utena, and he probably didn’t have to. We can tell by the way that she still had to go out of her way to find Akio that he’s been avoiding her for longer the time that Utena’s been around. Even if she did love Akio at some point, it’s clear that by now she’s reconsidering those feelings. If she had any other choice, she wouldn’t be marrying him, but she has to because it’s what her father decided. So why does she constantly try to get his attention? Because she wants to believe that Akio really does care about her, and that he’s not really trying to avoid her.

Had Akio been a man who would have tried to win her affection, and someone who made her happy, the idea of an arranged marriage would have been a little easier for her. Instead, Akio has been acting distant to her. She still wants to believe that Akio loves her, which is why the times when she chooses to stay closest to him is when she’s mentioning how “some people” say that he’s only marrying into their family for access to the facilities, rather than her, and that he slept at the chairman’s residence again last night, rather than with her.

It could also be that she wants attention because she may not have gotten much attention from her parents. Her father was probably always busy, what with his job as the chairman, and her mother isn’t going to win any Mother of the Year Awards any time soon. Her friends are also questionable, since having people around who care more about your money than you is an inevitable part of being rich. To her, having someone around that genuinely cared about her must have sounded great, but that didn’t turn out the way she had hoped for, either.

After their introductions, Kanae requests Anthy from something before she leaves:

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps036.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps037.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps038.jpg
Kanae: “Please, won’t you start calling me, Sister,” now? It won’t be long until I really am your sister, okay?”

You’ve gotta admire Anthy’s ability to manipulate people. Kanae’s black rose is ready to be picked because Anthy’s words have such an affect on her. She knew that denying Kanae’s request was what would hurt her the most. By refusing to call her Sister, she’s showing that she does not truly think of her as family. Just because Kanae’s going to be her older sister doesn’t mean that she thinks of her as an older sister, and just because she’s Akio’s fiancé doesn’t mean that he really thinks of her that way.
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps047.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps048.jpg
In the next scene, two business men are thanking Mikage for writing a paper for them, and try to offer him a present for helping them, but instead Mikage suggests that one day he might ask them for a favor instead. Like Akio, Mikage is young, but able to fill a high-ranking position without any trouble. Soon after, Miki comes to meet Mikage.

Giovanna wrote:

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q60/mrsakioohtori/snaps050.jpg
It's pretty obvious there's a gross difference in the comfort level these two have with the situation. Mikage's pose is lazy, relaxed, and very, very open. Go ahead and sit that way for a moment. It'll leave your whole side exposed and vulnerable; it's a position a person has to be very comfortable to choose for themselves. There is an element of restrained sexuality here, because his hand is resting on his thigh, thus 'hiding' his genitals, however this is pretty effectively offset by the degree to which he's leaned back. His chest is so exposed that the suggestion of sex is still there, even if the major hint he could have thrown is being concealed. This, I suspect, had everything to do with his captive audience, who couldn't possibly be more closed with his body. He's hunched forward, with his books piled on his lap (might as well wear a chastity belt, sport), his arms both rested on uncrossed legs (we get it!!). This is a boy that isn't wanting to buy whatever it is he thinks Mikage is selling, and while he's thinking of the seminar, their body language combined suggests there's a hidden offer no one's mentioning directly.

Now, it's not all about sex. (Just the part Giovanna likes to blabber about most. Whee!) Mikage's legs are crossed and Miki's are very not crossed. This is evidence of the disparity in status and power. Miki is treating Mikage very much as a superior, both in age and in intelligence, and it is not, as is the case quite often with Miki, an act of politeness or humbleness. Miki quite honestly bows to Mikage's superiority, even as an adult, which is a concept we know rubs Miki the wrong way elsewhere. In this case, it's evidenced by this difference because Miki is willing to take the more childish position. Both people would cross their legs if this was a competition for status, or even if Miki was making the slightest effort to appear higher on the ladder than he is.

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q60/mrsakioohtori/snaps054.jpg
There's little to say about this one that isn't said in the rest of Mikage's body language. Again, relaxed, confident. However, it's a direct contrast to the next shot.

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q60/mrsakioohtori/snaps055.jpg
Miki's fingers are tensed around the can, and his thumb is pressed against his hand, as if distancing that digit would have been too much to expose. This is, aside from a concealing reaction to the sexual tension in the room, plain, balls out tension. Miki is nervous around this man; any more so and he'd be sweating. He's obviously sexually put off, but I suspect there's also disturbance on account of the intellectual superiority Miki is sensing. Though Miki's body language is especially childlike most of the time, he rarely seems bothered by adults. The other character in the series that his body language suggests he sees as a true superior is Touga, and despite Touga's teasing him repeatedly, he doesn't clam up his body language around him the way he's doing with Mikage, who isn't really teasing. (I question whether Touga's teasing, but that's another subject.) Miki is, here, quite plainly intimidated by Mikage. This is not surprising, because an oddity of Miki that often betrays itself in his body language is that he's not as humble about his intelligence as he tries to be, and he's in an unusual position to be associating with someone who is acting like they're smarter than him and probably able to back it up.

One thing that's also of note, though it's not body language exactly...Miki's drink is unopened. Mikage's is. Can't you just smell the symbolism?

Now, take all of this wonderful analysis, and replace Mikage with Akio and Miki with Kanae for a moment. It paints a picture of when Kanae first learned that she was going to be engaged to Akio. (Or maybe they were just trying to emphasize the fact that Mikage likes little boys. It works both ways.)

Kanae, we can probably assume, is somewhat innocent and pure. Her appearance in itself gives off that impression, and given that she’s from a wealthy family, she was probably raised to act in a proper and polite manner. Proper generally doesn’t mean sleeping around with a bunch of boys, and yet here she is learning that she’s going to be engaged to someone whose very presence screams, “HI, I HAVE SEX WITH PEOPLE!” That would undoubtedly make her a little uncomfortable. Whatever she had in mind for her prince probably wasn’t Akio.

It’s also easy to imagine that she’s a little intimidated by Akio. She might also think that she’s not good enough for him. All of these things would be reasons for her to reject Akio’s offer, if she were able to do that.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps057.jpg
On his way out, Miki runs into Utena and Anthy. Even Miki, who doesn’t know End of the World’s true identity, seems to be aware that Anthy’s older brother is the chairman. Miki clicks his stopwatch when Utena says that she didn’t even know that the Nemuro Hall existed. Miki usually clicks his stopwatch after someone says something that is the cause of what leads up to the duel, conflict, or climax of the episode. In this case, it was because Utena didn’t know that the hall existed, despite its history. Perhaps we can relate this to Kanae being unaware of something important, namely, Akio’s true nature, and that’s he’s sleeping with his sister.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps065.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps069.jpg
Mikage: “You know, Mamiya, I believe you deserve to be the Rose Bride.”
Mamiya: “Surely you mean Rose Groom. I’m a boy.”
Mikage: “Bride suits you much more. I will make you the true Rose Bride. Then we will gain the power of Dios, and make his eternal secret ours.
Mamiya: “If you say so, senpai.”
Mikage: “Don’t worry. Even End of the World recognizes our potential. But for this to work, we must defeat Tenjou Utena, take Himemiya Anthy, and then kill her.”
Mamiya: “Yes. For that, we need strong Duelists.”

In order for Akio to become the chairman, he must become engaged to Kanae. And interestingly enough, he did kill her with that poisoned apple, or something like that. Now, onto Kanae’s soliloquy…

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Kanae: “High school section, senior, class A. Ohtori Kanae.”
Mikage: “Alright, please begin.”
Kanae: “Next spring, as soon as I graduate, I plan on getting married. It will be to the man my father, the chairman, has selected for me. He… He’s very kind, childlike in some ways, and yet really so much more mature than I am, and he watches over me very warmly. I want to do anything for him. I feel that way from the bottom of my heart. Except… Except…”


During all of this, there's still a butterfly. During the stage when it's a butterfly, the Black Rose Duelists say things like, “I really admire Nanami,” and, “I was jealous of Juri and nothing more,” which may have been true at some point, or is just total crap. During the butterfly stage, what the duelists say is far from their real problem, because those words let them continue telling themselves that everything is okay. Telling herself that she loves Akio is what lets her maintain her wings, yet even as she says it, her voice screams of uncertainty. When she finishes, the butterfly is now a chrysalis. Her words are getting closer and closer to her real problem.

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Mikage: “Deeper… Go, deeper…”
Kanae: “Except… Except, he has a younger sister. And no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to like her! (*Caterpillar*) Something happened once. I offered her one of my favorite scarves to wear. She simply said, “Thank you,” and then wiped her glasses with it! I was so shocked, and told her it wasn’t for wiping glasses with! Then, without a word, she just turned to me and smiled! And when I saw her eyes, I shivered. Because they were cold, alien! Father… I think he fell ill, because that awful girl’s been visiting us regularly. And now… I just don’t have the confidence to keep a smile on my face anymore! (*Leaf*) I’ve tried so hard to like her! But it’s no use! No matter what I try… No matter what I do… IT’S NO USE!!!


After all that stuff about Anthy, why have I been rambling on about her relationship with Akio? Because Anthy isn’t the real problem. When it comes to marrying someone, obviously whether or not you like their sister isn’t going to affect your marriage to an extreme extent. Kanae’s dislike for Anthy reflects her dislike for Akio.

Take the incident with the scarf for example. Kanae’s love for scarves is interesting in itself. We always see her wearing a white scarf, which is a pure and untainted color. Scarves are made to protect you from the cold, but she wears them year-round. They can also be dangerous, since they’re rapped around your neck, making it easy to choke if they get caught on something. She offered Anthy one of her favorite scarves, which we can assume probably meant a lot to her, since we never see her without one, but Anthy just wiped her glasses with it as though it were a rag. That was something precious to Kanae that she misused, and she was probably trying to get Anthy to like her by offering it to her to begin with. And when she told her that it wasn’t for whipping her glasses with, Anthy just smiled at Kanae in a way that made her shiver.

Through the entire time that she’s with Kanae, Anthy never opens her eyes. When she does open her eyes, it’s after she’s done something to hurt Kanae. Her eyes are cold, “alien,” as in something unknown to her. When she looks at her without her glasses, she’s seeing how truly cold Anthy, as well as Akio, who is Anthy’s own flesh and blood, can be. By avoiding her, he’s mistreating something else that in precious to her, in this case, her heart. The fact that she can’t like Anthy reflects that deep down inside, she can’t bring herself to like Akio.

However, less symbolically speaking, she sees Anthy as the reason why Akio doesn’t want to be around her in the first place, and blames her for Akio’s distant behavior. This might be down the road and across the street from jealousy. But she thinks that it’s because he’s spending so much time stargazing/with Anthy that he doesn’t want to be around her.

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This next scene is my favorite. Mikage tells Kanae that this room leads to the end of the world, and she steps forward. She understandably gasps from surprise when the ID number thing opens, but she doesn’t sound nearly as shocked as when she sees the Rose Crest on Mikage’s finger. There is absolutely nothing shocking about what she has seen right before she gasps. She gasped at the sight of the ring on his finger before she even saw what he had taken out of the ID file. Either she’s thinking, “Oh, my God! A man wearing a ring?! What a freak!” or there’s a deeper meaning to this.

We’ve all made the connection that the Rose Crests are like engagement rings, but it’s Kanae who gives this a new meaning. She’s not gasping at the sight of the ring, but at the sight of an engagement ring, and the idea of getting married to Akio. He then shows her a black one, and tells her that when a crest bearer dies, the ring turns black. It’s because of her father’s death that she has to get engaged. Also, by getting married, it marks the death of whatever her old life was. Things won’t stay the same once she’s married, and so it will cause the death of her childhood, and who she used to be. At this point, Kanae looks terrified. She’s sweating, and her face is twitching.

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Mamiya: “You can’t escape. You have been chosen, by my black rose.”

We see Mikage holding the black rose crest again. Mamiya can be related to Akio here, especially when you take into consideration that Akio’s pose was the same as the picture of Mamiya on Mikage’s desk. He’s the one that has been caring for the black rose, making sure that it grows, and Akio is the one who is the cause of the torment which makes the black rose bloom. Kanae can’t escape her destiny, because she has been chosen to play this role in Akio’s plan.

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Mamiya: “This is your new heart. Your new life! I give the rose that blooms at the End of the World… TO YOU!”
Once again, by accepting her marriage to Akio, this marriage will give her a new life, getting rid of the old one, yet she has no real way of stopping it. Mamiya stabs her in the heart, (the heart is often related to love,) and she screams. Mikage puts the ring on her ring finger, almost like how they do it at weddings. Though her hand is completely limp, she’s the one who lifts up her arm for him to put it on her.

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C-Ko: “Extra! Extra! Extra! At last! At last! At last! At last, what I feared has come!”
Older Brother C-Ko: “Isn’t it early for her?”
Younger Sister C-Ko: “*My big sis is advanced for her age.”
Father C-Ko: “Okay, say “Ahh!’”
C-Ko: “Ahh!”
Father C-Ko: “Well, what should we do about this wisdom tooth?”
C-Ko: “Ahh! Ohh…! What should I do?!”
Utena: “Pull it out?”


Once again, I’m pretty sure that we can all agree that eighteen is pretty young to get married, as is sixteen, or whatever C-Ko’s supposed age is for getting her wisdom teeth pulled. Neither C-Ko’s older brother (Akio) nor her younger sister (Anthy) seem to be particularly worried about her, as we can see by how Younger Sister C-Ko is playing a game with string while C-Ko is panicking at the thought of it. The solution of pulling out the wisdom teeth is the same as winning the duel by cutting off her Black Rose.

On top of being afraid of marrying Akio, we can go deeper and assume that she is also afraid of entering the adult world. While her mother is an example of what the adult world is like, Kanae is someone who is afraid of that world. This is what defines her character.

Not everyone is like Mitsuru. His first desire to become an adult was from watching Touga save Nanami. In his mind, that’s what all adults are like. He wants to be an adult because to him, being an adult means being a cool older brother who protects his younger sister. He’s young and innocent enough that this could be the only image of the adult world he has, and perhaps he’s not even aware of the troubles that adults face. After all, the adult world isn’t all fun and games.

Akio: “I haven’t been here long, but I do know one thing. The students here are all free, all have a love for learning, and most of all, they never fight… Correct?”
Utena: “I’d be nice if it stayed that way.”
Kanae: “Nothing bad ever happens at Ohtori Academy.”


As Akio once said, “Those who never leave this garden called a school will never become adults.” Ohtori Academy is a place where the students spent most of their childhood, (Kanae especially,) so outside of Ohtori is the adult world, or just when you graduate from the academy. Ohtori is supposedly a peaceful place where the students never fight, making it an ideal place to grow up. There, the only things you have to worry about is school, or your friends, as opposed to the more serious problems that adults can face. Though it would indeed be nice if it could stay that way, eventually, everyone has to leave their childhood and enter the adult world.

One thing we have to wonder about is Kanae’s experience with the adult world. For most children, the biggest image we’re given of the adult world is how our parents live their lives. If your parents are constantly struggling to maintain a living, the adult world might not seem too pleasing. But Kanae obviously hasn’t witnessed any financial hardships, so that wouldn’t be something to worry her. It’s more likely that her parent’s relationship has been the cause for any uncertainties she’s had about life as an adult.

Call me crazy, but I’d say that there’s a good chance that her parents marriage wasn’t exactly one out of a storybook. It may have been that way at some point, and that it’s only just recently that these obvious troubles with their marriage due to her husband’s illness occurred, or it could be that problems had been occurring before then. Her parents may have even been in an arranged marriage, just like her. Witnessing their marriage fall apart would be more than enough to give her reasons to doubt her own marriage, never mind how Akio goes through all that trouble to avoid her.

Kanae is literally the Princess of Ohtori. Given her family’s tradition of having a male run the academy, she probably always knew that one day she would have an arranged marriage, but it probably came much sooner than she expected, what with her father’s illness. Kanae’s only eighteen, and she’s still not quite ready to take on such big responsibilities, or a husband, for that matter. Despite that, she’s still probably counting down the days until her graduation, to the day when she’ll have to accept the same fate as her mother. She would probably much rather remain at Ohtori as a carefree student, but soon, she’ll have to enter the adult world, whether she likes it or not.

Her mother is a fallen princess, and we can only wonder how aware of this Kanae is. It seems unlikely that Kanae would live in the dorms with the other students, and more likely that she would live at home with her parents. Where that is is beyond me, since though I would assume that the chairman would live at the chairman’s residence, neither him, nor his wife and daughter seem to live there. Even so, Kanae probably lived with both of her parents while they were still around. She might still live with her mother, which gives her a closer relationship with her parents than most of the students. (Utena would probably tell us that she envies things like that.)

Now that her father is ill, just what exactly is home life like for Kanae? Children usually aren’t completely oblivious to when something changes for the worst in their household. At an older age, it might seem obvious when a divorce isn’t far ahead for their parents. Even though they live together, they might not be close as mother and daughter, which is true for most teenagers, but she’s probably old enough to notice the collapse in their home life, and that things are going bad for her mother, and her dying father. As a result, she is seeing the adult world at its worst. Childhood presents us with a world that shields reality from us, and keeps us safe in a world where nothing bad happens. Grandma didn't die. She just just moved to Aruba. The adult world holds the dark truth that not everything in life is perfect, and so it can be a scary world to be in. Is Kanae really ready to face it?


If I felt like it, I could probably come up with a complete analysis of Kanae’s duel in about a week. You just know that there has to be some neat symbolism with her fighting to kill the Rose Bride, and the duel song isn’t too difficult to piece together, either.

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I’ve reconsidered what the lilies mean. Alithea brought up a good point about them.

Alithea wrote:

You know regarding the lillies in Kanae's duel...Lillies are often used in funerals going along with her father's ill health, but those particular lillies are Bella Donna Lillies. Bella Donna is a poison (althougb I do not beleive the Bella Donna lillies are poisonious) and so it could relate to the way Kanae feels about Anthy. That Anthy is poisoning her family, her father...after all everything started to go poorly for the old chairman once Anthy started hanging out. Or so Kanae mentions in her confession.

I’d also like to mention the color of the lilies. White roses symbolize marriage, and white is a color that is generally associated with marriage. When Utena asks why she’s doing this, the screen zooms out to give us a better shot of the lilies. Taking everything that the lilies symbolize into account, that is why she’s fighting, hence the reasons why it shows us the lilies.

No one really knows where Kanae got her sword. I assume that it’s not Akio’s, though she is wearing his color. For all we know, it’s a sword from her own chest that someone pulled out of her. However, I wouldn’t doubt that Akio would cooperate in helping her obtain the sword, since he knows all about what’s going on, unlike the members of the Student Council. She’s fighting to kill the Rose Bride, which can be taken as something she’s doing simply because of her hatred for Anthy, as well as her desire to destroy what is keeping her from being happy with Akio. It could also be that, like the Rose Crest being an engagement ring, that the term, “Rose Bride,” has become literal, and that she is trying to destroy her obligation to become just Akio’s wife and nothing more.

Kanae’s fate is to become Akio’s (supposed) bride. People tend to hate what they see in themselves, and Anthy could be an example of this. Though our first impression of Anthy’s roll as the Rose Bride brings us closer to thinking of it as slavery than anything else, we must question just how far her treatment is from that of a real bride. These days, you wouldn’t marry the guy who’s going to beat his wife because you can choose not to, but in Anthy’s case, and in cases of arranged marriages (hint, hint,) you have no choice.

Obviously, Kanae knows nothing about the duels, outside of the time when she is a Black Rose Duelist. But like her relationship with her parents, we must also question what her relationship was like with Anthy. She’s made an attempt to be friends with her by offering her one of her favorite scarves, so has she ever been around Anthy during her free time? What if she was around Anthy while she was engaged to Saionji? How would she react to seeing her take abuse from him without a word, and in the back of her mind, knowing that that would be her fate as a bride? Would she hate Anthy for just taking that abuse, though subconsciously she is just hating something that reminds her of herself? This could fuel her fear of becoming like that, as well as her desire not to let her marriage turn into a relationship where she’s always getting the short end of the stick.

Whatever it is that she’s fighting to destroy, Kanae fights all the same, and loses. Like the rest of the Black Rose duelists, she is unable to change her destiny. Mikage mentioned that all of the Black Rose duelists fight to reserve a precious memory that they wish could last forever, so perhaps the memory she is fighting to preserve is her childhood, which is a battle that she simply cannot win.


As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the way that Utena is sorting out the leaves, green beans, or whatever they are symbolizes that she’s trying to “sort out” what happened. Kanae doesn’t remember anything that lead up to the duels, so they can’t ask her about that. Anthy leaves Utena, who is oblivious to what’s really going on, so that she can go visit her brother.

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At the chairman’s residence, Anthy places her glasses on the table, and Akio says, “Come here, Anthy.” She turns to face him, and smiles. The very, very first time I watched this episode, I looked at Anthy and thought, “Were those the eyes that Kanae was talking about? [when she said, “Then, without a word, she just turned to me and smiled! And when I saw her eyes, I shivered. Because they were cold, alien!”]” Back then, I didn’t know anything about symbolism, but the glasses immediately struck me as something with a deeper meaning, but I never knew what. Now, my best guess would be that Anthy wears those glasses as a sort of way to hide her true face, which she only shows around her brother. Perhaps this is why she’s more open to expressing her feelings when she isn’t wearing them at night around Utena.

While Anthy is at Akio’s (I accidentally wrote Kanae’s,) Utena is asleep, which symbolizes innocence, or rather that she is unaware of what is going on with Anthy and Akio.


Episode 30 And Beyond:
You have to pity Kanae, because she gets screwed over in so many ways that it’s not even funny. I always assumed that Kanae was going to show up more often, what with her being Akio’s fiancé and all. I remember wondering at some point shortly after the Black Rose Saga, “Hey, whatever happened to Kanae? Shouldn’t she be here?” Of course, Akio’s plans to seduce Utena wouldn’t go very well if his fiancé was hanging around all the time. I’m probably the only one who takes, “He has a fiancé!” as a valid reason for him not to sleep with Utena, since that means that Kanae is getting screwed over without her even knowing it. Wakaba says that his having a fiancé doesn’t matter when love is involved, but how would she feel if her fiancé was sleeping with someone else? (Yes, I know that getting all upset because Akio isn’t being loyal to Kanae is perhaps one of the stupidest things in the world. Sue me.)

Akio: “Kanae-san! It’s rare to see you here at this hour.”
Kanae: “This is the only time I can ever get you.”
Akio: “It is?”
Kanae: “Yes, it is!”
Akio: “Well, I’ve been busy lately.”
Kanae: “Star-gazing?”
Anthy: “Good morning, Kanae-san.”
Kanae: “Good morning, Anthy-chan. For heaven’s sake. Are you ever going to call me “Onee-chan?’ Hmm? You’re “Utena,” right?”
Utena: “Good…good morning.”
Akio: “Like some breakfast?”
Kanae: “No, thank you. Anyway, my mother’s come too.”
Akio: “Etc.”


None of the duelists are static characters. By the end of the series, almost everyone who fought in a duel changes in a way that’s usually for the better. This is true for Kanae as well. She’s no longer willing to just sit back and let Akio ignore her like this. She’s going to do something about it. She’s ready to take her life into her own hands. And so she bravely… Goes crying to mommy.

… It’s better than nothing, right?

Even if she didn’t handle it in the best fashion, I’d say that this is an improvement. She may be acting like a whiny bitch, but she has every right to do so, and saying something is better than saying nothing at all. It’s hard to say what exactly she said to her mother, but what we do know is that in some way, shape, or form, she told her that Akio had been avoiding her. She may have flat-out told her that she no longer wanted to be married to Akio, but her mother persuaded her into changing her mind. Whatever it was, she was working to improve her relationship with Akio, even if that meant becoming one of those wives who nag their husbands all the time. If Akio had married her, can’t you just picture her nagging him about his behavior all the time? “Cut your hair. Who was that girl you were talking to? Why don’t we talk anymore…? Or ever?” Wait, I’m supposed to be defending her. Oh, well, it’s true.

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Unfortunately, maybe it would have been best if she kept her mouth shut. In episode 32, we find Akio looking at the stars, with Kanae in his arms. She opens her mouth, and Anthy feeds her an apple. We see the apple that the slice came from, and it has forks in it. What the forks symbolize is unclear, but it’s undoubtedly something bad. It could be that he poisoned her in order to get rid of her all together, but I doubt it. I think that it was just a drugged apple, perhaps drugged with the same thing that Anthy had been slipping her father. She’s become a nuisance, and so Akio wanted to keep her for causing anymore trouble for a while. Honestly, I can’t help but think that maybe something else was going on there, which was why Akio stayed with Kanae alone, but I would hate to accuse him of something that Movie-Akio would do. Either way, this scene depresses me, and it makes me sad to think that this is the last time we ever get to see her.

It’s hard to say what lies in store for Kanae in the future, but I’d like to say that it’s a brighter future. It seems highly unlikely that Akio will actually marry her, especially after Anthy leaves school forever, though there was an interesting discussion about Kanae taking over as the Rose Bride somewhere. But if Akio doesn’t marry her, and the duels don’t continue with a new Rose Bride, maybe she can find someone who can really make her happy. As the true Princess of Ohtori, I would like to hope that her childhood and engagement to Akio was just the time that she had to endure her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and that soon a prince will come to take her away from all that so she can live happily ever after.


Summary:
Kanae is the typical Black Rose Duelist. She has hidden feelings, in this case, a dislike for her the man she’s going to be spending the rest of her life with and his sister, that are eating away at her inside. She’s seen what the adult world can do to people, and she doesn’t care much for it. Overall, here issues can be summed up in three words. "Fear of commitment." Like everyone else, she is just a pawn in Akio’s plan, but after everything I’ve just said, I think that we can all agree that that’s not all there is to her. emot-smile

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#290 | Back to Top06-30-2007 12:36:37 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

There's nothing shameful about liking Kanae. I love her, personally. True, she isn't very developed, and she doesn't really provide any form of character after the Black Rose Saga. But, she's still just as valuable as the other duelists, and just as troubled.

Moving on from that... wow. That is a hell of an impressive analysis. I noticed the body language between Akio and Kanae the first time I saw episode 14, but having no knowledge of body language, I could never pinpoint what exactly that meant. Thank you for shedding some light on that. I also think it's really interesting how Utena and Anthy are always our main characters, yet they often seem to represent others, particularly Anthy.

Everytime I see the scene with the apple now, I get embarassed for thinking that it was an error and that Akio had three arms. emot-redface Looking back, I don't see how on earth I missed that it was Anthy. I think about that whenever Nessy posts[she's the one who first pointed out to me that it was Anthy].

But, that aside, you never fail to amaze me, Razara.


Edit: Shockingly, English is, in fact, my first language.

Last edited by dollface (06-30-2007 12:37:41 PM)


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#291 | Back to Top06-30-2007 03:02:01 PM

Asfalolh
Knight of Gates
From: Barcelona (Catalonia)
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 2005

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Amazing analysis, I must say. I had never thought for a long time about this character, so it was highly interesting for me to read your mini-essay, Razara emot-keke I quite like her, now.

Just to add some more food-for-thought:

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Am I the only one who sees Anthy and the swords in this shoot? Not sure about what it could mean, but mmmm..., what about something related to pain [something negative for oneself’s sake], or the forced acceptance of it? emot-gonk sorry, I'm new to the analysis thing, so I'm a disaster when it comes to interpreting symbolism emot-frown I better shut up here and let you explain.

Thirteen pages, you say? emot-aaa It has been quite short for me to read, but I could never write that much! poptart

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#292 | Back to Top06-30-2007 03:39:34 PM

Raven Nightshade
Someday Shiner
From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
Posts: 2916

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Asfalolh wrote:

Just to add some more food-for-thought:

Pic of apple and lotsa forks.

Am I the only one who sees Anthy and the swords in this shoot? Not sure about what it could mean, but mmmm..., what about something related to pain [something negative for oneself’s sake], or the forced acceptance of it? emot-gonk sorry, I'm new to the analysis thing, so I'm a disaster when it comes to interpreting symbolism emot-frown I better shut up here and let you explain.

I thought of that too, actually, but I'm not quite sure of anything beyond that myself.


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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#293 | Back to Top06-30-2007 03:43:40 PM

Pandora
Pathtracer
Registered: 04-05-2007
Posts: 351

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara, that was quite wonderful! I really like Kanae because she's so interesting, even if she's so under-developed. She's super pretty too and likes scarves, which helps.

Raven, I thought of Anthy too, when I saw that apple.

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#294 | Back to Top06-30-2007 03:48:04 PM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara wrote:

You have to pity Kanae, because she gets screwed over in so many ways that it’s not even funny. I always assumed that Kanae was going to show up more often, what with her being Akio’s fiancé and all. I remember wondering at some point shortly after the Black Rose Saga, “Hey, whatever happened to Kanae? Shouldn’t she be here?” Of course, Akio’s plans to seduce Utena wouldn’t go very well if his fiancé was hanging around all the time. I’m probably the only one who takes, “He has a fiancé!” as a valid reason for him not to sleep with Utena, since that means that Kanae is getting screwed over without her even knowing it. Wakaba says that his having a fiancé doesn’t matter when love is involved, but how would she feel if her fiancé was sleeping with someone else? (Yes, I know that getting all upset because Akio isn’t being loyal to Kanae is perhaps one of the stupidest things in the world. Sue me.)

On the contrary, Akio's betrayal of Kanae is no less shameful than his betrayal of anyone else. In fact, I would go so far as to say that betrayal is Akio's defining characteristic, and it is only for that reason that he is so attractive: you can't be betrayed by someone that you don't trust in the first place. Now some people do have open relationships, and there is nothing in the world wrong with that, but if it isn't something that all parties are comfortable with, or have at least signed off on, then sleeping with someone else is despicable. I think I mentioned somewhere else that a good friend of mine is currently cheating on his wife, and I hate him for it. As for Wakaba's comments, this is the one place in the series that I don't like her. And you're right, she's only saying this in the context of "he's an unattainable and cute older man." She'd change her tune pretty quick when faced with the reality of the situation. At least I hope she would.

Excellent analysis. I'd add one thing: As cold as Anthy behaves toward Kanae (which may even be real jealousy, to which Anthy is clearly not immune), Akio never calls her on it, or shows any interest. In this way, he tacitly supports Anthy's behavior (which may also be genuine on his part. First time that's happened in a while, no?). This probably contributes to Kanae's feelings of insecurity. Poor Kanae. I'm still going to tear her appart in my fic.school-devilschool-devilschool-devil

And the forks do remind me of the swords of hatred now that you mention it, Asfalolh. Good call.


"The devil want me as is, but god he want more."
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#295 | Back to Top06-30-2007 04:08:46 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4693

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Asfalolh wrote:

Just to add some more food-for-thought:

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/ … Snaps9.jpg

Am I the only one who sees Anthy and the swords in this shoot? Not sure about what it could mean, but mmmm..., what about something related to pain [something negative for oneself’s sake], or the forced acceptance of it? emot-gonk sorry, I'm new to the analysis thing, so I'm a disaster when it comes to interpreting symbolism emot-frown I better shut up here and let you explain.

How did I miss that? emot-confused

I guess that it could mean two things. It could show that Anthy was the one who did something to the apple, or it could be that whatever is happening to Kanae in that scene can be closely related to when Anthy became the Rose Bride. It almost looks as though she was drugged already before they fed her the apple, yet it was only the first slice, so perhaps she wasn't drugged yet. I wonder if perhaps she ate it knowingly of her own free will, in the same sense that Anthy "chose to be the Rose Bride," even though it's what makes her suffer.

Stormcrow wrote:

On the contrary, Akio's betrayal of Kanae is no less shameful than his betrayal of anyone else.

Though I'm aware of this, I think that the reason why I have more sympathy for Kanae when Akio cheats on her is because one of the people that he's cheating on her with is her own mother. That's just not cool. emot-gonk

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#296 | Back to Top06-30-2007 04:33:35 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara wrote:

That's just not cool. emot-gonk

It's cool if you're Akio! emot-dance

But if you're Kanae, no. emot-frown


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#297 | Back to Top06-30-2007 04:41:29 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4693

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Do you know what I just realized? Akio takes, "That's what your mom said last night," jokes to a whole new level. o _o

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#298 | Back to Top06-30-2007 07:18:46 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Ah, I missed your analysis posts, Razara. emot-dance

I read this one this morning, but I went out and did a bunch of stuff today so I didn't get to reply until now. It was fun, though, because it made me ponder about Kanae a lot this morning (er, early afternoon) while I cleaned and made something to eat.

I also like Kanae. She's probably my second or third favourite black rose duelist, actually. (Kozue would be the first. etc-love ) I wish she had a little more development, though. It seems that she gets the short end of the stick in that aspect as well. emot-frown (For that matter, I didn't really notice any Kanae-bashing, but a lot of.. pitying, I guess. More like "Oh, that poor girl just doesn't get any." Which is.. sadly true. emot-frown )

But, wow. I'm not sure if I agree with everything here, but it certainly gives me much more to think about as far as Kanae goes. And the observation about Kanae's reaction to the rose crest ring is just.. amazing. I never noticed that before, but.. wow. Next time I watch that episode, I'm going to pay attention to that scene. The way Mikage put the ring on her finger after Mamiya stabbed her was so wonderfully spooky.

I never even thought about Kanae not wanting to marry Akio. Mostly, because to everyone in the series, Akio is irresistible. But this engagement is definitely intimidating to her. Akio, by himself, is intimidating, even when he's playing prince. He's mysterious, older, handsome, seemingly intelligent, etc. And he seems to avoid her, while Anthy seems to not accept her.. Both of them do this, and I think she resents both of them, but the reason why it's even more annoying/creepy is because that both Anthy and Akio act like everything is alright and perfect. Kanae may want to pretend it is, but deep down she know it isn't right and that something is off.

I don't see Kanae is extremely innocent like Miki and Utena, but I do think she is somewhat innocent and naive. (That goes right back to the vanilla comment about Kanae.. as Gio mentioned, Kanae didn't seem bothered or flustered at all that Utena and Anthy just caught her making out with Akio.) I think she's right in between child and adult. She's learning to enter the adult world, but she isn't quite there, and she's definitely intimidated. It might be easier for her if either her family or her new family (aka Akio and Anthy) would show her a little more affection. Both families just seem closed off to her. It's no wonder she is so troubled.

Razara wrote:

During all of this, there's still a butterfly. During the stage when it's a butterfly, the Black Rose Duelists say things like, “I really admire Nanami,” and, “I was jealous of Juri and nothing more,” which may have been true at some point, or is just total crap. During the butterfly stage, what the duelists say is far from their real problem, because those words let them continue telling themselves that everything is okay. Telling herself that she loves Akio is what lets her maintain her wings, yet even as she says it, her voice screams of uncertainty. When she finishes, the butterfly is now a chrysalis. Her words are getting closer and closer to her real problem.

..and I completely agree with this. That's how all the little 'therapy' sessions go. emot-keke

Also, am I the only one that finds it interesting that Kanae's black rose episode is the only one that shows Mamiya stabbing her with a black rose, and that Mamiya is really Anthy, whom Kanae rants about in the elevator? They probably didn't show that with the other black rose duelists to save time, but Mamiya's expression just amuses me.. since it is Anthy. emot-keke If only Kanae knew.

I love Alithea's observation about the white lilies. I think the symbolism of marriage and poison is aptly fitting. Especially since Akio and Anthy probably poisoned Kanae with that apple, and poisoned her father. There seems to be a theme with Kanae and poison.

I also made the thousand swords observation from the apple with the forks.. but I'm still not sure what to make of it in regards to Kanae. Also, I'm really curious about what happened to Kanae after all of that... emot-frown

Again, lovely analysis, Razara!


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/Tushen/cupcake_mini2.gif

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#299 | Back to Top06-30-2007 08:05:10 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara wrote:

Do you know what I just realized? Akio takes, "That's what your mom said last night," jokes to a whole new level. o _o

The difference is that when Akio says it, he is actually quite serious. school-deviletc-wankdudeetc-wankgirl


http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o50/spatulasama/DooDah.jpg

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#300 | Back to Top06-30-2007 08:43:27 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4693

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I'm glad that you all enjoyed it so much. It could still use some polishing, though, but I was in a hurry to post it before I lost interest all together. A few minutes after I posted it, there were already things I wanted to add/change.

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

And the observation about Kanae's reaction to the rose crest ring is just.. amazing. I never noticed that before, but.. wow. Next time I watch that episode, I'm going to pay attention to that scene. The way Mikage put the ring on her finger after Mamiya stabbed her was so wonderfully spooky.

I ended up editing out how much I love that symbol from my essay, though looking back on it, I don't really see why, since this essay was far from formal, but I LOVE that scene. Neat symbols like that make me happy inside. etc-loveetc-loveetc-love

Edit: Typos make me sad. emot-frown

Last edited by Razara (06-30-2007 08:46:14 PM)

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