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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

#376 | Back to Top09-26-2007 07:28:35 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8728
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I think the problem with trying to find the 'real' Anthy is there's nothing to say all of those aren't the real Anthy. It's easy to say the girl crying out in the car, or the one stabbing Utena, is the real Anthy, because those behaviors are shocking, be it in a different way from the shock we get from the girl that walks out of Ohtori. But when you've worn masks like hers, the vacant passivity, the blank smile, for as long as she has, that also can become some part of you. Hell, her brother is nothing if not the masks he makes for himself. Touga realizes the masks can stick and has constructed his entire ego and personality around it. There is in Saionji a brute refusal to do any such thing, perhaps out of fear for that very power masks can have. Anthy may very well be all of the versions of her we see, and in that way, maybe she's the most human of the characters. Don't we all at times have moods where we seem almost like different people? Or at the very least, how many of us have stayed the same person through the years of our lives?


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

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#377 | Back to Top09-26-2007 08:25:48 PM

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

Which is why there really isn't a need to be shocked when a person seems to be doing something that's "out of place" for him or her. This reminds me of what Anthy said in that episode where Juri said that it's none of her business what happens to Shiori: Juri acted "out of character", but it is still a part of how she really feels. Throughout the series, we see that Juri shows this undying passion for Shiori, and then at the episode before Utena finally confronts her "Prince", Juri confessed that in the beginning, she was thinking for herself, and in the end, all she can do is still thinking for herself.

Of course when she said it's none of her business, in my opinion, it really isn't any of her business anyway.

This also reminds me of how Utena says "Boku" and "Kimi" all the time, while when she's still a little girl in the coffin, I could have sworn she clearly says "Watashi"

In my opinion, though, I don't think the mask is necessarily fake. Rather than seeing it as a mask, I prefer to think that characteristic is being developed the same way a person chisels on a stone. You work on one part, and later on, you work on another side, until you have a multi-faceted diamond. I think we have potential to be many kinds of people, it's just a matter of opportunity and time.

Last edited by Hiraku (09-26-2007 08:26:02 PM)

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#378 | Back to Top09-27-2007 10:58:08 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Nocturnalux wrote:

As I was sifting through this thread when something occurred to me that I has henceforth not taken into consideration.
The mystery of Miki and Kozue's stepmother is linked with the Rose Bride, that much we know but perhaps it runs deeper than that:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/ … nce057.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/ … Nest18.jpg

Anthy's body-less self replaced by a bush is mirrored in the image of the stepmother (or "virtual" stepmother) whose back is juxtaposed with leaves. What to make of this I am not sure. I'll just advance a temporary theory, maybe both images show us that in both cases the real Anthy is not truly there at all but a mere representation is standing in her place.

I was thinking about her clothes two days ago, because I read "Faust". I found there something interesting: when Helen of Troy disappeared, her dress stayed put in Faust's hands. It reminded me 39th Episode when Utena sticked with Anthy's dress. In this scene in "Faust" witch says: "Keep this dress, because this will lead you to her." It has double explanation for SKU: Helen's dress has power of Rose signet and it vanishes just like Bride's dress. What do you think about this?

Last edited by dlaire (09-27-2007 10:58:47 AM)

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#379 | Back to Top09-27-2007 01:33:12 PM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Ooooh, I like that. And Yasha has Faust right here.... :contemplates:

What's odd there though is she hasn't changed her role or anything, she sheds the dress only to take on the true role of the Rose Bride...but perhaps that's the point, the dress covers up the real definition of what the Rose Bride is, because whenever she takes swords (except as a child) there's at least a suggestion of nudity. The shadow images of her taking them form a nude body, she's nude above the arena, even in the car, though she's wearing clothes when we see her writhing, there's the suggestion of nudity in the shot where the swords are visible. Of course, there are exceptions, the swords pop out right before Akio draws his own and she stays clothed, but that nudity is a pretty clear theme there seems to suggest it's supposed to show us who she 'really is', since it's not hard to imagine a lack of clothing being rather like having peeled off enough of the onion to see the center. What do we see from Juri when she's nude? A face of her she never shows anywhere else. Touga nude in the shower seems to be...pretty much Touga everywhere else. His ego is practiced. But you see him and Akio half naked for a large chunk of the latter part of the series; and in those scenes there are ample peeks and suggestions at who they really are as people, but never anything as explicit as the whole picture at once.

I just woke up. I reheated day old coffee with orange peels in it.

It's pretty good. school-chef


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

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#380 | Back to Top09-28-2007 04:24:35 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dlaire wrote:

Nocturnalux wrote:

As I was sifting through this thread when something occurred to me that I has henceforth not taken into consideration.
The mystery of Miki and Kozue's stepmother is linked with the Rose Bride, that much we know but perhaps it runs deeper than that:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/ … nce057.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/ … Nest18.jpg

Anthy's body-less self replaced by a bush is mirrored in the image of the stepmother (or "virtual" stepmother) whose back is juxtaposed with leaves. What to make of this I am not sure. I'll just advance a temporary theory, maybe both images show us that in both cases the real Anthy is not truly there at all but a mere representation is standing in her place.

I was thinking about her clothes two days ago, because I read "Faust". I found there something interesting: when Helen of Troy disappeared, her dress stayed put in Faust's hands. It reminded me 39th Episode when Utena sticked with Anthy's dress. In this scene in "Faust" witch says: "Keep this dress, because this will lead you to her." It has double explanation for SKU: Helen's dress has power of Rose signet and it vanishes just like Bride's dress. What do you think about this?

It has been way too long since I read "Faust", I should get around to re-reading it one of these days. In SKU it seems that clothes are a symbol of a particular role played within Ohtori. The Seitokai all wear uniforms that sets them apart from the common student. Nanami adopts the famous yellow uniform when she replaces Touga as president of the Student Council (granted that she reverts to the normal school uniform every now and then) and there is the most obvious example of all, Utena's princely apparel. Speaking of which, when Utena loses to Touga she switched to the regular uniform at a time when her belief in herself is greatly shaken. The role that Utena has chosen to fulfil cracks, her change of clothing is paradigmatic of this personality crisis. In a very different way, as Nemuro/Mikage goes from wearing eccentric clothes to wearing a dueling uniform, for lack of a better term, as he moves from his original persona (Nemuro) to his composite self (Mikage). The pink glasses also disappear in the process (so much for seeing the world through rose-tinted lenses). And, of course, there is Anthy and the rose bride dress. Dressing as the rose bride is accepting (or being forced to accept) a certain roles that undercuts one's personality (or fuses with one's self, the question could be discussed). It could be that the shot with the school uniform impaled in the bush minus Anthy's body serves to stress how clothing is a role in itself and once that can exist regardless of who inhabits it.

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#381 | Back to Top09-28-2007 05:00:58 PM

Jellineck
Wondrous Sexual Eggplant.
From: Under your bed
Registered: 08-02-2007
Posts: 894

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Speaking of which, when Utena loses to Touga she switched to the regular uniform at a time when her belief in herself is greatly shaken.

Not to mention that during her fight with him, her school uniform was brutally and aggressively ripped, which can be interpreted three principle ways -

1. Touga's rendering her vulnerable and exposed, much as he managed to tear away at her confidence in her own princely status. Utena, in her most vulnerable state, is almost always depicted in something different than her typical uniform - dressing in a more feminine dress for her dates with Akio, nude in her sex scene, in pajamas for her nighttime conversations with Anthy. The battle is really a good metaphor for Touga's at least damaging her unswerving faith in her prince and in her own abilities.

2. Conversely, the rebirth of that identity. It's no mistake that she's wearing that less practical dress during her fight with Touga rather than her uniform: as she re-discovers her strength, Touga is slicing that other symbolic idenity off of her. Though he deprives her of her certainty, it allows her to rebuild as a wiser duelist.

3. It involves sex, so it's the best one. Touga's need to not only dominate Utena, but sexualize the defeat as much as possible, accentuating the weakness of her gender and her submission to him. Another duelist might have been contented to just defeat her and take the prize, be it Anthy or whatever intangible reward she represents. Touga's objective in this one was ultimate possession of Utena and conquest, so it's a very good insight into his character as well.

Touga, you bloody little pervert.

Anyway, the attire part is interesting, because it ties in with what I mentioned earlier about Anthy's crown resembling the thorns of Jesus. Has anyone else noticed any direct Christian symbols in the character's clothing? I'm right now trying to do some research on the meaning of Akio's tilak, but I have to imagine I only need search the vaults of "The Long-Legged Older Man" to find it.


"You said you would do anything for me, right Mamiya?" Mikage purred as he slithered close. "Yes that's right" Mamiya said with a rosey blush. Mikage's smile was evil and cinister as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a banana. "Eeny meeny myny moo. I wonder where my banana will go?" - The Forbidden Passions of Nemuro

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#382 | Back to Top09-29-2007 02:04:16 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Nocturnalux, Jellineck - you are brilliant. I especially  liked point 3.

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#383 | Back to Top09-29-2007 10:43:14 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Excellent ideas. Here's a fourth point, although it may be just a variation of 2. Utena has begun the process of "casting off." She doesn't need her uniform anymore to be a prince.

It also shows the limits to Touga's gallantry. He seriously flips out during the duel and comes close to killing her. He shows no mercy to a vulnerable-looking girl. The rips in her clothes highlight how much danger she was in.

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#384 | Back to Top10-14-2007 02:33:44 PM

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

This has been gnawing at the back of my head for quite some time.

In the opening, when Utena sits up and having her uniform becoming more prince-like, the transformation took place at the moment when the light shines on her. But for Anthy, there's no light shining on her when she turns into the Rose Bride.

I'm personally wondering if this could symbolize the concept of mirage/illusion. And, the reason Anthy didn't change under the light might have been:

A. She doesn't need a mirage. She has the power to change her identity since she's a witch

B. Because she's a witch, the things that happens to Anthy is not something "celestial", emphasis on how because she's a witch, a base and sordid character (a highly sexualized one), so she doesn't deserve to be shone upon. Not to mention I can't help thinking that there's something sexual about her every time she bends her back almost unnaturally (ie. everytime she bends over like "Gone in the Wind" for her champion to hold her and pull the sword, her ritual for Utena's sword in the BR Arc)

C. Rose Bride associates with the element of earth, which has nothing to do with "light", and an opposite of "heaven" (Tenjo). Again, going back to the possible interpretation of how she's "tainted"

Last edited by Hiraku (10-14-2007 02:36:21 PM)

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#385 | Back to Top10-16-2007 10:40:36 AM

st0dad
Ohtori Paramouri
From: Andover, MA
Registered: 09-20-2007
Posts: 91
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Okay, I'm at work right now so I can't actually scroll through all the pages to see if someone's already explained this...

But I gotta ask some questions about Ruka, the greatest dude on the face of the planet.


Firstly, I think we all know by now that the boy Shiori thought she "stole" from Juri in Ep. 07 is not infact Ruka, but some stupid dude. Does Ruka know about all this? Or was he just -told- by Ends of the World that his best friend and crush was being hurt by some burgundy haired chick?


Secondly, I'm not sure if I thought this up myself, or if I read this...but Ruka's little "condition"...was it a coincedence that suddenly his illness was in remission, or was he offered a chance before he died to help Juri? Like, maybe he was visited while in his sickbed by 'someone', telling him that he can become well again, and free Juri, if he becomes a duelist? If so, do you think he knew that he'd die if he didn't defeat Utena, but didn't care because he just wanted Juri to be okay?


Thirdly, I was reading all that symbolism in this thread: http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=959, and how chances are Utena did not die, but left Ohtori. All them girls were chatting about where that random girl went...that she was injured, or got expelled, or died...

Did Ruka really die? Or did he free himself from Ohtori Academy? Maybe his "death" and his "Illness" was all symbolism, even if it was real in the manga. What if Ruka had transferred from Ohtori because he didn't need to be in a coffin, but came back when he found out how miserable Juri was?

Crap, it's been so long since I've watched Whispers in the Dark and Azure Paler than the Sky...I forgot what Ruka says to Juri in the rain after she costs herself the duel...

Ruka's a friggin' cool guy. Doin' all that for Juri.


http://img176.imageshack.us/img176/1797/utenasiglf5.jpg


ChuChu: "Around the world I've traveled, strolling trough dozens of countries and thousands of lands, taking my time to feed my knowledge with the wisdom that folklore and history brings along."

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#386 | Back to Top10-16-2007 02:23:00 PM

Suyo
Tenjou Tilter
From: Washington
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 82

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

It's probably been discussed before
But in the book Iím reading, which deals with some Christianity, it mentions a "dead tree" and I remember in The Ring, and Iím sure at least one other movie I've seen, it shows a tree with all the leaves stripped off and stuff.

I'm not sure what it means >>;;
But could it be related to the rose bush that Anthy's school uniform is on in the pre-duel gondola ride? DX


May those who accept their fate be granted happiness. May those who defy it be granted Glory.

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#387 | Back to Top10-16-2007 02:30:39 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

st0dad wrote:

Secondly, I'm not sure if I thought this up myself, or if I read this...but Ruka's little "condition"...was it a coincedence that suddenly his illness was in remission, or was he offered a chance before he died to help Juri? Like, maybe he was visited while in his sickbed by 'someone', telling him that he can become well again, and free Juri, if he becomes a duelist? If so, do you think he knew that he'd die if he didn't defeat Utena, but didn't care because he just wanted Juri to be okay?

Now that's an idea! I do think it's possible that Akio visited him in his sickbed, but Ruka was already a duelist. He left the academy due to his illness, but prior to that he was a member of the student council and we assume he was a duelist as well. However, Ruka clearly wasn't completely well, and he'd been out of the academy for quite a while (I would imagine, seeing as no one seems to have known him anytime before Juri was captain). Why return now? I think EotW may have some answers to that. Nice catch! emot-smile

Did Ruka really die? Or did he free himself from Ohtori Academy? Maybe his "death" and his "Illness" was all symbolism, even if it was real in the manga. What if Ruka had transferred from Ohtori because he didn't need to be in a coffin, but came back when he found out how miserable Juri was?

I can never decide if I truly believe Ruka to have died. In the manga, Juri refuses to believe that it is true, and in the anime she speaks as though he will return once more, to explain everything. But, all in all... I don't see Ruka's death as a 'graduation' or sorts, like Mikage or Utena. Because he was diagnosed of this illness off campus, for once I have to think inside the box and say that while it surely can hold some metaphorical value, in the end it probably was true.

Crap, it's been so long since I've watched Whispers in the Dark and Azure Paler than the Sky...I forgot what Ruka says to Juri in the rain after she costs herself the duel...

In the original:

Ruka:  Juri, don't worry.
Ruka:  Don't worry, Juri.

In the dub:

Ruka: It will be alright, Juri.
Ruka: I swear I'll make it right.

Sorry, I've watched these episodes forwards and backwards in each language so many times. I always have to resist the urge to quote both versions. But I had to this time, because it's one of the rare moments where I actually liked the line better in English.


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

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#388 | Back to Top10-16-2007 02:44:21 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

st0dad wrote:

Firstly, I think we all know by now that the boy Shiori thought she "stole" from Juri in Ep. 07 is not infact Ruka, but some stupid dude. Does Ruka know about all this? Or was he just -told- by Ends of the World that his best friend and crush was being hurt by some burgundy haired chick?

I'm not sure if Ruka knows about that particular event, but he probably figured out some of Juri and Shiori's past history long ago. It's just my opinion, but I don't think Juri hides her secretly nearly as well as she pretends to; anyone who put a little effort in could probably figure things out. (Aside from Shiori, who's too directly tied up in events and her own misconceptions to guess what Juri really felt.)

st0dad wrote:

Secondly, I'm not sure if I thought this up myself, or if I read this...but Ruka's little "condition"...was it a coincedence that suddenly his illness was in remission, or was he offered a chance before he died to help Juri? Like, maybe he was visited while in his sickbed by 'someone', telling him that he can become well again, and free Juri, if he becomes a duelist? If so, do you think he knew that he'd die if he didn't defeat Utena, but didn't care because he just wanted Juri to be okay?

The fact that Ruka duels Utena at all may well indicate that he was seeking a happier scenario than dying to save Juri. Failing to win his own duel doesn't slow him down any, so he must have accepted it was likely to happen. Ruka's plot-sickness likely didn't get any better before he chose to return to Ohtori, he simply knew that it could only get worse and so he acted while he was still able. Staying in hospital would probably have extended his life, but not saved it.

But anyway, yeah he was probably visited by Akio and given some information on current events at Ohtori. Then offered a deal for an early return.


st0dad wrote:

Did Ruka really die? Or did he free himself from Ohtori Academy? Maybe his "death" and his "Illness" was all symbolism, even if it was real in the manga. What if Ruka had transferred from Ohtori because he didn't need to be in a coffin, but came back when he found out how miserable Juri was?

That's definitely a matter of opinion. Both in and out of the show itself. Juri believes that Ruka is still alive, while the shadow girls indicate that he died.

st0dad wrote:

Crap, it's been so long since I've watched Whispers in the Dark and Azure Paler than the Sky...I forgot what Ruka says to Juri in the rain after she costs herself the duel...

"Don't worry." Or, I think, "It will be alright." depending on the translation.

st0dad wrote:

Ruka's a friggin' cool guy. Doin' all that for Juri.

He'd likely agree with you. emot-wink

[edit] - Totally beaten to the punch by dollface. emot-redface

Last edited by Ragnarok (10-16-2007 02:45:32 PM)


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#389 | Back to Top10-21-2007 01:29:42 AM

Minato
Saionji Slapper
From: Redmond, WA
Registered: 10-19-2007
Posts: 28

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

....The Chairs!!!

I just finished watching the Ruka episodes
and during the Juri Vs Utena duel, Shiori sat in her chair facing Ruka's....
But afterward, Shiori was gone and her chair was facing Juri's.
And at the end of the episode, Juri's chair faced Ruka's, which wasn't there anymore.
Then Shiori was following Juri...

Wassat mean? o.<


I made a vow that I would never need another person, ever. Turned my heart into a cage, a victim of a kind of rage.

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#390 | Back to Top10-21-2007 07:13:07 AM

cerhiby
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 10-12-2007
Posts: 10

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

my brain (if i really DO have one hhaha emot-rofl) is about to explode from reading too much information on page one. emot-gonk


Ten things you would never hear a character from SKU say..
2. It's been business doing pleasure with you.
1. Akio, shut up, turn around, and bend over.

- Utena Tenjou

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#391 | Back to Top10-24-2007 05:41:23 PM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Juri is a fallen angel as well. She was probably pretty nice in middle school, but now she's slapping Anthy and freaking out at Utena. Even so, I find that I can find more similarities between Shiori and the devil than Juri, and I think a lot of people will agree with me on that.

I think the problem with trying to find the 'real' Anthy is there's nothing to say all of those aren't the real Anthy.

Well, that's what the lyrics do say:

Angel and Devil are the two of me

This creates a division that can symbolize being torn between two extremes.  But it's also a simple fact: I am me and I am both good and bad.  (Abraxas in Demian is a god that does not force us to make artificial divisions between the good/light and bad/dark parts of ourselves and our world.)

So Juri is Devil as much as Shiori is, even if it's not always easy to find examples.  And Anthy, more than any other character in the show (yes, I am Anthy-centric), exemplifies how we can be both vengeful witch and vulnerable princess.

The inside is hollow, hollow, hollow

That's one of my favorite duel songs, so I ALWAYS think of that line when Anthy disappears from her dress.

As aside, great analysis of the ripping dress in Utena's 2nd duel with Touga.  I think all 3.5 of those interpretations are true and I've always loved that final picture -- it's a pretty popular shot of Utena on the intarwebs, too, I've noticed.  I'm real big on subconsciously understanding symbols we don't always consciously recognize.


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#392 | Back to Top10-25-2007 01:33:44 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2788

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Nocturnalux wrote:

Anthy's body-less self replaced by a bush is mirrored in the image of the stepmother (or "virtual" stepmother) whose back is juxtaposed with leaves. What to make of this I am not sure.

I'm still holding onto my theory that Anthy, leafy proto-mother and eternal stepmother (she really is trying to retake or fill a mother role, but seems to be trying to take it over from a false-past self, in the same way that Akio was never actually The Prince but has a good go at filling the role someday/again.  Anthy's the 'Wife of God' Ishtar/Zina role.  (Akio and Anthy want to be parents like they might have used to've been?)

Milton's got a great poem (with some suspect gender politics) of the female aspect of God, the zina or uncontracted/unregulated element of God as a garden over a graveyard, with the male aspect experiences as bones in his grief.  Philip K Dick picked up on this representation and ran with it in his novel, 'Divine Invasion' and 'VALIS' (the world is the story of a man picking up a woman's bones as one of his letters had it).  It's a popular metaphor throughout history, really, including the myths regarding Izanami and Izanagi, to a high degree, and other orphic stories.  And it seems the same sort of false-trauma, false-loss that much of the series (and film) are predicated on.  Plus, it sustains the leafy, mothernaturey connection.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#393 | Back to Top10-25-2007 04:13:17 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

A strange thought about the aesthetics of the characters, with their shorter bodies compared to their legs- is it at all possible that this look was inspired by how shadows look late in the day? I was thinking about it and realised that shadows look a lot like this at sunset.

And if this is the case, what does it mean? That the characters we see are merely shadows of their true selves? That they're some how less than real?

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#394 | Back to Top10-25-2007 04:38:01 AM

Lissa
Miki Molester
From: in front of a computer
Registered: 10-15-2007
Posts: 38
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Pandora wrote:

A strange thought about the aesthetics of the characters, with their shorter bodies compared to their legs- is it at all possible that this look was inspired by how shadows look late in the day? I was thinking about it and realised that shadows look a lot like this at sunset.

And if this is the case, what does it mean? That the characters we see are merely shadows of their true selves? That they're some how less than real?

That's a good observation, and that could explain that. Of course, it could just be how Saito-san and the animators draw in general, but that gives some good food for thought.

Then again, the only symbolism I've ever caught is how each of the main characters Utena "faces" (Anthy, Akio, Juri, Miki, Nanami, Saionji, and Touga) represents one of the seven deadly sins.


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#395 | Back to Top10-25-2007 04:37:51 PM

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

Lissa wrote:

Then again, the only symbolism I've ever caught is how each of the main characters Utena "faces" (Anthy, Akio, Juri, Miki, Nanami, Saionji, and Touga) represents one of the seven deadly sins.

Deadly sins!? Do tell me more! I don't see anyone to suffer from the case of Gluttony, though.

Last edited by Hiraku (10-25-2007 04:38:32 PM)

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#396 | Back to Top10-25-2007 05:26:52 PM

Lissa
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Registered: 10-15-2007
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Well, Anger and Lust are pretty easy to define: those are Saionji and Akio, respectively.

I see Juri as Pride, because of how radically she changed when she found out that Shiori took the guy she liked (or is it the other way around?). She's too proud to admit she lost something.

Anthy is Sloth. And that's because, how I see it, she HAD the ability to get out of the duels and such...she just chose never to do so until Utena almost revolutionized the world.

Touga is Greed. He's not satisfied just being the Student Council President and having the Rose Bride. He wants Utena under his thumb, as well.

Nanami is Gluttony. That's because she does everything she can to "hog" her brother's attention, up to having what appears to be a romantic interest in him.

Finally, Miki is Envy. That's primarily because he envies his relationship with Kozue before they grew up, and the fact that both Miki and Kozue seem to resent anyone who has a relationship with their twin.


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#397 | Back to Top10-26-2007 12:55:22 AM

Jellineck
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

That's a really interesting idea, and one I've actually thought about a few times. I had a plot for a fanfic along these lines. Anyway, I think Lissa's interpretations are pretty good, but I have a few differences personally.

- Miki, surprisingly, is Lust. Lust drives him to duel, and his loss of purity comes from his desire for Anthy.

- Saionji is Envy. He lives in the shadow of Touga, and much of his rage stems from his feelings of deep inferiority and the need to control. He desires all Touga's power and ease, and as such craves ego sustenance from Anthy. When she is taken by Utena, it is jealousy that drives him to duel twice more.

- Touga is Wrath. Touga's temper is usually very restrained, but manifests itself significantly. Mainly when he nearly kills Utena during their second duel. His rage and calculation towards her rejection and the insult to his ego drives a lot of his passion towards her. That second duel is indicative that he was perfectly willing to beat her into submission rather than seduce her.

Besides that, I pretty much agree, although I think Nanami could easily be Pride and Juri as Sloth. Actually, Juri would fit perfectly into the archaic sin of Melancholia, or Sorrow.


"You said you would do anything for me, right Mamiya?" Mikage purred as he slithered close. "Yes that's right" Mamiya said with a rosey blush. Mikage's smile was evil and cinister as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a banana. "Eeny meeny myny moo. I wonder where my banana will go?" - The Forbidden Passions of Nemuro

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#398 | Back to Top10-26-2007 04:41:39 AM

Lissa
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Registered: 10-15-2007
Posts: 38
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Jellineck wrote:

I had a plot for a fanfic along these lines.

Okay, you really need to get out of my head. It's a scary, scary place. XD

I had a fanfic plotted out, too, based on this. It involved a new set of duelists who wanted to destroy the Rose Bride to bring "harmony" to the world. It was...intrieguing. It still bops around my head now and then. I even went as far as trying to base the opposing duelists as being representative of the Seven Virtues, as they were, in essence, the opposites of their dueling opponents.


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#399 | Back to Top10-26-2007 09:33:12 AM

Nocturnalux
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Registered: 09-10-2007
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I want to read these fanfics now!
Regarding the seven sins, it seems that every member of the cast presents variations on that theme, give or take. For example, both Shiori and Wakaba can be said to represent, to some extent, "Envy" yet the way they deal with it is considerably different. Since a direct correspodence between character and sin, so to speak, can be problematic one can formulate all sorts of hypotheses. (I should be working on an assignment but I am drawing a complete blank...) For example, I think that Akio's relationship to the Dios-ideal can be classified as "Envy" even if he might not consciously be aware of it. I would rate "Lust" as one of the moving principles of Nemuro's switch to Mikage.

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#400 | Back to Top10-26-2007 09:50:42 AM

Jellineck
Wondrous Sexual Eggplant.
From: Under your bed
Registered: 08-02-2007
Posts: 894

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I had a fanfic plotted out, too, based on this. It involved a new set of duelists who wanted to destroy the Rose Bride to bring "harmony" to the world. It was...intrieguing. It still bops around my head now and then. I even went as far as trying to base the opposing duelists as being representative of the Seven Virtues, as they were, in essence, the opposites of their dueling opponents.

...I am now officially creeped out.


"You said you would do anything for me, right Mamiya?" Mikage purred as he slithered close. "Yes that's right" Mamiya said with a rosey blush. Mikage's smile was evil and cinister as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a banana. "Eeny meeny myny moo. I wonder where my banana will go?" - The Forbidden Passions of Nemuro

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