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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

#401 | Back to Top10-26-2007 12:22:45 PM

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

Killing the Rose Bride, I feel, won't bring harmony to the world. The swords are still gonna look for someone else to stab on. Maybe they'll make a prince out of the one who killed the "witch" and drain that person of his/her life like they did with Dios. Man that would suck.

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#402 | Back to Top10-26-2007 05:05:49 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Lissa wrote:

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.

Then you might like this thread. or this thread, too.


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
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#403 | Back to Top10-26-2007 08:36:45 PM

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

Oh, a plug. etc-love

There's also this thread!


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#404 | Back to Top10-30-2007 01:06:37 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

Jellineck wrote:

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.

Maybe you ARE living under my bed. Though, I'd like to know how seeing as my bed's on the floor. emot-tongue

Thanks for those links as well, Raven and Ragnarok. I read one of them. Interesting. emot-biggrin


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#405 | Back to Top11-29-2007 11:22:08 AM

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

I hate seeing threads like this fall off the first page. emot-frown So, here's a silly thing to necro over.

I noticed this a long time ago, but never thought much of it. (But hey, it's something to post.) In episode 9, when Saionji is explaining to Utena how he loves Anthy, he remembers an image of her looking up at the castle, saying "Someday, I want to go to that castle hanging in the sky. There is something eternal up there." He tells Utena that Anthy is destined for him because they both so strongly desire something eternal. Here is the shot:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d51/trueutenafan/Utena/Series_ep09_090.jpg

In episode 25, while Touga and Saionji are riding to the End of the World, Touga is trying his hand at manipulation. He asks Saionji about his desires, Saionji refuses to tell him, yadda yadda. Touga says "Well then, why are you striving for that castle said to hold eternity? Isn't that because you believe that if you get there, you will find something eternal?" While he says his line, we see a shot of Saionji looking at the castle:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d51/trueutenafan/Utena/Series_ep25_140.jpg

I always thought it was neato beyond belief, and a good example of Anthy's manipulation. Though we see Anthy's shot first, it's probably the case that Saionji was the one glancing up at the castle, speaking of eternity. For a while, due to the blur of Saionji's memory, I wondered if Anthy had ever even said that at all. Perhaps Saionji's warped desires made him see her this way. Neither is a far cry, but I think it's probably the former.

Yeah, not very deep. Sorry.


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

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#406 | Back to Top11-29-2007 02:02:06 PM

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

dollface wrote:

"Someday, I want to go to that castle hanging in the sky. There is something eternal up there." He tells Utena that Anthy is destined for him because they both so strongly desire something eternal.

You know, I was trying to think of a response to the post and realized I don't have an answer that immediately satisfies me. emot-frown On one hand, Saionji might simply be placing his own desires on Anthy to the point where he recalls her saying or agreeing with something he feels. (It wouldn't be the last time someone places their desires on Anthy, who presents herself as such a blank slate.) That would require some small warping of his memory, but it seems somehow wrong to me. Anthy's desire for something eternal would be a hard idea to press onto her with no encouragement whatsoever, especially for a skeptic like Saionji. In all likelihood, Saionji knew about Touga desiring the Rose Bride before he even met her, and that would have been something Anthy would need to overcome to gain his affection. It would be an appropriate mirroring of her behavior with Utena to assume she did say that, and that like Utena when Anthy says she really does want friends and such, Saionji grabbed onto it for dear life and refused to let go.

Aside from that, she might not necessarily be lying, except by omission. In episode 13 we see her and Akio go into the castle to 'talk' to Dios. However you want to interpret that, Akio talking to himself, blah blah, we do have the castle, and Anthy, and Dios, all in the same scenes. What little memory exists of him she probably associated strongly with that inverted castle, even though it's itself a mockery of Dios' existence. Expressing and interest, even fondness, for that place might not be completely out of her personality. Akio frequently uses his own memories, most of them not necessarily great, to manipulate people around him. Why would Anthy be any different, especially with her body of work in the suffering department so much greater than his?

Saionji strikes me, and this is fairly supported in his other flashbacks, as someone whose memory functions pretty well for being in Ohtori Academy. It's not that he doesn't recall events as they happened. He seems more to just completely god damn misinterpret everything that ever happens or blow it so out of proportion that it's nothing at all like the event he nevertheless recalls perfectly well.


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
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#407 | Back to Top11-30-2007 10:18:14 AM

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

That's why I love Saionji so much....u.u;;;;;;;;


I have a question that's probably been asked thousands of times...but I can't find it.



Is the lack of blood in the series (excluding Ruka's bitten lip) symbolic, laziness, or lack of a bigger budget?

Even in the ending episode, Utena's all scratched up and sore, but her real big wounds aren't there. I was like "wait...so she didn't actually stab her? Then...why is Utena acting like she's really badly hurt? I DON'T GET IT."

Not to mention when Saionji slashed Touga's back. I always thought when I was younger that Saionji barely missed Touga, and that Touga was REALLY overreacting. But that's when I was confused by the whole anime and never really read between the lines. Besides, if Saionji missed Touga, then the redhead wouldn't have been all bandaged up in the next episode.


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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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#408 | Back to Top11-30-2007 02:15:21 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

OMg I'm submitting an answer >3
Though it's wrong, maybe.

I think that in the last episode, Utena's damage and all that symbolizes Anthy's betrayal. Utena's really hurt by it, it's damaged her on a very deep level.

Ruka... Well... Iunno T_T Maybe because that has nothing to do with swords? =/ It's not in the dueling arena.

With Touga... It was in the dueling arena. Akio could have made Saionji believe he injured Touga. Something....


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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#409 | Back to Top11-30-2007 03:27:13 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

st0dad wrote:

Is the lack of blood in the series (excluding Ruka's bitten lip) symbolic, laziness, or lack of a bigger budget?

My personal answer would be none of the above. I'd blame it on the idea that, at its core, SKU is still a shoujo anime, and shoujo anime aren't notorious for using blood.


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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#410 | Back to Top11-30-2007 03:54:22 PM

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

Raven Nightshade wrote:

st0dad wrote:

Is the lack of blood in the series (excluding Ruka's bitten lip) symbolic, laziness, or lack of a bigger budget?

My personal answer would be none of the above. I'd blame it on the idea that, at its core, SKU is still a shoujo anime, and shoujo anime aren't notorious for using blood.

This is exactly what I was thinking.

I don't think it would really put that much of a dent in the budget to have blood in some of the more crucial scenes (in every duel, it would be a bit much), and with all the effort they put in for some of the ridiculous imagery, I can't help but stray away from laziness as well.

It could be symbolic, but it would be a pretty long-running metaphor. And besides, blood is shown more than once in the manga, and though Ikuni definately did a 180 on a lot of it, I don't think he intentionally strayed away from that to express anything. But I do imagine that because so much of the story is a debate on what is and isn't truly there, being able to see physical injury could edit the illusion that Akio has created.


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

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#411 | Back to Top11-30-2007 05:13:20 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4691

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

About Kanae... (Yeah, I'm obsessed with Kanae right now. I'll pass eventually, and then return again later.) She always sounded like she talked kind of funny to me, and I'm surprised that I didn't realize sooner that she sounds a lot like those mothers you always see on anime that don't have much of a point but are there anyway just to show up every now and then when it's convenient to the plot.

Hmm... I thought that I had more Kanae-related symbolism, or symbolism in general, but I can't seem to think of anything else right now. And I guess that it isn't really symbolism, but maybe it has a deeper meaning?

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#412 | Back to Top11-30-2007 10:27:43 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

In the end these are mostly high-school students who are doing emotional harm to each other as well as having it done to them by adults.  Blood would simply distract from that basic truth.
Think of that ghastly scene beween Shiori and Ruka: how could blood make it worse?

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#413 | Back to Top12-01-2007 12:28:11 AM

Iris
Queen of the Video Box
From: The whispers of twilight
Registered: 12-28-2006
Posts: 2124

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara wrote:

About Kanae... (Yeah, I'm obsessed with Kanae right now. I'll pass eventually, and then return again later.) She always sounded like she talked kind of funny to me, and I'm surprised that I didn't realize sooner that she sounds a lot like those mothers you always see on anime that don't have much of a point but are there anyway just to show up every now and then when it's convenient to the plot.

Hmm... I thought that I had more Kanae-related symbolism, or symbolism in general, but I can't seem to think of anything else right now. And I guess that it isn't really symbolism, but maybe it has a deeper meaning?

Lilys can symbolize death, and I tend to think Kanae as well as Ruka never really existed.  A bit of a ghost, like the elements used in the movie.
She seems so utterly complacent, and only shows up right in the times where guilt is needed to be used on Utena, to make her admit what she is doing isn't pure.  Also, everything about her seemed off, doll-like.


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#414 | Back to Top12-01-2007 08:55:24 AM

st0dad
Ohtori Paramouri
From: Andover, MA
Registered: 09-20-2007
Posts: 91
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I always thought the animators didn't do Kanae justice. In the episode where Akio kisses Utena, and she's sitting in class thinking about it, she hears other students talk about Kanae, and how pretty and smart she is, etc.

I'm like "...she ain't -that- pretty..." but I think she was meant to be. Like, meant to be a very striking girl w/ the light green hair that's layered and wavy.



[about the blood] Come to think of it, doesn't Ikuhara direct Sailor Moon (as loudly written on the cover of all my Utena DVD's) too? If I remember correctly, there wasn't much blood in that anime, either. I'll have to ask my moonie friend.

Last edited by st0dad (12-01-2007 08:56:24 AM)


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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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#415 | Back to Top12-01-2007 09:19:02 AM

ArsenicForBreakfast
Pathtracer
From: The Destination of Your Fate
Registered: 10-14-2007
Posts: 340
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dollface wrote:

This is exactly what I was thinking.

I don't think it would really put that much of a dent in the budget to have blood in some of the more crucial scenes (in every duel, it would be a bit much), and with all the effort they put in for some of the ridiculous imagery, I can't help but stray away from laziness as well.

It could be symbolic, but it would be a pretty long-running metaphor. And besides, blood is shown more than once in the manga, and though Ikuni definately did a 180 on a lot of it, I don't think he intentionally strayed away from that to express anything. But I do imagine that because so much of the story is a debate on what is and isn't truly there, being able to see physical injury could edit the illusion that Akio has created.

Agreed.  I think the lack of blood adds to the heightened surrealism of thew whole show; if we had real blood and real injuries onscreen, that's a concrete idea, and Utena has never been about making things concrete for the veiwer.  Besides, the duels themselves often don't stick to the bounds of reality anyway (consider the way Juri lost her rose in her first duel)  I do think that blood would be distracting, at the very least.  And yeah, it's a shojo anime, so blood generally isn't shown.


I'm a fan of pessimism: if you maintain the lowest expectations possible, they'll always be met or exceeded.

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#416 | Back to Top02-08-2008 10:09:37 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Don't know a better thread to put this remark in so I'll necro this one.

If you look at the kanji characters symbolizing Tenjou (Heaven Above) you'll see that graphically they are about as simple as kanji can get, probably about first grade level. So it seems to symbolize the essential simplicity of her character.

Of course my cute observation breaks down with the Utena part.

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#417 | Back to Top02-09-2008 08:07:45 AM

Arki
Dark Whisperer
From: Croatia
Registered: 10-28-2006
Posts: 1120

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Of course my cute observation breaks down with the Utena part.

Does it? emot-confused Because, (apart from Anthy), she's the only person which has her first name written in katakana, which I'd consider more simple than kanji.

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#418 | Back to Top02-09-2008 06:28:41 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Cool!

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#419 | Back to Top02-10-2008 12:53:02 AM

Almaser
Qualified Duellist
From: Brisbane
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 727

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Not to mention that writing their first names in Katakana also implies that Utena is foreign. It not only indicates simplicity, but also that Utena is not a normal part of the coffin game.

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#420 | Back to Top02-10-2008 05:17:53 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

This might be stupid.wrong/poinless and all, but I like when I notice things even if they mean nothing.

Juri says there are no such things as miracles and Ruka says miracles are something based on the sacrifices of others (Something like that....) But that wouldn't really be a miracle.

Stupid evidence:
Dictionary.com defines ‘Miracle’ as: "An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause."

Thus, if you sacrifice people, there wouldn't be a supernatural cause. It would be you causing the reaction. And sacrificing people is within natural powers.
Which also disproves Juri's first lost as a miracle because (I think) Akio made her lose to preserve Utena as a pawn.

I contributed<3


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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#421 | Back to Top02-10-2008 06:02:38 PM

dabouse1
Touga Topper
Registered: 12-21-2007
Posts: 51

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Minato wrote:

Juri says there are no such things as miracles and Ruka says miracles are something based on the sacrifices of others (Something like that....) But that wouldn't really be a miracle.

I thought the same thing, but I think that the miracle he was talking about was Juri, because he said something like, "Miracles only come to people like her [Shiori]! Don't you think that's unfair, Juri?" But then I wouldn't understand his talk about sacrifices. Maybe he means Juri's sacrificing any romance she may have with Shiori, because it's forever one-sided? (He doesn't like Shiori, so maybe he believes that it's a miracle Juri wasn't able to be an item with her. emot-biggrin) Or maybe Shiori's sacrificing her friendship with Juri, and it's saying that people who sacrifice something to obtain a "miracle" are wrong? I mean, Shiori believed miracles could tell other people what she feels, and if one agrees with the essay "Perfection's Shadow," then Ruka's quote could possibly be referring to that. The miracle, then, could be Juri's resentment for Shiori (or her no longer pitying her); which is no miracle at all.

Then again I could just be rambling because I'm just procratinating in studying for my test tomorrow. emot-keke

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#422 | Back to Top02-11-2008 10:43:39 PM

Ashnod
La poétesse revolutionnaire
From: Missouri, United States
Registered: 03-01-2007
Posts: 1243
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

He's saying that Shiori is the kind of person that miracles are given to, when they don't understand at what cost that miracle was obtained. They expect the miracle to come, and it comes, and they think nothing of it, in fact they often feel they were "owed" this miracle or that it was somehow always theirs. I don't think he means anything symbolic in this statement as it is simply Ruka's assessment of why Shiori is not worthy of Juri, and his puzzlement at why Juri would spend so much energy pursuing her. This is reflecting the conversation in the Akiomobile, especially since Juri has already said that she would use the miracle power essentially to free Shiori of Ruka and the heartache Shiori feels over their breakup; Juri would be giving this miracle to Shiori with no strings attached and without expectation of recompense. He's not referring specifically to that, however, it's just an example of how Shiori is that kind of person in Ruka's estimation.


Flowers without names blooming in the field can only sway in the wind. But I was born with a destiny of roses, born to live in passion and glory.

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#423 | Back to Top02-12-2008 01:11:15 PM

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

I always took that line in a bit of support for my anti-religion train of thought. In the real world, people can frequently give credit where it is not due-- I'm not insulting anyone's religion, and I apologize if I offend anyone. When "good luck" befalls you, people say it's God. Not the people around you, not the force within yourself, but God. For example, when someone is in a car accident, they break several bones and suffer trauma to the skull, causing internal bleeding. Paramedics, who have studied vigorously, rush to the scene, doing all that is in their power to sustain you. At the hospital, doctors, who have practiced and practiced day and night, work for upwards of an entire day putting you back together, performing risky and extensive surgery. In the end, when the healing process has finally been completed, who do you credit? "I thank God every day for saving my life." Now, yes, there is a debate about God giving the doctors life and playing with time and simply giving you the push not to lean the other way, but all in all, it isn't a miracle. It's human science and knowledge. While this isn't always the case, it does play into SKU. Shiori thinks of the good things in her life as a miracle. Because this has never proven her wrong before, she passes this thought onto Juri-- all it takes is a miracle, and her feelings would be returned, whatever they may be. But this isn't so. Juri has to work to keep this secret a secret, and were she to be honest about these feelings, there is no guaruntee that Shiori could do anything to lessen them. The same is true for Ruka-- if all it took to make Juri happy was willpower, Shiori never would have come back to the academy. Obviously wishing didn't work, so he had to crawl out of his hospital bed and do something himself. He had to make sacrifices, just as Juri did, and just as Shiori does. Trouble is, Shiori doesn't understand what her sacrifices are, and her point of view on the matter is limited-- not that this was something she could have changed, either way. I'm not saying anything negative about Shiori, because although what Ruka says is true, there was nothing Shiori could have done in this situation. As bitter as the feelings were, Shiori doesn't have a range of viewpoints. She could only do what she saw fit. Through her eyes, she did what she needed to do, and everything else (Ruka, Juri) seemingly fell into place.

In the end, it wasn't anyone's fault. Unfortunate circumstances and uncertain people.


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

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#424 | Back to Top02-12-2008 01:35:37 PM

Ashnod
La poétesse revolutionnaire
From: Missouri, United States
Registered: 03-01-2007
Posts: 1243
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dollface wrote:

The same is true for Ruka-- if all it took to make Juri happy was willpower, Shiori never would have come back to the academy. Obviously wishing didn't work, so he had to crawl out of his hospital bed and do something himself. He had to make sacrifices, just as Juri did, and just as Shiori does.

I'm not implying she doesn't have them, but I am curious what you see as Shiori's sacrifices.


Flowers without names blooming in the field can only sway in the wind. But I was born with a destiny of roses, born to live in passion and glory.

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#425 | Back to Top02-12-2008 05:39:56 PM

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

Not at all-- I think the sacrifices made by Shiori are harder to pinpoint because they're not as textbook as Ruka's. (Not to insult Ruka, just sayin'.) When I began typing this, it was just as hard for me to think of Juri's sacrifices as it was to think of Shiori's. I've concluded that this is because they both make emotional sacrifices more than physical ones. Shiori sacrifices her dignity by crawling back to Juri. This doesn't seem like a sacrifice, but it is just as much of one as Juri's. After all, what does Juri give up in order to help Shiori? It doesn't really happen until Shiori is already in the middle of everything- Juri speaks to Ruka, she attempts communication with Shiori... these are the same manner as what I mentioned prior. Shiori has to hold back her negative emotions and face her fears when she confronts Juri for the first time after returning to the academy. Juri basically does the same when she goes to console her-- there is a rift neither is willing to cross, but for the sake of well-being, they swallow their pride. Although many consider Shiori's reaction to be rather harsh, how was it better than Juri's? She turned her back. She told her they had nothing to discuss. She refused to let Shiori help her. It was a painful rejection, and the knowledge that a risk was taken is hardly comforting. I think both girls can be equally headstrong and stubborn, but at heart, both want to be what makes the other secure and happy. Both sacrifice their natural and animalistic desires, both good and bad, for the facade they've created-- Juri, a panther, beautiful and strong, and a complete ice queen; Shiori, a delicate flower, humble and shy, never speaking out of line or causing a fuss. (Unrelated, but this is why I don't like when people accuse Shiori of overreacting and crying for attention when the break-up with Ruka occurs- it's just not in her character.) And, perhaps even greater, both girls sacrifice this carefully sculpted mold in order to extend a shaking hand to the wounded girl. Whomever is on the other end sacrifices a deep-rooted desire to grab onto that hand in order to maintain face and show the other that they will be the last one standing. It's a never ending circle, a fight between what is natural and what has become acceptable.

It's not a very clear answer, and I'm sorry. At the end, I couldn't really think of how I could word what I was thinking. Forgive me.

Last edited by dollface (02-12-2008 05:43:27 PM)


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

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