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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

#451 | Back to Top02-19-2008 04:41:37 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dabouse1 wrote:

Nonono, I think that's a great interpretation! Except! if Mikage=Robot and Akio=Monkey, then why would Mikage be trying to "catch" Akio? emot-confused 
(

Because Akio represents what Mikage wants.


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
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#452 | Back to Top02-19-2008 05:14:48 PM

Baka Kakumei Reanna
Atlantean Singer
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 07-31-2007
Posts: 572
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Raven Nightshade wrote:

dabouse1 wrote:

Nonono, I think that's a great interpretation! Except! if Mikage=Robot and Akio=Monkey, then why would Mikage be trying to "catch" Akio? emot-confused 
(

Because Akio represents what Mikage wants.

Thanks. I was trying to work that concept into words beyond the fact that Mikage desires eternity. And Poptarts, but you know... poptart


We see things not as they are, we see things as we are.

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#453 | Back to Top02-20-2008 07:22:48 AM

Anthiena
Egghead
From: ...the space between your ears
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1107

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I'm not sure if someone has touched on this, but, Spira Mirabilis actually means something! It's called the Golden Spiral and it exists in many places:

http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/EMT668/EMAT6 … story.html

Interesting enough, it is known in nature and scientists noted that even when it grows, it remains the same shape, as in a certain kind of mullosk. One scientist had this carved on his grave:

Jacob Bernoulli (1654-1705)  wrote:

"Eadem mutata resurgo" ("I shall arise the same, though changed.")

He was THAT fascinated by it's "mathmatical beauty". Now the title makes more sense...


I stopped seeking to be sought after. That wasn't being true to myself.
I want to become someone who can exercise power. I want to become a prince. - Ikuni

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#454 | Back to Top02-20-2008 03:59:25 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Baka Kakumei Reanna wrote:

Raven Nightshade wrote:

dabouse1 wrote:

Nonono, I think that's a great interpretation! Except! if Mikage=Robot and Akio=Monkey, then why would Mikage be trying to "catch" Akio? emot-confused 
(

Because Akio represents what Mikage wants.

Thanks. I was trying to work that concept into words beyond the fact that Mikage desires eternity. And Poptarts, but you know... poptart

This reminds me, I'm doing an essay on Mikage...a section of which is dedicated to comparing Mikage and Akio. Now if only I got get around to finishing it emot-confused

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#455 | Back to Top02-20-2008 04:04:32 PM

Baka Kakumei Reanna
Atlantean Singer
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 07-31-2007
Posts: 572
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Nocturnalux wrote:

Baka Kakumei Reanna wrote:

Raven Nightshade wrote:


Because Akio represents what Mikage wants.

Thanks. I was trying to work that concept into words beyond the fact that Mikage desires eternity. And Poptarts, but you know... poptart

This reminds me, I'm doing an essay on Mikage...a section of which is dedicated to comparing Mikage and Akio. Now if only I got get around to finishing it emot-confused

I'd like to read that if you do. emot-keke


We see things not as they are, we see things as we are.

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#456 | Back to Top02-20-2008 08:54:41 PM

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

I think Dios was a monkey catching robot, in some ways.  Focused so entirely on one task that he neglected his humanity.  And Anthy, the one closest to him, could only look at him and get lonely.

--------------

I think Juri certainly misunderstands Shiori.  Not in all particulars, and probably not with Ruka, but in general.  If Juri understood Shiori so thoroughly, why would she consistently mishandle her interactions with Shiori?  You can't blame Juri, Shiori did a pretty rotten thing to Juri, but Juri's reactions are so completely...if she had been deliberately trying to feed Shiori's insecurity, she could hardly have done better.  I don't think Juri is deliberately cruel, just kind of oblivious to everything except her own pain.  If she did get it, I think she'd at least...phrase things differently. 

See, I don't think Juri has the kind of bone-deep self-doubts that Shiori does.  She has a normal person's concerns, but not Shiori's near-pathological problem.  Insecurity doesn't drive Juri the way it drives Shiori.  Juri's only 16, I doubt it really occurs to her that Shiori might feel worse about herself personally than Juri does.  Self-absorption is kind of a rule of thumb for teenagers.  I certainly don't remember Juri ever giving any indication that she understands how her natural confidence and poise affects her insecure friend.  Which is, of course, what makes her cool and outwardly unruffled rejection of Shiori's overtures even worse for Shiori. 

(I have a friend who, for no objective reason I can fathom, has, at her core, no self confidence.  It really influences almost everything she does.  I didn't realize that for years and I still frequently forget it because it's not even an issue of mine, in comparison.  [Yes, I definitely have self doubts, but a general egregious lack of self confidence isn't one of my major issues.] It's easy to overlook when the person hides it.)


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#457 | Back to Top02-21-2008 07:48:12 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Actually, one of my priests just did a recent sermon focusing on the subject of teenagers. (Which kind of peeved me off, btw -- because really, when you're under twenty and sitting in the front rows with a speech like that going on, won't you feel a teeny bit more singled out? emot-gonk)

Anyway, he said something like, "We're all like teenagers. We want friends, we wants things, we want love, we want the world." And I was stuck thinking between the song "Teenagers" by MyChemicalRomance and Utena. Because it seems that every character in the show wants at least one of those things.

And I just said that because I have nothing useful to say about Shiori and Juri. emot-frown

But about the ChuChu-Akio thing, did anyone understand the point of the "scandoulous tape" in the Utena movie -- about the Nanami-cow and ChuChu (maybe Akio?) getting eaten alive by a random pink dinosaur (the same one that Shiori drew on Touga's back)? It looked like that tape was actually the same as the one Shiori showed the school to prove that Anthy "killed" her brother. The only point I got out of it was either 1) Iku was screwing with my head, or 2) Akio is getting a really short stick in this movie in being mocked like this.

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#458 | Back to Top02-21-2008 09:02:14 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

rhyaniwyn wrote:

(I have a friend who, for no objective reason I can fathom, has, at her core, no self confidence.

I've heard suggestions that sometimes it can have a genetic basis. Of course genes are the explanation du jour for everything.

I thought I read a comment by Ikuhara that Chu-chu dresses like Akio to please Anthy because she loves Akio.

Another thread has a link to a site claiming that the name of the city where Ohtori is located is Hou-ou, meaning Phoenix and he/she.

http://www.hunters-guild.org/utena/manga.htm

Last edited by brian (02-21-2008 09:23:38 PM)

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#459 | Back to Top02-27-2008 12:10:54 PM

azuresquirrel
Touga Topper
From: Right behind you!
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 57
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Briefly going back to the motorcycle scene in episode 36, the one thing I never got about that scene is why does Saionji have a belt around his neck? One that mysteriously disappears when he stands up with his shirt open, no less. Does it have significance in the scene, or is it yet another bizarre costume choice from the twisted mind of Ikuhara??

ETA: for fail at italics

Last edited by azuresquirrel (02-27-2008 12:11:37 PM)


Me on gender identity: "I have more gender issues than an anime character."

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#460 | Back to Top02-27-2008 02:38:00 PM

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

The belt is the strap for a helmet which he's wearing somewhat improperly. And it disappears because... uh... When he stands up he's unfettered by all restraints, even those that would save him from injury! Just like the buttons on his jacket. And the zipper on his pants...


http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r9/RagnarokIII/spyschool.jpg

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#461 | Back to Top02-27-2008 04:24:56 PM

azuresquirrel
Touga Topper
From: Right behind you!
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 57
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

OH WOW, I feel dumb now. I just went to look at some screenshots and I had never even noticed the helmet there before. Go unobservent-ness. (in my defense though, it is not one of my more frequently watched episodes because the animation wounds me)

And you have a good point about the zipper, lol. Considering Rinbu Revolution's lines about casting away clothes to be free, I don't think it's too implausible (just like the NAKED LESBIAN LUGE!)


Me on gender identity: "I have more gender issues than an anime character."

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#462 | Back to Top02-27-2008 05:07:46 PM

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

Perhaps they cut the part where it developed into a naked yaoi motorcycle scene. school-devil


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#463 | Back to Top02-28-2008 09:30:36 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

rhyaniwyn wrote:

I think Juri certainly misunderstands Shiori.  Not in all particulars, and probably not with Ruka, but in general.  If Juri understood Shiori so thoroughly, why would she consistently mishandle her interactions with Shiori?  You can't blame Juri, Shiori did a pretty rotten thing to Juri, but Juri's reactions are so completely...if she had been deliberately trying to feed Shiori's insecurity, she could hardly have done better.  I don't think Juri is deliberately cruel, just kind of oblivious to everything except her own pain.  If she did get it, I think she'd at least...phrase things differently.

I don't think so. Understanding why someone is acting the way they are, and knowing how to handle that person with that knowledge, are two entirely different things. Especially when you're in love with that person, and even more so when you know that person is not in love nor ever will be in love with you. People in love do a variety of stupid things that they believe is the right way to behave at the time - only in hindsight do you recognize that you did the wrong thing. Even then, there are times when you can do the right thing and still mess it up - sometimes the other person simply refuses to respond to you with anything but a negative reaction.

Juri isn't an adult - by all indications, she probably has never had a real girlfriend and is trying to come to grips with her own feelings on being attracted to girls while dealing with the friend she loves dearly, but whom is doing her best to push Juri further away.

It's only natural that she'd make mistakes and handle it badly, even if she understood Shiori perfectly. She can't view the situation from an omniscient point of view like the audience can.


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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#464 | Back to Top02-28-2008 01:01:18 PM

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

rhyaniwyn wrote:

I don't think Juri is deliberately cruel, just kind of oblivious to everything except her own pain.

Sounds familiar! emot-tongue Honestly though, I love that you mention that, because it really expresses how Juri and Shiori aren't so different from one another.


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

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#465 | Back to Top02-28-2008 08:22:10 PM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Ashnod wrote:

I don't think so. Understanding why someone is acting the way they are, and knowing how to handle that person with that knowledge, are two entirely different things.

Then we shall have to agree to disagree.  I don't think it occurs to Juri why Shiori acts the way she does.  I don't necessarily think the whys matter to her.


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#466 | Back to Top02-28-2008 08:42:17 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

rhyaniwyn wrote:

Ashnod wrote:

I don't think so. Understanding why someone is acting the way they are, and knowing how to handle that person with that knowledge, are two entirely different things.

Then we shall have to agree to disagree.  I don't think it occurs to Juri why Shiori acts the way she does.  I don't necessarily think the whys matter to her.

That's okay. Everyone disagrees with me, too. emot-frown


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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#467 | Back to Top02-28-2008 09:48:41 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

There is a separate thread for the Bremen Town Musicians statue that we see when Juri tries to grab Utena's ring but I'm too lazy to find it. It's a tale of animals in exile who cooperate and use their differing talents to find and secure a new home. The duelists however are not cooperating.

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#468 | Back to Top02-29-2008 09:20:03 AM

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

LOL, can't agree with everyone all the time, I guess. :-)

brian - That's very interesting in view of the Wakaba car scene in the movie.  We don't see the Bremen Town statue in the movie, of course, but it's interesting that we do have, in one of the versions, the duellists cooperating.  And when they do, their assistance is invaluable to revolution.


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#469 | Back to Top03-04-2008 08:27:51 AM

Adrasteia
Memorial Hollerer
From: Newfoundland, Canada
Registered: 11-15-2007
Posts: 694
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

This is probably my favorite thread on this forum. There is some really insightful analysis here which I would have never thought of(I usually pass off the student council meetings as incomprehensible.)

Anyways, I'm going to hop and and contribute. emot-keke I scanned the entire thread, so hopefully my post isn't just repetition.

http://www.ohtori.nu/galerie/d/13472-1/Series_ep32_086.jpg

Someone posted this before, and mentioned that the forks are a possible representation of Anthy and her swords. To elaborate on this, to me this scene signifies the final result of Akio's effect on others, 'princesses' in particular. This is the last scene of Kanae we are given - in previous scenes, she shows her personality quite clearly, and openly expresses dislike towards Anthy and frustration towards her relationship with Akio. However, this scene lets us realise that Akio has overcome her humanity, and completely dominated her as he did Anthy.

http://www.ohtori.nu/galerie/d/13468-1/Series_ep32_084.jpg

She is zombie like in this scene, and is displaying no protest to any of Akio's actions. She is also slumped down like a doll, unlike in her other scenes where she is sitting assertively. Akio has succeeded in crushing and 'pinning' her with those swords; now, like Anthy, she is a pawn without a will. Akio is toying with her, taking pieces of the apple, a symbol of Kanae herself, and feeding it to her. In doing so, he is proving that he now has more control over her body than she herself does. Kanae has effectively become another 'rose bride', a sacrifice to Akio.


http://www.ohtori.nu/galerie/d/12586-1/Series_ep30_119.jpg

Everyone remembers this scene. Akio approaching Utena from the bottom up likely symbolises his scheme of working through her bit by bit - Touga failed in his advances by being too pushy, and not subtle. Akio, of course, does the opposite, and conquers Utena entirely. He doesn't just kiss her - romance isn't Akio's only aspiration. Starting from her feet entitles that every little inch of Utena is in his possession.

More interestingly about this scene, however, is the fairytale parallel. I only just noticed this recently, and I think it's a stroke of genius. The 'glass slipper' motif from Cinderella is one of the most well known fairytale scenes. The prince returns her slipper, thus completing her life, taking her away from her rags, and offering her true happiness with him. Akio does this opposite - not only has he fetishized the slipper symbol, he is using it not to complete her, but rather to tear her apart. He plays on the 'prince' fantasy and uses it to his advantage, turning a supposedly innocent and caring gesture into a stark icon of sexuality. Notice that he is removing the shoe, as well, and not offering it. The shoe in the classic fairytale marks the beginning of a new and wonderful life. Akio, through taking the shoe, is taking away that chance for happiness.

You could also interpret the bandages on Utena's foot as the damage the influence of Akio has inflicted on her. He has entered her life, made her confused and unstable, and once she's weakened, moved in and taken over. Akio knows the prime moment to strike, and a fragile Utena isn't a chance to pass by.

http://www.ohtori.nu/galerie/d/12768-1/Series_ep30_210.jpg

Here we go again; Akio is using the shoe to manipulate women. This, in case you don't know, is Mrs. Ohtori. Although we don't know enough about her to full examine the negative aspects of the shoe, we do know that Akio is gaining power over her with this sexualized prince motif.

Last edited by Adrasteia (03-04-2008 06:02:42 PM)

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#470 | Back to Top03-06-2008 09:01:20 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Great posting. That's probably the creepiest scene in the whole series. Kanae seems to be the one young person who is not seen again happy and well after the final duel.

This is so trivial in comparison.

The kangaroo has green gloves. Maybe that's the way they make them in Japan or maybe there is some other reason. Could the kangaroo be Saoinji's proxy? It's rampaging through campus, lashing out at everything and nothing, and expressing hostility to Nanami and Utena. Finally it gets made into a chump to bolster's Touga's campaign to cast himself as a Prince. A further irony is that it procures another servant for Nanami and puts Anthy and her sword ever farther out of reach. Bounce, bounce.

Last edited by brian (03-06-2008 09:04:40 PM)

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#471 | Back to Top03-26-2008 01:43:09 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Completely off topic I know, but has anyone else noticed the variations in tone by Anthy's voice actress. I usually tend to find myself feeling that her character is being more sincere when her voice gets lower. I think the best example for more honest Anthy vs less honest Anthy is in the scene above, Utena is just about to walk in on Kanae and Akio and you hear Anthy's voice drop, sounding panic'd, the panic feels more real because Anthy's voice automatically lowers and sounds more womanly, it does this many times in the series and though I don't believe in a "real" Anthy per say, I always imagined that the lighter Anthy's voice gets the less true/real she's being. Has anyone else ever got this sense?

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#472 | Back to Top03-26-2008 06:06:36 PM

Adrasteia
Memorial Hollerer
From: Newfoundland, Canada
Registered: 11-15-2007
Posts: 694
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

^ I think I see that. I never really thought about it, but once you mentioned it all these scenes of her speaking flashed in my head. The scene which comes off most strongly is the one where Utena wants to check on Akio/Kanae(oh man, that would have been awkward), and Anthy quickly loses herself for a moment and says "You mustn't!". Once she's caught Utena's attention, her voice becomes lighter and more suggestive rather than demanding. Although Utena doesn't notice this, nanami does and remarks that she's frightened by it.

Personally, I think a higher, and gentler voice is more feminine and thus more appropriate for the Rose Bride. It accentuates her femininty, and really makes her seem like the objective and stereotypical woman.

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#473 | Back to Top03-28-2008 12:05:24 AM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I would call that to Anthy's "customer service" voice.  Like the voice I use on the phone with clients.  It's not like the voice I use any other time.  That lighter voice and the remote, pleasant, emotionless voice are Anthy at work as the Rose Bride...which she is most of the time.  It's rare moments that she's really Anthy.

Last edited by rhyaniwyn (03-28-2008 06:42:01 AM)


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#474 | Back to Top03-28-2008 12:22:27 AM

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

I've noticed that slip too but she quickly puts her mask back on (and Utena doesn't seem to notice).

Also, I can't remember if this has been mentioned already or not but Utena climbing the stairs (and later using the gondola) to get to the duelling arena could be a reference to Jacob's Ladder.


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#475 | Back to Top03-28-2008 07:33:17 AM

Adrasteia
Memorial Hollerer
From: Newfoundland, Canada
Registered: 11-15-2007
Posts: 694
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Yes! I think it was either Stormcrow or Satyreyes who mentioned that to me, and I did a comparison between the two in my school project. The similarites are uncanny, and I definitely think it was intentional.

Here's a picture of William Blake's interpretation of Jacob's Ladder, for anyone else interested.

http://www.realnothings.com/blakeimage.jpg

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