You are not logged in.

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

#101 | Back to Top02-28-2007 02:47:21 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

brian wrote:

I don't know if this counts as symbolism but there are also the various musical leitmotiv's. One  is always used to show Anthy in pain; it shows up when Nanami wrecks her gown and it also shows up as one of the elements of the incest theme. It shows up when Utena is reaching for her in the coffin but most interesting it shows up when Utena deposes her as the Princess and she is left bare-foot on the stairs.

Changing the subject entirely another example of twisted fairytale symbolism is Akio and Mrs. Ohtori. The way he caresses her feet is a mockery of the Prince fitting the slipper on Cinderella. (What an enviable talent he has for making girls melt just by caressing their feet!)

Speaking of Cinderalla, it's possible that Anthy's dark complexion is symbolically soot -- the neglected soot-covered girl sitting in the corner.

The Anthy in pain thing, it also plays in the background when Utena struggles with whether she'll betray Anthy and stay with Dios as a princess. I have that tune in my laptop. You can even hear two people moaning and sighing. The song is called "Poison", which fits Anthy pretty well. She's literally dying herself, and she' inflicting pain on other people, too.

And, no the music when Utena's reaching for her in the coffin is something entirely different, it's basically the Overture of Shoujo Kakumei

Interesting point about Anthy being Cinderella, she IS being bullied by Nanami and her henchman, which are like the evil-stepsisters.

Offline

 

#102 | Back to Top03-01-2007 05:43:35 AM

Hina the Prince
Friend, Perhaps
From: Israel
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 320

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

OMG THIS THREAD IS SO FREAKING INCREDIBLE I LOVE YOU ALL etc-loveetc-loveetc-love

Anyway, it was most likely Razara who mentioned that Utena's replies to the Shadow Girls show how naive and oblivious to others' problems she is. On the other hand, I think it also shows that she's more realistic than anyone Ohtori. For example - Juri had been living in despair and misery for three years because of unrequited love. Three years. Utena's reply to the woolen underwear play - "Just take them off" is definitely oblivious to Juri's condition, but it has a point. Juri could get over Shiori if she really tried, but the only time she had made an effort to do so ended in the locket returning to her. It's further proof [as if we needed it] that Ohtori messes people up, badly - they're so caught up in their personal angst and their problems take on such gigantic forms that a person from outside couldn't even begin to understand them. Utena, at that point, was yet to be affected by Ohtori, and while her over-idealistic way of viewing the world is certainly incorrect, she's better off than everyone else, because she doesn't seal her own fate.

I apologize if that was total nonesense, analyzing stuff was never my strongest point. >>;

Last edited by Hina the Prince (03-01-2007 05:44:12 AM)

Offline

 

#103 | Back to Top03-01-2007 06:15:56 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8730
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

etc-love etc-love This thread. I love you Raz. emot-keke

As for Utena, it is definitely funny to me. She does have the solution, I mean, her oversimplified answers make perfect sense except that they assume a power of will that most people don't have. (Including herself, for much of the series.) But people removed from a situation often think the obvious answer but we know better than to say it. How many times have you watched your best friend be in a miserable relationship and you just think '...leave him?', but you know it won't happen, because the details muck it all up. Utena in all her innocence has no understanding whatsoever of the mechanics of those details...which actually makes me think of Mikage. They're connected as characters, and that's a major difference between them. He understands those mechanics and she does not. (Mechanics being an appropriate word, since it's not an intuitive process for Mikage as it is with Saionji or maybe Akio. He does the math.)

Yeah. Morning!


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

Offline

 

#104 | Back to Top03-01-2007 07:10:55 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Actually,  I'm kind of with Utena on this one. Her oversimplified answers do assume willpower, and that's something that the details tend to leech from you. A lot of the time, people already know the answers to their interpersonal problems, and it usually is the simple answer-- break up, stop thinking about it, get over it, the end. Hard to carry out, but often the right thing to do. An understanding of the details is good to have in order to judge the proper response, and that is something I don't think Utena has, but those simple answers are not invalid.

So yeah, what Gio said. emot-smile


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#105 | Back to Top03-01-2007 07:29:09 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I am amused that Gio and Yasha's icons have both Akio and Touga's faces in very similar expressions, facing up too. emot-keke

I agree with both points. Utena's responses to the shadow girls are all of those things. Straight to the point, "the right thing to do", but also naive and ignorant.

Utena is a truly innocent and naive character. (I hate how most of the innocent girls are portrayed in other animes - all the pros but none of the cons) She hasn't been in many people's shoes, and the only answers or advice she knows how to give are through her own perspective. Which isn't much, with how naive she is. She's not that good at trying to imagine herself in other people's situations, and how they feel - and when she does, she still goes for the straight-forward answer.

She doesn't know how Juri feels about Shiori. Yet, her answer is the most logical and healthy thing to do. So it's both a strength and weakness, I guess.

Anthy, for instance. From the very beginning when Utena met Anthy, she wanted to protect her and get her to be a normal girl and makes friends. (Probably from her sub-conscious memories of Anthy as the with/rose bride being tortured by the swords - Utena doesn't remember this consciously, but it's probably the reason that drives her to protect her so much) The dancing party, for example. Anthy says she doesn't like being around too many people. And who can blame her? Having to endure the swords of humanity's hatred would make anyone socially avoidant. But Utena doesn't understand this, yet at the same time she tries to do what she thinks is best for Anthy by making her go to the party, and by going with her to get her to go.

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (03-01-2007 07:32:14 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

Offline

 

#106 | Back to Top03-01-2007 09:31:03 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Giovanna wrote:

Utena in all her innocence has no understanding whatsoever of the mechanics of those details...which actually makes me think of Mikage. They're connected as characters, and that's a major difference between them. He understands those mechanics and she does not.

If you look at the front and back covers of Volume Five of the manga you'll see a remarkable parallel. (I don't think they are in the gallery but if they someone should link to them). I have always wondered about that. But perhaps Mikage and Utena both have a simplistic and mechanical view of how to solve problems.

If nothing else those covers make it clear that Mikage and Utena have certain things in common.

Offline

 

#107 | Back to Top03-02-2007 05:57:29 AM

Hina the Prince
Friend, Perhaps
From: Israel
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 320

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

brian wrote:

If nothing else those covers make it clear that Mikage and Utena have certain things in common.

Have you heard of the Utena = Mikage theory? In case you haven't, it goes like this: it's not impossible that Utena was, in fact, not quite alive from age 6 [or so] to 14. Three coffins were prepared for Utena and her parents. Why was there a third coffin? Some might say that Utena was recreated by Akio just so she could get into Ohtori at age 14, and when her job was finished she simply forfeited from existence - just like Mikage. They don't look so much alike for no reason.

Offline

 

#108 | Back to Top03-02-2007 10:07:04 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I mentioned this in a different posting but it's interesting that the same lugubrious music Kiss is played after the disappearance of both. Mikage not only did not exist but had, according to Akio, never existed. In his mind Utena was also destined to be a forgotten ghost, but in fact she was alive, and possibly well, outside his reach. Both times Anthy pulls a big surprise of self-transformation.

If Utena personifies courage, what does Mikage personify? I am still trying to figure out what other special things they have in common. Intellectually they are opposites and Utena would not commit mass murder. They are connected by Himemiya of course. BTW notice the alliteration between Himemiya and Mamiya. They are both trying to rescue somebody, so perhaps they are unique in trying to rescue somebody besides themselves. Of course where does that leave Ruka? If Utena has seen something eternal, what has he seen?

BTW when they first meet he says to her that he had just rescued Chu-chu in the Nemuro Hall. "He was caught in a trap, he was crying." Of course he is talking about himself but does not know it.

Such floundering.

Offline

 

#109 | Back to Top03-02-2007 10:41:49 PM

MissMocha
Bettie Page Princess
From: Tallahassee, Fl
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 4632

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

brian wrote:

If Utena personifies courage, what does Mikage personify?

The lack of courage and bravery inherent in most humanity. There's a lot of exception on this board, a lot of people that are strong, I think. But for the most part, the world is made up of people who dance to the strings of puppeteers, be they God, dictatorships, other people, or themselves. It's amazing how many people refuse to do something, help someone, anything , out of fear.

I've always felt that as much Utena is supposed to represent the person that many would aspire to be, Mikage is what most people will turn out to be. In the grand scheme of things, not so vile as Akio, but willing to do whatever the person they believe is in charge of them thinks they should do.


The first time you looked at her curves you were hooked
And the glances you took, took hold of you and demanded that you stay
And sunk in their teeth, bit your heart and released
Such a charge that you need another touch, another taste, another fix

Offline

 

#110 | Back to Top03-02-2007 11:00:00 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

brian wrote:

I mentioned this in a different posting but it's interesting that the same lugubrious music Kiss is played after the disappearance of both.

Wait, one just might say that the music will tell them apart.
Mikage and Utena's music, after their disappearance, have their similarities, are meant to be completely different songs. After Mikage's disappearance, the background music was "Aphrodite Scat", which is a variation of "Aphrodite of Death".
Utena's background music after her disappearance was, too, a variation of "Aphrodite of Death", but it was "Kiss", and it gives a completely different atmosphere from Mikage's version.
The one thing different between Mikage and Utena is what they ultimate chose to do when they found someone they cared about "betrayed" them. Mikage set the place on fire and killed 100 students when he realized that Tokiko is with Akio. He decided to take on revolution to, I guess, defeat the he who dwells in that romantic vision he had of Tokiko prior to seeing her making out with Akio.
Utena, on the other hand, well, yeah, there was a point in time when she wanted to spite Anthy by choosing to go out with Akio, but she, ultimately, chose to forgive Anthy and wanted to take on revolution to free the Rose Bride from her eternal suffering rather than taking on the revolution for herself. As Einstein said, "A person starts to live as he lives outside himself."

Neither of them seemed to have survived their last battle, but it was because Utena still loves Anthy despite all the pain she must endure for it, she led on the revolution, starting with the Rose Bride's departure.
Mikage's love for Tokiko, in a way, become twisted since he chose not to forgive. I guess it's because he doesn't love her as strongly as Utena does for Anthy such that he would be willing to move the world for her come what may. Applying his case to Einstein's quote, Mikage could not break free (The Butterfly turns into Cocoon in the elevator) because he was not strong enough to become selfless for another person.
Oh my, so maybe that's why the original song was called "Aphrodite of Death", while the variation on Utena's part got renamed as "Kiss". For Utena, the Goddess of Love did not turn away from her, so ultimately, she will unite with Anthy, hence the title "Kiss" instead of "Aphrodite of Death".
I think maybe Kuni-san is implying that loving someone else is an indicator of living outside oneself.

Last edited by Hiraku (03-02-2007 11:52:10 PM)

Offline

 

#111 | Back to Top03-03-2007 05:59:42 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8730
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

I am amused that Gio and Yasha's icons have both Akio and Touga's faces in very similar expressions, facing up too. emot-keke

You know it hadn't been deliberate on my part. I was just thinking 'Oh hay I like this avatar a bunch' and then saw a post that lined up with one of Yasha's and laughed. At first I thought I should change it but the symmetry amuses me. emot-keke

Anyway I'm cleaning up the caps for episode 29 right now and stumbled on this contrast I thought would be worth posting. Although no doubt Razara's already noted it and I'm just an episode ahead right now. emot-redface

Episode 28:
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q60/mrsakioohtori/PDVD_1162.jpg

Episode 29:
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q60/mrsakioohtori/PDVD_199.jpg

In Ruka's introductory episode, and the episode he duels, a comet is seen in the window of Utena and Anthy's bedroom. A lot of strange things pop up in this window, like a gigantic Jupiter with Saturn's rings in episode 25*. Here though, we see a comet, and the comet is facing down, the suggestion being that it's coming toward earth. In his second episode, the episode where he leaves the school and dies, the comet is shooting upward, away from Utena and Anthy. It came and went, as comets do, powerful sights but temporary, and with no real power of their own unless they're hurled straight into things. They're not celestial bodies that have any force of gravity such that they're a major player in their local arena, it's not like a black hole or a star or galaxies colliding where the landscape of space changes because a comet has passed. Instead, the movement of a comet is always decided by what it's around. The 'power' of a comet isn't its force of gravity, or its ability to move other objects. It is, however, discussed that comets might be a way, or the way, that life-building elements are transported from one body to another. (I think the radical version of it is panspermia theory...) But it seems fitting to consider Ruka a comet in the SKU universe, rather than a star. He comes and goes and lasts only a short time, and though he moved no bodies, seeds were planted by him that don't quite blossom for Juri until later. Violent seeds at that, the sequence where her locket is destroyed has all the emotional impact of rape for her.

But like every other comet, he required the force of gravity to bring him there and around. In episode 28 the comet's moving in one direction, seemingly toward earth, but it's heading for the sun, and episode 29's comet moving away from the earth is the slingshot effect of the comet turning around the sun and coming back from the other side and away. The force of gravity, the sun, of course, is Akio. (After all, while everyone's squinting to look at Venus, what's really the celestial body that fell under Lucifer's domain? And what's really the brightest star in the sky? What's the body all others in our solar system revolve around, positioned relative to them in the exact place a projector must sit to project its image clearly...)

Later on in the series, Akio speaks of Utena as being a comet, at a point where he's very interested in understating her role in things and reminding his increasingly rebellious sister that Utena too will come and go. And he was right. He just forgot about the seeds it would plant on its way by.

*The first collision we've ever observed between bodies in our solar system was the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 flying into Jupiter in 1994. school-eng101


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

Offline

 

#112 | Back to Top03-03-2007 07:48:58 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

emot-aaa I had always wondered what that meant. I need to brush up on my astronomy.


I finally finished writing my analysis on the Ruka episodes. emot-dance I'm not sure whether or not I'll be able to post it by tonight, because I need to resize my screenshots... Not that smaller screenshots will help the length much with a 7,500 word essay. I think that I really did ramble on more than Seraphitus. emot-frown

Offline

 

#113 | Back to Top03-04-2007 04:58:32 AM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Remember also that in ancient times comets were considered ill omens of coming wars and disasters - or revolutions, as the case may be...


Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!

Offline

 

#114 | Back to Top03-04-2007 12:48:21 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

The idea of posting this makes me nervous. I’ve wanted to write about my views on the Ruka episodes for a really long time, but I always end up talking myself out of it. The reason why is because my opinion is quite different from every other analysis. I interpreted it the other way for a long time, and though I can tell when something is symbolic, none of it made sense. It wasn’t until the idea of interpreting it the way I do now crossed my mind that suddenly everything made sense in an instant, and things almost never make sense to me all at once like that. It’s only fairly recently that I even considered it. (Just a month before the forum opened, and I had been trying to interpret it for much longer.)

This isn’t like some of my other analyses on this thread. This is my obsessive compulsive interpretation of these episodes. Over analyzing? Hell, yes! For this essay, just forget everything you know about Ruka, or at least try to be open-minded.

I think that whether he meant to or not, Ruka actually helped Juri and Shiori’s relationship. Unfortunately, I think that it was intentional. By sleeping with Shiori and hurting her, he rid her of her (cruel) innocence, and by hurting her, she was being put through the same thing as Juri. Ancient drama taught that those who had done wrong would be punished, but it was also said that suffering could better a person.

For Juri, she needed to learn that not being with Shiori wasn’t the end of the world. You know how in the third to last episode, Juri confessed her feelings to Utena without caring that they wouldn’t be returned? That’s a good thing! She needs to be able to move on even if things don’t work out.

Does wanting to free her necessarily mean wanting to make her forget about Shiori? Even if she did realize that Shiori isn’t worth it, would that really “restore her belief in miracles?” I should probably mention right now that I don’t view Juri as the innocent victim in this situation. It’s been three years. Yes, Shiori did destroy her hope of ever having her, but Juri “chose this for herself.” Shiori enjoys knowing that Juri has been suffering all this time because of her, but she is not the cause.


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk131.jpg
At the start of the episode in the fencing club, Utena and Anthy watch as Juri easily defeats eight members in a row. Then Ruka comes in and challenges Juri. Before we even know who he is, the similarities between him and Juri are very apparent. Their stances are the same, and they fight with the same style, but in the end, he’s even stronger than Juri is. “I thought you’d have improved while I was gone, but I guess I got my hopes up too high.” “I thought it was you, captain.” “‘Captain?’” “Please… You’re the club’s captain now, aren’t you, Arisugawa?”

The concept of fencing comes up a lot in these episodes. It’s not as simple as how skillful Juri is; it’s more about dominance. Juri is the captain of the fencing team, the leader of the pack, and expresses her dominance over the other members whenever she fences against them. Ruka, the previous leader, challenges and dominates the current leader of the pack, and becomes the leader once again. It’s obvious that Juri’s skill is not something that needs improving, so why does Ruka criticize her for it? Most female animals that travel in packs will only mate with the dominating male. A female wolf will only mate after two males have fought over her, and on the off chance two male lions rule over a pride, they fight for the right to mate with the females. During the time that Ruka is captain again, Shiori falls in love with him, but at the end of the second episode, the moment starts to look in Juri’s direction again, Juri becomes the captain of the fencing team. At the moment, however, Juri is the dominant female, yet she still doesn’t have Shiori.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk132.jpg
In the Student Council meeting, Miki and Nanami are eating letters. I would feel much more comfortable interpreting the meaning of the letters if I knew what they said, but let’s assume that it has something to do with Ruka. Miki points out that he thought that Juri was the captain of the fencing team, and Juri tells him that she’s only been filling in for him. Nanami is having trouble cutting hers as she asks what he’s doing here now, because she can’t quite understand what reasons he would have for coming back. Ruka comes in and comments on how cruel it is of her to speak of an upperclassman that way who’s just barely out of his sickbed. (Incase you’re wondering, the reason why he said it was rude of her to say that is because she referred to him as, “Aitsu,” or, “That damn person.”)

Whether or not Ruka is really sick and dying is debatable. No matter how you look at it, his illness stands as something that has prevented him from being with Juri all this time, and will keep him from staying by the end of the second episode. The Shadow Girls say that he knew how sick he was, but he wanted to fence anyway to save the girl he loved. He’s returned to save Juri, but he has not returned with the intention of being with her, because he knows that he is going to “die,” and therefore he can’t be with her. He is here to “sacrifice” himself for Juri and Shiori’s relationship, to restore her belief in miracles.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk133.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk134.jpg
Ruka puts a letter from End of the World on the plate and proceeds to tell them that End of the World is upset with them, and complains that they’re all cowards. Nanami asks what he’s planning to do, and Ruka puts a letter on the table that looks as though it was previously crumpled up and thrown away. Ruka says that for now he just wants to indulge himself in some normal school life.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Ruka1.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Ruka2.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Ruka3.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Ruka4.jpg
We find Ruka in the fencing practice room, surrounded by admires as he hits on one of the girls. He is indeed the dominant male in the pack now. Unlike all the other girls, Shiori is here to watch Juri, until she hears one of the squealing fangirls say how wonderful Ruka is, and then she looks in his direction. Call it giving her the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t think that Shiori’s original intentions for all of this was to steal someone that Juri loved from her. For one thing, Shiori jumped to the same conclusion three years ago. Not only did it leave her feeling even more pathetic than before, but she had also been wrong about Juri’s feelings for that boy, making it seem unlikely that she would be so quick to make the same mistake twice.

The important thing to keep in mind is that Shiori does love Juri, though perhaps not the way that Juri loves her. If she didn’t care about Juri, and she really did hate her, then she wouldn’t care about what Juri thought of her. It’s been three years, and she still desperately wants to be seen as an equal in her eyes. Even now, she still comes to Juri’s fencing practices to watch her. In the end, she’s no better off than Juri is.

Shiori seems to see Ruka as a replacement for Juri. The first connection she made between the two of them was probably the amount of admirers that he had. It isn’t unlikely that Juri had a fair amount of admirers while the two of them were growing up, though perhaps not that many, or Shiori probably would have shot herself. But that leads to the fact that she sees him as someone who is better than Juri. So if she wanted someone better than Juri, then why doesn’t she just stalk Touga and Saionji like everyone else? Because as the captain of the fencing team, he’s similar enough to Juri that she can confuse the two.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Ruka5.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Ruka6.jpg
In the next scene, we find Shiori in the locker room. It’s hard to say what she is thinking as she leans against Ruka’s locker, but her expression doesn’t look as though she’s plotting something. When Ruka steps into the room, Shiori gasps into surprise and jumps away from his locker, and one of the lockers opens, and a sword falls out. We don’t see which locker the sword actually fell from, but Juri’s locker is right next to it. The interesting thing about this scene is that as we find out later in the episode, it wasn’t his sword he was polishing, which implies that it was really Juri’s. Despite that, it actually looks like Ruka’s sword, which goes along with the idea that Shiori sees Ruka as Juri.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Ruka7.jpg
Keeping in mind that the sword is actually Juri’s sword, the sword symbolizes her. Oddly enough, Shiori is clinging to her own feelings for Juri as well. “I see, so it was you.” Ruka says, beginning his act of pretending that Shiori was polishing his sword. Rather than looking at him, she looks at the sword. It is extremely important to remember that she is looking at the sword/Juri through her left eye, because the symbolism of looking in Juri’s direction pops up a few more times during the episode.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Ruka8.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk9-1.jpg
Ruka kneels down to her level, and she looks away from both him and the sword. She doesn’t look him directly in the eye until he says that he thinks she’s the one who’s been polishing his sword, and holds her hand. Ruka’s difficulty with getting Shiori to look in his direction continues throughout the episode. After this scene, she doesn’t look him directly in the eye until after they’ve slept together. Shiori lies to Ruka about the sword and stands up, and Ruka follows her.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk10.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk11.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk12.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk13.jpg
Ruka places his hand on her left cheek, a romantic gesture that normally wouldn’t be given a second thought. However, he’s really trying to keep Shiori from looking away from him again. “Thank you. You’re a very kind person.” Despite his attempts to prevent her from looking away from him, she still looks away from him and at the sword. “Oh, no. I just…” Her words are lost as Ruka redirects her gaze towards him and kisses her. Funeral bells sound as we see a view of the chairman’s tower, with water in the background that is the same color as Shiori’s hair, as well as a white spinning rose. White roses symbolize the prince, just as Shiori sees Ruka as her prince.

We all know that Ruka tried to turn Juri away from her feelings for Shiori, yet it seems as though he did the same thing with Shiori.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk14.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk15.jpg
By the next scene, Ruka is still having trouble to get Shiori to look directly at him. She walks next with him her eyes closed, only opening them once when one of her peers says, “Way to go, Shiori!”  It’s as though she only continues to stay by him to be praised by her peers. It zooms in on Ruka’s face as one of them says, “She didn’t waste any time going after Ruka!” This implies that it was really him that went after her. “She’s usually so quiet too.” Shiori is alone in this shot. To her peers, it seems unlikely that she could do this. “Well, when you feel the urge, you go for it, I guess.” It shows both of them walking together because it applies to both of them.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk16.jpg
Shiori and Ruka walk past Juri. Shiori’s eyes are still closed, and the top of the screen cuts off Ruka’s eyes. Juri directs a fierce look in their direction the moment they pass by, seemingly wondering why it is that out of all the girls Ruka had flocking around him the previous day, he just happens to end up with Shiori.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk17.jpg
When the two of them meet up at their special spot, we see a flashback of them that suggests deeper feelings than friendship, and also places a lot of emphasis on them sitting in the chair. In the present day, however, Ruka is sitting in the chair, whereas Juri has her back turned to the chair, which implies that she is reluctantly ignoring any feelings that she may have felt for him. Ruka looks surprised when she so easily gives up her position as the fencing team captain because he taught her everything she knew, which is why she was able to get that position in the first place. By acting indifferent towards the fencing team, she is showing indifference towards their past. All she asks is that Ruka keeps his hands off of Shiori, simply because she is, “an old friend of hers.”

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk18.jpg
Ruka walks away from the chair in the opposite direction that Juri is facing. By continuing to date Shiori, he is also turning away from their past and everything they shared. “I see. I read you, loud and clear.” He looks back at her to say, “However, I think you have a few misconceptions.” “What?!” Juri turns around as well. It shows chairman’s residence, just as it did after Ruka kissed Shiori, “I told you. I’m just living a normal life right now. I’m free to fall in love with anyone on campus, aren’t I?” This line actually relates to Shiori. By telling Ruka that he isn’t allowed to date Shiori, she is also denying Shiori from seeing someone she likes just because she isn’t okay with it. It shows Juri as he says, “Aren’t I?” As though who he dates is up to her.

Utena: “Tsuchiya Ruka. He’s even better with a sword than Juri is. And this amazing person has returned to the fencing club.”
Anthy: “You seem concerned by something, Utena-sama.”
Utena: “Yeah. For some reason, my heart’s pounding.”
In this scene, Utena symbolizes Shiori. She’s once again noting the fact that he’s better than Juri, yet she’s still nervous.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk19.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk20.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk21.jpg
Late at night, Shiori runs to meet Ruka by a fountain. Even in his arms, she still doesn’t look at him. “Your heart is racing like a puppy’s,” Her heart is pounding just as Utena’s was. “No, it’s…” As we get a better view of Shiori, she see that she’s looking away from him with a sad and regretful expression. What is it that’s on her mind that makes her look that way? The camera angle changes again, and we see Juri standing in the direction that she was looking. She can’t actually see her, but it implies that she was looking away from Ruka with a regretful expression because she was thinking of Juri. “Shall we go? No matter how long the night is, our time together is brief.” She looks in his direction again, yet she still has her eyes closed.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk22.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk23.jpg
Juri grasps tightly onto her locket as she watches the two of them kiss. Even as he kisses Shiori, Juri sees Ruka look in her direction and smiles. Just as Shiori had looked in Juri’s direction even while she was with him, he looks in Juri’s direction while he is with her. Indeed, Ruka does know everything. He knows of Juri’s feelings for Shiori, and Shiori’s feelings for Juri.

Offline

 

#115 | Back to Top03-04-2007 12:49:21 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk24.jpg
Long after the two of them have left together, Juri is sitting in a chair next to a clock. When the clock strikes midnight, marking the end of the day, she looks at her locket. “No matter how long the night is, our time together is brief.” The way she’s sitting in her chair is identical to the way that she was sitting in her chair when Shiori kissed that boy a long time ago, and it was that event that led to the end of their friendship.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk25.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk26.jpg
The next day, Juri confronts Shiori about Ruka. By doing this, Juri has put herself in the shadows of their relationship. She warns her about Ruka, and how he can’t be trusted. However, by this point, she’s actually begun to look in his direction, so she can’t understand why Juri would warn her against this seemingly great guy for any reason other than jealousy. Plus, this is the first time that Juri has made any attempt to talk to her ever since she returned to Ohtori. “Juri-san…! You are really… just awful.” Now she was able to stand up to Juri and leave her behind. Her friends comment on what a scary person Juri is, but Shiori doesn’t agree. Now she has Ruka, her prince, and so she no longer feels as though she is below Juri.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk27.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk28.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk29.jpg
When Shiori runs to meet Ruka, she finds Touga there, making the beginning of a standard car ride scene. He tells her that Tsuchiya sent him to tell her that he wanted to lead her to a fantastic place. “If your soul has not truly given up…” What is it that she hasn’t given up on? It’s presumably Juri.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk30.jpg
In the beginning of the car scene, Ruka asks her if she’s surprised, and Shiori responds by saying that she wasn’t, even though she was. “You’re taking me to a fantastic place, right?” “Yes. You’re an adult now. Everything in the world can be ours.” By the SKU definition, by having sex with Ruka, she is now an adult. This, we can assume, rules out any previous sexual relationships she may have had, including the boy she stole from Juri. By sleeping with Shiori, he succeeded in upsetting Juri, which is undoubtedly part of his plan. Yet he could have just as easily done that without sleeping with her.

Shiori is, “cruelly innocent,” as Juri put it. She does not realize that she loves her, and that is cruel to Juri. Shiori does not seem to have a good understanding of what love is. It seems as though she thought she loved the boy she stole from Juri three years ago. “That’s right. I did love that boy, but I also wanted to take something away from her that was precious.” “But what I did with him made me feel even more pathetic than before. I though I wanted him for me!” It could be that perhaps she liked that boy, and mistook that feeling for love. At a young age, it’s an easy mistake to make. After all, what we’re taught is that when a boy and a girl like each other they fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. Perhaps this is also why she was so quick to assume that Juri loved that boy as well. However, we are also taught that love is something between a man and a woman, so Juri couldn’t possibly love her, nor could she love Juri.

By sleeping with her, he rid her of the innocence that was cruel to Juri. By this point, Shiori also thinks that she loves Ruka. All of this is letting her see the kind of relationship that Juri might like to have with her. Love, as well as a sexual relationship.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk31.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk32.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk33.jpg
(Lucky bastard…)
“Everything in the world.” She reaches her hand towards his chest, and hesitates for a moment before touching him. “Yes. Fantastic, miraculous power.” “And I’ll make it mine?” “Yes.” “How lovely.” The definition of the power of miracles never changes. It’s the miracle of love. They’re not wearing clothes, and gasping in pleasure because of the throb of the engine, which symbolizes that they’re having sex. (I hope you all learned something new today.)

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk34.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk35.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk36.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk37.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk38.jpg
“Always so pretty… Um, the roses, I mean.” Utena comments on how pretty the roses are, and Chu-Chu thinks that she was talking about him. This relates to how Shiori thinks that Ruka loves her, even though he really doesn’t. When Ruka and Shiori enter the scene, Shiori walks over to one of the rose bushes, and rips a white rose (which symbolizes the prince) from the bush and gives it to Ruka. Utena notices he Mark of the Rose, and then he challenges her to a duel.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk39.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk40.jpg
A-Ko: “Catch anything?”
B-Ko: “Not a nibble.”
A-Ko: “Oh! Got one!”
B-Ko: “Hang on! Don’t lose it!”
A-Ko: “Okay, here it goes! GOTCHA! Huh?
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk41.jpg
B-Ko: “It’s somebody’s shoe… Oh, now I’ve got one!”
A-Ko: “Hang on! We need a side dish for dinner!”
B-Ko: “Got it! Huh?”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk42.jpg
A-Ko: “It’s a kettle!”
B-Ko: “Look! Another bite!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk43.jpg
A-Ko: “All right! This time, for sure…! A tire?”
B-Ko: “Apparently.”
*Gets out her Shadow Girl-English dictionary*
The fish that they’re trying to catch are koi fish. “Koi” means “love,” in Japanese, so we can assume that this means they’re trying to catch a lover. The shoe appears in another shadow girl scene, and red shoes symbolize sex with the chairman. I’m not sure what the teakettle means, though all I can think of is that symbolic teacup. The use of the tire in another Shadow Girl scene was a misunderstanding. “Tire,” in Japanese is, “Taiya.” “-ya” is what you would use at the end of a word to show that it is a store that sells something. The word for “bread” with “-ya” at the end would show that it is a bread store, and so C-Ko thought that a “Tai-ya” was a type of store.

The shoe could relate to Juri. In the Shadow Girl scene where the concept of shoes comes into play, it symbolizes having sex with the chairman. While A-Ko wore her shoes, B-Ko wouldn’t wear her own shoes, and only carried them around, because it was wrong of her to wear them. Basically, her feelings of Juri were “wrong.”

If the kettle stands for the teacup, then it could relate to that boy. The teacup symbolized a broken relationship, just as her relationship with that boy ruined their friendship.

And finally, the tire, which symbolizes a misunderstanding. In that Shadow Girl scene, C-Ko was actually led to believe that that was what it really meant, even though it doesn’t. Shiori was led to believe that Ruka actually cared for her, when really it’s Juri that he loves.

Over all, you have an example of all of Shiori’s relationships. She can see the fish jumping in the water, yet she’s never able to actually catch them. Rather than getting someone she loves, she always ends up with something else.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk44.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk45.jpg
I love this duel. I ended up watching this duel for a half hour to an hour at a time on several occasions while I was supposed to be writing my analysis. I’ll probably write a complete interpretation of it whenever I can force myself to reread Seraphita. From the beginning, Ruka already accepts the fact that he probably won’t win. “You have unusual abilities. I might not be able to beat you.” As he says this, he puts his arm around Shiori. His duel against Utena is really a duel against Shiori. He has not returned to this school in hopes of winning Juri’s heart/the Rose Bride. He knows that he cannot win.

The duel song focuses mainly on the concept of hermaphrodites, in other words, being both male and female. One way to look at it is that it could be because of how Shiori sees Ruka as both Juri and himself, making him a hermaphrodite in her mind. It could also relate to how Juri loves both Ruka and Shiori. The song makes references to the story Seraphita several times.

Seraphita was a Spiritual Angel, a being that was spiritually perfect, and would become an angle after his/her death. His male half was Seraphitus, and a young and fragile girl named Minna was in love with him. His female half was Seraphita, and a man named Wilfred who had endured much suffering was in love with her. Though both of them loved him/her, he refused their love, and said that he wanted the two people he loved to be happy together after his death. Seraphita was dying, and eventually died by the end of the story. He talked a lot about God, and why it was wrong to think that God doesn’t exist. He also talked about what one must do to reach Spiritual Perfection before his death.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk46.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk47.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk48.jpg
The first part of speaks of opposites that apply to men and women. As the duel begins, and Ruka once again doubts that he can win, much to Utena’s surprise. “Touga and Saionji are both skilled swordsmen. And yet they couldn’t beat you! What chance do I have?!” It zooms into Shiori’s face after he says this. Ruka makes it clear that though his chances are slim, he intends to fight to win.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk50.jpg
Hurry your spiritual perfection!
Namely, revisit your interior!

The camera angle is very interesting during this line. “Come on! Show me your power!” As he says that, we see them fighting from afar as though from outside the dueling arena, making it look as though it relates to the car that it spinning around the dueling arena. Seraphita was spiritually perfect, and he tried to teach others how they could enlighten themselves as well. Ruka’s goal is to make Shiori realize her flaws so that she can be together with Juri. (Disclaimer: According to me.)

As the two of them continue to fight, it’s obvious that Ruka is a much better fighter than Utena is, just as Ruka is much better than Shiori, and yet he still can’t win Juri’s heart.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk53.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk54.jpg
Ruka pushes Utena, and she grabs onto the car to prevent herself from falling. “What’s wrong? Finished already?” Utena stands in front of Anthy, who is praying for her to win. “Now I see.” Ruka cannot win because Utena is fighting to protect Anthy, and Anthy is hopping that she will win. Ruka cannot win against Shiori because she really loves Juri, and because Juri loves her. The interesting thing is that Utena clings to the car, perhaps relating her previous words to the car ride, and then she stood instead of Anthy when he realized that. Unlike every other duelist, Ruka comes back from the car ride more certain than ever that he is going to lose.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk55.jpg
Another thing in this duel raises a very interesting question… Why is it that Dios becomes clearer than we have ever seen him during this duel? When Utena fought Miki and Kozue, he was not this clear.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk56.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk57.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk58.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk122.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk59.jpg
Shiori gets pwn’d. The car crashes, along with her chances of obtaining the Power of Miracles. Ruka watches bitterly as Anthy tries to help Utena. Shiori hurts her left eye in the car crash, which was the same eye that she kept looking at Juri through, but she smiles at Ruka all the same, because she still has him. She says that she’s sure that they’ll win next time, but Ruka tells her that there will be no next time, and that he failed because of his bride. She uncovers her eye to protest against this.

Shiori: “That’s not fair!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk60.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk61.jpg
Shiori: “You’re the only person I’ve ever cared about!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk62.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk63.jpg
Shiori: “Yeah! I polished your sword every day, didn’t I?!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk64.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk65.jpg
Shiori: “You’re all that mattered!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk66.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk67.jpg
Ruka: “That wasn’t my sword. Your performance was amusing. You have a talent for adlibs.”
Of course, the one she’s really talking about is Juri. From the beginning, they could never really win, because she never really loved him. It was Juri that she really loved, but she saw Ruka as her. Now, both of them have slipped out of her hands. What he said was rather cruel to Shiori. It was her fault for what happened to her friendship with Juri, and now he’s placing all the blame on her for losing the duel.

Juri: “I told you before to keep your hands off Shiori!”
Ruka:  “She chose this for herself.”
Juri: “Shut up!”
Ruka: “Fine. I won’t say anything more. You understand why, more than any other person.”
Juri: “Ruka! What are you after?! What are you thinking?! RUKA!!!”
Now Shiori is suffering, but it’s something she has chosen for herself, and that is indeed something that Juri understands more than anyone else.

Offline

 

#116 | Back to Top03-04-2007 12:50:29 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Damnit, this scene always makes me feel like I’m going to cry… Anyway, the episode begins with an empty chair facing southwest. “Believe in miracles, and they will know your feelings…” We see a flashback of Juri’s sword falling to the ground, and Shiori clinging to the fallen sword, as well as Ruka telling her that it wasn’t his sword.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk68.jpg
Shiori: “Believe. Believe in miracles and they will know your…”
“Senpai, wait! Please! You’re all I ever loved! You’re all that I have now!”
Ruka: “Will you please let go of me?”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk69.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk70.jpg
Shiori: “I don’t know what I’ll do without you! So, please… Please, BELIEVE ME!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk71.jpg
Ruka: “What should I believe?”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk72.jpg
Shiori: “What?”
Ruka: “What do you want me to believe?”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk73.jpg
Shiori: “That I love you more than… I love you more than anyone else…! Senpai! Senpai!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk74.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk75.jpg
I’ve come across a few people that have said that she was just being a dramatic attention-whore, but what those people forget is that what Shiori can’t stand more than anything is when people look down on her and pity her. Now the entire school is looking down on her, and she doesn’t care. You’ll notice that most of the people looking down her on boys, which we can assume relates to Ruka. She doesn’t care what Ruka thinks of her. All that matters is keeping him from slipping away. She’s already lost Juri, and she only made things worse by insulting her the other day, so now Ruka is all that she has left. He questions what it is that she wants him to believe, and she hesitates in saying that she loves him more than anyone, because she really loves Juri. Frankly, Ruka doesn’t exactly looked thrilled to see her this way, so maybe he doesn’t really enjoy seeing her suffer.

To help explain what the chairs symbolize, I made a picture to help illustrate its meaning.
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/LoveTriangle.jpg
It’s a love triangle. (Get it?) We see Shiori sitting in her chair during Juri’s duel with Ruka, Ruka sits in his chair while he’s talking to Juri, and Juri sits in her chair while she’s talking with Utena. The direction in which the chair faces symbolizes ‘who’s direction they’re looking in.’ Notice how she’s trying to pull Ruka into the direction of her chair, and he walks away in the opposite direction. Then she falls to the ground and cries. Juri walks away too, because it’s not her problem.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk76.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk77.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk78.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk79.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk80.jpg
After some girls talk about what had happened earlier that day, Utena comes looking for Juri with a very unhappy look on her face. We once again see the chairs, and this time Juri is sitting in one of the chairs. She faces away from Shiori’s chair as she points out that butting into other people’s business is a bad habit of hers. Utena asks if Juri is worried about her, and points out that Shiori is really taking this hard. Juri looks in the direction of Shiori’s chair as she says, “It’s between her and Ruka. It’s not my problem. And since it isn’t, I’m not getting involved.” She finally looks away from Shiori’s chair as she says, “I have no right to.” Basically, the only reason why she isn’t doing anything is because she feels as though she has no right to get involved.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk82.jpg
Juri walks away from her chair, or rather, turning her back to her own feelings as Utena says, “You can’t possibly mean that. A friend of yours is being treated like this and you’re doing nothing?! You could at least hear her side of things! Senpai!” But Juri refuses.

Utena: “I get the feeling Juri’s really forcing herself to do this. Shiori’s really hurt, but Juri says it’s not her problem. I just don’t get it. Is that how she really feels about it?”
Anthy: “Perhaps it’s one part of her true feelings.”
Utena: “‘Part’ of her feelings? That’s a weird way to put it.”
Anthy: “At times, people will say things they’d never normally say, or do things they’d never normally do.”
Utena: “Do you do that too?”
Anthy: “Utena-sama, the truth is, I…”
Utena: “What?”
Anthy: “Never mind.”
In this scene, Anthy symbolizes Juri. Part of her feels as though she should go help Shiori, but the other part of her feels as though it’s none of her business.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk83.jpg
We find Shiori in her room, leaving messages on Ruka’s answering machine. The window that held symbolism in episode 17 is closed, as well as the curtains. She’s cutting herself off from the world and her past with Juri. “You’re there, aren’t you? I know you are. You could at least hear me out!” Ruka is ignoring Shiori, and won’t listen to what she has to say. As Utena said earlier, “You could at least hear her side of things!” What Ruka is doing is a lot like what Juri did when Shiori first returned to school. He’s completely ignoring her, which only makes her feel worse about everything that happened.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk84.jpg
In the next scene, Ruka is riding in Akio’s car with Akio and Touga. He looks rather troubled. (Does he feel bad for Shiori…?) Touga comments on how Ruka’s deeds couldn’t match up to his words either, but Ruka says that he was expecting it. Even so, he has a reason to win this no matter what. “Is that another scheme your dreaming up?” “‘There are no miracles.’ That’s what she always says.” Once again, this raises the question of Ruka’s motives concerning miracles. It seems as though Ruka wants to restore her belief in miracles, but doesn’t that mean he is trying to restore her belief in her feelings for Shiori?

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk85.jpg
Shiori: “Juri-san! So, it’s you. What do you want?!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk86.jpg
Juri: “Shiori…”
Shiori: “Did you come to laugh at me? You must be really happy now!”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk87.jpg
Juri: “I’d never…”
Shiori: “You really are pathetic! Do you expect me to come to you crying, and begging for help?! Well, too bad! I’m not doing what you expect!”
The first thing you should notice is that Shiori’s left eye is covered again. For a while, I thought that it was Juri who had her hand on the doorknob, but then I realized that it was Shiori. She has her hand on the doorknob, she’s twisting it and pushing forward as though she’s trying to open the door, but the chain on the door keeps her from doing so. It makes it seem as though she’s trying to get to Juri, but she can’t. Shiori is trapped by her own feelings, just as Juri is.

“Did you come to laugh at me? You must be really happy now!” This isn’t just what she’s assuming Juri will do, it’s what she’s afraid that Juri will do, and that’s what keeps her from reaching her. “You really are pathetic! Do you expect me to come to you crying, and begging for help?! Well, too bad! I’m not doing what you expect!” This is what she’s afraid of letting herself do. So why does she handle this in such a hostile manner? Once again, she’s doing all that she can to keep Juri from pitying her. If she yells at her, then she won’t feel sorry for her.

Another interesting thing about this scene is that on the third picture, we can hear the sound of the chain on the door, and it sounds exactly like the chain on Juri’s locket when Ruka took it from her.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk88.jpg
Ruka: “Are you serious?”
Juri: “Of course I am!”
Ruka: “Surprising, since before you told me to keep my hands off of her.”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk89.jpg
Ruka: “Now you want me to take her back?”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk90.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk91.jpg
Juri: “If it’ll make her happy…”
Ruka is sitting in his chair, which is facing Juri, and he has his back to Shiori’s chair. Juri is upset with Ruka at the moment, but she wants Ruka to be with Shiori, just as long as it will make her happy. This just happens to be the same motive that I’m trying to prove Ruka has. The camera angle also goes along with this theory quite well. It shows Ruka as he says, “Surprising, since before you told me to keep my hands off of her.” (That’s what Ruka also says later on.) It shows Juri as he says, “Now you want me to take her back?” (Despite that, he wants her to be with Shiori.) Ruka again as she says, “If it will make her happy.” (He wants them to be together, just as long as it will make Juri happy.)

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk92.jpg
Ruka: “Sorry, but I can’t do what you ask.”
Juri: “Ruka!”
Ruka: “I appreciate your friendship with her. However, she’s spoiled, pushy, and self-centered. Not to mention a liar! Sorry, but who’d want a girl like that?”
This scene mimics the scene earlier with Utena and Juri. Utena was trying to get Juri to talk to Shiori, but she refused. And now Ruka is refusing to take Shiori back.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk93.jpg
Juri: “You son of a… Who do you think you are?!”
Ruka: “You don’t control me.”
Juri: “What gives you the right to hurt her?!”
Ruka: “You don’t need to know.”
Juri: “My God, what a bastard you’ve become!”
Ruka: “And what about you?! Presuming to order others around!”
Once again, this can all be related back to Utena’s conversation with Juri. “Butting in again. That’s a bad habit of yours.” Juri’s favorite saying tends to be, “It’s none of your business.”

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk94.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk95.jpg
Ruka: “I have another proposal… I was thinking I’d like to go out with you now.”
Juri: “Who’d want to go out with you?!”
Ruka: “Because you love your fencing club’s captain, don’t you?”
Juri: “Oh, get real! You’ve insulted me enough!”
Ruka: “Stop resisting.”
Juri: “Who do you…”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk96.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk97.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk98.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk99.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk100-1.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk101.jpg
When Ruka kisses her, he’s forcing her to face the direction of his chair. She bites his lip and pushes him away, and then her reveals that he has her locket. He throws it onto the ground and threatens to step on it. Juri slaps him, and clutches to her locket on her knees.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk102.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk103.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk104.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk105.jpg
“I’ve changed my mind. I’ll do what you want. I’ll take her back.” She looks up at him and glares. “You hate me more than you can stand, don’t you?” As he walks away, the room darkens. “Wait. Ruka… I challenge you to a duel.” The room becomes brighter. It shows Shiori in her room, making calls to Ruka, asking him to listen to her ask Juri says, “If I should loose, I’ll do whatever you want.” (He wants her to be with Shiori.) “But when I win, you and Shiori…” “Understood. You don’t have to say it.” Why challenge Ruka to a duel, even though he already said that he would take her back? Because now she’s finally fighting for what she wants.

Offline

 

#117 | Back to Top03-04-2007 12:51:10 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk106.jpg
Ruka: “From the moment you joined the fencing club, your preminence was clear. Even covered in dirt, your brilliance still shone through. Your potential was far beyond mine.”
Juri: “I eventually hit a wall.”
Ruka: “Really.”

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk107.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk108.jpg
The car scene begins with Juri asking Ruka where he’s taking her. He plays a recording of Shiori saying, “Tsuchiya-senpai, you’re the only one I love.” A lot of emphasis is placed on loving only one person in this episode, (“You’re the only one I love! You’re all that I have now!”) and that tends to be the problem that Juri faces. She loves one person, and completely gives up on ever loving anyone else ever again. Juri asks if Ruka really enjoys hurting her as much as he seems to, but he doesn’t respond.

Ruka: “If we could perfect your latent abilities, no one could beat you. I can bring out those abilities in you. If you and I join forces, we can defeat Tenjou Utena, and then gain the power to work miracles!”
As I said, the definition of obtaining miracles never changes. To believe in miracles means to that believe your love will be received. He’s already gotten her to fight for her feelings once.
Juri: “Is that why you’ve been after Shiori and me like this?”
Ruka: “To work miracles, you need a sacrifice.”
Juri: “You coward! You want this miracle power that badly?!”
Ruka: “You’re the one who yearns for miracles!”
Juri: “Shiori isn’t a tool for you!”
Ruka: “‘Believe in miracles, and they will know your feelings.’ Weren’t those your words?”
At this point, it should be as though Ruka has just solved some big mystery. Shiori always said, “Kiseki wo shinjite, omoi wa todoku to.” The “to” at the end of the sentence makes it a quote. In other words, Shiori has been quoting someone this entire time, but we never knew who it was until now. Perhaps at some point Juri really did believe in miracles/that Shiori would return her feelings. (More on sacrifices later.)

“You seem to misunderstand something.” It says Ruka as she says, “I don’t need my feelings to be known.” Back to Juri as she says, “And even if I gained the power to work miracles, all I desire…” Ruka again, “Is to release her from you. That’s all.” Basically, Ruka has the same thing in mind. He doesn’t want his feelings to be known. He just wants her wish to finally come true.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk109.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk110.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk111.jpg
As Juri challenges Utena to a duel, she looks out of a window down at Shiori, who is looking away from her. The last time we saw that wall was when Utena was wearing the girl’s uniform because Touga had taken Anthy from her, but in clear daylight, the roses were red.

This is another duel that I love. I’d like to interpret it someday. (Yes, I know that another interpretation already exists, but with all due respect, I look at this song in a slightly different way.) One of my favorite things about this duel is that it completely mimics Juri’s first duel with Utena. The reason why it does this is because Juri’s reason for fighting is completely different. When she battles Ruka, she is defending her miracle, rather than fighting to disprove the existence of miracles, as she was with Utena.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk112.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk113.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk114.jpg
The duel begins, and Utena lunges forward. The scene switches over to Ruka blocking the same attack. “Hidden feelings, huh?” Ruka asks, without sounding very sympathetic. Juri lungs forward, but Ruka blocks her attack and pushes her to the ground. “How painful they must be.”

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk115.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk116.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk117.jpg
The duel continues, and eventually we see Shiori sitting in her chair, sadly look at Ruka’s chair. The way she sits is identical to the way Juri sat in her chair as she kissed that boy. “Juri, she’s a fool”
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Shinjite.jpg
“She doesn’t realize that you get miracles only by standing on the sacrifices of others! Yet miracles only come to people like her! Don’t you find that unfair, Juri?!”

Think of Juri’s past relationship with Shiori and the nameless boy. Juri loved Shiori, but the nameless boy loved Juri. If Juri and Shiori were to get together, the nameless boy would never get his feelings returned. If Juri and that boy got together, Shiori would be forgotten by both of them. Juri’s feelings for Shiori were sacrificed so that she could be with the nameless boy. In the end, someone’s feelings always end up getting sacrificed.

It’s the same thing here. If Ruka and Shiori love each other, Juri gets left out. If Ruka and Juri love each other, Shiori gets left out. But if Juri and Shiori love each other, Ruka gets left out, which is something that he accepts, as unfair as it is.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk118.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk119.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk120.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk121.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk122.jpg
Utena summons forth the Power of Dios. Ruka yells Juri’s name, and Shiori gasps when Utena’s sword hits the locket instead of the rose. The locket falls to the ground and shatters. Her memory of Shiori has faded, and it begins to rain, as though even the sky is crying. She takes off her own rose and throws it to the ground.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk123.jpg
“Juri… It’ll be alright… It’ll be alright, Juri.” We see Juri inside of the room with the chairs, the light is shining at its brightest. She says, “It’ll be alright… Huh?” Juri’s chair is still facing Shiori’s, Ruka’s faces Juri’s, but the moment that Ruka tells Juri that everything will be alright, Shiori’s chair faces Juri.

This raises an interesting question. The locket was what constrained Juri, but what did it mean to Shiori? Why did she gasp when the locket broke, and why is it that she could finally look in Juri’s direction when it did? Shiori had known about that locket ever since they were in middle school, and to her, it was a secret that her friend wasn’t willing to share with her. It only made things worse when she realized that she was the one inside of the locket, yet she had never told her how she really felt.

To Juri, that locket served as a constant reminder that Shiori was not looking in her direction. The picture inside never changes its direction, and it’s in black and white, which gives it a feeling as though it’s something from a long time ago. Despite that, she wears that same picture around her neck, even though it’s from so long ago. How can their relationship move forward if she is stuck in the past? The locket seemed to constrain her.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk124.jpg
Juri is now the fencing captain again, and Ruka has stopped coming to school. A girl gets hurt, and Juri takes her to the hospital. She apologizes to Juri for causing her trouble so close to the regionals.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk125.jpg
B-Ko: “Hey, did you hear?”
A-Ko: “Yeah, that patient died yesterday.”
B-Ko: “Poor guy! And he was really cute, too.”
A-Ko: “And in the hospital, he kept saying how much he wanted to fence again.”
B-Ko: “He apparently knew how sick he was. But he insisted on leaving the hospital to go back to school.”
A-Ko: “There must have been a girl in the fencing club that he loved.”
B-Ko: “That reminds me. He used to say something a lot. He wanted to give the power to grant miracles to the one he loved. He wanted to free her from something.”
A-Ko: “Free her? What’s that mean?”
B-Ko: “Who knows?”
As I already said, his illness may or may not be real, but it stands as something that keeps him from Juri in the end.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk126.jpg
Now Shiori’s chair is facing towards Juri’s, and Juri’s chair is facing in the direction that Ruka’s chair once was. However, just as Shiori turned away from Ruka’s chair, she has the choice to look back into Shiori’s direction.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk127.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk128.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk129.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Rk130.jpg
As Juri walks down a path, she thinks, “Are you well? The next time we meet, there’s something I’ll want to ask you.” Shiori, who is standing behind a tree, finally looks in Juri’s direction and runs after her as Juri thinks, “What did you hope to gain by pursuing the power to grant miracles? And who did you hope to help by getting it? Wish as hard as you can, and they will know your feelings.” Light is shining on the path that they’re walking down, and bare trees have buds on them, as though they are growing new leaves after a cold winter. If Ruka really wanted Juri to hate Shiori, then why is it that they’re together in the end? Not only that, Shiori has finally been freed as well. She is no longer trapped inside of her room, nor is she refusing to look in Juri’s direction.


Or maybe he really did want to screw Shiori over in order to save Juri. *Shrugs* But if you’re going to tell me why I’m wrong, (in detail, I’m sure,) I ask that you at least read the entire post first.

Offline

 

#118 | Back to Top03-04-2007 05:03:45 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Whoo, what a long and very in-depth analysis! Contrary to your expectations about what others think about your thoughts, I actually agree with about most of it. You have some ideas for these episodes that are new to me, too, and they're interesting. (I'm also a big Ruka fan, too)

Okay, where to start..

Thank you for explaining the chair symbols. I noticed there was something very symbolic with Juri and chairs (same as rain and showers for her) but I wasn't sure what.

Another thing I noticed about Juri and chairs, is that.. well, she sits a lot. Despite how much she fences, symbolically, it's like she isn't "moving" forward. She's just sitting there. She's held on to her feelings for Shiori for three years and they're always the same. So it's kind of like she isn't progressing, or moving forward. She just sits there a lot, trapped in her feelings and not allowing them to end.

I don't think Shiori was intending to snag Ruka to get back at Juri either. I'm not sure why she went to the locker room, but when she saw Ruka fencing, she might have developed a crush on him then because of his similarities to Juri. And then I guess she went into the locker room to stalk his locker, or something, I don't know. But she is indeed a very naive girl. (I agree about her being in love with Juri, but not recognizing it as possibly being romantic love because she's young and probably only sees men and women able to love each other that way)

I don't like that she made such a big lie about polishing Ruka's sword, but she fell into his trap. I think she was so overwhelmed with someone like Ruka (who is like Juri) expressing such interest in her, not pitying her, that she lied and didn't care. She seemed to start to believe her own lie too, as shown by when she and Ruka lost that duel and when Ruka broke up with her.

Again, with the water. Juri was dressed up in that outfit, around that fountain, when she talked to Utena in a previous episode. And now she sees Juri and Shiori by the fountain.. Juri seems to have a lot to do with water. I don't remember, but in this episode wasn't the water shooting out and bursting more than it was with the episode with Utena? Perhaps it symbolizes Juri's emotions. But then again, I don't really remember, sorry.. emot-redface

It is interesting that you say that the way Shiori said "Believe in miracles and they will know your feelings" in Japanese was a quote. I did not know that. With what Ruka said about Juri saying that, I wasn't sure if it was Juri who said it first and Shiori repeated her, or that Shiori said it first and Juri repeated her before to Ruka. But it makes a lot more sense now. Wow.. emot-dance

Now, here is the part I'm slightly confused about. Ruka's intentions. He obviously seems to be in love with Juri, but is making himself a sacrifice to make her happy. Happy, how, though? I'm not sure if he was trying to make Juri hate Shiori, either. What I originally thought was that he was simply trying to free Juri of her feelings for Shiori, like how he tried to take her locket away. Her locket is a symbol of her feelings for Shiori, that she constantly clings to, year after year. It weighs her down, and keeps her from moving forward.

That's what I thought Ruka meant when he first showed up and fenced with Juri. He said that she didn't seem to improve after all, and I thought he was referring to how Juri's feelings for Shiori were holding her down and keeping her from progressing and obtaining the power of Dios/miracles. If you think about it, Juri is kind of like an emotional masochist.. she keeps her locket with Shiori's picture and clings to her feelings for her, angsting that they are not returned. When she could try to move forward and forget about them. Thus my idea about why she sits a lot - a symbol of her not moving forward and progressing.

Anyway. Your idea about Ruka doing all of that to bring both Juri and Shiori together is an interesting point, too. He wants Juri to be happy, even if he cannot be with her. But I'm a little confused, because there are a couple of times when he badmouths Shiori to Juri, rather viciously, actually. As if he was showing his bitterness and jealousy. He goes on about how unfair it is that people like Shiori (who he seems to see as underneath people like Juri, because he finds Juri as brilliant and special) stand on the sacrifices of others. This quote:

“She doesn’t realize that you get miracles only by standing on the sacrifices of others! Yet miracles only come to people like her! Don’t you find that unfair, Juri?!”

I don't know, I just always thought it seemed to be full of resentment for Shiori. Perhaps he was just venting, or he does resent her, but at the same time he is still trying to get her and Juri together so Juri will be happy. I'm not sure, really, both theories sound likely to me.

And in the end, Juri and Shiori do seem to get together in a healthy kind of way, so maybe that was what Ruka was attempting. In the end, Shiori joins the fencing team, Juri seems much less angsty, and I even saw a picture recently with Juri having a new picture in her locket, of Shiori facing Juri with kissy lips as Juri was making kissy lips at the picture. Cute. Maybe they both changed for the better, because of Ruka's sacrifice. (I hope. Because those two were full of so many annoying misunderstandings on both sides.. )

Anyway, thank you for the lovely essays. emot-dance

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (03-04-2007 05:09:03 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

Offline

 

#119 | Back to Top03-04-2007 06:42:32 PM

bella
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 11-04-2006
Posts: 581

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Clarice wrote:

Razara wrote:

Hmm... I rewatched that scene just again.

What I can't help but be reminded of in this scene is Dios. Utena is stumbling forward, and it's obvious that she will fall soon. Akio runs forward to catch her, for a reason that I do not know Akio well enough to define. He tells her that the seal cannot be broken, but she knows that opening that door is the only way to save Anthy. She refuses to give in, and pushes him away. She stumbles forward and falls to the ground. She is a "fallen prince." It makes me think of how Dios fell because he wanted to help the girls of the world, even though he would die if he continued.


I need to start interpreting these episodes more. emot-gonk

She only falls the once, right? This is just a rather blasé thought on my part (which comes about because I was walking through the crypt of Sacré-Cœur the other day and it has some sort of "pilgrimage" following the path of Christ), but I am reminded of Christ carrying the cross to his own crucifixion. Now, I am by no means religious, and most of my knowledge of the Bible comes from the occasional reading of the Old Testament for amusement/studying James Joyce and gawping at fourteenth/fifteenth/sixteenth century art, but...he fell three times while carrying the cross, yes? And once was helped up by a discipline? Damn, I can't remember. I also don't know how likely Christian symbology is in a Japanese series, but the thematic similarity is there...Utena falls, and must rise again in order to save Anthy. Akio helps her, and she rejects him -- she later accepts the help of Dios, although in a different manner. In fact, the way Dios aids her reflects a major theme of the series, and that is the fact that you cannot pick someone up yourself and save them; you can tell them which way to go, but they have to walk the path themselves. Which...aw, hell, I am going to go on a massive tangent here about the symbolism of the Akio-Car and its "easy ride" status (the pun was not...entirely intended). So, I will shut up.

Except for noting that Dios is cruel in the way he helps Utena. Is that reflective of all of the Christian god? (As I am assuming the Spanish word for "God" (i.e. Dios) is implying the same God as the term does in English.) I mean, depending on the source, you get a lot of "God is cruel" in Christian texts. But he is cruel to be kind, and to aid the Christian in their process of maturation...which is really what this show is all about.

And now that I have spouted off a load of nonsense, I shall go back to Paris. Joy!

I never thought of this, but you make a good point in the realation between Utena and Christ, or a Christ-like character. In the same way, do you think that Utena can be viewed as a Joan of Arc type character?


Happy Holidays Everyone! :3

Offline

 

#120 | Back to Top03-04-2007 07:57:42 PM

MissMocha
Bettie Page Princess
From: Tallahassee, Fl
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 4632

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

But I'm a little confused, because there are a couple of times when he badmouths Shiori to Juri, rather viciously, actually. As if he was showing his bitterness and jealousy.

Maybe he's just trying to remind Juri that Shiori is a person to, and has some pretty nasty flaws? Juri calls Shiori "cruelly innocent" but never really seems to express any other opinion or emotion around Shiori besides longing. Plus, even as saintly as Ruka is, he must be frustrated that someone who loves Juri as much as he does, is passed over for someone with lesser qualities.

Bah. I'm shite at explaining myself tonight. It's the Sangria. But seriously, Raz, thanks for the analysis. Esp. The chairs, I knew that they had so much significance, but I could never figure it out -I'm pretty not good with details like that...emot-redface


The first time you looked at her curves you were hooked
And the glances you took, took hold of you and demanded that you stay
And sunk in their teeth, bit your heart and released
Such a charge that you need another touch, another taste, another fix

Offline

 

#121 | Back to Top03-05-2007 12:35:36 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

morosemocha wrote:

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

But I'm a little confused, because there are a couple of times when he badmouths Shiori to Juri, rather viciously, actually. As if he was showing his bitterness and jealousy.

Maybe he's just trying to remind Juri that Shiori is a person to, and has some pretty nasty flaws? Juri calls Shiori "cruelly innocent" but never really seems to express any other opinion or emotion around Shiori besides longing. Plus, even as saintly as Ruka is, he must be frustrated that someone who loves Juri as much as he does, is passed over for someone with lesser qualities.

Bah. I'm shite at explaining myself tonight. It's the Sangria. But seriously, Raz, thanks for the analysis. Esp. The chairs, I knew that they had so much significance, but I could never figure it out -I'm pretty not good with details like that...emot-redface

That is true. Juri doesn't seem to find any flaw in Shiori, and sees her as innocent. (Just "cruelly" so)


"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

Offline

 

#122 | Back to Top03-05-2007 01:45:02 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Ruka: “I appreciate your friendship with her. However, she’s spoiled, pushy, and self-centered. Not to mention a liar! Sorry, but who’d want a girl like that?”

Possibly he is also referring to Juri. Maybe he is trying to convice himself.

Possibly Shiori was mortified at being caught with Juri's sword and that is why she had to ad-lib.

As for Utena being Christ-like -- both work miracles, get betrayed, deliberately refuse the garments of royalty, get tortured by thorns (in the manga), sacrifice themselves as an example to others. Utena learns at the very end what Christ knew from the start -- that Satan is not to be defeated by direct combat but by non-egotistical self-sacrifice. (Self-sacrifice is not rare but the non-egotistical part is.)

Jeanne D'Arc -- boys' clothes, miracles, both fighting for an unworthy Prince.

However Utena is dumber and more self-involved than either. Although uneducated Jeanne D'Arc comported herself quite well before slick lawyers at her trial.

Razara's analysis is slightly unusual but brilliant. It does a great job of explaining why Shiori is following Juri at the end.

Offline

 

#123 | Back to Top03-05-2007 01:57:30 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara wrote:

ESSAY<3

Interesting stuff, dammit! I wish I had the time and the mental capacity to say something in length here, but I feel unwell enough today that I just want to toss another couple of questions into the mix and see if anyone can answer them for me (yes, yes, I am a whore for analysis, I think someone's figured that out already emot-wink).

1. Ruka is standing after his duel. I think, if I remember correctly, only he and Juri do this (I can't remember if this is true of Nanami, and I don't have access to the show to watch it right now). Why is this? In Juri's case, it's obvious; she threw the duel, it didn't throw her. She denied the power of the duel before it could overwhelm her. Yet Ruka, who saw his duel through to his defeat, stands beside the car while Shiori had her adventures through the windshield. Hmm. I've always been of the opinion Ruka was a little outside of the Ohtori duels even though he wandered purposefully smack-damn into the middle of them. I wonder if it says something about the supposed "nobility" of his task? It's debatable. Someone debate it. emot-tongue

2. I always interpreted the final configuration of the chairs somewhat differently -- and always kicked the wall for the fact we can't see Ruka's chair anymore (although that is in itself symbolic, obviously). I never understood it as being "Shiori and Juri together in the end," and it's not just because my twisted little black heart would much prefer Ruka/Juri over Juri/Shiori. It's more the fact that while Shiori has turned to Juri, Juri has turned in Ruka's general direction. Because he's no longer there it's not like one could say the triangle has rearranged its points, exactly, but it does make it sound like she's learning from what Ruka has tried to show her. Does this mean that the reconfiguration of her chair is either saying that a) she has transferred her affection to Ruka or b) she is going to take Ruka's "advice" into account in order to temper her feelings for Shiori? ...does that make any sense? I mean, what I am trying to say is this: I assumed the chairs moving showed an emotional maturation beginning for Juri, and also in some ways for Shiori. Shiori is now able to pay attention to Juri without being clouded over by pettiness, and Juri is able to look at the world around her rather than only at the object she put at the centre of it. Personally, I don't think that Ruka wanted Juri to have Shiori, as such -- and it probably wasn't even because of the fact he wanted her himself. I think he just wanted to give her something else to look at...he drew her attention in the end, and that is what he wanted. He showed her a miracle, perhaps, in that she and Shiori could be friends despite the history between them. Perhaps it could be more than that. Perhaps they will only be equals (which is how I viewed the final fencing scene in the last episode). But...eh, I am making no sense. Again. But I don't think Ruka ever intended that Juri hate Shiori, nor do I believe that he ever intended for her to be able to love her. He just wanted her to see.

...bugger, now I am having another Biblical Moment with the road at the end there. Damascus? Ah, crap, maybe I shouldn't have slept through Sunday school.

...but I always liked the scene with Juri and the injured team member. She's totally assuming Ruka's role, which she did only with the knowledge of he acted in that position before her. Heh.

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

I don't think Shiori was intending to snag Ruka to get back at Juri either. I'm not sure why she went to the locker room, but when she saw Ruka fencing, she might have developed a crush on him then because of his similarities to Juri. And then I guess she went into the locker room to stalk his locker, or something, I don't know. But she is indeed a very naive girl. (I agree about her being in love with Juri, but not recognizing it as possibly being romantic love because she's young and probably only sees men and women able to love each other that way)

I don't like that she made such a big lie about polishing Ruka's sword, but she fell into his trap. I think she was so overwhelmed with someone like Ruka (who is like Juri) expressing such interest in her, not pitying her, that she lied and didn't care. She seemed to start to believe her own lie too, as shown by when she and Ruka lost that duel and when Ruka broke up with her.

I agree -- I don't think there was the slightest bit of malice in Shiori when it came to dating Ruka (at least, at first there wasn't). It was orchestrated by Ruka, and he set the wheels in motion as soon as he came into the school...before Shiori could get a handle on any history between Ruka and Juri. Which begs the question, actually -- Shiori left the school before Ruka and Juri became peers in the fencing club? Strikes me as a bit odd, that, but time is a slippery bastard in Ohtori at the best of times. It's possible that Juri really only threw herself into fencing after Shiori left, then came to Ruka's attention, and...eh, I don't know. My brain is wandering into a quantum state theory in a trigonomic configuration, and you really don't want to know what that means. Aside from the fact that apparently, if that is true, Shiori, Ruka and Juri can not stay in the same place for long periods because of the effect they have on one another.

[coughs] But yes, well, er. I personally don't think Shiori was ever in love with Juri at all. It's just a personal opinion -- coloured somewhat by her behaviour in Mikage's elevator -- but I think there is possibly a bit of "Ruka reminds me of Juri" going on in there. Shiori was Juri's friend, after all -- she admired something in her greatly, even though the admiration became jealousy and then resentment and then finally malice. It's possible she saw Ruka as being something like the Juri she was once friends with, but as being more "malleable" in that he was slightly more entitled to being more important than her, being a male and a "prince." But this is wandering away from the point, so I will go back into hibernation now. Night!


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

Beyond The Silver Leaves

Offline

 

#124 | Back to Top03-05-2007 02:21:04 PM

Hina the Prince
Friend, Perhaps
From: Israel
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 320

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara. I love you. Seriously. Incredible analysis. That left eye thing... I wouldn't have figured it out in a lifetime. And as for Juri saying "believe in miracles"... somehow, that went completely over my head while watching the series. Thank you for clearing that up, as well as, like, everything else. You make me feel so retarded. etc-loveetc-loveetc-love

Offline

 

#125 | Back to Top03-07-2007 11:50:17 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Indeed, and it would be a delight to see Razara do a detailed analysis of Episode 25 (how easy it is to think of work for others!) But that really is a major hinge.
It's he first time we see the new closing credits and the new closing song.
Correct me if I am wrong but I think it's the first time Akio leaps over his car.
It's a cycling back to the original conflicts with Saionji, but Utena has grown much more than he. Akio is fighting for himself and he believes he is unbeatable because he has seen the world but Utena is fighting for another and has seen something eternal.
Anthy is starting to wake up a bit more and become something of a partner with Utena. The Shadow Girls refer to this when they talk about the difficulties of being partners. They quarrel over the 20-day-old pudding one stole from the other. "Here it comes! Ugh!" It's a new way of looking at Akio -- as something stale that must be vomited out.
When Utena and Anthy stand together in the arena they give off a feeling of invincibility, and they are invincible as long as they stand together.
It's the first time Anthy giggles of her own accord and the basilisk look on Akio's face gives a stronger sense than even the earlier incest scenes of just how twisted their relationship is.
One can't know for sure, but it may be the first time he actually rapes her.
It's also at this point where Akio starts to seriously incite the duellists to defeat Utena, because he is scared she will take Anthy from him. Tension between him and Anthy noticeably increases in this episode.
I wonder if this is where he seriously decides to seduce Utena for the same purpose. He may not have intended to do that before then.
He and Utena gaze up at the planetarium, both acting like they are looking at real stars. He gives her his famous poor, tragic Lucifer speech, but we are left uncertain whether he really sees himself that way or is just manipulating Utena.
Anthy and Utena are vaguely starting to remember having met before.

Anyway Razara's observation of Shiori's left eye is really impressive. school-eng101school-sherlock

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB 1.2.23
© Copyright 2002–2008 PunBB
Forum styled and maintained by Giovanna and Yasha
Return to Empty Movement