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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

#201 | Back to Top05-26-2007 02:29:40 PM

SleepDebtFairy
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Maturity and love.. that's a good subject.

I think anyone can love someone, but maybe not always selflessly.. babies and children aren't mature, but they can love their parents. But it's more like loving whoever cares for them.

It also depends on how you define love, but I think generally, many people define it as your happiness being dependent on someone else's happiness.

Another example of maturity. In scenario one, a girl is with a guy but wants to break up. The guy throws a fit and says he'll kill himself if she leaves him. He obviously wants her really badly, but he is being selfish. Does he love her?

Scenario two, a girl is with a guy and wants to break up, and the guy is sad but wishes her well in whatever makes her happy. He's letting her go, but he is being selfless and caring about her needs first. Does he love her?

I think they are both forms of love, but one is a mature and selfless love. But you could call the first scenario "obsession", too, or an unhealthy form of love, where the person is dependent on that love to be complete.

The English language doesn't have many good ways to describe different kinds of love. emot-frown

Edit: Oh, back on topic. In closing, I think Shiori can love someone, but I do agree she probably isn't mature enough for a healthy relationship. With Ruka, for example, she threw a fit and acted as if being with Ruka was the only thing that could make her complete and happy. However, with the end of the series and the "revolution" everyone receives, especially after the thing with Ruka, I think she shows promise of maturing. (But there is that locket picture, too, so I'm not sure.. I hope the story doesn't repeat itself.)

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (05-26-2007 02:31:48 PM)


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#202 | Back to Top05-26-2007 04:33:49 PM

Razara
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

It's hard to say whether or not she loves her, because there isn't really a specific definition for love. It's like what Anthy said in the preview for episode 29. "I don't think that outsiders could understand. The meaning of love varies from person to person." One person's views on the meaning of love from another's.

I don't think that you can really judge whether or not a person can love another by maturity and life experience. Adults usually say that teenagers don't truly understands what it means to be in love, but this has been proved wrong on many occasions.

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#203 | Back to Top05-26-2007 09:30:06 PM

Stormcrow
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I'm with Razara.  I try not to use the word love in relation to any kind of logical argument, not because love is illogical, but because of the semantic difficulties.  Anger is pretty easily understood, so arguing that someone acted out of anger is reasonable.  Love, on the other hand...the word has no edges, no boundaries.  It's pretty useless as a word, really.  I suppose that makes me anti-semantic? emot-tongueemot-tongueemot-tongue


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#204 | Back to Top05-26-2007 09:45:43 PM

Yasha
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

The inability to define love is the reason I stick to such a strict personal definition of it. Love, to me, has to be the ideal, otherwise it's not love. Selflessness, maturity, kindness, compromise, devotion-- all of that is what I mean when I say or think love. I can't possibly define what I mean clearly while I'm at work, so when I get home, I'll post a definition.


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#205 | Back to Top05-27-2007 12:20:03 AM

dlaire
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Love is very difficult to describe, but, returning to Shiori and Juri, Shiori is rather obsessed than in love. I had a "friend" who was jelaous and felt pity, so I transferred this on S-J relationship.

I'd like to set apart two a conception of love (strong, constant and pure feelings towards smb) and infatuation (short-lived, passionate and possesive). It's only my point of view, maybe ours' interpretations are wrong?
Maybe Shiori can love someone, but not Juri. I think that homosexual relationships is even more complicated and risky (for example in my country it's still not enough liberality to feel accepted). I'm close to believe that Sajionji loved Anthy. Despite his agression, he didn't meant to be cruel to her, he just can't express his feelings in better way.
Shiori is sadistic in other way like Sajionji is.  She's teasing Juri for fun, maybe she doen't exactly now why is she doing it... (Argh, I don't like this person in SKU.)

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#206 | Back to Top05-27-2007 06:40:28 AM

Stormcrow
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

It's funny how everybody considers love so important, but nobody can agree on what love even is.  Regarding SaionjixAnthy, he might have had genuine affectin for her in the movie, where everyone except Shiori is nobler than in the series.  In the show, however, it seems that Saionji really only cares about Anthy as a game piece in his struggle with Touga.  His demonstrations toward Anthy are awkward and clumsy, and very, very showy, as if he wants everyone to know that he and Anthy are in love.  Later in the show, he discards that completely, stating that he now considers the Rose Bride to be an empty vessel with no emotional content of her own.  I suppose that this stance too, may just be his attempts to ape Touga, but either way, I don't think his demonstrations toward Anthy were ever very genuine.  Except for the slaps, of course.emot-biggrin


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#207 | Back to Top05-27-2007 10:51:16 AM

SleepDebtFairy
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I think Saionji and Miki, oddly, have similiar kinds of feelings for Anthy.

Saionji is convinced he loves Anthy.. but it's really more about power. He does things that are "good" for her but doesn't really care about what she wants. Miki kind of does the same thing, except much more gently, and he uses Anthy to fill in the role of his "innocent" little sister. (I'm amused that the two girls Miki sees/saw as innocent, are two of the most not very innocent girls) He wants her to do things, and thinks he is doing what is "good" for her, but really he doesn't know what she wants.

As for love.. I think everyone has the ability to love. It's loving selflessly and maturely that is the challenge..


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#208 | Back to Top05-27-2007 11:45:39 AM

dollface
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

As for love.. I think everyone has the ability to love. It's loving selflessly and maturely that is the challenge..

I couldn't have said it better myself. Love, in my opinion, is one of the most selfish emotions. I don't think maturity plays any role in love. While Shiori may not be able to express love, she is in no way unable to feel love.

Last edited by dollface (06-09-2010 04:18:25 PM)


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#209 | Back to Top05-28-2007 09:32:50 AM

dlaire
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

it's a difference in definition of love. no one can prove that his version is better and closer to truth, right?

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#210 | Back to Top05-28-2007 10:19:57 AM

Mai_Kanzaki
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From: Left of Nowhere, Ohio
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Why is it that the only way Shiori's locket is that she's keeping her feelings secret? Before I saw SKU I never thought of having a locket as repressive. In fact most of the time having a locket was about showing off a persons feelings because they're keeping an image of that person close to their heart. I say that because people do that with all sorts of loved ones especially children or grandchildren now a days.
Shiori's not keeping her locket a secret unlike Juri(who did a very bad job IMHO). So while she's still going about love in an immature way (come on it's still high school!) I don't think she's being repressive about it. In fact I think she's most likely trying to get attention. It'd be amusing to no end if through all of this Shiori's "loud and proud" of her feelings. emot-keke


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#211 | Back to Top05-28-2007 12:08:32 PM

bea
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From: Milan, Italy
Registered: 05-24-2007
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dlaire wrote:

Love is very difficult to describe, but, returning to Shiori and Juri, Shiori is rather obsessed than in love.

Mmh. Well, the very first time I watched SKU I thought this could be possible for Juri as well: she could really be in love with Shiori, but she certainly is obsessed by her - the symbol of her obsession being Shiori's picture in her locket.

First of all, is her love for Shiori healthy?
I really don't think so, at least for what concerns her - Juri's - own well-being.
Because of her love she feels miserable and powerless, and can't find the strenght to express her feelings, after all - so she just keeps it all inside without finding a way out of it.

Sure, when Ruka makes his move with Shiori, she tells him not to hurt her and she tries and tells the girl to stay away from him, but is this really useful to Juri herself? What does Juri get in return? Nothing, her feelings keep her chained down like they always have, and that's all.

Before Ruka's "intervention" (or is it before the revolution?) she doesn't try to move on - well, she does in episode 17 when she throws her locket in the lake, but when she wakes up after Shiori has taken her soul-sword she just takes the locket back atround her neck, she just gives up. Can we call this maturity?

Furthermore, if Shiori really did reprocicate Juri's feelings, would she really want for them to be a couple, or is the idea of being in love just a way to avoid growing up and reaching to the outside world? Sometimes it is easier to keep everything inside and live an unrequited love for the very reason that it is not dangerous, because you live it all in yourself and nobody can hurt you.

I don't know if I'm going out of topic, I have everything very clear in my mind while I can't express it well, but I know what I am talking about because I've been exactly in the same situation as Juri's until a few months ago, and I now recognize I was obsessed, and not in love, and that at the time I wasn't mature. At all.

Just my two cents...

Last edited by bea (05-28-2007 12:10:36 PM)


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#212 | Back to Top05-28-2007 04:36:33 PM

Stormcrow
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

No, I wouldn't say that was off-topic at all.  Narcissism is one of the prevailing motifs in SKU, and I doubt that I'm the only one here that finds that part of the show...familiar.emot-wink

Better luck next time.


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#213 | Back to Top05-28-2007 05:13:34 PM

dollface
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

bea wrote:

Before Ruka's "intervention" (or is it before the revolution?) she doesn't try to move on - well, she does in episode 17 when she throws her locket in the lake, but when she wakes up after Shiori has taken her soul-sword she just takes the locket back atround her neck, she just gives up. Can we call this maturity?

Can I buy you a cup of coffee? etc-love

Really though, maturity, being one of the most prevalent themes in the series, is often misrepresented. Most of our so-called 'adult' or 'deeper' characters exhibit less maturity than anyone. Let's take Ruka, for example. Though his motives may be pure, his course of action is far from it. Many will argue that this was his only way to reach Juri, and that he does everything out of the goodness of his heart, which is definitely a valid though. But still, let's glance over this little recap:

Shiori and Juri are good friends. Juri loves Shiori. Shiori loves Unnamed Boy/Taylor. Shiori knows (well, thinks, but let's use the term for arguments sake) Juri loves Taylor. She goes on to steal Taylor's affections, hurting Juri in the process, runs away with him, and they break up somewhere within the time-span outside the academy.

Juri and Ruka work together on the fencing team (and, perhaps at this time, the Student Council, but I guess we'll never know), and we can assume they are on somewhat friendly terms, seeing as the sit together in that secret place. Ruka loves Juri. Ruka knows that Juri loves Shiori. He goes on to steal Shiori's affections, hurting Juri in the process, stays there to flaunt it in Juri's face, takes Shiori's virginity (though that's up for debate), then makes a spectacle of dumping her in public.

Both stories are similar. So much so, it hurts. No matter how much the two have in common with their strategies, Shiori is immature and cruel, yet Ruka is passionate and pure, and causes all this pain out of love? Of course, love justifies this all, doesn't it? If Shiori is too immature to love, how is Ruka able to? And, in retrospect to that, this means Ruka can't really love Juri, right? So, he hurts both girls, then runs off to die for absolutely no reason?

I know many of you aren't fond of Shiori, but your average SKU fan doesn't have anything against Ruka. We have to look at it in terms of every character, not simply one. No character is completely matured; not even Akio. Even so, they are capable of every emotion.

Hah, I guess the point to that off-topicness was that love and maturity are not equal, nor are they related. And I don't mean to sound as if I'm bashing Ruka, not at all! But being such a fan of Shiori, it gets tiresome to see her criticized while he is praised, when I see no difference in their actions. They are both at fault.

Last edited by dollface (06-09-2010 04:22:58 PM)


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#214 | Back to Top05-28-2007 05:37:59 PM

Stormcrow
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I think that Ruka's behavior makes a bit more sense, and permits more sympathy, as a manifestation of jealousy.  He wants Juri (I'll try to leave love out of it), who wants Shiori.  Shiori doesn't seem to appreciate this.  In Ruka's mind, Juri has cast the pearl of her affections before the swine that he views Shiori as.  So while he wants to "free" Juri, he also wants to grind Shiori into the dust to punish her for disregarding the thing that he desires.  I can feel sorry for him in this way, because I'm no stranger to spite myself.


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#215 | Back to Top05-28-2007 05:39:32 PM

dollface
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

People admiring Ruka doesn't bother me at all. It's people who admire him, but look down on Shiori. She is no worse than he is.

Last edited by dollface (06-09-2010 04:24:02 PM)


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#216 | Back to Top05-28-2007 05:42:06 PM

Stormcrow
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Remember, hypocrisy means not looking closely enough at yourself.  When I'm being honest, I have to admit that I'm perfectly capable of behaving like either of them, and not for as good reasons, either.


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#217 | Back to Top05-28-2007 06:28:52 PM

SleepDebtFairy
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

This is funny.. right as I'm rewatching episode 6 of Utena, Saionji walks by all melodramatically and says this:

Saionji wrote:

No matter how you may be abused.. you're always happy to be near the one you love.. That is one form of love. Love can take many different forms.

..and then he starts talking about he and Anthy's hidden love.

Anyway..

The whole Shori and Ruka topic seems to pop up so much, so I get kind of tired of talking about it.. yet I post anyway.

But I guess the main difference between Shiori's actions and Ruka's actions are that Shiori did them selfishly, for her ego, and Ruka did them "selflessly" (you can debate about that, a lot, though.. he did force a kiss on Juri, but I don't think he was expecting to do much more than that..) to help Juri. Although, you could also argue that Ruka was only selfless because he was dying. (as well as the cruelty of his actions - because he was dying)

The other difference, is that Shiori did them naively and obliviously, and she didn't really know the extent of her actions, while Ruka knew exactly what he was doing and did it anyway. Shiori is innocently cruel, and Ruka is cruel? Some people will argue that one is worse than the other, on either side. Some people think that being intentionally cruel is worse, while others think that being innocently cruel is worse and that people need to be more aware of what they are doing.

I personally favour Ruka's motives over Shiori's, simply because Shiori is dishonest to others and herself - without even realizing it - and that what Ruka did was more selfless. But you are right, neither of them were mature. I don't think anyone in the series is mature, and that is a good point. Why should only Shiori be called out for not being able to love because she is immature, when pretty much everyone in the series is immature in some way?

Honestly, I think her and Juri both have huge problems they need to get through in order to have a healthy relationship. Neither of them speak out to each other about what they're feeling. Shiori didn't talk to Juri about how she felt inferior to her. Juri didn't tell her about her feelings. (You can argue that this isn't so bad, since many people don't like to confess their romantic feelings to not make the friendship awkward, but what is really bad is that she behaved pretty "coldly", I'm assuming, and that in turn may have made Shiori feel even more inferior) So their secret feelings are left to boil up inside them and grow worse. Honesty and communication are an important part of a relationship. (As I am learning right now, myself)

In fact, I would say that their own secret feelings blinded them from noticing things about each other. I'll say it again, those two are Shakespearen tragedy waiting to happen.

But all of these characters have love issues they need to work through. I think Juri and Shiori in particular just call out more to most people. (Or just because they hate Shiori)

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (05-28-2007 06:36:28 PM)


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#218 | Back to Top05-28-2007 08:13:00 PM

rhyaniwyn
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Neither one was selfless.

Shiori did what she did because she had strong feelings of "love" for "Taylor", to shore up her own sense of self-worth, and maybe a little to hurt Juri.  Ruka did out of love for Juri, out of spite, and to help Juri.  As pointed out, Ruka's point of view is a little more objective and a little less self-centered, presumably because he's a little older and maybe because he's dying. 

It's still not good behavior, unless you really think the ends justify the means.

Shiori was trying to help herself by hurting someone else.  Ruka was trying to help Juri by hurting someone else.  Personally, I don't think it's ever right to deliberately hurt another person.  That doesn't mean people don't act that way, they do.  Nor does it mean I dislike Ruka or real people who do it, I don't, necessarily.  And that really doesn't mean that it's ineffective--sometimes it is effective.

Now, we know and agree that Juri could probably use some help.  But I think it's pretty arrogant of Ruka to go full steam ahead with his plot, thinking he knows what's best for everyone.  It's a personal pet peeve of mine.  What if the tables were turned, would he think so well of his own opinions?

If he were an objective and well-meaning witness, like (say) Utena, it would be one thing.  But Ruka is incontestably emotionally involved.  To me, that means there's no way he could take a truly objective point of view.  It's like me trying not to criticize my best friend's boyfriend.  Ha-ha.

Now, personally, I don't think maturity has a lot to do with the ability to love.  And I think it's debatable what maturity in love is.  So far, I have loved more intensely and more selflessly as a teenager than I have since.  I consider that infatuation today, but I've yet to encounter anything more wrong-headedly passionate than infatuated teenagers.  Romeo and Juliet behaved like complete idiots, and I always wondered if they'd have been a happy couple for more than a few months, but there's a reason why that model stays popular.  Of course, I simultaneously idealize and condescend toward that kind of thing.

I do think there's a grain of truth of in that annoying platitude about loving yourself first, though.  Simply from the standpoint that, if someone has a million emotional and self-esteem problems on their own, they're going to have a billion in a relationship.  Which doesn't make for good odds.


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#219 | Back to Top05-28-2007 11:36:46 PM

Stormcrow
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

My thoughts on love and maturity:  I don't like to use the word love, so I'll break it down like this.  Babies are born with the capacity for affection.  As humans develop, they also develop new capacities for expressing affection.  Putting the interests of other before yourself is learned behavior.  Which of these constitute love is a matter of opinion.  It is also well-established that teenagers are more emotionally driven than older people, and use the emotion centers of the brain as a larger part of their decision making processes.


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#220 | Back to Top05-29-2007 03:19:07 PM

dollface
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

rhyaniwyn wrote:

Now, we know and agree that Juri could probably use some help.  But I think it's pretty arrogant of Ruka to go full steam ahead with his plot, thinking he knows what's best for everyone.  It's a personal pet peeve of mine.  What if the tables were turned, would he think so well of his own opinions?

That's a very good point. While yes, maybe Ruka was doing what he does for Juri's well-being, she never asked him to. In the duel, we see she never wanted him to. I mean, we can all say Ruka is noble, but in my opinion, he's also very proud. If you loved someone from afar (regardless of what they put you through), would you want someone who loved you to interfere with this? The fore-fitting of her own rose makes it clear; Juri wants to love Shiori. No matter how much she may have been better off without her, she needs this. It's what keeps her going, even though it only seems to do the opposite. What would Juri's life have been like if she never loved Shiori?

Manga!Juri. emot-mad I don't want her. You can keep her, Saito.

Maybe Ruka does do this for love. Maybe he does do it for her own well-being. But that doesn't change the fact that it isn't his life. Ruka is acting just as selfishly as Shiori; even if he's not trying to be with Juri, he's still trying to make her forget Shiori. Something she won't do; something she can't do. Cutting Shiori from the picture is what he wants, not what Juri wants. We can accuse Shiori as being selfish all we please, but in the end, he is no better.

Plus, everyone sees him from Juri's point of view. What about Shiori? He did nothing but hurt her. He may want to help Juri, but he wants to punish Shiori. He wants her to suffer like he suffers. Like Stormcrow said, she has what he never could, and for that, she is unworthy and must pay. He humiliates her, he mistreats her, he takes something from her she can never get back. Regardless of how it improved Juri and Shiori's relationship in the end, I don't think this was really his objective.

Last edited by dollface (06-09-2010 04:27:15 PM)


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#221 | Back to Top05-30-2007 11:49:52 AM

brian
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Registered: 10-22-2006
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

rhyaniwyn wrote:

Now, we know and agree that Juri could probably use some help.  But I think it's pretty arrogant of Ruka to go full steam ahead with his plot, thinking he knows what's best for everyone.

In terms of the damage it can do savage idealism is often indistinguishable from evil. Ruka is the Tony Blair of the Utenaverse. As to whether being innocently cruel is worse than being deliberately cruel as someone said, I don't think I agree. It may well often have worse consequences but who can say whose heart in the triangle has the heaviest stain? Is Ruka really less self-deceived than Shiori about his own motives? Is he perhaps even less aware than Shiori of what his wounded self-esteem is making him do?

It is ironic that the supposedly strong and scary Juri is being twisted like taffy between them.

dollface wrote:

Manga!Juri. emot-mad I don't want her. You can keep her, Saito-sama.

I don't blame you one bit but remember that manga Juri is perhaps more brutally honest. Manga Juri is the confused, egostical, immature, jealous, and turbulent soul that is cowering behind the mask of of anime Juri.

edit: Now that I think about it, perhaps deep down inside Juri is another Shiori. Perhaps Juri protects her and smothers her because she is trying to shelter and smother her own inner Shiori just as Utena may be trying to protect and smother her own inner Anthy.

Last edited by brian (05-30-2007 11:54:04 AM)

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#222 | Back to Top05-30-2007 03:26:21 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dollface wrote:

I read something by Razara a bit ago, and she had a very good opinion on how Ruka is really trying to help Juri and Shiori.

That was just what made all the symbolism make sense. My views on Ruka have reverted back to square one since then. I'd rather not go into detail, but let's just say that I agree with everything you said.

I'll just say that I don't think that seducing Shiori, using her, lying to her, breaking her heart, molesting Juri, and all generally hurting Juri worse than Shiori ever did was not the only way he could have done things, nor was doing it for love his Get Out of Jail Free card.

I can't put up a good argument for why I dislike Ruka, because it's mostly irrational, anyway. emot-frown

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#223 | Back to Top05-30-2007 04:27:56 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara wrote:

I can't put up a good argument for why I dislike Ruka, because it's mostly irrational, anyway. emot-frown

I'm the same. I once tried to explain this to Epi, but ended up only being able to come up with "He's just a douche" on many points. Everyone has bias against a character, while others do not. For me, you don't have to like Shiori, you just have to understand her. I understand Ruka; ergo, I don't have to like him [and I uphold that].


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

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#224 | Back to Top05-30-2007 07:22:10 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

The whole Shori and Ruka topic seems to pop up so much, so I get kind of tired of talking about it.. yet I post anyway.

I'm starting to feel like this too. Seems like I can't go into any analysis thread without tripping over Shiori and Ruka and Juri, which, while interesting, is by no means the main focus of the show. Now, I'm not trying to bitch about you all talking about it, but there were threads for this discussion, and if this is going to turn into a specifically Shiori-Juri-Ruka discussion in a thread that's not appropriate for it, just post your post in one of the appropriate threads, maybe quote the post that made you think of it, and link your post in the topic that originally spawned it. It's great to hear you guys talking and I do love the insight, but in this thread, I'd rather hear symbolism interpretation than another discussion of Shiori, Juri, and Ruka.


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#225 | Back to Top05-30-2007 08:03:58 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Sorry, again, Yasha. emot-gonk

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