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Gougai! Gougai!

HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#26 | Back to Top03-11-2007 08:06:32 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Lightice wrote:

I'm afraid that Anthy as an abused victim is the most boring scenario available, ... I've been told that this is more or less what she is in the manga, which is one of the reasons I have no desire to buy it, but it certainly doesn't hold true for the series' version.

Actually in the manga Anthy explains her motivations better than almost anywhere else. She says (I'm paraphrasing, "It's not about will, it's about all that he has done for me, through the ages. I want you to be happy Utena, that is my will."

Lightice wrote:

I find Anthy much more interesting than that. I don't understand what you mean by real Anthy being younger than 14 - measured in objective time she's certainly much older, perhaps as old as humanity, itself, considering her archetypical nature. Within the context of Ohtori she is indeed 14, but not exactly an average example of a person of that age. She possesses cynicism and weariness of a much older individual.

I don't disagree with any of that. One could even see her as an archetype of modern women starting to wake up again. I appreciate where you and the others are coming from but to me it veers towards blaming the victim. A good case could be made that she is actually a criminal sweating out a well-deserved sentence. Objectively speaking she may have committed a heinous crime. There are no manacles around her wrists but she has no sense of her own self-worth or deserving anything but what she has.  Objectively speaking perhaps she doesn't. Utena learns to not care whether Anthy deserves it or not. In the end Anthy does not have to have an eagle chewing her liver for eternity. Deserved or not she doesn't have to suffer.

Anyway the reason why I suggest she may be younger than 14 is that the first time Dios shows her to Utena she looks about the same age as Utena. The voice Anthy hears from her coffin is of a seven-year-old Utena and for just the first instant Anthy looks like a similarly young child although an instant later she looks older. Also Anthy could well be emotionally younger than she is -- remember the Rabbit Dance?

As for:
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/ … nthy-1.jpg
perhaps it is hopelessly subjective of me, but I think it looks like grief and sorrow and remorse and longing for the past and also a desire to be somewhere else.

Just to clarify, it may well have been the first and last time Akio was so rough with her. It makes some psychological sense because methods of controlling others tend to get increasingly crude the more the "victim" resists.

Last edited by brian (03-11-2007 08:16:30 PM)

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#27 | Back to Top03-12-2007 05:43:30 AM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

brian wrote:

Lightice wrote:

I'm afraid that Anthy as an abused victim is the most boring scenario available, ... I've been told that this is more or less what she is in the manga, which is one of the reasons I have no desire to buy it, but it certainly doesn't hold true for the series' version.

Actually in the manga Anthy explains her motivations better than almost anywhere else. She says (I'm paraphrasing, "It's not about will, it's about all that he has done for me, through the ages. I want you to be happy Utena, that is my will."

Comparing manga Anthy to anime Anthy is one big no-no. Anime Anthy doesn't sleep with Akio because the things he's done for her, because he hasn't done anything for her. >>;

Also Anthy could well be emotionally younger than she is -- remember the Rabbit Dance?

I think calling Anthy emotionally younger is really quite hard to say. After all the time she was the Rose Bride, she became the most mature [adult] person in Ohtori. On the other hand, it can be said that wasn't entirely her and that the real Anthy, not the Witch or the Princess, was locked up in her coffin up until the last episode since she was 7, and hadn't grown since then. In any case, I don't think the Rabbit Dance was a display of innocence or childhood. It was symbolic of how everyone in Ohtori was being controlled by her, 'dancing' according to her will.

Last edited by Hina the Prince (03-12-2007 05:44:58 AM)

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#28 | Back to Top03-12-2007 07:16:47 AM

Frosty
Everyone's Best Friend
From: United States
Registered: 11-16-2006
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Hina the Prince wrote:

In any case, I don't think the Rabbit Dance was a display of innocence or childhood. It was symbolic of how everyone in Ohtori was being controlled by her, 'dancing' according to her will.

I second this theory. Big time!!! etc-love


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#29 | Back to Top03-12-2007 06:08:42 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Movie manga spoiler Ahoy!

Hina the Prince wrote:

Comparing manga Anthy to anime Anthy is one big no-no. Anime Anthy doesn't sleep with Akio because the things he's done for her, because he hasn't done anything for her. >>;

Who made up that rule!!?? I will not be constrained by these dumb rules! I will cast them aside! I will break free of all that constrains me! I will fly up to the castle in the sky and seek insight from all sources, closing my eyes to none!

Uh, where was I?

Of course Akio was often kind to Anthy. If there were nothing but unreleting cruelty and abuse even the most abject creature would flee. That's partly what makes her situation so insidious. Akio is kind to her except when it is inconvenient. He tells her the truth except when there is some advantage in lying. He loves her so long as it meshes with his self-love. He treasures her until someone he likes better comes along.

Anyway I have many big problems with the movie for many of the same reasons many other people do. Nonetheless there is a lot of insight to be gained from the movie.

People may grouse about manga Juri but it's in the manga that Touga shows real complexity and where Saoinji and Kozue get to be human beings instead of raving psychopaths. It is in the anime most of all where Anthy is most robotic. Utena is drawn the best in the manga, she almost glows with sincerity and spiritual power. In the manga Utena and Anthy come closest to being goddess-like. By contrast, in the movie manga, Utena and Anthy are drawn to look like deluded and disturbed teen-agers. I don't like that as much but it's all good.

In the movie manga Anthy gets some of her best lines in the whole Utenaverse. She gets to tell off Juri, Miki, and Utena. But her best dialog of all is:

U: I want to know every side of you...your problems and your secrets...and about being the Rose Bride! I want us to be the kind of friends...who have nothing to hide from each other.
A: If you only know...the real me...you'd never bother with such sweet talk. That's why I don't believe in words. It's what we do that never lies.

The people who turn their noses up at the mangas or even the movie are depriving themselves of so much!

Last edited by brian (03-12-2007 06:14:03 PM)

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#30 | Back to Top03-13-2007 06:35:18 AM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 963

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Brian you have made me start scouring ebay again for the manga. emot-aaaemot-aaa


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#31 | Back to Top03-13-2007 07:15:20 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

brian wrote:

In the movie manga Anthy gets some of her best lines in the whole Utenaverse. She gets to tell off Juri, Miki, and Utena.

And Akio, too! ;D

brian wrote:

But her best dialog of all is:

U: I want to know every side of you...your problems and your secrets...and about being the Rose Bride! I want us to be the kind of friends...who have nothing to hide from each other.
A: If you only know...the real me...you'd never bother with such sweet talk. That's why I don't believe in words. It's what we do that never lies.

I loved that part!
But tell me, wasn't she actually moved by what Utena said? I remember that later on when Utena was duelling someone (Touga? I can't remember) she said something like "I really meant what I said, they weren't just words" and Anthy sort of changed her attitude towards her.

I have to read the manga again. I can barely remember anything.


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#32 | Back to Top03-13-2007 07:34:36 AM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Warning: the following comment will not be very nice. I really tried, but without much success.

brian wrote:

Of course Akio was often kind to Anthy. If there were nothing but unreleting cruelty and abuse even the most abject creature would flee.

He loved her in a twisted kind of way which was definitely unhealthy for them both, yeah, but what did he do for her? Fuck her? Use her as a mere tool for revolution? Now that's kindness for you!

but it's in the manga that Touga shows real complexity

WTF? Touga is the nice chivalrous popular guy who loves Utena. What's complex about THAT?

and where Saoinji and Kozue get to be human beings instead of raving psychopaths.

Saionji starts out psycho in the anime, yes, but guess what? He GROWS. He learns to control his emotions and act civilized. He learns more about friendship and doesn't just look at it in the "OMG BE MY ETERNAL FRIEND!!1" way. Kozue is not psychotic, she's just a slut with issues. I do like her personality more in the manga, but her character, like everyone else's, is much better in the anime. Because it has layers. Because it's not cardboard.

It is in the anime most of all where Anthy is most robotic.

WELL DUH THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF HER CHARACTER.

I'm sorry, but I can't believe you prefer manga Anthy over anime Anthy. Anime Anthy acts like a robot because that's the only way she can keep going for all these years. And she changes. When Utena shows up, she discovers her feelings again. IMO, Anthy in the anime is the best character in anime/manga/anything history. Manga Anthy, on the other hand, has no personality. First she loved her Onii-sama so she did everything he said. Then she loved Utena, but even though Utena revolutionized the world for her, it did absolutely nothing for her. Instead of living by Akio's will, she started living by Utena's will, copying her personality and lifestyle entirely. She remained exactly the way she was in the beginning of the series - no spine, no personality. She can only love, idolize and cling to her loved ones in the most sickening way, the earlier I find surprising because she doesn't even act like a human being.

Utena is drawn the best in the manga,

Yeah, Chiho Saito sucks at building characters and plots, but she sure can draw.


In the manga Utena and Anthy come closest to being goddess-like.

Goody-goody Utena and Anthy the personality-less pretty-girl? Right.

By contrast, in the movie manga, Utena and Anthy are drawn to look like deluded and disturbed teen-agers.

Which is what they are. The movie manga rocks.

In the movie manga Anthy gets some of her best lines in the whole Utenaverse.

I love the dialogue in the movie manga, but that's really exaggerating. Nothing can beat her lines in the series. Which I'm starting to wonder if you've really watched.

The people who turn their noses up at the mangas or even the movie are depriving themselves of so much!

The movie is incredible if you watch it enough times to get what the heck's going on, but the manga... yeah, I think you got what I think about it.

Last edited by Hina the Prince (03-13-2007 07:40:03 AM)

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#33 | Back to Top03-13-2007 07:57:49 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Wow I never thought manga versus series would be the bone of contention around here. emot-keke

I understand you're fired up Hina, but as you know already, that was an especially nasty outburst. Admittedly though, brian, you have a habit of being a little excessive in your defense of the manga. You're one of the few, well really the only regular here that prefers it or knows it quite as well, and you know that puts you as an exception, but it doesn't need to be a position you have to defend, and you do so preemptively, which gets everyone on the attack. (For example, discussing what you felt the merits of Saionji in the manga were would get us all a lot farther than attacking series Saionji.)

Everyone's going to have their preferences as to which is 'better', but the manga, movie, and series are all such grossly different beasts. I know most of us feel one's better, but using that opinion as a basis of argument isn't going to get anything done, it'll just make us bicker. We don't need that! Let's try to get off the attack here, there's a lot to say about comparing the manga and series and it's not getting said because instead we're arguing about which sucks and which doesn't.

From what I can see, a major problem is we keep trying to approach both the same way, when the manga clearly isn't the same sort of development and analysis party. It's not, however without merit. I'll give it that it's in many ways far more coherent than the series. We certainly know more about Akio and Dios in it. I also tend to think, as is the case with most shoujo manga, that the characters were the vehicle for the story, where in the series, the story was more a vehicle for the characters. The narrative in the manga makes more sense perhaps because it was emphasized over the characters, where in the series, the story is more of a loose thread connecting the personalities involved.

That or we can move this thread to IFD and you kids can flame each other into kingdom come. But I'd be kinda sad about it. emot-frown


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#34 | Back to Top03-13-2007 10:20:44 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Maybe I should've put a small note in my first post when I created this thread. Something like "This thread requires politeness and an open mind" or "Have respect or take a trip to the Ends of the World". school-devil

I'm fine with any opinion that anyone can come up with, as long as they can back it up with something or can explain why they think that way. Bashing someone's opinion is rude.  emot-redface I believe there's a polite way of doing anything. Such as when you disagree with someone you could say something like "I have a different opinion. The way I see it is blah blah blah because blah blah..." instead of "That's not true! It was actually blah blah blah flame flame flame".

Also, I don't think it's right to mix the manga/movie/series. They're still all too different, but I think drawing parallels is very interesting. I doubt you can explain the series through the manga storyline etc, but you can use certain elements and themes that can apply in some context, so by no means should we discard all the views that are based on the manga/movie.

Aaaand to get back on topic, I think manga Anthy has some things similiar with series!Anthy. In its essence, Anthy's and Akio's relationship is quite similiar in both cases. In both version, Anthy is stuck with Akio and doesn't do anything to break free on her own. In the end, both Anthys (or is it Anthies? o_O) awaken and find a reason to change their lives.

Hina the Prince wrote:

IMO, Anthy in the anime is the best character in anime/manga/anything history. Manga Anthy, on the other hand, has no personality. First she loved her Onii-sama so she did everything he said. Then she loved Utena, but even though Utena revolutionized the world for her, it did absolutely nothing for her. Instead of living by Akio's will, she started living by Utena's will, copying her personality and lifestyle entirely. She remained exactly the way she was in the beginning of the series - no spine, no personality. She can only love, idolize and cling to her loved ones in the most sickening way, the earlier I find surprising because she doesn't even act like a human being.

I like series!Anthy the most, too. Manga Anthy was a lot less complicated and most of her complicity was revealed to us through the story, not through the character itself as it happened in the series. I think manga!Anthy wasn't living by Utena's will, at least not in the end. We see a drastic change in her in the end, where she does indeed dress like Utena, but was it really because she clings to Utena so much? I think that was all an allegory. Anthy wearing that uniform symbolises her own desire to live a more noble life, just like Utena did. Being a prince means living ones's life bravely and heroically and isn't this something that could help people out during the hardest times in their life? You sort of contradict yourself. :/ When you said Anthy was copying Utena's personality, then that would mean Anthy's personality is like Utena's in the end (which is somewhat true). And then how does that make her a personality-less character? 'Cause if it did, then the same thing could be said about Utena... emot-redface
And another thing I can't look past is that you said how Anthy doesn't act like a human. I think the Anthy we see in the manga comes closest to a human than any other Anthy. This is because all her weaknesses that you mentioned are so typical for an average human. I know so many people who have loved, idolised and clinged to others. Even I've done so! I think it's a very natural way to behave. People with insecurities or fears often do that. By no means am I saying that it's the right thing to do, but it's just very common. I liked seeing the change in Anthy in the manga, because in the end she was free to do whatever she wanted and THIS is something that people who cling to something aren't really able to do. I think the ending of the manga was somewhat like the series ending. Anthy decided to go to Utena because their roles were reversed. Manga!Anthy didn't go to Utena because she clinged to her, but because she wanted to make a change. I like how Anthy puts it in the end, (paraphrased) "The world is not revolutionised yet. When she and I meet once again, that is when it will begin!" When I first read the manga, I didn't like it so much 'cause it didn't have as much as symbolism as the series, but the more I read it, the more things I notice. Such as all things that you have to read between the lines. I suppose the "revolution" can be interpreted quite loosely. I think this is one of the themes that remains practically the same in all versions. The revolution means a change and to explain Anthy's words, she meant that when she is reunited with Utena, they both have finally revolutionised themselves. I believe Utena also goes through a change on her own, but I think only after she is reunited with Anthy will she truly understand what she did right. I think series!Utena ends up in a lot miserable situation since she seemed to think that she had comletely failed. The manga!Utena doesn't know what became of Anthy, but she knows she got rid of Akio. Yet they both haven't completely finished their revolution. Ugh, I hope it makes sense. :/ Utena's part in the end is lot harder to explain since we never get much info about what really becomes of her.

Oh oh! Please PM me if you want to flame me. emot-keke Let's keep this thread clean.


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#35 | Back to Top03-13-2007 11:17:59 AM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Maarika wrote:

I like series!Anthy the most, too. Manga Anthy was a lot less complicated and most of her complicity was revealed to us through the story, not through the character itself as it happened in the series. I think manga!Anthy wasn't living by Utena's will, at least not in the end. We see a drastic change in her in the end, where she does indeed dress like Utena, but was it really because she clings to Utena so much? I think that was all an allegory. Anthy wearing that uniform symbolises her own desire to live a more noble life, just like Utena did. Being a prince means living ones's life bravely and heroically and isn't this something that could help people out during the hardest times in their life? You sort of contradict yourself. :/ When you said Anthy was copying Utena's personality, then that would mean Anthy's personality is like Utena's in the end (which is somewhat true). And then how does that make her a personality-less character? 'Cause if it did, then the same thing could be said about Utena... emot-redface

How do I contradict myself? :\ Anthy has no personality of her own, so she goes around copying other people. It's different to Utena, because Utena chose one thing she wanted to be the most and lived by that ideal to the very end. Anthy just picks her favorite person for the time being and acts the way that person acts, or would expect her to act.

And another thing I can't look past is that you said how Anthy doesn't act like a human. I think the Anthy we see in the manga comes closest to a human than any other Anthy. This is because all her weaknesses that you mentioned are so typical for an average human.

Yes, but when all she has are weaknesses and no strengths, that doesn't make her very realistic, now does it? Anime Anthy is much more human because she acts the least like a human. If you've been living for god-knows-how-many years in such unbearable agony, would you still act like a normal teenager?

I liked seeing the change in Anthy in the manga, because in the end she was free to do whatever she wanted

And what she wanted is to be exactly like Utena. That's my point. In the end of the anime she was herself, and that's a major difference.

Oh oh! Please PM me if you want to flame me. emot-keke Let's keep this thread clean.

I apologize if you get the impression of "RAR MUST BASH EVERYONE WITH DIFFERENT OPINIONS" from me, I really don't mean to flame. I was just born with excessive amounts of sarcasm. I'll try to be nice. emot-keke

Last edited by Hina the Prince (03-13-2007 11:20:04 AM)

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#36 | Back to Top03-13-2007 11:41:18 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Hina the Prince wrote:

How do I contradict myself? :\ Anthy has no personality of her own, so she goes around copying other people. It's different to Utena, because Utena chose one thing she wanted to be the most and lived by that ideal to the very end. Anthy just picks her favorite person for the time being and acts the way that person acts, or would expect her to act.

That was the point! In the progress of copying someone's personality, she adopts their characteristics, thus she has created somehing out of herself and cannot be considered personality-less after that. It's sort of like the philosophical theory I mentioned in another thread. But it seems that I suck at explaining it in a way it would make sense. emot-redface

Hina the Prince wrote:

Yes, but when all she has are weaknesses and no strengths, that doesn't make her very realistic, now does it? Anime Anthy is much more human because she acts the least like a human. If you've been living for god-knows-how-many years in such unbearable agony, would you still act like a normal teenager?

Actually that's an intereseting thought. Both Anthies (emot-mad I spell it this way) had been living as Rose Brides for such a long time, so wouldn't manga!Anthy lose some of her humanity in the progress? Why is that she appears much more like a normal girl than the series!Anthy? I couldn't really think of anything to explain it well, but the biggest difference between the manga and the series is that the manga is very Utena-centric. Could it be that this is how she views Anthy - as a normal girl? I guess we'll never know.

Hina the Prince wrote:

And what she wanted is to be exactly like Utena. That's my point. In the end of the anime she was herself, and that's a major difference.

Then again, in the end, manga!Utena also became herself. emot-tongue This can be interpreted in many ways. Anthy probably looked up to (or copied her, as you put it) Utena as someone who had the courage to be what she is and to live in her own way.  If Utena has the courage to face the world, then why shouldn't she have it too? But I think they sort of went overboard with the prince outfit. emot-mad This almost makes it seem as if Anthy and Utena are still obsessed with their fairytales in the end. The symbolic meaning of it becomes quite hidden and hard to notice on the account of that.

Hina the Prince wrote:

I apologize if you get the impression of "RAR MUST BASH EVERYONE WITH DIFFERENT OPINIONS" from me, I really don't mean to flame. I was just born with excessive amounts of sarcasm. I'll try to be nice. emot-keke

No-no, I think coming up with objections and opposing ideas/thoughts should be encouraged! After all, this is how new ideas are born and things can be viewed from a whole different angle. I just think it would be nice if people could do that in a polite manner. And I didn't mean you specifically, anyone who wants to flame should PM instead.

Is it me, or does every other topic derail into some discussion on Utena/Anthy + ending analysis? emot-confused I swear this is not the first time.


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#37 | Back to Top03-13-2007 12:35:29 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

I appreciate all the chivalry on my behalf but I take no offense at all at Hina's posting. This is a matter of taste and nothing different from all the other exclamations from everybody else about their tastes, no problem. Hina has edgier tastes and that's fine.

In fact I am not trying to say the manga is better, just better in some things. It is a bit too Shoujo-ish, even for my taste. My basic goal is to show that the four stories are not all that different from each other, it's basically all the same story told in four different ways and I am trying to find commonalities so that we can drill down to the core essentials. You have to be open-minded about all four to understand any of them. They all illuminate each other.

For example, Saoinji's character gets successively narrower through the four stories. If you truly want to understand him most fully then the anime is your best bet but you have to go all the way back to the manga to see him as someone who is able treat Utena and Anthy with respect. Juri gets developed much more in the anime, and in the movie manga she narrows again but we also see  a new and different aspect of her character than we did before, one that is surprising but is also fitting.

I am trying to find the core myth.

Last edited by brian (03-13-2007 12:47:21 PM)

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#38 | Back to Top03-13-2007 12:43:04 PM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

People react in different ways to rape.  Some people do just lie there and take it, even obeying non-verbal cues from their attacker, in the hope that by being pleasing, they will be less likely to be killed.  Rape isn't always violent, nor does it have to involve struggle.

That being said, I don't think sex between Akio and Anthy really qualifies as "rape."  I much doubt Anthy ever said "no" to Akio.  And I do think it has something to do with a power play between them.  In the end, Anthy does have all the power, but I don't think she realizes this, because she doesn't realize she has control over her own life.  She doesn't really make choices, she passes the power of choice to Akio while personally accepting all the responsibility and any resulting negative consequences herself.

I do think it's entirely likely that in the early days it was like molestation.  I was particularly moved by the post regarding the child molestation victim.  Anthy's behavior is so often in line with this scenario.  Victims of serial child molestation become very sexualized at an early age and use sex as a way to control others, including their abuser.  Sometimes they do this in a misguided attempt to regain some of their own identity and power, other times to try to protect other prospective victims, and often because their sense of self-worth is now so degraded it hardly matters to them.

That doesn't make it healthy, and that's the hallmark of Anthy and Akio's relationship.  It's deeply unhealthy, sick to its core; utterly twisted.

I really have a lot of trouble imagining Anthy coming on to or seducing Akio.  The quote of Nanami's--she may have made herself available.  He knew she wouldn't resist.  But he is older than she, her Prince, and someone to whom Anthy feels indebted--that gave Akio the power and control in the relationship.  He was "taking advantage" of her. 

But remember the coffin where the "real" Anthy is--the Anthy walking around is "dead inside."  She probably isn't reacting emotionally like a rape victim, either.  And I doubt she is *completely* miserable during the act, it's probably something she is mostly-indifferent toward, except that the rare affectionate physical contact is at least somewhat pleasant.  But it's not happy, "consensual" sex either.

A truly "normal" person would have frequent moments of crisis--panic, misery, self-hatred.  But if we accept as fact that Akio and Anthy are at least semi-immortal, Anthy's robotic behavior makes sense--she probably wore most of that out in the earlier days.  It's only Utena's presence, shaking up Anthy's life, that causes her to (for example) attempt to jump off of the Chairman's tower.

So, no, not rape...  But certainly a very bad and very psychologically unhealthy (psuedo-)choice on Anthy's behalf; one which further warped her.

Unfortunately I don't really have time to reply to everything I'd like.  Anthy's character IS complex, in all its incarnations.  (Oops) And it's not that she's Akio's victim.  He was phsychologically harmed by the pivotal events of their pasts as well.  It's just as unhealthy a relationship for him as it is for her.  That's why he wants to victimize her.  And on one tiny level, she won't let him.  She holds a part of herself back from him, from everyone--a part that she is in the end willing to show to Utena.  She is a victim of a hostile world, essentially alienated from everyone and everything.  She is her own victim as well because she (like so many abused women) stays.  And she accepts punishment when she doesn't have to.  She seeks punishment.  It is emotional masochism.

And that's how we form our identities--particularly as teenagers--we copy things.  First our parents, then our peers and stereotypes.  We try on identities like clothing (as clothing, in some cases) when we are young.  And if we are lucky, in finding out what fits us the best, we develop an identity.  To say that Utena copying a Prince is good and Anthy copying a Prince is bad is hypocritical.  Utena found that it fit her, and it will probably fit Anthy too--particularly because she's not trying to be a Prince--she has simply come closer to finding out who she is and is wearing the Prince's outfit in homage to the person that helped her.

Last edited by rhyaniwyn (03-13-2007 01:04:33 PM)


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#39 | Back to Top03-13-2007 01:06:08 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

brian wrote:

If you truly want to understand him most fully then the anime is your best bet but you have to go all the way back to the manga to see him as someone who is able treat Utena and Anthy with respect.

Actually I never got the impression series Saionji didn't respect Utena. Dislikes her? Wants to stick her to the wall with a pitchfork? Yes. But I don't think he necessarily disrespects her. After all, she handed Touga his ass on a platter. school-chef

Anthy...not so much. But nothing Saionji would respect in a person is an attribute of hers, where Utena does have qualities Saionji would approve of, though he'd sooner disembowel himself with a spork than admit it. emot-keke

rhyaniwyn wrote:

So, no, not rape...  But certainly a very bad and very psychologically unhealthy (psuedo-)choice on Anthy's behalf; one which further warped her.

This sounds about where I'm at. I think the problem with Akio, where it concerns both Anthy and Utena, is you have to decide at what point coercion becomes a robbing of consent. I wouldn't put it past Akio for a second to rape someone where it's advantageous to do so, but in neither case does he benefit by the psychological state that would create. He gets what he wants from them when they feel like they consented to it. But that he's coerced them into something Utena at least probably wouldn't have initiated on her own makes it count to some as rape. Anthy it's harder to say. I don't think the initiation into that relationship was nearly as manipulative as it would be done now. It probably happened before Akio was quite as set in these ways. (Although that doesn't say much...)

A lot of those people would also argue there are no circumstances under which, given the age and power disparity involved, you could consider Touga a consenting partner with him.

emot-rolleyes


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#40 | Back to Top03-13-2007 01:27:43 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Maarika wrote:

Actually that's an intereseting thought. Both Anthies (emot-mad I spell it this way) had been living as Rose Brides for such a long time, so wouldn't manga!Anthy lose some of her humanity in the progress? Why is that she appears much more like a normal girl than the series!Anthy? I couldn't really think of anything to explain it well, but the biggest difference between the manga and the series is that the manga is very Utena-centric. Could it be that this is how she views Anthy - as a normal girl? I guess we'll never know.

The problem is with Chiho Saito. I don't think there's any other way to explain it.

Then again, in the end, manga!Utena also became herself. emot-tongue

Wasn't Utena always Utena, though? emot-tongue

This can be interpreted in many ways. Anthy probably looked up to (or copied her, as you put it) Utena as someone who had the courage to be what she is and to live in her own way.  If Utena has the courage to face the world, then why shouldn't she have it too? But I think they sort of went overboard with the prince outfit. emot-mad This almost makes it seem as if Anthy and Utena are still obsessed with their fairytales in the end. The symbolic meaning of it becomes quite hidden and hard to notice on the account of that.

Exactly. As hot as prince!Anthy and as adorable prince!Chuchu were, that part was just stupid and missed the whole point of not only being yourself, but also the point of breaking out of Ohtori and the prince/princess stereotypes.

Is it me, or does every other topic derail into some discussion on Utena/Anthy + ending analysis? emot-confused I swear this is not the first time.

That's 'cause Utena/Anthy rocks the world's socks. Is that a bad thing?

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#41 | Back to Top03-13-2007 02:50:31 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

I'm starting to believe that we should either have separate forums for discussion about the series, movie and manga, or remember to tag the topics in the way that leaves no question for doubt. It becomes quite disruptive for the discussion to end up debating about completely different incarnation of the character than the other guy. While sharing similarities, you can't explain the actions of series-Anthy with the actions of manga- or movie-Anthy. They are separate continuums and should only be compared in threads dedicated for that purpose.

I wouldn't put it past Akio for a second to rape someone where it's advantageous to do so, but in neither case does he benefit by the psychological state that would create.

Personally I doubt that series-Akio would rape anyone. For one thing, he doesn't need to - he can seduce anyone who passes is fancy with little effort. And for another thing, while he barely has a shred of his old princeliness left, he's still holding up some appearances. He wouldn't rape anyone for the banal reason that it doesn't fit his style - it would break the illusions he's keeping up, for himself as well as for others. There's nothing moral about it to him, though.


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#42 | Back to Top03-13-2007 03:08:17 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Rhyaniwyn has come up with a very thoughtful synthesis. Part of the original problem is that if one automatically assumes Anthy is pure victim then one is in danger of becoming an unthinking "bleaty-heart" which is in fact a kind of bigotry. So one should take such explanations with a grain of salt. But always take with more than one grain anything that smacks of blaming the victim. The "real world" is always ready to blame the weak and exonerate the strong. The fall guy is often not the instigator.

As for Anthy the Prince, I guess it depends on what a Prince is. Is it something to aspire to? Is it something all people of both sexes can and should try to attain? Is it a strait-jacket? A deception? The road to Perdition or to Heaven? I am not sure myself what the core message is, but my initial guess is that a Prince is a Good Thing and a girl can be one too.

It is interesting that Dios is described as turning little girls into Princesses, presumably by making them feel special and loved. In the movie manga Anthy is described as being able to turn anyone she loves into a Prince.

Anthy in a regular school uniform wouldn't look like she was ready to leave. A dress might look too pre-feminist and not revolutionary enough (although it did work fine in the anime). Her uniform strikes some balance between being feminine and athletic.

I imagine that Utena and Anthy are both becoming more like each other.

Last edited by brian (03-13-2007 03:12:12 PM)

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#43 | Back to Top03-13-2007 03:08:21 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Giovanna wrote:

rhyaniwyn wrote:

So, no, not rape...  But certainly a very bad and very psychologically unhealthy (psuedo-)choice on Anthy's behalf; one which further warped her.

This sounds about where I'm at. I think the problem with Akio, where it concerns both Anthy and Utena, is you have to decide at what point coercion becomes a robbing of consent. I wouldn't put it past Akio for a second to rape someone where it's advantageous to do so, but in neither case does he benefit by the psychological state that would create. He gets what he wants from them when they feel like they consented to it. But that he's coerced them into something Utena at least probably wouldn't have initiated on her own makes it count to some as rape. Anthy it's harder to say. I don't think the initiation into that relationship was nearly as manipulative as it would be done now. It probably happened before Akio was quite as set in these ways. (Although that doesn't say much...)

A lot of those people would also argue there are no circumstances under which, given the age and power disparity involved, you could consider Touga a consenting partner with him.

emot-rolleyes

Ah, I think you've hit it on the head for me there, Gio. I've stayed out of this conversation because I've been at odds with the general consensus but unable to articulate why...and now I realise. It's because I don't see the scenario in a real-life light...because like you say, an acting chairman sleeping with the student council president? Sleaze to the max in real life, particularly from the male/male aspect of it. (God, I can see the headlines in The Sun now...give me something interesting to read on the train in the mornings, anyway...) So, with that in mind, I think that's one reason why I can't accept the Akio/Anthy sexual relationship as ever being "rape." From an IRL-perspective it's screwed up and probably would be something at least roughly equivalent to manipulative coercion. But then...there is nobody like Anthy or Akio IRL (at least, I hope not!), if we look at it from the viewpoint of "cursed siblings of indeterminate age who fuck each other while fucking the world at large." Which isn't to say we can't use models of our own societies while analysing their actions and emotions; I mean, half the fun of this show is that so many of us identify with the characters in a variety of ways. I sometimes think it should scare me, how many people I have known to say that Anthy reminds me of themselves, but...er, I've said it myself. Zing! emot-dance

[coughs] At any rate, I've never thought of their relationship as involving what I would call rape. Oh, there's coercion and manipulation to the max, but I think if either of them outright said "NO" the other would stop. They use sex as currency in their powerplay, and as Gio says, I don't think Akio would find raping Anthy would get him anywhere...or as Lightice says, Akio likely wouldn't think raping anyone would be a valid use of his time or resources. The mental state of the individual would be messy in a way that's not biased towards him, so why bother? He wants to seduce them into being dependant on him as their prince, not as their beast. Or so I would think.

Personally, I think Anthy's sealing away of Dios's "power" was closer to rape than anything we see him do to her, but then you could seriously debate how compliant he actually was in that situation anyway, so...let's not get me started. emot-tongue


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#44 | Back to Top03-13-2007 03:33:11 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Giovanna wrote:

Actually I never got the impression series Saionji didn't respect Utena. Dislikes her? Wants to stick her to the wall with a pitchfork? Yes. But I don't think he necessarily disrespects her.

I don't remember him ever having a civil conversation with Utena. About the last time he spoke of her was to say he didn't understand how the pathetic Utena kept winning. He didn't visit Utena at the badminton court although perhaps showing up with Touga later does count.

In the manga he tries to buck up Utena after her defeat.

"Respect" for Anthy is probably the wrong word, for manga Saoinji, but he is as angry as Utena every time Anthy gets hurt or mistreated by Touga or Akio.

Saionji seems consistent in all versions in thinking that he loves Anthy but not realizing it is not true love because he does not love the true Anthy.

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#45 | Back to Top03-13-2007 03:58:06 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Woah. I missed a lot. This is what I get for sleeping for twelve hours. emot-gonk

I've yet to read the manga.. only because I'm still trying to get the first volume. Then I'll have all of them, and I can start reading. I have read the movie manga, after I watched the movie for the first time, and I really liked it. It helped me understand the movie much more. And then when I watched the movie again, I started to like it a lot more. emot-keke The movie/movie manga to me are like a sweet dessert, while the series is like the main meal/meat and potatoes for me, where I get most of the substance from. I still need to read the regular manga, though. (Although, from what I've heard I doubt I'll like it nearly as much as the others, but I'd still like to read it for myself) And, while I think comparing the characters from the different sources can be kind of difficult, since they're all so different, finding parallels and themes in common isn't a bad idea at all.

I'm glad everyone's calmed down, it seems. emot-keke

rhyaniwyn wrote:

<snip>

Unfortunately I don't really have time to reply to everything I'd like.  Anthy's character IS complex, in all its incarnations.  (Oops) And it's not that she's Akio's victim.  He was phsychologically harmed by the pivotal events of their pasts as well.  It's just as unhealthy a relationship for him as it is for her.  That's why he wants to victimize her.  And on one tiny level, she won't let him.  She holds a part of herself back from him, from everyone--a part that she is in the end willing to show to Utena.  She is a victim of a hostile world, essentially alienated from everyone and everything.  She is her own victim as well because she (like so many abused women) stays.  And she accepts punishment when she doesn't have to.  She seeks punishment.  It is emotional masochism.

I don't even know where to begin, except I agree with pretty much all you said. I don't think Anthy was raped, but their relationship is very twisted and unhealthy. And Anthy is definitely an emotional masochist. She could have very well let Utena save her in the end, but instead she accepted her punishment of the swords yet again, because she thinks she deserves it.

rhyaniwyn wrote:

And that's how we form our identities--particularly as teenagers--we copy things.  First our parents, then our peers and stereotypes.  We try on identities like clothing (as clothing, in some cases) when we are young.  And if we are lucky, in finding out what fits us the best, we develop an identity.  To say that Utena copying a Prince is good and Anthy copying a Prince is bad is hypocritical.  Utena found that it fit her, and it will probably fit Anthy too--particularly because she's not trying to be a Prince--she has simply come closer to finding out who she is and is wearing the Prince's outfit in homage to the person that helped her.

Oh, word. We all start out by copying others; whether it's copying one person a lot, or just a lot of little things from a lot of people. We all try on different roles, until we find what fits us best and develop our own mesh of roles and our own unique personalities. Even the most unique of people were probably young teenagers who copied someone they idolized. emot-keke

brian wrote:

It is interesting that Dios is described as turning little girls into Princesses, presumably by making them feel special and loved. In the movie manga Anthy is described as being able to turn anyone she loves into a Prince.

Ooh, that's a very good point! Although, her love for Dios turned him into.. well, Akio, because of what she did to protect him. Hmm. But I think the fact that Anthy has to be a witch makes her fall in love with a "prince" who sees her as a princess instead of a witch. She falls for Utena because Utena doesn't care about her being a witch, she just wants to save her. So you could say Utena's princelyness is what made Anthy fall for her, too. But that's an interesting point. emot-biggrin

Sorry for my rambling. I wanted to say much more, but there was so much to respond to, and I have to go shopping now.

Edit: Dessert, not desert. emot-redface

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (03-13-2007 04:08:38 PM)


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#46 | Back to Top03-14-2007 11:46:04 AM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Perhaps someone mentioned this already but there are interesting parallels between Anthy's body language when being summoned to bed by Akio in this episode and the final episode where she is asked to surrender the sword she just wrested from Utena. Both times she knows she is hurting Utena and not sure that Akio should have what he is asking for.

The first time he responds with force, the second time with reason. Both times she surrenders to reality, to the way the world really is. Both times she seems to decide that Akio knows what he is doing although perhaps she may know better.

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#47 | Back to Top03-14-2007 11:59:10 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

rhyaniwyn wrote:

That doesn't make it healthy, and that's the hallmark of Anthy and Akio's relationship.  It's deeply unhealthy, sick to its core; utterly twisted.

But remember the coffin where the "real" Anthy is--the Anthy walking around is "dead inside."  She probably isn't reacting emotionally like a rape victim, either.  And I doubt she is *completely* miserable during the act, it's probably something she is mostly-indifferent toward, except that the rare affectionate physical contact is at least somewhat pleasant.  But it's not happy, "consensual" sex either.

Here's something I've been thinking about for a while. How would Akio's and Anthy's relationship affect Anthy after she leaves him? Especially in the sexual aspect of it. On the physical level (I'm not getting into the psychological aspects so much), Anthy must have taken at least some pleasure of it, why else would she have "visited her brother" every Saturday (and even more often in the later episodes)? But her brother is not just some brother, he's Akio. I don't think sex with him could be considered unpleasent on the physical level. Anthy seemed to find a lot of comfort in sex, because she didn't have anything else so if she hadn't enjoyed it at least a bit then the whole system she was trapped in would have collapsed. I don't think Akio's and Anthy's relationship was based solely on the sexual aspect of it. I'm also with those who think of it as some sort of power play and sex is used as a tool in it.

Anyways, in the end, Anthy is a normal human, so sexuality is an important part of her (as it is for most people). After she leaves Akio, how is she going to express her sexuality? I think in a sense, Akio corrupted her. Thanks to Akio she was able to see how pleasurable sex could be. I'll have to say this again: on the physical level only. I doubt Anthy could really bring herself to it emotionally (or maybe she was able to do that in the earlier stages of their relationship?). However, it's not like she was completely numb on both physical and emotional level. The emotional numbness probably repealed the physical aspect somewhat, but I think something of it remained anyway. And that something is enough to make someone value sex. Like I said before, sexuality is a very important part of our identity. It's completely natural and it should not be repressed. Then again, sexuality has to be balanced like everything else. Emotional affections are for that, which neither Akio or Anthy really had in their relationship, I think that's also the main reason why their relationship was so unhealthy. Considering all this, I can't imagine Anthy repressing her sexuality. In fact, I think she would be even more open about it. We all know that Anthy was able to handle her emotions once again in the end, but I believe she didn't discard her sexuality on the account of that.

Alright, now I'm going to follow my own logic, so I won't guarantee it makes sense to you. Anyway, I believe Anthy's and Akio's relationship could be considered as one of the reasons why Anthy's and Utena's relationship would likely become sexual in the end (see, I didn't write those paragraphs here without a purpose). Now let's say Anthy and Utena are reunited (which I think was meant to be that way). We know Anthy and Utena already have a very strong emotional bond and that's a very important premise for a healthy sexual relationship. The way I see it is that Anthy and Utena can't keep it platonic forever. Why? Firstly, I'll discard of any gender-based predjudices that have no other purpose than only to be in the way. Going back to Anthy, I said earlier how she is a normal human and that she shouldn't/wouldn't repress her sexuality. Guess what, humans also have urges, and among them are sexual urges, which are not less important than the other urges. I think the same could be said about Utena, but I'm a bit uncertain about her since she seemed quite unaware of her own sexuality for the most part. This is why I think Anthy is more likely to express her sexuality towards Utena. Whether Utena would go along with it is another thing. I suppose she'd either be confused about herself again and then realise what she really is or she would just go along with it. The reason why she would go along with it is that she has emotional back-up, and this time it is sincere, which is also very important. Another thing would be Utena's own sexuality, because she's only human too. So she might as well give in to it, just like Anthy would. Or if that doesn't make sense, then how about this: they both find someone else and have their "normal" sexual relationships with them. Remember though, sexual relationships should be based on emotion affections and bonds. Do you think either of them is willing to go through the trouble to create a bond with someone else? Moreover, could they possible create a bond as strong as their own with someone else? Would they even try to do so? Somehow I doubt it. But then again, that's my logic. school-eng101

Hina the Prince wrote:

Is it me, or does every other topic derail into some discussion on Utena/Anthy + ending analysis? emot-confused I swear this is not the first time.

That's 'cause Utena/Anthy rocks the world's socks. Is that a bad thing?

See, I've just done it again! emot-dance

Actually, I just find it very hard to talk about Anthy without mentioning Utena, and vice versa. And talking about Akio means that you would most likely have to talk about Anthy too and then you'd also have to talk about Utena. emot-biggrin


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#48 | Back to Top03-15-2007 01:51:14 PM

iruka
Rose Smilee
Registered: 11-11-2006
Posts: 134

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Maarika wrote:

Anthys (or is it Anthies? o_O)

"Anthy" is a proper noun which one shouldn't mess with, out of respect to the name. emot-keke So one should only add "s" to the base.


The fact that I actually learned something from my English Syntax class frightens me.

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#49 | Back to Top03-16-2007 01:48:45 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

rhyaniwyn wrote:

I do think it's entirely likely that in the early days it was like molestation.  I was particularly moved by the post regarding the child molestation victim.  Anthy's behavior is so often in line with this scenario.  Victims of serial child molestation become very sexualized at an early age and use sex as a way to control others, including their abuser.  Sometimes they do this in a misguided attempt to regain some of their own identity and power, other times to try to protect other prospective victims, and often because their sense of self-worth is now so degraded it hardly matters to them.

She is certainly heavily sexualized in the movie manga. The exploding curry episode is a surprisingly good place  to spot it in the anime. Wakaba jumps on Anthyutena's back. Anthyutena collapses and from the ground smiles back at Wakaba in a way that looks very flirtatious, even almost come-hither. It makes Utena's face look very strange.

It's always good to remember that it is not just Anthy who has undergone a lot of trauma and damage but Utena too. One thing that the movie manga does well is show us an Utena and Anthy who have been through a lot of trauma, been changed a lot, have changed each other, and who are able to give strength to each other. In the final frame, the planetarium is not just a forum of evil and deception but a place of dreams and memories and meditation. Exactly what they were thinking about and remembering is uncertain. Still they exit together to the world outside.

Another revolutionary idea given us from all version is that planetariums are shown as romantic places to take a date.

Last edited by brian (03-16-2007 01:53:34 PM)

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#50 | Back to Top03-16-2007 02:31:28 PM

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

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

I never knew so many people had not read the manga...or that so many people despised it emot-gonk If the manga was called 'Slightly Bland But Still Better Than Some Stories With Pink Haired Girl', then I could enjoy it more. It's almost like how Gio feels about movie Akio; if he didn't have to be named Akio, you could just pretend he was someone else and move on. While it's no small account to say I prefer the anime, the manga has it's good points. I don't agree that Anthy was anymore complex in the manga; if anything, I think she was her least complex there. Yes, in the anime she is very monotonous, but THAT'S THE POINT. Her character was created like that. But Akio...? He didn't do much of..anything, really, in the manga. There isn't even really all that much proof that they were sleeping together. Yeah, he takes her hair down for her, she sits in his lap...but really, what does that prove? That they're creepy siblings. I'm not saying that they DIDN'T sleep together, I'm just saying that in that respect, it hardly even makes sense to compare the two [anime and manga]. If we can debate that Anthy and Utena are just friends, or that Akio raped Anthy in the series, then we could debate their manga relationship. While manga Akio did less to be hated for, people just seem to hate him more. When he tries to pull off being sneaky and sexy, he just...sucked, really. It wasn't good for him. At least in the anime he kept up his crazy sexy bastard act up properly.

But, anyway, what was this thread about? Oh yeah, rape. Akio didn't rape Anthy. He never did, anywhere you see him.

The manga! Anthy holds tightly to him, proclaiming "Let me show you how strong a love can be!" This alone shows that she doesn't object to sexual conduct with him. Later on, as mentioned earlier in the thread, she tells Utena "It isn't about will. It's about all he's done for me, through the ages..." What does this really mean? While she obviously isn't fighting Akio away from her, she doesn't sound like she really wants this anymore. She might not want him inside her [she's the only one!] but she feels it's her duty. Indeed, Akio has been there with Anthy, through this unspecified but apparently long amount of time. It would be wrong of her to object to anything he desired. So, though Anthy doesn't do this out of her own desire, bottom line, it's still consensual.

The anime! C'mon. C'mon. C'mon! Does she look like she isn't aware of what's going on? Besides, if you are forced into sex against your will by a friend, boyfriend, BROTHER, whatever numerous times, it isn't rape. It's sexual abuse.


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

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