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#1 | Back to Top03-29-2007 12:35:18 AM

satyreyes
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Mikage: What makes him tick?

After posting a link to it in the Bad Slash Pairings thread, I lovingly reread Gio and Yasha's "Spankins!" essay (here: http://www.ohtori.nu/analysis/06_spanki … reword.htm), in which they analyze what it would take to make the male cast members spank someone and why.  If you haven't read it, go do it now -- it's a quick read, and a thought-provoking one.  Anyway, while reading it I came to the conclusion that I don't understand Mikage.

More particularly, I don't understand Mikage's motivations.  For one thing, what is he trying to accomplish by dueling?  Is he seeking the power to revolutionize the world, like everyone else?  If so, why?  That is, MIKI is to SHINING THING as MIKAGE is to WHAT?  And why does he pioneer the "bring your own bride" model that the Seitokai adopts in season 3?

But I'm really more interested in what motivates Mikage in general.  How does he make decisions?  What are his priorities?  Gio and Yasha paint him as a creature driven entirely by intellectualism, curiosity, and schadenfreude, which rings false to me.  (Sorry guys -- I love 98% of  your analysis, but not this piece.)  In fact, apart from how much he likes observing other people's suffering, I don't see much evidence that curiosity is a driving force for him.  Nemuro was the intellectual one, always working on the next big discovery.  Mikage enjoys Nemuro's reputation among the students and faculty, but when do we see him trying to discover anything?  Or is he trying to discover the meaning of world revolution through the Black Rose Society?  Do we have evidence for this that doesn't rely on Nemuro's attitude towards revolution?

I also don't understand how Mikage thinks of himself.  Does he think he's a scientist?  A maverick?  A humanitarian?  A philosopher?  A madman?  Or did the arson incident destroy his faculty of introspection entirely?

Any thoughts?

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#2 | Back to Top03-29-2007 02:36:31 AM

Clarice
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

satyreyes wrote:

After posting a link to it in the Bad Slash Pairings thread, I lovingly reread Gio and Yasha's "Spankins!" essay (here: [url]http://www.ohtori.nu/
More particularly, I don't understand Mikage's motivations.  For one thing, what is he trying to accomplish by dueling?  Is he seeking the power to revolutionize the world, like everyone else?  If so, why?  That is, MIKI is to SHINING THING as MIKAGE is to WHAT?  And why does he pioneer the "bring your own bride" model that the Seitokai adopts in season 3?

But I'm really more interested in what motivates Mikage in general.  How does he make decisions?  What are his priorities?  Gio and Yasha paint him as a creature driven entirely by intellectualism, curiosity, and schadenfreude, which rings false to me.  (Sorry guys -- I love 98% of  your analysis, but not this piece.)  In fact, apart from how much he likes observing other people's suffering, I don't see much evidence that curiosity is a driving force for him.  Nemuro was the intellectual one, always working on the next big discovery.  Mikage enjoys Nemuro's reputation among the students and faculty, but when do we see him trying to discover anything?  Or is he trying to discover the meaning of world revolution through the Black Rose Society?  Do we have evidence for this that doesn't rely on Nemuro's attitude towards revolution?

I also don't understand how Mikage thinks of himself.  Does he think he's a scientist?  A maverick?  A humanitarian?  A philosopher?  A madman?  Or did the arson incident destroy his faculty of introspection entirely?

Any thoughts?

I think when you analyse Mikage -- and this is just how I see it -- you have to take it from the perspective that Mikage isn't a real person. He's the result of certain exaggerated characteristics that Nemuro had, albeit mostly supressed. I also don't think any of what Mikage does is necessarily driven by his own priorities, although they are. [pauses] ...er, okay, I'm a fan of contradiction. What I meant is that Akio decided, for whatever reason, that Nemuro wasn't going to be useful enough to bring about/forge the prince's sword that he required to break the Rose Gate (I doubt he ever though Nemuro would be useful for that, actually, but that's neither here nor there). However, he saw suppressed "qualities" in Nemuro that he realised would be useful for shaping somebody else. The Black Rose Arc was there as a kind of gauntlet for Utena, something that refined her. As most of us have noted, despite some sideways dips into darkness during the Student Council Arc, things didn't get really shadowy until Mikage showed up. His function was to create the darkness through which Utena stumbled and eventually emerged from. Akio created Mikage for that, although you can't say that Akio made Mikage do anything. He stripped from him the tempering qualities of his Nemuro personality and then let him run loose, and Mikage is what he became.

As to Mikage's motivations, I think there is a degree of scientific curiosity about him -- although not in the same way Nemuro displayed it (although admittedly, Nemuro came across as stagnant and uninterested in his work; we don't know why this is, but I suspect he saw that his way of pursuing answers (and possibly the answers themselves) were empty, but lacked the insight to understand why in the hell this would bother him the way it did...hence the way he displayed surprising (to himself) wonder that Tokiko and Mamiya's plight would effect him the way it did). Mikage, however, is more an anthropologist; Nemuro is tied to the rigid and inhuman geometry of physics and complex mathematics (personally, being a pseudo-nerd-geek, I find it hilarious that he appears to have the classical physics/quantum mechanics crisis on-screen...but it's actually illustrative of his movement from Nemuro to Mikage. Classical physics impose order on the movement and interaction of all things; quantum mechanics turns around and says "relative to what, exactly?"...and the world goes boom whee!).

But...erm, yeah, I get distracted easily. Point is, I can see Mikage's curiosity in that he finds it interesting to manipulate others to see what they will do. I see that as one of his motivations in that respect, but the arc seems geared towards showing that Mikage's motivation lies with making Mamiya the Rose Bride in order to preserve his life (the irony being, of course, that Mamiya is already dead). This says something about Nemuro in that he was the one who said making a perpetual motion machine was both impossible and frivolous; Mikage embraces the idea. Given Mikage is an aspect of Nemuro, does this show that Nemuro always wanted something beyond his understanding but didn't want to admit to it because it is impossible by the laws of the universe that he accepts? Does that make Mikage an illustration of what happens when our deepest desires are allowed free reign? Does it illustrate the dangers of obsession? Mamiya was just a focus for these ideas, one provided by Akio, and his place as Mikage's prime motivator is therefore just an example of what happens when you let yourself go.

I don't know if anything I have said makes any sense, but in the end? Mikage is just a concentrated distillation of several aspects of Nemuro's character, and because of that it's not possible to view him as a reasonable "character," although he is damned fascinating. He's there to act as a foil for Utena, and for the student council as well -- he shows aptly what happens when you let some dream that you couldn't accept run riot with your mind and life. Suppressing it isn't good -- Nemuro was shuttered from his peers, and then you can widen the perspective and say that, for example, Juri isn't benefitting from ignoring the desperate desire for a "miracle" that she does have -- but giving it free reign in this way, i.e. through Mikage? ...not good! emot-tongue

If I made any sense, please tell me, I need to call the Miracle Foundation and tell them I have one. emot-dance


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#3 | Back to Top03-29-2007 06:12:50 AM

Yams
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Isn't he motivated by love for Mamiya?


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#4 | Back to Top03-29-2007 06:29:36 AM

Epi_lepsia
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

I agree, he is motivated for Mamiya. He doesn't desire the eternity for himself.

Actually, Mikage/Nemuro doesn't care much for himself, he doesn't enjoy watching people suffering, he's not that evil. But he will do what he thinks necessary to get the eternity for Mamiya. He'll do what he needs to do for Mamiya. He doesn't have anything else in the world, but him. I think he wants to protect that.

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#5 | Back to Top03-31-2007 12:14:50 AM

Yasha
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

I don't think it's love for Mamiya that keeps Mikage going at all. Sure, he's devoted to him, and he desires him sexually, but if it was love...

Episode 14 wrote:

Mikage:  Say, Mamiya... it seems that you're eligible to be the Rose Bride.
Mamiya:  Don't you mean "Groom?" I am a boy.
Mikage: "Bride" suits you better.
Mikage: I will definitely make you a real bride.
Mikage: And then I'll obtain the Power of Dios and make the secret of eternity ours.
Mamiya:  If you say so, Sempai.

...Mikage would have noticed how neutrally Mamiya remarks on being the Rose Bride or lasting for eternity. Mamiya!Anthy doesn't care, and that's clear. She's already the Rose Bride. She doesn't even bother to hide that she doesn't care. Mikage supplies all the determination himself, without needing any cue from Mamiya. Mamiya!Anthy shows enthusiasm at the idea of beating Utena, but I'd suspect that has more to do with Anthy acting out against Utena than it does to do with actually wanting her beaten-- and I'll get into it in an Anthy thread emot-smile

In fact, there's only one scene where the word eternity even passes Mamiya!Anthy's lips, and at least as far as I'm concerned, it's blatant manipulation. It's almost as bad as the way Anthy cheered on Utena in ep 5. It's so contrary to how Mamiya has acted throughout the entire time that it's a bit of a shock, really. Mikage latches on to that and then stops paying attention to Mamiya almost entirely-- saving that devotion, and that sexual overtone their interactions have.

Sure, he wants Mamiya alive, but I think for Mikage it's only his way of trying to preserve his precious memory, the way Tokiko dried roses to make them last longer, and the way Utena kept wearing her ring. Mamiya isn't a person so much as a symbol of a time that Mikage cherished.

Then again, it's late and I have a migraine, so I could be talking out my arse.


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#6 | Back to Top03-31-2007 02:48:48 AM

Lightice
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Yasha wrote:

I don't think it's love for Mamiya that keeps Mikage going at all. Sure, he's devoted to him, and he desires him sexually, but if it was love...

Sure, Mamiya isn't acting all that enthusiastic, but I see no reason why he couldn't still be Mikage's primary motivator. After all, what else he has? Who else he sacrificed everything for? I think it's pretty explictly stated that he want the Eternity to make Mamiya eternal.


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#7 | Back to Top03-31-2007 04:49:10 AM

Yams
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Just because he doesn't pay attention to Mamiya and understand him doesn't mean that in Mikage/Nemuro's mind he's acting for love of Mamiya. He thinks he's acting for love of Mamiya. Thats the key. He has made attaining eternity for Mamiya the most important thing in his mind and is so focused on that end he forgets to care about Mamiya's actual feelings, and about everything else but that one goal.

Like...a parent who wants the best for their children so much that they have ten jobs and send their kids to all the best private schools and forget about what the kid really needs. Love has different forms.

Last edited by YamPuff (03-31-2007 04:51:42 AM)


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#8 | Back to Top03-31-2007 11:56:15 AM

Yasha
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Oh, I knew this would make some waves. emot-keke I'm not arguing that Mamiya doesn't motivate him. Of course he does. It's just that love, as defined within the boundaries of the show, isn't what Mikage feels for Mamiya. Love would place Mamiya's desires ahead of Mikage's own desires, much the way that in the end, Utena placed Anthy's desires above her own. He is devoted to Mamiya, certainly, but for his own reasons. YamPuff, you're basically saying what I said in less harsh terms-- what I'm calling devotion, you're calling love.


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#9 | Back to Top03-31-2007 01:06:56 PM

Clarice
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Yasha wrote:

Oh, I knew this would make some waves. emot-keke I'm not arguing that Mamiya doesn't motivate him. Of course he does. It's just that love, as defined within the boundaries of the show, isn't what Mikage feels for Mamiya. Love would place Mamiya's desires ahead of Mikage's own desires, much the way that in the end, Utena placed Anthy's desires above her own. He is devoted to Mamiya, certainly, but for his own reasons. YamPuff, you're basically saying what I said in less harsh terms-- what I'm calling devotion, you're calling love.

Heh, I'd agree with you because although I believe Nemuro genuinely felt affection and possibly love for Mamiya in their original incarnations, I thought that it was warped and manipulated by Akio when they were Mikage and Anthy!Mamiya for his own purposes. Akio didn't create the original feelings, but he screwed with them to give Mikage a motivation to do what he did, so...eh, I suddenly make no sense again. Basically, I think Mamiya does motivate Mikage, but only because of Akio, but it only happened because the feelings existed in some form beforehand.

...oh god, what ever happened to my brain?


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#10 | Back to Top03-31-2007 04:31:51 PM

Yams
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

@ Yasha, ah, I see.

Well, for whatever reason, I guess we can all agree his main motivational force is Mamiya. Therefoe Miki is to shining thing as Mikage is to Mamiya? emot-confused


Another way of looking at it; Mikage/Nemuro focuses all his energy into someone else because he desires nothing for himself. He's trying to achieve things through other people. He wants to want something. He also tends to put his loved ones on pedestals and sort of worship them from afar. Random thought.

And is there anything we can read into Anthy asking Mikage: "Don't you mean "Groom?" I am a boy." Interesting to think of it through her point of view.

Last edited by YamPuff (03-31-2007 04:40:30 PM)


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#11 | Back to Top04-01-2007 02:01:50 AM

Clarice
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

YamPuff wrote:

And is there anything we can read into Anthy asking Mikage: "Don't you mean "Groom?" I am a boy." Interesting to think of it through her point of view.

It's possibly a reference back to Utena and Anthy, to be honest. After all, Utena is playing at being a prince although she is a girl; Mikage would have Mamiya play at being a bride although he is male. The two pairs are the antithesis of each other, so to speak, and Mikage's complete lack of interest in the proper configuration of things suits his actions. Making Mamiya into the Rose Bride = saving Mamiya's life? Let's not quibble the "bride" details, let's just do it! Sits well with Utena's original idea of "I need to become a prince to save that girl hanging on those swords? Fine! I'll become a prince!" It's two sides of the same coin, in the end. As to why Anthy needled Mikage with it, I suppose it's possible that it's an early manifestation of her tendency to rebel against what Utena wants from her. After all, Anthy does later express the opinion that Utena can't be a prince because "you're a girl." And I think that is Anthy's true opinion at that point, not manipulated by Akio. Without trying to veer off into an Anthy conversation here, I think some of Anthy's antipathy towards Utena's actions in her life was because she didn't think Utena could save her because she wasn't a real prince, and she hated her for giving her that hope. Although I suspect Anthy also thought she didn't deserve to be saved, and thus lost any respect for Utena because she was wasting her time on her. But that's better suited to an Anthy thread. emot-rolleyes

But uh, yeah. Anthy bringing up the groom/bride thing? I think it's foreshadowing to the fact it's never going to work, that it's not "such a good idea." Although the show is all about turning established conventions on their ass, there is also a strong thread stating that if you do this, you're just going to fail. And the sad thing is, of course, that at the end it's implied that this is what Utena is left with. When we know the truth. Dammit. emot-mad


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#12 | Back to Top04-02-2007 07:33:29 AM

rhyaniwyn
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

I think the last episodes of that arc call Mamiya's preeminence as an individual into question.

I recall someone posting recently about the episode in which Nemuro goes to have tea with Tokiko and meets Mamiya for the first time.  The finger points to a cat in the background; throughout the conversation one cat turns into the two adult cats and one baby cat.  The person posting said something about how Nemuro's original infatuation with Tokiko and Mamiya was really an infatuation with the idea of "family."

When Mikage ruminates on his past (which is how I interpret the flashbacks), Tokiko has as much or more of a place in his precious memories.  Ultimately, it was seeing Tokiko with Akio that caused Nemuro to set the fire.  With that acting as a spur, Akio is able to manipulate Nemuro by redirecting his feelings of jealousy, hostility, etc.

I do think that Mamiya is Mikage's motivation, much as a shining thing is to Miki--but more, in this case, like Anthy was to Miki.  As I think someone just said, though I can't find it, it's more about what Mamiya represents than about Mamiya himself.  (Somewhat ignoring the fact that Mamiya is actually Anthy now, and I think Clarice post here is right on:

Clarice wrote:

Heh, I'd agree with you because although I believe Nemuro genuinely felt affection and possibly love for Mamiya in their original incarnations, I thought that it was warped and manipulated by Akio when they were Mikage and Anthy!Mamiya for his own purposes. Akio didn't create the original feelings, but he screwed with them to give Mikage a motivation to do what he did, so...eh, I suddenly make no sense again. Basically, I think Mamiya does motivate Mikage, but only because of Akio, but it only happened because the feelings existed in some form beforehand.

)

In fact, that comparison to Miki may be very apt.  Miki had a time that he idealized in his mind, his early childhood, when he played piano with his sister.  To Miki, this time sets the standard for perfection.  In the end it is the memory of that time that Miki is so attached to, but he has a habit of attaching that memory to a person--and the original person is not working for him.  So he transfers that idea of "shining thing" onto Anthy.  Without, of course, ever asking what she thinks about it (not that it would do him much good, really).  This is very much like Mikage, who tells us himself that what drives him:

Episode 23 wrote:

Mikage:  They are, in a manner of speaking, people who tried to change their lives according to their memories.
Utena:  Memories?
Mikage:  What about you?
Mikage:  For you, it's possible to make the memory last forever, just like I did.
Mikage:  That's what the world needs.
Mikage:  The path before you has be-
Utena:  You bastard!!
Utena:  Who the hell is this World?!
Utena:  Don't lump me together with the likes of you, you manipulative...
Mikage:  Don't get so excited.
Mikage:  You sound like you're yelling out, "Don't touch my precious memory!"
Utena:  What did you say?!
Utena:  Don't even talk like you understand me!
Utena:  My memory is...
Mikage:  I see. It's that memory that's been supporting you up until now.
Mikage:  No need to be ashamed.
Mikage:  Because the memory you possess is a worthy one.
Mikage:  Only those with beautiful memories are allowed to wish,
Mikage:  "If only those days could last forever, if only I could still be what I was back then."
Mikage:  I know that you're the same as myself.
Mikage:  Your eyes are like those people who can't help wanting to make memories last forever.

And never forgetting to Utena, per Clarice's boy-as-Bride, girl-as-Prince comparison--Mikage sees Utena as being very similar to himself.  She cherishes and is driven by the memory of her Prince.  Which is not really what motivated her in her desire to be "become a Prince", now, is it?  It was Anthy's suffering that Utena vowed to become a Prince to end.  I don't think Akio manipulated this memory; Utena's age and circumstances did that well enough.  But Akio certainly (I think), had a hand in manipulating Mikage's memory.  Both Mikage and Utena are driven by and seeking to preserve false memories, in a somewhat roundabout way.

But even Mikage knows he is obsessed with Tokiko in the last few episodes of that arc.  We even find out he's chosen a secretary (apparently) due to her resemblance to Tokiko and required her to wear her hair up a la Tokiko.  He sees Utena as Tokiko.  Why would he want to "defeat [Tokiko] who lives in [his] memories"?  Because (as he sees it), she rejected him, found him unworthy.  She was unfair to him, even though he "loved" her.  All of those feelings mostly being due to Akio's manipulations (who chose Tokiko, and who set up the scene on the patio?).  I think that Mikage sees helping Mamiya as further vindication of his own goodness, as well as evidence of Tokiko's unfairness.  See, Tokiko, I took your brother's crimes onto myself.  And now I am trying to help your brother live and you have abandoned us both.

Mamiya becomes the symbol of all that drives Mikage, but his role as Tokiko's beloved younger brother is a major part of that.  (Sexual overtones or not, I don't see Nemuro as a pedophile.  He is touched by Tokiko's actions/words "What I hate the most is someone who doesn't look after themself", her devotion to her younger brother, her reaction to his life wasting away with nothing anyone can do to stop it.)  After all, isn't Tokiko the one that really desires eternity?  She works for Akio and comes to oversee the project "to grasp eternity".  She preserves roses because she hates to see things die.

So, although Mikage thinks he wants to "defeat" Tokiko, it was Tokiko who originally evoked unfamiliar feelings in Nemuro and Tokiko who suggested eternity to him.  He transfers all of that devotion onto Mamiya, all of the good feelings from that time onto Mamiya.  All of the meaning those times had for him become embodied in Mamiya.  (And, sure, the real Mamiya was there back then and Nemuro got to know him.  He may have grown to care for Mamiya too--he does go to see him alone--but it wasn't ever Mamiya who dominated Nemuro's thoughts.) 

Utena's desire, born from her fuzzy memory, is to vindicate herself (as a Prince) to her Prince through her actions...by saving Anthy (who starts as simply a good target for saving, at first, since Utena doesn't remember her).  Isn't Mikage's desire, born from his falsified memory, to vindicate himself and show Tokiko she was wrong about him...by saving her brother?

Last edited by rhyaniwyn (04-02-2007 07:55:56 AM)


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#13 | Back to Top04-02-2007 11:49:44 AM

satyreyes
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Sparknotes to rhyaniwyn wrote:

When Mikage ruminates on his past (which is how I interpret the flashbacks), Tokiko has as much or more of a place as Mamiya in his precious memories.  Ultimately, it was seeing Tokiko with Akio that caused Nemuro to set the fire.  With that acting as a spur, Akio is able to manipulate Nemuro by redirecting his feelings of jealousy, hostility, etc.

I do think that Mamiya is Mikage's motivation, much as a shining thing is to Miki--but more, in this case, like Anthy was to Miki.  As I think someone just said, though I can't find it, it's more about what Mamiya represents than about Mamiya himself.

Why would he want to "defeat [Tokiko] who lives in [his] memories"?  Because (as he sees it), she rejected him, found him unworthy.  She was unfair to him, even though he "loved" her.  All of those feelings mostly being due to Akio's manipulations.  I think that Mikage sees helping Mamiya as further vindication of his own goodness, as well as evidence of Tokiko's unfairness.  See, Tokiko, I took your brother's crimes onto myself.  And now I am trying to help your brother live and you have abandoned us both.

So, although Mikage thinks he wants to "defeat" Tokiko, it was Tokiko who originally evoked unfamiliar feelings in Nemuro and Tokiko who suggested eternity to him.  He transfers all of that devotion onto Mamiya, all of the good feelings from that time onto Mamiya.  All of the meaning those times had for him become embodied in Mamiya.

Utena's desire, born from her fuzzy memory, is to vindicate herself (as a Prince) to her Prince through her actions...by saving Anthy (who starts as simply a good target for saving, at first, since Utena doesn't remember her).  Isn't Mikage's desire, born from his falsified memory, to vindicate himself and show Tokiko she was wrong about him...by saving her brother?

I really like this analysis (which I've abbreviated above); your description of Mikage's perspectives on Tokiko and Mamiya ring true.  Between this and the other posts here, I really feel like I've gained a better understanding of Mikage.  Approximately speaking, Miki is to shining thing as Mikage is to family, though Mikage would probably choose a more abstract phrase to describe it.

So, if we're right, does Gio+Yasha's Spankin' scenario make sense?

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#14 | Back to Top04-03-2007 01:58:27 AM

Yasha
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From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

satyreyes wrote:

I really like this analysis (which I've abbreviated above); your description of Mikage's perspectives on Tokiko and Mamiya ring true.  Between this and the other posts here, I really feel like I've gained a better understanding of Mikage.  Approximately speaking, Miki is to shining thing as Mikage is to family, though Mikage would probably choose a more abstract phrase to describe it.

So, if we're right, does Gio+Yasha's Spankin' scenario make sense?

Loaded question. emot-biggrin

rhyaniwyn says what I mean better than I say it myself, apparently. I knew I shouldn't have tried to keep it short. I think I'm the one who said it was more about what Mamiya represented than what he was...

Yasha wrote:

Mamiya isn't a person so much as a symbol of a time that Mikage cherished.

...if that's what you meant, rhyaniwyn.

That said, I think the scenario does stand up to it, mainly because in there we're not talking about his whole personality at all. It's said right in the essay section that we don't think his sadistic streak doesn't have any measurable influence on his actions, and I myself think it only tints whether he enjoys what he does or not, and whether he feels guilty about it or not. What we were doing there wasn't exactly analysis so much as extrapolation; if we take a, b, and c from the series, what are f and g going to look like? We think in bed, Mikage would tend to be adventurous out of curiosity, and that he'd be cold with his partners. That doesn't mean he'd be cold to Tokiko, or even Mamiya in bed. Just with one of the nameless hordes. We think he has reason to enjoy and be interested in the pain of others because of the way he acts when he's around others in pain; if so, what will this make him do when he's allowed to express it? We never even touched on whether he feels devotion, love, what his motivations are, or anything like that. That's stuff for a far more serious essay than 'Spankins!' was. emot-keke


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#15 | Back to Top04-03-2007 02:17:33 AM

satyreyes
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From: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Yasha wrote:

rhyaniwyn says what I mean better than I say it myself, apparently. I knew I shouldn't have tried to keep it short. I think I'm the one who said it was more about what Mamiya represented than what he was...

You said it first, so you get Internet baked desserts of a variety of your choice emot-smile  Then rhy elaborated on what it was about his time with Tokiko and Mamiya that Nemuro/Mikage cherished so much, and that made it click for me, so rhy also gets desserts.

Yasha wrote:

We think in bed, Mikage would tend to be adventurous out of curiosity, and that he'd be cold with his partners. That doesn't mean he'd be cold to Tokiko, or even Mamiya in bed. Just with one of the nameless hordes. We think he has reason to enjoy and be interested in the pain of others because of the way he acts when he's around others in pain; if so, what will this make him do when he's allowed to express it? We never even touched on whether he feels devotion, love, what his motivations are, or anything like that. That's stuff for a far more serious essay than 'Spankins!' was. emot-keke

You're probably right that Mikage would be cold with his partners, other than Tokiko or Mamiya.  I guess I just don't feel the curiosity or sense of adventure in him that you do.  Given the sexuality of his body language as analyzed by Gio, I can buy that he'd take someone to bed, and I can buy that he'd spank 'em, but I don't see it as part of a systematic experiment to determine what juxtaposition of stimuli produces maximal coital gratification.

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#16 | Back to Top04-03-2007 02:23:12 AM

Yasha
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

satyreyes wrote:

You're probably right that Mikage would be cold with his partners, other than Tokiko or Mamiya.  I guess I just don't feel the curiosity or sense of adventure in him that you do.  Given the sexuality of his body language as analyzed by Gio, I can buy that he'd take someone to bed, and I can buy that he'd spank 'em, but I don't see it as part of a systematic experiment to determine what juxtaposition of stimuli produces maximal coital gratification.

Ooooh, cold, but not that cold! Brrr. I'm guessing the jokes weren't polished up enough, then. Mikage and the girl are actually joking in all the repeated instances of the word 'enjoyable'. They're having fun. My fault, sorry-- I'm not as good a writer as I want to be. Gio didn't touch on it because she figured it didn't need explanation... but yes, they are actually supposed to be enjoying themselves.

Edit: Not just in the place where enjoyable is repeated either... the whole thing is kind of like a joke, really, but one of those ones that only that weird guy who chuckles to himself at random moments gets. Sorry, I guess I didn't have the skills to convey that information correctly.

Last edited by Yasha (04-03-2007 02:26:32 AM)


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#17 | Back to Top04-03-2007 11:53:23 AM

satyreyes
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Yasha wrote:

satyreyes wrote:

You're probably right that Mikage would be cold with his partners, other than Tokiko or Mamiya.  I guess I just don't feel the curiosity or sense of adventure in him that you do.  Given the sexuality of his body language as analyzed by Gio, I can buy that he'd take someone to bed, and I can buy that he'd spank 'em, but I don't see it as part of a systematic experiment to determine what juxtaposition of stimuli produces maximal coital gratification.

Ooooh, cold, but not that cold! Brrr. I'm guessing the jokes weren't polished up enough, then. Mikage and the girl are actually joking in all the repeated instances of the word 'enjoyable'. They're having fun.

Whew!  I like that better, then emot-smile  Don't blame yourself for the "enjoyable" thing; I've been known to miss subtle sarcasm, and my own subtle sarcasm tends to take the subtlety a little over the top, if that's not an oxymoron.

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#18 | Back to Top04-03-2007 05:57:40 PM

Yasha
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

If the intended message doesn't reach the audience, it's the fault of the writer. I'll have to put that piece on my list of things to polish up.


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#19 | Back to Top04-03-2007 06:26:26 PM

satyreyes
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Yasha wrote:

If the intended message doesn't reach the audience, it's the fault of the writer. I'll have to put that piece on my list of things to polish up.

I tend to agree, but reaching 100% of the audience is a practical impossibility, and I suspect there aren't a lot of people who didn't get it.  Unless you also plan to add pictures so you can reach the illiterate and an mp3 so you can reach the blind, you probably don't need to polish up the work emot-smile

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#20 | Back to Top04-03-2007 06:29:47 PM

Yasha
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

At any rate, does knowing that change what you think about the piece? I thought it was accurate, but then, it's accurate to me and Gio, and not necessarily you.


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#21 | Back to Top04-03-2007 06:44:29 PM

satyreyes
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Yasha wrote:

At any rate, does knowing that change what you think about the piece? I thought it was accurate, but then, it's accurate to me and Gio, and not necessarily you.

Yes, it does; the spanking is really recontextualized for me.  Now my only quibble is that you can't see someone's face while you're spanking them, and I think Mikage would want to see his partner's face for this purpose, but that's really minor.

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#22 | Back to Top04-03-2007 07:00:36 PM

Yasha
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Mikage is really a terribly interesting character because he is subtle in everything. Like... the sadistic aspect is there, but it doesn't control him. The humor is there, but it's very hard to see and understand, and it's not a part of his driving aspects. The intellectualism and curiosity are there, but again, they are not what motivates him anymore. He's motivated by the symbol of Mamiya, the symbol of his precious memory, and that really seems to override everything else for him... but again, I contend it's not love for Mamiya the person, but Mamiya as the symbol. He's one of the hardest characters for me to get, because I can't picture devoting myself to a symbol instead of a person. The difference between Mikage and Utena, I think, is that Utena devotes herself to the person, Anthy, and Mikage devotes himself to a wisp of memory embodied in Mamiya.

Actually, the only person I find harder to understand is (of all people) Kozue. emot-confused


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#23 | Back to Top04-04-2007 07:09:48 AM

rhyaniwyn
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Kozue is indeed a terribly interesting character.  Well, ok, they all are.  But she and Mikage were two that I never felt comfortable talking about.  I just talked about Mikage, so I've got her to go, I guess.  After after that, Saionji, who still isn't contextualized in my mind.  Though I've read some excellent stuff here about him.

And, yes, Yasha!  That was exactly the statement I was talking about.  I wanted to quote it, but I kept skimming back over the thread and missing it every time. emot-keke


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#24 | Back to Top04-04-2007 07:29:43 AM

Etrangere
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Yasha wrote:

Mikage is really a terribly interesting character because he is subtle in everything. Like... the sadistic aspect is there, but it doesn't control him. The humor is there, but it's very hard to see and understand, and it's not a part of his driving aspects. The intellectualism and curiosity are there, but again, they are not what motivates him anymore. He's motivated by the symbol of Mamiya, the symbol of his precious memory, and that really seems to override everything else for him... but again, I contend it's not love for Mamiya the person, but Mamiya as the symbol. He's one of the hardest characters for me to get, because I can't picture devoting myself to a symbol instead of a person. The difference between Mikage and Utena, I think, is that Utena devotes herself to the person, Anthy, and Mikage devotes himself to a wisp of memory embodied in Mamiya.

I think they are all devoted to a symbol in a way, actually. That's how the game works. They are motivated by the Prince, Eternity, The Power to do Miracles, etc.... but all this things signify something very precise and real to them too, a memory dear to them that is past. It's a symbol they use to occult the truth in a way.

Mikage's motivation is to recapture the dream of love/belonging that Tokiko and Mamiya represented for him. He works in an intellectual/experimental way because that's how his mind works, but I don't believe he's motivated by intellectual curiosity apart from on a superficial way.

Actually, the only person I find harder to understand is (of all people) Kozue. emot-confused

Oh? Why so? Kozue's very straigth forward. She's very want, take, have. That's why her time in the Black Rose elevator was so short, her shadow self is not very far from the surface.


Yes. You shouldn't be suspicious of Anthy. Her big brother is your watching. There is no war in Ba Sing Se. ~ Dalbun

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#25 | Back to Top04-04-2007 11:43:46 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Mikage: What makes him tick?

Etrangere wrote:

Yasha wrote:

Actually, the only person I find harder to understand is (of all people) Kozue. emot-confused

Oh? Why so? Kozue's very straigth forward. She's very want, take, have. That's why her time in the Black Rose elevator was so short, her shadow self is not very far from the surface.

I'd love to hear more about your thoughts on Kozue, Yasha; I also find her uncomplicated, so the fact that you find her confusing probably means that I haven't thought about her enough.  New thread?  emot-smile

Last edited by satyreyes (04-04-2007 11:44:26 AM)

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