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#1 | Back to Top10-23-2006 12:23:51 AM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 190

Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

About a month ago, I lost contact with most of the SKU Fan Club I had joined, but we were in the middle of quite a rambling but still interesting conversation, I'll give you a sample of what I mean. Though it's obvious his true Japanese Kanji means "Honorable Shadow" (didn't know this at the time...) I had typed in the character's Souji Mikage in an instant translator and these were the results.

Meaning of the name "Souji Mikage"

Joe wrote:

I'm not sure if this can be applied for everyone, or if anyone already knows but I was looking at his name and thought that Kage sounded vaguely familiar, and found it's, meaing to be "Shadow"  I proceeded to find out the meaning of his name, I thought the most arduous poiint would be Souji... which I found fairly quickly to mean plenty of things, but the choosing of this meaning wasn't difficult. souji resemblance, similarity, analogy
souji cleaning, sweeping
souji Buddhist priest, temple with a resident priest

So I obviousuly chose similarity, by this point though I had "similar to a shadow" which made sense, then I found the meaning of "Mi"

mi fruit, nut, seed, content, good result
mi body, main part, oneself, sword
mi not yet
mi sixth sign of Chinese zodiac
mi three

This part... was a little confusing to say the least, many of these could tachnically work well... what we have would appear to be...

"Semblance of a Shadow Body" Since he himself is only a shadow, (could be argued) this title would fit him appropriately.

"Semblance of  a Shadow Within" Which could work, if you take what Mikage does and set's it up for all to see That is if you take content, as "Table of Content's" which would mean "Table of what lies within" If I am not mistaken.

"Semblance of the Fruit of Shadow" this is a bit far out there, though this simply implies that he was the harbinger that released the shadow's from the afflicted students.

"Semblance of a Sword's Shadow" There is prolific menaing to this... it just excapes my mind right now...

"Semblance of a not fully formed Shadow" Implying towards his end that once this was all over he would only be a shadow.

My favorite though is "Semblance of Three Shadow's" Holding within him Nemuro, Mamiya, and Tokiko, though I can't expain this one much further... it's pretty late here and I'm a little tired.

Please tell me what you think or if you think this is all just fan conjecture, thank you for your comments!

Annie wrote:

Annie wrote:

This is all very interesting.
The interpretation I got from it though, was that Souji Mikage meant "Analogy of the Shadow Self." This would refer to the fact that Mikage was created to represent Utena's darker possibilty, indeed her shadow self, the part of her that is there but she doesn't indulge.


Analogy of the Shadow Self

Joe wrote:

Ah, right this does go with his duel theme, which I believe is
called "Analogy of the Shadow Self" though I could be wrong, I'd
need to rewatch that episode. He is very special in the series,
being the only other character besides Utena, that has pink hair.
Though I read once somewhere that light pink is supposed to
represent purity and dark pink is to represent fading purity, though
if that was the case why woulod Mikage have that color hair, was it
because he was "blissfully pure?" True he opened the way to the
dueling arena on the sacrifice of 100 boys, though that would appear
to be an evil action, as well his action's are all directed towards
Anthy, in the motivation to kill her, which is far from pure, and
his intention's for doing so aren't really pure either. Hmm....
perhaps I read that wrong.

Though as you say, Mikage is a darker possibility of Utena, as he
once was played in the important spotlight as Utena, but is
discarded as easily as her. Though one thing that plagued me after
watching the Arc... Did Mikage die? Or did he just return to his
normal timeflow, continuing on from there? There's no evidence to
support this, especially since the last you hear of him, he's simply
talking on a phone with Akio. Hmm, tell me what you all believe if
you would on the fate of Mikage. Or maybe... I should create anohter
subject for this?

Mikage's hair color
Annie wrote:

I think continuing the discussion in the same thread is all right. It's a natural flow of conversation, er, analysis. Anyway!

As far as the hair color goes...
I understood the meaning to be that pink is the halfway point between purity and passion. (Purity being white and passion being red, of course.)
I once read a short story by Shirley Jackson (an amazing writer) about a woman who grew the most beautiful roses. Everyone admired them, but they didn't like her because she would never let anyone take any roses. The woman appeared to be a loner old woman who never hurt anybody (other than being old and crabby about her roses). But at ngiht, she would write nasty letters to everyone in the town, telling them that she knew all of their secrets and taunting them about it. She would send them anonymously. The woman made cuttings of her roses and put the flowers in bowls of water around her house. She put red ones in the windowsil, white ones in her bed room. On the desk where she wrote the letters, she put pink roses.
Each one had a different meaning. A window can represent perception or insight. The red roses in the window were in the story as a metaphor of saying 'If you really look at her soul, she is full of anger.' And also to show her view of the outside world was full of aggression.
The white roses by her bed where there because she was a life-long version and took pride in her (supposed) purity.
The pink roses on the desk were showing how the anger (red) was staining her purity (white).

So, you might say Mikage has pink hair just because Utena does. Which makes plenty of sense. But I would like to think his hair is pink to represent an innocence which is stained, diluted, corrupteed, even poluted by his passion.


Akio's Outfit and hair and Mikage's outfit and analysis from a number of essays, finally possibilities
Joe wrote:

Actually is that what they use to describe Akio? He appears to be
red and white, in his outfit's, but his white outfit is only used
when he becomes End of the World, or is that only used to examplify,
such as the old woman in the story, "supposed purity" though that
suit is also very similar to Dios's as well, so it may just be a
longing to be that once more. Though he goes around in every day
fashion to use his red suit. His hair is also white, (or is it
grey?) It's also seen in Episode 33 that he says to Anthy "Do you
torment me still?" But ahem... this is a discusssion about Mikage,
not Akio, though it's so easy to draw comparison's with that story
to Akio as well.

Anyway, I've heard that Mikage was to symbolize the opposite of
Utena, but I've read on a site that they are more alike then they
seemed at first glance. They are the only two character's that have
pink hair throughout the show. He is special forthright, though this
could just be to show his "shadow form" of Utena once more, his eyes
are red, in which I suppose is supposed to once again reflect
passion. He wears a blue outfit, which could mean a cavalcade of
things. Then again does outfit really symbolize anything? True out
of all the Black Rose duelist's he is the only one to go in a normal
outfit. Actually... if you notice all of the girl's and Mitsuru's
duelling outfit's look similar to Mamiya's outfit... not sure what
that mean's exactly.

His fighting style is very unique as well, in the way that it's all
four (Touga, Saionji, Juri, and Miki's styles) I personally believe
it is meant to symbolize Utena's Ultimate opponent, as in a foe she
could not defeat even with the Power of Dios, but only by his own
mind's collapse, (or perhap's Akio, giving the illusion's a rest)
does he lose the duel, and disappears into nothingness since he was
a "phantom to begin with", as Akio says anyway. Though what would
have happened if Utena did join the Mikage Seminar, and take consul
with Mikage, would the true memory of Dios and the Rose Bride be
free from her mind? Sorry it's a little rambling, I'll try better
next time.


Annie wrote:

No apologies from you! These were some really good points, once again. It feels so good to be analyzing Utena again!

With Akio, I definitely think the white outfit he wears in the end is supposed to represent how he's trying to recapture the power of Dios. To me, it always felt sort of like a ceremonial robe that he put on for the ritual sacrifice as he awaited to regain the powers of his old self.
But then again, he also wears that outfit when he rides around the Akio car. But I think putting him in a Duellist-type outfit may have been a technique used by the director to tell the audience "This guy is more than he seems! He's really important! He's Ends of the Earth! Lookit!"
But he also may have worn that outfit because he was communicating with the duellists, and therefore they were the ones that needed to see that he was End of the Earth and a fellow duellist, etc. Because the show is very much about different faces, and Akio's face as the chairman is different from Akio's face as Ends of the Earth and a duellist.
So in his case, all that white indicates the innocence of Dios, not of Akio, and him trying to reclaim that innocence.
And his hair is really a lavender color. Which seems wierd since you think about it, since lavender's a pretty girly color, and seems to mild. But I think in this case, they had to struggle with the Dios/Akio dilemna. They wanted Dios to have white hair for his purity, but it would be too much if Akio had white hair. Plus, he's Anthy's brother, and they need to look at least somehow similar. So I think they gave him lavendar hair to combine the two, and it also sort of signifies the corruption of his innocence as well. Only, instead of the white being tainted by red, it's tainted by purple.
Purple is supposed to reresent royalty and mysticism, so I;m not sure how the innocence gets corrupteedd by that. But I think they picked purple more for Anthy, so it's association with Akio is more incidental.

With Mikage's blue outfit, I think it's supposed to represent his intelligence and his distance from other people. Blue is a cool color, and he has a cool attitude towards everyone, devoid of emotions (externally, at least).
But it's very different from Miki's blue. They made it very clear in the first episode or two of the Black Rose Arc that while Mikage and Miki had some similarities, they were not the same. Miki and Mikage sat and talked about some things, but there was a pillar going across the middle of the screen, seperating the two. I think that represented how they were essentially different, and therefore couldn't find the same common ground. I also think it represented how Mikage is in a different world from the other duellists.
The color he wears is darker blue, and his intentions are much darker than Miki. But they are also both holding onto memories of a person that they cherish, who isn;t the way they imagined them to be any more. (This could apply to both Mamiya and that woman (can't remember her name right now). Wow, I never thought I'd make a comparison between Mamiya and Kozue before. But I guess it makes sense, since Mamiya is Anthy, and Kozue got nicknamed 'the female Akio.')
For the outfit similiarities of the duellists, I think that's mroe of a stylized thing, giving the Black Rose Arc outfits all a similar feel.

For his fighting style and the challenge he representeed to Utena, I think he was a merge of all the styles to serve as Utena's ultimate challenge (like you said). But I also think it was to represent Utena herself. She beat all of those opponents, and therefore should have the same power Mikage has. But because he represents her, she can't beat him. Because she can't beat herself. He is that other side of her, and at this point in the series, she isn't ready to face all of that.
Every phase of the duels is an elaborate forumala Akio and Mikage discovered to equal the Revolution. And so Mikage fighting Utena was somehow part of that. It got Utena that much closer to attaining the Power of Dios, by making her face someone who was so like her. But Mikage went about it in a completely different way, and therefore Utena was apalled by him and hsi methods, claiming that they weren't alike at all.
But like all characters in the series, they were both hanging on to old memories, and wanting to protect someone.


Akio and Dios, as well more on Akio's hair. Still more on Mikage's outfit. Nature of duels.

Joe wrote:

I think the lavender hair of Akio's is actually a sign of taint. His hair, which was once white with only purity, has now become tainted, wishing to obtain the power of the "prince" he was, therefore his desire to be "royalty" once more could explain his hair. The explanation of his outfit seems to make alot of sense. To be honest I only just saw the last episode yesterday on Youtube and was definitely surprised by Dios's Appearance, but is Akio so much more different from Dios that Dios obtained a will and spirit seperate from his former host? Then again that scene on the merry go round, where Dios is explaining what lies beyond the gate, Dios apparently is overtaken by Akio, if Dios was even really speaking to begin with.  Was he just an illusion the whole time?

Then again when Dios is watching Utena persist at opening the rose gate, he looked satisfied, even happy. Though when Akio talks about the persistince of being futile Dios walks away flustered and gets on his merry go round horse... or is that after she opens the rose gate? If I remember right that's the last time you see Dios. Though I had a talk about Dios's existence with another fan and he persists that Dios was never really there that it was just an illusion from the projector.  In Episode 13 though we see Akio meet with Dios in the castle, which apparently doesn't exist. Though we see Dios look at Akio so we know that's not just an illusion. Also if he bother's to talk to Dios from a castle, he obviously can't talk to him in his mind. Well that's enough for
Akio/Dios right now.

Mikage's outfit color's and your explanation's make perfect sense, also watching Episode 14 shows that there is indeed a barrier created by the pillar between Mikage and Miki, though I like the explanation that you gave for the same colored hair between Mikage and Miki. I never thought about the Kozue,  Mamiya, connection, though that does make a lot of sense.

This also leads me to a belief that Akio has been doing this for a very very long time, the reason to believe this is he does not seem impressed about the whole Utena ordeal thing. He merely mentions,"Well as I thought  she did not cause a revolution to occur." As if it was once again another failed attempt. This also leads me to believe that he reuses the phantom Mikage whenever he restarts the "dueling game". Which could be a possibilitysince it doens't take much to restore it, as it didn't take much to destroy it... what are your thought's on this?

Annie wrote:

Sorry. Changed the subject line to reflect the change of content and discussion topics.

The idea that the lavender of Akio's hair really representing royalty, and not just being incidental is interesting. Perhaps it's not so much that they made his hair white to reflect Dios and the purple is tainting it. Maybe his hair is more purple as a symbol of him trying so desperately to be the Prince again (or at least have the Prince's powers), and that is tainted by the purity of Dios!
Okay, that didn't make much sense. What I'm trying to say is that Akio's prescence is represented by purple hair because of the image of him as being mystical and royal. This is the side fo himself that he wants to embrace and nurture, and present to others (Utena, for example). But he can't get rid of the part of him that was Dios, not entirely. So the hair is lavendar instead. It's Dios' purity leaking into Akio's sense of self.
(Once again, could be totally wrong, but it's fun to think this way.)

Now, as far as Dios' existence, especially in connection to that last episode...
I believe that Dios, as he was back then, does not exist in any tangible form. He has become an idea, representing all that is good, pure, and noble. He exists in Akio's mind, because he used to be a part of Akio and Akio can never completely get rid of that part of himself, no matter how evil he acts. And Dios exists in Anthy's heart, as well. That is why the sword of Dios is pulled from her chest. It is only her love for Dios that keeps that power alive. Without Anthy, it would be gone. Anthy is an empty vessel for the power that cannot use it. Utena is the body that can wield that power. So they only work together. (Until Utena gets Anthy to realize that she has her won power, of course. But that's not in the formula, and so I won't get into it.)
So no. I do not believe Dios has any sort of real form. The 'castle in the sky' is merely a manifestation by the 'projector' that emcompasses all the memories that everyone is dearly holding onto, and all the dreams they wish will come true. That is why it takes the form of a fairy tale castle. And the sleeping Prince inside it has to be awoken to be able to attain his powers.
When Akio talks to Dios in the castle (in episode 13), it is really only an internal dialogue. You will notice that Dios casts no shadow, whereas Akio does. It's Akio evaluating the events that have transpired, and the Dios part of himself wishing that it will work out to a good end. It;s that last pit of remaining nobility in Akio which hopes Utena will succeed because she is strong enough, not because she can be used as a tool for the Revolution.
So all those moments in the last episode where Dios is there, and then Akio says something, it's really all internal diolgue of Akio.
The Dios side of him sees Utena trying to open the Rose Gate and wants her to succeed, but the Akio side is furious and what he says is directed at his own internal thoughts as much as it is towards Utena. (I believe, anyway.)

I don't think Dios was an illusion from the projector. The projector is what puts the glamour over everything to make it appear a certain way to the Duellists. It created the Duelling arena and the castle in the sky and allowed Anthy to convince Mikage that she was Mamiya. But I don't think it's what conjured Dios.
Then again, lots of the Dios imagery when Utena summons him in the Duels is realted to projection and light. Especially the fight where the beams of light in the cars come together to form the image of him which comes down in the Akio arc. But perhaps these are used for dramatic effect, and the images of light are used as a metaphor for Dios himself, and have no relation to the projector.
Because I would find it hard to believe that Utena could call on the power of Dios in a Duel if it were just an illusion.
Hmmm..... This is all very interesting. If everyone's willing perhaps we could explore these concepts about Dios/power/the projector/illusion some more?

But to get to Joe's question, I agree wholeheartedly that the Duels have been going on for a long time. I think Alan Harnum got it all right when he wrote Jacquemart. At least, that's the kind of impression I got from the series.
I think that Akio and Anthy have been around for a long time, trying to perfect the forumla for Revolution. That's why the Society of the Black Rose was created in the first place. Akio couldn't figure it out himself, so he used the 100 most intelligent young men at school to figure out what he needed to do. It was Mikage and the others who found out that you had to sacrifice 100 youths to make the Black Rose Seal so that they could be used in a phase of the challenge against the Victor of the Duels. I bet they;re also the ones who figured out that you'd need to have a first set of challengers, and then the Black Rose set, and then the first challengers combines with the second challengers, and only after all that can you say that the person can even be considered as someone who might could bring about the Revolution.

In any case, I think time in Utena has almost no relevance, and does not go in a linear fashion. For example, I get the feeling that what happened to Anthy happened ages ago, but it was supposedly only when Utena was a young girl. Which would mean that Akio and Anthy really would be the ages they say they are (14 and 20-something, I think). But that just doesn't seem right to me. They seem so eternal.
I'm of the personal opinion that all of those things actually happened in a past life. When the young Utena saw what was happening to Anthy, I don;t think she was seeing the present. I think she was being shown a memory from a past life by Dios. I think most of the characters knew each other before in similar contexts.
And that's part of the forumla for Revolution. That it's these same souls being reborn over and over again, trying to reach their goals from centuries ago. And the lifetime we see in the series is the one where they are all brought together in just the right ways to make the formula work. There are infinite factors that go into why Utena succeeded. Figuring out how to attain the Power of Dios is like trying to unravel the menaing of existence. That's why all the Duel songs are the way they are. They sound cool and everything, but they are also showing you how the characters are all metaphors for infinite Universal principles and philosophies.

Anyway, I think I've gotten heavy enough for one night. I need to give you all time to figure out what the crap I'm talking about so you can reply to it. This is Utena discussion, after all, not Utena monologuing.

Joe wrote:

Sorry abouut that, I find it hard for me to stick to a single subject and stick to it, it's a bad habit, that's difficult to break. I agree completely with your assumption of Akio being tainted by the purity of Dios. It seems though that Akio can at times be absolutely ruthless and break every moral, there are times where he shows restraint I believe this restraint is drawn from Dios, whom partially is able to curb his plan, or at least urges Akio to stop. I draw my example from "The Price who runs through the Night" On the road that Akio always travels we see hium swerve off the path to where we see the kanji that continually says "Stop, stop, stop, stop" I believe this may have been the Dios side of him telling him to quit toying with people. Though it's not very hard proof, or it could mean something else completely it's still worth considering.

Though doesn't Utena see Dios, when he's talking to her? I believe that only at that time did he exist as a seperate being away from Akio, or a seperate entity. I draw this from the final "duel" song, in which only when he appears do the lines, "I am disconnected... yet I am still connected"  play, they play quite powerfully as well.  Here is also another stark contrast between Utena and Mikage though. If you notice the final "duel song" is about not existing and vanishing, while Mikage's song was about non existence and shadow puppetry. Here do we notice the two different reactions. Before Mikage's world comes crashing down around him his song is played in it's entirety, yet it is only about darkness, non existence, and shadow puppetry. Which is what Mikage played himself out to be, a puppet from the shadow's dwelling in darkness. In other words, like you said a darker possibility. Though this could lead one to the question, is Nemuro and Utena one in the same?  I'll get to that in a little while. Though Utena's last "dueling song" seems to dwell on vanishing, but aside from vanishing, she can still sing, smile, and live. I believe the "I have vanushed... yet I am petrified". Line refers to Dios since I can't figure out an instance where it works for Utena. Though Mikage's last lines of his song was the realization of non existence, in which he let's out a faint sigh figuratively.

You said that this may be a compilation of souls all born in the perfect time of Revolution after going it alone and failing numerous times. If that's the case, isn't it possible that Nemuro did die in the fire? Whenever he's in the hallowed ground, he is always standing in one of the dead duelists shoes, as if he belonged in them. Perhaps he was one of the 100 brilliant boys who died? It's hard to tell in his duel though if he fell into a body spot. Though Akio does mention, "The time while you kept possibilities hidden in your heart was useful to me." Perhaps he was referring to, "The time you spent yourself believing your weren't a phantom proved useful to me." If he was a phantom revived by Akio, that would make my next case more valid, in which that perhaps Nemuro and Utena are two different generation's of the same soul?  If Mikage was just a shadow then his soul had already passed on. Though he imagines Utena as Tokiko and Utena seems just a little suspicious of Mikage since they first met. Hehe, that is more then likely just wishful thinking, since Mikage was only referring that they both wanted to make their memories eternal. Also Akio says something very strange at the end of it all, "He was never really here in the first place... just like you..." Referrring to Anthy, I was never able to draw the comparison.

Anyway... their are a few inconsistincies in your reasoning for the Black Rose Council. Only two of the Black Rose Seminar go onto become Rose Brides. One of them aren't even to their assigned Soul Sword. I personally believe it's just a phase of the duels, to draw in more challengers. On a site I read though, it may have been a way for Anthy to free herself, Mamiya is the one whom comes up with the idea to draw the swords after all. Is it possible that it was a way for Anthy to attempt to end her life? Your formula might have worked if Ruka didn't exist, but he becomes a duelist as easily as anyone. As we know he didn't exist in the first set of duels.

Ah right another quick question, when Akio strikes at the Rose gate it seems to hurt Utena immensely, what is the reason for this?

Claire (perhap's Clairice?) wrote:

Hiya -- I just wanted to say a quick couple of things in relation to a few points you've brought up.

(a) Firstly, when you mention the stop, stop, stop, stop on the road as seen in The Prince Who Runs In The Night, I always interpreted that as being Utena's response to her "surrender" to Akio. She knew what she was doing was wrong, and she spent the entire time she was with him trying to put herself outside of the situation -- I always figured that was her last gut instinct telling her that being with a man like Akio who had a fiancee was wrong. I never thought of it being from Akio's viewpoint, with Dios as his conscience, but that's an interesting idea.

(b) Utena feels pain when Akio uses her soul sword against the rose gate, I believe, because it is a form of rape. The sword is not Akio's to use, and what he is doing is not noble -- which is most likely why the sword breaks. It's fairly symbolic in itself that Utena's sword isn't enough to do it; she must do it with her own hands (and blood, for that matter).

(c) Mikage's real form is horrendously debatable. ^____^ That's why I love his character. I could go on about that character for days, although I won't (and not only because I have written an extensive essay on him before anyway). In summary, though, I always thought of Mikage as a puppet-shadow of Akio -- he was a manipulated form of the real Nemuro. In some ways it reminds me of poltergeists and ghosts; some people believe ghosts are the "imprints" of the deceased that replay over and over, often because of some difficult circumstance around their death. Poltergeists are a manisfestion of concentrated negative energy, with something approaching a consciousness and an awareness (as compared to a traditional ghost, which is closer to a fading photograph). I think of Mikage as a combination of the two; what drove Nemuro was his love for Tokiko, pushing him into a world he never would have been interested in (i.e. one that completely contradicted the most basic laws of thermodynamics) in order to save her brother. What drove Mikage was a twisted form of that same desire -- focused on Mamiya alone, rather than on both brother and sister. I think Akio kept him around because Mikage had had a pure drive but not enough soul for Akio's needs...but his failed attempt to bring the revolution gave Akio an opportunity to create exactly the kind of "god-maker" he needed to refine Utena's soul-sword before drawing it to break the gate. I've always just seen Mikage as precisely that -- a warped and fragile shadow of a real man's hopes and dreams used as a training ground for Akio's next intended soul-sword donor.

-- Claire

A very interesting conversation I wish to continue, I'll send out invites to the fan group, in the coming days. Sorry about not replying to it Claire, real life, taking a large turn at the time, found it difficult to gahter my thought's.

Last edited by Xu Yuan (10-23-2006 01:53:18 AM)



#2 | Back to Top10-23-2006 01:33:10 AM

no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

There's too much here for me to read, especially since I'm going to bed, but I thought I'd address the first point.  There are many, many ways to read just about any Japanese name.  There are about a dozen ways you might see the name "Mikage" written IRL, and you could easily construct more by combining the dozenish ways of writing "mi" and a few ways of writing "kage."  You could also use "mi" + "ka" + "ge," yielding still more.  To take a random example using common kanji, mi + ka + ge could be truth + fire + down.  Aha!  Clearly a reference to what really happened at Nemuro Memorial Hall all those years ago.  Point: we need to be cautious in "discovering" double-entendres in the characters' names emot-smile  There are plenty of characters' names we can get meaning out of using their actual kanji -- Tenjou "ascending to heaven," Himemiya "shrine for a princess" -- without making stuff up!

That said, double-entendres are very Ikuhara.  My favorite example: Princess Serenity, from Sailor Moon.  Serenity, you will recall, is Sailor Moon's alter-alterego.  Well, Japanese people pronounce R and L the same way.  I'm convinced that "Serenity" (or "Selenity") is a conscious reference to Selene, the Greek goddess of... well, the moon.  So I'm all for looking for double-entendres... but please let's not abuse Japanese too much in doing so emot-smile



#3 | Back to Top10-23-2006 01:43:15 AM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 190

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

Oh of course, that's all simply fan conjecture, I wasn't sure of what the meaning of his name was at the time.. So random guesses seemed advisable.. somehow... hmm... though I might want to edit my first post...

Edited, now hopefully it is a bit more user friendly to the eyes... oy, I should think before I post.

Last edited by Xu Yuan (10-23-2006 01:54:03 AM)



#4 | Back to Top10-23-2006 04:32:22 AM

God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

If you are going to study the meaning of the characters names, you need to know exactly what kanji/hirigana/katakana was used for that name.

For instance if you just typed in Utena into a Japanese/English translator, you could get a list of possible answers.

For instance, Utena could stand for (1) calyx; (2) tower; (3) stand; (4) pedestal

They all could by used to symbolise her in some way, but when I checked how her name was written on her dorm room, its translates as

Utena: The name of the capital of Utena County in North-East Lithuania.

Thats what makes translating Japanese into English more of an artform than just converting one language into another.



#5 | Back to Top10-23-2006 11:57:34 AM

no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

Mostly correct -- but I'd make an exception in Utena's case.  "Utena" is not written with kanji like the names of most of the characters in the series; it's written in katakana, a syllabic alphabet used to write words borrowed from foreign languages.  It's entirely probable that Ikuhara had no idea there was an Utena County and picked the name for a different reason.  "Anthy" is written in katakana as well.  It would be strange to claim that the names are effectively meaningless merely because they're not written in kanji and don't represent obvious foreign words.

"Utena," written with the kanji 台, means "calyx."  (The calyx of a flower is its set of sepals, structural components that hold the whole thing together.)  "Anthy" comes from the Greek for "flower."  It stretches belief that "Utena" meaning "something that supports Anthy" is a coincidence.



#6 | Back to Top10-23-2006 12:11:10 PM

Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6031

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

The name was really only the starting point. I followed this conversation on SKUAD (yeah, I'm still a member) and there's a lot more that's interesting in it than just the names-- I've always enjoyed the significance of the hair colors. I had thought, perhaps, that I would dig up whatever I could find on color symbolism and the psychology of color to see what parallels there were-- perhaps this is the thread for a post like that. emot-dance

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#7 | Back to Top10-23-2006 12:35:38 PM

Rose Smilee
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 139

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

I have thought it very interesting that all the main characters of the series have kanji in their names pertaining to plants.



#8 | Back to Top10-23-2006 01:07:27 PM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 190

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

Yasha wrote:

The name was really only the starting point. I followed this conversation on SKUAD (yeah, I'm still a member) and there's a lot more that's interesting in it than just the names-- I've always enjoyed the significance of the hair colors. I had thought, perhaps, that I would dig up whatever I could find on color symbolism and the psychology of color to see what parallels there were-- perhaps this is the thread for a post like that. emot-dance

I'd say go for it. Watching the series the third and foruth time around, I look out for hair color's. Unfortunately only the main character's have different hair color's setting them apart from the average crowd. The only exception's are Wakaba and Tetsuya (does he count as a main character?) As well as Ai, Kei, and Yuu. Though strangely enough Shiori is gifted with different colored hair... actually everyone of the Black Rose duelist's besides Wakaba and Kei do. Every color of hair fit's their personality when you think about it. It's very difficult for me to imagine people being able to take light skinned and black haired Akio seriously, when all along it feel's right to see the dark skinned, lavender hair Akio from the series. A light skinned Anthy just looks... creepy but a dark skinned Anthy, looks correct, if not a little unsettling.

Utena reflect's (just like Mikage) Purity and Passion, Touga's red hair expresses his Passion for superiority, this may yet again tie in with the Chinese Vassal story. I'll think about that, and post again (or edit this post) when I find what I'm looking for.



#9 | Back to Top10-23-2006 05:32:47 PM

Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 12

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

Briefly - with hair color - one has to also look at Japanese theater  and I'm pulling this up w/o double checking my Japanese friend .  . .

But I remember that red hair tends to be used for a character who's strong and/or clever.  I tend to favor them which is prolly why I vaguely still have that in the back of my mind.  Look at most of your red-headed anime characters - granted it's a very general statement re: red-headed characters.

Red for passion, I believe would be a more European way of seeing the color.  In fact, if one wanted to use a European or American take on it - one could even use red hair, historically, as someone who can't be trusted or even perhaps, evil . . .

I would never say Touga's evil, but he is crafty and he is strong.  I'm not sure how passionate he is either. 

My opinion . . .   And like any SKU fan, there has to be an opinion on EVERYthing!  emot-keke

Only the broody ones need apply.



#10 | Back to Top10-24-2006 12:59:25 PM

no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

Speaking of which, do you think Miki dyes his hair, or is he a natural bluebird?



#11 | Back to Top10-24-2006 07:43:53 PM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 190

Re: Quite a rambling but still interesting SKU fan discussion talk

I believe he's a natural blue haired boy, reflecting his "Rose" color like every other duelist (save Mikage). I think it's mentioned briefly in the above. Miki's hair is blue the same reason that Ruka's is blue. It's to symbolize the need to protect. Miki, Ruka, and Mikage's outfit. All can be said to symbolize the need to protect. Though Ruka and Miki's hair are almost the same color. I think Ruka's is slightly lighter, could be wrong. If that is the case the lighter it is the less perverse and more pure the motive is as well. Miki's hair is slightly darker, reflecting darker needs. While Mikage's blue is very dark blue, and it's not his hair but his clothing that reflects this. His will to protect Mamiya and raise Mamiya above the current Rose Bride is a dark and perverse motive indeed. While Ruka's protection is motivated by love and longing, Miki's protection is motivated by failure and angst. No matter how smart or how intelligent he is there's no way he can rein in Kozue.



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