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

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

#1 | Back to Top10-23-2006 01:11:35 PM

Ger
Rose Smilee
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 139
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Possession - Ruka

The topic was brought up in the thread about the Sword of Dios that Anthy's stabbing of Utena was a symbol of possession, not betrayal.

What's interesting about Anthy is the fact that she's spent her entire existence trying to possess her brother - locking him away from the world and thus making sure he was hers and only hers so he "wouldn't be hurt again." As we all know, this act doomed her to eternal punishment, which therefore brings about the Anthy we all know in the series, who has a simmering hatred of anyone and everyone in "the world" who tried to snatch away Dios. The theme of posession runs deep through the other characters - Saionji, whose goal in life is to get Touga back, Miki and Kaoru, Juri and Shiori, Nanami and Touga, Tsuwabuki and Nanami, even Wakaba and Saionji, to a certain extent. We needn't mention Mikage...school-devil

The very duels orchestrated by Akio and the theme of sexual possession that comes in later to the series illustrate this well also....

Most of this has been said before, but this brings me to an interesting conclusion. There are two characters in Utena that I can think of who break that rule. We know that Utena is not fighting to posess Anthy, but to free her. The other character I'm thinking of who fights to free someone is Ruka.

I admit I'm of the Ruka fan camp. I know other people might disagree with me, but I'm interested to hear thoughts...? opinions?? I know most people wouldn't classify Ruka as entirely selfless, but it's hard to deny the similarities between him and Utena, especially since they are two of the three duellists who ever leave Ohtori.

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#2 | Back to Top10-23-2006 01:18:42 PM

Sey
Our Sicilian Prince
From: S. Cataldo, Sicily, Italy
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 268
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Re: Possession - Ruka

Yes, they are similar, even Ruka seems to have the power to revolutionaize the world.
However there is a difference for me:

Utena is completly selfless, she wants free anthy, nothing else.
Ruka isn't. Yeah, he wants free Juri from Shiori. But why? He wants her love, that's why he does it(Well, do this for love is very beautiful, but isn't completly selfless, no?).


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#3 | Back to Top10-23-2006 01:20:20 PM

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

Re: Possession - Ruka

I agree that Ruka was being selfless and not trying to posess Juri, but I might be biased since I'm quite a big fan of him too. He's probably my favourite male character. emot-keke

The only thing I can think of that might show him being posessive was when he forcefully kissed Juri.. but at that time I think he wanted Juri to hate him so that she would actually try to get better than him and get over her feelings of Shiori. ..although, since he knew he was going to die soon, maybe he just wanted a goodbye kiss. Who knows.

But for everything else, the only thing he could have gained was to help Juri heal. He was going to die soon, and he went through so much trouble to be mean and nasty to Juri and make her angry at him, so I can't see him gaining anything or trying to posesss Juri. I think he just wanted to do one thing he always wanted to do before he died.. help Juri get over her feelings for Shiori and move forward. It's kind of like Juri is Ruka's heir too, in the fencing camptain business. So he might have also been showing her the ropes.

I also think that dying in Ohtori/leaving Ohtori is a big symbolism for "growing up".

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (10-23-2006 01:24:39 PM)


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#4 | Back to Top10-23-2006 02:00:40 PM

Dulcinea
Wakaba Wrangler
From: New England
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 14

Re: Possession - Ruka

The difference is Ruka made the decision for Juri that she needed to be free (from her love for Shiori). His motives may not have been selfish (he wasn't gaining her for himself), which makes him very different, but he's still presuming that he knows what Juri needs better than she does. If you're firmly in the Shiori-is-an-evil-demon camp, that might not make much of a difference, but the end result is that he's still giving himself the right to determine what's best for Juri. Which is certainly a form of possession.

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#5 | Back to Top10-23-2006 02:01:45 PM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 189

Re: Possession - Ruka

Ruka's motives aren't clouded and they're plainly out in the open. He first shows up defeating Juri in a practice duel. Though Juri seems less then happy about him being back, but this is strange since she later mentions "What a bastard you've become!" As if at one time, he was quite friendly with Juri no rivalry or enmity existed.  His second act is to move in on Shiori knowing that Juri is smitten with the girl. Either out of forcing jealousy, or the simple neccessity of fighting his duel, or both he plays Shiori as his Bride. He fight's well, but he in comparison to the other duelists (not counting Chigusa here) use a few  evasion moves. That are just bursting with the ability to taunt. Not a bad strategy in ordinary fencing, though incredibly difficult to pull off... maybe I should rewatch that duel agian. Whatever the case, after the duel he looks very angry, not surprised or shocked. He is also the only duelist very unsure of his victory. He tells Shiori it's her fault only because he honestly did not need her anymore. Juri was next needed to make his plan's come to fruition. He had lost, there was not much hope for him. He became desperate so he sped up his plan.

The plan was simply to destroy that which binded Juri to Shiori. He needed to get close to her to take the locket. The look in his eyes when he does grab it is not one of satisfaction, but his eyes fill with what seems to be pity. Only after he get's smacked does he looked completely dejected, he was willing to accept his fate and live his last few days fulfilling Juri's desire of him and Shiori. Though luckily for him that wasn't the case. She challenged him to a duel (One thing I absolutely HATE about character reviews are people narrow minded views of Ruka, a few I've read consistently say it was Ruka whom challenged Juri to the duel, which get's passed around as fact to some, and demeaning Ruka's character.) Which he won, because he was able to take advantage of her emotion and driving passion. Though their duel absolutely reflect's Juri's and Utena's duel except that Juri had no power of Dios to save her. Ruka instates a miracle to happen, whether it was a personal favor of Akio's, A freedom of suffering brought upon by Dios or simply dumb luck that she hit the locket other then the rose (which wouldn't have worked in the first place.) It's seen in "The Prince who Runs through the Night" that Akio treasures the memory of what Ruka had done. Calling it "A miracle that happen's everyday yet is not noticed." That could show a little more about Akio's character, but that's a different topic. With his work complete he could die (more then likely upon contract) peacefully knowing he had freed Juri from Akio and Shiori's grasp.


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#6 | Back to Top10-23-2006 02:02:00 PM

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

Ger wrote:

Most of this has been said before, but this brings me to an interesting conclusion. There are two characters in Utena that I can think of who break that rule. We know that Utena is not fighting to posess Anthy, but to free her. The other character I'm thinking of who fights to free someone is Ruka.

I admit I'm of the Ruka fan camp. I know other people might disagree with me, but I'm interested to hear thoughts...? opinions?? I know most people wouldn't classify Ruka as entirely selfless, but it's hard to deny the similarities between him and Utena, especially since they are two of the three duellists who ever leave Ohtori.

I'm a Ruka fan. I'll admit that upfront; gotta declare those biases. etc-wankgirl But uh, yeah, um. Ruka is fighting to free Juri, but then it has been noted that his reasons are not entirely selfless; he wants Juri to look to him. Thing is, though, at this stage Ruka is dying...he's probably entitled to wanting a little compensation for his actions because he's going to be going on a rather long one-way trip very shortly. I also garner the impression that Ruka would have let Juri make the decision for herself, as to whether she would be with him. But that is a personal opinion; off the top of my head I couldn't give a concrete reason for why I believe that. ;)

Someone also said something about Mikage, and well...Mikage was possessive of the false Mamiya, but Nemuro's intentions were slightly better but still reasonably off-kilter. He wanted Tokiko, as Ruka wanted Juri; both Ruka and Nemuro were working to release Juri and Tokiko from their bindings (Juri's love for Shiori, and Tokiko's sorrow at her brother's impending death) so that they could have them for themselves. Utena stands out as the only one who just wanted to free Anthy for Anthy's sake -- which is why I can sometimes get irritated with the movie, because it plays up the romance and therefore the sexual possession element of their relationship. When it's a deep, intimate and yet seemingly platonic friendship it just works better for me. Although that's probably just me...I've never been an Utena/Anthy 'shipper.

...and personally I think Anthy's action in stabbing Utena was of her own free will, but that's another discussion. It's just the reasons for her "betrayal" are a bit more complicated than the simple "OMFGSHESTABBEDHERBITCH!!!" She was doing it for what she perceived was Utena's own good, and knowing what Anthy has been through...well. She probably has the right to believe she knows what she's talking about. emot-biggrin


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#7 | Back to Top10-23-2006 02:46:28 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Possession - Ruka

Hey now, as noble as Utena's ideals are, it can't be said she's being completely selfless. There are no perfect characters in the series and I don't think it's fair to like anyone if you can't acknowledge their flaws as well as their strengths. Utena wants to free Anthy, but not because Anthy asked her to. Anthy never once requests to be saved. Not from Saionji at the start of the series, not when they first 'met' when Utena was still a child. And although her attempted suicide is a clear indication she's not happy with her life, Anthy doesn't ask for help then either. It's Utena who's decided what's best for Anthy, just like it's Ruka who's decided what's best for Juri. I agree with their decisions in both cases and I can't say either of them are wrong. Obviously their actions are noble in their own eyes, but neither of them can be truely selfless.

I like Shiori as a character. She's not a total bitch, in my opinion although I know many people disagree. But she's certainly not 'right' for Juri. Simply speaking, she likes boys, so Juri's love/infatuation with her is utterly doomed. There is no way that they can have a functional relationship unless Juri recognizes the facts and moves beyond it. Ruka isn't so much trying to distance Juri from Shiori as he is trying to free Juri of an unhealthy obsession, one that's holding her back emotionally.

And I really can't buy that Ruka's doing it all to get a goodbye kiss (or what have you) either. If we take what the nurses/shadow girls say to be fact (major leap of faith here, I know) he leaves his hospital bed with full understanding that he's not going to be around much longer. His actions aren't in a desire to get closure between himself and Juri, but to set Juri on the path to getting closure between herself and Shiori.

If Ruka had been a steady character throughout the series I'm sure we'd get to see a lot more of who he really is. But all we've got is two episodes in which he ruthlessly and methodically executes his agenda. And, unlike Touga or Akio, I'd say he does it successfully.


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#8 | Back to Top10-23-2006 03:28:15 PM

Dulcinea
Wakaba Wrangler
From: New England
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 14

Re: Possession - Ruka

I wasn't under the impression that Ruka was successful, honestly. The only thing I remember changing afterwards was that Juri seemed more aware that Shiori was more than "cruelly innocent". In Episode 37 she certainly still seems to be in love with her. Breaking the locket in the duel seemed to symbolize how much Juri wasn't willing to let go of her feelings for Shiori  (even after realizing how much they were hurting her).

And in regards to Utena and Anthy -- Utena wasn't really trying to free her, simply because she didn't have a clue what was going on. That's more a matter of ignorance (or innocence) than good intentions, but the point was that it wasn't until the last duel that she clearly was trying to save Anthy from Akio (which, well, wasn't quite successful). Up until then she just thought she was trying to protect Anthy from other duelists and force her to be more outgoing.

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#9 | Back to Top10-23-2006 03:40:51 PM

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

Re: Possession - Ruka

Dulcinea wrote:

I wasn't under the impression that Ruka was successful, honestly. The only thing I remember changing afterwards was that Juri seemed more aware that Shiori was more than "cruelly innocent". In Episode 37 she certainly still seems to be in love with her. Breaking the locket in the duel seemed to symbolize how much Juri wasn't willing to let go of her feelings for Shiori  (even after realizing how much they were hurting her).

And in regards to Utena and Anthy -- Utena wasn't really trying to free her, simply because she didn't have a clue what was going on. That's more a matter of ignorance (or innocence) than good intentions, but the point was that it wasn't until the last duel that she clearly was trying to save Anthy from Akio (which, well, wasn't quite successful). Up until then she just thought she was trying to protect Anthy from other duelists and force her to be more outgoing.

It really depends on how you look at it, yeah. I was under the impression that Ruka was at least partially successful. The breaking of the locket seemed to symbolism a sudden release from her feelings for Shiori that were chaining her down. When the locket was broken, Juri looked devestated and shocked at first and became completely distracted from the duel, then she gave up. She probably felt lost without the locket (feelings) she was so used to. But then we see her later without the locket, and she seems pretty content, at least to me. It would definitely have to be something you get used to.. I know my best friend went through something similar, and it was very hard at first to let go.


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#10 | Back to Top10-23-2006 04:36:10 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Possession - Ruka

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

Dulcinea wrote:

I wasn't under the impression that Ruka was successful, honestly. The only thing I remember changing afterwards was that Juri seemed more aware that Shiori was more than "cruelly innocent". In Episode 37 she certainly still seems to be in love with her. Breaking the locket in the duel seemed to symbolize how much Juri wasn't willing to let go of her feelings for Shiori  (even after realizing how much they were hurting her).

It really depends on how you look at it, yeah. I was under the impression that Ruka was at least partially successful. The breaking of the locket seemed to symbolism a sudden release from her feelings for Shiori that were chaining her down. When the locket was broken, Juri looked devestated and shocked at first and became completely distracted from the duel, then she gave up. She probably felt lost without the locket (feelings) she was so used to. But then we see her later without the locket, and she seems pretty content, at least to me. It would definitely have to be something you get used to.. I know my best friend went through something similar, and it was very hard at first to let go.

In the badminton scene in Ep 37, the laughing and joking the characters do together seems to indicate, to me anyway, that change was in the air, that since these characters could laugh at their hang ups, they were coming to terms with their obsessions in a less angsty way. And the fact that all of their "hang ups" are standing there watching them play seems to turn the tables a bit. That's one of my favorite scenes in all of Utena. As for Juri specifically, I think Ruka was successful. And I think Shiori does love Juri, there's just all these other negative emotions Shiori has heaped on top, jealousy and scorn. Maybe Shiori has a bit of a problem with her sexuality? Anyway, she only goes after characters who she perceives as having something to do with Juri. It's Juri she's hung up on.

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#11 | Back to Top10-23-2006 04:40:13 PM

Romanticide
Cow Bellhop
From: Mazatlan
Registered: 10-18-2006
Posts: 447

Re: Possession - Ruka

I think the difference between Ruka and Utena is not the motive but the metod. Ruka didn't care who he had to step to get Jury free: Shiori, Utena even Jury herself.


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#12 | Back to Top10-23-2006 04:44:59 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Possession - Ruka

Romanticide wrote:

I think the difference between Ruka and Utena is not the motive but the metod. Ruka didn't care who he had to step to get Jury free: Shiori, Utena even Jury herself.

Yes, I agree and I've seen some fans say it was because he didn't have much time to accomplish what he needed to and that Juri is the type of character who needs a good kick to get her head out of the sand. But also I think Ruka's method comes from being someone a lot like a more evolved version of Touga. Someone who is used to plotting to get what he wants but realizing that what he wants now is to help someone else, but, unused to feeling this way about anyone, he really only knows how to do it by plotting.

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#13 | Back to Top10-23-2006 05:19:13 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
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Re: Possession - Ruka

Dani wrote:

In the badminton scene in Ep 37, the laughing and joking the characters do together seems to indicate, to me anyway, that change was in the air, that since these characters could laugh at their hang ups, they were coming to terms with their obsessions in a less angsty way. And the fact that all of their "hang ups" are standing there watching them play seems to turn the tables a bit. That's one of my favorite scenes in all of Utena.

This was just before the Duel named Revolution and in a sense, the stirrings of a revolution (abet one of a more personal metaphorical one on the part of the duellists) was already happening and after Utena 'disappears' from Ohtori, the quiet revolution took its place, even if Akio was the only one that failed to realise it.

Dani wrote:

As for Juri specifically, I think Ruka was successful. And I think Shiori does love Juri, there's just all these other negative emotions Shiori has heaped on top, jealousy and scorn. Maybe Shiori has a bit of a problem with her sexuality? Anyway, she only goes after characters who she perceives as having something to do with Juri. It's Juri she's hung up on.

She might have loved Juri, but not in the way that Juri had longed for, but by the end of Ep 39, Juri no longer was 'stuck in love' with Shori and that improved things for the both of them.  I do wonder if Juri ever did place Utena's photo in her locket or not?

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#14 | Back to Top10-23-2006 08:31:18 PM

Ger
Rose Smilee
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 139
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Re: Possession - Ruka

Romanticide wrote:

I think the difference between Ruka and Utena is not the motive but the metod. Ruka didn't care who he had to step to get Jury free: Shiori, Utena even Jury herself.

Good point. Again, like has been said, I don't buy the "Utena's motives were totally selfless" line, because the whole point of this show is that there ARE no such people - but even everyday, normal people can revolutionize the world. You don't need to be a perfect "prince" or an angel, or what the world looks on as "perfect". That reminds me of when Wakaba confronts Utena after Touga takes Anthy away from her. "Futsu no Utena wa futsu ja nai!" ("What's normal for you isn't normal!")

The real difference though, like you pointed out, is that Utena knew perhaps she wasn't the best person in the world, but that didn't stop her from trying to be. She never tried to manipulate someone for her own sake, unlike Touga, Juri, Mikage, or Ruka.  She wanted to free Anthy, but she didn't backstab anyone to do it. That duel with Touga she won fair and square - even fairer and squarer than normal, because it was her desire to be selfless that led the Anthy's Sword of Dios to lose its Supercharged Power Of Doom (tm).

As for Ruka's success...I dunno. Being a super Ruka fan etc-love, I tend to like to think he was successful. He was trying to break Juri free not of her feelings for Shiori, but of her unhealthy obsession. Being in love with someone who won't love you back and accepting it is entirely different from obsessing over someone that it consumes your life....and the latter was what Juri was doing. That last scene where Shiori runs after Juri is the best indication of that- for once, it's Shiori doing the chasing.

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#15 | Back to Top10-23-2006 08:44:39 PM

Dulcinea
Wakaba Wrangler
From: New England
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 14

Re: Possession - Ruka

Ger wrote:

The real difference though, like you pointed out, is that Utena knew perhaps she wasn't the best person in the world, but that didn't stop her from trying to be.

I think her comment at the end of Episode 37 ("Didn't you know? I am a fool.") is one of my favorite lines in the series. :p She never would have said that at the beginning of th series.

She never tried to manipulate someone for her own sake, unlike Touga, Juri, Mikage, or Ruka.  She wanted to free Anthy, but she didn't backstab anyone to do it. That duel with Touga she won fair and square - even fairer and squarer than normal, because it was her desire to be selfless that led the Anthy's Sword of Dios to lose its Supercharged Power Of Doom (tm).

Actually, here I'm pretty sure it was Anthy's doing -- seeing Utena fighting for her moved her enough to restore her "soul" from the sword. That was the duel where she wasn't fighting to protect Anthy, but to take back herself. (And she gets a colored rose here, instead of a white one.) That's an entirely different tangent, though.

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#16 | Back to Top10-23-2006 08:48:31 PM

Ivy-chan
Unfulfilled Juror
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 232

Re: Possession - Ruka

I'm also a Ruka fan, but I don't think his intention was to possess Juri or make her love him: he knew he was dying. I believe Akio slowed the final stage of that illness, whatever it was, down for a short period of time, but it was eventually going to get him in the end. What makes me curious is the backstory here: was Ruka aware of the situation between Juri and Shiori in his previous days at Ohtori? If he was not, did Akio come directly to him and inform him about the situation? Was he a Duelist before, or did Akio offer him the ring with the chance to free Juri from her emotional shackles, and most of all, what kind of sickness did he have?

I don't think his intentions were to free Juri from Shiori- the-girl, but from her own inability to move past her obsession with her childhood friend, Shiori-the-memory in the locket. He achieved something in the end, he broke Juri's locket and obsession with a Shiori who never existed. He shattered that ideal, in the duel she seems to have an enormous flash of insight, leading to her simply acknowledging her defeat and dropping her rose. She no longer needed to duel at that point. I believe to some extent he broke Shiori's obsessive self-hatred and desire to see Juri brought down and humbled, most likely unintentionally. We see her following Juri at the end of that episode, actively seeking he rout. I don't think that her conscious decision to be a 'follower' is a coincidence either, at the end of the series, we see her willingly put herself in a subordinate position again, leading to the conclusion that some of her issues are being resolved.

He couldn't have been trying for Juri's affection at that point: he's not an idiot, he's a skilled manipulator and he must have known that his actions would make Juri hate him. I can't say I approve of his methods, though. I never liked what he did to Shiori and to Juri, although I knew how effective those actions were. He may have had 'noble' intentions, but his actions were cruel. I dislike it when people tone those down and attempt to justify them. He shattered the self esteem of a girl who had little to begin with, and emotionally hurt his good friend. His methods were carefully and selectively destructive.  In a way, he did destroy a world to make room for a new one, and that definitely goes with the theme of the series.


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#17 | Back to Top10-23-2006 08:58:21 PM

Ivy-chan
Unfulfilled Juror
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 232

Re: Possession - Ruka

Tamago wrote:

She might have loved Juri, but not in the way that Juri had longed for, but by the end of Ep 39, Juri no longer was 'stuck in love' with Shori and that improved things for the both of them.  I do wonder if Juri ever did place Utena's photo in her locket or not?

I guess that depends on whether she was forgotten completely or just partially remembered by few. I personally think that Juri threw the locket away for good, so any pictures she may have of alluring females will most likely be placed in frames on her dresser.


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#18 | Back to Top10-23-2006 08:58:29 PM

Ger
Rose Smilee
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 139
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Re: Possession - Ruka

Ivy-chan wrote:

I can't say I approve of his methods, though. I never liked what he did to Shiori and to Juri, although I knew how effective those actions were. He may have had 'noble' intentions, but his actions were cruel. I dislike it when people tone those down and attempt to justify them. He shattered the self esteem of a girl who had little to begin with, and emotionally hurt his good friend. His methods were carefully and selectively destructive.  In a way, he did destroy a world to make room for a new one, and that definitely goes with the theme of the series.

I agree!!

As much as I like Ruka, as much as I think his intentions were the best in the world, his character leaves something to be desired.  I think Ruka was doing the best he knew how, as best as he could by picking and choosing through the only methods he knew - the ones that had been taught to him at Ohtori and by Akio. He succeeded, more or less, but at great price to both himself and the two girls. I like what Dani said about him being a more evolved version of Touga.

I think Juri began to understand after he died, but that still doesn't excuse it.

The question about if Ruka was aware of what was going on with Juri and Shiori...it does seem that he's known Juri for a long time, and they were very close. However, since Shiori left Ohtori a long time ago, and the fencing dude that's shown dueling with Juri in the flashback isn't Ruka, that begs the question of if he was always a student at Ohtori, or if he transferred in after Shiori left.

Last edited by Ger (10-23-2006 08:59:44 PM)

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#19 | Back to Top10-23-2006 09:14:26 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Possession - Ruka

Call me malicious, but while I certainly agree that Ruka's methods are extreme, I can't feel sorry for Shiori at all after his duel. I just really like to see people get what they've set themselves up for, whether they realize it or not. The moment Shiori loses her grip on Ruka she brings up polishing his sword (teehee) to try and latch onto him. So as awful as it is, I delight in his reply "That wasn't my sword," I have plenty of time to feel sorry for her in the next episode.

Romanticide wrote:

I think the difference between Ruka and Utena is not the motive but the metod. Ruka didn't care who he had to step to get Jury free: Shiori, Utena even Jury herself.

That's an awesome observation. Ruka has an 'ends justifies the means' attitude that Utena could never accept. Regardless of how noble his goal is, he's certainly no better morally than Touga or Akio when it comes to his manipulations. Manipulating itself is, obviously, far from noble. Ruka just seems to accomplish what he sets out to, from my point of view.

Dulcinea wrote:

I wasn't under the impression that Ruka was successful, honestly. The only thing I remember changing afterwards was that Juri seemed more aware that Shiori was more than "cruelly innocent". In Episode 37 she certainly still seems to be in love with her. Breaking the locket in the duel seemed to symbolize how much Juri wasn't willing to let go of her feelings for Shiori  (even after realizing how much they were hurting her).

I didn't mean to imply that by the end of Ruka's plot he had fixed Juri's problems for her. I strongly feel that he set her on the path to resolving her issues with Shiori, but unlike the symbology of shattering the locket, she's only taking the first step. In the last scene of Juri for the series she seems further down the path, though I doubt that even then she's anywhere near putting that time of her life behind her.


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#20 | Back to Top10-23-2006 09:23:53 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Possession - Ruka

Ivy-chan wrote:

I don't think his intentions were to free Juri from Shiori- the-girl, but from her own inability to move past her obsession with her childhood friend, Shiori-the-memory in the locket. He achieved something in the end, he broke Juri's locket and obsession with a Shiori who never existed. He shattered that ideal, in the duel she seems to have an enormous flash of insight, leading to her simply acknowledging her defeat and dropping her rose. She no longer needed to duel at that point. I believe to some extent he broke Shiori's obsessive self-hatred and desire to see Juri brought down and humbled, most likely unintentionally. We see her following Juri at the end of that episode, actively seeking he rout. I don't think that her conscious decision to be a 'follower' is a coincidence either, at the end of the series, we see her willingly put herself in a subordinate position again, leading to the conclusion that some of her issues are being resolved.

Yes, awesome, I agree. Juri is hooked on an idea, not a person. She's obsessed with this one ideal that isn't true (Utena, Mikage almost every character?). Maybe Shiori senses that and it probably makes her feel worse. Also, I think Shiori's last line in Mikage's elevator is telling: She says all these negative things about Juri but then her final line is "Why won't you tell me how you really feel?" THAT to me is Shiori's real need. To have Juri see the real her and have the guts to face her.

Ivy-chan wrote:

He couldn't have been trying for Juri's affection at that point: he's not an idiot, he's a skilled manipulator and he must have known that his actions would make Juri hate him. I can't say I approve of his methods, though. I never liked what he did to Shiori and to Juri, although I knew how effective those actions were. He may have had 'noble' intentions, but his actions were cruel. I dislike it when people tone those down and attempt to justify them. He shattered the self esteem of a girl who had little to begin with, and emotionally hurt his good friend. His methods were carefully and selectively destructive.  In a way, he did destroy a world to make room for a new one, and that definitely goes with the theme of the series.

Hmm, this is getting me to think of ways that Mikage and Ruka are set ups for the viewer. They are examples of how someone could try to revolutionize the world, be unsuccessful (Mikage-he leaves, no one remembers him afterwards), be sort of successful (Ruka-he leaves, Juri remembers him but doesn't choose to leave the World), and finally, be successful and leave (Utena-no one but Anthy and Akio remember her, Anthy chooses to be free of the World).

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#21 | Back to Top10-23-2006 09:28:48 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Possession - Ruka

Ragnarok wrote:

Call me malicious, but while I certainly agree that Ruka's methods are extreme, I can't feel sorry for Shiori at all after his duel. I just really like to see people get what they've set themselves up for, whether they realize it or not. The moment Shiori loses her grip on Ruka she brings up polishing his sword (teehee) to try and latch onto him. So as awful as it is, I delight in his reply "That wasn't my sword," I have plenty of time to feel sorry for her in the next episode.

Oh yeah, she totally deserves it in that episode. And in the next episode she's not very convincing when she asks him to believe that she loves him "more than......anyone else." Uh, huh. Insert Juri's name there.

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#22 | Back to Top10-23-2006 10:32:26 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
Website

Re: Possession - Ruka

Oh, Ruka, he's the guy with the forelock, yes? emot-wink (I kid, I'm just poking fun at my habit of sounding very unaware there's a cast outside of Akio, Touga, and Saionji. I do think about them, I swear!)

Just a couple thoughts, first on the kiss. I always thought perhaps the reason he does that is to test Juri. Part of it is obviously his attempt to get at the locket, but I think he also kisses her in part because he wants to kiss the woman he deems worth all this, and part because he wants to make sure she would fight. I think, for a man that's dying, there'd be some strange, small comfort in Juri reacting the way she did. It lets him know it could never have been. Sick or not, he'd never have had Juri, and when you're sick, well...that's kinda nice to know. He's not missing it, where had she just surrendered and lept into his arms, well then what would he have? This woman he loves, but the knowledge that he can only have this thing so precious to him for so long, and then it's over.

Another...I've always found that particular pair, Ruka and Shiori, odd. Most of the duelists are far, far more emotionally bound to the person that draws their sword. What about these two? They both care little about each other, what bond do they have aside from the carnal one that took place in Akio's car?


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#23 | Back to Top10-23-2006 10:40:00 PM

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

Re: Possession - Ruka

Giovanna wrote:

Oh, Ruka, he's the guy with the forelock, yes? emot-wink (I kid, I'm just poking fun at my habit of sounding very unaware there's a cast outside of Akio, Touga, and Saionji. I do think about them, I swear!)

Just a couple thoughts, first on the kiss. I always thought perhaps the reason he does that is to test Juri. Part of it is obviously his attempt to get at the locket, but I think he also kisses her in part because he wants to kiss the woman he deems worth all this, and part because he wants to make sure she would fight. I think, for a man that's dying, there'd be some strange, small comfort in Juri reacting the way she did. It lets him know it could never have been. Sick or not, he'd never have had Juri, and when you're sick, well...that's kinda nice to know. He's not missing it, where had she just surrendered and lept into his arms, well then what would he have? This woman he loves, but the knowledge that he can only have this thing so precious to him for so long, and then it's over.

Another...I've always found that particular pair, Ruka and Shiori, odd. Most of the duelists are far, far more emotionally bound to the person that draws their sword. What about these two? They both care little about each other, what bond do they have aside from the carnal one that took place in Akio's car?

Hm, that's true.. the only real blond/link they have is Juri. \: Shiori is only dating Ruka to get back at Juri again, whether she wants to admit that or not, and Ruka is only dating Shiori to crush her later and bring his plot to free Juri into action. So, I guess the only bond there is that they're both linked to Juri.


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

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#24 | Back to Top10-23-2006 11:39:27 PM

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

Re: Possession - Ruka

Slightly off-topic, but it would have been even more off-topic if I put it in the other thread.. I've noticed that Juri's dueling moves are almost exactly like Ruka's. The arm-shove, in particular. I think Shiori uses the same moves when she uses Juri's sword, too. I wonder if Ruka was also partially training Juri for the job as head of the fencing team as well, or if it was just a cover-up. He saw her as good enough for the job, but she needed to get out of her complex of obsessing over her feelings for Shiori and not trying hard enough to be better than him. He was probably just trying to free  her from her unhealthy obsession with Shiori in general, though. Also, he came after Shiori came back to Ohtori, and not before too..

But yes, I agree that while Ruka's intentions were pretty selfless, they were still manipulative and cruel. That's one of the main differences between him and Utena.


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

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#25 | Back to Top10-24-2006 07:08:00 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
Website

Re: Possession - Ruka

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

Slightly off-topic, but it would have been even more off-topic if I put it in the other thread.. I've noticed that Juri's dueling moves are almost exactly like Ruka's.

Shot by shot, most of the bits of Juri's duel where you see her dueling with Ruka pull directly from shots of Utena in Juri's first duel with her. I need to take a few screenshots.


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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