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Gougai! Gougai!

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

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

#1 | Back to Top08-25-2007 12:23:58 AM

Nanami's Rose Groom
Rose Assignee
From: Czluchow, Northern Poland
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What did they see?

I was reading through the topic about Akio's car symbolism, and this made me to post here a new topic. I am not sure if someone did mention this earlier, but... how do you think, what was "The End Of World" which each Duelist was shown, to be driven back in Akio's dueling game? I mean... what did everyone of them see, e.g Nanami could have seen her with Onii-sama back in the happu childhood days, or sumthin like that, but I am mainly interested in your views on this matter.


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#2 | Back to Top08-25-2007 12:34:49 AM

Jellineck
Wondrous Sexual Eggplant.
From: Under your bed
Registered: 08-02-2007
Posts: 894

Re: What did they see?

I had a friend that suggested he pretty much had sex with all of them. I just can't really see him doing Nanami, though. There would be a match truly made in hell. Can you imagine the kid? Nanakio. Then again, Akio could do anything, so hey...

I imagine you are correct in that they all saw their purpose, or at least the illusion of a purpose that Akio created in order to be their drive for the duel. It was quite interesting that time and time again he motivated them to act on behalf of sin (i.e. vengeance, lust, envy, etc.) to counter Utena's purity. The trials of evil against virtue, I guess.

What I've always wondered is that...if he really wanted Utena towards the end, why didn't he just shoot her? Hey, he could probably get away with it too. That would be horrible but kind of funny. "Well, Utena. You've made it to the end. Here's your congratulations present." *BAM* Roll credits.


"You said you would do anything for me, right Mamiya?" Mikage purred as he slithered close. "Yes that's right" Mamiya said with a rosey blush. Mikage's smile was evil and cinister as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a banana. "Eeny meeny myny moo. I wonder where my banana will go?" - The Forbidden Passions of Nemuro

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#3 | Back to Top08-25-2007 01:02:46 AM

Archambeau
Muffy, the Forums Trophy Wife
Registered: 11-20-2006
Posts: 499

Re: What did they see?

As we discussed in the car thread, it seems that the drives represent a seduction of the mind; only in Shiori and Ruka's case do I believe any sex play occurred.  Akio, the series "adult" figure, presents to the duelists (who all seemed to be losing conviction to duel) the opportunity for "adult power" like his, the power to achieve their ends through the comparable strength they'll apparently gain if they win their next duel.  A push on his part to either strengthen the weakened duelists into noble souls for his cause, or to further hone Utena's sword for the same end.

As for what they saw, I'm inclined to believe that they were presented with a very attainable ideal; however, his saying he is showing them "the end of the world" makes me question if the vision is something positive.  The "end" used, hate, means limit (rather than owari's finality), so it raises the question of what, exactly, this limit is.  Going along with the idea of "adult power," it could very well be the limit of what their unempowered adolescence could achieve, a negative reinforcement to duel for the chance to gain the power to meet the ends on their own terms.  For example, the limit of Saionji's adolescence could be an amicable but still embittered friendship with Touga; Juri's could be a comfortable friendship with Shiori with her own feelings still dormant, what have you.  Whatever it was, it was something that impacted the duelists' conviction enough to cause them to pick up their swords once more.  I don't think just sleeping with Akio would result in that outcome.

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#4 | Back to Top08-25-2007 02:24:48 AM

hyaene
Miki Molester
From: germany
Registered: 08-12-2007
Posts: 33

Re: What did they see?

Can you imagine the kid? Nanakio.

emot-rofl that made my day.

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#5 | Back to Top08-25-2007 03:01:43 AM

bea
Saionji Slapper
From: Milan, Italy
Registered: 05-24-2007
Posts: 27

Re: What did they see?

Jellineck wrote:

I had a friend that suggested he pretty much had sex with all of them. I just can't really see him doing Nanami, though.

The other way round, I don't really think Juri would ever let Akio lay a finger on herself...


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#6 | Back to Top08-25-2007 04:20:15 AM

MissMocha
Bettie Page Princess
From: Tallahassee, Fl
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 4632

Re: What did they see?

Whatever they saw, it's something that re-enforced their need to participate in the duels. It's interesting to note though, that in the Apocalypse arc, the rose bride and defeating Utena is basically inconsequential compared to the emphasis that it was given in the previous 2 arcs. All along they were dueling for the rose bride as a means to an end, but they perceived the rose bride as the ends itself. "I will win the rose bride and be able do do whatever I want." They never go further then that. They want a shining thing, they want a lack of miracles, they want power, something eternal, but they can't define anything more then those vague ideals, which somehow they all assume Anthy is the key to.

What I wonder is if they were shown the limitations of Anthy's abilities. Sort of a "you thought this is what she could do, but this is what I can do, so you should do what I say, and go fight Utena."

This is going somewhere, but I'm too tired to think it out any further, sorry.


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And sunk in their teeth, bit your heart and released
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#7 | Back to Top08-25-2007 07:13:20 AM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
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Re: What did they see?

Now this is an interesting discussion. Good call, NRG!poptart

Here's my take. All of the duelists are first enticed into the car by Touga. He tells them "If your heart has truly not given up, you can hear it, the sound racing through the End of the World." The important thing to note here is, "given up on what?" I have always suspected that the flaw in the Seitokai, the reason they weren't revolutionary, was that they all wanted the wrong thing. Saionji wanted Touga's friendship on his own terms, disregarding what Touga was really like or may have wanted. Miki wanted a girl to be a mirror to admire himself in, his "shining thing". Juri wanted to love Shiori from afar, to love the idea of Shiori, and not Shiori herself. Nanami wanted to freeze Touga in time and maintain him as the perfect older brother who would love only her. Touga, obviously, just wanted to control and manipulate everyone.

All of these longings betray the fundamental immaturity of the Seitokai, and an inability to take the risks needed to form adult relationships. What Akio shows them, I suspect, is their dreams realized, a sort of living coffin, as he calls it in the movie. This is, however, the End of the World, because what he shows them is something that can never grow, never even truly live. And here Akio betrays himself as well. He lives at the End of the World, he is the End of the World. A place from which no one can even dream of anything new for their lives, but where he is trapped into his role, unchanging, unliving.


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#8 | Back to Top08-25-2007 09:16:58 AM

KissingT.Kiryuu
Hentai Hero!!!
From: Somewhere and Nowhere
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4090
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Re: What did they see?

They saw Akio's ..erhem.. shifter... if you catch my drift. lol


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#9 | Back to Top08-25-2007 09:40:58 AM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
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Re: What did they see?

And he is most certainly the end of the world in the sense of limits. 

Akio's ends are what I tend to refer to as being "shallow and materialistic."  According to him, the "highest" point in the world is the chairman's residence--a place from which he can look down upon others, manipulate them, and be admired as the powerful, intelligent, and attractive man he is.  So what would be his "limit" or "end" to the world?

Akio rejects all "spiritual" ideals, all dreams and desires that do not have a finite, physical form.  He scoffs at the idea of "seeking eternity" and in the third arc the end he shows to the duellists probably cuts through the semi-mystical language and penetrates the selfish root of their longings.

They are drawn in with their dreams, "if you haven't given up".  Then I think Akio shows them a painful "truth", a scenario drawn within his worldview in which the duellists see themselves in a position of power.  I don't think these scenes are anything like, for example, showing Utena herself in a fairytale as a Prince.  They're less uplifting.  I think there's a word I want to use, but I can't think of it. 

And being told by an authority "this is the world as it truly is, this is the pinnacle of what you can achieve" affects the duellists.  It focuses them.  It also makes them smug for a time.  Look at Touga, who gets less smug in the third arc--I think being close to Akio for so long, he eventually starts to see Akio's "reality" as something less than wonderful.

This reminds me of the first recap episode in which Akio says, 'The young always wish to destroy the world.'  In the third arc, the duellists don't want to destroy (or regress) the world anymore, they are at least momentarily seduced by the idea of living within Akio's world as a player with power.

Last edited by rhyaniwyn (08-25-2007 09:47:58 AM)


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#10 | Back to Top08-25-2007 09:41:53 AM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6340
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Re: What did they see?

Wow... I didn't know Miki's this narcissistic. emot-aaa
But now that you say Miki wants a girl who can reflect himself and his greatness, it makes so much more sense as to what "Shining thing" he's been talking about all this time.

But wait, if what Nanami wanted was to freeze Touga in time and remain as the perfect brother for her, then why is it in the duel, she said that she wanted to surpass her brother and everything else? I think what Akio showed her might be something along the line of an image of her where she's adored and loved by everyone because of what she is rather than because of her brother as the Seitokai President

Last edited by Hiraku (08-25-2007 09:43:01 AM)

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#11 | Back to Top08-25-2007 09:58:01 AM

Baka Kakumei Reanna
Atlantean Singer
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 07-31-2007
Posts: 572
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Re: What did they see?

I guess, given Akio's character, it's easy to assume that some kind of sexual encounter happens, but while it's reasonable given how his character is portrayed, it doesn't connect logically with what he says in any way that I can think of.

The elevator speech leads me to believe that the "world's shell" is a concept related to "end of the world," and smashing it is a means of breaking through that boundary (which leads me to think of the movie). So, perhaps Akio did show them the limits (and at the same time, the height) of their potential while still maintaining that there is a boundary that cannot be smashed-- this is all they can ever be.


We see things not as they are, we see things as we are.

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#12 | Back to Top08-25-2007 01:38:59 PM

Paradox
Winning Love By Daylight
From: Indianapolis, IN
Registered: 07-13-2007
Posts: 343

Re: What did they see?

I really don't think the car drive is about sex.  There's some involved, but it's more about self-realization.  I think when he goes over that windshield, leaving the car driver-less, they're finally forced to look forward, beyond their immediate immature obsessions and see where the car they're riding in is going, and as a corollary, where the rest of the choices they're making are really taking them.

Oddly, I'm not sure Akio is particularly successful with this.  While he buys into his own obsession, and perhaps assumes that showing them their own fantasies realized will revitalize them to take down Utena, the duelists for the most part recognize the danger they're going toward and end up fighting more to escape their own coffins than to achieve their juvenile dreams. 

In this way, they've already surpassed Akio himself.  He sees what he is right now as the absolute pinnacle, both of the Academy and himself.  He is both God and the Devil in this little world he's constructed.  To his mind, he's offering to elevate them, but at this point they know better.  The duelists can look at Utena and know that they can be better people than they are.    They choose to fight, not for Anthy and her power to change the world, but to change themselves, to break the shells they've sealed themselves in.

That's why Nanami talks about surpassing her brother.  She knows that living forever in possessive worship of him is a chain of her own devising, and she's desperately fighting to break free.

But it's been a while since I've seen this arc, so I may be a bit off.

Last edited by Paradox (08-25-2007 01:46:02 PM)

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#13 | Back to Top08-25-2007 02:56:53 PM

purplepolecat
Atlantean Singer
From: Vancouver, B.C.
Registered: 03-26-2007
Posts: 570

Re: What did they see?

Archambeau wrote:

As for what they saw, I'm inclined to believe that they were presented with a very attainable ideal... Whatever it was, it was something that impacted the duelists' conviction enough to cause them to pick up their swords once more.  I don't think just sleeping with Akio would result in that outcome.

I picture it as one of those cheesy motivational seminars, in which a charismatic well-dressed man tells a bunch of suckers that they can achieve anything they put their minds to, if they just buy the wonderful book/membership/religion he is offering them. Kinda like the organisation Rose joins in Six Feet Under.


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#14 | Back to Top08-25-2007 06:25:30 PM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
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Re: What did they see?

Hiraku wrote:

But wait, if what Nanami wanted was to freeze Touga in time and remain as the perfect brother for her, then why is it in the duel, she said that she wanted to surpass her brother and everything else?

Oh, good catch. Hum...

Well, the scheme still works, Nanami seems to have changed what she wants, but it's still the wrong thing. I would interpret her final duel as an attempt not so much to surpass her brother as to trade places with him. She wants him to hopelessly adore her the way she adores him. I admit that one's a bit of a stretch, though...mostly, if she truly did just want out of that world, I really feel like she would have succeeded, or at least given Utena more trouble. But then, Nanami never really was one of the duelists, she's the only one who receives her ring during the course of the show, and the only one who takes it off at the end.


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#15 | Back to Top08-25-2007 11:13:59 PM

Raven Nightshade
Someday Shiner
From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
Posts: 2916

Re: What did they see?

But when you think about it, the things that the Duelists want have absolutely no regard for anyone else.

I know that statement is obvious as hell, but it was midnight and I was barely awake.

I've read this entire thread twice now, and I get the nagging feeling that something's missing from it. I have no bloody clue what it is, though, and I was still thinking about it when I was trying to sleep.

Aside from that, I totally agree with what you ALL said.

I never noticed that the duels stopped being about Anthy after the Black Rose Arc. Retrospectively, though, I should have paid more attention to Saionji's last duel, especially his change in perspective after the car ride. I need to rewatch it, but it's the huuuuuuge dynamic shift that provides the best clue. Saionji and Miki were very "Anthy, Anthy, Anthy", more than Juri and Touga.

Maybe what Saionji (and possibly Miki) saw was what Mocha said...

What I wonder is if they were shown the limitations of Anthy's abilities. Sort of a "you thought this is what she could do, but this is what I can do, so you should do what I say, and go fight Utena."

Last edited by Raven Nightshade (08-26-2007 07:35:31 PM)


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It's so far and out of sight.
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#16 | Back to Top08-27-2007 01:07:54 PM

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

Re: What did they see?

I agree, there's been lots of insightful postings in this thread but something is missing and I don't know what it is either.

In the first arc the duelists were fighting to regain something, but after the ride they are fighting for new things. They start by fighting for selfish childish reasons and finish with selfish adult reasons. Akio steers them away from childish ambitions and shows them the greater world beyond but he does not show them heaven. Utena is the only one seduced by a (false) vision of heaven and he has to work much harder on her to do that.

The in the final arc Utena defeats them much more easily, sometimes almost casually except for Saoinji. He alone has a vision of The World that almost defeats her. Their greater fixation on the world gives her greater confidence in her own vision and makes her less inclined to question certain things. (There are many people around who by practicing austerities and severe self-disciplines manage to accumulate great spiritual powers that cause them to mislead themselves and others. Perhaps that's what's happening to her.)

The other thing they don't see is Anthy. In the end Utena sees the World just like the others, and still prefers Heaven but she alone sees that Anthy is missing from the heaven being proffered to her. Utena alone is not OK with that. She finally sees that Akio's heaven is just the World in disguise.

The duelists ride the Akio car and see a world to be conquered not realizing that the World is about to conquer them.

Last edited by brian (08-28-2007 07:18:08 PM)

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#17 | Back to Top08-27-2007 02:14:04 PM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
Website

Re: What did they see?

I always wondered ... Dios/Akio shows Utena Anthy and Anthy's suffering.  This inspires her to become a Prince.  Then he shows her the projector, expecting it to break her.  Is it possible he shows the other duellists the similar things?  Utena sees Anthy suffering, perhaps the others see her as the Witch.

I can't help but think of the Temptations of Christ.  Jesus fasts in the desert and Satan tempts him to make bread from stones to relieve his hunger.  Jesus is, according to an analysis I found, experiencing the pain, hunger, and suffering of mankind during this temptation.  The idea being it would be tempting for someone with miraculous powers to use them for his own material benefit.  Or, by extension, humanity's material benefit.  Then he is tempted to worship the Devil in exchange for secular power over 'all the kingdoms of the world.'  Finally, he is tempted to escape from a high mountaintop by jumping and depending upon Angels to save him (to attempt to take advantage of God's grace, one supposes).

I feel that there are parallels here, though I haven't gotten it worked out completely in my own mind yet.  The idea that the owner of Anthy will acquire miraculous power--which all of the duellists would use for their own benefit, aside from Utena--reminds me of the bread.  Utena doesn't care about the power, never seems to think about using it to free Anthy.  (Even, arguably, after Dios's speech to her.)

I feel certain the car rides, for the other duellists, are temptations along the lines of "join forces with me, and all the kingdoms of the world can be yours."

The arena itself could be akin to the high mountain.  The fact that Anthy is not saved from falling...  It's not exact, but there are interesting similarities.


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#18 | Back to Top08-27-2007 05:12:48 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
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Re: What did they see?

rhyaniwyn wrote:

Pure hotness.

I have nothing relevant to say, but rhyani, you give me goosebumps with your parallels. emot-biggrin


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#19 | Back to Top08-28-2007 06:24:20 AM

Asfalolh
Knight of Gates
From: Barcelona (Catalonia)
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 2005

Re: What did they see?

rhyaniwyn wrote:

Finally, he is tempted to escape from a high mountaintop by jumping and depending upon Angels to save him (to attempt to take advantage of God's grace, one supposes).

In my opinion, the third temptation could receive the name of "fame": to demonstrate God's grace to the world, and so be recognised. Therefore, we have: material benefits, secular power, and fame.

The arena itself could be akin to the high mountain.  The fact that Anthy is not saved from falling...  It's not exact, but there are interesting similarities.

Indeed. I love the idea, if only fame could be easily related to the duellists' temptations! Right now I don't know how to make this third parallel work.

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#20 | Back to Top08-28-2007 10:26:25 AM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
Website

Re: What did they see?

The first temptation -- duel to gain miraculous power to use for your own benefit.
The second temptation -- duel as Akio's proxy (mostly) in return for secular power, as an 'informed' player in his game.
The third temptation -- win the duel of revolution, revolutionize the world, become the Prince--and gain fame and power.

The objective barely changes, but the presentation of the temptation does change slightly...  I think fame is harder to place because the duellists are already "famous", or at least very popular.


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#21 | Back to Top08-28-2007 10:57:50 AM

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

Re: What did they see?

It's a great analogy though not an exact one. Satan's temptations progress from the material to the more "spiritual" but with Akio it's the reverse.

I wonder if there is a reference to the Bhagavad-Gita where Krishna shows Arjuna two visions --  the glorious beauty of the world and the horror. Trouble is I have never read it in entirety, just in summary so I cannot comment more. Anyway the New Testament analogy seems to work better AFAIK. Like Jesus, Utena casts away "Kingship"; and she achieves the higher goals of the other duelists (Saoinji's ideal of friendship for example).

Last edited by brian (08-28-2007 11:12:11 AM)

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#22 | Back to Top08-28-2007 06:36:49 PM

Saint Seafoam
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 08-28-2007
Posts: 19

Re: What did they see?

brian wrote:

The duellists ride the Akio car and see a world to be conquered not realizing that the World is about to conquer them.

I really couldn't have worded that any better than you did there.

Man, you guys are as sharp as tacks. emot-tongue

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#23 | Back to Top08-29-2007 02:32:48 PM

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

Re: What did they see?

Thanks. I'll take that as my cue to link to this thread.
http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=132
Click the last two links in my initial posting.

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#24 | Back to Top08-29-2007 03:26:17 PM

Asfalolh
Knight of Gates
From: Barcelona (Catalonia)
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 2005

Re: What did they see?

brian wrote:

http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=132
Click the last two links in my initial posting.

I had never seen that thread, but I had noticed the Creation of Adam parallel. It's probably the only symbolism I have ever got emot-biggrin

Last edited by Asfalolh (08-29-2007 03:26:39 PM)

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#25 | Back to Top09-13-2007 07:26:26 PM

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

Re: What did they see?

It's hard to be certain if this is the best thread to post this in but here goes.

In the final round of duels Utena wins with little trouble at all. Only Saionji gives her a good scare because his vision momentarily eclipses hers and causes her sword to vanish. Akio is taking notes and sure enough when Akio duels her he also shows her a vision of the World, probably using the actual projector with which he had snookered Saionji back in the first arc.

Akio no doubt noticed that Utena and Anthy were working together more than ever so he re-doubled his efforts to get between them.

She beats Touga easily but shows a marked tendency to get into conversations with her opponent and it's possible that Akio is noting that also.

The ironic thing is that everyone who is shown a vision of The End of World gains a momentary advantage over Utena but no lasting victory -- and that goes for Akio.

Last edited by brian (09-13-2007 07:30:17 PM)

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