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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 Top09-28-2007 01:51:07 AM

Voice of Athena
Wakaba Wrangler
From: Athens, Ohio/ West Chester, OH
Registered: 09-28-2007
Posts: 16
Website

The 'adult' world in SKU

Yo! Nice to find such a DEVOUT group of fans...I thought I was the only freak in the world left with SKU haunting her very soul.....emot-aaa

After hours of avoiding art history homework by re-watching almost the entire SKU series, I've been left with one question.
No, not whether or not Akio will slide out of a red convertible like some glistening, new GOD in front of my second-floor, east dorm single....*cough*....you know, the one that hasn't been used in years... (no fucking joke, except when I opened the door for the first time there was no Rose Bride scrubbing the floor, just spiders)....and whisk me away to live in some giant phallic symbol towering over campus....

No, no no..... I know this question has probably been answered before, but I need assistance hashing it out to get through this illogical, artistic brain of mine. If I drabble on too much, just stare at the bold questions and slap me with the stupid stick when you answer. The answer is right in front of me, somewhere... I'm dancing around trying to figure it out. YES, dancing in red shoes....emot-dance

Where are the parents? adults!
The only stable *adult* character is Akio, and he's not quite the paragon of moral example. Not that I mind, but...etc-wankgirl I don't consider him an "adult." He's too caught up in the mind-fuck of a game he's created and has somehow suspended time. (Doesn't Tokiko even comment on how he hasn't aged? And doesn't her role in SKU-la-la-land cease after she joins the "adult world"? She's obviously aged when she comes before/for Akio. *cough*)

Is the world of Ohtori so removed and powerful it destroys or controls the rest of the world?
The adult characters are all fleeting and weak or dead. Utena's parents are dead, we only see glimpses of Miki's father (being controlled by Anthy, of course), we never to my knowledge learn anything about Akio and Anthy's folks, Touga, et cetera.  Saionji's parents are obviously absent if they left him to live with/on Wakaba. Utena's parents dying instigate the story, but that's the largest role I can find of the adult world playing into Ohtoriland. Even the teachers in the building are controlled by puppet-master Akio (and the student council, c.f. Jury and the principal), too.  Maybe Ohtori Academy IS the 'End of the World'? (No shit, sherlock. *smacks self*)

Is the world oblivious to whats going on inside the gates of Ohtori?
I'm guessing so. Even then, their (Akio and Anthy) influence extends outwards (Miki's father). How far, though? Is it only to matters connected to the school and its students? Why is this story so much about teenagers/children and their relationships? Isn't an adult influence important for development? If I leave a couple hundred kids unattended will they start throwing swords and roses at eachother? Obviously coming of age and loss of innocence, manipulation, and all those other youth-related themes, and the target audience all have to do with it...

Really, this is another question. Who is the REAL target audience for these mixed-up children's play?
It's my opinion that the themes and symbols in the series are not intended for the the audience the show was advertised to. The series was well-crafted enough and the story devices well-thought-out enough to keep well-educated-adults discussing it into wee hours of the morning, referencing Plato, and getting catty over the significance of duel lyrics. They are children doing un-child-like things(/Akio) that resounds more now that I'm older than when I first saw the show. When I first watched Utena I understood it on a very basic level, and maybe even some of the symbols. Now that I'm older, I can't help but feel the creators ment it to be more endearing to post-adolescent adults. Maybe in the nastalgic sense? Not quite. I can't personally relate to a lot of the drama, but the philosophical questions and images make and mean more now than ever. I don't want to underestimate youth's ability to understand things, but I'm being general. When I was 14 SKU made no fucking sense. Why dose it make so much sense now? Am I the only one with this unexplained EUREKA moment? When did it fist click for everyone?


Really, this is a personal problem. Someone *Student* council me. There is some big puzzle piece I am missing. Or I am just being overly analytical.  OK, I have class in four hours. I must pass out somewhere. Or play with terpinoid.
TBC?!?!?


Syllogism the second: One, probability is a factor which operates within natural forces. Two, probability is not acting as a factor. Three, we are now within un-, sub- or supernatural forces. Discuss.
Not too heatedly.

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#2 | Back to Top09-28-2007 02:33:36 AM

mazoboom
The Boom King
From: New Orleans
Registered: 09-08-2007
Posts: 445
Website

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

You've hit upon some of the main themes of the show.  Mainly the differences among childhood, adolescence, adulthood and the changes that happen to people as they go through the different stages.  It is also about the strength that one needs to become an adult.  You're not an adult just because you're old.

When you condense this theme into a its basics, you get the movie.

Voice of Athena wrote:

Where are the parents? adults!
The only stable *adult* character is Akio, and he's not quite the paragon of moral example. Not that I mind, but...etc-wankgirl I don't consider him an "adult." He's too caught up in the mind-fuck of a game he's created and has somehow suspended time. (Doesn't Tokiko even comment on how he hasn't aged? And doesn't her role in SKU-la-la-land cease after she joins the "adult world"? She's obviously aged when she comes before/for Akio. *cough*)

And don't forget the brief depictions of the parents of Miki/Kozue.  These "role models" are specific reasons why Miki just doesn't trust adults.  These sentiments are expressed by the student council in his second duel episode.  Are adults just selfish beings who are trying to control them for their own selfish reasons?  The fact is, these children are not being left unattended.  They are being manipulated.  They only duel becuase some adult tells them to through cryptic letters.  Who are the true adults in this world?

This all fits into what age group will make the most sense of this anime.  I think you won't get the entire meanings if you yourself haven't lived through the growth of adolescence. Sure, it's a fun story when you're 14, but you really get what it's saying later on.  I'm not sure though.  I first saw it when I was about 19 or so, therefore I was never "young" when I saw it.  I then watched it when I was 22 (i.e. now), and even that slight difference in age and experience gave me a different perspective.

Anyway, welcome to the boards (I don't know why I'm welcoming you. I'm pretty much new here myself).  Your deep-reading of this show means you'll fit right into this forum.  But why should I be surprised? You are the voice of a goddess after all.

Last edited by mazoboom (09-28-2007 02:45:52 AM)

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#3 | Back to Top09-28-2007 06:55:36 AM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Where are the parents? adults!
The only stable *adult* character is Akio, and he's not quite the paragon of moral example. Not that I mind, but...etc-wankgirl I don't consider him an "adult." He's too caught up in the mind-fuck of a game he's created and has somehow suspended time. (Doesn't Tokiko even comment on how he hasn't aged? And doesn't her role in SKU-la-la-land cease after she joins the "adult world"? She's obviously aged when she comes before/for Akio. *cough*)

Whether Akio fits as a grownup or not is a very interesting question. I would say yes and no: he is an adult insofar as he can both deliberately and consciously manipulate others and predict the consequences of his actions but he fails at obtaining "complete" adulthood, for lack of a better term, in that he refuses to move on. Regarding Tokiko, she is the one example of someone who enters Ohtori, leaves and then briefly returns after a long period of time (both Ruka and Shiori leave but their period of absence is not long enough them to age considerably in the interim). She is a true adult that chose to live her life toward the future, unlike Mikage who emotionally lagged behind and failed to accomplish this liberation. Perhaps that is why he fails to recognize her.
At any rate the absence of parents is something of an anime trope, it figures rather extensively and many times no explanation is at all provided.

Is the world of Ohtori so removed and powerful it destroys or controls the rest of the world?
The adult characters are all fleeting and weak or dead. Utena's parents are dead, we only see glimpses of Miki's father (being controlled by Anthy, of course), we never to my knowledge learn anything about Akio and Anthy's folks, Touga, et cetera.  Saionji's parents are obviously absent if they left him to live with/on Wakaba. Utena's parents dying instigate the story, but that's the largest role I can find of the adult world playing into Ohtoriland. Even the teachers in the building are controlled by puppet-master Akio (and the student council, c.f. Jury and the principal), too.  Maybe Ohtori Academy IS the 'End of the World'? (No shit, sherlock. *smacks self*)

Regarding Touga and Nanami's parents, we do know that they were adopted but that is pretty much it. I would say that the world at large does not know what happens at Ohtori, at least in the beginning of the series. By the time the series ends we know that Mikage is probably "out there" (we can infer as much, at least) and so is Utena (again, presumely) and Anthy, these three at very least know what happens at Ohtori.

(Akio and Anthy) influence extends outwards (Miki's father). How far, though? Is it only to matters connected to the school and its students? Why is this story so much about teenagers/children and their relationships? Isn't an adult influence important for development? If I leave a couple hundred kids unattended will they start throwing swords and roses at eachother? Obviously coming of age and loss of innocence, manipulation, and all those other youth-related themes, and the target audience all have to do with it...

Actually, it could be that Akio's influence was not operating on Miki's father. While it might not be very likely it could be that Miki's stepmother being Anthy is just a projection on Miki's part. At any rate, I do wonder to what extent Akio can wield his power outside the bounds of Ohtori. As for the children being left to fend for themselves I agree with mazoboom, the students at this very peculiar academy are not fighting soley of their own accord, they are being manipulated to do so. I suspect that each duelist was more or less guided by Akio, directly or otherwise, to duel. Regarding adult influence being important, in SKU it seems that it does. The students view Akio as an adult, his position as acting chairman confirms this and it is through his charisma as a grownup (whether he is one or not) that he acts. Akio's influence runs very deep and impacts virtually every character even those that do not have a direct contact with him. Which brings me back to how relative the perception of "adult" can be. For Tsuwabuki, for example, Nanami is a grownup. For virtually everyone else she is the epitome of immature.


Really, this is another question. Who is the REAL target audience for these mixed-up children's play?

I do not know, honestly. It would seem that at least the last arcs are not aimed at younger teens but there are many "kiddish" anime series that deal with very important questions. Say, Sailor Moon is considerably less problematic that SKU, at least on a first impression basis, yet even the first season has its dark moments. I am sorry that I got to know to watch Utena *so* late...I watched it just a few months ago at the age of 23. I wish I had watched it when I was much younger so that I might compare how I feel now to how I had felt then.


Am I the only one with this unexplained EUREKA moment? When did it fist click for everyone?

I have had several Eureka moments that allowed me to realize a few things that were insofar shady and confusing. And I will probably have a lot more.

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#4 | Back to Top09-28-2007 10:47:25 AM

dlaire
A Whole Orange
From: Poland
Registered: 04-08-2007
Posts: 2322

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

As Tokiko said to Akio, "To bear fruit, flowers have to cast off their petals." Ohtori is dominated by flowers - roses of innocence, purity and infantile "blossoms". We must ask after Mamiya, do they like that - Student Council seem to be very satisfied. All school is frozen in time, even seasons avoid Ohtori - roses are blossoming all the time, and no one cares about time. Even duellists don't fight AT exact hour, but "after school".

Why? I think that Akio planned this perfectly - mature adult would not fight for "power of miracles" nor try to find a prince. Fairy tale which he made was supposed to melt childish and innocent heart, his games would not be successful for bitter man/woman. Shadow Girls asked: "Which of the following three things is eternal? 1. A diamond. 2. A beautiful memory. 3. Canned peaches." I think that this second option is a key - Akio made a base for gaining an eternity. He instiled them in Utena and in others to manipulate them; youth made it easier: adult could forget about them.

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#5 | Back to Top09-28-2007 11:30:37 AM

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

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Voice of Athena wrote:

Where are the parents? adults!

It really is a lot like Spirited Away or some of the other Miyazaki movies where adults
are irresponsible or cynical and children are left to fend for themselves.

Voice of Athena wrote:

Is the world of Ohtori so removed and powerful it destroys or controls the rest of the world?...Is the world oblivious to whats going on inside the gates of Ohtori?

Personally I think that is one of the key questions. Arguably Ohtori simply is the world. Corrupt adults, neglected or misguided children, rat races, games, manipulation, cruelty, misunderstandings, shallowness, savage idealism, destructive fantasies. You know, another day in the Real World. But is the real world real? Is there a deeper and perhaps better reality beyond? Nanami (and perhaps other) realizes that the way to win the game is to not play it. Utena goes her one better and tries to stop the game.

Voice of Athena wrote:

Really, this is another question. Who is the REAL target audience for these mixed-up children's play? ...  Why dose it make so much sense now? Am I the only one with this unexplained EUREKA moment? When did it fist click for everyone?

I had a sense from the start that some seriously deep mythology and psychology was behind this story. Eureka comes both unaided and via this forum.

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#6 | Back to Top09-28-2007 12:23:51 PM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

I'd also like to welcome you to the forums, Voice of Athena, and I think you should fit in here just fine.

Nocturnalux makes an excellent point about how common absent parents are in anime with no explanation needed, and the fact that the story takes place over a relatively short period of time at a boarding school provides an almost-plausible explanation. That being said, I think that the parents' absence helps to provide some explanation as to why the characters are the way they are. Touga, for example, strikes me as an almost-expected way for an intelligent, charismatic guy raised by wealthy but neglectful parents to turn out. He never wanted for anything material and doubtless got everything he asked for and so displays a sense of entitlement but desperately lacked affection and makes up for that by getting it from as many girls as can throw themselves at him. Nanami also displays that sense of entitlement but rather than having a long string of lovers to provide the affection that she needs, she turns to Touga for that because he provides it (albeit when it suits him) and was the only real constant as they were growing up.

I will probably come back to post more on this.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#7 | Back to Top09-28-2007 12:42:49 PM

Voice of Athena
Wakaba Wrangler
From: Athens, Ohio/ West Chester, OH
Registered: 09-28-2007
Posts: 16
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Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

In the manga adults also play a larger roll (in Utena's life, perhaps). What do you think was the cause for this change in the anime? I'm not trying to compare the manga to the anime, but what motive could have instigated the change? Are we supposed to look at it and wonder? Is it to emphasize that Utena's major influence in her life was not her parents, or her aunt, but a brief encounter with some mysterious prince? Does the removal of such expository scenes explaining how she had lived up to the point she entered Ohtori further stress that they are useless/sacrifice-able for the sake of keeping the series compact? Surely it is no small series that an episode paralleling the beginning of the manga could be present. If a whole episodes can ramble on about Nanami becoming a woman, transforming into a cow, then it obviously was not cut for time.
Perhaps the creators would have liked to show Utena more engrossed in the school before she became aware of its true nature, or the real reason she has ended up there? In the first episode, she's explained as a "well known" tomboy in the middle school by Touga. By creating an identity in Utena before she is thrust into the midst of the story, what does that accomplish? Surely she clings to her previous self, giving us our revolutionary girl. I could also argue it was also a personality created in her by the prince, so its not removed from the secrets of Ohtori at all. She's just not aware of it. Is Utena so 'revolutionary', or was her role planned all along?

God, I'm going to stick a fork in it and eat it.


Syllogism the second: One, probability is a factor which operates within natural forces. Two, probability is not acting as a factor. Three, we are now within un-, sub- or supernatural forces. Discuss.
Not too heatedly.

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#8 | Back to Top09-28-2007 12:51:33 PM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

I tend to think that it was mostly just brought on by Ikuhara's vision being different from Saito's. I agree that it was not based on a time constraint due to the presence of what are essentially filler episodes (though I think they hold importance on other levels than just taking up space).

As far as Utena goes, in the anime at least, it's always looked to me as though she's done her best to remain free of as many outside influences as possible. Despite being well-known throughout the school for her rebellious attire, tomboyish attitude and athletic prowess, she has few close friends (really just Wakaba) and has kept herself isolated while being the center of attention. The lack of adults just emphasizes this isolation, because really the only way to remain "pure" and not "tainted" by the outside world as Utena is in so many ways is to cut yourself off from it.

I haven't read the manga in ages so I don't remember enough about it to comment on that side of it (I only own the movie manga).


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#9 | Back to Top09-28-2007 01:15:47 PM

Voice of Athena
Wakaba Wrangler
From: Athens, Ohio/ West Chester, OH
Registered: 09-28-2007
Posts: 16
Website

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Yes, does anyone every graduate from Ohtori...? Or on graduation are they all stuck into a building and set on fire because they know too much.... ho ho ho ho.....perhaps they are the essence of a man repeating the same frame over and over for all eternity.....Hoping each time it turns out a different way.... They're all just actors (the opposite of people!)


I own all the manga. I'm an art nerd, so I can't pass up eye-candy. This is why my manga collection is nearing 200 volumes. I started selling some of them, though. It's ridiculously hard to find space for. I keep them in mint condition, all in little plastic baggies....hidden.....away form prying hands....emot-aaaemot-aaaemot-aaaemot-aaaemot-aaaemot-aaa


Syllogism the second: One, probability is a factor which operates within natural forces. Two, probability is not acting as a factor. Three, we are now within un-, sub- or supernatural forces. Discuss.
Not too heatedly.

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#10 | Back to Top09-28-2007 02:09:06 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

brian wrote:

Voice of Athena wrote:

Is the world of Ohtori so removed and powerful it destroys or controls the rest of the world?...Is the world oblivious to whats going on inside the gates of Ohtori?

Personally I think that is one of the key questions. Arguably Ohtori simply is the world. Corrupt adults, neglected or misguided children, rat races, games, manipulation, cruelty, misunderstandings, shallowness, savage idealism, destructive fantasies. You know, another day in the Real World. But is the real world real? Is there a deeper and perhaps better reality beyond? Nanami (and perhaps other) realizes that the way to win the game is to not play it. Utena goes her one better and tries to stop the game.

A very good point, Ohotori being "the world". A way of looking at it is to see Ohtori is the "created world" perpetually caught in a motionless present that will replay the past even as it undercuts any possibility for a future to truly develop. Memory is tampered with and childhood is artificially prolonged. As dlaire stated youth is a wonderful resource for Akio to plunder and employ as he sees fit. As to what exists outside of Ohtori I would say the "yet uncreated world", a chance for bringing about something new and thus grasp the future, a world in which the fruits manage to emerge from the blossoms. Maybe reaching this place is the revolution.

As to whether students graduate from Ohotori, I think that the "normal" students do just that. They are not revelant to Akio's plan, they merely exist to give the illusion of a school. It is possible that even them do not leave Ohotori and simply have their memories reset/erased periodically.

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#11 | Back to Top09-28-2007 07:34:03 PM

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

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Voice of Athena wrote:

In the manga adults also play a larger roll (in Utena's life, perhaps). What do you think was the cause for this change in the anime?

I'm not so sure. The manga shows more of Utena's dreamy side and tendency to jump to conclusions about her prince. The manga makes it clear that her naivity will turn out badly.

It also shows the inadequacy of her Aunt Yurika who was still young and just barely getting her career going when she suddenly became, effectively, a single mom. She was barely able to handle Utena, but fortunately for her Utena was trying to be a Prince and not a delinquent. Still she was high-spirited and dreamy and her Aunt could not deal well with either of those traits. She didn't fight very hard when Utena announced she wanted to go to Ohtori instead of Europe.

Still, adults get worse with each version of the story. Inadequete in the first manga, cynical in the series, evil in the movie, and utterly absent in the movie manga.

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#12 | Back to Top09-28-2007 08:39:25 PM

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

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

ShatteredMirror wrote:

Nocturnalux makes an excellent point about how common absent parents are in anime with no explanation needed, and the fact that the story takes place over a relatively short period of time at a boarding school provides an almost-plausible explanation. That being said, I think that the parents' absence helps to provide some explanation as to why the characters are the way they are.

I think "it's a boarding school" is definitely the four-word answer to "where are the parents?"  At the same time, boarding schools in the real world are by and large known for their military efficiency, their strict codes of conduct, and their utter failure to deteriorate into shouts of "Kill the pig!  Cut its throat!  Spill its blood!" and "Grant me the power to bring the world revolution!"  Why is Ohtori different?

I'm not sure I'm adding anything by saying this, but I think the difference between Ohtori and Eton is not so much the absence of the parents, but the role and power of the adults that are present.  It's not that the adults aren't there, but... well, the faculty is terrified of the Student Council, for heaven's sake.   The only adult with real power is fucking his sister and making people stick swords in each other.

It would be easy to jump from there to saying that the message of Utena (or at least a message) is that kids are malleable and need proper moral guidance and discipline.  But honestly, I know adults who remind me of Touga and Utena and Saionji and the rest.  In fact, half the reason some of what goes on at Ohtori is so disturbing is because it's kids acting in very "adult" ways.  (I'm using "adult" here to mean "NC-17" and perhaps "demonstrating an adultlike ability to hurt and manipulate," not "mature.")  It's not that kids need moral guidance.  It's that people of any age who are stuck in emotional ruts are prone to wind up being douches to each other.  If that's true, then the competent adult moral authorities aren't there because A) they'd stop their kids from fighting and there'd be no story, and B) their absence is useful for establishing why some of the kids are stuck in emotional ruts in the first place -- not because Ikuhara wants to feed us a message about the importance of good parenting.

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#13 | Back to Top09-29-2007 05:42:55 PM

Mai_Kanzaki
Ohtori Paramouri
From: Left of Nowhere, Ohio
Registered: 02-18-2007
Posts: 93
Website

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

satyreyes wrote:

In fact, half the reason some of what goes on at Ohtori is so disturbing is because it's kids acting in very "adult" ways.  (I'm using "adult" here to mean "NC-17" and perhaps "demonstrating an adultlike ability to hurt and manipulate," not "mature.")

Funny that's pretty much what high school was like when I was there. Just watch TV and alot of the high school dramas and such are like that. Face it adult=mature in the behavioral sense doesn't really apply any more IMHO. Gah there were times when I had more "grown-up" restraint than my mother when I was younger and most likely always will.

I hate it when people vocally demand respect because of their age or position. To me it means they wouldn't get any or haven't really earned it.


emot-gonk THINK MUN-KEY!

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#14 | Back to Top09-29-2007 06:59:44 PM

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

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Voice of Athena wrote:

Is Utena so 'revolutionary', or was her role planned all along?

Probably a mixture of both. Utena was lauded by the other girls in the manga as a role model and they reacted with distaste when she "acted like a girl." They almost needed her to be a tomboy.

Who can say if she was "pre-destined?" The manga almost implies that she is a supernatural being or angel in her own right. Even her name indicates that she might be an angel of some sort. Or she is a mortal who achieves angel-hood or Dios-hood because the role of Prince Dios cannot remain vacant forever. Akio calls her a "miracle." On the other hand he manipulates events, even creates Ohtori, to forge her into a suitable consort. She is "pre-destined" for a grand role but the question is, which role?

No other adults are actively trying to guide Utena in a constructive way. One could argue she is the one person who had a truly inspirng role model.

Satyreys, are you referring to Lord of the Flies? I never read that book.

It's an awful experience for a child to realize that it is more mature than its parents. Role models of true adulthood are increasingly uncommon. In our popular culture even mainstream politicians sometimes strut around like juvenile delinquents and nobody much criticizes them for it. Much of what is called adulthood is simply license and self-indulgence and consumption. In many ways the kids of Ohtori are not always necessarily kids but just people.

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#15 | Back to Top09-29-2007 08:41:01 PM

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

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

brian wrote:

No other adults are actively trying to guide Utena in a constructive way. One could argue she is the one person who had a truly inspirng role model.

And that "inspiration" was for the purpose of manipulation.  This series is screwed up.

brian wrote:

Satyreys, are you referring to Lord of the Flies? I never read that book.

The bit about "kill the pig?"  Yeah, that was a Lord of the Flies reference emot-smile

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#16 | Back to Top09-29-2007 09:02:26 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4694

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

As of lately, I'm starting to wonder more about the effects that the adults in each character's lives have on them. Though Kanae, Miki, Kozue, Anthy, and anyone else that has any sort of connection to an adult that we know of is easy to place, what about everyone else?

I recently learned that 80% of our self-esteem is formed between the ages of 1-3, and that our parents are the number one cause that determines our self-esteem, which makes me wonder about Shiori's home life. (I need to stop bringing up Shiori.) e_e Anyway, though Juri inevitably plays a huge roll with Shiori's lack of self-esteem, it does kind of make you wonder what her parents are like. They might have acted as though they liked Juri more than her, or maybe they were just fucktards without dragging Juri into this somehow.

Things that when she was really little is questionable, since for all we know her parents are horrible people, or they could be really nice. But the stuff about most of our self esteem being formed by our parents and at a young age makes me think that her home life could be leaning more towards the horrible side of the chart.

*Coughs* And all that stuff could hold true for the other characters, such as the other Black Rose Duelists. We always focus on their life at Ohtori, but we can hardly act as though they have no life outside of Ohtori.

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#17 | Back to Top09-29-2007 09:10:16 PM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

brian wrote:

Utena was lauded by the other girls in the manga as a role model and they reacted with distaste when she "acted like a girl." They almost needed her to be a tomboy.

It's interesting how this was just the opposite in the anime, how they were all thrilled when she "acted like a girl" and when she wore the girls' uniform Wakaba was the only one who responded badly and then it wasn't so much because she was acting "like a girl" but because this wasn't, in her eyes at least, normal for Utena.

Any thoughts on why the difference?


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#18 | Back to Top09-29-2007 09:26:30 PM

brian
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Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 588

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Perhaps I am mis-remembering but I thought they were pretty close. I thought that the reaction of the girls was not so much approval as just enjoying a sensational event to gossip about. Wakaba was the only one who cared enough to do anything.

One does wonder what kind of childhood Nanami had. That fan-fic Fugue was an interesting take.

Last edited by brian (09-29-2007 09:30:40 PM)

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#19 | Back to Top09-30-2007 01:32:24 PM

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

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

On a whole, as noted before, adults do not exactly play a positive role at all. In fact, they are almost seen as the enemies of those within Ohtori, which I'm betting is rather intentional on Akio's half. As Razara ponited out, we do not a single parent of one of the main characters with the excepitons of backs and silhouettes which is done quite symbolically.

Equally unusually, we are treated to very complex portrayals of the characters that is LOCALIZED ENTIRELY WITHIN OHTORI. We see nothing (or very little) of their lives beforehand and what influence their parents had upon them, which would usually play a huge part in their characterization (especially for teenagers). When they do interfere, the consequences are detrimental (i.e. Miki and Kozue) and usually just conduits for Akio's manipulation. Furthermore, the adults at the school seem mostly either completely clueless or completely corrupt.

My explanation for this? Well, we see that Ohtori's complex even includes schooling for very young children in uniforms. It is clear that most of the Student Council went at least to the middle school there. Meaning, quite frankly, that Akio takes over the parentage of the kids at his school. He has a very large scope of time to pick out the ones he wants and mold them in the way he desires. Clearly, he controls the school administration, so that the rules and initiatives are passed (like the short skirted uniforms aren't deliberate).

Furthermore, most of the students live on the campus, so they seldom have any cause to see their parents. Instead, they are constantly within his sphere of manipulation, day and night. There are no other adult influences around for guidance purposes, which makes it a perfect ground for a psychological (and sexual) predator. By depriving his students of a positive adult role model, Akio just creates more room for him to take over and manipulate that position.

You know, I initially thought the guy was kind of a dimwit, but as I get deeper and deeper into analysis I gotta respect his pure skill at strategy.

Last edited by Jellineck (09-30-2007 01:46:30 PM)


"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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#20 | Back to Top09-30-2007 01:36:26 PM

Voice of Athena
Wakaba Wrangler
From: Athens, Ohio/ West Chester, OH
Registered: 09-28-2007
Posts: 16
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Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Razara wrote:

As of lately, I'm starting to wonder more about the effects that the adults in each character's lives have on them. Though Kanae, Miki, Kozue, Anthy, and anyone else that has any sort of connection to an adult that we know of is easy to place, what about everyone else?

I recently learned that 80% of our self-esteem is formed between the ages of 1-3, and that our parents are the number one cause that determines our self-esteem, which makes me wonder about Shiori's home life.

I'm really wondering what you have to do to a child's head to fuck them up so miserably. How do I go about getting my own set of incestuous twins? Really now, there should be an instruction guide. How else am I suppose to re-create this.


ShatterdMirror wrote:

It's interesting how this was just the opposite in the anime, how they were all thrilled when she "acted like a girl" and when she wore the girls' uniform Wakaba was the only one who responded badly and then it wasn't so much because she was acting "like a girl" but because this wasn't, in her eyes at least, normal for Utena.

Any thoughts on why the difference?

I always took Utena wearing the girl's uniform as her loosing an outside source of her confidence then regaining an inward source/newer, purer source. She had to be pushed to recollect herself if she was going to continue dueling and regain her 'self'.
The change in public oppinion might just be there to give her some friction and help her justify what she's doing. Though she seems to ignore them, Wakaba, a true friend, is the only one able to understand Utena's grief (even if she doesn't really know what's going on) and take it as a sign to intervene (though it is Wakaba, and she butts in no matter what, the dumb twat. I still haven't forgiven her for inviting herself into the sexmobile so sorry if I'm a little harsh.) Utena can see by her peers reaction that if she conforms her life might be easier and she might even be more popular. But, what is right isn't always easy. She finds she can give up neither the boys uniform or the dueling, so she bucks up and takes back herself. How touching, really.
The manga she sees pressure from all sides to regain herself/ stop acting like a dumb shit. Whether or not the girls gossiping effects her, it works and she goes back to herself.
Either way the school gossip mill reacts doesn't matter, because she finds herself in the end. This is a good show of Utena's strength and how removed from the students outside the dueling bubble she's become. This is also one of Wakaba's ONLY useful purposes....*mutter mutter stabs Wakaba vododoll * I mean if she actually did something.


Syllogism the second: One, probability is a factor which operates within natural forces. Two, probability is not acting as a factor. Three, we are now within un-, sub- or supernatural forces. Discuss.
Not too heatedly.

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#21 | Back to Top09-30-2007 01:38:26 PM

Voice of Athena
Wakaba Wrangler
From: Athens, Ohio/ West Chester, OH
Registered: 09-28-2007
Posts: 16
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Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Jellineck wrote:

Meaning, quite frankly, that Akio takes over the parentage of the kids at his school. He has a very large scope of time to pick out the ones he wants and mold them in the way he desires. Clearly, he controls the school administration, so that the rules and initiatives are passed (like the short skirted uniforms aren't deliberate).

Furthermore, most of the students live on the campus, so they seldom have any cause to see their parents. Instead, they are constantly within his sphere of manipulation, day and night. There are no other adult influences around for guidance purposes, which makes it a perfect ground for a psychological (and sexual) predator.

HE'S REALLY CREATED A HAREM. IT'S BEEN THERE ALL ALONG!


Syllogism the second: One, probability is a factor which operates within natural forces. Two, probability is not acting as a factor. Three, we are now within un-, sub- or supernatural forces. Discuss.
Not too heatedly.

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#22 | Back to Top09-30-2007 01:47:22 PM

NajiMinkin
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From: The Incredible Edible Egg
Registered: 06-23-2007
Posts: 2537

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

[random thought] Perhaps one could argue that the search for a prince is the search for a proper father figure? school-freud [/random thought]


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#23 | Back to Top09-30-2007 01:51:07 PM

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

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

HE'S REALLY CREATED A HAREM. IT'S BEEN THERE ALL ALONG!

Of course it is. And the thing is that the majority of people don't even realize it. Oh-ho, how clever. How cruel. I mean, for Jebus's sake, if you like to prey on people with strong hormonal urges, minds ripe for manipluaion, and sadistically enjoy watching life-ruining drama...the Chairman of a high school is a damned good position.

Also, Naji, looking into more info for the Utena RP. My other contacts aren't being cooperative. I'll e-mail you back once I get an idea of what's going on.

Last edited by Jellineck (09-30-2007 01:52:09 PM)


"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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#24 | Back to Top09-30-2007 01:54:03 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

The world is Akio's harem.

Even though he has a great deal of influence over Ohtori, I don't think Akio has deliberately been depriving students of adult relationships. (Aside from, possibly, Utena.) It seems that parents in the series are just naturally neglectful, from what we can see of Touga, Nanami, Saionji, Miki and Kozue's non-interaction with them. Then there's Mrs. Ohtori; who discards her ill husband to have an affair with her daughter's fiance, a union she no doubt had a hand in arranging.

Voice of Athena wrote:

(though it is Wakaba, and she butts in no matter what, the dumb twat. I still haven't forgiven her for inviting herself into the sexmobile so sorry if I'm a little harsh.)

You wouldn't do the same thing in her position?


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#25 | Back to Top09-30-2007 02:00:09 PM

NajiMinkin
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From: The Incredible Edible Egg
Registered: 06-23-2007
Posts: 2537

Re: The 'adult' world in SKU

Voice of Athena wrote:

Is the world of Ohtori so removed and powerful it destroys or controls the rest of the world?
Is the world oblivious to whats going on inside the gates of Ohtori?

Has anyone here seen the Truman Show? Because that's how I imagined Ohtori. A completely isolated island where you think you're in contact with the outside world, but you really aren't.

Last edited by NajiMinkin (09-30-2007 02:00:46 PM)


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