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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 Top01-10-2007 07:32:17 PM

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

Straw Dogs: Wakaba, Juri, Shiori and the rest

This is inspired by the thread called Relation with the Duels and also the various discussions about Juri and overall feelings of inferiority.

A lot of people on that thread talked of how they felt very sorry for Wakaba and some of the others. It is very ironic that she derived hope and self-esteem from Saionji's wretched exile. That alone was unhealthy but also ironic because Saionji himself probably has self-esteem problems but on a different level. She also ignored his mistreatment of Anthy, which should have set off huge alarm bells. If he truly felt comfortable with himself he would not have mistreated Anthy.

Many characters had problems with not feeling "special" when compared to certain others. Wakaba seems to have even envied Anthy. Ain't that a riot?

Most of the envy, needless to say, was misplaced.

The ultimate irony is that the Student Council were just straw dogs in the eyes of Akio, no less than the people of lower rank. Utena might not have won but Juri and the others would almost have surely lost no matter what. In Akio's eyes there was little difference between straw dog Juri and straw dog Keiko or Wakaba or ....

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#2 | Back to Top01-11-2007 08:20:01 PM

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

Re: Straw Dogs: Wakaba, Juri, Shiori and the rest

I don't think so. They were all game-pieces, but some had more maneuverability, flexibility, and obvious value than others. Players like Keiko and Wakaba are easily replaceable, but a Juri is much harder to come by.

Like, for instance, the difference between a queen, a knight, and a pawn. emot-wink


If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
-Isaac Newton

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#3 | Back to Top01-11-2007 09:13:20 PM

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

Re: Straw Dogs: Wakaba, Juri, Shiori and the rest

That's a good analogy... now I'm going to have to come up with which piece each duellist is.


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

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#4 | Back to Top01-11-2007 10:42:31 PM

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

Re: Straw Dogs: Wakaba, Juri, Shiori and the rest

ShatteredMirror wrote:

That's a good analogy... now I'm going to have to come up with which piece each duellist is.

Unfortunately, chess boards contain a king and a queen but no prince.  "Knight" is close, though, especially as the prince archetype is adapted in Utena.

It's true that many characters' issues have their roots in feelings of inferiority.  In fact, there are very few characters whose issues can't be spun that way; I nominate Miki, possibly Touga or Mikage, and... um... no one else.  Black Rose duelists are especially prone to feeling ordinary/inferior.  (Someone wrote an essay on approximately this topic for the analysis section.)  Wakaba would make a fascinating case study; of all the duelists, she is the most explicit about fighting to rise above her normalcy, yet she spends an entire episode earlier in the series persuading Utena that people ought to do what is normal for them. 

I think brian and Ivy-chan are both right about Akio's views on his puppets' disposability.  Ivy-chan is right in the concrete; Akio would rather sacrifice Wakaba than Juri to gain tactical advantage.  But brian is right in the abstract; like any good chess player, Akio doesn't care whether he sacrifices a pawn, a queen, or his entire army if it means attaining checkmate.  After all, the pieces will all be back in place at the start of the next game.

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#5 | Back to Top01-12-2007 12:01:38 PM

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

Re: Straw Dogs: Wakaba, Juri, Shiori and the rest

Come to think of it, every single character, except possibly Akio, is starved for love and attention. Those who did not have abusive parents probably had workaholic parents (stereotypical Japanese)(and Americans?). Probably people like Wakaba would fret less about their status if they were simply loved.

And of course many people who are unloved or abused respond by seeking power. Frequently they become vulnerable to con artists or politicians who promise them power or feelings of specialness.

Last edited by brian (01-12-2007 12:05:30 PM)

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