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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 Top07-27-2009 10:17:20 PM

rijichouno
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 07-27-2009
Posts: 12

Anthy's Name: A Greek Eve?

I was Wikipedia-crawling this evening--tracing the ties in myth/religion between women and serpents--when I came across an intriguing fact.  Why use the Greek word for flower, if Anthy's role is a generic (albeit archetypal) one?

The Hesperides are "nymphs who tend a blissful garden in a far western corner of the world, located near the Atlas mountains in Tanger, Morocco at the edge of the encircling Oceanus, the world-ocean."

"The Garden of the Hesperides is Hera's orchard in the west, where either a single tree or a grove of immortality-giving golden apples grew. The apples were planted from the fruited branches that Gaia gave to her as a wedding gift when Hera accepted Zeus. The Hesperides were given the task of tending to the grove, but occasionally plucked from it themselves. Not trusting them, Hera also placed in the garden a never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon named Ladon as an additional safeguard."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperides

I don't mean to suggest that this is a definitive "origin" for Anthy's name, but there are apparent ties.  Anthy is suggested as wielding great power--a power that in some sense is threateningly separate from the masculine power of Dios--and as such is variously (or perhaps voluntarily) restrained, muted and outright martyred (the unsleeping hundred-headed dragon might echo the million swords of hate).

Why suggest the Greek tale of a paradaisal garden containing the secret to eternal life instead of the Hebrew one?  The distinction of the Greek version is that it is the women who are the keepers.  With the Greek tale one can make a connection between the immortality-granting power of the apples and Anthy's essential role as the Rose Bride, the prize which ultimately signifies one's access to The Power to Revolutionize the World.

...Incidentally, the Golden Apple is also known to bring discord! (eg the Judgment of Paris)

....One final tangential note...Akio's name is associated with the Morning Star, Venus.  The symbol of the goddess Venus is the rose.

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#2 | Back to Top07-27-2009 10:28:06 PM

rijichouno
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 07-27-2009
Posts: 12

Re: Anthy's Name: A Greek Eve?

I found some more eerie ties...

In the tale of the Judgment of Paris, the mortal Paris is asked to judge who of three goddesses--Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite--was the fairest;  to she he would award the golden apple.  He chooses Aphrodite, just as Anthy persistently allies herself with Akio (The Morning Star/Venus).  But ultimately we see that Akio is unfit for the golden apple (ie, cannot wield the sword of dios), and it is one of the "lesser" characters, a duelist once considered to be a pawn, who achieves/wins/bites it.

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#3 | Back to Top07-27-2009 10:38:43 PM

spoon-san
Someday Shiner
Registered: 03-18-2009
Posts: 3423

Re: Anthy's Name: A Greek Eve?

It's an interesting connection.  In regards to Anthy correlating to Athena and such, this page would agree. (heh, somehow I wouldn't be surprised if that is your page...I dunno why..I like it, though.)

I find the ideas of interest and plausible, though I need to think about this more to really say anything more with confidence.

Aphrodite...perhaps that puts a new spin on the track, "Shi no Aphrodite" (meaning 'death of Aphrodite') (edit: of course, this as much refers to Akio who is Venus/Aphrodite).

edit:

According to sources, there were 3-7 nymphs (at the bottom of this page, they make many references to seven. ) I only mention that because for each story arc, Utena has to duel seven opponents for the sake of gaining eternity, and in the myths, the nymphs guarded the golden apples said to give immortality.  Not only that, but nymphs are known to inhabit forests, especially, which makes me think of the forest arena. 

Interesting.

With this in mind, I would almost say that Anthy is the goddess amongst the nymphs even though they are dueling to possess her in mind that by possessing her, they possess eternity.

Last edited by spoon-san (07-27-2009 11:01:16 PM)

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#4 | Back to Top07-28-2009 12:05:58 PM

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

Re: Anthy's Name: A Greek Eve?

This is just like the problem with finding Christian correlations. It sort of fits and sort of doesn't. It is interesting to picture her as Isis patiently reassembling the corpse of her husband/brother but Isis seems much more dynamic.
You could also find a rough similarity with Wagnerian myth where the dwarf Alberich steals a ring from the Rhine maidens who are its rightful owners and causes a big heap of trouble until the ring is returned.

Last edited by brian (07-28-2009 12:12:20 PM)

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#5 | Back to Top07-28-2009 02:15:54 PM

Setsuna
Tragedian
Registered: 02-25-2009
Posts: 1370

Re: Anthy's Name: A Greek Eve?

I think its a little safe to say Utena's ethnic origins are all over the place.

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#6 | Back to Top07-28-2009 02:22:05 PM

spoon-san
Someday Shiner
Registered: 03-18-2009
Posts: 3423

Re: Anthy's Name: A Greek Eve?

Setsuna wrote:

I think its a little safe to say Utena's ethnic origins are all over the place.

Pretty much which is why I enjoy the anime as much as I do without feeling like "I've watched a few times, I have pondered it, I'm ready to move on to something else and just keep this as a fond memory."  I can always see new connections that I hadn't before.

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#7 | Back to Top07-28-2009 02:25:52 PM

Setsuna
Tragedian
Registered: 02-25-2009
Posts: 1370

Re: Anthy's Name: A Greek Eve?

spoon-san wrote:

Setsuna wrote:

I think its a little safe to say Utena's ethnic origins are all over the place.

Pretty much which is why I enjoy the anime as much as I do without feeling like "I've watched a few times, I have pondered it, I'm ready to move on to something else and just keep this as a fond memory."  I can always see new connections that I hadn't before.

Exactly, you could be watching almost anything and a theme just jumps out at you.
But an interesting aspect is that I don't doubt any religious ties of anykind, mainly because they're all plausible. Not to mention with the mixed bag of ethnicities, they never really explain the religion basis as a whole.
The great thing with Utena is that because of this, you get your own intrepretations, always.

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