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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 Top01-14-2007 11:36:47 AM

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

Who is Anthy?

Since there's not a pre-existing thread on this, I thought I'd make one. Who exactly is Anthy, before becoming the Rose Bride and after the Revolution? If she started off as an innocent girl who only wanted to protect her brother, what effect did these decades/centuries/millennia of being Akio's doll with no heart have on shaping her post-Revolution self? Here's what we started so far in the Favorite Couples Thread...

Raven Nightshade wrote:

Iris wrote:

It's true that people do things completely out of charecter, but normally it only goes so far.
No matter how hard a snake tries to be a butterfly, it's still a snake, and vice versa; it's very hard to change one's core, and a fanfic should reflect that core, at least I think so.

Then at her core, who is Anthy, really? Is the Anthy we see at the end of the series the butterfly emerging from her cocoon or simply a snake shedding her skin? Or is there not enough information to tell? If there's a topic on this already and I missed it, let me know.

Tamago wrote:

Who exactly is Anthy?

A part of me believes that Anthy is a Nanamiish sort of girl who got way too much into wicca at somw point, discovered some real magic which both got what she wanted (Akio) and cursed her to suffer for her misuse of magic who then buried a part of herself thereby making it easier for Akio to seize control and contrived to gain back not only a part of himself but also some of the magic that Anthy got her hands on so he can gain the power to change his world exactly the way he wants it to. etc-loveetc-love

Hina the Prince wrote:

Giovanna wrote:

Raven Nightshade wrote:

Is the Anthy we see at the end of the series the butterfly emerging from her cocoon or simply a snake shedding her skin?

Oh wow, that's a fascinating way to pose the question. There has been no thread on that subject specifically...

We kinda get left with the impression Anthy is all shiny happy people after she leaves Akio, but it seems kinda unlikely after centuries of living one way that she can just drop it like a brick, nevermind that Anthy wasn't exactly an angel in the first place. I always felt her saving Dios was a fairly noble act done for the wrong reasons and done viciously. What kind of person could she possibly be after she leaves? I tend to side with the snake shedding her skin, but then I'm a big fan of Akio and Anthy and it has a lot to do with my opinion that they're on more even keel than most people give Anthy credit for. emot-keke

I disagree. If Anthy was merely "shedding her skin", so Utena's purpose, her revolution, wasn't really worth anything. Even Ikuhara isn't that cru-- okay, he is, but I still have a hard time seeing it that way.

Edited to add dialogue from other thread.

Last edited by Raven Nightshade (01-14-2007 11:48:49 AM)


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight.

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#2 | Back to Top01-14-2007 11:46:00 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
Website

Re: Who is Anthy?

If Dios was a prince then logically Anthy should've been a princess. I don't know if logic applies here though...
And after the revolution I like to think that she became Anthy. A person. She couldn't have become a princess since she let go of her past and all the fairytales. There was nothing left to make her be something she wasn't so I think she became more aware of herself (and others) which means she had evolved from a little (fake?) princess into a person who know what she is.

That's an interesting question so I have to think about it a bit more, if I get a better view at this I'll post more later.


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#3 | Back to Top01-14-2007 12:12:01 PM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Who is Anthy?

Anthy wasn't a princess, curiously enough because she was the Prince's brother. This was because within the story's context, Prince isn't a title of nobility, but a description of character. The Prince makes girls princesses by rescuing them in various ways - in the context of the story, in fact, princess as a title equals "glorified victim". The existance of the Prince enforces a triad of existance: A hero, a victim and a villain. Everyone must conform to those roles. Anthy couldn't be a princess because she couldn't be a victim, so she became a villain, instead. And cosmical irony being what it is, that act did make her a victim and therefore a princess to her Prince - who unfortunately ceased to be the hero and became the villain, instead.

I believe that Anthy's original existance was as archetypical as Dios' - in other thread I speculated of her originally being the incarnation of feminine earth, as opposed to the masculine sky, which both Dios and Akio have some kind of connection to. That makes it difficult to speculate the reasons of their fall, though - they couldn't have had exactly those roles at the moment they fell.

In any case, I don't believe that Anthy was ever purely innocent being, or even that Dios was the paragon of virtue in the sense we'd understand today. It is actually very difficult to study them separately, as it seems that they somehow define each other with their relationship, whether it is brother and sister, hero and villain or victim and villain - and I propably leave out many possible definitions for them. One thing is certain: Anthy has qualities of a witch, propably even separate from her brother, despite of Utena's belief otherwise. It may not be easy for her to conform into her new role or to be quite a moral individual in every possible way. The fanfics Archimage and Jaquemart touch the subject. Jaquemart especially seems to imply that Anthy could be every bit as terrible as her brother, if something gave her a reason - in that fic it seemed to me that she conformed to normal life simply to please Utena. I think that may have been quite an accurate description of her nature.


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#4 | Back to Top01-14-2007 12:17:18 PM

Iris
Queen of the Video Box
From: The whispers of twilight
Registered: 12-28-2006
Posts: 2124

Re: Who is Anthy?

Yay!  My little comment started a discussion!

I always saw Anthy as one of the most real charecters in the series.  Utena is somewhere between prince and princess, Nanami is the idea of the modern princess, Akio is the prince and the prince's counter part, ect, but there lies Anthy, symbolically the one that everyone's fighting for. 
Her last name, Hymenia, even sounds like hymen, making her seem even more the symbol of a female, a girl.

Soooo... here's my theory of what's at Anthy's core.
think who she is is a snake within it's eggshell, breaking through to the world, after a little help of Utena.  She was okay, she was conetent in the world that Akio offered her, it offered her lots of sex, and entertainment, and the possibility of the pains being taken away from her, so, why else but stay in her little snake's egg?
Throughout the series she delivers her little bits of poison, but always kept in check by those around her, and still would be if anyone but Utena had been the one to free her, (if they had, she would've stayed with Akio and not changed.)  Now she's one to live for herself, because that was Utena's desire of her.
At her core, she's damaged, she's hurt, she's got alot to be angry for, but she's still incredibly intellegent, has no qualms with manipulating,  She's different (unlike Wakaba or others,) knows it, and uses it.


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#5 | Back to Top01-14-2007 12:50:32 PM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
Website

Re: Who is Anthy?

Lightice wrote:

Anthy wasn't a princess, curiously enough because she was the Prince's brother. This was because within the story's context, Prince isn't a title of nobility, but a description of character. The Prince makes girls princesses by rescuing them in various ways - in the context of the story, in fact, princess as a title equals "glorified victim". The existance of the Prince enforces a triad of existance: A hero, a victim and a villain. Everyone must conform to those roles. Anthy couldn't be a princess because she couldn't be a victim, so she became a villain, instead. And cosmical irony being what it is, that act did make her a victim and therefore a princess to her Prince - who unfortunately ceased to be the hero and became the villain, instead.

I guess Anthy was an exception in these roles because she was Dios' sister; she was the one who experienced the flaw in those fairytales but nevertheless lived by them by taking the witch's role. I think she only became a witch because she had to fit herself in one of those roles. Why? I think, because of her youth, inexperience and view on her life she could not see another way out so she played according to the rules of the society and fairytales. If she hadn't accepted her role, what would have become of her? Would she have been anyone at all? Or maybe she lacked courage to be something else?


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#6 | Back to Top01-14-2007 01:51:17 PM

Syuria
Touga Topper
From: Brighton
Registered: 01-01-2007
Posts: 53
Website

Re: Who is Anthy?

Yay! Any chance to debate about Anthy is a good thing. emot-biggrin

Whenever I think of Anthy, I think of a comment my friend made, who has not yet see SKU: "It seems like half the fandom thinks she an evil bitch, the other a pitiful victim." My only real experience with the fandom has been this forum, as so far I've gathered that most people think of her as either the first, or a bit of both. I see her as a bit of the two; yes, she is abused by her controlling brother and is in constant pain thanks to the swords of hate, but she's also takes deep joy in tormenting people, not just the duellists and Utena but also Akio. I do like the interpretation of Anthy being an earth goddess of some kind, due to her affinity with plants and her general representation of the feminine.

As to the ending of the series... I don't feel that Anthy has become a completely bubbly and happy-go-lucky girl. Sure, she has clearly undergone a huge positive change thanks to Utena, as she is finally able to leave Ohtori behind by herself. This aspect is one of the things that makes me love the series so much; the idea that you can save nobody, only show them the way and let them save themselves, as Utena did for Anthy and as Ruka failed to realise for Juri. I imagine it'll still take Anthy awhile to emotionally move on from Ohtori, even though she has physically let it.

Perhaps I'm being overly attached to Anthy, but I don't feel at the end that she is like a snake shedding her skin and continuing on as without changing. It would make Utena's revolution nonexistant. The student council members all seem to have been touched by the revolution, and from her words at the end of the series it does seem she has reached Anthy too.

The feeling I get at the end of the series is that Anthy is just... Anthy. I think that at the end, Anthy is no more a Witch than a Goddess or a Normal Girl, just as Utena really is neither a Prince nor a Princess. I think part of leaving Ohtori behind is leaving behind conforming to the roles of prince, rose bride and all the others and becoming, well, herself. It reminds me a bit of a line the shadow girls say at the end of the movie, granted it's not connected to the series at all, but it links in with it in my strange mind, heheh. It's something like:

"This world may not have any roads, but you can build new ones!"

That line to me means,  "in this world you can make your own way through life." Kinda optimistic, which is how I view Anthy's ending and the ending to the series. And I've been blabbering on for far too long now, and I'm sure I don't make much sense, so I'll stop. emot-redface

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#7 | Back to Top01-14-2007 01:59:58 PM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Who is Anthy?

Maarika wrote:

I think she only became a witch because she had to fit herself in one of those roles. Why? I think, because of her youth, inexperience and view on her life she could not see another way out so she played according to the rules of the society and fairytales. If she hadn't accepted her role, what would have become of her? Would she have been anyone at all? Or maybe she lacked courage to be something else?

Personally, I believe that Anthy had no choice but to take the role, as surely as water has no choice but to go downhill. The very existance of Dios forced the fairytale-logic upon everyone, making it neccecary to be able to fall into one of the roles.

I think part of leaving Ohtori behind is leaving behind conforming to the roles of prince, rose bride and all the others and becoming, well, herself.

I agree - Anthy who leaves Ohtori no longer needs to conform into any role. However, I'm not certain if she's capable of fully understanding the implications of this before she's lived in the outside world for some length of time - she's been playing one role for aeons and it's not easy to leave old habits completely behind. Also, I think that by now part of being herself is being a witch (or a Goddess, which isn't actually entirely different, as far as roles go - just look at Circe) - not neccecarily as a villain-role, though. Just as a part of something that she is. She's free to become anything, but what she is at the moment of leaving defines what she wants to become.


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#8 | Back to Top01-14-2007 02:20:19 PM

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

Re: Who is Anthy?

Lightice wrote:

I believe that Anthy's original existance was as archetypical as Dios' - in other thread I speculated of her originally being the incarnation of feminine earth, as opposed to the masculine sky, which both Dios and Akio have some kind of connection to. That makes it difficult to speculate the reasons of their fall, though - they couldn't have had exactly those roles at the moment they fell.

See, that thought had crossed my mind too! I had considered that Akio/Dios and Anthy were some representation of the Sky God/Earth Goddess dynamic, but I could do little to really back it up. The concept has been around since at least Ancient Greece with Uranus and Gaea who, depending on which version you subscribe to, are brother/sister and husband/wife or son/mother and husband/wife. For the purposes of this discussion, we'll go with the first one. Also notice that this pattern continues with Kronos(Saturn) and Rhea(Ops), and then with Zeus and Hera. I'm trying not to get too far into this, because mythological and religious references could be its own thread.

Now, in reference to Anthy, let's recall Antheia, goddess of flowers. It's generally accepted that Antheia is a minor goddess, often known only as one of Aphrodite's entourage. In my mind, I see the Flower Goddess as really being the maiden aspect of the Earth Goddess. (And this is where we wander into wicca...) If you look at it that way, Anthy is stuck in this perpetual state of spring which could be connected to the reference in episode 33(I think) from the Shadow Girls about how the autumn constellations haven't appeared. Autumn is seen as the end of youth, adulthood. It marks that inevitable decline into winter, death. As long as autumn doesn't come, they'll always be at their prime.

Okay, I should stop now before I go too far off on this tangent. (I seem to be fond of those...)


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight.

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#9 | Back to Top01-16-2007 06:44:57 PM

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

Re: Who is Anthy?

Without doubt she embodies various psychological and mythological and metaphysical principles. But step away from the story all the way back to the original plans of Be-Papas. Their major goals surely included:
- making money
- being original
- creating a story that would inspire young girls to empower themselves.

Anthy is a strange composite being, half demon and half angel, in other words a human. On the whole she is mostly a good person who has been driven to doing bad things by bad company and a twisted environment; which can happen to all of us.

Her success as a free person is not guaranteed. If she wanted guarantees she would stay in Ohtori.

I have always believed that her greatest moral shortcomings were hopelessness and despair. In such manacles true goodness is hard to achieve. Utena showed her the possibility of victory against them. Furthermore Anthy now has someone to rescue in her own turn. In the original manga Ikuhara said said that Utena was the embodiment of Anthy's courage. In the movie manga Anthy said, "Good-bye to Princes and despair ... After all these centuries, at last I want to live!"

You guys should really give the two mangas more of a chance.

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#10 | Back to Top01-16-2007 11:22:12 PM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
Website

Re: Who is Anthy?

Here's something else I thought of.
I think that after Anthy leaves Ohtori behind she's become a mortal (and that would make Akio mortal too). She is not bound to her eternal suffering anymore so there's no reason for her to keep on living without being able to die.


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#11 | Back to Top01-17-2007 07:09:57 PM

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

Re: Who is Anthy?

That makes a lot of sense.

I forgot to mention that the movie manga also depicts post-Ohtori Utena and Anthy as a pair of normal-looking girls.

Last edited by brian (01-17-2007 07:45:19 PM)

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