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

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#1 | Back to Top09-03-2012 04:49:27 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Is Anthy getting off easy, in the end, considering all the terrible things she's done or been complicit in, or has her personal suffering during the course of the show/movie penance enough? Particularly in the movie where Akio's not much more than her own fears and anxieties dressed up by her magics as Big Brother and Big Responsibility?


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#2 | Back to Top09-03-2012 04:57:46 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

I myself place TV Anthy and Akio on equal levels of self-gratifying, others-sacrificing, obsessive (Anthy with Dios-character-qualities and Akio with Sheer Power) inclinations.  That being said, Anthy was lucky in that she met Utena who changed her bit by bit (the end of Black Rose Arc, Anthy was seen a little empathetic to Mikage) by bit and then a whole lot at the very end (Utena, in the end, turned out to TRULY accept all of Anthy's badness and flaws).  No such revolutionary came for Akio - no one even loved him for his "bad" real self, but only his false fronts, thus how he stayed evil to the end of the series.


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#3 | Back to Top09-03-2012 05:06:35 PM

Stephen
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Oooo, mine-field territory I think!

I mentally want to repackage this question as "how much is an abusive/forced relationship the victim's fault", because this is kind of how I see her and Akio. Which may not be fair, depends on your viewpoint. For her particular case, I'd go and say, "Well, she's certainly not helping her case, but ...". That's the trick really as I see it, it's not very clear cut by intention. She isn't a hapless victim of Akio's whims entirely, she enables and permits a lot of his behaviour, but I understand why she would do so, given their brotherly relations and his older standing.

Blame tends to be a bit of poopy thing for me to attribute, so I prefer to avoid it. But if I had to do so, it would be a fairly even split between the pair at best, if not more being put on Akio as a guy "that should really know better by your age". Being on the submissive and younger end of such an incestuous sibling bond has got to be awfully trapping, doubly so when you intentionally wall yourself off for fear of your secret being revealed to the very people that could, potentially, help you see a way out of it. Completely understandable though, why she does that. She is obviously responsible for the things she does, she is responsible for hurting Utena when she does that. She is responsible for ultimately not standing up to Akio's demands. But blame? Ehhh ... she certainly damn well didn't help the situation and she carries responsibility for that, but you can understand in the mind of a person who only understands a life the way she was leading it at the time, why she didn't naturally snap up and go "Hey! This is pretty screwed up! I don't like this!".

The movie, I ... yeah. It was fun to watch, I try not to think about it too deeply though, personally.

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#4 | Back to Top09-03-2012 05:19:21 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Being on the submissive and younger end of such an incestuous sibling bond has got to be awfully trapping,

Hi, Stephen!
If Double A are human beings who really are at the ages they try and present themselves to be, then yes, your points are all valid. 

But A&A are hinted to both be as old as time, with both having the ability to look younger older younger and back - to the point that one can argue how Akio may not really be much older than Anthy, especially since child Anthy look only slightly younger than Dios in the mob stab flashback.

I think the fact that Akio looks male and older and big in present Ohtori timeline really help Anthy appear more sympathetic to viewer's eyes despite her scarily self-centered/manipulative/hurtful-to-others behaviours; but, remember the scene "Mamiya" stabbed Kanae with the black rose?  Anthy can easily show a even more vicious side than what Akio has shown if it serves her purpose.

edited to add:
Considering how Anthy can become "anthy/mamiya", Akio may likewise have the ability to transform into a younger female too (like an "Akio/Kanae" . . .how I wanna see that animated!)

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-03-2012 05:26:52 PM)


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#5 | Back to Top09-03-2012 05:28:17 PM

Atropos
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From: Hampden College
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

I think the reason Anthy is more sympathetic is because she admits to her misdeeds and begs for forgiveness, while Akio always insists that he's in the right.
Not only that, but Anthy's cruelty is all directed towards people of less than strong moral integrity, whereas Akio is willing to kill a hundred boys just to screw with one guy. Anthy is just better overall.
(Y'know, I find it strange that Squea-er, Chu-Chu leaves Ohtori with Anthy, when for the entire series he was basically Akio's avatar. I heard that in an earlier draft, he was also left behind and pissed himself - that would have made a bit more sense.)

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#6 | Back to Top09-03-2012 05:38:27 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Atropos wrote:

Anthy's cruelty is all directed towards people of less than strong moral integrity

Alright, Nanami's a bitch, but does that warrant trapping her in a mad experiment of a school and then assaulting her with elephants and shit?

Or everything she (probably) does to Wakaba? Wakaba, who is awesome? Or, heck, Utena, herself? She's totally manipulated and emotionally and physically battered because of Anthy's actions or inactions, and she's pretty good on the integrity front.


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#7 | Back to Top09-03-2012 06:18:09 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Atropos wrote:
I think the reason Anthy is more sympathetic is because she admits to her misdeeds and begs for forgiveness, while Akio always insists that he's in the right.

Anthy admits misdeed to Utena, who accepts her at her worse.  Utena never does truly accept Akio after faced with his worse.

Not only that, but Anthy's cruelty is all directed towards people of less than strong moral integrity, whereas Akio is willing to kill a hundred boys just to screw with one guy. Anthy is just better overall.

On top of what Decrescent Daytripper said upthread, the hundred boys -the ones we hear dialogue - are shown as way worse people than the SC members or even Mikage.


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#8 | Back to Top09-03-2012 07:55:19 PM

Ashnod
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From: Missouri, United States
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Atropos wrote:

I think the reason Anthy is more sympathetic is because she admits to her misdeeds and begs for forgiveness, while Akio always insists that he's in the right.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Anthy's "confession" scene, as it were, always struck me as yet one more manipulation. The final one, as it were. At that point in the series, Utena appears ready to either abandon Anthy in favor of Akio, or walk away from the duels entirely. Perhaps both. Anthy's confession, in addition to her faux-suicide attempt, serve to bring Utena back to Anthy and the duels.

How much of that is what actually happened can be debated, but it is a valid perspective on those events. I have never looked upon Anthy's confession as being legitimate.

Not only that, but Anthy's cruelty is all directed towards people of less than strong moral integrity, whereas Akio is willing to kill a hundred boys just to screw with one guy. Anthy is just better overall.

Nor would I agree with this. How are you defining "less than strong moral integrity?" Is it true lack of integrity, or only Anthy's belief that a person has such a failing?

Does Kanae qualify? Because the only reason we can see for her to go to Mikage has largely to do with Anthy's treatment of her, which could mean Kanae would have never gone to Mikage had Anthy made an attempt to, if not show than at least mimic, familial warmth with her.

Does Utena qualify? Because she goes through an unforgivable amount of torment throughout the course of the show, and some of it is very much Anthy's doing.

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Anthy admits misdeed to Utena, who accepts her at her worse.  Utena never does truly accept Akio after faced with his worse.

But does she accept Anthy, or has she merely accepted fully the task she believes herself responsible for? If you feel your task is protecting a princess (or a witch, in this case), that often means forgetting the potential evil your charge is capable of simply by being the better person. Honor, duty, and sacrifice, regardless of who it is for.

I'm not sure Utena accepts Anthy at her worst. In fact, I don't think Utena has a clue just how dark Anthy really is. She knows that Anthy isn't an innocent, and she's likely accepting of that. But if Utena actually knew, and more importantly, allowed herself to understand the depths at which Anthy has played this game, willingly or not, she might react in a fashion to Anthy similar as she did to Mikage, perhaps worse.

I'm not saying she would, but I don't think we know enough about what Utena knows to assume she understands Anthy that completely.

Last edited by Ashnod (09-04-2012 01:01:30 AM)


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#9 | Back to Top09-03-2012 09:23:10 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Ashnod wrote:
I'm not sure Utena accepts Anthy at her worst. In fact, I don't think Utena has a clue just how dark Anthy really is. She knows that Anthy isn't an innocent, and she's likely accepting of that. But if Utena actually knew, and more importantly, allowed herself to understand the depths at which Anthy has played this game, willingly or not, she might react in a fashion to Anthy similar as she did to Mikage, perhaps worse.

I'm not saying she would, but I don't think we know enough about what Utena knows to assume she understands Anthy that completely.

Hmm . . . in a way, you might have a point.

Things Utena know about Anthy:
Her sexing Akio
Her backstabbing during Revolution
(possibly) Her teaming up with Akio to ensnare her during child coffin scene
(in other words, how Anthy hurt HER)

Things Utena don't know:
"Mamiya" and Black Rose stuff (esp. Wakaba leaf hairpiece thing), including (possibly) prompting Mikage to kill 100 boys
Her bewitching Miki's Dad
Her force feeding Kanae apple together with Akio
(in other words, how Anthy hurt OTHERS)

Utena knows Anthy has deeply hurt/betray herself, and comes to accept that. The question, I guess, remains as to be how deeply Utena might react to the idea of Anthy hurting others?


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#10 | Back to Top09-04-2012 12:06:01 AM

Ashnod
La poétesse revolutionnaire
From: Missouri, United States
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Ashnod wrote:
I'm not sure Utena accepts Anthy at her worst. In fact, I don't think Utena has a clue just how dark Anthy really is. She knows that Anthy isn't an innocent, and she's likely accepting of that. But if Utena actually knew, and more importantly, allowed herself to understand the depths at which Anthy has played this game, willingly or not, she might react in a fashion to Anthy similar as she did to Mikage, perhaps worse.

I'm not saying she would, but I don't think we know enough about what Utena knows to assume she understands Anthy that completely.

Hmm . . . in a way, you might have a point.

Things Utena know about Anthy:
Her sexing Akio
Her backstabbing during Revolution
(possibly) Her teaming up with Akio to ensnare her during child coffin scene
(in other words, how Anthy hurt HER)

Things Utena don't know:
"Mamiya" and Black Rose stuff (esp. Wakaba leaf hairpiece thing), including (possibly) prompting Mikage to kill 100 boys
Her bewitching Miki's Dad
Her force feeding Kanae apple together with Akio
(in other words, how Anthy hurt OTHERS)

Utena knows Anthy has deeply hurt/betray herself, and comes to accept that. The question, I guess, remains as to be how deeply Utena might react to the idea of Anthy hurting others?

You're not even scratching the tip of the iceberg yet.

If we accept that Anthy is likely thousands of years old, if not more, there is a history of deceit and treachery that we, as the audience, can also only make assumptions on.
If this is not the first time the Dueling contest has played out, Anthy has messed with many more lives than we have seen.


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#11 | Back to Top09-04-2012 12:14:22 AM

Atropos
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Alright, I'll concede.

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#12 | Back to Top09-04-2012 01:43:25 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

It's probably also worth considering that even the cruelest or pettiest of folks that Anthy has messed with (at lightest, and more usually, she's destroyed their chance at a fair and normal life), those people are all much, much younger than she is, many of them in their early teens. She doesn't just put people in awkward positions or encourage them to fight duels that fuel a terrible goal, she exploits their deepest fears, most personal griefs, and usually does so in ways ensured to incur exceptional angst and potentially very serious physical injury and duress. And, for all her animal love, she's probably responsible for a number of animal attacks during the series, resulting in those animals being, themselves, injured (if not from Anthy, wherefore kangaroos and elephants, right?). Ohtori is run as a cross between Fight Club and Mean Girls by near-gods.


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#13 | Back to Top09-04-2012 02:03:11 AM

Aelanie
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

In the end though, it doesn't matter. Whatever Utena might know, or suspect, about everything else Anthy did and might have done, she willingly put it aside.

What she offered to Anthy at the climax of the show was this:

"Whatever you've done, I forgive you. Whatever sins you may have committed, you've been punished for enough, and I absolve you. Whatever has happened in the past, I believe in you and your future together with me. Yes, even now."

Naive, isn't it? Such a childish, irrational ideal. It is the total antithesis of the cynical, calculating, begrudging world of adults, forever reckoning up the past slights and old grievances of everyone around them.

And that's the point. That's why it worked. That unconditional acceptance, that kindness and forgiveness even when Utena knew there might be much more she wasn't aware of...that's why it got through to Anthy. That's why she was able to finally put her faith in Utena, and be set free.

In short, Utena knew what she was doing, and chose to do it anyway. In every sense of the term, it was the right thing to do.

(As for the movie, the whole underlying set-up is completely different, and I don't think this question even applies to Movie Anthy at all.)

Last edited by Aelanie (09-04-2012 02:11:08 AM)

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#14 | Back to Top09-04-2012 02:08:39 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Aelanie wrote:

In short, Utena knew what she was doing, and chose to do it anyway. In every sense of the term, it was the right thing to do.

Sure. And it's a lovely thing, too.

But, there's more to the world than only Utena, and there's even yet, more to the world of Ohtori. Somehow, I don't see too many of them as the cheerfully forgiving sort. Do even the condemned have a right to retribution? To see justice? Recompense?

Movie version simplifies this issue, by making it implicit that most the student council (and Wakaba, who can also turn into a car, but doesn't have to make a big deal about it) also support Anthy's escape. And, Saio's definitely forgiving and, y'know, planning his own escape and to right some wrongs of his own with tactical seduction.


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#15 | Back to Top09-04-2012 06:17:11 AM

Lurv
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Well, I wonder if Akio wants forgiveness. I could be wrong obviously, but I get the impression that Akio doesn't feel much actual guilt, and might even feel like the world still owes him on some level. Of course, I'm not sure how guilty Anthy feels, but I get the impression that she feels a lot of it, though she tries to repress it.

Then there's the fact that it's hard not to feel sympathy for someone as you watch them stabbed by a thousand swords, no matter how much of an asshole they are.

Might think say about this later when I have more time and have thought about it some more.

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#16 | Back to Top09-04-2012 10:26:49 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Ashnod wrote:
You're not even scratching the tip of the iceberg yet.

If we accept that Anthy is likely thousands of years old, if not more, there is a history of deceit and treachery that we, as the audience, can also only make assumptions on.
If this is not the first time the Dueling contest has played out, Anthy has messed with many more lives than we have seen.

Oh, if we're gonna go the "logical assumption" route, then one can argue that Utena's "too-timely" orphan-hood is very likely the result of Akio/Anthy's murderous work towards ensnaring duelists/gaining power as well (one of my personal canons - not that I'm insisting it actually happened that way in the series - that I'm now using on Seinen school-devil).

Yes, both Akio and Anthy are LIKELY evil as fuck, as they are the Devil and his Witch.  What Utena did at the final duel, she did likely without possibly knowing the full facts about the siblings - her actions served to change Anthy . . . or did Anthy change in the end?  Or had Anthy simply crowned a new prince (Utena) in place of the old (Dio/Akio)?  Anthy set off in the end to find (and possibly help) sword-rushed and disappeared Utena - we get no clues that she's gonna do anything to help anyone else leave Ohtori . . . we didn't even get any clues that she feels sorry for what she did to Kanae (scarf, APPLE), who never did show up at the end.  While she call Utena without the -sama at the very end, one can argue that Anthy knows that's what Utena wants - that's she's still the same "Submissive-to-Prince Witch" she was before, only now her loyalty lies with Utena, who forgives her backstabbling thus being more noble/desirable than Dios to her Witch mind.

Lurv wrote:
Well, I wonder if Akio wants forgiveness. I could be wrong obviously, but I get the impression that Akio doesn't feel much actual guilt, and might even feel like the world still owes him on some level.

Ep 38 quote:
Akio to Utena: Foolish lifeform.

1000s yr old Akio AND Anthy probably see human beings as lowly animals that they can "eat" and/or "make use of" matter of factly.  Remember the Nanami cow ep where Anthy was shown keeping livestocks as pets?  The mob/million scene in the past would be like a farm boy seeing his farm girl sister getting skewered by rabid cows, thus making him believe that he no longer needs to be kind to animals. emot-gonk To Akio, Anthy leaving was probably like his farm girl sister running away from their farm for the sake of saving/keeping-as-pet a broiler chicken emot-gonk emot-gonk - the fact that she, his only family, leaves him shock and hurt him, but the reason she does so will be insultingly insignificant to him all the same.

So, considering that both Akio and Anthy spend their lives "eating meat", so to speak, who's more evil to the "creatures" they devour/use/abuse?  Who can say?

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-04-2012 10:46:33 AM)


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#17 | Back to Top09-04-2012 11:58:42 AM

Lurv
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Ok, thinking about the actual topic at hand, I'm not sure how much she is to blame exactly. Is she getting off easy? I don't know. For all we know she could have gone through several trials before being reunited with Utena, but that would be a different story. emot-biggrin

While she call Utena without the -sama at the very end, one can argue that Anthy knows that's what Utena wants - that's she's still the same "Submissive-to-Prince Witch" she was before, only now her loyalty lies with Utena, who forgives her backstabbling thus being more noble/desirable than Dios to her Witch mind.

She also said that Utena couldn't be her prince.

I think if Anthy was still as bad, the ending would have had a more ominous feel. As it is it's pretty uplifting.

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#18 | Back to Top09-04-2012 01:28:20 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Lurv wrote:
I think if Anthy was still as bad, the ending would have had a more ominous feel. As it is it's pretty uplifting.

We must, however, remember that the Ending was shown ENTIRELY in Anthy's POV.  Her finding a Dios substitute in Utena would be pretty uplifting to her
http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/17098-1/Series_ep39_300.jpg
(victory?) bells

That, and she was looking at Akio from like 50 feet away from the elevator in their goodbye scene .  . .
http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/17096-1/Series_ep39_299.jpg
while Akio looked small, the projector - sign of his illusory but still fear-worthy power - is HUGE in the screenshot 

That, and Anthy was then shown walking into a barren looking land with dried tree branches and NO FLOWERS also suggest her search for Utena (whether there is a reunion or not) is NOT gonna be all flowery and smooth.
http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/17118-1/Series_ep39_310.jpg
dried branches without flowers of leaves

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/17120-1/Series_ep39_311.jpg
MORE dried, lifeless seeming branches, looking almost like the swords of hate in child-utena coffin at church scene
http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/14388-1/Series_ep34_160.jpg
http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/14382-1/Series_ep34_157.jpg

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/17122-1/Series_ep39_312.jpg
gray unsunny skies, dried looking un-green grass without even wildflowers

http://ohtori.nu/galerie/d/17124-1/Series_ep39_313.jpg
Black and white friendship pic with a "bygone", "all in the past" feel

edited to add: and with Akio's presence NOT completely cut out, but looms in the background.

Whether those are uplifting or not is VERY open to various interpretations.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-04-2012 03:06:40 PM)


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#19 | Back to Top09-04-2012 01:49:56 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Now I'm fucking depressed, gorgeousshutin.

I'd forgot that the grey skies motif is in the TV version as well as the movie.

In any case, I think it's implicit that, with Anthy by her side, Utena's going to have to work hard not become Akio. But then, I suppose, that's an effort all potential-princes must make.


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#20 | Back to Top09-04-2012 02:01:39 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:
Now I'm fucking depressed, gorgeousshutin.

I'd forgot that the grey skies motif is in the TV version as well as the movie.

In any case, I think it's implicit that, with Anthy by her side, Utena's going to have to work hard not become Akio. But then, I suppose, that's an effort all potential-princes must make.

In the movie, the girls say something like "things might not work out for us in the outside world" (don't have the damned script, where to find it?!), which I think applies to the TV series as well.  Even supposing power-mad Akio will just leave them alone post TV show, there is definitely still gonna be a lot of issues/difficulties/problems BOTH Utena and Anthy need to overcome (Utena needs to relax and becoming just a good person, and not some Dios wannabe who try and carry eveyrone elses problems onto her lone back;  Anthy NEEDS to pay back and help those many people she hurt in the past before she can truly move forward into new life with UTena).  Considering the many issues both women have, it really might take like at least 10 years for the duo to get themselves completely sorted out and find a mutually happy/at peace place in life, thus why the 10 years reunion dialogue.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-04-2012 02:02:51 PM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#21 | Back to Top09-04-2012 02:30:02 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Double post but

Lurv wrote:
For all we know she could have gone through several trials before being reunited with Utena, but that would be a different story. emot-biggrin

Damn Ikuhara for not giving us the SKU sequel so many have been longing for through all these years - esp. when he clearly had the time/resource to do something like Penguinbear. emot-mad


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#22 | Back to Top09-04-2012 03:29:30 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

gorgeousshutin wrote:

In the movie, the girls say something like "things might not work out for us in the outside world" (don't have the damned script, where to find it?!)

From my own exhaustive notes on the movie:

They've made it. The outside world is a barren, jagged, unwelcoming land of fierce cloudtops and slag. I feel so sorry for the wrecked cars littering the landscape...once children, perhaps full of dreams...broken and decaying now, after having been processed into adults...lost on their way...

But, Utena and Anthy speed along on their sliver of an engine...they recline, nude and beautiful together, gazing into each other's faces.

Utena: "So, now we're headed into a world without roads. Perhaps we won't be able to make it there."

Anthy grasps Utena's hand in both of hers. "Utena, I understand now. We were born in the outside world."

"Then we're returning to the place we came from." Utena replies.

Again, we're shown scenes of the beautiful world of Ohtori, as Utena goes on. "I understand now too. Why you sought me and I didn't reject you. We were together in killing the prince." And there's Wakaba.

Shadow girls: "That's right. The outside world has no roads." "But you can always build new roads!"

Utena: "That's why we must go. As we travel, the world will get bigger by that much, I'm sure." Ohtori fades away behind them...

And as they KISS KISS KISS, a new castle appears ahead of them....

Even these last few SECONDS request interpretation...what's the castle represent? Is it just an illusion, or a new ideal to reach for in the real world? Is this a transition from the figurative Outside World, that harsh barren landscape, to the literal Outer World, which does contain light and beauty? Do the rose petals represent their love, replacing the harshness of the terrain with a gorgeous bright sky? And so it goes...

The End

That's our last sight of them: embracing nude, bodies entwined, locked in a kiss that immortalizes their triumph, their joy, and their love. Their two glorious manes of windblown hair, purple and pink, coil together as one stream just for an instant before whipping out of sight. As they disappear from our view, a flurry of rose petals obscures everything, and then nothing is left but a radiant blue sky...

I can't let you say that is in any way a less than perfectly happy ending. Every time I watch it, every time I even think of it, I am humbled by the power of the movie's finale. As deeply affecting as the climax of the series was, to me the movie is even more fulfilling. This time, Utena and Anthy are together as they depart from Ohtori, and the greatest part of it is that they both made it possible in equal measure.

Like one of her roses, Anthy made Utena bloom. Through teasing invitation and earnest intimacy, she healed Utena's emotional wounds and gave her the chance to become the person she truly wanted to be. In becoming that person, Utena showed Anthy that to be alive means to grow and look ahead, even if it is sometimes scary.

They freed each other, they saved each other, and so many messages are interwoven with their personal happy ending: believing in hope, bettering yourself, holding onto your ideals, facing your fears, finding comfort in sharing your vulnerabilities with another, freeing yourself from past tragedy, allowing yourself to love and be loved, and onward...and onward, in endless permutations, every one of them an exultation of optimism and idealism.

Yet in the midst of that exultation is the same admonition that the series carried, and if you think these things sound naive or maudlin or trite, then here as there, the joke's on you. That may be what I love about Utena most of all. It is an unmerciful indictment against "adult" cynicism and indifference. Not only is it unshakably idealistic, but it impeaches those who refuse to accept that message of idealism.

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#23 | Back to Top09-04-2012 04:03:44 PM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

gorgeousshutin wrote:

That, and she was looking at Akio from like 50 feet away from the elevator in their goodbye scene .  . .

while Akio looked small, the projector - sign of his illusory but still fear-worthy power - is HUGE in the screenshot

My first thought on that is that it shows how much bigger his illusion is than himself. Where would he be without it, after all? (Of course, that's more for the Akio thread. I'm so bad at staying on topic.)

"That's right. The outside world has no roads." "But you can always build new roads!"

Yess, those lines always gives me such feels (sorry for the tumblr speak emot-tongue).

Anthy's path might look barren, but I take that as her having only started to grow. It's quite a contrast to Ohtori with its roses everywhere, especially Anthy's greenhouse, but Anthy's greenhouse was at least once treated as a cage. Now that she's out in the free she needs to relearn how to live her life.

(Actually, I never noticed how barren it looked, so I'm just thinking up things on the spot now. >_>)

Damn Ikuhara for not giving us the SKU sequel so many have been longing for through all these years - esp. when he clearly had the time/resource to do something like Penguinbear.

emot-frown Well, at least there's fanfic? emot-smile

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#24 | Back to Top09-04-2012 04:30:49 PM

Atropos
Atropos Turretslayer
From: Hampden College
Registered: 10-22-2011
Posts: 906

Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

The series is post-apocalyptic. It explains everything. emot-tongue

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#25 | Back to Top09-04-2012 04:58:09 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

Re: How Much Is Anthy To Blame?

Aelaine wrote:
I can't let you say that is in any way a less than perfectly happy ending. Every time I watch it, every time I even think of it, I am humbled by the power of the movie's finale.

Had you been reading my post at all, you'd know I had been going on about the TV's Ending all along, using one quote from the movie in a way that does not say the TV and the movie are at all identical.

Oh, found the scene on my copy of the SKU film:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SM8IbuPYhyE/UEZ9_8AznaI/AAAAAAAAAHg/nhxW95Carec/s640/SKUmovie.jpg
". . . things might not work out for us there." (edited to add screencap)

and if you think these things sound naive or maudlin or trite, then here as there, the joke's on you. That may be what I love about Utena most of all. It is an unmerciful indictment against "adult" cynicism and indifference. Not only is it unshakably idealistic, but it impeaches those who refuse to accept that message of idealism.

Thank you for your flowery personal opinions, Aelanie.  May I see some actual scenes/dialogues (maybe screen caps will be nice) to back your statements up?  It would be silly for me to take someone's non-fact based wishes as a show's canon after all emot-keke

More clarity on what you wrote will also make for a better discussion:  by Utena, do you mean the TV series SKU?  Or the Movie SKU, or both (as they are different things)?

From what I'm seeing, TV SKU seem very much like a show about teens going past unrealistic illusion/delusions and face the real grittiness/dangers of the real world head on.  Thus why, as Decrescent Daytripper wrote:

I'd forgot that the grey skies motif is in the TV version as well as the movie.

Grey skies/ barren land seem to me to allude to the fact that post show (I'll stick to just the TV series here), the girls will face lots of imperfect things/hardships on their journey there.  And what I said in my post:

there is definitely still gonna be a lot of issues/difficulties/problems BOTH Utena and Anthy need to overcome (Utena needs to relax and becoming just a good person, and not some Dios wannabe who try and carry eveyrone elses problems onto her lone back;  Anthy NEEDS to pay back and help those many people she hurt in the past before she can truly move forward into new life with UTena).  Considering the many issues both women have, it really might take like at least 10 years for the duo to get themselves completely sorted out and find a mutually happy/at peace place in life, thus why the 10 years reunion dialogue.

Is having to continuous exert effort in chasing after happiness/peace like we all have to do in real life a "less than perfectly happy ending"?  You might think so, but I take it as a GIVEN in living life in the real world.

And even a flawlessly "happy ending" is just a story cut off at a "happy moment": things continuous changes between good and bad as life flows onward.

Lurv wrote:
My first thought on that is that it shows how much bigger his illusion is than himself. Where would he be without it, after all?

A similar question to yours:
where would the real life successful people/power players/world leaders be without their successes/powers/militant forces?

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-07-2012 10:49:07 AM)


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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