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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 Top07-05-2016 04:10:25 PM

airetam
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 13

Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

school-sherlock Tis a Long Post

- Hello, I'm a new Utena fan and while I know there really isn't anything new to cover in a show that's been around for so long, I would like to offer a newbie's perspective anyhow.  The attempt has been made to avoid delving into all the analysis to preserve my own view, but I am ready, so feel free to input your own interpretation and help me piece together this kaleidoscope of art.  It's gonna get wacky and waaay out there, but whatever, enjoy the ride.   Just some facets that caught my attention and enriched the show: colors, clothing, hair and Chu-Chu. 

The show's cypher: inverted meanings

I'm going to jump right in and start with saying that I didn't really begin getting what the show was doing until I realized its use of inverted meanings and symbolism (it was like a piano fell on me in the curry episode).  From then on out I was ensnared.  Once this fell into place most things started making sense.  I kicked myself for not seeing it more clearly sooner, especially given the giant upside down castle in sky in the very first episode.  When the figurative symbolism goes literal you know it's juicy.       

http://i.imgur.com/6u9It1Jt.jpg

The idiom of a castle in the sky is where I go to for my interpretation.  The castle is an illusion, a pipe dream, unattainable and fantastical.  Within that castle lies a wish for making a memory, a fervent wish eternal and untouchable.  So the way I figure is that these wishes the duelists have are their figurative castle in the sky but because the show goes hardcore with this and shows the castle inverted, it has to mean these dreams are inverted as well.  They're nightmares not dreams, and what each character wants most to reside within that castle is the one thing they most need to let go.  Saonji's castle crumbles apart in episode 9 because his view of friendship is irrevocably lost and altered.  Or something.  It leads me to think that Utena's castle crumbling apart in the ending means that she changed her own meaning of what a prince is, her castle in the sky broke along with the illusion of her meaning, and with it Dios shattered and Utena isn't crushed by this in the way Saonji was because she tore her own castle down herself.       

http://i.imgur.com/Elexwyet.jpg > pretty much me while watching the show

Here's Utena doing a handstand to try to see things right side up.  More hints about how things are inverted.  Does she only do handstands when she's looking at Anthy and Akio?  Anyone know?


Colors

This is going to be a quick and dirty listing of some impressions

- Prince and Utena

White: the white knight archetype.  Heroic, charming, pure, honorable, chivalrous, slayer of evil, protagonist, etc. 

Used to signify:
- brides and weddings
- divinity - angels
- gives aid - hospitals, doctors
- peace - the white dove
- purity and righteousness - moral color spectrum
- death, mourning and funerals - eastern cultures
   
Black: black knight archetype.  Rouge/outcast, rough around the edges/literally unpolished*, amoral and at times downright evil, antagonist. Batman, etc.

*

A black knight is a knight not sponsored or employed by a local lord for the defense of the lands. Therefore, the black knight does not have at their disposal the resources needed to keep the armor polished and in good repair. To save face, these knights painted their armor black, to hide any wear and tear that the armor may have endured.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p … k%20knight

*Utena is referred to as an uncultured lout by Saionji due to her eschewing of traditional feminine traits (as exemplified by Anthy).  HOLY she's flying around on horseback, wearing black freaking armor while wielding a jousting lance in the opening credits emot-aaa

Used to signify:
- power, control, intimidation
- rebelliousness
- funerals, death, mourning - western cultures
- evil - moral color spectrum
- indicator of emotional vulnerability
- mystery, darkness

Inverted meanings -- Utena wears black to contrast with the white of the duelists and all both uphold but also invert the meanings of white and black.  Whoever wears white has the surface qualities of goodness but the deeper, inverted meanings of black.  Touga wears white, he seems like a dashing, charming,  princely guy.  White turns to black and he's actually an awful guy who manufactures his white knight appearance.  I just followed along the same kind of reasoning for them all and it's super fun when the meanings are simultaneously inverted and not.  Did I mention the headaches I got from watching this show?  I could only handle a few episodes at a time.     

Hair

All very blatantly color coded and inverses/complimentary, extra depth if you consider split complimentary colors.

Miki and Jury -- logic and emotion | happiness and despair dependent upon love

Orange is a color that connotes happiness, enthusiasm, or optimism but within Jury its meaning is inverted to mean melancholy, resignation, and pessimism.  It's literally a sunset and a sunrise meaning.  Orange signifies the possibility of both and which one it is depends on another variable, in Jury's case the Shiori mess.  It's like the Schrodinger's cat of the show LOL.  Here's a orange box, what's inside?  Something happy or sad.  What opens it determines which is in there.       

Blue also is linked to meaning melancholy but here its meaning is realism/logic, inverted to mean whimsy, fantasy or emotion.  Blue also means trust and "true blue" of all the duelists it seems Miki is befriended by Utena since they are seen more often hanging out together in comparison to the others.  Even if he started out just wanting to be friends only for an excuse to be around Anthy.  It's an awesome part of the show to see how Miki, Jury become a duo and bring Nanami along to kinda be friends with Utena and all start out rather chilly towards each other and gradually gravitate into friendships.   

Both have what the other needs to overcome their past

- Miki needs to have faith in his sister’s bond with him but also realize siblings should gain independence from each other. his sense of happiness can't be tied to her.   

- Jury needs to apply logic to her situation with Shiori but emotions and wishing/memories hold her back

Split complimentary of orange is purple and green --> Juri is jealous of princesses.  Seems to add up.  She wants to be a normal girl and experience what the princess does (love and being the subject of one's affections, etc.)  of course, she doesn't buy into fairy tales, miracles, and whimsy but deep down she wants to go to the damn zoo!  I guess once she takes on the meaning of purple for herself (sees herself as her own princess aka self-respect and love) she'll also take on the alternated meaning of green (new life and growth)   

Blue's split compliments are red and yellow --> Miki has sibling issues and his sense of power and ego is tied into them.  Must relinquish a need for power derived from his sister...also plays into the Akio and Anthy theme.   

Touga and Saonji -- power, action, ego, self | envy, poison, growth and life

Touga represents power and Saonji is green with envy, true, but he is poisoned by that image of power.  Green symbolizes toxicity.  Saonji is seeking to overcome Touga and he wants whatever will increase his status, power, ambitions and so on.   Touga's power and ego levels increase when he knows how much Saionji admires and resents him.  For Touga, he most needed to fail at things and learn humility.  Utena provides this and he then takes on the growth, blooming, life symbolism of green.  At least I'd like to think so. *Anthy's melting dress is green...given to her out of Nanami's jealously and toxic attitude.           

Split complementary for red are blue and yellow --> needs to apply reason/logic and remove his emotions and ego from encouraging Nanami's obsession with him even though it feeds his feelings of power

For green it's purple and orange --> Saonji's happiness or despair is tied into his perception as royalty?  I need a better fix on what purple means to really get this one.   

Anthy and Nanami

Purple and yellow both indicate royalty (princess) both have a brother figure that dominates their life and actions, and both needle the other… is this a clash of queens and a case of Anthy’s self-loathing manifesting in her treatment of Nanami, who strongly parallels her devotion (enslavement) to her brother? Yellow seems to indicate worship, but also enlightenment "I see the light!" that kinda thing.  So maybe the purple-yellow dichotomy means something similar to light and shadow? Purple is the combo of red and blue, so is it reasoning applied to energy and action?  Does Anthy think like a woman of action and act like a woman of thought? 

Yellow's split compliments are red and blue --> Nanami needs to think before she acts.
Purple's split compliments are orange and green --> obviously the more complex, of course, Anthy.  umm could mean something along the lines of how her happiness or despair is linked to her envy of those with freedom or maybe she needs to overcome her need for status and ambitions? They won't make her happy, so she needs to let go of the power she does have --> quit being the rose bride? emot-aaa         

Akio

Has white hair, but do you know who else does…Sephiroth (check my name, I am a ff7 junkie).  White hair denotes the mystical, demonic, and morally void.  However, should he have black hair instead?  Black hair with purple highlights?  Akio is complicated, and I don't dismiss him as only a villain.  Maybe by having black hair it would have shown that yes, there remains a speck of Dios within, but since his hair is white I have to interpret it to mean that Akio is lost entirely and his intentions of revolution aren't well meaning - even if it appears he tested Utena and tried to seduce her to determine her fortitude at being a  prince Anthy could believe in and thus be saved from her eternal torture.  So Akio having white hair has to mean he never really wanted to help his sister after all and would have used the power of revolution for himself.  What might be in Akio's castle in the sky?       

Pink Hair

Dainty, sweet, harmless - first inversion of the series that clued me in to look for more.  Pink is not part of the visible color spectrum.  Red, green, and blue receptors in your eyes all work in tandem (blue and green cones activate followed up by red cones to create pink interpretations color.  Blue and green partially activate, followed by a full activation on red cones).  In order to get pink, red, green and blue are all needed. 

Furthermore, pink's color inverse is a yellow-green.  So, Utena has the envy aspect of Saonji directed at the ideal of the prince which is something she has devoted herself to like a sibling aka Nanami's yellow meaning.  She goes as far as emulation in the efforts to catch up/surpass to stanch the envy feeling of green and instead provide the alternate, life and rejuvenation meanings of green... So it's a love-hate relationship to the prince that Utena seems to have?  Seems about right.   

The red and blue follow the same meanings for Touga and Miki --> Utena needed to dial down her ego, plus let go of her illusion and fantasies which is tied into her sense of happiness or sadness (orange) the split complementary is orange and blue?  hard to tell with pink. So Utena's happiness or melancholy (belief in miracles or disillusionment, etc) is tied to dreams vs. reality, logic and emotion.  Seems legit.  Apply the inverse meaning and we get that Utena's playacting as prince brings her happiness, but she's not happy really.  Applying reason seems like it would burst her bubble but it's the one thing that will make her happy.  Utena's fantasy of being a prince actually makes her sad?  Two ways to look at this: A) she wants to be a totally normal girl and have the "girl" experience and not be grouped into the boy category that goes along with being a prince B) she doesn't actually support what being prince means since the way it is only makes her sad.  So she goes about becoming a hero who replaces the definition, shatters Dios, and overcomes her own illusion.     

Mikage and Utena - visually connects these two to reinforce their thematic connections, androgyny, and queerness.  Serves to amplify Utena’s femininity and contrast but also de-emphasizes her unconventional, masculine coded traits.  Mikage's pink hair (at times looks white, and we all know what white hair means) works in the inverse that Utena’s does I suppose.  It highlights and also de-emphasizes his male traits through calling attention to his feminine coded ones.  Intellect, scientific, stoic | emotionally unstable female trope, motivated by feelings, story centers around love plot.     

Long hair vs. short

Hair length seems to be a thing.  Can't figure it out just yet.  Does it mean something like a yard stick on how much power one has?  Long hair = powerful?  Short hair = less powerful?  Of course, it could also be inverted.  Long hair might actually mean weakness and powerlessness while short hair could be a sign of a character with the most power....emot-confused.  Anthy's hair seems to mean something like this and it flip-flops in meaning throughout the show.  When it's up it means she's powerless, as seen during the first few episodes but later Akio is introduced when it's down it seems to mean she is powerless.  SO when her hair is up it actually meant she was powerful?  As in she was orchestrating things throughout the first arc?  And with Akio her hair being down means she's powerless?  And finally at the very end her long hair's meaning comes full circle to, yes, mean actual power and freedom?  emot-gonk

Akio, Touga, and Saionji --> all Fabio hair, male sexuality? desirable and powerful?  but can’t take seriously because it’s traditionally coded feminine hair applied to a hyper-masculine character in terms of exerting superiority, power, sexual conquesting, male coded virility and strength

Miki and Tsuwabuki --> both short hair, boyish and traditional/conventionally attractive because of hair style yet not seen as powerful or desirable.  The inversions are so real it slays me! Best, most dreamiest, swoon worthy hair goes to the little boy of course because that’s how the show rolls. Tsuwabuki's hair also resembles Utena’s hair fringe, interesting hmm. So she shares the connotations of a young kid then: youthful, energetic, playful, innocent, genuine.   

Mikage is in a league of his own.  He has shoulder length hair that separates him as unique and an outlier among the cast of men.  Supports him being paralleled with Utena but his hair has to be mid length in accordance to the other male characters to signify both his lack of and possession of male coded power. 

Whew. 

Next up is the Chu-Chu Files.  As soon as I caught on to the inversions I knew the most easily dismissed character had to be one of the most important.  I was not disappointed.  Chu-Chu is everything.   

Thanks for reading, I hope I gave you a laugh or a trip down the memory lane of being confused and new to the show.

Last edited by airetam (07-06-2016 12:41:08 PM)

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#2 | Back to Top07-05-2016 04:28:02 PM

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

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

Very interesting points here, for now I'll just comment on this:


airetam wrote:

Akio, Touga, and Saionji --> all Fabio hair, male sexuality? desirable and powerful?  but can’t take seriously because it’s traditionally coded feminine hair applied to a hyper-masculine character in terms of exerting superiority, power, sexual conquesting, male coded virility and strength

I don't know if you have seen the movie yet (so I am spoiler tagging it) but in Adolescence,[Touga, who amounts to a ghost, tells Shiori that he grew his hair long because of his real father who sold him as a sex slave when he was little to the Kiryuu family. I do not think Touga's movie backstory applies to the series but it gives a sinister resonance to his long, flowy, silky red hair.]

The movie also does a lot with hair length and power, too.

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#3 | Back to Top07-05-2016 07:30:52 PM

deeds24
Miki Molester
From: Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Registered: 05-27-2016
Posts: 36

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

I never thought I would question why Utena does handstands but now I must know school-sherlock. This is tempting me to go through the gallery and see who she may be looking at in situations where she is upside down. Does anyone know if there are other notable moments in the show where something or someone other than the castle or Utena is upside down as well?

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#4 | Back to Top07-06-2016 12:01:46 AM

barafubuki
Touga Topper
Registered: 05-13-2016
Posts: 56

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

Have you watched the movie? You will love this scene:

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#5 | Back to Top07-06-2016 02:32:00 PM

airetam
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 13

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

@Nocturnalux:  I have not watched the movie and had no idea about that extra bit of Touga's backstory.  Do you have any specific thoughts about hair length meaning?  I don't exactly have any concrete thoughts about it yet, as you can tell by my confusion.  I'd rather not combine it's meaning with the movie unless the symbolism maintains continuity.     

@deeds24: Figured since so many concepts in the show are inversions that when the visual art depicts something that is actually upside down it had to indicate something.  In this case, I think it shows Utena's extreme confusion to the point of her having to view Anthy and Akio from an inverted perspective in order to "see" them as the truly are and understand them and her relationship to them.  Or at least her being visually inverted works as a sign to the audience to take note.  If you do go through the gallery please come back with your findings on this, thanks. 

@barafubuki: Thanks for the movie clip.  Haven't seen the movie btw.  The characters look really different! And Utena has short hair...emot-confused great, what's that mean then?  I'll keep the series and the movie's meanings separate.  And that scene isn't subtle at all emot-rofl.  Especially with the water gushing behind Anthy like that...


Just some more quick thoughts.

I hadn't considered the Eastern cultural meanings of white and black in terms of yin and yang.  White = masculine Black = feminine. 
On the importance of outfits in concern to how Utena dresses --> The ball episode dropped an anvil on this one and carried it through to the episode where Utena wears the girl school uniform. 

uniform vs gown | male vs female | power vs dependence/subjugation | superiority vs inferiority

Touga's efforts to use a ball gown to turn Utena into a princess and conventionalize her, take her power and essentially defeat her (via removing the power coded qualities inherent in the uniform she wears to be like her prince) which is exactly what Akio did later on in a grander scale. 

It just makes me take a closer look at Anthy and the fact that she has essentially one design that is the girl school uniform, the Rose Bride gown, and the red shift dress - all coded as feminine and powerless.  The red clothes are an interesting contradiction since A) it's a dress and coded as a symbol of weakness B) it's red!  the power color of action, agency, and also ego.  Does anyone know off the top of their head instances when she's in a different outfit?  All I can think of is the cowbell episode at the very end.  Anthy's in a green track suit and has black boots on.     

http://i.imgur.com/UwsecqLm.jpg

Track suit is green --> rejuvenation, life, envy, etc.  Black boots --> power color.  Caring for her animal friends gives Anthy a sense of power (track suit can be considered male coded due to its associations with sports and the fact that it's not a dress, and black is a power color) and doing so gives her life?  It could also mean that she's envious of the animals and the care and love they receive and it fills her with the negative meanings of the color white.  The fact that she's got the white stripe on her pants and a white bandana seems to say to me that the meanings of white balance the meanings of black.  It could also just mean that she's happy having a cow to take care of allowed her the excuse to order Nanami a cowbell.

Going deeper into the rabbit hole, is it too much to consider that this episode could be interpreted as the lighthearted, sunshiny look at Anthy's situation through the filter of Nanami's character?  What I mean is that Anthy wears the allegorical cowbell (feminine docility and subjugation) and from it convinces herself to be like a cow (to buy into the power structures dictated by Akio's regime).  Mental imprisonment, if you will.  In the end Nanami had to be convinced that she was not, in fact, transformed into an actual cow.  And Anthy needed to be convinced that she could leave her coffin.

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#6 | Back to Top07-06-2016 02:36:00 PM

barafubuki
Touga Topper
Registered: 05-13-2016
Posts: 56

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

@barafubuki: Thanks for the movie clip.  Haven't seen the movie btw.  The characters look really different! And Utena has short hair...emot-confused great, what's that mean then?  I'll keep the series and the movie's meanings separate.  And that scene isn't subtle at all emot-rofl.  Especially with the water gushing behind Anthy like that...

I don't consider the clip to be a movie spoiler, so I hope you didn't mind me sharing it.

Did you see the right-side up castle at the end? I had to watch it a few times before I ever saw that. emot-smile

Hair length is interesting in the movie too. But I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

@Nocturnalux:  I have not watched the movie and had no idea about that extra bit of Touga's backstory.  Do you have any specific thoughts about hair length meaning?  I don't exactly have any concrete thoughts about it yet, as you can tell by my confusion.  I'd rather not combine it's meaning with the movie unless the symbolism maintains continuity.

I have heard Touga's backstory, while not explained in the series, is canon in the series nonetheless... I'm not sure where I read that source from.

I have been interpreting Touga's preoccupation of long hair to symbolize objectification and his internal conflict with being objectified himself. He was forced to grow his hair long and was emasculated for it. While I don't believe Touga is a feminist per se, he is always using words like "feminist" and "ally of women" because I think he understands what it really means to have long hair, and I think he empathizes with Utena a bit for that. He seems so sad when he is touching Utena's hair as a child. We also see him touching it at school when she is older. He is so obsessed with her long hair--because it reminds him of his own harrowing experiences growing up. I still think Touga is a manipulative asshole, but this just happens to be one of the things I look at in order to sympathize with him a bit. In my headcannon, I think he probably suffered a lot in order to protect Nanami. It is no wonder he wants to be a prince so badly and exercise his masculinity and male privilege. The way he goes about it, however, just ends up being toxic for everyone involved.

EDIT:
In Japan, at least dating back to the Heian Jidai, if not further, women would grow their hair out so long that it would trail on the ground. Check it out: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/73 … 7eca82.jpg

I remember reading Genji Monogatari when the Lady Murasaki begs Prince Genji to let her shave her head, but he of course refuses. The reason being, that in her act of shaving her hair off, she will no longer be seen as beautiful nor be an object of desire to him.

Last edited by barafubuki (07-06-2016 11:19:48 PM)

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#7 | Back to Top07-06-2016 03:09:56 PM

barafubuki
Touga Topper
Registered: 05-13-2016
Posts: 56

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

Found it! I believe this was an interview with Enokido.

According an interview in the “Revolutionary Girl Utena Privacy Files” that were published in a magazine called “Shousetsu June” in 1999, a writer said the following:

Although the TV series touched upon Touga’s younger days, the film goes into more details – the wound of Touga that was never directly depicted. In his younger days, Touga was a normal kid who enjoyed happy times with his friend Saionji Kyouichi and his younger sister Nanami. However, he came to know his unfortunate fate from the time he was ordered by his parents to wear his hair long. His parents sold him to the Kiryuu family. Although he was an adopted son on the surface, the instinctive Touga knew what that meant. And in order to protect his younger sister, he accepted his lot. Being sold. We did not go into depicting what Touga’s parents obtained by going as far as selling their son. We would like you to think of it as a kind of metaphor.

And Touga accepted in silence the sexual abuse from his new parents. His personality changed while he made a magnanimous show of enjoying the abuses in order to prevent his personality from splitting. The change took place in a spot so deep in his mind, that even those closest to him did not notice. Saionji and Nanami never noticed out of their innocence. And Touga never told his secret to anyone. It is said that a human being gains whatever he lost in exchange. So what did Touga gain in exchange at that point in time? It was the sense of alienation from being abused every night and seeing his innocent friend and sister during the day. The alienated self.

And it is out of this awareness of alienation that you come to obtain a higher human and sexual self-awareness. In the TV series, Saionji always felt that he was one step behind Touga. Although the two are more or less equal in terms of ability, what Saionji lacked was that sense of alienation.

Last edited by barafubuki (07-06-2016 03:10:53 PM)

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#8 | Back to Top07-10-2016 02:26:50 PM

zeedikay
Sunlit Gardener (Prelude)
Registered: 02-22-2014
Posts: 170

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

airetam wrote:

Furthermore, pink's color inverse is a yellow-green.  So, Utena has the envy aspect of Saonji directed at the ideal of the prince which is something she has devoted herself to like a sibling aka Nanami's yellow meaning.  She goes as far as emulation in the efforts to catch up/surpass to stanch the envy feeling of green and instead provide the alternate, life and rejuvenation meanings of green... So it's a love-hate relationship to the prince that Utena seems to have?  Seems about right.

Interesting that you said that color is Utena's inverse, because guess who has that hair color and is pretty much one of Utena's mirror opposites?

http://ohtori.nu/gallery/var/albums/Series/Episodes/Black_Rose_Saga/14/Series_ep14_027.jpg?m=1380853278
Kanae Ohtori.
She is the original chairman's daughter, and pretty much treated as the show's prototypical princess. She's gentle, soft-spoken, and has a sense of duty to follow her father's wishes by being engaged to Akio. Unfortunately this means that she's constantly being indirectly pushed away by the fiancé she is unaware of being the (most likely) cause of her father's illness, and ends up being a prototype for the Black Rose Duelists because she is unnerved by Anthy's passive-agressivness.

http://ohtori.nu/gallery/var/resizes/Series/Episodes/Black_Rose_Saga/14/Series_ep14_148.jpg?m=1380853299
And even though she's pretty much stuck because of her 'princess-ly duties' and clueless innocence, what is her reward?

http://ohtori.nu/gallery/var/resizes/Series/Episodes/Akio_Arc/32/Series_ep32_085.jpg?m=1380825075
http://ohtori.nu/gallery/var/resizes/Series/Episodes/Akio_Arc/32/Series_ep32_086.jpg?m=1380825075
Note that we do not know what happens to her after this. But it's commonly thought that she gets poisoned.

http://ohtori.nu/gallery/var/resizes/Movie/Movie_Screenshots/Gogai_Gogai_Akios_Dead_Shiori_Car/Movie_Screen_0738.jpg?m=1380885417
In the movie, she is very much more alive, but still acts as little more than a visual callback, and cries over a grave to make it clear that, yes, someone/Akio is definitely buried there.

Kanae, from what I can gather, is what Utena fears what would happen to her if she is not a prince throughout a good chunk of the series. Even if it prolongs the destructive cycle, at least princes have more of a chance to clean up the resulting damage, right?

EDIT: This post on utena-explained pretty much provides a good summary on Kanae, and might clear up anything I missed. (Here!)

Last edited by zeedikay (07-10-2016 02:29:03 PM)

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#9 | Back to Top07-10-2016 04:32:52 PM

airetam
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 13

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

Really interesting point here.  I haven't seen the movie so I don't know what to make of Kanae in reference to her role in it, but within the series it does seem she serves as the metaphor/icon for a princess, especially one that is a victim or/and a token and pawn in securing or expanding a monarch's (in this case a king's) power.   

zeedikay wrote:

She is the original chairman's daughter, and pretty much treated as the show's prototypical princess. She's gentle, soft-spoken, and has a sense of duty to follow her father's wishes by being engaged to Akio.

She's wearing an orange dress, and to me this means her sense of fulfillment is derived from how well she performs as a "princess" and carries out her duty to her father.  Invert it and it takes on the blue color meanings and maybe is a sign of how something like the princess image she performs is a fantasy but also a reality?  Blue has to do with wishes, fantasy, and memories, coupled with truth, reality, and disenchantment - all going off of Miki and Mikage's significance with blue.  Maybe with Kanae it's showing how her fantasy is to extol princess-like qualities and the reality of that mindset manifests in how she behaves and allows herself to get hitched to Akio because her father decided it?  The white scarf could indicate that she's a wholesome and "good" person, but invert its meaning and you've got the vitriol and anger she displays towards Anthy when she goes to Mikage.

It's shocking what happens to her!  I couldn't believe it, but then Anthy is all panicked (or as close as she gets) when Utena wants to go check on them.  HOLY she knows and is covering for Akio.  I could not believe it.  Oh no, Utena, don't go in there.  My brother's busy murdering someone and probably indulging his necrophiliac tendencies, or at least drugging and who know what else with his fiancee.  Don't mind me and my giant hack saw.   

All I could think was that the mom told AKio to do it.  She's got a sick husband who seems in a bad way and likely to die.  And she's got this daughter...
IDK that's all I could think.  But with the link you supplied and the analysis there, well...I guess Akio used the entire Ohtori family.  And they're all murdered most likely.  This. show. 2dark4me.

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#10 | Back to Top08-14-2016 12:15:38 AM

ShiningSanctum1
Touga Topper
Registered: 11-23-2012
Posts: 57

Re: Inversions, Colors, and Hair Length

To me, Akio's hair seemed to be left white to leave his intentions more ambiguous. I also think his hair looks more light purple than white though. I notice that Touga and Ruka have lighter streaks of hair as well. Maybe it's a symbol for feeling lost and misguided, and feeling that they would have to take a road to corruption? All three characters are pretty manipulative. Akio is void of any love, so that might be why his hair is completely fair, but Touga and Ruka may have some color in their hair to show that they are just lost and still have time to make up for what they've done... Or maybe that they tried to be an adult like Akio but were only posers?

And I don't think Akio cared about Anthy's well being at all as an adult. He always took advantage of girls even when he was Dios the prince. He took advantage of Anthy's kindness and sacrifice to use her for his own gains. after Anthy stabs Utena, remember that scene where he asks her if she regrets it and cries? That act was not genuine at all. Immediately after Anthy hands him the sword, he proceeds to sacrifice her to the Swords of Hate. Even at the very last scene, he was planning to use Anthy for more of his schemes and preparing another set of duels. Awesome that she left though emot-keke Also, Akio can't do shit without Anthy. Like I mentioned in another thread, he has no power other than seduction, so he was using her magic to do all the shit he'd been doing.

And as for the purple hair, I notice that Shiori and Tokiko also had a shade of purple in their hair. But Anthy's was kinda clean? I always assumed that purple was the color of not only royalty, but also spiritual fulfillment. I mean she was always stuck in this dreamlike fantasy in which she thought her love for Akio was just. Plus, she's a Pisces, so that makes sense. Also, it could be to just make her seem more mysterious. She is a witch with a lot of secrets, after all. As for Shiori and Tokiko's dirty purple hair, it might be the fact that their hearts are not pure? If that makes sense. They both thought they knew what they were doing but they muddied their reputation with their naivete.

Last edited by ShiningSanctum1 (08-14-2016 12:18:14 AM)


Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

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