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#1 | Back to Top02-23-2017 07:07:12 PM

SaigonAlice
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 09-13-2016
Posts: 41

Why did Kozue play the piano so well in episode 15?

Halfway through this episode Miki finds Kozue playing his favorite melody on the piano.   To our ears, her playing sounds as lovely as Miki’s or Anthy’s.  This is supposed to shock us.  There are three possibilities:


1) Miki was right all along.  Kozue owns that tune and if she thinks she’s unable to play the piano well then she’s simply misleading herself.

2) Kozue was right all along.  She’s never played the piano well, but Miki is so surprised at seeing her sitting there that his mind transforms her awful playing into his own ideal.

3) Kozue was right all along.  She’s never played the piano well, but the Black Rose ring has given her the power to play the melody just the way Miki likes it.

Maybe the duel itself supports option (3) over (2).  Utena is stunned by Kozue’s fighting prowess and says so.  Kozue is quick to say that this is Miki’s brilliance and not hers (and we know she got it through joining the Black Rose).  So there could be a parallel between her temporary swordfighting skills and a temporary piano-playing ability, both the result of the Black Rose.  After all, regardless of the cause, it was Kozue that was fighting Utena and not Miki.  Miki might have imagined her sister playing the piano well, but Utena certainly didn’t imagine Kozue trying to win that duel and doing a darn good job of it.

Chu...

I really enjoyed this guy's essay but I personally think he too readily dismissed reasons (1) and (2).

(1) Could make sense given that Kozue puts herself down. A lot. She may have a haughty attitude but she truly genuinely believes that she's talent-less at everything (besides sex and manipulation). Not to mention her self-destructive impulses. So everytime she stuffs up playing the piano it could be because either subconciously she just believes that it is outside her realm of ability and thus arbitrarily pulling herself down, or consciously just stuffing it up on purpose. Or maybe, as I suspect, her self-destructive impulses are tied to her low self-esteem and therefore it's a bit of both?

Well anyway we see here that when she actually puts in the effort, she plays marvelously.

(2) Miki is a good-natured boy; he greatly appreciates effort and sincerity (or what he perceives as such). Furthermore he's idealistic like Utena and is quick to put people on a pedestal. So (2) could work within the frame of Miki's personality.

I don't really care for (3) and while it does make a little sense, it's just really mundane to me. Oh so it was the magical power of the black rose all along, instead of and more interestingly, the psychological machinations of these young but emotionally fragile kids? Boo. RGU to me has always stressed on psychology and only mentions something supernatural in passing reference. Also I don't think (3) would work given that Kozue only pulled the sword from Miki - the talent that she was envious of - AFTER she played the piano so well.

So what do you guys think?

Last edited by SaigonAlice (02-23-2017 07:09:07 PM)


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Vỏ nó sù sì, múi nó dày.
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#2 | Back to Top02-23-2017 10:18:54 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 369

Re: Why did Kozue play the piano so well in episode 15?

It's actually a combination of #1. and #3. In her childhood, she was legitimately talented, but was hamstrung by her dependence on her brother. She could've been good on her own, but never needed to become truly good because he was there to cover for her. Both nerves and lack of his presence is what ruined the recital. Since then, she hasn't practiced, so naturally she has lost the skills, which to her mind seems to confirm her beliefs about her lack of talent in a self-fulfilling cycle.

This makes the situation all the more tragic, because her talents are going/have gone to waste, and also provides more rationale behind her current behavior, which is a rebellion against her own past reliance on him.

However, what you really need to ask yourself is...what does really happen when a person is given the Black Rose? Is it purely supernatural? I'd argue it's very psychological as well. Obviously Kozue as we know her today could not have played the piece just in the way that would strike Miki. But whatever you want to say about the Black Rose, it gives its duelists confidence and power, an amoral power to do what they want and take what they want, defying the inhibitions and psychological chains that bound them as normal people. Putting the logistical considerations aside, we are meant to take that scene as Kozue having gained a type of psychological strength: the ability to stand up to, and answer, Miki's disappointed expectations of her.

Last edited by Aelanie (02-23-2017 10:25:33 PM)

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#3 | Back to Top02-24-2017 02:28:15 AM

SaigonAlice
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 09-13-2016
Posts: 41

Re: Why did Kozue play the piano so well in episode 15?

Aelanie wrote:

It's actually a combination of #1. and #3. In her childhood, she was legitimately talented, but was hamstrung by her dependence on her brother. She could've been good on her own, but never needed to become truly good because he was there to cover for her. Both nerves and lack of his presence is what ruined the recital. Since then, she hasn't practiced, so naturally she has lost the skills, which to her mind seems to confirm her beliefs about her lack of talent in a self-fulfilling cycle.

This makes the situation all the more tragic, because her talents are going/have gone to waste, and also provides more rationale behind her current behavior, which is a rebellion against her own past reliance on him.

However, what you really need to ask yourself is...what does really happen when a person is given the Black Rose? Is it purely supernatural? I'd argue it's very psychological as well. Obviously Kozue as we know her today could not have played the piece just in the way that would strike Miki. But whatever you want to say about the Black Rose, it gives its duelists confidence and power, an amoral power to do what they want and take what they want, defying the inhibitions and psychological chains that bound them as normal people. Putting the logistical considerations aside, we are meant to take that scene as Kozue having gained a type of psychological strength: the ability to stand up to, and answer, Miki's disappointed expectations of her.

Wow you really put 2 and 2 together, because this makes a lot more sense.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CL31zxpVAAACGxJ.jpg

And I agree with your opinion of the Black Rose, I think I dismissed it to begin with because I found the concept so hard to comprehend. Speaking of which, do you think the Black Roses are Freudian in nature? school-freud I've never really studied Freud myself but I do think that every time Mikage makes a new duelist he is evoking their Id (that is their primordial and otherwise repressed instincts). It goes nicely with the Butterfly -> Catepilllar -> Leaf symbolism during the elevator scenes, where Mikage delves into the 'root' of the patient's problem and unveils their true inner desires.


Thân em như quả mít trên cây,
Vỏ nó sù sì, múi nó dày.
Quân tử có yêu thì đóng cọc,
Xin đừng mân mó nhựa ra tay. - Hồ Xuân Hương

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