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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 Top02-23-2017 01:58:44 PM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Initial thoughts from a new fan

I should preface this by saying: yes, I have been on this forum for several months, I'm really bad at just watching television, I've already watched the first arc, I'm surprised I've dodged spoilers for this long, and above all, I'm sorry. Anyway...

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of people here have been Utena fans for years (decades, even), and here I am fresh off the boat, so I thought it'd be interesting to share my initial reactions as someone going in blind to this series. Now, I've already watched the Student Council arc (just rewatched it with a friend recently), so I'll just summarise my thoughts. Spoilers, obviously.

Student Council Arc

The Rose Bride

Utena looks so cool! Wow, Saionji's a prick. Where'd Utena learn to be a swordsman? This show ticks all the boxes of my affinity for 90s anime (elegant as hell, A+ colour use, just slightly edgy but not OW THE EDGE level).

For Whom The Rose Smiles

Can Anthy go one day without getting slapped? ChuChu seems like kind of a waste, maybe I just don't care for comic relief characters, though he is cute.

On The Night Of The Ball

Nanami's so spiteful. If there's one character I dislike, it's her. Seeing Utena in a dress just doesn't feel right. Hey, the dance scene at the end was cute enough.

The Sunlit Garden - Prelude/Finale

Miki seems like the closest to a decent person in the council, but even he weirds me out a little. Despite his pleasant nature, when the situation arises, he makes himself out to be very obsessive and possessive. Also, Touga is an enabler and a half, huh? Not sure he needed to go as far as laying half-naked on a bed, but it worked, so credit to him.

Take Care, Miss Nanami!

I like Nanami even less now. She's definitely similar to Touga in that she's manipulative. Seeing her get hit in the face was a good laugh, though.

Unfulfilled Juri

Who is it that Juri reminds me of? I can't put my finger on it. Either way, I don't like her much, either. This is kind of the point where seeing Anthy get slapped goes from being like 'gosh!' to just cringing a little bit.

Curried High Trip

Here's the letdown of the arc, and boy howdy, it's a Nanami episode (kinda). Anthy's line about not caring if she gets her body back completely changes her character in my eyes. It might be justified, I dunno, but that one throwaway line in a filler episode makes Anthy look lowkey sinister and calculating, and that she'd happily throw Utena under the bus for her own gain. Other than that, pretty mediocre.

The Castle Said to Hold Eternity

A bit of backstory, eh? The flashbacks make Touga seem extremely creepy and foreboding, whereas Saionji seems rather meek and obedient. In any case. Saionji needs to calm down. I don't believe for a moment that Touga is Utena's prince.

Nanami's Precious One

(Schrödinger's Cat joke.)

Graceful and Ruthless; the One Who Picks the Flower

Ok, this one got me a little teary-eyed. I guess you don't realise what you've got until it's gone, huh, Utena? Still, it was nice to see some acknowledgement of the bond forming between Utena and Anthy. Other than that, I know there's some degree of suspension of disbelief that comes with these fights, but Utena straight up threw the match! What is this, the Cell Game? On the other hand, it's refreshing to see Utena lose after flawlessly boss rushing the rest of the council. It made her feel ever so slightly more...human in her failure?

For Friendship, Perhaps

This episode made me go from not caring about Wakaba to genuinely liking her. She was the driving force that made this episode so good. It was also nice to see Anthy show some (tiny) sign of free thought. And yeah, Utena does not suit the standard uniform at all. The song before and during the fight was pretty cool.

Side note, I can't remember what episodes it was used in, but 'Kokoro no Dice' is head and shoulders the best background song in the soundtrack so far.

Overall, while I find it a little hard to pinpoint the exact reasons, I find this show enthralling and mesmerising at its best, and only mildly irritating at its worst (Nanami episodes let the team down in my eyes).

------

I'll try to watch at least one episode per day, no spoilers, please!

Last edited by Zerokohai (02-23-2017 02:01:23 PM)


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#2 | Back to Top02-23-2017 04:39:38 PM

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

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

All I will say is...be prepared to revise your opinions on many characters and events in retrospect, possibly numerous times as the show progresses.

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#3 | Back to Top02-24-2017 06:38:12 AM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
Website

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Thanks for posting your initial impressions! I love to read about what new fans see in the show, because often you see things I haven't noticed or thought were important. Please do let us know your thoughts on the next arc, I'd really enjoy reading them etc-love


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#4 | Back to Top02-24-2017 11:06:32 AM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

I've already been told that I'll like Nanami more later on, but for now, nah. Will update with episodes 13 and 14 later today.


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#5 | Back to Top02-24-2017 11:55:46 AM

malna
Caretaker
From: Poland
Registered: 10-03-2011
Posts: 209

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Zerokohai wrote:

Will update with episodes 13 and 14 later today.

Please do! It's been so long since I first watched SKU I hardly remember my initial impressions so it's quite interesting for me to learn about yours.


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#6 | Back to Top02-24-2017 03:20:13 PM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Ok, 13 and 14.

Plotting a Locus

A fairly uninteresting recap episode, but we did learn of Utena's actions having a wider, long term influence on others, and hey, Dios (?) seems to have a stake in this whole revolution thing.

The Boys of the Black Rose

Ah, with the start of a new arc comes multiple new characters and just as many raised questions. We've got Souji and his companion (genderswapped Utena and Anthy?), Akio Ohtori and his fianceé (?) Kanae, and hoooooly shit this show went from average shoujo tone to something rather dark. As a side note, I wonder what the significance of the butterfly frame eventually regressing into a cocoon during the interrogation scene is. The idea of Anthy keeping the whole Rose Bride business secret from her brother (that is, if she's even being truthful about that) makes me distrust her. She's hiding a lot for sure. Still, Akio does come across as quite pleasant (or at least not openly a dickhead) despite how much he reminds me of Urien from Street Fighter. In any case, I found the episode's focus not to be on Utena, but on a whole bunch of stuff suddenly happening around her/without her knowing. Hopefully the next episode brings Utena back into the forefront. Also, you ain't slick, Rebecca Sugar.

http://wiki.shoryuken.com/images/b/bb/Urien3sport.gif


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#7 | Back to Top02-24-2017 05:14:06 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

I reacted to your post, then put my reactions in alphabetical order to avoid spoilers.

"Get used to that."
"Haha, you have no idea how right you are."
"I wonder how long before you stop feeling that way."
"Street Fighter has added characters since the late 1990s?  Damn."
"That's why I love this show!"
"Yeah, get used to that too."
"Yes, but that word means more than one thing."
"You think?"  emot-biggrin

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#8 | Back to Top02-24-2017 05:21:01 PM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Now that I think about it, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact (Urien's first appearance) came out in 1997, same year as Utena. One year later, Street Fighter Alpha 3 came out, which introduced...Nanami?

https://68.media.tumblr.com/e308e293a812be8b91e7b9b2a9307b42/tumblr_n1o61xGoUd1qd4q8ao1_500.gif

(Her name's actually Karin.)


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#9 | Back to Top02-24-2017 05:27:48 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

I thought Second Impact introduced Lilith. :ducks:

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#10 | Back to Top02-24-2017 05:32:19 PM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

satyreyes wrote:

I thought Second Impact introduced Lilith. :ducks:

Nah, man, that's Vampire Savior. Different series.

...I miss Darkstalkers.


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#11 | Back to Top02-24-2017 06:42:18 PM

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

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Zerokohai wrote:

Now that I think about it, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact (Urien's first appearance) came out in 1997, same year as Utena. One year later, Street Fighter Alpha 3 came out, which introduced...Nanami?

(Her name's actually Karin.)

Please do not conflate Karin with Nanami. Karin is a talented, brave, strong, and justifiably self-assured young woman who wrested control of her family's fortune from her asshole father and is the leader and strategist in the plan to take down Shadaloo (the villains) in Street Fighter V. She is everything Nanami is not.

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#12 | Back to Top02-25-2017 01:26:23 AM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Aelanie wrote:

Zerokohai wrote:

Now that I think about it, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact (Urien's first appearance) came out in 1997, same year as Utena. One year later, Street Fighter Alpha 3 came out, which introduced...Nanami?

(Her name's actually Karin.)

Please do not conflate Karin with Nanami. Karin is a talented, brave, strong, and justifiably self-assured young woman who wrested control of her family's fortune from her asshole father and is the leader and strategist in the plan to take down Shadaloo (the villains) in Street Fighter V. She is everything Nanami is not.

There's only way to settle this, then, *cracks knuckles*... 1v1 me, Kanzuki Estate.

(jk I love Karin, if you have SFV you're welcome to PM me your PSN if you want a match, though I'm still undecided on my main for season 2. I feel my ability has plateaued, and the only way for me to get better is to spend ages in training mode, which I sadly often lack time for.)


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#13 | Back to Top02-25-2017 04:20:23 AM

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

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

I don't even own the game, though I bought two versions of Street Fighter IV and have closely followed the fighting game tournament scene for years at this point. SFV was released in a terrible state that did not and still does not warrant paying for, and that's outside of the fact I also refuse to pay an extra fee for a console online service on top of my regular internet. I watch the game, but I have no current interest in buying or playing it.

If I were to hypothetically get the game though, it would be between her and Laura, both of whom bear similarities to my beloved and favorite SF character, Makoto.

http://i.imgur.com/j3Eavr2.gif

Them putting her into V might actually convince me to get the game, but as usual they are neglecting her in favor of other much less popular characters.

/offtopic

Last edited by Aelanie (02-25-2017 04:22:57 AM)

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#14 | Back to Top02-25-2017 06:38:04 AM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

I should probably set up a dedicated fighting game discussion thread in GD if this conversation goes much further, though I will confess that I got a PS4 primarily for SFV and paid £50 for the game on day one. At least you can now get it for £20 or less if you so choose.

Putting aside Street Fighter for the time being, episode 15 thoughts coming later tonight.


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#15 | Back to Top02-26-2017 03:26:07 AM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Ok, back on topic.

The World Seen from Kozue

So we see the two edgelords again, but don't really learn much more about their cunning plan. Miki seems to have calmed down a bit since we last saw him, but he's clearly still interested in Anthy. Geez, Nanami's got Juri and Miki wrapped around her finger. Seriously, what is up with that stopwatch? It seems Kozue wants to be the centre of Miki's attention, much like Nanami to Touga. Nice YAMAMA piano, by the way. That evening colour scheme looks so nice on Utena, but I can relate to the dread of knowing when exams are. If I haven't mentioned it already, the added drum and bass makes Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku all the more powerful. So now they're emotionally fucking up primary characters to get high quality swords out of them? Hm. What's up with all the jugs on the desks? Ew, Anthy, don't drink from it, you don't know where it's been, or DO you? Man, I hope Utena doesn't do that same backflip into lunge combo every fight this arc. 'I will comfort you'? That sounds odd.

And the next one's a Nanami episode.


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#16 | Back to Top02-26-2017 06:18:20 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
Website

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Zerokohai wrote:

the two edgelords

homg emot-rofl emot-rofl emot-rofl

Sorry I just lost it at that.

Isn't it fun how the show goes from 'sort of maybe a decent shoujo anime' to 'HAHAHAHAHA eat it suckers you're stuck now.'

That's one thing I can never experience again because now I watch the first arc with the later episodes in mind so it appears darker for it. But I wasn't expecting that kind of dark the first time around and figured Saionji's smacking women and Touga's weird bedroom speeches were outliers.

Man. etc-love


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#17 | Back to Top02-28-2017 02:20:14 AM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

The Cowbell of Happiness

Well, this is fucking stupid. At least Nanami and Juri were well dressed. Holy shit, did Utena just body one of those Nanami worshippers in one punch? Side note: when the backgrounds in this show are at their best, they are beautiful, especially the trees for some reason. Just take the damn cowbell off! Yeah, still not liking Nanami any more. Ah, so ChuChu is an onomatopoeia after all? Didn't know that. Wait, Cowstian Dior?

Cowstian Dior.

Fuck this, I'm out.


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#18 | Back to Top03-01-2017 12:49:25 PM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Thorns of Death

Wow, I can't wait for all the Juri x Shiori foundations this episode laid to go nowhere. What a brutal cocktease on the writers' part, having Miki dodge Nanami asking him about the stopwatch. What is it that leads these people to the interrogation shaft of maximum pettiness? Wow, Utena, you don't just straight up ask someone to take their underwear off! I'm definitely liking Juri more now. This whole split personality thing that Utena's opponents this arc have going on are very reminiscent of the shadows from Persona. I feel like the duels are of lesser importance in these recent episodes, given their lacking fight choreography. Come on, step it up! How would Anthy know whether or not Shiori changed?

Oh, God, the next one's a Tsuwabuki episode? Dang it, SKU, you're hard to love, but you're harder to hate.


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#19 | Back to Top03-01-2017 01:51:19 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Zerokohai wrote:

This whole split personality thing that Utena's opponents this arc have going on are very reminiscent of the shadows from Persona.

There is a lot of Persona 4 Shadow-esqueness in the Black Rose duelists!  The chief difference seems to be that in Persona 4 you don't defeat your Shadow, you accept it.  In SKU, you have a girl with pink hair cut it up for you. emot-rolleyes

In Persona, people feel different after they confront their Shadows.  They don't necessarily feel better -- being forced to look at a part of yourself you don't like sucks -- but they make some kind of peace with their inner demons.  It might be worth watching to see whether Kanae, Kozue, and Shiori give you that vibe, or whether they go back to being mired in the same old hangups.  (I've seen the whole show and I can make a case either way.)

the interrogation shaft of maximum pettiness

emot-rofl

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#20 | Back to Top03-02-2017 10:53:21 AM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Mitsuru's Growing Pains

Even if I'm not the biggest fan of Tsuwabuki, I can understand (and kind of relate to) some of his feelings surrounding Nanami. Is that where they got that Steven Universe episode title from? It seems Akio has a side job as Utena's psychiatrist. Why do all of these characters seem to upstage each other in terms of exploiting people? Where's Touga, anyway? Tsuwabuki, don't ruin your innocence like that! I seem to like Nanami most when she's either very stern or gentle. I imagine the complaints thread in the IFD section of the forum is very much like the Souji shaft. So, we've seen Utena take down one sword, but how will she handle TWO (or rather, one sword and a little scimitar)? Flawless solution. Oof, that down air from Utena! As the cool kids say, 'that ain't Falco'! I should have seen this coming, but I am beginning to dislike Nanami less, probably because she wasn't so loud this episode.

Last edited by Zerokohai (03-02-2017 10:54:08 AM)


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#21 | Back to Top03-02-2017 01:09:27 PM

malna
Caretaker
From: Poland
Registered: 10-03-2011
Posts: 209

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Zerokohai wrote:

It seems Akio has a side job as Utena's psychiatrist.

Ah, Akio and his side job. There's going to be a lovely albeit brief conversation on this topic at one point.


a lot of hope in one man tent

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#22 | Back to Top03-02-2017 01:15:54 PM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

malna wrote:

Zerokohai wrote:

It seems Akio has a side job as Utena's psychiatrist.

Ah, Akio and his side job. There's going to be a lovely albeit brief conversation on this topic at one point.

I'm looking forward to it. Anyway, since the Nintendo Switch is out tomorrow, there may well be a short hiatus on the Utena front as I will be completely and utterly enamoured with Zelda. Can't promise anything.


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#23 | Back to Top03-05-2017 01:22:50 PM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Song of a Fallen Kingdom

Ooh, a flashback scene? Wait...Wakaba!? How cruel of Wakaba to take someone else's love letter (?) to read for herself! 'Onion Prince'. How glamorous. Just give her the damn letter back, Wakaba. That smug Utena, hinting at fate like she knows what's going on. I never really made the connection between Wakaba's hair and...onions. I find it a bit creepy of Miki to keep a picture of Anthy with him. 'It's a shame you can't simply change who it is you love.' I feel that on a personal level. And here's head counsellor Akio, once again beset by Utena's worries. Oh, and there's anthy. Haven't seen much of her in a while. I assume 'play it by ear' is code for 'embarrass the life out of Tatsuya'. Very smooth of Utena to shift the focus off her and onto her wingman. God, this show's evening colour schemes are gorgeous. Props to the translators for just not translating the sign inside Utena's locker. (This show, to some extent, could do with a retranslation.) Is that a...smudged smear frame on the shadow play girl's fish? Interesting. Another beautiful song right here (someone please find it!). Jeez, Tatsuya got bodied in one line by Wakaba. Oh, so this is like a secret counselling/brainwashing shaft? I see, I see! Wait, so Souji has no interest in the 'pure'?

WHAT THE FUCK

AND SAIONJI IS IN THE BUILDING

Good thing there was no copy-paste duel this time...but the NEP confirmed Wakaba's next on the chopping block.


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#24 | Back to Top03-05-2017 03:21:33 PM

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

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

Nobody expects the Saionji Kyouichi. etc-saiowank

Also...are you watching the dub? Please tell me you're not.

Last edited by Aelanie (03-05-2017 03:22:23 PM)

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#25 | Back to Top03-05-2017 04:38:38 PM

Zerokohai
Mikage Mistruster
From: England
Registered: 07-02-2016
Posts: 62

Re: Initial thoughts from a new fan

No, I am not watching the dub. I figured almost anything dubbed around the late 90s/early 00s should be avoided. That being said, as stated earlier, the sub track has a couple of errors that even I (with limited knowledge of Japanese) noticed.


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