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#1 | Back to Top06-21-2012 12:32:28 AM

Rotten Mooring
Precious One
Registered: 10-26-2011
Posts: 281

Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

The other day I was musing to myself, just seeing if I could work out Shiori's motivations and actions for all the little things she does in my own mind. I had it in my head that there could be an argument made for an alternate interpretation of Shiori that would have her pursuing Juri. At the time, it seemed to be going smoothly and I was considering writing up a fan fic to that end (like the internet dwelling nerd that I am), when I ran into an uneven surface and the entire balloon popped. I realized I was giving Shiori too much credit. Not too much credit for being "good" or "bad" or anything like that. I was giving her too much credit for being mature and aware of her impact on her surroundings. A base contradiction to all canonical evidence, I know, and a quick re-watch of the episodes that deal explicitly with her only confirmed it.

So there goes that idea. But the whole mess got me thinking. You know Juri's the only Student Council member that doesn't get a real flash back? Yeah, we can flash back to middle school. That's what? Two, maybe three years ago? But none of the bicycling, cat-drowning, milkshakes in the back yard that everyone else gets. Nothing from pre-adolescence. No childhood flashbacks. And it's weird because Juri and Shiori "grew up together", yeah? Even if Shiori was just making it up on the fly when she said that to Utena and Anthy, I'm still lead to believe she and Juri knew each other for a while prior to that drama over who's dating TBHB (The Brown Haired Boy). All we get of Juri and Shiori interacting happens after that mess takes place and usually in the context of some drawn out argument that they aren't actually having but probably should.

It irks because my own brain is wired in such a way that I tend to think a close friendship comes first and romantic attraction follows. (I know it's not true for everyone. There are couples who purposely build separate bedrooms in order to retain both space and an air of the mystique, but I'm prone to my own biases.)

We're told, by both parties, that these two were friends in middle school, at least, which I take to mean that their friendship spanned the entire middle school experience (save the end) but we never really see them acting like friends. They've got a lot of baggage tied to each other, that much is clear enough, but I haven't got a feel for how they would act around each other is a treaty of non-aggression were signed for a day. What would they talk about? Do they have any common interests? Juri is someone Shiori "could always depend on" but she isn't really given to the princely trappings that Utena's got going on, so I don't think she was out protecting Shiori from bullies or some such shoujo-y dross.

Above and beyond anything else, I have a hard time believing that Juri just arbitrarily picked out Shiori to impart her burgeoning feelings of same sex attraction onto. Juri had to have liked Shiori at some point. Therefor Juri must have seen something likable in the other girl. There is a part of me that wants to shrug the matter off and explain it in the same way one would Miki's feelings about Kozue, but the rest of me just balks at that. Miki thinks of his sister as sweet, not-sexually-active person because doing otherwise is outside his comfort zone. It's not outside the realm of conception that Juri could like Shiori because of her (once) innocence/childishness, but is that really enough substance to base a years long preoccupation on? Miki is shying away from a deeper connection with Kozue, Juri is aspiring to a deeper connection.

school-sherlock I want to know: How does your Head Canon interpret the Juri/Shiori dynamic outside of the boy-based romantic melodrama? school-sherlock Cite canon, cite the manga that I have not read, cite nothing but that one dream you had after over doing it on the bacon flavored squeezy-cheese right before bed. My mind is in a fumble trying to work these two out and I want to know how your brains have done it.


Specific thoughts/questions to mull over:

- Shiori once told Juri to "believe in miracles" and these words had a deep impact on Juri but how much thought do you think Shiori put into that phrase? Do you think she was masterminding something designed to be agonized over later? Or was she just improvising?

- Shiori tells us that Juri "was always that wonderful" and that at one point that she believed that Juri was her friend out of sympathy. (Like a skinny girl keeping fat friends, I imagine.) Am I the only one that winds up picturing Juri "helping" Shiori with something she wasn't good at and Shiori feeling condescended to rather than assisted? I'm givent o think communication between these two has always been poor.

- Whatever happened to scary!Juri ? Before Juri vs. Utena Round 1, Juri manipulates the school principal into an uncomfortable position because her that-minute whim to speak with Utena wasn't granted and Utena reveals some of the hearsay going about in the lower grades about no one wanting to see Juri's "true face" (I may be paraphrasing that one). During Ruka's resurfacing, one of the other students actually calls Juri "scary" when giggling and gossiping to her friends (much in the context of, "Oh Shiori, you were all alone in that room with Juri? How scary!") Is scary!Juri just lip service paid by the easily intimidated masses or is there something to that?

-  It's all  too easy to get caught up in poor, tragic Juri, just trying to make Shiori happy but she certainly seems to fail at every opportunity, doesn't she? When Shiori approaches you for attention, that's when it's a good idea to distance yourself from her. When she's made a grand, sobbing spectacle of herself in a courtyard, it's okay to leave her to the mob. You finally break down and go to her room to comfort her, discretely, you know, such that no one needs to know you've been there, and you're surprised she thinks you've got ulterior motives. I think she might not have even opened the door up except that you're such a keen target to blow up at!

Shiori is self centered, childish and probably willfully ignorant about how the world works, but she's not that hard to figure out. I've got bigger problems trying to figure out how Juri's personality fits together when she isn't pining.



TLDR: Can't bring myself to write OOC fan fiction, PST.

Note: this entire post may be a mess do to sleep deprivation and lack of fluency on my end, and I apologize, but I'm just to thrilled to be back online to hold off until later.

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#2 | Back to Top06-21-2012 03:20:03 AM

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

Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Welcome back, Mooring!  emot-biggrin

Rotten Mooring wrote:

Cite canon, cite the manga that I have not read, cite nothing but that one dream you had after over doing it on the bacon flavored squeezy-cheese right before bed.

One of these can be dispensed with pretty quickly.  Manga!Juri is straight and has a crush on Touga; the character of Shiori does not exist, to the best of my recollection.  (My recollection, however, is not to be trusted.  I only read the manga once and never again -- except for the prologue, which is excellent and which I read repeatedly.)

Shiori once told Juri to "believe in miracles" and these words had a deep impact on Juri but how much thought do you think Shiori put into that phrase? Do you think she was masterminding something designed to be agonized over later? Or was she just improvising?

I think she was improvising, but not in the duplicitous way she "improvises" with Ruka.  At some point Shiori asked Juri if there was anyone she liked.  Juri said there was, but she didn't think the other person thought of her that way at all.  Shiori didn't really know what to say, in the same way that no one really knows what to say, so she said "believe in miracles and they will know your feelings."  I don't think Shiori intended to put a lot of weight on the idea of miracles, she was just trying to be supportive, but that's where Juri heard the emphasis: it would take a miracle for Shiori to return Juri's emotions.  And that's how Juri's miracle fetish started.  school-sherlock

(As an aside, it is interesting and entirely in character for Shiori to suggest that Juri should believe in miracles instead of, for example, asking the other person if they wanted to go out.  From what we see with Ruka and the BHB, Shiori's approach to relationships is extremely passive except when it's desperate, so she's giving Juri the advice that she herself would follow.)

Shiori tells us that Juri "was always that wonderful" and that at one point that she believed that Juri was her friend out of sympathy. (Like a skinny girl keeping fat friends, I imagine.) Am I the only one that winds up picturing Juri "helping" Shiori with something she wasn't good at and Shiori feeling condescended to rather than assisted? I'm givent o think communication between these two has always been poor.

I think Shiori probably felt both ways at once.  I know we've had this conversation before somewhere, but I'll be damned if I can find the thread; my analysis catalog has gotten very far out of date. emot-frown  The gist was that Shiori simultaneously puts Juri on a pedestal and is disgusted at Juri for putting Shiori on the same level as herself.  Yes, like the skinny girl, except that the skinny girl is also better than you at everything, to the point where it makes you feel disgusting, and then you find out she has a crush on you.

Whatever happened to scary!Juri ? Before Juri vs. Utena Round 1, Juri manipulates the school principal into an uncomfortable position because her that-minute whim to speak with Utena wasn't granted and Utena reveals some of the hearsay going about in the lower grades about no one wanting to see Juri's "true face" (I may be paraphrasing that one). During Ruka's resurfacing, one of the other students actually calls Juri "scary" when giggling and gossiping to her friends (much in the context of, "Oh Shiori, you were all alone in that room with Juri? How scary!") Is scary!Juri just lip service paid by the easily intimidated masses or is there something to that?

Juri seems scary to me.  I vote her Most Likely To Personally Commit Murder of the mortal cast, with only Kozue giving her serious competition.  She is uncannily smart about people in Student Council meetings. She weaponizes that psychology in both the scenario with the counselor and in the statue garden with Utena, and goes as far as physical violence with Utena.  She has anger issues -- hidden behind a pretty thin veil of self-discipline -- and she has the brains and brawn to hurt people badly with that anger, or because it's to her strategic advantage.  We know that the Student Council has a reputation for disappearing people they don't like, and Juri is on the Student Council.  (Giving Utena a sword to fight Touga with is also really scary, from a certain point of view; it's tantamount to finding a schlub who's pissed at the Don and giving em a pistol.  In fact, it's scarier, since Juri was the one who armed Touga with the knowledge of Utena's lost prince in the first place.  Juri is subtle, and she doesn't mind if people get hurt.)

With that said, it's possible that some students fear Juri for more superficial reasons -- because she's intimidatingly beautiful or talented ("Tsugi!"), because she doesn't associate or talk with the other girls, or because whenever they see her she's storming from one place to another like an impatient and volatile bull.  We don't often see her in the light mood that sometimes comes over her when she hangs out with Miki and, later, Utena.  And while this doesn't even approach canon, I have little trouble imagining that bad things have happened to a couple boys who dared to hit on her a little too aggressively.

Shiori is self centered, childish and probably willfully ignorant about how the world works, but she's not that hard to figure out. I've got bigger problems trying to figure out how Juri's personality fits together when she isn't pining.

It's really easy for a rational person to figure out how to behave towards Shiori: stay the hell away from her.  But Juri isn't rational about Shiori.  I don't think she does consistently try to make Shiori happy, as you say.  I think she's torn among her superego telling her to GTFO, her id telling her to either fuck or kill her, and her conscience telling her to treat her with humanity.  Juri is a confusing and confused mess when it comes to Shiori.  So when opportunities come to be kind to Shiori, Juri tends to fuck them up.  Maybe her superego convinces her conscience that this is a good time for tough love.  Maybe she's so terrified of her id that she can't afford to listen to her conscience.  I don't know.  But I think asking her to behave rationally or even consistently towards Shiori is a little harsh under the circumstances.

My few cents!  emot-smile

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#3 | Back to Top06-21-2012 09:07:51 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Registered: 04-11-2012
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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Hi, just coming by this thread to drop my 2 cents . . .

Therefor Juri must have seen something likable in the other girl.

Being male, I can understand Juri's attraction to Shiori perfectly.  Juri is in lust with Shiori - not with her seemingly plain physicality, but rather, her coy, apparently delicate vulnerability that, as Ikuhara had said, is seeping with sexual undertones; the "I polish your sword every day waiting for your return" line can give any guy the jitters, as long as that that girl is not fat or blatantly ugly, which Shiori is not.  Notice how, plain as she looked as a young teen, she actually managed to get a boy who was originally interested in Juri into becoming "hers", if only just for a short while?  Shiori is seemingly plain yet undeniably alluring.

There is a breed of "faux plain Janes" in this world, who are actually skillful temptresses under masks - they seduce not with glamor, but rather, the "I'm so weak and innocent, won't you help do everything for me you big smart strong stud" kinda damsel wiles; Shiori is the epitome of one such female - the kind that feminists hate (for making women seem weak, as well as for being deceitfully manipulative), but macho men LOVES, as they can project their self-importance and desires upon such females (remember how Rose Bride Anthy, even with the dowdy updo and glasses, was irresistible to alpha-male wannabe Saionji).  Men equates weakness (of the non-gross kind) with vulnerability, and they are drawn to protect the vulnerable by nature (cause they like showing off their strengths by nature).   Juri, lesbian with a strong personality, seem to me to have the some near-masculine inclinations in her character; it's little wonder that she'd want someone "vulnerable" like Shiori even knowing of her venomous ways.  People can want things even when they know such things are bad for them - thus why the popularity of bakery items and fast food.

Now I know that people are gonna jump out and say "but what about Juri's attraction to Utena"?  Should one re-watch the series, they'd notice how Juri does not really see Utena as being strong, she sees the girl as being naive - and prone to getting hurt by that naivety; Juri projects what she saw of Shiori's faux naivety onto what she saw of Utena's real naivety, and equates them both in her mind ala Mikage's Utena = Tokiko delusion.  But, because Utena will not exude Shiori's coy sensuality, Juri remains more attracted to Shiori than to Utena throughout the entire series ( hinting to have lasted till even after Revolution, according to that fencing club scene in ep 39).

Plus, opposites attract; Juri, blessed with such blatantly beautiful eyes nose lips hair breasts, would no doubt find Shiori's understated features to hold more indefinite charms than her own perfect features (Movie Shiori is revealed to be good at using make up and frills to glamorize herself, maybe TV Shiori has that side to her too and Juri saw her alluring transformations?). 

As for why Shiori is so fixated on Juri alone, not Utena or other wealthy or strong or popular females . . . I've always thought the the canon TV Shiori is at once a homophobe and a closet case.  In Mikage's elevator, Shiori was shown to at first be happy (dare I say face-flushedly aroused?) that Juri is attracted to her, prior to throwing that hissy fit.  Now Shiori is not a "nice" person by conventional standards, she craves glory in others (Ruka, Juri), but cannot stand glory in another female that surpasses her own - her being attracted to Juri against her own homophobic views (and with Juri being even more attracted to her) gave the two their roller coaster ride throughout the entire series .

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (06-21-2012 09:08:33 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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#4 | Back to Top06-21-2012 09:15:32 AM

Rotten Mooring
Precious One
Registered: 10-26-2011
Posts: 281

Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

satyreyes wrote:

One of these can be dispensed with pretty quickly.  Manga!Juri is straight and has a crush on Touga; the character of Shiori does not exist, to the best of my recollection.  (My recollection, however, is not to be trusted.  I only read the manga once and never again -- except for the prologue, which is excellent and which I read repeatedly.)

Oh! Well then, there's that. emot-rofl
Why tell people I haven't read the manga when I can just out myself with every alternate step?

I think she was improvising, but not in the duplicitous way she "improvises" with Ruka.  At some point Shiori asked Juri if there was anyone she liked.  Juri said there was, but she didn't think the other person thought of her that way at all.  Shiori didn't really know what to say, in the same way that no one really knows what to say, so she said "believe in miracles and they will know your feelings."  I don't think Shiori intended to put a lot of weight on the idea of miracles, she was just trying to be supportive, but that's where Juri heard the emphasis: it would take a miracle for Shiori to return Juri's emotions.  And that's how Juri's miracle fetish started.  school-sherlock

And I pretty much pictured that going the exact same way. Is it just a foregone conclusion or was there subliminal messaging implanting that scene in all viewers.

Juri is subtle, and she doesn't mind if people get hurt.

There we go~ I suppose I'm just curious to see where that part of her character lands her among friends. Short Answer: She doesn't really have close friends, does she? Not of the secret sharing variety anyway.

With that said, it's possible that some students fear Juri for more superficial reasons -- because she's intimidatingly beautiful or talented ("Tsugi!"), because she doesn't associate or talk with the other girls, or because whenever they see her she's storming from one place to another like an impatient and volatile bull.  We don't often see her in the light mood that sometimes comes over her when she hangs out with Miki and, later, Utena.  And while this doesn't even approach canon, I have little trouble imagining that bad things have happened to a couple boys who dared to hit on her a little too aggressively.

No doubt about the general public.

Hypothetical: Do you think she would have disappeared people who bugged her? Less than hitting on her with fervor, do you think she would have gotten rid of irritating persons? Or better, what do you think would make for the sort of person she'd want ousted?

Shiori is self centered, childish and probably willfully ignorant about how the world works, but she's not that hard to figure out. I've got bigger problems trying to figure out how Juri's personality fits together when she isn't pining.

It's really easy for a rational person to figure out how to behave towards Shiori: stay the hell away from her.  But Juri isn't rational about Shiori.  I don't think she does consistently try to make Shiori happy, as you say.  I think she's torn among her superego telling her to GTFO, her id telling her to either fuck or kill her, and her conscience telling her to treat her with humanity.  Juri is a confusing and confused mess when it comes to Shiori.  So when opportunities come to be kind to Shiori, Juri tends to fuck them up.  Maybe her superego convinces her conscience that this is a good time for tough love.  Maybe she's so terrified of her id that she can't afford to listen to her conscience.  I don't know.  But I think asking her to behave rationally or even consistently towards Shiori is a little harsh under the circumstances.

And yeah, this is just me needing to get the sense kicked back into me. OMG, other people think differently than I do? How do that work?emot-aaa
I'd go back and purge the evidence but it's good to have reminders not to be a ponce.

My few cents!  emot-smile

Very, very much appreciated~emot-biggrin

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#5 | Back to Top06-21-2012 09:41:53 AM

Rotten Mooring
Precious One
Registered: 10-26-2011
Posts: 281

Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Hi, just coming by this thread to drop my 2 cents . . .

^And all of it pure gold. emot-keke

Juri's very effeminate for all her near-masculine inclinations. She isn't going all out trying to be a prince or a white knight or any other such thing. She wears a long white dress with ruffles whenever she doesn't need to be in uniform. Just using the basic SKU symbols, do you think she wants to be a prince or a princess? Or is she just mixed up for lack of a third (non-witch) option?

I can see the attraction to the vulnerability etc-love. Just as I can see Shiori playing up the weak half of the act and enjoying it for a while before beginning to feel condescended to and growing malcontent with the dynamic. Whereupon she tries to prove she can do things herself and lashes out with pins if any "help" is offered.

Hypothetical: What kind of person would make Shiori happy? She's very up and down and up again. Disallowing the "and then she mellowed out after growing up" possibility, is there a way she could be content in a stable relationship.

Purely Tangential: Various perspective shots seem to imply that Shiori really wants a friend, or friends as the case may be. Clearly, her worldly experience with TBHB wins her some cred with Ohtori's girl crowd, but maybe she'd be better off in a place without "boys" and relationship gossip for a while?

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#6 | Back to Top06-21-2012 09:44:06 AM

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

Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Rotten Mooring wrote:

I'd go back and purge the evidence but it's good to have reminders not to be a ponce.

Don't be silly!  Juri's behavior towards Shiori is ridiculously inconsistent and does deserve explanation.  I feel like I only got a piece of it, and possibly someone will come along and make a broader point!  Glad you found some of what I had to say helpful emot-smile

Gorgeousshutin, I agree with a lot of what you said, too.  A few points where I would differ...

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Juri is in lust with Shiori - not with her seemingly plain physicality, but rather, her coy, apparently delicate vulnerability that, as Ikuhara had said, is seeping with sexual undertones; the "I polish your sword every day waiting for your return" line can give any guy the jitters, as long as that that girl is not fat or blatantly ugly, which Shiori is not.  Notice how, plain as she looked as a young teen, she actually managed to get a boy who was originally interested in Juri into becoming "hers", if only just for a short while?  Shiori is seemingly plain yet undeniably alluring.

I think that between the BHB and her come-ons towards Ruka, it's safe to say that Shiori has figured out a thing or two about attracting male attention.  And I agree that her show of innocence and vulnerability is a part of that.  But I dissent on three points, in increasing order of importance.

- I think it would be a mistake to conclude that Shiori is plain-looking.  We can safely guess that Shiori believes she looks plain by comparison with Juri, and her looks are evidently not as striking as Juri's since other characters don't comment on them, but that's a far cry from saying she's plain.

- It is not an exclusively masculine trait to be "drawn to protect the vulnerable."  SKU of all shows should illustrate that for you.  Utena, Juri, Anthy, Nanami, and even Kozue all go out of their way to protect people they see as vulnerable, often but not always because of some romantic or pararomantic feelings.  Juri does not have to have "near-masculine inclinations in her character" to feel a desire to protect Shiori, or for that desire to inform her attraction to Shiori.  And, yes, to Utena as well.

- Most importantly, I think you're missing the biggest reason Juri is attracted to Shiori, a reason that resonates deeply with the show's themes.  It's actually something Mooring touched on accidentally in the OP.  Juri and Shiori have known each other forever.  There was a time before the BHB when they were good friends, maybe best friends, before drama made everything complicated.  Juri wants Shiori for the same reason that Saionji wants Touga and that Wakaba wants Saionji and that Tatsuya wants Wakaba and that Miki wants Anthy and that Kozue wants Miki and that Nanami wants Touga and that Tsuwabuki wants Nanami and that Anthy wants Akio: each reminds each of a time in their lives when they were happy, or imagine they were happy.  The power of miracles is the same as the power of eternal friendship or the power of the shining thing: it is the power to return to childhood instead of growing up.  Juri would want Shiori whether or not Shiori was physically attractive or emotionally vulnerable or innocent, because Shiori is the girl she remembers having slumber parties with and sharing secrets with and doing all kinds of other things that we'd see if Ikuni graced us with a few flashbacks.  That is, for Juri, her attraction grew out of a deep friendship -- one she has lost and wants to return to.

I think Shiori's fixation on Juri is attributable to the same cause.  I don't think Shiori is a closet case, though she could be.  She seems to like boys, but she might be bi, or she might not know what she is yet.  But she doesn't have to be a closet case for her behavior towards Juri to make sense.  I would explain her face-flushed excitement in terms of her exhilarating realization that she actually has power over the unassailable Juri, and has for a long time!

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#7 | Back to Top06-21-2012 10:00:55 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Hey Satyreyes!
Hmm . . . you 're right in that females too love to protect those they see as vulnerable (thus I've seen many a wife play the "shrew" to fight on behalf of their soft-seeming hubbies in times of conflicts with others).  But there's one major difference between single women and single men: single women protect the vulnerable out of a motherly instinct (thus they protect those they could nurture: young children, weak animals), single men protect the vulnerable out of a domineering instinct (thus they protect those in front of whom they can show off their strengths/glory: thus they protect women they're attracted to). I stressed the word single since for people married with children, their priorities are usually solely on their own children. I see a huge difference between Juri's protecting of Shiori than a woman nurturing a young child or animal (hi, Nanami and Kozue), thus why I call it a masculine inclination

Or, it might just because I'm from Asia: the vast majority of single Asian girls there, especially Jap girls, insisted that their male partners be the protectors and providers in their relationships; the dynamics between the men and women there just so closely parallels what I see in the Juri/Shiori relationship sometimes . . .

Hey Mooring!

do you think she wants to be a prince or a princess? Or is she just mixed up for lack of a third (non-witch) option?

I think Juri wants to be someone competent and capable of protecting others - she even wanted to protect Utena from her prince-dream (which Juri saw as harmful), thus why their first duel.  In fairytale terms, she's likely a "warrior princess" (hi, Xena), or something akin to the Utena-knight riding with Anthy to the castle in the OP.

She wears a long white dress with ruffles whenever she doesn't need to be in uniform.

Now of course Juri like to dress "pretty" (she models for fun in the series), but so do many boys in real life (skinny jeans, slim-fit vests, bright cardigans, men's leggings . . .),  and the ones I know all have that "wanna be tough, protect girls, showoff" instinct in them.

Just as I can see Shiori playing up the weak half of the act and enjoying it for a while before beginning to feel condescended to and growing malcontent with the dynamic. Whereupon she tries to prove she can do things herself and lashes out with pins if any "help" is offered.

You summarized the girl's screwed-up-ness perfectly, Mooring

She seems to like boys, but she might be bi

Yep, you're right on - definitely more bi than strictly les.

What kind of person would make Shiori happy? She's very up and down and up again. Disallowing the "and then she mellowed out after growing up" possibility, is there a way she could be content in a stable relationship.

I think it would be someone similar to Juri, but MALE, so Shiori will not get jealousy and/or homophobic panics when being with such a person.  And that man needs to have much softer, gentler approach towards her than even Juri does . . . fat chance for the girl finding a boy that perfect, who still would endure all her kinks and flaws long term.  I can see most boys being drawn to her, but only for brief flings, before venturing onto "better things".  Boys or no boys, Shiori (like many ohter SKU chars) is someone who needs to mature her own character before she can even be at peace, at alone happy.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (06-21-2012 01:18:46 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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#8 | Back to Top06-21-2012 10:11:23 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Rotten Mooring wrote:

At some point Shiori asked Juri if there was anyone she liked.  Juri said there was, but she didn't think the other person thought of her that way at all.  Shiori didn't really know what to say, in the same way that no one really knows what to say, so she said "believe in miracles and they will know your feelings."

And I pretty much pictured that going the exact same way. Is it just a foregone conclusion or was there subliminal messaging implanting that scene in all viewers.

Both?  emot-wink  Just about all close friends who hit puberty at about the same time have that talk.  And the original context for Shiori's line is right next to the BHB conflict, which required Shiori to believe that Juri liked the BHB.  There are lots of ways it could have gone -- you could even guess that Shiori gave the terrible advice to "believe in miracles" so that Juri wouldn't make a move on the BHB (so that Shiori could) -- but in the broad strokes, Shiori must have been giving Juri romantic advice, and Juri must have taken it hard.

I suppose I'm just curious to see where that part of her character lands her among friends. Short Answer: She doesn't really have close friends, does she? Not of the secret sharing variety anyway.

Nnnnope.  She's often tender and protective towards Miki, but I don't think we ever see her doing any personal sharing with him.  Oddly, the closest person she has to a secret-sharing friend might be Touga.  He's already guessed her big secret, so she's able to be a little more open with him in spite of mistrusting him.  But she doesn't care for him.  Calling him her close friend would be laughable.

Hypothetical: Do you think she would have disappeared people who bugged her? Less than hitting on her with fervor, do you think she would have gotten rid of irritating persons? Or better, what do you think would make for the sort of person she'd want ousted?

That's an interesting question, and I think a good fic could make the case either way.  For my part, I don't think she'd oust irritating people; I think she'd save it for bullies, people who prey on the weak.

Hypothetical: What kind of person would make Shiori happy? She's very up and down and up again. Disallowing the "and then she mellowed out after growing up" possibility, is there a way she could be content in a stable relationship.

No kind of person would make Shiori happy, because she will still be Shiori.  Shiori is a textbook case of a person who has to learn to love herself before she can love anyone else.  Growing up is exactly what is needed -- for Shiori as for the others.

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#9 | Back to Top06-21-2012 10:24:14 AM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

No kind of person would make Shiori happy, because she will still be Shiori.  Shiori is a textbook case of a person who has to learn to love herself before she can love anyone else.  Growing up is exactly what is needed -- for Shiori as for the others.

Word, Satyreyes.

Most importantly, I think you're missing the biggest reason Juri is attracted to Shiori, a reason that resonates deeply with the show's themes.  It's actually something Mooring touched on accidentally in the OP.  Juri and Shiori have known each other forever.

I understand what you're getting at, but both Juri and Shiori must've also known many other kids since forever in their lifetimes, like other classmates and etc.  What attracts the two to each other during childhood in the first place, that they'd get entangled with each other for so many years afterwards? 

As someone who started seeing girls in a romantic light since grade 2 (one of whom happened to be a mini-shiori/nanami combo who toys with boys and uses goons to bully other girls even at that young age, whom I dropped like a hot rock as I get older), I can confidently say that young kids CAN get attracted to certain kinds of other kids (especially since Asian minds mature fast), in romantic/obsessive ways or otherwise.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (06-21-2012 01:31:21 PM)


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#10 | Back to Top06-21-2012 05:38:55 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

I'd like to add something about the manga...

For the most part, I would never include anything about the manga series, but having read it quite a few times I'm pretty familiar with Juri's attitude. I think it may be good to get that view of her too, even if her personality is all you can glean from it.

Manga!Juri strikes me as a bold character. She's incredibly unfriendly and the more ferocious of the Beautiful Duo. It's why they call her the Panther (or Jaguar depending on the manga chapter) There is a scene where she is talking with Miki in the fencing club. Miki says something nice about Utena and Juri lashes out. She covers, saying Miki must always be on his guard, but she is using a actual rapier. Dangerous actions for a club captain, especially when Miki seems to be her best, and only, friend.

She's angry, to put it simply. She's a ball of frustration and in a place of power. What's worse is that she puts herself on that throne, and recognizes most people as a threat to it. Utena doesn't want to fight Juri, but she is being harassed by the older student. Juri WANTS to dual. Her prince (Touga...) put himself on the line for Utena, and Juri feels like that is a threat to her world. She'd stop at nothing to get rid of our pink-haired prince. Ruthless is a pretty good word for her.


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#11 | Back to Top09-03-2012 05:32:11 AM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

I reject the notion that Juri is merely "in lust" with Shiori. Not that in lust is such a terrible thing, or such, but Juri clearly gets something more out of their whole dynamic even when it's at its most painful and vindictive. And, Shiori being Shiori lets Juri be the kind of prince Utena keeps wanting to be. (All that awfulness is actually Shiori's gift to Juri! Ooh! Okeh, maybe not, but she does benefit.)

I like the shift in their dynamic the movie presents, because it puts a heavy chunk of the responsibility for the relationship's continuing and continuing nature on Juri, while in the show, it's generally presented as things Shiori does to Juri. Except, even there, Juri's trying to prove there are no miracles almost entirely to disprove the last goodness of Shiori she's holding onto.


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#12 | Back to Top09-03-2012 07:29:38 AM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:
I reject the notion that Juri is merely "in lust" with Shiori. Not that in lust is such a terrible thing, or such, but Juri clearly gets something more out of their whole dynamic even when it's at its most painful and vindictive.

Actually, the "lust" term can apply to more than just physical sex - it's about wanting something (emotional cravings, using someone as an "object" for which to project your own wishes upon, etc).  So, for Juri to want/crave whatever she get out of their whole dynamic also made her "in lust".


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#13 | Back to Top09-03-2012 12:09:17 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:
I reject the notion that Juri is merely "in lust" with Shiori. Not that in lust is such a terrible thing, or such, but Juri clearly gets something more out of their whole dynamic even when it's at its most painful and vindictive.

Actually, the "lust" term can apply to more than just physical sex - it's about wanting something (emotional cravings, using someone as an "object" for which to project your own wishes upon, etc).  So, for Juri to want/crave whatever she get out of their whole dynamic also made her "in lust".

If we're stretching "lust" to encompass all want and attraction, what's left for "in love" or otherwise? I'm not suggesting there is no lust or hunger factor to their relationship or to either's attraction to the other and to what the other does for them, but I don't think it's all hunger or addiction based. I think, ultimately, both of them like what they derive, and enjoy the existence/continued-presence of the other in a calmer fashion as well.

Breakdowns of most of the interpersonal or sex-concerned relationships in SKU to a purely parasitic or lust basis is, in my opinion, going to fall short. Unless Akio is involved. Will-to-possess and/or instant-gratification are omnipresent in the series/world, but rarely isolated from other motives.


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#14 | Back to Top09-03-2012 04:17:09 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:
what's left for "in love" or otherwise?
skip
Will-to-possess and/or instant-gratification are omnipresent in the series/world, but rarely isolated from other motives.

But true love has no room for such things like will-to-possess and/or instant gratification, least it becomes lustful attraction at most.

Love is a rare thing because it's DIFFICULT and UNCONDITIONAL.  To love someone is not about what you WANT to GET from a dynamic: it's about wanting the best for the one you want to give love to - irrelevant to what the beloved one does, how they look, act, be, become, how they SEE YOU.  I would highly doubt that Juri would love Shiori if she is to swap bodies with . . . say, Tatsuya; and I don't see Juri being able to do what Ruka does - calmly setting himself up to be hated and loathed just so his beloved can be benefited, and calmly leaving when his loved one has been freed/saved.

If one can give love to someone who they knew will not reciprocate, and who does not even necessarily be within a desirable age/gender/appearance/status, then THAT's love.  To be honest, I don't think even Ruka, obviously drawn to Juri's strength and beauty, could be termed as in non-lust-based love.  I think  Utena, obviously not attracted to Anthy physically, nor liking her submissive attitude, comes the closest, but her using Anthy as a means to fulfill her ideals in the earlier eps kinda tarnish that.  Still, when she decide to save Anthy even after backstabbed (while not being attracted to Anthy's naked form), I think it establishes her as comign the closest.  As Utena herself said in ep 37, her love for Anthy is "pure", hinting that it's unlike Juri's lust/romance-mixed feeling towards Shiori (of course she then say "I'm not saying your feelings ain't pure" cause she does not wanna antagonize Juri). 

I know many define love differently than I do (thus why the many people in our worldwho claim to be in love with someone, only to change their minds or turn it ugly later), but . . . for me, that's how it is defined.

Last edited by gorgeousshutin (09-03-2012 04:38:21 PM)


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#15 | Back to Top09-03-2012 04:38:08 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

gorgeousshutin wrote:

I know many define love differently than I do (thus why the many people who claim to be in love with someone, only to change their minds or turn it ugly later), but . . . for me, that's how it is defined.

Thanks for setting out your terms, though the parenthetical probably isn't necessary, unless you really want to put out there that your definitions are workable and no one else's. (Which you may, but that's a battle I'd never want to fight.)

Under those terms, no, Juri isn't in love with Shiori. But, I'm kinda we're allowed to have different definitions for these things.

Last edited by Decrescent Daytripper (09-03-2012 04:39:04 PM)


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#16 | Back to Top09-03-2012 04:40:15 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

But, if under those terms Ruka qualifies... I'm kinda we're allowed to have different definitions for these things.

See my completed, edited post:

I wrote
To be honest, I don't think even Ruka, obviously drawn to Juri's strength and beauty, could be termed as in non-lust-based love.


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#17 | Back to Top09-03-2012 04:59:23 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

gorgeousshutin wrote:

But, if under those terms Ruka qualifies... I'm kinda we're allowed to have different definitions for these things.

See my completed, edited post:

I wrote
To be honest, I don't think even Ruka, obviously drawn to Juri's strength and beauty, could be termed as in non-lust-based love.

I saw that and adjusted mine as quick as I could, but not quick enough.

Under your definition for love I don't see how Utena's love for Anthy qualifies, either, unless we assume, without evidence, that her love has been slowly purifying over the course of the series (there's some verifiable truth to that) and the True Love part will arrive just after the last episodes. Utena comes around to some good levels of acceptance and empathy with Anthy, by the end, but I see no evidence that she'd love Anthy as much if Anthy, say, stayed with her bro at Ohtori or suddenly took up biting the heads off live squirrels. Her love for/with Anthy, to my viewing, doesn't transcend lust or attraction to specific elements of Anthy, it's tied in with them and enhanced by an acceptance of some parts she does not so much care for.


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#18 | Back to Top09-03-2012 05:10:51 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:
but I see no evidence that she'd love Anthy as much if Anthy, say, stayed with her bro at Ohtori or suddenly took up biting the heads off live squirrels.

But utena saw some even more revolting things from Anthy prior to last duel and the night on the rooftop - that Anthy is sexing Akio her BRO.
And even though Utena then antagonizes Anthy with flaunting her still dating Akio, she STILL end up deciding to continue the last duel to free Anthy.
During the last duel, even after Anthy backstabbed her while she was really fighting for Anthy's sake, Utena still single-mindedly tried to fight on to help Anthy.
And, if I remember correctly, Utena welcomes other people getting close and friendly to Anthy, instead of wanting to keep Anthy all to herself. 
All that makes Utena's feelings towards Anthy come very close to true love to me.


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#19 | Back to Top09-03-2012 05:33:34 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

gorgeousshutin wrote:

Utena welcomes other people getting close and friendly to Anthy, instead of wanting to keep Anthy all to herself.

Yeah, but so does Miki. And Utena, more than once, duels for Anthy not because Anthy's all "Save me, Utena! Save me!" but because she wants to save her. She grows out of that, at least a bit, in the end of the show, but I think Utena not trying to keep Anthy all to herself is, if anything, just indicative of how not-jealous she generally is.

I'm not pushing that Juri and Shiori have a true-love-and-nothing-but going on, but I do think there's love there, and friendship, and admiration, and lots of other non-lust-based elements, as well as some big time lusting, and some deeply personal and practiced loathing. I think Shiori doesn't believe Juri loves her anymore than Juri believes in miracles anymore.

Movie-Shiori is explicitly the person who's spreading rumors about who's in love with her (was that in the TV version as well? I can't remember). But what's Juri doing with her attraction? Burying it, stiff upper lip and look the other way. Which, Shiori probably drove her to. Probably because of something Juri did, intentional or otherwise, before that, and so on down through their history. They force the other's hand because they don't have "true love," no. They lack any essential trust in the other.


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#20 | Back to Top09-03-2012 05:34:16 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

(And when did I become the biggest Shiori-defender/promoter here?)


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#21 | Back to Top09-03-2012 06:11:51 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Decrescent Daytripper wrote
Yeah, but so does Miki. And Utena, more than once, duels for Anthy not because Anthy's all "Save me, Utena! Save me!" but because she wants to save her. She grows out of that, at least a bit, in the end of the show, but I think Utena not trying to keep Anthy all to herself is, if anything, just indicative of how not-jealous she generally is.

Did Miki try get Anthy more friends?  I don't quite remember which scene that was.  That being said, I remember Miki only "loving" the piano playing Anthy, and was merely acquaintance-nice to her prior to hearing her piano play.


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#22 | Back to Top09-28-2017 08:57:13 PM

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Re: Juri/Shiori: Working Out the Collective Head-Canon

Forum rules encourage bringing threads back from the dead for further discussion if relevant, right? Is this an okay thing to resurrect? I know this thread is quite a few years old now, but dang it, I couldn't stop discussing Shiori while I was away and the forum will always feel like home for overly detailed theories and wishes! I've been slowly withering away of dehydration under the harsh sun, and Shiori discussion is the blessed water that can save me! Silly dramatics aside, I think there's a ton of baggage to unpack with Juri and Shiori and just how their relationship can even be approached. You've asked some tough questions Mooring, and between the contributors here so much ground has been covered... I'd really like to take a second to thank you all for such an enjoyable read, and an excuse to muse a little myself!

Rotten Mooring wrote:

- Shiori once told Juri to "believe in miracles" and these words had a deep impact on Juri but how much thought do you think Shiori put into that phrase? Do you think she was masterminding something designed to be agonized over later? Or was she just improvising?

I swear I'll actually answer this (in a rambling, roundabout way) by the end, but I've got a little related headcanon to preface this.  A lot of details have changed over the years (more than a decade guys, yeesh, how’d that happen?) in the way I see Shiori's full character and history, but one thing that I've always generally believed on a purely first-impression level is that Shiori comes from a deeply religious family. They might be moderately wealthy, but not much more than that, and on the whole are fairly innocuous compared to some of the Ohtori family situations. They are respectable. Her outward mannerisms have always painted this kind of image to me. In the official translation she refers to herself as "the prodigal daughter" in a voice that seems both good-natured but self-depreciating upon first meeting Utena and Anthy; she speaks politely but she invites that superficial kindness further, bringing the girls into her sparse and completely covered dorm (so as not to expose anything improper and revealing like personal decor to us) and softly requests they visit again sometime as she is without a roommate, not insignificantly, and her overall body language and tone show her carrying herself rather demurely compared to the darkness, passion, and even violence that she keeps inside. While there’s a level of self-awareness to it, I don't think it's entirely "acting" but is a reflection on the way she was raised, her behavior at home, and the behavior she exhibited in her youth-- which contributed to a confusing mix of feelings in young Juri, who carried herself regally, with a different sort of quietness, a quietness that is not inviting and approachable but striking, imposing, and alluring. Shiori's home, as I envision it, was not one of honest expression, creative exploration, or deeply emotional speech, and I believe that atmosphere carried an undercurrent of religious faith.

So a sort of sub-question to this is: does Shiori believe in "miracles" in any sort of religious sense?

...Y'know, despite the above viewpoint on her home life, I don't think that's necessarily the case either. I think the particular phrasing of a belief in miracles as advice or a dodgy "have faith and good things come" explanation is something she may have picked up on during her youth, but it exists more as an abstract concept than a reward delivered by any certain deity. I do think the wording choice here is not exactly an accident, but was not deeply thought-out either. The tacking on of "they will know your feelings" feels more like her own impression of what the right thing to say is to adapt this universal advice to their current situation, and the phrase as a whole always sounded to me like poor advice she had fleetingly put together from poor guidance she had received; the contrast of a grand but unspecific power like "miracles" to a somewhat simple and mundanely "teenage" plight of wanting your feelings known but not wanting to step outside yourself to express them makes the whole thing sound like a comfort Shiori would perhaps think to herself at times, and thus felt confident enough in it (or did not think so critically at the time ((and resentfully later on)) of the concept of "a miracle" that hadn't proven itself) to share the thought with Juri. It's possible she says this without thinking of how she and Juri differ and sees no reason for Juri to despise a concept for not being real and concrete when she herself had been raised in such a way that she did not question how much just believing something was really worth, or maybe even found comfort in the abstractness of believing; it's possible she says it as hint to Juri, and an expression of her own desire to have her feelings known without the danger of communicating them. Either way, I don't think she planned for it to be something Juri would spend years tormented by. If anything, Shiori's active fault in these early years, one that Juri shares, is a lack of responsibility for the poor communication that drives them both into their little corners of misery-- just believing something that would absolve her and by extension Juri of the risks and pain of honest human interaction is almost like a wall she's building to match the even taller and thicker wall of isolation and secrecy Juri has been building around herself.

Rotten Mooring wrote:

- Shiori tells us that Juri "was always that wonderful" and that at one point that she believed that Juri was her friend out of sympathy. (Like a skinny girl keeping fat friends, I imagine.) Am I the only one that winds up picturing Juri "helping" Shiori with something she wasn't good at and Shiori feeling condescended to rather than assisted? I'm givent o think communication between these two has always been poor.

Jumping back to Shiori's family for a moment, this is also something I feel like she's struggled with. I'd imagine they have never asked very much of their daughter beyond decent behavior. This, in some ways, was worse for Shiori's sense of self-worth, as her neuroses shaped around this lack of force or purpose and left her feeling that she could not be asked to accomplish anything because she was not able to, that there were no expectations because her "nothingness" was clear to even her parents, and as hatred for herself over time branched into hatred of others around her, she grew to resent the friend and peer who most reminded her of these feelings: Juri. Juri, who shone so brightly and brilliantly and beautifully and allowed Shiori near her as a moon in her orbit, while sharing nothing of her own fears and emotions, asking nothing, and expecting nothing from her. The internalized lack-of-pressure pressures she feels from her family are not openly stated, but instead have always been suggested, and her own mind warps Juri's withheld affections in a similar way, though I do not think that is Juri's intent (but still, unfortunate as it is, the intent can only help to inform the result-- it won't change it.) Juri and Shiori basically do the absolute worst things they can do for each other in their attempts to look out for themselves. Poor communication is absolutely their first and greatest downfall. Once the seeds of dishonesty (even if they did not think of their attitudes in such harsh terms) had been sown between them, there was no clear way to win; "helping" Shiori where she came short would serve to underline her inadequacy and humiliate her, and keeping her at arm's length, as it appears Juri increasingly did, made it clearer and clearer still how small Juri must see her as and how she must be kept around out of a sense of obligation and pity. This is not something Juri means for Shiori to feel, and I don't say that to place blame on her for it-- but they both contribute to each other's pain in their refusal to be vulnerable and honest, and contribute twice that to their own.

Happier sidenote: The fact that Shiori is in a healthy enough place to be able to stand existing in such a clearly tiered relationship beneath Juri, as the fencing captain and a novice student, is maybe the most heartwarming moment in the final montage for me.

Rotten Mooring wrote:

- Whatever happened to scary!Juri ? Before Juri vs. Utena Round 1, Juri manipulates the school principal into an uncomfortable position because her that-minute whim to speak with Utena wasn't granted and Utena reveals some of the hearsay going about in the lower grades about no one wanting to see Juri's "true face" (I may be paraphrasing that one). During Ruka's resurfacing, one of the other students actually calls Juri "scary" when giggling and gossiping to her friends (much in the context of, "Oh Shiori, you were all alone in that room with Juri? How scary!") Is scary!Juri just lip service paid by the easily intimidated masses or is there something to that?

I don't have much to add to this, other than loving the petty spite when Shiori, high on the rush of reaching above Juri and especially if she can stand on her to get there, rebuffs the other girl's claim that Juri is scary with something like "Oh, is she?" But yeah, I can definitely see Juri as an intimidating figure, and the general Ohtori masses do not get the audience-omnipotence revealing Juri's tender heart, emotional turmoil, and at times cowardice indulged in by her pride. From the outside Juri seems cold (to those who do not interact with her, at least-- maybe unaffected is a better term, as she does provide hands-on coaching to the fencing club members), imposing, and highly competent. The student council are all in enough of a position of power for the study body to see them in a somewhat dramatized way, but for the girls of the school, is isn't too hard to get close (superficially though it may be) to the charming Touga or the nonthreatening Miki, whereas Juri does little socializing outside of the club to dispel rumors of her iciness, and I doubt she especially wants those rumors to go away when they've benefited her on at least one occasion.

Rotten Mooring wrote:

It's all  too easy to get caught up in poor, tragic Juri, just trying to make Shiori happy but she certainly seems to fail at every opportunity, doesn't she?

Juri and Shiori, much as I do wish for a brighter future, just do not know how to make each other happy. Not in the past, and certainly not in the present. They have taken their internal fears, insecurities, and self-doubt and externalized it-- Juri has built it into a shield, Shiori has built it into a weapon. Since this has all just been headcanon, I have a particular one regarding Juri that I do not think is any way what canon is intending to say, but is more like self-indulgent nonsense that helps me in explaining Juri to myself. Juri tells the council the story of when her sister almost drowned, but was saved by a boy who was then swept away by the strong current instead. She says that she always found it cold that her sister couldn't remember the boy's name, though now she herself can't remember it either. The canon purpose of this scene is foreshadowing Utena's fate, but this can also relate to why I believe that as good of a character as Juri is, she is not meant to be a "prince" in quite the same way. Juri held a sense of resentment toward her sister back then, held a private belief that her sister must have been a cruel person, as she liked to believe herself to be that same selfless, heroic child who would always take action when faced with that raging water-- but this resentment has lessened now, because by the time all is said and done with Shiori (in-series) she's owned up to the reality that losing the duel was easier than losing the locket, that she could not "take action" when she believed she loved Shiori and instead allowed inaction to grow the distance between them, and now despite her attempts to "take action" (in fighting and winning the power of revolution) when she believes she hates Shiori-- metaphorically kicking off her shoes and taking a deep breath, steeling herself for the coming impact-- she is still standing firmly on the riverbank. I don't say this as a criticism of Juri or to accuse her of weakness, I say this because it is the thing that makes her character compelling for me. Juri will duel with the most polished skill demonstrated in the series, but she will discard her own rose when the locket she has only tethered herself to her own misery with is cut from its hiding place. When she looks through her own experiences at this memory now, she doesn't know if she's seeing the little girl drowning as Shiori or as herself. She doesn't know if struggling upward and outward will really save her from the water's current, and so she has, without realizing, let the girl in her mind continue drowning. Whoever she is, she can't pull her from the water and end the cycle, like a whirlpool keeping her from moving anywhere but in circles. She won't look to the balcony when she knows Shiori is there, she looks instead inside the locket when she knows she is alone-- and as hard as she tries, she can't remember that heroic child's name anymore. And that, to me, is a much more tragic idea of Juri's part in the story than one where she does no wrong.

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:

(And when did I become the biggest Shiori-defender/promoter here?)

Since you do such a good job of it! etc-love


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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