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#1 | Back to Top11-08-2017 04:57:59 AM

Ends of the Fandom
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8797

Help, I wrote at length about Akio on Tumblr....come read analysis! … on-and-the

So I wrote a thing and put it on Tumblr because I got mad when Chrome crashed and ate half of it after I typed it into the forum post window like a moron. I didn't think it would get as long as it did. emot-mad I wonder if there's an extension for saving posts as drafts...

Basically, it's an analysis of the process by which Akio gains Utena's trust in the Black Rose Saga. I've always found those scenes fascinating because they're full of menace and creepy as shit but it's never like he leers or grabs or sets off any one alarm at once. You just know it's going poorly for Utena. So I wanted to explore and try to explain why, and then went off on a huge tangent about how the show definitely wants to violate you with his behavior as much as he wants to violate Utena.

I don't know that I articulated that well, but it's a suspicion I've always had, that the show presents her getting seduced in a way that implies you are complicit in the process by watching it. By the end, you're literally in his point of view, but the process of getting you there is a gradual one, so that when you do get put there, on top of her, your reaction isn't immediate disgust and withdraw so much as a slimy, miserable, sickening dread, because by then, you feel enough guilt having watched this whole circus that you don't get to shift right into righteous anger on her behalf.

But one thing I didn't mention...

That there is a bouquet of wrapped roses when Akio is first alone with Utena in episode 15, and again in 33 when he has sex with her, implies more to me than that this was his plan all along. (Because it does.)

It speaks to, IMO, Anthy's role in this. They are her roses. They're wrapped, delivered to him, twice over. At the beginning, and the end, of his methodical seduction of her friend. It's indicative of Anthy's complicity, and more than that besides. She is literally delivering the roses, and Utena by extension, to Akio. And she knows what he's going to do.

How does she feel about this? I don't think she feels great, and his progress with Utena definitely accompanies a decline in his relationship with Anthy. But she does it, with her eyes wide open, leading this lamb directly into the slaughterhouse, knowing what will become of her.

Anthy is a fucking terrible person, people. She's not as bad as Akio but that's a bar so low it's actually molten lava.

Akio, you have nice turns of phrase, but your points aren't clear and you have no textual support. I can't give this a passing grade.
~ Professor Arisa Konno, Eng 1001 (Freshman Literature and Composition)



#2 | Back to Top11-10-2017 07:19:27 PM

Miki Molester
From: Jacksonville, FL
Registered: 08-05-2017
Posts: 33

Re: Help, I wrote at length about Akio on Tumblr....come read analysis!

I enjoyed your analysis. I think Akio's interactions with Utena in the Black Rose saga are interesting for the reasons you outlined, nothing actually romantic or sexual goes on between them, but there's definitely grooming going on. He's presenting himself as the dependable, wise older man she can confide in.

One thing I wanted to mention while we're on the subject is how in so much of the Utena fandom, I see people blame Utena for her encounter(s) and relationship with Akio, calling her a slut and whatnot. I really don't understand this perception because to me, that's basically blaming a child (Utena) for not having better judgment. It's always been apparent to me that the Utena/Akio relationship is not entirely consensual -- true, it's not rape in the sense that he's holding her down and she's screaming -- but it's definitely statutory rape and what I like to term "dubious consent." In spite of the fact that it's fictional, the Utena/Akio relationship is, to me, is a perfect example of why we have statutory rape laws in place. Not because of an 18 year old having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend, mind you, but because of adults in position of power who take advantage of someone who's underage and obviously too naive and trusting to properly consent.

I really don't blame Utena for anything that went on during her dalliance with Akio, because to me she's a naive, trusting child being taking advantage of and used by an experienced, manipulative adult. That's why I feel like Akio trying to shift blame in episode 38 is so wrong, and why Utena was so on the mark to say "That's different!" Akio was an adult who knew full well what he was doing, and Utena was a naive, gullible child with poor judgment. BIG difference there.


Anthy is a fucking terrible person, people. She's not as bad as Akio but that's a bar so low it's actually molten lava.

I don't disagree that Anthy definitely does some reprehensible things throughout the series, but for myriad reasons, I have trouble viewing her on the same level as Akio. I love to hate Akio, whereas Anthy, I wind up feeling empathy and compassion for more than anything else. Among other things, there's the fact that it's hard to tell how much of Anthy's wrongdoing is of her own will, and how much is her being basically coerced by Akio. I think some things (such as her tormenting Nanami) are of her own will, but that others, such as the aforementioned bringing Utena to Akio, are definitely her doing Akio's bidding. Also, the fact that I believe Anthy is pretty miserable doing what she's doing, whereas I think Akio enjoys every second of it. Add to the situation Anthy's perpetual torment + abuse by everyone around her, and I feel it's pretty easy to see Anthy as a sympathetic character compared to Akio.



#3 | Back to Top11-13-2017 04:45:22 AM

Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416

Re: Help, I wrote at length about Akio on Tumblr....come read analysis!

Anthy is a fucking terrible person, people. She's not as bad as Akio but that's a bar so low it's actually molten lava.

I think this is a short-sighted view of Anthy's complex character.

My reply is this character amv I created years ago which I describe as:
At first glance Himemiya Anthy is a sweet innocent second glance she's an evil manipulative witch.

At third glance she's a little sister besotted by a big brother, a prince, desperately wanting to save him at any cost - even the cost of her self. Take another look at the complicated motivations of Anthy and her love/hate story that spans the ages and witnesses the evolution of Dios into Akio. … ature=plcp

I invite you to take a 'third glance' at Anthy's character.

(This is not saying that Anthy doesn't do terrible things ... she does. They're unjustifiable.)



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