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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 Top03-09-2007 09:43:44 AM

Maarika
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Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

That's the third thread by me today, what's going on? emot-confused
Anyway, this is a spin-off thread from here: http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=494&p=2

A discussion came up about whether Akio raped Anthy or not.


Hina the Prince wrote:

Their relationship is very open to interpretation, really, but I think that by the Apocalypse arc she realized she has feelings for Utena - doesn't matter what feelings, the very fact that SHE can FEEL made her think some things over. Her interest in Akio was disappearing with time, until it seemed like she was only sleeping with him because she had to. And we mustn't forget this part [sorry if quote isn't all that accurate]:

Akio: Anthy, come here.
Anthy: ... -remains unmoving, staring off into the distance-
Akio: RAR!!!1 D< -smashes glass and pulls her to him-

Looks like rape to me, alright.

The scene that might give us the idea of Anthy being raped is in episode 25. I'll try to explain why she wasn't raped.

Firstly, this is the first episode in the Apocalyse Arc and this also where Saionji challenges Utena again. I'll keep it short as possible (not that I'm any good at it), so I'll not go into details too much. The Sword of Dios disappears during the duel, I've been pondering over it and the only reason for it I can think of is that Anthy is behind it. In the beginning of the following episode, Akio says that the Rose Bride has to be engaged to someone else as soon as possible. This made me think that Utena was supposed to lose Saionji's duel. Anthy possesses the means (which even Akio doesn't really seem to understand) to decide the outcome of the duels so she makes the sword disappear. But as we know, Utena still wins the duel. This is because Anthy doesn't want Utena to lose. If you remember, earlier in that episode there's a scene with Utena and Anthy which goes like this:

Utena:  Hey, if something ever troubles you, come talk to me about it first.
Utena:  No matter what, we'll help each other.
Utena:  That's the kind of friends I want us to be.
Anthy:  I understand. From now on, you and I will help each other to go on living.
Anthy:  Utena-sama...
Anthy:  Actually, I...


Anthy fails to reveal the truth to Utena but she's stirred by her words because Utena reminded her Dios again. This is the reason why Anthy changes her mind during the duel. Of course she wants to fulfill their plans with Akio, but she also wants to keep Utena with her because Utena reminds her of Dios. She doesn't want to give up on Akio either, she wants them both and that's what's the cause of her inner conflict. She can't have them both.

After the duel comes that scene you mentioned, Hina. Akio comments on th duel and the sword. Note that they are not facing each other, and we don't see their eyes during that scene. This implies two things: one, that Akio knows Anthy was behind the swprd thing and two, Anthy feels a bit guilty/ashamed for that. Actually, it's hard to say what Anthy feels, but she seems to have regrets or second thoughts about it. Unlike Akio, she doesn't really have (own emot-tongue ) Utena and she can't afford to lose him. Also note that Anthy never loses interest in Akio till the very end when she leaves Ohtori.
Anyway, back to the point, Akio asked Anthy to come to him, but Anthy didn't at first so he grabbed her. Why didn't Anthy go to him? I don't think it has anything to do with her starting to lose interest in him, but rather trying to sort of her feelings. Anthy is very slow and unused to dealing with any kinds of feelings so it's only natural for her to react in an indecisive/uncertain way. In the end of the episode, we get another shot of Anthy and Akio http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/ … efea35.jpg
There's nothing about Anthy that gives any hints that she's being raped. On the contrary, her expression is calm, which could never be the case for someone who's being raped. This is because Anthy thinks she needs Akio after all and wants to keep him.

Hmm, I have some other views on that episode, but this is pretty much the point I wanted to bring out.

Anyway, all thoughts about Anthy/Akio relationship are very welcome here.


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#2 | Back to Top03-09-2007 11:48:41 AM

Hina the Prince
Friend, Perhaps
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

First of all, Maarika - 80% of your post just made it seem more like rape. Anthy seems to develop more and more feelings towards Utena; their dialogue shows it very well. That moment when she stays still after told her to come to him simply screams "I don't want to" to me. I think it's then she began to realize there's a different possibility. That she doesn't have to be with Akio. But of course, he can't have her believing that, so he grabs her. He's nothing without her, so he does everything to keep her under his control.

Maarika wrote:

Also note that Anthy never loses interest in Akio till the very end when she leaves Ohtori.

I'm sorry, that nearly made me bang my head against the table. Have you forgotten that scene, after they have sex? It goes something like this:

Akio: I discovered a new star. It is unknown to everyone but me. A brand new star - it doesn't even have a name yet. -goes on and on-
Anthy: -voice flat, the shine of her glasses makes it impossible to see her eyes- Yes, Onii-sama. -leaves-
Akio: Why must you torment me so?

I think Anthy haven't had interest in Akio for a long time. She clang onto him because he was all she had, and he was the Dios she loved, once, a long time ago. Now that he is no longer a prince, he can finally be hers. I don't think it took her very long to realize it's not the person she loved - but he was close enough, and he loved her, and she had nowhere else to go, no one waiting for her, and not to mention - she's a heartless doll. No one would want her.

And then came Utena and proved her that everything she believed was wrong.


Why didn't Anthy go to him? I don't think it has anything to do with her starting to lose interest in him, but rather trying to sort of her feelings. Anthy is very slow and unused to dealing with any kinds of feelings so it's only natural for her to react in an indecisive/uncertain way.

It doesn't really matter why she didn't go to him - fact is, she didn't. I don't think that if he waited she'd come, either. She was unwilling, that makes it rape.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/maarika/80efea35.jpg
There's nothing about Anthy that gives any hints that she's being raped. On the contrary, her expression is calm, which could never be the case for someone who's being raped. This is because Anthy thinks she needs Akio after all and wants to keep him.

That's what it looks like upside down. But turn your head around, and you'll notice her expression is actually quite miserable, like someone who has given up. I'll bet it's done this way on purpose. I love this series, dammit.

Awesome thread, by the way.

Last edited by Hina the Prince (03-09-2007 11:51:25 AM)

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#3 | Back to Top03-09-2007 11:56:35 AM

Hysterical Woman
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Maarika wrote:

There's nothing about Anthy that gives any hints that she's being raped. On the contrary, her expression is calm, which could never be the case for someone who's being raped. This is because Anthy thinks she needs Akio after all and wants to keep him.

Actually, someone might look calm during rape because they're basically trying to black it out, to leave their body. Not all rape victims scream and cry. After all, in the movie, Touga looks pretty calm during his rape scene.


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#4 | Back to Top03-09-2007 12:20:58 PM

Yasha
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Anthy is purposefully ambiguous, both in the way that they've animated her and the way that she acts. There are a couple things I'd like to point out, though. First, Anthy's expression, while it may not be one of overwhelming joy, is certainly not out of line if you consider it in terms of arousal. Orgasm, after all, is referred to as 'the little death' or 'the beautiful pain' in more novels than I'd care to count. Look at pictures of people's faces during orgasm, and you'll see that they do look as if they're in pain, or miserable. This link is NWS for implied sex.

The people in those pictures may be supremely happy, but their faces certainly don't seem like it. In fact, they exhibit the same characteristics that Anthy is exhibiting in that picture-- or at least what we can see of her; the eyebrows are pulled together and down.

Second, that he used physical force with her is not necessarily indicative of unwillingness on her part. I think one of the things that's being overlooked here is that Anthy has the capacity to be quite sadistic, and would be quite willing to anger Akio enough that he was driven to establish dominance over her to remind her of how dirty and stained she really is. It would be simple enough for her to do that, as she's the only one who has any sort of emotional hold over him, and she definitely has reason. If we take that into consideration, it creates a different structure than simple rape-- it's another exhibition of the dominance struggle between them, and by forcing Akio into a display of dominance to make her submit to him, Anthy triumphs in the end as she's the one pulling his strings, by making him first believe that he needs to keep her in line, and second that she has fallen into line.

So basically, I give Anthy far too much credit to believe she's a rape victim.


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#5 | Back to Top03-09-2007 12:51:57 PM

Hina the Prince
Friend, Perhaps
From: Israel
Registered: 10-20-2006
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Aww, Yasha, will you cut that out? It's just no fun when you keep owning all discussion threads with your brilliant posts. emot-frown But I'll reply anyway.

Yasha wrote:

-stuff about orgasm-

Good catch. I didn't even consider it, most likely because orgasms in anime tend to look like this: emot-redface

Second, that he used physical force with her is not necessarily indicative of unwillingness on her part. I think one of the things that's being overlooked here is that Anthy has the capacity to be quite sadistic, and would be quite willing to anger Akio enough that he was driven to establish dominance over her to remind her of how dirty and stained she really is.

Doesn't that make her a masochist, though? emot-tongue Anyway, why does she need another reminder to how "horrible" she is? Aren't the million sword of hatred that bore into her flesh every second enough? Instead of wanting more torture, Anthy seems to prefer inflicting pain on others. Unless what you mean is that by dominating Akio into dominating her and thinking she is submissive she is paining him even more because at some point he must realize that she was actually the dominant one and that he was just playing along without even realizing and oh God this sentence makes my head explode. Next!

So basically, I give Anthy far too much credit to believe she's a rape victim.

While I do recognize Anthy as the all-powerful puppet mistress in the series, that does not mean Akio cannot entirely act on his own against her. I do think it's possible she wasn't willing to have sex with him, but it's different to every other rape case in history because she doesn't care. I mean, after getting stabbed with a million swords but never truly dying and existing as a soulless doll for the sole purpose of serving others until the revolution comes and then you'll have to get stabbed AGAIN, what's getting raped once by your brother, whom you've been having sex with on a weekly basis for God-knows-how-long anyway?

Last edited by Hina the Prince (03-09-2007 12:54:17 PM)

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#6 | Back to Top03-09-2007 01:01:37 PM

brian
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Registered: 10-22-2006
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/ … efea35.jpg
No way is that ecstacy, it's misery, more specifically it's grief and perhaps even an aching longing to be naked in the arms of Dios, which is why we see a starry shadow of Dios and not Akio. But he's dead and the best she can do is dream about what might have been and now cannot ever be. It is certainly not consensual. A major point of episode 25 is to highlight Akio's desire to dominate Anthy. This is virtually the first time she tries to do something resist Akio -- her petty retaliations against Nanami are no skin off his nose and may even suit him.

Earlier on she does seem to almost desire Akio; she almost seems to enjoy flouting bourgeois values but who can really say for sure?

All that being said Yasha's point makes a lot of sense but Anthy's body language does not imply trying to incite Akio but instead quietly slip back to Utena where it feels safe. The power struggle between them is very one-sided.

I was going to post this on the Interpreting Symbolism in SKU thread but the discussion has moved on. I don't understand the disappearing sword but it happens right after Saionji says that he has seen The World. That overpowers Utena's innocence and her sword vanishes. But Anthy awakens from her doll-like coma and decides to actually help Utena. She feels something she has not felt since Dios died. She shows Utena for the first time that she can be her own prince. Working together as partners they can defeat the world. This is just a quick idea.

Last edited by brian (03-09-2007 01:17:24 PM)

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#7 | Back to Top03-09-2007 01:16:22 PM

Hina the Prince
Friend, Perhaps
From: Israel
Registered: 10-20-2006
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Now that's an awesome point, Brian [even though it doesn't seem much like Dios with that face structure, now I'm just nitpicking]. The fact that Akio's form is filled with the night sky makes me think of the planetarium, and goes quite well with the Anthy/Akio/Dios relationship, too, if you put Anthy in Akio's place - Anthy longs for the real sky [Dios], but she can't have it even though it's right outside the room [could also refer to Utena] - instead she'll have to do with the fake stars [Akio], which might create the illusion of a real sky but once you really look at them it's clear they're not even close. But aren't they much more convenient?

Last edited by Hina the Prince (03-09-2007 01:20:59 PM)

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#8 | Back to Top03-09-2007 01:23:13 PM

dollface
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

I am, perhaps, the only person who believes that Akio and Anthy really do love each other.

When Akio asks if he may "borrow" Utena away from Anthy, she just smiles and waves, smiles and waves. But once they're gone, her face drops into pure malice. Some would say this is because of Utena, and how Akio is using her, but wouldn't her face reflect sorrow? Shouldn't she look tortured rather than angry? If she really were angry about Akio, she wouldn't have continued helping him, and bending to his will until the very end. She wouldn't have stabbed Utena, even if it was to save her, if she was upset at Akio using Utena. The only logical mood drawn from her face is jealousy, spite. She doesn't want to see Akio and Utena together, because Akio is her prince. He is still Dios to her, and she knows full well that Utena is falling for him fast.

Some could say this is the other way around, she doesn't want Akio with her prince, Utena. But if you ask me, that would reflect more than just friendship. That's for another thread entirely.


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#9 | Back to Top03-09-2007 02:10:00 PM

Yasha
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

We're coming at it from two completely different points of view on the character. From my point of view, Anthy enjoyed her relationship with Akio before Utena came along, and from yours, she does not enjoy it any longer and may never have enjoyed it. That affects the whole basis of interpretation here, as in my case I'm assuming that there are several things present there that you would naturally assume not to be there. For one, I'm assuming she does desire him, or has desired him in the past. That's speculation, of course, but no more so than the speculation that she's been taken against her will all along. Both are equally possible, although the reason I think she enjoyed their sexual acts is that she made an effort to hide them from Utena in the earlier part of the series, and never does show Utena quite how much time she spends with him. We tend to hide our dirty little habits, after all, and Akio fits quite well in the role of a dirty little habit, especially for Mrs. Ohtori. It's not out of line to assume that Anthy would treat him the same way when faced with the scrutiny of anyone else, especially Utena.

Another assumption I'm making is that Anthy actually is a masochist in a very specific emotional sense. It's a well known axiom of child-rearing that if you tell a child he's bad often enough, he'll grow up to be bad. The same holds true for people of any age, and Anthy has been told for what could be thousands of years that she's the worst person in the world, and that she deserves to suffer for the crime of stealing away Dios. And she did commit that crime; in her own head, she cannot deny that she is guilty. She has been made to suffer disproportionately because of it, but people tend to accept the punishments they are given because they can do nothing else. The hardest part of this logical chain to understand-- and to be honest, I don't understand it fully myself, I only know it happens because I've seen it and done it-- is that at some point, the punishment is accepted as necessary. After all, if Anthy hadn't sealed away Dios, she would not be suffering the swords, so the swords must be a necessary effect of sealing away Dios. This logic is flawed, as the swords are not necessary at all, but because it has happened and she is suffering for her act, to hope that one day the world will let out a giant cosmological 'Oops, sorry 'bout that' is absolutely ridiculous. It's a notion worthy of only spite and malice-- a cruel joke, to think that anyone could ever heal her or negate her suffering.

What follows from this is a need for self-punishment. If her suffering lifts for a moment, she's only going to go back to suffering again. She was happy and maybe almost forgot she was in pain, then those swords slammed back into her feeling twice as cold and twice as sharp as they ever were, specifically because of the contrast. So why allow herself to be happy at all? Happiness only makes it hurt worse. Why not revel in being a witch? Cold, callous, spiteful and malicious... it's not happy, but at least it's satisfying to give back a little of the pain the world has given to her. And sex with her brother doesn't make her happy the way loving Dios did, but it satisfies the need to be touched (a well-documented necessity for mental stability) and it shows her that at least someone cares, even if he's only pretending. At least someone cares enough to pretend. Why should anyone else care anyway? They don't even notice how much pain she's in.

This ties in directly with Anthy's suicide attempt and the things she said to Utena afterward. Taken from that perspective, Anthy is finally reaching out and trying to protect the person that made her pain go away for a while. It also ties in with the way she betrayed Utena. Who could possibly believe, after all that suffering, that there was a way out? And the way out is frightening, because it might not be the real thing-- she might just get shoved back onto those swords the moment she thought she was free. In this case it is ultimately the smarter, more self-protective choice for Anthy, who does not believe Utena to truly be her Prince, to stab Utena in the stomach instead of embrace her with open arms.

All of this reasoning contributes directly to my ideas of a power play between Anthy and Akio, and why I do not believe that she was raped. I realize I'm analysing her as if she's a real person, but I can't do it any other way. The beauty of this is that if I was a different person, one who hadn't seen this sort of thing happen first hand, and if I hadn't experienced a drastically smaller version of it myself, I would likely not see it this way either.

That's the case with so many things in this show. At times I find it hard to separate fact from opinion, which was why I went with the strict personal rule that everything shown on the screen is fact and everything else is interpretation.

Edit: I don't mean to own discussion at all, only to explain why I have reasoned things out the way I have. If anything, I hope it will push people to reason out their own ideas thoroughly and post them. The show is meant for things like this, I think, and it'd be a shame to have everyone agree. emot-smile

Last edited by Yasha (03-09-2007 02:30:38 PM)


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#10 | Back to Top03-09-2007 03:45:38 PM

SleepDebtFairy
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

I have much to say, but I can never put my thoughts into words that well. ):

I'm kind of in the middle here. Akio was certainly being forceful with Anthy. But, considering Anthy's character, I don't think she would go "No, bitch!" in the scene following that we don't see. I think she would just quietly go along with it, whether she finds pleasure in sleeping with Akio or sees it as a mere duty. Now, whether this makes it rape or not.. that's really hard to say. It's a very fuzzy line. (Now, in real life it would still look bad to me, no matter what, but this is the lovely fucked up world of SKU.)

I'm kind of in the middle on whether Anthy actually loves Akio or if she's just sick of him. I think she does love Akio, in a way, but it's a very twisted kind of love, of course. She clings to him because, to her, it is his fault that he is the way he is, and he is all she has left. And she fought so hard to save him, Dios. She sacrificed herself from him. I think she's pretty possessive of him, and at least in the beginning of the series and before Utena shows up, that she does enjoy having sex with him. However, even when she has Akio, I think it still gives her an empty feeling. She is the witch and the rose bride and the world hates her and is stabbing her every minute, after all. (Edit: And, also an empty feeling because of how Akio has changed from the Dios she loved) And like Yasha said, it is very characteristic of victims like this (even in the real world, to a much, much smaller degree) to start feeling like it is their fault, and start accepting all of the punishment because they think they deserve it. So in a way, I do think she is a masochist, or at least an emotional masochist.

Although, on another note, she still takes subtle revenge on many of the students at Ohtori who hurt her. Perhaps it is her small way of showing her resentment of how they treat her, even if she supposedly thinks she deserves it?

Ah. I adore Anthy. etc-love

Anyway. Rape or not, I think Anthy certainly would have gone along with it. I think she was definitely developing feelings for Utena at that point, romantic or not, and she isn't sure who she's supposed to love, Utena or Akio. At this point, it may have been that she simply went along with the sex because she's used to it. She doesn't directly deny what Akio does to her until the very end, when she tells him off and leaves Ohtori.

On to one of the other topics mentioned, which has always fascinated me.. was Anthy jealous over Akio snabbing Utena, or Utena falling for Akio? I've gone over this over and over in my head and it still confuses me, and that's what is so brilliant about it. It's hard to tell. It can go either way, or even both, and that is what is interesting.

After thinking about it, I think I've finally decided (in my opinion) that it was Anthy being jealous of Akio taking Utena away. After all, Akio sleeps with many people. The most jealousy she shows towards the others that Akio sleeps with, is her being cold toward Kanae.

Although, it could be because I'm a huge Utena/Anthy fan. etc-love But anyway. It could also be both, and that Anthy is confused over who she is jealous of losing. school-devil But given how she left Akio in the end for Utena, I think she was really starting to fall for Utena and away from Akio near the end.

But Anthy really is quite a masochist, and a martyr. In the last two episodes, she miserably stabs Utena and gives the sword to Akio. I think this is because, despite the happiness she was finding with Utena, she feels like she deserves to take the role of a witch. Victims like that usually don't go jumping around to be saved. They start to think they deserve it. As cold as Anthy's action of stabbing Utena was (oh it makes me weep. ;_; ) I think she knew that Utena would try to save her, and she didn't want her to do that because 1) She thinks she deserves her punishment 2) She might think that is is impossible for a witch like her to be saved. So she stabbed her to keep her out of it.

..whoops, I went on a lot of different topics there, sorry. I hope none of that sounded silly or confusing. emot-gonk

Beautiful topic! Akio and Anthy interaction confuses me so much, so it's interesting to read about. emot-biggrin

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (03-09-2007 05:22:44 PM)


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#11 | Back to Top03-09-2007 06:17:11 PM

brian
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Registered: 10-22-2006
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

dollface wrote:

I am, perhaps, the only person who believes that Akio and Anthy really do love each other.

The general consensus, AFAIK, is that they do love each other sort of, but it is very twisted.

dollface wrote:

her face drops into pure malice.

Malice? It looks a lot like hopelessness and more misery to me. She seems to be very discouraged as well as resentful.

These postings are very insightful and I mostly agree with the psychological insights. The term rape is problematic but accurate enough. It seems just common-sense that she would rather be with Utena than Akio. Akio is the first to discern that a triangle is forming and he spends a lot of time trying to disrupt it. He is a composite of the character flaws of all the duellists, and here we see him acting like Saionji. "Treat 'em rough and make 'em like it," and also showing Saoinji's insecurity.

BTW the rape scene in the movie is also problematic, but even there I doubt that Anthy actually wanted things to be like that.

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#12 | Back to Top03-10-2007 02:44:45 AM

Maarika
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

I'm glad Yasha posted the indepth analysis on Anthy's characteristics, I don't think I could've said it that well. emot-redface Also, I probably should've phrased my first post better. Because while it may seem to us that Anthy is being raped, I very much doubt Anthy thinks the same.

SleepDeptFairy wrote:

On to one of the other topics mentioned, which has always fascinated me.. was Anthy jealous over Akio snabbing Utena, or Utena falling for Akio? I've gone over this over and over in my head and it still confuses me, and that's what is so brilliant about it. It's hard to tell. It can go either way, or even both, and that is what is interesting.

I would say both. Eventually, Anthy was torn because of them and that's what started hurting her. She didn't want that to happen, but it did and because of that she had to make her choices about Utena (or about Akio, in the very end). Akio mentions in episode 37 that he's not the one who's causing her pain, but it's the world. A simple lie, but it works. And in the end, it was Anthy who was lying to herself. I think Anthy would have wanted the situation work for her like it did during most of the time in the Black Rose Arc. She had both Utena and Akio and Akio kept his hands off Utena. Anthy probably felt dominant over the two. In a sense, she had things balanced out for her. We know that it was still all a void, but it worked for Anthy. Any change in Anthy and her relationship with Utena and Akio would have destroyed that balance. One of the reasons why Anthy wanted to remain unchanged, was because along with a change comes uncertainity and that can bring more pain. Changing is scary, and if we look at the bigger picture, I think almost everyone has felt that way at some point in their life. Whether we actually go for the change is another question. Anthy never meant to do what she did in the end, but seeing Utena before her desperately trying  to reach out to her gave her a new perspective on herself. She was forced to reassess most things about herself that she never even had thought of before because it had been too painful or scary to face.

etc-love I love reading everyone's views on this topic.


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#13 | Back to Top03-10-2007 10:10:08 AM

Frosty
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Moved from the derailed thread to this more appropriate one...

Hina the Prince wrote:

Frosty wrote:

I know it seems very prevalent in all fanfiction today, that Akio is still up to his old tricks, and that kinda renders Utena's "revolution" pointless

Why? The point of Utena's revolution was setting Anthy free, and it worked. Akio could keep going with his evil schemes [the revolution had nothing to do with him, after all], but that doesn't mean they'll work, because Anthy is no longer bound to him. He's lost his power.


Frosty wrote:

Scenes come to mind near the end, when Utena/Anthy/Akio are all living together in his tower, you see Anthy show some passive-aggressiveness...and it isn't always clear that it's because she's trying to "keep Utena away from Akio" but sometimes, that she actually WANTS Akio to herself.

Would you mind refreshing my memory about those scenes? I think I have a selective memory.

Ok, this is going to tie in with the warped Anthy/Akio relationship. Remember in one scene, Anthy disrupts Akio, when he is putting his arm on Utena, by using some ChuChu comment...so that Anthy can step between them. In this case, because she cut Akio off, I'd say in this case she was pushing Akio off of Utena.

However, a few scenes later, after Utena catches Anthy sleeping with Akio, proceeding to ask him out on a date. Anthy cuts of Utena, while Utena is talking, with a comment to ChuChu about the toast. "Oh, I'm sorry ChuChu, that was yours and not mine?" Because here, she is interrupting Utena, it said to me that here Anthy was saying Akio is MINE.

Why did she want to say that to Utena? Well, as a UxA fan, I am gonna Anthy was SHOCKED and STARTLED by Utena's reaction to the sex...maybe even MAD at her, for not realizing immediately what was going on and taking action. If she were being raped, and here her friend actually came in and WITNESSED the abuse...then just pretended like it didn't happen. Well, Anthy should have been feeling a bit crushed by then. I know I sure was! Instead of being enraged, or acting weirded out (as someone pointed out Nanami showed a much more realistic reaction) Utena is all like, "Hay, wanna go on a date with me? Teehee!" WTF!?

Since we're relating this to real life experiences, ok, imagine walking in on a child molester, actually SEEING the fondling or whatever (like in the movie Devil's Advocate - the creepy pervs hands moving under the desk), you make full-out eye contact with the child in question - then the next day, YOU, who are in a position of authority over that person (Utena was the engaged who Anthy had to obey, even if she rejected it) totally ignore this scene! Act like it didn't happen! And, the final crushing blow, even suggest taking the molester out on a date, where they might have another little "treat" in store! Much like, I've heard, some mom's in real life, can sense child abuse is going on, but they don't want to believe it...so they might try extra hard to please their husbands in bed, without actually confronting them about what they are doing to the child - in the hopes of avoiding and full-blown confrontation and destroying the family unit. My mom was molested and she told me that everyone knew, but no one wanted to say anything because except for that tiny detail - they had the perfect family life. ALSO, my mom was the oldest of seven younger brothers and sisters. She (mom) would play this game, with her own molester, literally tempting him away from the younger children in an effort to protect them from his evilness. When the story finally did reach it's peak, my mother's mom - rather than leave the husband - attempted therapy! The stupid therapist that they went to actually tried to say that it was my mother's fault, being that a teenage girl should not walk around in a towel in front of a middle-aged man. Riiight.

I say that people with do anything to protect the family unit - no matter how fucked up it is. You all remember when Anthy smiled and said "I hope things never change between us three." (I could be projecting my own feelings here, because like Yasha pointed out, it's terribly hard - the line blurs between the Truth of the Screen, and what YOU feel those images mean to you, according to your own life experiences.) But I definitely think that Anthy was being abused the entire time...

Yeah, she took off her glasses, yeah, she called him "dear brother", so they had a little ritual established, but that doesn’t say to me that she was enjoying or wanting, just accepting her fate. (and remember, we have at least ONE instance when she does NOT “accept” her fate - the ‘resisting Akio with frown’ scene) When I saw the screencap of Anthy's face, while she was laying out during her Akio visit, she just looked lifeless and dead. Back on alt.fan.utena, someone brought up the unpopular theory (that I don't think ever took off much) that she was drugged. Ha! No, I don't believe that - but her eyes do look lifeless, and her body seems sedated. She's not wriggling around, or moaning, or showing any signs of pleasure... And even if she were experiencing orgasm - well, as sick as it is to think about, I'm sure some child molesters actually get the kids off. Which is why it's probably so traumatic, b/c not only is something evil happening, but you have the pleasure sensation mingled with it, how mind-bending is that to deal with?

Again, even if it is true that Anthy were experiencing orgasm, hence the contorted facial expression, that doesn't necessarily mean she was mentally enjoying herself, it could just be a natural physiological reaction. As an example, I like feeling breath on my neck. I love it! Makes shivers down my spine, and I tingle all over! It's possibly one of the world's best sensations, IMHO... that's when, I mean, you are curled up in bed sleeping with someone and they are breathing on you. HOWEVER, I also love, love, love going to "Haunted Hotels" and scary monster houses during Halloween. All alone in the dark, sometimes the monsters pop out in front of you, but sometimes you get the sneaky ones that walk ever so quietly behind you, until you feel a heavy breath on your neck! AHHH! I still have the same physical sensation in my body, tingling chills, but I am NOT happy, I'm scared to death in that instant!

Anyway, yeah, I am in the camp that thinks Akio was abusing Anthy. I do, as I mentioned earlier, see some scenes in a light that shows Anthy's willingness to protect her relationship with Akio, but again, I say that it would be for the higher motive of thereby saving Utena from his filthy grasp. Remember, she was the girl who sacrificed herself for Dios. Again, by taking Akio's abuse, I see it as another sacrifice for Utena (near the end of the show). In the beginning, why Anthy first started sleeping with him, how did it occur, we will never know. But by the time we do see the sex scenes, to me, she simply looks defeated & hopeless.

I'm sorry when my ideas are incoherent and jumbled together, but when we speak of Anthy (my favorite) my brains snaps and fires around all different points, sorry! Oooh, but I'm with you, Maarika, I love reading everyone's ideas! This is so thrilling, I love listening to the different ways we all view the same show. It's so much fun! I love this forum! etc-love


Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that. / You forget some things, don't you? / Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.

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#14 | Back to Top03-10-2007 10:40:34 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

That's an interesting way to look at it. I don't want to argue with that theory, except I feel like adding a few more thoughts.
Such as Anthy being emotianally very distant. We don't know how long Anthy and Akio had been living like this but it was implied that it is a long long time. I can't imagine how Anthy would've survived it if she hadn't cut her off emotionally.
Another thing, we should never forget that Anthy's sacrifice has more than one side to it. She is not just a martyr, because her sacrifice was a selfish one. There was jealousy behind it. You can even argue if she knew what sort of price she was going to pay for that. She just went along with it and accepted, probably never even questioned if it was fair or if she could've lived differently. That's until Utena shows up.


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#15 | Back to Top03-10-2007 11:11:15 AM

Frosty
Everyone's Best Friend
From: United States
Registered: 11-16-2006
Posts: 1269
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Just adding a few replies to more Anthy/Akio intrigue, which I forgot to include in my previous post…

Hina the Prince wrote:

While I do recognize Anthy as the all-powerful puppet mistress in the series…

Hina the Prince wrote:

I think Anthy haven't had interest in Akio for a long time. She clang onto him because he was all she had, and he was the Dios she loved, once, a long time ago. Now that he is no longer a prince, he can finally be hers. I don't think it took her very long to realize it's not the person she loved - but he was close enough, and he loved her, and she had nowhere else to go, no one waiting for her, and not to mention - she's a heartless doll. No one would want her.

And then came Utena and proved her that everything she believed was wrong.

Yes!!! etc-love

This view of Anthy as “the all-powerful puppet mistress” is my take exactly. And like Yasha said, “I give Anthy too much credit to simply be a rape victim”. I agree, I think she COULD have stopped her suffering (rape) at any time, but chose not to. And some would say that is the highest degree of love, power, compassion, whatever… when you have the power to remove yourself from an uncomfortable situation, but choose not to because of whatever.

Much like (forgive the religious allusion) Jesus Christ, himself! Were we to believe the story: The 40 days, I believe, He was in the desert, nearing the end, Satan came to tempt him with “ways to get out of His suffering”. One, magically make yourself some food, Jesus! No, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every living word of God” Two, If you’re the Christ, you can end your suffering, just toss yourself off the top of this cliff and angels will rush to your aid and lift you! “No, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Three, come on, I’ll give you all of these kingdoms if you bow down and worship me! “Get behind me Satan, you shall worship the Lord thy God, him only shall you serve.” Finally the beating leading up to the horrible crucifixion, where when taken to Golgotha to be hung on the cross, at any moment, he could have willed himself away from the torture - but chose not to end His suffering for the greater good.

And this is exactly how I see Anthy Himemiya, as a powerful goddess who could have stopped the abuse at any moment, but made the decision not to. In the beginning, maybe it was because she felt like the Dios who she loved, transforming into horrible Akio, was her fault, and she deserved to be punished. I think Anthy was acting out of sheer force of will, accepting something that she hated, continuing the perverse sexual ritual that had been established - because she felt like she maybe “killed” the only person she had ever loved…changing them into a monster, but she owed the memory of the one she loved. Out of respect for Dios, and in regret for her sin of wiping him away - she allowed things to continue. But I don’t think she liked it. I don’t think she asked for it. And certainly when Utena enters the picture, I think she actively (at least once we see) tries to signal to Akio, that she would rather stop it. But since he wants to continue, she does…

Which is not to say that I think Anthy is totally innocent and pure, I mean, she may well (as Maarika pointed out) have had jealousy motivating her initial sacrifice to save Dios...I think it was love, though. She didn't want those people taking advantage of him. Using his goodness any longer for their own selfish needs. So she stepped in to resolve the issue, by placing herself between his sickly form, and the pulsing mob. And I agree, Anthy may not have known that she would be stabbed forever in a pile of swords, in fact, I doubt she did so. But once she awakened to the realization that A: She was in eternal torment, and B: Her "beloved brother" had transformed into a monster - what did she do? She apparently just accepted her fate. The equivalent to (and maybe literally) "bending over and taking it in the rear"!

Then comes Utena, the catalyst, which eventually makes this charade stop. Three cheers for the revolution! etc-love

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

I'm kind of in the middle on whether Anthy actually loves Akio or if she's just sick of him. I think she does love Akio, in a way, but it's a very twisted kind of love, of course. She clings to him because, to her, it is his fault that he is the way he is, and he is all she has left. And she fought so hard to save him, Dios. She sacrificed herself from him.

Yes, I too think what Anthy loves is the memory of Dios. Because of that memory, she will put up with anything from Akio, because he represents her link with Dios. Happily enough, IMO, Utena comes into the picture as a healthy representation of the real Dios, and eventually transcends even that “image“ to become something greater…which is to say, something real. With Akio, she had “the devil transforming himself into an angel of light”. But with Utena, we actually have, a real (albeit slightly dopey) angel of light!


Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that. / You forget some things, don't you? / Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.

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#16 | Back to Top03-10-2007 12:00:21 PM

Hina the Prince
Friend, Perhaps
From: Israel
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 320

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Frosty wrote:

However, a few scenes later, after Utena catches Anthy sleeping with Akio, proceeding to ask him out on a date. Anthy cuts of Utena, while Utena is talking, with a comment to ChuChu about the toast. "Oh, I'm sorry ChuChu, that was yours and not mine?" Because here, she is interrupting Utena, it said to me that here Anthy was saying Akio is MINE.

I always interpreted it as A/U-ish, like interrupting Utena was Anthy's way of saying "I don't want to hear that". But I didn't really connect what she was actually saying to the situation.

Anyway, your post = etc-loveetc-loveetc-love, even though I don't agree with all of it [I do agree with the most, though]. One thing, though -  I don't think Utena actually realized Anthy was being raped. Utena didn't even think about what was happening except for "OMGWTF", and then it was all shoved to the back of her mind.

Yes!!! etc-love

You... you yes'd me... I've never been yes'd before. TT_TT Now I can die happy.

Last edited by Hina the Prince (03-10-2007 12:12:30 PM)

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#17 | Back to Top03-10-2007 07:03:04 PM

brian
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 588

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Frosty wrote:

However, a few scenes later, after Utena catches Anthy sleeping with Akio, proceeding to ask him out on a date. Anthy cuts of Utena, while Utena is talking, with a comment to ChuChu about the toast. "Oh, I'm sorry ChuChu, that was yours and not mine?" Because here, she is interrupting Utena, it said to me that here Anthy was saying Akio is MINE.

In English she says "forgive me!" I always assumed she was talking to Utena. Who else would she say it to? She had just spent the night obeying Akio's will, there was no need to apologize to him. She cannot explain things to Utena, she knows Utena is mad at her, she is trying to keep things as they have been, so apologizing is the best she can do.

A whole bunch of people wrote:

Anthy is ultimately in charge

We get so fixated on Anthy as a Goddess or Witch that we forgt the aspect that is only 14 years old, and the real Anthy may be much younger than that. Since someone brought up child molestation, remember that it can last for years. Doesn't the victim have the power to have their tormenter clapped right into jail at any time? How come they don't do it then? Anthy's theoretical power to stop things is not at all the same thing as freedom although perhaps an Exitentialist might disagree. It's not just children either, plenty of grown-ups let themselves get abused in a hundred different ways.

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#18 | Back to Top03-11-2007 09:42:57 AM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

brian wrote:

A whole bunch of people wrote:

Anthy is ultimately in charge

We get so fixated on Anthy as a Goddess or Witch that we forgt the aspect that is only 14 years old, and the real Anthy may be much younger than that. Since someone brought up child molestation, remember that it can last for years. Doesn't the victim have the power to have their tormenter clapped right into jail at any time? How come they don't do it then? Anthy's theoretical power to stop things is not at all the same thing as freedom although perhaps an Exitentialist might disagree. It's not just children either, plenty of grown-ups let themselves get abused in a hundred different ways.

I'm afraid that Anthy as an abused victim is the most boring scenario available, which is why I try to crush it wherever encountered - it makes Anthy incredibly bland, passive character who is just waiting Utena the Prince to come to rescue. I've been told that this is more or less what she is in the manga, which is one of the reasons I have no desire to buy it, but it certainly doesn't hold true for the series' version.
I find Anthy much more interesting than that. I don't understand what you mean by real Anthy being younger than 14 - measured in objective time she's certainly much older, perhaps as old as humanity, itself, considering her archetypical nature. Within the context of Ohtori she is indeed 14, but not exactly an average example of a person of that age. She possesses cynicism and weariness of a much older individual.

Alan Harnum explains the relationship between Anthy and Akio much better than I ever could - in Nanami's words from Beneath the Skin: "It was as though she didn't want it and she could have stopped him at any time, because she was the one who had all the power, but she was going to let him do it to her anyway, as though to prove some kind of point; and he didn't want to do it to her and could have stopped himself, but he was going to do it to her because she was going to let him"

The relationship between those two is an extremely complex matter born from the mutual game of two effectively immortal beings stuck in one place. Decipting it in the plain old abuse angle just doesn't cut it.


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#19 | Back to Top03-11-2007 10:15:10 AM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 962

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Well, I gave it some thought but I simply cannot see Anthy as having been raped. Now, I claim no superior in the area of body language, but let's look at this shot:
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/anthy-1.jpg

Ok, if you were being raped would you be clinging on to the guy? Look at her...her face is buried in his chest and she's grabbing onto his shoulder. She's isn't staring at the ceiling wishing for it to be over, she isn't struggling, she isn't looking in the other direction, she isn't looking repulsed and/or trying not to touch him. Her hands aren't tightly clutching him. She looks sad but the way she's holding him seems almost gentle. She looks almost like someone crying onto a friend or lover's shoulder. Show the pic to a random person; I doubt they'll say "OMG rape". I agree with the theory that she's thinking of Dios and wishing Akio were him, or that she's blaming herself for turning Akio into what he is now.

I mean, she goes like clockwork to Akio every week. She doesn't have to. She could wiggle her way out of it if she tried. Even if she 'doesn't feel like it', she lets him, whatever her personal feelings are. And, I'm going on gut feeling more than anything else, but everything tells me that she was jealous of Akio, not Utena when she sees them together with that creepy look of hers. I got the distinct feeling she was mad at Utena. Again, gut feeling.



Or maybe she was just trying to push Akio over the edge (of the window! XD). school-devilschool-devilschool-devil

Lightice wrote:

"It was as though she didn't want it and she could have stopped him at any time, because she was the one who had all the power, but she was going to let him do it to her anyway, as though to prove some kind of point; and he didn't want to do it to her and could have stopped himself, but he was going to do it to her because she was going to let him"

I LOVE that. etc-loveetc-loveetc-love

Last edited by YamPuff (03-11-2007 10:26:21 AM)


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#20 | Back to Top03-11-2007 12:41:58 PM

SleepDebtFairy
Revolutionary
From: Virginia
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 2095

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

I think Anthy is both a victim and a manipulator. But not a victim to Akio, a victim to the swords. I've already made a post above about how victims like that often think they deserve their punishment, and so has Yasha. I think that is the case with Anthy and how she stabbed Utena so she wouldn't save her, and took the swords for Akio yet again. She thinks that she deserves it.

But, I don't think Anthy is a victim when it comes to her relationship with Akio. They are pretty much lovers until the end, but just in a very, very twisted sense. I don't think sleeping with Akio and being with him makes Anthy completely happy, but I do think it gives her comfort in a few ways; knowing that he is hers, and having someone who "cares" about her after all of the swords and the people in the world who hate her. And because he is "Dios". Except not. I also think that being with him doesn't make her completely happy either, and like I said before, gives her an "empty feeling". Akio was once Dios but isn't Dios anymore, because of her. She probably feels responsible for that, too. I don't think she completely loves Akio like she did Dios, but he's the closest to love to she has until Utena comes along.

So, er.. yeah. I know a lot of people seem to see Anthy as just the victim, or just the villian, but I see her as both. Or more realistically, neither and just a mesh between the two. She's a victim who does manipulative things to get back at the hurt she receives, and she thinks she cannot be saved, so she tries to be a cold, unfeeling doll.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I adore Anthy and how interesting she is? Because I do. etc-love

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (03-11-2007 12:42:24 PM)


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#21 | Back to Top03-11-2007 12:50:10 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
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Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Yes, I am aware the relationship is twisted. But many, many people believe it is hate/hate, not love/hate. I'm just pointing out that I think Anthy loved Dios, and has never been able to stop loving Akio. Because of the selfless sacrifice she made, Akio loves Anthy, but knows that her soul is all but gone, and she can never truly love him again.


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

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#22 | Back to Top03-11-2007 12:55:13 PM

Hina the Prince
Friend, Perhaps
From: Israel
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 320

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

dollface wrote:

Akio loves Anthy, but knows that her soul is all but gone

...What?

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#23 | Back to Top03-11-2007 02:07:48 PM

SleepDebtFairy
Revolutionary
From: Virginia
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 2095

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

dollface wrote:

Yes, I am aware the relationship is twisted. But many, many people believe it is hate/hate, not love/hate. I'm just pointing out that I think Anthy loved Dios, and has never been able to stop loving Akio. Because of the selfless sacrifice she made, Akio loves Anthy, but knows that her soul is all but gone, and she can never truly love him again.

I agree with all of that, except the last part confuses me. emot-confused I do think Akio and Anthy's relationship is definitely love/hate, and that Anthy clings to the image of her former Dios. But I don't think Anthy lacks a soul. I think her true essense, "the power of Dios" was just locked away in that coffin by herself. She did want to try and be a heartless doll, after all, but seeing as how she confessed that to Utena and obviously seemed to be showing guilt and other emotions, I don't think she fully succeeded in that.


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

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#24 | Back to Top03-11-2007 02:17:34 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
Website

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

I'm not saying Anthy has no soul. I'm saying that when she sacrificed herself for her prince, when she lost the role of princess and was forced to become a witch, she saw the world for what it was. Anthy was the only one who really knew the world as it was all those ages ago. Hatred. Jealousy. Anger. She became a scapegoat for the worlds problems. She takes the swords in place of the prince, because her love drove her to it. But once she crossed that line, she couldn't go back. I should think being stabbed with a million swords of human hatred would make something clear to you. I think that drawing the sword from Anthy is drawing her soul. That is why when Anthy watches the duels, she shows no emotion. She can't. But on the rare occasions that her HEART drives her to react, the sword with act differently. It becomes more powerful, or less powerful [in the case of Touga], because it acts off of Anthy's feelings. Having your soul drawn from you again and again can wither it away. You get used to the feeling that it isn't there. Akio said in episode 38 that Anthy now enjoys the role she serves as the Rose Bride. It becomes second nature to her, because she hasn't got any will. It would be foolish to say that throughout her eons in the world, all her time she was serving as a witch, she was %100 in tact with her soul. It is said that sh is simply a doll, because there has not yet been a prince to awaken the human emotions within her. That is, until Utena comes along.

I know, I know that makes very little sense. BUT COME ON! THIS IS SKU WE'RE TALKING ABOUT! Yeah, we all know that SKU is all about making sense.


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

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#25 | Back to Top03-11-2007 02:38:31 PM

SleepDebtFairy
Revolutionary
From: Virginia
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 2095

Re: Messed up relationship - Anthy/Akio thread

Ahh, the clarification makes much more sense. Thank you. emot-keke

I have to wonder, if the sword of Dios acts as Anthy's soul.. where did her own sword go? Hmm.

But, yes, the sword of Dios reacts directly to Anthy's will in the duels. She doesn't want Saionji to be her master, she wants Utena. Even though she didn't know Utena in the beginning, she at least knew that she would prefer her as a master over Saionji, who was abusive to her, while Utena showed annoyance over the owning the rose bride thing. It seems like in all of the duels, Anthy/Dios sets it up for Utena to win.

And, yes, after being stabbed by the swords of humanity's hatred, you're bound to be a little cynical. emot-gonk


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

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