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Gougai! Gougai!

GUYS GUYS I JUST UPLOADED THE 1997 UTENA MUSICAL IN HIGH DEFINITION straight from the Japanese Blu-rays! i am now very tired goodnight

Also, our Secret Santa is going on! Come join in the fun!

#351 | Back to Top09-05-2007 06:38:12 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Almaser wrote:

There's also the simple Freudian interpretation, that the rose, as a metaphor for the vagina, and the sword, the standard phallic symbol, are used in the duelling scenes to express a kind of struggle for sexual dominance. Whoever can 'strike the rose' with their sword is declared the victor, and the loser is left unempowered, both sexually and in the politics of the episode.
Of course, that's really only one way of looking at it - roses appear in so many places that you'd almost have to interpret individual roses on their contexts.

The first thing I could think of was UTENA'S COCK IN SAIONJI'S VAGINA and suddenly everything made sense.

Does this mean that Touga's penis broke Utena's penis [which was really Juri's penis], but Utena believed in her new-found religion [Judaism] and was able to defeat him?

...So many things were wrong with that statement. I'm really not thinking well today.


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

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#352 | Back to Top09-05-2007 08:11:48 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Touga's penis broke Juri's penis because he is sure of his own sexuality; while Juri is not. This acts as an allegory for Utena, who is conflicted by what her true feelings for Anthy are. Because she refuses to surrender, even with a castrated penis, Anthy is reminded of her brother and how noble his penis used to be. Thus she causes the prince's penis, wielded incorrectly by Touga, to lose its power (impotence) which gives Utena the upperhand in stealing Touga's anal virginity.

Metaphorically speaking.


http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r9/RagnarokIII/spyschool.jpg

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#353 | Back to Top09-05-2007 08:14:13 PM

Archambeau
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Registered: 11-20-2006
Posts: 499

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

dollface wrote:

Does this mean that Touga's penis broke Utena's penis [which was really Juri's penis], but Utena believed in her new-found religion [Judaism] and was able to defeat him?

I think a certain creator of the Utena Abridged Series needs to consider the comedy gold that is Utena as the Hebrew Hammer.

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#354 | Back to Top09-07-2007 05:14:58 PM

Suyo
Tenjou Tilter
From: Washington
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 82

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Nanami's EGG

What's up with that?

um.. well, I kind of get it because it was brought up earlier

but I really want to know: at the end when Chuchu comes back and it does a close-up of Anthy..

Wassat mean? =[ (chuchu and Anthy)

*also - What does Ruka mean by "It wasn't my sword" ?

Last edited by Suyo (09-07-2007 05:20:07 PM)


May those who accept their fate be granted happiness. May those who defy it be granted Glory.

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#355 | Back to Top09-07-2007 07:30:51 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Suyo wrote:

but I really want to know: at the end when Chuchu comes back and it does a close-up of Anthy..
*also - What does Ruka mean by "It wasn't my sword" ?

1. Possibly that Anthy dispatched Chu-chu to play a trick on her but had a guilty conscience about it.
2. Possibly things are not so one-sided between Juri and Shiori as Juri thought.

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#356 | Back to Top09-07-2007 07:46:20 PM

Valeli
Thorn of Death
Registered: 12-05-2006
Posts: 481
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Brian wrote:

roses can symbolize secrecy and also have many religious connotations but I don't think that is intended here.

I do. I'm working on an essay on that (albeit in passing, and not very hard or constantly). I think the evidence of christian religious symbolism in utena is really strong though, if you choose to see it.

You have the roses, which have a variety of meanings. Tied to Mary, love, death and rebirth, etc. The rose was a fairly key christian symbol - think of all the Rose Windows that were made in the larger traditional cathedrals and placed above each of the 3 main exits, among other stuff. Death and rebirth, specifically, is a huge theme in both Utena and Christianity, as is an arrival "at the world you seek". Lots of millenial sects in Europe (a long while back now) actively tried to bring that "world revolution" themselves, on the prevailing feudal order.

You have the prince, "Dios". You have Akio, who explains that his name is drawn from Lucifer. The whole series features constantly repetitive scenes... maybe a low buget is the reason for it, and I'm not saying that low buget /isn't/ a factor behind picking that kind of a structure to express your themes, but (to me), the constantly fixed and repetitive nature of it screams paralels to the structure of a traditional mass. I mean... you even have organ music in the fixed repetitions every time the student council goes up. The Absolute Destiny Apocalypse song (SKU's repeated procesional hymn of sorts) makes reference to the light/darkness of Sodom, as well.

What about the catholic rosary? I don't know the etymology of that word, is it from rose in latin? I'd have to check. Christianity made use of a rose cross as well. I need to do some real research on it, cause we all know how untrue internet sites can be, but http://altreligion.about.com/library/gl … ecross.htm gives a description of it's use in a secret society. I'd suggest that there is some resemblance between that ring/rose cross/society, and the rings/society of duelists in SKU?

Anthy (as the witch) appears to us being crucified in that cathedral during utena's vision - the same cathedral where utena was "saved" by Akio (when Saionji thought Touga had saved her - she was after something "eternal"). I'm going to rewatch it all really carefully, since I bet I can find many more specific paralels there, and I bet all the similarities point to an argument that the series is making over its course on some level.

At the risk of overextending the analogy, you can also look at Utena's actions through a christian lens of sorts. I'd have to go back and reread some stuff, but I /believe/ I recall some of Aquinas' theology talking about (in really really simplified terms) how Christ's death, given his unique nature as god and... not god... achieved victory through setting precedent for the turning of one's individual will as self-focused motivation to god-focused motivation, even at the total cost of self if needed. If you come from a christian upbringing, maybe you remember being urged by your familiy, or your parish priest, or someone, to seek to become like christ, thorough that same denial of will. I believe aquinas' theology is the root of that annoying tautology, although I have nothing yet to cite for that (but I'm fairly certain). Christ/God are I think refered to as king/prince in various other spots, although I don't have anything to cite for that atm either. If you look at it that way, what are Utena's actions like? Her motivation has always been to deny herself (or her stereotypical self, at the least), and attempt to become "the prince" instead. She's so moved by that desire that she lets it guide her to the very end, where she dies as well, on the swords of the world's hate.

There are way to many references to this sort of symbolism in SKU to pass it up as being due to mere chance, honestly. I really do believe they'll make a consistent argument, once I'm able to sort through it all.

I'm really excited to go and do this. More excited than I am about my real work, sadly emot-frown

PS: Justine Henin ftw. woot!~

Last edited by Valeli (09-07-2007 08:31:04 PM)

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#357 | Back to Top09-08-2007 06:30:36 AM

Asfalolh
Knight of Gates
From: Barcelona (Catalonia)
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 2005

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Valeli wrote:

Christian religious symbolism in SKU

You better end the essay soon and let me read it etc-love

What about the catholic rosary? I don't know the etymology of that word, is it from rose in latin?

Not exactly from 'rosa', but from 'rosarium' (gentive plural of rosa, afterall). So it could be translated for "of the roses"... except if you forget about it and accept 'rosarium' as a noun which means Rose Garden emot-biggrin
But I have no idea why roses were related to Mary. I recall about something named 'the closed garden' as symbol of virginity/purity, though.


PS. Post #800 emot-keke

Last edited by Asfalolh (09-08-2007 06:31:01 AM)

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#358 | Back to Top09-08-2007 03:52:38 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

That sounds like a great essay, I am looking forward to it.

There is undeniable Christian iconography in Utena. The climax of the first manga is the best example. Also the church with Utena's parents. The problem is that Japanese seem to love Christian iconography but don't necessarily understand it. Someone claimed that the axes wielded by the Swiss Guards were misunderstood as Christian symbols and have entered manga as such.

I read somewhere that the Islamic Satan is less horrific than ours: they see him as a suave, melancholy guy who specializes in whispering. That would fit Akio well.

If the devil had a kid sister what would her life be like?

If Akio represents Hell and Utena Heaven then is Anthy the Middle Earth suspended between them?

(These are rhetorical questions.)

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#359 | Back to Top09-08-2007 04:09:39 PM

Hiraku
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From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Roses, Utena's rejection of all aspect of what constitutes her as who she really is in order to be the Prince, and DEATH by the swords of hate...
I'll be looking forward for this essay, too, and maybe you can post it to the Analysis Essay section on this site emot-biggrin

Hm, as for your statement that Utena's Heaven, brian, somehow, I don't see her as Heaven, seeing that, well, she can never be Dios himself.

Last edited by Hiraku (09-08-2007 04:09:52 PM)

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#360 | Back to Top09-08-2007 05:32:58 PM

Asfalolh
Knight of Gates
From: Barcelona (Catalonia)
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 2005

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

brian wrote:

I read somewhere that the Islamic Satan is less horrific than ours: they see him as a suave, melancholy guy who specializes in whispering. That would fit Akio well.

I haven't heard about it, but this sentence reminded me of a mention to the Venus star/planet in Arabic Myths, where it's called Al-Zuhara, textually the Dominant Lord. I have the feeling I should do some research on its associated mythology, because I suspect that there's a lot of symbology that could be applied to SKU. I'm not sure, though. [Where did I read it was adored, and why?]

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#361 | Back to Top09-13-2007 03:48:20 PM

NajiMinkin
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From: The Incredible Edible Egg
Registered: 06-23-2007
Posts: 2537

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Suyo wrote:

Nanami's EGG

What's up with that?

I have so many theories on that one that I need to write in the essay format! emot-gonk It really goes beyond simply maturing into womanhood.

Now, Christianity compared to SKU? That's going to be freaking hip. Go for it, Valeli!


http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f64/_u_t_e_n_a_/100x100/starryklimtsig.png

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#362 | Back to Top09-13-2007 06:21:08 PM

Valeli
Thorn of Death
Registered: 12-05-2006
Posts: 481
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Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

I will/am going for it... it'll just take a long time. I've got to rewatch everything, and grad school work is kind of sort of breaking me... give it like, a month though. It will get done, and I'll probably post here or something whenever it is, if I'm able to put something coherent together.

As far as icons of christianity being included because they're "cool" in Japan... that might be true. I have no way of knowing what the director's real motivation was for including this stuff. If the stuff included presents a coherent theme/argument though though, intentinonally or not, ... it puts together a coherent argument. It certainly wouldn't be the first time unintended consequences have arisen from someone's intended actions. cool

Anyways... thanks to everyone who said it sounded like a neat idea. It's always fun to know i'm not crazy, and other people are into a few of the same things emot-keke;.

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#363 | Back to Top09-19-2007 03:39:45 PM

Razara
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From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4694

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Besides my disk with episode seven on it breaking, my tendency to put things off, and the fact that I eventually forgot all of the research I had done, I'd say that the main reason why it took me so long to write this is because it's just one of those analysis's that I almost want to keep to myself, because I'm unsure of how accurate it is.

However, a while ago, I spent hours upon hours doing research for some of the stuff in this episode, so with that much wasted time, I really needed to write this eventually, either way. If I didn't love Juri so much, I would have never gone through all this trouble. But I remember repeating the song lyrics in my head every now and then and wondering what they meant every now and then for over a year. (Then again, I do that with all the songs. Is this really only my second duel song analysis?)

But first, I need to explain the statues, which is what took up so many hours of research.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps097.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/Nikokusu.png
Not work safe! But click on it if you can. (Wouldn’t this picture look great on my wall? My aunt has a painting of Nyx like this one, only she’s laying down on a bed.)

I don't know what the first statue is, to be honest, but I'm pretty sure that the second one is Nyx, though we can't see it very well. Nyx's name means "Night." (And as Utena passes this statue, she says, "God, you're so afraid of the dark!" to Chu-Chu. She was one of the very first beings created. She is the daughter of Chaos, and the sister of Erebos (Darkness.) She also gave birth to many other spirits. Nyx is often drawn with a veil... One that looks very much like the one Juri wears at night. Given that Nyx is the first to be mentioned in Juri's duel song, it isn't entirely out of the question to say that this could be intentional. And Nyx is even feared by Zeus, just as even the teachers fear Juri. Chu-Chu afraid of the dark as they pass by, as well.


Out of the statues in the water, the only one that is very clear at first is the statue of Zeus. The placement of the water, Zeus, and even Juri who represents Nyx makes me think that perhaps it could relate to this passage from the Iliad:

"There [in Lemnos] she [Hera] encountered Hypnos (Sleep), the brother of Thanatos (Death) . . . [Hypnos addresses Hera :] `That time I laid to sleep the brain in Zeus of the aegis and drifted upon him still and soft, but your mind was devising evil, and you raised along the sea the blasts of the racking winds, and on these swept him away to Kos, the strong-founded, with all his friends lost, but Zeus awakened in anger and beat the gods up and down his house, looking beyond all others for me, and would have sunk me out of sight in the sea from the bright sky had not Nyx (Night) who has power over gods and men rescued me. I reached her in my flight, and Zeus let be, though he was angry, in awe of doing anything to swift Nyx' displeasure.'"

Hypnos (Sleep) is the son of Nyx, and had it not been for her, Zeus would have flung him into the ocean. To add to the possibility of these statues being of some relation to Hypnos (Sleep,) Utena tells Chu-Chu to go to sleep, and that she's tired, as well. Yet another coincidence?

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps101.jpg
I didn't spend hours doing research for nothing. Though in another thread, I think that it was decided that the two people in this picture were the twins of Gemini, I think that they are the twins Thanatos and Hypnos. For one thing, they seem to be holding a torch, and Thanatos is often seen carrying an inverted torch. Thanatos is the spirit of non-violent death, and Hypnos is the spirit of sleep.

"There is a figures of a woman holding on her right arm a white child asleep, and on her left she has a black child like one who is asleep. Each has his feet turned different ways. The inscriptions declare, as one could infer without inscriptions, that the figures are Thanatos (Death) and Hypnos (Sleep), with Nyx (Night) the nurse of both."

This quote is what catches my attention the most. For one thing, not only is Juri a stylish dresser, but her clothes carry a huge amount of symbolism! First, she wears a veil like that of Nyx, and now her white clothes contrast with Utena's black uniform. Nyx was carrying a white child (Juri) and a black child (Utena.) Plus, now Chu-Chu is sleeping on Utena's shoulder. But wait, there's more!

"And there [at the ends of the earth, where sky meets earth], all in their order, are the sources and ends of gloomy earth and misty Tartaros and the unfruitful sea and starry heaven, loathsome and dank, which even the gods abhor . . . There stands the awful home of murky Nyx (Night) wrapped in dark clouds. In front of it the son of Iapetos [Atlas] stands immovably upholding the wide heaven upon his head and unwearying hands, where Nyx (Night) and Hemera (Day) draw near and greet one another as they pass the great threshold of bronze: and while the one is about to go down into the house, the other one comes out the door. And the house never holds them both within; but always one is without the house passing over the earth, while the other stays at home and waits until the time for her journeying come; and the one hold all-seeining light for them on earth, but the other holds in her arms Hypnos (Sleep) the brother of Thanatos (Death), even evil Nyx (Night), wrapped in a vaporous cloud. And there the children of dark Nyx (Night) have their dwellings, Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death) , awful gods. Glowing Helios (the Sun) never looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into heaven nor as he comes down from heaven."

Nyx (Night) and Hemera (Day) pass each other just as one is heading home, and the other is leaving. Utena is going to bed, and Juri is only just leaving.

(I forgot to resize it, so here’s a link to the original image.)
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/LionSphere.jpg

The Lion in this picture is a symbol of power, and the ball under its paw is the same as the ball that Dios sits on inside of the castle of eternity. Some people think that the sphere symbolizes the world, and others think that it symbolizes God. This is an appropriate thing for us to see while Utena is talking about her prince, given that the prince is actually Dios.


Anyway, onto the duel!

I know that I didn’t go over much from earlier in the episode, and I apologize for that. But from what I have analyzed of it, I believe that Utena actually symbolizes Shiori. Realizing that provided one of those, “Oh, now everything makes sense,” moments, kind of like the one I experienced while analyzing the Ruka episodes. Though Juri’s relation to Utena’s story makes it seem as though Utena symbolizes Juri, I think that she does symbolize Shiori. That would explain why she nearly kissed Utena, and some other stuff.

Disclaimer: This isn’t a formal essay, because having to be serious the entire time while writing this just isn’t any fun.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps137-1.jpg
Natural Light, Mosaic Light
Natural light refers to the light from the sun. A mosaic is an art work made out of tiny bits of glass, such as the ones you would find inside of a church. "Light" is an interesting concept. Light, in many ways, has been related to God. Light is also the symbol of purity and hope, and the vanquisher of darkness. By relating it to God, it could be related to miracles. The sun gives off "Natural light." The sun is at the center of our galaxy, and everything revolves around it, such as God. Mosaics in churches usually have a picture of a saint on it. A church is supposed to be a place of hope.

Child of Dawn, the Angel Lucifer
It's important to notice that after Utena is pushed by Juri, she stumbles, and barely manages to keep herself from falling. Lucifer is a "fallen" angel. Like Shiori, Lucifer betrayed God due to jealousy, and he was banished from heaven because of it. Just as Lucifer left heaven, Shiori left Ohtori academy for a while shortly after she betrayed Juri. "I've heard that even a teacher will leave school if you look at them the wrong way." It's hard to say whether there's a connection between this line and Shiori's sudden decision to leave school, but it certainly is a possibility.

Lucifer was not born as the devil, nor was Shiori. (I hate how easy it is to compare Shiori to the devil...) It was over time that Shiori chose the path of the devil by betraying her friend. "Lucifer," means "light-bearer," or, "dawnbringer," (something along those lines.) At some point, perhaps Shiori gave off a certain light, or hope for Juri that eventually turned into darkness. Of course, we can also find similarities between Juri and Lucifer. Juri is a fallen angel as well. She was probably pretty nice in middle school, but now she's slapping Anthy and freaking out at Utena. Even so, I find that I can find more similarities between Shiori and the devil than Juri, and I think a lot of people will agree with me on that.

Apocalyptic Light, Michael's Light
"Apocalyptic light" could refer to a loss of hope, because it would be the end of light. Michael is one of the three Archangels, and a warrior of God. Notice the number three. Of the three "Archangels," there is Juri, Shiori, and Mr. No Name. It isn't hard to relate Michael's description to Juri, and Lucifer is sometimes considered to be a fallen Archangel, relating him back to Shiori.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps142.jpg
Child of Darkness, Androgynous
This goes back to the subject of Lucifer, as well. Androgynous, meaning both male and female, could relate to an angel, because angels are androgynous. This line seems to imply that the angel in question was born with the darkness, and though Lucifer is the child of dawn, an angel who exists within darkness somehow seems appropriate. On top of that, Juri pushes Utena, and she falls like a "fallen angel" on this line, and Utena looks up at her with a look of loathing.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps143.jpg
Flaming Light, Heavenly Light
By this point, relating all the words with light after it to the plot does become rather repetitive. Flaming light implies that the light in question is the light from a fire, and one famous stories that involves miracles tells of a fire that burned longer than expected. Heavenly light, light from heaven, hope, yeah.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps144.jpg
The Hierarchy of Heaven
God is the hierarchy of heaven, and here we have God/Juri taunting Lucifer/Shiori after pushing her down.

Illusionary Light, Eternal Light
To place "Illusionary" and "Eternal" right next to each other could imply that to Juri, "Eternal light is an illusion." In other words, this could express her belief that there are no miracles, and any happiness or hope she might have is just an illusion, and will come to an end before very long.

Imaginary Deception, Capricious Birth
Here, Utena and Juri's battle begins to intensify. These two lines could refer to the conflicts that ended Juri and Shiori's relationship. Imaginary Deception being Shiori's paranoid belief that Juri only pitied her and was falsely leading her to believe that she actually cared about her, and though "Capricious Birth" is kind of hard to place, for one thing, it implies that it is the birth of a child that was caused by temptation and pleasure, and we can't leave out the fact that birth is considered by many to be miraculous. It could imply that Juri's sudden desire for Shiori was something that she did not see coming.

Nyx, Erebos, Uranus, Thanatos
Nyx: As I mentioned in the statue Analysis, Nyx (Night) symbolizes Juri.
Erebos: Erebos (Darkness) is the brother of Nyx, who was born from Chaos.
Uranus: Uranus is the God of the sky. His wife Gaia gave birth to many of the first beings, but he hated his children, and so he consumed them. However, a child that Gaia had hid from him who was named Zeus eventually rose up and defeated him.
Thanatos: He is also mentioned in my analysis of the statues, but he is the spirit of non-violent death, and the twin brother of Hypnos (Sleep.)

Shining with Light, the Spherical Body of Gynous
Born from all Miracles, Gynous

Razara: "Hey, do you think that the line, "Shining with Light, the Spherical Body of Gynous" is referring to a star?"
Kealdrea: *Stares at me* "I think that's one of the strangest questions you've ever asked."

As I mentioned above, "Shining with Light, the Spherical Body of Gynous," does seem to be referring to a star, because a spherical ball of light would probably be a start. "Gynous," is short of, "Androgynous," which means that this isn't just any star... That's right, it's referring to Venus, because Lucifer's betrayal of God just fits the situation so well! As it says the word, "Gynous," for the second time, we see a picture of Anthy, because Anthy symbolizes Shiori, which is made obvious earlier in the episode.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps071.jpg
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps158.jpg
Pleasure Principle, Nirvana Principle
In Buddhism, if one frees themself of all desire, then when they die, they will reach the paradise, "Nirvana." (Can't you just see me sitting in World History class, and looking thrilled to see the definition of "Nirvana" coming up just because the, "Ooh, this is SKU related" bell went off in my head?) We see a flashback to the middle school days when Juri was in love with Shiori, and Utena and Juri clash swords, because it is that desire for Shiori that she is trying to overcome.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/snaps083.jpg
Death's Inevitability, Namely Light
This is one of those things that I remember asking myself a million times, "What does it for light to be death's inevitably?" Kind of like, "What does it mean to make the world Androgynous?" This once again goes back to Juri's disbelief in miracles. If the certainty of death is light, then this implies that all things will eventually come to an end, including light, and her friendship with Shiori. Just as Juri says, "You poor girl, you're already exhausted" and the song lyrics say, "Namely, light," we see her standing in the fencing hall with the red string in front of her. As I mentioned in another thread, the red string that is connecting the cans which Shiori and Mr. No Name are talking through shows that the two of them are connected by love. Overall, this implies that the two of them would talk about how much they love each other in front of Juri. This is what causes the death of light, and when Juri says "You poor girl, you're already exhausted," this is more so aimed at herself, rather than at Utena. By that point, her belief that Shiori may one day return her feelings is already starting to fade.

Alive and Moving, the Object of Life
Wandering in the Universe of the Mind, the Form of Life

(Fuck... I know this. Really, I do. It's just hard to explain.) The first part implies that "the object of life" is something that really exists, where "the form of life" that wanders in the universe of the mind is just something that is imaginary. During the first line, Juri yells, "Isn't your miracle going to happen, prince?" Perhaps her miracle is something that really does exist. However, on the second verse, Utena takes the shape of the prince, which is just an illusion. While Shiori may seem great to Juri, and worth going through all these duels for, that's just an illusion, as well. It also switches from us seeing the tip of Utena's blade slowly approaching Juri, to Shiori saying, "That's why I took him from you, and I have no regrets about it," the original Japanese for which seems to change slightly every time she says it. The sword, and Shiori's words and Juri can be related to one another, since her words really hurt Juri.

Infinity, Perfection, Seeking Eternity!
Namely, the Incompleteness of Returning to the Beginning

This line goes back to the Nirvana principle. In Buddhism, the main goal is to free yourself from the cycle of rebirth. Death and rebirth become a never-ending cycle unless you can achieve that, and that is what Juri wants. Even if she were to have Shiori back, just returning to how things used to be might not be enough for her.

Both Sexes, Both Poles, Two of Me
Up and Down, Left and Right, Two of Me
Front and Back, Heaven and Earth, Two of Me
Angel, Devil, Two of Me
Inside is Nothingness

Seazer just loves to throw lines in like this, doesn't it? It's easy to tell that Juri's feelings, and her personality are divided. (Nice, not so nice, nice, not so nice.) It could also relate to her feelings being divided.


At least now I can stop thinking about this song... And bothering people with stupid questions like, "Who is Gyunus?" or "Please tell me everything you know about Michael, the archangel." Then again, as long as there are SKU songs that have gone without analysis, I'll probably still be asking myself and other people weird questions like that.

Screw you, J.A. Seazer, for making me think way too much.

Last edited by Razara (09-19-2007 03:41:54 PM)

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#364 | Back to Top09-19-2007 03:53:15 PM

NajiMinkin
Hacker Ringleader
From: The Incredible Edible Egg
Registered: 06-23-2007
Posts: 2537

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Naught to say but emot-aaa, etc-love, and poptart.

No one can pull of an analysis like you.

Edit: I totally agree with Utena being Shiori or Shiori being Utena. Really, I think the whole thing with the nameless boy mirrors the relationship of Akio, Utena, and Anthy later in the series a little too well.

Last edited by NajiMinkin (09-19-2007 03:54:54 PM)


http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f64/_u_t_e_n_a_/100x100/starryklimtsig.png

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#365 | Back to Top09-19-2007 04:10:11 PM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara, can we just elope or something? Because I'm going to die here. etc-love

It's funny how from Juri's POV, Utena symbolizes Shiori. However, when we begin to see it from a more omnipotent POV, Shiori becomes Anthy.


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

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#366 | Back to Top09-19-2007 06:21:47 PM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6341
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara, much etc-loveetc-loveetc-loveetc-loveetc-love for your hard work! Brava!!

If I have an analytical mind like yours, it'd be wonderful!

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#367 | Back to Top09-19-2007 09:09:47 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Great analysis, Razara, as always!

About the use of androgynous; I wonder if it has anything to do with Juri's sexuality? I know that the lesbian angle alone isn't the only thing that complicates Juri and Shiori's relationship, but it is there. If everyone were androgynous (or, if everyone had "Both sexes, Both poles") I imagine it would have made things easier on Juri growing up.


http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r9/RagnarokIII/spyschool.jpg

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#368 | Back to Top09-20-2007 09:42:49 AM

SexingTouga24/7/365
is on a BOAT!
Registered: 12-10-2006
Posts: 2267

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Damn Razara Great analysis emot-dance and i loved the pics..... by the way Hiraku i want a mind like that too.


"If all the world is a stage and all the people players"...then I demand a less shitty part or the ability to get off of the stage. Slowly my sanity slides, slipping, swirling, spiraling...Save Me I need Sleep...Shattering Soon. school-devil "RukaxTouga equals the Fourth of July" MY patriotic celebration...FUCK ME TOUGA AND RUKA NOW!! etc-wankgirl etc-wankdude

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#369 | Back to Top09-20-2007 02:59:17 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8754
Website

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Razara wrote:

The Lion in this picture is a symbol of power, and the ball under its paw is the same as the ball that Dios sits on inside of the castle of eternity. Some people think that the sphere symbolizes the world, and others think that it symbolizes God. This is an appropriate thing for us to see while Utena is talking about her prince, given that the prince is actually Dios.

And even more so given Utena's prince is virtually indistinguishable from her idea of 'the world'.

(And her 'prince' is inclined to agree. emot-rolleyes )

Razara, you win as always. The research you put into these posts is just astounding. etc-love poptart etc-love


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)

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#370 | Back to Top09-21-2007 05:51:03 AM

bea
Saionji Slapper
From: Milan, Italy
Registered: 05-24-2007
Posts: 27

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

My, Razara, I love you!!!
But I HAVE NO TIME to read everything right now, I think I'll just DI before I can put my eyes on this again (this evening)...
etc-loveetc-loveetc-love
I'll post my thoughts later... In the meanwhile, thank you - that's exactly the kind of things I'd love to be able to do... emot-gonk


Seeking eternity!
[take my r-evolution]

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#371 | Back to Top09-21-2007 11:08:05 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

It took me two days (well, nights) to read through this whole thread but I am more than glad that I took the time. What a wealth of amazing interpretations!
Regarding roses, there is one thing that is rather obvious but I might as well point it out (I wish it was not so late here so that I could add something that is actually useful but I suddenly got the urge to add *something*) that it is the very epitome of transience and, as such, the polar opposite of eternity. The idea of youth as a rose that cannot last is almost a common place in poetry. An eternal rose seems to be a deliberate contradiction. I really ought to re-watch the series and plan to do so soon (as I am working out an essay regarding Mikage and the notion of ambiguity. It might never happen but I might as well give it a go since I already have a few notes taken) but I remember that at one time Mamiya says that perhaps roses do not wish to be eternal. Of course, since Mamiya is Anthy it could mean be that Anthy equates eternity with neverending suffering. But it could also mean that maybe the eternity that each duelist is more or less trying to reach (although there are of course personal variations for each of their motivations, for the sake of the argument let us assume that at their core "eternity" plays a role of sorts) is nothing but a state of stasis, of youth prolonged to the point that it no longer makes any sense since it repeats itself and brings forth no fruit: in a nutshell, remaining in "bloom" without ever encompassing a truly creative process is what happens at Ohtori.

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#372 | Back to Top09-22-2007 11:35:46 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Actually that wasn't obvious. Thanks.
(Still digesting Razara's great post.)

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#373 | Back to Top09-22-2007 11:02:24 PM

Jellineck
Wondrous Sexual Eggplant.
From: Under your bed
Registered: 08-02-2007
Posts: 894

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Wow. Yes. Great posts. And Razara has further won my admiration (though her devotion to the lovely Shiori is what seals the deal).

Furthering discussing the theme of Christianity within Utena....

http://www.ohtori.nu/gallery/seitokaidvd/Screen013.jpg

Anthy's crown is, at a brief glance, the typical tribute to a crown first utilized by the kings of the Early Middle Ages. This particular crown represents chiefly two things: the rays of the rising sun and the crown of thorns worn by Jesus upon his crucification.

A bit of historical knowledge: As the kings (particularly Barbarossa) began to incorporate the churches into their monarchies, they came to particularly value religious symbols to represent that they were the representatives of God. Much like the Romans and their peers and predecessors, ruling and divine right became synonomous. You can tell I'm a bit of a history nerd here.

Anthy's crown and its relation to the thorns of Jesus is a particularly powerful symbol. It accentuates just how much she is of a sacrifice. Giving her life to the one she loves (if that's the right word), she endures eternal pain so that Ohtori may exist and continue. Without her pain, the rest of the Academy world does not function. Like Jesus, she is perceived mainly as a symbol and interpreted endlessly by those around her - often to suit their own ends.

Furthermore, it would really give an interesting edge to Akio's representation of the Devil. The two are constantly at war with each other, after all. Yet both are dependent on the other. Akio as he is could not truly exist without Anthy, and vice versa. Almost a symbiotic effect, really, which is why I think Anthy's departure from the Academy collapsed both the duels and Akio. This is further evidenced by Ruka's foreshadowing, where he states (if my memory serves me correctly) that happiness can only be built on the sacrifice of another. Without Anthy's pain, Ohtori cannot continue.

Not comparing Anthy directly to Jesus Christ, of course. Anthy is essentially far too human - someone else has pointed out that the other characters are basically defined by their philosophies. She is the character least easily defined and thus the most human. And obviously, Jesus didn't stab the crap out of a teenage girl, so it's not a direct parallel.

The rays of the sun theory could represent how she is perceived by others - a source of power and a cause for otherwise unfounded hope. Possibility. Chance. Conquest. Either way, with the creators as interested in historical references as they are, I doubt the design of Anthy's crown is accidental at all.

I'll have to think more on this.

Last edited by Jellineck (09-22-2007 11:07:52 PM)


"You said you would do anything for me, right Mamiya?" Mikage purred as he slithered close. "Yes that's right" Mamiya said with a rosey blush. Mikage's smile was evil and cinister as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a banana. "Eeny meeny myny moo. I wonder where my banana will go?" - The Forbidden Passions of Nemuro

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#374 | Back to Top09-23-2007 08:15:10 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

As I was sifting through this thread when something occurred to me that I has henceforth not taken into consideration.
The mystery of Miki and Kozue's stepmother is linked with the Rose Bride, that much we know but perhaps it runs deeper than that:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/shojomecha/Sequence057.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/RzMule/Nest18.jpg

Anthy's body-less self replaced by a bush is mirrored in the image of the stepmother (or "virtual" stepmother) whose back is juxtaposed with leaves. What to make of this I am not sure. I'll just advance a temporary theory, maybe both images show us that in both cases the real Anthy is not truly there at all but a mere representation is standing in her place.

Last edited by Nocturnalux (09-23-2007 08:16:00 PM)

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#375 | Back to Top09-24-2007 11:41:49 AM

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

Re: Interpreting Symbolism in SKU

Your observation of the shadows on her back is a fantastic catch.

We get treated to a succession of images purporting to show the "real" Anthy. Is it the rose bush? The discarded girl on the staircase? The naked girl glowering in Akio's bedroom? The orphan? The girl crying out in the car? The treacherous girl with the sword? The girl who finally strides out?

And that does not exhaust the list.

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