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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 Top11-01-2007 07:52:11 AM

dlaire
A Whole Orange
From: Poland
Registered: 04-08-2007
Posts: 2322

Did Utena become a prince?

So, how did the SKU end? Does Utena complete her task, or not? I'm curious about your point of view. emot-rolleyes

Last edited by dlaire (11-01-2007 07:52:26 AM)

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#2 | Back to Top11-01-2007 07:58:25 AM

Werekat
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 10-31-2007
Posts: 45

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

I rather like to think that she came as close to it as people do, and then stopped being a person. While Utena existed, she was not an archetype, no living person is. But she did succeed at channeling it to an extreme, and then...

It's an interesting question whether this "channeling" made her be subsumed into the archetype. I seem to remember (my DVD's are chronically on loan) that nobody remembered who Utena was after her disappearance. The way I understand it, she, in essence, became the Prince, much like Anthy was the Witch. And it's a whole different quest to get a person's identity out of that. It's symbolic Anthy leaves for the rest of the world - the Hero's journey generally starts with leaving home.

So, yeah, she became the Prince. And that started a Witch's quest to become the Wise Witch who aids the prince?

Yeah, I'm closer to Jung than to Freud. Hard to help it. ;-)


"...But magic has a habit of lying low, like a rake in the grass." - T. Pratchett

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#3 | Back to Top11-01-2007 08:35:11 AM

Almaser
Qualified Duellist
From: Brisbane
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 727

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Personally, I'd say no. I think the whole point of that final sequence is to show that Utena doesn't succeed in suppressing her selfhood and adopting an archetypal persona. Instead of being the Prince, and making her way through the Rose Gate to the Princess, triumphing over the Villain, she fails. She is wounded, bleeding, and yet somehow manages to see past the gate to the coffin inside, the real situation. The real Anthy.
When she has the real Anthy there, she's capable of reaching to the person inside, not the archetypal masks that she's been donning the entire series (Witch, Whore, Gentle Bridge).
But most importantly, she continues to try and help Anthy, and asks her to accept that aid. She becomes the potential of rescue, if Anthy herself will choose it. And Anthy does. It cannot save her right then and there, things are too damaged around them, but she does indeed learn to become free because of it. She is no longer bound in stricture by the archetypal personas she had been adopting, but instead is her own person, free to seek out the one she wishes to see again.

Or maybe I'm just running low on sleep and procrastinating on my assignment emot-wink

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#4 | Back to Top11-01-2007 08:44:46 AM

Stephanie
Yasha Assassin #1
From: Philippines
Registered: 10-01-2007
Posts: 615
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Almaser wrote:

Personally, I'd say no. I think the whole point of that final sequence is to show that Utena doesn't succeed in suppressing her selfhood and adopting an archetypal persona. Instead of being the Prince, and making her way through the Rose Gate to the Princess, triumphing over the Villain, she fails. She is wounded, bleeding, and yet somehow manages to see past the gate to the coffin inside, the real situation. The real Anthy.
When she has the real Anthy there, she's capable of reaching to the person inside, not the archetypal masks that she's been donning the entire series (Witch, Whore, Gentle Bridge).
But most importantly, she continues to try and help Anthy, and asks her to accept that aid. She becomes the potential of rescue, if Anthy herself will choose it. And Anthy does. It cannot save her right then and there, things are too damaged around them, but she does indeed learn to become free because of it. She is no longer bound in stricture by the archetypal personas she had been adopting, but instead is her own person, free to seek out the one she wishes to see again.

Or maybe I'm just running low on sleep and procrastinating on my assignment emot-wink

^--Completely agrees to the person above her.. emot-rolleyes

Anyway, we all know there can never be real princes, and even the castle is really just an illusion in the sky.
On episode 38, Akio said that instead of Utena choosing the Chairman's room, she choose a castle floating up the sky instead, it's for naive people, this projector of his, he mentioned.. It's not really for gazing stars at.

And, while Akio and Utena fought, we see the castle and everything else started collapsing, remember what Akio said? "The projector shows what the duelist wants" and Utena wants all lies to be erased.. So thus, Akio losing to their duel, and the figure of Dios is shattered. (if you look at the series once more)

Because Akio only had power in the illusionary world, he is losing.

Then, later, we see Anthy stabbed Utena, the only strength Utena used was an imaginary prince (Dios) who was once kind and gentle hero appear to her, and at that time she needed a facade and swore to be 'prince' again in order to save Anthy, the only way to save Anthy, so she believed.

Thus, in the end, like she and Saionji knowing that everything's an imaginary illusion, she and him trapped themselves still in their coffin.

That is why, if you look at "Rinbu Revolution", in the end, only Utena is spinning in the rose, the rose which marks of wonderful illusionary things.. She still said she couldn't be prince to Himemiya in the end, right?

And Anthy said it's her turn to look for Utena.. And in their picture together, they did promise to help one another if one of them gets in trouble.. So there.. emot-tongue

She is not prince, but rather, she is a true noble human.. And I do admire her for that.. n_n


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#5 | Back to Top11-01-2007 10:02:51 AM

Nanami's Rose Groom
Rose Assignee
From: Czluchow, Northern Poland
Registered: 04-07-2007
Posts: 1717
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

I also agree, but only to some extent, because I believe that Utena was a pronce, maybe just for a while, but always. Remember the moment, while she was duelling with Akio and she said "This means I am going to be a prince" (or sumthin like that). A second later the statue of Dios (prince) was shattered. In the same moment we see that Akio is shocked (with her words? probably). He loses control over the planetarium which shows that the castle also breaks down. We can't forget, that Akio was once the prince, and the statue might have served him as a memento of some sort. When Utena exclaims, that she will be the prince, we see that symbolically Akio is not needed as a prince anymore, because of his fall. There is now a true, new, noble prince, and this is Utena. That's my interpretation...


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#6 | Back to Top11-01-2007 07:19:54 PM

st0dad
Ohtori Paramouri
From: Andover, MA
Registered: 09-20-2007
Posts: 91
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

I do believe she became a Prince. Maybe not the regal cape-wearing Prince, but a noble, strong person who revolutionized the worlds of those around her.


In the end, Utena's gone, but I don't think she's forgotten totally.


First we hear girls chatting up about what they plan to do w/ the rest of their lives, and one of them mentions she's found the man of her dreams. The other girls tease about how she used to idolize Utena...then they try to remember who Utena was again. But they never actually claim she dies or anything, but come up w/ several theories of how she -left- the school.


Then we see Miki teaching Mitsuru how to use the stopwatch while Kozue is practicing on the piano...emot-aaa Kozue's practicing on the piano! And doesn't seem to need Miki's constant attention.

Next, Saionji and Touga are practicing kendo. Not actually fighting, but more or less practicing. A friendly practice like back in the day. How could they have gone from trying to 1-up each other to suddenly being buddies again, and not remembering what happened all these months? And Saionji refers to it as "fooling around".

And Nanami casually says "Tea's ready."....since when was Nanami so casual about things and not clinging to Touga?


Shiori joined the fencing team. I think she did it to be closer to Juri.


And lastly...Wakaba isn't pining over anyone! She seems comfortable and confident in herself, and even has her very own little sidekick.



There you have it. Utena's mere presence, as well as the duels, revolutionized the worlds of Miki, Juri, Saionji, Touga, and Nanami.

She might not have revolutionized the entire world like Akio wanted, which is why he claims she's failed, but even being a tiny influence in the worlds of a few people; I think that's a big success.

Last edited by st0dad (11-01-2007 07:23:20 PM)


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#7 | Back to Top11-01-2007 08:50:10 PM

OnionPrince
Covert Diarist
From: Nagoya
Registered: 10-28-2007
Posts: 876

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

I think Utena became a prince, or at very least the closest a human can ever come to that sort of archetype.

The Million Swords of Hate seem to agree. At the end, they went straight for Utena like high off-boresight all-aspect infrared prince-seeking missiles. cool

They could have went after Akio, but he was no longer the true prince. That's how I interpret it, anyway...

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#8 | Back to Top11-02-2007 01:48:27 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
Website

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Actually, in the end the swords go out of control and destroy the duelling arena. If they were going straight for Utena then they wouldn't have destroyed everything else.

Utena didn't become a prince because princes and princesses are just fairy tales.

Utena had princely qualities though. Which is why she decided to save Anthy. But she couldn't do it. Even Utena herself admits she couldn't become a prince the moment Anthy slips away from her. What Utena did was help to break the cycle where they were all trapped in, hence she's a revolutionary, not a prince.

She couldn't save Anthy even tough she was being as princely as she could so in the end she stopped believing those fairy tales. I see the whole point of SKU disappear if she had become a prince. Meh, but that's just me...


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#9 | Back to Top11-02-2007 02:07:08 AM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6340
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Hm... Chiho Saito might disagree with you, Maarika. Utena in her story did become a prince, even though she, too disappears. Chiho-sensei has a different perspective toward the world (rather, a more romantic one) than Ikuni-sensei.

I personally think it goes both ways. I'm more interested though, in wondering whether Utena continues to strive for that goal. In Akio's eyes, Utena failed in being a prince because he lives in his own little coffin with the imaginary floating castle. For Utena to truly succeed revolution, she would find something better perhaps, than being a prince in life. Or maybe, she found another place beyond Akio's scope where she can continue trying to be prince again. But, for someone who can't see past that castle in the sky, leaving that fairytale means "failing". But then, she's still a prince for those who don't see things the way Akio does. I think that's why Anthy left, personally, I'm wondering if the movie!Anthy serves to voice out what anime!Anthy couldn't have- "I finally understand now. You're my real prince". Being a prince, I don't think it's only a two-dimensional facade for Utena to hide her "true" self. This is also a part of her true self. She can be a lot of different kinds of people. It's all in her. She's just got to decide what is more important. Being a prince for so long, I doubt she'll toss away that identity easily just because Anthy fell. Maybe she didn't leave because she's disillusioned. Maybe she left because she wants to come back to be a stronger, better person, strong enough to bring out Anthy. <- I think this would still fit in with our old conclusion that Utena DIDN'T know Anthy's already freed.

Utena's last words, maybe it IS her true feelings, but she did something likewise before when she lost to Touga that one time. In my opinion, the worst that's going to happen to Utena is that she'll just go through a short period of depression and then jump back in being princely again.

Gah... not in the mood to check for organization of my content emot-gonk Off to bed I go...

Last edited by Hiraku (11-02-2007 02:11:06 AM)

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#10 | Back to Top11-02-2007 02:13:31 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2788

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

I think, rather than having become a Prince (gotta go with that cap, I think), she became a decent human being.  Which, is better, because (a) they're easier to put your faith in than True Princes, real and not merely an illusory archetype, and can interact with other real live human beings, which optimistic archetypes have a hard time doing.

Princes, in the end, don't seem to be so worth going after, because they're illusory, impossible to have in reality in any functional or satisfactory sense, and you're just chasing depressing shadows.  Utena, on the other hand, is worth following.  And if you prefer the movie end (or the movie as a follow-up to the series), as I do, then Princes don't stand up to the light of day, but Utena becomes/is worth riding out of town with.

It's important to have high goals, but to realize perfection isn't the lowest you can set the bar.  Or something like that.


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#11 | Back to Top11-02-2007 06:27:15 AM

OnionPrince
Covert Diarist
From: Nagoya
Registered: 10-28-2007
Posts: 876

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Maarika wrote:

Actually, in the end the swords go out of control and destroy the duelling arena. If they were going straight for Utena then they wouldn't have destroyed everything else.

Utena didn't become a prince because princes and princesses are just fairy tales.

Yeah, that's true. The way I saw it, though, is that the demolishing of the arena symbolized that the illusionary world, especially the need for a duelling arena in the first place, was coming to an end.

As for the fairy-tale point, though, Ohtori is still at least partially a fairy-tale world. If an immortal witch and her husk-of-a-once-noble-prince brother can exist there, who's to say princes can't be real too?

In any case, I'd definitely agree that Utena grew as a human being. I guess it could be one of those Zen things where the journey is more important than the destination. school-eng101 Or maybe I just need sleep.

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#12 | Back to Top11-02-2007 07:55:03 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

OnionPrince wrote:

As for the fairy-tale point, though, Ohtori is still at least partially a fairy-tale world. If an immortal witch and her husk-of-a-once-noble-prince brother can exist there, who's to say princes can't be real too?

Only for those who believe in it and until they believe in it. This is also why Anthy is not continuing her eternal suffering in the end. Akio on the other hand can't even imagine a different way of living.


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#13 | Back to Top11-02-2007 10:13:51 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

I don't think Akio would know a true prince if it crawled out of the water and bit him on the ass, so I tend not to trust him to call whether Utena became a prince or not. Although I think the show is ambiguous on purpose about what a prince is, so we're kinda denied an obvious answer as to whether or not Utena is one. If you want to go by the archetype, probably not. She is human, and must remain human, and because she's such, she can't be a pure embodiment of any one thing except being human. But the show always seemed to me to make the point that archetypes shouldn't matter, and in the end, they don't. (Akio, the remaining archetype, becomes completely unimportant.) It's not what people aspire to become that matters, it's what they do. Utena spends all this time aspiring to be a prince, acting the part, trying to be the real deal. But it's her actions in the end that make her a prince. Not by her own standards, sadly, because she aimed for the archetype, but for the rest of us watching, what she did was at the very least princelike. A Christian does not try to be Jesus, they try to be like him, because that's the best you're going to get out of it, being what you are, and that's impressive enough. So in the end, I guess I think Utena's actions were princelike, but it doesn't qualify her to be a Prince. There was a prince, and it's gone now. The most you could give her is she was a prince for a moment, the same as Wakaba shining for a moment.


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#14 | Back to Top11-02-2007 10:56:07 PM

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

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

I mostly agree with Gio. I think that what was crucial is that, at the very end, she stopped trying to become a prince. She accepted Anthy as a friend, rather than as an object to reflect her own semi-divinity. I don't take her last words as an admission of defeat: rather, as a discovery. Anthy took her hand. In one single gesture, they both refused Akio and with him, his world of illusions and false ideals. Anthy stops being the witch, and Utena the prince. Rather, they are simply friends in the truest sense of the word. I think it is that moment where their fate in the outside world is sealed. They must leave and resume their love (platonic or otherwise) in reality, with all of its chanegs and uncertainties.

Or you could be more pessimistic and just say Utena bloody died miserably, Anthy skipped out out of the disaster because she's superhuman, and Akio made Touga the new Rose Bride.


"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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#15 | Back to Top11-03-2007 04:29:20 AM

Werekat
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 10-31-2007
Posts: 45

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

The reason I don't agree with most of these interpretations is that Anthy seems to leave to find Utena, and somehow I got the impression that she was supposed to get Utena out of trouble. Considering the ending, it seemed to me that it was now Anthy's turn to  go through some kind of trial. The roles become reversed - somewhat like in the movie. It's too easy to fight for something, and then become trapped in that something. I got the impression that Utena was in the same kind of trouble, at the end, that Akio and Anthy previously were - the inability to become something inevitably leads to imitation.

That said, maybe I'd just like to see too bloody much of a hero's quest for a witch. :)


"...But magic has a habit of lying low, like a rake in the grass." - T. Pratchett

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#16 | Back to Top11-03-2007 10:49:34 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Giovanna wrote:

I don't think Akio would know a true prince if it crawled out of the water and bit him on the ass...

To be fair, neither would I.  I'd be like "Oh my God, it's some kind of ass-biting water monster!"  emot-confused

Utena didn't become a prince; she outgrew her need to become a prince.  Instead she became herself.  The archetype of the Prince, as it's presented in Utena, is altruistic to the point of masochism.  No one healthy should want to be Dios.  The story of Utena, in my mind, is the story of this girl passing from the ideal of altruism to the ideal of enlightened selfishness -- from wanting to save Anthy to prove how princely she is, to wanting to save Anthy because Anthy is a part of Utena.  And accepting that that is an okay reason to want to save somebody.  Maybe even a better reason.  Remember, Dios would take the damsels in distress out to the French restaurant, but afterwards he'd ride away on his horse.  By the end of the series, Utena wants to save Anthy because she loves Anthy and wants to be together with Anthy.  Between the damsel and Anthy, I know who I'd rather be.

My two cents emot-smile

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#17 | Back to Top11-03-2007 07:34:12 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

satyreyes wrote:

To be fair, neither would I.  I'd be like "Oh my God, it's some kind of ass-biting water monster!"  emot-confused

It was a Jaws reference. emot-gonk I thought comparing Utena to a shark and Akio to a hapless beachgoer was appropriate given how he really didn't see it coming and probably should have what with the warning signs. emot-frown

But I really like that...that she outgrows the idea of trying to be a prince. I think part of why people interpret that line as an admission of defeat is how her body limps and she just kinda hangs when she says it. She looks defeated in body so we assume she's defeated in every other way...but it is worth noting she's half dead and at that point not willing to spend the effort on more accurate body language. Her tone of voice, listening to it again, is not exactly defeated, there's a lack of tone or something that makes it sound like just a statement. It could be tired defeat, it could also be disappointed realization. Like a lot of things, I guess it boils down to what you want to make of it. The show does though seem to really want to push that while princes and fairy tales aren't real, they're worth taking for inspiration nevertheless.


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#18 | Back to Top11-03-2007 09:34:26 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

It's very hard to know what's going through Utena's head at that moment.  I'm sure if you asked her "Utena, do you want to be Anthy's prince?" she would say "yes."  But what has happened is a subtle but important change in what being a prince means to her.  Being a prince no longer means helping people in need because they're in need, like it did when Akio showed her the Rose Bride in the church so many years ago.  Now being a prince means protecting people you care about, because you care about them.  That's a much truer and healthier definition of princeliness than what Dios embodied.

I disagree that the show encourages us to look up to the ideal of the Prince.  Look what happened to Dios, after all.  Okay, so it's Anthy's fault, but there's an important sense in which Dios brought it on himself: he was so busy helping strangers that he didn't make time for the person he ought to have cared about the most.  This is dysfunctional, and the series makes sure to drive that point home -- Juri and Shiori, Touga and Nanami, and Miki and Kozue all have strikingly similar relationships, always with the result that the neglected party feels simultaneously worshipful and resentful towards their partner.  Utena's ability to break out of that mold and act on her love for the person she cares about is what enables her to bring revolution.  If she has become a prince, it is not in the same sense in which Dios was a prince.  It's in a new sense, first whispered about in episode 12, hinted at by Mikage's rejection of Tatsuya, and now at last coming to a culmination as finally, finally, someone in this motherfucking series acts like they care about someone.  YAY UTENA!  etc-love

Last edited by satyreyes (11-03-2007 09:35:10 PM)

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#19 | Back to Top11-03-2007 10:39:06 PM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

I think that sums it up very nicely, satyr. I think in a way that's one of the major messages that the series is trying to get across - that nobody should want to be Dios.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#20 | Back to Top11-03-2007 11:05:08 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

satyreyes wrote:

Dios brought it on himself: he was so busy helping strangers that he didn't make time for the person he ought to have cared about the most.  This is dysfunctional, and the series makes sure to drive that point home -- Juri and Shiori, Touga and Nanami, and Miki and Kozue all have strikingly similar relationships, always with the result that the neglected party feels simultaneously worshipful and resentful towards their partner.

Oooo, good point. poptart I definitely agree that the series ultimately takes a great big morally superior dump on the whole prince thing. That it rejects it that absolutely I hadn't considered as critically. I took that Utena aims to be a prince and fails to be the lesson that an archetype is not a person, and you can only only use the idea as inspiration in your actions, not as a goal persona in life. To look at it that way seems to me to suggest the series doesn't even think you should look at the ideal as a source of morality or anything else, or at least that the closer relationships between you and those you care about should dictate your behavior instead. (Which in and of itself kinda suggests everyone is a decent person, since if you listen to your heart or whatever way you want to put that, you'll see how to express your love for others. As opposed to listening to your heart and finding it says 'Have sex with your sister on a couch that still smells of your fiancee! emot-dance')

If the series were a tribe in Africa, I'd get away with disagreeing with any possible main point it was trying to make on the grounds of cultural relativism. school-eng101


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#21 | Back to Top11-03-2007 11:09:11 PM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Giovanna wrote:

If the series were a tribe in Africa, I'd get away with disagreeing with any possible main point it was trying to make on the grounds of cultural relativism. school-eng101

You... you just... anthropology! emot-gonk


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#22 | Back to Top11-03-2007 11:25:50 PM

ArsenicForBreakfast
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From: The Destination of Your Fate
Registered: 10-14-2007
Posts: 340
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Agree with the general consensus here.  Utena didn't become a prince, but only because, as we know by series' end, being the Prince is a BAD thing.  Had she become the Prince, I believe it would have just set the cycle again, and Utena would have lost her nobility in much the same way Akio did. 

We have to remember that Utena being Anthy's "prince" was based on a lot of false assumptios on Utena's part, and the fact that she still accepted and tried to save Anthy at the end is a very noble thing indeed, but not the actions of a true Prince.  What Prince would ever save the Witch?  So, while she's not a Prince, she's prince-like, which ultimately is the better option.  It allows Utena to remain human, to grow and change.  Much better than being doomed by the archetype emot-wink  In the end, isn't the wishing for the power of the Prince what caused the Duelists to remain in their coffins anyway?  One can argue that the lesson we're supposed to get out of Utena is that only by becoming self-reliant, and letting go of childish notions of perfect heroes can one gain the power of "revolution" and really change.  But that's my two cents anyway.

Last edited by ArsenicForBreakfast (11-03-2007 11:31:23 PM)


I'm a fan of pessimism: if you maintain the lowest expectations possible, they'll always be met or exceeded.

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#23 | Back to Top11-03-2007 11:47:10 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Giovanna wrote:

I took that Utena aims to be a prince and fails to be the lesson that an archetype is not a person, and you can only only use the idea as inspiration in your actions, not as a goal persona in life. To look at it that way seems to me to suggest the series doesn't even think you should look at the ideal as a source of morality or anything else...

I don't know if I would go quite that far.  By the third season Utena may be fighting with her own soul-sword instead of Dios's, but she still wins duels mostly by being inspirited with Dios.  And it's Dios who cajoles her -- with reverse psychology, but cajoles her nonetheless -- into getting off the floor after being backstabbed.  I don't think that rejecting the Prince archetype necessarily entails discarding what is genuinely noble in it.  Nonetheless, the archetype must be rejected.

...or at least that the closer relationships between you and those you care about should dictate your behavior instead.

This is much closer to what I was going for.  Utena is harnessing nobility and princeliness in service to friendship; no longer is princeliness an end in itself.  That is how Utena will avoid the fate of Dios.

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#24 | Back to Top11-04-2007 04:08:52 AM

OnionPrince
Covert Diarist
From: Nagoya
Registered: 10-28-2007
Posts: 876

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

That makes a lot more sense to me now. I feel like I'm learning so much about this extraordinarily deep series. school-eng101

One thing still bothers me, though. Like Satyreyes said, "protecting people you care about, because you care about them" is a truer and healthier goal to live for. But in that case, what about the people who no one cares about? Are the plights of the huddled masses enough justification for a Prince in the world? I have no idea, really, so I'm just throwing that question out there.

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#25 | Back to Top11-04-2007 04:50:16 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2788

Re: Did Utena become a prince?

Well, that's sort of the cast's big problem, isn't it?  Not caring in a general way?  They're all incredibly focused and solipsistic, with empathy being incredibly rare.  Most of the, even punctuations of, empathy are Utena/Anthy moments; Saionji or Juri (to pick two out of the Ohtori hat) do manage on occasion to recognize the state of other people, but their tendency is to make it all about them.  The Prince, in a sense is selfless, but the urge to be The Prince is pretty selfish and only really functional so long as you're actually keeping caring for people in mind with those 'people' as individuals and not 'the huddled masses.'

If you ain't The Prince, you can't go around saving everyone, but you do what you can, and you don't just do the rescue and split, you deal with people consistently and perhaps continually.

Better to be there with/for people than because you think you can rescue them (even if you can), or something to that effect.  Because you can't actually save everyone, really, but you can be there with/for someone, anyone, everyone.  Okeh, maybe not everyone, but that's where the high goals vs high expectations comes in handy.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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