You are not logged in.

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!

#1 | Back to Top10-19-2006 11:41:45 PM

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

Utena's got a damn big sword

So, I wanted to make a topic about.. the soul swords. But so this won't be so vague and general, what about how the Sword of Dios disappeared during Saionji's last duel? What happened to it? Why Saionji's duel? And since the sword was in Anthy and essentially she was the Power of Dios, what does it mean for her when it disappeared?

One thing I thought of is that Akio got Anthy to make it disappear to test Utena, so she would have to use her own sword and refine it. That would mean Anthy still had it, it was just hidden, right? And at this time, the student council members starting getting their own "rose brides" to pull out their own swords as well, so I guess their power would have increased as well? (Minus Saionji, I think) Using soul swords, instead of physical ones.

On another sword topic, wasn't the sword that Anthy stabbed Utena with a black-handled one? So it would be a sword of hatred, maybe one of the ones Anthy was stabbed with? emot-confused

And with how Akio used Utena's sword to try and open the coffin and failed, but Utena was able to open it without it, I guess it was more of a gentle kindness and love vs. force and overpowering?

I'll shut up now. The soul swords are just one of the things in the series that interests me and confuses me the most. emot-aaa

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (10-19-2006 11:42:22 PM)


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

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/Tushen/cupcake_mini2.gif

Offline

 

#2 | Back to Top10-19-2006 11:47:46 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6020
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Oh, great. Now I have to dig up my notes for the essay I was going to write about Soul Swords. You'll have to wait until tomorrow, I'm not going to be able to post that from work.


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#3 | Back to Top10-19-2006 11:52:27 PM

Ivy-chan
Unfulfilled Juror
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 232

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

It's too late for me to pick through all those questions, but a pet theory of mine is that the sword Akio pulled from Anthy at the end of the movie wasn't a sword of hate or the sword of Dios, it was Anthy's own soul sword.


If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
-Isaac Newton

Offline

 

#4 | Back to Top10-20-2006 12:06:29 AM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 189

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Akio was quite perturbed by the loss of the Sword of Dios, even Touga mention's it to ?Saionji? that someone is not happy about Utena winning her duel's without using the Sword of Dios. Akio looked as surprised as anyone when the sword disappeared. My guess to the whole Sword of Dios disappearance is thatthe power Saionji recieved from The Ends of the World (whatever that may be.) Gave him the power to break the Sword of Dios spell. Or maybe not...


Please check out the MTG Utena Set Progress we have made at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?id=o … 103070805#

Offline

 

#5 | Back to Top10-20-2006 12:14:59 AM

UtenaFanGirl
Ballgoer
From: California
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 145
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

i always thought that anshi was the sealth for the sword of dios so when the sword dissapeared into utena it was basically saying that utena was the now rightful owner of it....well that is what i thought

and what i thought with the end when akio use the sword that it failed it was utena/ring that was the key not the sword cause of dios showing utena of anshi(while being perice with the swords of hatred) when they were little and when utena got her ring she vowled to save anshi...and i thought dios gave her the power to save anshi...

o.O that was my guess


Chu chuu CHU!!!!

Offline

 

#6 | Back to Top10-20-2006 07:19:53 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8753
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Xu Yuan wrote:

Akio was quite perturbed by the loss of the Sword of Dios, even Touga mention's it to ?Saionji? that someone is not happy about Utena winning her duel's without using the Sword of Dios.

Anthy. He gets pissed and grabs her.

Why it happened with Saionji, well I can't say. That Akio took it as such an offense suggests the switch was Anthy's idea. Why would she do it though? Either to stop Saionji from winning (because she wanted Utena), or because she was a step ahead of her brother and took a leap of faith in Utena that Utena was ready to handle her own sword. But when the sword disappears, isn't Anthy distracted by her own train of thought? If she was so distracted the sword vanished or she felt it was time to switch, either way it wasn't in Akio's plan. I'd have to check which part comes first. (Damn I'm not at home!)

As for the swords, I always assumed Utena fought with the Sword of Dios, then switched to her own, and in the final duel, she used her own and Akio pulled the Sword of Dios. She switches to her own when the duels get harder, just as the other characters do; no longer reliant on the strength her prince gives her, she uses her own sword. (He no longer 'inhabits' her body either, he just kisses her and that's enough.) As to why it changed color? Either its brilliance was an illusion before, or it turned black due to who was drawing it. It makes sense that Akio would fight with Dios' sword since it's technically his own, but no longer effective at all. He knows that, which is why he goes to such trouble to get Utena's sword. It's possible of course that he simply drew one of the swords of hate, but the implications of him being able to wield the force that tortures his sister are rather absolutely huge.

And well worth exploration. I will have to ponder this, since it might be that Akio is an even bigger asshole than I thought. 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)

Offline

 

#7 | Back to Top10-20-2006 01:06:22 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

So, I wanted to make a topic about.. the soul swords. But so this won't be so vague and general, what about how the Sword of Dios disappeared during Saionji's last duel? What happened to it? Why Saionji's duel? And since the sword was in Anthy and essentially she was the Power of Dios, what does it mean for her when it disappeared?

One thing I thought of is that Akio got Anthy to make it disappear to test Utena, so she would have to use her own sword and refine it. That would mean Anthy still had it, it was just hidden, right? And at this time, the student council members starting getting their own "rose brides" to pull out their own swords as well, so I guess their power would have increased as well? (Minus Saionji, I think) Using soul swords, instead of physical ones.

On another sword topic, wasn't the sword that Anthy stabbed Utena with a black-handled one? So it would be a sword of hatred, maybe one of the ones Anthy was stabbed with? emot-confused

And with how Akio used Utena's sword to try and open the coffin and failed, but Utena was able to open it without it, I guess it was more of a gentle kindness and love vs. force and overpowering?

I'll shut up now. The soul swords are just one of the things in the series that interests me and confuses me the most. emot-aaa

Oh, God. [head in hands] I am going to try and give a basic explanation here of how I always saw it, but be warned that I am prone to going off on tangents and writing ten thousand word essays to explain one scene. emot-aaa

...still, here goes. Anthy became the Witch of the piece because she tried to stop her brother from being hurt by stopping him from being the noble prince who just couldn't help but try to save all the princesses because of his noble nature (and I believe it is this same conviction that allows her to stab Utena in the back; it was for her own good, yes?). Anthy did this by sealing the so-called Power of Dios within herself. Now, the Rose Bride becomes the spoils of the duels because she holds within herself the Power of Dios in the form of the Sword of Dios -- and while drawing the sword does give the bearer some access to the Power of Dios (note how Touga can tap into said power when he holds the sword; curious that no-one else we see with the sword can, hmm?) I don't think that's the be all and end all of it. Why? Well, let's see how short I can keep this. emot-gonk

What is Akio looking for in the series? The power of Dios. Why is he looking for the power? Presumably because although he still has unnatural influence over a good many things, the "pure" power of Dios is shinier. Why doesn't he have access to it? Because his sister won't give him access. So, Akio invents the duelling game -- and the entire point of the duelling game to me is that Akio is creating one huge, giant, complicated forge. It seems to go in various rounds and processes (and if I knew anything about the process of forging a sword I might try to draw a couple of analogies, but I don't so we're fucked on that front -- thank God): the Student Council Arc, the Black Rose Arc, the Akio Ohtori Arc, the Apocalypse Arc. Each tests Utena in a certain way, and I think the arcs are designed to forge a sword that Akio can wield to regain his own from his sister.

...er, so, yeah. [coughs] Utena begins, as most duellists do, with the Sword of Dios. Why? Because if you can't do noble things with the noblest sword of the noblest prince, you can't really have a decent sword of your own. This continues through the complexities of the Black Rose Arc, when the sword is taken back and the unfortunate timing compels Utena to learn the use of her OWN sword -- something Akio needs her to do. He forces her hand, because she has proved she can handle a sword of its type, and I suppose you could also theorise that some of Dios's noblity would rub off on her sword. Hopefully.

Still, my point is that Akio was looking for a duellist who could yield a pure soul sword, and he used first Dios's sword to test their heart, and then tested the Champion against other soul swords wielded first by manipulated minds, and then by their actual bearers. All he wanted was for Utena to bring "that pure heart" to the top of his tower and take the sword from her -- which probably why he liked the idea of Utena. She had a noble sword, but it was quite right of him to take it from her because she WAS only a girl and therefore shouldn't hold the sword herself. (That's not my opinion, by the way; that's my interpretation of Akio's. ^_~) Utena's sword, so much like Dios's in appearance, however wasn't enough to break the seal of the rose gate -- whether it was because of some deficiency in Utena's character or simply because Akio was holding it is debatable. ^___^

The black sword, in my opinion, could be one of two things -- Anthy's soul sword (its similarities to Dios's being explained by their blood and its colour by her "darkness" as a witch; Anthy is not outside the prince comparison herself, despite being a witch and the rose bride and whatnot...she IS portrayed as a knight in the opening credits at one stage). Or the Sword of Dios in Akio's hand. The change in colour could indicate the fact Akio cannot use it to its full potential, and the fact that he had to draw it from Anthy while everyone else by this stage was using their own swords suggests to me this is the most likely answer. Anthy is herself the rose bride and the rose gate; although Akio can take by force the sword from her breast, he can't take the power. He needs another way in -- a pure soul sword that will free her from her coffin/eternal suffering.

...if that makes any sense. Soul swords tend to give me headaches. [headdesk]


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

Beyond The Silver Leaves

Offline

 

#8 | Back to Top10-21-2006 01:59:41 AM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6020
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Clarice wrote:

This continues through the complexities of the Black Rose Arc, when the sword is taken back and the unfortunate timing compels Utena to learn the use of her OWN sword -- something Akio needs her to do. He forces her hand, because she has proved she can handle a sword of its type, and I suppose you could also theorise that some of Dios's noblity would rub off on her sword. Hopefully.

I agreed with you up until this point. Very elegant explanation, by the way. It makes a lot of sense. Here's a bit of a different take...

At the point in the series where Utena's Soul Sword manifests, there's a pretty good chance Akio actually does not expect anything of the sort. He shows surprise when no one is looking at him-- for Akio to do that suggests that it's real surprise. And if Akio doesn't know about it, there are only three other people that could have effected it: Anthy, Dios, and Utena.

This is my opinion, but I don't think Anthy would have done anything to speed up the 'maturation' of Utena's Soul Sword on her own. She may have been able to call it out of Utena at any time, even when it was useless to Utena. She may have known it was the right time as far as Utena was concerned, and acted on that. I don't think she would affect its creation or readiness, though; she has very divided loyalties at that point, and would have taken the passive route-- just to bring out the sword when it was ready and that's all. That would have been the function previously agreed upon.

As for Dios, I don't believe him to be conscious, exactly. Unconscious, perhaps. Regardless of whether Dios is conscious or not, Akio's surprise is a big indicator that Dios is still around somehow-- who better to influence the development of the Soul Sword than the original himself?

And then there's Utena. She could have been just that good-- good enough that Akio underestimated her.

Whichever of these scenarios you pick, it still leaves us with an influence on the development of the Soul Sword outside of Akio himself. I tend to think it's whatever's left of Dios.

If this is the case, the Sword of Dios could have turned black at the end because it no longer belonged to him. You could even say that he abandoned it entirely. This tends to make sense with the ending, as Dios appears and speaks to Utena. His last gasp, so to speak, before he left the world forever, no longer attaching himself even to the sword that belonged to him.

In a more archetypal/mythological sense, this means that there has been a successor. Utena, of course. And when does Dios finally disappear?

You might have to correct me on this, but doesn't Utena's Soul Sword break directly after?

And shouldn't that be debilitating if it really was her soul? She felt pain before... shouldn't she be dead if the sword breaks?

The breaking of the Soul Sword seems to have no effect on her, however. It's possible that the Soul Swords are not natural to the duellists, and not necessarily beneficial to them-- Dios's departure is followed directly by the breaking of Utena's sword, which suggests to me that the sword is not the symbol or weapon of true Princehood, but rather a construction created by Anthy or Akio in an attempt to harness the power of the character's soul. It could have been that what Anthy did to Dios was not sealing away his soul within herself, but sealing it away within the sword. The sword in that case would be a receptacle for the perfect nature of Dios; the same for Utena. If this is true, the logical conclusion to make is that the Soul Swords are not necessary to the process of freeing the Rose Bride, but rather the means by which Akio contains and focuses the stolen power he needs to gain more, or at least give the appearance of trying to gain more.

Hell, it might even have been necessary that Utena's Soul Sword break so that she could regain whatever was investing it and open the coffin herself. But then again, I just kinda yammered this out, and it's 2 am, and I'm tired.

Great analysis, Clarice! I love reading your analyses. Ever want to work on an essay with someone? I'd love to see what we could do.


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#9 | Back to Top10-21-2006 02:00:53 AM

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

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

..gah, I totally forgot about how Akio got pissed off. >_>; Hmm, this is puzzling.

Clarice wrote:

etc-love

..wow, thank you.  emot-aaa etc-love etc-love etc-love

Clarice wrote:

Now, the Rose Bride becomes the spoils of the duels because she holds within herself the Power of Dios in the form of the Sword of Dios -- and while drawing the sword does give the bearer some access to the Power of Dios (note how Touga can tap into said power when he holds the sword; curious that no-one else we see with the sword can, hmm?) I don't think that's the be all and end all of it. Why? Well, let's see how short I can keep this. emot-gonk

I was wondering why only Touga used that trick. You would think after Utena saw him do it, she might try it out herself, but.. Hm. Well, the only other engaged we see besides Utena and Touga is Saionji, and he underestimated Utena in his duel with the sword of Dios. I guess Utena didn't much care for it.. XD

Clarice wrote:

What is Akio looking for in the series? The power of Dios. Why is he looking for the power? Presumably because although he still has unnatural influence over a good many things, the "pure" power of Dios is shinier. Why doesn't he have access to it? Because his sister won't give him access. So, Akio invents the duelling game -- and the entire point of the duelling game to me is that Akio is creating one huge, giant, complicated forge. It seems to go in various rounds and processes (and if I knew anything about the process of forging a sword I might try to draw a couple of analogies, but I don't so we're fucked on that front -- thank God): the Student Council Arc, the Black Rose Arc, the Akio Ohtori Arc, the Apocalypse Arc. Each tests Utena in a certain way, and I think the arcs are designed to forge a sword that Akio can wield to regain his own from his sister.

I was thinking something like that too, but like people pointed out, Akio got mad when the Sword of Dios disappeared.. emot-redface I forgot about that. But I always thought it was interesting how Akio wanted the power of Dios (and I still wonder why. I have a few theories, but..) when it was right in his own dear sister. I'm not sure if it's that Anthy doesn't want him to have it, or he simply can't have it. Or both. But the goal of the duels was definitely to find a sword noble enough to free the power of Dios, although I'm still wondering why the sword of Dios disappeared and Akio freaked out.

Clarice wrote:

Utena's sword, so much like Dios's in appearance, however wasn't enough to break the seal of the rose gate -- whether it was because of some deficiency in Utena's character or simply because Akio was holding it is debatable. ^___^

I think it was probably because Akio was wielding it.. and was using such force to open the gate. It hurt Utena each time he stabbed it at the gate, too. But Utena, without a sword, was able to open the coffin, which leads me to believe it's a power and force vs. a pure desire to save Anthy.

Clarice wrote:

he black sword, in my opinion, could be one of two things -- Anthy's soul sword (its similarities to Dios's being explained by their blood and its colour by her "darkness" as a witch; Anthy is not outside the prince comparison herself, despite being a witch and the rose bride and whatnot...she IS portrayed as a knight in the opening credits at one stage). Or the Sword of Dios in Akio's hand. The change in colour could indicate the fact Akio cannot use it to its full potential, and the fact that he had to draw it from Anthy while everyone else by this stage was using their own swords suggests to me this is the most likely answer. Anthy is herself the rose bride and the rose gate; although Akio can take by force the sword from her breast, he can't take the power. He needs another way in -- a pure soul sword that will free her from her coffin/eternal suffering.

emot-aaa I'm so confused. I need to re-watch those episodes and pay more attention..

On another note, I find it interesting that on Utena's second duel with Touga after she lost the first time, Juri loaned Utena her sword. I wonder why, and what that represents. Also, Utena broke Juri's sword. emot-wink

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (10-21-2006 02:01:46 AM)


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

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/Tushen/cupcake_mini2.gif

Offline

 

#10 | Back to Top10-21-2006 07:13:57 AM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

I decided to rewatch the last episode of SKU to try and clarify my view on the soul sword thing and I realised something.

Akio spent a great deal of time and effort in to hopes of creating a perfect prince's soul-sword and what does he do when he gets his hands on it? He basically more or less tries to open the gate with the prince's soul-sword the same kind of way a burglar would try to open a cheap safe with a convenient letter opener.  No wonder his plan to open the Rose Gates to Eternity failed.

And look how Utena opened it. With blood, sweat and a solitary tear. school-freud Oh the irony!

Offline

 

#11 | Back to Top10-21-2006 08:16:19 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

DISCLAIMER: I have to apologise for any incoherency here; I wanted to write an entry before I went to bed, but it's now 2:52am and I've just watched a rather lovely and disturbing movie, so feel free to poke me if I make diddly-squat in terms of sense. emot-rolleyes

Yasha wrote:

At the point in the series where Utena's Soul Sword manifests, there's a pretty good chance Akio actually does not expect anything of the sort. He shows surprise when no one is looking at him-- for Akio to do that suggests that it's real surprise. And if Akio doesn't know about it, there are only three other people that could have effected it: Anthy, Dios, and Utena.

Crap, I forgot that. [faceplant] It ruins my little rant above, although it can fit in if one does a little tweaking -- it would imply to me then that Akio was wanting Utena to use the Sword of Dios longer, because as far as I can see Akio needed a sword NOT Dios's to open the Rose Gate. A noble sword, but not that one because he can't control that one...which fits with the idea that the black sword Akio draws from Anthy is the sword of Dios, just one that is tarnished and hardly as "noble" in Akio's hands. Hmm. But yeah, I could assume that Akio was just concerned that Utena's sword wasn't yet strong enough for the purpose he needed it for, and was concerned that Dios had seemingly given up on her by retracting the sword. This does depend, of course, on Dios's influence over his sword -- if any. And could also imply in turn that Anthy had lost faith in Utena's purpose, which also buggers up Akio because if Anthy won't grant the Sword of Dios to Utena, he's fairly screwed. But then this gets confusing if Anthy's desires are brought into it, because if Akio wants back what Anthy won't give him, why should she help him corrupt an innocent soul to take it back by force? Ah, now I've really confused myself here...and reminded me of something else I had meant to mention before, in that I always viewed Anthy and Akio's sexual relationship as having a lot to do with the fact Anthy held a piece of her brother within herself -- and for once, the dirty dirty double entendre is not intended. I usually tend to think of it as being Akio trying to "commune" with what her sister holds inside herself and away from him. That's not the only reason I see -- the other is that Akio sees himself as "giving her what she wanted" by being her "prince" in the way he could not have been to his sister as Dios, and this action is echoed in Touga's attempt to mack on his own sister because he thinks she wanted THAT -- but it's an interesting one.

Yasha wrote:

This is my opinion, but I don't think Anthy would have done anything to speed up the 'maturation' of Utena's Soul Sword on her own. She may have been able to call it out of Utena at any time, even when it was useless to Utena. She may have known it was the right time as far as Utena was concerned, and acted on that. I don't think she would affect its creation or readiness, though; she has very divided loyalties at that point, and would have taken the passive route-- just to bring out the sword when it was ready and that's all. That would have been the function previously agreed upon.

Given Anthy's behaviour later as an "agreeable party" in Akio's movements against Utena, I could agree with you there. She's just...yeah. Doing as her brother wants because her brother wants it, although she's not going to be active in her role. The only active role Anthy really seems to take with the swords is when she stabs Utena in the back, and then flings the dark sword away like it really is as diseased as it appears.

Yasha wrote:

If this is the case, the Sword of Dios could have turned black at the end because it no longer belonged to him. You could even say that he abandoned it entirely. This tends to make sense with the ending, as Dios appears and speaks to Utena. His last gasp, so to speak, before he left the world forever, no longer attaching himself even to the sword that belonged to him.

In a more archetypal/mythological sense, this means that there has been a successor. Utena, of course. And when does Dios finally disappear?

I like this trail of thought, actually; one of my favourite scenes in the whole series is Dios baiting Utena to force her to rise, then getting up on his horse and turning his back on her because there's the whole point of the show -- someone can take great pains to shove you in the right direction, but you have to walk the road yourself. Dios proves this to Utena, and Utena in turn proves it to Anthy. And you can go back through the whole damn show and find dozens of more examples of the same theme. emot-keke

Yasha" wrote:

The breaking of the Soul Sword seems to have no effect on her, however. It's possible that the Soul Swords are not natural to the duellists, and not necessarily beneficial to them-- Dios's departure is followed directly by the breaking of Utena's sword, which suggests to me that the sword is not the symbol or weapon of true Princehood, but rather a construction created by Anthy or Akio in an attempt to harness the power of the character's soul. It could have been that what Anthy did to Dios was not sealing away his soul within herself, but sealing it away within the sword. The sword in that case would be a receptacle for the perfect nature of Dios; the same for Utena. If this is true, the logical conclusion to make is that the Soul Swords are not necessary to the process of freeing the Rose Bride, but rather the means by which Akio contains and focuses the stolen power he needs to gain more, or at least give the appearance of trying to gain more.

Again, I like this idea -- it explains why Utena felt pain when the sword was used in a manner that was anaethema to her nature, but when it broke she was freed of that -- in theory because the power contained within it had dissipated and was no longer drawn from herself.

And yes, apologies for the rather bland response there, but I shall sleep on it. And yeah, Yasha, I'd consider writing an essay with you sometime. ^___^ Given how carried away I get with this stuff, I often need someone to punch me in the head in order to put me back on track for five more minutes. school-devil

Last edited by Clarice (10-21-2006 08:24:34 PM)


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

Beyond The Silver Leaves

Offline

 

#12 | Back to Top10-21-2006 08:37:08 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

I was wondering why only Touga used that trick. You would think after Utena saw him do it, she might try it out herself, but.. Hm. Well, the only other engaged we see besides Utena and Touga is Saionji, and he underestimated Utena in his duel with the sword of Dios. I guess Utena didn't much care for it.. XD

I have no idea myself. Possibly Touga had seen Akio do a similar trick, perhaps he's just a natural at exploiting whatever power he finds in his hands. If I start thinking about it at half-past three in the morning, however, my head is likely to explode. Best stick to Akio and Anthy and Utena for now. emot-biggrin

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

I was thinking something like that too, but like people pointed out, Akio got mad when the Sword of Dios disappeared.. emot-redface I forgot about that. But I always thought it was interesting how Akio wanted the power of Dios (and I still wonder why. I have a few theories, but..) when it was right in his own dear sister. I'm not sure if it's that Anthy doesn't want him to have it, or he simply can't have it. Or both. But the goal of the duels was definitely to find a sword noble enough to free the power of Dios, although I'm still wondering why the sword of Dios disappeared and Akio freaked out.

Still debating that one myself, although I did answer to something similar Yasha said above.

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

I think it was probably because Akio was wielding it.. and was using such force to open the gate. It hurt Utena each time he stabbed it at the gate, too. But Utena, without a sword, was able to open the coffin, which leads me to believe it's a power and force vs. a pure desire to save Anthy.

I think that's exactly it. emot-dance

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

emot-aaa I'm so confused. I need to re-watch those episodes and pay more attention...

Ha, if it makes you feel any better I have seen most of the episodes about ten times each (some more, and some less; for instance I don't think I've really watched the Student Council Arc in its entirety more than twice, although certain scenes I can watch over and over) and should I watch one this minute, I'd see something I didn't see before. Man, you should have seen the expression on my mother's face the day I watched the Ruka episodes the second time and then jumped to my feet randomly and incoherently screaming about chairs. She chose never to be in the room while I was watching Utena ever again, even though she'd already long since given up on paying attention to it. emot-keke

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

On another note, I find it interesting that on Utena's second duel with Touga after she lost the first time, Juri loaned Utena her sword. I wonder why, and what that represents. Also, Utena broke Juri's sword. emot-wink

I think it says more about Juri's character than Utena's, in the end -- and I don't believe the sword was Juri's soul sword as such, either. I always assumed it was pointing out that Juri was above the general attitude of the student council that possession of Anthy was a good thing. Juri never wanted Anthy as such, and I believe by giving Utena her sword she was proving a point. She might not have agreed entirely with whatever Utena's own motives were, but she knew for certain they were a hell of a lot less sinister than Touga's.

As for the breaking of the sword...I think it actually is vague foreshadowing of the loss of Dios's sword in ep. 23 (or is it 25?), and then again for the breaking of Utena's own sword in the last episode. Utena doesn't need the sword to win. She needs faith in herself and in her ability to rescue Anthy to do so. That is all. Of course the tragic irony of it being that at the end she doesn't seem to realise that she has done so, or that to be saved Anthy actually needed to first save herself. Ah, we love this screwed up world so much...although I still wish we could have seen Utena abashedly trying to explain to Juri just what the fuck happened to her sword. emot-wink


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

Beyond The Silver Leaves

Offline

 

#13 | Back to Top10-21-2006 09:05:56 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6020
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Just a quickie, I don't have the brain power to write another long post like that with the tv on and people talking in here...

BUT CHECK THIS OUT:

Rose seal rings turn black when the duellist who owns them dies.

The Sword of Dios turns black at the end.

Anyone else seeing a connection???? emot-danceemot-danceemot-dance


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#14 | Back to Top10-21-2006 09:22:15 PM

ZSPACE
Touga Topper
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 57

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Giovanna wrote:

Xu Yuan wrote:

Akio was quite perturbed by the loss of the Sword of Dios, even Touga mention's it to ?Saionji? that someone is not happy about Utena winning her duel's without using the Sword of Dios.

Anthy. He gets pissed and grabs her.

Why it happened with Saionji, well I can't say. That Akio took it as such an offense suggests the switch was Anthy's idea. Why would she do it though? Either to stop Saionji from winning (because she wanted Utena), or because she was a step ahead of her brother and took a leap of faith in Utena that Utena was ready to handle her own sword. But when the sword disappears, isn't Anthy distracted by her own train of thought? If she was so distracted the sword vanished or she felt it was time to switch, either way it wasn't in Akio's plan. I'd have to check which part comes first. (Damn I'm not at home!)

As for the swords, I always assumed Utena fought with the Sword of Dios, then switched to her own, and in the final duel, she used her own and Akio pulled the Sword of Dios. She switches to her own when the duels get harder, just as the other characters do; no longer reliant on the strength her prince gives her, she uses her own sword. (He no longer 'inhabits' her body either, he just kisses her and that's enough.) As to why it changed color? Either its brilliance was an illusion before, or it turned black due to who was drawing it. It makes sense that Akio would fight with Dios' sword since it's technically his own, but no longer effective at all. He knows that, which is why he goes to such trouble to get Utena's sword. It's possible of course that he simply drew one of the swords of hate, but the implications of him being able to wield the force that tortures his sister are rather absolutely huge.

And well worth exploration. I will have to ponder this, since it might be that Akio is an even bigger asshole than I thought. etc-love

Maybe the sword of dios is black when akio pulls the sword out of anthy because its similar to the black rose arc. the sword was forced out and there is no love.

Offline

 

#15 | Back to Top10-21-2006 10:44:40 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8753
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

HOLY JESUS. MY MIND, IT BREAKS, AND MY HEART, IT SWELLS WITH LOVE. etc-love etc-love etc-love

You people are awesome, this is just what I was hoping to see some of here. emot-dance Excuse me if this post is kinda fragmented, I'm just gonna hop around where I had a few thoughts.

Yasha wrote:

In a more archetypal/mythological sense, this means that there has been a successor. Utena, of course. And when does Dios finally disappear?

You might have to correct me on this, but doesn't Utena's Soul Sword break directly after?

Not quite. The sequence is Dios yaps -> Utena's fist hits the floor and she gets up -> Commercial break -> Akio breaks sword; looks unconcerned -> Utena walks to gate and starts trying to open it -> Akio yaps at Dios (who looks as unconcerned as he does, although I suspect for a very different reason) -> Utena yells at Akio to shut up -> Dios walks away -> Utena's tear opens the gate -> Akio's day goes very very bad.

What Dios is at this point has always given me a headache because there are so, SO many explanations. My inner shrink thinks he's more or less a projection of Akio's thoughts. This comes largely from episode 13, where Akio seems to be talking to himself, pretending Dios hears him. That's not supported well by Dios' presence here, it becomes more likely to be a projection of Utena's. She's near death, and don't we all in that position want to imagine someone comforting us? She attempts to provide herself that and is then disgusted, punching down, deciding she's not going to take the easy way out. You could even argue it's Anthy manipulating Utena to this end, though I doubt it since Anthy's now decided this isn't going to happen. If Dios is a conscious entity, or a force of some kind, or whatever you want to call not being a figment of Akio's or someone else's imagination, then you have to wonder whether he meant to actually comfort Utena or he meant to talk her into fighting. You then have to question his motives; does he want Utena to save Anthy? Surely he knows what will happen to Utena at that point, which goes against, I think, his compulsion to save people. Also, the way he does so is strangely manipulative for Dios, one wonders if he's learned a few tricks watching Akio. Or does he really mean to calm her?

SleepDebtFairy wrote:

I was wondering why only Touga used that trick. You would think after Utena saw him do it, she might try it out herself, but.. Hm.

She does use the trick later, though it ends up looking different. Anthy blesses her sword during her last duel with Touga, before she starts chopping all the Akio cars in half. (Wow if you read that sentence and knew nothing about SKU you'd think it was a pretty weird show, huh?) Color me surprised she uses it during a duel with Touga. Also, it ends up looking a little less uh...like blowing someone. But it's blessing the sword all the same.

Tamago wrote:

Akio spent a great deal of time and effort in to hopes of creating a perfect prince's soul-sword and what does he do when he gets his hands on it? He basically more or less tries to open the gate with the prince's soul-sword the same kind of way a burglar would try to open a cheap safe with a convenient letter opener.  No wonder his plan to open the Rose Gates to Eternity failed.

Akio's deluded but not a total idiot. I think his failing to open the gate is very much intentional. He wants the power of Dios, yes yes, but he knows very well what will happen when that gate is opened. It's not in his best interests. (Or so he thinks he knows. I think Akio assumes the swords would come after him if they lose Anthy as a target; it's fear in his voice when he tells Utena to stop, not anger that she's going to get something he wanted.)

Clarice wrote:

Ah, now I've really confused myself here...and reminded me of something else I had meant to mention before, in that I always viewed Anthy and Akio's sexual relationship as having a lot to do with the fact Anthy held a piece of her brother within herself -- and for once, the dirty dirty double entendre is not intended. I usually tend to think of it as being Akio trying to "commune" with what her sister holds inside herself and away from him. That's not the only reason I see -- the other is that Akio sees himself as "giving her what she wanted" by being her "prince" in the way he could not have been to his sister as Dios, and this action is echoed in Touga's attempt to mack on his own sister because he thinks she wanted THAT -- but it's an interesting one.

This here is very very interesting and I've never thought of it that way. I must chew on this, then spit it back up and chew on it some more. It definitely sounds, if not like why the relationship continued, a definite possibility for how it got started. (I maintain that it's 99% a powerplay during the series.)

All this talk about the sword breaking and the timing and such leads me to wonder a bit more about the significance of Anthy stabbing Utena with the sword Akio fought with. In the back, but she's forcing a soul sword into Utena. Whether it's Anthy's sword, Dios/Akio's, or one of the swords of hate changes the meaning, but I'm just throwing out there that with such an emphasis on the sword as a soul, it seems like something should be said as to Utena being speared on one.


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)

Offline

 

#16 | Back to Top10-22-2006 05:21:23 AM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Giovanna wrote:

HOLY JESUS. MY MIND, IT BREAKS, AND MY HEART, IT SWELLS WITH LOVE. etc-love etc-love etc-love

You people are awesome, this is just what I was hoping to see some of here. emot-dance

Hee, It's actually what I came here for too. I'm in my happy place. emot-biggrin

Giovanna wrote:

What Dios is at this point has always given me a headache because there are so, SO many explanations. My inner shrink thinks he's more or less a projection of Akio's thoughts. This comes largely from episode 13, where Akio seems to be talking to himself, pretending Dios hears him. That's not supported well by Dios' presence here, it becomes more likely to be a projection of Utena's. She's near death, and don't we all in that position want to imagine someone comforting us? She attempts to provide herself that and is then disgusted, punching down, deciding she's not going to take the easy way out. You could even argue it's Anthy manipulating Utena to this end, though I doubt it since Anthy's now decided this isn't going to happen. If Dios is a conscious entity, or a force of some kind, or whatever you want to call not being a figment of Akio's or someone else's imagination, then you have to wonder whether he meant to actually comfort Utena or he meant to talk her into fighting. You then have to question his motives; does he want Utena to save Anthy? Surely he knows what will happen to Utena at that point, which goes against, I think, his compulsion to save people. Also, the way he does so is strangely manipulative for Dios, one wonders if he's learned a few tricks watching Akio. Or does he really mean to calm her?

Christ, this is another thing that breaks my brain. I think it all boils down to what you perceive Akio and Dios as being -- two seperate halves of the same person, two distinct personalities of the same person, or the amplified projections of certain qualities of a single individual. I tend to lend towards the last, in thinking that Akio is what he is because the tempering qualities of Dios are no longer present (this being the "noble spirit" that Anthy took from him in order to stop him from killing himself in the vain pursuit to save all the princesses of the world). The continued presence of Dios within the castle means to me that it is BECAUSE of Akio that Dios is able to exist...because the castle is a projection and it is Akio's projector. Akio's real influence over Dios is debatable, as they seem to ignore each other at will, but...[pauses] AW CRAP I CAN'T HOLD THE THREADS OF THIS TOGETHER IT'S BEEN TOO LONG. [headdesk] But, er, if what is left of Dios behaves in some ways like Akio, I think it makes sense if one just thinks they are the same individual, just with bits of his original personality somewhat lacking. I mean, Akio can be "noble" when he wants to be, I should think (although it all degenerates into manipulation in the end), and it stands to reason that Dios was always capable of behaving like Akio when he felt the need to do so, hence his blatant manipulation into making Utena stand up again. Of course this all hinges on the assumption that the REAL Dios was no angel anyway. Which sits well with me because if Anthy's actions the day she took Dios "away" prove anything, it's how human she was. You'd think Dios was the same.

And if I had any access to my tapes right now, I'd go into a really long diatribe about Dios's age. All throughout the series he moves from being portrayed as very young, to mid-adolescence, to close to Akio's own age. Sometimes within the same scene. emot-frown It confuses the hell out of me, I must admit, and I have never sat down to really look at when and why this happens. A blanket reason of course goes straight to the heart of the series in that it is all about growing up and changing your world view, as the world itself is not so easily manipulated (Akio only does this so well because he MADE his world; you get this echoed in the fact that each of the seitokai members create their own little illusionary worlds where such-and-such is true even though it's not and can exist only within the manipulated boundaries of that creation). Dios's age changes with how he behaves and what he says, and it is interesting that when he lets Utena loose on her mission with a ring and a kiss after we have discovered what the hell Anthy's eternity is, he is an adult. About the only "noble" adult we ever see in the series (aside from Tokiko, although that could be debated based on what the hell happens between her and Akio after the shutters between the outside world and Akio's world come down). Usually adulthood is associated with a form of cruelty or manipulation or plain stupidity, but there a grown-up Dios is a prince who knows when to let go...or perhaps knows the value of a child's noble heart. Which could be construed as being a little creepy. Oh, crap, I've lost it again.

Giovanna wrote:

She does use the trick later, though it ends up looking different. Anthy blesses her sword during her last duel with Touga, before she starts chopping all the Akio cars in half. (Wow if you read that sentence and knew nothing about SKU you'd think it was a pretty weird show, huh?) Color me surprised she uses it during a duel with Touga. Also, it ends up looking a little less uh...like blowing someone. But it's blessing the sword all the same.

Oh crap, you're right -- I forgot, because Utena's use of the projected power of the sword was practical, and Touga's...[cough] Like you say. A mighty wind. [coughcoughcough] But Anthy does actually bless the sword a lot during the series; Utena only seems to use it beyond its practical capabilities as a sword just the once. Because although I have been told a Japanese katana, made properly, could genuinely slice a man in half down the saggital plane, the sword of Dios ain't likely to eat metal. Unless it's a ginzu blade. [has totally wandered off into the pointless analysis world here]

Giovanna wrote:

Akio's deluded but not a total idiot. I think his failing to open the gate is very much intentional. He wants the power of Dios, yes yes, but he knows very well what will happen when that gate is opened. It's not in his best interests. (Or so he thinks he knows. I think Akio assumes the swords would come after him if they lose Anthy as a target; it's fear in his voice when he tells Utena to stop, not anger that she's going to get something he wanted.)

I wonder if it's dependent on the MANNER of the opening of the coffin. Akio was doing it by force with a sword; maybe he imagined the swords would construe it as a punishment and still be drawn to Anthy over him? And Utena opening it because she wanted to save Anthy would be some kind of act of forgiveness, in which case the swords would be drawn away from Anthy to herself? I do agree that it is fear in his voice more than anything else, though; my poor little bruised heart in a lot of ways likes to think he is worried about his sister and exactly what would happen if the coffin!Anthy had to meet the swords, but he could easily enough be worried about his own hide (even if he likely doesn't count as a noble prince anymore, he still WAS one).

Giovanna wrote:

This here is very very interesting and I've never thought of it that way. I must chew on this, then spit it back up and chew on it some more. It definitely sounds, if not like why the relationship continued, a definite possibility for how it got started. (I maintain that it's 99% a powerplay during the series.)

I do agree with you on the powerplay thing -- it is a very important aspect of their relationship, and I think it would be silly of anyone to deny it. But...yeah. There's a really creepy shot in...I think perhaps the episode where Nanami walks in on them, or perhaps it is Utena...I think it's Utena. When Anthy rises up and we see her from behind, her hair is really odd. It looks like a cross between her own hair style and Akio's. The combination is weird, and while it can be taken as a metaphor for sex, I always thought of it as being a visual clue to the brother and sister being too entwined with each other on every level...too joined to each other to let go.

Giovanna wrote:

All this talk about the sword breaking and the timing and such leads me to wonder a bit more about the significance of Anthy stabbing Utena with the sword Akio fought with. In the back, but she's forcing a soul sword into Utena. Whether it's Anthy's sword, Dios/Akio's, or one of the swords of hate changes the meaning, but I'm just throwing out there that with such an emphasis on the sword as a soul, it seems like something should be said as to Utena being speared on one.

I guess it all depends on exactly what the swords are. I lean too heavily on the "soul sword" term out of familiarity and ease; I can't recall if they were ever in canon referred to as anything of the sort. They may just be, as Yasha said above, a physical manifestation of the defining characteristics and motives of the sheath of said sword (and as these only become clearer to each character as the series progresses, this is why they weren't around from the beginning). The fact that Anthy uses a sword is telling anyway; Akio says swords don't suit girls in dresses, and Anthy uses it exactly as you would expect a femme fatale to -- she stabs her in the back. Perhaps this is an analogy as to how Akio feels himself about what his sister did to him? I also think that Utena being skewered on a dark version of a noble prince's sword is symbolic is that it shows her once again that larking about saving the world and all its princesses is not all light and lovely, like a Disney flick -- it can be dark, ugly and cruel. Hence Utena-shish-kebab on the symbol of what was once pure and noble, ouch.


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

Beyond The Silver Leaves

Offline

 

#17 | Back to Top10-22-2006 05:26:48 AM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6020
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Clarice wrote:

A WHOLE BUNCH OF STUFF

I'm too broken for a real reply right now. Let me just say:

etc-wankgirletc-wankgirletc-wankgirletc-wankgirletc-wankgirletc-wankgirletc-wankgirletc-wankgirletc-wankgirl

MARRY ME.


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#18 | Back to Top10-22-2006 10:13:34 AM

Ivy-chan
Unfulfilled Juror
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 232

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

I'd like to pick up that thread of Dios' fluid age, because that has always interested me. He was shown to be about mid-adolescent when he was walking to Utena in the coffin, and continued that way when he led her to the dais where Anthy was hanging in the midst of the swords. Then, when he started talking about her as the Witch and himself as End of the World, he looked very young. I can't decide, in that scene, if it's actually Dios speaking to Utena or Akio speaking for Dios. I agree with the idea of him being some kind of poltergeist, a projection of the combined thoughts and memories of both Anthy and Akio. He seems to be able to act independently, or at least his actions would be echoes of subconscious will rather than the conscious will of Anthy or Akio.

Anthy seems to have more control over him, at least to an extent. This is most likely because she has Dios' power inside of her, which makes me wonder exactly what she took from Akio to make him, well, Akio. Originally, I thought it could have been his power, (I attributed most of the magical hocus pocus occuring in Ohtori to Anthy, while Akio must fall back on his planetarium projector.) but perhaps she also took a part of his personality: his nobility, the drive and desire to save people.  That fragment of Dios could very well be chained there because he exists in Anthy, and not because of the effects of the projector. He's then existing as a frozen shade of what Akio used to be, with some personality of his own, maybe even some of Dios' memories, trapped to see what the rest of his self is becoming. I don't think of him as being as sentient as a regular human being, but instead being a force of will that follows a certain code of behavior. So, while some of his actions: such as helping Utena in the first match against Saionji which would inevitably lead to her being caught in the duels, and continuing to aid her during them, actually helping Akio's plan, have darker consequences, I'm not sure if 'Dios' would think of them beyond knee-jerk response to Utena's princeliness.

I really must rewatch this to fine-tune the hypothesis, though.


If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
-Isaac Newton

Offline

 

#19 | Back to Top10-22-2006 05:56:35 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Ivy-chan wrote:

I'd like to pick up that thread of Dios' fluid age, because that has always interested me. He was shown to be about mid-adolescent when he was walking to Utena in the coffin, and continued that way when he led her to the dais where Anthy was hanging in the midst of the swords. Then, when he started talking about her as the Witch and himself as End of the World, he looked very young. I can't decide, in that scene, if it's actually Dios speaking to Utena or Akio speaking for Dios. I agree with the idea of him being some kind of poltergeist, a projection of the combined thoughts and memories of both Anthy and Akio. He seems to be able to act independently, or at least his actions would be echoes of subconscious will rather than the conscious will of Anthy or Akio.

I am going to have to think quite seriously about this myself, because I have always meant to write an essay on the dynamics of Dios, Anthy and Akio -- and that fluidity of age and form of Dios is very integral to his character, I think. I unfortunately don't have a lot else to say at this point, but once I rewatch some things and make some notes I should have something to say. I just stand but what I was saying earlier -- it is all down to the idea of the show that adults are unreliable and children/adolescents have more power and perception, even if it takes them a bit of maturation to use it...which is of course ironic in the extreme. emot-keke I can't remember if Dios really changes ages again in short spaces, although I am having weird flashbacks to the carousel scene so I will have to go and look at that again.

Ivy-chan" wrote:

Anthy seems to have more control over him, at least to an extent. This is most likely because she has Dios' power inside of her, which makes me wonder exactly what she took from Akio to make him, well, Akio. Originally, I thought it could have been his power, (I attributed most of the magical hocus pocus occuring in Ohtori to Anthy, while Akio must fall back on his planetarium projector.) but perhaps she also took a part of his personality: his nobility, the drive and desire to save people.  That fragment of Dios could very well be chained there because he exists in Anthy, and not because of the effects of the projector. He's then existing as a frozen shade of what Akio used to be, with some personality of his own, maybe even some of Dios' memories, trapped to see what the rest of his self is becoming. I don't think of him as being as sentient as a regular human being, but instead being a force of will that follows a certain code of behavior. So, while some of his actions: such as helping Utena in the first match against Saionji which would inevitably lead to her being caught in the duels, and continuing to aid her during them, actually helping Akio's plan, have darker consequences, I'm not sure if 'Dios' would think of them beyond knee-jerk response to Utena's princeliness.

Because I've only ever had vague and ephermal thoughts about what Anthy, Akio and Dios actually are, I am struggling with putting them into words too! (I was always a little Mikage fangirl, back in the day. Huh.) What did Anthy take from Dios? His drive to save the world, which in the Utena-verse is equated with nobility. This left a man who grew into what Akio is, I think -- a strong character without the tempering force of his kinder nature. In that respect I believe Akio and Dios are the same person with the single body, but Anthy holds within herself her brother's noble spirit...the "earnestness" that can change the world, I think is what Akio called it at some stage. But then maybe it's not quite that, because Akio bemoaned the same quality in Utena as she tried to force the rose gate with her bare hands. Dammit, I need to watch the last episode again, and I only watched it four hours ago. Argh.

I agree with you on the "force of will" bit -- Dios largely seems to be a presence activated by some great emotional outburst of another character...mostly Utena. Although I have now confused myself thoroughly and will slink off to rewatch a few eps before trying to make any further conclusions. Dammit. [headdesk]


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

Beyond The Silver Leaves

Offline

 

#20 | Back to Top10-22-2006 05:59:32 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Yasha wrote:

Just a quickie, I don't have the brain power to write another long post like that with the tv on and people talking in here...

BUT CHECK THIS OUT:

Rose seal rings turn black when the duellist who owns them dies.

The Sword of Dios turns black at the end.

Anyone else seeing a connection???? emot-danceemot-danceemot-dance

Argh, I keep meaning to respond to this and then never getting to it. I blame the unexpected marriage proposal. But then, at least you didn't try to slip a ring on my finger after showing me your sister hung up on the wall like she was in Saw III or something, so...there's always that. etc-love

I find the idea of the black sword being related to the black rings interesting, although it's one of the connections which I think breaks down after looking at it for too long. I think the black hue of the sword is because it's supposed to be the "dark" side of Dios, i.e. Akio. But then you could turn around and say that it's black because Dios is more or less dead thanks to his sister, and...yeah, well, they do say chivalry is dead, don't they?


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

Beyond The Silver Leaves

Offline

 

#21 | Back to Top10-22-2006 06:43:17 PM

Ivy-chan
Unfulfilled Juror
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 232

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

About the idea of the blackened Sword of Dios, along with it being a symbol of the death of the prince and everything that comes with the concept, it could have turned black in his hands when he touched it to draw it forth. Akio laying hands on the sword made it tarnish into black because of the contact with his corruption, which could also be seen as him being the corrupting influence on Utena's nobility and innocence.


If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
-Isaac Newton

Offline

 

#22 | Back to Top10-22-2006 06:48:39 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6020
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

It could really go either way, I guess it depends on how firm you think the little 'rituals' of the Ohtori-verse are. Are they static, or are they fluid?


Hat Mafia Member: Ratchedface
Je vais mourir pour l ' a e s t h e t i q u e
Internet Atrocity Tourist             -           MY POSTS             ARE WARSHIPS

Offline

 

#23 | Back to Top10-22-2006 08:57:49 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Great discussion, thought I'd throw out some thoughts.

Utena gets Anthy to "bless the sword" twice. Episode 15 against Kozue is the first time, interesting that it's the FIRST time she's fought a "soul sword" (Miki's in this case) since Kanae didn't have one. Then the only other time is the LAST time she fights a soul sword (Touga's).

This discussion has also touched on the act that gets the most reaction from anyone I watch the show with, which is Anthy stabbing Utena. For several friends of mine, that ruined Anthy's character for them because they saw it as betrayal. But I see it as Anthy, seeing that Utena is actually winning her final duel against Akio, sees the possibility that Utena might win and, in order to save Utena from taking the swords in her place, Anthy stabs Utena with a debilitating but non-fatal stabbing (Dios says he will heal her wounds "later") designed to take Utena out of the fight. And telling Utena that she can't be her prince "because your a girl" is just fuel on the fire to break her spiritually as well as physically. Anthy doesn't want Utena to get up. And perhaps she just can't believe enough in Utena even at that point to be convinced that this time will turn out differently.

I love the part when Dios shames Utena into getting up, telling her basically that it's okay if she lays there and fails, an idea that would be completely unacceptable to her. We have seen Utena get herself down to rock bottom before, so we know once she hits bottom, she'll rally and she does. After Utena's tear falls and the coffin appears, Dios' work is done and he gets on his "horse" and rides away. I see Dios as the vestige inner child "ghost" of his good self, wandering and hoping to find someone who can complete his final mission to save the last girl who needed to be saved, Anthy. I see him as operating separately from Anthy and Akio.

That's the storyline reason but symbolically as for why Anthy, after all this time, picks up a sword to stab Utena, well, in horror movies throughout movie history, stabbing or shooting someone has always symbolized penetration. Swords are about as phallic as you can get (other than Akio's tower!). Anthy stabbing Utena, make of that what you will. Sorry, I'm kind of a film studies buff...

I also think that in Episodes 36 and 37, Anthy is also desperately, in her passive-aggressive way, trying to change the end of the game through various means, but that's a whole other topic thread.

Offline

 

#24 | Back to Top10-22-2006 10:53:54 PM

Ger
Rose Smilee
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 139
Website

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Dani wrote:

This discussion has also touched on the act that gets the most reaction from anyone I watch the show with, which is Anthy stabbing Utena. For several friends of mine, that ruined Anthy's character for them because they saw it as betrayal.

iiiinteresting. Now I'm wondering about the fact that they're taking that "betrayal" viewpoint? After all, none of us here actually view Anthy as the embodiment of goodness and light - but we've also seen the series several billion times. I don't quite remember my reaction when I watched Utena for the first time and saw Anthy's stabbing of Utena.

I'm so conditioned now to watching the series for little quirks of Anthy's manipulations of people around her that I can't help myself. I am thinking now about the first-time viewer's reaction to 1. Anthy stabbing Utena and 2. the million swords. I believe that actually seeing the swords around the coffin might possibly be the first time that a lot of people realize how strongly this sword thing is tied to Anthy's fate, and try to work backwards from there?

Offline

 

#25 | Back to Top10-23-2006 12:51:22 AM

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

Re: Utena's got a damn big sword

Clarice wrote:

Ah, now I've really confused myself here...and reminded me of something else I had meant to mention before, in that I always viewed Anthy and Akio's sexual relationship as having a lot to do with the fact Anthy held a piece of her brother within herself -- and for once, the dirty dirty double entendre is not intended. I usually tend to think of it as being Akio trying to "commune" with what her sister holds inside herself and away from him. That's not the only reason I see -- the other is that Akio sees himself as "giving her what she wanted" by being her "prince" in the way he could not have been to his sister as Dios, and this action is echoed in Touga's attempt to mack on his own sister because he thinks she wanted THAT -- but it's an interesting one.

Akio and Anthy's relationship is so hard for me to grasp, but I like that idea a lot. I can never tell if it's Akio or Anthy that values the weekly "meetings" more, but I think it's Akio. He always said things like "Did you miss me?" And I remember when he was talking about the stars and how you can't own them, and Anthy was just getting dressed and said goodbye, and then he said "Do you mock me again?" *shudders* That scene was creepy.

..but the way Akio was talking about how you can't own stars.. it makes me wonder if he was referring to something else. Like how you can't own a prince? Bitter, maybe? I can't even begin to figure out those two's relationship. >_>

Clarice wrote:

I think it says more about Juri's character than Utena's, in the end -- and I don't believe the sword was Juri's soul sword as such, either. I always assumed it was pointing out that Juri was above the general attitude of the student council that possession of Anthy was a good thing. Juri never wanted Anthy as such, and I believe by giving Utena her sword she was proving a point. She might not have agreed entirely with whatever Utena's own motives were, but she knew for certain they were a hell of a lot less sinister than Touga's.

As for the breaking of the sword...I think it actually is vague foreshadowing of the loss of Dios's sword in ep. 23 (or is it 25?), and then again for the breaking of Utena's own sword in the last episode. Utena doesn't need the sword to win. She needs faith in herself and in her ability to rescue Anthy to do so. That is all. Of course the tragic irony of it being that at the end she doesn't seem to realise that she has done so, or that to be saved Anthy actually needed to first save herself. Ah, we love this screwed up world so much...although I still wish we could have seen Utena abashedly trying to explain to Juri just what the fuck happened to her sword. emot-wink

Definitely a physical sword, yeah.. this was before the soul-swords popped up too. (Well, except the Sword of Dios.) And good point there. there have been a lot of times where Utena breaks her sword but still wins because of sheer determination. emot-keke (And with Wakaba's duel, she didn't even use a sword.)

I would have liked to see that scene, though. XD

Yasha wrote:

Just a quickie, I don't have the brain power to write another long post like that with the tv on and people talking in here...

BUT CHECK THIS OUT:

Rose seal rings turn black when the duellist who owns them dies.

The Sword of Dios turns black at the end.

Anyone else seeing a connection???? emot-danceemot-danceemot-dance

.. ;_; I'm reminded of the Dios on the globe, which seemed more like a statue. (Wasn't it a statue later?) It would be interesting if that globe with the "Dios" on it was more like a..grave.

Giovanna wrote:

Not quite. The sequence is Dios yaps -> Utena's fist hits the floor and she gets up -> Commercial break -> Akio breaks sword; looks unconcerned -> Utena walks to gate and starts trying to open it -> Akio yaps at Dios (who looks as unconcerned as he does, although I suspect for a very different reason) -> Utena yells at Akio to shut up -> Dios walks away -> Utena's tear opens the gate -> Akio's day goes very very bad.

Thanks for listing the order of events, I was getting confused. Interesting that Utena's sword breaks after Utena slams her fist down..

On Dios, there are so many possibilities. At this point, is he part of Akio, Utena, or Anthy? I find it interesting that all three of those characters have a really strong connection with Dios. Maybe everyone has a little bit of Dios in them? (Gods, that sounds bad.)

But yeah, lots of possibilities. Is Dios trying to persaude Utena to stay down, or persuade her to get up by using reverse psychology? It also depends a lot on if it's Dios by himself, or if he's part of one of them too..

The Sword of Dios is sealed in Anthy, though, but every time Utena used the Sword of Dios in a duel he went "within" her, and it seems like he didn't do that for anyone else. I'm leaning on that it's part of Anthy, though. After all, she used pretty much the same strategy that Dios did. After she stabbed Utena in the back, she said Utena couldn't be her prince because she was a girl. Dios said pretty much the same thing. As pointed out by one of you, Anthy might have stabbed Utena in the back to protect her. Perhaps Dios was doing the same thing...

Anthy does treat herself like a matyr, too. She takes all of the swords willingly. She saved Dios when she was little.. so why not Utena too? Then again, Dios seemed pretty indifferent when Utena got up..

Giovanna wrote:

She does use the trick later, though it ends up looking different. Anthy blesses her sword during her last duel with Touga, before she starts chopping all the Akio cars in half. (Wow if you read that sentence and knew nothing about SKU you'd think it was a pretty weird show, huh?) Color me surprised she uses it during a duel with Touga. Also, it ends up looking a little less uh...like blowing someone. But it's blessing the sword all the same.

Oh, that's right! Thank you. Yeah, I think I got confused because.. ahem, it looked different. Glad I wasn't the only one that thought it looked like that when Touga had Anthy do it. Then again, it is SKU.

Ivy-chan wrote:

Anthy seems to have more control over him, at least to an extent. This is most likely because she has Dios' power inside of her, which makes me wonder exactly what she took from Akio to make him, well, Akio. Originally, I thought it could have been his power, (I attributed most of the magical hocus pocus occuring in Ohtori to Anthy, while Akio must fall back on his planetarium projector.) but perhaps she also took a part of his personality: his nobility, the drive and desire to save people.  That fragment of Dios could very well be chained there because he exists in Anthy, and not because of the effects of the projector. He's then existing as a frozen shade of what Akio used to be, with some personality of his own, maybe even some of Dios' memories, trapped to see what the rest of his self is becoming. I don't think of him as being as sentient as a regular human being, but instead being a force of will that follows a certain code of behavior. So, while some of his actions: such as helping Utena in the first match against Saionji which would inevitably lead to her being caught in the duels, and continuing to aid her during them, actually helping Akio's plan, have darker consequences, I'm not sure if 'Dios' would think of them beyond knee-jerk response to Utena's princeliness.

I agree that Anthy seems to have more control over Dios.. because like you said, his sword is within her. It has to have some kind of influence. (For example, once Anthy's coffin was open and it was all over and she left Ohtori, she was being much less passive and more assertive and noble, wanting to go out and find Utena.) I wonder if Dios does things that Anthy doesn't control consciously. Anthy wants Utena to win the duels, she doesn't want an abusive Saionji or Touga to say she can only tend to the roses. We see her do a lot of things to make Utena win, such as distracting Miki, and we see the power of Dios do a lot of things to make Utena win, such as going after Juri's locket.

Which brings me back to the original topic about Saionji's last duel.. maybe it was something Anthy unconsciously wanted, so it happened? I'm not sure why she wouldn't want Utena to use the Sword of Dios and want Utena to use her own sword, though.

Maybe the unconscious wanting thing is also why Dios treated Utena the way he did when she was down, as it was similar to what Anthy did in a way.

Last edited by SleepDebtFairy (10-23-2006 12:53:35 AM)


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

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/Tushen/cupcake_mini2.gif

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB 1.2.23
© Copyright 2002–2008 PunBB
Forum styled and maintained by Giovanna and Yasha
Return to Empty Movement