This is a static copy of In the Rose Garden, which existed as the center of the western Utena fandom for years. Enjoy. :)

#1 | Back to Top01-18-2016 09:23:12 AM

Anthy Assailer
From: Barcelona [former epi]
Registered: 01-12-2016
Posts: 70

Touga, Nanami, the cat & the father

I'm rewatching Utena after a decade since I first watched it, for academic purposes. Maybe I'm late to the analysis party, maybe I'm saying things that have already been said. But here's something I didn't see before.

In Nanami's flashback we are meant to place the emphasis that Nanami remembers, which is between her and her brother. But I noticed that Touga reacts just after his father tries to take the cat away from Nanami, and after his intervention, we can see his shadow slowly moving away from her.

Considering movie!Touga's past is the same in the show, if we were to see this same memory from Touga's perspective, do you think the emphasis would be between Touga and his father rather than the relationship among the siblings?



#2 | Back to Top01-20-2016 02:16:30 PM

Miki Molester
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: 04-14-2012
Posts: 34

Re: Touga, Nanami, the cat & the father

I think you're onto something here.  Nanami would obviously see it as Touga coming to her rescue, but Touga may see it completely differently.  I wish we could see this instead.

What's the point? Art is so useless. It's such a waste of time!
And it's not like anyone else ever wastes time. It's not like you spend hours in front of the television or the computer accomplishing absolutely nothing.
Oh wait.



#3 | Back to Top01-20-2016 05:28:59 PM

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

Re: Touga, Nanami, the cat & the father

If we take movie!Touga's traumatic background and apply it to that particular sequence then you cannot help but wonder if Touga was reading some abuse into the story. And not pertaining to the cat at all but concerning Nanami. That first screenshot, with the faceless shadow figure holding Nanami does not in itself hint at pedophilia but if Touga was a victim of sexual assault at a young age and by the same person then it is very likely that he would view things in such a light.
And if so it gives a whole different meaning as to what the 'rescue' really was all about.



#4 | Back to Top01-20-2016 07:12:10 PM

Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 10-18-2015
Posts: 67

Re: Touga, Nanami, the cat & the father

(( pesimistamente,

Oddly... one of the things that felt that scene was trying to show was another unreliable witness-narrative.

Nanami remembers her brother doing something heroic and nobel for her.  But... we're never quite shown if that is what is correct or not.  If that makes sense. ))



#5 | Back to Top01-21-2016 02:49:07 AM

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

Re: Touga, Nanami, the cat & the father

Yeah, it's almost suspect as a sequence. He intervenes on her behalf but he has a rather smirky little expression, like he enjoys the situation. Maybe he gets a thrill also out of overriding his father in a setting where he'd look especially douchey pressing the issue.

If we go with his father as sexually abusive, which I certainly do, it also throws several meanings on the sequence. One, like I said above, because it's public, his birthday, etc, this was a rare chance for Touga to rebel in a way no one would be justified in faulting him for.

It also involves him stopping his father from doing something to Nanami, and might therefore mirror one of the things about his being abused by his father. There is a perverse, sadly adult way about Touga's idea of protection, and he strikes me as someone that would choose to draw his father's attention, sexual or anger or whatever else, as a way to protect Nanami.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if this sequence/story in some way is telling us that Nanami is aware of that. She's chosen the kitty story to pin it on, because I think she was probably far too young to really grasp exactly what was happening. But somewhere, on some level, she knows her brother has protected her in some vital way. That kind of attachment, that she has, to a sibling, is not a given. There's a reason and a connection there that's a lot deeper than 'he liked my dirty kitten that made dad mad.'

Really if you didn't know the context, that set of pictures looks a lot more like he's stopping someone from sexually assaulting her. If your miserable brat kid had done that and you were angry, would you approach from behind and around? No, you'd probably pull back their shoulder to grab the box or something. It's just very suspect.

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



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