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

#26 | Back to Top04-02-2007 10:40:11 AM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

I'm sorry if I stated it in a confusing manner.  That is basically what I was saying about Shiori being cruelly innocent. 

Shiori's ignorance of Juri's true feelings are not the only cause of Juri's pain, but in her ignorance, she takes actions that hurt Juri in ways Shiori doesn't conceive of, for reasons Shiori doesn't imagine.  The real cause is the unrequited nature of Juri's feelings and Juri's own insistence on brooding.

Nor was I implying that hurting Juri was the ONLY reason Shiori goes after these boys.  Nor is it even a major reason, though it may have been a little bit of Shiori's original impetus.  As I said, she is seeking a sense of self-worth, and making herself more miserable.  But she says to herself--see Episode 17--that she hates Juri.  She expresses a desire to hurt Juri, which is what I said.  I did not say that it was her actual desire or motive to hurt Juri.  I don't believe that's the case.  She travels from hostility to self-loathing to attempting to pity and feel superior to Juri.  None of these work because none of them are her true feelings for Juri.

I hope I didn't imply that Shiori thought Juri was in love with Ruka or vice versa.  That wouldn't make any sense.  I simply meant that Shiori was displaying a neurotic, compulsive need to come between Juri and anyone else.  I don't think Shiori changed at all from one boy to the next--and if she was seeking Ruka as a replacement for Juri, that would at least be a different tactic.

In a sense, I am saying she is similar to Nanami's character in several respects.

Furthermore, I have already read your excellent analysis of Episode 29.  And that is why I think Shiori is expressing her innermost self here.  In the sense that Shiori's innermost self is a chaos of longing, jealousy/fear, and self-hatred.  It would perhaps be better for me to say "pure Shiori" or "one of the best expressions of Shiori's character."  Your statements regarding her body language support my point and do not contradict it.  It is everywhere in that scene: She is only opening the door a little, she obscuring herself (behind the door) from Juri, and she is lashing out defensively from the darkness of the solitary room behind her.

When Shiori goes "deeper", she goes from "I hate Juri" to "I'm afraid Juri is only friends with me out of pity. I am pathetic" and then basically freaks out.  Her own feelings that she is pathetic, her own fear of Juri--that's about as far as Shiori has gotten a grip with her own emotions.  And I don't think any of her actions until "Revolution" are motivated by any other feelings--which is what I mean by "lack of progress."

Last edited by rhyaniwyn (04-02-2007 10:46:14 AM)


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#27 | Back to Top04-02-2007 11:18:02 AM

Razara
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From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

Sorry. I guess that I misconstrued that it was that you were trying to say. emot-gonk

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#28 | Back to Top04-02-2007 12:48:08 PM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

Oh, I go on and on.  And then throw in asides.  Sometimes I go back and read my posts and I'm not sure what I was trying to say. -_-;

You are probably the preeminent Shiori theologian here and your reading your recent posts on the subject has guided my viewpoints of Shiori.  So I don't want you to misunderstand my opinions because I write in such muddled manner.  emot-biggrin


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#29 | Back to Top04-03-2007 06:49:22 AM

Tamago
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

EPISODE 17: "THORNS OF DEATH" wrote:

Mikage: Deeper. Go deeper.
Shiori: That's not it.  Juri-san was so kind to me. But I thought she was kind to me because she looked down on me and that she had pity on me for being plain and useless.


Clearly Shiori has felt that the friendship that Juri offered her was some form of charitable act designed to make Juri feel better about herself at the cost to Shiori's fragile ego.

Shiori: That's pathetic! So I wanted to change my relationship with Juri-san. But what I did with him made me more miserable than before. I should have wanted it for myself!

She hates that the motive she had for going out with this guy was based around trying to get one over Juri when she could have enjoyed going out with him for her own personal sake, moreso now she knows why it failed to affect Juri the way she hoped.

Shiori: But now...
Shiori: Now I'm on equal terms with her. No, I've won!
Shiori: I always had a place in Juri-san's heart.
Shiori: I'm the winner!
Shiori: What shall I do? I'm so delighted to know my friend's secret I almost can't bear it!
Shiori: She suffered alone, looking at my picture in secret...
Shiori: That was Juri-san? Poor thing!


Finding out that Juri was secretly in love with her gave her a giddy sense of superiority over Juri that she has desired for so very long and as she tastes the sweet euphoria of lording it over Juri and perhaps even to outshine Juri at long last...

Shiori: No good! It's still no good!
Shiori: How could you look at me like that?!
Shiori: Why did it all turn out this way?


...but as she thought about how good she thought that she would feel about having Juri being in love with her for so long, the unsettling aspect that Juri has been looking at her the way you would normally look at a boy you like, begins to make her feel ikky (maybe due to a form of homomiseha) and the sweet taste of euphoria quickly turns sour in her stomach.

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#30 | Back to Top04-03-2007 01:49:56 PM

Razara
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From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
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Posts: 4694

Re: Shiori loves Juri

The only part that I continue to wonder about is the last few lines of Shiori's elevator scene. Though it does seem very likely that her reaction could be due to homophobic shock, what makes me think otherwise is that this was the final line in her elevator scene. What she says last is what causes the chrysalis to revert back to an egg.

The other Black Rose Duelists say things that put them other the egg last, such as Kanae, who says, "I've tried so hard to like her! But it's no use! No matter what I try... No matter what I do... IT'S NO USE!" Or Kozue, "But Miki's heart is drifting further and further towards that girl... Further and further from me."

Juri's sexual preference doesn't put Shiori below her, so it seems unlikely that the idea of Juri thinking of her that way would put her over the edge. "It's no use! It's just no use!" This line in particular seems to imply that she's thinking something along the lines of that even though Juri has been thinking of her all this time, she's still not Juri's equal, making her attempt to surpass her seem useless. When she says, "Why do you look at me like that?! Why?!" She's looking down on her locket, which has been casted aside into a corner. More importantly, why has Juri felt about her all this time, but rather than telling her, she just kept her secret locked away inside of that locket, and never told her. Why did she never tell her? Was she ashamed of her feelings for someone as pathetic as herself? If so, she hadn't really won at all.

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#31 | Back to Top04-03-2007 02:05:26 PM

Personal_IceQueen
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Registered: 11-27-2006
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

Shiori has always struck me as wanting,striving to be worth "something" or "special." These types of girl, as some of us have experienced will go out of their flippin' way to take what is not theirs. Call it the "backstabbing-slut-bitch" gene. Not because they want it, as the first quote insinuates. Shiori's obssession with being worth something has obstructed her behavior so much that she is willing to do anything to have what it is that makes someone to other people, special. When she finds out that Juri has an interest in her, it does feed into her competitive streak, as Juri has always been as other people view her "special" or someone worth a damn. In Shiori's case, someone like Juri liking her is one of the best self-esteem, self-confidence validations to be considered. But, in any case, when she comes to consciously think about it, there is a sense of pity on Shiori's part, because of her behavior, one has to wonder, how far in the back of Shiori's mind does she think, that even she is not worth Juri's attention and adoration?

Last edited by Personal_IceQueen (04-03-2007 02:10:21 PM)


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#32 | Back to Top04-04-2007 08:06:46 AM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

I also think those last 3 lines are important.  But, as I hopefully expressed above, I don't view her "Poor Juri" line as genuine pity, nor her exclamation, "It's no good!" as being made out homophobia/fear/disgust.  I used to, but the dialouge seemed to be a little disconnected; this new concept connects everything for me.

I really view her as being a person with little to no self-esteem.  We pretty much all agree that she has built some resentment of Juri over the years because of that and the fact that Juri is pretty, smart, talented, well-liked etc.  Shiori just can't compete and living in Juri's shadow makes her feel worse about herself; particularly because she can't understand why someone like Juri would be friends with someone like herself--except out of pity.

(It's interesting that someone so paranoid, with so little self-confidence, never gives us any indication that she wonders if Juri stayed friends with her as a kind of mean trick; that if behind her back, Juri was deriding her.  Shiori doesn't seem to think that, though I think most people like her would entertain that notion--and I think that might be because Shiori truly thinks Juri is the next thing to being perfect--and no nice girl would do that sort of thing.)

Shiori first attempts to regain confidence and acquire a sense of control over her own life by treating Juri with, basically, hostility.  It's kind of a classic scenario--she wants to steal the boy from Juri to prove that she's as good as Juri.  She is seeing herself as a rival, who ends up winning.  But that was no good. 

Shiori isn't as thrilled with the prize as she should be, she didn't want it for herself, she just wanted it because she thought it belonged to Juri.  And Juri was her friend, so that realization and the justifiable guilt just made her feel worse.

When she finds out that Juri's locket holds her picture, she then tries to take another perspective on it--  Shiori held the position of "power" (sense of superiority) all along and Juri has been suffering over love for her (validation), the poor thing (pity).  But that's no good either.

Even as she is saying those words, Shiori finds they aren't helping and they aren't true.  She becomes disgusted with herself again, her feelings of self-loathing resurge; how in the world could Juri look at her as an equal, as someone to love?

And why did it all have to turn out like this?

Interpreting this the way I am, I'm starting to wonder...  If you ask why something has turned out the way it has, you usually have some mental image of a way you'd have preferred it to turn out.  What was the alternative Shiori had in mind? 

To me, remembering Shiori's own disdain for herself, which must be a heavy weight to carry around, I wonder if she isn't thinking:  If I weren't so pathetic, if I hadn't messed up our friendship...

I imagine Shiori would blame herself for the mess of their friendship if she were being "honest" (though the truth is that they are both to blame).  If she's not being "honest", she is pretending that she's tired of Juri acting superior--which is in reality also honest, because it's honestly how Shiori gets through the day.  (And because it's pretty much an involuntary reflex to respond to things that are unfair--like special people who seem to be blessed with every advantage and the best luck--with either despair or anger, and anger tends to make one a little less suicidal.  Better for self-preservation.)

So I have to wonder, after finding out about the locket, what's the "then" to Shiori's "if only"?  It makes a certain amount of sense to think that Shiori is in love with Juri, too--AND may be somewhat homophobic.  It's hard for some people to accept that they are gay or bisexual, particularly if they think the society around them and their loved ones are going to react badly to it.  Maybe that is one of the reasons Shiori dislikes herself so much.

I'm starting to think this because to me it seems like the strength of Shiori's reactions have to be in proportion to the strength of her feelings; and those would be some pretty strong feelings.

Because what else is so different now that Shiori knows Juri's feelings?  Keeping in mind that the recent situation between herself and Juri wasn't acceptable to Shiori--  Now that Shiori knows about the locket, what is the preferable scenario Shiori can now imagine that is sending her into paroxysms, asking "why is it like this" instead of...


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#33 | Back to Top04-04-2007 11:29:12 AM

Personal_IceQueen
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

I just don't think Shiori is homophobic.

But maybe the situation could have been like this:
If I were not so pathetic
If I wanted it for myself
then maybe, I could return the love to Juri


I think she has so much guilt associated with stealing the boy from Juri, that the guilt outrides most of her feelings. And as rhyaniwyn  said Juri is the next thing to "perfect", so if Shiori is "imperfect" then what could she bring to the relationship? Absolutely nothing. As we all come to see everything she tries to do just ends up, no good.

She may have been tired of Juri acting so superior, but on the same token, Shiori is is just being malcontent with continuing her inferiority albeit passive aggression.


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#34 | Back to Top04-04-2007 03:25:55 PM

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

Re: Shiori loves Juri

I can see Shiori as someone who may be struggling with her sexuality. If she's already thinking of herself in such low regards, then thinking of girls in a way that is considered to be, "wrong," could succeed in making her feel even worse about herself. An ironic situation would be if Shiori were wondering how Juri would react if she knew that she felt that way.

If Shiori really does see Ruka as a replacement for Juri, then perhaps part of the reason why she was so comfortable going with him was because not only could she relate him to Juri, but her feelings for him wouldn't be wrong. Ruka's a guy, so she wouldn't have any reason to feel ashamed or guilty by thinking of him that way.

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#35 | Back to Top04-04-2007 06:18:09 PM

Personal_IceQueen
Covert Diarist
Registered: 11-27-2006
Posts: 822
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

Razara wrote:

I can see Shiori as someone who may be struggling with her sexuality. If she's already thinking of herself in such low regards, then thinking of girls in a way that is considered to be, "wrong," could succeed in making her feel even worse about herself. An ironic situation would be if Shiori were wondering how Juri would react if she knew that she felt that way.

If Shiori really does see Ruka as a replacement for Juri, then perhaps part of the reason why she was so comfortable going with him was because not only could she relate him to Juri, but her feelings for him wouldn't be wrong. Ruka's a guy, so she wouldn't have any reason to feel ashamed or guilty by thinking of him that way.

so it's sort of like "why do I feel horrible about this? she's a girl, I'm not even supposed to be liking girls!"


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#36 | Back to Top06-02-2007 05:44:39 AM

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

Re: Shiori loves Juri

*Sexual orientation issues do not change things much.*
really? I think that homosexual relationships are more fragile and more complicated that straight. I can also see how it looks in my friends’ relationships.

*You could say Shiori has sub-consciously tried to hurt Juri then, but I think only those two times. The first time, she thought she really loved the nameless boy, but then later along the line she realized she only wanted to steal him from Juri to put them on equal ground.*

maybe she wanted to make her envious and advance her?

*If Shiori really does see Ruka as a replacement for Juri, then perhaps part of the reason why she was so comfortable going with him was because not only could she relate him to Juri, but her feelings for him wouldn't be wrong. Ruka's a guy, so she wouldn't have any reason to feel ashamed or guilty by thinking of him that way.*

It’s good explanation, I suppose. Maybe she escaped from her own feelings towards Juri into Ruka’s arms.

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#37 | Back to Top06-02-2007 05:53:18 AM

beautifulpanther
Qualified Duellist
From: Austria
Registered: 05-01-2007
Posts: 795
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

Maarika wrote:

Was it really Juri's sword? They never said anything about whose sword it was. :/

I'm not really sure about this. I need to do some screenshots, but at the fight of Juri and Ruka in the beginning we can see that ruka's hilt is gold-blue, while Juri's hilt is silver... O_o;

---

ok did some screenshots now:

http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h154/NicoRobin1985/swords.jpg

as you can see, Juri's hilt IS silver, while Ruka's is gold. Nonetheless he told her, that it isn't his sowrd. I doubt that he "stole" Juri's sowrd from the locker, she was the first in the fencing-room, so it belongs definitely to him.

I think that Ruka wanted to prove Shiori and leading her into a mean trap. He wanted to see her reaction when he hits her delicate and embarrassing point. Maybe he noticed with this action that both are bond together, but in his opinion it could be... "wrong"? no clue, if Ruka's homophobe.

But maybe he wanted to prove Shiori's honesty and if she's worth to be Juri's love, seeing the destructive power and trying to free his beloved Juri from mean mean Shiori... emot-confused

Last edited by beautifulpanther (06-02-2007 06:12:21 AM)


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#38 | Back to Top06-02-2007 11:36:15 AM

brian
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 589

Re: Shiori loves Juri

dlaire wrote:

brian wrote:

Sexual orientation issues do not change things much.

really? I think that homosexual relationships are more fragile and more complicated that straight. I can also see how it looks in my friendsí relationships.

That may be true in the real world but in the context of Utena it is useful to play a thought experiment. Imagine that Juri is male and both of them unambiguously heterosexual. It would still be a messy and tormented relationship.

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#39 | Back to Top06-02-2007 11:44:39 AM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

While it would still be messy, it would undoubtedly be less so than it is now. Brian, you are male I assume [Now, I don't know that you are straight, but we'll say you are for this, alright?]. Would it not be slightly less complicated if a female friend fell for you than a male? Not only would the same-sex relationship be taboo to many and not widely accepted by society, it can be rather terrifying, in that you will either have to deal with not being able to love them, or deal with the realization that you do love them. Finding that you are in love is rather shaking regardless of gender, but the added bomb of orientation being dropped on you would cause more stress.


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#40 | Back to Top06-02-2007 01:04:31 PM

brian
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 589

Re: Shiori loves Juri

You are absolutely right and that is undoubtedly a big part of why everyone likes anime Juri better than manga Juri.

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#41 | Back to Top06-03-2007 02:06:54 AM

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

Re: Shiori loves Juri

I didn't read manga, only first part. Should I? ;>

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#42 | Back to Top06-03-2007 12:55:22 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

If you want to understand some elements of the series better, then yes. If you are a big fan of Juri, Kozue, or Saionji, no. Or, Shiori/Nanami/Keiko/Mitsuru/Kanae, seeing how they remain nonexistent.


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#43 | Back to Top06-03-2007 10:47:08 PM

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

Re: Shiori loves Juri

I was discouraged when I saw scene where prince licked Utena's cheeks. -_-'

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#44 | Back to Top06-04-2007 12:45:37 PM

brian
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 589

Re: Shiori loves Juri

The two mangas are very good for understanding the psychology and metaphisics of Utena, Anthy, Akio, and Dios. Wakaba and Touga are also well-served in the mangas. The mangas both have beginnings, middles, and ends that are somewhat easier to understand than the anime and movie. They are both very worthwhile although I must admit that it is much more fun to watch anime Juri suffer than her manga counterpart.

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#45 | Back to Top07-15-2008 05:05:09 AM

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

Re: Shiori loves Juri

One random thought: I started to understand title 'cruelly innocent' completely different angle. For my taste, she's naive. Yes, she could think that homosexuals are far far away, so she might think that Juri can't be a lesbian. Maybe she hasn't developed her sexuality yet (full sexuality, I think that her relationship with Ruka was quite shallow and she slept with him to keep him with her)? I also think that she wasn't so ruthless with a purpose - jealous yes, but not full of hate.
I think she might felt betrayed after knowing that Juri is in love with her - she lost friend in some way.

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#46 | Back to Top07-15-2008 06:31:47 AM

Stormcrow
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From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

Certainly Shiori was clingy and needy toward Ruka, but there's no evidence that I can see against her just wanting to do him. People do want that from time to time you know. emot-wink

But the thought that she might not have fully discovered her sexuality yet is a fair one. After all, it's quite normal for women to be ambiguous about their sexuality throughout their teens, and even into their twenties. One of my psych friends called it "sexual plasticity" I think...or maybe it was elasticity?

Nevertheless, her own sexuality aside, I find Shiori's elevator scene to be a sign of her own homophobia. She might be upset about losing her friend as you say, but I don't see how that could account for the outright horror in her face.


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#47 | Back to Top07-15-2008 08:40:45 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2791

Re: Shiori loves Juri

It'd have to be elasticity, I'd think.  Plasticity would imply a rigid lock on some sexuality.

Alternately to your view, Stormcrow, I don't see anything but a functionality to Shiori/Ruka.  Maybe that's just the relationship leaving me cold, a bit, but between the self-loathing and outward homophobia, the Juri-baiting, it seems to make sense.

brian, I gotta say, though, while I don't agree that homosexual relationships are by nature more "fragile and more complicated that straight," I don't think the triangle would work the way it does if Juri was a guy, or Ruka a woman, even.  I don't find the series as abstracted as you appear to.  I do think gender comes into it, especially when you think about Shiori's more vicious moments as moments of comfort, of control and perhaps the only sort of knowing she's allowed to have, or capable of.  In any case, abandonment from person of Gender X to that same gender is often going to have a different effect than abandonment from Gender X to Gender Y, in both personal and social terms.  And this is a social case, inasmuch as there are very few private or kept secrets on that campus and the characters understand and expect that.

Shiori knows people talk.  Juri damn well knows it.  And you can see it in their actions.


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#48 | Back to Top07-15-2008 09:07:51 AM

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

Re: Shiori loves Juri

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:

brian, I gotta say, though, while I don't agree that homosexual relationships are by nature more "fragile and more complicated that straight," I don't think the triangle would work the way it does if Juri was a guy, or Ruka a woman, even.  I don't find the series as abstracted as you appear to.  I do think gender comes into it, especially when you think about Shiori's more vicious moments as moments of comfort, of control and perhaps the only sort of knowing she's allowed to have, or capable of.  In any case, abandonment from person of Gender X to that same gender is often going to have a different effect than abandonment from Gender X to Gender Y, in both personal and social terms.  And this is a social case, inasmuch as there are very few private or kept secrets on that campus and the characters understand and expect that.

Shiori knows people talk.  Juri damn well knows it.  And you can see it in their actions.

I said that before, not brian emot-smile I think that triangle isn't good idea no matters who is involved, but well, what I've said sounds really awkard. emot-redface I just wanted to say that Juri didn't confess her love before Shiori because it was 'forbidden love', and if she was a boy, problem wouldn't even appear. It's just my speculation, but I think she's a good example of fear before coming-out.

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#49 | Back to Top07-15-2008 09:15:19 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2791

Re: Shiori loves Juri

dlaire wrote:

I said that before, not brian emot-smile

I was disagreeing with your assertion, as well as his counter.  Though I agree with most everything you're saying except the more bit.


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

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#50 | Back to Top07-15-2008 10:22:30 AM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
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Re: Shiori loves Juri

Oh I didn't mean to suggest that there was any kind of deep emotional connection between Shiori and Ruka. I mean, he was obviously using her for some ulterior motive or other (separate debate there), and it's safe to say that she never noticed because she wasn't watching closely. I just meant that I see no reason to think that Shiori was reluctant to sleep with him.


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