Revolutionary Girl Utena

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ath
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Postby ath » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:30 pm

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote:Finished the TV show. This might just be the boldest, most impressive TV anime I've ever seen.

Wait - are you saying you haven't watched the film after finishing the TV show? I've forced many unwilling people to sit down and watch the entire TV series just to be able to see their faces during the last Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku scene, and it was all worth it.

Ikuhara wrote:Normally, in a dramatic action film,
in the climax of this type of film,
the protagonists would...
...normally be up against
some kind of superstrong...
evil opponent or alien
with superhuman powers.

And visually, you'd normally
see these intense images.

But we've seen things
like that before, and so...

How can I explain it...?

I myself wasn't really interested.

There are lots of shows like that already...

So I wanted to create a spectacular
scene that was unique to this film.

So, I came up with this scene.

Never change, Ikuhara.

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Postby hui43210 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:43 pm

You know, I was really "huh" about the Utena movie climax when I saw it, but I thought to myself, "well, it was unique and not predictable', so its good to see that quote cuz he went for something different, and most film makers wouldn't do that these days it seems. Well, popular ones anyways.
Is the 3.0 spoiler policy gone?.... Cool, then I'm nominating myself as EvaGeeks 1# Sakura Suzuhara fan/nerd.

I mean, predictability is the central attraction and the narrative hook that we've all come to expect from the Evangelion franchise. How come Anno can't realize this? Twice? - FreakyFilmFan4ever

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Postby Eleven » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:59 am

I am sorry to bring this old thread up again, but I just finished the series yesterday and I am very impressed...
I didn't have the time to watch the movie yet, maybe I won't for the next few days, which makes me sad. After watching the series and reading all your posts about how symbolic and wtf? it is, I am really really curious!
Though, I must say, the ending somehow disappoints me. I don't know why, because, well, it's fitting. There is no incoherence or anything like that, but still it felt strange...
SPOILER: Show
Maybe because Anthy in her pretty dress, with that stupid little white hat looked so very inappropriate. Yes, I think this is my point. The Anthy at the end doesn't feel like a "grown up" or just "developed and now stronger" Anthy, but like a completely different person. Maybe her transformation was made too drastic for me to be plausible.


Does anyone else feel like that? Reading through this thread, I got the impression, that you were all very happy and satisfied by the series' ending. Am I right about that?
I apologize for any grammar mistakes, as I am not a native speaker.

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Postby C.A.P. » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:06 am

^More or less, yeah. My own take on the ending was that
SPOILER: Show
with Anthy finally realizing that someone, more or less, loved her for what she was instead of what she represented, she no longer saw any reason to be in Akio's world and made a conscious decision to leave it all behind and go out on what I think is an adventure to go find Utena.

Probably the most fascinating thing about the ending is two things. One of them is how it all ties back to something I noticed when I watched the series. It can basically be boiled down to this...

Anthy with glasses and short hair=Fabricated self
Anthy with no glasses and long hair=True self

The other is how Akio didn't even bother chasing after her, or tried that hard to convince her to stay. Could it be that her "true self" shocked him that much? I'm not sure, but I might as well put that out there.


Personally, I couldn't ask for a better ending. If anything, I consider it a miracle that the series ended on a happy note, where the easier path was to make it poignant or sentimental. That's really a testament on what the priority of Ikuhara's direction/characterizations skills, if anything.
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Postby Eleven » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:46 am

SPOILER: Show
View Original PostC.A.P. wrote:with Anthy finally realizing that someone, more or less, loved her for what she was instead of what she represented, she no longer saw any reason to be in Akio's world and made a conscious decision to leave it all behind and go out on what I think is an adventure to go find Utena.


That is not what bothers me. I can relate to that part of the ending. I think it's more this part:

Anthy with glasses and short hair=Fabricated self
Anthy with no glasses and long hair=True self


Her true self seems so very cheerfull and positive and confident, the total opposite of how we saw Anthy during the whole series. It's just too sudden and too extreme to be convincing for me. Maybe if there had been a few moments earlier during the series, that showed this other side of Anthy, I would have bought her transformation. I don't know.

The other is how Akio didn't even bother chasing after her, or tried that hard to convince her to stay. Could it be that her "true self" shocked him that much? I'm not sure, but I might as well put that out there.


This... yes, this is really another thing one could criticize. It's not like Akio to give up on someone this easily.


View Original PostC.A.P. wrote:Personally, I couldn't ask for a better ending. If anything, I consider it a miracle that the series ended on a happy note, where the easier path was to make it poignant or sentimental. That's really a testament on what the priority of Ikuhara's direction/characterizations skills, if anything.


Oh, I didn't want to say that I don't like the ending at all, or that I think it is done bad. (God, my Englisch skills... :facepalm: ) I appreciate this happy note you mentioned!
It's just that I feel, after so much drama and pain and suffering, the last few minutes of happy ending are just too sudden and Anthy's drama is solved too quickly and easily, regarding how long we have been watching her suffering...
I apologize for any grammar mistakes, as I am not a native speaker.

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Postby Xard » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:00 pm

I didn't find anything about Anthy's development sudden myself. She had been gradually changing throughout the series and the different sides of her self were becoming ever more profoundly conflicted. What happens in finale she first chooses to resolve this conflict one way, then another.

SPOILER: Show
She has simply outgrown the Purgatory that is Ohtori Academy and largely thanks to Utena has come to see place for what it is and Akio as a pathetic fool he deep down is. Towards the very end of series Anthy has already been developing into this line but she kept denying this and forced herself to believe her role as the witch is her true nature and she can't change.

The decisive moment comes when she after a lot internal struggle grasps Utena's hand. It's moment when Anthy decides to shed away the false beliefs binding her.

So it's not like she went from depressed mess to a happy happy joy joy enlightened being during the finale. It's more case of man who has blindfolded himself and who thinks he can't live any other way finally taking off the blindfold.


Furthermore, I don't think she's any kind of "happy chirper" at all in the very end. It's same Anthy, only now determined to find Utena in the real world and "save her" in turn (of course it's important to note Utena doesn't save Anthy, she enables Anthy to save herself).



Anyway, I personally speaking love the ending. It's one of the all time greats.
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby C.A.P. » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:06 pm

I'm with Xard on this.

SPOILER: Show
I think the glimpses that we see of her "true self" throughout the series (whenever we see the long hair, when she talks to Utena at night in the last arc, her past with the red dress, those moments where we looks into her eyes) is enough to make assumptions on how she views herself, and for that matter, her attitude of the world around her. It's possible that because she was the "Rose Bride", Anthy simply chose to never tell anybody (expect for Utena, of course) about how she feels and why she acts that way. That's why the ending worked so well in my eyes; she's basically rejecting everything she stood for as the "Rose Bride" and now she's off doing something she genuinely wants to do, and the show makes no secret that this is wonderful development.

As for the ending, I think the abruptness of it is part of the point: We spent the entire series seeing this character holding herself back and be so "willing" to obey anything that stood in her way, it's almost a sudden jolt when she does decide to do something for herself. In fact, someone could make the argument that Anthy chose to be the Rose Bride, and it's that choice that kickstarted the whole series in the first place.


(In case it's not clear, I'm fine that you philosophically disagree on the ending, I'm just trying to explain why the ending works for me)
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Postby Eleven » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:17 pm

Thank you two for your opinions. I can understand, what you like about the ending. Maybe I just didn't pay enough attention to the mentioned gradual development and missed some of the moments that showed her "true" or "other" self.

SPOILER: Show
As for the open-hair-no-glasses-scenes: does that mean, that having sex with akio is part of her "true self" as well? because she did not seem happy or self confident to me during these scenes. More apathetic like she always is, when she does something just because rose bride and stuff...
I apologize for any grammar mistakes, as I am not a native speaker.

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Postby C.A.P. » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:23 pm

View Original PostEleven wrote:
SPOILER: Show
As for the open-hair-no-glasses-scenes: does that mean, that having sex with akio is part of her "true self" as well? because she did not seem happy or self confident to me during these scenes. More apathetic like she always is, when she does something just because rose bride and stuff...


SPOILER: Show
Yeah, I would say so. I think what I should of be clear about her "true self" is that just because she is "true" doesn't necessarily mean she's happy in the situation she's in. It only means that we, the audience, are seeing the complete opposite of the "Rose Bride": someone who is clearly unhappy/depressed of the circumstances that brought her into the situations she's in. Instead of, say, the Rose Bride, who just takes it and tries her best to support the opposite person but herself, it's pretty much something she has thought/was unhappy about since the past. Remember when she wore a red dress in that flashback, and she's back wearing it, along with the long hair, in the last two episodes? I think those two are related, and if we believe they are related, then yeah, it's not really a recent development.


Makes sense?
"Free-associative internet ravings know no proprietors."-Azathoth
"Cinema's value is that it is inhuman."-chee
"I only meant to stay a while."-ELO

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Postby Eleven » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:59 pm

Not yet, sorry. ;)

SPOILER: Show
Yeah, I would say so. I think what I should of be clear about her "true self" is that just because she is "true" doesn't necessarily mean she's happy in the situation she's in. It only means that we, the audience, are seeing the complete opposite of the "Rose Bride"

Ok. That's very clear.

it's pretty much something she has thought/was unhappy about since the past.

What's the "it" in this sentence? Sex with Akio?
I always got the feeling, that the sex with him was just part of her being the rose bride from her side. That she didn't enjoy it, but regards as her duty somehow. Although I am not sure who or what would define it as such.


Maybe I need to watch the movie and let the impressions of the series sink in for a few days, before I come to final conclusions about what I just saw. Maybe I just didn't think enough about the backstory of Akio and Anthy and their relationship.
I apologize for any grammar mistakes, as I am not a native speaker.

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Postby EvangelionFan » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:28 pm

For anyone everyone who is interested, scans have come out of the Utena Piano Solo Book.

Of course, it doesn't help us to learn Virtual Star Embryology guitar, but it's a start, and it kind of makes me feel like learning how to read music for the nth time.
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Postby C.A.P. » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:22 pm

Now I'm wishing I can play piano. My siblings can do it, but I can't...
"Free-associative internet ravings know no proprietors."-Azathoth
"Cinema's value is that it is inhuman."-chee
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Postby Eleven » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:00 am

By the way, I watched the movie yesterday. You were right, this was indeed one and a half hour of WTF? :dizzy:
I think, the animation is better than the one of the series, but I have to admit, I liked the series' character design better.
(Utena looks good with short hair, though. But why the f... does it grow sometimes and than shortens again? What causes this strange phenomenon?)

Well, there are more things I am wondering about, but maybe I'll spoiler them for those who haven't seen the movie yet:

SPOILER: Show
First of all, the Touga-thing. So, in this version, Utena and him were a couple. But he died? Because he was the boy who saved the girl, that almost drowned? And Utena witnessed the whole incident, but later forgot about it, until she arrived at Ohtori. Right? So all her visions of Touga are just illusions, until the elevator scene, where she realizes that he is gone.
But how does that explain all the scenes of Touga and Shiori? Is Shiori an illusion as well? Or does she hallucinate Touga the same way, Utena does? That seems incongruent to me. Any explanations?

Second: Anthy killed her brother. Well, not really, he fell out of the window after he realized that Anthy knew about him touching her in her sleep.
Do you think, the scene were Akios body is carried out of the school and Shiori is accusing Anthy, is meant to be "real", or just another illusion / metaphor / illustration of feelings? (I am wondering because I thought, Akios death happened like ages before...

An: I think I liked Anthy's race. Well, cars are not my favorite symbolism, but her determination and courage really impressed me.
I apologize for any grammar mistakes, as I am not a native speaker.

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Postby Azathoth » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:56 pm

View Original PostEleven wrote:
SPOILER: Show
First of all, the Touga-thing. So, in this version, Utena and him were a couple. But he died? Because he was the boy who saved the girl, that almost drowned? And Utena witnessed the whole incident, but later forgot about it, until she arrived at Ohtori. Right? So all her visions of Touga are just illusions, until the elevator scene, where she realizes that he is gone.
But how does that explain all the scenes of Touga and Shiori? Is Shiori an illusion as well? Or does she hallucinate Touga the same way, Utena does? That seems incongruent to me. Any explanations?


Shiori hallucinates Touga the same way Utena does. He continues to exist in her memories because she loved him ("I used to have a prince myself..."). Touga, or whatever ghost of him exists in Adolescence, reciprocates because as the ideal prince his role is to make every woman a princess. Shiori however no longer really wants a prince, and instead tries to wreck the shit of everyone else who steps towards the prince/princess ideal. Shiori in the movie, unlike in the series, is really more a foil to Utena than anything - there's a reason why she is the penultimate opposition Utena and Anthy must confront before Akio. Given how the movie plays with reality and continuity one could even argue that Utena and Shiori are literally the same person, though I think that is not necessary to explain the parallelism.

View Original PostEleven wrote:
SPOILER: Show
Second: Anthy killed her brother. Well, not really, he fell out of the window after he realized that Anthy knew about him touching her in her sleep.
Do you think, the scene were Akios body is carried out of the school and Shiori is accusing Anthy, is meant to be "real", or just another illusion / metaphor / illustration of feelings? (I am wondering because I thought, Akios death happened like ages before...

An: I think I liked Anthy's race. Well, cars are not my favorite symbolism, but her determination and courage really impressed me.


I think it's as "real" as anything in the movie, which is to say that it is an event Utena perceives that is necessary motivation for her to take some action - in this case, answer the question of whether she wants to cling to a past love or move ahead with the person she loves now. It's the necessary revelation of Anthy's "dark side" that forces Utena into crisis about her feelings for Anthy, kind of like a recapitulation of the nude painting scene. Since the movie winds up discounting the reality of the entire Ohtori Academy setting, treating it as a fantasy world even in comparison to the equally fantastic "outside world" with its endless heaps of trashed cars, self-driving motorsleds propelled by gay love, and even its very own castle in the sky, the question of what is real in Adolescence is not so much difficult as it is totally irrelevant. This is why I really like the movie and why I think it is so fantastic as an animated film (and why SKU is so fantastic as an animated series). Cartoon characters don't need to exist in a "real" world from the reality of which any deviation is "unreal", invalid, "mere fantasy" or only symbolic because EVERYTHING in animation is unreal and only symbolic. When Akio talks about the throb of the engine, does he mean the engine, or does he mean his penis? --Ikuhara made a show in which the answer is "yes" to both, in which the two are identified on a level as meaningful and as real as anything else that happens in the show.

brb, gonna go watch Adolescence again.
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Postby Xard » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:01 pm

That's very concise and admirable summary of Utena's (and esp. film's) greatest virtue, Azathoth.
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby C.A.P. » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:05 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:That's very concise and admirable summary of Utena's (and esp. film's) greatest virtue, Azathoth.


Agreed. Those last two sentences is pretty much Utena in a nutshell: a fantasy-equse cartoon that, because it more or less celebrates its' own insanity with no sense of pretension or awkward self-consciousness, feels more real, or evoke real life, than other cartoons that are separately realistic and/or fictitious.
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"Cinema's value is that it is inhuman."-chee
"I only meant to stay a while."-ELO

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Postby BrikHaus » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:38 pm

Here is my lengthy Utena explained post for you new fans who probably missed it: http://awesomelyshitty.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/take-my-revolution-please/
Awesomely Shitty
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-On EMF, as a thread becomes longer, the likelihood that fem-Kaworu will be mentioned increases exponentially.
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Postby C.A.P. » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:11 pm

^Ah yes, one of the few posts that warned me that I was about to experience one of the greatest animated series on television.
"Free-associative internet ravings know no proprietors."-Azathoth
"Cinema's value is that it is inhuman."-chee
"I only meant to stay a while."-ELO

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Utena: The Live Action Musical

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Postby C.A.P. » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:57 pm

I can't post this in the Utena thread right now (if one of the mods can move it, please do), but for those of you who aren't aware, there's a live action Utena musical that was done in the 90s. And it's just as amazing as the series it spawned from (Ikuhara having involvement in it helps).

Check it out.
"Free-associative internet ravings know no proprietors."-Azathoth
"Cinema's value is that it is inhuman."-chee
"I only meant to stay a while."-ELO

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Postby ath » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:40 pm

Sekai wo Kakumei Suru Tame Ni from the musical is amazing. The way the Egg Speech fits the Kami no Na ha Abraxas-derived melody is surprising, especially since it wasn't meant to be sung in the first place.

But of course nothing can beat fem-Touga singing his (her?) own duel song!


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