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Poll: Revolutionary Girl Utena Episode 39 Discussion


Jun 17, 2016 10:46 PM

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This was a very poignant ending for me. I sort of envisioned the outcome of this episode in a different manner, but I'm still satisfied with how it concluded. It's great to see Anthy finally free and independent.
 
Jul 9, 2016 4:54 PM
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Kotori said:
THIS IS AN ANIME ONLY DISCUSSION POST. DO NOT DISCUSS THE MANGA BEYOND THIS EPISODE.
----------------------------------------
After 39 eps I still don't know what this was all about..

3/10

Sent with Mal Updater


But you don't need to. Don't EVER listen to people who talk about symbolism and hidden messages. Just ENJOY THE SHOW.

You're the viewer, the artist is irrelevant, it is about what YOU see and what YOU experience.
 
Jul 9, 2016 5:01 PM
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Well that's a wrap people. Enjoyed every goddamn minute of this crazy ride. My new most hated "villain" in anime of all time is now Akio. What a douchebag. Worse than that guy from "Now and then, here and there"? Ah but he's dead.

Akio and Hamdo should have lunch. They'd really hit it of. They're both into teenage girls for one.

Next is something lighter shall we say, a mecha show called Zone of the enders.
 
Jul 13, 2016 6:01 PM

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AHHHH I love it, I saw this episode four days ago and I can't stop thinking about it. For my money Utena easily stands as one of the all time greats. Surreal, exciting and thought provoking it's one of those series that shows the height of what anime as a medium can be. Not all of the thirty nine episodes are essential to the overall effect (it'd be a little crazy to expect that), but after watching so much of it the whole picture is staggering. Looking at my list I think I throw 10s around too easily. But this is one I feel no qualms about saying 10/10, should be essential viewing for anime fans at least once.

If the penultimate episode is the blackest night of the series with it's wrenching final showdown, this is the even more brutal morning after. Countless shots stick with me from Himemiya being impaled, as Utena in a voice I can't get out of my head desperately calls out her name. Utena's reddened and bruised fingers, as she pries open the door to the rose gate. The previous episodes preview mocked the idea of sheer will eventually winning the day in the conclusion of animes. But it happens here, and it feels oh so earned. And oh god the music in this episode, especially the impaling scene is the best the shows magnificent OST has to offer. The scene I can't forget the most though is Utena and Himemiya's final/first real scene together. This is a love story I'll never forget, after standing by her for so long Utena gets a precious few seconds with the real Himemiya freed of her brothers influence before it all comes crashing down. It's just too cruel.

We get some final scenes with all of the characters you could ask for. More than I expected (though still not much). The student council holding a vigil into the morning is a great ending for them. I also liked Wakaba coming by, it added to the effective flash forward where everyone's forgotten Utena. That was soul crushing. It's not even that sad with the hopefulness of the final scene, but Utena was a great protagonist one I wanted to see triumphant and happy and that all the people she's fought for and against don't remember her it just feels so empty and melancholy. I'm glad they were all happy though, Miki taking Mitsuru under his wing, and Wakaba's new friend treating her like she did Utena made it a little less depressing. Even the army of Nanami admirers continue on.

This such a harrowing finale, Utena is in such dire straits the entire time and apparently being brutally sacrificed at the climax. So the final scene while being relatively small, feels excitingly triumphant. Anthy hair down, dressed how she wants, walking out Akio's door forever is enough to make the heart swell. And my hair was on end during the scat remix of the OP over the closing credits. I believe she and Utena are reunited, but even if Utena did die alone in that tower it'd be worth it for that genuine smile.

Utena is a marvelous series, the like of which we rarely see anymore. It's definitely entered highly into my list of favorites and recommendations. It's subversiveness, audacity and real emotional weight amid bona fide surrealism add up to a compelling whole. Nothing to do now but watch the movie. I can't believe it's over, I got the feels man, I'm really going to miss it.
 
Jul 22, 2016 4:31 PM

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Utena did save Anthy in the end. That was the revolution. Both Anthy and Utena escaped. While the others are stuck in their 'coffins'.

Excellent ending. Very meta.

Though you could have chopped 10 or so eps to tighten things up a bit.
 
Aug 6, 2016 12:57 PM

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While I'm sure I've missed a bunch of the symbolism throughout the series (sometimes I was sure that what was onscreen was an allegory, but.... to what?), I'm pretty sure that the whole psychological side I got entirely, including what was given through allegories. And yes, it was awesome.
Utena opening the coffin, and later Anthy basically giving her brother the middle finger and leaving in search for Utena was a conclusion that you can get.

However, I think my problem with the show is the actual plot, you know, with all its supernatural and stuff. I can tell there are pieces missing. I've decided to read some stuff online because I was so confused about it, and yes, I see some information is given in the manga. Other information I didn't find the source, but I sure as hell didn't see it stated anywhere in the anime.
Like, that Dios was a god that gave up his divine nature for human pleasures. I haven't seen that anywhere in the anime at all. But that'd explain why he was feeling weak inside that barn and couldn't do what people were asking for.
I understood that the swords represented peoples' souls, or hearts, or minds, or resolve, or whatever, and the purpose of the duels was to shape it into the perfect prince sword, and part of that process was also the Black Rose arc, where Akio controlled Mikage to help with that. However... What was the power to revolutionize the world? I read that it was Akio's own godly power that he was trying to re-acquire. I also couldn't get that from the show at all.
Also, why were Akio and Dios divided? I read that in the manga it's stated that Anthy divided them.
And what did the seminar led by Mikage achieved years ago? Were they building the duel arena?
What about the swords that represented the hate of the world? Did it mean the world was angry at Dios for what he did? And he instead let Anthy take the blame for it?

Maybe there were some clues I didn't get in my first watch, or maybe the show never filled in those holes at all and just wants to leave the viewer confused to pretend it's OH MY GOD SO COMPLICATED. It doesn't help that most "essays" and reviews focus so much on symbolism and forget that there IS an actual story where all that is being developed on.
 
Aug 6, 2016 1:48 PM

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Really intriguing anime, but I feel Mawaru Penguidrum is still Ikuhara's more polished work, since it was more compact and delivered a more compelling ending for me, personally. I probably went into Utena with some of the wrong expectations about the scale of the story and got them subverted. Nevertheless, the sheer amount of effort and some episodes truly stood out, with the conclusion to Juri's character arc as my personal favorite. The ost was also crazy (there are soooo many insert songs), and Utena's opening is so damn catchy. It's a shame that animes nowadays don't take such risks anymore.
Modified by suikaMUSIC, Aug 6, 2016 1:52 PM
 
Aug 7, 2016 3:47 PM
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Fenryr19 said:
I can tell there are pieces missing. I've decided to read some stuff online because I was so confused about it, and yes, I see some information is given in the manga. Other information I didn't find the source, but I sure as hell didn't see it stated anywhere in the anime.


Although all three story lines are interesting, and the manga and anime were produced closer together, I'd be wary at this point (on your first watch) of going to either of the other two (manga or movie) as a way to "explain" parts of the series. They're not canon among each others in a plot-relevant sense, so a lot of cross-comparison is done at a quite symbolic and thematic level.

There are a few pieces that *can* fit in, but at that point you're kind of cherry picking the bits you want to support a specific plot interpretation.


Fenryr19 said:
What was the power to revolutionize the world? I read that it was Akio's own godly power that he was trying to re-acquire. I also couldn't get that from the show at all.

Also, why were Akio and Dios divided? I read that in the manga it's stated that Anthy divided them.

And what did the seminar led by Mikage achieved years ago? Were they building the duel arena?

What about the swords that represented the hate of the world? Did it mean the world was angry at Dios for what he did? And he instead let Anthy take the blame for it?

Maybe there were some clues I didn't get in my first watch, or maybe the show never filled in those holes at all and just wants to leave the viewer confused to pretend it's OH MY GOD SO COMPLICATED.


Episodes 13 (the recap), and 34 and 38 both discuss what happened "from Dios/Akio's point of view". Akio certainly thinks that "the power to revolutionize the world" is control to some extent ("there is nothing higher than the chairman's room") but there's a *reason* the power comes from the sword. The series ends on a different note, but we don't know how much Akio is being honest as each layer of description is pulled back during Episode 38 (I tend to think he thinks he is, since he knows what Anthy will eventually do. He needs to simply provoke Utena to duel... like has been done all along.) Dios FWIW doesn't seem like he agrees, as he's cheering her on. A fun parlor game is to try to decide if Dios and Akio ever actually split into different personalities at all ... It extends the range of things Akio is doing intentionally. OTOH, Akio is capable of being surprised in Ep 39, and Dios' riding off on the carousel when the swords stop could be seen in multiple different ways.

The second part of episode 34 implies that Dios' view is that the villagers were angry that she'd locked the Prince away from them and thus turned on her.


But yeah, there's a ton of stuff you can't get/won't on your first watch. Or that will be *massively* reinterpreted the next time you go through it. :) That's IMO one of the best things about the show. Once it hit its stride in character setup, you realize how much was being done all along to force events later on. Have fun on the re-watch. Then, when you've got a stronger POV on some of the symbolism, prepare to have your brain sent through the blender by watching the movie.


Essay-wise, even 15 years later Empty Movement (http://ohtori.nu/) is still an excellent resource for differing interpretations. A lot of modern commentary focuses so quickly and heavily on SJW and feminist (or post-gender feminist) analysis that it basically discards everything else going on completely... That's a shame because there's a *lot* to chew over in the series that that type of stuff misses >.<
Modified by CorporaCallosa, Aug 7, 2016 6:18 PM
 
Sep 22, 2016 8:44 AM

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All I'm left with after finishing this is the thought that I've wasted far too much time on this. Cannot see any of the merits people are spouting off left, right and centre. Excessive repetition, over-the-top symbolism and pointless allegories that just come across as pretentious.

Ah well.
It's an entirely different kind of flying, altogether!
It's an entirely different kind of flying.
 
Oct 7, 2016 8:54 AM
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I finished watching last night and at first the ending left me kind of cold. The theme of adolescence wasn't really so plainly stated at the beginning though changing and moving on were pretty plainly explored for the other characters, so for Utena to all of a sudden have to let go of everything seemed kind of abrupt. I guess I wasn't paying attention and expected something from Anthy earlier on. The repetitive structure of the arcs and the really weird lyrics of the battle themes and second OP (which got tiresome toward the end) also made me rush through the episodes and not take them in at a proper pace. But thinking it over it was a great series. Everything came together really well. Looking back, the themes, symbolism and plot progression meshed together nicely, and for something I felt was lacking in pathos, the last character interactions and the ending really came to a breaking point. I'm a little disappointed Utena and the student council didn't become friends. It seemed like through her they were able to leave their past selves and childish obsessions behind.
 
Oct 7, 2016 9:24 AM
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Well hello, I'm new. I just finished watching RGU for the second time and these are my thoughts.
The whole point of the story is saving Anthy which is "taking her out of her coffin". What does this mean to me? it's teaching her how to feel again. Until Utena came along, Anthy had forgotten how to feel and remembers how to do so when she cries.
As for Utena no, I don't think she dies, she just grew up. You may say her teenage self symbolically died for her adult self to be born, thus solving the teenage crisis both she and Anthy were were going through.
As for Dios, I think he's truly dead but only methaforically. You know how sometimes younger siblings idealize their older siblings? well, I think that's precisely what Anthy did. She loved her brother so much, that she idealized him and her "sealing him away" was just her incapacity to let that crystallized memory go. In the final episode we see Dios climb on a carrousel and leave for good. To me that's just representative of Anthy being able to let that idealized memory go and finally grow up: she doesn't need to cling to his memory anymore for now she has a true friend in Utena,
- Just my two cents.
 
Nov 17, 2016 8:35 PM
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Kokihatu said:
The build-up through the last 10 episodes or so was amazing. I really appreciate how touching and refreshing the ending was as well.

It's a shame series don't seem to do stuff like this anymore.


Yeah you see Ikuhara helmed Sailor moon which lasts 4 cours, Utena 3 seasons, Penguindrum 2 seasons, then Yuri Kuma 1 season with just 12 eps.
Yuri Kuma is so great so inspiring but it's a message piece throughout. I would love to have it expanded and see the lives of the side characters, it would make the experience much more engrossing
The part that I love most ab Utena is when it is developing the world and digressing from the main story line. The Black Rose arc rockssssss.
 
Dec 8, 2016 6:35 AM

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I still don't know what to think about this, to be honest.
I liked it, but I'm a bit confused.
I will probably watch the movie.

Score: REVOLUTION/10
 
Dec 8, 2016 6:47 AM
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Kamidox said:
I still don't know what to think about this, to be honest.
I liked it, but I'm a bit confused.
I will probably watch the movie.

Score: REVOLUTION/10


Everyone's a bit confused at that point :)

I'd recommend pausing a bit and starting to rewatch the series once you've had a chance to digest the information you now have, and then watching the movie after you've re-evaluated various scenes in the series.

You could go straight into the movie, but... it'll probably give you a LOT more questions :)
 
Dec 30, 2016 10:08 PM

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Wow....I seriously Im shocked about the ending. Damn I didnt have that coming.

I know that I am not the only one who cried over Utena. I know it.
I felt so defeated when she said "I guess I failed being your prince"
A very good plot twist than your average shoujo.

Holy fuck from Utenas battles to the student council to that filler arc to AKIO led up to this amazing ending. Altough I hate the fate Utena had, it was very good.

I was glad to see Anthy finally leaving and AKIO being the one who called out her name.

I loved the fucking metaphors in the god damn show I loved it.

My favorite character is Juri omfg I just love her~

I HAD A GREAT RIDE WITH THIS ANIME
I LOVE YOU UTENA <3


 
Jan 1, 11:34 AM

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This was by all accounts a very... slow burner, and I really love that element of this series! It kept stringing me along, as even if some new realization sprang up, it quickly pulled the wool over my eyes as I begged for more clarity, leaving me no option but to keep believing in the illusion Utena was trying to aim for.

I'm still somewhat lost when it comes to the structure of this series, the way we went from simple duels, to duels with purpose, till at last it became a duel of sacrifice. I definitely cried for these last few episodes, as similar to when I first saw Evangelion, I may had not truly grasped the plot, but I sure as hell felt for the characters, and I for sure felt the persistent spirit of Utena struggle forward in such an emotional way. I did not expect Utena to 'fail' like that towards the end, as I expected her to be reunited with Himemiya, but as I feared from the episode prior, I feared that Utena would switch roles with her; it's tragic! However, I'm so, SO glad that it wasn't done in vain! Himemiya needed someone that could truly understand her pain. She believed that she had to burn herself in order to keep others warm, which led to her tortured existence, and sold herself the illusion that that kind of life was acceptable when it was anything but detestable. In a way, I think I get it; the roles we take on aren't eternal as we imagine them to be. We become stubborn and refuse to change and undergo our own, personal, revolution. Utena, over time, showed Himemiya that she alone can break free from such illusionary chains, and to stop being so easily led to being abused and mistreated.

On the surface, those are the dots I'm connecting here. There's a vast amount of this, however, that is not connecting, like the Black Rose Arc involving those coffins(?) being tossed into the fire, or the burning of 100 students, and how it all fits.








Fuck Akio.

Just this once, I'll fulfill whatever your wish is.
 
Feb 17, 9:53 PM
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In the end, Akio is the only one who is stuck in the endless loop of seeking for so-called eternity to change the world whatever the fantasies he is dreaming about while Anthy broke free of Akio's control and moved on in life to search for Utena, thus developed her own free will and individuality.

From how I see, Utena failed to become a prince was not because of the fact that she failed her role as a prince. She did successfully saved Anthy from the swords of hatred, thus took those swords in her place as a prince (looking at the fairy tale perspectives). Looking at a realistic point of view, she basically freed herself of Akio's world and came into realization that she was chasing an illusion all along, thus moved on in life. As of why she couldn't become a prince, it is because that all of these doesn't exist and that Anthy can only be the one to free herself from Akio's control and to stand up for herself by being independent.

In a sense, the prince's ideal of saving princesses, yet he failed to saved his own sister, who was branded as a witch who took the thousands swords in his place. Due to how he failed to become a prince (sister can never become a princess). In a way, the swords represent burden. Akio initially carried the burden, holding his strong conviction of his own ideal world whereby no one will get hurt by saving others. In the real world, it is impossible to replicate such an ideal world and Akio's ideal was challenged as a result. That was when he became a full-fledged adult. He came into realization that the adult world aka the real world is not what he expected it to be. He wanted to seek for the power to control the world whereby everything will be back to normal. This childish fantasies of his will be what caused him to be unable to move on because he was unable to accept how the world works when stepping into the adult world, thus being trapped into this endless loop. In the end, he became 'End of the World' after he realized the 'truth', that he has to go through every length in order to get back everything he lost. In my opinion of course.

Nothing is eternal and life moves on anyways. There is no point seeking for something eternal when you are going to die eventually. Just enjoy life to the fullest. :)
 
Mar 8, 2:19 PM
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This
hysterical_ said:
In the end, Akio is the only one who is stuck in the endless loop of seeking for so-called eternity to change the world whatever the fantasies he is dreaming about while Anthy broke free of Akio's control and moved on in life to search for Utena, thus developed her own free will and individuality.

From how I see, Utena failed to become a prince was not because of the fact that she failed her role as a prince. She did successfully saved Anthy from the swords of hatred, thus took those swords in her place as a prince (looking at the fairy tale perspectives). Looking at a realistic point of view, she basically freed herself of Akio's world and came into realization that she was chasing an illusion all along, thus moved on in life. As of why she couldn't become a prince, it is because that all of these doesn't exist and that Anthy can only be the one to free herself from Akio's control and to stand up for herself by being independent.

In a sense, the prince's ideal of saving princesses, yet he failed to saved his own sister, who was branded as a witch who took the thousands swords in his place. Due to how he failed to become a prince (sister can never become a princess). In a way, the swords represent burden. Akio initially carried the burden, holding his strong conviction of his own ideal world whereby no one will get hurt by saving others. In the real world, it is impossible to replicate such an ideal world and Akio's ideal was challenged as a result. That was when he became a full-fledged adult. He came into realization that the adult world aka the real world is not what he expected it to be. He wanted to seek for the power to control the world whereby everything will be back to normal. This childish fantasies of his will be what caused him to be unable to move on because he was unable to accept how the world works when stepping into the adult world, thus being trapped into this endless loop. In the end, he became 'End of the World' after he realized the 'truth', that he has to go through every length in order to get back everything he lost. In my opinion of course.

Nothing is eternal and life moves on anyways. There is no point seeking for something eternal when you are going to die eventually. Just enjoy life to the fullest. :)
This show provides an ultimate understanding of eternity (for Akio at least) at the very end of episode 39. It is the repetitiveness of the actions taken by Akio. He semehow reached the 'eternity' by playing the game over and over. He himself did not realize it.
 
Mar 10, 7:31 AM
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DanteTheAce said:
This
hysterical_ said:
In the end, Akio is the only one who is stuck in the endless loop of seeking for so-called eternity to change the world whatever the fantasies he is dreaming about while Anthy broke free of Akio's control and moved on in life to search for Utena, thus developed her own free will and individuality.

From how I see, Utena failed to become a prince was not because of the fact that she failed her role as a prince. She did successfully saved Anthy from the swords of hatred, thus took those swords in her place as a prince (looking at the fairy tale perspectives). Looking at a realistic point of view, she basically freed herself of Akio's world and came into realization that she was chasing an illusion all along, thus moved on in life. As of why she couldn't become a prince, it is because that all of these doesn't exist and that Anthy can only be the one to free herself from Akio's control and to stand up for herself by being independent.

In a sense, the prince's ideal of saving princesses, yet he failed to saved his own sister, who was branded as a witch who took the thousands swords in his place. Due to how he failed to become a prince (sister can never become a princess). In a way, the swords represent burden. Akio initially carried the burden, holding his strong conviction of his own ideal world whereby no one will get hurt by saving others. In the real world, it is impossible to replicate such an ideal world and Akio's ideal was challenged as a result. That was when he became a full-fledged adult. He came into realization that the adult world aka the real world is not what he expected it to be. He wanted to seek for the power to control the world whereby everything will be back to normal. This childish fantasies of his will be what caused him to be unable to move on because he was unable to accept how the world works when stepping into the adult world, thus being trapped into this endless loop. In the end, he became 'End of the World' after he realized the 'truth', that he has to go through every length in order to get back everything he lost. In my opinion of course.

Nothing is eternal and life moves on anyways. There is no point seeking for something eternal when you are going to die eventually. Just enjoy life to the fullest. :)
This show provides an ultimate understanding of eternity (for Akio at least) at the very end of episode 39. It is the repetitiveness of the actions taken by Akio. He semehow reached the 'eternity' by playing the game over and over. He himself did not realize it.

Perhaps, he had sought of eternity a long time ago but seeking for eternity trapped him into this 'shell' of the world he created himself. It means that he became unable to see what is ahead of him, similar to Mikage in a sense. Everyone has a choice to paint their own world. In other world, a representation of individuality. Akio himself was unable to realize that his endless pursuit of his 'eternity' lead him into this endless void, thus causing him to lose himself and became desperate. This was shown when he cast away his idealistic self from the shell of the prince left hanging somewhere inside the castle. The dialogues between him and Utena was made even more obvious. His action was proven fruitless, yet he had gone through fighting endlessly just for this so-called eternity. To revolutionize means to change the world, as if to break the world shell, the shell that we are trapped in during the stage of adolescence. :)
 
Mar 12, 5:37 AM

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i actually detested the whole show all thoughout. but i wonder why then in the end suddenly it is leaving me this sorrowful and torn.
i'm thoroughly confused... -__-
Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur.
 
Mar 13, 11:12 AM
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hysterical_ said:
DanteTheAce said:
This
This show provides an ultimate understanding of eternity (for Akio at least) at the very end of episode 39. It is the repetitiveness of the actions taken by Akio. He semehow reached the 'eternity' by playing the game over and over. He himself did not realize it.

Perhaps, he had sought of eternity a long time ago but seeking for eternity trapped him into this 'shell' of the world he created himself. It means that he became unable to see what is ahead of him, similar to Mikage in a sense. Everyone has a choice to paint their own world. In other world, a representation of individuality. Akio himself was unable to realize that his endless pursuit of his 'eternity' lead him into this endless void, thus causing him to lose himself and became desperate. This was shown when he cast away his idealistic self from the shell of the prince left hanging somewhere inside the castle. The dialogues between him and Utena was made even more obvious. His action was proven fruitless, yet he had gone through fighting endlessly just for this so-called eternity. To revolutionize means to change the world, as if to break the world shell, the shell that we are trapped in during the stage of adolescence. :)
That is exactly what it is as expecting different results doing the same thing. However, this time the loop was broken by Utena.
 
May 5, 9:41 PM

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powerful ending and the proper one for the series

this is a masterpiece and one of the best animes i ever seen
 
Jun 3, 4:28 AM

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That was a decent ending but i was expecting something better. The Student Council characters were great I loved every one of them. The Student Council Saga and The Black Rose Saga were quite intriguing but those repetitive battle scenes and utena winning ever single duel was kinda dull. Aside from that it was really good show.
 
Jun 6, 3:30 AM

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For anyone looking for a simple and plausible interpretation of this final episode, read this post.

At the end of the duel, Anthy took Akio's place and took upon herself the Million Swords of Hatred so Akio could open the Rose gate and reclaim the Power of Dios with Utena's sword. He was unable to, and gave up as Utena pressed onward. Utena managed to open the Rose Gate with her bare hands, much to Akio's shock and dismay. Utena beckoned Anthy out of the coffin with her hand and managed to touch her, after which Anthy's cage dislodged and fell out of the sky.

Utena believes she failed and apologizes. This is misleading.

Think about it: Anthy is gone, unable to take the place of the one who would gain the power to revolutionize the world. All of the Swords of Hatred stop and turn their attention to Utena... and fall upon her as they did Anthy prior.

Back at the school, as Akio renews his attempt to start the world revolution, Anthy remarks that he really doesn't know what happened. Anthy had already been freed from her eternal suffering when she fell out of the sky. It is now Akio who is in a coffin, unwilling to accept reality:

Utena successfully gained the Power of Dios.

And thus Anthy embarks on her journey to find Utena.
 
Jun 10, 2:50 AM

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That was beautiful (after reading the comments). When I watched it myself, I barely grasped the concept, so I felt a little underwhelmed at the ending. I do think the anime is wonderful, I just need to watch it a few more times. That's how the anime can be best appreciated.

I wonder how an anime can be pretentious by showing repetition and symbolism that talks about coming of age and other topics? By showing repetition, it can normalize scenes and does make it boring, but other times it uses repetition to point out important things that may not have been noticeable the first time around. It emphasizes their importance to the viewer, and not to the characters. I also think the studio did fairly well, considering they had low budget for this (?). Cut them some slack. Least they don't show you 30 seconds of people standing still or random shots of the city with voice overs.

One of the best parts is seeing the students talk about their future. That was never discussed until Utena brought it up with Anthy. Seems like they are not stuck in the same illusion that Akio is in now.
 
Jun 21, 5:16 AM
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MistyBlue said:
That was beautiful (after reading the comments). When I watched it myself, I barely grasped the concept, so I felt a little underwhelmed at the ending. I do think the anime is wonderful, I just need to watch it a few more times. That's how the anime can be best appreciated.

I wonder how an anime can be pretentious by showing repetition and symbolism that talks about coming of age and other topics? By showing repetition, it can normalize scenes and does make it boring, but other times it uses repetition to point out important things that may not have been noticeable the first time around. It emphasizes their importance to the viewer, and not to the characters. I also think the studio did fairly well, considering they had low budget for this (?). Cut them some slack. Least they don't show you 30 seconds of people standing still or random shots of the city with voice overs.

One of the best parts is seeing the students talk about their future. That was never discussed until Utena brought it up with Anthy. Seems like they are not stuck in the same illusion that Akio is in now.

In fact, the repetition sequences actually represented futility of one's actions in the same way as of how it subverted and ultimately broke away from it's tropes. Many of the important characters fought for the sake of something eternal, yet unable to realize how long they had been playing this game. Remembered the final duel when Utena fought against Touga? She doesn't remember how many times she dueled against Touga, seemingly highlighted the concept of time, as if they had been sleeping inside the comfy coffins ( a metaphor of representing a form of escapism of reality upon 'death') of their for a very long time which made sense since they never age despite being in the Academy for a long time. Even Akio called the whole process a game itself. :)

TripleSRank said:
For anyone looking for a simple and plausible interpretation of this final episode, read this post.

At the end of the duel, Anthy took Akio's place and took upon herself the Million Swords of Hatred so Akio could open the Rose gate and reclaim the Power of Dios with Utena's sword. He was unable to, and gave up as Utena pressed onward. Utena managed to open the Rose Gate with her bare hands, much to Akio's shock and dismay. Utena beckoned Anthy out of the coffin with her hand and managed to touch her, after which Anthy's cage dislodged and fell out of the sky.

Utena believes she failed and apologizes. This is misleading.

Think about it: Anthy is gone, unable to take the place of the one who would gain the power to revolutionize the world. All of the Swords of Hatred stop and turn their attention to Utena... and fall upon her as they did Anthy prior.

Back at the school, as Akio renews his attempt to start the world revolution, Anthy remarks that he really doesn't know what happened. Anthy had already been freed from her eternal suffering when she fell out of the sky. It is now Akio who is in a coffin, unwilling to accept reality:

Utena successfully gained the Power of Dios.

And thus Anthy embarks on her journey to find Utena.

The changes from the rose gate to the coffin with the background similar to a rose bride was to represent a form of selflessness and a reflection of characters inner desires. As of why it changed, think about what the characters actually desired the most from the very bottom of their heart. Every characters in this series were portrayed as selfish, including Utena as well. By abandoning the power of Dios to save Anthy, she had successfully revolutionized the world by freeing herself from the illusions she had been chasing after for eternity.

The swords pointed towards her was because of her act of selflessness which in turn she had became a noble prince without her realization. Yes, she gained the power of Dios, that's if you are looking at the Fairy Tales perspectives. In reality, she basically moved on and that's all. Power of Dios never even exist in the first place. This is basically the ultimate 'reward' for being a winner, even Akio mentioned that it was just a game after all.

In fact, everyone was initially sleeping inside their own coffins, until they began to realize the futility of their actions, thus moved on in life. Except for Akio of course. :)
 
Jun 21, 10:22 AM

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Akio 5ever alone. LOL xD
 
Jun 23, 11:43 PM
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Wakaba basically forgetting her was heartbreaking. I wish that moment had been changed. It would make more sense.
 
Jul 7, 1:12 AM

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I don't like ambiguous and vague shows so this was basically the exact opposite of something I would like. I guess it's my fault for going into it without knowing anything. Oh well, at least the OST was cool.

5/10
 
Aug 17, 8:21 PM

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Well, I fully understand why people call this "the shoujo Evangelion" now.

I couldn't imagine being a ten-year-old boy or girl, watching this, and then TV Tokyo putting on an episode of goddamn Beast Wars afterward. (Yes, this is actually what TV Tokyo showed the evening the last episode was aired.)

Reading about the symbolism in this thread has really helped me like the ending more. I thought Utena had fully sacrificed herself/died so Anthy could live, which was kind of sad/annoying.
"No, son, you may not have your body pillow at the dinner table!"
 
Aug 18, 4:24 PM
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So in the end Utena still hasn't called her Anthy Anthy and for Anthy it's still Miss Utena.

Very repetitive, probably didn't notice a lot of the symbolism, the entire second arc was inconsequential, the relationship between Anthy and Utena felt underdeveloped and I'm still not 100% sure what Akio's goal was other than some vague power.

5/10.
 
Aug 18, 4:58 PM
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Lorezhno said:

Very repetitive, probably didn't notice a lot of the symbolism, the entire second arc was inconsequential, the relationship between Anthy and Utena felt underdeveloped and I'm still not 100% sure what Akio's goal was other than some vague power.

5/10.

Akio's goal was simple and straightforward; to obtain the power of dios to revolutionize the world. The thing was that such power does not exist in reality and was made up by him upon cheating himself that doing all of these could give him something. He even called this a 'game'. You can see that he was restarting the duelist system and made up his own rules in this 'game' he constructed out of his ambition in the end. It should give you the brief idea what the series was trying to do. All of the characters who participated in this duel were people who couldn't doubt about such 'power' since they were people who lost something important to them, or perhaps to seek for miracles to solve their problem.

The words 'Revolutionize the world' mean to change the world, that's to change the reality upon individual's perception of their own desired world.

CatSoul said:
Well, I fully understand why people call this "the shoujo Evangelion" now.

I couldn't imagine being a ten-year-old boy or girl, watching this, and then TV Tokyo putting on an episode of goddamn Beast Wars afterward. (Yes, this is actually what TV Tokyo showed the evening the last episode was aired.)

Reading about the symbolism in this thread has really helped me like the ending more. I thought Utena had fully sacrificed herself/died so Anthy could live, which was kind of sad/annoying.

How does it even qualify as "the shoujo Evangelion" when it's thematic exploration are almost completely different in the first place?
 
Aug 18, 5:34 PM
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I know what 'Revolutionize the world' means, doesn't change the fact that it's vague.
 
Sep 7, 4:00 AM

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I feel like this had more potential... I got used to the duelist of the week thing, and it didn't really bother me, but the last arc was just not what I would have expected. I liked Utena before that, but her suddenly falling in love with a character that clearly embodies shadiness is just stupid. I know she was naive, but not this much :/ I don't think she would be the type to go for such a guy, especially if the said person was about to be married. Hell, even Touga would have been more understandable and he was a jerk as well.
I understood most of the symbolism and whatnot, and I didn't have too much problem with the abstract things that appeared after a while, but it still feels a bit too nonsensical at times, even after reading theories and so on.
The characters were sometimes enjoyable, sometimes really annoying like Anthy and Akio.
I liked the whole mahou shoujo-ish transformation scenes, and the art was pretty good, but my favorite part of the anime was the soundtrack though. As stupid as most of the lyrics were, I actually liked them quite a lot, and I'll probably listen to them in the future as well.

I'm kind of torn in between sometimes liking the show and disliking it. If I'd been watching it alone I probably would have dropped it, but since I was watching it with one of my best friends over the course of three separate nights, it was still enjoyable because we made countless stupid jokes about it and laughed off the often confusing bits.
I'm giving it a 5/10, as I feel like the good and bad things even it out for me.
 
Sep 12, 4:14 AM

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This was a very interesting series. I wish it had been shorter. The design was weird in a cool way, and some of the characters are pretty interesting, like Nanami and Jury. I appreciate the risks that were taken, the thought provoking themes, symbolism and all that jazz that people love about this show. The ending kind of makes sense in a symbolic way, too, reading some of the interpretations in this thread. Also, the opening song is totally sick and the lyrics are a great match for the show's message, too.

It's unfortunate that on the emotional front, the ending did nothing for me. My issue is that, while the show may make sense in a symbolic way, on the surface, I can't make sense of the narrative, especially with the last two episodes in mind. Specifically, Utena, Anthy and Akio became incomprehensible to me, outside of their symbolic roles. And that sort of prevents me from feeling, well, anything, about the conclusion. I guess, the exception is Akio; I still hate his guts. But that's about it.
 
Sep 13, 7:41 AM

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What a way to end this show! At some point the whole "symbolism" part flew over my head and it was too vague for me to even interpreta most of it, but nonetheless it was a very unique experience.
Utena finally broke free from her shell.
This is definitelly one of those "series" which you rewatch many years later and still manage to discover something new about.
P.S. would be better to skip the fillers when rewatching.
 
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