Revolutionary Girl Utena Episode 39 Discussion
Feb 1, 2013 5:30 PM
Feb 15, 2013 3:22 AM
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Apr 7, 2013 9:20 PM
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Jul 20, 2013 12:03 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
i agree with the ppl who were disappointed. this was far from bad imo but there were just plenty of things that could have been done better. could have made it much more concise and still retained more or less everything that made it good imo, especially if you cut out all the scenes that were reused endlessly. did they really need to beat the audience over the head with that? i realize it was probably a budget thing more than anything else, but it's still a shame.
also, tons of things i didnt really understand their significance. what did utena's sword represent? why didn't it work for akio? did the prince actually have powers at one point? wha? i should have read the manga instead, would have been shorter with less filler at least, even if it doesn't explain things any better.
i was also hoping for a much more spectacular ending, everyone always compares this show to evangelion so i was expecting something like end of evangelion. it was so many orders of magnitude tamer than that, although the imagery of himemiya being stabbed by so many swords was a bit gruesome. however i still found it less gruesome than her earlier portrayal where she actually seemed to be in pain. here she seemed resigned to her fate so it didn't hit me as hard.
also i guess this show was censored for TV or something because i didn't see utena lose a single drop of blood from being stabbed. i realize it's a superficial thing, but i prefer realistic violence over the sanitized, bloodless kind.
Aug 11, 2013 5:45 PM
Aug 17, 2013 6:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Seriously what's up with those who want "a more clear explanation?" it was ALL there, you missed everything because you were bound to hearing expositions or straight explanations rather than paying attention to the symbolism/imagery/actions present. Or to put it simply, you just saw it as what it was as seen simply instead of delving deep into it. Or simply you just didn't understand. Also the filler episodes aren't there just to be annoying and save time. They actually BUILD character instead of making people wonder later on and complain about there being not enough character development for certain characters. Besides this is a show about how everyone in the academy grows up and faces facts, not just Utena, despite her being the main lead and causing the "revolution" around her. We want to know more about the other characters. And the ending was a very fitting and spine-chilling one to say the least. Utena and Anthy promised each other that they'd meet earlier on in the series, so it's up to your imagination to think whether they did or not. It's much more fun when the ending is open ended. At least she did fulfill her revolution before she left. It seems that everyone grew up technically, and they're back to doing their thing instead of being crazy obsessed over duels. The ending was sad yet satisfying at the same time.
No wonder bad, Raunchy, easy to understand-shows are more popular nowadays...
Modified by Carrottop11, Aug 17, 2013 6:06 PM
Sep 28, 2013 3:35 PM
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Joined: Jan 2013
Having just finished this show an hour ago I'm still trying to come to terms with the ending. It wasn't all that happy, but it wasn't all that sad either. But holy shit, the bit before Anthy goes to find Utena left a massive door open for a second season or a movie set after that. Ominous endings aren't really my thing. Quite emotional, though. I tried not to feel completely fucked over when Anthy's coffin fell from Utena's reach.
The thing that annoyed me the most about this show is that neither Utena or Anthy really confessed their love for one another. There so many times in the last two arcs where I was just screaming in my head "NOW KISS!". I need much more of that physical contact, man - if there were more of the likes of the part where Shiori says "I love the look in your eyes when you're hurt" to Juri then the show would be so much better. It was there but it didn't really come to. The show isn't exactly as yuri as it seems, which is kinda disappointing.
But aside that, it was a pretty good ride. Long anime seems to have a bigger impact than shorter ones do.
Maybe the movie is better. I usually disregard alternative versions if they're just retellings, but I'm gonna give it a try.
I'm going to give this a generous 9/10 for it's overall enjoyability and build-up.
Nov 7, 2014 2:16 PM
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May 16, 2015 6:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Overall the anime was very artistic and even though it repeated many things (i guess because of not that high production value) it was quite nice overall.
Part of it was budget (from what I've heard it was made on roughly the same budget as Evangelion despite being 50% longer) but even on shows where he has a gigantic budget Ikuhara loves patterns and repetition (Penguindrum is the most obvious example of that). Maybe it's his background on Sailor Moon, but repeating events and patterns that are established and then are toyed with late in the sequence is something he plays with a lot. Some people interpret it as symbolic of the themes of the cyclical nature of things that do spring up in his work: everyone in this show has at least one toxic relationship and the way the each arc of the show spotlights them in order to show each of them they are stuck in a cycle of dependence on that other person (and even in these there is never one party entirely without blame; they rely on the other person and encourage the other person's dysfunction to have them still rely on them to start the pattern all over.) Honestly though it's probably just his preferred method of storytelling to establish these "beats" for the audience to follow along with.
Well that was an exciting ending. For me it felt like Utena taking the swords instead of Himemiya to free her and Utena becomming the rosebride for her, which made me think Himemiya leaving like a real asshole move. But on the other hand, she cant do anything about it anyways other than to take her place again.
That's something that is always problematic about Ikuhara's works for me: in each one love is synonymous with sacrifice. Loving someone is about sacrificing yourself for them. It's a powerful message and it's one we've seen in plenty of other shows before, but to make it such a central theme makes a "happy" ending impossible: it can be bittersweet, it can be satisfying, but in no way can people live a completely pleasant life if their love is genuine. Still, it never completely seals off the possibility of a future where once love has been proven you can overcome the cost of that sacrifice. Love is more than a zero-sum game where the happiness created for a loved one can only equal that which was given up by the other one for it. To quote another Ikuhara work: "What Kenji was trying to say is that's actually where everything begins!"*
Anthy is leaving to find Utena, wherever she may be now. She's not still in the castle in the sky at Ohtori Academy because there never was a castle in the sky to begin with, it was all an illusion ("a trick of the light" as Saionji says in the very first episode) by Akio to find and build up a noble spirit he could then exploit to gain the power that nobility brings while leaving Anthy to continue to take his place as bearing the responsibility tied to such power.
The problem was that such a thing is impossible: you can't rob someone of their nobility, seize it from them and claim it as your own. It's entirely possible to convince someone to be a scapegoat such as the Rose Bride, to accept the blame for a situation that was thrust upon them, but to "ruin" someone through seduction, to cause them to lose their innocence so that you can claim it as your own, it can't happen. Despite Akio shattering her soul sword, Utena was able to open the door sealing away the Power of Revolution because her nobility shone through in her actions: she continued to fight for her despite Anthy's betrayal, and it was no longer to feed her egotistical desire to play hero or out of any self interest but out of finally understanding the suffering Anthy had to face and knowing she deserved something better.
Utena's last words, apologizing for failing to become a prince, are false. The fact that her soul sword summoned the Swords of Hatred to Akio when he wielded it and the swords sought out Utena when she successfully opened the seal/coffin, the problem is that it's impossible to save someone from an abusive relationship (even for a prince on a white horse.) Ultimately all you can do is help someone find the strength inside themselves to move on, to leave the cozy coffin/box/prison that is a toxic but familiar situation and strike forth into an unknown future with the hope that things can be better. Utena couldn't pull Anthy up and out of the pain she's in, but through her deeds and words convinced Anthy to reach out for her hand. That's all it took: you can't rescue someone who is in a situation of their own volition, but you can help people rescue themselves by encouraging them and helping them come to see they have the power to leave and have no obligation to stay in a miserable situation. That personal revolution is something each and every person at Ohtori will have to come to terms with, and when it happens they can graduate, and age, and grow into healthier people.
Akio may very well be stuck in this "garden for children", ostensibly an adult but every bit as immature as those he manipulated out of a desire for power without responsibility. However what power he did have came from Anthy and his ability to control her over her guilt for being the witch who stole away the light of the world. That's something we can't be sure ever existed; I've seen it pointed out that the prince in Utena's flashback in episode 34 says that the prince Anthy was trying to protect never even really existed before going back to saying that Dios was corrupted to become End of the World, suggesting either Anthy misunderstood Dios or that Dios might have simply been an idealized identity Akio assumed, trying to play the pure hero, but when he failed to live up to that ideal he abandoned it and went the opposite direction, growing embittered at the witch who shielded his weakness and internalized the view that she was responsible for his loss of innocence. Regardless, once Anthy leaves it renders him impotent to continue his pursuit of power.
...of course that's my interpretation after seeing it several times and reading tons of alternative takes on it. Ikuhara once claimed that every fan theory about the show is true, even the conflicting ones, but that's because he's a massive troll and loves screwing with his fans (he also claimed that understanding Miki's stopwatch is the key to finally understand all the mysteries of world, but that Miki keeps this key hidden away from everyone else, including Ikuhara himself.)
* - Warning: that quote by itself is 100% harmless if you've never seen Penguindrum, but if you try to look up the context you'll definitely spoil yourself.
May 18, 2015 11:40 AM
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Oct 12, 2015 2:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
tl;dr: Confused after finishing the series? Don't worry, everyone was :) Now, go back and watch the first four episodes again, knowing what you know now.
Kind of like in The Usual Suspects, literally everything in almost every scene changes once you know what's really been going on: Akio and Anthy have been playing a game of chess, with each manipulating the naive Utena, not to mention everyone else, from the very beginning.
On the silly Nanami episodes: Anthy was a witch, and witches have familiars (Chu Chu) and are good with animals. After the harassment that Anthy gets from Nanami in episode 3, it should make a lot more sense why it looks like Anthy is having a blast during the whole scene at Utena and Anthy's dorm in episode 4 (and onward).
It should come as no surprise that almost everything in the series is happening because Anthy, Akio, and/or ChuChu have caused something to happen, or caused someone else to do something to cause something to happen.
Actually, here's a great litmus test for catching what was going on:
Did you fully track the movements of banana that Nanami slipped on in episode 31? Go check it. It's at 08:20 in on the episode. Watch carefully, then think about how carefully Akio and Anthy planned out those events in order to introduce the two of them, then to get her to move in, then let her idea of their "healthy" sibling relationship get traumatized, and then eventually duel Utena in ep 32.
In many ways, Anthy is actually the protagonist the whole time. At some point early on (either at the end of ep 2, by the duel in ep 5, or during ep 12), Anthy decides to start taking matters into her own hands. It's up to you to decide when/how Anthy strikes out on her own, and when/how Utena's own influence changes Anthy's desire.
Finally, think of Mikage in the Black Rose Saga was a sort of foreshadowing of the stakes for Utena's success or failure. By her own standard, Utena seems to have failed... But by having affecting Anthy so much, she elicited Anthy's freedom. Utena wasn't herself a "revolutionary girl" in the sense of *being a Prince* (she failed at the end), but she did in fact cause a Revolution to occur.
Dec 5, 2015 9:28 AM
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Feb 18, 2016 5:16 PM
Mar 20, 2016 7:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Finished it right now, i have to say, it was painful to watch and i almost dropped it but gave up the ideia when i was already on episode 30, few characters(Juri arisugawa was AWESOME) made me keep watching and i was interested in knowing more about the plot, because of that i suffered with symbolism being rubbed in my face everytime, not because i don't get it, truth be said, its not that hard to get all the symbolism if you think just a bit and analyze the characters, the problem its when its EVERYWHERE and the plot itself its left for the Sherlock here to discover. But i found some pretty cool concepts, the deeper meanings, inferioty complex of some characters like Shiori and Wakaba made this show easily deserves the Psychological Tag, also, the Black Rose saga and 2 last episodes made it worth watching even for someone like me who don't enjoy much symbolism.
One good point is that this series sometimes REALLY got on my nerves, showing how much i was into it( Almost got crazy with most of the males in this series, SPECIALLY Touga and Akio, these two are disgusting, and a character like Utena getting so easily atracted to Akio made me want to hit my head on the wall with all strengh), characters are never what they appear to be, Ruka was one of the better ones, he finally made Juri free of her toxic love for Shiori(maybe at the cost of his own life). The ending was pretty clear to me, i have to say i loved when i got how much the characters have grow up.
Touga-> Seems to finally consider Saionji a true friend and probably its not a disgusting playboy anymore(god, i hate this guy)
Nanami->She finally got what her feelings for Touga are, she loves him as a brother and not sexually, this made her a better person to the point she wanted to help Utena.
Juri and Shiori-> What i got its that Juri is free from her toxic love for Shiori, but din't rejects her, in fact, Juri acepted Shiori as a part of her fencing team, on the other side, i think Shiori got over her stupid envy and love/hate for Juri and is trying to catch up with her( if you think about it Shiori never tried to became good at something, she just kept hurting Juri to fell better about herself, so she being a part of the fencing team shows her work to became someone as good as the Juri she loves) since the author said Shiori loved Juri all the time but could not help it because of the inferioty-complex, she getting over it leads me to believe these two still have chance to put aside diferrences and be together.
Miki-> Seems like he finaly made up with Kozue, and she's back to piano, also he learned to move on from his one-sided love for Anthy
All Stundents from the school-> I got surprised by this, they are finally thinking about their future beyond Ohtori Academy, the girls stopped thinking only about boys.
Akio its the only one who dint grow up, like he said, when you moves from school you finally became a adult, Akio its never going to became a adult and will be forever traped in his prince and princess BS, Anthy got that and moved on from her brother.
Finally the ending, it seems Anthy was too tied to the prince and princess fairytale Akio build up, and like in fairytales the prince ALWAYS is a boy, wich made her refuse Utena at first and stabs her, but Utena shows her there are other ways and Akio its just a corrupted child, Utena showed Anthy she have a choice and don't need to be a doll without personality just to please her brother. She leaving to look for Utena, who have grow-up and got out of Akio linear and unrealistical world, made me get she finally got her own fellings for her, the final photo showing Akio cut out and their clasped hands leads me to believe the two were always in love for each other, but needed to move on to get it.
I won't rate the series, since i liked it but don't think its even close to deserve a "master piece" classification, too much symbolism and surrealism made the series look non-sense for those who din't analyze it, in my opinion this its a bad way of exploring Pyschological stuff and human deep fears and problems, Elfen lied, Shiki, Soul Eater,Higurashi no naku koro ni, Mirai nikki e.t.c do it in a better and easier way to understand, this is my opnion.
Modified by Raytraza, Mar 29, 2016 9:56 AM
Apr 15, 2016 1:50 PM