[NO SPOILERS, BUT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN AT LEAST A FEW EPISODES, YOU PROBABLY WON’T GET THIS POST ANYWAY SORRY]
I’ve looked for a bunch of angles to take this show on, and I’ve found something both authentic and powerful given how strongly I feel about this show even after watching only five episodes. What’s this revolution? A sexual one of course! Utena after all is a girl who met a dashing prince once upon a time, but instead of wanting to meet or marry that prince one day, she wanted to be one herself! Here is a post of dubious epiphanies. First, a dubious exchange from the comments section of a post on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0:
July 18, 2009 at 2:25 am […] girls suck indeed in real life. They all behave like little spoilt princesses, and the ones who are actually good basically think too much like guys and are more interested in being career women lol.
To which I replied,
July 18, 2009 at 1:07 pm Yeah, I’m totally gay for my wife.
So I was totally kidding. Right? Right? But I already said that Mai Waifu is GAR. Also, I could draw a pattern from my own anime waifu list. Who do I find? Balsa, Kihel Heim and Diana Soriel, Kanna, Cornelia vi Britannia, etc etc. Not exactly the most moe of lists. Also my wife has more degrees than I do, is an attorney, a public servant, and a soldier to boot. Next to her I’m practically Arararararararagi stuttering my own name.
These women, are masculine. Not in looks, but in behavior. In before feminism and political correctness. These characters do look like women, but the way they wield power is not feminine. There is enough femininity in them to make them appeal to manly men, but they out-man many characters in their own shows/manga.
So what does that tell me about myself? I like the superficial veneer of womanly charms, feminine physical softness and appearance. But am thoroughly homodesirous about everything else. Now this is not an easy thing for me to deal with, obviously. It doesn’t feel true, despite the apparent overwhelming indicators. So am I just denying something here? This post isn’t about that discovery. It’s about this:
Tenjou Utena does very little for me.
I would think that she fits the profile to a T, making allowances for her age. Sure she dresses in a masculine way, but she’s got curves and pink hair. Her short skirt is very flattering as well. So what gives? I took note of my feelings as I watch the five episodes I got through. I wasn’t warming up to her even if I was totally blown away by her show. I mean, I really am digging this, and everything about it.
If I didn’t find myself rooting for her, who was I rooting for? I certainly did not form any strong attachments with her dueling counterparts. Saionji is scum, and Miki is weak. I think I did want Utena to win when she dueled with them.
But but but…
But but but…
A nagging feeling: I also want Utena to lose. Not to Saionji, not to Miki, not even to the fabulous Touga Kiryuu who is just the worst kind of guy. Who did I want Utena to lose to, and why?
I want to beat Utena myself.
What? I’m a viewer! I’m not a character in this show! How could this possibly work out?
Huh? What Rose Bride?
The way the Student Council works is that there is The Rose Bride, Himemiya Anthy who is automatically engaged to whomever is the current duel winner. There’s a problem here somewhere…
Well, fine. But let’s put that aside for the moment. There’s something else that concerns me here. If I’m outwardly attracted to powerful women (but not Utena!), then what’s this business with Anthy? Is it possible that this politically correct, feminism-friendly mien is a closet desire for a yamato nadeshiko, Maria Clara woman (Maria Clara is the Madonna in the Madonna|Whore binary)?
Am I *gasp* inauthentic?
And if Revolutionary Girl Utena is showing me up, revealing this less than savory bit about myself, then what do I do about it? I certainly did not spend 9 units of gender studies (almost a minor degree LOL) just to remain chauvinist. But is it as simple as this however?
Can I frame it as since I take on Utena as a rival, an equal, in the pursuit of the Rose Bride, am I not acknowledging her power as a full person? Do I necessarily deny her femininity by my willingness to fight her? Or am I sub-categorizing females between those I fight, and those I (can not) fuck.
Heh. I’ve got the best and most understanding waifu evar, you gossipy shadow puppets can’t worry me. I’m not as updated in gender theory, and I admit I haven’t paid any attention to it at all for years. But I think I’m going to watch this show and learn lots along the way. Animekritik already gets the ball rolling.
Here’s an excellent post that puts mine into perspective: Revolutionizing a World (A Day Without Me 2009/08/25)
The first post that made me consider this show for real, a remembering love kind of thing (Lbrevis 2008/11/18)
The Longcoat introduces us to the show with a lot of screencaps. Be whelmed! (The Longcoat 2009/09/16)
How I enjoyed starting this show best, via an Absolute Beginning Apocalypse (otou-san 2009/09/14)