ajthefourth: Towards the end of Revolutionary Girl Utena, director Kunihiko Ikuhara and his writer Yoji Enokido decide to re-introduce the audience to its Greek chorus element, The Shadow Girls, by showing them briefly out from behind their customary screens and shadow puppetry, talking to the main character, Utena Tenjou, in class. The Shadow Girls then proceed to put on a play for Utena and the two other main characters. In doing so, they present what has come before and recontextualize it a bit; setting the stage for the series’ final arc, The End of the World.
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ajthefourth: In what appears to be a pivotal episode in the series, I’m going to start us off with something simple, but nuanced: characterization. Once again, we’re presented with Shouma’s inability to do anything, even when he tries to act. In a way, he’s reverted back to his self from the beginning of the series: an inept and fairly useless person. We see his penguin spraying for bugs, this time around being beaten to the punch by a nearby frog.
“The next day, she’d come out of the coffin, and there was something about the look in her eyes…however, I thought for sure that he must have shown her something eternal.”
-Kyouichi Saionji, Revolutionary Girl Utena
ajthefourth: What exactly in our lives is eternal? With such a fleeting, time-bound existence, it’s no wonder that humanity constantly seeks for eternity. The concept itself is a bit daunting to wrap one’s head around, since all one has to go on are their own limited experiences. If something eternal does exist, then surely it would be outside of the worldly parameters of time and space as we know them. In other words, surely, it would be God-like.
ajthefourth: Okay, now we’re going to need everyone to take a deep breath, scream, do whatever you need to in order to get over that “HOLY SHIT IKUHARA ACTUALLY WENT THERE ASDGHJKL#*#$^@!!” feeling. We’ll wait, we had to get over it ourselves after all.
ajthefourth: Backtracking a bit, Mawaru Penguindrum‘s cold open this week is dedicated to reminding us that Shouma was hit by a car in episode eight. Fortunately, Shouma appears to be physically unharmed; however, the consequences of his car accident, and the way that episode nine played with the audience’s perception of Himari’s character cast a very interesting shadow over this tenth episode of the series. Continue reading