Animewriter on Sexuality as Sovereignty in Revolutionary Girl Utena and His Dark Materials

Original Post: To Be So Smooth: Seduction and Betrayal in Revolutionary Girl Utena’s Akio Car Arc


March 22, 2010 at 12:05 am

Yes, now you’re really biting into some tasty meat, just a little deeper and you’ll taste the marrow of the bones.

I think that the reason why Akio and others are able to seduce and manipulate so many into doing their bidding is that they’re offering them the chance to fulfill their desires which aren’t possible in the first place.

“The Character’s Goal (Saionji wants something Eternal, Miki wants something (eternally) Beautiful, Juri wants the Power of Miracles, Nanami wants the Power to surpass everything, Toga wants the Power to Bring the World to Revolution”

In the your last post on Utena I commented on how everything in/and about the academy was wrong and I think that this theme is carried over brilliantly in the Akio Car arc. Almost every goal and desire the main characters want are wrong including Utena wanting to be a prince, she can no more be a prince then I could be princess.

What i found really interesting about your post was how you described Namami being more pure than Anthy because of lack of desire for a sexual relationship, with Anthy being sullied by her incestuous desire for her brother. To me, a large part of this series is about leaving childish ideas behind and becoming adults, and part of adulthood is the “loss of innocence”, I look at this issue completely differently, putting aside the whole incest issue, the desire for or completion of sex is a sign of declaring you’re stepping into the world of adulthood, now whether the outcome is good or bad is another story.

Many years ago I was in a forum that was discussing the sexual awakening of the two main characters from Philip Pullmann’s His Dark Materials book trilogy (they where around Utena’s age) and the author actually chimed in. He stated something to the effect (this happened like 6-7 years ago so I might be a little off on the exact wording) that the characters relationship changing from the pure child-like to the more sexualized adult form was a key point in emphasizing that they where becoming adults with the all responsibilities, rewards, and heartbreaks that go along with it. He stated that as children we are controlled by our religion, our parents, our schools, and our societal values but when we make the free decision to express our love in a sexual form we are declaring our sovereignty, it’s a decision we can only make for ourselves. This theme of sexual desire roiling under the surface, and not so under the surface of RGU is one of the reasons I really loved the series, I get tired of anime where the main characters fawn/have the hots over each other for years and the series ends with a confession, or a kiss, GMAFB, so I think that RGU’s slow boil is closer to RL than many anime tread, weird symbolism included. Oh, I wish I could have a car like that.


%d bloggers like this: