Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ep. 8 - Curried High Trip

This episode analysis(musing) contains spoilers.  This episode analysis skims over topics and doesn't go into huge detail because each detail is really worth it's own post.  This analysis does not cover every detail to analyze but ones that I have chosen to discuss.  Also, these are my opinions and nothing official.  You do not have to accept or agree with any of this.

"Karē naru Haitorippu" 
May 21, 1997
No duel

Did you forget about the story of the girl who's parents died?  No?  Too bad.  The beginning of this episode is going to remind you of that story once more!

After this gentle reminder, we see Nanami spying on Utena and Anthy in home ec class as they prepare curry.  Apparently Nanami has arranged for her lackeys to cause damage to Anthy's cooking but there was a problem the curry and EXPLOSION!

It is revealed in the student council meeting that this event was unforeseen by Ends of the World.  Really, this episode could be seen as filler but it divulges more into Saionji and his personality while just having some grand moments all around.  

When Wakaba jumps on Utena's back after she's been released from the hospital that something isn't quite right.  Anthy is being picked on by the lackeys but it turns right back on them as Anthy returns their slap!  This sequence is one if my favorite from this episode and leads beautifully into the explanation of how Utena and Anthy have switched bodies!

Anthy looked so cool acting as Utena but I really wasn't fond of how Utena looked doing Anthy things.  Utena somehow thought the Student Council was behind this.  I guess that sort of makes sense considering how she's been pulled into the duels but Nanami defends her brother by stuffing her foot in her mouth admitting herself to be the one behind the madness.  Even her lackeys tried to shush her but all that made her stop was her brother's disapproving tone.

Nanami and her sob story are just too precious as she jumps a plane for India to find another batch of this mystical, magical spice for the curry with her lackeys on board with her.  The rule of three is going to appear A LOT in this episode as it heavily covers the topic of karma.  What goes around, comes around... And usually returns to you three-fold.  This is further established by the Shadow Girl sequence in this episode.  We see Nanami get kicked around by karma this episode, but do we see it come about to many of the other characters?  You tell me.

As Nanami faces the elephants of karma in India, Utena deals with Saionji's advances while she inhabits Anthy's body.  Anthy is so funny to me when Utena gets pulled off by Saionji.  She's just smiling and waving like "it's your turn to deal with that now.. have fun with that!"  Utena's face when she's in the gym closet with Saionji are too precious to me!  Utena brings so many levels of emotion to the character's face that are so enjoyable to see.  You haven't seen any reactions of surprise or much of anything until now.  It's so beautiful to see.

A number of things about the exchange diary.  Anthy practically uses this as another tool to try and demonstrate to Utena that she does what she is told by her engaged or doesn't depending on the command.  I think this action finally gives Utena a better understanding whether she finds it acceptable or not.  Also, Utena only reads Saionji's last passage and responds in reaction to what he wrote about her.  I'm really curious as to what Anthy's pages said.  Utena gave no consideration to writing in a way that would be fitting for Anthy but felt wronged and attacked Saionji back.  Another instance of Utena doing what she felt was right regardless of Anthy's feelings and what she wanted.  

She returns Saionji the exchange diary before running off to accept the spice from the returned Nanami.  Interesting to note in this episode is Saionji's treatment of Anthy.  In the beginning of Utena we saw him slapping Anthy around when they were engaged, yet in this episode they're still "together" in his eyes but how he treats her is more gentle and sincere.  Maybe the slapping was more coaxed out of him by pushing his buttons?  Or maybe he's hoping if he doesn't hit her while they're "apart" that she'll go back to him?

Either way, spice gets blown away as soon as Nanami arrives.  Is this karma punishing Utena for being cruel to Saionji while using Anthy's name?  Maybe.  

Just the same, we find that the body switch didn't happen because of the spice but because of Anthy's cooking.  Not too shocking considering she's a witch but this leads to an awesome twist where Saionji and Chu-Chu switch bodies!  The way Anthy's eyes sparkle when he see Chu-Chu as Saionji give me two thoughts.  Does she really love Saionji so seeing Chu-Chu as Saionji make her squee OR is the divine punishment of Saionji being placed in an animal that upsets him give her delight?

What should we do about HIM?

Screenshots from the lovely


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