Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ep. 13 - Tracing a Path

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.

"Egakareru kiseki" 
June 25, 1997

You know what we haven't heard in a while? The princess story of how Utena's parents are dead and she met the prince. Better remind everyone and show this AGAIN.  How hetero this story is when she didn't vow to become a prince because of him, but to save her.

Shadow Girls in Space!  They talk about how she might think she's done dueling but there is more to come.  Also they get reaped away by a mysterious third Shadow Girl.  Introducing, C-Ko!!!

Inside the Kiryuu mansion, we see Nanami observing her brother in a room listening to his egg statement on repeat.  He thought he had it.  His reason to duel that he carried such belief in.  How could he lose?  Brooding for thirteen episodes begins now!

Enter Akio.  I like how the angles and such give illusion to him traveling to the castle because later on we see that range setting is only illusion to which he can change.  So really he just goes there and visits the dormant prince of his former self.  

"Is the egg's she'll still unbroken?" Almost implies that Touga should have one because it is "needed" to have the world's shell broken now.  Why else would Akio be over here talking about it with Utena's beloved prince figure.  Oh what it must be like once again to watch it and think you've found Utena's prince and that he'll return.

Introducing the stained glass pieces!  Akio talks about Utena winning the seventh duel, self, as an accomplishment.  I get the feeling from that dialogue that not every duelist who wins can make it that far.  She's accomplished enough for him to make note of what she's done.

Now really and truly, this episode is one of those recap episodes but this is Utena.  Akio's commentary is quite important as we review on what has happened so far.  We're also treated to all of the dueling songs played so far so that's nice.

We jump from discussing duel seven to her first duel.  Akio implies that the prince felt hope.  I think it was more Akio that did but he passes those feelings to his repressed self instead of identifying them as his anymore.  He doesn't hope, that's a childhood quality that he shook away years ago therefor it must be Dios that feels hope.

The duel of choice reinforces what we saw earlier, Utena went from dueling for a friend to actually choosing to defend the Rose Bride.  I wonder if Saionji was on duel conviction when he was defeated by Utena. Utena's duel of choice was probably his duel of self if the pattern she walks is the pattern same for all.  What if Saionji had won his duel of self?   

I don't think this reflection reveals the favor has always been toward Utena.  It might have been slight to start but after she knocked Saionji out for the second time, it was ensured that he no longer would walk the path of the duelist but that Utena should be focused on.  Personal opinion here.  Also note how Akio presents himself in every stained glass, demonstrating that he has been involved in each of these duels so far.

Watching Nanami drown the cat again has me thinking about her deal with animals.  She never got over what she did.  Not only does it weigh heavy on her mind, but she made it a point to become heavily involved with animals as she grew up almost as if to atone for what she did.  To care for and relate to animals for her childhood mistake.  Well, she didn't mistakenly push the cat in but she clearly regrets having done it.

As Akio leaves, Dios actually shifts position as though watching him go.  With Anthy by his side.  Is Dios looking to Akio or Anthy?  Both maybe?  What has their life become from what it once was...

"How will she do in the duels to come?"  Yup, you guessed it.  We aren't done dueling yet!  And these duels coming are some real fun!  

Anthy returns home and Utena asks where she's been. No answer but a smile.  Oh, I've just been out with my older brother talking about how we're grooming you to unlock Dios.  It's all good.  No plotting or backstabbing going over here.  Noooooo.....

"The clouds are rolling in quickly."  Also read as, "new duels are coming."  See, I totally told you what to expect.  I love the visuals that we are treated to at the end.  Everything that sets the stage for the Black Rose duelists.  They're coming!

Can I help?

Screenshots from the lovely


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