Mark Watches ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’: Episode 10

In the tenth episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, I AM BLAMING ALL OF THIS ON YOU. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Utena.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of incest, abusive manipulation, and animal abuse.

  • yo this show is so messed up
  • Like, there is no way to avoid the heavy themes of incest that surround Touga and Nanami. It’s impossible. And it’s frightening! I don’t trust Touga, and with each new episode, I become more and more concerned that he’s manipulating everyone around him. What the hell is going on???
  • It’s clear after the events of the last episode that Touga wants to portray himself as the dashing hero who saved the damsel in distress. But he was the one to put Utena and Anthy in distress in the first place. You can’t deny that his treatment of Saionji at the beginning of “Nanami’s Precious One” is SUPER MESSED UP. He tries to treat Saionji as a friend, and then BURNS SAIONJI’S JOURNAL FOR ANTHY WITH ABSOLUTELY NO HESITATION.
  • Not that I feel all that terrible about Saionji; the dude is super gross and entitled and creepy, but that also doesn’t mean I can’t criticize what Touga is doing.
  • Given that, I’m of the mind to state that I think Touga is also manipulating Nanami and her love for him, too. I think he designed all of this, and it’s TERRIFYING to think about. I think every single thing he does in this episode is done in front of Nanami on purpose so that he can push her to a confrontation with Utena, which he knows she will lose and then turn to him in distress, and then he controls her even more.
  • Now my theory about his manipulation of Saionji sounds less absurd, doesn’t it? Y’ALL, I DON’T LIKE TOUGA AT ALL. I DON’T.
  • It’s clear, then, that Touga planned this from the start. He knew that he had Nanami in mind as the next Duelist, which makes me wonder: Was he also lying about the End of the World? If he was able to fake a letter from the End of the World, was this one real? I suppose that’s possible, except that he just lied about who was the next Duelist. BUT THEN WHERE DID HE GET THE RING FROM?
  • I’m so confused I am so confused.
  • I am also… like, really worried about what sort of affect this is eventually going to have on Nanami? She’s deliberately unlikable for a lot of reasons – she’s cruel, she abuses Utena and Anthy, she killed a kitten because she literally believed it was getting in the way of her relationship with Touga – but I have to wonder how much of this was caused by Touga purposefully using her. If Touga can discard his friendship with Saionji in less than 24 hours, what’s going to happen when he reveals that he doesn’t care about his sister, either? Because for real, I don’t think he likes her or enjoys her at all, and it’s going to be messy as hell when he discards her. That’s what he’s done already, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does this with Nanami.
  • STILL, THIS EPISODE IS SO FUCKED UP ASIDE FROM ANY SPECULATION ON MY PART. Through flashbacks, we see how Nanami put Touga on a pedestal and how Touga feeds into that. I suppose there’s a chance that he never really noticed this when he was younger, but that scene in the present time where Nanami asks for a kiss??? THERE IS CLEARLY SOME ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND AWARENESS ON TOUGA’S PART. HE IS NOT SOME IGNORANT AND BLISSFUL CHARACTER HERE.
  • oh my god this is so messed up.
  • she killed a kitten
  • !!!!!!!!!!!
  • WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS SHE’S SO FURIOUS ABOUT ANTHY’S GIFT. Of course, she can’t stand anyone taking any of Touga’s time. Or making him laugh. or smile. OR DO ANYTHING EVER.
  • The duel, which is vicious and shocking and upsetting, borrows from all the character building over the course of the episode. Nanami is not fighting Utena for Anthy, and in fact, she doesn’t care at all to win the Rose Bride. She fights Utena solely for possession of her brother, DESPITE THAT UTENA HAS NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER IN HER BROTHER. That’s how twisted this is. It’s not like Utena is constantly hitting on Touga and trying to pull him away from Nanami; Utena can barely stand his presence. But Nanami still sees Utena as a threat, even though she’s as far from one as possible.
  • So even though Utena wins the duel easily, Nanami TRIES TO KILL UTENA.
  • And then Touga orders her to stop after she destroys her sword, and he’s comforting her, and I FELT SO GROSS AFTER THIS. There is no way he’s trying to be a genuinely good big brother to her. THIS IS SO GROSS, Y’ALL.
  • ugh

The video for “Nanami’s Precious One” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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