In the fifth episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Miki struggles to overcome his fears. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Revolutionary Girl Utena.
“The Sunlight Garden – Finale”
Trigger Warning: For discussion of consent/agency
WOW WHAT THE HELL, I’M SAD.
- I don’t think that Miki’s desire to literally possess Anthy should be overlooked, and I definitely don’t think the show let’s him off the hook, either. But holy shit, he makes me sad? And I’m even more furious with Touga, who purposefully manipulated Miki by having sex with his estranged twin sister JUST SO THAT HE COULD PUT HIM INTO A VULNERABLE STATE. How complicit was she in that? Has she manipulated him before, or was this the first time? SHOULD I PREPARE MYSELF FOR FURTHER DEVASTATION OF THIS SORT?
- At the beginning of this episode, I was still unsure how we were going to end up with Miki challenging Utena to a duel. Surprisingly, I wasn’t that far off-the-mark in terms of Miki’s emotional motivations, but I was still lacking a few crucial details from his backstory that would inform his current state. I mean, I picked up on the fact that he was projecting his happiness from his days with his sister onto Anthy, imagining that because he saw her in Anthy, Anthy could provide him with happiness and stability again.
- However, Miki quickly discovers a flaw in his plan: Anthy is devoted to Utena.
- Literally. And as Utena spells this out more and more to the audience, I become INCREASINGLY MORE DISTURBED. There has to be some sort of spell or magic that’s taken hold of Anthy because she does not seem at all aware that she must base all her decisions on the will of whomever she is engaged to. Utena is still unaware herself of the power she holds over Anthy, too; Miki is the only one out of the three of them who figures out just how much control he’d have over Anthy if she were his Bride.
- That’s where I don’t want to excuse Miki. His story is incredibly sad. He found happiness in those days spent playing piano with his sister, and they were ruined when he caught measles on the day of his first big performance with her. I don’t know if he was furious at her for leaving the stage and throwing away an opportunity like that OR he was furious with himself for not being able to support her. Either way, it destroyed his relationship with her, and he clearly despises her now.
- Which I’m sure she knows! She taunts him with the fact that she had sex with Touga because she knows it will hurt him. But Touga… FUCK HIM. HE’S CREEPY AND GROSS. And I admit I don’t know what his plan is here. What’s his endgame? Why manipulate Miki like this? I have a theory that might work, but… well, I’m still unsure. I know he is attracted to Utena, so maybe he thought Miki would beat her in a duel, thereby winning Anthy and leaving Utena free for himself?
- I don’t know?
- I’M SO LOST.
- Regardless, Miki challenges Utena to a duel in a misguided display of chivalry. He truly believes that he’s protecting Anthy, that by winning her he will both free her and be able to keep her. He can’t even see how these two ideas contradict one another! AND IT’S CREEPY.
- I FEEL SUPER PROTECTIVE OF ANTHY ALREADY AND IT’S BEEN FIVE EPISODES.
- I NEED BACKSTORY
- SO MUCH OF IT.
- I don’t think Utena will win every duel she faces, and I honestly thought for a second that she would lose against Miki. He trained in fencing! He was so damn good, and Utena has… no training whatsoever? Right? I might have forgotten a detail.
- Still, this duel has the same sort of urgency as the second episode. Utena fights Miki because she doesn’t want to lose Anthy to anyone else. I mean, I think that’s all subtextual, but STILL.
- Oh, was everything not sad enough?
- THEN LET’S HAVE MIKI’S SISTER’S BACKSTORY, IN WHICH SHE REVEALS THAT SHE WAS NEVER GOOD AT THE PIANO AND EVERYONE THOUGHT SHE WAS AND SHE’S HAD TO LIVE IN THE SHADOW OF HER BROTHER’S PRODIGAL ABILITIES AND WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHOW
- WHAT THE
- YOU ALL DID THIS TO ME.
- and i still understand nothing.
The video for “The Sunlight Garden – Finale” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– If you would like to support this website and keep Mark Does Stuff running, I’ve put up a detailed post explaining how you can!
– Please check out the MarkDoesStuff.com. All Mark Watches videos for past shows/season are now archived there!
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Feature will be Farscape.
– I will be at quite a few conventions and will be hosting events throughout the US, Canada, and Europe in 2014, so check my Tour Dates / Appearances page often to see if I’m coming to your city!
– Inspired by last year’s impromptu event in London, I am taking Mark in the Park on the road! You can see all currently planned dates and pitch your own city here.