And this is my reminder to myself which episodes I want to write about, starting with:
- episode 9
- episode 11
- episode 27
and episode 34
Oh man. 34 was, for me, the episode where everything really started to come together in the darkest way possible. I LOVE the shadow play of the fairy tale. (Which I personally always refer to as the “Second Fairy-Tale,” the first of course being Utena’s idealized memory of her own back-story. Fuck - are you going to be talking about the ‘idealization of memory as a fairy tale’ theme? Because that’s one of my favorite aspects of the series.)
I’m surprised though that you didn’t single out 33 at all - I always thought the amusement park date (and the fact that it seems to have been somehow initialized or catalyzed via Anthy, who is responsible for the roses), and in particular Utena’s weirdly ominous lying-in-bed-thinking-about-the-next-day sequence was an incredibly resonant moment, and part of the lead-in to the ep. 34 turning-point. I mean yes, I know it’s a recap episode and all, but I feel like the framing in-between is super important.
I haven’t really formally decided on anything as of yet, but these were the ones that shook my brain in a way that demanded a look back. Unsurprisingly, they’re also some of my favorites, and have always been. It was interesting to rewatch though (just finished). I’m always surprised by how the show solidifies more and more with each viewing, and this one in particular was the first time I felt like I got a sense of how it was mapped out throughout the course of the 39. It can be so easy to think of Utena as a series of arcs, but they’re really all just steps on the same staircase.♥13