Seven Shoves (Utena Eps. 1-29)

To me, one of the most pleasing aspects of the battle scenes in Revolutionary Girl Utena is all the pushing that goes on.  It’s a weird thing to say, but I enjoy the immediacy, the passion that it represents.  We’re not in fencing club anymore!

A beautiful scene.

Now, the interesting thing is that Utena never pushes.  In the 18 duels occurring in eps. 1-29 she gets shoved seven times, while never attempting to use this tactic on her opponents.  Utena is a clean fighter, also, she takes her rivals very seriously (she’s constantly remarking on how strong they are).  I see the pushing primarily a sign of confidence and a desire to humiliate Utena.  Translation: hubris.

It doesn’t help that it takes a while for Utena to warm up, and she tends to get spun around rather easily.

It begins in episode 2, when Saionji is bold enough to actually kick Utena to the ground.  She ends up getting back on her feet, slicing his katana in half and beating him.

Juri shoves her from behind in episode 7, so hard she falls to the ground.

Then she shoves her again, though not as hard.  Finally the miracle happens and Juri’s rose is scattered to the winds.

Once we enter the Black Rose Arc, the duelists are too incompetent to be pushing Utena around, so we have to wait until episode 23 to see another shove.  Mikage pushes her, then his memory starts coming back to him in all its gory detail and he loses quite easily.

The pushing pace really kicks in right now, and even Miki gets infected!  In episode 26 he shoves Utena relatively forcefully but then starts to oggle his sister making out with Anthy and loses it.

Ruka shoves Utena hard in episode 28 but she manages to hang onto a car and doesn’t fall.

Then in the next episode it’s Juri’s turn again.  First we see a flashback of Ruka shoving Juri down to the ground in their own duel, and then Juri pays it forward by repeating the same move on Utena (though Utena doesn’t fall down).  You can see how three of these shoves are exactly alike.  You could make a Warholian series out of them 🙂

Eventually Juri, her locket broken, gives up in what is a beautiful scene.  The Juri duels tend to be the most memorable for me!!

~ by Haloed Bane on April 21, 2011.

3 Responses to “Seven Shoves (Utena Eps. 1-29)”

  1. Did not notice this at all. Fascinating.

    Re Juri, she’s set up as the best fencer technically — if she’s not the best, she’s the one who makes that the most significant part of her character (while someone like Toga has other big things like The End of the World etc).

    • Yeah, I guess she’s judge, Juri and executioner.

      That’s the most horrible joke I’ve made all year. Sorry.

      She seems to spend most of her time fencing, and the rest of the time probably bowling 🙂

  2. […] Not on Fencing Club On Hotfile On Mediafire On holstein-bot BOOK BOUGHT FROM PASSING FANCY! […]

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