the_sun_is_up: Giorno in a cloud of flower petals, making a sexyface at the camera. (giogio - faaaaabulous)
[personal profile] the_sun_is_up
Yep.

This is one of those shows that I put off watching for a long time due to Hype Aversion. When everyone and their mother gushes about how amazing a show is, it tends to make me less keen to watch it because I know that nothing on Earth could possibly live up to all that hype. But once in a while, a show will subvert this principle and will actually turn out to be just as good as everyone said it was, and Utena is one of those cases.

This show is such a mindfuck that I don't even know where to start, so I'll just throw out some general observations:

1) It's pretty clear that the Utena staff were working with an uncomfortably small budget, and I'm impressed at how they were able to make all those animation short-cuts look so good. Silhouettes, monochrome, still frames, those Shadow Girl sequences — they're all obviously done to save money, but the show works them in so seamlessly and appropriately that they end up looking like purely artistic choices.

2) Watching this show is really exhausting, because I already know that a lot of it is drenched in symbolism and hidden layers of meaning, so even though I'm trying to just kick back and enjoy it, I keep catching myself overanalyzing it and focusing on random minutiae because I know that anything weird or seemingly incomprehensible was probably put there for a reason.

3) Regarding Miki's stopwatch: He's timing the length of the dialogue. Yes, I checked, like a complete nerd, and he always starts his stopwatch when someone begins speaking. Sometimes he'll time a large stretch of dialogue, and sometimes just one line, so I'm not sure what (if anything) he's focusing on, but his compulsive stop-watching is definitely dialogue-related.

4) So throughout the show, there's this border that pops up a lot: four roses in the corners of the screen, all spinning and usually color-coded depending on which character is onscreen. I love how when Chu-Chu is first introduced, the border shows up again, except the roses have been replaced by spinning bananas. LOL.

5) Nanami is one of my favorite characters so far. She makes such a great butt-monkey. I love that long gag in episode 4 where she's trying to sneak creepy crawlies into Anthy's belongings in order to expose Anthy as a weirdo and make Utena and Miki dislike her, but she keeps discovering that Anthy is already keeping creepy crawlies in her belongings, and Utena knows about it and is pretty much resigned to it, and Miki actually thinks it's cute. Relatedly, OCTOPUS BALLOON.

6) My other favorite characters so far are the Shadow Girls. They are a riot! I loved that one sketch where they're portraying a duel as an old West gun fight, and a shadow of a tumbleweed goes rolling by, and then someone carries a potted cactus by in the foreground.

7) Already shipping Utena/Anthy. Come on, how could I not? Also shipping Touga/Saionji, because they're pretty, dammit. Also because I've been spoiled for some later reveals about their relationship. I'm also appreciating the massive amounts of Utena/Wakaba LesYay. And lol @ that bit when Wakaba jumps onto Utena piggyback-style as usual, except she does it so enthusiastically that she almost topples them both headfirst out of the second-story window. And then Utena's like "Uh, that was kind of dangerous" and I'm like "NO KIDDING."

8) Feminismmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Om nom nom delicious.

9) Why does everyone refer to Utena's uniform as the boys' uniform? I don't see any of the boys wearing Daisy Dukes.

10) When the girls receive their ball gowns from Touga, and Utena's like "Ewww it's all pink and foofy," I was like "I know right, it'll totally clash with your hair!" Okay, it sounded funnier in my head.

11) After watching way too many crappy modern moe shows, the art style of this series is like a breath of fresh air to me. Noses! The characters actually have noses! I'm so happy I could cry! And instead of being teenagers who look like five-year-olds, they're teenagers who look like adults! So refreshing. And did I mention the noses? Guh, I will never get tired of seeing Utena's nose in profile. <3__<3

And at the risk of stating the obvious: this show really really good. Like, everything about it is really good. I just want to dissolve it in water and swim around in it.

Date: 2012-07-19 03:57 am (UTC)
cypsiman2: Nope could never ever be honest and for truely (Miki/Juri)
From: [personal profile] cypsiman2
You have no idea how good things are going to get. Unless you've read spoilers and stuff, in which case you do.

Also, according to Kunihiko Ikuhara, all the interpretations of the symbolism are correct. All of them.

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