I can’t get over how much the opening sequence lies to us about the contents of the show. Actually, it would be nice to believe that after the events of the show Anthy and Utena return to Ohtori and storm Dios’ castle on their flying horses. That would be awesome.
anthy himemiya is one of the most complex characters i’ve ever seen in fiction and i don’t think she gets that credit. if people aren’t saying that she’s evil and malicious, they essentially say that she is a damsel in distress and that utena saved her at the end of the series (they also believe that utena became anthy’s prince, which completely disregards the point of the series)
she’s an abuse victim who attempts to exert some kind of control over her situation; it’s very clearly implied that she is behind all the wacky things that happen to nanami. she’s passive aggressive and manipulative. she compensates for her lack of real autonomy like this
i think that her narrative is inspiring to both abuse victims and same-gender attracted girls (and those who are both). she finds the will to leave her abuser because of her recognition of her attraction to and love for utena. and no, utena did not save her or become her prince–utena both literally and symbolically lent her hand to her. she even acknowledges that she cannot become a prince in this world which is very much a metaphor for heteropatriarchy
on a side note, i think this shot is so beautiful
here are two girls who love each other–who finally realize that they love each other. utena finally realized that she couldn’t push anthy to do anything–she never attempted to truly understand her; she was presumptuous and tried to force her wishes on anthy
utena doesn’t save anthy here. she reaches out to her, to see her true self, the self that is trapped in this coffin. she reaches out to her so that she may “finally meet” her, as utena actually says, so that she can finally see and accept anthy for who she is, and not what utena wants her to be
anthy saved herself. utena gave her the courage to leave, yes. but ultimately, she is the one who leaves ohtori academy. she is the one who gives the slip to her abuser
you can’t force abuse victims to leave their abusers, or even to stop loving their abusers. utena realized this
anthy isn’t evil. she is desperate and feels that she is trapped in this abusive relationship with her brother–she receives the brunt of misogyny (the swords of hatred) and feels that she deserves it, that a witch is all that she is and can be. she is castigated by this system which upholds “purity” in girls (the princess) and the domination of men as well as the prioritization of their wants and needs (the prince)
anthy is trying to protect herself. she can’t imagine leaving akio. she tries to exert some kind of control over her situation through her passive aggression and manipulation of others, including utena. she feels that that’s all she can do–but utena gives her the courage to leave!
anthy expected utena to hate her after beholding her “true” self–the self that is trapped, resigned, and, above everything else, afraid
anthy doesn’t believe she can be anything other than a witch. she is full of self-loathing. she is incredibly self-destructive. she is manipulative, but she does this only to feel as though she has some kind of autonomy. she is so much more than what the majority of the audience believes her to be.