[image description: Four screenshots from the anime Revolutionary Girl Utena, some with subtitles. All of them take place in the Student Council’s meeting room.

First screenshot: Scattered all over the room are a bunch of different chairs of different shapes and colors, facing different directions. Juri and Miki are sitting in two of them. They are a good distance from each other, and facing away from each other, though not directly away. We can also see a circular white table with an envelope on it.

Second screenshot: Close-up of a red chair knocked onto its side. Subtitle reads: “I don’t like it!”

Third screenshot: Juri is sitting in a curvy white wire-frame chair with a green seat. Her arms and her legs are both crossed. She says: “End of the World’s true identity remains a mystery.”

Fourth screenshot: Nanami, wearing her yellow-colored Student Council uniform, is sitting in a brown cushion armchair and getting a massage from it. She says: “He might be a nice ‘Daddy Long Legs’ for all we know!”

end of image description]

Today’s mood is chairs.

I imagine that the empty chairs surrounding the Student Council symbolize the absence of Touga and Saionji from this meeting. Now that they’ve both abandoned the Council, the number of remaining members is conspicuously shrinking.

Miki stands up, throws his chair to the ground, and denounces the entire dueling game, declaring that “adults who tell you that something is ‘for your own good’ can never be trusted” and that he won’t let “some selfish adult” exploit him. Despite his words, this foreshadows the fact that he’ll soon be following in Touga and Saionji’s footsteps.

Then he finds another chair and sits back down, an action which foreshadows the fact that, just like the last time he felt compelled to speak against the dueling game, he will very quickly be persuaded back into it. (Notably, Miki’s motivation for opposing the game this time is completely self-centered. He is bemoaning his own lack of agency, not Anthy’s.)

Juri, who tells Miki to hold onto his damn hat, is perched comfortably in her chair; but she is nowhere near as comfortable as a certain Kiryuu.

Nanami is so passive in this scene that it’s effectively a conversation between Miki and Juri. What little she has to say, the other two ignore. At this point, she is the most comfortable with the dueling game, the least likely to leave, and the least suspicious of End of the World. Fittingly, she gets the comfiest chair.

She will be getting out of that chair eventually, though. Her nonchalance in this scene is a stark contrast to how she’ll be acting when Akio decides that it’s her turn to duel again. 

[image description: Screenshot from the anime Revolutionary Girl Utena. A plain-looking man wearing a dark suit is sitting on a chair with his back to the camera, holding a gold-and-purple cord phone up to Anthy. Anthy is standing behind him and to his left, wearing her red Rose Bride outfit and a white headdress that trails down her back in a leaf pattern. Her back is also to the camera, and her right hand is placed on the back of the man’s chair. Otherwise, we see a lamp behind and to the right of both of them, close to the camera and mostly cut off. The caption reads: “It’d be rude for me to start calling myself his mother so soon.”]

The Akio Ohtori Saga keeps layering on the discomfort that the Black Rose Saga first introduced. This scene in particular tends to elicit a pretty strong “What the fuck” reaction from first-time viewers. It raises all sorts of questions that are never directly answered.

Why is Anthy suddenly with Miki’s father? Why doesn’t Miki recognize Anthy’s voice? Is Miki even really in contact with his father, or is that faceless dude just a puppet conjured by Anthy to give Miki the illusion of contact with the outside world? Are any students in contact with their parents, or all they all trapped in this surrealist hellscape?

The suggestion seems to be either that they’re all trapped in Ohtori, or that Akio’s sphere of influences extends outside the school and Miki’s father is in on the conspiracy. Personally, I like the former interpretation. Akio doesn’t seem very interested in the world outside of Ohtori. The fact that he is, by and large, the only adult in the whole story with any agency is also pretty important.

Oh, and the Rose Bride is a literal bride in this scene. Weird, huh?

The Empty Nest

The worst that could have happened has happened; the Lucian spies have gotten inside Zegnautus. When Mr Besithia’s back was turned, they tried to get 322 right from his bed. Except that bed was shared by 216, an older clone who has started his training two years ago, long enough for him to wake up and raise and alarm.

He wasn’t strong enough even with his wings when he was knocked out.

Now he was alone and the cell he was in smelt of humans he did not know. His feathers were raised, betraying his fear as he stared at the two way glass on one side of the wall.

216 bared his teeth.