Utena: Flashbacks Galore

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 24: "The Secret Nanami Diary"

Now that the entire arc has been undone, it's time for a recap episode...of sorts.

Tsuwabuki begins the day prepping Nanami for her day. She at least thanks him this time. A runaway horse lunges for her and Tsuwabuki pushes her out of the way. He tells us he has a secret nobody knows. In the hospital, Tsuwabuki watches the shadows of Utena, Nanami, and Anthy talk about him. (Anthy asks if he's dead and Kissmate loses his shit laughing.) The heartbeat monitor starts beating faster as the girls find his diary and begin reading it.

He's always watched over Nanami. We see a flashback of Keiko slapping Anthy for hurting Saionji. Nanami saves Anthy and we see Tsuwabuki recording the incident. He says he knows Nanami's image and her true face, recording how she "rules the school from the shadows". We see new information about the curry incident, and how the boys and the elephants ate the curry and... switched bodies before then spending the entire episode chasing Nanami and Tsuwabuki.

Tsuwabuki is proud of her for paying her crime with a smile on her face, and coming back stronger than before. He notes that she never missed a chance to make life difficult for Anthy. No matter how she hurts people, though, she ends up being hurt worse. He says there is a reason why Nanami makes life difficult for Anthy, though: Nanami's entire world revolves around Touga, the only man who can measure up to her ideals. It's interesting to me that the final episode of this season before the third arc is a Nanami clip show. I have always felt she's an important part of the third season.

Under a section marked "strategies", we see her run-ins with being chased by Tsuwabuki but this time waking up in hospital and hugging Tsuwabuki as her big brother. I'm starting to think that the "Nanami has two faces" thing is actually literal, where we see her social-facing face having whites in her eyes and her true-face having no whites at all. Nanami furious with him but Utena begs her to calm down so she doesn't turn into a cow again. Tsuwabuki, true to form, has a plan for that: to join her in cowishness.

Struggling in his hospital robe, Tsuwabuki becomes naked in the process and Nanami flings herself out the window rather than look at his body a moment longer. And now she's in the hospital with an orange sky behind him, but it was all a ruse to read more of his diary. [Kissmate: "Coz that's healthy!!"] Shadow Girls come on and tell us a secret: the king has ears like a donkey but is actually a monkey. The robot from Mikage's shadow play catches the monkey before being transported away in a UFO. No idea what to make of this one except that the robot took the monkey in the same way that Mikage (the robot) took Anthy (the revelation from Akio that Anthy "isn't here").

And that's the end of the second arc. A short one this time, friends! 


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