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Forum URL: http://www.eyrie-productions.com/Forum/dcboard.cgi
Forum Name: Symphony of the Sword/The Order of the Rose
Topic ID: 445
Message ID: 15
#15, RE: And then another day (one day, continued)
Posted by Gryphon on Aug-08-14 at 02:48 PM
In response to message #14
LAST EDITED ON Aug-08-14 AT 02:49 PM (EDT)
>All of which rounds back to why the Corwin/Utena relationship (and the
>Corwin/Utena/Anthy triad) ultimately killed my ability to enjoy
>Symphony of the Sword. I get that Gryphon intended otherwise,
>but intention alone doesn't stop me from reading that progression in a
>far more unsettling fashion.

That's as may be, but upon careful introspection, I find that it does absolve me of any need to feel as if I've failed because you Don't Get It, particularly since at this point it's dawning on me that you're willfully Not Getting It out of some misplaced sense of obligation to Take a Stand. This is the wrong place to be doing that. It's like picketing a car dealership to protest abuses in the beef-cattle industry - makes no damn sense.

>It starts with this bit from
>Interlude at Bancroft Tower No. 1 in D Minor:

        "Is that all you're going to say?" Corwin persisted.  
"What I mean is... aren't you going to give me the usual speech about how I'm
a really great guy, and you like me a lot, and you hope we can still
be friends?"

>That line of his? It reminds me of how Internet
>"Nice Guys" tend to view rejection. His subsequent behavior towards
>her -- going out to spend time with just her, including extended trips
>with just of the two of them, behavior that's dating in all but name
>-- reads an awful lot like he's
>put her in the girlfriend zone], and he's taking advantage of her being in
>an emotionally vulnerable and isolated state (consciously or
>otherwise) to level up from "friend" to "love interest."

All right, I'm going to take one more hack at this, and then I'm done with it: You are overanalyzing the fuck out of the entire thing. For one thing, the whole point of Corwin at that age, and indeed any age, is that when he says things that otherwise seem like they ought to involve weird buried-context ulterior-movie bullshit like the above, they don't. That's a recurring feature of his that I think a reasonably perceptive reader can't have missed... except possibly on purpose, because it's inconveniently out-of-line with her Purported Agenda Theory.

For instance, he asked her that in Bancroft Tower because she omitted it, and he was seriously concerned that, on top of failing at his first-ever attempt at romance, he'd broken a friendship in the process. His need to be assured that he hadn't, and his relief when that assurance was forthcoming, was exactly what it looked like. He's not putting on some kind of calculated, manipulative act. He's just a big-hearted, open-hearted kid in a completely unfamiliar situation, playing it by ear.

>Alternatively, she's aware of what's going on with their not-dating,
>and that ... really doesn't let Corwin off the hook (much), and it
>also means that, by poly standards, she's cheating on Anthy.

No. No, no, no, for fuck's sake. Did you not notice any of the places where one, the other, or both of them looks directly at this, or are you just ignoring them because they don't support your conspiracy theory? Between Monolith and Knights 3 inclusive, they both grapple with this apparent dichotomy several times, often in full view of one another. There's no secret agenda happening there, just two young people in a complicated situation, making shit up as they go along and trying to do the best they can without making themselves miserable. Jesus Christ, why has every relationship got to be a some kind of ruthless sub rosa zero-sum game to some people? Did I miss a memo? Are characters not allowed to just be in love any more?

>Either way, it skeeves me the fuck out when their relationship
>goes from friendship to romance, because it reads to me as
>validating the Nice Guy victim complex at the very least, and
>perhaps also tacitly endorsing cheating.

All of that is predicated on a frankly insulting assumption that Corwin's playing some kind of subtle, manipulative game, much like Akio's, with the mind and heart of a woman he loved before he even understood what that kind of love was, and that Utena would fall for that kind of thing twice. If you really think either of those scenarios is even possible, let alone likely, then you have never understood Thing One about the character or the story arc and I cannot help you any further with that. Good day, madam. I said good day!*

* Obligatory Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory reference to make it plain that I'm not completely serious about the furious dismissal part, except I kind of am.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.