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GeekNights Presents: Utena
Episode 14 of Revolutionary Girl Utena is the de facto start of the Black Rose Saga. The Boys of the Black Rose. Who are these new characters? Why do they look suspiciously like (and have ties to) characters we already know? Why is Anthy clearly in cahoots with the End of the World. Cahoots, and also bed. All this and more as we begin analyzing some of the meatiest episodes of Utena yet.
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A point on the framed butterfly in the elevator: I'm about 80% certain that those white spots on the leaf are caterpillar eggs, so it's a transition from full butterfly back to cocoon, caterpillar, and then unborn egg. I've read it on the surface level as going back to the birth of the problem that brought them to Nemuro hall, or along the lines of Freud-style psychoanalysis where one is trying to reach into the "unconscious" for the origins of their personality and/or problems.
I think I had one or two other comments, but I'd need to watch the video again to remember them.
(I suppose unless there was a conspiracy where they were "buried alive" so that they could duel in secret without going to classes)
But I think that the reason that they have these black rings that crumble when they die is specifically because they didn't die in duels. The rings are carrying on the boys' reasons for fighting because they never had the chance to have those reasons destroyed by a duel - at least until Utena comes along. If you're alive, you can always find another reason to fight, and the ring stays intact. For the dead boys, though, the ring loses its purpose and crumbles.
It could be that their punishment for losing a duel back in those days was that they would be shoved into one of those coffins and locked in until dead. That makes both things true.
Well, we do learn what happens anyways. Eventually.
Alternatively, give me a few minutes with Photoshop and some search terms that might put me on a few lists, and I bet I could make it happen.