Okay! Last episode of that season, I think. Why do I think this? Because we had a retrospective moment with French stained-glass. Let us review. Spoilers everywhere all the time, guys.
NB: We’re doing the duel names in French because when it comes down to it I’m more comfortable in French with this stuff than in English. And also there was French stained glass and it says “Utena: la fillette revolutionnaire” sometimes. (Fillette? That is a very very diminutive form of girl right there). MOVING ON.
Amitié: the first duel. Amitié means friendship (ami=friend), which makes sense. Utena fights for Wakaba.
Choix: choice, the second duel. What this is NOT going to be is a season recap, so we’re just moving quickly here, ‘kay?
Raison: reason, right? Kind of. Not exactly. Raison in French (as I understand it, anyways) is more like the “shining thing” - your calling, your purpose, stuff like that. Makes sense as this episode/duel is about Miki’s “Shining thing” or raison or whatever. Interestingly, this is the first introduction to Western sword work - Miki fences in the French style where Saionji, who fought the first two duels, uses a kendo sword.
Amour: love. This is Juri’s duel, and it’s kind of about how she is super depressed and doesn’t believe in miracles and her best friend thought she was in love with this guy when really she loved the friend. I think. It’s also interesting to note that she’s another very “masculine” female character - the only other girl who wears trousers, for example (though let’s be real, Utena’s wearing cycling shorts). It seems like she has no female friends after this love interest. I’d like to see more of her - I think she’s interesting and reluctant to open up. Juri seems to be the one most clearly protecting herself. Also it’s worth noting that Miki and Juri are obviously better swordsmen than Utena. Miki is distracted by the fact that hey, Anthy doesn’t want to get rescued, and Juri is beat by a miracle. Which makes sense, because when you think about nationally ranked fencer vs Utena, the odds are pretty bloody stacked.
Adoration is the same in English. Nanami, you crazy girl. What she feels for her brother isn’t filial love or piety or whatever - it’s straight-up infatuation. She is NUTS about him, and blames everyone else. More on her later because their relationship worries me to no end but this is not the place.
And then we have Conviction with Touga - he beats her (Dios?) unfairly and her last duel
Soi. Soi means “self,” just about, derived from the verb “to be” (e.g.: sois sage!), and this is when Utena fights for herself for the first time. She challenges, here. She challenges the first time, too, for Wakaba, but all the other duels have been initiated by the other participant. AND she gets a pink rose, instead of white.
What’s important is the heavy handed you-have-grown stuff and also the fact that in the “next on Utena” bit we have new people, the boys of the black rose. Interesting, they have similar colouring to her prince (whom we’ve been talking to in his tomb/eggshell place with the stained class windows).
What I’m trying to say is GUYS I’M EXCITED