I just coded all night.
> Analysis of 'Virtual Star Embrology'

This analysis was donated by Kiseki.

    I will preface by saying that I could be wrong beyond my comprehension. Feel free to e-mail me at jtkim83@earthlink.net if you have any comments, questions, or objections to some of the things that I am going to say in this essay.

    In any case, having studied philosophy enough, the lyrics of the second half of the song 'Virtual Star Embryology' struck me as very Aristotelian. More specifically, the second half of the song seemed to go through Aristotle's conception of the cosmos. In hopes of showing my point, I will go through the relevant part of the song (from 'Soshite Tsukiten Suseiten...' ('And Lunar Heaven, Mercurial Heaven...') to 'Hitotsu no Eikyuu Undou Souchi' ('One perpetual motion device')) and point out Aristotle's view on the cosmos along the way.

Soshite Tsukiten Suseiten Kinseiten
Taiyouten Kaseiten Mokuseiten
Doseiten Kouseiten Gendouten

And Lunar Heaven, Mercurial Heaven, Venusian Heaven
Solar Heaven, Martian Heaven, Jovian Heaven
Saturnian Heaven, Sidereal Heaven, Motive Heaven

    These lines seem to list the planets in order from the least distant from the Earth to the most distant. In Aristotle's cosmos, the Earth was at the center of the universe and, as far as I know, was stationary and did not move. This means that everything else in the cosmos was moving, since it is an obvious phenomenon that planetary bodies and stars appear to be moving to us.

    In any case, for Aristotle, the moon (referenced by 'Lunar Heaven') was the closest to Earth, followed by Mercury ('Mercurial Heaven'), Venus ('Venusian Heaven'), the Sun ('Solar Heaven'), Mars ('Martian Heaven'), Jupiter ('Jovian Heaven'), and Saturn ('Saturnian Heaven'). Each of the bodies rotated in their own orbits, although in the Ptolemaic system, which was the system that lasted until Johannes Kepler proved that the Copernican picture was the true picture, the planets orbited around a point that revolved in a circle around the Earth. It must be noted that Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, however, were not even known to have existed during Aristotle's lifetime. Beyond Saturn, for Aristotle, lied the immovable stars ('Sidereal Heaven'). However, the stars did not move on their own. Since they were seen to be moving from Earth, and since the Earth was stationary, something was moving the immovable stars. For Aristotle, this was ultimately the Prime Mover ('Motive Heaven'). The Prime Mover had structured the universe to make the cosmos that it was in accordance with the good. In a sense, the cosmos was a reflection of the Prime Mover itself.

Saranaru Enkan Mugen ni Hatenaki

Further circular infinity without end

    This line seems to refer to the nature of Aristotle's cosmos. Since the Prime Mover created the cosmos as a reflection of himself, the cosmos was eternal. However, there was one problem: the Prime Mover was immaterial and completely outside the sequence of time, which meant that he could exist as is throughout the entirety of time. However, the cosmos was within the sequence of time, and nothing could remain in its original state and be eternal within time. So, in order to make the cosmos eternal, the Prime Mover made the cosmos eternal in change. So, the Prime Mover set the planets and stars in orbit so that they would be eternal in the change, in this case, of motion and movement.

Hitotsu no Yuukitekina Kikan
Hitotsu no Eikyuu Undou Souchi

One organic system
One perpetual motion device

    In terms of the line, 'one organic system', Aristotle actually believed the planets to be living objects. In the American Heritage Dictionary, one of the definitions of 'organic' is 'of or derived from living organisms', so the interpretation fits. The line 'one perpetual motion device' refers again to the eternity of the cosmos through motion (by orbiting around the Earth).

    Well, the Aristotelian analysis of the lyrics is all fine and good, but the main question is the point of the analysis. Well, 'Virtual Star Embryology' is played as Saionji's duel song in the Akio Arc.

    As we all know, Saionji wants Anthy, the Rose Bride. Throughout the series, Saionji has always wanted Anthy. However, the reasons behind his desire of Anthy are not obvious.

    Saionji, as all Revolutionary Girl Utena fans should know, is friends with Touga. However, Touga always seems to have dominance over Saionji. Touga's the President of the Student Council, while Saionji is only the Vice President. Touga always beats Saionji while practicing kendo together. Indeed, Touga has always been the dominant one of the two, while Saionji was always the passive one. When they were all children, Touga was the one that went to Utena while Saionji stayed behind in the church graveyard.

    In a situation like this, the most obvious thing one would want would be a means to exert superiority. In fact, this is probably what Saionji desires: to exert superiority over Touga, and thus, everyone. Saionji wants to be eternal and create and set in motion the entire cosmos - just like the Prime Mover does. However, Saionji needs the Rose Bride to achieve this goal.

    However, 'Virtual Star Embryology' is not just Saionji's duel song in the Akio arc. It is also the ending song played during the Akio and Apocalypse arcs, and it is the duel song that starts off the Akio arc, since Saionji is the first one to duel Utena in the Akio arc. As such, the lyrics probably refer at least to those parts of the series in general - which heavily involve Akio.

    Obviously, Akio is in the position of the Prime Mover and has created the planets (the duelists) and set them in motion. For a very long time, Akio has used the dueling to maintain his hold on Anthy, who is the power behind the duels, and thus maintain the eternity of the cosmos he has created for himself. The batch of duelists in Shoujo Kakumei Utena is no different from the rest.

    Yet, I have to reflect on the last lines:

Aa Kuudou Nari
Sowa, Kuudou Nari Nari

Ah, it is an empty movement.
That is an empty movement. It is.

    The lines run contrary to the Aristotelian system in that there is a purpose to the movement of the cosmos. Indeed, in the entirety of Aristotle's philosophy, there is a purpose to every single thing in the cosmos.

    Ultimately, the lines may end up serving as a sort of irony/sarcasm in that it is negating the movements set about by the Prime Mover (Saionji and Akio) as purposeless. The lines may ultimately imply that the system that Saionji wants will never be achieved and that the system constructed by Akio will eventually fail. However, this is a mere guess, and I presently do not have any evidence to back my claim up.

    As for the first half of the lyrics, this is also a guess, but it may involve elements of pre-Aristotelian philosophy. The word, 'atoms', shows up in the lyrics of 'Virtual Star Embryology'. Aristotle did not believe in atoms at all, but there was a Greek that came before Aristotle that did: Democritus. I believe the word, 'air', in the lyrics may be a reference to a Greek that believed that air was the primal element from which everything was created. Again, though, these are mere guesses, and I have absolutely no evidence to support the claims.

    Nonetheless, much of the song involves references to ancient Greek philosophy that, if understood, help to elaborate on the story and the characters within Shoujo Kakumei Utena. Indeed, at least some of the other duel songs (such as the duels involving Juri, Shiori, Kozue, and Akio) serve a similar purpose, which only demonstrates the brilliance of J.A. Seazer. This also makes Shoujo Kakumei Utena an anime that requires a very open mind. So, listen to all of the duel songs carefully and try to make connections with the lyrics and the story. Most important of all, have fun watching it. It's Utena, for God's sake.

Personality + Relationship + Narrative + Miscellany + Music

Introduction + Characters + Reference + Submission

Go Home
Analysis of Utena + Empty Movement

Akio is no rapist, he is just an opportunist that makes his home a school full of emotionally compromised teenagers. This frame is actually pulled from the Metropolitan Museum of Art archives.
I considered making this a time gif that would occasionally flash Dios as having a ponytail. Then I got lazy.
I know this layout is sort of a spoiler, but so was the closing of the first season, so suck it.
This is far and away the most complex layout I have coded, and I know it does not look like it.
So are they waltzing or foxtrotting or what?
Because according to Ikuhara, if it were Akio, they would be doing the lambada.
These swords ended up looking like the crosses in Evangelion. I left it on purpose because hellz yeah.
I wanted this layout to look like a fairy tale. It ended up looking like a French textile exhibit. Oops.
Polly want some C4? Sorry, coding and Colbert do not mix.
It is March. It is snowing. It is Canada.
You know what is an awesome idea? Coding on your rag. That is smart.