You'd be amazed how long it took to find a picture of a glass of cognac.
I vectored this shot of her thinking it would be the main image and all I used was the outline. Ha!
Yes, I know this layout takes forever to load.
Dark corner of the site, so I get to make it do whatever I want!
Mother, Dearest! Whoo!
What layout would be complete without swirlies? Yes, it's an actual picture of a woman. OOOO.
I heard that so much as a kid.

   Much can be gleaned from what weíre told of the Ohtori family. We know the family controls the school and passes that control down generations to the men. This is an almost embarrassingly traditional approach to the family business, given that while time is a vague dimension in Shoujo Kakumei Utena, there has been at least enough progression to bring about cars and cellular phones. All modernization is thrown out the window for this clan; they still use arranged marriages to obtain male heirs to the family fortune, as it clearly never occurred to anyone that Kanae would inherit her fatherís position.

   The central themes of the show considered, itís hard to see the school as a family owned business so much as the property of a royal family. Their approach to running the school is so antiquated that the only place you really often see it anymore is in royal families, though admittedly one of the few places where it does still happen in business is Japan.

    Position of Power
    Thou shalt not commit adultery...

Position of Power

   Mrs.Ohtori, for her part, we naturally assume is in the feminine position of power. She holds no official title in the school, but is nevertheless able to throw a little weight around. As the Chairmanís wife she would have his ear, and in a case like Kanaeís, where the marriage is arranged but never quite explicitly noted as such, the social arrangements and finer details would likely have fallen to her. Circumstances would certainly suggest Mrs.Ohtori was the prime mover in the planning Akioís engagement to Kanae, since the Chairman was ill at the time and in no condition for such political maneuvers.

   Another factor that would have decided the distribution of power in their relationship would be which of them was married into the family. We donít know this either way, but Mrs.Ohtoriís behavior with Akio, her willingness to throw even empty threats, suggests she is aware of and accustomed to having some measure of power. This is a contrast to her daughter, who has none and doesnít let it trouble her. Was Mrs.Ohtori this way at her age, or is it a difference in their personalities? Itís hard to imagine Kanae having the will and even the little guile it takes Mrs.Ohtori to carry on her clandestine affair with Akio, but who knows what a few decades of being in Mrs.Ohtoriís position would do to her?

Thou shalt not commit adultery...

   Thereís no way to deduce from the circumstances how Mrs.Ohtori and Akio got involved or when. Was his relationship with Mrs.Ohtori the means used to get engaged to Kanae, or did he work his way into the Chairmanís, and Kanaeís, regards only seduce her mother after the engagement was announced? In the Nemuro elevator, Kanae suggests that her father chose Akio, but this is hardly reliable. Mrs.Ohtoriís pull as his wife would have been the suggestion of such a choice, and Akio could have easily wormed his way into the position heís in through the approving sentiments of either parent. Still, it would seem more reasonable to assume it was Mrs.Ohtori who ultimately put him where he is. She is the one he continues to interact with, and it would appear he has the more Ďintimateí relationship with her, whereas the Chairman is out of sight and out of mind. The only consideration Akio gives him is as a cruel jab at Mrs.Ohtori.

   With the Chairman out of the picture and Kanae kept at a safely ignorant distance, Mrs.Ohtori is Akioís primary link to the family. Thereís a no-nonsense honesty about the sexual relationship between him and his soon-to-be mother-in-law; despite the rather complicated foreplay they engage in, thereís no confusion between the two as to why she is there, or whether sheíll get what she came for. This all suggests a familiarity with the situation born from repeated offenses. Thereís no telling how it started, but itís been going on for a long time. And if it hasnít been Akio all along, itís been others; Mrs.Ohtori seems very accustomed to the finer points of adultery, she dresses for it, she slips around, she schemes to get to her man. Guilty though she may feel, itís not a new thing for her.

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