Duel 05; Utena vs Nanami; “adoration”
“Beginning of the earth / Stage props /” If the beginning of the earth is when stage props are set up, would that not mean that from the start, fiction and reality have always had a blurry border? The following stanza, beginning with, “Unchanging illusion,” certainly makes me think so.
Anyway, the most consistent motif of this song is astronomy, as is evident with “Laplace nebula,” “Human constellation,” and “theatre cosmic.” What do you think when you look into the stars? Stars are distant, unreachable, and yet we give them names, constellations, categories. Seeing someone looking at the stars makes you think of loneliness and longing. The parallel to Nanami is evident already — despite her cohorts, she feels lonely because her brother doesn’t attend to her as much she would like him to. She longs to be with him more.
The first half of the song — prior to Nanami’s flower being broken — is discussing Nanami and her brother. “My eternal self,” would refer to Nanami, and “The eternal stranger” is her brother. Think about it, even though that Touga spends time with Nanami, she feels so distant from him. Especially since he’s such a playboy. “Two relationships” is referring to how Nanami sees Touga differently from how Touga sees Nanami. Their relationship is uneven. Nanami loves Touga (or obsesses over him) far more than Touga loves her.
After the flower is knocked off, Nanami continues to duel Utena, breaking the tradition of duels up till that point. Nanami states, “You and I are the Milky Way.” The milky way is a spiral, you know, and implies that repetition of time is something that exists between Nanami and the person she is addressing. I thought at first she might be referring to Utena or Anthy because of the also general femininity of the spiral as mentioned earlier, but when I reconsidered it, it definitely seems more applicable to Touga. “Time is hypothetical, an illusional prop,” is referencing how, to Nanami, it doesn’t matter how old she or Touga are, because she will always love him the same. To her, time is meaningless. Nanami wants the repetition of time with the Milky Way part for two reasons: A. Touga has grown distant from her, so she wants him to go back to being that, and B. She wants time to repeat when Touga isn’t distant from her. She wants him all to herself forever.
And yet, no matter how much she wants it, there is, “Just one person in the theatre cosmic.” And that’s her. She’s alone.