Well... most people interpret it as being about lesbians, and some interpret the social circles who "exlude" poeple to be more about religion.
Well, I disagree... I will say, yes... there are many references to lesbians
I feel it's more about possessiveness than liking the same sex. For example, the
the main girls mom was killed by the principle, a bear, all out of her possessive love for her. The box's (which symbolize purity and being unsullied, are also representative of the possessive nature of men in Edo Japan. There was social bias against lesbianism, partly becuase women were seen as objects. However, look at revolutionary girl utena, Touga, who's implied to have fucked Akio, rags on Nanami after she said something he misinterpreted to be about her coming out to him. Edo Japan practiced homosexuality too, but there was a bias against lesbians. And this is probably a result of how misogynistic they were. Notice how the only male in Utena who wasn't an asshole was Miki, who wasn't directly implied to have fucked Akio (now when you look at anime, the opposite is true, so things sure have changed) You could argue he did, but that's your interpretation, either way, the other males who were douche bags were very directly implied to have fucked Akio. It's also noted not many people in Japan knew of lesbianism and that it existed, which brings new meaning to "Becoming invisible" as is said in Yuri Kuma.
However, I believe Ikuhara intended for alternative interpretations, which is true in Utena as well.
Kureha and Sumika are never judged for liking girls. Kureha is judged for befriending a bear, Sumika is judged for being with a girl who was kind to bears
Their love was judged by Kureha's interaction with bears, not by both of them being girls
And think about it... Could you name another example where people are judged for being with a type of person percieved as "dangerous"?
Interracial couples... Think about it. Most racists see African American people as violent, greedy, and dangerous. So women who interacted with blacks were scorned. Similarly, uneducated blacks often view white people as mindless, hateful oppressers
Since Ikuhara's masterpiece Utena was about an interracial couple for the most part, it's possible he thought of such while making this
And I see the "invisible storm" as also being about possessiveness. and defintely not religion.
In episode 11 a student says god doesn't exist, when refering to Kumalia.
Rather, I see their actions as wanting to possess a collective identity. If all are equal, there is no "us". However, if people are exluded, the it stregnthens the idea of "We have an identity, together we are "us". Those people are "them". It's human nature to want some comradery, but to be part of one strict social circle requires not being equal towards "them".
There can't be an "us" without a "them". And since bears eat humans, they're obviously a problem, making them easy to exclude, and none of them are educated to the fact not all bears are evil, similarly, uneducated racists don't know that not all blacks are criminals.
And yes, that's just like organized religion. But could also be about social clicks, or about political ideology, or communism, or the world of fashion most of the time
I'd like to talk about this with Ikuhara himself, but if I ever got a chanced, he's probably just laugh, wink or smile and then say something vague that doesn't confirm or deny anything I said.
interesting thoughts, but we do already have a discussion thread for this show, so I'm closing this one. Please share your thoughts in the existing thread: