Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 Utena / Penguindrum Fanfic – Seinen Kakumei Utena, Part Eleven

Seinen Kakumei Utena (it's Seinen, NOT Josei), crossing with Penguindrum starting Part 2
Rating: T for mature and sensitive subject matters.
Timeline: 10 years post Revolution, a few weeks post Fate Train Transfer
Notable "Mysteries" Covered: Nemuro Hall, Child Broiler, Million Swords, Fate Train, Shadow Girls, Invisible People
Summary (or rather, Excerpt): “The revolution succeeded; it crumbled afterwards only because those whose lives got revolutionized did not follow up on the revolutionary success,” said the Bride, her words setting their closed hearts aflame. “This time, will you help us help you?”

After what seems like an eternity of non-fic writing, I have again written something in tribute of this timeless shoujo anime classic.  This is a work dedicated to the passionate, wonderful people at In the Rose Garden (fic thread here), which even now remains the coolest place for Utena fans to hang out online.

Other sites hosting this fic includes: 

Seinen Kakumei Utena

Utena and Penguindrum characters belong to their various owners.

WARNING: Parts of this work contain depictions of transphobia, controversial shoujo fantasy trans situation that in no way reflects real life trans people, and misogynic magic attack leading to forced masculinization.  This particular chapter also contains non-graphic depiction of canon child sexual abuse, so be warned.

Part Eleven: Victims of Fate I

Notes: At last, we’ve reached the next arc of Seinen, where the dramatic childhood events of the main Duelists – ones that eventually propel them into the Dueling Game – are to be revealed (and yes, Touga is finally taking center stage).  I have to thank the many reviewers and supporters for this story, especially LEDlorien7, who actually took the time to type up essay-sized reviews (and grammar check) for each and every single part of the work since posted; all your passionate responses have make this time-consuming monster of a project totally worthwhile.

Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

“What . . . am I?”

Curling up at a corner of the room (just a room, not his room – he was but a guest there) like a wounded larva, the pink-haired young man clutched in his trembling hands a small, framed, black and white picture, which he was glaring down into with bloodshot eyes. 

“A girl who tried being a prince, a pawn who tried being a hero, a fool who tried believing in friendship . . . I’ve tried hiding behind so many different facades for so many years, that I’ve managed to forget even my real self – now just a corpse that laid forgotten in its coffin.” His pale fingers clawed at the frame’s glass covering as insect legs.  “The death sentence I gave myself, I’ve served in full  . . . so why am I still not allowed to forget my crime from sixteen years ago?”

The picture in the frame showed a young couple, with the father holding up a pretty little girl wearing a frilly dress fit for a stage princess.

“When you get people killed, they call you a murderer.  When you befriend and help someone who got your parents killed, they call you a retard.   So what do they call someone who not only falls whole-heartedly in love with their parents’ murderer, but is, in fact, a partner in crime of the murder?  Papa, Mama . . . please tell me . . .”  Tenjou Utena’s vision blurred with tears that fell upon the picture in crystalline, marring drops,  “just what am I now?”


“I’m human; and so is he.”

S-taro’s reveal (coming under the stars, under the sword-sharp stares) had the gathered Duelists listening rapt.

“And we’re not really little kids either - it’s just that we got broiled by the Fate Transfer, and have again regressed into being unchosen children, and why we’re almost transparent-”

“Why’re you telling them?!” K-taro (how strange it was that only his hair and clothes had remained shade-free) cut him right off in acute outrage.  “These people are connected to Kiga-”

“If they are, then they’re victims of those behind Kiga,” S-taro tried explaining things to the fierce, distrustful brother, “just like that pink-haired prince fighting the swords . . . just like us!  The people here all got some sort of power lighting them up from the inside, I think we can trust them to help--”

“They’re not like us!” His brother pointed an accusing finger at those assembled.  “Look at them - all classy and groomed and so obviously chosen to prosper in the scenery of the world!  I bet these people just take the good life for granted!”

“Good . . .life?” asked the maroon-haired lady present in her quiet, chagrined voice; beside her, with the round-headed young woman and the doe-eyed blond preppy both were appeared equally miffed.  Ignoring them, his brother went on with his tirade. 

“We, who lived being punished in the shadows all along, just because-” there was a brief pause, before the boy could go on,  “ . . . not only will they not understand, these chosen ones from their blind world will all turn against us if they know of our background!”

“What kinda kiddie weed are you on?!”  snapped Kozue Nee-san – this feisty, edgy woman so strangely eager to help them – at his distrustful brother.  “If everyone here can even accept the shadow critters you are and still wanna give help, what makes you think we can’t accept whatever scandalous background you’re hiding from us?”  Chida Nee-san put a pacifying hand upon the young woman’s shoulder, and the latter made a visible effort to reign in her explosive anger.  “We’re asking questions because without information, we cannot help get you two reunited with your sister!”

“And we told you already – we don’t need to be reunited with her!” His brother snapped back.  “So long as she’s safe on her end as a chosen one, then whatever is to happen to us don’t matter!  Why can’t you people just-”

“Hold on.”  An orange-haired model – she had to be a model with her perfect beauty and posture – raised a question then.  “You boys keep saying ‘chosen’ . . . what do you mean by that?”

“Chosen for what?” asked the blue-haired young man – who had to be Kozue Nee-san’s twin judging by their uncanny resemblance – standing beside the model.  “By whom?”

“Chosen to live on,” answered S-taro, before his defensive brother could again open his offending mouth,  “by the world.”

“The . . . world?” repeated the blond preppy of the group with a haunted look in his blue eyes  - an haunted look now shared by the entire assembly of people (even though Chida Nee-san appeared unsurprised).  Taking in a deep breath, S-taro then began to reveal his story.


Caught together they were, the three of them; a man, a woman, her human toilet brother, locked together inside the narrow confines of the graffiti-marred partition that kept them in and reality out.

“You,” voiced Saionji, upon having summoned the entirety of his shaky willpower to end the suffocating silence.  “Coming back to this place, after all this time . . . ” Through his talking, Touga’s expression never once changed, as the man (Was he still a man?) continued to stare eeriely into his friend’s eyes from where he remained submerged under water in the sinister squat toilet.  “. . . no.  You’ve never left in the first place.”

While his voice had seemingly little impact on Touga, it jolted Nanami out of the teary stupor she was in.  Under Saionji’s cloudy gaze, the prissy lass –who had never even handled household trash in all the years he had known her - now was down on her stocking-clad knees upon the rough, stain-covered floorboards, as she reached her well-manicured hands into the flooded toilet bowl to lift her brother’s head out of the water; she did not so much as back away as he started coughing water, but had instead leaned in closer patting her sibling’s back to sooth his breathing. 

“Onii-sama, it’s okay now,” assured the now disheveled blonde, in a tone suggesting that she was really trying to reassure herself.  “You’ve helped us fought down the hate swords, so the worst is already-”

“The worst is yet to come.”

Saionji’s flat, deadened voice cut Nanami’s sentence off with the bluntness of a bokken’s strike. Ignoring the girl’s seething, hate-filled glare, the man squatted down to beside her, and reached out to sweep the wet red tresses off Touga’s profile to reveal the letter “w” now branded onto his left cheek. 

“The worm becomes the pupa, the pupa becomes the butterfly; the butterfly flies high, falls low, and remains that very same insect though it all.   Then and now, you’re still the same . . . no, not just you.”  Looking straight into the other man’s harrowing eyes, he continued on in his rasped voice.  “We’re all still those same coffin-trapped victims we’ve always been.”


“The world separates its people into two groups: the ones who are chosen and the ones who aren’t chosen.

“To not be chosen is to be punished as victims of the world.

“Ours is the story of those victims who gave their all trying to help each other live through their punishments.”


Time: 10 years pre-revolution
Place: Kiryuu Estate, Cabbage Field

“Like these insects breaking out of their shells, so too shall you be beautifully reborn.”

Not every man could remember his moment of “birth” – the life-defining moment that made him the being he would subsequently become, voiding all that came before it.

For the little victim born amidst ashen greens and fluttering whites, that moment was forever branded into the core of his being.

“Be happy, boy - this is the day you become a Kiryuu.”

The whimpering (Was that his own voice?  The pitiful sound was alien to his ear . . .), the discomfort (Was that his own body?  It felt so alien to his senses . . .), the lessons he learned then (Was that . . . ?), the cabbage butterflies swarming his bared skin, bared from beneath his torn clothing . . . those were things that he could never forget, even if he tried.

“Shhh . . . ” cooed his “father” (Was that his father?  Years later, thinking back, he could remember no father other than this man who “adopted” him . . .), now leering down upon him.  “Don’t cry.  You’re a boy, aren’t you?   You don’t want people to see you crying like some sissy now, do you?”  The ugly adult’s smooth voice darkened a notch.  “These fields, along with the surrounding areas, are all part of my estate: everyone here works for me.  Do you understand what I’m saying?”

The man’s calculated words compounded the painful shame that was already there eating at the boy (who was already uncomfortable enough being ordered to wear his red tresses in its girly long style).  Yet, overwhelmed by the violation upon his immature body, and the pricking of insect legs upon his goose-bumps-marred skin, seven-year-old Touga could not quiet down no matter how hard he tried.

“Is this really too much for you?  Then . . . perhaps I should go to your sister instead?”

At that, young Touga went dead quiet.  What was he doing, fighting this man?  Hadn’t he since resigned himself to this fate the moment those people (their parents; well, they have nothing to do with them no) sent his little sister – barely above a toddler still – to “Father”, to make sure that he’ll have to submit

The defilement had since begun, his innocence had since been tarnished . . . was he now to make things worse by angering this man and jeopardizing his sister’s safety?

“Nanami-chan is such a lovely girl, and with such heavenly blonde tresses too.  I’m sure she’d be more . . . appreciative of my loving-”  and the man abruptly stopped his venomous spewing of threats. 

Quashing sounds, frantic and wet, approached from afar and were getting closer.  Turning his head, Touga saw through his tear-blurred, hair-veiled vision a blur of greenish colors charging towards them: wild-eyed, open mouthed and sounding what appeared to be a child’s version of a battle cry.   There was a much bigger man advancing rapidly from behind the small, green-colored boy charging them; in no time, that man caught up to the youngster via a vicious bokken strike against a thin shoulder.  Crumbling under the blow, the boy went down in a swirl of  outgrown green tresses.  He was then repeatedly struck by the bokken-wielding man with such aggressive, merciless violence, that the swarming butterflies around them fluttered off in fright.

Even in the midst of his own painful, psyche-cracking abuse, Touga found himself unable to look away from the bone-chilling brutality he was currently witnessing.

“You little shit!”  The man – obviously drunk upon closer look – continued beating the struggling child in a way that reminded Touga of a seal-clubbing video he once saw on the news.   “I told you to stop running!  I told you-” 

“Saionji-san,” having zipped up, the man got up and off Touga, and smiled thinly at the child-beating drunk, who paled at seeing him, “what a . . . pleasant intrusion.”

“A-Ah!”  The drunk called Saionji took a step back tremblingly.  “Kiryuu-sama!”

The men then carried on with their civilly tense interaction, leaving the boys – one bared, one bruised, with both down on the ground – watching each other, wide-eyed.


Having slipped away from the grownups, the children now were at the ill-lit block toilet beside the field.

“You’re really a boy, huh?” asked the green-haired kid, who stared in apparent bafflement as the two do their thing at the trough while standing; Touga rolled his eyes at the other’s sheer idiocy. 

“Look who’s talking.”

“Wha-What?!”  Blushing, the green-haired kid then puffed up his thin chest in boyish defensiveness.  “It’s been a while since I could cut my hair, and lots of guys got wavy hair in these parts!”  When Touga simply zipped up and walked off away to wash his hands, the other boy’s high-pitched voice too lowered a notch.  “There were all those butterflies, and I couldn’t see you very well . . .”

“. . . you have to cut your own hair?” asked Touga, not even bothering to look over at the other boy.  Even when in a situation where they felt like they have to sell off their children for survival, those he was with had made sure he kept his hair appointments; then again, the boy supposed his appearance was key to his fletching a high enough price to pay off their debts.

“Father’s . . . too busy with work to take me to the barber,” muttered the green haired boy, now washing his own hands at the sink beside him.

“Saionji-san is Kiryuu’s right hand man,” said Touga, recalling what info he had gathered from the men’s previous exchange. “That would take up much of his time.” 

A brief moment of wordlessness came up as the boys dried their hands with paper towels, and then . . .

“Did it . . . hurt?” asked the ever inquisitive green-haired boy, who just would not stop asking all the wrong questions.

“Look, you . . .” glaring sideways at the boy, now basked under the stale white light of the bulb above the mirrors, Touga soon found himself taken aback at finally getting a good look the state the other boy was in.  “Those are some really bad wounds your father gave you.” 

His words had the effect of quadrupling the green-haired boy’s previous defensiveness, who then pointed an accusing finger at him.

“I . . . I know what Kiyruu-sama was doing to you back then!”

Stung, Touga’s entire stance tensed up.

“You . . . do?”

“I’ve seen my father do it to the women he brought . . . home . . .”  The green-haired, defensive boy actually started looking remorseful halfway through his hurtful statement, but still had failed in stopping the words in time; thus the damage had since been done.

“So, you were peeping, huh?” Small fists clenched, redheaded child moved up and towards the other boy with wide, accusing blue eyes.  “Thinking I’m a woman . . . were you waiting your turn, you-” He was then caught unprepared by the other boy’s startling violent slap across his face – one that almost knocked him headfirst into the sink’s mirror.

“I . . .!  I was hiding from Father, and still came out trying to help you!” snapped the green-haired boy; though his pain, Touga noted how it was this kid who was tearing up, despite how it was he who just got hit.

“Why . . . was your father beating you up?” he asked, even while knowing it will pain the other boy; it did.

“Well, why was your father doing . . . what he did?”

“Cause he likes doing it.”

Touga’s casually given answer washed the reflexive spite off the other boy’s expression, replacing it with harrowing bleakness.

“Kiryuu-sama adopted me just so he can do that to me whenever he wants,” the redhead continued on, “and he adopted my sister too just so he can have a hostage to better control.  I think the old man’s playing things too safe – if he can fuck me out in the open in broad daylight – what chance does a kid like me have of defying him here?”  Pause.  “Why was your father beating you up?”

“. . . cause he likes doing it,” muttered the green-haired boy, now hanging his head. 

“That . . . was your real father, right?”


Nodding, if only to himself, Touga stepped up with his watered paper towel, and pressed it against a bleeding cut on the boy’s now tear-streaked cheek.  The boy flinched, and Touga held him by the chin.

“Hold still,” he commanded, precociously, prior to deliberately softening his voice.  “The cut will fester if you don’t keep it clean.” 

Dodging his gaze at first, it took a while before the green-haired boy could meet his eye; and when he did, Touga found himself studying the subtle range of shades within those lushly-lashed emerald greens, intrigued.

“It feels like it’s only now that I could really see you,” murmured the kid, the blush on his cheek making Touga conscious of the heat that now must be coloring his own face.  “I’m Saionji Kyouichi.” 

Resigned, the redhead thought he might as well introduce himself too.  “Touga; Kiryuu Touga now.”

“I think . . . we’ll be seeing each other around now,” said Kyouichi, a hesitant grin broadening his lips; resisting a sudden urge to pinch the other boy on his bruised but still comely cheek, Touga glanced awkwardly off and away.



Time: 10 years post-revolution
Place: Chida Mansion

“We were children who got broiled down into nothing . . . but most children in this world are just like us – ignored by some, exploited by many . . . forever punished for the crimes of others.

“And, it’s children like us, who have nothing, who bond fast – because companionship is the only thing that can make life’s punishments worth living. 

“That’s how this guy becomes my brother, and how we got our sister; it’s how the three of us became family.”

“Became . . . family?” repeated Kozue, visibly perplexed by what was revealed. “Then . . . you guys ain’t really--”

“I’m Shouma,” the blue-haired entity – now largely visible as an elementary school boy in a nondescript gym uniform - took a step up towards his audience. “Takakura Shouma.” 

Letting out a deep sigh, the reddish-brown haired one then followed suit. “Born Natsume Kanba, now Takakura Kanba; we’re children of Takakura Kenzan and Chiemi.” 

Jolting, the now alarmed-looking Shouma tugged urgently on the other boy’s sleeve.  He was promptly shrugged off. 

“What?  You said we can trust them to help us, right?  So what’s wrong with telling them who we really are?”

“Kanba . . . !”

“Kenzan . . . Takakura?” Miki’s eyes widened in alarm as his voice got higher.  “You don’t mean that famous Ohtori alumnus, who . . . ” 

“That’s him.” Standing beside shame-faced, hand-hanging Shouma,  Kanba kept his chin lifted high in defiance.  “We, are children of the terrorists involved in the Kiga Subway Attack.”

End Part Eleven

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