|Birthday||February 2, 1981 (Age 16)|
|Zodiac Sign||Aquarius Sun, Capricorn Moon|
|Voice Actress|| Nishihara Kumiko (Japanese)|
Lisa Ortiz (English)
Shiori Takatsuki is Juri Arisugawa's childhood friend who returns to Ohtori Academy. She told Juri to believe in miracles but subsequently betrayed her, and as such has become Juri's main reason for wanting the Rose Bride, which is to disprove the existence of miracles. She is first mentioned in the Student Council Saga, and makes her first appearance in the Black Rose Saga. She has no role in the manga.
Shiori appears in episode 17 when Utena Tenjou sees her watching Juri practice fencing. Shiori explains their relationship to Utena, that they had grown up together but had a falling out. Shiori stole a man she thought that Juri loved, which turns out to be false. Shiori says she has returned to Ohtori Academy in order to try to mend her relationship with Juri.
Shiori's Relationship with Juri ArisugawaEdit
Shiori's relationship with Juri is one of intense love and uncertainty. Shiori idolized Juri due to Juri's beauty and talent, but her idolization subsequently caused her to question their friendship. She eventually became paranoid, as far as to believe that Jury befriended her out of pity. Shiori "stole" a man who loved Juri when the three were in middle school in an attempt to win something over her, believing that Juri loved him back. As it turns out, Juri had feelings for Shiori the entire time and it was actually Shiori's photo she kept in her pendant. When Shiori gets ahold of Juri's secret, she is very cruel about it and says she's glad that she had actually "won the entire time". However, she has been aware of Juri's feelings for quite a long period of time, as proven by the fact that the locket was still wet when opened. Shiori's sadism towards Juri seems intense, going as far as to fantasize about Juri being sad or upset over her love for her. However, it is evident that she does care about Juri to a certain degree, as she admits that Juri had been someone who was "kind to her" and runs towards her in the end of Episode 29 to apologize. It is unclear if Shiori returns Juri's feelings in the anime. However, in Kunihiko Ikuhara's commentary included in the 2011 English re-release of the Black Rose Saga, it is implied that Shiori does have feelings for Juri as it states:
“I finally realized the truth.
To think that she loved me back! What a miracle! But...
‘The loser in love is the one who lets their heart be ruled by it.’
Everyone's adopted a provocative attitude toward someone of the opposite sex that they like at least once or twice, to get that person to notice them. So it's okay if I do that.
This love will crumble if we touch. But when people don't touch, the love eventually dies away.
That's why I decided to keep your love prisoner. To make sure that you love me forever.
That game will make our love ‘eternal.’ I'm sure of it.
We were ‘lovers lost from the beginning.’”
-Kunihiko's commentary on episode 17, “The Thorns of Death.”
As a Black Rose DuelistEdit
Shiori's confusion and denial drives her to become a Black Rose Duelist. Before drawing her sword from Juri's heart, she returns the locket which she had stolen from Juri. Shiori also reveals herself to be slightly sadistic, as she mentions just before taking her sword that she believed the hurt look in Juri's eyes to be pretty. Shiori also mentions that she always thought Juri was strong, but she sees Juri as weak when wounded. It is insinuated that this sadism is Shiori's true character, since after the duel when Shiori has seemingly reverted to her "normal" behavior, Utena says she seems like a different person, but Anthy Himemiya says she is exactly the same.
Third Arc Edit
In this arc, Shiori is first seen watching Juri and Ruka Tsuchiya fence. She believes that Juri might get much closer to Ruka, now that he's come back. She later leans against a locker in the locker room, until Ruka enters and states, "So it is you who has been polishing my sword." Shiori lies and states that it was she. Shiori believes that by taking Ruka away from Juri, she would feel better about herself. However, she ends up sincerely falling for Ruka due to his display of much care and good treatment. She even agrees on sharing physical intimacy with Ruka in Akio Ohtori's car. Her being unfamiliar with the car beforehand reveals that she had never shared an intimate relationship with the boy she "stole" from Juri in the past. She trusted Ruka to that extent, to have given him her virginity. Juri had warned Shiori not to trust Ruka, but Shiori refused to heed any warning, telling Jury that she was 'being just too cruel,' meaning that she believed Juri was trying to drag her down out of hatred, when that was not the case.
When Ruka decides to challenge Utena, Shiori attends together as his Rose Bride. After having lost, he decides that Shiori was a hinder after all and comes to a conclusion that Shiori had only been a thorn on his and Juri's side. After neing publicly dumped by Ruka, Shiori is seen to be extremely appalled and tearful. However, when she declares her love, she hesitates to state the words with much clarity. This shows that Ruka isn't the only one she has loved; she had loved her best friend Juri as well. Now that nor Ruka nor Juri would help her out in this breakup scene, she felt very disrespected. Shiori desperately attempts to call Ruka repeatedly, but he purposely does not reach out to her. Alone and betrayed, she lashes her anger out on Juri when she tries to visit her and ask her how she is doing. At this point, she still believes that Juri pities her, stating that she will not "cry on her shoulder." However, during Juri's final duel with Utena, Shiori begins to rethink her and Juri's relationship. By the scene in which the locket breaks, Shiori realizes that Juri had truly cared about her all along. She then knew that Juri really had been warning her about Ruka, has directed all fault to him, and has come to known that it is she herself who Juri loved. In the end of Episode 29, her chair in the triangle is facing Juri, revealing that she has opened her heart to engaging in a proper conversation with her after years of miscommunication. She later waits for Juri under a tree and runs to catch up to her as she walks by.
Towards the end of Episode 39, Shiori is seen as a fencing team member, volunteering to fight Juri. This reveals that Juri and she have resolved their conflicts and renewed their friendship and shared a possible love reciprocation.
Shiori is described by Juri as "cruelly innocent." In truth, Shiori can be manipulative and cruel, while not quite sure how much that would hurt someone (hence the "cruelly innocent"). She also wishes to see Juri crushed. In the movie, Shiori directs everyone's hatred towards Anthy Himemiya when Akio Ohtori is found dead. In both the anime and movie, Shiori wants superiority over Juri. In the movie, Shiori manipulates Juri into dueling Utena. However, Shiori can only push her animosity to a certain degree. In the anime, she feels worse and more pathetic from hurting people, as she states both in the confession scene and mid-episode 29. Regarding this fact, it can be said that she wants to carry her acts out, but only for an ulterior motive, not for her personal desires.