Shoujo Kakumei Utena by Colors :: The Black Rose

   Black rose have always been a symbol of death, most obviously because of their color and its associations in western culture, but also because of the process by which they’re made; in order to turn a rose black, you have to kill it. By doing so, you preserve the flower and it can keep its petals for far longer than a healthy, living flower, but it’s also devoid of life, scent, and softness. This is one of the major themes of the Black Rose Saga, especially the character of Mikage as he’s someone who has been dead for quite a while but, by preserving himself as a black rose of sorts, he is able to persist beyond death, preserving the thoughts and feelings he had before he died.
   While the black rose is most commonly a symbol of death, just like many other death symbols throughout the world (Such as The Death card of the Tarot) the black rose also represents rebirth and renewal or, put another way, metamorphosis. When people rode the elevator down in the Nemuro memorial hall, there was a butterfly pinned into a shadowbox on the wall when they were at the ground floor. As they descended, the butterfly became a chrysalis, and then a caterpillar, and finally a leaf, showing us a sort of metamorphosis in reverse. This could easily represent Mikage’s urging to “Go deeper” as people delved into the darker parts of their heart, but there’s also another explanation for this… It’s also possible that Mikage’s interviews were actually taking people who had a general handle on their darker thoughts and desires and then pulling them back through the stages of their development to a point in time before they had a grasp on their spite or jealousy.