Yuri on Ice Finale (ep 12)

victor-is-loveAnd with this, the gaylicious ride that was Yuri on Ice, is officially over. And what a ride that was: fun, crazy, gay, beautiful, Victor-you-damn-perfect-human-being, medelas, rings – what 12 episodes those were.

Now that it’s over I’m a bit confliced. I was pretty sure Yuri was meant to win gold and retire at the peak of his career. He wanted to retire for a year now, repeated numerous times thoughout the episode and the GPF gold was the one declared goal. Neither happend, though.

My theory includes the ending has been sacrificed in favor of a second season. I’m relatively sure Yuri was supposed to win, retire and live happily ever after with Victor. Well, he’s still living with Victor, that one worked out, the rest…. not so so much. Having Yuri loose by 0.12 points is downright cruel. He got the world record, which is awesome, but not the gold medal, which is annoying. Also, Victor making a comeback at his age and wants to train Yuri at the same time is pretty much insane, so that’s another sore thumb in my chest.

I mean, Victor skating? I’m all in, but he’s pretty old for top level competitive sport and yuri-on-ice-finale-victor-crytraining someone else at the same time is more or less impossible, realistically speaking. This anime has been pretty much stuck with realistic competitions so far, or until the real life short program world record was beaten my 8 points at least (I’m still a bit sour over that, because I think that’s a bit too much). Well, I guess I just have to live with that and at least we’re having Yuri and Victor train together in Russia now – whatever that may turn into.

The one thing I asolutely loved to death about this episode was the pair skate. I was dreaming of a pas de deux since episode one and I was literally screaming of joy when they pulled it off! And it was so beautifully done, too. The contrast to Victor’s original performanc was stunning: not only were they wearing blue and red costumes, they also wore silver ornaments – after Yuri won silver at the GPF. When Victor won the world championships, he wore golden ornaments. The song was originally a solo, yuri-on-ice-finale-victor-and-yuribut now it was a duet. Furthermore, when Yuri starts off alone, everything is blue – cold and lonely-, but as soon as Victor enters, everything turns magenta – warm and happy- while they dance together. I would’ve loved to see them training for that, because they even included some lifts, but since they had barely enough time to show the character development properly, that’s really too much to ask.

Overall, it was a great anime. Very short and rushed, they barely had enough time to squeeze Yuri’s character development in between all the competitions, but still pretty good. I would’ve liked if it was 24 episodes and more detailed on the characters, but nobody could’ve imagined the show turned into such a huge hit and is now even getting a second season that was never planned.

My personal favorite part of this anime is not Victuuri, not the pair skate, not the kiss, none of those things. My favorite part of this anime is the society in this world, that accepts a homosexual relationship without any second thought. A world where everyone can love whoever they want is a truly wonderful world to live in and one I wish we could see in real life as well. I think Yuri on Ice set a bold statement by showing off a world like this where love is universal and all types of love are equally accepted. It’s not about men and women, it’s simply about love and nothing else and everyone just accepts this fact. This is wonderful and while many people have been arguing Yuri on Ice made history by including a homosexual pairiung into a non-BL sportsanime, I think what they really made history with is how normal this relationship was portrayed.

Overall, I guess I give this anime a very subjective 8/10. It could’ve been a 10/10 judging by yuri-on-ice-pair-skatehow much fun I had with episode 1-10, but episode 11 and 12 really went down into a direction I didn’t like in favor of a second season. Yuri on Ice was gayliciously awesome and even though I’ve been criticizing the decision to alter the ending in favor of a second season, I hate to admit I can’t wait to see said second season.

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Ballroom e Youkoso will be back!

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After more than a year on hiatus, Ballroom e Youkoso is finally comming back! Apparently the manga-ka is healthy again and a new chapter is supposed to be released January 6th, which is about 2 1/2 weeks from now.

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Strangly, after such a long time of waiting, 2 1/2 weeks feel very long now that I know it’s finally happening. And yes, I know, most of the fandom has no idea this is happening, but I freaking love this manga and this is literally the best news in a loooong while for me.

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Yuri on Ice episode 11

“After the final, let’s end this.”

1) Yuri doesn’t say what exactly he wants to end. We all know he went into this season with the intention to end his career after the final and that’s where we are. I guess all of us were hoping he’ll continue, but he never intended to from the start. I’m guessing he wants to end his skating career and therefore wants Victor to stop being his coach. This doesn’t nessecarily mean he wants to end his relationship with Victor.
2) Did you notice the looks Yuri was giving Victor during the performances of the other skaters? To me it looked like Yuri was shocked Victor left him alone to give interviews and went watching Yurio without tellim him. Victor severly added fuel to Yuri’s anxiety and unintentionally made Yuri feel very bad. Remember when Yuri told Victor to only look at him? Well, Victor just broke his promise and that probably meant a lot to Yuri. Then, when Chris was skating, Victor was once again only focussed on the performance and didn’t notice the worried looks Yuri was giving him – again, making the situation for Yuri WORSE.
My conclusion: Yuri never had a significant other, he has anxiety issues and is depressive. He just watched his boyfriend break a very important promise and probably feels betrayed and worthless. I can totally imagine him thinking “this is where Victor belongs, these are the people he needs to be with, I’m only holding him back.” Therefore, the wants to retire and release Victor from being his coach and… well… since he always thinks he’s worthless anyway, he probably thinks Vitcor is better off with Yurio or Chris and wants to end their relationship after all.

VICTOR GET THESE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS OUT OF YURI’S BRAIN RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

Victor has come a long way as Yuris coach, but he completely failed to notice Yuri’s anxiety and extreme worry over the attention he’s been giving the other skaters. Victor might not worry, because Yuri has been doing better lately and Victor is still kind of going by normal standarts, but Yuri has mental issues and normal standarts can’t be applied. I don’t think Victor is doing it on purpose, I think he’s just not noticing and in this regard, failing both as Yuris coach and his boyfriend.

Now, that’s a reason to cry.

 

Above is what I wrote immediately after I’ve seen the episode and I got a few people who responded to that. Some people just simply ignored the possibility of Yuri ending his relationship with Victor completely, because… well? Apparently the rings are a big part, but the marrige thing came from Victor, Yuri never said he wanted to marry Victor and even though Victor got his love and life from Yuri and even says once again just how important Yuri is to him in the kiss and cry area to the audience, but unfortunately not to Yuri, this only applies to Victor, not to Yuri. Yuri is the one who wants to “end this”, though.

And here’s the thing many perople seem to forget as well: In Yuris mind, Victor equals skating. Skating and Victor are not seperated in Yuri’s mind, it never ever crossed his thoughts. Yuri asked Victor to be his coach until he retires, but it was Victor who said he wishes Yuri would never retire. Yuri bought rings as a good luck charm, but it was Victor who was joking about marriage (and probably meant to, too). Yuri is depressive, he only heares what he wants to hear and that’s the negative. Victor and Yuri need to get on the same page, that Victor is not going to leave Yuri, even if he retires. Right now, Yuri is jealous and anxious, because Victor has been so fascinated by the other competitors, namely Yurio Chris. Yuri took that very personal, it hurt him, but he didn’t now that Victor was probably just enjoying the new perspective Victor has gained from being Yuris coach. Yuri feels betryed, but Victor is just flying on could 7 too much to notice that he’s unintentionally hurting Yuri.

I has someone say that even though Yuri is suffering from anxiety and depression, he’s still overreacting, because they’ve watched countless of people perform, but this was the first time Victor watched it alone without telling Yuri. He left Yuri’s side without telling him and was so much into the performance he didn’t even notice Yuri. I think this possibly triggered an attack and threw him back into his old habits, hence the overreaction. He’s trying to “end this”, becasue he wants to return Victor to world where Yuri believes he belong, even though he’s right here. Yuris self-perception is very messed up, ever since the start he has done nothing but downtalk himself. To me, it always felt like he believed, he doesn’t belong into this world of top class figure skating, that he’s an intruder who snatched away Victor and needs to return him eventually.

Of course, Victor can’t he held repsonsible for everything. He saw the progress Yuri made, he experience it himself and he probably though he reassued Yuri more than enough that he won’t leave, BUT he’s still the one who has a state of mind that would generally be described as normal, even though he’s very childish every once in a while. He learned a lot how to behave around Yuri, he took Yuris advice to heart and just stayed close to him, tried to not say something that would put pressure on Yuri, but he made a big mistake: he left Yuri alone this time. He left his side, he disappeared to watch someone else, he didn’t even say Yuri where he was going. That is Victor’s mistake. Yuri’s mistake is not voicing his problems enough. When Victor turned over to him, he should have told  Victor he was searching for him and felt left alone.

In the end, yeah, I think it’s very possible Yuri wants to end their relashinship on both levels, preofessional and personal, becasue that’s one and the same thing for him and it has been foreshadowed numerous times, so I don’t even know why everyone is so surprised. What’ll happen is what we’ll see, but Yuri and Victor aren’t even looking at each other in the preview for next episode, so I’m a bit worried how Yuri will do. With his score, it’ll be very very hard to win, his best chance is a mistake by preferably all the guys above him, especially by Yurio who has roughly about 20 points more than Yuri. Yuri has the highest technical difficulty, he needs to nail every jump and get a high presentation score. He’s either going to fail miserably with the state of mind he’s in right now, or do amazingly good, because he wants to skate his best for Victor one last time and show him that he didn’t waste his time. Either way, since Yurio is leading by a lot, I don’t think a perfect performance by Yuri will be enough to beat Yurio, it’s not in his own hands anymore, Yurio probably needs to mess up somehow, but he doesn’t look like he will.

By the way, I hate the young-genius-wins-every trope, so I kind of want to see Yurio fail… A LOT. I liked how he was in Moscow, she showed his talents, but also his inexperience. Now he’s a monster on ice.

Yuri on Ice Episode 10

I know, I know, episode 10 has been out for a while, BUT after I desperately needed to write a fanfiction I’m now ready to write a reasonable blogpost. As reasonable as a blogpost about Yuri on Ice can be.

After frist watching the episode, I though it was 100% fanservice and I was 100% wrong. Yes, this episode was meant to manifest Yuri’s self-esteem and set him up into the right mind to win the Grand Prix Final, but above everything else episode 10 was about Victors background. People have been wondering why he came to become Yuri’s coach and a good portion of them assumed he had ulterior motives. A popular fan theory also included him only doing it for fun, because he was bored and I have to admit: that’s not too farfetched.

After episode 10, Victor shines in an entirely new light. A much more tragic one. I mean, what kind of background do you expect from a 5-times Grand Prix Final winner? From someone who won everything there is to win in his sport and is so much better than his competitiors that he’s called a living legend, what kind of background do you expect? Nothing and Victor told us just that: he hasn’t lived or loved for the past 20 years and that is, because figure skating was his entire life for that time period. It HAD to be for Victor to become that good, even if he was a born prodigy.

So, for 20 years he did nothing but skate. Then, at the banquet of the Sotchi GPF, he meets drunken Yuri who pulls him into a dance battle and let’s him experience probably the most fun evening he’s had in decades. In other words, Yuri showed him life outside of figure skating and even makes very bold moves at him later on by grinding his hips against Victor’s and asking him to come to his parent’s inn and be his coach. He showed him love and Victor immediately responded: you can pinpoint the exact second Victor crushed on Yuri.

To sum it up: Victor has had a crush on Yuri ever since the banquet after the Sotchi GPF. If you think that’s all there is to it, and it’s already incredibly cute to know Victor has been in love with Yuri all this time, think about the consequences. Yes, it’s cute that Victors has been in love with Yuri for so long and, yes, they were meant to happen, but rewatch the early episodes and keep in mind Victor assumes Yuri could remember what happend at the banquet.

Is it clicking now? The entire time when we all though Victor was just being Victor and was having fun, he was not. Victor, ever since episode 1, has been dead serious about everything he did. He was hitting on Yuri full force puposely, because Yuri was making moves on him at the banquet and Victor assumed Yuri was interested in a romantic relationship. And while Victor was assuming Yuri remembered the banquet and his actions towards him, Yuri was constantly misunderstanding Victor’s advances and was rejecting Victor. Victor has been rejected by his crush for months and had no idea why.

Am I the only one who thinks this is incredibly sad? Nobody deserves this. When Victor was crying after Yuri rejected his offer to sleep together, that wasn’t because Victor was being overly dramatic, but because he was genuinely sad his crush rejected him. He offered being his boyfried and least twice, I think, once at the beach and once at the Cup of China and he meant it.

I feel very sorry for Victor and what he had to go through. It would’ve been a whole damn lot easier, of Yuri remembered the banquet. However, my point is, after knowing that Yuri is the one who gave Victor a new life with his possibly first real love a year ago, Victor’s entire behavior suddenly has a very different meaning. He didn’t have any ulterior motives, he didn’t want to take advantage of Yuri and he didn’t do it for fun: he did it out of love and since Victor has had probably never experienced this kind of real love before, it must’ve been overwhelming him and please don’t forget he assumed Yuri was on the same page as he was, while he actually wasn’t. Being rejected by Yuri on a constant basis must’ve hurt so damn much. On the other hand: being together with Yuri the way he is now, probably means so much more to him than we can imagine.

Something about Fanfiction II

… or: me petpeeving again.

For part one, it’s here: Something about Fanfiction

Yes, I’m back into fanfiction thanks to the gloriously gay and amazingly sparkly Yuri on Ice and with that comes my general annoyance by certain things writers tend to do. Before we take a huge bite out of the cake of crap, I would like to point out something I recently discovered and that I just absolutely love: soulmark fanfictions.

Soulmark fanfictions revolve around the idea soulmates exist and every pair of soulmates has a matching pair of soulmarks to identify them as such. Sounds cheesy, cliche and hopelessly romantic? Hell yes. Do I enjoy it nonetheless? Fuck yeah. However, I have to add I enjoy it in Yuri on Ice in particular, that is because the relationship between Yuri and Victor is so natural I can totally picture them as being meant for each other.

Yuri on Ice in general walks a very fine line between beeing the cutest thing ever and the biggest cliche ever. Somehow, even though it has it all to be as sassy and cheesy and disgustingly unrealistic, it’s the exact opposite. Victor and Yuri are meant for each other and I believe it. Therefore, soulmark/ -mate fanfictions fit.

Now, let’s get to the bad stuff. Why do so many people think it’s a good idea to convey a character’s feelings by writing out their thoughts as if they were talking silently to themselves inside of their brains? Maybe I’m just incredibly abnormal, but I don’t really talk to myself in my brain. Well, maybe the occasional: “Damn, I’m supid” but that’s about it and even that often ends up vocalized. Chances are high, if you try to remember the last time you found yourself conciously telling “OMG, I didn’t just say that!” you’re not going to remember anything, because there’s nothing to remember. That’s simply not how our brain works.

The thing is, when we do something wrong, we know we did something wrong, but we usually don’t put it into words unless we’re going to say them. Again: unless I’m just incredibly abnormal for not conciously talking to myself inside of my brain. When someone tells you he’s in love with you, there’s no voice in your head that goes “OMG! Did he really just say he loves me?” That’s just not happening, even though you probably are overwhelmed and in disbelieve and this is exactly what’s going throught your brain, but you don’t put it into words. Look: this is your brain. You don’t need to tell your brain what your feelings are right now, your brain is the control center of your body it knows what you’re feeling without being told.

To make a long story short, talking to yourself in your head the way you would be talking to another person, is so unnatural, because this is you. You don’t need to tell yourself about what’s going on inside of yourself, because this is you and you already know all that without putting it into worlds. Therefore, every time I read something like that, it’s quite literally making my toenails roll up. If it doesn’t belong into your head, it doesn’t belong into the heads of your characters in your fanfiction. … if we’re talking about people in a state of mind that would be generally accepted as “normal”.

As for the reason why I think so many people do it, sometimes to the extent they’re giving thoughts their own quotation marks to differentiate them from outspoken conversations, I think it’s probably just the easy way out. It’s short and it’s very much on point and that’s the problem. In my first fanfiction-rant-thingy I was talking about the need of desciption. You’re not telling a story, if you’re just stating facts after facts. Unless you’re writing a stage play, you need to describe.

And yes, it’s perfectly fine to put your character’s thoughts into words, how else would you convey them to your readers? There’s just such a HUGE stylistic difference between writing: “Did he just say he loves me?” and “She stood before him in utter disbelieve, his words still ringing in her ears. Never did she imagine, even in her wildest dreams, the day would come when he would confess his love for her.” Are you noticing that difference? Isn’t it  cristal clear?

If you want to write a fanfiction, you need to be aware of the fact that you are telling another person (aka the reader) a story. There’s a connection between the author, the reader and the story. Imagine it as a triangle. It doesn’t matter what kind of narrative form you choose, if you’re going for a third-person narrator who stands above everything and knows everything about every character, or if you’re going for a first-person narrator who’s one of the characters of your story and only knows about himself. These are the two most common narratives you find in not just fanfiction, but also in novels.

You, as the author, give the narrator your voice to tell your reader the story you thought of. You can tell the reader about the feelings of your characters, that’s perfectly fine: “She knew she was wrong.” However letting the character tell to himself what he is feeling, as if he was talking to another person in direct speech inside of his head, that’s just wrong on so many levels.

Of course, like ever, there are situations where it’s okay to write like that. However, the rule of thumb is: whatever you do, is okay for your characters to do. Try to think when you talk to yourself in direct speech and if you do so in your brain or if you vocalize it. Chances are you vocalize it. In most cases, we’re writing stories about humans. You are human, you are the best example, try to write what you would do and if you notice this is something you never do, like talking to yourself in your head as if you were talking to another person, then just find another way to express whatever you were about to write. Instead of using direct speech, use indirect speech or descibe.

I hope I was able to convey what I was trying to say about this and why I think this is one of the big no-goes so many people are guilty of doing.