Ballroom e Youkoso Anime and Manga Spoilers

Damn those necks.

Okay, so with Ballroom e Youkoso my arguably most anticipated anime of the year was released and we’re 5 episodes in and far enough to say something of substance.

First of all, I love the art direction. I know, the necks are a little bit too long, but overall I think it looks absolutely gorgeous and the animation quality is pretty nice. I was hoping for fully animated dances in the same way Yuri on Ice fully animated the figure scating programms, but that’s very unusual for anime, so I guess I kind of knew this wouldn’t happen? It’s still a tiny bit disappointing, though.

They make use of freeze frames quite a bit and while that’s not unusual in anime at all, the manga does such an amazing job of capturing the movement and power of dancing, I actually think the anime looks a little bit too static sometimes. I’ve seen much worse, don’t get me wrong, something in me just screams: “This is not right.” when the manga is creating better movement with still images than it’s animated counterpart. It’s still good! I just think it could be better.

It’s been such a long time that I’ve seen the start of the story, it made me realize a lot of stuff and it’s really funny seeing all the new people react to the characters, who you know will not be what they seem to be when they are introduced, but first things first.

I noticed I’m really missing Chii-chan so much, not just because she’s one of my favorite characters and I totally ship her with Tatara, but also because she’s giving Tatara a real challenge and brings out his worse. She makes him suffer, she makes him question his ablilities, but she also makes him move forward the absolute most. Right now in these first 5 episodes, everything came so easy to Tatara, he’s basically been given everything on a silver tablet with the best wishes from the Chef so far and it will continue this way until Chii-chan arrives and messes with everything Tatara thought he knew.

Tatara is a total beginner and yes he first struggles a bit with the Waltz, but he gets his lessons for free, he is taught by literally the best dancer in Japan, he gets his suit for free, he gets to dance with two very experienced and advanced girls to learn from and has the ability to learn extreamly fast by seeing and remembering basically everything about dancing. Explaining doesn’t work very well for him, but seeing it does.

I really didn’t notice it that much when I was reading the manga, but Tatara is very priviledged – and has the balls to try and go after Shizuku as a partner, because he has a crush on her, even though she’s partnered with Hyodo. I don’t want to sound too mean, because he’s still training a lot, even at home, but I stand by my words, he has it very easy at the start and it takes until Chii-chan arrived that he’s actually forced to struggle for real for the first time.

I guess having it easy at the beginning makes up for all the struggle he has to go through with Chii-chan, because once it starts, it’s not going to stop. Tatara learns to suffer and is forced to face his weak spots, but creates something very unique together with Chii-chan. In a way, Chii-chan is the 3rd experienced & advanced girl he gets to pair up with, but she’s his first real partner and unlike Mako and Shizuku, Chii-chan has a whole damn lot of learning to do herself, because she always danced the male part and never the female part. So, you end up with a beginner who doesn’t know how to lead and an advanced dancer who doesn’t know how not to lead. Perfect combination for trouble. Awesome.

It’s actually even more awesome that in recent chapters they’ve started to discover a way to work together and bring out both their strenghts in their dance. I hope they can move forward from being the dysfunctional couple in desync to being a real unity, because in the rare moments they were, they were freaking unstoppable. They complement each other so well, there’s no way I want to see Tatara leave her for Shizuku at one point. If that’s ever going to happen, I’m dropping this manga, Tatara and Chii-chan absolutely need to stay together.

Talking about staying together, I love Hyodo and episode 4 made me realize again just why. This manga/anime has a great talent and that is: introducing an antagonist as some evil guy, that ends up in a friendly rivalry with the main protagonist. It happend with Hyodo, who’s some kind of mentor/elder brother to Tatara in manga right now and it also happend with Gaju. It’s so funny seeing all the people watching the anime complaining over Hyodo, wishing he would break up with Shizuku for Tatara’s sake and now they’re upset about Gaju “snatching Shizuku away” from Tarara being the mean guy… when it fact they all have their partners, they all will stay with their partners, Tatara will get his own partner and they will all become pretty good friends.

They are still rivals, but I love that they’re friends at the same time in a very healthy way. They do shenaningans, they mess up, they tease each other, but everything is on friendly terms and they rely onto each other when needed, too. In case of Hyodo, these could very well be his first actual frindships and Gaju? I mean, he’s even messing with Tatara in school all the time, they’re partners in crime.

In shounen, and Ballroom e Youkoso is a shounen, you usually have the main protagonist and his close ring of friends, his nakama. In case of Tatara, his “nakama” are his rivals, wich is kind of cool to be honest. I’d be interesting to see if Masami joins this ring of friends/rivals as well. So far, he tried his best not to and be the long wolf. He’s a very different type of guy and I think he might always stay more reserved, but I think he could very well become friends with the rest of the group.

And by the way, Akira is pretty ingenius as a comic relieve. She’s not just funny in the way she interacts with Chii-chan, there’s a very serious background to all of this and I hope to see more of her. Not because she’s gay for Chii-chan, remember I ship TataraxChii-chan, but because of her great dynamic with Chii-chan.

Before I finish this, I need to get this out of my system: You don’t teach Slow Foxtrott to a beginner. You… don’t. It’s too hard, even the basic steps are long and complicated, it’s a dance for advanced dancers and nothing Tatara should learn after Waltz as his first dance ever.

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A few thoughts

Okay, first of all: Where’s Yuri on Ice season 2? WHERE IS IT? I need my gaylicious babies.

tenorApparently, everything was planned from the start and nothing was changed in favor for a possible second season. I’m not entirely sold on that, but whatever. From what I heared a second season will be made, if the DVD/BluRay sales are good. Judging by the huge waves the TV broadcast made, I’m hoping sales will be good enough. Since Yuri now lives and trains with Victor in Russia, this is the perfect opportunity to get more background on Victor, who’s still more of a walking mystery than anything. Also: more Victor skating, please? God, this man is just too delicious for his own good.

 

Akagami no Shirayukihime. I mean, I love this manga. Contrary to what I initially believed, I absolutely love it. It’s one of the sweetest romance stories I’ve read in a while and quickly advanced to become one of my favorite romance manga. If Yuri and Victor are a pair of sexy gay deliciousness, Shirayuki and Zen are a cute bubble of innocence. I love seeing them together, even though I think it’s quite ironic Shirayuki flees from her home country to escape from a prince who wants to marry her and ends up in another country in tumblr_nuom06w3vx1qfjlbzo2_500the arms of another prince who wants to marry her.

Either way, the latest chapters are great and all, but I really miss my cutsey dose of Shirayuki/Zen love. I get it: Zen is trying his best to be able to stay with Shirayuki permanently together in the castle where his mother is currently “ruling”, taking over her place. This needs time and preparation. Yeah, but… I remember getting impatient when we haven’t seen Ed in Fullmetal Alchemist for half a year after he was massively injured and the story focussed on something else, before he gloriously reappeared (seriously, that was freaking amazing, but that’s FMA for you), but if I’m not mistaken we’re getting close to 1 & 1/2 years since Shirayuki was sent on her mission away from Zen. They met somewhere in between and currently the focus is more on the aids and as much as I adore Mitsuhide and Kiki and their own little love story, but I really really really miss Shirayuki and Zen being lovely dovely.

 

Shokugeki no Soma took a very sudden turn in events and now it looks like it’ll be over relatively soon. Judging by the popularity of the manga, I’m a bit surprised by that and I’m not liking the decision of this new Shokugeki. I mean, that’s just bending the rules to have some plot convenience. I know that happens a lot in shounen, especially in long running a2bac6b4ce94598a5870839c7355ca76sounen, but it still kind of bothers me. It’s like saying: by the way, the ultimate weapon against all of our problems have been there the entire time, if someone would’ve just been nice enough to bring it up, which strangely never happend. Yeah. Stange, isn’t it?

Saibas backstory was pretty cool, though. Why do I seem to like the backstories of father figures in shounen so much? Isshin had a damn awesome backstory in Bleach as well. On the other hand: Isshin as well as Saiba are some pretty cool dads. I don’t think Saiba has been a very good father, though. He’s cool, but not a good father. He loves Soma, sure, and it’s not like he did everything wrong, but some of his decisions regarding Somas upbringing are very questionable.

 

Ballroom e Youkoso is back to a regular release and it’s as great as always. I don’t even know what else to say. It’s back, that’s awesome! And the two chapters released since it’s comeback have been awesome. Not much dancing, but more character and the right dose cdmkwwcuuaejszeof humor sprinkled in here and there. I love Akiras and Chii-chans relationship, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of it, even after this competition is over. Furthermore we got a glance at the possibility how easy it is to loose for Chii-chan and Tatara. Rememeber: they promised to break up, if they don’t win and winning will be a miracle, if they don’t get it together soon. Thank you Hyoudou for ripping Tataras shoulder apart, so instead of being too stiff he’s too loose now. … great…

Best of 2016

Now that 2017 has arrived and is still in it’s baby shoes, I’d like to make quick list about my best manga, anime, game and movie of 2016. Last year I made this huge individual lists, but I’m not feeling well, so I’m going to keep it shorter. The same rules apply as last year:  on going franchises are allowed & also titles I’ve seen/read/played 2016 but premiered ealier are allowed as well.

Best Game of 2016

As for best game, unfortunately there was no Zelda this year, so no Zelda for best game either. Spoiler alert: Zelda will be best game of 2017. I’m actually very tempted to go with Super Metroid, even though it’s very old, but it’s so damn good. Even after so many years, it’s still such an amazing game and I haven’t played it on SNES back in the days, I played it first on the Wii U. However, if a 22 years old game is better than recent games, that would be sad, even if Super Metroid is one of the best games ever made.

So, what else to choose? I played Yokai Watch, which was nice. Bravely Second was very good as well and I also liked Legend of Legacy and Pokken. Unfortunately there’s no game like Xenoblade Chronicles X that stood out among the rest as much as XCX did (I still love this game, it’s fucking amazing), but I was positively surprised by Kirby Planet Robobot. I already liked Triple Deluxe, but Planet Robobot was even better. Kirby is doing good lately!

sun-moon-box-artEventually, I guess I have to go with Pokemon Sun/Moon for my game of the year 2016. When I first started the game I couldn’t help but wonder just how far the franchise has come in the past 20 years and I’ve been a part of it the entire time. They dared to change up the formula and it payed off. Even though Gen VII doesn’t have the best Pokemon designs (in my opinion), they’re fine and I love the concept of regional forms of old pokemon.

Best Movie of 2016

This is a hard one. I think I watched a lot of great movies in 2016. I loved Creed, The Hateful Eight, Rogue One, The Martian, Zootopia, The Danish Girl, Deadpool…. the list goes on. However, when it comes down to it, I guess two movies stood out and even though the winner is very clear, I’d love to point out the runner up, because it surprised me that much. The runner up is Southpaw and it surprised me, because I thought it’s just a Rocky-clone, but it’s not. I didn’t like all the decisions made in the story, but it’s more about a broken man who tries to fix his relationship with his daughter after his wife’s death and tries very hard to get her back, than it’s about boxing. He just happens to be a boxer. Yes, there’s a training montage and yes, it’s awesome. Also, kudos to Jake Gyllenhaal, I think he did a great job.

Now, for my movie of the year, it’s easily Whiplash. Why didn’t I see this movie earlier? whiplashIt’s so intense, it caught me completely off guard. I heard it was good, but damn it was downright amazing. It climbed right into the league of best movies I ever watched. It’s clever, dramatic, cruel, intense, strong characters and an awesome soundtrack. If you haven’t watched it: go watch it.

Best Anime of 2016

For me, 2016 was a good year for anime. Lot’s of shows I enjoyed: Akagami no Shirayukihime Season 2, Haiyku Season 2+3, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, Soma Season 2, Battery, Bungou Stray Dogs, Noragami, 3 gatsu no Lion, Fune wo Amu, Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari.

I don’t think it comes as a surprise when I say, my personal anime of 2016 was, easily, Yuri!! On Ice. I just jumped into the fandom and was going along with the hype. It was gaylicious, it was fun, it was one hell of a ride and I don’t think I’ve been that much into an anime ever since Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This doesn’t mean, it’s as good as FMA:B, I don’t like some of the decisions in episode 11 and 12, but it’s just breathtaking yuri-on-ice-02-6how episode 10 suddenly made the entire anime look in an entirely different way. Awesome plot twist right there. Also, as cheesy as it sounds, Yuri!! On Ice really did make history: it boldly portrayed a homosexual relationship in a world without discrimination as something entirely normal and it was done so incredibly well. I’ve hardly ever seen heterosexual relationships done that good and Yuri!! On Ice simply takes it to an entirely different level. We need more romance like that, we need more couples like Victor and Yuri and we need more media open enough towards homosexuality to treat it completely normal. It should not be that big of a deal to have a same sex couple treated like that. I hope, someday, our world can be as understanding and open towards homosexual relationships and other kinds of sexuality as the world in YOI is.

Best Manga of 2016

This is easily the hardest choice. First of all, I completely forgot what I read this year. I mean, besides the usual suspects. Some manga I’d like to point out are Vinland Saga, Skip Beat, Our Relationship is…, Piano no Mori, Until Death Do Us Part, Chihayafuru, Arte, Shounen Oujo, Do Da Dancin’, Kounodori, Nijiiro Days, Vagabond and Shinobi Quartet. Once again, I’d like to point out two manga more. The first one is 10 Dance. I’m a sucker for sportsmanga and ballroom dancing is so amazing. Maybe it’s because I learned it before and actually do know how to dance (not competitively, but at least I don’t make a fool out of myself at weddings), but I love manga about ballroom dancing and the two I enjoy the most are 10 Dance and Ballroom e Youkoso (after more than a year on hiatus, it’ll finally be back in just a few days and we’ll also get an anime, awesomesauce).

The story of 10 dance is rather simple, but I can’t help but love seeing the two Shinyas dacing together. It looks so good, the dancing itself is just awesome and it doesn’t hurt they boys are damn sexy and their personalities are so different it’s fun seeing them working their shit out together. I’m super thrilled the manga is published ihn my country 181140lnow, too.

As for manga of 2016 I’m going with a manga I’ve just recently discovered, but I absolutely fell in love with it and hope it’ll continue doing well. After just 8 chapters there’s not that much story yet and I’m guessing it’ll stay on the lighter side, but it’s a cute romance and I really need that right now: Otonari Complex. It’s cute, it’s light, it’s well done. Nothing of the huge big title like Whiplash in my movie section, but a manga that made an impression and I think it could become something like Lovely Complex, but that’s yet to see.

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.

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.

Yuri on Ice ep 8

This blogpost will mainly focus on the main couple, because contratry to the big majority of the fandom, I think it did Victuuri amazing justice as a couple and did not lack, like many other people believe.

Finally, the follow up after the infamous episode 7 has arrived and the fandom… was initially mostly disappointed. Or let’s say the yaoi fans in the community were severly disappointed. I saw this comming so much, I can’t even tell you how amused I am. And a tiny bit mad, because I’ve read many comments with complains about “lack of Victuuri”, when, in fact, this episode was full of Victuuri. BL fans were going into this episode with the question how they were going to make this episode even gayer than last. The real question was, however, how Victor’s and Yuri’s relationship will continue now.

I think we need a little excursus into the world of Boys Love. Anime is an industry, that means, it wants money by entertaining you. In other words: anime will give you what you want to get your money.That’s why in so many cases movies, TV-series, even games and books, they play it save rather than trying something new. The BL fandom is obsessed with sexual love. Form my experience, there’s a lot more stories about glorified rape out there than actual healthy and functioning relationships, which is why I absolutely detest genre standards and bestsellers like Jujou Romantica and ususally try to find stories like Seven Days, but these are much rarer.

Now, we have Yuri on Ice, which is not yaoi. People were confused and asking who the seme and the uke is, because Yuri was acting rather bold in the tie-scene, but they always forget: Yuri on Ice is not yaoi, it does NOT live off sexual love. It purposely avoids common BL genre standards. It’s a sportsanime that happens to feature a same sex couple and it treats it’s main couple just like that: a normal couple that happens to be of the same sex. Of course we all know there’s a lot of different kinds of couples and heterosexual as well as homosexual couple comes in many diffrent varieties. Everyone will agree that the kind of relationships we’re presented in pornography are not normal, because relationships are not just about sex. Sex is part of a relationship (not all, though), but it’s not all of the relationship.

Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, a lot of BL fans think these super-sexualized relationships build on physical intercourse and a lot f times build on rape, are normal and not jut for this genre, but for same sex couples in general, because that’s primarily what media is presenting us on a daily basis and they’re doing this, because the fans want it that way.

Yuri on Ice goes a different route and I can only laugh at the people being disappointed nobody cared about the kiss, because there is nothing to care about, but the kiss had a huge impact nonetheless. Many fans were angry this episode was not gay enough, but I say, it was even gayer than the last. There was no big build up, no overcome-by-emotions driven kiss and no big drama, but that was aleady impiled in the last episode, when Victor pointed out he was going back to Russia was Yuri’s Coach. Victor was already doing damage limitation and he was continously doing it thoughout episode 8.

Epsiode 8 had much more of these little Victuuri highlights and no big drama and the reason is very simple: Victor and Yuri are now in a relationship. Even though the anime didn’t show it, a few weeks of time has passed between these  episodes and Yuri and Victor sorted out their relationship in that time, therefore there’s no reason to talk about the kiss from ep 7 anymore. Contrary to most stereotypical BL relationships with very distinctive roles, Victor and Yuri are both very equal, now that Yuri is comming out of his shell more and more. Victor still seems to be the overall more active and dominating part, but he encourages Yuri to be more bold and loved Yuri taking control.

I just absolutely loved how Yuri has 100% more selfesteem now. I was always under the impression Yuri didn’t like competitions, but this was the first time he truly enjoyed himself at a competition. He looked like someone lifted a huge weight off his chest. He has no problems with competitions whatsoever, he just crumbles under pressure a lot, he can’t deal with big expectations that well, but he learned to have faith in himself and there’s someone who’s supporting him no matter what, so the entire situation seemed to be much more stress-free for Yuri – even though he had entire Russia against him for stealing “their” Victor away from the ice. Instead of cracking under the pressue, he tackled it head it and that’s a HUGE leap of character development for Yuri.

Thoughout the entire episode Victor and Yuri were having a damn lot of fun and this good time, laughing, giggling, doing silly stuff like kissing Yuri’s skates after a successful short program, was a wonderful portayal of their relationship. Unlike most of BL media that primarily focusses on the sexual part of the relationship, Yuri on Ice focusses on the carefree and fun part of a relationship. You know, when most people who’re about to marry say they’re going to marry “their best friend”, it’s just like that. Of course you are intimate and you get into arguments and you get embarrased every once in a while, but being in a relationship should mean there’s a lot of fun on a daily basis and you’re having a good time with your partner. Yuri and Victor were having a damn good time with eath other, they’re truly enjoying their current relationship status and it’s obviously still in early stages, but it looks 100% healthy and normal.

I said somewhere Victor was going damage limitation and what I mean with that is also one of the reasons we probably didn’t see much more smexy stuff. Victor, even though he can behave like a silly child, is the more experienced person when it comes to relatioships and I think it’s a safe bet to say he’s experienced with same sex relationships as well and understands what that means. As sad as it is, homosexual relationsips are still very much frowned upon by many people all over the world. Russia in particular is not the most gay friendly country either. After the kiss, Victor immediately said he was going back to Russia as Yuri’s coach. When he kissed Yuri’s skates, the announcer said Victor was overwhelmed with pride and joy and nobody seems to be having second thoughts after Victor kissed Yuri live on television just a few mere weeks ago. That’s not normal, my friends.

What I thought was very interesting, was when Victor was asked if he wanted to skate against Yuri in a competition. Victor smiled and changed the subject to Yurio immediately. My theory is that he’s probably very conflicted. As a profressional first rate figure skater, he would probably love to compete against Yuri, after he’s gotten rid of his problems now. If Victor goes back to figure skating, he’s going back to Yakov, that’s save to say. For Victor, Yakov is the only coach, he said it numerous times and has nothing but respect for the man. The problem: without Victor as his coach, Yuri would probably retire from competitions. I can’t see him going back to Celestino and I can’t see him going to train under Yakov either. In other words, I’m 95% sure, for Victor going back into competitions would mean seperating from Yuri (even if Yuri, by some miracle, decides to train under another coach and continues) and Victor doesn’t want that.

He can’t tell the media all this stuff, though: “Oh, I would love to, but I don’t want to leave my boyfriend whom I’m madly in love with.” That’s a bad idea, especially in Russia. Victor knows that, he’s been into this business long enough and he knows the media and his home country well enough. That’s why I think Victor is trying to lessen the damage of their freshly-in-love-couple-behavior much more than Yuri, who happily goes along with everything Victor does without a second thought.

Yuri on Ice ep7

The love is real! All on board the hype train! Let the ship sail!

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by HolieKay @deviantart

Damn, this episode was awesome. Ever since the first ep, Yuri on Ice was my favorite anime of the season. It’s just gloriously gay and walks the perfect line between making fun of itself and being serious. When Yuri broke into tears in episode 7, it was very well executed with a red nose, eyes, shaky voice and everything. It had such a big impact, we all knew he was going to break down after Victor dared he would quit if Yuri didn’t make the podium, but he was still surprisingly good at standing up for himself and telling Victor his place. It was still very much in character, though. On the other hand… Chris? He’s just insane: dat ass, dat routine, dat comming.

There’s so much to love and laugh about this anime, even if you’re not into BL. If you’re

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Feel the love!

into BL, your dreams probably came true this episode. People can argue with me it wasn’t a kiss, I stand by my word it was a damn fucking real kiss. Period. Honestly, after having Victor sleep on him and hug him naked, I’m pretty sure a simple hug wouldn’t surprise Yuri as much as it did. Also: that lip close up. It was gorgeous!

And please, give me a minute to adore Yuris costume for his free program. I think it suits him so much more than the one he’s wearing for his short program (well, it was originally from Victor and designed to suit him, so…). With all the weird guys skating around, Yuri is simple, not too flashy, elegant and classy. Just like his music reflects on his person, his costume does, too! It all goes together so damn well, he looks stunning in it.

While I’m absolutely in love with Yuri and Victor, how they showed both of them have still

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Yuri standing up after his attempt at the quadruple flip

a lot to learn, but great potential, I’m a bit disappointed Yuri didn’t win. Yeah, he messed up 3 of his jumps, but only fell once, overrotated once and touched the ice once. He still got points for all three of his messed up jumps and he increased his technical difficulty with the quadruple flip right at the end of the programm, even if it was messed up – it had enough rotations at least. Furthermore, all of his other elements were flawless and his step sequence was amazing. He was surprinsingly clam, had a great expression and still had a 20 points lead over Phichit from his flawless short program.

Phichit skated great, but not flawless and had a much lower technical difficulty. Unfortunately we didn’t see the technical difficulty from Phichit and Yuri… or Yuris overall points. Therefore, we can’t really judge the outcome that good, but point in case: with Yuris higher difficulty, 20 point lead from the short programm and flawless free programm aside from his messed up 3 jumps, I still expected Yuri to win over Phichit. If I remember correctly Yuzuru Hanyu broke the world record with a messed up jump (that just shows a) how damn awesome he is and b) how crazy difficult his routines are) in his free programm and was 38 points ahead of second place. I think it was entirely possible for Yuri to win over Phichit.

So, why did Yuri lose? My guess: plot convenience. The declared goal is winning the Grand

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Yuri 2nd – Phichit 1st – Chris 3rd

Prix final and we still need some room for improvement, hence why Yuri didn’t skate his free routine flawless even once yet. He already nailed his short program, but he has a long way to go for his free progam, espically since he now added the quadruple flip and he still needs to land it, let alone nail it. I think the quadruple flip could be the deciding factor, the one thing that makes the difference, if he lands it well. This is where we need to go from now. Yuri probably has the potential to break the world record with his current routines, if done flawless from a technical point of view and a good presentation and this may just be where we’re heading for the final episode of this anime.

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Yuzuru Hanyu nailing the quadruple toe loop at Sotchi 2014 Winter Olympics – the element Yuri was supposed to perform as the final jump of his program.