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 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.

 

Digimon Tri Kokuhaku

tumblr_nnxtm1qtsl1qjy21oo1_500Like basically every other kid from the late 90s/early 2000s, I’m absolutely in love with Digimon Tri. After seeing Saikai I already wrote that this anime pushes all the right buttons and two movies later, it still does. It has the right amount of 90s/early 2000s vibe to it, but still modern enough to not feel “old”.

I think the main reason why Digimon Tri is as good as it is, is because the anime knows it’s audience damn well and the audience is the same audience from 17 years ago. It’s not meant for teens or adults and it’s not meant for just any kids, it’s meant for the kids from that time who’re now adults. Of course this anime is very well watchable for kids as well, but let’s be honest: to understand what’s going on generally speaking, you need to know Digimon in some way or the other. To understand the more specific character relations and plot developments, you need to have seen Digimon Adventure and Digimon 02. Digimon Tri explains absolutely nothing and this is a very strong indication who this anime is meant for.

After 3 movies we’ve now reached the halfway point. It’s progressing real slow, because tumblr_ny4u76golr1r72ht7o1_500we have to wait for months between every new movie/batch of new episodes, but the wait is so much worth it. The moment I hear the intro, I’m sold, I forget my impatience and just enjoy the ride. I have to admit, the second movie Ketsui was lacking the wow factor a litte bit, because it had a lot of build up going on. It was still very good, though.

Saikai benefits from the massive waves of nostalgia after seeing these characters and Digimon again after so many years. The second movie doesn’t really have that so much. Kokuhaku on the other hand has it again, because that’s when the Digidestined go to the Digiworld again. So far, the humans have stayed in the human world, but now they’re all back into the Digiworld! That’s so exciting! And the way they did it, too! They didn’t care about the possibility of not coming back home, because they’ve already gome through this when they were in elementary school. I just loved it when, I think it was Joe, said by waiting they’re just going to turn into adults. That really hit my inner child, it’s like telling the audience that even though it’s been so long and we’ve all gotten older, it’s okay to be a child again and do what you love.

I have to admit the return to the Digiworld, even if it’s just the rebooted one and apparently not the same from the past, because we see noticable differences, was my absolute highlight of the third movie. I felt like my 13 years old self again, being glued to the TV. That was a straight nostalgia jab into my face and I love this anime for doing that. I honestly think Kokuhaku was the best movie so far. We saw how much the Digimon love their humans, how much they all evolved, we finally got a better glimpse of our actual opponents, the entire reboot idea was simple but effective and Tentomons megaevolution was so cool! Besides, Takeru and Patamon … right into the feels.

giphy2Talking about feels! You can’t talk about Digimon withou shipping wars. We finally got a hint of Takari, which was cool. We all know Takari was that one pairing, that absolutely needed to happen ever since we saw these two adorable kids in Digimon Adventure. Besides, their brothers are Yamato and Taichi, who used to fight so much, the alpha-males of the group so to speak, and now they’re totally best friends, but I would just love to see Taichi getting jelous over Takeru for steeling his baby sister away. We haven’t seen anything from Takeru that specific, but he was very occupied with Patamon in Kokuhaku, so he’s excused. I hope it’ll come.

On the other ship that totally should set sail, there has not really been going on that much. I do feel the love triangle between Taichi x Sora x Yamato is being hinted on and slighty teased every now and then, but it’s very low key. The shipping wars have been huge in this fandom and I think it would be cool, if they acknowledged it a bit by teasing it slightly more. Not too much, they don’t have to go the Avatar road, I mean they were just cruel to their fanbase. Admittedly, they were nice enough to clear it all up at the end and even though a good portion of fans was still unsatisfied with ALTA, everyone’s pretty cool with Korra. How often do you have a lesbian endgame ship? I’m totally shipping Makorra and I still think that end was cool.

Either way, Digimon Tri is the ultimae chance to right what’s wrong. It’s the chance to free me from my ultimate shipping nemesis Sorato and finally make Taiora canon. Please, Digimon Tri, MAKE IT HAPPEN!

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Bleach 670

Okay, we all know Bleach was at it’s best before Aizen turned into a butterfly. The Rukia Rescue Arc was awesome, but after that it went downhill. Too many characters, too many backstories (of characters about to die… really?), fights dragging on for much too long, questionable plot choices…

Let’s say the best part of Bleach ever since the Rukia Rescue Arc ended was Isshin’s backstory. It was short, on point, interesting and informative. It was great and I’m even overlooking that Ichigo got revealed to be a human/quincy/hollw/shinigami-hybrid. He was fine being a substitude shinigami, was that necessary? Whatever, Isshin’s backstory was still great.

tumblr_mn73tbsfF21sqknc4o1_500Now, however, this manga has reached new levels of ridiculous. Especially in more recent chapters, Bleach has taken many turns for the worst – even more than before. Sure, Ukitake was a character who could be killed off, because he was dying of tuberculosis anyway, but I dare you didn’t kill off Urahara Tite Kubo.

I admit I’m shipping IchixRuki so I’m biased as hell, but even if you don’t, they have an amazing dynamic going on between them and I’m really missing that. It was old fashioned and overdone, but the friend-cycle Ichigo was in worked great and the manga had a good balance between action, character development and frienship moments. Even when Ichigo want and rescued Rukia, there was still more to it. Now, for a while, it’s been nothing but fights and sidecharacters.

When was the last chapter Ichigo had some screentime? It’s been a while. I want to see thefuckmore of the core characters, I want to see the story progressing… and finally finishing. After giving Kenpachi a Bankai and Hitsugaya puberty, I’m so far done with this, I’m reading it for the laughs and this is sad, because Bleach used to be good.

Case in point, let’s have fun instead of just crying over how stupid this manga has turned out to be. Everyone thought Hitsugaya’s Bankai would disappear when the last petal melts, because it was said he had an unfinished Bankai due to his young age achieving it. Fun side note: Yachiro is much younger and is the one in charge of controlling Kenpachi’s Berserk-Bankai. How exactly does that work? Another fun side note: am I remembering things wrong, or didn’t Hitsugaya’s Bankai actually fall apart before when the petals all melted?

If even that’s true, it’s easily explained, so not a big deal. I would really like to know, if Matsumoto and Hinamori know about his adult-state-Bankai-mode. That’s comedic gold on a silver plate right there. I need to see their reaction. I mean, he quite literally just turned into the hottest guy in the entire cast. So much for forcing his head between your breasts, Matsomoto. You sure, you wanted to do that all the time?

Digimon Adventure tri.1: Saikai

It’s finally here!!

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Pokemon might have the better games, but Digimon sure has the better anime. And always had. I’m a 90s kid, I grew up in the middle of the monster-craze and I loved Digimon Adventure.

Digimon Adventure tri is made specifically for people like me and this anime is pure fanservice. There are a lot of shows out there trying to give us what we want and hardly ever do they succeed. Digimon tri hits all the right spots. And I mean all the right spots.

After watching all 4 episodes, I need to get that supid grin off my face. giphyfeels2Hearing the intro, the fighting theme and the evolution theme alone sends me on an emotional rollercoaster. Add the original cast and the original Digimon and you have a winner.

However, what truly makes this great, is how well they aged the characters. They’ve all grown up, but their friendship was still there and the overall chemistry was spot on. The one time when Koshiro explained way too much in detail what’s going on and everyone just started talking about different stuff was hilarious. And what about Koushiros crush on Mimi? Awesome. Tai x Sora x Yamato love triangle hints in the first 10 minutes of episode 1? Can’t wait to enjoy the upcomming shipping wars. Huge animated monsters beating the crap out of each other? Man, I’ve missed it so much.

The thing is, this anime doesn’t just give us what some people think we might want, it really gives us what we want. Even though the original cast of Digimon Adventure was still there in Digimon 02, they only played a minor role (aside froiron-man-gifm Hikari and Takeru – how come they’re not dating, though? This needs to be fixed asap) and many “day one” digimon fans, wanted to know more about the aged original cast.

And this is exactly it. They can still fight, but they have their problems. Joe seems to be the furthest away from the group because he has essential problems in his life. Tai has no idea what to do with his future and likes to hang out with his friends all day, but heavily questions their actions regarding their fights in terms of destruction and possible loss of human lives. He would’ve never done that in the past, because he was a kid and the audience were children as well.

Well, what can I say? Digimon Tri had big shoes to fill and the expectations were sky high. This anime is pure fanserivce and it’s target audience aren’t children, it’s old fans like me who missed the original not even sorry chris hemsworthcast after 02. In that respect, it didn’t just meet my expectations, it exceeded them. It’s exactly what I always wanted and I can’t say how much I was looking forward to it.

The wait was worth it.

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry ep. 2

headdeskWhen I was briefly talking about the first episode, I said I hoped there’d be no harem. Episode 2 arrives and with it comes the harem. And the incest. Two of the things I hate the most in anime. What a great start.

The episode was ok, but only until the sister arrived. I mean, sure, the newspaper girl was unnessecary fanservice, but I can live with that. Frankly speaking, if I couldn’t, I couldn’t watch anime alltogether. Since most anime are shounen and have more or less fanservice, as a female anime fan, this is something you just have to live with.

This doesn’t mean I have to like it, though, and I have my point of no return and this point is immediately crossed when the female lead becomes a rival in the form of the male leads sister. She literally shows up and jumps at her brother. Awesome! The first real kiss in this anime and it’s incest – real incest, the anime made it very clear beforehand those siblings are related by blood. This is just wrong on so many levels.

And on MyAnimeList most people were actually… rooting for this! You can’t really disagree nope-48959with preferences and I usually let everyone like what they want, but incest between bloodrelated siblings? Sorry, but no. And I absolutely won’t argue about her reasons and that it’s only fiction and let everyone like what they want. Just. No.

So, getting this out of the way, I’m obviously very close to dropping this anime. A friend of mine said he heared the main leads are actually going to be together, which is probably why neighter the anime nor the Novel are tagged as a harem and the thing with the sister will probably just be played out as fanservice from time to time.

However, even considering this, I’m still very close to dropping this and the reason is Stella. I’m fine with Tsundere, I even like Tsundere. I watched Shakugan no Shana and Toradora and I liked both of them. What I don’t like is when a supposely strong female lead goes ultra-dere to the point where she throws away her entire pride as a woman. A Tsundere is always fanserivce, but this extereme version of a Tsundere is just off the charts and makes me want to puke.

tumblr_nw0yvl6hdS1rd6sdio1_500If you want to play the strong female lead card, you better play it properly and don’t disgrace your entire gender by playing the obident slave rubbing your bare breasts on his back. That’s just disgusting. Of course you can have a character who’s strong and be in love, but normal people in love don’t do this crazy stuff, or at least not in this stage of their relationship.

End of story? Rakudai Kishi no Cavarly took a massive turn to the worse. Probably my first drop this season.