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HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#26 | Back to Top12-21-2016 09:35:48 PM

Hinotori
The Notable Death Mantis
From: Soviet Ohiostan
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 1333

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

it sure as shit was i literally just got done ranting about this on another forum and I do not think my opinion will be well received.

I was kind of hoping Yuuri would at some point self-examine enough to realize that he is on record TELLING HIMSELF that he avoids his problems by skating and the biggest bummer about his poor performance was that now he had to go back to living an actual freaking life.

Yuuri and Victor's relationship comes super close to abuse of professional ethics. and there were plenty of other characters (Phichit, Otabek) who were sympathetic to the point where they could have been given the gold and Yuuri could have eased off a little in order to face Victor as a partner and possible romantic interest and it would have been super cool if they took it that direction.

I mean at least Yuuri's kismesis err hatefuck rivalry with Yuri is preserved until season 2. Which it looks like we are getting.


Hinotori made this post, and then went back and changed it later. Such is life.


It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

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#27 | Back to Top12-22-2016 12:58:41 AM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 960

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

I understand where you guys are coming from, but I disagree. I believe the 'ambiguity' of their relationship was done deliberately and not for queerbaiting reasons. It is quite obvious Victor and Yuri are in a relationship, unlike a series like Free! where everyone is 'very close friends' and it feels gay but obviously isn't or like Tiger and Bunny where the relationship can be read as friends or lovers.

Because I don't think YOI was ambiguous, they simply didn't play out their love like your typical het romance. They didn't say 'I LOVE YOU' but do they have to in exactly those terms? I don't see how anyone can watch the series and in all seriousness say it's not a gay love affair? They sleep in the same room, exchanged rings, danced together on the ice, etc. Their relationship was much more meaningful, intimate and sensual than many het romances I've seen, so why should I be upset they didn't do usual het-romance stuff?

Maybe I'm just biased but I feel like Kubo is making a statement by being so deliberate. ???


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#28 | Back to Top12-22-2016 03:19:31 AM

Kita-Ysabell
Covert Diarist
Registered: 11-18-2012
Posts: 818
Website

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

Nope sorry still bitter.

Either the show is playing gay chicken with itself and the audience, or it doesn't take itself and the characters seriously, or it just felt like you could have the story happen offscreen and never let the audience in on it and still take credit for it.  And any of those are, in my book, perfectly legitimate reasons to be pissed.

Also can I say that sticking "het" in the middle of "typical romance" feels really loaded?  A typical romance is a typical romance no matter who's taking part.

Here's the thing.  Atypical significant relationships are like a million percent my jam.  Playing with different combinations of commitment, physical and emotional attraction, communication, and intimacy?  I am totally on board for that.  And on top of that, subverting a heteronormative symbolic couple, like, for instance, a figure skating pair?  Look, if there was a Kickstarter for someone doing a five-minute animation of a thinly veiled expy of Mikhail Baryshnikov doing a pas de deux with a dude, I would probably give them money.

But a relationship in a narrative, it needs to be sold.  An atypical relationship especially.  It needs to convince the audience that these two people are important to one another, to explain why they are important to one another, and to demonstrate how the relationship grows and evolves.  And up through episode 7, YOI does that.  And then it stops.  And instead of an increasingly significant relationship, we get empty signifiers; the trappings of a typical romance, ambiguously removed from their context.  The problem isn't that the relationship doesn't follow a specific course, it's that it doesn't follow any course at all.

That could either be mediocre writing or it could be gaybaiting.  At this point, I'm not sure I care.  It's a disappointment either way.


"Et in Arcadio ego..."

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#29 | Back to Top12-22-2016 05:28:22 AM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 960

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

Also can I say that sticking "het" in the middle of "typical romance" feels really loaded?  A typical romance is a typical romance no matter who's taking part.

Apologies, I didn't mean it in that way.
By 'typical' I was trying to refer to the 'typical' romance you find in media, which is in vast majority, heterosexual.

Kita-Ysabell wrote:

Nope sorry still bitter.

Either the show is playing gay chicken with itself and the audience, or it doesn't take itself and the characters seriously, or it just felt like you could have the story happen offscreen and never let the audience in on it and still take credit for it.  And any of those are, in my book, perfectly legitimate reasons to be pissed.

Also can I say that sticking "het" in the middle of "typical romance" feels really loaded?  A typical romance is a typical romance no matter who's taking part.

Here's the thing.  Atypical significant relationships are like a million percent my jam.  Playing with different combinations of commitment, physical and emotional attraction, communication, and intimacy?  I am totally on board for that.  And on top of that, subverting a heteronormative symbolic couple, like, for instance, a figure skating pair?  Look, if there was a Kickstarter for someone doing a five-minute animation of a thinly veiled expy of Mikhail Baryshnikov doing a pas de deux with a dude, I would probably give them money.

But a relationship in a narrative, it needs to be sold.  An atypical relationship especially.  It needs to convince the audience that these two people are important to one another, to explain why they are important to one another, and to demonstrate how the relationship grows and evolves.  And up through episode 7, YOI does that.  And then it stops.  And instead of an increasingly significant relationship, we get empty signifiers; the trappings of a typical romance, ambiguously removed from their context.  The problem isn't that the relationship doesn't follow a specific course, it's that it doesn't follow any course at all.

That could either be mediocre writing or it could be gaybaiting.  At this point, I'm not sure I care.  It's a disappointment either way.

I totally understand what you mean. I just don't see it in the same way when it comes to YOI

I do wonder however if it was Kubo's particular choice to tell the story this way, or some kind of studio restriction/ censorship? That they had to play it a certain way to get funding, or a certain time slot? I don't know how these things work.

EDIT: Okay, so trying to articulate more clearly here. It's a little like Ruby and Sapphire from Steven Universe or Pearl x Rose. It being a kid show and society being what it is, they have to play out things in a certain way for it to be 'okayed' by the studio/producers/ whoever is in charge of these things. So Ruby and Sapphire never KISS ON THE MOUTH for example. Now, if Yuri On Ice was an American adult cartoon I would be very annoyed that Viktor and Yuri didn't get together more officially. But it's from Japan. And if taking out a full-on kiss so it wouldn't be classified as a yaoi or BL, then I am okay with that. I would rather get a high quality sports anime about a healthy gay relationship that is getting international praise and appeal, then it get turned into an 'ew, yaoi only fujoshi watch this' and get shelved because of a kiss. Which is not to say that is surely the reason. Would a kiss/ more clearcut relationship have changed anything? I don't know enough about Japanese laws and censorship to say. But I think it's a great step in the right direction. I do firmly believe the series came from a place of love and not a KyoAni hurrhurr we can sell more DVDs this way.

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The Schrodinger's Kiss

Last edited by YamPuff (12-22-2016 06:36:57 AM)


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#30 | Back to Top12-22-2016 04:53:06 PM

OnlyInThisLight
KING OF ALL DUCKS
Registered: 01-15-2008
Posts: 4411

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

They didn't even need to kiss.  Just state.  We are in love with each other.  I love him and he is my boyfriend.  I really don't think some external source of censorship was the issue here.

Steven Universe doesn't show kissing, but it straight up has it's characters say things like :

"What are they doing?" "Flirting."

"It's because she fell in love with you."

Pearl literally gets a girl's number.  The other characters state that that is what she intended to do (more or less), and did.  No one immediatly clarified with a no-homo "Now you guys can be great friends!" or any crap like that.

Honestly, the fact that Steven Universe is a kids show and shows this kind of representation, with multiple coupes, no less, kinda shames YOI's constant backtracking.  Everything is so calculatedly, intentionally ambiguous in YOI.

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#31 | Back to Top12-23-2016 06:13:50 AM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 960

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

Why say I love you when you can talk in skating metaphors? school-eng101

Eh, I'll hold out for season 2 (I think s2 is pretty much guaranteed given the popularity). If it doesn't get clearer by the end of THAT, then I'll be more upset.


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#32 | Back to Top02-21-2017 03:33:41 PM

Kita-Ysabell
Covert Diarist
Registered: 11-18-2012
Posts: 818
Website

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

This guy gives a pretty good summary of my feelings about the show:



… with the added caveat that not defining the relationship is a real sticking point for me.  First off, because representation matters, damnit, and even the thinnest layer of deniability, which is what we got here, cheats that.  That can fall at whose feet it may: maybe it was directorial, maybe it was editorial, maybe the broadcasters handed down an edict.  Whatever the case, it ended up teasing a same-sex romance rather than depicting one, and that's what I'll give it credit for, and (as with Dumbledore and Korra in my book) that almost counts for less than nothing.

And also that it plays into the terrible fucking writing in the second half of the show.

It's not bad moment-to-moment.  Nobody says anything incomprehensible.  It just doesn't go anywhere.  There's too many character arcs going on at once, and they don't play into one another, and Yuki and Victor's relationship doesn't really go anywhere, because it's not allowed to.  There are moments that could take part in a larger arc, and they might even sketch out an arc if you pick them out and line them up, but the connective tissue just isn't there.

In part, this is very likely a product of the show's production and priorities.  A tight schedule means it's hard to plan out and polish, trying to keep the focus on ice skating means you have less screen time for the characters to do anything else.  But it also feels like the intentional result of a concerted effort to keep the relationship ambiguous.

Case in point: the rings.  What is the deal with the rings?  Are they engagement rings?  Friendship rings?  Did Yuri intend them as the latter, while making a freudian slip that points towards the former?  Are they something entirely different?  Are we supposed to believe the visual framing, which indicates that they are wedding rings?  Or are we supposed to believe the characters, who say… nothing.

They very markedly say nothing.  At the end of the episode where the rings come up, another character (I want to say Pichit) asks, "Are those engagement rings?"  And until the end of the episode, neither Victor or Yuri either have a line or are given a reaction shot.  The question is asked, the two characters to whom it is significant are never given a chance to answer, and it's never asked again.  The answer, be it a direct affirmation or denial, and attempt at diffusion or redirection, the characters questioning themselves, or even just looking away, is literally cut out of the scene.  The rings appear again, but the question of their significance does not.  It's a question to which the answer is intentionally excluded.

Compare with another set of rings with which we are all intimately familiar: the rose crests.  What is the deal with the rings?  Well… you could write essays on that.

Again, the image of engagement rings is intentionally invoked.  Again, the  rings are an ultimately ambiguous symbol.  Again, characters question the rings' significance.  But when that question is asked, someone always answers.  Sometimes with words, sometimes with actions, sometimes honestly, sometimes out of self-serving deception.  What we're left with is an answer that is ambiguous because it's complex, because there are so many questions and answers put into it, rather than one question and the notable omission of an answer.

Or, for a comparison more equal in terms of screen time, the leaf-shaped hairclip.  It's a different way of dealing with a significant object, it's certainly more direct, even though it's never spelled out.  But we the audience know what it means to everyone involved for every moment that it's on screen, if we're willing to figure it out.  The pieces are all there. 

What is the deal with the leaf?  It's the personal and intimate connection with Wakaba that Saionji willingly sacrifices for a chance to go back to a situation that makes him miserable and people who hate him, and the means for Anthy and Akio to reveal that willingness to Wakaba in order to feed her into the machinery of the duels.  You could say more, you could say it differently, but ultimately there is more or less a single, clearly illustrated meaning to the image of the leaf hair clip indicated by the text of the show.

And the rings in Yuri on Ice are neither of these things.  They are neither complexly ambiguous nor well-defined.  They are empty signifiers.  As is the kiss.  As is the act of pushing their beds together.  As is the pairs skate.  As is pretty much everything Yuri and Victor say to one another.  It all adds up to what looks a whole lot like the intentional invocation of a romantic arc, but the simultaneous exclusion of said arc through a careful refusal to define the actions that make up that arc.

5/10, very pretty but ultimately disappointing, would not recommend emot-wink

Not sure if I'll watch season 2, this has been too aggravating, and gotten too far under my skin, as witnessed by this exceedingly long post, made months after the fact.  I really just intended to post the video, but then I decided I'd just set my thoughts out and… be clear, and possibly finished.


"Et in Arcadio ego..."

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#33 | Back to Top02-22-2017 05:59:43 AM

SaigonAlice
Mikage Mistruster
Registered: 09-13-2016
Posts: 66

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

That video was pretty decent but it was ruined by Digibro in the comment section. Can't stand that guy.

And truth be told as a gay guy, Victuuri evokes nothing in me. Probably because again, it wasn't explicit enough and I just found it...dissonant. Also I don't really care for the characters designs either lol.

So I really don't know why peeps on tumblr compare it to Utena/Anthy at all (though Sayo Yamamoto certainly draws RGU influence herself). Man, wouldn't it be really interesting if they decided to explore homophobia in Japanese society on par with the things done in RGU? Instead we get the usual 'okama' character who, while cute and is portrayed as sympathetic, still represents offensive stereotypes of  LGBT people.  To me Utena and Anthy were revolutionary, Yuuri and Victor weren't. :p

Last edited by SaigonAlice (02-23-2017 06:02:33 PM)


Thân em như quả mít trên cây,
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Quân tử có yêu thì đóng cọc,
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#34 | Back to Top02-23-2017 02:19:13 PM

Yams
Nest Boxer
From: Crystal Millenium
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 960

Re: YAOI!! ON ICE

Great video, he put it pretty well.

I'm definitely going to agree that the second half of the series introduces too many characters and has two much ice skating. I would much rather have had one or two incredibly animated skating sequences and more static dialogue/ panning scenes than the sheer amount of characters and often poorly animated routines per episode. Yes, I like watching Chris and Phichit skate but most of the others just detracted from the main story rather than adding to it. The show was a little too ambitious for its budget and could have been a little smarter about it.

Victuuri is just my perfect pairing; I am always a sucker for an introverted, anxious individual being pushed out of his/her comfort zone by zany, extroverted friend/ lover. I think taking the sports anime genre, which has been synonymous for BL slash for so long, and making the subtext so overt it cannot be ignored was an interesting concept - despite the weird ambiguity about their relationship. I'll be upset only if season 2 doesn't clear it all up. Till then, YOI was a hit for me and one of the only series I have ever watched twice over in such a short span of time (despite skipping some excessive skating scenes to do so).

Last edited by YamPuff (02-25-2017 05:17:09 AM)


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