Vatican Miracle Examiners: Lauren

Because the last episode didn’t contain the usual thirty seconds of Lauren looking sulky, a review of his first appearance.

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Lauren brushes his hair and puts on his nicest hoodie so he can Skype with Hiraga.
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Is Roberto making a joke? Hiraga doesn’t really do jokes.

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Lauren (thinks): Hiraga, could you confirm something for me? Is that man as stupid as he looks? I didn’t put on my best hoodie for him.

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Hiraga is concerned about Lauren’s yandere tendencies. Given the way the Vatican operates in this anime, “yandere” is probably written in his arrest report.
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Lauren, your face is going to freeze that way and then the Vatican will never delete “probably a demon” from your records. Just kidding! The Vatican will never let Lauren go because he is the only one who knows how to order things from Amazon and he lets the pope use his Prime account so he can watch Mozart in the Jungle.

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villains with good hair

berserk-griffith

I finally finished Game of Thrones, episode 5. I feel so accomplished – it’s taken me approximately two months to watch five episodes and I have a feeling I may not make my goal of catching up before the new series airs. One reason that it’s taking me so long to get through the series is that I have to get used to seeing actual humans in the roles. As I was reading, I pictured Jaime Lannister looking like Griffith from Berserk and Cersei looks like Griffith as well. As I watch the show, I keep forgetting that they are twins and their love is oh so throw a kid out the window forbidden.

I was about to say that I would be into a Game of Thrones anime, but Berserk is right there if I ever feel the need for bloodthirsty medievalism.

Yuri!!! on Ice (aka GPF)

This episode was exactly like watching skating on television. After all, it is a sports anime, but I have trouble focusing when watching television unless I have something to keep my hands busy, like knitting. Unfortunately, I’ve been too sick to knit (working on Ravenclaw scarf), so I kept starting, wandering away for some tea, getting annoyed that I’d missed Yurio breaking Victor’s record, and then remember it was an anime and I could rewind at any time.

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Victor gallantly kisses Yuri’s hand, Michele stares dreamily at the ring and says he and Sara should get matching rings. I guess they’re not broken up any more. Michele uses ‘washi’ to talk about himself because he is a creepy old man at heart.

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Yuri’s eyes are alight with determination, while Kenjiro is really into cheering for senpai.

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Serious ring kissing, and then Yuri skates. He does okay.

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Yuri and Phichit, hanging out in Detroit, deciding to go for the gold. The grey hamster looks concerned because he is psychic and he knows that Yuri will break Phichit’s heart one day. Sometimes I think I should make gifs because this is cute, but would be approximately 86% cuter with the little hamster tail wagging and the hamster ears wiggling. I should make some gifs while I still have access to Adobe, lord knows it’s not something I’m going to pay for on my own.

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Yurio literally kicks Victor and Yuri out of the kiss & cry and I start writing a fanfic called ‘A Yurio Christmas Carol’ where some ghosts take time out of their busy undead lifestyle to teach Yurio a valuable lesson about kicking things.

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The other hamsters were cuter. Because the show is ‘Yuri!!! on Ice’, Yurio does much better than Phichit.

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Much better, new world record, he’s the new Victor, etc. Is this going to end with Yurio getting the gold while Yuri gets Victor? Or will poor Yurio choke like JJ? Probably not, that would be a little too repetitive, but there’s always injury. If there were a season 2, then we might find out why Victor was warning Yurio about his knees.screenshot-871screenshot-874screenshot-877

Surprise 1: Chris wears glasses! I love glasses, total glasses fetish, if they’d stuck him in glasses earlier in the series, he’d probably be one of my faves. As it is, I feel fairly indifferent to people who slap their own asses.

Surprise 2: Chris has a hot boyfriend! He has to be a boyfriend, he’s holding the cat carrier and only true love would motivate someone to help out with the arduous and tricky task of placing a cat into a carrier.

The most disturbing moment in this episode and yes I am including the post-credit scene in my assessment.

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YURIO WTF PUT YOUR FEET DOWN

Otabek skates… the Otabek & Yurio friendship doesn’t really work for me because it just happens. He shows up, they’re suddenly BFFs, and that’s that. It feels like he’s there so that Yurio doesn’t lose out on the relationship side–Victor and Yuri are together, so Yurio needs someone too.

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Oh, JJ. I said they were setting you up as an asshole so that no one would be sad when you lost. It will be hella sad when Phichit loses, but no one will cry for you.

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JJ chokes. Is it even called choking in ice skating? It seems that he got distracted and started overmonitoring his movements.

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One mental-Yuri is disdainful, the other is leering.

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Who cries for JJ? Canada does! Look at this poor guy. He went to a lot of effort, probably had to pay an extra baggage fee for that giant flag. But JJ recovers! He makes a (sort of) comeback thanks to everyone singing along with King JJ. It’s one of those clap your hands if you believe in fairies, sing if you believe in Santa moments.

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There’s winning JJ-style and losing JJ-style.

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I may not know very much about skating, but I do know that if that is the worst score of your career, then you are very, very good.

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After the credits, Yuri dumps Victor. Why is this scene after the credits? Cliffhanger! Giri-giri drama! All through the episode, Yuri has been watching Victor watch the skaters. Is Yuri going to free Victor to return to skating? That would be silly because Victor is 28, which is like 82 in skating years. Even if the series ends with Yuri and Victor apart, there will be hints of reconciliation–it won’t be permanent. I hope it’s not some overly ambiguous smiling at each other on the beach at Hasetsu, but if it is, so be it.

Yuri!!! and the good luck rings

Where are Victor and Yuri? Shopping!

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Yuri goes into a jewelry store and buys a pair of wedding rings. The receipt says ‘wedding rings’, but for some reason Yuri doesn’t notice this and he thinks they are good luck coaching rings. Has he ever seen other skaters and their coaches wearing good luck coaching rings?

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And they lived happily ever after!!! (not yet)

Tbh, I feel a little bad for Victor in this scene. Yuri buys WEDDING RINGS, romantically slips one on his finger, then says, oh, this is just a thank you, let’s talk skating. So Victor talks skating.

screenshot-733Dinner with friends and family, ring drawn especially large so it can be seen as Yuri waves his hands around.

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I don’t drink, Yuri says.screenshot-742

Lol, yes you do, here are the pictures, everyone says.screenshot-744

Yuri waves his hands wildly, displaying his new jewelry.

screenshot-749screenshot-750screenshot-751screenshot-752screenshot-753screenshot-754おめでとう!!! (almost) everyone congratulates them on their marriage, while Yuri weakly shouts no homo. Victor says yes homo, but only after Yuri wins the gold. It’s an instant mood killer that reminds everyone that they are rivals.

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JJ shows up to talk about himself. No one cares.

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I would like to take a moment to complain about European hotels. Why are the beds always so close together, even when they don’t have to be? Victor and Yuri don’t mind sleeping so close, but if I wanted to sleep close to someone, I’d get one bed. If I’m in a room with two beds, I want my space! It has been my experience that if you push the beds apart, it reveals scary things about the level of housekeeping, and then when you come back to the room, the beds are pushed back together. There’s the kettle issue as well–why no kettle? Some people (me) are not morning people and need caffeine before we can even think about getting dressed and going out to find a cafe where more caffeine can be consumed.

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What is Victor thinking?

a) Now that I’ve achieved the only gold that matters, why do I feel so empty?

b) One ring to rule them all…

c) Does Yuri love me as a coach or as a man?

d) Wow!!!

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Yurio is jealous and angry and teenage. Victor is thoughtful.

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Mila and Sara sit next to each other. It’s their thing.

 

Yuri!!! on Ice (aka Go for the gold!!!)

What is heartbreak? That moment when Phichit puts two and two together, in this case, adds one gold ring to one gold ring and realises that he is not the main character in an inspirational sports drama called Phichit!!! on Ice, he is a side character in someone else’s rom com.

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Don’t worry, Phichit. At least people will feel bad for you when you’re not on the podium, which is more than I can say for JJ. JJ is being set up as the asshole whose failure will be a triumph for everyone else.

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Victor is floating in the pool, arms extended to embrace the world like Kaworu (or Jesus), and thinking about Yuri. He’s joined by Chris, who is apparently funding his skating career through amateur porn.

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Why is Victor’s phone set to Japanese?

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This was thoughtfully included so doujinshi artists and fic writers could get the setting right.

screenshot-665A lot of time is spent reintroducing the characters, maybe the animators are saving their strength for the skating. I love how Lilia is confused by and disdainful of the katsudon pirozhki. For Yurio, on the other hand, this is bliss. A pile of carbohydrates and a cat.

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Yurio. Your name is now Yurio. Would you prefer to be called ‘the delicate Russian’? That’s your other choice.screenshot-669This episode, which should be and sort of is the Victor episode, introduces the other skaters.

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The old days.

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After Chris gets that threesome he wanted, Yuri and Victor go out sightseeing and get really excited about paella, or maybe it’s just shrimp, it doesn’t matter, Spanish food is amazing.

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Otabek helps Yurio escape from his fans, who have gone from cute to neko-mimi maenads.

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Yurio and Otabek share a moment at Park Güell, which is nice, I guess, but at this point it is really too late to introduce new characters with back story and motivation and all that when this should be Victor’s episode.

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Yurio and Otabek are now friends. Everyone is friends with everyone else, except for JJ because who needs friends when you have a hot girlfriend, a giant ego, and the backing of the Canadian mafia.

Where are Victor and Yuri? No idea, probably taking selfies with their food somewhere.

 

 

BL vs reality

The old fiction/reality problem: what is exciting on the page is not always what is desirable in real life. I adore stories with angst and betrayal and characters stabbing each other in the back before crying all the tears and dying in each other’s arms. (Subaru/Seishirou, basically) In my own life, I’d rather cuddle and discuss Middlemarch. In a fic, getting carried away by a pair of leather trousers to a nightclub toilet hookup leads to the sexy sex, but really at a certain point in the evening, it’s uncomfortable and all of the passion in the world can’t cover the smell.