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.

Yuri!!! on Ice (aka Where is Victor?)

Ngl, I found this week’s episode hella disappointing because I’d hoped it was going to be the VICTOR episode, the one with lots of flashbacks, the one where I’d fall in love with Victor and he’d be on my ❤️❤️❤️ list, the one where I would see what is drawing Victor and Yuri together. Instead, there was some skating and momentary sadness over the end of twincest and the possibility of yuri-no-exclamation-marks on ice with lovely ladies striking romances while doing figures of eight on their skates sitting next to each other. (As an experienced Tezuka/Fuji shipper, I can totally ship people based on how they sit or stand next to each other and comment on sporting events. It’s one of my skills.)

Anyway, the doggie problem was some fakey nonsense to keep Victor and Yuri apart for an episode (as if they’d kill off the mascot in the merchandise).

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Yuri loves his grandpa and loves his food. I’ve only eaten potato pirozhki before–clearly I am missing out.

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Emil should really be skating to “Third Wheel: I’ve ceased to be human” because his routine is there as a background for the twins to break up.

screenshot-593Sara is so done with her brother. (They say Sara, so I’m saying Sara.)

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There is nothing sadder than skating to “Serenade for Two” all by yourself.

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Although Mila has recently experienced heartbreak of her own, Georgi has to explain that Michele is skating out unrequited love.

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Flashback! Flashback! Flashback! Is that Valentine’s Day or White Day? Those packages look very Japanese.

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Sara feels bad and Mila is concerned. If Sala is really Sara, then the pairing name could be MIRA, which means “look” in Spanish, as in LOOK THERE IS YURI HAPPENING ON THE ICE.

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Yurio skates. He is a flaming tornado.

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And I am seriously worried about his knees. If he keeps this up, he will need new knees before he’s twenty.

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Yuri skates. Without magical feather Victor, it’s enough to get him to GP, but not anything to write home about. I am posting this because I think the onigiri toy is hilarious and I want one.

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Yuri needs a hug.

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For a moment, I thought JJ was going to skate to “The Partisan” by Leonard Cohen. That would set some kind of Canadian record.

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Series 2 should be all about the Olympics and about Yurio taking JJ down.

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Yuri needs a hug.

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Another awkward moment in Korea-Japan relations.

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JJ is fine. He’s used to it–who wouldn’t want to pay hug homage to the king?

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GOOD FOR YOU, YURI!!! You’ve always wanted to win, now take it!!!

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Awww… Yurio kicks Yuri, for old time’s sake. Episode 1, なつかしい.

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Katsudon pirozhki!!! Best birthday present ever! Such a sweet moment.

(My birthday was at the beginning of November, what did I get? … not a pirozhki…)

Yuri and Yurio bonding over an incredibly strange food is my favourite moment in this episode. After all that emotional skating, that pirozhki must have tasted pretty damn good.

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Yuri returns to Japan. Doggie is fine.

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Next episode! Phichit!!! on Ice. Maybe some Victor character development? Who are you, Victor?

Yuri!!! on Ice, now with CanCon

Jean-Jacques Leroy! He’s like Justin Bieber and Atobe Keigo ON ICE!!!!! I nominated Jean-Jacques Leroy for Yuletide this year based on his picture and character description, although in the end I neither requested nor offered Yuri!!! on Ice, I’m happy to see that JJ has surpassed my expectations.

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JJ has his own gang sign. Yes, he’s making J and J with his hands.

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JJ sings with a rock band! “Theme of King JJ” is sung by JJ. And I would like to point out that he takes the stage with his medal around his neck. We’ve seen that medal before.

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Yuri thinks about love when he skates; Yurio thinks about love when he skates; Phichit thinks about Thailand when he skates; Michele thinks about his sister when he skates; Georgi thinks about his ex when he skates. What does JJ think about when he skates?

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JJ thinks about himself when he skates. Careful study reveals that his tramp stamp is of his own initials. Useful in case of skating accident-related amnesia.

 

Yuri!!! on Ice (aka Yuri!!! vs Yurio, again)

Yuri’s meowing fans are the cutest!

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Yuri’s grandfather is the cutest!

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Agape in action! Is Yurio the cutest?

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No, Yurio is the angriest. What did Victor’s coffee ever do to you, Yuri?

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Yuri runs into Lee Seung Gil. They don’t greet each other. Another awkward moment in Korea-Japan relations. Luckily, they are interrupted by an international incesty love triangle.

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The Crispino twins and their friend Emil, who should watch some Game of Thrones because it would help him understand why he’s not getting anywhere.

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Legit warmup move, but also fanservice, right? Lee’s theme is “greed”, which is best expressed by dressing as a tropical bird. Unfortunately for Lee, he doesn’t know that he’s in a heartwarming sports anime. He thinks he’s in the real world where “greed” smashes “love” every time. Maybe he will learn a lesson from his defeat, find a new deadly sin to skate to, and in S2 he will have a fraught Olympics rivalry with Yuri.

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I think Phichit knows he is in a heartwarming sports anime, and he is hoping that it’s called Phichit!!! on Ice.

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Michele is all, hey, I’m a knight, me and my sister, it’s totally pure, like Margaery and Loras Tyrell, but, you know, the Targaryens used to marry their sisters and everyone was cool with it. Just saying.

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So he makes out with his sister to prove his love is pure. It’s what a real knight would do (if that knight were Jaime Lannister).

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A quiet moment between Victor and Yuri. Better than what comes later because it is not performed in front of an audience.

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The audience. Victor has been incredibly famous for most of his life. He doesn’t see anything strange about the crowd shouting VICTOR VICTOR VICTOR until Yuri reminds him that it’s not his show. It’s Yuri’s time. Yuri skates. Do we need to see it again? It’s pretty much the same as before, which helps out the animators.

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Yuri talks to the press. Guess who is lurking in the shadows (metaphorically)?

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Admit it, Victor. You knew that Yurio was there and skate-kissing is some not-well-thought-out motivational strategy. Victor’s feelings (what could they be) for Yuri!!! are real, but there’s a performative aspect as well. Maybe this is why I feel like Victor’s character is still opaque. Who is he?

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We know who Yurio is. He’s a sad kitty.

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And an angry kitty. A very angry kitty.

[More later… CanCon and dumb doggies deserve their own post]