12.08 | Reasons I love Sam: [ 18/∞ ]:
↳ He always has time for sass and badassery.

  • Me: I want to stop making mkpn content, because I don't have any time/ little to no motivation/ discouraged by how unpopular it is/ (slowly) losing interest/ getting 10-20 notes or lower each post

Location, Location, Location

What the hints of a year mean for past competition locations
+a thought on why a couple locations were changed

I was rewatching episode 7 again and it occurred to me to look something up really quick.

Christophe mentions that he met Victor 10 years ago at the European Championships.

The Palais des Sports de Gerland (Lyon, France) here was the site of the European Championships in 2006 (held January 17-22 for the 2005/06 figure skating season).

Which, by Chris’ comment, would make it 2016 in the anime (except we know that YOI has a mix of years making up the universe).

The year itself isn’t important, so much as this tells us that locations for competitions line up between YOI and real life. We already know that the Grand Prix Series in-universe matches with the real-life 2016/17 season locations, now we know that a past competition matches too. 

Even if the GP Series order and the ISU aesthetics in-universe don’t match with the real-life 2016/17 year, we can at least count on places to be accurate to our real-life history - so, theoretically, if someone wanted to write a fanfic and reference certain competitions that the characters went to in the past, they would be accurate using real-life locations:
i.e. “I really love wandering around new towns, but Yakov made me stop after I got horribly lost 4 years ago in Nice for the World Championships. It was much smaller than Paris, but my phone was dead, and I didn’t have a map, and my French was abysmal!” (in-universe, if Victor brought up “World Championships four years ago” it would line up with the 2012 location)

What Location Differences tell us about the Narrative

If you remember waaay back in episode 1, though, you’ll notice:
The two big inconsistencies with competition locations are the Sochi GPF and Yoyogi Worlds. At this point, I have to wonder if that was more for a poetic purpose than a realistic one: Yuuri competes in Victor’s country when he fails, gets stuck, and decides to put his career on hold; and Victor competes in Yuuri’s country when he gets stuck, is uninspired, and needs to decide on what to do next. Their respective seasons ended in each other’s countries. Perhaps this symbolic ending is why Kubo-sensei changed the location from where the real-life 2015-2016 GPF and Worlds events were (Barcelona and Boston, respectively).

There are two more inconsistencies and one is a particularly small detail…
We’ll see one of those inconsistencies in a couple of weeks: Episode 6 first showed us that this year’s GPF in-universe will be held in Barcelona. I wonder if there is something special about that place in regards to the plot. After all, there’s no real need to switch the GPF location when the other GP Series locations are the same. (Or perhaps it’s as simple as being unable to get a reference for the venue?)

The other location change is in episode 1 in Yuuri’s flashback. And it’s another important Victor competition. 

Victor won the World Junior Championships held at Sofia, Bulgaria. If you look up the past dates, you’ll find that Sofia hosted in 2001, 2008, 2009 and 2014 but that isn’t very relevant here. 10 years ago Victor was a new Senior at the 2006 Lyon European Championships that Chris saw him at. He would have been 17, and since Yuuri said that Victor won the Junior Worlds at 16, that means those Junior Worlds would have been the 2004/05 season immediately prior – which you can see doesn’t match with the dates Sofia hosted.
But there’s something very special about the 2001 Sofia competition.
The person who won the World Junior Championships at Sofia in 2001 was none other than Johnny Weir - the skater whom Victor is an homage to in the episode 7 flashback of the European Championships.

I believe this location decision is just one more subtle homage. The background of the rink isn’t very distinct, so they could have slapped on the name of any place (like Kitchener, Canada to be accurate), but Sofia, Bulgaria would have been more meaningful if Kubo-sensei indeed wanted to make young Victor a nod to Weir. 

We wouldn’t have been able to piece this easter egg together until episode 7.

Of course, that’s not to say that the current year in the anime is actually 2016. It could be 2017 like on Yuuri’s phone, or 2013 like the order and ISU logos suggest (although I’m thinking the logo thing was perhaps done to avoid copyright.). All it means is that the locations in YOI line up to our real-life timeline, and that the discrepancies all have some symbolic meaning.

Concerning Hobbits (of Color)

Okay it’s been a whole day and I’m still angry about that hobbit casting thing, so let’s lay down some Tolkien canon here.

Fact 1: Per Tolkien, there were originally three races of hobbit. The Stoors were a small group, they were broad and stocky, they grew facial hair, they liked rivers, and their skin color is not specified, so Tolkien probably meant them to be white (but there’s no reason they have to be, since again, not specified). The Fallohides were a tiny group, they were thin, pale and tall, they were bold and good with languages, and they like trees. The Harfoots were the distinct majority, they lived in holes, they had hairy feet, and they were brown. Tolkien is super clear on this. He explicitly calls out Harfoots as having browner skin than other hobbits when describing the races and he uses phrases like “nut-brown skin” and “long brown fingers” when describing specific hobbits to back it up.

Fact 2: Britain planted its ravenous imperial flag firmly in the soil of India three centuries before Tolkien wrote The Hobbit. He knew what a brown person looked like. He would know he was not evoking a slightly darker shade of Caucasian when he said a person had brown skin.

Fact 3: Bilbo, Frodo, and all of their friends are aristocracy. Sam is the only hobbit we ever meet who is an actual laborer. In Tolkien’s time, laborers worked in the sun and middle class and aristocracy stayed inside where there was something resembling temperature control. Apart from Sam and Aragorn, no one in the Fellowship (or Company) ever voluntarily got a sunburn. If Tolkien talks about brown skin he’s talking about brown skin, not a farmer’s tan.

Where does this leave us?

Well, Tolkien says that after colonizing the Shire, the three hobbit races mingled more closely and became one. This leaves us with two options.

Option A: He’s talking about that thing that sci-fi writers sometimes do where “everyone is mixed race.” So all three races would have smeared together into a single uniform color. What color? Mostly Harfoot, aka brown. The “strong strain of Fallohide” in the Tookish and Brandybuck lines means maybe they’re white-passing, but in this scenario all hobbits are brown.

Option B: He’s talking about a more melting-pot scenario where visual racial distinctions still exist but everyone lives side-by-side in a fairly uniform culure. The Tooks/Brandybucks having a “strong strain of Fallohide” means that they are themselves remaining strains of Fallohide, and are straight-up white. Merry, half Took and half Brandybuck, is thus white (possibly part Stoor, given Brandybuck comfort with water); Pippin, half Took and half Banks, is either white or biracial. The Baggins family, sensible owners of the oldest and most venerable hobbit-hole anyone knows of, are blatantly Harfoot, making Bilbo and Frodo (half Took and half Brandybuck respectively) also biracial. Fallohides being exclusively adventurous high-class types, and the Gamgees being staid low-class homebodies with a distrust of moving water, Sam is obviously Harfoot and thus completely brown. (Smeagol, a Stoor, is probably white, but as discussed above, doesn’t have to be.) In this scenario, a minimum of three of five heroic hobbits are various shades of brown, four out of five of them could be, and most background hobbits are brown.

In conclusion, if you think all hobbits are white, you are canonically wrong. If you geek out over Aragorn wearing the Ring of Barahir, rage about Faramir trying to take the Ring, and do not even notice, much less complain, that Sam, Bilbo and Frodo are being erroneously portrayed by white guys, you need to reexamine the focus of your nerdery.


@LaurenJauregui: When you have to respond to your waiter’s facial expression after you tell him you order with “I’m hungry, don’t judge me.”