I was having the “oh god oh god I WILL JUST HOLD MY JUDGEMENT TILL NEXT WEEK” feeling but after talking it out, you know what? Nope. It’s completely fine.
Yuuri’s been like this the whole time. Victor truly has no idea how fucking ridiculous his boyfriend is because he’s not the neurotic one in this relationship. This is literally the same misunderstanding that has been building the whole time. Yuuri has probably reached peak neuroticism by now. Peak stress = peak anxiety, thus his near panic attack after his skate because he doesn’t realize how hard he’s been trying to hold it together this whole time and how much anxiety he’s been supressing (he’s been spending a lot of energy convincing himself he’s fine with something that he isn’t actually fine with at all; see 2) below).
Victor is sweet and WANTS to be supportive and he’s really trying but he literally has NO FUCKING CLUE IN HIS HEAD about how Yuuri’s brain works, like, at all, because he’s kind of the opposite of neurotic. It’s not that he’s insensitive, he just has no frame of reference for how Yuuri processes things - likewise, Yuuri has no frame of reference for understanding that he, himself, just as he is, could be “enough” to make someone else happy because he’s never internalized that idea. I almost think the idea that he can make other people happy through anything other than skating well or “succeeding” by competitive standards - by just being himself and being around another person who likes spending time with him - may have never even crossed Yuuri’s mind in his life, honestly. (No, this isn’t an extreme assumption - I may have just cried writing this because I was nearly in my 30′s when I really started realizing that in most areas of my life I had a problem with *internalizing* the idea that other people might actually get something valuable and enjoyable out of my existence regardless of my “successes” or “failures”)
This “opposite” personality type thing is, of course, both bad and good for their relationship - it’s why they are complementary to each other but at the same time, these completely different viewpoints is probably the biggest difference between them and that is why it’s going to be the biggest and last hurdle standing between them and the mutual understanding necessary for a healthy relationship. And that’s exactly why I think it’s obvious that they WILL work it out.
1) Narratively, this show has been VERY solid and reliable. Everything in the narrative points to this as Yuuri being neurotic and Victor being clueless. If there were something to be gained by them breaking up, then I would be a little worried. However, no matter how I look at it, the only things that could be gained from a breakup are:
a) Victor would “be able to go back to skating” or whatever it is that Yuuri is “keeping him from” …except it’s clear by now that he literally doesn’t want to, he’s ENTIRELY happy with what he has right now, and Yuuri and everyone else wanting him to “return” to the past won’t change that.
b) If Yuuri wanted to continue his skating career or had some other goal but feels that he needs to develop his confidence on his own without “depending” on Victor for his self-worth, this might be a sensible reason to break up. It’s honestly the only one I could kind of see happening. Except that… we KNOW that his his breakup ideas are literally tied into his plans to retire from skating. He’s said it so many times that he plans for this to be his last season. So breaking up with Victor WOULDN’T “give him the chance to develop as a skater on his own” or whatever because that’s not even a thing he’s thinking about. Also, Victor’s earlier narration about spending so long trying to succeed alone and find strength alone also speaks to the fact “going it alone” and “the importance of not depending on anyone, ever” are definitely not meant to be the moral of the story for anyone here; after dependence and independence is interdependence; interdependence = healthy relationships.
c) Victor gets butthurt by Yuuri’s inability to believe in his feelings for him, thinks that Yuuri is somehow cheapening his feelings and doesn’t understand it as fear of rejection and self-deprication on Yuuri’s part, and they’d break up because of of failure to actually have a REAL CONVERSATION about it - but this is not a productive ending for any series; pretty much no story ends like that. The only case where I could see this happening is cheesy romance like BL manga, where after this scene they’d be apart for a couple of months until they ran into each other again, then one would realize he couldn’t live without the other, force the conversation, cry and have makeup sex *~the end*~ But that’s a lame convoluted narrative - not the style of this series - and takes way more than one or two episodes to deal with and still ends up with them together in the end. So it clearly won’t be that either.
So, honestly, there’s really nothing to be gained narratively by Yuuri winning the “let’s break up” argument, because all of his reasons are flawed and based on neurotic worries and assumptions about Victor but not actually knowing what Victor thinks. So far, everything in this show has made perfect narrative sense, so I’m not worried there.
2) Do you have anxiety? If you do, please tell me you are not familiar with the whole “JUST GIVE UP WHILE YOU’RE AHEAD SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO FAIL” feeling? But then you justify it like “No, see, I’ve come up with lots of reasons (i.e. neurotic worries) why this is the ‘realistic’ and ‘pragmatic’ thing to do, I’m not ‘running away’, I’m doing what makes sense! D:”. See, that’s obviously where Yuuri is at. This is a huge case of “Give up Victor now while all of your memories are perfect and good (and make an effort to make those memories as perfect and good as possible! re: the date in episode 10) so that you have something beautiful to hold onto but you don’t have to deal with losing him later - no, no, I’m not being cowardly, seriously, this is best for both of us! Really! Victor can go back to skating and everyone will be happy and I’ll go live the life I deserve (whatever that is, but 8 months with Victor was more than I ever thought I would get in the first place it would be ridiculously greedy to ask for more, there is a limit to how much I can ask for, I’m going to stop asking before the answer is “no” because I couldn’t deal with the thought of that. Better to push him away myself than to wait until he’s annoyed with me and be pushed away by him!” If you’re not familiar with this thought process I’m not sure you’re familiar with anxiety because that’s… basically the crux of it. And the more I look at it the more I can’t see it any other way.
The end of this episode is just a confirmation of my feelings after episode 9; In a way, I think episode 10 was meant to make you feel like maybe he’d solved that worry when actually he hadn’t: episode 10 actually just pushed him and Victor’s viewpoints even further apart, in a way:
Victor was feeling closer to a future together with Yuuri
Yuuri was feeling closer to being able to convince himself that he could end this memory on a good note; now he knew that he’d played an important part in Victor’s life and that was enough; he wanted to be able to end it without regrets that he hadn’t made the best of it.
This show is way too narratively clean to do something that doesn’t make sense now - and if by some wild chance they do break them up at the end it’s going to be in some romantic twist where they ARE still happy and love each other, (or else worst case scenario some cavalier move that relies on the hope of a second season but I seriously doubt that they won’t wrap this up, since all the metanarratives are already in place).
3) I know there’s going to be a ton of “NOO IT WAS QUEERBAITING ALL ALONG” bullshit because my friends have already been complaining about seeing a bunch of it (I’ve been covering my eyes) - but that’s what it is: bullshit. Sorry, but it is.
Guys, don’t be swayed by that doubt; You see, even if the unthinkable happens and they break up, you know what? This still wasn’t queerbaiting. Why? Because they were in love and are in love and when you break up with someone you loved does that you never loved them? No. It means you were in love and then you broke up - that’s what people do so guess what, QUEER PEOPLE DO THAT TOO. Let’s say a bisexual girl breaks up with a boyfriend she loved, and then a couple years later she falls in love with a girl - does that mean she is not bisexual or that she never loved that other boy? Obviously not. I would like it if people could stop thinking that breaking up means that somehow “it was never real to begin with”. That kind of thinking makes no sense. You can love more than one person in your life and if this show has made one thing clear it’s that these two love each other and have spent probably more than 8 months loving each other, and that their entire character arc was about falling in love - so even if they find some batshit crazy reason to break them up it doesn’t mean that this was queerbaiting because they fucking loved each other and breaking up won’t change the fact that those 8 months were real, okay? Seriously. I really don’t want to see any “it was queerbaiting” posts so I might just kind of be careful around tumblr for the next week.
#DEAR EPISODE 12 PLEASE MAKE ME CRY ALL THE TEARS IN A GOOD WAY #I HAVE FAITH IN YOU
Was supposed to finish this PhichiYuu doodle for tonight but the posing was not cooperating, and I kept changing it and it got more and more and MORE provocative…>.>;
Will try to finish this in time for Fri/Sat night post, and will also put up an update for Inferno around then. Art updates have been slow bc I’ve been prioritizing Inferno, should be ready to post in a week or two ^v^)b
Gods be good, why would any man ever want to be king? When everyone was shouting King in the North, King in the North, I told myself… swore to myself… that I would be a good king, as honorable as Father, strong, just, loyal to my friends and brave when I faced my enemies… now I can’t even tell one from the other. How did it all get so confused?
honestly…. I’ve been very patient this volume. I’ve given the m&k the benefit of the doubt so many times on multiple subjects and they have my unyielding support with just about anything they choose to do with their show.
But if Blake doesn’t talk about Yang next episode heads are going to ROLL