PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YUURI ALREADY HAS THE FOLLOWING ABILITIES BEFORE VIKTOR COACHED HIM:
1. His musicality and artistry. It was noted both by Yuuri (himself) and Viktor that his PCS score often makes up for his TES. Considering his background with dancing, this should be a given. Add the fact that he prefers ballet for his training off ice (EP2 & EP3), plenty of credits should be given to Minako.
2. His amazing spins and step sequences. Yuri noticed that during the GPF in Sochi. Obviously, Celestino is his coach at that time. He probably learned those fancy footwork from him or another before going to the US.
3. He can land a TRIPLE AXEL consistently. Axelisthe most difficult jump but Minami and the skating commentators in the series have implied that the triple axelis one of Yuuri’s signature moves. Minami kept waxing poetic about it and, fanboy that he is, trained hard to be able to execute it (EP5). Commentators have mentioned that the triple axel is ”one of his [Yuuri’s] favorites” (EP7). They wouldn’t say that if Yuuri is crap at it. They will only take note of it if Yuuri had been consistently excellent at it… which he is. If you watch his skating programs in the series again, you’ll see that Yuuri flubbed the triple axel only twice: in Sochi (the still image flashback) & in the Cup of China FS. The rest, both in his SP and FS, were perfect.
Now, sorry for being so whiny about this but I’ve developed a pet peeve turned berserk button with this after seeing too many fics that constantly undermines Yuuri’s skating abilities by writing him as incapable of landing triples before Viktor AND/OR when Viktor is absent (which is infinitely worse). I had to let this out:
Yuuri is not that helpless. If he’s that piss poor with triple jumps, then he would have never made it into the GPF in Sochi. Also, Celestino would have been a terrible coach if he didn’t train Yuuri to land triples. Obviously, the man is not a terrible coach since he managed to take Yuuri AND Phichit all the way to the GPF. Lastly, Yuuri is a prideful person so if he couldn’t land triples, then he would have trained day in and day out to perfect them because he would never dare show his face to the world if he’s so bad at it. So stop crediting Viktor with Yuuri’s ability to land triple jumps. He’s not responsible for them.
4. He can do a quad toe loop. He had to learn and use at least one damn quad to have reached GPF Sochi. From his scores, we can guess that he landed it better too compared with his triples despite being mentally & emotionally compromised as well. Kudos to Celestino’s training.
CONCLUSION: Yuuri is not a shitty skater before Viktor AND when Viktor is absent. All of Yuuri’s skills should not be attributed to Viktor’s coaching AND presence alone because Minako, Celestino, and others helped him with some of those. Most importantly, YUURI WORKED FUCKING HARD FOR ALL OF HIS ABILITIES. Giving Viktor, and only Viktor, full credits for that reduces his agency and relationships with other characters.
It seems like a lot has forgotten but Yuuri Katsuki has pride. A lot of it. This is why mistakes bother him so much no matter how little it was. This is why he hides his face and refuse to interact with the people at Hasetsu train station. He lost at the GPF and the Nationals. He’s ashamed of himself for failing that much. His pride was severely damaged since he didn’t fulfill the two goals he had set for himself at his JSF profile:
1.) To not cry during a competition
2.) To be victorious in the GPF. *Usually when an athlete says “victory”, they mean ‘get gold”
Add the fact that the GPF is just the 3rd most prestigious figure skating competition (Worlds is 2nd, Olympics is 1st), Yuuri’s self confidence would have been shaken to the core. He couldn’t get a bronze in the GPF. He couldn’t even get the top spot at the Nationals. What hope does he have for anything else? What is there for him to be proud of?
No wonder Yuuri hit rock bottom. He’s a sore loser because his pride couldn’t take it. His epic career slump is hardcore proof. His pride also magnified his lost spectacularly in his perspective that it took him ages to lick his wounds and get right back up.
To cultivate pride, reputation is a huge factor. So obviously, reputation would mean a lot to Yuuri. He’s very sensitive about it. In fact, the first thing he did after bombing his FS at Sochi was to check the news and the social media for comments about him. He was even upset with Phichit when he posted online the picture of drunk!Viktor clinging on him before the SP at the Cup of China.
Reputation is important to Yuuri. He values his dignity. His pride depends on it.
So wouldn’t the reveal of his drunk shenanigans in EP10 absolutely devastated him? For everybody else in the series, it was funny and memorable. Even us fans think the same. But for Yuuri? That probably felt like the end of his world. He made a fool of himself in front of the ISU, sponsors, coaches, and fellow athletes. He had dragged Japan and his family name through the mud. He’s now a laughingstock - a goddamn joke.
His pride took a heavy blow before the GPF SP. His reputation and dignity is gone. It’s miracle that he looked calm as he skated Eros… or not.
He probably kept lying to himself before his performance with an unknowing Viktor’s supporting him (Yeah, Viktor doesn’t know Yuuri’s pain because he will definitely hide it from him. What happened in Sochi was obviously a treasured memory of Viktor. Yuuri isn’t that heartless to taint it with his own issues. So kept his problems on his own.) He then must have convinced himself enough that he’s ok. He’s alright. Everything is fine. Everything will be just perfect. So he smiled with confidence built on lies and kissed his ring for further reassurance. (He’s still a total wreck inside barely holding himself together)
Then he skated and everything went shit.
Yuuri’s SP at Barcelona is devoid of seduction because he’s focusing too much on perfection. He desperately needed clean and perfect quad jumps. Quad jumps will help him win. He has to win because if he does, he’ll get his dignity back. He can mend his pride. He would be able to make up for the scandal he had caused in Sochi. Everybody loves a winner. Gaining victory will make everything alright. He must podium. He must get gold.
But then he flubbed his quad flip. He touched the ice. His SP was imperfect. His score would definitely be lower than what he wanted. He failed. He lost. Everything that he gives a damn about depended on that performance and he fucked it up. So Yuuri crumbles under the pressure and wept his heartbreak on the ice.
I feel sad for JJ. He has a lot of support from his girlfriend, family, friends, and fans. But the people he probably wants the most to recognize him ignore him and hate his guts. They don’t even explain why.
JJ seems willing to change and adapt according to the crowd. Example in EP10, when they all left him and his girlfriend, he said “It [his engagement and planned wedding] was a joke!”. But then in EP11, we were shown that he was dead serious about winning the gold medal and marrying after all. How desperate was he to be part of them that he denied his own engagement?
It must’ve doubly hurt too since Yuuri ignored him as well. He hugged him in EP9, remember? Perhaps that’s the only friendly interaction he ever had with his peers in the competition. Seeing Yuuri probably boost his confidence to join them at the table.
JJ must be thinking: “Wait, all the other skaters are here! Was a pre-competition party announced? Why am I not invited? I wonder if we can join them. Hey, it’s that guy who hugged me last time! He’ll probably be ok if me and Isabella crashed their little party. Oh, he’s engaged too? Wait, he wants to win gold to get married as well?! Heh, we may have a lot in common… but I won’t let him have all the attention for that. They have to know I’’ll be marrying the most amazing and beautiful person in the world too after becoming a champion. Here it goes!”
Then he dropped in into their conversation, got promptly ignored, then left to hang out and dry. All of them. Even the one he thought would be a tentative friend. He and his girlfriend must’ve been so humiliated at that time.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Isabella hates all the other contestants’ guts with how they treat JJ especially since three of them are adults. Their behavior is not okay.
Sanji’s dead expression here tells everything about his despair. Now that one thin silver lining that was Pudding has evaporated completely, there’s literally nothing whatsoever he can hold onto. But the most heartbreaking thing about Sanji’s situation is that until now, despite all the madness he’s gone through he’s been bottling up his emotions over and over.
Sanji did cry after beating up Luffy, but the way he covers his eyes with his hands like he doesn’t want anyone to see, or the way he clenches his teeth suggests that he was desperately trying to hold back his tears. Until this moment we didn’t see Sanji cry his heart out over something related to the crew (which is quite surprising btw since he can be pretty emotional), and even when we finally got to see him cry, he was still trying to hold back his emotions with all his might.
I’m saying that Sanji didn’t cry for real because just take a look at the way Nami and Robin cried in their darkest hours. There’s nothing about them that suggests they’re constraining their emotions; they’re both addressing their nakama directly and letting them see their tears.
Just like Nami and Robin, Sanji must admit openly to his nakama that he’s in pain, scared, and really needs them to come to his rescue. I think what’s eating him up inside the most is not his situation per se, but the fact that he’s struggling to deal with his hardship all by himself without hurting anyone.
But sometimes it’s far braver to choose to break. Now that his situation can’t get any worse, I hope we soon get to see our cook cry his eyes out like a baby in front of Luffy, because who in the world deserves to cry like that more than him?
Some new outfits for the Baudelaire girls. well. Violet’s are really just redesigned versions of the outfit variations I did way back when I was planning the Bad Beginning. The left is her standard outfit without the jacket, the right is her PJs. Likewise, Sunny’s got new PJs too, and now she’s gonna get work overalls because I kind of loved that she had them in the show.
Little Sanji’s trying to shield his little mouse friend from his scum of a father :’( He has more than enough on his plate already just trying to protect himself, but he never forgets to care for what’s dear to him… because this is Sanji we’re talking about :’(
I’ve always wondered if Sanji’s tendency to protect others with his body was something that he’d learned from Zeff, but it turned out that even before meeting him, Sanji was already a kind-hearted soul who could put others in front of him, even if it was a tiny mouse.
“Mini” Character Studies: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
note: This wasn’t requested, but I though that because it was “Winnie the Pooh Day”, it would fitting to do a post for Christopher Robin and his friends! Because these are going to be “mini Character Studies”, I will only do the Sun and Moon signs. Therefore, some of the characters may have more than one combination, because I don’t have the other placements to represent different aspects of their personality. I wanted to have this posted on Winnie the Pooh Day, so I didn’t include the summaries, but I will edit this in the future so it does!
One of the things I’m so interested in is Even and Sonja. In a lot of ways but here I wanted to talk about the process of him breaking up with her, especially before the locker room conversation that shifts everything again. We know now that he saw Isak the first day of school, that what had been building between them had started for Even before we ever saw him. But the reality of him still being with Sonja comes slamming in that first day he spends with Isak (who he clearly is crushing on, at that point) and I think it made us all wonder what’s up with Even then. A lot of people have chalked how he interacted with Sonja that day to testing the waters with Isak but it never read like that to me. In the best of times, it’s tricky to be in a relationship that wasn’t what it once was anymore and then meet someone new. It’s another whole level harder when you’re talking about a same-sex attraction, an exploration that’s tied to its own sort of risk. But what’s going on here is being driven more than anything else, imho, by the way Even’s mental illness became central to their relationship and how it’s made him fear being alone.
We don’t know much about Even’s parents and what role they played but what we do know is that Sonja was a central pillar for him, that she was deeply involved in both how Even dealt with and even conceived of being bipolar.
In the fourth episode, Even explains to Isak why he can’t break up with Sonja. It’s a bullshit yarn but it’s one where from the start we get the impression what he’s saying is also true. We all kind of took this part as fact: “Do you know me and Sonja have been dating since she was 15 or something? I’m noticing that we’re growing apart more and more. But I can’t dump Sonja.” Okay, here Even starts to go into his teasing Isak but what he picks is: “If I dump Sonja, she’ll think it’s because she has an aluminum leg.” Now, clearly Sonja doesn’t have an aluminum leg but Even, more times than not, finds a way to talk around the truth. A perceived handicap is the reason they can’t just break up. Likely on both sides, I’d guess it got to the point where neither really felt like they could leave: Sonja because she’d taken on the role as his caregiver and Even because he didn’t fully trust himself to throw that off. I find it really interesting that Even subs in a missing leg, something that figuratively makes you unable to stand on your own two feet, as it were. He presents it to Isak like an invisible illness too, something he wouldn’t have noticed because “But it’s going better with her now. You can hardly see that she limps.”
While that story is a joke, I don’t think that sprung to mind at random. I think Sonja became his support to the point that he wasn’t sure he could stand without her. I think it’s a huge, huge deal for him to pull out that support entirely, even when it’s gotten to the point of being unhealthy and no matter how much he starts wanting to, and that’s a part of what leads him to seemingly run hot and cold on Isak. It’s a part of why he wants to figure out if this thing with Isak is really something first.
The huge issue I see is that Sonja informed so much of how he sees his disorder and himself. After they first kiss and spend the night together, we know he does immediately tell Sonja about Isak and wanting to pursue something with him. We can glean from her later statement that she likely told him then that this isn’t real, this is his disorder manifesting. I think Even was deeply troubled by that because, while she was wrong, I think he didn’t feel like he could 100% say she was wrong. That’s why I think he sounds so angry when he starts talking about Sonja in kitchen scene of episode 8. He’s used to leaning on her judgement, her perception, because he hasn’t been able to trust his own mind. While at the same time, he’s felt increasingly smothered by it. He says, “Sometimes I feel as though she knows me better than I do myself, because… everything she says is true.” I can’t help but think: “Why would he have said that unless, as he’s used to her judgement calling what he’s thinking or feeling into doubt, he didn’t have ask himself if she was right this time too?” I think the idea that his judgement can’t be trusted is the source of his fear when she calls Isak too, beyond just the idea she would clue him in. I think he was afraid of what did happen at first: that Isak would decide too that he couldn’t “live freely” i.e. be his own person, he couldn’t be trusted to form his own opinion.
Even reached a point where he wanted to overturn his whole life, he wanted to cut ties and chose to be with Isak but for a long period of when we saw him, there were several things holding him back: doubt that Sonja did know him better than he knew himself, worry that he would just be a burden to Isak, fear of being alone.
So thinking of that, how much strength did it take when Sonja was telling him his feelings for Isak were fabricated that he was able to break away from her and say “She can’t feel what I feel, or think for that matter.” How powerful is it that after Isak had unknowingly withdrawn himself from being a support at all for Even… he’s still in his kitchen, choosing to follow his feelings and choosing him? Isak is the catalyst of not only Even leaving a relationship that both parties had likely felt stuck in but caused him to reevaluate his own trust in himself: in what he thinks and feels. Thinking about how hard it must have been to decide to stand on his own and risk having no one there at all gives me to a lot of compassion for Even not being able to make this a clean break.
Anastasia really seems to fit the classic archetype of Gemini. For starters, she is very spunky and mischievous. She’s always messing with Dimitri and loves to get on his nerves just for fun. She’s very adaptive as she goes from living in an orphanage in Russia to traveling to Paris with no real struggle or fearfulness, or even regret. She doesn’t mind leaving her old life behind in search of the unknown. Like a typical Gemini, Anastasia is optimistic and child-like. She has high hopes for her future even though it is uncertain. She doesn’t let her past hold her back from enjoying herself. She lives completely in the present whilst being excited for the future. She is naturally adventurous and always excited to experience new things, as demonstrated in the musical number “Learn to Do It” when Dimitri and Vladimir teach her (or rather, reteach her) horseback riding and bike-riding, among other things.
Moon in Leo
Literally royalty. But in all seriousness, Anastasia exemplifies a lot of the traits of your typical Leo moon. She is very stubborn and will only do things on her terms. One example of this is that, even though Dimitri said she can’t bring her dog, she insisted that if the dog (Pooka) didn’t go, she didn’t go. So Pooka went. She is independent and bossy, and doesn’t like being told what to do. On the train, she tells Dimitri that if he truly thinks she’s royalty he’ll stop bossing her around. She doesn’t like that, in her eyes, he was acting like he was better than her. Leo moons experience their emotions very dramatically, and Anastasia is often very dramatic in her moods and expressions. Underneath her independent and confident exterior, however, Anastasia can be insecure like other Leo moons. She isn’t completely confident in her ability to convince her grandmother that it is truly her. But, since family is extremely important to Leo moons, she is able to overcome this insecurity to reconnect to her last living family member.
Mercury in Gemini
Anastasia is brutally honest and always speaks her mind. Like your typical Gemini Mercury, she sees no reason to beat around the bush. She says what she thinks, almost filter-free. In the gif above, Anastasia is straightforward with Dimitri and tells him outright that she doesn’t want to talk anymore instead of listening to him and getting annoyed. Gemini Mercuries see no reason to participate in what they see as “pointless small-talk.” She loves talking, but because she gets bored easily, the topic needs to be interesting. She’s clever and a quick-learner, demonstrated throughout the film when learning to ride a bike, dance, etc. and all her quick and pointed comebacks to Dimitri.
Venus in Aries
Aries Venusians are quite the playful flirters. Anastasia is always teasing Dimitri and flirting with him even before she realizes her feelings. Anastasia is passionate, impulsive, and competitive when it comes to interacting with her love interest, typical for this placement. I think her conversation with Dimitri on the train shows this trait strongly, especially as they are stubbornly saying “fine” back and forth after coming to an “agreement.” Individuals with Aries Venus are attracted to argumentative and adventurous partners, explaining her attraction to Dimitri. They love playful banter and experiencing new things, and Dimitri offers these things for her.
Mars in Aries
Anastasia is very combative, determined, impatient, competitive, and opinionated. She practically screams Aries Mars. She never gives up or feels discouraged and is extremely determined to do whatever it takes to get what she deeply desires. Though there are many hindrances on her journey to France, she never lets them get the best of her and is ready to move forward immediately. She is very quick to anger, and her anger is very intense, but it fades quickly. She is passionate to her core and cares deeply, which is why she’s so quick to anger.