edgy glamour

anonymous asked:

In response to that post about Kubo sexualizing Yurio, I get that he's a minor so he shouldn't be sexualized, but as someone his age I often wear clothes that could be considered "sexual" in the same way his wttm outfit was (tight/exposing) bc honestly? it's hard trying to be treated as mature if you only wear typically childish clothes and don't act adult-like? and being 14-17 is hard bc you start realizing sex stuff like sexuality, so I think its more of a teen thing than a sexualization thing

Hey, I understand your perspective and I agree to an extent. I tried to respond the best I could and I’m sorry this is so long but apparently there’s a lot to unpack here.

The difference that I see is in the fact that Yurio isn’t a real teenager making his own choices, he’s a character - a combination of creative decisions made by adults. It’s an issue of narrative framing. Showing a teenage character exploring his identity and doing the kinds of things you mentioned is perfectly fine. The crux of the problem is the tone of his presentation and the intended purpose of that depiction of his character… the purpose of the anime is obviously entertainment so HOW is his character being used to entertain?

The people who wrote, designed and animated Yurio’s character have shown that they’re capable of depicting Yurio in a way that is representative of this side of normal teenage behaviour without sexualising him. He’s frequently presented as a rebellious teenager who expresses himself through his choice of clothing and his initial preference to skate the Eros routine, but they don’t present these things in a way that is meant to be sexualized for the audience. He’s very clearly shown to still be a minor - as indicated through the creative decision to have him explore his youth and innocence in the agape routine.

Then in Welcome to the Madness, they seem to take a character who has been developed around the idea of childlike innocence and suddenly all of the things that he’d previously doing (the fiesty attitude and the desire to be adult) are suddenly reframed… whereas in season one they were the actions of a young and immature teenager they are suddenly being presented as genuinely adult and alluring.

Take a scene where he tries to do this in season 1 (let’s say the scene where Yuuri realises that Yurio is underestimating him) and you will see a character who is presented as immature and childlike in comparison to an adult character like Yuuri. That’s the character that the narrative framing trains the audience to see. He’s a normal teenager: angry, thinks he’s a badass, a bit cruel but totally harmless, trying on fashions and attitudes and ways of presenting his identity as he navigates his teenage years.

Now take Welcome to the Madness.. he’s doing exactly the same things, the attitude, the fiestiness, the over the top attempts to appear adult… but suddenly the anime frames them in a different way. The close up frames of his body as his shirt rides up, the suggestive glove biting, the flashy, edgy, glamour of the routine. It encourages the audience to belive the sexualized identity that Yurio is projecting: there’s no more undercurrent of childishness and the scene encourages the audience to look at Yurio sexually. The very same character who was clearly presented as a child is suddenly being used in a scene where the entertainment value comes from his sexualisation. It’s the difference between the anime asking the audience to be entertained by Yurio attempting to be sexy and asking them to genuinely find him sexy. And WttM is definitively the latter.

So yeah, my issue is with the tonal shift from the anime presenting Yurio as a child to suddenly presenting him as a character who is sexualized for audience entertainment… even though he is still a minor and his character design still looks pretty much the same as it did when the anime was still clearly presenting him as a child, both emotionally and physically. And it worries me that this sexualisation has been imaginaged and drawn by adults and many of the fans who have bought into this portrayal of his character are also adults.

I do also have opinions on the role of fandom and yaoi culture and shipping in this problem but I’m going to leave it here. I hope that I haven’t seemed rude or confrontational in my reply and that I’ve answered in the best way I can.

Edit: I just wanted to clarify that when I say ‘immature’ I don’t mean to use it in a negative way or to condemn Yurio, but I’m using it simply to mean ‘not adult’.