I saw some displeasure about YoI in the tags. I've got mixed feelings about it, so I'd be really interested in hearing a negative opinion to contrast all the glowing praise I've been seeing. Um, if you don't mind.
ANMFKJD G I NEVER THOUGHT I’D SEE THIS IN MY ASK. But hello, it’s Grahm, and boi do I have some gripes about yuri on ice.
As a preface, I’m bi n transmasculine so if i get people callin me homophobic because i have hatred for this ship ill be pickin apart, bye im a mlm so I’m directly affected by the stereotypes presented.
In this show, there are major flaws. I could not tell you the plot, the animation is terribad, and its getting boring seeing Yuuri do the same type of routine every episode he’s in a competition? Everybody else has a different program but I guess that might be a Me thing. But I could look past that if there weren’t some gross as heck stereotypes towards LGB+ people.
When Yuuri meets Viktor, theres an ass shot. Obvious pandering to fangirls out there. Then there’s Chris and his routine that makes everybody uncomfortable where he basically busts a nut in front of thousands of people. Again, fanservice. Then we have how touchy-feely Viktor and Yuuri are.
There’s nothing wrong with being close to somebody. Me n comet are always just chillin near each other. But how YOI went about it, it’s way too sexualized and promotes the fact all LGBT+ people are Sex Demons. Personally, I noticed immediately that it wasn’t natural. The jumping around the anime does makes it hard to keep track. And there’s Off Screen Bonding that we don’t get to see; the sudden closeness of Yuuri and Viktor makes no sense considering how little bonding they’ve done if you really think about it. It leaves an odd disjointed feeling to the entire scope of things and takes the fun out of the slow burn.
Regardless of that though, Yuuri and Viktor are coded like the ~traditional~ heterosexual relationship. This is where the woman is dainty and traditionally feminine while the guy is dominant and traditionally masculine. Yuuri acts more masculine while Viktor can be looked at as the feminine coded one. Viktor is always helping Yuuri get ready [tying his skates, putting lip balm on him, blowing his nose for him, etc] That’s the traditional wife taking care of her husband. A majority of mlm relationships don’t have that kind of dynamic. And to see that as excellent representation?? It’s not a good thing to see because if that’s all the representation we have, young impressionable people won’t see any different in real life.
And when you consider the power imbalance it is just gross. Yuuri idolizes Viktor WAY too much for it to ever be a good relationship. He’s holding Viktor up on a pedestal and it’s easy to manipulate somebody without even meaning to when you’re in that position.
Moving on, the YOI fandom makes it seem like this is so revolutionary of an anime. When no…it’s not? After the kiss, they acted like nothing happened? When you’d tihnk they’d address it if it was such an important part of the plot. In any show, they always put so much weight to whenever somebody kisses another because it’s seen as a sign of romance. Yet YOI completely ignores it like it never happened, doesn’t even have Yuuri like flash back to it and act happy it happened. Like that’s not something you would do if your partner just kissed you and even if it’s gonna be played off as , “European’s kiss people all the time!!” that’s still so much queerbaiting because they drew us in with the intent that there would be a mlm relationship when no, they got fricking gal pal’d basically.
One of my other problems is they just…ignore the homophobic/transphobic nature Japan has?? They do not have very many rights laws in place for LGBT+ people and to just ignore that all together and how harmful it is to people in ice skating is sloppy and disconcerting.
They’re acting like it’s not a thing when Viktor is based off a real life skater, Johnny G. Weir. He was berated and docked points because he was too “flamboyant” before he even came out as being gay. Japan assumed he was LGB+. Yet YOI acts like that was never a thing and everything’s all fine and dandy. If they made it a point to say, “Hey, yeah LGBT+-phobia is dumb as heck but we’re past it in this universe”, that’d be acceptable but they just don’t bring it up at all.
But ice skating is openly homophobic and ignoring it like there’s nothing to see is like America trying to ignore how racist they were in the past by putting up laws prohibiting teachers from saying that the slave trade was the reason for the civil war. They’re trying to say it doesn’t happen and tackle it headon. If they showed Yuuri and Viktor going through the discrimination and homophobia while coming out stronger, that’s a fantastic dynamic and problem to tackle. It affects millions of people daily, LGBT+ discrimination, but YOI doesn’t feel like it’s important enough to include I guess.
All in all, YOI is pretty cheaply made. The animation is sloppy with yuuri having a damn noodle and half the budget was spent on animating asses. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to it since ice skating is a beautiful sport. I am not here, though, for the queerbaiting garbage YOI has turned out to be as it actively portrays mlm in a bad light and sexualizes us even more than we need.