I got the honor to participate in @jojofanzine (which is an awesome project btw thanks for having me!) a while back so I drew as many best girls as possible from Jojo which is hard bc all the girls are best girls.
(This was a super long ramble I wrote in like 10 minutes. Sorry if it doesn’t make any sense?)
You know when queer people say “we have to support representation, so that someday, that won’t be needed. So that someday, we’ll have stories about queer characters that aren’t focused on their sexuality or have a terribly tragic ending. So that someday, by chance, it can just be a story about love.”
When I first started watching Yuri!!! ON ICE, I was overjoyed with it! I thought: here’s an entertaining anime, with relatable characters, a great storyline and breathtaking animation!
I was also 100% sure it was going to end up with absolutely no confirmed queer relationships.
As a queer person watching anime (or any kind of show, really, queerbaiting is mostly a Western phenomenon), I don’t really have high hopes for shows with “really close friends”. I’ll write fanfiction, I’ll joke about “how gay it is”, and I’ll fight everyone who tells me those two people aren’t completely head over heels about each other, but I will never believe we will actually see it acknowledged in canon.
I’m used to “bystander representation”: short snatches of a side character self-identifying as queer, maybe as a comedic purpose or with actual depth to them, in the best of cases, to the inevitable question of “dude, are you like, gay?”, to a complete denial from the creators regarding any character’s sexual or romantic orientation (and I’m not even going to comment on how they shut down any gender debates).
So I expected Yuri!!! ON ICE to be, well, like Haikyuu!!, to be honest. Really close friendship, maybe a little shiptease, and if we got lucky, an admission that those characters were meant to be together, even if they were friends.
And then episode 7 happened. Episode 10 happened. Kubo’s tweets, the references to self-identifying queer skaters, the insistence that yes, this is happening, it is not being hidden, they are in love.
I was overjoyed! It was the first time I’d ever seen something like this, to be honest, and I still can’t believe that this is real, that Yuuri and Victor are so obviously meant to end up together and nobody cares. The other characters and creators are not making fun, they’re not denying it, they’re encouraging it.
But why do I say Yuri!!! ON ICE is a “someday” anime?
Because it isn’t real. Someone always cares, someone always hurts you, someone always makes fun. For the lucky ones, those “someones” are people they don’t have to be with, meddling strangers, local pastors and annoying classmates. For the unlucky ones… it’s your family, it’s your friends, it’s your everyone.
I’m not saying Yuri!!! ON ICE is bad for not portraying homophobia, for not showcasing the still much alive struggle that queer people face every day. I’m not even saying, like Kubo told us (I’m rebelling), that it’s set in a universe where people can love whoever they want, without fear.
I’m saying it’s set in “someday”, the someday we’ve always talked about, the someday I’ve always wanted for myself, personally. In my opinion, there are many things that must happen before we reach that time, before we can feel satisfied with our place in the world, and I doubt it’ll ever be as idyllic as Yuri!!! ON ICE. But I also think that representation like this anime is just, if not more, as important as realistic representation. Because it shows that this can happen, that we can love whoever we want without having that nail-biting worry at the back of our heads constantly. And we’re much closer to achieving that than we were years ago.
Yuri!!! ON ICE is important to me because it’s a story about Yuuri Katsuki figure skating, and he happens to fall in love along the way. It’s important because I think, “Will we get to see their wedding?” and not “Are they ever going to actually admit they’re in love?”. It’s important because it brings me hope, because it makes me realize that the amazing reception to it means that people can see queer people as simply, people.
It’s important because, although I want to fall in love and be with the person I love, I also want to have a life of my own, a passion of my own, just like Yuuri has. Queer people have dreams, hopes and boring nights without any romantic drama. Sometimes it seems as if creators will write a character who’s queer and who has no flaws or problems except discrimination around them. As if they’re saying “well, they’re already queer, they’ve suffered enough for the day.”
It’s important to me because the “someday” that Yuri!!! ON ICE brings seems beautiful.
“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”
Hey hey hey!! So, a few weeks ago my blog turned 2 years old and I decided to celebrate it by making another follow forever!! These last 2 years have been amazing thanks to all my amazing mutuals, wonderful followers, and other incredible blogs. (ﾉ◠ヮ◠)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ I’d love to give a big warm hug to everyone but unfortunately that’s impossible, so here’s a bunch of high-quality blogs that make me smile everyday!! ☟ (◕‿◕✿) ☟
Also, I recently changed my url to jeanjcques, but it’s only temporary!!!
“ Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain and I can bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment. I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you… I had to see you. I have fought against my better judgment, my family’s expectations, the inferiority of your birth by rank and circumstance. All these things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I love you.”
ok i’m making this post because everyone should feel appreciated, especially this time of the year. so i’m gonna mention more or less my most active mutuals who i appreciate for still being here and filling my dashboard with quality content all year.
thank you! you all make my dash a better place and i hope you’re all having a great holiday break. i hope you’re feeling warm and safe and loved (even if you don’t celebrate christmas).