japan's like: what is my life

The Hetalia countries as random Spongebob quotes

EsItaly: I’ll have you know I stubbed my toe last week and only cried for 20 minutes.

Germany: Welcome to the Salty Spittoon. How tough are ya?

Japan: And say hello to used napkin!

America: You like Krabby Patties, don’t you, England Squidward?

England: Just blew out of Stupidtown?

France: ALL I KNOW IS FINE DINING AND BREATHING.

China: Can I be excused for the rest of my life?

Russia: You’ll never guessed what I found in my sock last night.

Poland: Am I a pretty girl?

Prussia: I can’t see my forehead.

Austria: No, Prussia Patrick, mayonnaise is not an instrument.

Lithuania: I’m a good noodle!

Romano: Ravioli Ravioli give me the formuoli.

Canada: I’ll remember you all in therapy.

Greece: The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma

Turkey: LEEDLE LEEDLE LEE

Estonia: I’M UGLY AND I’M PROUD

Iceland: Imagination.

Norway: INDOORS INDOORS, INDOOOOOOORS.

Denmark: I’M READY I’M READY I’M READY

Finland: He has such a way with words…

Sweden: Happy Leif Eriksen Day! A tinga tinga torgen!

what ur fav new wave band says about u
  • adam and the ants: I will have sex with anybody
  • the b-52's: I will spit in your face and laugh
  • duran duran: I am a vain piece of shit
  • depeche mode: I blend into walls
  • erasure: gay
  • eurythmics: do you know how many shades of eyshadow I own? like at least a dozen
  • falco: I don't even speak german
  • inxs: I am wearing a bandanna and drinking cheap beer
  • japan: I'm special. so special
  • joy division: not even a new wave band also go fuck yourself
  • kate bush: I am an artsy piece of shit
  • new order: I never knew my true parents I was raised by a drum machine
  • the police: I hate myself I hate myself I hate myself
  • roxy music: the leather underpants I'm wearing are really chafing me
  • talking heads: what
  • u2: I appreciate the finer things in life and love getting my ass kicked
  • ub40: I think I'm an incredibly diverse and tolerant person

ok so what the fuck

y’all need to stop?? what you’re doing?? idk what you even are but tbh what the fuck.

yuri!!! on ice has nothing to do with what is currently happening in Chechnya. they will not be affected and they do not need to be protected from what’s happening in Russia, and you cannot blame fictional Russian characters for it. 

Also, now is the perfect time for you to take a step back and realise, remember that Kubo created a perfect world where almost nothing was wrong and there was like, no homophobia. 

So cut that out and think about what is happening right now in Chechnya, and don’t even bother mixing yoi into it. It has nothing to do with it. 

Draw victuri standing for gay rights; that’s fun and great but what happens in reality, events like these have nothing to do with their fictional world; especially one that has been made so nice.

you can’t like yoi anymore bc of what’s happening in Russia? yoi was made in Japan. 

also what the fuck?? again?? you see some fucked up shit happening in Russia and you’re immediately like “noo my fave anime characters are currently residing in Russia,,, this real life event might harm them”” instead of thinking about the people being tortured?? get over yourselves. 

fuck. what the fuck. think a little. 

Haikyuu!! Drama CD「ど忘れの゛ど゛」
Feat Bokuto Koutarou, Akaashi Keiji, Shirofuku Yukie, Konoha Akinori
Haikyuu!! Drama CD「ど忘れの゛ど゛」

Haikyuu!! Drama CD feat Bokuto Koutarou and Akaashi Keiji! Based off the Fukurodani omake here.

My friend translated this for me some time ago, and Fukurodani fans, please share your joy with me!! More insights into Akaashi’s character (AND HIS VOICE IS JUST NNGGH!) and yell with me about cinnamon roll Bokuto! 

Akaashi: Otsukaresama desu.

Bokuto: Why is that so?!

Akaashi: Hmm? Only Bokuto-san is here?

Akaashi: Mmm, everyone is late to arrive for club activities today.

Bokuto: Ask me “Why”, Akaashi?!

Akaashi: “Why”, Bokuto-san?

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Ai Yazawa End-of-Book Notes 1-21

So at the end of every volume of NANA, Ai Yazawa has a brief paragraph about the manga or just some introspection about her life. They give great insight into the series and I think only a few are found on the scans of NANA online, so I thought I’d share them all!

Volume 1

The creator, Ai Yazawa, told us, “I created this story so that it could be enjoyed as a stand-alone and, at the same time, have a complete ending that could be connected to an ongoing series.  I hope you’ll look forward to the future of the two Nanas!”

Volume 2

A note from Ai Yazawa: “I had thought that if the two Nanas met each other, they would probably be constantly fighting, but they seem oddly friendly.  What’s up with that?!  It’s one of me (not so) seven wonders (ha-ha).”

Volume 3

Since childhood, the artists I’ve looked up to haven’t been writers and illustrators, but mostly musicians.  Music provides me the most emotional effect and excitement.  If there was no music, I don’t think my creative juices would boil.  Music is that important to my life.

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 4

I realized one day that there are hit songs with the same names as the main female characters, NANA, JUNKO, and SACHIKO (the kanji for JUNKO is different, though).  It’s not that big a deal, but I sometimes just hum the melodies longingly.

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 5

In the initial drafts, Nana’s band was a rockabilly band like the Stray Cats.  But due to various circumstances, I didn’t keep it that way.  But if they were rockabilly, Ren, Nobu and Shin would have had pompadours.  And Yasu too?

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 6

When I was a child, I used to take piano lessons.  Even after I stopped taking lessons, I bought sheet music I liked and continued playing.  I’ve had my hands full for several years now, but one of these days I’d like to learn how to play jazz piano, which I’ve wanted to do for years now.

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 7

I had an opportunity to interview a group of professional musicians.  I showered them with questions, but they answered willingly, and it was very helpful.  I was having problems balancing the fictional world of manga-like simplicity and gorgeousness with a sense of reality.  But I realized again that what’s important is the humanity of the characters.

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 8

When I was in high school, there was a cool girl in my class who was a lone wolf.  I was really into a foreign New Romantic-type band then, and when she asked me one day, “Do you want to go to their concert together?” I was overwhelmed.  My heart fluttered more than when I was with my boyfriend (☺).  Have you had a Hachiko experience like that?  - Ai Yazawa

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The biggest culture shock in my life happened shortly after I moved to Japan, yet it had nothing to do with Japan. Another American offhandedly mentioned a store called Cub. I asked what that was, and she said “You know, like Save-A-Lot.” I was still confused. She explained that it’s a grocery store, to which I said, “Oh, like Pick ‘n Save.” Then she was surprised. She had never heard of that, which seemed impossible to me. I had no idea that grocery store chains were so concentrated by area in the US. I was under the impression that every American got their groceries at Pick ‘N Save, Jewel-Osco, and the like, because they seem to be the only grocery stores. Turns out, my friends in other states have never heard of them.

I got to watch history of the entire world without worrying about an upcoming AP exam, but I remember what it’s like, so good luck, my high school followers. 

Bakery AU Masterlist

#baristalife fan_nerd

Summary: Victor, proud owner of Muse café and roastery, goes searching for a local bakery to buy sweets for his store. When he does, he finds Yutopia, a quaint little place tucked away in a small part of town.The good news is, he quickly becomes business partners with the lead patissier, Yuuri.The bad news is, he finds Yuuri heartbreakingly, disastrously attractive.

Chocolate Cookies and Cooking Critique Lunarlooroo

Summary: Yuuri’s new neighbour is beautiful, kind, friendly, affectionate and totally out of his league. However, he is pretty bad at baking.Or: Viktor keeps trying to woo Yuuri with cookies, but Yuuri thinks Viktor just wants the professional opinion of a baker.

Disheartened Snowflakes -  saltyynoodles

Summary:  “Watch me skate?”
Those three words changed uninspired baker and ex-skater, Katsuki Yuri’s life forever. A story of two people who just happened to meet at the right time (100% uncliche).

Flightless Birds -  Ameliesshit

Summary:After the death of his mother, Yuuri spends his days in the family bakery, and skating with Phichit and Minami, until one day when he sees a mysterious silver-haired figure leave the ice.

Highschool fluff story Keira_Atko

Summary:  Yuri and Otabek are two dorks that bond over ice skating. Yuri finds out that beka helps out at his family bakery by accident. After this much fluff ensues.

Komorebi cosmiceleste

Summary: Yuuri seduces an unabtainable bachelor with depressive issues without even remembering it.Viktor falls in love with a baker who worries about most everything, but doesn’t remember him.

Like a Fairytale -  lucycamui

Summary: In which Prince Victor gets swept off his feet at a royal banquet and will go to any length to find his ‘Cinderella’ Yuuri.
(And Phichit is the fairy godmother who has no idea what he’s doing).“The crown prince of the Nikiforov kingdom, infatuated with a mystery pastry chef he’s only just met. This is exactly the kind of scandalous love story my life has been missing… So, what’s he look like? What exactly is Prince Victor’s type?”“…Sweet.”“Well, he does make pastries.“

pas de bierock -  leenk

Summary: Yuuri is a baker. Viktor is a ballet dancer. They fall in love. Tragedy strikes- but hey, Viktor knows just how to fix things!OR: The 'Pushing Daisies’ AU no one asked for.

Ptichye Moloko -  lilithduvare, Melody_thysoulandthylove

Summary:  Viktor is a two time Academy Award winner actor who, while shooting a movie in Japan accidentally found a small cake shop Agape & Eros and instantly fell in love with the stunning desserts on display. He, however, did not expect to fall in love with the gorgeous but shy man who ran the shop.

Roses Are Pink FlishFlash121

Summary: A baker and florist au.Yuuri is a baker, and Viktor is a florist.

The Sweet Taste of Love SpazzticRevenge

Summary:  A whisper of a moment is all it takes for Yuuri to ensnare Viktor with his charms. But the moment is swept away with the rise of a new day and Yuuri’s memory goes with it. When Viktor comes to find him at his humble bakery, all Yuuri can do is panic. He’s just your average nobody, after all. What would a figure skating prince want with him?

These Foreign Lands -  Midknighted

Summary: Viktor Nikiforov, the crown prince, rules his country with stubbornness and obliviousness, often never willing to listen to anyone around him. It drives Yakov, his advisor, and Yuri, his brother crazy.Nobody has ever been able to change his mind before. Until someone does.

These Streets -  Nishinota

Summary: Viktor Nikiforov is a celebrity. His life consists of rigorous dance lessons, world tours, and a strict manager. Viktor has been joking about ditching St. Petersburg for years, but nobody actually thought he’d do it until now.Yuuri Katsuki is a baker. Every morning he wakes up to posters of Viktor plastered on his wall. Before the sun is up, he’s handling flour, dough, and sugars to keep his family bakery successful. He often dreams about leaving the quietness of Hasetsu for something more action packed and adventurous, yet he has never taken a step on foreign ground.Viktor wants peace. Yuuri wants experiences. Both of them realize what they want is not always what they get.

The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through His Stomach -  futuresoon

Summary:  In desperate need of a new job and a new apartment, recently unemployed baker Yuuri Katsuki moves to a part of the city he doesn’t know much about and gets a position in a family friend’s bakery he’s never been to. But the people there are kind of weird, and the bakery gets some strange orders. At least one of his neighbors is nice. Probably not human, and has weird eating habits, but nice.

We Don’t Go Together At All Demiboy_Bread_Loaf

Summary: "Good morning, Yuuri!” Viktor smiled.“Viktor, you’ve already called in the orders and reminders for today.” Yuuri sighed. “How many times have we gone through this?”(Or, Viktor is hopelessly in love. Yuuri is, but he doesn’t know it.

Who Smells of Lemon Balm -  kingkoblih

Summary:  A Cupid!AU where Emil Nekola is a cupid failing at his job and Michele is the most handsome baker in Italy.

Yuri!!! on Icing wecarryoninmindpalaces

Summary:  Katsuki Yuuri, a rising star in the world of cake decorating, starts a tentative collaboration effort with his idol, celebrity cake decorator and judge Victor Nikiforov. Now if his idol’s bratty protégé, his Instagram obsessed best friend, and their local shopkeeper could mind their own business until Cake Fair- well, that would be a sign of the apocalypse. Or: the bakery!AU no one asked for.

I need your… Pink Cupcakes -  emojicon

Summary:  Yuri Plisetsky is a scholarship university student trying to stay sane while balancing work, life, and money.
Victor is a creepy baker who might just make a good friend.
Sala wants to take everyone to the farmers’ market.
And, Mila just wants to be able to eat meat.

Victor’s Body Language, part 1

I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how much Victor’s body language changes depending on who he’s with (generally being stuck to Yuuri like a limpet while being far more distant with just about everyone else with the exceptions of Yakov and Yurio), so I decided to go through the show, while paying extra-close attention to his body language

Victor thinks the world of Yakov and he’s clearly had his coach in his life a long long time. Victor knows that what he’s doing by upping sticks to Japan with no notice is tantamount to betrayal in Yakov’s eyes (since Yakov was going to be getting credited with coaching two Russian champions at the same time). My guess is that Victor doesn’t go into Yakov’s personal space often, but this situation merited it - he had to show Yakov that this was something he was serious about.

The next person we see Victor getting close to us Yuuri! No explanation needed, this is Victor shamelessly flirting…only dear sweet Yuuri could be oblivious (either that or it was a sensory overload for Victor’s fanboy!).

Poor Victor!

And here we see Victor, getting right back in Yuuri’s personal space after establishing that there is no competition for his affections! Here he’s about to wax lyrical about his romantic past in the hopes that Yuuri will seem interested…but he’s rejected again :\

(And as we later find out Victor probably has little to no romantic history…did he secretly know that Yuuri would likely shut him up?)

Having finally heard Yuuri admit out loud that he has confidence issues, Victor responds by flirting and getting right into Yuuri’s personal space. In this moment Victor’s letting Yuuri know that he’s very interested in him (since poor Yuuri still hasn’t figured this out), and he hopes that if Yuuri feels wanted, it might make him feel more confident in himself.

(also, everyone notices Yurio’s reaction here, but look at Victor Fangirl Yuuko’s face XD)

Just before Yuuri takes to the ice at the Onsen on Ice event, there’s an interesting moment - this is the first time that Yuuri hugs Victor - Victor who has been invading Yuuri’s physical space on a regular basis for weeks. But Victor’s response is shock - he just stands there with his arms t his side.

Despite his words to Yuuri (”I love Katsudon”), this is not a comfortable Victor. Victor is not used to people stepping into his personal space. He might be wanting to get closer to Yuuri, but until this moment it’s been on Victor’s terms.

(bonus - look at Morooka’s face while Victor and Yuuri hug XD)

After Yuuri skates, Victor has gotten used to the fact that Yuuri hugged him, and happy with the skate, he returns the hug in full.

I will comment that at this point Yurio leaves, and there has been no physical contact between the two. I highlight this because Victor isn’t close to anyone in Hasetsu, but he is close to Yurio.

Their moment on the podium is also as cute as it is significant. The last time Yuuri’s confidence issues were mentioned, Victor got in his space. Now his confidence issues reappear while Morooka interviews him. Victor goes into his personal space again, in a very public way, to reinforce to Yuuri that he’s sincere in wanting to help him build his confidence.

So we’re now a quarter of the way through the show, and other than one little hug and peck on the cheek to Yakov, Victor hasn’t made any physical contact with anyone apart from Yuuri.

(I’m spreading this over multiple posts as tumblr wouldn’t let me post it otherwise (which is a pain)…part 2 up soon)

Nikkeijin - Japanese American

“Mom, seriously, you can’t forget particles they’re the most important part of Japanese.” 

“Ugh. There’s just so many of them and it’s easier to just leave them out.” 

Okaasan. Soto wa amari muzukashikunai. It’s not that hard, mom.”

“Mie, my sponge is full!” 

I smirk at the phrase. She is always using that as an excuse, that her brain is too old to learn anything more, despite her being the most dedicated student I’ve ever seen. I know that she is capable of learning this, she just doesn’t believe in herself enough to see the potential she has. The thought pulls me momentarily from my amusement at the conversation. 

Where did you learn to doubt yourself so much?

“Mom, don’t even start,” I say. “You pushed through a bachelors in your late thirties, you’ve taken countless courses at the hospital to better your career, you’re one of the smartest and most determined people I’ve ever met. You’ve memorized the other stuff, you can do the same with the particles.”

Mom rolls her eyes, but smiles at me. “Thanks for the confidence. It’s nice to know that someone thinks I can learn this language.” 

I frown, knowing that she’s referencing my grandma. I cringe thinking of all the times that she’s mumbled, “now you want to learn…” or said something else discouraging about my mom studying Japanese with me. 

“Let’s call it a day and move on. We can review next week.” 

Mom nods. “I’m ok with that.” 

I hesitate for a moment as she packs up her binder and flashcards. I’ve been wanting to talk to her for a few days now, but haven’t known how to bring up the subject. She’s so much more private than my dad—talking about the past doesn’t come naturally and isn’t something she particularly wants to do in the first place. 

“Hey mom?” 

She looks up, eyebrows raised. “Yeah?”

“You know I’m writing my thesis on grandma,” I start. “I have a lot of information on her life in Japan, but not as much as I’d like on when she came to the states. Is it… Is it ok if I ask you some questions about what it was like, you know, growing up with her?”

Mom furrows her brows but nods. “I mean, sure. Though I don’t know how much I’ll have to contribute.” 

I smile. “I’m sure you’ll have a lot more than you realize.” 

I reach forward, grabbing and opening the notebook that I’ve left on the coffee table during our lesson. It’s bright yellow, doodled on, battered as hell. It has all my notes from my interviews with my grandmother, and now a list of questions I want to ask my mother. I lift my legs up onto the couch against my chest, pen and paper in hand, ready for answers. 

“Besides,” I say. “I kinda just wanna hear more about your childhood. Dad tells us so much about his but you don’t really tell us as much.”

She scoffs. “What? Of course I do!”

I laugh at her reaction. Mom has never been aware of how private she can be, how closed off to intimacy.

“No, not really. We usually have to pry it out of you.” 

She rolls her eyes and shrugs. “I just don’t know that you’d be that interested is all.” 

“Of course, I am,” I say, reaching over to squeeze her shoulder. “You’re one of my best friends, mom. I want to know about you.” 

“Ok,” she sighs. “But you better have questions because I can’t just start talking. I don’t know where to start.”

I tap my notebook with my pen, smirking. 

“Gotcha’ covered.” 

I ask her a million things: what it was like growing up without a dad, if she felt she was influenced much by living with only Japanese relatives, what her Aunt Etsuko and Uncle Shuji were like, what they did together, if she ever went to Nisei festivals (celebrations of second generation Japanese Americans) or spent much time with other Japanese people. Most of the answers I have to force her to elaborate on, pull the memories out of her slowly, meticulously, until I get her to tell me everything. It’s like earning the trust of a dog whose past owners neglected it. 

As my questions progress, she becomes more willing to tell me all she can remember, all her feelings, all the things that I know she’s been hiding because they’re ugly and painful. I feel grateful for this, even if some of it pains me as well. I know how hard it is for mom to open up—emotionally or physically. She is a product of the shame based culture of Japan and it shows in every way.
We get stuck on one topic—her experience of being a haafu, the Japanese word for someone who is half Japanese and half something else. This isn’t the first time that we’ve talked about this—it’s one of the things that we relate to most between us. What it’s like to feel like you’re never enough for either side of your heritage. 

“I kind of grew up feeling more white than Japanese,” she admits. “Even though I didn’t have that presence in my life, my mom didn’t really try and raise me Japanese. I mean, sure, we ate with chopsticks, we went to Little Tokyo a lot, I heard her speak Japanese with Koko and Shuji, but for the most part, we were very American. I think that’s why she didn’t teach me Japanese—she wanted us to assimilate, to leave Japan in Japan and try and forget all the pain.” 

“Didn’t you want to feel Japanese?” I ask. 

“Yeah,” she sighs. “Especially as a kid… I remember I used to watch this cartoon on the international channel on Saturdays, it was Japanese, and I couldn’t understand any of it. But I wanted to, so badly, that I would force myself to laugh when the characters did because I wanted to believe that I could understand them.” 

“That’s kinda cute,” I say, holding back a laugh.

She chuckles, but her face falls soon after. 

“Yeah. And kind of sad too.”  

I nod, not knowing what to say. I realize how privileged I’ve been to be raised so heavily in the culture that she was cheated out of, how lucky I am that she, my grandma, and even my white father, tried so hard to keep that culture alive in our household. 

“I had a realization,” she says. “When I was sixteen. I was just hit with this thought: I’m not white. I’m Asian. I’m Japanese. Even if I was mixed, I looked and lived far more Asian than white, and I just realized that I’d been living a façade believing that I wasn’t.” She takes a sip of her tea then, giving herself time to think before continuing. “I think that’s when I started really wanting to learn about that side of my family. And your dad helped that along too. He’s always been so enthralled by other cultures and traveling. When we started dating he really just wanted to know everything about what it was like to be Japanese.” 

“It’s kind of weird,” I reply. “Hearing you talk about feeling more white… because I’ve always felt more Japanese. When white people find out that I’m Japanese that’s all they see, and we only barely celebrated dad’s Gaelic culture. We’ve been to some festivals and have our family crest on a flag, but that’s about it. The Japanese has always been far more present.”

“But don’t you feel like, when you’re around other Japanese people, full Japanese, that you’re… not enough? Like you’re a part of their world but you’re only on the outskirts of it, not truly accepted?” 

I hesitate, chewing on my lip. I try to ignore that feeling as much as possible. It makes me feel like I don’t have a right to an identity I’ve clung to all my life.

“Yeah,” I finally answer. “I didn’t realize how much I felt that until I went to Japan. Especially when people could see that I was mixed and assumed I could speak the language and I had to tell them I couldn’t. It was really embarrassing for me and I felt like I wasn’t Japanese enough. That’s probably why I started learning.”

“That’s exactly how I feel,” mom replies. “And even Karen Morita says that’s how she feels around her relatives—and she’s full!” She’s referring to our friends from Michigan who have been full blooded Japanese Americans for generations in this country. 

“Being mixed, I’ve found, means never feeling like enough for people.” I say.
She purses her lips. “I’ve felt that way my entire life—in being mixed, and every other aspect too.” 

I get out of my seat and go over to her, wrapping my arms around her shoulders and hugging her tight. “I’m sorry, mama.” 

She pats my arm and smiles up at me. “Well,” she says. “Now I have you to help me to connect to this side of me. And I couldn’t be more grateful for that.” 

I kiss her head. “Daisuki. I love you.” 

Watashi mo Mie ga daisuki. I love you too.”

I Won’t Hurt (3 - M)

yoongi (& taehyung), 8.2k, yoongi us a rich kid and only knows about getting his own way 

warning: smut, mentions of death and murder, mention of drugs, mention of family problems, adultery 

one | two | three

“You! Lying to me again and again! I always fall for it so it’s my fault, but I won’t let you do it any longer! I know why you’re here, it’s so obvious that I want to send myself to prison for being stupid enough to believe your sob story about how you’re going to change for me!”

Originally posted by beui

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This was never what i intended i never meant for this to happen but @titleknown got me thinking about an actual sentai team to fight all my weird sentai monsters i’ve been vomiting up lately and well yeah. I went with bugs cause isn’t japan super into bug superheroes but powerrangers is usually like dinosaurs and trucks and shit but not bugs so yeah

also a team of mostly girls cause i like that

anyway they are the Prism Force and they are

Micah Forma, Sentry Red

Alexandra Verington, Sentry Blue

Eric Verington, Sentry Yellow

Trisha Mung, Sentry Green

and Natasha Fredricks, Sentry Pink

anonymous asked:

DAD HAVE U SEEN THE YURI ON STAGE TWEETS!!! apparently in episode 2: "yurio says theyll find victor for ramen, but i think yuuri and yurio just got ramen together the two of them" (courtesy of @/denkimouse

the yuri on stage tweets have cleared my skin and made my garden flourish and turned all of my water into wine.  they have been an absolute blessing.

and okay, can u imagine yuuri teaching yurio how to eat ramen?? yuuri fuckin slurp slurping it up, and yurio is like, ugh, what a pig, before proceeding to burn his entire mouth off trying to delicately take the noodles into his mouth.  yuuri points out in japan that it’s actually polite to slurp ramen noodles (and he probably wanted to see yurio squirm a little, so he just let him go play himself like that).

but also imagine yurio seeing yuuri slurp slurp slurp those noodles and just, he can’t stop thinking, DICKS, yuuri katsuki probably sucks dick like a hoover, i would stick my dick in a vacuum if it was attached to yuuri katsuki and die that way, why is life so cruel.  

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Miles McMillan’s L’Uomo Vogue Italia Interview

Translation from the original article in Italian

“Miles McMillan is a 27 year old very popular painter and model, and Zachary Quinto’s (Spock in Star Trek) better half. They’re one of the most influential power couples in the world of cinema and art (according to American Vogue), and having been together for four years, the two share a 3M dollar loft in New York City, and their two inseparable dogs, Skunk and Rocco. We’ve made sure to follow their every step on Instagram (follow them!), and their relationship is as perfect and photogenic as it gets.”  

“McMillan’s professional trajectory is equally perfect. Born and raised La Jolla, California, his mother is a psychologist, and his father a real estate entrepreneur. “My beautiful family has always encouraged me to follow my passion”. He moved to New York to study art history in NYU in 2009, and one day, as he walked through the Lower East Side, success came knocking at his door: “I was walking down the street, and a photographer stopped me and asked me to shoot for Urban Outfitters.” He hasn’t stopped ever since: from John Varvatos, Alexander McQueen, Dior Homme, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, Lanvin, Paul Smith, to H&M, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, and Fendi (he’s the face of their most recent SS ad campaign).”

“Although he is now one of the most sought after models in the world, he tries to balance it out with his artistic side, devoting himself to his craft in his studio: “It’s a daily struggle, trying to balance out these two activities, and it takes a lot of concentration and mental strength to channel my energy into what I’m doing, with no distractions.” He says that currently, what inspires him and interests him the most is “antique art, mostly greek and egyptian, but when talking about my main inspirations and points of reference I can’t not mention Picasso, Bacon, Richard Prince, Jonas Wood, John Currin, Schiele…”. So many passions! “I love cooking! I discovered this type of pasta made of almond flour so I made up a recipe with cabbage, lemon, hazelnuts and basil and balsamic dressing that I always make now. I also realized that doing exercise makes me feel much better: Muay Thai, weightlifting and yoga. And meditation works best for concentration. It makes me feel deeply connected to myself and it’s fundamental in my work and my life. His heart’s goals are “India and Japan, the places I would love to travel to”. What is he watching on T.V. at the moment? “Feud” (about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford with Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon). And I’m reading “Out on a Limb” by Shirley MacLaine (which recounts the actress’ spiritual journey and her take on New Age philosophy); we share the same interests, and I quite like her point of view.” When talking about himself, he calls himself an optimist, and says he appreciates everything, “existence is a lot simpler when you love it unconditionally”. Which is true for him, having been an object of desire through his entire career, loving existence doesn’t sound like such a difficult thing. When talking about the future, he doesn’t rule out giving acting a try: “I’m a big fan of Sofia Coppola’s films, and it would be a dream to be a part of one of her worlds”. And how does Miles McMillan see himself in ten years? “Back and forth between New York and Los Angeles. A creative, ever-evolving artist. With a child and, hopefully, my dog ​​Rocco, still with us. And tanned, tanned, tanned!”.

Special thanks to @fairytalesandbedsheetsails​ for the HQ scans! 

The biggest question I have for YoI right now:

Why do we know so little of Viktor’s life in Russia? 

We know he spent most, if not all, of his life in St. Petersburg, and never expected to leave the city (from ep 4′s beach scene). We know that before he moved to coach Yuri in Japan he lived in an expensive looking one-bedroom apartment with Makkachin. We know Yakov has been his coach for a long time, though he is not the only coach Viktor has ever had. 

That Yakov is very close to Viktor, being the only one to call him by the nickname Vitya. In fact, Yakov is also the only one who comes to see Viktor off when he leaves Russia, well he is mostly trying to talk Viktor out of leaving but you get what I’m saying. Though we don’t know who Viktor told, or how close to leaving he informed them, no one except his coach comes to see Viktor off as he is leaving the damn country for the foreseeable future with no return date in sight. 

Actually, now that I’m on the subject, Viktor doesn’t seem to have any close friends at all. He has rivals in the skating world that he is friendly with, and he has Yakov, but his life ever since he was a kid has probably been centered around skating, and if he was like any other athlete at the top of their sport it probably  left little time for friends outside of that realm. And everyone around him in that realm reveres him too much to see themselves as equal to the god-like Viktor Nikiforov. Yuri is the best example of this, but Chris, who is only two years younger, also looks up to him and cares more about bringing Viktor back to skating so he can finally beat his rival/idol than he cares about Viktor on a human level. Even Georgi, another Russian skater under Yakov’s tutelage that is the same age as Viktor only sees Viktor as a bar to overcome and not a human being. For a reference to other skaters having friendships: Yuri has Phichit, Yuuko, and Nishigori. Yurio has Mila, and later on Yuuko. Guang-Hong and Leo have each other and Phichit. Mila and Georgi look like they’re close given how she openly she jokes about his programs, and in the earlier episodes they’re featured together around the rink in St. Petersburg. Michele and Sala look like they’re good friends with Emil. Seung-gil doesn’t appear to have any friends, but that seems to be self-inflicted. For the most part, excluding Chris and JJ, all the other skater are shown to have friends around their own age groups that they are close with to different degrees. JJ may be similar to Viktor, in that he is a step above the rest but his narcissism prevents it from effecting him, and Chris is also quite old for a competitor and his friends may no longer be competing or competing at the same level. 

With that comparison in mind, I have to mention that Viktor’s apartment in St. Petersburg, or what we see of it, is noticeably devoid of sentimental items and though it looks lived in, it still has a distinctly empty feel. 

Granted it’s only one limited angle, but we still get a number of other personal touches included by the animators. Even then, there is nothing more superficial than a plant on the far table, what looks like a pile of papers on the ottoman, a few books on the close table, and a coat hanging on the rack. 

For the sake of fairness, his room at Yu-topia Katsuki is also sparsely decorated:

The wall behind Yuri and Viktor is a row of doors, and the only things in his room not furniture are a set of Matryoshka dolls, a picture of himself skating, a lovely piece of art on the wall, a snow-globe, a handful of books. Again, nothing overtly personal. It looks lived in, but again strikingly empty. No photos of friends, or family, or of Viktor on vacation. The only picture is literally a photo of Viktor working (as someone on a different post pointed out it’s the same as one of the posters hanging in Yuri’s room so take from that what you will). Whatever is in all these boxes from earlier in the same episode is open to interpretation (I personally believe it’s mostly clothes and books). Also, I’ll note here that it appears Viktor shipped everything he owned ahead of him when he left, indicating that he has no intentions of going back to Russia anytime soon.

For comparison, here is a picture of Yuri’s room, after he takes down all the Viktor memorabilia:

It’s dark, but Yuri’s room is full of personal touches. But must notably, there are trophies, and a picture of his family on the bookshelf in the back. In Viktor’s rooms we see, there are no picture frames of friends or family, nothing that indicates a deeper connection in Viktor’s life than Makkachin, or Yakov. No indication of what he does in his free time aside from possibly reading, or friends he spends his time with when he’s not training. And no indication of any family to miss him when he’s living in Japan.

Now, back to my original point: Viktor has been living in Japan for roughly 8 months by episode 8. That is a long time. And it looks like he just packed up Makkachin and left on a whim within a week or two, not knowing how long he’d be gone or even if he’d return. I pointed out it looked like Viktor brought everything he owned with him, so we can assume he isn’t planning on going back to Russia anytime soon. We don’t know how much time passed between Viktor seeing the video of Yuri skating and arriving in Hatsetsu. But it wasn’t long: the video is posted April 10, and I can’t seem to find any date stamp for the day Viktor arrives but it’s less than three weeks after that. I’d guess probably less than a week. For someone who says he never expected to leave the city he’s always lived in, Viktor doesn’t seem to have anything tying him to St Petersburg, or even Russia, more significant than his skating/training. And once he decides to quit there is nothing keeping him there anymore, and he can leave without having to alert too many parties, or worry about forwarding mail, or consoling his mother that he’ll visit on holidays. Typical shit you’d expect from someone moving halfway across the world. I get it, he’s rich. But still moving, especially moving internationally, takes planning. And Viktor just kind of packs up his whole life and leaves, no questions asked. Which is weird, to me, if he has family in Russia.

So what is my point, here?

Given how central the theme love of all kinds is in this show, it is weird that we know nothing about Viktor’s family, or his past. Of the three main characters we have, Yuri, Yurio, and Viktor, we have at least a basic understanding of Yuri and Yurio’s family, and how it has affected them emotionally/professionally. 

In the latest episode, we learn that Yurio’s grandpa is from Moscow, and since his grandfather used to pick him up from practice that Yurio is probably originally from Moscow as well, and now lives/trains in St Petersburg (he now lives with his ballet instructor and coach full time, according to Ep 4 and the rink Yavkov’s skaters train in is in St. Petersburg). We can infer from this that his family supports him enough to either let their fifteen-old-son live on his own in St. Petersburg, or his parents uprooted their lives and moved to St Petersburg so he could train with Yakov. Also, given several things we can probably infer his family isn’t wealthy. His grandpa picks him up in a beaten up, old, soviet-era car. He looks like he’s part of the blue-collar, working middle class. I assume Yuri’s parents benefit from his success but his family doesn’t come from any kind of wealth so any support they gave him growing up was likely financially straining. We also know that his grandfather loves him, and is still in his life and even arranges to pick his grandson up from the airport despite the fact that Yurio is staying at the hotel with the other skaters, which we know because we see him there later that day and he leaves his luggage under Mila’s care before running off to do this:

Later that day:

Yurio’s family had an impact on his life, and it’s part of his story. His grandfather is the epitome of unconditional love, for him, and even though he has the apparent support of his family, his grandfather doesn’t come to watch Yurio skate in the competition. We’ll likely get more development on this, and Yurio will probably have a lot of growth in the next few episodes. But family love and the effect it has is clearly important to Yurio’s story, and character development 

We have a deeper insight to Yuri’s family dynamic. They have clearly provided him with love and support over the years in their own way, though the quality of that love and support, and how much it helped or hurt Yuri, is up for debate. It clearly never got through to him though, and in his own words was more “abstract”, but still the love was there. It took Viktor coming to be his coach, and showing him a new type of love for Yuri to really grasp the concept of unconditional love despite having it surrounding him the whole time. Yuri’s journey has been a blend of learning how to love someone else in a way that is more than familial love, and learning to love himself. But after a lot of character development, and some time, he has realized that he loves Viktor, as a friend, a coach, probably as a lover as well, and that love is all around him in all kinds of forms. Familial love, in Yuri’s case, was something to be worked from. It was a bedrock that Viktor’s presence built off, and bolstered. It was key for Yuri’s character development, even though the primary focus has been on his relationship with Viktor.

The point is, for two of the main character’s their families are pivotal in their character development. We know they are supported, and loved. We know Yurio’s family either moved to St Petersburg for his career, or let their teenage son move alone. We know that Yuri’s family watches all his competitions:

Last Year’s Grand Prix Final:

This year’s Cup of China:

Yuri always has someone cheering him on. Whether it’s Minako in the stands in China, Yuuko and Nishegori at the Regional Qualifiers, or his family at home. Someone, somewhere, is watching Yuri and cheering him on.

But what about Viktor? The mystery of Viktor’s origins and the lack of any showing of familial love kind of stands out.  Despite what we know of him, Viktor is still the biggest enigma in the show. We know almost nothing about his background, we know nothing about his family, or his past struggles. Did his family watch all his competitions? Did they support him? Did they offer him love, and make sacrifices for his success? Were they even involved in his life? Does anyone miss him since he left for Japan? Does his mother call him asking how his day went? Was there any talk of Viktor going home on his trip to Russia to see his family, like Yurio saw his grandfather? He’s been gone for nearly a year, it wouldn’t be that out of the question. But given what we know, and what we’ve been shown, I think not.

Viktor was clearly missing something when he chose to fly to Japan to coach Yuri on a whim. And yeah, he says he came to Japan because Yuri’s skating and music and all that poetry that inspired him. And yeah, that’s probably part of it. But I think it’s something more than that.

Because I don’t think Viktor has had any kind of deep, emotional connection in a long time. Because I’ve got three possibilities for Viktor’s life and family back in Russia:

1. They’re all dead, and Viktor had been alone with just his skating and Makkachin for company for a long time. 

2. They are all estranged - either they did not support Viktor’s skating or the fact that he is gay/bi/whatever - and Viktor has been alone with just his skating and Makkachin for company for a long time.

OR

3. They really just aren’t important, or are just a normal, loving, supportive family and bringing them up isn’t relative to the plot. Which, at least to me, seems unlikely given the themes of this show.

The whole point of this is that Viktor’s life was missing something. And I think that Viktor, too, was lacking love. He doesn’t seem to have any friends, or family. His closest confidant seems to be his 70 year old coach. He has no one his age that is close to him: not other Russian skaters, not other top skaters, no one outside the skating world. He was isolated. And that was probably fine, for a while. He seems like a work-aholic that loved his job, and for a long time wasn’t bothered by the fact he had no one to go home to, or no one to spend his down time with. But when skating stopped being fun, when he stopped being able to surprise people, and everyone around him (Yakov excluded) turned into either rivals, or idol-worshiping yes-men, it probably started feeling empty.

When he first arrives in Japan, in episode 2, he is very pushy about learning things about Yuri under the auspice of needing to know everything about Yuri to coach him. But the things he asks about are pretty personal, not things one would expect a coach to need to know. Things like: what is your favorite food, what kind of rink do you skate in, what is in this city, is there someone you like, do you have feelings for Minako, do you have a lover, do you have any ex-lovers? Some of which are appropriate for a new coach to ask his new student. But most of those questions are more like things that someone might ask if they haven’t ever had a close friend, and are trying to get close to someone. This is only enhanced by the fact that when Yuri refuses to answer any questions, Viktor switches gears and starts talking about his ex-lovers instead. Which doesn’t make sense if Viktor, like he said, is trying to learn everything about Yuri and just sees their relationship as coach-student. It makes more sense if you look at it as Viktor trying to get close to Yuri as something more: as a friend.  

I think that finding someone to be close to is definitely part of Viktor’s motivations on leaving Russia and flying halfway around the world to coach a flubbed foreign skater. And Yuri was probably already on Viktor’s radar before he even saw the video of Yuri skating his program. He’d probably been on Viktor’s radar since December and the GP Final, four months prior (GPF in December, Yuri disappoints at Nationals in Jan/Feb and probably graduates from college somewhere in here, fails to qualify for 4 Continents in February, and fails to qualify for Worlds in March. Returns home in March, at the same time Viktor is winning Worlds. The video is posted, and Viktor arrives in Japan in April). Where Yuri was staring at Viktor, which is probably a common occurrence given how Viktor reacts by assuming Yuri just wants a commemorative photo like any other fan, and Yuri just walks away in shock as his heart shatters because his idol just assumes he wants a stupid commemorative photo when he really just wants Viktor to acknowledge him. Look at Viktor’s reaction to Yuri walking away without a word:

That is not a happy face. That is genuine emotion, and not something he puts on for the cameras, or his fans, or basically everyone else around him. But it’s not an angry face, either. Viktor just looks kind of, I don’t know, lost. Probably because he’s never had a reaction like that to an offer for a photo-op, because who is going to pass up a chance at a photo-op with THE Viktor Nikiforov? 

By this point he’s so used to people fawning over him and kissing his ass he doesn’t know how to react when he’s met with disappointment. He’s confused, and baffled by Yuri’s reaction. And the first time I watched this scene, I thought Viktor just assumed Yuri was just a fan or something and that is why Yuri is upset. But it’s not like he wouldn’t know who Yuri is. He just competed against him, and all the skaters seem to know each other in the past few episodes. There is no reason to assume Viktor and Yuri have never interacted before, in fact Yuri even says they have spoken before though not often because Yuri puts Viktor up on a pedestal. It’s not like Viktor thought Yuri was some random member of the public here. He is just assuming that a fellow skater, one of the fellow top 6 in the world, only wanted a photo-op and nothing more. And that is why Yuri is upset. And when Yuri defied his expectations of a rabid fan jumping at the chance of even being photographed with him, and just seemed disappointed with the superficial offer, it threw him off. And Viktor probably remembered this moment when he was watching that video of Yuri, I doubt it was something he easily forgot. The animators showing us Viktor’s reaction was no accident, or a way to eat up scree-time. It’s meaningful. He’s thinking about Yuri, and what made Yuri react like that.

So four months later, what Viktor sees when he watches Yuri skate in that video, and when he remembers Yuri’s reaction in that moment, he sees someone he wants to connect with, and someone who he knows wanted to connect with him too. He sees someone that he wants to be close with, and get to know deeply for what I expect to be the first time in a long time, if not the first time ever. And what he found in Yuri probably exceeded all his expectations. In the words of Chris, he found someone to protect. He found someone, for the first time, who meets him where he is, someone who sees him as something more than a rival to be defeated, or an idol to be worshiped. Someone who jokes with him, and is intimate with him, and is a companion in every sense of the word. Someone who sees him as a human being, with flaws, and weaknesses, and accepts those flaws and weaknesses as part of him and loves him still.

And that is fucking beautiful.

Kubo and the Two Strings

I watched it finally, after months of pining. I have so much respect for Laika because puppetry is witchcraft and my mind still can’t fathom that what she’s seeing isn’t computer animated. Also, the creepy moon warrior aunts are serious life goals. 

That being said, I understand why this movie didn’t win best animated film. Laika had a great idea. A beautiful idea. An original idea. Shamisen-wielding paper master takes on the moon kingdom? Like, yo, I am freaking here for this.

*clenches fist* But the writing.

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do you ever just love so hard that it hurts? physically? mentally? emotionally? i feel it too much in my life but it’s a blessing + a curse to me. it makes my heart ache in the way that nothing has made it ache, but it’s like the feeling of loving to hurt yourself by loving too hard. it’s unpredictable and unexpected but that’s where the excitement comes into play. idk what this was, but to all others that can relate, know that the ache isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and not everyone can feel this very special way of pain.