let the bromance begin!

let the bromance BEGIN

xiola  asked:

Just curious, do you still think Yuri on Ice is "baiting" after episode 9? I'm just confused how it's not clear that they're romantically involved or how anyone could truly see this relationship as not-canon at this point, since the narrative has progressed pretty consistently from the beginning; I am wondering what it would take for you to consider them "real"? IMO it's already a more romantic healthy relationship than most hetero anime I've watched and it's not even meant to be a romance genre

Hello! I can understand why you’re confused and I think a lot of this has to do with expectations, genre conventions, and Japan’s history with depicting bromances. 

Let me begin by saying that, after discussing this topic with many people, I’ve concluded that “queerbaiting” is probably the wrong term to use. Queerbaiting refers specifically to a phenomenon in western media, where showrunners hint at possible lgbt relationships in order to draw lgbt viewers, but that’s not what fujoshi-targeted animes like YOI do. They produce what fujoshis like: two men developing a close relationship, so close that you think they could be in love with each other. But are they? ARE THEY? 

(shrugs) 

This happens time and time again, not only in anime, but also in Japanese literature and other media. The depiction of male friendships in historical Japanese Poetry is actually quite fascinating, but to cut it short- there are many similarities between how intense Male Friendships have been depicted in Japanese media, to how Viktor/Yuuri is depicted in YOI. And Japanese people are for the most part very aware of this. The imagery, metaphors, and subtle statements that hint at the existence of the kiss and frame Viktor/Yuuri as romantic? Yeah that’s a language that’s been developing for centuries to mean “deep intense emotional relationship between two men that is not necessarily romantic, we just frame it romantically to illustrate how!! intense!! it!! is!!” 

The fact that Viktor/Yuuri is still not explicitly canon supports this. The fact that their "kiss” has been given no real weight in the story (i.e. no one’s referenced it, it’s been treated as if it never happened) supports this. The way I see it, the motivation behind the “kiss” scene was not to make Viktor/Yuuri a romantic relationship, it was to use that traditionally romantic imagery to convey the depth of the Viktor/Yuuri relationship. But deep relationship ≠ romantic relationship. 

And that’s why I don’t consider Viktor/Yuuri a canon romantic relationship. Because nothing in the anime has convinced me it is, or that Yamamoto and Kubo even see it as such. Imo Yamamoto and Kubo just wanted to write a story about a developing intense relationship between two people. 

For me to consider Viktor/Yuuri a canon romantic relationship, Yamamoto and Kubo have to deviate from the language they’ve been using so far. They have to actually make it clear that Viktor and Yuuri have romantic feelings for each other. 

Mind you, I’m not telling people they shouldn’t ship romantic Viktor/Yuuri. I’m just saying that to state it’s 100% canon and real is unrealistic when you look at the cultural and historical context behind it.