OMG RELEVANT HISTORY LESSON FOR YOI!
SO YOU KNOW THIS LINE?
WELL, MY MOM AND I WERE TALKING AND SHE WAS LOOKING THROUGH HER TUMBLR (YES SHE FOLLOWS ME) AND SAW THIS POST ABOUT
OTABAE OTABEK AND SAW THIS QUOTE FROM HIM.
And she was like “There’s some subtext there. Between the blond Russian and the Kazakhstan boy”
I asked her what she meant, and OOOOH BOY AM I GLAD I DID.
So, Kazakhstan used to be part of the USSR and is a country that sits between Russia and Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and next to Mongolia.
The thing is, a lot of Russians believe that the people who live in these countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, ect.) are a different inferior race to native Russians.
Otabek is like a poster child, when it comes to looks, of the people native to that area; While our little Russian kitty, Yurio, is similar to that for native Russians.
So, when Otabek asks this question with no emotion, he is probably 100% ready for Yurio to basically say “No, fuck you.”, because he is used to being treated in that way, especially by Russians like Yurio.
This probably also explains why he can’t show his emotions too well. He probably has the mindset that “If I let them see that they get to me, it will only get worse.”
TL;DR: Kubo-sensei knows her politics, and subtly incorporates it into her characters aND I LOVE HER FOR IT.
Also if other people already knew that, I’m just stupid, sorry.