The Long Way Home: On Love, Departures, and What Detroit Means to Me
(What originally started off as a little thought-seed about the Very Specific way I imagine my precanon Phichuuris turned into a grossly long-winded ramble about the nature of love???? I don’t know how to explain, omg. I’m so sorry.)
The fourth episode of Yuri!!!
on Ice was a pivotal episode for me for many reasons. Prior to that my
investment in the series’ early episodes was always tempered by a kind of
caution—I’d been enjoying the push-and-pull between Yuuri and Victor as Yuuri
struggled to come to terms with the fact that his idol had taken any degree of
interest in him and Victor attempted to draw him out of his shell, and seeing
the seed of what would eventually develop into a complex dynamic between him
and Yuri Plisetsky, partly admiration, partly rivalry, partly a care and
concern that neither of them quite knew how to express. But likewise I’d made
it a point to be a little guarded—to hang back and wait until fuller character
arcs for the protagonists and for the people in their world began to emerge
before I gave the series my heart and soul. (I was a little scared, do you see?
I didn’t want things to just turn out like another carrot-and-stick game
between the shy anxious boy and the hot foreign guy he’d idolized forever who had taken a sudden and inexplicable interest in him. It didn’t help matters
that at the time all the conspiracy theories floating around were that Victor
was evil, or that he was dying. But anyway.)
All of that reserve flew out the window by the fourth episode,
which essentially took the little hints the earlier episodes had been making at
the characters’ hidden depths and cranked them up to eleven. There’s so much
wonderful insight that comes out of this episode—from the by-now iconic “When I
open up, he meets me where I am,” to the way Victor challenges Yuri to put
together his own free skate as a way to build his confidence. The conversation
they both have with Yuuri’s former coach, Celestino, is especially telling of
Yuuri’s personal challenges and what he needs in order to grow: Victor asks, “Why
didn’t you let Yuuri choose his own music?” to which Celestino replies that he
chooses the music for his skaters unless they tell him that they’d like to pick
their own. He proceeds to add that Yuuri only brought him a piece once, but
that he’d gone back on it when asked if he believed he could win skating to it:
“Please choose the music for me after all, Coach.”
In a sense, this conversation with his former coach reveals
to Victor how past!Yuuri failed a kind of test—one that had to do with his
capacity to trust his own choices—and that present!Yuuri now needs to face and
surmount a similar test before he can move on. The difference is, of course,
that Victor’s not going to let him give up on himself. Where Celestino
withdraws and lets Yuuri fold, Victor insists on pushing. I also like how this
short conversation is illustrative of the fact that, for all that it didn’t
work out between them, and for all that his methods differ from Victor’s, Celestino
knows Yuuri and has his best interests at heart, and understands what he needs
in order to succeed, even if it’s not something he can help Yuuri with at this
Suffice to say that there’s a lot to like about this
episode, a lot to love, but the real
kicker for me came a little under ten minutes in, when Yuuri’s slumped at his
desk at a loss as to what to do with his program, and he’s scrolling through
his Instagram feed. He sees a friend of his is practicing in Thailand—and right
then and there, he calls this friend. Yuuri, who’s anxious and overthinky and
shy and has such a hard time opening up to people, just calls up this random
boy from Instagram in the middle of the night, like it’s the most natural thing
in the world. He greets him with “Sawasdee krab.” Cue me bringing my hand to my
mouth in dismay—He has a Thai friend and
he’s greeting him in Thai, oh my god. I felt the axe hovering above my head
about to drop.
Suffice to say that it was love at first sight for me, as
far as Phichit Chulanont was concerned. From his very first appearance as a
smiley image on Yuuri’s phone screen, he exudes a natural warmth and an
effervescence that it’s difficult to look away from, and that have proceeded to
endear him to the fandom surprisingly thoroughly for a supporting character
without too much screentime/internal monologue time/poignant backstory reveal
time. But more than that, it was the ease with which I saw him and Yuuri talk
to each other that intrigued me, and the idea of their shared past—“Detroit’s
boring now that you’re gone!” he said, and I felt the axe smash me right down
into extrapolation hell, because cute former rinkmate? Cute former rinkmate
whose wiki entry later told me was also a former roommate? Look at all the
fanfic waiting to happen.
So I was asked to write a bit about the Phantoms I’ve seen. Putting it behind the cut, as the post turned into a quite massive lil’ thing when I was done…
I must say that although I have my favourites, I’ve never seen a bad Phantom
live. They’ve all been good, in different ways. But if I were to list
my top 5 Phantoms, it would look something like
this (in no particular order): Flemming Enevold, Scott Davies, John
Owen-Jones, Earl Carpenter aaaaand… not sure who the fifth one is, as
there’s so many solid candidates. Somewhere between Brad Little, Marcus Lovett and Ian Jon Bourg, probably. Though I also have a big heart for Preben Kristensen and David Arnsperger.
59 performances, 16 Phantoms. Here’s my thoughts on them.
Here is a link to all the pearlet fanfictions we literally can’t live
without. It’s inevitable we’ll miss some masterpieces out but you can
always recommend us some in the ask! (All credit to the writers, of
This is blog entry was brought to you by Director Sasaki, the self-proclaimed “only serious person in this staff”. If you watched the DanganGravity livestream, you might remember him as the guy who played Gravity Rush 2 and sucked terribly at it.
Sasaki identifies himself as Ki-bo and his work colleagues treat him as such. Just like Ki-bo, he is a very serious person surrounded by less serious people, has terrible luck, nothing he tries to do works but he is somehow still cute trying and he is that one guy who never gets the jokes.
As a director he does some cool tasks like:
Throwing ideas to everyone else in the project.
Managing everyone’s schedules and work quality.
Turning Kodaka’s script into an well balanced and performanced game.
Many other less fun and more time-confusing jobs
After that, Sasaki finally talks V3. He goes on a little bit the struggles they had to make the new DanganRonpa new. Upgrading all systems aside, the answer they found were the lies and the Panic Debate. But he makes quite clear that the thing he most likes about DanganRonpa is how unpredictable Kodaka’s story is. He assures us that V3′s is more unpredictable than ever. It’s a story only DanganRonpa can do. An experience you can never get anywhere else.