“I mean, when you’re a kid from Kingston who was the smallest kid on the rugby pitch, it doesn’t really make sense that now I’m a superhero. I think the beautiful thing about being a superhero is that you get to do things like this. I mean if you’re a superhero on screen you should try to be real heroes in life. Our motto for the Spider-Man tour was ‘real heroes don’t wear capes’ or something like that. It was about helping to make a difference.” ―Tom Holland
I see you. I see you when you shake your head and roll your eyes. I hear when you mutter “permissive parent” as you pass. I hear your children when they ask why the girl with the colored hair has a “bald face”. We don’t mind the curiosity. If you can use a peaceful voice & give us some room in our bubble we don’t mind explaining. But we do mind when you act disgusted, use hurtful words, or just generally look on disapprovingly. The pretty girl with the colored hair is almost 5. She didn’t have an easy start to life. Some of what she experienced she remembers. Some of it she doesn’t. She also spent years screaming in pain at strange moments until a doctor visit taught us that she has a condition where certain sounds in the every day cause her extreme pain. Then earlier this year her face began to change. One by one her eyelashes began to disappear. We discovered that this tiny person has Trichotillomania, a condition where a person under extreme stress and anxiety compulsively pulls their hair out. After her eye lashes disappeared her eyebrows slowly began to go as well. I was afraid the hair on her head would go next. So when she asked for pink hair, I jumped on board. Multi colored hair too? Absolutely. We can’t always control the sounds in her world. But I can give her control over her own body and her hair. So far with her pride in her colored hair she has yet to pull it out. So, polite questions are welcome in public. But rude gestures and and statements are not. They generally lead to her pulling more hair out. Dont judge this beautiful little girl by her beautiful cover. I see you. And more importantly, she sees you.
iNow that everyone has been revived after getting ‘good’ slaughtered by victuuri in ep.10, do you have some time to talk about Otabek Altin? The precious cinnamon roll and Yurio’s new friend?
Let’s get to know this Dark Horse.
So he’s 18, he was the first to qualify for GPF, won last season’s bronze and represents Kazakhstan.
Many of you might not even be aware of the existence of this country, so in brief: Kazakhstan is a post USSR country in the centre of Eurasia, right between Russia, China, Middle East and Europe continent.
So, why would Kubo-sensei even include someone from there?
The answer is Kazakhstan’s real life figure skating hero - Denis Ten.
Denis Ten is:
the first skater to represent KZ in international championships
currently 23 years old
is from Kazakhstan but of a Korean origin
Olympic bronze medalist, World silver and bronze medalist, 4 Continents gold medalist, Asia Winter Sports gold medalist
cinnamon roll like you wouldn’t believe how sweet
Otabek is definitely inspired by Denis, and therefore I will take his perspective to judge his background.
The thing about sport athletes in Kazakhstan is that they’re ALWAYS self-made. Neither education system nor sports practice is well-developped here yet. Which is understandable since the country is still young (25 years of Independance, yay) and confused in many aspects. That’s not fine but we manage. That however does not change the fact that Kazakh sport education is a complete bullshit when compared to Europe, USA, Asia or Russia (with the exception of boxing and martial arts, probably).
Therefore if you are from KZ and want a world champion for a kid, these are the steps you need to take:
1. Sign them up for sports club early. No team sports, only individual. Team sports have no future here yet.
2. Once they start to show a talent, interest and/or competitive spirit send them to Russia. Russia has better coaches, facilities and programme. Russia is close, cheap and easy to travel to, and not emotionally stressing for the kid, since it’s the same environment there.
3. Once they come of an age to participate in a competition SEND THEM AS FAR AS YOUR BUDGET ALLOWS YOU. USA and Canada for figure skating. USA, Europe and Australia for swimming and tennis. Why? Because it’s one thing to train in your rivals’ adobe, all of them
young talented and ambitious, being coached by their coach, at the same time as them, and completely other thing to be enrolled in a kind of sports boarding school where the coach is from some France and other students are from all over the world, struggling to get better same as you. Goverment does not provide any stable scholarships for this, btw. It’s all up to parents to find, choose and pay for. If you happen to have a kind, well-educated and persistant coach in KZ, they might win you some bonuses in a harsh battle against bureaucracy, but it will not be enough to cover for all or even half of it.
LAST YEAR!!!! You hear me?? He was 17, and already a bronze medalist when he returned to his hometown!!
That means that all the time before he spent overseas. Can you imagine that?? A 13-16 year old Otabek in another hemisphere from his home. That’s like half an equator, one ocean and 11-14 timezones away.
a l l b y h i m s e l f
struggling with language barrier (think he had time to perfect his English before? not likely), with harsh training and obligatory schoolwork - all on top of taking care of himself all by himself.
Can you imagine Otabek coming back on one of those days to an epmty room in a dorm and messages from his family. Calls might be very hard to time up with such time diference. His mom inquiring how he has been, if he eats properly and does his laundry in time, scheduling for skype calls, updating him on his relatives and friends, giving advice on treating colds and stomach ache, and all those other things that most of the boys his age get for granted.
My heart aches over thinking how lonely he must’ve felt.
And, he probably wouldn’t be able to tell them, if anything would not go well. Because there would be nothing they could do from over there, it would only cause them to worry more. Even more than they already would have been.
So there was only one way for him: to suck it up, train hard, suceed and make them proud.
He is not trying to prove himself to himself as Yuuri, nor does he need to prove himself over others like Yurio. He doesn’t want it for fame like JJ, he wants it for his family, his people and his country. That’s any Kazakh’s default mission in life - make your parents proud. Especially after he had returned home with a medal and proved himself to be capable of competing at the same level as Victor fucking Nikiforov and Christophe Jeacometti!!!!!! Him! A Kazakh boy of 17 years!! Kubo-sensei does not joke around when calling him a hero, because he is one! A hero and a history-maker, same as Phichit.
We haven’t seen his coach or team yet, but I have a feeling that it would be the same situation as Denis’s. Meaning, he doesn’t have one.
Denis Ten often travels (or used to travel) to the competitions by himself. There is no staff assigned to help him out. He is used to do trivial things like filling paper forms, booking time for practice, booking hotels, turning in audio tracks for the performance, etc. There have been numerous times when they had either messed up the music at the start of his performance or even played the wrong hymn during the awards ceremony. In his interview, Denis admitted to being totally lost at what to do at those time. There’s also no one to defend/protect him when something comes up, since there’s no one from KZ who has a weight in figure skating world.
I have a distinctive feeling Otabek will be the same.
I mean, how the hell would he be comfortable enough to rent a bike and ride all over Bar-freaking-celona, with no fear to get lost/in trouble, if he wasn’t used to this kind of responsibilities? Again, he’s 18.
At the same time Yurio is like:
Therefore his friendship with Yurio is truly a blessing. They do have a lot in common, they’re practically from the same background: the lifestyle in KZ and Russia does not really differ. It’s the same culture, the same language (KZ is bilinguial: both Kazakh and Russian are widely spoken), a really similar mindset, educational system, environment, custom etc. They’re both outsiders in the current lineup, striving to make a name for themselves. It’s almost the same as 5 years ago in that camp when both Otabek and Yurio were new to the rink in Saint-Petersburg. That’s what Otabek referring to, I think, when he says Yurio had eyes of a soldier. In that environment they’d be both treated the same, you know. Otabek as a no one from nowhere and Yurio as a that guy from Moscow. Not even sure what’d have been worse.
Also there’s a post going around about bad realtion between Russians and Kazakhs, stressing that Kazakh is an inferior race to Russians - PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE IT THAT IS NOT TRUE!!!!!!!
Our nations have always been close, we have a long and complicated history but the friendship between two countries and people is very strong.
There are some issues in terms of racism on both sides but it is very rare/obscure case and is usually triggered by something.
Therefore I ask you to support Otabek Altin and his friendship with Yurochka! Please do adopt him! Please do dote on him! He really deserves and needs that!
and if you have some more feels to spare, please take a look at Denis Ten too :3
nothing like girl bonding than setting aside your differences to speculate ideas on the real-life teenage super heroes that your major city is entirely dependent on because of all the magic shit that happens. also;
You want the reader to care about your characters — if they don’t, then there’s no emotional involvement. But at the same time, I want my characters to be nuanced, to be gray, to be human beings. I think human beings are all nuanced. There’s this tendency to want to make people into heroes and villains. And I think there are villains in real life and there are heroes in real life. But even the greatest heroes have flaws and do bad things, and even the greatest villains are capable of love and pain and occasionally have moments where you can feel sympathetic for them. As much as I love science fiction and fantasy and imaginative stuff, you always have to go back to real life as your touchstone and say, ‘What is the truth?’