Hi, I don't know if you can help much but I'll ask anyway. I have a question regarding mom/mum. As an Australian we use "mum" and that leaks into my writing so even if I am working with characters from America I write them saying "mum" but I have had people from America tell me that they say "mom" and my American characters should be saying "mom" but I don't see how that makes any sense. They are both the exact same word with the same meaning? Do I need to switch to mom for American characters?
Yes, yes, yes. I am one of those readers. “Mum” is never, ever used in America unless we’re jokingly pretending to be British or using the expression “Mum’s the word” or “keep mum about it” which means “Don’t tell anbody.” Even then, most people just say “don’t tell anybody.”
Terms for mother in U.S.:
ma (primarily Midwest and Southern dialects)
Your American characters will NOT use mum, I give you my 100% guarantee. My other pet peeve is having American characters say “telly” or “mate.” It’s never going to happen and will drive your readers insane.
To all the people shrugging off or downright despising Yurikuma Arashi as disgusting male gaze fetish porn or something: I think you’re entirely missing the point. I think it’s time for me to explain you a thing, gaugau!
Yurikuma is one of the works of the brilliant but notorious Ikuhara, known for anime like Utena and production work on bigshot yuri-approved Sailor Moon. He’s said time and time again that he will write lesbian characters and yuri relationships into his stories, mostly for the reason that it usually does not detract from the story at hand, allowing him to build a great story without just romance to it to create substance.
You see, Ikuhara uses his stories to make points, and it’s up to us to try and figure them out. Sure, they’re cryptic, but it’s a fun and a wild ride for us as viewers, and that’s something I refuse to take for granted. With Utena there was a lot about adolescence and some important points about various other things that I’m too tired to think about right now, and with Sailor Moon it was a little more of proof that lesbians could be incorporated into a show for a relatively younger audience in a healthy relationship that didn’t define them wholly as people, amongst other things.
And in Yurikuma, Ikuhara makes perhaps his most poingant point yet. It’s all about you guys. Yep, all of you. Why? Because it’s a cleverly made criticism of both the anime industry, and society as a whole, and their treatment of lesbianism.
Society tries to stay inconspicuous, or invisible. Society follows trends. Those who break the trends pay the price.
From the beginning, the girls who are excluded are those who choose to love as they wish. Metaphors aside, it’s pretty clear that they exclude girls for loving other girls, causing girls like those that Life Sexy spies on to keep their love under lock and key. Many even confuse friendship for love, or at least mask love under the guise of ‘friendship‘, like Yuriika does.
Not only is exclusion a key factor, but the fact that the Yuri Court is under the supreme control of Life Sexy certainly is no coincidence. Yuri as a genre, and lesbianism as a theme or trend in the media, is governed by the laws of eroticism and sex, much more than is the case for gay males or those of another sexuality or gender. From the beginning, we have been both loved and hated by you.
We are lovedin the sense that we are seen as objects of lust in the eyes of men,but hatedin the fact that we exist and yet are not willing to become objects of their affection and so break the rules of society.
You see it all the time. When a new yuri anime comes along, the first general reaction is either ‘is it some male gaze bullshit‘ or ‘regardless of the content, it’s gotta be male gaze bullshit. ew.‘Both attitudes factor into this, as yuri is so often portrayed for the eyes of those that cannot have us and refuse to acknowledge our sexuality that we automatically believe that everything yuri is male gaze and nothing is ‘real‘. That’s how far it’s gone. Don’t believe me?
I was sat in front of the TV with my mum once, flicking mindlessly between two music channels out of boredom. One was your standard near-naked twerking sorta deal, the other was a storytelling sort of music video with two girls falling in love. When the two girls kissed, fully clothed and innocently in love, my mum said that the other video, where girls were writhing nearly-naked around a single guy, was more ‘decent’ and less ‘male-gaze-y’. Now doesn’t that tell you something.Not to say that wearing little clothing and twerking isn’t ok, but to say that one video was clearly meant to be sexual whilst the other was clearly not.
The problem that society has with lesbians but not with gay men so much is one that has arisen out of misogyny. Somewhere along the line somebody thought that lesbians were clearly not lesbians, and in fact were ready to pounce onto the ‘right guy’ when the time came, and unsurprisingly it caught on. I went on omegle once (for shits and giggles) and the first thing the guy said to me was ‘so lesbian means you’re just hard to get, right?‘
A guy liked me once. He was pretty sweet and I didn’t know him well so I tried to turn him down as kindly as possible, explaining that I liked another girl and was 100% gay. He must have misheard ‘gay‘ as ‘i wanna take it slow‘, clearly, and decided to spam me with promises that ‘we can be friends first‘ and ‘it’s ok to start off slow‘. I deleted his number when it became too much. I’m far from alone, and many other people have had it worse.
My own family and people I thought I knew have fallen prey to this ‘invisible storm‘ in real life, and the ‘wall of severance‘ that separates us from the rest of society is built around false eroticism and misogynistic sexual colonialism.
It may sound like I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but everything that I have said and experienced is ultimately relevant. Why? Because Ikuhara is criticising the society that we live in in Yurikuma Arashi, and the extents that the invisible storm of society will go to in order to exclude and harm those who do not ‘follow social cues‘. When we get to a point where even lesbian love in its purest form is considered enough to make us all criminal-bears, then where the hell did we go wrong? If we can’t break down the wall, we are forever fated to destroy ourselves from the inside.
I hated middle school. There’s a whole swath of memories I’d rather do without as far as the years 1999 through 2002 are concerned. There is, however, one memory I hold near and dear to my heart during this time frame. After reading about it in magazines and being really excited for it, my mother took me to Toys’R’Us one evening to get me a Sega Dreamcast. We brought that puppy home with a copy of Sonic Adventure, hooked it up, fired it up, and took it all in. As the opening cinematic played on my TV, Mum said “It’s like playing a movie!”
Boy, if we only knew what games would go on to look like now.
The Dreamcast was, and to this day remains, my all time favorite console. It’s the swan song of a company that was perhaps a bit too ambitious for its own good, a marvel of gaming technology many years ahead of its time, and home to some of the best and most unique games to ever come out.
At the time of its release, the Dreamcast was the most graphically powerful console on the market. Sony’s Playstation boasted 32-bit graphics, and the Nintendo 64 had double that, at -wait for it- 64 bits. Dreamcast had double of that: 128 bits of beautiful graphics, thanks to the GD-ROM, a proprietary disc format born from squeezing every bit of memory out of a regular old CD as was physically possible, before DVDs and Blu-Ray became as ubiquitous as they are today.
Even the method of memory storage was unlike its competitors; the standard memory card for the Dreamcast was the Visual Memory Unit (VMU), a cross between a memory card and a Gameboy that let you manage data and download minigames to extend the functionality of many games. The only other thing like it that I can think of being made is Sony’s Pocketstation, and that never saw the light of day outside of Japan. You would not believe the number of button-cell batteries I burned through caring for Chao on the go.
Of course, all of the fancy tech and cool gadgets wouldn’t amount to much if the games on offer weren’t fun at all. Tiger’s Game.Com bragged of being a versatily console and handheld device, but the games for it all stank like a fragrant dog poop laying on the sidewalk on a hot Floridian summer day. Thankfully, fun games were something the Dreamcast had no shortage of, even in the brief few years that it was on the market, a slew of which I’d like to bring attention to.
Sonic Adventure 1 & 2
Maybe they haven’t aged as well as I’d like to think, but DAYUM if these weren’t some fun games back in the day. Sonic has always struggled with 3D, but the first attempts at true 3D Sonic games remain quite novel. The first Sonic Adventure had different play styles for each character, some of which were great (Sonic and Gamma, for me at least), others…not so much (the less said about Big, the better), in addition to, for its time, an intricate plot with each character’s story intertwining and playing out differently depending on which character you’re playing as.
Sonic Adventure 2, meanwhile, streamlined the gameplay and improved upon some of the first game’s flaws, cutting out the non-platforming related stages (aside from the treasure hunting stages, which are a touch better than in the first game). It’s story was also very compelling, being one of the darkest storylines in the entire series; government conspiracies, weapons of mass destruction, fucking murder! Maybe that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think we can all agree that SA2 handled “dark and gritty” a lot better than Shadow the Hedgehog’s stand-alone game.
Both games also featured a mini-game that could prove to be just as addicting, if not more so, than the games proper: Chao Gardens. Chao were little, adorable water monsters that players could raise like virtual pets, their popularity likely owed in part to the ubiquity of other virtual pets like Tamagotchi near the end of the millennium, as well as how easy-going and casual raising a Chao was compared to a Digi-Pet that would not wait for you to clean its shit up: you can enter and leave Chao Gardens freely, and you wouldn’t have to worry of your Chao dying of neglect in your absence. There’s also very deep mechanics at work for raising Chao, with their growth and evolution depending heavily on how well you raise them, what animals you give them, and what fruits you feed them, all so you can have them participate in races. The aforementioned VMU also expanded Chao functionality considerably, letting you raise them anywhere you wanted.
My relationship with Shenmue, these days, is very much that of a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, Shenmue popularized two aspects of gaming today that I loathe; Quick-Time Events, and over-blown game budgets (this game would’ve had to be bought by every DC owner TWICE before it could break even). On the other hand, there’s no denying that this game was a labor of love by Yu Suzuki. The attention to detail in Ryo Hazuki’s hometown of Yokosuka is staggering. Everything you can imagine can be interacted with, down to the last dresser drawer in Ryo’s house. Every resident of Yokosuka was unique from the others and had their own behaviors that they would go through, unlike every other NPC in the town, or other games for that matter. The story may be a tad formulaic, and most of the voice work left something to be desired, but the world of Shenmue was one that was very fun to explore.
Plus, this game introduced me to Space Harrier. If that’s not a good thing, you tell me what is.
Jet Set Radio
I had to convince my mother this game wouldn’t turn me into a graffiti-painting delinquent. It was a hard sell, but it paid off, and boy am I glad it did.
Jet Set Radio is very much unlike other games, then and today even. This was the game that helped to popularize cel-shaded graphics; the thick black outlines around the character models made this game look like an anime come to life, and eventually paved the way for the wicked-awesome graphics we see today from Arc System Works with Guilty Gear XRD and Dragonball FighterZ. The idea of playing a roller-blading hooligan throwing tags around the city and evading the police was also unique, and kept players on their toes as techno music accompanies their shenanigans. The game was a bit on the short side, but was challenging and fun enough that multiple playthroughs were warranted.
Making my own graffiti tags was also quite the timesink.
Phantasy Star Online
I may be a late bloomer to the Phantasy Star series, but it has become one very dear to me for helping me meet some of my closest friends (Hi, Tara!).
Phantasy Star was a series of JRPGs by Sega meant to compete with other big franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. The original PSO, on the other hand, is an online multiplayer dungeon crawler that would change the course of the series from that point forward. As interstellar colonists investigating mysterious phenomena on an alien planet, players would delve into unique locals with characters they would create themselves to slay monsters, collect valuable items, and unravel the mysteries of the planet Ragol.
The original PSO is also very notable for its attempt to break the language barrier with a unique conversation system. While good ol’ fashioned keyboards remained in vogue, players also had the option of constructing sentences to transmit to other players in the area or party in those players’ native languages. Using this system, you could send a message saying “Help! This dragon is too powerful!”, and your friend in Japan would read it as “助けて！この龍は強すぎる！” It may not have seen much use, since players are more likely to congregate and play with those that can speak a common language fluently, but it was very kind of Sega to provide the option.
One thing that gets me straight in the feels is something from the original beta trailer for this game: “The world of Phantasy Star Online lasts for an eternity!” It is not uncommon for trailers and developers to hype games up with hyperbole (just ask Peter Molyneaux), but this is a statement that has held true for PSO! Even after the last official server for the last iteration of PSO shut down in 2008, private servers continue to run the game to this day, ensuring that the world of PSO truly remains eternal. Even with a proper sequel Phantasy Star Online 2 proving to be a pop culture staple in Japan, the original PSO remains one of the most beloved and enduring MMOs in history.
Skies of Arcadia
I’ve got friends who would skin my hide and leave me to hang like the Predator if I didn’t mention this.
Just about every console since the NES has a JRPG, and the Dreamcast is no exception. While Phantasy Star shifted towards MMO territory, those hoping for a sweeping single-player adventure still had Skies of Arcadia. As the daring sky pirate Vyse and his motley crew of adventurers, players fought to stop an evil empire from awakening an ancient evil while flying across a world of floating continents in a kickass airship. This game is among the most challenging JRPGs in the genre; a clever mind and strategic acumen are needed to survive battles with other pirates, monsters, and rival airships. The world of the game is also incredibly beautiful; I personally think it has much in common with Castle in the Sky, my favorite Hayao Miyazaki film. The soundtrack compliments the game incredibly, and is a joy to listen to by itself.
There are plenty of other games that made the Dreamcast incredible, but this article is long enough as it is, so I’ll have to give those games their proper due later. Suffice to say, though, the Dreamcast is a historical console that remains one of the most beloved in the history of the medium, not only by myself, but by hundreds of thousands of gamers the world over. It may have only been on the market for a few years, but it is said that the brightest stars are the ones that burn out the quickest.
And make no mistake, the Dreamcast is one of the brightest stars there ever was.
I think we can all agree that Yuuri’s speech was a central scene this episode, and although I’ve seen a lot of people giving great explanations about Yuuri’s use of 「愛」 in his speech and the difference between 「愛」(ai) and 「恋」(koi) there aren’t many people who go further into his speech than that.
Firstly I’ll just briefly gloss over 「愛」 and 「恋」because what they each connotate in the Japanese language is important to the Yuri!!! on Ice plot
「恋」is kind of like a physical love. It describes one’s longing for someone, but lacks a deeper emotional bond. Used for boyfriend/girlfriend/partner.
「愛」 is a deep love, it encompasses 恋 but also describes emotional love. While it does mean you long for someone, it kind of implies that you’re willing to do, give, or change something to be with them. Used for family/spouse.
***note: on the contrary, while「恋」does imply a physical romance/love, 「恋人」refers to you’re true love, you’d call your fiancé or spouse that, and「愛人」implies someone you’ve had an affair with. So when Victor uses the word 「恋人」…. ;)))
So when Yuuri says
He’s saying his「愛」is not just the physical and emotional love he has for others, his love is literally his relationship with Victor, it is literally his family, and that it is the complicated/abstract feelings he has for others around him (aka Yuuko, Minako, Nishigori). It is a tangible THING such as actions and words as implied by Yuuri’s use of 「物」 instead of 「事」which would describe an idea or a concept.
Another interesting thing to note is when Yuuri says he has “no name for this emotion”
At first I thought Yuuri might have been downplaying his emotions but then I realised it wasn’t that, it was that Yuuri really just doesn’t know exactly what 「愛」is just yet despite describing it briefly before because he’s still exploring what it truly means for him.
Before Victor, we all know Yuuri had a big crush on Yuuko, hell, he was going to confess in the first episode. But that’s all it was, a crush, which would take neither 「愛」nor「恋」, but 「好き」(suki).
Now I’m sure you know the difference between 「愛する」and「好きです」but just in case
「好きです」refers to a wide range of types of “like”. You use it for objects, hobbies, and topics, or people-wise, friends and crushes.
Through Yuuri’s speech, we are witnessing his growth and exploration of what 「愛」is, what it means to him, and who the word applies to. Most prominent are his developing feelings of 「愛」towards Victor. The phrase
Does mean “to hold on to”, but it also means “to fasten” or “to tie”, and this implies that while Yuuri does not want to let go of Victor, neither does he want Victor to let go of him. Yuuri wants to create a mutual bond with Victor, and he has decided to call this bond 「愛」.
As a side note, here’s further meta on Yuuri and Victor’s developing relationship, shown through the episode preview. It’s very short but I do think it’s a cute example of them becoming closer to each other.
Sometimes I think back to being eleven or twelve, when I first encountered the word lesbian in a newspaper article about my favourite Spice Girl. It seemed to be a bad thing to be but I didn’t understand why as if it was about love then love wasn’t bad. She stayed my favourite.
Sometimes I think back to being in secondary school, when I didn’t really fancy anyone, but I made myself think of a couple of male celebrities because the question of ‘which boys do you fancy?’ was always coming up and it was embarrassing to not have an answer.
Sometimes I think back to sixth form when I actually did have a crush on a really very pretty boy, and how I wrote diary entries about feeling normal for once.
Sometimes I think back to my first year at uni when I was scared of anyone finding out how inexperienced I was so I became very good at deflection.
Sometimes I think back warding off at least two guys when I was out dancing in that first year of uni because I wanted my first kiss to mean something.
Sometimes I think back to writing in my livejournal about these times and how I was terrified of the opposite sex. I remember hating what a late bloomer I was and just wanting to get over myself.
Sometimes I think back to having crushes on the prettiest male celebrities I could find. Sometimes I even think back to crushing on a boy in my halls who looked like Elijah Wood, but in retrospect I think I liked the idea of him more than I liked him.
Sometimes I think back to the alcohol soaked parties we used to have in the society I was part of and how I once ducked out of a dare to kiss one of my female friends because it would have been my first kiss and I didn’t want a kiss with a girl to mean so much.
Sometimes I think back to the one time I had a boyfriend and how I liked the intimacy of sex but I couldn’t get over how weird penises were. I remember him leaving me and me being devastated not because of the break up but because we were friends first and I just wanted my friend back.
Sometimes I think back to just before we broke up. I was in a car and was thinking about going home to my boyfriend and how I guess it meant I was straight then. I’m pretty sure our relationship ended either that day or the day after.
Sometimes I think back to when I thought I might be bisexual and not being bothered at all because it didn’t seem like a big deal. I later realised that boys just really weren’t for me.
Sometimes I think back to beginning to come out to people in my fandom online and how scared I was and how lovely they were.
Sometimes I think back to how one of those friends mentioned that I might not want to come out to my younger fandom friends in case word got back to their parents and they thought I was predatory.
Sometimes I think back to wishing on a flying lantern that one day I would be brace enough to say the words I’m not brave enough to say.
Sometimes I think back to New Years Eve 2011, when I came out face to face to someone for the first time, and how my heart was beating like mad and she hugged me and told me she was proud of me.
Sometimes I think back to how my mum once told me I can’t scare her but how I still can’t say the words to her because I’m scared.
Sometimes I think back to going to my first Pride with one of my best friends and not wanting to say the real reason I was there but being immensely proud all the same.
Sometimes I think back to buying my first copy of Diva magazine and being both proud and paranoid as I took it to the till.
Sometimes I think back to watching tv at my mum and Dad’s house and pretending not to show any interest any time there was a gay character on screen.
Sometimes I think back to watching Glee and how I cried during Landslide.
Sometimes I think back to going to my first Pride in London and how I realised I’d found my people, if only for a day.
Sometimes I think back to Blackpool Pride 2015, when I went to watch my favourite boys headline and how the pride flags they waved on stage were such a contrast to the dirty looks I got walking down the street wrapped in rainbows.
Sometime I think about going to an LGBT museum tour in 2015 and how proud I was to be identifying myself with that group in public and not at Pride for the first time.
Sometimes I think back to ticking a box in the equality and diversity section of an application form for the first time and how the word lesbian still didn’t feel quite right but it no longer felt wrong.
Sometimes I think back to seeing a blog post on tumblr about how I should volunteer at Pride in London and how i was scared filling in the application form but it was time.
I think back to going to that training session and messaging @conscious–ramblings, the author of said blog post to say thank you. I think about how welcoming she was to me and how we soon started DMing on twitter all day.
I think about meeting Sheena in the Pride shop and being encouraged to sign up for her team at Pride.
I think about Pride this year and how stewarding was incredible. I think about the feeling of walking down the parade route high fiving people on the barriers.
I think about standing in the street singing End of the Day at the top of my lungs with Sheena, @doctorrainbows and @t-from-paris and how it was the best Pride ever. I think about Sheena asking me if I was bi or a lesbian and stumbling my way through an 'it’s complicated’ kind of half answer.
I think about my Love Happens Here badge and how pinning it to my jacket seemed like a statement and now I have four rainbow badges on there.
I think about the social group I’ve gained with Pride and how much I’ve grown to love the people in it.
I think about going out with Sheena, Rosie, Debbie, Juan and @tyche88 and Sheena taking me to my first lesbian bar.
I think about how that word doesn’t sound so scary any more.
I think about how the way I first connected with the word probably impacted on me more than I realised and that Section 28 and subliminal and semi compulsory heteronormativity and heterosexuality probably played a part in things for me and still leave their traces.
I think about how I’m still scared to come out but know now that I have the support to do so one day.
I think about being an ace lesbian.
If you made it this far, thank you. There’s a lot I probably missed out, but that’s another post.
What I wouldn’t give to have seen Sarah Sugden meet Aaron Dingle. Imagine how much they would have bonded over their love for Robert?
Imagine how much she would have loved Aaron for constantly protecting her wayward son? Standing in between Robert and the rest of the world like a buffer. After all, what more does any parent really want than someone who loves and supports their child? (🤞 )
Aaron’s calming presence in Robert’s life would put Sarah’s mind at rest.
Course, with Sarah there, Robert would never have left the village, not the way he did. He’d have stayed or come back often. He’d have seen Aaron grow up. Seen Aaron and Vic. Maybe even joined in with Andy on the protective big brother act. But when Aaron came out to the village it would make Robert feel all kinds of things. Suddenly Aaron would look a whole lot more grown up. A whole lot more intense. A whole lot more interesting.
Just imagine how quickly Sarah would know Robert for who he is, how quickly she’d have deciphered his true feelings for Aaron? She’d have caught his little looks. His stolen glances. The way Robert’s eyes always lingered moments too long on Aaron Dingle’s face. And her heart would burst for her sweet son who she could see desperately trying to keep his composure every time Aaron walked in a room.
Sarah would take Robert for a coffee in the cafe, just the two of them, and tell him not to waste time. That she loves him regardless. That she accepts him regardless. It doesn’t matter one bit to her who Robert falls for. As long as that person is exactly the sort of partner her amazing son deserves. She wouldn’t embarrass him, or try to out him. She wouldn’t prod or poke. She’d just let him know she was there no matter what… Oh, and she might have asked Aaron if he was seeing someone in the Woolie. Just out of interest…
Speaking of Aaron…
Imagine how Sarah Sugden would remind Aaron of little Vic? His oldest friend. Deceptively smol and sweet because really she’s as much a force of nature as any of the Sugden Boys. More so. Sarah would be the same.
Once he and Robert started dating, Aaron would really really like Sarah. She was a proper mum, like a tv advert mum. Although, when he told her that one day, she’d gently remind him not to be so sexist. But they would never fall out. Even when Aaron and Robert argued, she’d get it. She’d get how Robert made Aaron’s blood boil. She wouldn’t take sides, but she would listen to both of them. Aaron would be touched how Sarah would always check in with him as well when they were having a rough patch. Even Chas would like her.
And Robert and Aaron wouldn’t fall out as much as they do. A direct result of Sarah being there to disentangle Robert’s feelings for him. To gently nudge him in the right direction when he was wrong and stick up for him when he wasn’t.
LASTLY, imagine Sarah at their wedding… imagine her emotions looking at this particularly happy little face peeping over Aaron’s shoulder that day:
Truth is, we never got enough of Robert’s beautiful face at the wedding (except for those scary close up shots in the vows). And part of me can’t help but think it’s because no one was waiting on his reaction the way Chas, Paddy, Faith, Liv and even Cain and all the various Dingles were waiting on Aaron’s. If Sarah had been there, she’d have been waiting on it. And she would have been so so proud.