Forum - View topic
ANNCast - El Gee Bee Tee


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2802
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:55 am Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
That's what I'm hoping that the success of Yuri on Ice isn't some exception but trendsetter for future titles to be more direct with its homosexual themes. I especially hope parts of the anime industry who tends to do stuff aimed for male otaku would pay attention to Yuri on Ice's success and they start following their footsteps with female-cast counterparts.

It will be fascinating to see how the Citrus and Netsuzou Trap anime will do. Heck, it could be a one-two punch for both male and female audiences.


Given the relative lack of commercial success for Yurikuma Arashi, Mikagura School Suite, and Flip Flappers, I can't help but be discouraged about the chances of ambitious yuri anime in the near future.

In terms of disc sales, we've really only had two "blockbuster" yuri anime in the 21st century: Maria-sama ga Miteru and YuruYuri (I guess you could count My-Hime too, depending on how you look at it). It's hard to imagine that Citrus or Trap will be as successful as either of these, but you never know.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2940
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:46 am Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:


Given the relative lack of commercial success for Yurikuma Arashi, Mikagura School Suite, and Flip Flappers, I can't help but be discouraged about the chances of ambitious yuri anime in the near future.

In terms of disc sales, we've really only had two "blockbuster" yuri anime in the 21st century: Maria-sama ga Miteru and YuruYuri (I guess you could count My-Hime too, depending on how you look at it). It's hard to imagine that Citrus or Trap will be as successful as either of these, but you never know.


I thought the problem with Yurikuma Arashi was that it wasn't written for a wider audience appeal. It seemed to be written particularly for the biggest fans of its creator who would get into all of the hidden symbolism and references. To be honest I'm not really a fan of such shows, since they tend to create an "in crowd' effect separating those who claim to "get it" and those who don't. I do understand what the show was trying to do with lesbian relationships, but it was not the right messenger in my opinion.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
iamtooawesome



Joined: 02 Feb 2015
Posts: 348
Location: Thailand
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:19 am Reply with quote
Chrysostomus wrote:
Exactly! I am amazed at how people are religiously convinced that YoI is actual, real representation when in fact it's another fujobait show. Yes, it does push the envelope, but at the end of the day it's still wishy-washy and ambiguous as the rest of the other myriad fujo anime.

- one "censored" kiss
- the engagement rings are for "good luck" (Victor says as he puts them on)
- no unambiguous love/marriage declaration (think JJ in his last performance)
- Yuri, using every single opportunity to point out that "our relationship is not like that!"

They dance around the issue and don't address it. It speaks volumes that JJ of all people was allowed to ceremoniously confess his love in front of half the world but neither Yuri nor Victor did.



A series is treated as queer baiting like Sherlock Holmes unless something is confirmed by the author. In this case the creator of YOI Kubo during her Spoon 2Di interview confirms the relationship status of Victor and Yuri: "Yuri and Victor cant live without each other that's why they had to revise their plans..." When asked what's the status of the 2 she replied: "their relationship transcends love." -Spoon 2Di with Kubo// the kiss was also confirmed by Kubo herself in the said magazine interview explaining that she needed a build up for the scene of episode 7's kiss.(btw u can search the Spoon interview translation in google)

the latest Pash Magazine interview explains about the ring of Victor and Yuri and what does it really symbolize? Kubo literally confirmed that the golden ring symbolizes that Yuri and Victor are indeed Soulmates. Kubo confirms that they are soulmates.(You can search the Pash Magazine transkatoon interview online).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1771
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:17 am Reply with quote
iamtooawesome wrote:
Chrysostomus wrote:
Exactly! I am amazed at how people are religiously convinced that YoI is actual, real representation when in fact it's another fujobait show. Yes, it does push the envelope, but at the end of the day it's still wishy-washy and ambiguous as the rest of the other myriad fujo anime.

- one "censored" kiss
- the engagement rings are for "good luck" (Victor says as he puts them on)
- no unambiguous love/marriage declaration (think JJ in his last performance)
- Yuri, using every single opportunity to point out that "our relationship is not like that!"

They dance around the issue and don't address it. It speaks volumes that JJ of all people was allowed to ceremoniously confess his love in front of half the world but neither Yuri nor Victor did.



A series is treated as queer baiting like Sherlock Holmes unless something is confirmed by the author. In this case the creator of YOI Kubo during her Spoon 2Di interview confirms the relationship status of Victor and Yuri: "Yuri and Victor cant live without each other that's why they had to revise their plans..." When asked what's the status of the 2 she replied: "their relationship transcends love." -Spoon 2Di with Kubo// the kiss was also confirmed by Kubo herself in the said magazine interview explaining that she needed a build up for the scene of episode 7's kiss.(btw u can search the Spoon interview translation in google)

the latest Pash Magazine interview explains about the ring of Victor and Yuri and what does it really symbolize? Kubo literally confirmed that the golden ring symbolizes that Yuri and Victor are indeed Soulmates. Kubo confirms that they are soulmates.(You can search the Pash Magazine transkatoon interview online).


Note how you've just used almost every euphemism except "eternal bond" that annoys those who dislike the roundabout or caveat laden way Japanese media often addresses homosexuality (&, to be fair, romance in general).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2940
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:34 am Reply with quote
I have to say, saying their relationship "transcends love" does sound like one of those bad euphemisms that so often get used with anime that can't fully acknowledge homosexual love. Maybe it was just the creator being clumsy with language but I suppose it still speaks to the overall issue where good, implied LGBTQ relationships are present in anime though rare. Whereas the more explicit representations tend to be more common and bad.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 4016
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:51 am Reply with quote
iamtooawesome wrote:
A series is treated as queer baiting like Sherlock Holmes unless something is confirmed by the author.


And in Holmes' case, Conan Doyle told his readers that Holmes died dreaming of Irene Adler. Which was a bit of a snub to Watson, but Watson had been happily married for years after that "waterfall" thing.
Bachelor apartments were cripplingly expensive in downtown Victorian London--and still are--and if rent-sharing means a "gay relationship", mind if I make jokes about your post-dorm college roommate? Razz

("But he didn't like girls!" Well, yes, very few chauvinistic Henry-Higgins Victorian males did, least of all the more intellectual smartypantses pushing the "Women don't know how to think!" angle. That's why he had such a thing for Irene, the only one who outsmarted him.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Crisha
Moderator


Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 4231
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:40 pm Reply with quote
The more and more I read of Kubo's interviews, the more and more I feel that she's approaching Yuuri and Victor's relationship from an asexual stance. Or rather, she prefers their connection in regards to how it has to do with skating and their growth as individuals rather than as a romantic love story. The interviews strongly indicate that she thinks that they have a deep love and connection (soul bond), but that doesn't necessarily confirm a sexual attraction. In the interview I linked below, she mostly avoids talking about their relationship in any romantic context. Whether that's because she's been given orders to keep it ambiguous or whether it's because she doesn't put much thought into their relationship being like that is unclear.

However, while that may be her personal interpretation and/or preference, the show actually remains ambiguous on the stance of their relationship (and actually gives quite a few indications that at least Victor wants a romantic/sexual relationship, Yuuri is a bit more ambiguous), and I think the creators intentionally did that to allow the audience to interpret things as they wish. For people who want a non-ambiguous show with clear LGBT representation and creators that will back them up, I think YOI falls short on that account. However, despite the ambiguity of their relationship, it's still a story of a deep and loving bond between two men, which personally resonates with a lot of people, myself included. Would I have preferred more explicit LGBT representation? Yes. But the lack of it doesn't take away the personal connection I had with the show and the way I interpreted their relationship.

Also, Kubo is only one cog in this giant machine (a very important cog, but still only one). I'm really interested in hearing more of Yamamoto's thoughts of the series. Because while Kubo can provide her suggestions and interpretations, that wasn't necessarily the be-all, end-all decision. In fact, in the interview below, she mentions being surprised at the pair skating scene in the last episode, because it ended up being different than what she initially planned. It's possible that Yamamoto may interpret Yuuri and Victor's relationship different from Kubo.

Kubo's latest interview for the 2017/03 PASH! had some specific details:

Quote:
Mitsurou Kubo complete commentary - Second half
Once again we have interviewed Mitsurou Kubo-san, who created the original plan, manga storyboard and character plan for the story! This is the sequel of the episode commentary whose first part was published on the Dec. 2016 issue of PASH! and covers from the second part of the China tournament in episode 7 up to the last episode. Here you can find her detailed comments for the 6 episodes!

Episode 7 “Kaimaku Grand Prix Series Yacchaina!! Chuugoku Taikai FS”
-Regarding Yuuri and Victor’s scene after the FS, I was fine with it being interpreted in any way. However this is the part that had more response from overseas, I was even directly asked “which one it was”. And then I heard from Japanese people too that some had an argument with their friends over whether they kissed or not, or they just hugged. I was surprised that people would want to know the truth. Up until then I had always thought that people wanted to be able to interpret fiction how they preferred. But seeing the reactions that this episode received, I realized that even if it’s fiction, inside people’s mind this series exists as a world of its own and so they believe that there must be a correct truth, an exact answer somewhere.

Episode 10 “Chou Ganbaranba! Grand Prix Final Chokuzen Special”
-What Yuuri bought is pair rings. When I looked it up I found out that buying a pair was cheaper (LOL), and I also thought that if they were going to wear something matching this would be good. There are actually many real skaters who wear accessories as “omamori”, protective charms. More importantly, Yuuri has been giving Victor fresh surprises until now, and I wanted him to get a new item, a weapon to fight in the final match. When I suggested the rings to the director she was like “Yes, that!!” (LOL). We were like, “yeah, a cornered athlete would do something like that!” More than implicating something like a wedding, it’s similar to members of the same circle deciding to have a matching item.

-Victor is surprised by Yuuri’s action but understands him, so he makes a wish upon the ring telling him “show me the skating that you like the most”. In the China tournament he said things as if he was testing Yuuri, he “broke” his heart, so here he finally vows to the ring that “he will completely trust what Yuuri decides” and is determined to do what he can as a coach.

Last episode “Chou Chou Chou Ganbaranba!!! Grand Prix Final FS”
-Regarding the scene where Victor hugs Yurio before the competition, he didn’t do it because he was begging for his help to stop Yuuri from retiring, or because he was asking him something. He just wanted Yurio to skate at his best, it was his genuine feelings of support for him, as if he was saying “go and do your best!”. After all, until this scene we never really saw Victor support Yurio. It’s an action that cannot be explained with logic.
[My own thoughts: Wow, haha, this statements kills so many headcanons. The thought that Victor was silently asking Yurio for help was bandied around fandom quite a bit.]

-I really wanted to draw the scene of Yuuri and Victor skating the exhibition together. In the original setting Victor was meant to join in as a surprise, but in the anime they were wearing perfectly matching costumes and I was the one surprised (LOL). They were doing lifts as if it’s nothing, but Yuuri’s exhibition program for this season was “Hanarezu ni Soba ni Ite”, so maybe they just tried it out while fooling around during practice.


That last note is pretty telling. In order to be able to perform a pair program with perfectly matching costumes, Yuuri and Victor would have had to plan it out and practice it together as something they both genuinely wanted, which is actually quite romantic (also, the moves they performed and the looks on their faces were just so romantic as well). The way Kubo originally planned it - by having Victor surprise Yuuri (and not with a matching outfit) - is a lot less romantic. The fact that she was surprised by the outcome shows that she probably didn't have a whole lot of input into that final scene. Was it Yamamoto who wanted a more romantic interpretation? This is, once again, why I'd really like to hear more of Yamamoto's thoughts.

The ambiguity of the relationship could be considered a kindness or a cruelty. Thinking about it from a cynical standpoint - that it's fujobaiting done as a marketing move - is a potential reality I acknowledge, but just pisses me off thinking about it that way, so I'd rather not. I'd rather just focus on what the show personally meant to me.


Last edited by Crisha on Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Kikimani



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Stuart Smith wrote:
kpk wrote:
Yes and no. There are a lot more LGBT main characters in anime shows, but most of the time their sexuality isn't treated seriously and even when it does (like in Yuri on Ice, No. 6) there still this... vagueness to it. They make it as clear as they can, without outright saying, which is a problem to me. If it's a girl and boy who gets together they don't make it vague, they'll tell others they're dating. It's really annoying.


The main problem here is people are assuming that a gay character is meant for gay viewers to relate to and not simply appealing to straight men or women. Yuri and yaoi subtext are not necessarily made for actual gay and lesbian people to relate to, but to appeal to people who like seeing cute guys and gals together. 'Baiting' is generally more successful and profitable than outright explicitness. Weather because fans like the idea of subtext over explicitness or having ambiguity in order to appeal to both sides of a fanbase. My money is on subtext is generally seen as cuter.

That's the main reason I have with people trying to apply American "LGBT" mindsets to anime. It doesn't really work and is essentially trying to put a round peg into a square hole. It is just going to lead to disappointment when you find out that gay character or subtext is actually made for otaku and fujoshi.


I find these kind of arguments to be a real cop out and a disservice to the Japanese audience that it is intended to defend or represent. Wanting to see more complex, fully-realised characters of any kind of gender identity or sexual orientation is not the sole purview of USians. Surely, there are Japanese LGBT audiences and surely they, or any other kind of Japanese viewer, enjoys a range of quality entertainment, and their idea of quality surely includes this "round hole" of wanting characters that they can relate to. That this may not yet be a popular offering is not real indication of whether they want it or not.

Same thing goes for fujoshis.

For example, as a "Western" romance reader, the market used to be saturated with pretty traditional, submissive, female characters, tons of rape fantasy etc--and it sold! So people assumed this was simply all we wanted, and anyone who thought otherwise simply didn't get that. Of course, this wasn't true and had a *lot* more to do with what publishers were pushing out there than anything else. Wanting this diversity didn't mean no longer having the Mills & Boons type stuff--we just wanted but the circles and the squares and everything in between.

You can't state one is more profitable than the other definitively when we have yet to see enough numbers and support behind both to have that tested.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2940
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:20 pm Reply with quote
I don't know the full context of the interview, so my words should be taken with that caveat, but if this secton is a fair representation of her thoughts on the relationship then it is a disappointment for me. Personally, I think the whole "I'll let the audience interpret things the way they want" excuse is a weak one that is commonly used by writers who either feel unsure about what they want to say or afraid to say it. That's not to say that audience interpretation never has its place, bit I think it should be used sparingly and should not normally be used in connection with major themes unless it is a "choose your own adventure" type story. Absent that, it comes across as lazy or "baiting" as others have mentioned. As a general rule, I think that good writers have a message or a well thought out narrative idea and they should tell it fully, not serve up half of a story and tell the audience to figure out the rest. Again, minor issues or concepts that are mysterious by their very nature, ok yea some audience interpretation makes sense there. But presenting the main two characters as if they are in an intimate relationship and then saying "Are they? You decide!!" is incredibly annoying to me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5324
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Creator's saying they'll "leave it up for interpretation" isn't even something new or unusual, I remember the same being said about Code Geass on whether spoiler[Lelouch lives or not]. There are however, many other interviews that go in-depth about the kiss scene from episode seven in which Kubo also says how they worked to create the right emotional momentum for that scene to take place. They never actually call it a kiss, but the emphasis on creating a precise mood and emotional stakes for the scene to feel natural and real is to me dead-on indicative on what the purpose of it was.

There are also numerous other interviews in which things such as "Their rings are a representation of their bond as soulmates" and "they became irreplaceable to each other and it was impossible to keep them apart" and that "their feelings of love go beyond what can be expressed with words" have been said. There's also this bit from Febri magazine:

Quote:

Right around that time, I heard that some athletes have a mentality that they “skate for the sake of their love.” In this case, it seemed that the “love” they were referring to would probably be a lover, and even if they’re not together, as long as they think about their significant other, they can do their best and would show results because of that. When I realized this, Director Yamamoto and I felt like we were struck by lightning, as we were completely shocked!


To me, it seems people are too fixated on wanting a confirmation of "romantic" or "sexual", when the love they have is already encompassing so much more than that. People put a lot of stock on Yuuri denying they're married (which was true, they weren't after all) but somehow Victor saying they're engaged is never taken seriously even though nothing in the framing or visuals indicate it's anything but a serious declaration. It's more like everyone's trying to grasp at straws to continue saying it's ambiguous and not real representation and I honestly don't get the purpose.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
CCTakato



Joined: 24 Jul 2015
Posts: 514
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:02 pm Reply with quote
I think a charitable interpretation of Kubo's quote is she personally sees Viktor and Yuri as canon but she doesn't care if other people want to deny it and she's surprised that Western fans are getting so worked up over it, but I also definitely feel like there's a marketing hype angle to Yuri on Ice's approach. The "will they? Won't they?" aspect is part of the main marketing hype that's driving the success and keeping fans in suspense. In hind sight, they were never going to spoiler[break up Yuri and Viktor at the end like that] but the writers clearly knew keeping fans in suspense would keep them hooked in for the finale. You see the same thing with a lot of heterosexual shoujo anime where they drag out the romance for the whole course of the show and constantly interrupt the lead characters when they try to kiss or confess their feelings like in Inuyasha or something.

But you compare Yuri On Ice to an anime like My Love Story and part of the main appeal of My Love Story was they completely shattered that trope and had the main characters become a couple at the beginning. They didn't drag the will they won't they aspect for eternity and the show was sitll amazing and kept everyone hooked even though they were always clear and up front about their relationship status from the start. Another contrast would be like with Sailor Moon, the series is clear and explicit that Haruka and Michiru are lesbians. Naoko Takuechi even clearly confirmed in interviews that they were gay to refute the infamous Prince Uranus claims by the Save Our Sailors website. But in spite of them making it clear, Uranus and Neptune are still like the most popular characters in the series and Bandai sells tons of merchandise of them all the time and everyone loves them to death.

I love Yuri On Ice as much as the next gay anime fan and it's definitely my favorite modern day anime that I love the most. But for all the high praise Yuri on Ice, we've already had a lot of other mainstream anime long before Yuri On Ice like Sailor Moon and Utena that were much more explicit about it's LGBTQ content than Yuri On Ice has been. So YOI is a very important series, but I also feel like there were a lot of mainstream anime before it that were much more revolutionary than YOI, and it feels like they're being ambiguous with YOI on purpose for marketing hype. I also keep trying to get YOI fans to watch Gravitation but haven't had much luck yet. I remember Gravitation had similar levels of mainstream success as YOI when it first came out and even a lot of straight male anime fans watched it and Gravitation was a lot more explicit than YOI. But it often feels like modern anime fandom has already forgotten about Gravitation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Crisha
Moderator


Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 4231
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:23 pm Reply with quote
@CrowLia and ChibiKangaroo - I think one concern people have with the whole "confirmation of sexual/romantic feelings" is the author/creator intention. Because for some people, whether they're being played as marketing fanbait or whether there is some genuine attempt at writing an honest love story (with restrictions) matters to them. (EDIT: Though, to be fair, there's nothing wrong with it being both - having the anime be profitable is a good thing... I guess I'm more realistic in that I understand the business side of the choices, but I still feel like Yamamoto and Kubo were trying to convey a genuine homosexual relationship within the bounds of what they were working with). I don't care for the cynical interpretation of the former, but I don't begrudge people with those opinions. And with all the bait shows or "Class S" type shows out there, maybe those people are sick and tired of the potential for more of the same, for not being treated seriously.

Also, for some people, the distinction between platonic and sexual is important. Kubo has basically stated that Victor and Yuuri can't live without one another and that they're essentially soul mates, which, yes, is powerful. They have a strong love for one another. That confirms nothing of their sexual status. So for those looking for that representation or connection, it's still a cop-out no matter how emotionally developed the relationship is.

I personally felt that there was enough scenes and hints in the show to confirm, for me, that Yuuri and Victor are in a romantic relationship (or at least starting one). I wouldn't ever claim that it was 100% canon either, though, simply because both the show and the creators dodge giving any explicit answers. Yes, Victor called it "engagement rings," but Yuuri never confirmed nor denied after the fact, and all discussion of the "engagement" wasn't brought up again (it's also possible that Victor may have just been teasing Yuuri by calling it an engagement ring, since he and Yuuri understand that Yuuri bought the rings as good luck charms). The imagery and framing of certain scenes is pretty telling (i.e. the whole pairs duet); but if looked at from a cynical POV then the lack of any official confirmation is just proof that the creators know how to dangle the bait in front of us and let us sucker ourselves.


Anyways, the same person who translated the interview also went to the YOI All Night Event on 2/11/2017 and has provided a summary of what went on. Basically, the words "let the audience interpret as they wish" were repeated multiple times, so at this point I feel that this is a fair representation of Kubo's position, and also probably all of the staff. The ones participating in the talk show were Mitsurou Kubo, Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Yuuri), Junichi Suwabe (Victor), Kouki Uchiyama (Yurio).

Quote:
After this they were asked which scenes left a strong impression on them when they watched the broadcast.

Uchiyama mentioned Yurio’s lines when he says “pig”, and the part where he’s sent “training” at the shrine and waterfall by Victor. The others laughed because it was like “in the WHOLE series are THESE the scenes that impressed you??”.

Toyonaga said that for Yuuri’s very first lines in episode 1 (before the OP, when he says “He always surprises me” etc) he was actually told at what point of the story Yuuri says it. I mean, Yuuri narrates this part as if he’s looking back on the past, and Toyonaga was told at what point of the story this happens, but he said that he’s not going to reveal it and asked that people try to imagine when it is that Yuuri “narrates” this part. (I personally have no idea, though Yuuri doesn’t sound very cheerful so I’d argue that it’s in one of the “tense” moments of the show, like ep 9 or the end of ep 11? But too little elements to judge)

They mentioned that because of this narration fans made theories about Victor eventually dying, and Suwabe was like “Victor is alive!! And Makkachin too!!”.

After this Suwabe said that neither now nor in the future he is going to reveal what he thought when acting the scenes in the anime. He said that of course he has his own interpretation and he played Victor based on that, but that since this anime has many elements that can be read in lots of different ways he is not going to disclose his personal views and wants fans to interpret it each in their own way. The only thing he confirmed is that he likes Makkachin, lol. (To be honest, it’s basically the same as what Kubo says, but Suwabe articulated it better. As a side note, Suwabe is a very good talker, always expresses his point clearly and is really careful about what he says and how it could affect who listens, while I think Kubo has a messy way of speaking which is sometimes hard to follow, even in written interviews, and I believe this is what is causing some controversies)


Quote:
Suwabe also said that, as a viewer, the parking scene in episode 7 touched his heart. Here they mentioned that YOI was featured on the TV Asahi music program “Music Station” on Friday night because this scene was aired too, and they laughed making some comments about how the scenes they showed were “barely ok for prime time”. (It’s because they basically showed scenes like when Yuuri and Victor are with their foreheads touching and Yuuri tells him “please only watch me”, etc, which are scenes that would make anyone misunderstand the point of the show if they don’t watch them within the context… But I swear this time it was better, because the last time YOI was featured on Music Station they showed the scene at the end of ep 7 too… I really wish they’d show more figure skating scenes so that it doesn’t just look like a BL anime about skaters, sigh. By the way this time it was featured because “History Maker” was ranked #11 in a ranking of popular anime/drama theme songs)


Quote:
Regarding the last episodes Kubo said that Nobunari Oda wanted to participate in YOI himself and so they gave him a part, but it happened after the series was already airing, it wasn’t planned from the start. For Stéphane Lambiel it was even more a last-minute decision, because it was really sudden and they had to redraw a part of episode 12 (Hiramatsu did this) to feature him and had to re-record the scene. The episode was going to air on Wednesday, and they called Suwabe a few days before asking him to come back to recording on Monday (yes, 2 days before the airing..) for the scene with Lambiel.

That's a pretty cool tidbit! I figured that it was probably a rush job, but 2 days before airing? Whew.

Quote:
They asked Kubo how she got into figure skating, and she said that in the beginning she was just a very light fan, like she would sometimes watch it on TV when it was on, but she had a friend who was really into it. She got more passionate after traveling to Europe with Yamamoto to do research for the series. Yamamoto explained her a lot of stuff about figure skating, and it’s also Yamamoto the one who was a hardcore fan from the start. (Kubo praised Yamamoto lots of times during this event and emphasized the fact that many things were her idea. I have the feeling that she feels a bit bad because since she’s the most “visible” one she gets all the appreciation by fans, even though Yamamoto had as big a part in creating YOI if not bigger, since she was the one who originally came up with it and was involved in the making until the end, even after the manga storyboard was completed)

Once again, I wish I could read more things from Yamamoto. I'd love to hear about the creative process from her POV and how she brought her knowledge/expertise to the table.

Quote:
Q: Who is the man together with Chris?
Kubo said he’s a member of the Swiss Skating Federation and maybe he used to be an ice skater, and for some reason is caring for Chris’ cat (mentioning that he cares for Chris’ cat probably caused people to read between the lines, because many around me were giggling, lol). The character design for him was not really made by her but by the animators. She said that she doesn’t know his name but that since she thinks he resembles Masumi from Glass no Kamen she calls him “Masumi”.


Quote:
This was the last question and then they just said the final greetings. In the end Kubo commented about the fact that YOI can be interpreted in various ways and that, even though in interviews they ask her details about the story and so she answers, she actually encourages people to interpret the series how they prefer, without necessarily being influenced too much by what she says in interviews. (And here I remind you something she said in the booklet for the BD vol.1, which is that it’s fine to interpret the series how you prefer, but do not go around saying that your theory is canon. In other words, she is fine with people creating their own headcanons and believing that they are right, but she would prefer that they do not try to force single interpretations onto other people unless they are officially confirmed. The recent Pash! interview actually gave me the impression that sometimes she is forced to point out some things because she sees people trying to convince others that their own interpretations are correct even though they are not supported by official material)


----

The person of this blog then replied to some asks and responded with their own opinion in regards to the depictions of homosexuality in Japanese fiction. For me, it's interesting hearing this from someone who is more immersed in their culture and the Japanese fandom.

Quote:
Quote:
Imo ther evasiveness of gay issues isnt because they wanted to portray love deeper than romance. Or because of Japanese indirectness because they aren't indirect with the het themes. It just seems like BS homophobic double standards imo. what's ur opinion?

Hi and sorry for the late reply! I’m finally trying to answer the questions I received. I’m glad that my note could help explain my point in a clearer way.

I am going to write about the topic of “depictions of homosexuality in Japanese fiction”.
Important note: Not being inside the creators’ mind, I cannot tell whether they actually think Victor and Yuuri are romantically in love or not, but I am explaining why in my opinion they wouldn’t explicitly portray that in the series even if they were in love.

The topic of depictions of homosexuality in anime/drama in Japan is quite delicate. They have all that BL, yet they are really behind the times (to say it nicely..) when it comes to LGBT rights. This is also why, while in the US and other countries it’s pretty common to have (non-token) LGBT characters in drama, comics and movies, in Japan they are 90% of the times depicted stereotypically. There is still a deep-rooted discrimination toward LGBT in Japanese society which maybe is finally starting to get better little by little, and it’s very hard to find serious, normal portrayals of LGBT characters or relationships in fiction with a mainstream target (of course you might find it in fiction that is targeting smaller groups of audiences).

This means that openly showing a homosexual relationship in a mainstream anime like YOI (with “mainstream” I mean that is targeting people of all ages and genders) is very risky, because you might end up losing potential viewers that would like the anime if it wasn’t for the LGBT contents. Since the anime is essentially about figure skating, and a possible romantic relationship between the characters is not the main point of the show (their relationship itself is important, whether it’s romantic or not isn’t as much), is it really worth it to go as far as to blatantly show two guys romantically get together, at the risk of losing viewers, just to please the fans who are expecting that? Is it so important for the story to show it explicitly? Is it worth the risk? From the point of view of a person who knows how even yaoi fangirls can be homophobes in real life, I will say that no, in my opinion it’s not worth it. It’s better to make the story so that it’s open to interpretations, meaning that who wants to see a romantic relationship has enough material to do so, and who prefers to think that their relationship is just platonic or non romantic can see it that way. This way you have an anime that can please both kinds of fans without risking to lose viewers. Though I know that many Western viewers are frustrated because they were expecting more romantic development.

To some people this might look like they are being homophobic or don’t have the courage to complete what they started, but I swear that what they did with YOI is already revolutionary because normally you would only see all those hints in a BL work (and in my opinion the depictions of the characters’ psychology and their development are way better than most BLs out there). It’s hard to understand because it’s all connected to deep cultural differences that you can only notice if you spend a long time in the Japanese society, but it really doesn’t look to me like they are being homophobic.

Also, on a side note, in Japan it’s common for yaoi fangirls to “hide”. No one would ever send the creators comments like “Yuuri and Victor are so in love!” (well maybe a few crazy people might but they would be labeled as crazy by other fans). Even in the case of Victor and Yuuri, the majority of Japanese fangirls who ship them do not think that they are canon, because they would never think that two guys in a non-BL manga could really be in love (unless explicitly stated of course), to them it’s all “fujoshi fantasies”. So of course they are not expecting them to ever get together romantically and this is why the only complaints about that not happening can be found in the Western fandom. You might also notice how, even though some Japanese skaters like YOI, no one ever dared make comments about the LGBT elements in it like many foreign skaters did. So far I’ve only read one Japanese article on a website that covered the LGBT aspect of YOI, it was written by a guy (I think a straight guy) and I found it very nice. You will never see articles about that in any anime magazines, though you will see screenshots of Victor and Yuuri together printed all over the magazines, because they are just treated like fangirling material.

Lastly, as I wrote in the beginning I actually do not know what the creators really think, and I also have my own interpretation of Victor and Yuuri’s relationship, but I personally believe that, even if the authors considered them romantically in love, you would need a huge miracle for them to ever show it explicitly in the series (season 2 or wherever), due to the reasons I stated above. What we saw in YOI was already really unconventional and absolutely rare as it was.

Of course, the above is only one opinion of an entire culture based around their experiences, but considering that they're actually immersed within the Japanese culture and fandom, I do think they bring some good information to the table. More than my speculations could provide.

So... I guess you could look at this as "the creators pushing the boundaries as comfortably as they wanted to" (and that someone there really wanted to try to genuinely depict a homosexual relationship but had to stick within bounds - i.e. like the ending with Korra) or you could just chalk this up as "fanbaiting."


Last edited by Crisha on Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2940
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:33 pm Reply with quote
CrowLia wrote:


To me, it seems people are too fixated on wanting a confirmation of "romantic" or "sexual", when the love they have is already encompassing so much more than that. People put a lot of stock on Yuuri denying they're married (which was true, they weren't after all) but somehow Victor saying they're engaged is never taken seriously even though nothing in the framing or visuals indicate it's anything but a serious declaration. It's more like everyone's trying to grasp at straws to continue saying it's ambiguous and not real representation and I honestly don't get the purpose.


I don't understand how it is "fixation" to want honesty from the writers. If two characters are depicted in a way that strongly implies a romantic relationship, and in particular if they are touching upon a hot button topic like LGBTQ portrayals in animated media (which is still a big issue, even in anime as we have discussed) is it too much to ask that we are able to have a full understanding of these characters and not left guessing? Do you really think most homosexual relationships are as ambiguous and based upon "will they, won't they?????" suspense as what we see in much anime? I agree with CCT, often times this is also used for marketing purposes. Keep the audience on the edge of their seat as to whether these characters are really gay, and maybe some viewers will obsess over their own personal fantasies by being allowed to interpretend things in whatever way they want. But that's not real gay relationships. That is the fetishized version. So then that brings us right back to the issue raised in the topic of this podcast. Is that a real positive depiction of a LGBTQ relationship? Or is it something else... a more implied thing that is meant to create fantasies but not give us a real depiction of real love and relationship?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CCTakato



Joined: 24 Jul 2015
Posts: 514
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:45 pm Reply with quote
willag wrote:

Of course, the above is only one opinion of an entire culture based around their experiences, but considering that they're actually immersed within the Japanese culture and fandom, I do think they bring some good information to the table. More than my speculations could provide.

So... I guess you could look at this as "the creators pushing the boundaries as comfortably as they wanted to" (and that someone there really wanted to try to genuinely depict a homosexual relationship but had to stick within bounds - i.e. like the ending with Korra) or you could just chalk this up as "fanbaiting."
This is an interesting point to bring up and I was just thinking about the media watchdog groups in Japan that complain about Gintma and Yokai Watch every month or something that would probably go into fits if it was more racey. I don't expect them to show like a wedding or something (even though I saw official YOI art on Twitter depicting Viktor & Yuri in wedding suit type outfits) but a simple "I love you" statement from Viktor and Yuri would be a big step up for me than what they've been doing. But my main issue with this blogger's argument was this same past year that Yuri On Ice aired, we had Sailor Moon Crystal season three airing on Japanese TV. Sailor Moon Crystal very explicitly showed Haruka kissing Usagi on the lips and there was an implied scene of Haruka and Michiru cuddling on their bedside with Haruka wearing her shirt unbuttoned that strongly implied they just had sex. I don't know how these scenes were received in Japan, but I should think Sailor Moon is a lot more mainstream than YOI and Sailor Moon Crystal was much more daring with it's LGBTQ content than YOI was, to be honest, and they're still going forward with season four of Crystal. So even if there were some complaints from more conservative viewers, it wasn't enough to get Crystal cancelled.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5324
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:19 pm Reply with quote
CCTakato wrote:
Sailor Moon Crystal very explicitly showed Haruka kissing Usagi on the lips and there was an implied scene of Haruka and Michiru cuddling on their bedside with Haruka wearing her shirt unbuttoned that strongly implied they just had sex. I don't know how these scenes were received in Japan, but I should think Sailor Moon is a lot more mainstream than YOI and Sailor Moon Crystal was much more daring with it's LGBTQ content than YOI was, to be honest, and they're still going forward with season four of Crystal. So even if there were some complaints from more conservative viewers, it wasn't enough to get Crystal cancelled.


See, I take issue with this, because I watched Crystal (without having watched SM previously) and was excited about the Haruka/Michiru thing... and then nothing happened. There were like nudges here and there (I don't remember the bed scene -implying-they-had-sex tbh), but to me that felt even more baity and disatisfying (especially given how there's a buttload of Haruka/Michiru merch) than Victor and Yuri because their relationship is of no consequence to the story or their character arcs (this of course is also related to how poor the character writing in Crystal is, all the senshis are hive-minded robots with no individuality, but that's a whole different matter).

Aside from one or two scenes, we never actually see Haruka and Michiru act as a couple, they never say "I love you", never show any particular concern about each other beyond being teammates -and in fact, Haruka looks way more into Usagi than she ever does Michiru-, but they're accepted as a couple. Yet people keep demanding this explicit confirmations from Victor and Yuuri, even after the entire show revolves around the development of their love. It bears mentioning that the sexual component is present in their relationship as early as episode 2, with the way Victor touches Yuuri, and then in every iteration of Eros in which there is constant talk about Yuuri seducing Victor -and Victor wanting to be seduced- blowing kisses, licking lips, and even an indirect kiss via their rings in episode 11. While I can understand that Kubo's ambiguous statements may be frustrating, demanding that an explicit confirmation be made to recognize their love as valid and real when there is more than enough visual and textual evidence in the show itself seems absurd.

The show has said time and again that their love is above any tangible label. Yuuri says the feeling is "more complex than romantic love", not that it's strictly platonic. Victor says he's gotten life and love from Yuuri. In any other setting, just the use of the word love (and so repeatedly and meaningfully) towards a romantic interest would be considered enough for confirmation, but with these two, unless we hear them say "My love for you is specifically romantic and also I want to touch your dick" it's still labeled ambiguous and baity-for-the-sake-of-sweet-fujo-money. To me that is times more frustrating than Kubo saying people are free to interpret it in whichever way they like.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 4 of 7

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group