…so, i’ve just started watching Yuri!!! On Ice (i’m only 3 episodes in), but already there’s something that’s kind of annoying me about it.
you know, how Victor keeps putting poor Yuri into really awkward, sometimes overtly sexual, situations that in real life would typically be viewed as sexual harassment or otherwise in appropriate but that is obviously considered to be more than okay by the people making the anime (and anime / manga in general) and is considered to be “cute”, “hot”, “relationship goals” by fans.
if someone did any of the shit that Victor keeps doing to me in real life, that sure as hell would not be “cute”, “hot”, “relationship goals”, etc and i’m pretty sure that a lot of people in the fandom would feel the same way if that were to actually happen to them in real life, but somehow those same people view that situation differently when it’s happening to an anime / manga character.
so annoying how “fan service” is often, at least in part, scenes of overt sexual harassment.
granted, this hasn’t completely turned me off Yuri!!! On Ice, but this being the first anime of its kind that i’ve watched in like a decade (the anime fan in me kind of dissipated upon living in Japan, ironically), it’s been a stark reminder of one of the reasons why me and fandom just aren’t a thing anymore.
edit #1: (same day)
i’m being told that something happens later on in the series that contextualizes what i’m seeing now earlier on in the series and that i may feel differently after watching more…. that’s encouraging to hear. i will keep watching. i’m more than happy to be proven wrong about this series in particular being like so many other series when it comes to this kind of thing.
edit #2: (the next day)
while episode 10 does provide context for Victor’s behavior earlier on in the series, calling into question what i said about sexual harassment in the OP, the rest of my post and the point i was trying to make still stands.
Yuri!!! On Ice fandom has considered Victor’s behavior and the relationship between Victor and Yuri to be “cute”, “hot”, etc since the beginning, long before there was any of the context that episode 10 (the latest episode at the time of this post) provides. even when Victor’s behavior could be seen as nothing more than sexual harassment, it was still seen by many as something positive when it should not have been, imho.
and as i tried to hint at in the OP, my feelings about this aren’t limited to YOI. even if the behavior in YOI itself can be chalked up to being part of the story’s development, that says nothing of how YOI fandom has handled it, which i was commenting on in the OP just as much as i was commenting on what i saw in the anime itself.
sexual harassment, dubious consent, etc is a huge thing that many anime and manga series utilize in the form of fan service because it sells. fandom eats that shit up, romanticizing it to the point that it’s now left the subculture of anime / manga to be replicated in real life towards actual people in the form of 壁ドン / kabe don, for example, which can be seen everywhere in Japan from tv shows to movies to schools. while some people may like being kabe-donned (some people go to maid cafes etc and pay to have it done to them), what some may see as a “romantic” gesture or joke can (and has) easily become a form of harassment– especially at school among students…
anyway, to finally get off my soapbox.
even with the context of episode 10, the creators of Yuri!!! On Ice knew full well what they were doing by arranging the story and episodes the way they did. Victor behaving how he did earlier on in the series was not just setup for episode 10 and the story overall. it was still fan service, even if there was also other reasoning behind it– which, yes, does make Yuri!!! On Ice different from other series that don’t have an equivalent to episode 10. but still.
i’m glad that there’s more to it with YOI, i really am. but i’m still “eh” about the use of this in the YOI anime and the consumption of it by YOI fandom, along side my more general criticism of stuff of this nature in anime / manga and fandom in general. sigh.