Thursday, February 2, 2017

No, Yuri on Ice is Not Fujoshi Bait, You Walnut.

Written by: Micha. 

Gather around, kids. We have a new fish to fry.

It started on Crunchyroll.

Actually, it probably started before Crunchyroll annual anime awards, but the awards are a good checkpoint. Yuri!!! on Ice! won every category it was nominated for, and naturally some folks got a little bitter and ranted about their anime being sidelined by YOI. That’s fine. That’s normal. I not got a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with, though, is spewing bullshit.

Such as the ill-informed opinion that Yuri on Ice is fujoshi bait. And the only reason YOI became so popular is solely for this reason.

When people rage about YOI upstaging their anime.

If you’re one of those people who agree with this but have not actually watched the anime, leave. Seriously, you’ve got no credibility. Watch the anime and if you still hold firm to that same opinion, then come back to me.

Secondly, before I explain why this anime does not qualify as fujoshi bait, we need to have a mutual understanding that Viktuuri is canon. We have to clear this out of the way at the start, because apparently, there are people (still!) who refuse to believe it.

To those who are still doubtful or refusing to believe Viktuuri is canon and choose to put your head in the sand, even after all the gay scenes and Kubo-sensei confirming their relationship: I don’t wanna call you a homophobe but you’re a fucking homophobe. You’re part of the problem.

Why is it so hard for you to fathom the idea that two men might be in love with each other? Are you that opposed to the idea that you won’t even entertain it? Get off my lawn, kid.

A normal student-teacher interaction. Not.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what exactly is Fujoshi Bait?

We don’t have a Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of Fujoshi Bait, although that would be very cool. But if you breakdown the phrase: fujoshi meaning girls who enjoy watching homosexual relationships, and bait meaning to lure someone with false pretences; it implies someone is being deceived, lead on, duped. Or trolled, if you will.

Yuri on Ice is the opposite of fujoshi bait. It does not give you false hopes of Viktor and Yuuri’s relationship. In fact, it exceeds all your expectations when it comes to relationships in anime. Especially sports anime.

You might be thinking, “okay, maybe not fujoshi bait. It’s still fanservice.”

No, shit.

What anime doesn’t show fanservice? In YOI, however, fanservice is not there to fill up air time or fulfill comic relief purposes. Each interaction shows the growth of their relationship, including Yuuri seeing Viktor less as an idol and more as a person.

But that's not the topic of this article. I’m sure you can find many analytical novels about it written on Tumblr.

This article is about your dumbass dismissing a great piece of art that had years of research, by throwing a generic critique such as “fanservice” and “fujoshi bait” just because your sour ass cannot handle an anime getting love from not just anime fans, but also professional skaters.

Professional skaters are a lot more into this than actual fujoshis, you have no idea.

I’m also not implying fujoshi bait isn’t a real thing. Trust me, it’s very real. I know this first hand because we, fujoshis, have been victims to this too many times.

In fact, because of YOI, I will no longer tolerate fujoshi bait. Because fuck you for playing with my feelings. If you wanna make it canon, make it canon. Don’t tease me with scenes like this that end up being nothing but empty dialogues obvious enough to imply no-homo but promising enough to keep me on my toes.

It is the normalization of a gay relationship on a romantically and sexually neutral turf (neutral turf meaning the genre is not shojo, shounen-ai, yuri, or even yaoi) that’s deserving its of its attention.

Sports anime are expected, to some extent, to show fanservice of this kind, without confirming homosexual relationships. Or in other words, it’s expected to bait fujoshis. And this is why Yuri on Ice, having made Viktuuri canon rather than just teasing us, will never fit under the definition of “fujoshi bait.” Yuri on Ice broke stereotypes. It literally made history.

If you’re still stubborn about this, what you don’t understand is that YOI is a sports anime that happens to have a strong gay relationship. Just like how we have sports anime or shounen anime that happens to have heterosexual relationships. Get over it.

You know what, don’t get over it. Accept it. Because from the direction society is moving towards, expect to see many anime like this. Where gay interactions are not treated as tropes to pull in ratings or plot devices for comic relief that end up never coming true, but actual pairings that will become canon in your favorite anime.

I look forward to drinking your salty tears.



Micha: [Co-founder]
Micha doesn't have much going on in her life, which is why she does this shit every once in a while.  If you want to befriend her, talk to her on her skype: michasucks. Or approach her on her tumblr, but do it gently because she scares easy. You can also harass her by sending hate-filled emails to michamichamicha@live.com. She loves that.


3 comments:

  1. THIS IS PERFECT!!! You read my thoughts and put them on writing, 10000% agree with this! I've been trying to say the same thing to people but of course they're too butthurt about YOI winning all the awards to listen (their tears are delicious). It's funny how they could've won if only had they voted :)

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    1. YOI fandom is a lot more organised than most. And it's a fricken fan poll. Don't understand the rage.

      Thanks for reading this,
      Micha.

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  2. As someone who has watched the entirety of Yuri on Ice, I can say that... yes, Yuri on Ice IS Fujoshi bait. Is it entirely Fujoshi bait? Absolutely not. But you cannot say that Fujoshis WEREN'T baited by certain aspects of Yuri and Victor's relationship, especially when you consider where those certain aspects appear most heavily.

    The first few episodes of YoI had so many hallmarks of BL and Yaoi animes that I almost dropped the series like a hot potato. The creators ABSOLUTELY played up the student-teacher vibe between Victor and Yuri. They played up the attraction (romantic OR sexual take your pick) and even did it in a way that played riiiight into standards of BL and Yaoi by flat-out portraying Yuri as the "girl" and Victor as the "guy." Yuri on Ice looked like a Yaoi until about Episode 4. It turned me off of the anime. It turned several of my gay friends off of the anime until we all got word that hey they were actually going to portray a healthy, realistic relationship between two guys!

    I started watching again at Episode 8, and I'm really glad that I did, but I'm sure some people out there never got past the first couple of episodes, when YoI looked like a run-of-the-mill Yaoi or BL show. I fault them for not continuing the anime, but I don't fault them for catching onto the show's undertones in the first few episodes.

    As we didn't actually GET a Yaoi or BL anime in the traditional sense, you can still say that Yuri on Ice was in fact "Fujoshi-baiting." Remember that Fujoshis aren't just women that enjoy mlm romances - they're women that flock to Yaoi and BL works, which tend to fetishize gay men. Kubo never went down that path, thus failing to appease the TRUE "fujoshis." Those that wanted a healthy relationship between two men got what they wanted, though.

    Did the true fujoshis tip the scales for the Anime Awards? Of course not, that's ridiculous (though many definitely took interest). The fandom is enormous, and they advertised all over social media websites. Mob Psycho 100 got robbed of Best Animation and Best Ending, but they're fan polls. Popularity contests. And, given how much the representation of a relationship like Victor and Yuri's mattered to gay anime fans (including myself yo), it DESERVED that popularity, and it DESERVED many of the awards it received.

    The butthurt pansies on anime forums aren't entirely wrong in calling YoI "fujoshi bait," but they're really selling themselves short by not giving YoI credit for what it is and for what it accomplished.

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