During all those nearly twenty five years, I’ve mastered, with some struggle, the art of overcoming the fact that people always judged things that I liked. “Silly”, “childish” normally were the most hurtful that I got (because c’mon, when you’re excited about something, you’d hate to listen someone bullshitting it).
When I was a teenager, anime was the “childish weird thing”. No matter how many good lessons it would contain, people would always see the surface. They’re too scared to dip their foot a little bit. Listening to rock also was “just a phase”. Because, right, your essence is certainly restrained as something you’d forget about someday (unless, obviously, it was what the “common sense” liked)
Recently I’ve got in touch with all these things I’ve enjoyed when I was younger — especially anime. It wasn’t planned; I’ve found some new Saint Seiya episodes I’ve never seen before and all that nostalgia brought me the urge to get involved in that universe again. A universe that not only taught me some cool stuff about mythology but also tons of friendship role models. Same happened with Sakura Card Captors, the purest days of my childhood that showed that a girl can be clumsy, overcome a platonic love and no matter how scary your path may seem, you can do it. And I’ll not even get in details about how Ouran High School Host Club made my high school days lighter with all that nonsense humor and relatable confused teenagers.
So this month I’ve found out about Yuri!!!On Ice and I thought I’d give it a try at least the first episode, since Figure Skating is actually something that makes my heart pops out (when I get to see it on the Winter Olympics on TV — I live in a tropical country so tv channels won’t show me any other championship). I have my favorites: in 2010 I couldn’t stop talking about Evan Lysacek and Patrick Chan but in 2014 my heart just melted with Plushenko’s terrific performances and oh my God, the brilliant and young Yuzuru Hanyu. Not so surprising that in the first minutes of the anime I instantly realized that Vicktor had something Plushenko-like and Yuri defiantly had something Hanyu-like.
But what mostly tear my heart when I watch it, is how is so easy to identify with Yuri with all the insecurity and anxiety burning inside of us when we are young adults. Every single scene where Yuri is being too harsh with himself breaks my heart because it’s too real. Yuri is 100% tense all the time, no matter if he does what he loves. He thinks he is not good enough, even being surrounded by people who love and support him. This is too real.
He’s not even my favorite character (Plisetsky, I’m looking at you!), maybe because how could I like someone so flawed like me? Yet every chapter I get nervous along to see if he’s going to get his personal shit together or not fall doing a triple axel or whatever, it’s incredibly catching. Still, people around me reduce all this to a simple “are you watching that yaoi?”
I think the subtle romance is funny and interesting but it’s completely shaded by all the other content, at least for me. If someone asks me I’d say it’s about an ice skater fighting his own demons, not as a “romance envolving two ice skaters”. But okay, maybe I shouldn’t expect people to dip their feet on the water. Maybe I should keep all what these little things means to me all to myself, like I’ve been doing since school.