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these hands, if not god

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[1]

 

“I wonder sometimes what the memory of God looks like. Is it a palace of infinite rooms, a chest of many jeweled objects, a long, lonely landscape where each chest recalls and eon, each pebble the life of a man? Where do I live, in the memory of God?”

 

Catherynne M. Valente, The Habitation of the Blessed

 

 ~ * ~

 

Sometimes there are things that need to be put away. Pain is one of them. The burn of Yuuri’s skin while skidding across the ice, the strain of his calves when failing to land a jump, the welts on his sore bloody feet after unending hours of practice.

There’s the memory of cold, lonely nights in his childhood bed, surrounded by equally cold and lonely children; the desire for reassurance after his mind has chased all the joy away; the deep, overwhelming sense of fear and shame when confronted with the eyes of an expectant crowd.

Atsuko may not realize it, but the first lesson she taught him had nothing to do with skating.

It was during the first of one of Yuuri’s many failures—an attempt at a basic waltz jump when he was seven. Yuuri had cried, feeling overwhelmed and unwanted and as if he were one second away from being sent back.

At first Atsuko stared at him in the way she always does when faced with his bouts of emotionalism. She’s never been good with children, and she was worse back then. Eventually, she had grabbed his hand and placed it right over his heart, saying, you need to put your fear away; anything that won't help you win isn't worth feeling at all.

He still remembers the determined set of her mouth and the flinty look of her eyes. She’d held his hand so tightly it almost hurt. And just like that, he had known she learned that lesson the hard way. Even so, the desire to win still burned from the core of her soul.

Nothing since then has ever been so vivid.

Yuuri sighs, running his fingers through his hair once more. His palms are clammy and hot, and no matter how he wipes his hands, the uncomfortable sensation never disappears. It’s like an uncomfortable knot is tying itself up inside him, growing and growing until it bursts.

He’s tried to keep Atsuko’s meaning to heart, but he can’t escape the trappings of his mind that conjures constant images of his biggest fears, reminding him how he can mess up in front of the world.

Yesterday he fumbled a quadruple flip while practicing. Today he’s remembered the flash of dissatisfaction on Atsuko’s face a thousand times, and his head has superimposed all the currently ecstatic faces with a image of hers.

Yuuri digs his nails deeper into his palm, balling them into fists, and flexing them when they begin to hurt. He wishes he could disappear. Just sink into his head so deep he’ll never come up for air.

Focus, he coaxes. Stop thinking. Stop.

A hand on his shoulder brings him back from his reverie. Yuuri glances to his left.

Atsuko is squeezing his arm. She gives him a half-smile. She knows better than to hug him, the gesture only makes him feel trapped. Instead she lets her hand stay there, light but steady.

A moment passes as Atsuko studies Yuuri’s face, as if fishing through his thoughts for the right words to say. Finally she says, “It’s all right, Yuuri. Kozlov’s short program is good this year, but yours is better. We’re going to win—with none of that bullshit from Sawada to stop you. Just remember what I taught you. When you’re on the ice, no one else but you exists.” It’s her form of comfort: coaching. She finds it hard to be affectionate, but since Yuuri knows she won't coddle him, he usually trusts her assurances more than anyone’s.

Yuuri only nods along absentmindedly. Her words don’t honestly register with him. The harsh echo of his heartbeat in his ears drowns out most the noise around him, and he can’t think straight.

“De Costa’s done.”

Yuuri raises his head in time to see Aldo de Costa bowing on the ice.

As the cheering crowd bids farewell to his Spanish competitor, Yuuri’s eyes follow de Costa’s figure when he exits the rink.

There’s no one left; it’s his turn now.

Yuuri’s muscles tense, and he resists the urge to shrink into himself. De Costa’s actions don’t register as the judges deliberate his score. Only the flash of de Costa’s name on the screen catches Yuuri’s attention. It places him right below Evgeni Kozlov.

Now Yuuri needs to beat two people, but in a panic he realizes he has no idea how well de Costa did.

“You’re up, kid,” Atsuko tells him as they announce Yuuri’s name on the loudspeaker. Her hand travels up to his back, guiding him forward.

Yuuri’s stomach swoops at her words, but he masks his fear with a determined expression.

He stands up with Atsuko and walks forward.

 

*

 

Yuuri has obsessed over the theme of this season. After two years of failing to make it to Grand Prix in one piece, there has been immense pressure for him to medal—to show the world he’s worth all the attention. The expectations directed at him from competitors, coaches, and fans have weighed on Yuuri’s mind and stolen precious hours of rest.

Atsuko has suggested he try to be bold and simply declare his theme to be victory, but Yuuri declined. The word doesn't encapsulate all his effort, all the sacrifices he and others have made in order to reach this point.

He’s chosen yearning in the end.

For Yuuri, the Grand Prix win has grown to signify more than a competition. The hopes guarded in his heart—the parts of him that yearn to be something more, to find something more—have cleaved themselves on winning gold. Sometimes it’s the only thing that lets him breathe.

Yuuri glides into the ice, blades gleaming under the stadium lights, and waits for the first notes to play. Part of his yearning is melancholic and intrinsic, like blood coursing through veins. It’s something that hums within him. As such, his song matches the mood.

A haunting melody begins to play; the simple notes of a piano. A deep bass accompanies the piano strokes, sounding like the quiver of a drum, steady and sonorous. In hand with the song, Yuuri begins to dance, raising his arms as if about to take flight. He trusts himself backwards and twirls just as the singer breathes the first lines.

The decisive element to this choreography is the perception of grace and fluidity, as if he's on water, or in the womb. Yuuri wants to emote a sense of drowning in the music just as he drowns in his dreams. He performs a serpentine step sequence, transitioning into an illusion spin, but refrains from performing a jump. They’re saved for the final half when the song reaches a frenzy.

Finally, Yuuri’s able to forget the crowd around him and concentrate on his routine. The ice, although unforgiving, was the first to offer him a home. His life began here so long ago. And so Yuuri feels safer on the ice than on land—than anywhere else in the world.

The tempo of the song rises, and Yuuri launches into the air, turning three times and landing on his right foot. A triple loop. A double toe loop. He pauses for a moment and then prepares for the next series. The jumps come as easily as breathing for him, and they’re necessary to compete, but they're almost an afterthought in this dance. The heart of the program lies in the emotive quality.

The performance reaches a close, and Yuuri ends on bended-knee, palms pressed together as if in prayer.

The cheering crowd almost disrupts his concentration, but luckily the world around him remains a blur of white and gray with blottings of color in rows. It's almost like a painting, and his nerves don't catch up to him just yet. Yuuri spots the blur of Atsuko’s bright red jacket and skates towards her, reaching, until she presses his glasses into his hands.

“Thanks,” Yuuri tells her as he puts them on, ignoring the faint smudge of fingerprints in the corner of the frames.

Atsuko’s smile comes faintly, almost proud, and Yuuri is filled with shy delight. He scratches the back of his neck. “You did good,” Atsuko says, one hand already tugging him towards the Kiss-and-cry. “You’ll see.”

 

*

 

The announcement rings in Yuuri’s ears. With wide eyes, he watches as his name flashes above Evgeni Kozlov’s – two points ahead. Atsuko tugs Yuuri to her side, pecking the crown of his head and then resting her chin over his hair. A light laugh escapes him, for once free of burden.

Yuuri’s done it. He’s one step closer to winning gold.

And then as soon as the thought occurs, yet another one reminds him that he can still lose. Anyone can make up a two-point difference with an artistic and complex free skate. Evgeni Kozlov reserves the title of the greatest showman, and the man has years of experience within his repertoire. For Yuuri to celebrate victory is almost premature. Childish, even.

Just like that, the moment’s gone.

When he glances up to look at her, Atsuko brows scrunch as she frowns on him. Atsuko’s ability to discern his mood equals no other. And already, she can tell that his worries are overtaking him.

“I’m happy,” he lies.

With a nod of her head, Atsuko’s face turns pensively to the bleachers, a sign she’ll let it slip. That doesn't mean she's convinced, however. After a pause, she tells him, “We’ll have to sneak out. You haven't placed in the Grand Prix for two years, and now that you’re here the hounds will come out sniffing for something.”

Yuuri frowns.

Reporters have never quite liked them. The Kozlov duo have a reputation as media darlings. The coach puts an air of cordiality and genuine sportsmanship; he’s never shown a bad face to the press. In contrast Kozlov balances that with a sense of charm and severity, and an edge of playful arrogance. Not enough to be obnoxious, but enough to give a good sound bite. They have tailored the kind of dynamic reporters readily eat up.

Meanwhile, Atsuko is full of acerbic wit and mild criticism—a reaction brought on by experience in her own career. Although Yuuri tries not to offend, he doesn't like the spotlight and that fact is easy to pick out. He becomes stiff and awkward in front of the camera, and often blurts out lines misconstrued by people trying to sell papers.

Yuuri turns his head towards where the press is sidling by Kozlov. The coach, a man by the name of Dimitri Arshivin, has his arm slung over Kozlov’s shoulder. It’s too far away to hear their words, but Yuuri can guess. It will be something along the lines of: I’m proud of Zhenya, we’ll definitely recover tomorrow.

Atsuko stands up, collecting the equipment bag, and handing him a change of clothes. Yuuri stands up too. It’ll be a good idea to leave while most of the reporters are distracted, even if they won't be amused to learn that the current first place snuck out. It won't look good for them.

“Guess I’ll put these on in the hall,” Yuuri mutters, taking them from her.

Atsuko shakes her head, already walking away. “No time to change,” she calls back. “Just do it as you walk. But don't make an idiot of yourself.”

As Atsuko moves further away, Yuuri takes advantage of the fact she's not looking and glances behind him again. Not towards Arshivin, but to the man standing beside him. Kozlov, who stands calm and certain.

He doesn't hate Kozlov. How can he hate someone who creates art? Part of him wants to go and tell the man, Congratulations. Your short program was beautiful. I admire how you take pride in your work. Once, I wanted to be you.

Perhaps someday he’ll find the time. Or the courage.

 

*

 

He thinks for a second that they’ve managed to escape. Atsuko’s far ahead of him, already waiting at the stadium doors, and no one’s found them yet.

And then a sound echoes through the halls, one of stomping boots charging full speed in Yuuri’s direction. His heart quickens. He tries to make faster longer strides without bringing attention to himself, but he’s not sure he succeeded.

“Yuuri. Katsuki Yuuri!” a thick Russian voice calls after him.

Yuuri closes his eyes and prays, but the footsteps loom closer, and he can already see Atsuko rolling her eyes, preparing to go to war.

Admitting defeat, Yuuri stops and turns, a perfectly polite expression plastered on his face.

A tall Russian man with broad shoulders stares down at Yuuri, and Yuuri almost strains his neck to make eye contact. The man, short of breath, grins and says, “Yuuri Katsuki, I am Anton Ivanov and I have been hoping to interview you.” He raises his hand as if to shake, but when Yuuri stares at it like it’s caught on fire, he withdraws it.

Realizing his mistake, Yuuri bows in greeting and the man nods back. “Of course, excuse me. I didn’t hear you before,” Yuuri says. Although it’s not necessarily true, he hopes the reporter won’t call him out on it.

Anton Ivanov stares over his shoulders towards Atsuko, and then back at Yuuri. Yuuri doesn’t have to look back to know she’s unhappy. “I see that you are busy,” Ivanov says. “I will hurry, but first I want to say I am big fan. Very big fan.”

Shocked, Yuuri lifts his head up again, peering closer into Ivanov’s eyes. The man’s expression remains lax, but not blank like to would be if he were trying to conceal a lie or wheedle past Yuuri’s defense. Still, it doesn’t make Yuuri completely trust him. Some journalists will say anything for a story. “Thank you.”

Ivanov takes a recording device out of his pocket, but he pauses before he turns it on. “Do you mind?”

“Not at all.” It could be worse, like a camera or a phone pressed up to his face.

Ivanov nods. “For the first question, I will make it easy. How does it feel to finish first overall during the short program?”

“Good,” Yuuri answers. “Evgeni Kozlov is an amazing competitor and I have looked up to him for years. It’s an honor to be considered to be anywhere near his level. It’s an even bigger honor to have matched him. With someone like Kozlov on the ice, I have to say that victory is never assured.”

“Hmm.” Ivanov pauses, as if considering the answer, and then he continues. “But you are also considered a monster competitor by many of your peers, especially in Japan where you have been chosen as one of their representatives for the Winter Olympics. How do you answer to that?”

Yuuri blinks. “I don’t think that’s a question.”

“My apologies. I meant to say: how do you assess your own abilities, especially compared to your Japanese contemporaries? The sport of figure skating was not as prestigious when you first began.”

“If you’re asking about the theory that I started the Japanese Golden Age, I have to say it’s untrue. Japan is brimming with talent, especially in my generation, and thanks to social media the world can see that now. I’m just an average competitor, and it’s through hard work that I managed to got this far.” Yuuri doesn’t like answering questions about how others look at him. He doesn’t think they really understand him, or the people he’s competed against. It’s easy for fans to mix up how much they like him with how talented he is, though those two things are entirely independent. Yuuri himself is lucky to be riding the wave.

Almost as if reading his mind, Ivanov says, “Oh but you are different from your competitors, are you not Yuuri Katsuki? As someone who was also born an orphan, I have to say there were many obstacles in your path to success.”

“I mean, I won’t say that it’s not hard,” Yuuri concedes. “What I mean to say is…”

“Yuuri,” Atsuko cuts in. She tugs on Yuuri a little harder, maneuvering him so he's shielded behind her. “We need to go.”

“Just a minute, ma'am.” Ivanov steps forward a bit more. They make eye-contact with each other, neither wanting to be the first to concede.

Yuuri ignores them both, trying to formulate idea in his head. He can’t organize what he’s thinking, so he says, “What I mean to say is that I never expected anything to be easy. Sometimes it feels like for every roadblock someone faces, I have to face ten. Most of the time, it has to do with things out of my control. Sometimes it’s with things I thought were my decisions but later turn out to be someone else’s. Half the time, I don’t know whether I’m going up or down; I can’t tell which way is which because there’s never any signs to indicate my progress until I’ve hit a dead end. It feels like I’m subject to a joke no one will ever let me in on. People keep doing things that are meant to be ‘for my own good,’ and they feel like I don’t need to know. Others tell me I’m amazing, but I can’t see it, and it never counts when it’s supposed to. So no, I don’t think I’m exceptional just because I’m an orphan who did better than expected. I’m just an outlier.”

When Yuuri finishes, his stomach swoops down to his feet as he realizes that he’s said too much. There’s nothing worse than a professional athlete who complains about his life as if it’s been so hard. No one wants to hear it.

The silence around him is deafening. Atsuko won’t say anything, and Ivanov stares at him as if unsure of how to continue.

He takes pity on Yuuri eventually. “Last question. You have been pushed towards the spotlight in the past two years, after the scandal that broke out with Izumi Sawada. How does the media attention affect you?”

"Well, it's something I have to handle as a professional. Last year it became slightly harder, but it was nothing I wasn't accustomed to." That's not what Yuuri wants to say at all, but he thinks he's done with honest answers for now. The thing he really wants to say is: It feels like I’m in a display case. Anything I do, from eating to sleeping to breathing, has been analyzed to death by strangers who know nothing about me. Sometimes even when I’m alone I feel like people are watching me.

 

*

 

Their hotel lies a few blocks from the stadium. It’s mid-19th century behemoth with stone archways and thick walls and about as tall as it is intimidating, much like St Petersburg itself. Outside it’s cold—it always is in December—but today the cold seeps through Yuuri’s clothes and settles on his skin. The snow on the ground is brown and slushy from being stomped on by hundreds of boots, but the white on the rooftops and window sills give off an ethereal and regal feeling.

 Atsuko escorts with Yuuri all the way to the front steps before she stops, handing over his equipment bag. Yuuri takes it hesitantly, frigid fingers sliding over the grip, already prepared for what's to come. Half of him has become numb to it, the other half is a mix of resentment and simmering anger and, ultimately, resignation.

“You’re staying out?” Atsuko’s post-event drinking has become something of a ritual. It’s a vice that’s been with her much longer than Yuuri has been alive. Alcohol–wine, rum, whiskey, gin—has lasted much longer than Atsuko's kept her friends and coaches and even her parents, who she refuses to talk about. At times she pretends she doesn't need it but come dawn Yuuri can depend on waking up to an empty hotel room.

“Yeah, I’ll have to check out the places around here. Catch up with the history and the culture and all that. Mostly vodka.” Atsuko shrugs, slipping her hands in her pockets.

When Yuuri was younger, he had wanted to beg her to stay. He never did. The fear of becoming a burden had kept his mouth shut. Nobody would want to keep a clingy child, especially if it wasn't theirs and if they could find a better behaved one. There were dozens of orphans desperate to take Yuuri’s place.

It’s different now.

“Fine,” Yuuri says softly. “I’ll see you at curfew then.”

Atsuko takes as step backwards and then pauses, a serious expression overtaking her features. “Yuuri?”

“Yes?”

“Did you mean what you said back there. To the reporter.”

Yuuri freezes. “I- I guess a little? Not entirely. I wasn’t in a good mindset so I just spouted things.”

“Alright,” Atsuko accepts reluctantly, a slight tinge of relief coloring her words. “We all get like that sometimes, I suppose. I’ll make some calls tomorrow and make sure none of that hits the circuit. Don’t worry about it.”

“Can you actually do that?” Yuuri asks her. He doesn’t think if she’d had that power she wouldn’t use it.

Atsuko shrugs. “We’ll just offer a bigger, better interview. An exclusive. At least it wasn’t an American. They’re giant babies about 'journalistic integrity'.”

Yuuri smiles, letting himself relax. “Alright then. I can do that.”

“Well then. We’re all squared up. See you later, Yuuri.” And soon she’s gone, never looking back even as Yuuri’s gaze follows her all the way down the street.

 

*

 

The front desk clerk is sifting through a magazine. She's the younger one, a redhead who seems to be constantly exhausted and harried. Nevertheless, her uniform remains well pressed and her makeup well done. Yuuri offers her a small nod when their eyes lock, and in return she gives him a wan smile before turning back to her magazine.

He heads to the elevator, too tired to do anything but lean against the wall. The hallways are empty. Most people have gone to bed by now.

Inside his hotel room, Yuuri is left to his own devices. He thinks to shower first. It fills up some time, but then he's left alone again. The TV only offers Russian channels, and though Yuuri knows enough to ask for directions he can't hold a functional conversation, so it's no use to watch people speak to each other in what is essentially gibberish.

Yuuri checks his messages. He has a couple from some acquaintances he met throughout the years, generally wishing him well and congratulating him on a stellar performance. Tomorrow they might be singing a different tune. The thought causes a ball of stress to press into his stomach, so Yuuri scrolls past them.

One particular text gives Yuuri pause, however. It’s from Megumi, his childhood friend. He hasn't talked to her in while, not after what happened last year. Part of it comes from his own guilt, and part of it may be from her own, since she doesn't contact him often. She always has been one to come through for this, however.

Her message is pretty simple. The same straightforward, upbeat nature Megumi constantly maintains.

Megumi

Ganbatte Yuuri! o(^ ^)o Japan is with you!!!

He ponders his response for a couple minutes. What should he say? Is this a pretense to bridge the conversation between them? Or maybe she sees it an obligation and hopes he doesn't reply. It would be rude of him not to.

In the end Yuuri shoots off a quick thank you, hoping he'll be asleep before she has time to reply. Then he goes back to scrolling through his phone. Eventually, he scrolls all the way to the one name he doesn't want to see.

Sawada, Izumi — and a new message.

He blinks and looks again, but the bright blue dot next to Izumi’s name doesn't disappear. That’s some nerve.

Yuuri turns his phone off and places it on the nightstand. It’s unsatisfying. There's no catharsis. No immediate gratification, like in slamming a door shut or walking away. Izumi doesn't even know that Yuuri got upset over seeing his stupid name. Will never know.

He doesn't want to think about it.

Yuuri can't sleep, so he stares at the ceiling. The light filtering through the curtains distorts the shadows playing off the wall. They move about like shapeless clouds. Nothing in the ceiling glints, and so can tell himself there’s no camera.

 

*

 

Xoche @futurekatzki • 43m
YESSS YUURI IS FIRST AND I AM  L I V I N G. THIS IS THE YEAR GUYS #yfo #goldfor2k13

ClaraM @claramacdonalddd • 45m
*patiently waits for someone to skate yuuris performance on youtube* #goldfor2k13 #YuuriK

                  nobody @notodysseus • 42m
                  @claramacdonalddd Jenna took a crack at it though it wasn't what I pictured youtu.be/3BaSrjTylv9

                  KJ @KolleenJones • 42m
                  I would kill to see him LIVE , he’s just so beautiful. It feels like crushing on simba all over again

TheRealMegumi @KatsukisWifeyy • 40m
i want everything to end up well but i feel like something bad will happen TT^TT #goldfor2k13

                  Gillian @heartlessniche • 37m
                  @KatsukisWifeyy that’s because it will

                  Zhenyuuri Baby @angrladarling • 35m
                  @KatsukisWifeyy Cursed words 凸ಠ益ಠ)凸

alamonde @c3pioono • 34m

please yuuri please please please please please please please please #yfo #goldfor2k13

dora @dorkalicious • 30m
@satan limited time only, i’m willing to sell my soul for yuuri katsuki’s gold medal #goldfor2k13

                   Lord of Darkness @satan • 29m
                   Get in line

Todd Forman @tod0t • 24m
hey guys what’s up with the tag. Isn't it 2016 already? Who the hell is Yuuri #goldfor2k13

 

*

 

Focus. Focus. Focus.

He keeps repeating those words, but the magic isn't happening. He can't seem to stop hearing the cheers of the people in the bleachers. They drown out Yuuri’s every effort to center himself.

The music around him has reached it’s slow, steady middle. And Yuuri’s missed his queue. He’s jumped a second too late. The judges will see. They'll deduct from his technical score. And his performance. It’s off now. The timing is off. He can't focus.

He’s going to lose like this.

And Kozlov’s in first again. Comfortable on his throne, he must be reveling in Yuuri’s misfortune. He has to know that Yuuri can't compete with him, can't even compete with a tiny voice inside his head. He’s going to see Yuuri fail. The whole world is going to see Yuuri fail.

For a second—just a second—he spies Atsuko. He can't see her without his glasses. She looked impeccable this morning, never the victim of a hangover. And he can't see her, but his mind draws her so clearly. He remembers this part in their training; the part where she looks so disappointed and then dispassionate. Yuuri’s going to attempt a quadruple flip now. She’s never happy with his flips—says he lands too gracelessly. Her face. What does it look like? He just wants her to be proud for once.

He takes a sharp turn and then–

The next thing Yuuri feels is a sharp of pain shooting up through his heal. His blade lands awkwardly, and Yuuri goes tumbling to the side. At this point, he would follow the momentum and stand up. But he can't. As soon as Yuuri places weight on his foot, the pain sparks up again and he falls on one knee.

No. No, no, no, no, no.

Yuuri tries again, but he already knows. He won't be leaving this rink without medical assistance. Yuuri curls up into himself hoping everyone will think it's the injury. There’s a nervous chattering in the air; the crowds are catching on that something’s wrong. Shame swells so large in his chest he can hardly contain it. Pride keeps his tears from spilling over.

It’s over now.

Yuuri tried so hard, and it's over. It’s almost as if he's a cosmic plaything. He doesn't know why this can be it. If there's a god, how can they stay indifferent to Yuuri’s pain?

 

*

 

Yuuri!! Fight On, known in Japan as Yūri!! Ganbatte (ユーリ!! 頑張って) , is a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Osamu Nishigōri. It began its serialization in Monthly Shōunen Jump in January 2003, with the chapters collected into forty-three tankōbon volumes to date, and is currently running in Weekly Shōunen Jump. The series follows the journey of its titular character, Yuuri Katsuki, an orphan who wishes to pursue his dream of reviving enthusiasm for figure skating in Japan and becoming the best male figure skater in history.

The series garnered worldwide acclaim after its debut, receiving praise for its characterization, plot, and its tackling of difficult concepts such as mental illness. Many international figure skating champions have cited the manga as their inspiration, and it has been credited for being responsible for garnering newfound interest in figure skating throughout the world. As of May 2015, the series has sold 120 million copies worldwide, making it one of the top seven best selling mangas in history. In 2008 and 2010 it won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize and later went on to win the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2012.

As of 2016, an anime adaptation has been announced to be made by Toie Animation, the same studio involved in the creation of One Piece. It is the first of its kind, as series creator Nishigōri has previously rejected offers to have movies or a television series produced. Nishigōri has stated that he will finish the series midway through the show’s run.

 

*

 

To: nishisamu@gmail.com

From: kurosawa.arata@gmail.com

Subject: Re: Plans For 2016-2017

 

Dear Nishigori-san,

Forgive me for being forward, but editorial staff at Shounen Jump and I have reviewed your proposal for the next year, and we are highly concerned about some details in the direction of the upcoming year.

We are enthusiastic about your decision to continue on our weekly magazine, and we always champion creator liberty, but we also feel compelled to thoroughly analyze the details before going forward. As such, I am requesting a private audience with you at whatever time may be convenient within the next two weeks.

Sincerely,

Kurosawa Arata, Editor-in-Chief

 

 

*

(5 People)

           Mila
           Victor is crying again
           5:57 PM 

Georgi
Why?
wait why is he back
5:58 PM

Yuri
Stupid bastard. Take his phone away
6:01 PM

           Mila
           For his birthday. WE TALKED ABOUT THIS GEORGI. SCROLL UP
           6:01 PM

           Mila
           Also. New chapter
           6:02 PM

           Mila
           I did but he took someone else’s
           6:04 PM

           Mila
           Now he’s crying and he won’t give the phone back
           6:05 PM      

           Mila
           The girl found out was he was reading and now they’re both crying. I don’t get paid enough for this.
           6:07 PM


Yakov
I’ll get him
6:13 PM

Georgi
We don’t get paid at all??
...
Is there something you guys aren’t telling me?
6:14 PM

 

*

 

katzukibabe posted

“Most of the time, it has to do with things out of my control. Sometimes it’s with things I thought were my decisions but later turn out to be someone else’s. Half the time, I don’t know whether I’m going up or down; I can’t tell which way is which because there’s never any signs to indicate my progress until I’ve hit a dead end. It feels like I’m subject to a joke no one will ever let me in on.”

- Osamu, Nishigori. Yuuri!! Fight On

Source: katzukibabe #DAAAAAMN FUCK ME UP PEEPS #i’m crying over yuuri forever #yfo

53 notes

*

r/YFO • Current Chapter
Yuuri!! Fight On: Chapter 414 
submitted by u/Zhenyuuri   •   1hr

Please discuss the manga here and in the theory/discussion post. Any other post will be removed during the next 48 hours.
PS: Don't forget to check out the official Discord: https://discord.gg/yfo

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osabery    57  min
I don’t want to be that person but for ONCE JUST THIS ONCE WHY I CAN’T I HAVE NICE THINGS.

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                        ▹ Falafel    32 min
                        I feel like now I have to write Nishigori an itemized list of thirteen years of disagreements.

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                            ▹ JusticeBear  30 min
                            Sweet Jesus!

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              ▹ rollerbrithes   39 min
              I can't believe yuuri won't win gold for the third fucking year in a row. Do you know what that boy had to go through to get here? Fucking politics and scandals and shitty parental figures and his own mental illness. AND we already had an arc where he was injured AND we had a already had an arc where he missed out on the GPF thanks to He Who Shall Not Be Named. Literally no one in that room deserved it more than him, and you come at me with that fake ass injury bs. You know what Nishigori? Dishonor. Dishonor on YOU. Dishonor on your FAMILY. Dishonor on your COW.

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                 ▹ superffrea    49 min
                 Exactly. Atsuko how hard can it be not to drink for once?

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                         ▹coreytheman     47 min
                         “how hard can it be to not be an alcohlic” uh...

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                          ▹Orangemarmaldss     42 min
                          That’s supposed to be the point though isn’t it? Nishigori is lambasting the typical  dysfunctional teacher trope

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                                        ▹ FEARMYMATH    37 min
                                         I think the frustration comes from the fact that there’s no progress on that angle. Atsuko has literally always just been an alcoholic.

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                                         ▹ Ic3baby    36 min
                                         Not sure why you got so many downvotes. I agree. It’s an allegory isn’t it?

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Zhenyuuiri     47 min
    The only thing that makes me hold onto my sanity is that now Evgeni can comfort Yuuri in his time of need.

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                      ▹HolySaintNobody    30 min
                      Bless this comment

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                      ▹lloyla    29 min
                      Another zhenyuuri shipper! Yes. God I need so much fanfic right now.

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                          ▹ Anoth3rSolution   21 min
                          Wait wouldn’t Yuuri be upset by his rival trying to comfort him?

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                             ▹ Zhenyuuiri   21 min
                             r/woosh. That’s the sound of a decade of slash ships flying right past you.

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              ▹ scotbud1    22 min
              I don’t really picture Yuuri with anyone. Is that strange?

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                     ▹ Gakuenf     18 min
                     Not even Izumi?

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                      ▹ lloyla    16 min
                       If Izumi cared for Yuuri he wouldn’t have done what he did.

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                          ▹ Gakuenf     13 min
                          Oh yeah and this is clearly from an unbiased source.

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DidYouReallyKnow     12 min
 Anyone catch the height difference between Koslov and his coach. I cracked up.

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                     ▹ With_This_Thumb     10 min
                     It was funnier last chapter, though, when Arshivin was standing on the stool during the interview. Now I’m too depressed to feel happy.

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Dinasour_Shotgun    17 min
     “if there’s a god out there, how can they be indifferent to my pain.” Does anyone else feel guilty by association?

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                ▹ Become_The_Mask   12 min
                IDK but the one that really got me was the interview with the reporter. The only where he said he was part of a joke he wasn’t in on? Man, if Nishigori knocks harder on that third wall he can script Deadpool 2.

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                   ▹ Sarahs   10 min
                   Can you imagine if Yuuri ever did find out he was in a manga? That would be so heartbreaking.

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                        ▹ Becoming_The_Mask  1 min
                         You talk as if his world isn’t an actual world.

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kangyeon posted

YUURI FIGHT ON: Meta on the current state of Yuuri’s heroic journey

Like many of us today, I was disappointed by the outcome of this week’s chapter. After waiting nearly thirteen years for Yuuri to be acknowledged for the skill and dedication he shows to the sport, all our hopes were soaring high. And then they crashed down again.

I was upset, angry, ridiculously close to tears. Close to tears. Not again, I said to myself. This will be like another Pokemon. The hero remains in a stasis to preserve the status quo. He can never win. That would mean the end of the story.

I took a break from it to do some of my uni work, which ironically involved Joseph Campbell’s mapping of the hero’s journey, and then I went back to reread the first chapter of YFO. I wonder if you’re familiar with this image:

fake manga page

In the official volume this is translated as: “There are many people waiting to meet someone special. In this world, I am no one’s” (x). You can decide which version is more tragic. However, it does pinpoint one of YFO’s underlying issue the one we have desperately ignore. Yuuri’s deepest desire is not to win, it’s to be loved. Figure skating - as much is it’s his life - is only a tool towards that goal. Yuuri seeks love and acceptance from those above him, people like Atsuko and Evgeni, or the faceless crowd. However, he rejects any overtures of affection from those who reach out to him, people like Megumi—who has loved him to a Sakura/Sasuke level— or his many many rivals in the junior leagues. Right now Yuuri is motivated by fear and insecurity. He cannot reach the resolution of the story because his motivation isn’t true to the themes of the story.

In the essay bellow I’ll provide evidence of how Nishigori-sensei foreshadowed the current state of YFO through previous arcs and the obstacles Yuuri must overcome before the true climax of the story.

Keep Reading

 

choonie reblogged kangyeon
I see your point. But one question? have you ever considered that yuuri could be a tragic hero? A tragedy has been paralleled to an interrupted hero’s journey where the hero’s fatal flaw stops him from finishing the heroic cycle. It could be nishigori sensei intends for yuuri to become a self-fulfilling prophecy and remain that “no one” due to his inhibitions. What if he’s a representative of all those people who won’t ever get gold as long as Viktor Nikiforov is competing?

lorelllexxx reblogged choonie
Thanks satan, but we didn’t need the commentary 

Source: kangyeon #rude #yfo
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