Lup and Straight Trans Women

I’ve got other things to say about why The Adventure Zone is pretty cool some other time, but I just want to talk about one element: The relationship between Lup and Barry in The Stolen Century, and more importantly what it stands for. Please keep in mind this is a narrow presentation of transness and queerness and it’s not representative of what it means to be trans for everybody at all. I’m speaking on the gut feelings I experience rather than rational understandings I hold.

From the Postmodern Postgraduate Postulate…

When I watched Steins;Gate, there was an acute feeling that brought me to tears in the trans character presented. I recognized how deeply it touches me to see a trans person in love, particularly extended to a trans woman in love with a straight cis man. There’s a subtextual “Are you good enough” aspect to it. Do you pass well enough for him to love you? Are you feminine enough for him to love you? It’s because the everyman (ie straight cis man) is expected to have an ordinary view of women and what is attractive in a woman, and a trans woman inherently defies that by default simply because men are meant to be observers and women are meant to be observed. To a straight cis man, a trans woman is a cis man calling for attention, a cis man looking to be observed. The features that may be present in a trans woman embody this— the thick chin, wide shoulders, narrow hips, large hands, bony knees, the penis. None of it by biology is likely to be synonymous with the thin, curved, sleek beauty women are perceived to have. It’s because of this that it’s truly special for a straight cis man to love a trans woman, because it means he has overcome this default societal notion and truly accepted the trans woman as a woman. It’s saying, “Yes, you are good enough. You pass well enough for me. You’re feminine enough for me.” It’s an acceptance that is empowering for all trans women, straight or otherwise, because it means that the demographic who has imposed this gender binary upon the world accepts your identity as synonymous with your expression. This is important to note— expression is like a mathematical function. The expresser inputs the expression and society perceives to the output. Expression is defined by the expresser insofar as the expresser can input new values to the expression, but if society has bounded the expresser to certain limits, no matter what the expresser does they may never be fully accepted. In a society dominated by straight cis men, there are bounds placed by society on what an individual assigned male at birth can be. That individual may express themselves as femininely as possible, but unless straight cis men choose this expression to be female, a trans woman, as perceived by the world, is no different from a man in a dress. To see a straight cis man love a trans woman is to see that man accept a trans woman as being a woman, and by inference every trans woman as a woman. For all the self-empowerment we may do to overcome the patriarchy and ignore how society perceives us, it’s only something we can do logically and never emotionally. Even if I understand how foolish it is to put my self-confidence in the hands of society, primarily straight cis men, I can never truly avoid doing so. So to see straight cis men accept a trans woman as a woman by loving her, I see reassurance that I am truly a woman. It is because of this that something as inconsequential and sappy as Barry and Lup falling in love can bring me to joyful tears because of that little detail that Lup was assigned male at birth. It means that I really am a woman and that trans women can experience love as everybody else does and not dragged down by their assigned sex at birth.

I guess this is an indication that at the end of the day, even a strange one like me’s just looking for a place I can feel normal in.


Why I Didn’t Fap Last Night

It’s late at night, my roommate is out, my blinds are shut and the lights are off. I think to myself, “You know, now’s a good time to rub one out.” So I pull open a private window and…


You mean… people fap to THIS shit?

God. Penis. Get out out of here. Please. Now, Go away.

Uhg, lesbians don’t actually do that. How can anybody believe this is real?

They said they’re lesbians, but there’s a man here. Get the fuck out!

Really? This is your representation of trans people? Fucking transphobes.

This isn’t how women masturbate!!

Y’all realize how racist that title is…

You know what? I’ll just try again later. Fuck this shit I’m going to sleep.

This is an all too common experience for me, and it doesn’t need to be. I argue a huge part of why this is is that the vast majority of porn is strongly androcentric, or in layman terms, it’s oriented toward cis, straight dudes. Before you all come clamoring to tell me there’s women-oriented erotica, keep in mind that that is cis female oriented. I would argue sexual experiences particularly are one field in which trans and cis women significantly differ in their experiences because, well, if you haven’t gotten surgery then you’ve got a dick, and that changes how sex works. Honestly I’d be fine with reading my porn if I weren’t so into creative writing and thus able to recognize the shittiness of other peoples’ grammar and story structuring. As-is though, it fucking sucks. Sure, video porn still has contrived plots and whatnot, but there aren’t so many grammatical errors, which sets it well above most erotica.

Furthermore, the bit of trans female-oriented porn is incredible exploitive of the trans experience by fetishizing feminization or an AMAB individual being submissive. If I got dick dysphoria, the last thing I wanna see on screen is a dick, alright? Show me some cis women, please. Okay, sure, let’s look at cis lesbian porn: It’s all male-oriented. So many of it enforces dominant / submissive, penetrator / penetrated, rigid structures that reinforce gender roles even in a same-sex relationship. Hell, I’m sure half the reason people think gays have the man and the woman is because of misleading porn. The amount of lesbian porn that is female oriented, let alone lesbian-oriented, is so slim as to give me difficulty in finding it on the mainstream porn sites— the only sites I frequent because I ain’t paying for porn and I don’t know where to search.

The sad reality is that most good female-oriented video porn or queer-oriented video porn is made by small producers who need money directly, and I can’t realistically afford that for something of the same production quality as everything else but more kind to my sensibilities.

But doesn’t this case mean that the industry should continue as-is? If I’m not willing to put my wallet where my mouth is, what’s the good in demanding more equal porn in the first place? I could tackle all the sociological implications of this, but like, think about it this way. There’s 49% men and 49% women and like, .5% enby, trans, or something else. Why isn’t .5% of porn trans-oriented? Why isn’t half of porn female oriented? The porn industry is such a brilliant example of how male privilege reinforces the continued male privilege.

All this same logic applies to other axes of diversity— cultural differences and complexion can be huge inhibitors to appreciating mainstream porn when mainstream porn is so white-centric and fetishizes POC.

Now mind you, in spite of the racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia I see when looking at porn, only some specific elements of the expression of these things actually turn me off. Mostly the trouble comes from the distraction. When I see something fuckin stupid, I’m taken out of the experience, the immersion.

Minding all of this, consider then when I open a private tab and look and the first thing I see is blowjob. Tit rubbing. Objectification. Understand the exception I take to this? Good, because it’s a legitimate inhibitor to my ability to pleasure myself, and masturbating is what lets us see the world.

I Can’t Write Fiction for Shit!: A Spiritual Journey As To Why

There’s an orange-ish substance on the metal portion of my fidget spinner, and I cannot tell if it’s sauce from something I ate or rust. It looks slightly liquidy / sticky, which given either possibility makes me scared to touch it. Sure, there is hand soap and a sink in my dorm room, but from an economic perspective, the only benefit of me touching the fidget spinner is to obtain this information. Knowing how I am at the moment, there is a 0% chance that I would actually bother to clean the fidget spinner, meaning under either option I am very likely to just throw it out either way. On the other hand, I get my finger sticky with orange stuff if I do touch it, which will be unpleasant and require time to remove from my finger. Admittedly that period of time is less than the period of time it has taken me to write this, but now that I have written all of this, it would still be an inefficient use of my time to then touch the fidget spinner and determine the properties of the orange sticky substance on the spinner.

I have had a growing concern regarding storytelling, particularly written stories. On the one hand, the confines imposed by being forced to tell a story through words alone can allow for new artistic merit. Since telling a story depends on description, this description can be played with in fun ways. Zipping one’s lips shut can be described as pinching two  fingers together and moving them from one side of the mouth to the other. By describing it in the second manner, the reader is not immediately aware this is zipping one’s lips shut and thus considers the specific action, giving a better visual image for the reader of what has just occurred and allowing the reader to be better immersed than they would be otherwise. Such strategies are useful and cool, but it does not lift my worry about the confines of storytelling through words alone. My greatest concern is that because everything is a description of reality rather than reality itself, there is a limit to the number of possible descriptions of that reality in a sense that there wouldn’t be to reality itself. Though a film is staged, what it portrays is immediately engaging on all senses. There isn’t the same basic prerequisite that in order to make a vlog, you have to be fully aware of autobiographical storytelling the same way one must to write creative nonfiction or creative autobiographical works. Sure, these elements can be helpful, but I don’t feel as if they are as integral to the essence of storytelling through video as they are in storytelling through words.

To express my concern as it blatantly is, rather than by trying to make it into some academic thinkpiece it’s not, I’m worried that I’ll run out of ideas for stories to tell because there’s only so many written stories that can be told. We’ve done it already to plot— please find me a plot from any medium from the past 20 years that hasn’t been done before already. Characters sure seemed immune for quite some time, but I’m beginning to grow concerned that the human experience can only be mutated in so many fashions. Intersectionality gives the best resolve to that that we have, since there are many tango dancers and many Genshiken fans, but very few tango dancers who are Genshiken fans. Thus I am able to combine my distinct repertoire into my content creation. However, I’m uncertain of how to extend this to stories. Typically as it is portrayed, characters must have an entry point for the audience. They must be universal in an element. This can’t be done though when it’s personal, because there are people who are just fucking weird. So you’re stuck with the dilemma: make your characters fucking weird and risk looking like a hack because it’s better to give your characters originality in their heart and soul rather than in their interests or appearances, or end up devolving into the at this point trite attempts to make a new take on a given type of character.

Part of this issue may evolve from the fetishization that fiction puts on weirdness. Anything that isn’t normal isn’t just something that isn’t normal, it is immediately put into this category of weirdness. And furthermore, these elements of weirdness are expected to not be tackled intersectionally— instead we can get the intersection from the interaction between characters. This totally contradicts reality, since I do do tango and I am a Genshiken fan and I do play ping pong and I am trans and I like creative writing and I’m majoring in math. For all practical storytelling, having a character with that much going on is absolutely ridiculous, but evidently by myself it exists in real life. So, do you overburden a character with too many traits, or do you deny them the many intersections that are legitimately prevalent in the human experience? Should you attempt to tackle writing characters who do have this metric fuckton of traits, it becomes inevitable that you give each trait its own point of relevancy, which is pointless and dumb. It’s necessary when writing a character to only include the information that is utilized in the story itself when writing the story. Chekhov’s gun— if my character plays ping pong and there isn’t an inherent personality in all ping pong players (which there isn’t, though there are trends and I’m sure one could express a player along one particular trend), it better be relevant to the story that my character plays ping pong. So then, only include the necessary details, right? The issue with this is that while there may be no ping pong playing happening in the story, the experience of competitiveness I get from playing ping pong and the elements that compose the game of back and forthness, and element of creativity in how you will attempt to best your opponent, et cetera et cetera, all of these things are relevant to the experiences of a person as a whole.

This is my dilemma— how do I capture all the intersecting elements of a person as viewed through their personality alone, without stating all those intersecting elements? John McNally in Vivid and Continuous does an excellent piece tangential to this. Minor characters typically have one defining element. To many people in my Japanese class last semester, I was the person who said, “I hate anime,” all the time. To my math professors and classmates, I was “that one 16 / 17 year old taking Calc 2 / Multivariate / Linear Algebra.” However, my experience within the math class is absolutely informed by my experience in my philosophy class wherein we discussed the philosophy of mathematics, and it’s absolutely informed by my experience of planning to transfer to another school otherwise I’d be way more fed up with the shitty instruction than I am, and it’s absolutely informed by all these other elements. If I were to seem dismissive of my math class and somebody were to ask why, I would say, “Well because non-Euclidian geometry is cooler and also fuck this school I’m out of here in 3 more months.” But if a character were to say it, that’d seem ridiculous. You’ve taken a minor character and injected them with a way too unnecessary amount of personality. Maybe for a main character this is fitting, but then even a main character has its limits. If my story is about how I as a person perceive love, then it’s going to be informed by fucking everything in my life since love is such a broad subject. When I think about sex, I’m going to think about tango and how leading and following can be traded off, both of these make me think of MacKinnon in my philosophy class who claimed the presence of dominance and submission is existing within a misogynist, androcentric paradigm of the world, even if roles are not corresponding to their original form as in me having sex with another woman or something else entirely. This makes me feel dysphoric because I then consider MacKinnon’s statement about how people whose identities are not strictly male or female are still bound to the same gender binary, which makes me feel as if on some rudimentary level, be it the continued existence of my penis or the psychology of being raised male or something else entirely, I’m never truly female. This in turn makes me feel less gloaty about playing ping pong because it’s not as impressive for a once-man to beat a frat boy at ping pong as it is for a woman to beat a frat boy at ping pong. Obviously this line of thinking is very TERF-esque and so I rationally reject it, particularly in the consideration of other individuals, because I am well-informed on the political paradigms of the trans world, another element of my existence, but that underlying presence still gives rise to dysphoria in said fashions.

All of these experiences are so invariably interconnected, so it’s difficult for me to write a story with myself as a character when myself as a character is just one or two or three things. This is something I can assume then is true of every person, which furthers my difficulty, because it means that every fucking character I can possibly write is a simulation and somehow ultimately unreal. How am I supposed to provide anything of meaning via a simulation alone? How can I choose only a select few elements of a person and expect them to be complete with only those few elements?

Perhaps the issue here lies in the what of my writing more than the downfall of writing itself— my struggle has always been to write longer stories. The five page / 1500 word mark is typically where my stories tend to transform into something else entirely, and as such, should I be writing a story that I’m truly convinced needs to be this way, I have to keep it under this limit or risk it transforming away from me. This struggle I recognize as inherently flawed, of course— again, John McNally laid it out. You’ve got to get past that point in the story before you’ll begin to write what you truly want to write. It’s when things come alive. My concern is that this “alive” mode of my writing is far more primitive than my intellectual form of writing… how can I write something I know is bad when I could instead spend my time writing something good? There’s no economic payoff here….

Perhaps then it’s this alive mode that needs to be honed, and the dead mode is irrelevant. All my time training my writing abilities, I’ve been working on my dead mode of writing abilities— something antithetical to how it ought to be.

In this case, all my creative writing classes have been useless! Everything I’ve written up until now, particularly the flash fiction pieces, have been worthless! Time to upend the system and kill my babies. I gotta get good at actual writing.

The Temple of I & I

Now, I’m aware The Temple of I & I has received some critical reviews for misappropriating the sound of Jamaica. I’m not Jamaican, nor have I ever been strongly invested in Jamaican music, so my opinion my fall secondary to someone more familiar with the culture Thievery Corporation is incorporating this album. Just a heads up.

I was already in love with Letter to the Editor, the first Racquel Jones track to be released, but after hearing Road Block too I can definitely say that she is the star of this album. She has great rhythm and it’s pretty clear that she’s well-versed enough to sing well in a slower, more reggae-style song like Road Block as well as the faster hip-hop influenced Letter to the Editor. Having gone back to listen to the music Jones has released apart from Thievery Corporation, I must say I prefer the Thievery Corporation sound backing her singing, but I’m a fan of all of it. I am excited to see more collaborations with her and Thievery Corporation in the future.

Notch, who has worked with Thievery Corporation for quite some time, certainly performed on the most songs this album. I’ve never felt strongly about any tracks he has done before, but here I loved listening to True Sons of Zion and Drop Your Guns. His performance across tracks tends to be fairly uniform in sound and my preference of them, but I think he and Thievery Corporation are able to bring out even more in one another in ways not experienced prior to Temple of I & I.

Conversely, I found Lou Lou Ghelichkhani, easily the star of Saudade, to be a bit tired here. Admittedly, her placement in the album is rough as the first song of the middle portion with the slower, more Saudade-esque songs separated by Temple of I & I and Let the Chalice Blaze, but Time + Space struck me as “just another Lou Lou Ghelichkhani song” as opposed to the distinguished Décollage we heard in Saudade. Perhaps I’m disappointed in her performance here precisely because of how stunning she was in Décollage, but Time + Space struck me as uninteresting and more bland than her past performances.

I do not dislike Mr. Lif’s music as a whole, nor do I dislike all his performances with Thievery Corporation— Unified Tribes is a phenomenal track and Culture of Fear was also strong. However, I couldn’t particularly get into Ghetto Matrix, which struck me as a weaker version of Culture of Fear, and Fight to Survive, a track I sense was supposed to be inspirational and a call to action, was the least inspiring song on all of Temple of I & I. I do hesitate to call this criticism entirely fair, for while I did enjoy his performance on Culture of Fear, that album did strike me as one of Thievery Corporation’s overall weaker albums, so by comparison I may have appreciated the song Culture of Fear more.

This leaves the singers who were just on a single track, none of which I feel strongly about. Thief Rockers I thought made a good but not wowing (as in Décollage) introduction and felt slightly better than 33 Degree. Love Has No Heart was a strong performance by Shana Halligan— I thought it was better than Depth of My Soul, but I also wasn’t impressed by Depth of My Soul at the time. Lose to Find was neither impressive nor disappointing, and felt simply average. I feel bad saying this since Elin Melagarejo’s performances in Saudade were already overshadowed by Lou Lou Ghelichkhani’s, but no recent appearance of her has particularly excited me. Puma, while also overshadowed by Notch on Temple of I & I, did well in Babylon Falling. While not the most gripping song in the album, I thought it was both memorable and welcome.

I feel like I’m missing something in all of this… I covered all of the musicians, right?
Oh yea, I have barely touched on the duo who actually IS Thievery Corporation. For their no-guest tracks, Let the Chalice Blaze was so-so, but The Temple of I & I was engaging and interesting. Pretty sure I got goosebumps the first time I heard, “This is the Temple of I & I” after having been wowed by True Sons of Zion. Speaking of True Sons of Zion, I must stress that while I did like Notch’s performance alone on this song, it’s the Thievery Corporation duo that enables Notch to leave such an impact.

This is similarly the case with Letter to the Editor. Part of what made Mr. Lif’s performance on Unified Tribes so excellent was how well Thievery Corporation adapted their style to fit rapping. Letter to the Editor has so much pop and effect because of how well Thievery Corporation fit their style to Racquel Jones. It is a risk with any guest musician in any work that the guest won’t fit with the classic style of the other artists, but Thievery Corporation has repeatedly shown its strength is making their sound fit with the guest’s performance over the other way around, and Letter to the Editor is a shining example of this.

I think Saudade still slightly edges out over Temple of I & I, but another strong release by Thievery Corporation has left me eagerly waiting for the future as they continue to evolve and explore the familiar genres they pull from in greater depth. And, you never know, Temple of I & I keeps growing on me. Thievery Corporation has mostly improved with every album (I prefer The Cosmic Game and Radio Retaliation to Culture of Fear) and I don’t see Temple of I & I as being an exception to this.


Thievery Corporation’s The Temple of I & I : What to Expect

As of the time of writing this, Thievery Corporation has released two tracks to their upcoming album The Temple of I & I.

They are both definitely not the music from Saudade, but this isn’t to say they’re falling back on a more classic style after the mixed response from the album. “Let The Chalice Blaze” sounds like the musical style we’re used to similar to anything from Culture of Fear or earlier, but “Letter to the Editor” is most definitely not. It’s a strong hip-hop track (and Racquel Jones is killing it) backed by a more traditional Thievery Corporation sound, which judging from the album cover and title is more what we can expect to come.

I & I, for those who don’t know, is a Rastafarian message of talking about equality— “me” and “you” are different words, so they’re innately in some fashion not equal, but saying “I & I” means we are the same. This stands with Thievery Corporation’s political themes (since Radio Retaliation, anyway) of favoring a more democratic and open system, and ‘fighting the government’ and so forth.

Saudade is by far my favorite Thievery Corporation album, I’ll be honest, because it is the most distinctly representing a culture. Prior to Saudade, most of their albums may have felt influenced by certain cultures, but it wasn’t particularly brought to attention in the fashion it was in Saudade. Or, perhaps more accurately, Bossa Nova and a Latin musical style was always prominent, but it was never the focus of a whole album.

Rather than feeling like a mix of styles swirling about in one album (particularly noticeable in Radio Retaliation), Saudade went directly for a specific style, a specific culture, and a specific sound. If Temple of I & I lives up to its directly Rastafarian title, that’s what I’m going to be looking forward to the most.

Also, I liked hearing more singing in Saudade. We’ve had plenty of tracks with some vocal work but emphasizing the Thievery Corporation sound over the lyrics (I’m thinking Heaven’s Going To Burn Your Eyes, Pela Janela, Stargazer), so hearing both a sound radically different from what they traditionally did and a much more prominent vocal track was refreshing. And, to be clear, I don’t dislike that prior style, but something different was welcome.

Now in The Temple of I & I I think we’re going to hear more of those parts that make Saudade great: noticeable evolution from past albums, more emphasis on the culture of their album, prominent vocal tracks. However, it brings it back closer to the instrumentation of Thievery Corporation we were accustomed to.

Anyway, this is just me being excited about their upcoming album and procrastinating on writing essays. Those are my thoughts on the matter. Tell me what y’all think!

Video Games Are The Apex Of Art

Broadly speaking, there are three types of learning: visual, audible, and kinesthetic. These categories are generalized so when people say they’re a __ learning that’s an oversimplification of their information consuming progress, but I digress. I encourage you to think of art in these three forms, though, for a moment.

Visual art at its most fundamental level is easily defined— paintings, drawing, etchings, sculptures, et cetera. Kinesthetic is too— basically dance. I’m going to expand by definition of audible art to include most forms of storytelling, though, because a story is a linear recollection of events, real or fictional, which is most innately similar to how we process sound. Furthermore, storytelling is largely based off of words or can at least be described in words, and the first words and story were entirely told audibly. So, by this logic, a book is audible art, even though we use our eyes to read it. The key here is that it is linear— you can have a painting tell a story, but your eyes aren’t typically drawn to different parts of a painting in a certain order.

Image result for cave painting

A defining trait of modern, postmodern, and post-postmodern (whatever you call contemporary) art is the multimedia shift (paintings on sculptures, digitization of photographs, there are endless combinations) and this intersects with the “three types of art” categorization in an interesting way. Prior to the 20th century, graphic novels were generally pretty fringe, the only exception to this I know of being the Bible (if I remember my history class right, they’d do lots of drawings in the margins of Bibles back when they were handwritten). Therefore, the only combination of two different categories that comes to mind is dancing to music, combining kinesthetic and audible forms of art.

Image result for handwritten bible medieval

Graphic novels and movies, however, introduced the combination of visual and audible art for the first time— you had visual occurrences telling a narrative. Yes, still images can tell a narrative too, but not to the same linear extent. The exceptions to this would works like Michelangelo’s paintings and other serial works. But combining words with pictures and pictures with motion was truly when audible/visual combinations began. Other ways of combining these categories sprang into existence too— music videos, hands-on art, the sort. However, it wasn’t until the 60s or so that even the f0undations of a medium combining all three categories existed— games. The modern video game satisfies the audible side by often telling a cohesive narrative and also having music, it satisfies the visual side by having things happen on a screen, and it satisfies the kinesthetic side by being something that the consumer *does* as opposed to sees. With a game, you experience the art rather than view it from an outsider’s perspective. Perhaps I am mistaken, but this is the first time such a combination came into existence while also being effectively one single medium.

Image result for undertale

That’s all I had to say on this, at least for now. #showerthoughts

Yuri!! On Ice Is Poorly Animated?

Everyone around me seems enthralled by the beautiful animation that is Yuri!! On Ice, but to me the animation is the most flawed part of the show. Why? Because there aren’t enough frames. Let’s take a step back:

When anime first began in the 60s it was founded on budget-cutting methods such as reducing the number of frames, having long intros and outros, repeating certain animations, angling figures so their mouths didn’t have to be animated, etc. As anime took off and became a larger industry, high-budget shows diverged from Western cartoons in a big way: rather than re-adding the frames that had been cut out, they instead put an emphasis on having better drawn stills and the general quality of the individual images being animated. This means that there are generally fewer anime out there that have a super fluid frame rate, though to be clear there are some exceptions.

Yuri!! On Ice’s main goal with the ‘beautiful’ scenes in the show is to depict a dance choreography on ice. Yes, it’s true, if you were to take a still of any one of these scenes it’d probably look gorgeous, but the low framerate makes it feel choppy and less interesting. I am a dancer and I love watching people dance, and for me while the feet are definitely not everything to a dance I want to be able to see a clear tracing of how the feet are moving. Yet because of the speediness of the moves and the low number of frames, I can’t clearly see the path traced out. Sure, my brain can infer it, but there is visual appeal in having fluid motions for dance. Generally a big thing dancers try to avoid in most traditional dances is having any jerky, sudden movements, yet it feels like everything in the dances for this show is.

Normally the lower framerate for a high-motion and speed show isn’t problematic. A show like Haikyuu! probably has the same number of frames as Yuri!! On Ice, but since the characters are supposed to be throwing a ball and putting as much speed and power into their movements as they possibly can, it’s totally fine. Furthermore, Yuri!! On Ice skips on the big techniques most animators use to make things seem more fluid. One, motion trails and blurred motion. If you look at how the blades move in Samurai Champloo, when the blades move fast the still animations show the blade becoming wider, basically, than it really is.

Two, shot angling. One of the things I love about Yuri!! On Ice’s directing but also makes the animation frames problem more evident is that it often stays on a single shot for a while, panning that around so we can keep the skater in the middle of the screen. Conversely, look at how Kuroko Basuke will switch shots to make it more fluid in the following gif. We see Kuroko pass from an isometric perspective so it’s easy to track where he’s pointing the ball, and then it immediately cuts to the ball landing in Kagami’s hand. By doing this, they don’t have to worry about animation Kagami’s arm rising up to catch the ball as it’s moving or anything, you just see the impact.

Three, speed. Yuri!! On Ice tends to do everything in real time, which while again, makes things easier to comprehend, is kind of cool, and gives you a better sense of how the choreographed dance fits with the music, it makes it harder to have things look fluid. Take this scene in Haikyuu!!, for example. Arguably everything is slowed down, but definitely Nishinoya receiving is slowed down a lot so you can see very fluidly how his body responds to the impact.

Now, to be clear, this isn’t a problem with all of Yuri!! On Ice. I just think that because it does not utilize these techniques to supplement the lower animation frame rate, there are times that the fluidity could be improved. And keep in mind I’m talking about the animation here, not the art. I’m thinking about how the frames move together rather than how they stand on their own.