Multi-platform listener feedback time!
Wow, I just posted the first episode four? five? hours ago, and I appreciate the enthusiasm so far! I've gotten some feedback via Twitter and Soundcloud and I just wanted to put them here for the purposes of discussion.

@lehudgins on Twitter writes:

Oops. A little note. Yuri on Ice starts out in Southern Japan, not Northern Japan.

Yes. You're right. I forgot they mentioned it was in Kyushu.

One interesting difference in opinion is whether Yuri is young. He's young to me, the 33 yr [old], but I think he should be peaking professionally. So maybe not young in that sense?

Right, he's old for a figure skater — Yuri P.'s supposed to be what, 15? But he's he's younger than Victor, and I think more importantly, he acts young, which is why it's believable he'd come off as inexperienced even compared to a teen. He's a late bloomer both personally and professionally.

Auturgist on SoundCloud writes:

I always say that art holds, in one hand, a mirror that reflects how the world is, and, in the other, a crystal ball that shows how it could be. I haven't watched YURI!!! ON ICE yet, but I think the argument against the unrealistic way it handles the homosexual relationships is just that when it comes to that, we're not looking into the mirror, but the crystal ball: "See how nice it is that nobody really cares? This is how the world could be!"

This totally holds from a western perspective. But I think it's important to remember the culture of origin — bishounen stories have been a cultural staple for centuries, but there are still few protections for LGBTQ people in Japan compared to the U.S, while 54% of Japanese people in 2013 thought homosexuality should be accepted in society. There's always been a lot of tolerance for gay narratives in fiction and drama, as well as gender-fluid presentation, while the actual legislation and attitudes lag behind. I've read that anti-gay bullying is actually a pretty big problem in Japanese schools.

That said, I think Yamamoto and Kubo-san are bringing more humanity to their fantasy and grounding it in the present-day real world, which maybe differentiates it from some of the more fanciful bishounen stories out there. But this is not Moonlight as far as moving the needle, or even Glee.

More later!