Log in

No account? Create an account
26 August 2006 @ 09:31 pm

"We should imagine things, not think about them" -- Yamato.

I'll admit it, I was impressed by that. Okay, maybe it's a bit hokey in the circs, but I've always over-thought things. Lately, I've started to wonder if I can claim to have a great imagination. When I was a kid, I'd have said definitely. Now I'm not so sure. In short, that 'vegetation-gathering' episode was oddly propitious given my current mindset.

While I'm not an aficionado of sports in general, I have watched more than my fair share of sports films. They all seem to follow the mould of Little Giants -- by beating the 'overcoming all obstacles' shtick to death. I didn't realise it until quite recently, but Prince of Tennis isn't at all like that. I shouldn't be surprised -- Japanese storylines generally appeal to me more than Western (or, should I say, American?) ones. They're far more prepared to be realistic about things.

Seigaku doesn't come from nothing. They have a good team and they know it. A lot of the other teams are good too -- and they know it. Players aren't evil just because they're better, unlike the opponents and rivals in Western feel-good sports programmes. If it had been the other way, I would have got seriously annoyed. As it is, while it's unlikely that Seigaku would actually win as much as they do, their potential is presented in such a way that it's still probable that they would.

I like this show more and more with each episode. I can admit now that I didn't expect to -- while tennis isn't as dull (to me) as other sports, I'm hardly enamoured of it. Then again, I actually hated Harry Potter before I read it, and look at me now. I'm really glad that I gave PoT a chance. There's just so much scope here for a fandomer -- a perfect balance between unique characterisation and a huge array of people.

I don't know if I'd have liked it more or less had I not read the manga first. I didn't make the decision, it was sort of made for me -- but at least I was sure that I wanted to keep going because of the manga. Plus, the anime expands on so much -- besides helping me to differentiate between characters, which is a little difficult in the manga given that there's so many of them and they're all black and white.

That's another thing -- Seigaku doesn’t have to be your favourite school to like the show. The others are shown to be just as worthy of respect and admiration.

Hyotei have to be my second favourites. Reason being, every Regular is very sharply delineated. Stands to reason -- they appear early on in the series, so they have time to mature as characters. I have to ask, though -- who the hell is Taki? I'm sure he's not a Regular, and I keep wondering why Taki Theodoracoupolos has wandered into a Hyotei fic.

While Rikkai suffers a lot for their pride -- and Kirihara especially so -- it's only a natural reaction to what is after all their superior talent. I like Tachibana a lot, so I wasn't happy with what Kirihara did to him -- but I can actually understand it. The rage part, I mean. There have been some occasions in my life when I've been so angry that I threw consequences to the wind and ripped a new one for someone. Granted, Kirihara actually does this just about every day and his behaviour isn't excusable -- but it is understandable.

Rokkaku are much more rounded in the anime than in the manga. Kentarou seems to have changed an awful lot, though. Wasn't he Oji's grandson, or did I just dream that? Plus, his half-adorable, half-aggravating habit of dropping games so that his comeback will be all the more magnificent -- especially to girls -- has been papered over. Then again, his anime persona is just as valid.

The programme as a whole never takes itself too seriously, for which I am grateful. The chibi episodes are pure crack. I honestly felt they could have been filched from the Pit of Voles. Playing baseball with bombs? Check. GIRL FUJI? Oh, yes please check. Just Atobe in general -- managing to cock his hip even though he HAS NO FEET. Check. Tezuka having. No. Guns. Check.

I'm not very good at winkling out subtext. (Or writing it, but that's another story. Literally.) However, there's a lot of things in here that could easily be taken as nods to the slash fanw00bies. Of course, you'd have to be shipping people beforehand to see it … I think. In any case, they made my heart a small chamber filled with light. Here are some of them:

Kaidoh's bowling wear. That zippered vest. He's going bowling with his team-mates and a bunch of freshmen he obviously isn't that taken with (if his comments to Momo are anything to go by). So … why's he dressing like he's going on the pull? I'm sorry, I'm sorry, but that vest made ME flustered and he's not even REAL.

Episode 86 -- Kamio recovers his momentum when Kaidoh shows up. (Again, in a really provocative -- and PURPLE -- vest. The colour of sexual frustration. Unintentional? I think not.) Yes, Kamio and An share the big w00by love, but still. Kamio wins his game partly because of Kaidoh. There's some kind of co-dependency thing going on there, you dig. Or at least I dig. With a slash-hook. (Which are actually used to trim hedges, I think, but I shouldn't encourage myself to continue with this stupid metaphor …)

Eiji and Momo always pouncing on Ryoma. (I didn’t realise how threesomeish that looks until I typed it -- I meant to demonstrate the Eiji-Momo connection.) After all, Momo is Eiji's little Mob brother. And they spy on Ryoma together. Oh god, maybe that is a threesome I'm seeing?

In the Western!chibi!episode, Eiji is cat. A cat who sits on Oishi's head.

In the same episode, Fuji is a girl for Tezuka. LITERALLY. His eyes sparkle when he talks about Tezuka and everyone assumes that Fuji is Tezuka's consort.

I could forgive the Golden Pair and Tezji shippers for being militant -- not that I think they are -- because that is way, way more than joint Christmas presents or spy-stalking or anything.

In the MomoKai camp -- their match against Rikkai was the most wonderfulest thing ever. They finally stopped fighting, they were touching on court and Momo CHUCKED Kaidoh under the CHIN. They also had a Moment when Tezuka leaves. ('Do you even know where Germany* is?' -- for the win.) And Momo can't sit down during Kaidoh's match because it's 'too important.' You couldn't make this up.

* Although I was WTF, why's he going to GERMANY, didn't he go to KYUSHU and meet up with Chitose's little sister? But whatevs. It may all become clear.

For InuiKai, there is of course the It's A Date ep -- but that could be read either way, if you ask me. (For me it was the point when I had to stop swimming in denial of the Great White Subtext that is Fujicest.) But it's when Inui sees Kaidoh's thumbs-up during his match with Yanagi that he smiles -- not when every single other supporter does. (Obviously he doesn't realise that everyone is saying that it's grand for the other gladiator/lion to kill him -- fortunately for Inui there are few of those hanging around tennis courts.)

Tezuka's necklace, when he's in street clothes, is just generally pretty gay.

As is Kaijimoto's entire ensemble when he plays doubles with Mizuki.

The Data Pair's tennis is sparkly. Nuff said.

I was wondering why the hell there was so much Fuji/Ryoma around. I was even going to mention it at some point, to ask why it even exists when they barely even interact. Boy, was I forced to mentally eat my words during the camp episodes. Ryoma slides over to Fuji in the bath. He asks if he can sleep with Fuji. I was gaping. And I get it now, thanks.

I finally got to see the Silver Pair's love song. They almost hugged -- everyone saw that, right?! Of course, Shishido was at a better angle to kiss Ohtori, but considering they did neither the point is moot. Then there was the part where Shishido hands Ohtori his (repaired?) necklace and they speak at the same time. Shishido is OMGWTF, but Ohtori does a Bond!eyebrow. (Why do I know so much about Bond. Why.)

I never quite understood the concept of Shishido being uke. Ohtori comes across as more bashful, and of course he is blonde. In general I think it's just a knee-jerk reaction -- and mine is to say that OF COURSE Shishido tops, DUDE, LIKE, HELLO. It's not even a Tezuka/Oishi or GP deal where I could go with either -- Shishido bottoming is obviously going to become a major squick for me in future. O well.

At this point it's probably okay for me to insert a general thought on the Silver Pair, as gleaned from substantial fic reading. Because Ohtori wears a crucifix he's taken to be Catholic, and I've found that 'going to Christmas Eve mass' is a popular storyline. (Except that he's described as Christian the whole time, but he's going to mass … I'm going to assume that the writers are thinking he's Catholic then, because Protestants have services. Don't they? My religion class consisted of being told that abortion and homosexuality were evil; you can rightly assume that I didn't exactly listen all that closely.) ANYWAY, my point was that going to Christmas Eve/Day mass is hardly a trial. For one thing, the heating's generally on the whole way through. Ohtori should make Shishido come to an Easter Mass. Like on Holy Thursday. All that bouncing up and down on your knees would be enough to test anyone's devotion.

I have to admit -- although it's not remotely relevant -- that the wearing of crucifixes as fashion items bothers me. It's not even symbolism -- a real crucifix is a literal rendition of Jesus on the cross. So what you're wearing is a (scaled-down) tortured dead guy nailed to a plank of wood. Sure, that's fine and dandy if you actually believe, but when you don't … I especially hate those gaudy ones with the paste/precious gems. It's like the designers are trying to hide what they really are. I own a couple, but I can't wear them any more because it feels hypocritical.

And now I shall commence random remarks on other bits and pieces.

I felt so sorry for Kachou and Kachirou! When they WON bowling, they got a crappy Inui Juice. When they didn't lose billiards, but just got the wrong pocket -- whoops, they got another crappy Inui Juice, but Ryoma got a sushi voucher! Poor lads. In general, the Seigaku team has a completely warped view of 'relaxation.' Perhaps someone should tell them that you're actually supposed to relax when you do it.

Atobe's cottage should come under the Gay heading, but while I was heartily amused by his frilly shirt, his breakfast entranced me more. Dessert at breakfast! I so want an invite to his place. It sounds like heaven.

His shirt … no, why, why? Everyone else was dressed normally i.e. not like a chorus girl. Why not Atobe? Then again, I really don’t believe that Atobe takes himself as seriously as everyone else thinks he does. Sure, he says things like 'Be awed by my beauty/prowess,' -- but so do I. I don't mean them, it's just fun to confuse people. It's Atobe. He could say "I'm a fucking doughnut" and people would think it's American slang for 'Lookit how great I am.' Besides, his white suit makes up for everything.

I wonder at the way Fuji's portrayed in fic. Maybe I need to watch more, but he seems to me to be rather … sweet. A nice boy. Yet he is the Evil Incarnate Matchmaker in every second fic -- when he's not being the Easy Lover or the Smooth Schootz with the Moves. Don't get me wrong, I like reading about him whoring out his favours or hooking everyone else up, but … I can't imagine that it's what he's really like. I swear, I'm going to write an introverted!shy!inexperienced!conflicted!angsty!Fuji if it's the last thing I do.

I thought it was too cute, the way Ryoma dreamed of Karupin while everyone else fantasised about thrashing Rikkai and winning Nationals. Although there's an amazing connection between Ryoma and Tezuka, which could easily be subsumed into some kind of weird and twisted -- but ultimately satisfying -- romantic union, Ryoma's funnier as the token asexual. In reality, the person he's most likely to have a relationship with is his cat. And Tezuka is practically married to his tennis racquet. That's what makes them so fun.

They seriously should have known that wasn't a real bear when it didn't EAT HORIO every time he collapsed at its feet. And what was that business with the racquets? Never mind messing around with tennis, go fetch a BIG GUN. (Actually, I thought the 'big surprise' would be Karupin hitching a lift up to the mountains. Ryoma did zip him in his bag after all. He was probably pining. Ryoma, that is.)

Shinjyou = Thorpey.

Is it me, or does the same man ref every single freakin' match?

He's probably a slash fan, too.


In conclusion, I really like Prince of Tennis because it makes me happy. Even when I feel awful, I remember something like 'Once again, the third planet has disappeared' or Kaidoh scowling and I can't help but feel better. It's crazy! I haven't felt like this since my earliest days in HP fandom -- and I'm glad I got to feel like it again.
Current Location: at the discotheque
Current Mood: dorkydorky
Current Music: rabid rugby BBQ in my backyard
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 27th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
WTF. He's not sneaky, except on court. INUI is sneaky.

Nah, have a good rest. It's enough to know that I entertained you (a bit).

let's get the seven lines.: yeah i saw you first.bookshop on August 27th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)
This post made me happy. ♥

Although there's an amazing connection between Ryoma and Tezuka, which could easily be subsumed into some kind of weird and twisted -- but ultimately satisfying -- romantic union, Ryoma's funnier as the token asexual. In reality, the person he's most likely to have a relationship with is his cat. And Tezuka is practically married to his tennis racquet. That's what makes them so fun.

Soulbonded!!!! Utterly! I can't wait til you finish the series because the anime divergence from the manga does so many interesting things with the Tezuka/Ryoma dynamic. I know, I know. I'm singleminded and obsessed, but I really did love the rest of this post as well. :D Oh, and I could not agree with you more about fanon!Fuji versus Canon!Fuji. That is a rant long in the making and you have articulated it nicely.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Pandas can't talk!scoradh on August 27th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
This series makes me happy, so we're square. :D

Not at all, I think the obsession is a good thing. It's fun to be excited about stuff! And the Pillar Pair is hardly as destructive as some of the things I've been obsessed by.

I totally made up a word in the Fuji paragraph, but as no one else noticed I'll pretend I didn't.
let's get the seven lines.: killed him a bar when he was only three.bookshop on August 27th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)

Is it me, or does the same man ref every single freakin' match?

He's probably a slash fan, too.

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Eggsscoradh on August 27th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
Theory #1: He has amnesia.

(Dear Diary: today I ref'ed an awesome match with a freshman prodigy and a guy with a round-the-pole shot and another prodigy with a whale counter.

Deary Diary: today I ref'ed an awesome match with a freshman prodigy and a guy with a round-the-pole shot and another prodigy with a whale counter.

ad nauseum)

Theory #2: He has many many clones, a la the scary smiling nurses in Pokemon.

Theory #3: I'm thinking way too much about the ref.
Halrloprillalar: kaidoh hufflepuffprillalar on August 27th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
Seigaku doesn't come from nothing. They have a good team and they know it.

Which is SO weird for a shounen sports series. (Unless you consider Tezuka and Oishi's first year in Seigaku to be the start of the story.) PoT is weird in a lot of other ways too.

However, there's a lot of things in here that could easily be taken as nods to the slash fanw00bies.

I love the fanservice. :) And they play it up so much in all the merchandise.

Re the Inui/Yanagi match, if I'm writing Data Pair, I go to the manga, InuKai, the anime. Seriously, the handholding over the ED? My OTP is freaking canon. (I am so very articulate when it comes to InuKai. *g*)

One of the fanbooks says that Choutarou just wears the cross for fashion; he's not Christian. Which disappointed me, because it's so much less interesting.

I wonder at the way Fuji's portrayed in fic. Maybe I need to watch more, but he seems to me to be rather … sweet. A nice boy. Yet he is the Evil Incarnate Matchmaker in every second fic -- when he's not being the Easy Lover or the Smooth Schootz with the Moves.

Yeah, fanon!Fuji is really quite the thing. If you've missed the ones where he's waify and depressed and cuts himself until Tezuka gathers him up and saves him, count yourself lucky. ("Every angel has his scars.")

Fuji does come across as a little mischievous. I think the closed eyes and the smile can be markers for a scary, unpredictable kind of character. (I think of Ichimaru Gin in Bleach.) So maybe people respond to that as well as what he actually does. And we know that he can be ruthless when someone he cares about is hurt.

Actually, his match against Mizuki was very scary, esp in a sports series. Fuji is "wrong" because he doesn't care about winning. He's not a good shounen sports character. You would expect (just from the genre conventions) him to play a good clean match against Mizuki and defeat him, and through that, Mizuki would be transformed. But Fuji plays to humiliate Mizuki and so Mizuki never changes his ways. I think Fuji does change a bit, later, but he's still an unsettling character.

And now I'm really rambling on. Sorry!

I'm just about ready to start massive capping of the bowling for my ep write-ups. Kaidoh's outfit staggers me every single time. People may think that the series is all about Ryoma and Tezuka, but really it's about Kaidoh's unbelievable hotness. :) :) :)

I am still surprised at how much I love this fandom. I don't think I've been this in love with one since the X-Files.
(Deleted comment)
Halrloprillalar: kaidoh kalosprillalar on August 27th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
Whichever of us gets there first. :)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Momokai punchscoradh on August 27th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
*_* Kaidoh's clavicles are sweet perfection.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Snakey thangscoradh on August 27th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, really? Oops, I guess I shouldn't have made a sweeping statement about Japanese sports programmes then. >.> Still, PoT does stand out (in a good way) compared to Western sports programmes, which like Western everything are pretty boring, predictable and sterotyped. Oh, and have no swearing.

Oh, Choutarou. Durr. Then again, like I said below, I shouldn't foist my opinions on anyone -- even a cartoon character. And there's no denying that he wears it well.

I guess that's because I've not read any Tezuka/Fuji. I just don't get the pairing. I get it even less than I got Fuji/Ryoma before the camp eps. Although I must admit that the idea of angel!Fuji is oddly alluring.

... no, it's not.

What really got me was what Fuji's sister said about his playing style -- that he adjusted it to suit the level of the person he was playing. A) This means he has an awesome capability -- most people couldn't gauge that, never mind adjust themselves around it (right?). B) He is very, very kind.

But yes, I would agree that as a sportsman he's very unconventional. From what little I know of sports and sports personalities and just the concept in general, it seems that winning is the thing. It's a rare person who can simply enjoy it for the fact, especially when they're professional. That's how Fuji's genius plays out, I reckon. He just doesn't see it quite the same way as everyone else.

Man, KAIDOH. He's so growly and, and sexy. Raw. And then he's so squishy as well, with the ghosts and fluffy animals and all. That's why I think he doesn't even realise that what's he's wearing is anything out of the ordinary. He really doesn't get his own appeal. IT'S ADORABLE.

Heh, this is only my second fandom. n00b, I know! But it's given me faith that even when my interest in one thing wanes, the fandom continuum will continue.

(Now who's rambling!)
Luce Redissen4 on August 27th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Yay, the Hyotei love! Atobe is scary in that frilly shirt, but he and the entire Hyotei team are adorable.

Tezuka goes to Kyushu in the manga, and Germany in the anime.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Dane Danescoradh on August 27th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
Haha! I betcha he did it on purpose to confound people!

That's it! I knew it wasn't Osaka, but I couldn't remember the exact name. Will edit now.
I, Ociwen: one lookreposoir on August 27th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
Wasn't he Oji's grandson, or did I just dream that?

You dreamed that up.

Actually, Ohtori wears a cross, not a crucifix. And he is asked about the significance of it in one of the comics at some point- he explains that he is NOT a Christian or Catholic, but that his cross is a "lucky" charm-type talisman for him.

Most writers don't write him as religious at all, though I have seen it once (it was an OLD fic, ie. before the explanation of his cross came out).

Also, you will have a hard time reading SP fic in the future because in about 75%, Ohtori tops. Shishido is such a bottom, to me. Watch the Senbatsu and you'll see why. He's such a fluffbum. Ohtori may be shy and bashful sometimes, but especially in the manga he can actually be quite fierce and protective and not this simpering second year.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Cooler than youscoradh on August 27th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
Sheesh, and I was so certain about it too ... my brain is mad.

Oh, right. Still, I can't help but think that even lucky/fashion crosses are derived from crucifixes (I mean, it's not like there's a huge swathe of chains with circles or triangles on them). It's just a personal thing though -- it's not like because I couldn't wear a cross now that I've lost the faith, that everyone wearing them should Believe. (Can you tell I've had a religious upbringing, by harping on about pointless points?!)

The Hyotei Roommates Arc? It's not a bad storyline, except for the fact that religion is rarely as cute as it's portrayed in this pairing.

Waah. I just don't get it. Maybe it's because I cemented my views by reading mostly Shishitori in the beginning, or maybe it's too much yaoi (the dark haired guy always tops) or ... I don't know. I've only read one explicit Torishishi, and Shishido was totally topping from the bottom in it. Plus I got bored before the end and clicked out.

Of course, I am so fickle that I could change my mind entirely over the course of time and become devoted to uke!Shishido, and people will point back to this and say 'But you SAID' and I will be there 'I never did' ...
I, Ociwenreposoir on August 28th, 2006 12:53 am (UTC)
Is the Hyoutei Roomates arc that ginormously long thing in which one of them was raped and I forget what else. Yeah, I was thinking of that one. ;)

Yep, too much yaoi influence, I think. Myself, I have no yaoi influence, so I come from a different perspective on who I prefer topping in PoT fics. Often, it's a little different than the norm (ie. in my ideal world, Gakkun would top Yuushi, etc)

heh heh heh. My own Silver Pair fic, well...you might want to stay away. And from any SP fics I've recced. Because they are all...not what you are interested in. ;)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Fangirlscoradh on August 28th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
o.o Good grief, no! It's incredibly cute, is the Roommates Arc. I'll link you -- you should know immediately whether or not it's the one. Have you read these, either? I thought they were fab, anyway. :)

Wow, you've lasted this long without ever popping over to yaoi_daily? That deserves some kind of commendation. Granted, the pure crack-porn melts your brain after a while. I don't think you're supposed to see any relationship in such cut and dried terms anyway.

Are you kidding, woman? I LOVE Quicken to Silver. When I saw a new update just now, I ... well, I won't say, it's too embarrassing. I could even buy your Ohtori topping your Shishido. Good writers can convince anyone of anything, didn't you hear? :P For Christ's sake I even read your MPREG. I was scarred right away but I kept on reading and now I find the thought of Chotarou staring at Shishido's breasts strangely hot and it's continually scarring me and ... it's STILL HOT.

(Sorry, I never left a comment for that one.)

And I kind of want to find out if Sanada was struck down too.

So don't bother trying to convince me not to read your stuff because, unfortunately, that is not going to happen. SO THERE. Nyah.
I, Ociwen: chibisanadareposoir on August 29th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
Nfufufufu. I was thinking of a very different fic, yes. *facepalms*

I have actually read neither, so thank you! Yay! More reading material. *v v excited*

Ohtori staring at Shishido's boobs continually scars me too. Actually, that's a lie, it amuses me terribly.

However, the Rikkai bits have me even more enthralled. And I have more to post of that, I just haven't yet. But Sanada is certainly dealt with by Yukimura. ;) ;) ;)
i'd kiss you if you weren't so damn ugly: Manga!Ryomatakewing on August 27th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
I ♥ this post.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Golden Pair another heartscoradh on August 27th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Ha, you should have seen how many more capslocked words there were before I went back and edited them out ... it's embarrassing, really.
yes.: horribly good at winklinggrasshopper on August 27th, 2006 05:20 am (UTC)
I had been wondering about Ohtori's cross! I didn't realise it was just a fashion thing, and in fact had read enough omg-i-love-you-shishido-but-i-can't-because-of-my-religion fics to think that the poor boy had a serious catholic guilt complex. This still doesn't clear up the question of Shiba's cross (totally a fashion statement, if you ask me) or of Fuji's (more sincere, I think), but, eh.

Speaking of Fuji, exactly!! He is sweet, he loves his brother, he wants the people he likes to be happy, and he only gets angry when protecting/avenging others. I seriously cannot stand sadist!Fuji. Matchmaker!Fuji, on the other hand, is not without merit, though I suspect it's more on the level of a subtle nudge than a great push?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Mobscoradh on August 27th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
I was wondering too, but more because I read that of all religions in Japan, Christianity is pretty a low-key affair. I daresay Shiba's is a fashion statement and I have not yet seen Fuji's. Woe. I reckon that more than anything it was just a differentiating tactic -- like the way Wakato wore that odd bifurcated leather thingy.

I could totally see Fuji being a matchmaker because he wants people to be happy -- but only people he's close to and trusts. And even then not overtly. It's fun to read him as completely cracked, but only under the understanding that he's being parodied. I'm not sure people bother to make the distinction sometimes ... I shouldn't talk, but there does seem to be a lot of sloppy writing going on in this fandom!

Cute icon, btw! Fuji's fashion sense makes no sense. It's so great.