prillalar: (Default)
prillalar ([personal profile] prillalar) wrote2017-01-22 08:55 am

So, Otabek

I'd like to write some more substantial OtaYuri but I don't feel like I'm really getting Otabek. So here are my rambles; please feel free to add your own.

He's definitely quiet and seems introverted. He also has the resting bitch face. I love how dour his offical site image is. But that doesn't mean he's unhappy. Des his outer stoic appearance reflect a calm inner nature or is he roiling inside?

I'd like to think he has deep feelings that build up and build up until they finally explode.

His birthday is October 31. I'm not quite sure what to make of that. Obviously birthdays are somewhat significant: Chris is Feb 14. Victor is Dec 25 and Georgi (♥) Dec 26. To me, Oct 31 yells Halloween but that's a very North American POV. All Saints Day? Eve of Winter?

Yurio's birthday is March 1 and I'm not sure about that one either.

How about that motorcycle? Looks cool but how stupid can you be to ride around on a rented death machine right before a hugely important international competition? This feels like an episode of Grey's Anatomy waiting to happen.

That makes me think: he's still a young guy and he's also used to making his own decisions. I wonder if he also does it on purpose to look cool.

Based on their interaction, it seems like Otabek and JJ already know each other. We know Otabek did some training in Canada. This feels like one of those times where I might have to write some past Otabek/JJ first to sort him out before going on to Otabek/Yuri.

In conclusion, I am still unsure. How about you?
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)

[personal profile] branchandroot 2017-01-22 05:09 pm (UTC)(link)
He's stubborn as all getout. Figure skating, even for the men, is pretty strongly reliant on ballet forms, and we get a good long moment to view how balletic movement is not Otabek's friend. He doesn't have the flexibility for it, even when he's busting his butt. But instead of training intensively to get more flexible, he says "fuck a whole lot of this" and develops a skating style that doesn't rely on flexibility. That's risking a lot of style points, doing that, but he does it anyway and makes it work. He's not a diva about it, but holy wow is that boy stubborn and my-pace about life. Which I think ties in with the motorcycle type things. If that's what he usually rides, than that's what he's gonna ride, fuck it. Just... fuck it in a very reserved and self-contained way. I lean toward thinking his feelings don't explode in the way most people expect, they explode into quiet, unstoppable action.
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2017-01-22 05:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Really good question! I don't quite feel like I get Otabek myself. I enjoyed watching his developing friendship with Yuri but he hasn't really grabbed me as a character.

I'm sure he has deeper feelings underneath that stolid exterior but, like [personal profile] branchandroot, I don't really see him as explosive. Just emotional in a reserved, quiet, intense way.

Another side of his character: that teddy bear! Obviously based on Denis Ten's Ted:

October 31st is a funny one... is it a question of what it means to the creators or what it means to the characters? (For instance, Victor's birthday is obviously on the traditional day of Christ's birth, but it's not Russian Christmas.) This gets us into the question of religion in Kazakhstan but All Saints Eve is not 31 October in the Orthodox church. So in conclusion I dunno.

What ethnicity do you think Otabek is? Ethnically Kazakh, or Korean like Denis Ten?

I'll be really interested to hear what other people say about Otabek.
mousapelli: (Tsukkisaurus)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-22 06:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been definitely assuming that given his character design and the fact that it seems really important that he could come back home to train in Almaty.
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2017-01-22 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
II'm thinking a lot about that intense reserve. Trying to figure out if he's satisfied with it. He must need more interaction than he's getting or he wouldn't have reached out to Yurio. But probably he's okay with his own company a lot of the time. He was so straightforward with Yurio about wanting to be friends and I don't know if it was just his nature or if that was a huge moment for him.

It fits for me with the idea of him being very plain-speaking: when he doesn't want to have dinner with you, he says so, and when he wants to be your friend, he says so. He strikes me as an excellent foil for the massive drama queens of Team Russia. Whether he's lonely at home, or whether he just wants to have a friend in the sphere of international competition, who knows?

I thought it was interesting the show directly addressed that Xmas isn't a big deal in Russia but didn't touch on the religious calendar difference. Which would have been too much of an info dump, I suppose.

Yeah definitely. I was satisfied on the whole with Victor's response – I can see him glossing over the fine points because it wasn't really his focus at that moment – and at least they didn't do anything egregiously wrong.

In which case I think it's Halloween for Otabek.

I hadn't really thought about his ethnicity! I'd been assuming Kazakh unless we hear otherwise.

This definitely was my assumption originally. I only wondered because Denis Ten seems to have embraced Otabek as Definitely Representing Him, despite the obvious personality differences. But Kazakh seems both simpler and more likely.
mousapelli: (Tsukkisaurus)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-22 06:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I totally subscribe to the theory that he knew JJ some time ago when he was in Canada and JJ wasn't exactly the same hot shit he is now. I'm not sure they would have been friends exactly, but I think he just finds JJ's whole schtick to be amusing rather than annoying, whether because he's picturing 15yo JJ throwing a tantrum or whether because he thinks it's just a stage JJ will grow out of. I'm sure he tells Yuri to give JJ a break at least like 17 times a competition.

Oh yeah the motorcycle thing is definitely teenager having been alone way too long with no parent or coach, and i'm sure he would just argue it's practical - driving licenses are expensive and a pain in foreign countries, motorcycles are much cheaper to rent -- but if he'd had a regular coach with him, they'd have definitely put a stop to that. I wonder if these days he might be converted to ubering -- cheap and safer. 3bro in DC does the uber almost exclusively now because with him + girlfriend it's only the tiniest bit more expensive than taking the metro, and you don't lose 30-60 minutes of your time either way.

I think that three days of intense competition aren't at all enough to see much of his personality. And it doesn't seem like he has anybody there he's even a little friendly with, too. so I can see it either way, I think given the fact that he's Kazakh and almost undoubtedly comes from large and affectionate and boisterous family, it's completely possible for him to be much more open/relaxed usually, or maybe this is really him but just right now because he can have a sulky teenager phase the same as anyone else, or maybe he's stoic quiet type all the time. I see people writing it all three ways and I can agree with all of them.

Personally I like to write it that he's playing it cool in front of these other people plus is also suffering from serious competition nerves and doesn't want to be distracted, but that in reality he's a reasonably big marshmallow on the inside and that starts to show as soon as he gets more relaxed (like clapping for Victor/Yuuri). I also am a big believer in him and Yuri being relentless huggers, since we've already seen Yuri pounce his grandfather, and see above what I said about Kazakh families. Writing all that wedding stuff got me thinking about that a lot.

Does he even have a coach at the thing? I feel like game face I'm alone but i can do this Otabek would be a lot different than steady home steady coach steady best friend Otabek.
mousapelli: (Tsukkisaurus)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-22 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
JJ should absolutely take Otabek out to see hockey or teach him hockey or idk what. something.

Is there anybody sitting with him on the kiss and cry? I thought there wasn't but if there is, I didn't leave me with an impression. Yes, I would say the purpose of the travel for all those years is not being able to find a coach he likes, so if he has one now, they must be newish for the season.

I think there's nothing wrong with him being the calmer thoughtful person, yup. But I do think there's a lot of emotion underneath, whether he chooses to show it or not. And I also think he's not at all the type to date casually, like it's either really serious or its nothing, so that's probably one of the big reasons it would take him and Yuri a really long time to get together. Otabek would rather not start if he doesn't feel like he can give Yuri the attention that he needs in person, and Yuri assumes that Otabek similarly needs somebody who can be closer at hand/more devoted to him. So I would say it's probably a really slow start, but also that I bet both of them make that decision alone rather than actually talking about it.
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2017-01-22 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Is there anybody sitting with him on the kiss and cry? I thought there wasn't but if there is, I didn't leave me with an impression.

He does have someone sitting with him, per the screengrab in this tweet:

But I agree that the traveling around must have led to, or been caused by, a lot of upheaval in terms of his coaching.
Edited 2017-01-22 18:49 (UTC)
mousapelli: (Default)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-22 06:54 pm (UTC)(link)
oh you're right! but yeah I don't think we even see them talking at any point, but then again there's too much skating in the last pair of episodes to get much of that. Well I hope this guys gets along with him better -- i see Otabek as just eventually being like, fuck it, I can do it myself, and that's never a good choice for a teenaged skater.
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2017-01-22 06:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I can't quite imagine a competitive skater actually going without a coach – but he certainly doesn't need any more upheaval in his life!

One possible outcome that I've seen in fic is for Otabek to move to St Petersburg and become Yakov's student. It doesn't seem entirely unlikely – it's pretty clear that Yakov is the best there is.

/massive Yakov fangirl
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2017-01-22 07:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Not until now. But, per Wikipedia, Brian Orser has at least six noteworthy students currently – two of whom (Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez) are at world champion level. Plus he seems to teach group classes and suchlike. So my sense is that Yakov can definitely handle it.

I loved that moment too! Really a luxury, even if Victor is a little deficient in the coaching skills department. ;)

As for young Yakov, I do have a fic on the drawing board where the first scene is the story of his meeting with Lilia. So much backstory to develop! In particular I was itching for some Soviet-era athletics, since I can't quite believe that even Victor is almost a post-Soviet baby.
mousapelli: (Tsukkisaurus)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-22 08:57 pm (UTC)(link)
well he probably has to spend a lot less time on people like Victor who are old pros and are picking their own music and choreography and making decisions for themselves. The off-ice planning time must be reduced significantly if they already have a training regimen/practice schedule that's been working. Conversely younger skaters or skaters entering a new division, would need more of the attention.

I'm sure Brian Orser is an outlier, but then again, Yuzuru and Javier don't even train in the same place anymore, so he can't be spending that much time on them.
mousapelli: (Tsukkisaurus)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-22 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
so when i think about yuri and this situation, I think about me. I used to have 4-5 close friends at work, and now i'm down to one (ppl moved, got married, switched schools, etc). There's no universe in which i would act on a crush in this situation. none. because i only have the one good friend. I need that friendship to last indefinitely, and it will if I don't fuck it up. That's way more important.

like maybe later Yuri will think he has a tighter knit community around himself (I tend to think he sort of does but doesn't feel that way because nobody else is exactly where he is in life until Otabek), and he'd be more inclined to take a risk, but while he still thinks Otabek is the only one who gets him at all, even if he straight up knows that he's stupidly in love with Otabek, I don't think he'd act on it.

but I mean, you know, that's me, because those are my feelings. I'm cool with other people playing it out differently.
mousapelli: (Tsukkisaurus)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-22 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
i would for sure read it either way, absolutely.

I think the distance plays a role too. if they saw each other physically more often it would maybe seem more immediate, and there's a bigger chance of saying something you can't take back.
taabe: Tipsy sylph with a cat on her shoulder (Default)

[personal profile] taabe 2017-01-25 03:05 am (UTC)(link)
I love the idea of Otabek with a big, boisterous family. He's alone a lot, traveling a lot, but he can still have people he comes back to. And I'd love to see him relax like that. Giving his cousins ride on his shoulders and bantering with his aunts and feeling high on being home. I know that feeling.

Because you're right that he's dealing with serious competition nerves. Everyone is under serious ressure and finding ways to deal with it. Some people tend to move outward (Chris, Victor, Yurio) and some people draw inward (Yuuri). The introvert in me can easily imagine Otabek right before this huge event thinking I'm jet lagged and wired, and I don't want to spend tonight listening to JJ sound off. Just not now. He might be protecting himself, but it wouldn't have to mean that he hides what he's feeling from himself. He reaches out to Yurio straightforwardly, and he's honest with him.

I can imagine Otabek tense and quiet at competitions. I can imagine him deciding that he he's only going to spend time with the people he wants to see. I can also imagine that he's taken flack from other skaters over the years, and life's just too short for that now. He's going to be who he is, even if it costs him. Like Eleanor in Eleanor and Park. And he can be loyal and laughing and fierce and open when he's where he wants to be.

Now I'd really, really love tor read Yurio's first visit to Otabek at home. And also? Otabek and Yurio on horseback? Yeah.
mousapelli: (Tsukkisaurus)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-25 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
Oh god, I love the big family thing. I love the idea that he has no idea how to warn yuri about it on his first visit and even if he did, yuri wouldn't exactly get it either until it was thrust upon him. I wrote a whole wedding fic about it basically, but they were aged up enough that Yuri was surely used to it by then. I should write the first time it happens. Certainly I would read the shit out of it, too.

I'm really hoping next season we get some non-competition Otabek. He can't always be making that face! And yeah, he seems unapproachable, so maybe now that he'll have some people around to talk to, he can start to make like acquaintance-friends with the people they see around regularly.
taabe: Tipsy sylph with a cat on her shoulder (Default)

[personal profile] taabe 2017-01-25 04:06 am (UTC)(link)
Wow, do I love that story! (And this whole conversation, can I just say.) Their warmth and laughter and back-and-forth, the traditions that matter deeply and are full of humor at the same time, the way Otabek's family is giddy with joy ... Yuri's grandfather trying to keep a straight face ... and the earrings, and Yuuri as the bride's attendant, so many, many things. Thank you!
Edited 2017-01-25 04:07 (UTC)
mousapelli: (Kuroo Tsukki)

[personal profile] mousapelli 2017-01-25 10:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! That's really flattering! I just thought the two of them surrounded by intense and sudden wedding insanity would be really funny, and honestly the best stuff was stuff I didn't even come up with, it was totally all the wedding traditions that already existed.

I need to at some point actually write the Olympics fic that that was supposed to lead up to, haha.
merit: (Yuri on Ice - Yuri)

[personal profile] merit 2017-01-23 09:10 am (UTC)(link)
He probably was the best in Kazakhstan, even when he was a child (hence why he was able to go to train to Russia, the USA, Canada - so even if he's a stoic type he probably has been state sponsored his entire career, so he's probably done lots of publicity when he's back in Almaty). Seeing Russia's ice skating standards, seeing Yuri (who's three years younger than him) perform at a higher level to him was probably a kick to a system. But rather than giving up, Otabek decided that he was going to skate his own way. Maybe that's why he's been switching between countries as well, trying to find someone who will support his vision of skating. Considering what we know about him, he probably wasn't the type to verbally defend himself (English could be his third language? Russian is pretty common there). Maybe that's something he also has in common with JJ - JJ switched coaches (to his parents eventually) to get someone who understood his way of skating.

Kind of want Otabek/JJ now :P
Edited 2017-01-23 09:10 (UTC)
orcofnewyork: Three kittens in a basket with their fangs showing (Default)

[personal profile] orcofnewyork 2017-01-23 02:35 pm (UTC)(link)
They were definitely thinking Halloween to go along with the other holiday themed birthdays in the cast. Halloween celebration and iconography have exploded in popularity in the last ten years here in Japan. So brooding and mysterious are built right into that.

Also for the record, I think he is meant to be Kazakh despite the Denis Ten parallels.
orcofnewyork: Three kittens in a basket with their fangs showing (Default)

[personal profile] orcofnewyork 2017-01-23 02:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, it was really sudden. All of the companies suddenly got in on it because there's nothing else to really market here in October and Japan is obsessed with seasonal themed things.

(September is moon-viewing and weddings, November is generic fall stuff, and December is Westernish Christmas x Japanese New Year).

A lot of newcomers to Japan wouldn't notice because it's still so much less than how it's celebrated in North America, but it's very popular now compared to how it was nonexistent before.

Like an average Japanese elementary school child in 2008 could not tell you when or what Halloween was, but the ones of 2017 know when it is and will tell you in great detail what they like best about it.

Fingers crossed we'll get cute Halloween art this year!