Two weeks out of Yuri on Ice and the fandom is losing its mind. Between the emergence of Love on Ice, a movie by Hallmark that has an eerily similar plot, and the rising popularity of Killing Stalking, a Korean webcomic about a stalker being held captive by a serial killer, the Yuri on Ice fandom on Instagram has lost its marbles.
Love on Ice showed up a few days ago, and since then, both Kubo-sensei and Hallmark themselves have noticed the outcry from the Yuri on Ice fandom and responded. Multiple petitions to have the movie cancelled cropped up, after news that the Emoji movie was cancelled due to viewer demands. The general tone was anger, hence the petitions. Fans claimed the movie was Yuri on Ice but without any of the elements that made it special. It was described as a heteronormative rip-off, or a whitewashing strait Yuri on Ice.
About 2 days into the outrage Kubo-sensei put out a tweet of positivity, saying she was looking forwards to the movie, tweeting ‘I think the foreign drama Love on Ice is completely different from Yuri on Ice, and it seems interesting so im looking forwards to it’. Images of a Love on Ice book also surfaced around this time. Since then the tone has calmed down significantly, and now more memes than anything are showing up. The “can I copy your homework’ meme is pretty funny. Fans are also quick to point out the color scheme of the Love on Ice characters matching up with Yuri on Ice characters as well.
Hallmark responded fairly recently, stating that they ‘didn’t even know what Yuri on Ice was’ and the Daily Dot posted an article about the subject. But they are a bit late to the game.
Did the fandom over react? Yes. Was anger justified based on the information available? I believe so. Western media has a habit of taking other cultures medias and skewing them, so its not completely out of the realm of expectation that a western media, Hallmark(I thought they just sold cards and expensive tree ornaments tbh) would take something that means so much and copy it and not do the original medium justice. Since the reveal of the book, the ‘you copied YOI’ argument has lost its credibility to a degree. The plot is pretty similar, if you reverse the character roles and take away any and all foreign characters, and of course, the characters are straight.
The name similarities as well, that’s a rather specific name.
I think unless someone in the Love on Ice camp insults Yuri on Ice, that it will calm down. Its rather tame right now, the fandom has shifted its sights to Koogis work, Killing Stalking. The movie airs on January 7th.
Killing Stalking, this webcomic, I am a fan of it. This webcomic stars Yoonbum, a stalker, who is in love with Sangwoo, a charismatic classmate and fellow army member. Upon breaking into his house to undoubtedly masturbate into his dirty laundry, he stumbles upon Sangwoos secret, he’s a serial killer. Sangwoo cripples his new captive by taking a sledgehammer to his ankles. There are 12 chapters (13 is posted, but still locked *sweats*) the first 3 chapters were posted first, and those 3 chapters had me hooked. 9 chapters came out the next day.
The story takes a dark turn, showing essentially a long form Criminal Minds cut scene from Yoonbums point of view. We see his thought processes as he not only tries to poison Sangwoo but escape the house he’s been imprisoned in. The comic has been criticized for ‘romanticizing’ the abusive relationship, when it really hasn’t. The fandom behind it has coined the hashtag ‘sangwoodaddy’ and frankly he’s an attractive character. If anything it has been the fandom behind Killing Stalking that has created a more in depth relationship from what viewers have been shown, and in which fandom does that not exist? How many SherlockxWatson fan creations are there? An outcrop of MickeyxGeorgie fan creations are showing up on Instagram when those characters had little interaction in the show. Fans take the extremes.
As for depicting a relationship, yes it began with Yoonbum being in love with Sangwoo, but the romantic element isn’t very present in the actual comic. Yes there is a chapter in which Yoonbum uses sexual favors to keep himself from the dark basement, but its not a prevalent or ‘yaoi stereotype’ type situation. The characters are not having sex every chapter.
While I’ve never been held captive, I do like this series, and not because its got a yaoi tag. I came originally for the gay after going on a “Never Understand” binge, but those first 3 chapters had me hooked because it was intense. Its so intense. It is abusive, yes, is it a relationship? Not canonically. Is the fandom creating a relationship? Yes. Is that the creators fault? No. it’s fiction. I do understand that what media people consume affects what they see as normal, so reading a story about an abusive situation and seeing it romanticized can have people angry. This series is extremely divisive, with anti-Killing Stalking people telling fans that they are wrong to like the series. Which I feel is out of line.
There are a number of Instagram users claiming that Killing Stalking has stolen Yuri on Ice fandom members, and are upset, claiming fans went from ‘wholesome to abusive’.
As for changing fandoms, people are allowed to.. And with Yuri on Ice over for 2 weeks now, new interests will take over. This does not mean that people will not support the series any longer, Sherlock fans had to wait years for another 3 episodes.
Both of these instances I saw happen mostly on Instagram and not so much on Twitter, but it was still pretty intense. Killing Stalking is updating on Tuesdays/Wednesdays and Love on Ice airs on January 7th.
Thanks for reading! I know its not my usual content, but lets put this journalism degree to use!