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YMMV / Rivals Series

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  • Angst Aversion:
    • When Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches was ongoing, a minority of fans saw the story so depressing that the author had to constantly reassure fans that the story was going to have a happy ending.
    • Watching Viktor go through heartbreak in his point-of-view in Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts can be very difficult to watch.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Yuuri. While Yuuri is still popular due to being an endearing, hard-working character, many see him as insensitive and dense.
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    • Viktor earned quite a lot of backlash when he misguidedly accuses Yuuri of doping. Even before then he was disliked for his insensitivity and his terrible first meeting with Yuuri.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Yuri, for directly confronting Yuuri, calling him out on his treatment of Viktor and trying to get Yuuri to make a move.
    • Phichit, for giving the story a bit of levity and questioning Yuuri's decisions and life-choices.
    • Yuuko, for helping Yuuri understand what it takes to have and maintain a relationship, which involves acknowledging the other person's faults and feelings and working their way through them with compromise and mutual understanding.
    • Christophe deserves a spot in this, considering what happened in Chapter 7 of the second fic, which also establishes him as Viktor's voice of reason.
  • Funny Moments: The scene where Christophe asks Yuuri if he's "familiar with eating Russian". Yuuri doesn't get the joke, however.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
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    • Phichit makes his senior debut at Skate Canada in Chapter 7, and does so well that Celestino remarks that he might be training two gold medalists very soon. Phichit laughs it off, as Viktor Nikiforov is skating in the same competition as him. A few minutes later, Viktor, who was scheduled to skate after Phichit, promptly botches a jump during his routine, injuring his leg and benching him for the rest of the season.
    • Yuuri bitterly realizing that Viktor has no idea what he did to earn Yuuri's ire and that only he remembers such a life-defining moment for him is already depressing. As of Chapter 12 and Of Bright Stars and Burning Stars, Viktor is crushed and horrified that he doesn't remember their first meeting.
    • In the first chapter of Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts, Christophe expresses that he'll beat Viktor and Yuuri someday. He does eventually win the gold medal later, after the doping scandal emotionally damages both Viktor and Yuuri, that they gave such disastrous performances, causing them to be ranked at the bottom instead. Chris promptly lampshades this in the following banquet when Viktor tries to halfheartedly congratulate him, bitterly remarking that he wanted to win, but not like this.
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  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Yuuri warming up to Viktor after Viktor lets him stay at his place in Moscow for a competition is a lot sweeter when Yuuri finally confesses to Viktor.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • Yuuri and Viktor hooking up for the first time and Yuuri telling Viktor to his face that he hates him right before they get intimate.
    • The doping scandal.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Yuuri can be very self-centered and dense to romantic affection, but he goes through so much having to push himself and berating himself for the slightest of imperfections, having to be stuck in Viktor's shadow and dealing with Viktor's cruel fans and finds it particularly difficult to find himself attractive for anyone, especially Viktor.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The ISU employee who leaks Yuuri's doping accusation investigation and Yuuri's medical history to the press, making an already terrible situation absolutely traumatic in the midst of harsh public scrutiny.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • ''Communication. is. IMPORTANT!'' Had Viktor or Yuuri actually spoken to each other so much pain could have been averted.
    • The fic also makes it very clear that protection during sex and consent are very important. Both are established in every single one of Yuuri and Victor's sexual interactions, even the otherwise emotionally-unhealthy ones.
    • Don't make unnecessary comments about someone's weight, it's unnecessary at best, extremely hurtful at worst. Viktor thought he was giving a young fan helpful advice by telling him that he needed to lose weight to become a skater. Viktor had no idea that Yuuri was already a talented skater and that he poked at Yuuri's sensitive weight issues. It ends up having a very negative effect on Yuuri's view of himself as he has a hard time believing that he could ever be attractive.
    • Celebrities are people.
    • Anxiety and self-esteem issues are serious problems that can be very difficult to overcome and can have very negative effects on one's life.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Due to Yuuri's insensitivity and obliviousness to Viktor's romantic feelings towards him despite their sexual relationship, he can oftentimes appear like a self-centered jerk.
  • The Woobie: Poor Viktor. After years of isolation and boredom, Yuuri is the first and only person to captivate him. But not only does Yuuri hate him for reasons Viktor isn't aware about, Yuuri gives him the minimum of affection.

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