S H R I N E ✦ pt. ii

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hi <33 needed to write another blog post on two of my favorite cuties from yowapeda: glory line, so spoilers AHHHH! this is an incredible, incredible anime so i really suggest everyone to watch it as soon as they can! anyway, this specific blog post is dedicated to two particular characters and ways i find they complicate notions of masculinity and the body, especially in the athletic domain. lots of attention to the pathway of love and shame in this one, too!

beginning with our super special Peak Hornet, Shinkai Yuuto~

"You're late! And why do you always wear that mask?" - Kuroda

"It's cute, right? I kinda want to be a little girl. I like it. I have three of them." - Shinkai Yuuto

"What are you, a dreamy-eyed girl? Get ready." - Kuroda

Yuuto low-key stole my heart when he spoke on the screen for the first time. he starts off as the mysterious masked man, the sixth starter for hakone that we know nothing about. masks imply a lot of things; a shielding of identity, an assumption of another identity, and it's not until Yuuto expresses that he actually identifies with that mask that we learn that it's more than just a symbol to hide himself from the audience for narrative sake. that mask is a part of him, so much that he has not one but three of them! this identification with the female persona in an anime dominated by boys and their quest to win the men's inter-high was really phenomenal! Shinkai is soft and sweet, gentle and charming which felt like traits not typically reflected in our anime shounen heroes!

"The... Peak Hornet?" - Onoda

"It'll hurt if I sting you." - Yuuto

I adored this scene so much; Yuuto's adoration of Onoda, plus his earnest challenge to the boy, was so heart-warming and began to set up a beautiful rivalry. Furthermore, we get a splendid naming ceremony: Peak Hornet vs. Mountain King. In the animal kingdom, only the female hornets sting; and truth be told, it's a little hard (whew) not to make that phallic jump in deciding what else Yuuto means by that statement! the franchise couldn't have picked a better, more fitting name for Yuuto given the complication to gender identity, and tbh at some point i really wanna see Yuuto dethrone Onoda and take the title of Mountain Queen.

When it comes to competition, Yuuto also brings up an interesting question about shame and victory in relationship to his older brother. At some point, Yuuto mentions that him and Hayato don't really train together. You have to ask: why? Yuuto is the second person in the history of Hakone to start as a freshman; he has big shoes to fill, knowing that his sibling is the fastest sprinter in history of the school. he mimicks his brother's "kapow" motion and seems enthralled to build his own. Truth be told, i was waiting on a juicy, sibling-rivalry backstory rife with shame and pining, but perhaps we're not meant to get it just yet. regardless, Yuuto made his mark on me: a character exploring who they are, working hard to outshine the biggest sun in their universe. can't wait to see how this one flies!

ending with the Straight-Line Demon, Shinkai Hayato:

these two surely have a way of hiding their face, huh? we learn somewhere in season two that Hayato has a lot to hide. shame and pain that he carries with him, to such an extent that it makes him quit racing for a brief duration. his backstory is one of my favorite's in this series and bears such a lofty resemblance to buddhist rebirth. he's literally taken the life of an animal and swore his soul to protect it, and never to harm, ever again. his deep blue eyes seem like oceans to drown in - full of misery and loss and beautiful, heart-wrenching worry.

what's really intriguing is how Shinkai is reincarnated as a demon. he goes on a journey of seeking forgiveness and truth to the predicament his competitive nature drove him towards; he develops rituals (ex: "don't steer on the left" and his care of Usakichi) and we're often reminded as an audience of the psychological weight that crashing into the mother bunny left on him. however, despite all that gentle meditation and love, ignited into him by the understanding of his teammates, in particular Fukutomi, Shinkai comes back as something more ruthless, cruel, and threatening than ever before. the imagery to portray him during the races, with devil horns and chains swarming his chest, is terrifying and so completely out of contrast with his non-racing attitude.

he's the perfect contradiction, and I'd suggest that even his name is a bit of a paradox. "straight-line" is a fun misnomer because the path he took to reach forgiveness was anything but linear; and i'd bet one might argue, based on his racing mode, that Hayato has actually not completely forgiven himself.


Hayato & Fukutomi - perfect embodiment of love and support to endure shame - i absolutely ADORE that these two went to the same middle school, high school, and now university too!

love love love these sibs!
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