‘Killing Stalking’ Is Not a Replacement for ‘Yuri on Ice’

Killing Stalking

There’s been a recent trend lately by some Yuri on Ice fans to steer others towards the Korean webtoon Killing Stalking.  I find this recommendation misguided.

I’m not one who can really judge people who enjoy violent and graphic entertainment.  I’m first and foremost a fan of Hannibal and that’s literally about a guy that eats other people. I can enjoy violent media under certain circumstances.  Killing Stalking, as you can surmise from the title, is very violent and I’m not condemning people who find enjoyment in the show in general.  The issue comes when people are trying to recommend this show to people who enjoyed Yuri on Ice simply because both pieces of media happen to feature LGTBQ+ characters.  Besides that aspect, these two stories have absolutely nothing in common.  Their tones, stories, and genres are entirely different.  Killing Stalking touches on some pretty horrific topics that cover a pretty long list of triggers, including those involving LGBTQ+, which is kind of the opposite of what a lot of us need right now.

For me, personally, it’s kind of the worst time to recommend something with so many LGBTQ+ triggers and violence like Killing Stalking.  As the political climate shifts and hate crimes are on the rise, I’m not really in the mood to see violence depicted within my community.  I’ve noticed many others feel the same.  Of course the divide between those who are enjoying it and those who aren’t isn’t as black and white as a simple heterosexual/queer community divide.  I would never state that it’s that simple, but based on my observations across social media it does seem to be a general trend.  A lot of detractors of the Killing Stalking recommendation are coming from within the community and are often well known advocates for representation.  They’re fans of No. 6. They’re fans of Mr Robot.  They’re fans of Wynonna Earp and Sense8. And yes, many of them are also fans of Hannibal.

When Hannibal aired on TV I was in a decently comfortable place in the world in regards to my sexuality.  I felt like we were making progress so I could take a risk with something violent and maybe even get value from working through any strong emotions triggered by what I watched.  I still sought out happier content when I could, but emotionally disturbing imagery was much more worth the risk than it was now.  Hannibal was also remarkably beautiful and created by one of my favorite showrunners of all time. It was a pretty big exception among the shows I enjoy for many reasons, including the violence.  If it was introduced now I might push past the violence out of my loyalty to Bryan Fuller, but I think I’d steer clear of something like it anywhere else.

As I said, it’s not a clear heterosexual/queer community divide here.  There are many LGBTQ+ fans who can totally handle this type of story right now.  And good for you guys.  I’m happy you’re getting value from it.  But a lot of us aren’t in that comfortable of a head space and need some positive representation in the media.  Yuri on Ice was a gift and now many of us recommending similarly positive stories to each other as we chase the heartwarming feeling the story inspired (seriously guys go watch No 6, that’s the one I’m pushing).   Enjoying Yuri on Ice doesn’t mean we can easily hop to a different story with queer characters regardless of the content.   The correlation between the two stories is kind of jarring.

For those wanting to recommend it to your friends, consider carefully what type of stories your friends enjoy.  Don’t just recommend it because it also has LGBTQ+ themes.  There’s way more to the media we consume than just that.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.


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22 thoughts on “‘Killing Stalking’ Is Not a Replacement for ‘Yuri on Ice’

  1. I watched Yuri on Ice and recommended Killing Stalking to a friend who also watched Yoi and to a friend who didn’t, but I didn’t recommended it because it have a queer pairing, but because I think the story and the art is really good (of course, I warned them that it had disturbing content, but they wanted to read it anyway). Also, I don’t think of KS like a replacement of yoi, both historys are very different from each other. Sorry if my english is bad, I speak in spanish.

  2. Eh I’m pretty sure it’s just people trying to fill the void after YoI ended, they’re completely different and pretty much everyone I’ve seen knows that.

    1. Very glad that’s been your experience, but there’s quite a few people out there (particularly on Tumblr) who seem to be recommending it simply because it also has a queer pairing. That’s the type of thing I’m hoping to address. Enjoy what you like, but man people please don’t rec this because we watched that.

  3. I’m a big fan of Hannibal and Yuri on Ice, I also read Killing Stalking and other BL comics from Lezhin now. I started reading it because people say it has LGBT+ characters and gore (I love gore :v), and ofc to fill the void Yuri on Ice left, I’m basically binge-reading anything gays right now. But after reading KS, I honestly can’t say it’s a LGBT+ representation or even a yaoi per se, for me (at least so far) KS is just a story about violence and Stockholm’s Syndrome which just happens to be between two men. Even when compared with other Lezhin’s BL comics, I can’t say it’s a story of relationship about same-sex couple. I only can say it’s about a bully and his victim who is trying to survive.

    And Am I the only one who think KS is more violence than Hannibal in regards to relationship between those men?

  4. I think the problem is in the fact that those suggesting KS as some sort of replacement to YoI are usually… Not LGBT to begin with. Fujoshi will jump into anything if given the chance of shipping two characters, even if one character is a homophobic psychopath

    1. This is EXACTLY how I feel. That’s my issue. The idea that it’s “filling the void” is jarring to me. It just comes off as having a need to fetishize any gay couple, even if it’s abusive. If you just need a pair to ship, there are so many other LGBT manga that I really think people should be reading, especially those not a part of the community. I highly highly HIGHLY recommend people check out Shimanami Tasogare, which has beautiful art and writing and gives people a realistic window into many LGBT members’ experience. And as the author mentioned above, No.6 is also fantastic (I prefer the manga over the anime though in this case).

  5. Killing Stalking is a Korean Webtoon, not a Japanese Manga, smh .

    That said, I like both YoI and KS, they’re very different (apart from yaoi) so you can’t really compare them .

    1. I will update the article accordingly but there is no reason to be sassy with “smh.” It’s possible to correct someone politely.

  6. I’ve been reading/watching them because they just so happen to come out near the same time, no other reason.

  7. I recommend killing stalking to a friend that had never seen Yuri on ice, purely because I know for a fact that she enjoys gorey things (which she has relayed to me in graphic detail). And personally I’m not one for all that but for some reason the story got me excited and I had a constant feeling of exhilaration and anxiousness in the pit of my stomach as I read it.
    I would recommend this to anyone looking for something different, something that doesn’t follow the writers recipe to a T.
    Plus we can’t hide the fact that bad thing s happen within the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole. But I feel like if the only reason someone’s not enjoying killing stalking is because the main ‘couple’ which all the abuse and conflict is happening to us gay, then there’s no point in them even bothering.

  8. I found KS because it was mentioned a lot on tumblr and insta by the YOI community (yes I got the fire warning). I enjoyed KS but I’m puzzled why would it appeal so much to the YOI fandom. It’s the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of YOI, showing an abusive unhealthy relationship (can I even call it romantic..?), while YOI is healthy and beautiful.

    I love gore of that sort so I enjoyed it, but I can imagine that some YOI fans that dislike gore might’ve got themselves a frightful surprise when they checked it out.

  9. I think we can’t go through life tiptoeing around people because not everything is being recommend in a correct way. I feel like it’s the same concept in a way that we say cartoon characters should be realistic because someone might think they should look that way.

  10. I like them both, because I’m, well, kind of a freak. Would I admit to liking something like “Killing Stalking” to a friend, let alone recommend it? “Oh, you like fluff? Well, here’s this twisted comic about an unhealthy relationship that you might like! One of them kills people!”

  11. So I’m a big fan of yuri on ice, and because of that, people recommend Killing Stalking to me. I’m gay, and I thought that yuri on ice was great, it was great positive representation, but when I started ks, by the time the first chapter was done I was crying really hard, maybe I’m just sentitive, but the “relationship” in ks isn’t a relationship, it’s unlawful inprisonment it’s rape and it’s intentional harm, not the mention the women he rapes in the comic. I could not handle it, and it made me question humanity as a collective that such despicable things could be portrayed in such a positive light. I won’t judge you if you like it, but as for me, when I read that first and second chapter, I felt a level of disgust that is currently unrivaled in all the anime, books, and manga I’ve ever read.

  12. Thanks for having shared this news & warning, and you’re so right more than sometimes it does happen that just because there’s a LGBT content someone recommends a series tout-court that otherwise wouldn’t have deserved to be suggested at all for a lot of good reasons (and about this specific case I’ve to agree with you).

  13. I’m so glad to see someone feels the same way I do about this. It bothers me so much that a lot of people are trying to romanticize this story despite the abuse and SO MANY triggering elements. I’m not personally a part of the LGBTQ+ community, but it makes me happy to see positive representation such as in Yuri on Ice. So when I see people turning to this horror story to “fill the void” left by YOI, it just makes me so frustrated. I was beginning to worry that no one else felt the way I do about this, so this is really nice to see. This is a great article and I hope it knocks some sense into people.

  14. I have to agree with this article. Fujoshi immediately jump on anything and glorify both Yuri!!! On Ice and Killing Stalking in the same way. You’ll note that a lot of the hardcore gross fangirls have a tendency to approve of the relationship in Killing Stalking just because it’s gay, and they like to fetishise gay people to the extent of calling a ‘relationship’ full of hate, abuse, rape, “cute” or “hot.” It’s disgusting, to be quite frank. And you can catch that a lot of people lie about reading it for the “psychological thriller” aspect because there are many psychological thriller, gore/guro and horror manga/comics out there but with straight people rather than gay people. That fact alone speaks for itself.

    1. Yep it’s quite alarming that this KS is so popular despite its content, & besides I wanted to add that IMHO it’s not even beautiful under a purely artistic side, in fact I’ve found it disturbing just looking at the skatches…but of course to each one is own I guess, let’s hope healthier anime/mangas will come around next.

  15. This is exactly how I feel! The theme of Killing Stalking and YOI are so vastly different, they could be separate galaxies. I don’t understand people who are posting stuff like “50% of the YOI fandom has moved on to Killing Stalking” and I find that personally offensive. Yuri on Ice pretty much revolutionized popular media representation of LGBTQ+ in popular media! It’s such a gentle and organic story very vastly different from KS.

  16. has anybody actually ever thanked you for using’ we’ here? Who does ‘we’ refer to ?I see a lot of I, I, I, and I get you’re trying to speak for everyone else but this is nothing but your opinion with ‘we’ slapped on it. Who cares what people recommend? Clearly from the name it’s gonna be a freaky ride, if you read something called Killing/Stalking and expect it to be a fluffy romance story then you’ve got issues.
    I’ve honestly never seen Yuri On Ice, don’t intend to, sounds somewhat [ABELIST COMMENT REMOVED BY ADMIN] with all the fluffy happiness, but if that’s what they’re interested in they can stick with that and their own business. If someone recommends Killing/Stalking, please go to them with your personal opinion, not the entire internet. Admittedly it amuses me to see people make such a fuss over something so stupid.
    Yeah, so what?
    A good story pushes the limits.
    A mediocre story stays within the lines.
    A terrible story is one about fluffy bunnies who have the happiest ending of them all.
    Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean others don’t. Don’t use ‘we’. Has anyone asked you to put their name up there and speak for them? Don’t hide your opinion behind ‘WE.’ It’s weak.
    If YOU, as a person, not multiple fantasy people you’ve created, have an opinion, take it to the person who recommended this to you or drop the ‘we’ and have a real talk.

    1. “We” is me and the people I’ve discussed this with. It appears many of the commenters here agree with me.

      I never stated I spoke for everyone. I spoke for a certain contingent of fans who are looking for representation and get recommended something that clearly isn’t meant for that purpose.

      You do you, friend. You like what you like. But this criticism is aimed at those who were recommending this series to those of us who were watching/reading things for representation. The “Murderous Gay” trope is not quality representation. Enjoy it for the horror, sure, but those conversations weren’t focused on that. It was focused on “well if you like one thing with queer characters you’ll obviously like this other thing with queer characters.” That’s simply not the case.

      Furthermore, your ableist language has been removed from your comment. Please check the rules of the website.

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