Monday, May 15, 2017

ユーリ!!! on Ice

I am late to the fangirl party, seeing that this anime ended in Dec 2016 already. I have developed an unhealthy thirst for variety shows where people complain about their relationships these days. So I usually rely on Bobo, who of course, filtered this anime because it contains Yaoi.

I don't have a preference for Yaoi themes, though one of my favorite anime of all time is Gravitation.  My preferences for anime run along these lines, specific theme + excellent OST +  biantai relationship. Which is why I loved 2015's Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

But Yuri on Ice!!! It's really вкусно!!! An excellent combi of men's single ice skating and self-inflicted stress + wonderful music (i.e. compositions by my new favorite 松司馬拓, though I love "La Parfum de Fleurs" as much as I hate  "Shall We Skate") + the will-they-wont-they-are-they-gay relationship between Yuri Katsuri and his ice-skating-rival-turned-coach, Vitya Nikiforov.

I had to admit that when I saw Vitya's eyes narrowed as he watched the viral video of Yuri emulating his own freestyle program, I thought he was a twisted individual who was going to fuck Yuri over after he steals his heart. Nope, the only twisted individual was me. It was pure BL at its best. He saw the video and recalled the poor drunk sap who clung to him like a desperate leech and beseeched him to "be my coach" if he won a dance-off with other Grand Prix finalists.Of course it might also have been because he was also in the doldrums after winning the championship 5x. You know it has become the "this is nothing, it is to be expected"?

There are plenty of guffaws that sensual yet flawed Vitya made as a first-time coach, to one sad, yet poignant point that he made Yuri cry and then the latter even had to console him. Like Yakov his former coach, said, he thinks only of himself, so suddenly he has to start putting the introverted, self-deprecating Yuri first, must have been tougher than teaching him any of the jumps he knows. Yuri's low self-esteem is quite unbelievable, he says a few times in the anime that he is a dime-a-dozen JSF skater (when he was the top Japanese representative for 2 years *I felt like smacking his head with a slipper everytime he said that, what a diss to the rest of the JSF*). Kein wunder why he received a nice burn from his coach.

There is a lot of obsession online about whether Vitya actually kissed Yuri during Cup of China. IMHO, this is the power of suggestion at its best. The fact I don't see it makes it even more powerful and magical a scene :D And then at Episode 10, we find out that the whole relationship was Yuri X Vitya and not Vitya X Yuri? It just made everything make sense.

Anyway during the same weekend wannacry was wrecking havoc all over the world, I was immersed in fangirling the **** out of the anime. From finding the songs (I discovered that Soundcloud has nicer versions than Youtube *no diss to the covers* - just own preference), hunting the doujinshis and rewatching favorite scenes in the anime like 100+ times. My favorite scene is the first episode where they sliced in Vitya's performance with Yuri's one of "Stand by me", as if they were skating as one.

I also liked the screenshots of the skaters' instagram (very realistic and engaging). I bet every girl who watched the anime tried to set up v_nikiforov (only to discover that there is a real-life Victor Nikiforov from Novosibirsk, who has already taken the handle

I am very intrigued by the recent Japanese animators' including real-life locations into anime. Say for example, Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari which hard-sold Kagawa and Shodoshima Island in 12 episodes (I have to say that this "product placement" worked for me, watch this space for details later). I now have a burning desire to visit Saga, Kyunshu prefecture lol.

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