chochajin: (アニメ: Hanasakeru - Rumati (*_*)b)
chochajin ([personal profile] chochajin) wrote on December 27th, 2016 at 09:06 pm
[Conclusion]: Yuri on Ice S1 (TV 1-12)
Ok, so you probably saw this coming anyway .... there is just NO WAY I can NOT write about this.
But what I'm about to write is probably NOT what you expect!

Needless to say that there are SPOILERS as this is a conclusion, so if you haven't watched the series yet, be careful.
That being said, it's not a series where spoilers matter that much to be honest ...... if you know the end of the series, it won't ruin the series for you - IN MY OPINION anyways....

So, I actually had Yuri on Ice on my "plan to watch" list right when the trailer came out. That was a LONG time ago.
As sport anime is my favorite genre, I take note of every new sport anime out there.
Right when I saw the trailer I new that I would like the series and was looking forward to it.

My first reaction after watching the trailer was: OMG! Soundtrack! OMG! Beautiful! OMG! CV: Jun-sama!!!! XD ....

As there were only 12 episodes I decided to watch it once it's completed.
You see, I'm very impatient and hate to wait for the next episode to come out.

But as SOON as the series started airing social media went crazy!
Everybody told me I should watch the series as it's great and that I should stay away from any spoilers.
It was REALLY hard to stay away from Yuri on Ice online, cuz it was literally everywhere.
I was about to give in and watch the series before it had even ended, but I didn't.

Needless to say that because of that HUGE hype I was EXPECTING a LOT! A L.O.T.!!!

............... and I have to say I was UTTERLY disappointed.

My rating for the series is 7/10.

Don't get me wrong. It's a good series. I would still recommend to watch it.
But if I try to be fair and compare it to all the other recent sport series, it's just not as good as a sport series.
Or let me rephrase that, it's good, but the other series are even better.

One reason is probably that USUALLY sport series are able to make the sport they're displaying seem extremely exciting. Super awesome. A lot better than in reality.
But with a sport with extremely fast movements and where the emotion is transported through those movements, I think it's EXTREMELY hard to convey that through animation. Ice-skating is already awesome the way it is, so it's almost impossible to make it seem even greater through animation.

Another thing - but that might just be my personal preference - is that the sport anime genre works better with team sports.
There's so much more you can do with team sports, lots of relationships between the characters, so many charas to choose from even from "enemy teams", team spirit etc.
I think it's a lot more difficult to convey the spirit of a typical sport anime if it's an individual sport, but some series manage to do that quite well, e.g. "Hajime no Ippo". ^_^

The typical "I'll just work hard in order to win" spirit that you usually have in most sport series wasn't conveyed very well, though.

That's just my view as a sport anime fan.
I guess it's still a good series, but I think my huge disappointment also plays a big role in my judgment. I kinda feel sorry for the series, because it's not the series fault that it was so hyped, getting my hopes so high. ;)

Then we also have obvious BL elements in the series.
Although I'm quite sure that the anime doesn't even want to be classified as BL genre.
It's great that they display a LGBT relationship, but considering the realistic background (*see further down) I fear that some might assume that all male ice-skaters are gay. That's why I also got a bit worried when they showed Chris' male partner in one sequence ... ^^;;; ....

It's not hard at all to get me to root for certain (BL) couples, I swear! And I DO love BL .... Sekai-ichi hatsukoi, Love Stage, Hey, Class President! ... to name just a few.
And I'm also squealing over several pseudo-pairings in sport anime (best example: Haru x Rin - Free ).
But for some reason I just couldn't get the feels from Victor x Yuri AT ALL.
And that although even GUYS seem to totally get the greatness of their relationship! What the hell is wrong with me then? XD ....

Maybe it's because not much time was spent on the development of their actual relationship ...
... well, of course, as it's a sport series after all.
But ... it all seemed so rushed and ... I just couldn't get connected to them as a couple (while I still love both of them ... if that makes any sense XD ...).

Maybe it's also because they had to cut out some stuff as it wasn't suited for TV otherwise. Jun-sama mentioned that the series barely passed censorship for TV! XD .......

So, all in all I liked the series, but it was nothing special and I was just utterly disappointed after it was hyped that much.
I also didn't get the spoiler warnings. Is there anything to spoil? Yeah ... well, of course, you don't want to know who wins in the end beforehand, but that's about it, right?
Or was it because some people actually REALLY thought that "Yuri" on ice had something to do with lesbians? OMG! C'mon! XDDDDD

Who were you rooting for?

Yuri(o) or Yuri? ^__^;
Actually, I didn't care that much.

There wasn't really a character I went crazy over, but there are many adorable characters.
Somehow I like and don't like Yurio at the same time. I just cannot hate someone who's such a cat lover, you know? ;P ...
And I also like the biased character he is. He's such a brat with a big mouth, rude, brutal, but on ice he becomes so feminine OMG! XD ....

I love, love, LOVE the opening and ending sequences .... I listen to them all day long. Can't get enough. Great job!
It's not just the OP/ED, though. I adore the entire soundtrack.

Of course, the landscape shots were also stunning.

And with lots of sightseeing ... XD

There were also many funny scenes.

What really caught me in the beginning, though, was Kyushu dialect and the fact that they were showing a Japanese castle that looked all too familiar ....

Unfortunately enough I don't have a shot of that exact angle. Argh. ;_; ...

Mind you, there's (almost) not a single castle in Japan I do not recognize, so my mind started working immediately.
My first thought was Karatsu City in Saga Prefecture ..... later I thought it could also be Hirado, but the castle is smaller.
Once I looked at my photos, I knew it MUST be Karatsu. ^___^

If you ever want to visit, it's not too far from Fukuoka! ;)

Of course, Yurio had to buy this immediately. Nyahaha~

One other thing I'd like to mention is that I really liked how social media was implemented into the series.

And who did NOT crack up at the "dance off" - "Hangover"-like ending sequel of episode 10????? OMG! XD

The voice actors were also good. You know what happens when I spot Jun-sama and Mamo-chan in the same anime, right? ;P .....
I think someone mentioned somewhere on social media that Jun-sama seems to prefer tall characters with grey hair. If you look at his recent roles, that's what you'd think. Haha! XD
But Jun-sama has been around for a long time now ... and while I've gotten a bit tired of Jun-sama and Mamo-chan simply because they're everywhere, they will always be in my top seiyuu list. ALWAYS. :3 ....

I love ice-skating. That's one of the sports I always watch on TV. I also know pretty much all of the successful Japanese ice-skaters as they've been all over TV when I still lived in Japan.
As a fan of sport series, I always wanted a good series about dancing, but after seeing a series about ice-skating, I'm not sure about it anymore. I just guess it's too difficult to convey that kind of sport properly.
Cheer Danshi was still good, because they weren't really dancing. ;)

Oh, random side note: In case anybody thought: "Shinichi?" - when they saw Yuri ... yeah, ... right. It's the same character designer who did "Kiseijuu" after all. ;P
If you haven't watched Kiseijuu yet, I recommend it.
It took me a while to pick it up, because I had slightly peeked into episode 1 and it seemed so gross and weird, but trust me, it's actually pretty good. ^___^; ....

So ...............................
........ after my HUGE disappointment, I just didn't get why the series was so hyped and I started googling.

Rather than me explaining it all, you should watch this and also this.
In fact, I think this series was mainly made as a tribute to real ice-skaters.
I had NO idea how much thought, work and details were put into this series.
I mean, how should one know anyway, right?

Not only did they use costumes from real ice-skaters as models, but also a famous Japanese choreographer was in charge of all the choreographies in the anime.
As he knows some of the internationally successful ice-skaters and is a part of the ice-skating world, he's also most likely the one who spilled a lot of insiders that were put into the anime.
And when some of those internationally successful ice-skaters actually watched this anime because they recognized their own costume etc. on Twitter, they were SO surprised a la "Who told them all of this? Nobody but us ice-skaters should know those secrets."

And that brings me to the next topic.
Yes, A LOT of the ice-skaters out there actually watched Yuri on Ice, because the whole series is a tribute to them. Many can find themselves in there, their costumes, their performances, situations that they had in their own career etc.
There are so many details like the TED bear sitting in the audience in the anime which is an actual mascot of one of the real skaters.
You also should read this interview with one of them, Johnny Weir.

There are also millions of videos on Youtube where you can see the "real skaters" perform to the Yuri on Ice soundtrack (although only edits, but some performances are very similar, so it's very fitting and thrilling to watch).

So, THAT alone is amazing enough!
I wish they had waited a bit longer with this series because I'm sure this would have been perfect right before 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
I can totally see Evgenia Medvedeva doing a performance to the opening of Yuri on Ice. Actually, I'm 100% sure that one of the skaters will do this sooner or later. ^___^

Finally I did the big mistake and started watching reaction videos on Youtube ... something I usually NEVER do, because it's so boring.
But this time you just couldn't run away from it. They were EVERYWHERE!
And then something happened that I simply didn't expect.
I watched a bunch of reaction videos on the very last episode. And while I had a few tears in my eyes during a few performances (esp. JJ), I wasn't thrilled at all about the ending sequence, for example.
So, it was kinda hilarious to see that pretty much everyone was freaking out when Victor joined Yuri.
To be honest, if anything I thought it was a bit ridiculous ... sorry. ^^; ....

BUT what was so great is that I started crying when I saw those reaction video. God, I'm so weird.
I'm easily moved when I see how other people are happy or cry.
And seeing so many different people from all over the world react to the same scenes in EXACTLY the same way gave me goosebumps. And seeing them freak out for the ending scene made me cry, although that scene left me emotionless when I watched it myself. XD ....

Isn't this amazing? I though it's amazing. So many different people, all watching the same, having the same emotions.
And because Yuri on Ice was THAT hyped, there are SO many reaction videos to enjoy - probably more than ever before.
It just made me realize how wonderful this is and that there are so many people feeling the same.
After all that shit that has happened worldwide this year, this was REALLY refreshing to see, so THANK YOU Yuri on Ice! ^_______^

Considering all of the above, I guess it's a pretty amazing series after all.
I'm still amazed that so many people are THAT hyped up because of it, though. ;P ......

So, what are your thoughts?
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