Alright fam, listen up for some real talk about YOI
Let’s real talk about Yuri on Ice for a minute.
While I’ve seen a lot of posts talking about Yuri on Ice being refreshing/revitalizing/etc for multiple reasons (especially for its portrayal of a healthy, same-sex relationship), I have yet to see someone talk about why this show in particular is refreshing within its own genre of sports anime. So I decided that I would take some time to do that.
Most of the shows that make up the sports anime canon deal with high school sports. This angle makes the most sense; most sports are team oriented, and therefore makes the most sense for the settings to be high schools. But this isolation of sports in the high school setting creates a concept of “fleetingness” about sports in general.
We’ve all watched a sports anime that mentioned the inevitable “graduation” of the third year team members. This is the main cause for desiring multiple seasons of a show, because more seasons means the “main team” is still going to be together. This is also the reason for most sports anime beginning their shows with the addition of first year players, it misdirects the focus from this element of “fleetingness” until it’s too late. In the beginning, it’s easy to think that the third year players can graduate and move on, because we just saw first years joining the team, so why can’t it happen again? We haven’t gotten attached to any characters yet, but by the time the creators remind you about this “fleetingness,” you’ve probably grown very attached (I’m definitely guilty of this: see Haikyuu).
Fleetingness often leads to a broader sense of the “high school golden age” of sports, meaning that once you’ve found the “right team,” how can any other team be better than the one you went to state/nationals with? (This is where I think Free: Starting Days actually got it right; Haru was reluctant to accept his middle school team because of his winning relay team at the Iwatobi swim club, but by the end of the movie he DOES accept his new relay teammates as friends/equals, not beneath Nagisa and Rin in any way.) (Also, Kuroko no Basket sort of gets there by making a choice to separate the Generation of Miracles for the main run of the show.)
I am also speaking largely from experience. As someone who was a two-sport varsity athlete in high school to someone who, currently a senior in college, doesn’t participate in sports anymore, this element of fleetingness does affect people in the real world. Often I reminisce about high school, and what first comes to mind isn’t usually my main friend group, instead it’s the team dynamics/experiences I had in sports.
But what does this mean in relation to Yuri on Ice, you say? WELL. Yuri on Ice is refreshing for many reasons, but what I’ve discovered is that one facet of this lies in the fact that the characters in Yuri on Ice simply are ADULT ATHLETES. These characters have escaped the snare of “fleetingness” as defined by high school sports anime. Figure skating in its own terms is fleeting, but that’s a different topic for a different post.
Of course, there are exceptions to this idea. Many characters we are introduced to in Yuri on Ice are still teenagers (Yurio, Minami, Leo, etc), but they give off similar vibes that the adult characters give; a sort of “transcendence” from fleetingness. Yuuri, Viktor, Chris, Georgi – these are all characters in their mid-late twenties. They have dedicated the entirety of their youth to a sport that they love, rather than just 3 years in a high school sport.
BUT WAIT, you may be saying, FIGURE SKATING ISN’T A TEAM SPORT, SO WHY WOULD THERE BE AN ANIME ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL FIGURE SKATING? One: pairs skating, but two: Free was an anime about swimming, another sport that simultaneously can be an individual and team sport, and yet it still had a high school setting. Sure, Eternal Summer gave us glimpses into Haru and Rin’s future swimming careers lasting outside of high school, but mere hinting is not enough.
Therefore, much of Yuri on Ice’s charm comes from shifting the focus from the “fleetingness” portrayed in high school sports anime to more of a dedication to a career, even if the career itself is often short-lived.
(Disclaimer: All the sports anime mentioned in this post are shows that I love very much, I just love Yuri on Ice for so many more different reasons and needed to address this one specifically.)
The biggest Scam of them all! Oh my damn, I’m dying with this! I love Joanne the Scammer. And after watching the movie, my theory about Credence and Graves proved correct! They were meant for each other. And I don’t want to hear none of y'all blab about abuse and age difference. Haters sure got a lot to say, and many of them ship Levi and Eren, so yeah….. I’m gonna go sip my tea now.
How about Haru's baby daughter being visited by her grandparents (Haru's parents) for the holidays?
YOU KNOW I LIVE FOR THIS KIND OF REQUEST! PLEASE SEND MORE THINGS LIKE THIS, PLEASEEE?
Haru’s daughter here is finally a 2-year-old here so she could speak to her grandparents, according to @helloseashell‘s suggestion when I asked her. (Thanks, Poki!)
Haru could tell that his tiny, 2-year-old daughter is very excited to finally meet her grandparents. She’d been a newborn baby when his parents first saw her and he knew that they were just as equally excited, now that their granddaughter could finally recognize them and speak. When they finally arrived, Haru and his wife greeted them and the little girl suddenly came running down the stairs from her room, squealing as she clung onto her grandparents’ leg.
“Grandma! Grandpa!!” She happily greeted them and Haru’s dad scooped her in his arms. His mom laughed as she greeted her granddaughter, “Goodness, you’re growing up so fast! You’re becoming even more and more prettier each day!”
“Daddy said it’s all because Mommy is also beautiful! But Mommy said that I look like Daddy, so isn’t Daddy beautiful, too?” They all laughed at the energetic little girl who shared a lot of stories as they all headed to the dining room. Haru’s parents gave him and his wife some gifts, but most of them were for their daughter. She happily thanked them as she continued to tell them about her trip to the pool with Haru a few days ago, Makoto’s son and his pet dog and even her uncles who were all doing their best to teach her how to swim. Her enthusiasm and bubbly personality managed to make her grandparents’ fall in love with her even more. A small smile crossed Haru’s face and he thought, as he watched the wonderful sight, that he couldn’t ask for more.
I didn’t realize how much of a field day this website was having with Yuri on Ice!! Until I started seeing LGBTQ+ people/ blogs I follow complaining about the sheer AMOUNT of it on their dash (not the content, just that there’s so much)!!! Just thinking about the good old days when the whole sports anime genre got a little crazy with Free! makes me feel so nostalgic… I’m just glad I was 10 feet deep on my own accord, without this website, from the beginning.
Everything is booked and we’re both packed for a short trip away; the landlady has promised to look after Mimi for the night as well, just feeding her, playing with her for a little bit and making sure the litter box is clean. We won’t be away for long though, so I’m sure Mimi won’t get too stressed! She has her scratching post and her different toys to entertain her while we’re away.
Nagisa’s excited to go, he knows about the meal, but he doesn’t know about the aquarium trip, so here’s to hoping I can keep it a secret until we pull up outside!
I won’t be able to make a post tomorrow, but I will tell you all how it went on Sunday. Have a nice weekend everyone!