Everyone has a story. No two stories are the same. There are over 7 billion people in this world and none are like you. Everyone is unique. Your entire life journey including your upbringing, challenges, your hard learned lessons, your experiences, achievements and gifts, are all a series of footprints that have brought you to this very moment in time. It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. SO WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
I got to thinking recently and I realized that Yuri on Ice is the first anime I’ve felt passionate about in years.
It’s the first anime in a long time for me, where I wanted to get involved with the fandom, write fanfiction, support artists and their beautiful art, analyze scenes from the anime and create theories, share memes and jokes and just have fun with people who love the same show.
The new YOI episode is always the highlight of my week, it’s the one thing I look forward to. It’s what I get excited about for 6 days and rave about for the next 6 days until the new one is out.
I probably haven’t felt like this for any anime since 2014.
And finding love for anime when I was beginning to think that I might never find a new favorite, might never enjoy something the way I did at the when I first encountered the medium is a beautiful thing.
I also think that I’m not alone with these feelings. I think this anime means a lot to many people, whether it’s because of the characters and the narrative, the animation, the sport itself, the representation and diversity within the cast, or just their love for their ships and memes and fun.
I know there are many people out there who are already tired of hearing about Yuri on Ice all the time, whether it’s from their friends, on their dash, in the anime community in general or wherever else. I know there are people out there who see the fans of the show, see how much they talk about it and soon label them as ‘stupid’ or ‘childish’ or ‘insane’ or whatever else. But please, try to understand that the reason we pay so much attention to it is because it’s important to us.
I know it’s tiring, I know you may not agree with us on many issues, but please bear with us. All of this will only last for another 7-8 weeks. Please let us enjoy this short period of time with all the fangirling/boying we wish to give it without making us feel guilty for it. As long as no one is getting hurt, I am rather certain that we do not deserve to feel bad just for being excited and enjoying an anime.
Yuri on Ice allowed me to meet a number of great people, it made me want to return to ice skating even though I quit the sport years ago, it made me want to return to playing piano even though I gave up years ago, it gave me hope in the anime industry as whole, and most importantly it made me love an anime even though I thought I stopped being capable of that years ago.
I’m just a queer woman from Eastern Europe but Yuri on Ice made me feel like I matter. I will never be ashamed of being a fan of the show.
I’ll start. I was at my community college walking to class and I passed this girl who had a Free! backpack. I didn’t see the name since I wasn’t that close, but it piqued my interest so I googled “swimming anime” as soon as I got home. The rest is history. Never saw that girl again but if I did I wouldn’t know whether to punch her or kiss her. This is all her fault.
This is an opinion that nobody wants to hear but I’m going to go ahead and say it: It is cultural appropriation to participate in an Artist Alley at an anime convention in the US if you are white.
first of all, the reason why anime conventions even exist in the first place is because Asian media is given second-class or NO CLASS treatment in your white-dominated comic con events despite Asians being world leaders in comics and cartoon production for at least a couple of decades.
second of all, your white-owned comic book industry in the united states has rarely cooperated with Asian-owned titles and franchises out of the u.s. market because they can’t stand the sight of titles made by Asians and especially Asian Women outselling the recycled spandex the big two have been producing for decades by ruining the indie u.s. comic market through legislature. yellow peril much? Why isn’t it OK for Asians to do something better than white people?
third of all, you were the ones telling me to be ‘proud’ of my culture and told me to share it, but then an opportunity like artist alley comes along as a part of celebrating Japanese and Asian culture and suddenly you want to be included because you “love Japan”?? If you’re white, especially a white girl, why are you applying to anime conventions? Including your white faces into an event that’s supposed to be about something from an Asian culture is not diversity. that’s flat-out appropriation and you don’t belong in there. What you’re actually doing is stealing opportunity from Asian Americans, instead of challenging the problems in your white comic book world to make it more accessible to yourself and everyone else, especially Asians.
fourth of all, anime is not a Japan only thing. Many of the writers and directors may be Japanese but a lot of the manpower to create the anime you all love so much is actually provided by neighboring Asian countries such as Mainland China, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam to name some, and all of these countries feature great comic book artists and produce excellent comics books for each of their respective countries because they love comics and comic fans. not because they “love Japan”. which is why we’ve been telling you weeaboos(=racists) to stop using words like “kawaii” and “sempai” and “anime” because all you are doing when you use Asian words out of context like that is dehumanizing Asians and dehumanizing Japanese people. because if you think using their language here and there is some special magic, then you probably don’t view Japanese people as being people like you are, which is why so many of you are still supporting scanlations even though the Japanese comic book industry has stated numerous times that overseas scanlations are actually contributing to the decline of their comic book industry. It’s not even about US sales. It’s about the content getting ripped faster than even the official Japanese releases to the point where Japanese people will look for foreign rips of their favorite comic book series instead of buying it. If you actually cared about them and respected them as creators, you would buy your comics so that publishers know you’re interested instead of cheering for the people who are destroying it.
fifth of all, it’s alienating and stereotypical when you all do that thing where you take on an Asian name to represent your anime convention brand. It’s textbook yellowface to do that, just like how it’s yellowface to use a Japanese username online. What you're implying when you do this stuff is that becoming intimate with an Asian culture is as simple as switching names and that isn’t true at all. assimilation into a culture takes years, a lifetime, as many Asian Americans would personally and intimately know. We’re constantly anxious because people constantly question how American we are, even when we use a white normalized name out of desperation, yet you are choosing to use an Asian name for your brand to piggyback on that stereotype that Asian things are cute and exotic? that’s beyond disrespectful.
sixth of all, nobody needs to read your regurgitated anime feelings, so stop writing stories about protagonists with East Asian names, and stop writing all your stories to happen in Japan. If you aren't Asian, why are you making a statement about what it feels like to be Asian? If Asian Americans are always going to be typecast into playing the role of the nerdy friend, geisha, or samurai, then as a white person you are not allowed to pretend like racism is not a factor when writing an Asian narrative.
White people, especially white girls, stop taking opportunity away from Asians and especially Asian girls. Don’t be that white feminist that exploits weaker communities for her own benefit. It is not your place to be selling or propagating Asian things such as anime. Anime is part of Asian culture, something that does not belong to you. Stop stealing what few opportunities exist for us Asians. Use your white resources to create your own, or use it to change your existing white institutions. Stop stealing our opportunity. Stop stealing our culture!! Stop stealing our lives!!
Hearing this (which I know little to nothing about other than general weeaboo stuff) makes me think of this: