In Defense of Yuri…On Ice

Image result for yuri on ice

People need to chill the hell out.

Mostly, overly excited weeaboos need to calm down.

Image result for viktor nikiforov gif

What I’m talking about is the fact that many seemed to be weirdly out of sorts because Yuri on Ice has won now two awards for the “Best Anime of the Year”. YOI has gotten this from Crunchyroll’s  first “Anime of the Year” awards and from the fan polls for “Animation of the Year” at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival.

Some fans are horribly put off by this. They believe Mob Psycho 100, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure,  or whatever they happen to like more deserves it more.

Maybe they are right in some respects, but are wrong in others.

I enjoyed YOI . I thought it was a well put together story. A good sports anime. It had a great soundtrack and it’s dub was good as well. It was emotionally engaging and had a sweet love story that was also part of the show. The animation was decent.

Was it the best??? Not necessarily. The animation wasn’t as clear and pristine as Sound! Euphonium.  It wasn’t as unique as Mob Psycho 100. Erased was more emotionally intense by far. But that isn’t what awards are always about.

Awards, a lot of the time, are more of a reflection of popularity and impact. Sorry kids: sometimes the popularity contests of high school seep out into the real world. Sad, but true. YOI had a large impact that brought it a huge amount of attention outside of it’s normal fan base, and (sorry…not sorry) that matters.

I am actually happy it won. For a few reasons:

1) I liked it. A lot. Nice show. Emotionally engaging. Great soundtrack. Overall enjoyable watch.

2) Yuri and Victor’s relationship was important. The very fact of the matter was that a same sex romantic relationship was portrayed in the show, not as the central purpose/ plot of the show, but rather as a matter of fact is huge. The relationship was there and presented as a normal thing. Not a struggle. Not something to be dissected and discussed at length. It normalized a same sex relationship and didn’t make it a big deal, which is a big deal to many people in the LGBTQ community and those who count themselves as an ally (myself included) to this community.

3) It brought more attention to anime. It got people excited about anime. When a show is a big deal and reaches beyond it’s fandom, it helps the industry as a whole. Some of my favorite shows are not big with the American anime community, but huge in Japan. The more attention a show gets, the more it will potentially legitimize the industry as a whole outside of Japan, which means more projects will get attention that you may end up liking (or like already).


I get why some people get in a stir, but overall this is just immature drama. I grew up liking stuff no one else liked. I loved Sci-fi and Heavy Metal. My stuff didn’t get the attention of the awards community. I got over it. So should you (if you are in a stir), it’s not worth being concerned about. Next year some other show will win: Some people will be happy, some will be pissed, the cycle will continue. Don’t sweat it, just watch more anime.

Dad lecture over.

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Until next time: Happy Viewing!


11 thoughts on “In Defense of Yuri…On Ice

  1. Anime_Girls_NYC February 25, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    A lot of anime fans were upset because the feel the yaoi community (fan girls) pretty much took over that awards. I can see what they mean. But there are other anime fans out there too that should have voted. I loved YOI. Took me by surprise. I’m not going to lie I was voting for Erased in many of the categories. Haha. But Yoi won and we Justus each to deal with it. It was still a good anime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • madreceiver February 25, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      And I understand that.
      However the larger picture remains: It brought more attention to the anime world (which helps the industry) and next year someone will be mad (or happy) about the new winners.
      I didn’t vote in any of the awards and while I also loved YOI, I probably would’ve voted for other shows over it.
      What prompted me to write this is kind of an anti-LGBTQ vibe that has come out of some of the people who are sore about YOI winning. That’s not cool.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anime_Girls_NYC February 25, 2017 / 5:24 pm

        Yeah I understand. There are still ignorant people out there that’s against anything gay, so upsetting.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Karandi February 25, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    It would be lovely to see somethingsci-fi or fantasy based (or even horror) take out an academy award for best picture one day (never going to happen but we can dream). Yeah, I like the Yuri On Ice got awards because I loved it. Its nice sometimes to see something you like actually get some love from others. Sometimes the show you like doesn’t win and amazingly enough, you can still like it.
    I agree, some people need to calm down.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jeffreybotah February 27, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    I haven’t watched Yuri on Ice if I’m honest but I heard about how many people it appealed to. If a show manages to draw people from outside the intended fanbase then I reckon it’s a win for the community on a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. steelbound March 28, 2017 / 9:14 am

    After watching almost no anime last year, I started 2017 with a desire to go back and see what I missed from 2016. Yuri on Ice was one series I knew I should check out based on the amount of talk it generated as it aired, but, I almost decided to skip it.

    To me, telling a story is the most important and most fundamental aspect of a TV show, movie, or book and if it lacks this then it’s a failure in my eye. When I read people discussing Yuri on Ice it was always about the relationship between the two lead characters and almost never about the actual story of the show. I had the feeling the show could have shown paint drying and it would have not changed how people felt about Yuri on Ice.

    So, I was going to skip it for the same reason I skip basically every ecchi series, I want a story. Preferably a good one with interesting characters.

    Then I remembered a SF book that came out in 2013 called Ancillary Justice. It won basically every award it could have. One of the bits of world building to this space opera novel was to feature a empire that didn’t distinguish people by gender and the author helped showed this by using female personal pronouns for everybody. And it was this use of female pronouns that was featured prominently in every review I read and the reason most people seemed to really like the book. What actually happened in the book seemed unimportant to these people. In the end, after putting it off for a long time, I grudgingly decided to give Ancillary Justice a chance and discovered it was a very well told story and decided it deserved it’s awards based on the story it told.

    I decided to not punish Yuri on Ice because of it’s reviewers and about 10 days ago I started watching Yuri on Ice.

    In the end, I was glad I watched it. It was a very good anime but when I finish catching up with 2016 anime and write my top anime of 2016 list, Yuri on Ice will finish somewhere between #20 and #11.

    I certainly can’t speak for or even know what everyone you’ve read that’s upset about Yuri on Ice winning these awards; however, I feel like one shouldn’t immediately jump to deciding the complainers are a bunch of anti-LGBTQ whiners. Not that there aren’t a contingent of anti-LGBTQ people among the detractors of Yuri on Ice.

    You yourself basically say that Yuri on Ice is bested by any number of other anime series and it’s the relationship between the two lead characters that elevates it past shows with better characters, better plots, better animation. How does one then disagree that Yuri on Ice should win without coming off as being at least vaguely anti-LGBTQ?

    Also, if the show had featured all female skaters so the relationship at the center of show was between two woman and nothing else was changed, would Yuri of Ice have won the awards it has? I think the answer to that question is no, it wouldn’t. I don’t think it would have come close.
    So, I think a distinction needs to be made between complaining because the relationship was between two guys and complaining because the use of two guys amounted to being mere fan service to a large pool of voters. The people in the second camp are not necessarily complaining due to being anti-LGBTQ.

    Saying all that, I also feel people shouldn’t get so bent out of shape over something like the Crunchyroll awards. They did such a poor job picking nominees for the various categories that I don’t think the results mean much of anything. Probably the most egregious example of this was not having Sound! Euphonium as a nominee in best animation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • madreceiver March 28, 2017 / 11:38 pm

      Thanks for the thoughtful post.
      Also thanks for mentioning Ancillary Justice. I hadn’t heard of that book, it sounds like an interesting read.
      The main point of my post was not a criticism of people who I perceived to be “Anti-LGBTQ whiners”, but rather to tell people to calm down as a whole. And, in fact, was agreeing with the point you made (in spirit) in your last paragraph (Crunchyroll botching the job).
      The point I wanted to get across is: not to take the awards to seriously. Awards tend to be industry driven, based on sales, viewership, and general popularity. Awards are often not a reflection of the best art (in the broad sense).
      I understand this.
      I also see it as a good sign of peoples attitudes shifting in regards to LGBTQ characters and I welcome that.
      I agree that, artistically, others deserved more recognition (I loved Sound! Euphonium). But, like I said before, this was an industry award and industry awards don’t necessarily reward the best art.
      About how one disagrees whether Yuri on Ice should have won or not? Do what you did. Present a well thought out argument about why you saw other shows as more deserving. That’s all. When I saw threads on the announcement of YOI winning, I saw a bunch of insensitive comments on both sides and back and forth, disrespectful keyboard warring. That’s what I have a problem with.

      To sum up.
      It’s just an industry award. Not a judgment of good art.

      People need to behave nicer when their show, band, team doesn’t win. It doesn’t mean anything bad.

      I liked Sound! Euphonium.

      Thanks for your post!


      • steelbound March 29, 2017 / 9:32 am

        Thanks for not being offended by my comment. It was not my intention to offend, but, it’s so easy to write something that can be misconstrued by others. Trying to order and express my thoughts correctly takes me a long time. For example, for the above comment, I slept on what I wanted to say and then spent 5 hours writing, editing, and revising until I was happy enough with it. Which is why I stay away from forums, won’t touch Twitter with a 10 foot pole, and prefer to stick to blogging – the speed of posting on blogs is such that it’s possible to see more thought out discussions.

        I would say it goes beyond people needing to be nicer to others that have an opinion that doesn’t match their own. I think people also need to respect others more and that respect needs to be founded on the idea that there’s a chance that one’s own opinion on any issue, contest, show, book, or whatever might be wrong and the other person who holds some other opinion is actually correct. This is tough for people, including myself, because we don’t like to think we could be wrong about something, but, thinking of it just from a statistical standpoint, I have opinions on thousands (millions?) of things and it’s impossible to believe that there isn’t at least one item I’m wrong about. I don’t know which opinion is wrong because if I knew that then I’d just change that opinion.

        So, there is a chance that any opinion I have could be wrong. Even a cherished belief that I’m really super positive is correct like ‘murdering people is wrong’ has a chance (a ridiculously small one, I hope) of being wrong. Thus, if I met someone who thought otherwise I would try to be respectful of this person’s viewpoint.

        There’s a lot of issues with award programs but it would be nice if there was a group of awards for anime that did it right. Something that could balance the picks of the more serious critics of anime and the picks of the fans from all levels of interest from causal to hardcore. Maybe Crunchyroll will retool their awards next year – like letting people nominate at least some of the picks in each category – and will get closer to being a worthy summation of what was the best and most popular anime of the year.

        Even if that had already came to pass, about the only way I could imagine seeing my probable top anime of 2016 – Ushio to Tora season 2 – get a mention is if I wrote something on my own blog about it 🙂 .

        Liked by 1 person

      • madreceiver March 30, 2017 / 10:10 pm

        No problem.
        I could have chose to be offended, but didn’t think your intention was to offend, so I chose to react in the way I did.
        I would agree that people need to act with a greater degree of respect towards one another with regards to the opinions they express online. But online is kind of the problem. People can say whatever they want to a ridiculous level of rudeness online because (to a degree) it is easier to depersonalize the person you are talking to. The manner in which some people act online would never happen in public. There would be a level of shame in being rude and derisive to another person’s face. That, and, some people wouldn’t act that way because they’d fear getting hit. The anonymous, and socially removed nature of online commenting kind of emboldens poor behavior in some people.
        Whether Crunchyroll will retool their awards? Who knows? It’d be nice. But as an industry they knew the buzz around that show (it’s currently the new Free), the viewing numbers, and I’m sure that (to some degree) informed their decision. Sadly numbers kind of decide these things. That’s why a lot of shows get a second season: Merch sales in Japan. But I get the desire to want to see something that was better done get recognition. I am a metal fan, I know many metal musicians are classically trained and write more complex compositions. But do they get recognized by the music industry: not really. I’m kind of cynical about awards shows from the start.
        You did just remind me I need to finish Ushio to Tora! That was a fun show! 🙂


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