If anime had Olympic medals, Yuri on Ice would be aiming for gold. An anime about competitive figure skating doesn’t sound very promising, but Yuri on Ice Movie put all doubts to rest with the best first episode of the Fall 2016 season thus far.
So.. today let’s review why I think yuri on ice movie is the best anime of the season why would anyone not like this anime well let’s not think more about it and let me justify this statement.
How do I figure? Here are a few very good reasons.
The mixed-use of manga-style monochrome splashed with watercolor is perfect for their rotoscoped animation sequence. It synched perfectly with the music, which is, for lack of a better term, sensational. You’re just going to have to watch it. It’s amazing.
The music doesn’t stop at the opening; the insert tracks are phenomenal. When the main character is performing at the end of the episode, they play an opera track in the background, which sounds so authentic, but it’s actually an original piece created specifically for this performance! Does that mean we’ll get a unique opera soundtrack every time someone skates? That would be amazing.
Rotoscoping is the animation technique of capturing live motion footage using actors and then tracing them for anime. It’s not utilized that often in anime because, well, it doesn’t look very good.
Take Aku no Hana for example; it had its fans complaining that the characters looked ugly and that the manga art should have been used instead.
Yuri!!! on Ice is on the whole opposite spectrum. It uses rotoscoping phenomenally, and the animation quality you get is unparalleled to traditional animation because of the specific movements in figure skating.
Even its non-rotoscope animation is good.
It wouldn’t be much of an anime without a good story. Yuri! on Ice has it in spades. The main character Yuuri’s inner conflicts, expressed through figure skating, are portrayed in a very believable and relatable way, especially for anyone who has dealt with depression.
The supporting characters work in concise ways, lending specific roles in Yuuri’s personal story while remaining interesting, individual characters through a mix of humorous quirks. The first episode alone is incredibly inspiring, and it made me want to take up figure skating.
The anime’s amazing first episode is largely thanks to its director, Sayo Yamamoto. Female anime directors are rare, and Yamamoto is one of the best out there among both men and women.
You might not know her by name, but she worked as the director of Michiko to Hatchin, Viva Namida, and Rozen Maiden: Träumend. She’s also been on the storyboard for huge titles like Death Note, Redline, and Space Dandy. What a powerhouse.
If Yuri!!! on Ice can keep up its great quality, it’s well on track to be the best anime of the season. If you haven’t watched it yet, you’re seriously missing out. You don’t even need to like shonen-ai! Though if you do, more power to you.
I think all positive imagery of LGBT themes in sports is good. Unfortunately, the majority of people that rule the skating world are conservative and more business-minded.
I think many of them, while they may love and appreciate the arts and sports, are more interested in the business side of things or power trips.
I don’t know if Yuri on Ice will be able to change the perception of gay athletes for a 60-year-old businessman, but I am of the school of thought that every little bit helps.