Yuri!!! on Ice does everything but explicitly state the relationship between the main characters. As a well-received, mainstream anime (aired on Asahi TV during primetime and popular overseas) that normalizes gay relationships, does Yuri!!! indicate a step forward in representation? Potential angles include how gay relationships have historically been portrayed in anime or an analysis of Viktor and Yuri in Yuri!!! itself.
I believe that this anime focuses more on the skating than the relationships. There didn't seem to be much interaction between the characters during the series, and the characters identity were depicted through their thoughts as they performed. As far as I can tell this anime portrays very little concerning the ideals of romance, its more about the skating. – RadosianStar6 months ago
I think this is a great topic because I know there is much debate in the fandom about it on social media like Tumblr. Personally, I think it is a step forward because gay relationships in anime have a reputation for being sexualized, like in yaoi. There's a lot to work with between Yuri and Viktor's interactions, like the promise rings in front of the church and Viktor literally calling them engagement rings. Some say its queerbaiting, but they have the emotional development of a romantic relationship. The question comes down to whether people believe that romance can be written or shown without a kiss. – LauraKincaid6 months ago
I have not seen Yuri!! on Ice myself, but if it anything like Free! (which can be used as a comparison) I can understand the suspicion of homoerotic undertones. – SarahKnauf6 months ago
While Yuri!!! On Ice certainly has LGBT undertones (and overtones, depending on who you ask), I think its important to regard the the intended audience for its consumption: Fujoshi, (usually female) Yaoi and BL fans. 'Representation' connotes a certain progressivism upon the part of the show's creators, displaying gay relationships to normalize LGBT culture in the strongly heteronormative Japan. However, at the end of the day, Yuri!!! On Ice isn't being consumed by fans who want to challenge their perspective on sexuality, but rather shippers who view Boy's Love as a means of titillation. Even in America, where the show is equally beloved, a great portion of fan discourse is about shipping characters together, rather than contextualizing their relationships in staunchly anti-gay Asian cultures. Despite how negative I've been coming off, I do think analyzing these themes would be a worthy topic of discussion- I just don't think that the show has had nearly as large an impact on Japanese views on homosexuality as westerners might hope. – PeterThelonious5 months ago
A lot of the time LGBT relationships in shows such as this are portrayed very subtly, but with the shows creators relying on the fans to find those links and emphasise them. Yuri!!! On Ice seems to be using more of this kind of technique, and the gay relationships are there more to excite and engage the fanbase (fans are known to jump onto any small hint of canon relationships and plots, and even the smallest signs can blow up, thus also increasing the shows popularity). – SophIsticated3 weeks ago
YOI has been the most explicitly pro-queer anime I've seen so far (though, tbh, I haven't seen a large number) in that it allows lead characters of the same gender to be in love. It is accepted by peers, there is no drama with family or love competitors, and the relationship is healthy. The discussion of gender fluidity is also interesting. – IndiLeigh3 weeks ago
YOI is probably the first sport anime that has LGBT themes, especially between its main characters, which is Yuri and Victor. Its also an anime in which there is an (implied) interracial relationship, with Victor being Russian and Yuri being Japanese. In terms of most animes, the show is quite progressive in terms of LGBT, though it is subtle. However, the issue with the anime, from a lot fans' perspective, is that it is still not as progressive as it could be. As mentioned before in a previous comment from PeterThelonius, fans of the show focuses more on shipping the characters together, rather than the sport. Some fans argue that YOI does show LGBT themes, but not the struggle that comes with being LGBT. As many may know, not a lot of people will accept those who are gay, trans, lesbian, queer, etc. Especially in sports, as seen with many gay athletes like Jason Collins and Johnny Weir (who is in fact a gay competitive figure skater), that face discrimination. YOI could actually discuss this considering that the show is made in Japan, where LGBT is still considered to be "abnormal," or with Victor dealing with discrimination from his family or Russian fans (Russia is very staunch anti-LGBT). It would be interesting to delve deeper into the show dealing with more LGBT themes and struggles. For now, I will say that YOI has broken barriers for LGBT community, but this is only the surface. – themessenger1512 weeks ago
There has been increasing popularity in the West over Japanese anime and manga, prime examples being Avatar: The Last Airbender and Naruto. Although the West is not a stranger to Japanese anime such as Dragon Ball, the shows and books that are being localised are portraying more Japanese characteristics than ever before. Even JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, that has a dedicated following in Japan, has had a faithful adaptation with Western localisation that has developed an almost cult status in certain niches.
Since Japanese media has seemingly distinct quirks that distinguish it from normal Western media, it would be interesting to analyse why western audiences are craving for more Japanese media.
It would also be interesting to consider the format of animated programs versus live action programs. That would be to ask what difference is there between watching an anime and watching a western produced live program with respect to how one responds to it. – Callum Logie4 weeks ago
It might also be a good idea to see how western animation is taking lessons from anime. For example: how western animation has embraced the idea of animation made specifically for adult audiences. – AGMacdonald4 weeks ago
Studio Ghibli’s films, even in their English dub, incorporate subtleties about Japanese customs. For example, When Marine was there presents a Japanese festival scene and Spirited away and Princess Mononoke both present ideas of gods and spirits. Even though all of Ghibli’s films are fiction, to what extent are true Japanese customs presented ?
Maybe expand a little more on what would be the main argument in the article? Will it only focus on Japanese culture or Eastern culture (then what is Eastern culture?), etc. – L.J.2 months ago
To extend Birdienumnum17's commentary, perhaps you can selectively focus on a specific aspect of Japanese custom and culture that anime insightfully represents. For instance, select relevant animes that lend some perspective about the concept of friendship in Japanese culture. – minylee2 months ago
Also, how are these Japanese customs being represented, are they being distorted, exaggerated, etc.? And what does this say about the orientation and commentary that Studio Ghibli is trying to relate through these films, if any? – Jonathan Judd2 months ago
In Anime such as Full Metal Alchemist, anime can be seen pulling story and other aspects from different historical time periods. This can affect they way the production is portrayed. Discuss the different historical time periods that Anime pulls from and how they affect the plot. story line, costumes, and characters. As well as how the original history compares to the Anime
It would be a good idea to compare the real history with that of the anime. – BMartin432 months ago
It would be helpful to anybody who is interested in writing on this topic to have a list of anime that are set in particular historical periods to aid in research.
Let me start by suggesting Mushi-Shi. It's set between the Edo and Meiji periods and the way the fantastical intersects with the mundane in it is very fascinating. – Lokesh Krishna2 months ago
Queerbating is the attempt to reel in viewers by providing false hints that there is a potentially queer relationship. One example is Sound Euphonium, a series about high schoolers playing instruments where two seem to have an almost-lesbian ending. Is it harmful to the queer community? Or is it helpful that at least we get a little representation? Do writers/producers do it because they respect us but have to censor themselves or because they really just want a variety of viewers?
This is an interesting topic. I think you need to look at the history of homosexuality in Japan, Yaoi, and Yuri. For example, the medieval Warlord had homosexual relationship with their favored Samurais to ensure their loyalties while legally married to wives. With such historical evidences, the perception of homosexuality will be different from Western point of view, so it will require some cultural studies to explore this topic – idleric6 months ago
Goku, Sailor Moon, Vash the Stampede, the examples are countless. In anime, being an idiot is a shorthand way to show that a character is all-around good or at least innocent. It’s prevalent enough to have its own trope: Lawful Stupid. It’s not limited to anime but it is most prevalent there. Why is this? Is there a cultural or literary tradition? Is it just a fun trope to play with? The dea is definitely worth examining more in-depth.
I think most of the time it exists to add a bit of comic relief, and also allows the characters to get into more silly situations because if the character were at a genius level, they wouldn't fall for traps and stuff that could put them in unique situations. – xFezziwig6 months ago
I agree that it is essential to the comic relief of the stories, but I think it also makes an important point. Our culture places a great deal of value on intelligence, but these animes propose that intelligence is not the most important part of being a hero. You don't have to be particularly clever to triumph over difficulties. Your values (hard work, friendship, etc.) are more important. I think this is an important message. – C8lin6 months ago
I think stupidity is also a good way to show how characters are human. At some point, we all make dumb mistakes so it's natural for anime characters to show these same traits as well. – seouljustice6 months ago
I've wondered this as well. For example in Naruto, the hero is incredibly powerful and has a good heart yet he is clearly depicted as not being the brightest bulb in the room. His struggle to be accepted and to overcome his learning disabilities portray him in an underdog light. Showing us that hard work and goodness reign the day. – lion3 months ago
I’d like to hear someone explore the fan interest in World War II, but rather how it crosses over into Japanese animation and graphic novels. I have noticed that there has been a growing presence of WW2-inspired anime and manga such as Kantai Collection and Girls und Panzer. I think it would be worth discussing the Japanese view towards their own role in WW2 and how this view has led to a different handling of the subject in Japan. In many anime and manga, one can see that there is a hesitation to portray Axis-aligned countries strictly as villains. Often times, I have seen Axis-countries being portrayed from a neutral position like in Girls und Panzer and Axis Powers Hetalia, or WW2-esque settings being entirely re-written and replaced by alternate settings like in Strike Witches or Sora no Woto.
Now a days the new anime that come out either depict two of the following: 1) Action w/ a romantic interest who barely has any clothes on or 2) A romantic interest who’s over-sexualized. Most of the time it’s a combination of both.
The question now becomes, does the over service of ‘fan service’ take away from the anime itself (artwork, story line, and character development)? Or does it bring to the table something that we have yet to notice? (This I doubt, but just to cover the basis and everyone’s views).
Examples of these would be: Free!, Food Wars, Keijo!, and Okusama ga Seitokaichou! !.
I think the question you need to address here is the time frame. Anime is becoming more fan-service oriented compared to... when? Fanservice has been a massive presence in anime, especially that oriented towards the Otaku crowd, for well over two decades now. Even widely regarded and relatively ancient anime series like Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) included lots of tongue-in-cheek fanservice, even advising fans to come back next episode for "more fanservice!~~" I think a great watch for researching this piece would be the 1991 anime mockumentary "Otaku no Video," which takes a comedic look at the original generation of anime nerds... as well as the origins of fanservice. You could possibly contrast the contemporary shows you mentioned with older material: Did older series have as much fan service? Did they integrate it better? What makes it seem like fanservice is always increasing in anime? Are the *premises* for these shows getting more fanservicey? (I do have to say, I couldn't imagine Keijo! coming out 10 years ago, ahhahah~) – PeterThelonious5 months ago
Fanservice has always been present like PeterThelonious said. I don't think fanservice takes away from the plot as long as it's not the central focus. There's plenty of anime that incorporates fanservice but also has good storylines. Another example would be Code Geass – seouljustice4 months ago
While an interesting topic for discussion consider looking at it from a cultural perspective. Japan does not have she same Judaeo-Christian outlook on the human body especially breasts as can be seen in many of their gag gifts, video games, and Anime itself. They merely see the human body as that, the human body that's nothing to be ashamed of. So maybe try looking at this from a different cultural perspective and see if that helps or not. Hope the advice helps! – GingerSavvy2 months ago
While an interesting topic for discussion consider looking at it from a cultural perspective. Japan does not have she same Judaeo-Christian outlook on the human body especially breasts as can be seen in many of their gag gifts, video games, and Anime itself. They merely see the human body as that, the human body that's nothing to be ashamed of. So maybe try looking at this from a different cultural perspective and see if that helps or not. Hope the advice helps! - GingerSavvy – GingerSavvy2 months ago