Every now and then, I’ll just talk and ramble on here about something that simply just makes me happy. And today, it’s an anime – a very special anime, at that.
Yuri!!! On ICE is a show that does something that other shows simply couldn’t; from start to finish, this show just makes me happy. With other shows, I feel enjoyment because of a great story or great characters or something else that I find enjoyable in it, but with this show, it’s all of that, and then some. It’s a show that makes me feel unequivocally and completely happy, moreso than other shows I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t consider it to be a perfect feat, or a perfect anything, and I can’t really call it “the best” in any way, either. But that doesn’t make my feelings toward it nullified, because it’s not a matter of objectivity to me, it’s a matter of subjectivity. And that’s the name of the game here, just telling you all how I feel about [insert subject here].
The one thing that makes me happiest about this show is, of course, the relationship between the two main characters, Yuri and Viktor. Unlike “similar” shows, their relationship – yes, they’re two men and two queer men, at that – doesn’t fall into the “boys love” pitfalls that exist to make it seem “sexy” toward their audience. Both characters are sexy in their own ways, toward each other, so no further fetishization is needed. They’re queer men who develop an emotional and sexual attraction toward each other, and the show presents it in a mature and respectable manner; in short, their sexuality does not define their characters. (And thank sweet merciful Christ for that.) They touch, they hug, they even kiss, and they go as far to exchange gold wedding rings with one another, as a legitimate engagement. And that makes me incredibly happy, seeing their relationship grow and develop throughout the series.
Moreso than that, the side characters are pretty memorable, great, and fun (except JJ, fuck that guy), there’s an amazing soundtrack to it, the animation is incredibly ambitious and absolutely gorgeous in certain shots, and it’s all of these elements that just make me feel happy whenever I watch this show. Hell, I’ve even registered an AO3 (Archive Of Our Own) site, for the sole purpose of… let’s just say, fantasizing what would happen “between the episodes,” and you know what AO3 is for so I’ll just leave it there. This show just makes me feel happy, completely happy, and that’s the one word that always comes to mind. And after the awful year we had, I think we needed something like this to help take all of our minds off of the mass of negativity and pessimism that came in 2016.
It doesn’t always have to be about critical analysis or score judging; sometimes, it’s all about what makes you feel happy. And knowing that this show’s first volume in Japan sold over 50,000 discs in its first week makes me very happy.