Yuri!!! On Ice

#6 — Yuri!!! On Ice (2016)

I love figure skating. My childhood was full of attempts to copy Yuka Sato or Surya Bonaly before I was told — admittedly in the kindest way possible — that I would never be a professional figure skater. Since then, I’ve followed competitive figure skating casually for years. These past two years I’ve followed it more closely as ladies figure skating finally is having the same (admittedly obnoxious) discussion that the men have been having for years with quad jumps and whatever PCS means to the judges on that day.

As an aside, if anyone else wants to rant and rave about the “three As” (Alena Kostornaia, Anna Shcherbakova, Alexandra Trusova) and what they’ve brought to ladies skating over the past year, I’m on Twitter.

Before Yuri!!! On Ice ever aired, I watched director Sayo Yamamoto’s short, Endless Night, and wished for a figure skating series to come along some day.

Then Yuri!!! On Ice aired and it surpassed all of my expectations.

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Atsuko Ishizuka’s clever use of social media in A Place Further Than the Universe

#IFollowEveryoneWhoFollowsMe

Child actress Yuzuki Shiraishi chooses this hashtag for her Instagram post that depicts a fairly candid shot of her stepping away from an older woman splashing water and onto a cat. The woman is Shirase Kobuchizawa’s grandmother. Yuzuki is on her way to request that Shirase take over her job as “high school girl reporter” along for the ride in the Challenge for the Antarctic expedition.

A well-known actress who according to Mari Tamaki’s (Kimari) internet research has 38,000 followers, Yuzuki shouldn’t have to beg for followers in a hashtag. It doesn’t matter that her idol debut was with a horrendously-titled song, “The Follow-backs Don’t Stop,” there’s no world where someone as popular as Yuzuki should be begging for followers, never mind promising to follow them back, which is often seen as social media suicide. Yet she does, in this post that only has two likes, two reblogs, and zero comments, less engagement than I received last night for random musings about Madeline L’Engle’s A Wind in the Door.

The image doubles as A Place Further Than the Universe‘s third episode introduction, an episode where Yuzuki will later learn that she has made friends without having to try — also that having friends doesn’t mean that said friends will be the sycophants she’s used to, which is actually a very good thing. #IFollowEveryoneWhoFollowsMe might be Yuzuki’s #brand, but it doubles as a reflection of her personal insecurities, distain for certain aspects of her job, and desperate desire to have real friends. Yuzuki opens the episode by trying to pass off her job to the ill-equipped Shirase in order to lead a more normal high school life with her classmates. She ends the episode with three new friends — Hinata Miyake, Kimari, and Shirase — and a promise to go to Antarctica together.

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[Eight] Time Flies So Fast — Yuri!!! On Ice

yuuri viktor and yuri yuri!!! on ice ending fireworks, yuri yuuri and viktor dance with sparklers yuri!!! on ice, yuri!!! on ice ED you only live once viktor yuuri yuri with sparklers and fireworks, yuri on ice ED viktor and yuuri and yuri, yuri plisetsky viktor nikiforov yuuri katsuki

One of my close friends was a professional athlete. He hasn’t competed in five years and is, by all accounts, retired. I rarely see him anymore, but the few times I have visited in the past five years, there are still trappings of his career — tucked away in corners of the apartment, shoved behind his brother’s discarded motorcycle in the garage, photographs in his father’s living room.

He began when he was three, coaxed and coached by his father. He retired at 25, already older than his more successful counterparts.

Perhaps this is why, for me personally, Yuri!!! On Ice is a story about time, and has been since I first saw the series’ ending sequence — a series of instagram posts that only linger for a few seconds before scrolling down to the next.

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