2016 Retrospective

2016 Retrospective

There are spoilers ahead. If you see a show title you haven’t watched yet, you might want to skip it until you have.

The time has come to reflect back on our most questionable hobby: seasonal anime. According to my research, a lot of anime was released in 2016. Too much. My home and body fell into decay trying to keep up with it all, but I regret nothing. I lived my life as a moe-infected caveman in order to make this retrospective possible, and I’d do it again. I live for the list, you could say (the secret is to drop all the boring trash immediately).  Thus, as I finally shave, as sunlight breaks through my shades for the first time in months, let’s recap the five anime of 2016 that I am most likely to remember. The five anime that will define—for better or worse—2016 in my mind.

I’ll be applying the same rules as last year, so that means no shows continuing from cours or seasons that began in 2015 (or earlier). Additionally, I won’t be including any movies. This is primarily because I prefer/have to wait for disc releases. With all of that out of the way, here we go!Read More »

EM: Malleable Designs in Yuri!!! on Ice

Malleable Designs in Yuri!!! on Ice

Yuri!!! On Ice utilizes malleable character designs to communicate varying character identities, relationships, and motivations. This malleability can be seen as early as Episode 1, but Episode 5 provides the best and most interesting example so far. Yuri’s face modelling and costume both change between his performances to reflect significant changes within and around his character.

yuri1

Yuri’s first performance is clearly motivated by a desire to execute what he has practiced and impress Victor. Or, rather, to “seduce” Victor. We’ve already seen the androgynous, half-skirted costume in earlier episodes, and it has come to represent both Yuri’s idolization of Victor and his efforts to become a “pork cutlet bowl fatale that enthralls men.” These are two important aspects of Yuri’s identity. In his relationship with Victor, he has (at least up until this point) been submissive. He looks up to Victor, he is Victor’s student, and he performs for Victor’s attention. He manifests this in his efforts to become something beautiful and seductive, something he transforms into on the ice. He spends early episodes learning what his “eros” is, and thus what this identity is. As he explains at the end of Episode 5, he was unfamiliar with love and had to discover it under Victor’s tutelage.Read More »