Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 04:13 pm
With arguments including:
  • Made by a woman of colour (directed by a Japanese woman in Japan)
  • Aimed at women, female gaze (don't get me started on 'the female gaze'. Just. Don't)
  • Does not objectify women (because it's about men)
  • Multiple well drawn female characters (who are secondary to the men)
  • Canon amab genderqueer gay asexual protagonist in canon relationship with a man (is about two mildly gender non conforming guys being homoerotic-with-plausible-deniability)
  • Ethnic diversity (a Thai character has had a few lines)
  • Title is clearly a queer feminist deconstruction of male gazey yuri anime (title is very confusing if you are looking for actual yuri)

Which is to say: it's a lot of fun and less problematic/more progressive than most sports anime. I really like it! But it's still a mainstream anime about dudes.

I haven't actually seen any arguments along these lines for this show in particular but I was replying to a friend's post about the way people twist themselves in knots to argue that stories about dudes are THE MOST FEMINIST EVER and went "What would my example be? Well I just watched an episode of Yuri on Ice, and...oh God. I know exactly what someone out there is saying about this show".

Now later when I see such meta I can say "I KNEW IT" :)
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 09:07 am (UTC)
I've seen a few of these already! Though to be fair, it's not hard to find them about just about any male-centric show.
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 09:15 am (UTC)
What's funny here is that suddenly Yuri on Ice sounds a lot more interesting to me! *laughs* (Although the main reason I haven't checked it out yet - internet issues aside - is that I think I know just enough about figure skating to find it frustrating.)

After I saw Pacific Rim I had a lot of these feelings whenever I saw meta about how revolutionary it was. Just... is this really the best we can do?
Friday, November 4th, 2016 03:22 am (UTC)
Yep, there's been a bevy of ice skaters who love it, and I've seen articles along the lines of 'it's ridiculous, no one can humanly do that many quads in a routine, BUT they clearly *researched* the quads and the points system and the culture.' Etc. There's a great post about that here that breaks it down in a pretty fun way. If you don't have time to read, I'll just quote this part:

as a long-time figure skating fan, i’ve been really looking forward to yuri on ice, and i wanted to talk a little bit about the skating in episode 1. i worry that maybe people who aren’t as into skating don’t understand how RIDICULOUS that program viktor did was.

this is not in any way a complaint. the program was completely unrealistic, but not because anyone involved with the show neglected to do their research. it was clear they actually put a ton of research & work in, and then intentionally designed something that was the skating equivalent of your power level being over 9000. viktor (and yuri) went out there and threw down the skating version of a level 100 mewtwo. it was DELIGHTFUL.

(Which pretty much echoes my feelings as a fan of figure-skating, lol).

I believe they studied ice skaters and ice skating culture for a *long* time. It certainly feels like it, as an amateur ice-skating enthusiast. You can tell the ice skaters that each of them are based off (if you follow the games / Winter Olympics / performances etc.), and there are moves in there that were made famous by openly gay figure-skater Johnny Weir in America etc.

But yeah not the most feminist show ever. Just fun and pretty different for sports anime, heh.
Friday, November 4th, 2016 03:35 am (UTC)
May be useful if you haven't already seen it:

Real Life Skaters mentioning Yuri on Ice masterpost. (At the bottom you can see where Johnny Weir has clearly been referenced in the show, and Johnny Weir retweeted the images to his own Twitter).

There are also award winning figure-skaters now dancing routines *from the show.*

So you know... :D (I think that's pretty awesome.)

Friday, November 4th, 2016 03:26 am (UTC)
I wonder if it's a need to swing to 'ideological purity' and make sure the show is just 'so overwhelmingly amazing politically' that people can't crucify it into 'just outright terrible 100% trash' in a world of political binaries that are designed to Other people pretty aggressively?

I mean it seems pretty self-evident that Yuri on Ice is not the most feminist show ever, and that it's not actually a *gay* show (despite being fun to imagine and the show being enthusiastic about prodding that along re: fanservice) and it's not actually a show that centralises female characters etc.

But in a world where (I'm thinking Tumblr here mainly) things need to be The Best or The Worst, I wonder if people are already trying to carve a The Best space out for it? I don't know. And yeah, I think it's gonna happen too. Alternatively someone will single it out for something it's doing wrong and suddenly it will become the 'trashbaby' show that everyone feels guilty about enjoying etc. *quietly throws hands in the air*

At the moment the only people who I'm following who are into this show are just posting art, gifs, fanart, memes and stuff. And the occasional ice-skating skill breakdown, lol.
Sunday, November 6th, 2016 05:59 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's because I was in Homestuck-land for a large part of my stay in Tumblr (2011 to 2013), but I sort of overhear from the sidelines mentions of this "100% perfect vs 100% terrible" thing and it just seems subtly off to me? I know there's always some fans who will interpret any criticism as "you said it was 100% terrible! hdu h8!", but it felt like the tenor back then, at least where I was reading, was more leaning toward Nothing Is Above Criticism, Deal With It. Can things have changed so quickly? Am I just experiencing ageing-induced subjective timeframe compression?