Yuri!!! on Ice Anime Film to Be Delayed From 2019 Opening

The official website for Yuri!!! on Ice the Movie: Ice Adolescence (Yuri!!! on Ice Gekijō-ban: Ice Adolescence), the anime film for the Yuri!!! on Ice franchise, has announced that the film has been delayed from its 2019 opening date. The franchise’s production committee plans to post a new opening date when it has been decided. The announcement noted that the film was delayed “in order to substantially scale up the content more than originally planned.”

The staff announced the film in April 2017.

Source: ANN

12 Days of Anime: Day 9

As an anime fan, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that I would have anime items (DVDs, Blu-rays, and soundtracks) on my Christmas wishlist. It’s a rather long list (LOL!), but I thought I would share the items that I’m most hoping to find under the tree this Christmas.

Anime Blu-rays and DVDs

Assassination Classroom Season 1

I really liked the Assassination Classroom anime series when I watched it as a simulcast, and I would love to have this in my anime home video library. I’m grateful that FUNimation Entertainment released complete season sets for the series on Blu-ray earlier this year, so now I can ask for one set for each season instead of two sets.

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club Season 1 Collection

Watching Free! -Dive to the Future- over the summer as a simulcast reminded me of how much I enjoyed the series. I’d like to finally start adding it to my anime home video library.

Haikyu!! Season 1 Complete Collection

I really enjoy the series and want to add it to my anime home video library. I’d love to have it available on physical media to watch whenever I want while I keep hoping and waiting for another season.

Shirobako Collection 1

I really liked this series when it aired as a simulcast, and I would love to add it to home anime home video library. I think my husband and son would both get a kick out of this one if they watched it.

Snow White with the Red Hair: The Complete Series

This was another series I enjoyed watching as a simulcast and would like to add to my anime home video library. I especially loved Shirayuki and how she was a great female character with a lot of agency. To be honest, I think my daughters would enjoy this series.

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 – Part One

This was a fantastic reboot of the original Space Battleship Yamato, and it deserves a spot in my anime home video library. I think my husband would also enjoy this reboot as well.

Yuri!!! On Ice: The Complete Series

This was such a well-done anime. I enjoyed it so much that I binge watched it within a very short amount of time, which is unusual for me. I would love to add this to my anime home video library so I can watch this whenever I want on a bigger screen.

Anime Music

“History Maker” single by Dean Fujioka

This is the opening theme song for Yuri!!! On Ice. This is such a fantastic song, and for me, is among some of the best anime opening theme songs I’ve ever heard. I would love to add it to my music library.

Yowamushi Pedal Theme Song Album

This is a CD that compiles various theme songs from the Yowamushi Pedal anime series. The series has a lot of great themes, and it would be awesome to have them on a single CD.

Yowamushi Pedal O.S.T. 1

This is the first CD of background score music for Yowamushi Pedal. There’s a lot of great score music in this anime, and it’s music I can see myself listening to outside of the series.

Crunchyroll, in Partnership With Fathom Events, Brings a Yuri!!! on ICE Series Marathon to U.S. Movie Theaters on October 13, 2018

In Fall 2018, anime fans are set to discover that nothing is better than big screen binge-watching the most critically-acclaimed sports anime ever released. Crunchyroll and Fathom Events will bring episodes one through 12 of Yuri!!! on Ice to select U.S. cinemas in a one day marathon with “Yuri!!! on Ice Series Marathon.” In addition to viewing the 12 episodes with friends and fellow fans, attendees will view a video message from the series’ producer along with a “hello” from Makkachin, Victor Nikiforov’s pet poodle.

Tickets for “Yuri!!! on Ice Series Marathon” are available at www.FathomEvents.com and participating box offices.

“Yuri!!! on Ice Series Marathon” comes to a limited footprint of more than 95 U.S. cinemas on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at noon local time (subbed). A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Yuri!!! on Ice follows a Japanese figure skater, the titular Yuri Katsuki, his coach, Russian figure-skating champion Victor Nikiforov, and emerging Russian skater Yuri Plisetsky during the Figure Skating Grand Prix. In addition to winning numerous awards and fan polls, the lauded series also attracted praise from professional figure skaters, with some Olympians skating to music from the show at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The series was produced by MAPPA, directed by Sayo Yamamoto, and written by Mitsurō Kubo. Figure skating choreographer, coach, and former competitive ice dancer Kenji Miyamoto choreographed the realistic skating sequences by performing the routines himself.

“Japanese animated features continue to be immensely popular in the U.S.,” Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt said. “This ‘binge watching’ session of the Yuri series is sure to be another favorite. We’re proud to partner with Crunchyroll to bring it to American movie theaters.”

Crunchyroll’s Head of Events and Manga, Dallas Middaugh says, “Working with Fathom Events to bring Yuri!!! on Ice to theaters is a great opportunity to bring current fans and new fans together to enjoy this continuously popular series. Our partnership with Fathom Events allows us to continue to service our fans on the big screen!”

Information on the Yuri!!! on Ice Anime Film

The staff and title have been announced for the forthcoming Yuri!!! on Ice anime film.

The film is titled, Yuri!!! on Ice the Movie: Ice Adolescence (Yuri!!! on Ice Gekijō-ban: Ice Adolescence).

Sayo Yamamoto is directing the film and is also in charge of composition. Tadashi Hiramatsu is designing the characters. Taro Umebayashi and Taku Matsushiba are in charge of the music.

Yuri!!! on Ice the Movie: Ice Adolescence is scheduled to open in Japanese theaters in 2019.

Source: ANN

List: My Favorite Anime Featuring Sports

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a list article, but I’m finally at a point where I can try to start doing some different kinds of posts again.

This time, my list is focusing on my favorite anime that feature sports. I hesitate to call this a list of my favorite sports anime, because while some of these titles do feature a sport, they might not necessarily have as much of a focus on the competitive side of the sport.

I should also add that rather than being a top 5 list, this list will be presented in alphabetical order.

Free!

At the time I’m writing this list, I have seen the Free! Iwatobi Swim Club and Free! Eternal Summer anime series. This is a series that features competitive swimming, with the first series focusing a little more on getting the swim club back up and running at Iwatobi. Once the team gets up and running, there is definitely some swimming competition… but the lives and personalities of the characters plays just as important of a role as the sport of swimming.

While Free! Eternal Summer did include some of the character development that the first series was known for, this second series focused more on the competitive side of the sport. To be honest, I think you really have to watch both series to truly appreciate what the Free! Franchise has to offer.

Haikyu!!

When I watched the first episode of Haikyu!!, I realized rather quickly that it followed many of the tropes associated with sports anime. However, the main character of Shoyo, along with his backstory, were intriguing enough that it didn’t feel like this was “just another sports anime.”  And as the series progressed, the characters became so engaging that I didn’t always necessarily notice the various sports anime tropes that were being used.

Even though I’m not a fan of volleyball, this series kept me interested with its characters and the story development. I have to say that this franchise has helped me gain a better understanding of how to play volleyball, and the matches that appear in this series are exciting to watch.

Speed Racer (aka Mach Go Go Go)

Some might argue that this shouldn’t appear on the list, if they don’t consider car racing to be a sport… but I think Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne might disagree with that assessment.

Speed Racer features the title character participating in the world of professional car racing and participating in races, but there’s usually also some kind of intrigue or danger mixed in with the competitions. With each race Speed participates in, I find myself always rooting for him to win. With that being said, though, I do have to admit that I tend to prefer the earlier episodes in the series over the later ones, because the story premises become stranger as it goes on. While the style of the English dub is annoying at times, I can still tell that there’s something there from the original that makes this series better than what it appears on the surface in the English dubbed. I would love to see the original Mach Go Go Go at some point, but I just have to hope that FUNimation Entertainment will eventually release it in a way where you don’t have to buy a ridiculously priced collector’s edition that includes a lot of junk and repeat content that I’m not interested in.

Yowamushi Pedal

Even though I’m not a fan of cycling, I found myself getting hooked on this series very early on in its first season. I especially found myself riveted to the action that takes place during the racing scenes. But there’s more to Yowamushi Pedal than just bicycle racing, however. The series does a fantastic job of character development, and it is able to combine this with memorable character interactions and humor in such a way that it raises Yowamushi Pedal from simply being a sports anime to something even more.

As of this writing, I have seen Yowamushi Pedal, Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road, Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie, and Yowamushi Pedal New Generation in their entirety, and am in the middle of the Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line simulcast. What I’ve appreciated is seeing how the various teams and the characters have evolved over the course of all these episodes, and there’s still obviously more to come.

Yuri!!! On ICE

This series about ice skating grabbed me from the very first episode. Yuri Katsuki seemed like he was just going to fade away after his various failed showings at skating competitions, but his life and career are turned around after he is filmed doing a perfect imitation of an advanced skating routine by a famous Russian figure skater named Victor Nikiforov. When Victor sees this video posted on the internet, he takes it upon himself to be Yuri’s coach. But Yuri finds more than just a coach in Victor, and the various character interactions that take place in this world of professional figure skating are intriguing and make the viewer want to continue following the series.

The writing on this series is fantastic, and it’s through this writing that Yuri and Victor’s relationship evolves in a realistic way. It’s made clear that Yuri idolizes Victor, and Victor is clearly shown flirting with Yuri from early on after they meet. So when the infamous kiss happens in episode seven, it feels natural and not forced. When Yuri later buys rings for the two of them as a good luck charm for his skating, I appreciated being able to pick up on the subtext that this gesture could potentially mean more in the future. But it wasn’t just these two characters who got all of the character development… Yuri’s various competitors at various events were also developed as well. The weaving of competition with character development is almost perfect in Yuri!!! On ICE.

Yuri!!! on Ice Voted as Tokyo Anime Award Festival’s Animation of the Year

The 2017 Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) held a poll for the Animation of the Year: Anime Fan Award. Fans voted on anime that screened or aired between October 18, 2015, and October 15, 2016. An earlier poll had already narrowed down a larger list of 550 to 100, and fans could vote once per day. The poll ended on February 16, 2017, and the organizers have revealed that Yuri!!! on Ice got first place with 41,439 votes.

The full top 20 list:

1. Yuri!!! on Ice (41,439 votes)
2. Joker Game (37,552 votes)
3. High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- (16,094 votes)
4. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (14,997 votes)
5. Mob Psycho 100 (14,623 votes)
6. Dream Festival! (11,078 votes)
7. TO BE HERO (9,398 votes)
8. Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare (9,345 votes)
9. Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE! (8,797 votes)
10. Gintama (8,030 votes)
11. K: Return of Kings (7,311 votes)
12. Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions (6,627 votes)
13. Yowamushi Pedal: Spare Bike (6,576 votes)
14. Fafner EXODUS (5,295 votes)
15. World Trigger (3,592 votes)
16. Ponkotsu Quest: Maō to Haken no Mamono-tachi (2,994 votes)
17. Kuroko’s Basketball Winter Cup Highlights -Shadow and Light- (2,810 votes)
18. One-Punch Man (2,730 votes)
19. Utawarerumono: The False Faces (2,456 votes)
20. Seraph of the End: Battle in Nagoya (2,276 votes)

The Tokyo Anime Award Festival will be held in Ikebukuro in Tokyo from March 10-13, 2017.

Source: ANN

Anime Spotlight: Yuri!!! On ICE

Yuri!!! On ICE is a 12 episode anime series that aired in Japan from October 5-December 21, 2016. While I heard about the series when it first came out, I hadn’t decided to watch it while it was a simulcast. However, over the past week or so, I’d seen several Anime News Network reviewers not only rate Yuri!!! On ICE among their top five anime of the Fall 2016 season, they also rated it among their top five anime of 2016. Between that and knowing that the series had also received a brief visual reference in a relatively recent episode of South Park, I decided that I needed to watch the series and see if it really deserved all the attention it had been receiving.

From the opening note of “History Marker,” the opening theme song for Yuri!!! On ICE, I could tell there would be something different about the series. By the end of the first episode, I was already starting to get a sense for why people were liking the series so much.

Yuri!!! On ICE focuses on Yuri Katsuki, a 23-year-old male figure skater who suffered a crushing defeat during the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and failed showings at other skating competitions. Unsure of what he wanted to do going forward, Yuri returns to his hometown of Hasetsu. When Yuri visits his childhood friend, Yuko at the ice skating rink where she works, he shows her a perfect imitation of an advanced skating routine performed by his idol, a famous Russian figure skater named Victor Nikiforov. Unbeknownst to Yuri, someone filmed him as he performed the routine and uploaded it onto the internet. The video goes viral and gains the attention of Victor Nikiforov himself. Victor comes to Hasetsu and proclaims that he will personally coach Yuri so he can win the gold medal at the next Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.

Of course, there’s conflict before Yuri can even make it to the first qualifying event. An up-and-coming young Russian figure skater named Yuri Plisetsky comes to Japan to find Victor, because Victor had promised to help him choreograph a routine if he won the junior division (which the Russian Yuri did). Unfortunately, Victor can be very forgetful, and had no recollection of this promise. Victor choreographs routines for both of the Yuris, which leads up to a skate-off between the two at in Hasetsu. After this, the Japanese Yuri must return to competing professionally in order to progress. The remainder of the series follows Yuri through this process, as well as the relationship that develops between Yuri and Victor.

Gosh, where do I begin to review this series? I guess I’ll start with the animation. The animation for Yuri!! On ICE was incredible, especially for the ice skating routines. The routines were actually choreographed, and I think the animators captured the choreography incredibly well. I may not have much knowledge of ice skating, but even I could tell that the animators weren’t randomly drawing movements to bring the ice skating to life. It felt like I was actually watching people ice skating. The character designs were also very effective, and it felt as if each character had a distinct look that matched their personality. There weren’t any character designs that felt “cookie cutter” or copied between the characters.

Another outstanding aspect of Yuri!!! On ICE is the music. There were a number of musical pieces that appeared for the ice skating routines, and it was obvious that the composer took a lot of care with this aspect. The music was all well written, and the pieces used for each character really fit with their personality.

The writing for this series was also fantastic. From the very first episode, the audience comes to care for Yuri Katsuki and want to cheer him on as he struggles to return to the world of professional figure skating. The other characters that surround Yuri, as well as the overall plot progression, make the viewer want to keep following the series when each episode ends. I especially have to give praise for how Yuri K. and Victor’s relationship progresses throughout the series. It’s made clear that Yuri idolizes Victor, and Victor is clearly shown flirting with Yuri from early on after they meet. So when the infamous kiss happens in episode seven, it feels natural and not forced. When Yuri later buys rings for the two of them as a good luck charm for his skating, I appreciated being able to pick up on the subtext that this gesture could potentially mean more in the future. And the interactions between Yuri K. and Victor in the final two episodes are emotional and heart wrenching.

But it wasn’t just Yuri K. and Victor who got all of the character development. Yuri’s competitors at his various events were also presented with development over the course of the series.

Yuri!!! On ICE brought together the writing, animation, choreography, and music into an impressive package. So impressive, in fact, that I would have to rank it alongside Haikyu!! 3rd Season as my favorite anime of 2016. In the opening theme, “History Maker,” one of the lines that appears is, “We were born to make history.” How true those words ended up being for this series.

I can’t wait until FUNimation is able to release Yuri!!! On ICE on home video, because it will definitely be on my list of anime to purchase.