Wondering what that Yuri!!! on ICE all night marathon was like? Wonder no more! Kuri C., a Filipino Yuri!!! on ICE fan currently living in Japan, was lucky enough to win the opportunity to attend it! Here, she tells us all about it!
Revisiting Love and Life at the
Yuri!!! on ICE Talk Show Live Viewing and All Night Marathon
by Kuri C.
Though I wasn’t counting on it in the first place (I had actually planned my weekend around not being able to go to the All-Night viewing at all), luck happened to be on my side and I won the lottery for the right to purchase tickets for the event. I had two, so a friend of mine came along to watch it with me. Since she was a JJ fan, she was totally ready to do the whole JJ girl experience, bringing along her own banner. I, on the other hand, didn’t have any favorites, but I was absolutely game to cheer for everyone the whole time.
The others in the audience were just as ready. Though outside the cinema no one seemed to show that they were there for the event (save for a few low-key Yuri on Ice bags here and there), once they were settled in, many brought out banners for their favorite skater (mostly Yuri Katsuki or Plisetsky) and had special glow sticks they could program to the color of whichever skater they want to cheer on.
The talk show came first. Though I was in the same building as the actual talk show, we were watching just a live broadcast of it at our respective cinema. Not much new information was released, but it was a lot of fun to see the voice actors and Kubo-sensei herself come out on stage to talk about the series. Toshiyuki Toyonaga appeared on to the stage with uchiwa featuring Yuri and Victor. Junichi Suwabe surprised us all with dyed hair and the Makkachin tissue case (all the while denying that there was nothing about him that was like Victor except for liking Makkachin)! Sadly, there wasn’t an actual tissue box in the case, but that didn’t matter as Suwabe had a lot of fun using it as a puppet. He had it shaking at first and said “Makkachin is trembling because of all of you!” Later on, he was a bit terrible and stuck his hand through Makkachin like a chestburster from Alien. Finally, Koki Uchiyama came on stage, though sadly he didn’t have any special gimmick to show off.
Of the three seiyuu, Toyonaga was the most animated, stepping out of his chair several times to mimic Georgi Popovich and even get down on the floor to show off a hydroblading pose when he was asked what figure skating move he wanted to do. For the same question, Suwabe said he wanted to do a 100-revolution jump or a quadruple axel, while Uchiyama said he was interested in spins.
Some other highlights from the talk show include Kubo-sensei commenting that Seung Gil’s costume made him look like a parrot and all three VAs suddenly making bird noises. Also, a mention that Georgi and Otabek were popular with the male staff. There was talk about Chris’ mystery companion, who Kubo-sensei says is from the Swiss Skating Federation and probably a former ice dancer. He has no name yet, but because he looks like Masumi Hayami from Glass Mask, everyone had begun calling him “Masumi-san”. Later on during the viewing, the entire cinema chorused “Masumi-saaaaan!” the moment he appeared on episode 11.
Kubo-sensei also shared two very interesting stories from the European Championships which she attended earlier this month (sadly, she made sure to make it clear that her trip overseas had nothing to do with work for season 2). First off, she talked about people cosplaying Yuri On Ice characters at the event. They noticed her and without knowing that they were talking to Kubo-sensei, the cosplayers said it was okay to take a picture of them. Later on, while on a train platform, Kubo-sensei saw one of the cosplayers from that time out of costume– and apparently they had an Otabek-like undercut hairstyle. She was wondering whether to tell her who she was, but decided not to.
The other story she shared was about a skater and her coach. Carolina Kostner, who had come out of a three year hiatus, had made an incredible comeback at the competition and at the Kiss and Cry, she had a heart-shaped cushion. Later in the day, Kubo-sensei saw Kostner’s coach, Alexei Mishin, who Yakov was based on. He had the heart-shaped cushion with him. Out of the blue, he put it on his head to use as a hat to protect him from the cold.
After the really entertaining talk show was a 15 minute break followed by the actual all-night viewing. As the release date of the third DVD/BluRay volume was in two weeks, we all got to see the entire first half of the series (episodes 1-6) in their best quality. A lot of remarkable improvements were made in the skating animation for the episodes to be released with Volume 3, and it was really incredible to see it all on the big screen. I was even surprised by the fact that I could see subtle imperfections in the technical aspect of Yuri’s Short Program in episode 5, like a two-footed landing during one of his jumps. Yuri’s ugly blue tie during the press conference also looked clearly ugly this time around with its big, awkward stripes.
But seeing everything so clearly on the screen aside, the most thrilling part of the All Night Viewing was physically being a part of the fandom! Though my friend and I were seated at the very first row (and thus we couldn’t see all the other fans behind us), we could hear clapping along with the music at times and shouts of “ganba!” and “davai!” before some performances. There were many fans who said some iconic lines along with the show (such as “be my coach, Victor!”), and laughter every time something funny happened.
Some amazing moments with the fans at the cinema include the thunderous support for Georgi Popovich during his short program. All of a sudden, everyone was just yelling “davai!” and applauding for him (though at the same time bursting into laughter during his “I’m an evil witch!” monologue). Everyone also burst into laughter at Seung Gil’s first appearance on the ice in his “sexy mambo” outfit, as we all could still remember the VAs breaking into parrot noises about it.
The most interesting bit of the night had to do with the Theme of King JJ. As English speakers, my friend and I have absolutely no problem singing along to it. The event organizers also made it very clear that we were all encouraged to sing along to it, too. Kubo-sensei also made a mention of it. However, my friend did pick up that some of the audience were worried that they wouldn’t be able to sing it because it was all in English. However, during the actual scene where JJ’s theme first came out, I was able to hear everyone clapping along to it behind us as we sang out hearts out for him. Perhaps not everyone was able to sing, but at least during the scene at the Kiss and Cry after his disastrous short program at the Grand Prix Final, when the chanting for him began, everyone followed suit and the whole cinema absolutely cheered him on.
All in all, the event was an incredible celebration of this very loved series. It was a wondrous experience to have taken part in it and enjoyed it with the rest of the fans living in Japan– not just in Tokyo, but throughout the country. After the event, I got to talk to friends who got to see it all the way in Fukuoka and in Osaka. Some of the people I follow on Twitter also caught it in Hokkaido. It was just amazing, how this one series brought us all together. Though at the end we were sleepless, tired, and aching from sitting through the whole show, we went home with great smiles on our faces.
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