[OWLS Blog Tour] The Guise of Diplomacy : Bungou Stray Dogs

Hey hey hey Owlets!! It’s Archi-Anime’s turn to contribute to  the OWLS November blog tour. OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hopes to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.

November’s theme is “Diplomacy”:

Whenever we have a disagreement with someone, we use our words to express our thoughts and opinions. However, there are those who would rather use fists instead of words, those who forget that being “right” isn’t the most important thing, and those who lose sight of compromising and acknowledging differences in opinion and belief. Diplomacy is an important skill and tactic that not many of us have or are able to utilize properly especially in “social media wars” for sensitive issues and anime discourse—we just express our opinions without really listening.

For this month’s prompt, we will be exploring some of the best negotiations scenes in pop culture media and discuss how effective these diplomatic moments are and what we can learn from them. We will also discuss why communication and listening are important traits to have and whether or not there are other means to enforce peace.

Diplomacy. Negotiation. Is there really a right or wrong way to solve a problem? Do diplomatic negotiations resolve in something for the greater good? Is it something that would be beneficial for the population or only serve well for the parties involved?

Whether good or bad, negotiations are held to resolve disputes. Whether they can be used for the greater good can be questionable. In my examination of the term ‘Diplomacy’ I’ll be looking at it the anime Bungou Stray DogsContinue reading


[OWLS Blog Tour] The Door That Never Opened: Daiki Aomine

Hey hey hey Owlets!! It’s Archi-Anime’s turn to wrap up the OWLS October blog tour. OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hopes to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.

October’s theme is “Dreamers”:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?”
-Langston Hughes

Due to recent events that happened in September, this month’s OWLS topic will be on “Dreamers.” Every individual has a goal or ambition that they devote their whole life to with passion and courage—whether it’s landing your dream job, traveling, or finding the love of your life. However, there are those who spent their whole life working towards a dream but it was cut short due to an unexpected occurrence. Those people are left only to dream and wonder about the possibility.

This month’s topic will be dedicated to these characters in pop culture entertainment. We are not going to focus on the individuals that achieved their aspirations but instead, we will focus on characters that weren’t able to. We will explore what happens to characters who had their wings forcefully cut off as well as those who gave up before they even started their journey. We will also discuss what it means for “a dream to be deferred.”

More often than not we gravitate to the underdog of a story. We’re inspired by them; the ones that work tirelessly in order to get just one step closer to their dreams. We root for them, we celebrate their victories and we cry with them during their losses. In the case of Kuroko no Basket we followed the main character, Kuroko, and his struggle to becoming the best in Japan. What often gets overlooked is that Kuroko wasn’t the only one with dreams of being the best.

Enter one of our main rival’s of the series, Aomine Daiki. Aomine serves as one of the biggest catalyst’s for the series; especially with Kuroko and Seirin’s growth. His poor attitude, rough personality and general lack of regard for the team and those around him easily gets him labeled as the bad guy. Aomine’s story is one of the more compelling storylines of the series and is also a prime example of what it means to have a dream deferred.

Continue reading

[OWLS Blog Tour] Reason Living: Kei Okazaki

Hey hey hey Owlets!! It’s Archi-Anime’s turn for the September tour stop on the OWLS blog tour. Just a friendly reminded that OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hopes to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours that reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.


September’s theme is “Treasure”:

There are moments in our lives where we lose our sense of self-worth and value and as a result, we find ourselves deep in darkness or drowning in the ocean. However, every person in this world is a treasure—we treasure ourselves or we are treasured by others—and at times, we may need to be reminded of that.

For this month’s topic, we will be exploring pop culture characters who have suffered from mental illnesses, depression, and/or suicide. We will be discussing how these individuals cope with these issues, the reasons for their emotions, and how they handled the situations they are in.

***Mental illness, suicide, and depression are pretty serious topics and we hope that our OWLS post will give you some solace.

This month’s theme is a rather difficult topic to tackle, as it’s not easy to talk about in general. But it needs to be discussed, mental health is incredibly important. I considered skipping it due to the heavy nature of the topic, but I thought it’d be a good time to go outside of my comfort zone to discuss this especially in light of what happened to one of my favorite singers in July, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. His death sparked the discussion in OWLS and thus September’s blog tour was born.

As I was brainstorming as to what I wanted to go with this post, I had picked the anime Orange right off the bat, but I still contemplated…where there other anime’s that dealt with this topic that I’d seen? So I asked one of my best friends, and he reminded me of the route I had JUST finished in a video game.



In July, a video game called Collar X Malice was released on the PSVita, and I’ve been completely engrossed in playing through it. It’s an otome that’s got some pretty dark themes of terrorism, murder, death, etc.  In light of what happened with Chester and upon learning one of my close friends had lost her Father to suicide, one of the pursuable characters for the heroine in the game felt a little too real. Due to my other friend reminding me of the quasi-traumatization I received from his route, I thought this character served the perfect example of the theme “treasure.


WARNING: Triggers of self-harm and suicide are prevalent in this post as are HEAVY SPOILERS for the game as this serves as character analysis. Continue reading

[OWLS Blog Tour]: Mob Psycho & Being Your Own Worst Enemy

Hey hey fellow ani-bloggers! It’s Archi-Anime’s turn for the July tour stop on the OWLS blog tour. Just a friendly reminded that OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hopes to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours that reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.


July’s theme is “Mirrors”:

“Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all?”

When we look in the mirror, what do we see? Do we see ourselves or someone we don’t want to be? For this month’s theme, we will be exploring some of our favorite anime and other pop culture media that redefine individual beauty—inside and out. Some topics we may explore are physical appearances, social expectations on gender, and the importance of self-confidence.

Continue reading

[OWLS Blog Tour]: Owning Your Weakness

Hey hey fellow ani-bloggers! It’s Archi-Anime’s turn for the May tour stop on the OWLS blog tour. Just a friendly reminded that OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hopes to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours that reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.white-background-2

This month’s topic is Strength:

“Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength.”

In anime, characters struggle with inner demons or physical weaknesses that make them feel insecure and prevent them from achieving goals. Yet when these characters overcome their adversity, they can finally be able to express who they are or in other words, “Free to be Me.”

For this tour, we will be exploring anime characters that have overcome adversity due to a personal insecurity or physical weakness. It is these type of characters that many anime fans may identify as role models because fans are able to feel empathetic towards these characters’ struggles and insecurities.

This prompt immediately made me think of the anime Kuroko no Basket. The keyword “strength” shows up in the anime on both the Macro-level (overarching story) and the Micro-level (individuals) of the anime. I want to look at what strength means for the main protagonist of the story: Kuroko, Tetsuya.


In any given sport there are several types of people. Those born with the God-given natural talent that allows them to succeed in it; and those that are not so well-equipped or coordinated for the sport. But, when you find a sport you love and can be passionate about, it’s only natural that you would have to hone and cultivate a craft that will allow you to join the ranks of those with talent because of your love of the game.  Kuroko is the latter; he’s the worst basketball player there is and on top of that he lacks presence. No amount of practice has allowed Kuroko improvement for the sport he loves so much; yet he plays it and trains his heart out. So, why would Kiseki no Sedai (The Generation of Miracles), a team of basketball prodigies, acknowledge him as their equal and as their sixth man?


Kuroko is weak in both physical strength and in his physical presence. But instead of letting that be a hinderance he uses it to his advantage. With the guidance of the Teiko captain Akashi, Kuroko develops his own style of basketball that allows this weak presence to become a tool in helping his team win.  Kuroko’s style is known as “misdirection.” Misdirection is a technique that fools the opponent’s senses.  He pushes the opponents to focus their attention to someone else and then steps in unexpectedly. He uses his already weak presence and further suppresses his emotions on court to fool his opponents. By implementing misdirection, his opponent can’t see him, thus making it much easier to steal the ball and freely send it to teammates to make a scoring play.


This is a perfect example of one’s greatest weakness becoming one’s greatest strength. Due to the impact of misdirection, it’s hard to find Kuroko on court and stop him from helping his teammates score. Kuroko is known to be the shadow of his team. He plays best when there’s a really strong Ace on the team; but as time goes on he starts to step out of the shadow role and into the light. As stated, misdirection comes with coordinating between teammates. Basketball is not a game that can be played alone; but not all players will believe in something like “team play”.


The original members of the Generation of Miracles all at one point believed in team play, but as their talents grew the more they drifted into playing for themselves eventually competing with one another instead of the opponent. They started to believe that if you had to depend on your teammates then you were weak.  As prodigies they strive for one goal only: win. There’s no sense of camaraderie or trust in one another, which goes against everything Kuroko loves about basketball.


The slogan “Strength in Numbers” is a theme for the Golden State Warriors. The idea of this slogan was to not rely on their star players, they relied on the depth of their roster which allows players to rotate in and out of the game more frequently and fluidly without breaking any rhythm in the game. It maybe be a real life NBA slogan; but it heavily applies to the principles that Seirin believes in. The warriors adapted a family-style type of environment; even incorporating dining together to create a bond within the team. It’s the atmosphere of support that really carries the phrase “Strength in Numbers”. If you can trust your teammates and believe in them the numbers will literally speak for themselves.

KnB_Seirin Team.png

Throughout the series, Seirin’s team is constantly underestimated because of their lack of a star player. They rely mostly on team play and coordination especially with Kuroko’s assistance. Even before Kuroko, Seirin was somewhat popular and successful in making it into the finals with a really good duo. Again an emphasis on a duo versus a singular player. They’re made fun of for having fighting spirit but not fully being on par with other school’s overwhelming talent. They’re looked upon as weak because they rely on one another.

Seirin may not have a lot of players on the bench; but throughout the course of the series you can really see that the team works together on improvement, on what they can do for the team not what they can do for themselves. But above all that, they never lose sight of their trust in one another, which inevitably allows them to consistently win their games.

The thought that relying on your teammates is weak slowly becomes a dwindling phrase that carries no weight. Eventually other teams acknowledge the true power of teamwork as exhibited via Seirin; and start adapting their own styles of coordination. This erases the idea of the team being weak and that there really is strength in numbers.

If we give our best in something we love, we’ll enjoy the victories from the bottom of our hearts. – Kuroko

In the end, Kuroko took both the things that were considered weak about him: his lack of physical presence and his ideals of playing as a team and turned those into strengths that people acknowledged and admired. He never gave up in trying to convince the rest of the Generation of Miracles that they were wrong to think that playing as a team and depending on others was weak. In the end his hard work and dedication really did pay off. Even though the Generation of Miracles had already acknowledged his talents before; they had a newfound respect for him after they were proven wrong.

Kagami is also known to say, “There’s no such thing as useless effort”. Even if you’re weak, even if you try your hardest you will always produce results. Kuroko never stopped believing. He accepted his weakness and instead of rejecting it or working to overcome it; he embraced it and went to greater lengths in crafting his weakness into his strength. Instead of staying the support shadow that he was originally intended to and became a light in his own right.

Well, that just about wraps up my tour! Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Feel free to leave any in the comments!

There are quite a few more posts coming up left from the rest of the OWLS members. Please be on the lookout for Steph (TwoHappyCat’s) post this Friday.

And check out these previous posts from other OWLS members from last week:


Kat’s Finding The Strength to Move Forward

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog.  And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.

[OWLS Blog Tour]: Fetishization of the “Rose Bride” and Asian Women

Hey hey fellow ani-bloggers! It’s Archi-Anime’s turn for the April tour stop on the OWLS blog tour. Just a friendly reminded that OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hopes to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours that reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.white-background-2

This month’s topic is Colors:

We are all part of one race, the human race. “Colors” refers to people of color in anime. For this monthly topic, we will be discussing how people of color or characters of different “races” (a literal alien race) are represented in anime. Some topics we are considering is the dangers of stereotyping, bi-racial characters, and the importance of racial inclusion.

An anime that stuck out to me for this prompt was Anthy and her brother Akio from Revolutionary Girl Utena. Their race/ethnicity is never exactly stated, and the more I delved into it and thought about it, the more this became a look at the symbolism of skin color and what Anthy symbolizes as a whole. I have personally found that skin color is often romanticized, and that Anthy is representative of a lot of stereotypes associated with Asian women.

Anthy and Akio are the only two characters of color in this anime. Does it hold a significance? Maybe. My analysis and interpretation will focus on Anthy’s role and is solely an opinion based on what I’ve seen on the show and some interesting parallel’s that I’ve found in my own experience and research.

Anthy’s Role


Anthy Himemiya is a student at Othori Academy, and is also the sister of Akio.  She’s also the “Rose Bride” whom is engaged to the winner of duels that take place within the student council as she produces the sword from within her for the winners to use.

Overall she’s a mysterious girl who is often said to have no thoughts or desires of her own. She only supports whatever her “master”, or whom she’s betrothed to, desires. She doesn’t stand up for herself at all, she lets the winner of the duel walk all over her, and treat her the way they want to. In the anime you can easily see that she’s a “doormat”, she’s meek, quiet, and submissive. She’s basically a puppet that repeats what you say, or says what you want to hear.

Perpetuating the Stereotype

I find the choice of skin color rather interesting for what Anthy represents on the show. She and her brother are the only people of color depicted on this show and for the most part their race is pretty ambiguous. On the Utena Wikia, it’s also stated that Anthy appears to be an Asian Indian, and wears a bindi mark or jewel. It’s fairly apparent that the show is euro-centric just based on the architecture of the school alone. Also, in the manga’s prologue of Utena shows that Utena moves to Germany on account of her aunt’s job; another key point to note.

I want to point out that I love Revolutionary Girl Utena because I always find something new to analyze about this show. But I couldn’t help but notice that by depicting Anthy as an Asian in this proved to perpetuate several stereotypes that are associated with Asian women.

Here are a few of the stereotypes of East Asian women:

  • The Dragon Lady: women who are strong, deceitful, domineering, or mysterious.
  • The “China Doll”: Submissive, docile, obedient, reverential.
  • Model Minority: Asians as a whole are seen as hardworking, politically inactive, studious, intelligent, productive, and inoffensive people who have elevated their social standing through merit and diligence.
  • Asian Women: No Joy, No Luck: Asian women in golden era Hollywood film were represented as sexually passive and compliant. Good Asian women are portrayed as being childlike, submissive, silent, and eager for sex
  • The Tiger Mom: A stereotype of Chinese parenting in America. Americans perceive tiger moms to be highly controlling, strict, and severe almost to the point of abuse.

I want to talk mostly about the “China Doll” stereotype. This stereotype has a 200 year old long history. For 200 years East Asian women have been depicted as super feminine to boost the masculinity of the male in the West. Not just boost the west’s masculinity but to express their power, their dominance over the East. This was especially pronounced during the war.

If you look at the context of Revolutionary Girl Utena in the context of the China doll stereotype. Anthy is the perfect example of the fetishization of East Asian women in the Western world: submissive, coy, obedient, meek and shy. Anthy being the literal East Asian woman and the western world represented by Othori Academy (as stated the Manga says they’re in Germany) On top of that you have several males that fight in duels to lay claim to her; possibly representative of the major powers in the world that fought in the world wars trying to claim dominance over Asian countries. Clearly the duels are to express who is the most powerful over whom. Another example of “Orientalism” which is the persistent exoticizing and feminization of images of the east in order to, by contrast masculinize and project power of the West, as suggested by culture critic and theorist Edward Said.

What’s really unfortunate is that this stereotype is still something a lot of Asian women have to deal with presently. It’s hard to break a stereotype that’s been so long ingrained in our history, or rather, in hegemonic history.

“The Bride”



Anthy as stated before, is The Rose Bride. She is treated as an object; a symbol of power to the student council duelist winners. I can’t help but see the further parallel of the idea of the winner taking Anthy as a “bride” and that of an Asian Mail-Order bride.

The Mail-Order bride also has long-standing history stemming from the 1800’s; and falls in the gray area of human trafficking.  I find both the history of Orientalism and the history of the mail-order bride to go hand in hand. I did a lot of heavy research for a paper (although, it was years ago) on mail-order brides from the Philippines and found that Western men often wanted Asian wives because of the perpetuated stereotype. Underneath the fetishism of wanting a submissive wife, the women more often than not felt becoming a mail order bride was the only way out.

Most women that become apart of the mail-order service are looking for a way out of their economic situation, especially coming from a third world country. The Philippines is famous for mail-order brides. Poverty and the lack of employment in the Philippines have forced millions of Filipinos to find work abroad and some to seek marriage with foreigners. For those coming from the Philippines, these women hoped to find a husband abroad that would be able to help sponsor the family back home for immigration. In 1990, the Philippines passed the “Anti-Mail Order Bride Law” as a result of stories in the local media about Filipinas being abused by their foreign husbands.


Saionji hitting Anthy

In the photo above is the unpleasant truth that is often found behind the relationship of mail-order brides: abuse. Being treated like an object versus cared for and cherished. Saionji is basically the scum of the earth in Revolutionary Girl Utena, and is the classic example of a mysoginistic male. He treats Anthy as his property and sees what he does to her as no one else’s’ business but his own, and can do whatever he wants to her. Unfortunately a lot of  women who join an agency that helps find husbands often hope to escape a rough life are often faced with an even harsher reality of a violent husband. A lot of the men looking for a bride abroad aren’t necessarily for love. There have been reports of certain types of twisted men that go to mail-order bride services that allow him to find a woman who will not be as hard to get as the women he’s usually surrounded by; allowing that mail order bride to then become a victim.

Final Thoughts

Mail-Order brides is still an agency in practice in places all over the world. The US has established some protocol to weed out potential violent men and sex offenders that work with agencies to obtain a wife. The US also provides protection to these women the moment they arrive since the federal court specifically found that he rates of domestic violence against immigrant women are much higher than those of the U.S. population.

Concerning the stereotype of the “china doll”. Unfortunately having to go against 200 years of history of Asian women as solely submissive ultra feminine objects will be a daunting task to undo. Unfortunately media isn’t making as much headway in that regard since they still write them in some stereotypical sense. The fetishization of asian females through some crazy ideals from way back when is clearly prevalent in our present situation, and it’s still something we’re wording towards correcting.

I originally had struggled with what to write about Anthy in terms of the topic “colors” as I had only looked at the literal skin color as an analysis at first but then my brain reminded me of a few classes I had taken awhile ago about History of Consciousness and my Anime class that introduced me to Utena to begin with. The two classes had overlapped and I had the sudden realization mid-last week that Anthy symbolically embodied both the stereotype and the symbol of objectification that’s associated with being a mail-order bride, and I’ve felt these were very important topics to bring up for this month’s topic.

Skin color was used here to differentiate Anthy from the rest of the cast that’s presumably European (the setting again is Germany). I’ve always found that brown skin color has been romanticized by others. Our skin and other features make us look exotic; and because we’re exotic we’re definitely looked at through a different lens. Many Americans wish they could tan to the nice tan browned skin that most of us were born with. Unfortunately, sometimes our skin color is looked down upon in our own culture. Personally speaking, I love my tan skin. My Mom is fair skinned and my Dad is much much darker. They’re both obsessed with being lighter skinned using Papaya soap to whiten their skin. I’m the black sheep because I don’t care to be lighter skinned- I want to embrace my brown skin.  But I’ve found that culturally in the Philippines, whiter skin was usually akin to being of a wealthy family. If you were fair-skinned that meant you didn’t do physical labor. Whereas if you were darker skinned meant you worked in the rice fields. Most of the celebrities there are fair-skinned and endorse skin whitening products. Maybe a part of this is also connected to the Spanish blood that runs in Filipinos. There’s definitely a stigma in the Philippines when it comes to skin color, and I wish it wasn’t necessarily the case, but everyone is just so obsessed with being fair and white – well at least in my family it is.

Again, keep in mind there are many different ways to interpret Utena, it’s such a great anime! I just noticed this parallel but there are different facets of Anthy that can be discussed. This by no mean tries to box her up into one thing; this was only one observation of one of her traits that make her so fascinating!

Well, that just about wraps up my tour! Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Feel free to leave any in the comments!

There are quite a few more posts coming up left from the rest of the OWLS members. Please be on the lookout for LynLyn’s post at her blog lynlynsays.com

And check out these previous posts from other OWLS members this past week:
Lita’s Genetic Hate – Gundam Seed

Kat’s  Bleach, Diversity, and Celebrating Color

Remy’s Social Projecting and Self-Stereotyping in Japanese Media

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog.  And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.

When Your Dreams Dissolve into a Barren Wasteland [OWLS Blog Tour]

Hello everyone! Today’s a special day at Archi-Anime, as it’s my March tour stop on the OWLS blog tour. Just a friendly reminded that OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hope to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours that reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.


This month’s topic is Sanctuary:

A sanctuary is a place of safety and stability. In anime, there are several different places and environments that characters call “home.” For this topic, we will be discussing various locations and settings within certain anime series.

At first, I didn’t think I was going to participate in this month’s tour, I was kind of fresh out of ideas. Until a member asked if it had to be a physical place; that triggered my memory of this anime.

As our prompts suggest a “sanctuary” represents a home, a safe haven of sorts.  A place you can return to when things get rough. A place to come to sort yourself out. It’s original meaning is a sacred place, like a shrine, for example.

But what if your “sanctuary” represented something more than something ‘safe’. What if your sanctuary served as a place to remind yourself of your ideals and dreams; not just dreams, but your failed attempts at following your ideals and dreams. A shrine dedicated to a constant reminder of your dreams dissolving to dust. You’re probably asking me how in the world is that a sanctuary? How does that help an individual grow?

For this month’s tour I’m looking at Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works. Now, this is probably going to be a huge spoiler to those who have not seen it. So, if you care or don’t, that’s up to you to decide.

Continue reading

Viktor’s Leap of Faith – [OWLS Blog Tour]

Hello ani-bloggers! Welcome to my stop on the February edition of the OWLS blog tour feature. OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hope to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours that reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.


I joined OWLS mid-january, and as this is my FIRST OWLS blog tour since joining; I’m a bit nervous because this group has a lot of great writers!! This month we’re looking at Yuri!! On Ice and the topic of “flight”. You can click on the following names for their interpretations of our topic this month: Arria (fujinsei), Remy (The Lily Garden), Rai (Rai’s Anime Blog), Steph (twohappycats), Pink (Pinkys Palace), Kat (GrimmGirl), Venus (japanimetalks), Naja (Nice Job Breaking it, Hero), and Steph (animegirlsnyc).


“An individual takes flight when there is a goal, a dream, or an ambition that he or she wants to achieve. However, for this blog post, we are going to look at “flight” in different lenses: the underdog’s dream, the possibilities that Yuri on Ice allows viewers to think about, and also the dangers of greed and ignorance that can influence one’s dream.”

Yuri!! on Ice has taken the anime community by storm and it’s impact has been remarkable. It’s often made fun of for being “Yaoi on Ice,” or “Fujoshi Bait”, but it has affected the anime community nonetheless. It’s opened up the doors for the depiction of a LGBTQ relationships in the anime media. Yes, we have other branches: Shounen AI/BL/Yaoi, but those have always been in your face in terms of how they get you to grasp the relationship between two men. The depiction of the story between Viktor and Yuri is a natural progression and looks at love for love, not by gender or sex. It also focuses on the effect that love has on an individual, and many will argue it’s not necessarily romantic love. But it is a type of love, nonetheless. I will admit though, that the depiction of the relationship is not clear-cut; as the viewer often has to allude and make assumptions.  But, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the relationship between the two characters allows for the normalization of LGBTQ relationships.

Flight in Yuri!! on Ice

When I think of “flight” I immediately thought of Viktor Nikiforov; the other protagonist of the show, and Yuuri’s partner/coach. So why is flight associated with this individual?

Personally, it’s hard to look at Viktor subjectively, as he was my absolute favorite on this show, and not for fangirl reasons.  I’ve seen some people knock on Viktor’s character for being flat, and unchanging. But there’s so much to Viktor than what meets the eye. And when we were given the prompt of “flight” I immediately thought of Viktor and his storyline in Yuri!! on Ice. Viktor is a true inspiration and I think he embodies the motto that OWLS has set forth: Free to be me. I’ll be looking at “flight” through the character analysis of Viktor Nikiforov in his skating career and his personal life as well. To me, Viktor’s flight is the life-changing choices and the effects his leap of faith has on his life.

On the Precipice of Change

When the anime starts, we’re witnessing Viktor at the height of his career. Viktor is far and away a legend on the ice: five consecutive World Championships and five consecutive Grand Prix’s amongst a deluge of other European championships. At the age of 16 he was already at the top of the ice skating world, and was known to continually surprise both audience and the judges with his routines.

Off the ice, Viktor doesn’t have much of a personal life, as he’s dedicated everything he’s had to his love for ice skating and his career. In episode 10 he says:

“On the rare occasions I take time away from skating two ‘L’ words come to mind: life and love. I’ve spent the last 20 years neglecting both of them.” 

Upon reaching his fifth consecutive gold medal, he’s asked what he thinks the next season will bring, but we see Viktor’s expression is pensive. His flight to the top is starting to level out; and it appears that he’s not sure what to do with his career; what more can Viktor accomplish after that? When you’re winning consecutive back to back competitions and winning by huge margins, is it really considered competition anymore?  At this point, Viktor is probably questioning his motives for skating, and is looking for the next step.


When you’ve reached the peak of your career, and have already accomplished so much that you’re actually the person that’s been “raising the bar” and you’re the example that’s been set for others to aspire to, where do you go from there? When you stop and realize that there’s something missing from your life outside of your career, you start to question your motives. What’s next?  That’s when you realize something has to be done. Something has to change in order for there to be progress, and that goes for anyone that wants to change for the better.

The Catalyst

viktor_yuri_drunk.pngWe were led to believe that the Catalyst for change is the YouTube video of Yuuri skating to Viktor’s “Close to Me” Program, but we later find out at the end of the season, that Viktor and Yuuri had previously met at the banquet – Yuuri just has no recollection of the said meeting.  In a flashback scene we see a very outgoing Yuuri whose actions captivate Viktor’s attention and curiosity when he’s asked to be his coach. To Viktor it was an unforgettable chance meeting.

Leap of Faith = Flight

Viktor takes two leaps of faiths; one with his professional life and second his personal life. It took a literal flight out from Russia to Japan for this flight to begin; It’s both a literal and symbolic flight. In order to change, you must confront yourself with the uncomfortable to move forward. Challenge yourself. For Viktor to be able to drop everything and take a chance on something with no contingency plan takes an incredible amount of courage, and it’s not something just anyone can do. It takes someone with a high level of confidence to be able to follow through with a plan like that. However, we all have that capability in ourselves. This isn’t something that we should tell ourselves we could never do, because anybody can.  It’s really up to us to make these changes and how far we’re willing to push ourselves to be better.

First, let’s look at the his leap of faith as a skater. Viktor has no prior coaching experience but he agrees to be Yuuri’s and choreography both Yuri and Yurio’s respective programs. He’s brilliant at it, but he often struggles with what a coach should do, especially when the student is rebellious. Looking at Viktor’s past, we saw that he was a high-level competitor who was used to winning alone, but with the help of Yuri and his leap of faith to take a break from his life on the ice and into coaching that changed.

From the sidelines Viktor was re-invigorated by the sport as he watched his former competitors do better than they ever had before. On top of that, both Yuri and Yurio broke two of his world records. Having to take a step back and witness from another point of view encouraged Viktor to reassess as well as re-align his vision of ice skating. He wasn’t at the top anymore, his crown was going to be taken; that threat that had never been there finally showed up. He realized that he needed to compete, and that he wanted to compete, especially now that there were skaters out there that would be able to really give Viktor a run for his money. This was what he needed to rid of the stagnation that he had been feeling just a season ago, and Yuri helped him realize that there was still yet another chapter for him to write in his skating career.


His second leap of faith, probably took him by surprise too. If you think about what happened at the banquet, followed by the viral YouTube video, Viktor really took a blind leap of faith in love. He only knew Yuuri was a skater, and that he had been doing poorly and was on the brink of retirement till he came along. Other than that, he had never really spoken to Yuri, and they knew nothing about one another. Viktor left his life behind in Russia on the off-chance that something could blossom between him and Yuri; and blossomed it did. Viktor was drawn to Yuri because he was always full of surprises both on and off the ice as well and this is what caused Viktor to be fascinated by Yuri and influenced by him as well. He also says, that Yuri’s life and love opened up a brand new world he never knew existed. Their relationship is one that allowed one another to give and take while pushing each other in the best direction.



Finally! The finish line is here!

Viktor’s leap of faith off and on the ice both stemmed from the fact that he was feeling stagnant. He felt like was something missing; his career was about to hit its peak and possibly a plateau. In order to get a fresh perspective on things, usually one takes a step-back, a break, just to reassess their goals, ambitions, and plan out their next step. However, Viktor doesn’t do that, he does the unexplainable and flies out with all his stuff to Japan in search of something he’s felt was missing from his life.

These are reasons why Viktor is inspiring as a character. To take such bold life choices in order to seek out what’s missing and in the end having everything fall into place. Re-igniting his desire to compete, and experiencing a new view on life and love with another person. He does these things for himself and without regard for what other people think, despite his position in the ice skating world; he chose for himself and as the OWLS motto goes, he was free to be him.


In order for one to take flight in search of new dreams and aspirations one has to step outside of their comfort zone in order to succeed. But, never lose sight of who you are in the process, stay true to yourself! So, take a step outside of your comfort zone, take the plunge, explore the unknown and tap into your unlimited potential with confidence just like Viktor did. You never know what’s waiting for you on the other side!

That just about ends my stop on the blog tour!! Thanks for reading my first contribution to OWLS, I hope you enjoyed it! This ended up being a lot longer than I had anticipated; in fact I think this is the longest post I’ve written!! Please check out Takuto’s (Takuto’s Anime Cafe) stop on Monday, February 27as the final stop of the ‘Flight’ themed blog tour for Feb.

Interested in OWLS? Fill out a form here! Also, please don’t hesitate to contact us on any of our blogs, and our official twitter account @OWLSbloggers and our offical Facebook Page!