Heidi’s Month of Manga and Anime: Yuri!!! on Stage & Yutora!!! O.S.T.
I was all set to start off my first post in this series of anime and manga by rewatching Yuri on Ice, and then yesterday I get this package in the mail from September Scanlations.
This is, basically, a proxy service, which bought and shipped Yuri!!! On Stage and Yutora!!!O.S.T. to me after purchasing it (you can’t buy it internationally). I didn’t realize it was going to come with that amazing signboard—how perfect as next week I’m heading to Animefest where it’s my intention to stand in line at every opportunity to meet Sayo-sensei and Mitsurō-sensei and get their autograph and present my book as thanks. I honestly have no idea what they will do with the book, but I just need to present it like an offering, say my thanks (I have my speech in Japanese, thanks to Sara, and will be practicing), and then the circle is closed. Then I can go make new circles. I have no expectations of anything—I’m fully prepared to not even get to meet them and have a backup plan to hand the book to a handler—but I just want to close this circle. That’s my whole goal. I just need to say thank you somehow and present this thing they helped make. Then it’s done.
Anyway. Yuri on Stage. We’re going to talk about that and Yutora today instead, because I ingested them first. Tomorrow I’ll start a viewing/walkthrough of Yuri on Ice, and then I’ll continue through other manga and anime.
A quick word of how this is going to go: I really am going to do this every single day from now until the Labor Day, and there will be a Rafflecopter link each time, giving you a chance. (I know a lot of you are after Eros Yuri. I would be too. I hope you get him!) If you’re just joining me, though, and you don’t know a ton about Yuri on Ice (rare few, but there are a couple of you), I suggest you go back to my recaps from last November quick and read those, and better yet, watch the show. Bear in mind, though, that I know a lot more now than I did then and I will be having entirely different responses now.
I will try to respond to comments if people have them, but especially once we get into next week I’ll be bad about it until after the 22nd because of the convention. (I’ll be setting things up in the queue while I’m gone.) If you’re going to be at Animefest too, please let me know and say hi, okay?
Anyway: here we go. Let’s talk about this stuff!
As soon as I heard there was going to be a release of the Yuri on Ice soundtrack, not just the skating music but the background music, I knew I had to have it. I love soundtracks, absolutely adore them, so the idea of having this one was a no-brainer. I found a link to it on Spotify, and another playlist that seems to have the entire YOI oeuvre on there, if you’re into that.
I listened to this with my daughter as we drove around town running errands, then again as I made dinner, which happened to be katsudon. We’ve taken to making it anytime we have something to celebrate (yesterday it was the release of my 25th novel) or whenever my daughter can talk me into it. It’s great background music in general, but it also made me super nostalgic, because of course I kept pausing and remembering the parts of the series the music came from. “Oh, that’s the part before the end credits in that episode. Oh, and that’s that bit from when Yuri thought his eros was katsudon.” I first heard “At the airport” as I was going to the grocery store, and my whole body got soft. I sat in the car listening as it finished, resisting the urge to curl into the steering wheel and sigh.
A lot of the songs are more fleshed out than what I remembered from the show, or at least they sound different with no dialog. I’m really excited to watch with the soundtrack fresh in my head and hear it more loudly now that I know it better. And I’m super psyched to have it on our road trip to Dallas.
Yuri on Stage
So this was a little more challenging to take in—this, for those who don’t know, is the recording of the live event this summer where the voice actors from the series appeared on stage with Mitsurō Kubo and performed some skits and then a new scene with the characters. There’s a translation of the scene online, which I watched so I had a better idea of what they said, but the rest of the BD I had to sort out with guesses and my incredibly poor Japanese. There was one part that was a skit where I think they were trying to translate something from Russian into Japanese via teams—I know they were joking that one team was “Team Glasses,” because I know megame is glasses and also Phichit’s actor, Kensho Ono, was the only team member who didn’t have glasses and kept making fake glasses first with his fingers and then this odd Styrofoam thing. Mostly though I didn’t have a clue what was going on.
What I did enjoy, though was seeing the actors interact. Some of them were very different than I would have guessed—I had no idea Minami’s actor was crazy fluent in English, or that Chris’s voice actor was basically Chris in real life—and seeing Junichi Schwabe ham it up with a stuffed Makkachin was great. Also, Toshiyuki Toyonaga is incredibly stylish and…honestly, very Yuri. I loved watching them all on stage. I will watch again, wishing I knew what they were saying, but watching all the same.
Honestly the whole thing felt like a great warmup to rewatching the series. I’m so primed now, so ready to dig back in and remember why I love it so much. I’ve deliberately not watched for some time (several months) so I can have it fresh again, and I’m just so. Ready.
That review will come tomorrow, in this same place. In the meantime, here’s the Rafflecopter link, if you’re looking to enter again, and a picture/listing to remind you what’s at stake. And if you just got here, here’s the initial post explaining the Raffleopter so you know what’s going on and why. Ganbatte kudasai!
ETA: Leave a comment below (after clicking through the Rafflecopter link) and that should count as an entry, I think. I don’t think it’s only commenting on the first link, I hope. Sometimes I don’t understand Rafflecopter. You don’t have to answer the question Rafflecopter asks, either. It’s just about getting logged into their system.
A single stroke can change your world.
Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.
Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.
Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys playing with new recipes, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com.