The Best of Fall 2016

It’s almost Christmas, let’s shit-talk some anime.

Deciding the best of this season of anime was quite the difficult challenge for me. What could possibly be the best thing out of this fall season? I dunno. It was really hard though. There was so much to dig through. There was the intense Haikyuu!! S3 with its fluid animation and charming cast, but there was also Flip Flappers which dove into a tale of sexual awakening and boasted a unique style of animation. Touken Ranbu enamored us with cute boys and Gakuen Handsome spun our BL boys into disgusting figures of whatever the hell that was. Part 4 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure dazzeled us with a truly bizarre finale and Scorching Ping Pong Girls went no where. What else was there? There was the action packed Keijo!x8 I never finished and probably something else that was too trashy to remember.

Hrm, something is missing here. I’m sure that’s what you’re thinking. So here it comes. The best anime that graced this season: Yuuri!!! on Ice

Graphic by orerishu @ tumblr.

I think we all know why this is here. Yuuri!!! on Ice went where none have gone before and completely destroyed any expectations about it. YOI was a fantastic work that demonstrated one of the most beautiful homosexual relationships to ever be created. Viktor and Yuuri grow with one another and transform as they interweave their lives together. Not only did this show provide one of the most respectful portrayal of a romance ever, it also showcased what it was like to live with anxiety. Yuuri’s anxiety doesn’t leave just because he has a partner. He just has someone he can rely on now.

This anime was ambitious. You watched and you honestly thought they wouldn’t dare try to animate all those figure skaters, but they did. You didn’t think they’d actually have men confess to finding love with another man, but they did. You didn’t think that they’d base an entire figure skating routine on someone becoming aware of their sexuality, but they really did do it. YOI took its themes and ran with it. We finished up the series with two men who are engaged and have adorable, flirty moments such as these all the time:

heh

hehe

As someone in the LGBT community, I cannot thank the creators of this show enough. What they created was a moving and beautiful tale that wasn’t just about figure skating, but also the relationships around that. I wish I could go back in time and do this all over again. Yuuri is a wonderful character and watching him develop throughout this series was a treat. Viktor is the manic pixie boyfriend that we all wish would romance our main characters. They’re a great couple and I eagerly await to see more of them in the next season.

this-picture-saved-me

Yuuri!!! on Ice saved anime

Before I go I’d love to give a shout-out to the other works that dared make a narrative relating to LGBT experiences. Thank-you to Flip Flappers that created a world for exploring lesbianism and how one comes to terms with their same-sex attraction. Flip Flappers was beautiful animated and has been an interesting ride. I hope to see it be as fondly remembered as Yuuri!!! on Ice no doubt will be. In a less progressive way and in a more fun way, Kiss Him, Not Me gets points for demonstrating a girl liking another girl and making her just as much of an option as the boys.

Here’s to hoping that 2017 will bring us more LGBT friendly anime!

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2 responses to “The Best of Fall 2016

  1. totally agree with you! yuuri on ice just came spinning into my life and smashed every troupe in sports anime i could think of! the character development was wonderful and the story was simply better than any bl manga i’ve ever read. so beautiful and deep! i haven’t watched any other shows though this season 😦

  2. I think YOI managed to deal with same-sex relationships very tastefully while doing its best to fulfill its role in all other world building and sidestory departments of the show (even if it did seem to put a little too much on its plate for a 12 episode run).

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