Happy Musical Monday! I was feeling pulled in a lot of different directions this week, but finally decide to look at a song that’s been on my list for awhile.
This is one of those songs I love for a few different reasons. First off, it’s used as the opening to the anime Yuri!!! on Ice, which is fantastic in its own right. Secondly, as an opening, it’s accompanied by some truly stunning visuals that really set the tone for the series. And thirdly, it’s just such a catchy, up-beat song.
“History Maker” by Dean Fujioka
(For the record, I really like the full version of the song also, and I think it’s worth downloading if the song catches your fancy.)
Yuri!!! on Ice is the story of the titular Yuri, a professional figure skater who, as the series starts, has failed pretty hard in a number of important competitions. The show follows his comeback, and the ups and downs of overcoming his own insecurities as he strives to open himself up to those that care for him. Yuri’s helped by his idol, champion-turned-coach Victor, and as the two begin a quiet romance, the show becomes as much about how you define yourself and your relationships as it is about the sport and any concept of winning or losing.
For a show that is all about chasing and overcoming dreams, this song couldn’t be more perfect. It’s a call to overcome darkness–those thoughts that creep in and try to bring you down, and are sometimes manifested in people around you. Yuri is a bundle of anxiety, and although Victor has the best of intentions, he has to learn how to help Yuri just as much as Yuri has to learn how to accept help. And at the same time, that help can’t just come from outside; both characters have to draw on their own strength as well.
The animated sequence that accompanies the song is truly lovely, and seems to so perfectly fit the song, the characters dancing fluidly across the screen as the music swells. I really appreciate that the animation is unique; often anime openings will just take animation from within the show, and re-cut it. I’m sure this partially comes down to budget constraints, but it’s a nice touch to not only use original animation, but also keep it so abstract. Yes, the story is about figure skaters, but most of the scenes in the opening are symbolic rather than literal; a lovely depiction of the thoughts and actions of the characters, if it were all rolled into one musical number.
It’s also just damn catchy.
“Can you hear my heartbeat?
Tired of feeling, never enough
I close my eyes and tell myself that my dreams will come true…”
Such a perfect opening. It did exactly what it needed to and there wasn’t a single episode where I didn’t listen to the opening at least twice because I just loved it.
Yes, I never got tired of it! And I love how on the last episode, the sequence changes slightly, adding new close-ups on characters in the background as they skate around. It was such a simple thing, but really made that last episode feel special from the very beginning.