Any other year, having an Olympic figure skater headline an anime convention might seem an odd choice. But this isn’t any year: We live in the age of Yuri on Ice.
The charming skating anime became a smash success in 2016, winning the affection of anime and figure skating fans as well as world-champion skaters. The show follows the story of professional Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki, who is ready to give up the pressures of the sport until Russian champion Victor Nikiforov takes an interest in him. Victor shocks the skating world by retiring to become Yuri’s coach, and the two of them embark on a whirlwind season of training and romantic tension.
Yuri on Ice immediately stood out for the quality of its storytelling, and for its stunning animation of complicated skating programs that kept viewers on the edge of their seats. Even behind the scenes, Yuri’s friendships and rivalries rang true to experienced skaters, including Weir.
Weir, a two-time Olympic athlete and bronze medal winner at 2008’s World Figure Skating Championships, discussed his appreciation of the show in a video for Crunchyroll in February, but he’s also been a vocal supporter on Twitter.
I love when I look at my plan for next week and it says things like, "Start watching Yuri." pic.twitter.com/NSIiNgMuac
— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) December 2, 2016
At the first-ever Crunchyroll Expo in Santa Clara, California, on Aug. 25-27, Weir will discuss what he admires so much about Yuri, which seeded his newfound love of anime.
“I am so excited to attend my first Crunchyroll convention!” Weir said in a statement. “I am a new convert to anime because of the brilliance that is Yuri!!! On ICE, and I am so looking forward to meeting with other fans and getting some inspiration from the fabulous world of anime! Now, I just have to figure out what to wear…”
We feel certain that Weir, who sports serious credentials in the fashion community, will have no trouble finding the perfect outfit. In addition to speaking about Yuri, Weir will meet with fans and offer at least one autograph session. And, presumably, he’ll join the rest of us in excitedly wondering what might happen in Yuri on Ice season 2.
“What makes Crunchyroll stand out is not only our quality content, but also the community we have built to accompany it,”said Dallas Middaugh, head of events at Crunchyroll. “Crunchyroll Expo takes that engagement to the next level, and to have Johnny attend our first ever convention will only help us further build that community and introduce more people to the wonderful world of anime.
If you can’t miss this big event, tickets are available. In addition to Weir, guests announced so far include famed Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano, former Studio Ghibli animator Hiroshi Shimizu (whose credentials also include One Piece, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z), and a number of popular voice actors.