Russia/Russians on Ice: Imagined Identity and Cross-cultural Communication in Yuri!!! on ICE

Tien-yi Chao


Yuri!!! on ICE (2016; 2017) is a Japanese TV animation featuring multinational figure skaters competing in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. The three protagonists, including two Russian skaters Victor Nikiforov (Виктор Никифоров) and Yuri Purisetsuki (Юрий Плисецкий), and one Japanese skater Yuri Katsuki (勝生 勇利), facilitate extensive cross-cultural discourses. This paper aims to explore the ways in which Russian cultures, life style, and people are ‘glocalised’ in the animation, not only for the Japanese audience but also for fans around the world. It is followed by a brief study of visual and textual narratives created by Taiwanese fans. My reading of the above materials suggests that the imagined Russian identity in both the official anime production and the fan works can be regarded as an intriguing case of cross-cultural communication and cultural hybridisation.


Yuri!!! on ICE, Japanese animation, anime, cross-cultural communication, cultural hybridization

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