Yuri!!! on Ice Co-Creator Visits Main Character's Hometown
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Akinori Kawakami, representative of Karatsu's Michelin-starred steak restaurant Caravan, is also the president of the "Association to Connect Hasetsu and Karatsu." Kawakami posts Yuri!!! on Ice-related messages and images on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. The association apparently brought Kubo and Yamamoto to Caravan, and Kawakami posted images from the visit. He adopted character Jean-Jacques "JJ" Leroy's trademark pose in one of the images.
Kubo signed and drew images of Yūri, Victor, and Yuri for people at the restaurant on fancy Japanese paper boards. The restaurant and a fall festival held at Karatsu Shrine in November inspired Kubo's illustrations. The colorful shapes and pictures in the images conceal names. Famous people in Japan often sign and draw pictures on similar paper boards to give to people or places they visit.
The anime co-creator's visit to Karatsu came about after a Twitter exchange with Kawakami that started with mention of "katsudon pirozhki." In the anime, Yuri gives Yūri the culinary concoction that combines both their favorite foods: Japanese pork cutlet bowls and small Russian pies. Unfortunately, none of these food items appear on Caravan's menu.
Kubo said that she wants to visit Karatsu again, and she would not be alone. Kawakami reported that between 20 and 30 people visit Karatsu every day for anime pilgrimages. He posted pictures of some of the guests to his restaurant. Victor and Yuri cosplayers joined the mix.
Saga Prefecture is already collaborating with the anime to establish Yūri's hometown as an anime pilgrimage site. The collaboration is planning to offer regional products and special themed merchandise.
Source: Animate Times