The luxury fashion brand owes a few thanks to a popular new anime which focuses on competitive men’s figure skating.
Although fewer than 10 episodes of Yuri!!! on Ice have yet aired on Japanese TV, the anime series is already enjoying immense popularity for filling a figure skating niche in the world of sports anime. For a country so enthralled by competitive skating, it’s easy to see why the show has already struck a chord with both skating fans and fujoshi, a sub-population of female fans who enjoy reading or watching stories about BL (boys’ love), which the show hints at in ample doses.
In fact, some fujoshi fans have become so hooked on Yuri that it’s begun influencing their real-world shopping choices as well. In particular, take this slightly suggestive scene from Episode 5 in which Russian skating coach Victor delicately applies some lip balm onto his Japanese student Yuri’s lips during a competition:
❄️てしこ❄️ (@tanapi1117) November 05, 2016
While some are skeptical, a number of Japanese net users have been adamantly claiming that the animated lip balm bears a strong resemblance to a particular product of Chanel’s, shown in the picture below:
bAru (@wakarubaru) November 03, 2016
Others have observed that this mere on-screen hint is causing dozens of anime fans to buy up the product in droves at their local Chanel shops:
おいおいYOIクラスタよ どんだけシャネルのリップバーム買ってるんだ！ 今日 某百貨店のシャネル行って リップバームお願いしたら BAさんに「あの……この商品どこかで載りましたか？……今日この商品単品ですごく売れているんです……」って！！私は何も言えなかったよ……—
ぱぴこ on ice (@papicoonice) November 04, 2016
“Hey, Yuri!!! on Ice fans! Just how much Chanel lip balm are you buying?! Today I went to the Chanel booth in a department store. When I asked for some lip balm, the worker replied, ‘Excuse me, did this product get really popular because of something? Today it’s been selling really well.’ I couldn’t say anything…”
Another net user noticed that the first thing which popped up in her Google search box was “Chanel lip balm.”
あ助はふわふわしている (@_A__k1wa3) November 04, 2016
While we’d have to guess that Chanel isn’t unhappy with this sudden boost in sales, a surprising number of net users were irritated and even disgusted with this seemingly superficial crossover of otaku culture and the mainstream fashion world. Several of them even left harsh comments over social media for the otaku whom they had encountered wearing old clothing and carrying “embarrassing” anime goods inside of designer brand stores, with one detractor going so far as to say:
“Chanel’s lip balm isn’t anime character merchandise and Chanel is not [anime specialty store] Animate , so otaku common sense doesn’t apply here. If they want to use Chanel’s lip balm, they should make a fresh start as girls who wouldn’t seem strange carrying it around or using it!!! That’s all!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Do you think these net users are being too harsh on the Yuri!!! on Ice otaku, or are they justified in their logic? Let us know if you’ve ever experienced a similar situation yourselves.