I don’t usually finish an anime that doesn’t grasp me in the first three or so episodes. If you don’t have a likeable or memorable protagonist that I can relate to or a great supporting cast then forget about me even attempting to watch. Yuri on Ice had both.
Yuri on Ice! is a sports based anime revolving around mens figure skating. The protagonist of the show, Yuri Katsuki (has the show named after himself, if he’s not a memorable character to you then there is something wrong), struggles with confidence and recently bombed out of the World Prix. This resulted in Yuri losing all momentum and his career going downhill extremely fast, losing at nationals meaning he did not have a guaranteed spot in the next tournament. Yuri struggles with self-doubt, anxiety and a deep depression of which he uses to get back into training after coming back to his home town.
Enter Victor Nikiforov, a 27 year old four time world goal medalist and Yuri’s idol. When I say idol I mean like every thirteen year old girls Justin Bieber dream. Victor saw a video of Yuri attempting to replicate his skating techniques. Inspired, he then went to Japan and told Yuri he would become his coach catalysing a whirlwind of confidence, acknowledgement, pride and love.The reason why I resonate and have fallen in love with this anime so much is that it is so relatable to me. There aren’t many anime out there that have this kind of relationship between guys (I am excluding Free! and all Yaoi because I don’t dig into things like that, I’ll just stick with Yuri on Ice. Hehe).
The Laughs, Tears and Everything in between
The comedy is supported by an amazing ensemble of beautifully constructed characters, moments had me in stitches while others had my eyes welling with heavy tears.
Yuri and Victor play off each other so seamlessly and it truly does feel like more then a coach and player relationship. The flirtatious bound between them transcend the limits of this constructed relationship and is beautiful to watch develop throughout the series.
I will never forget watching this anime and laughing so hard I was crying when watching Yuri hugging all of his competitors after a tournament when Victor was not present. Classic.I will also never forget when Yuri legitimately breaks down and asks Victor to help him, a feeling I am all to familiar with. Watching this play out revealed to me that even the strongest people such as athletes experience this self doubt that we all do. They just hide it extremely well. Chameleons in our midst if you will.
It is an emotional rollercoaster but so worth it.
Musical scores as good as HSM
If you’re in need of some good musical centric anime without all the instruments and eating cake such as K-On!! then look no further then Yuri on Ice.
The music by Taro Umebayashi & Taku Matsushiba collate to create a wonderful connection between the character dancing on the ice and the current mood of the skater. Choice and composition of this music was brilliant highlighting flaws of characters as well as their strengths.
It was truly artistic to see characters such as Yuri bring the music to life from their performances. It felt like the music was radiating from their two dimensional bodies, that is powerful.
The figure skating performances
I never thought I would be so enthralled by a figure skating anime and just want to get off my couch and skate so much (needless to say I didn’t, but that isn’t the point!).
The technical talk and commentators throughout the anime oozed professionalism and is a real pat on the back to the producers of the anime. Kenji Miyamoto’s choreography was extremely well done, as the skaters embraced their characteristics and qualities which made them unique and loveable.The skating was unbelievable to watch. As Yuri would make mistakes my heart sank for him, as he was anxious, I was anxious for him. It is not often that an anime is powerful enough to evoke this type of feeling from an audience. This, however, is a welcome exception.
Yuri on Ice is a ‘History Maker’
The opening theme of this show is brilliant. The animation accompaniment is beautiful and sets the tone for a stupendous anime filled with history making moments.
The animation is one of the best I’ve ever experienced watching mixing chibi with high quality animation is one of my favourite art styles. It fitted in with the theme and type of anime Yuri on Ice was extremely well and exceeded my expectations.The supporting relationship between Yuri and Victor is also something I wanted to mention but will be going into more detail with in another blog post. I am fascinated by this relationship and want to explore in more depth. I want to identify who was supporting who.
- I love the fact that they supported each other.
- I loved the fact Victor pushed Yuri to do well.
- I loved that they both cared for each other throughout the experience.
- I love that they love each other (maybe?).
I don’t think I’ve ever been in love with an anime more. This is in my all time top five.
Watch the sub and not the dub. The dub ruins it. You’ll thank me later.