Genre: Comedy, Sports
Released: Fall 2016
Yuri on Ice is a 12 episode anime about 24 year old figure skater, Katsuki Yuri. During the first episode, we see Yuri suffer a devastating loss at the Grand Prix Final, the pinnacle of ice skating competitions. Being 24 years old, close to retirement for ice skaters, a depressed Yuri goes back home, to try and figure out what to do with his life.
Yuri starts to gain weight as his depression takes over. Nevertheless, Yuri still enjoys skating as his hobby, so as he was reenacting a program from his idol, Russian world champion figure skater, Victor Nikiforov, a group of kids from his neighborhood recorded him and posted the video on social media, which then went viral.
Victor, has been world champion twice in a row, and has set a new world record, so he feels as if he has nothing new to accomplish, he has lost his inspiration for skating. But when he notices Yuri’s video, he spontaneously decides to become Yuri’s coach. As Victor arrives to Japan and meets Yuri, Yuri is thrilled and cannot even believe it, Victor tells Yuri that this next season is his to conquer and he’s going to help him achieve it. As the pair prepares for training, they encounter Yuri’s rival, Yuri Plisetsky, a Russian Yuri.
Yurio, to differentiate, is also an admirer of Victor and wanted Victor to mentor him instead, as Victor had already promised him to choreograph a program for him. So Victor holds a competition between the two, whoever wins gets to become his apprentice. The competition gets even more intense, as Yurio wants to be the ONLY Yuri there ever will be, and he’s often rough with his rival. It was at that competition, the skating battle between the two, that I thought this anime was really worth watching, I was stunned at the way the skating animation was done, and the soundtracks were splendid.
As the story progresses, Yuri realizes he has a dream and wants to do everything he can to accomplish it, which really motivates him to do his best during the competitions. Besides, this anime is not bias towards the main character (unlike Fairytail… Lord Jesus), as the other contestants were quite skilled, so it really adds up to the intensity of those competitions.
There is one thing that I have to mention, because it’s impossible to not notice it in the anime, and that’s Yuri and Victor’s chemistry, in other words, there is a lot of affection between the two guys. For those of you who don’t like this kind of anime, you should still give it a try, as it’s not too overwhelming, and it’s also pretty hilarious at times. But, it should not stop you from discovering all of the other the things this anime has to offer.
This anime had me think of a career in ice skating for about six months after I finished it. The soundtracks are superb, and they embody their characters’ personality and performance. What makes the characters so special other than the main ones, is that the plot features their journeys as skaters and their desires to win during the competitions. As you get to know all of them, you’ll realize that they each have something to offer, they have their personalities, their lives and aspirations, and that reflects through their performances, making them stand out a lot more, and become more important to the story, than if they had been regular secondary rival character clichés. It’s always nice to see diversified and gripping characters and not just archetypes.
I’ve had a good time watching it because of the jokes and overall funny moments the anime had. It’s able to incorporate all the thrill and intensity from the competitions and then lighten the mood with humor. Also, you get a sense of team spirit throughout the competitions, as most of the contestants cheer for each other as much as they challenge each other.
I think Yuri on Ice is a fun, captivating and overall beautiful anime. So much work is put in the making of the scenery, soundtracks and animation. It must’ve been pretty difficult and expensive to portray the routines and skating figures for each character, but it’s still pretty impressive how they pulled it off.
As for the story, it depicts the life of an artistic figure skater, it shows the ups and downs of life in general, and how training, handwork and perseverance eventually pull through. If you really like sports anime with some comedy, you can certainly give Yuri on Ice a try.
Rating: Story: 8.5 Plot: 9.0 Main Characters: 9.0 Characters: 8.8 Action/Humor/Feels: 10 Overall Score: 9.1 SirMeliodas Approved