I was really surprised by this anime I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did! 😀 (Some Spoilers)
The story is about 23 year old Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki who decides to put his career on hold when he loses in the Grand Prix Final. While at home in Kyushu, Yuri goes to visit his childhood friend, Yuko, at an ice rink and decides to mimic an advanced skating routine done by fellow skater and his idol: Russian Figure Skating Champion Victor Nikiforov. “Somehow” Yuri’s performance ends up on the internet and this catches Victor’s attention who travels to Kyushu and offers to coach Yuri and revive his skating career.
Yuri is a character that when faced with failure – he gets depressed really easily. He is soft – hearted and gets embarassed easily much to my enjoyment. I love characters that get embarrassed easily. As I watched the episodes, I noticed that Yuri becomes stubborn and when he gets into his skating, he becomes competitive.
It was nice to see competitive Yuri different from the quiet and shy Yuri when he’s off the ice. It really allowed me to see that when Yuri forgets his anxiety and shyness when he’s on the ice, he really shines as his doubts shown throughout the series is lifted when he performs on the ice and gets really into the music and his skating routine.
At the beginning of the series, Yuri lacks confidence in himself due to his many failures weighing him down. But once Victor takes him under his wing, he starts to gain his confidence back. Even though he gains some confidence, he is still anxious and discouraged easily especially when Yuri Plisetsky insults. Although with time he brushes off his insults which to me was great character development for him.
Victor is a naturally charismatic character and is also naturally flirtatious which I loved when it came to his interactions with Yuri. He is a carefree character who will do things at his own pace. I noticed through the episodes that Victor is a forgetful person which again made for some interesting interactions with other characters.
Although Victor is a carefree character, he can be serious when the situation calls for it. It was quite funny to me when Victor would lose his temper is some scenes, he was quite calm and kept a level head even though the situation felt he should be a bit angry.
I noticed throughout the series that Victor is very awkward when it comes to emotional situations. He was awkward in some scenes and came of as quite cruel and sometimes insensitive much to my surprise. I found myself annoyed at Victor at times when Yuri would be going through a breakdown and Victor just stood there.
I could see he wanted to help but he just didn’t know how to handle Yuri’s breakdown. I really like Victor’s character as you can see he’s not a perfect character and he has flaws just like every other character in this series. His facial expressions throughout the series was beautiful and hilarious! XD.
Yuri’s and Victor’s relationship was awesome! As someone who is not into romance in anime as it comes off as forced sometimes and the characters are most of the time dull, I was pleasantly surprised by the relationship I was glad to watch unfold on screen. Victor decides on his own to fly to Kyushu to coach Yuri after Yuri sparks his curiosity after the video of Yuri performing his free skate program goes viral.
Victor moves into Yuri’s home which is a bathhouse (Yu-topia Katsuki) and spends his time teasing Yuri. At times he is openly affectionate with Yuri much to my delight as I got to see Yuri embarrassed and uncomfortable by Victor’s affection but gets used to it as the series went on.
Early on, I noticed that Victor’s difficulty in not only learning to be a coach but learning how to help Yuri overcome his anxiety perfoming on the ice was an interesting part of their relationship. Victor trying his best to help Yuri even though he wasn’t sure to go about it and cheering him on was great to see.
There are two moments for me that really showed the strength of their relationship throughout the series. Victor and Yuri exhanging rings in Barcelona with Victor’s promising to marry Yuri after he won gold was a touching and emotional moment for me.
The animation and expression of love on their faces was beautiful not to mention the amazing and touching music complementing the moment made it one of the best scenes for me. The second scene is the when Yuri suddenly changes his final jump in the China Cup to a quad flip which is Victor’s signature move.
Victor is so overcome with emotion that when Yuri skates over to him at the end of the skate program, Victor tackles Yuri with a kiss on the ice. When that scene happened I was teary eyed from the moment Victor was overcome with emotion when Yuri did his final jump to Victor tackling Yuri on the ice after he kissed him.What made this moment my second favourite moment was the look the two shared after they kissed on the ice. It was a beautiful romantic moment that stayed in my mind throughout the series.
I am so happy I decided to give this series a chance it really made me wish for more realistic moments between not just same sex couples but couples in general.
The Art Style for this anime is beautiful. The different character designs made each character stand out. The switch between chibi and the regular styled animation was great. The chibi was used well in comedic moments but when things were serious, the animation would switch. The character’s eyes were very expressive when they needed to be. Victor’s chibi face was my favourite out of all the characters.
The main draws of this anime are the realistic characters, all of them are striving to be the very best they can be. I was surprised to find myself liking characters such as Jean who was so confident to me he almost came off arrogant at times. Once I learned off his backstory, I felt sorry for him and wanted him to realise that he can come off as arrogant to the people around him. He was a well- written character who has some flaws that made him interesting.
Yuri’s character development was great and Victor supporting Yuri throughout the show was touching. Victor really helped Yuri gain his confidence back. It was pretty much a bonus for me that they fell for each other along the way. Victor and Yuri’s relationship wasn’t a rushed one, it took time and it wasn’t the only focus point in the show. I really like that there relationship wasn’t forced and that this show allowed other characters to shine other than Yuri and Victor. I feel like to many shows today focus on the main characters only and forget about building other characters.
The soundtrack was great for this anime. The music used during the skating routines was amazing, I found myself bobbing my head to the music. I ended up listening to the soundtrack and its a well put together soundtrack full of emotional tracks that makes me think back to the scenes they played in.
One thing I will say about this anime which was a bit dissapointing was the re-used scenes in the skating routines. As much as I liked every character routines, the animation just wasn’t always there when the characters would skate on the ice. It took me out of what was meant to be an amazing moment especially when it came to Yuri’s development on the ice. The animation dip and the re- used scenes was dissapointing.
The story and the art style was beautiful and the characters were well- written and relatable. The voice acting was great, you could really feel the characters pain and feelings when things got stuff. Especially when it came to Yuri’s breakdown scene in the parking lot that was some heavy stuff I cried a little bit.
Title: Yuri on Ice
Genre: Comedy, Sports
Released Date: October 6, 2016 – December 22, 2016
Director: Sayo Mayomoto
Animated: By Studio MAPPA