Yeah…so the internet has gone nuts with this show. It’s not even long, with just 12 episodes. But, it’s won the hearts of so many people, myself included. So I defiantly feel the need to talk about it.
Guys Gals & Non Binary Pals, this is Animated Aaron’s Review of Yuri On Ice!
Yuri Katsuki is a 23 year old figure skater…who just bombed a competition. Home from college, he finds a video of him mirroring a routine by Victor Nikiforov, a skating legend, has gone viral. Even more surprising, Victor himself shows up to his home and begins to coach him for the next ISU Grand Prix. Now, the two are up against other skaters looking to take Victor’s place as the ‘best skater in the world’ since he’s not competing. As the tournament goes on, the two get closer and closer developing a romance.
Normally, I do the story before characters. But this is more of a character driven show, so I’m doing characters first.
Yuri Katsuki, our protagonist who I totally do not have a crush on. It’s not like he’s one of the sexiest characters I’ve come across in anime since the slim design usually given to protagonist benefits him as well as seeing him have different body shapes as the show goes on since he loses his weight and needs to keep it a certain way.
Why even mention the weight thing? Well, that’s one way the anime shows Yuri’s lack of confidence. While he can show off and provide the sex appeal needed for his performance, he’s nervous behind the scenes and finds himself on the verge of a breakdown at times.
Being an introvert person, Yuri tries to avoid confrontation but isn’t a full blown pacifist. When a younger skater is talking smack to him, he responds with a comment that basically brushes over the insult without insulting the teenager back. So he is shy and anxious, but not a sneak nor a coward.
He’s like an adult Shinji Ikari (Evangelion) after months of therapy and a sense of humor.
Victor Nikiforov is Yuri’s coach/boyfriend. Using the ‘opposites attract’ dynamic, Victor loves attention but doesn’t actively seek it out constantly. Basically, he’ll dress up in his best suit for a competition where Yuri is in knowing cameras will be on them. But, he won’t hijack someone else’s screen time.
The man is the definition of ‘extra’. He welcomes Yuri back home by being in the hot spring bare ass and cock (it’s censored, so don’t worry if that’s not what you wanna see).
You know, I was gonna continue with more examples, but that sums up Victor perfectly. A diva who knows when to be stern and how to encourage others.
Yuri Plisetsky, nicknamed ‘Yurio’ to avoid confusion, is the cleverest take on the tsundre character I’ve seen in a long time. Basically, he has a chip on his shoulder from being a prodigy at 15, yet is going against men in their early to late twenties. Envious of the fact Victor chose Katsuki as a pupil, he holds a grudge against Katsuki but it subtly dies down as the show goes on.
He’s got a work ethic that shames some of the other competitors. A scowl that could burn holes through the skates he uses. And a love for his grandpa that pushes & motivates him. Okay, so this means he’s a jerk whose only redeeming factor is he wants to perform for his family right? Actually no. He’s extremely passionate about everything he does and does respect Victor (showing it in a funny way at times). He gets annoyed by his fangirls at times, but stands up for them when they’re insulted.
Plisetsky is a teenager who wears his emotions. He just gets aggravated easily. Most of which is presented for comedy.
The ice skating is kind of on the backburner to Yuri & Victor’s relationship. It’s important as it’s the reason the two began to interact, but there’s a reason I only talked about the 3 main characters and not any of the side ones.
Okay, so the anime does a great job explaining how the rules of competitive ice skating works. So as someone who has never even seen actual figure skating performances, I thought it was well handled. The pacing of each performance, how the characters spend the time between performances, interactions, settings, it’s all well and good. We see Yuri get nervous before the grand prix in China. Victor flirts with him in Japan. The two kiss in Russia.
…What’s everybody else doing? I understand that Katsuki is the protagonist, thus most of the focus should be on him and Victor. I just want to know what happened to Minami, this spunky fanboy of Yuri’s who now has to face him, after episode 5.
JJ is shown to be the top contender for Yuri to beat if he wants the gold medal. I just wanted a little more about him other than he has an ego. Actually, I take that back. Like Yurio, he’s a good twist on a cliché character.
Usually, the ego maniac is revealed to be a cheater. He’s played straight. As are all of the other skaters. There’s no hostility which is wildly refreshing for a sports anime.
You know you’ve made a good show when my issue is that I want one more episode to give these side characters that I enjoyed more screen time.
My only other problem is that Yuri Katsuki is plot armored a bit. The earliest example I can give that won’t spoil anything is in Yuri’s competition against Minami. We don’t see Minami’s entire performance cause it’s split between him dancing and Yuri getting ready. But we do see Yuri’s entire performance.
We see the poor sexy bastard trip on his ass, hit his head against a wall and still get first place.
There’s a few things I didn’t notice the first time I watched this show. Like the trend of a color pallet with the bisexual flag colors. Or how Victor respects Yuri’s space when the two first start interacting despite Victor making it clear he wants Yuri romantically. Or that the ice rink is cg and the skaters are drawn into it with little cgi touches. Okay, I did notice that last one, but it didn’t bother me too much since there wasn’t an over reliance on it.
The art style does fit the tone of the show and blends perfectly when the characters get less detail for comedic scenes or more for serious ones. I kind of wish there was a little more exploration on the places they go since it is a world tour, but that’s a VERY minor nitpick. Is it the best animation and art style ever? Hell no, but I had no problems with. It’ll still be serviceable if you watch it 10 years from now.
And yes, I will still be watching this 10 years from now. And it’s not just because of the subtle little details they put in each episode.
Did it deserve anime of the year on crunchyroll? Debatable. But honestly, I love it anyway. Maybe it is a bit overrated, but that doesn’t mean ‘bad’. It’s still a great romance with a healthy lgbtq relationship. For a non-anime fan, you have no idea how rare that is. Even if you don’t watch it for the romance, please check out the routines they dance to and the platonic interactions. Tasteful fanservice and well paced development, what more could a bisexual reviewer ask for?
Guys, Gals, & Non Binary Pals, I give you the oh so rare ‘A rating’:
Final Word: This show was born to make history.
What’s Your Opinion?