Yuri on ice was one drama I really enjoyed while watching. I learnt quite a lot of new things and it really sparked back in me, the joy I get out of watching a good anime show.
This post will have a detailed episode by episode summary and review. So beware- there are spoilers!
If you only want an overall review of the series without any spoilers, click here!.
So here goes- the episode by episode summary of Yuri!!! On Ice. As of now there is only a single season of the show with twelve episodes.
Country of origin : Japan
Language : Japanese
Directed by : Sayo Yamamoto, Jun Shishido
Written by : Sayo Yamamoto (Composition), Mitsurō Kubo (Screenplay)
Music by : Taro Umebayashi, Taku Matsushiba
Opening theme : “History Maker” by Dean Fujioka
Studio : MAPPA
Original run : 6 October 2016 – 21 December 2016
Number of seasons : 1
Number of episodes : 12
Status : Completed
Genre : Sport, Ice-Skating
Episode 1 : “Easy as Pirozhki!! The Grand Prix Final of Tears”
The episode starts at how Yuri is mesmerized by the performance of his idol, Russian star, Victor Nikiforov.
Flash back to the present, where Yuri Katsuki is at last place is his first Grand Prix Final. He is devastated and disappointed that he gave into the pressures and ended up in last place. What makes it worse is when, Yuri Plisetsky, the junior gold-medal winner, threatens him to not bring his loser self to the next seniors Grand Prix.
A dejected Yuri then returns to his home town of Hasetsu, now unofficially retired. He has gained weight and almost looks like he has given up his dreams. His parents own a hot spring resort in the region.
Despite that, Yuri makes a return to the skating rink in town to start practice and see his old friends at the rink.
As Victor wins his fifth championship, Yuri performs Victor’s exact same routine with a built in and strong passion. However his performance gets secretly recorded by his friend’s daughters and uploaded onto the internet where in trends. Yuri is shocked that it got leaked and we see Victor watching the video, deep in thought.
One winter’s day, Yuri’s parents tell him that a special guest has arrived at the resort. Yuri is shocked to find that it’s none other than Victor Nikiforov, who has come to Japan and decided to become Yuri’s coach after watching the video on the internet.
Episode 2 : “Two Yuri’s?! Drama at Yutopia”
Victor’s sudden departure to London upsets his coach and he gives a press release stating that Victor is currently rethinking about his career. Back in Japan, Victor tells Yuri that he will only let him in the rink if he loses weight and becomes fit. One day, Victor posts a picture on the internet which leaks his location, causing an uproar.
Thia leads to Russian rising star and gold medalist Yuri Plisetsky to come to Japan to find Victor as he had promised a young Yuri that he would choreograph his senior year debut at the Grand Prix.
In order to decide who Victor which coach, Victor decides to conduct a skating showdown. The winner will get to be coached by Victor.
They are given two different version of the song ‘In Regards to Love’- Agape and Eros. Both Yuri’s find that Victor has chosen for then the track they didn’t prefer,so as to make it more challenging.
Episode 3 : “I am Eros, and Eros is me?! Face off!! Hot Springs on Ice!
Both Yuri’s struggle with perfecting their performance as they are unable to feel the emotions behind Agape and Eros.
From here on I will refer to the Russian Yuri as Yurio and the lead character Yuri as Yuri (to differentiate, similar to how they were named in this episode)
Yurio eventually recognises the emotion of Agape by the memories of his grandfather, while Yuri recognises Eros through the feeling he gets when he thinks of his favorite food – Pork Cutlet Bowl.
Yurio performs Agape but loses the emotion towards the end of the performance.
Yuri, although scared sets out to perform with the confidence instilled in him by Victor.
Victor notices a change in his emotion and realises Yuri changed his movements to be more feminine to be of more impact. He misses some jumps but eventually wins. Yurio leaves back to Russia.
Both of them vow to win at the Grand Prix.
Episode 4 : “Like Yourself…And complete the free program!”
Having lost in Japan to Yuri, Yurio starts practicing fiercly eventually leading to him being coached by a prima ballerina to prepare for his free programme. Yuri is confused as to what his track for free programme must be as Victor insists he must choose it himself rather than making Victor choose it for him.
Victor eventually helps Yuri open up to him, and come over the embarrassment Yuri feels on Victor knowing his shortcomings.
Once the assignments for this year come, Yuri realize he must win for the Nationals before he participates for the Grand Prix. Yuri finally decided in his piece for the free performance and titles it ‘Yuri on Ice’.
At this point I am loving how both Yuri’s are developing, both on their own way. Yuri’s and Victor’s growing relationship is also something that seems to be strengthening per episode. Also by this time, we are getting to learn a lot about figure skating-how the scores come about, how the Grand Prix takes place and so on. For total novices like me this is a good place to understand and start appreciating the sport for more than just choreography.
Episode 5 : “Face Beet-Red!! It’s the first competition! The Chugoku, Shigoku, and Kyushu Championship.”
The day of the Japan Figure Skating competition starts. Yuri performs his rendition of Eros which gains him a high score. Yuri then meets Kenjiro Minami , a young skater whose a big fan of Yuri.
Yuri remains aloof of Minami as he defeated him last time, but Victor asks him to embrace it, which he soon does.
During the free performance, Yuri does the jumps that Victor told him not to do, but which ultimately pleases Victor.
At the press conference , Yuri announces his theme as love, as an abstract symbolism towards all the love he’s receiving especially from Victor.
It was interesting to see how the figure skaters picked the themes around which their performances are based off, for a season. Although abrupt, the fact that Yuri announced his theme as love was unsurprising, as things between Yuri and Victor seem to be moving onto another level.
Episode 6 : China’s On! The Grand Prix Series Opening Event!! The Cup of China Short Program
Yurio wins second place at Skate Canada, his first Grand Prix event. Victor and Yuri arrive at China for his event and they happen to meet many old friends including Victor’s disgruntled coach.
Christophe Giacometti, a Swedish star who competed with Victor tells Yuri of how much the skating world misses Victor and is waiting for his comeback. Yuri feels pressure and for his performance of Eros, he gives it his all, to prove once and for all that Victor feels it was worth it to be his coach.
This leads him to winning first place for his short program.
Episode 7 : China’s On! The Grand Prix Series Opening Event!! The Cup of China Free Skate
Yuri becomes extremely anxious as he watches each of his competing performances. Realising things are going wrong, Victor takes Yuri aside to make him relax but somehow leads him to start crying.
Yuri reveals that his fear is in disappointing Victor more than him performing bad. He asks Victor to have faith in him.
By the time it’s his turn to start the performance, Yuri has found a new found evergy and even goes to perform a quadruple flip. Something only Victor had done.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Victor kisses Yuri on live television, and Yuri wins the silver medal.
Episode 8 : Yuri vs Yuri! The Horror!! Rostelecom Cup, Short Program
As two positions for the Grand Prix Final are now filled, the Rostelecom cup will determine the last four positions. Yuri performs better than Yurio and stands in a position above him with Victor as his coach. Yurio is unable to perform to his best as the absence of his grandfather affected him slightly but he eventually picks up his fighting energy and gets a good score.
Yuri received a call from Japan that Victor’s puddle choked and is serious. Knowing how much it hurt him to lose his own pet, he forces Victor to leave and in the end Victor entrusts Yurio’s coach to take care of Yuri for the next day of competition.
Episode 9 : Yuri vs Yuri! The Horror!! Rostelecom Cup, Free Skate
With Yakov now watching over both Yuri’s, the free skate begins. Having received a snack made out of pork cutlet bowl from his grandfather, Yurio gets renewed energy and performs an extremely difficult sequence well. Yuri anxious without Victor somehow fumbles through his performance and manages to scrape through to the final.
Yuri seriously contemplates in retiring after the Grand Prix and making Victor retire as his coach as well.
At the airport in Japan after seeing that Victor’s pet is fine, Yuri rushes over and hugs Victor. In a rather emotional moment he asks Victor to be his coach until he retires. To this, Victor replies “Well, I hope you never retire.”
Episode 10 : Gotta Supercharge it! Pre-Grand Prix Final Special!
This episode has Victor doing his narration on how much his life has changed after Yuri, and how his skating life had brought certain things to a stop in his personal life.
We see several interactions and side stories between the skaters including one between Yurio and Otabek a skater from Kazakhstan. Both of them were rink mates when they were younger and somehow seem to have a strong bond.
Yuri buys for himself and Victor two rings as good luck charms which Victor later calls as engagement rings. They dine with the other skaters at night and they recall the antics of a drink Yuri at the party after last year’s Grand Prix. When Victor exclaims saying they will marry after Yuri wins the gold, the players all give them steely glances. Yurio starts to mention that Victor cannot make a proper comeback now either into his professional skating life which gets Yuri thinking.
In a post credits scene we that Yuri, drunk last year had asked Victor to br his coach which had sparked his interest in Yuri.
Episode 11 : Gotta Super-Supercharge it! Grand Prix Final Short Program
Yuri earns a good score with his first proper execution of a quadruple flip but Yurio surpasses him with him finally discovering his “Agape” and landing first, while Yuri lands fourth.
As the other contestants performs, Yuri notices the interested expression with which Victor watches them.
He then tells Victor that he wants to end their coach and student relationship as Yuri plans to retire and he wants Victor to take the ice again.
Nooooooooo… God knows where this is going ! As expected they have brought a big gap in their relationship in the penultimate episode itself.
Episode 12 : Gotta Super-Super-Supercharge it! Grand Prix Final Free Skate
Finally at the Grand Prix Final, Yuri skates to a sequence of immense difficulty leading him to a high score breaking Victor’s free skate record. Happy that both Yuri’s have broken his records he decides to make a comeback into professional skating.
Yurio is furious at the thought of Yuri retiring and gives an enthralling performance landing him in Gold just about Yuri by a hairs margin eventually leading him to decide to continue his career as well.
At the end of the series we see Victor and Yuri performing to an old routine of Victor’s.
Probably hinting at a sequel season perhaps? I hope so!
Through this short yet amazing anime series we saw the journey of Yuri Katsuki a professional ice skater who thought he lost it all, but regained his momentum and career thanks to Victor his idol who decided to coach him. The journey was not just a story about Yuri but for Victor as well and the other contestants and characters who all got a fair share in the story.
Now this post is a recap of the episodes. If you want to know my thoughts on the series- click here!