This post would be the review on the anime series Yuri on ice, no spoilers. Just an overall overview of the series.
If you wish to read a more episode by episode analysis on the series click here.
Now onto the review!
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
The series starts with Yuri who has always watched his idol, Victor Nikiforov perform and has always wanted to be like him.
We then see our protagonist, Yuri Katsuki who describes himself as one of those rare, dime in a dozen figure skaters from Japan.
He suffered a miserable defeat in the Grand Prix Final placing last and is depressed and thinks of retiring. He eventually loses weight and goes out of shape too.
One day at the rink near his home, where his family runs a hot springs resort he performs one of Victor’s routines perfectly which gets uploaded onto the internet without his knowledge and explodes in the news. We see Victor watching Yuri’s performance rather closely.
Days after this Yuri is shocked to find that Victor himself has arrived at Yuri’s family hot springs resort – no, not to take a vacation but to become Yuri’s coach. He is initially shocked but eventually agrees to have Victor coach him but things are not that easy.
Yuri Plisetsky (who I will be referring to as Yurio) is about to make his senior debut and had been once promised by Victor to choreograph his debut performance. With Victor gone to Japan to become a coach , Yurio is not happy and decides to make sure he beats Yuri and make Victor come back to Japan.
And it’s not just the competition, the series then continues on to become a story of perseverance, love, emotion, competitiveness as we watched Yuri scale along his difficulties with Victor as they aim for a gold at The Grand Prix.
As I finish watching Yuri on ice I am literally brimming with emotion. I feel like I watched a real Grand Prix Final myself. You know that feeling you get, the pressure when you watch intense sports championships? Yeah that kind of thing.
I loved the fact that every single performance had a reality about it. In most sports genres you tend to see the underdog hero just rise through the entire theme excelling in everything he does. Not here though. From the first face off with Yurio in Hasetsu to the final performance each one despite being the same routine with some different jumps turned out to be unique.
The life and surroundings of all the skaters and how it affects them at different times were very unique as well. Be it the realtionship between Yurio and his grandfather, or the trimphant JJ , or the skater from Thailand who wanted to shine light on his country and show them how fun the sport is, or literally anyone- although I did find the character who was possessive about his sister a tad bit creepy?
Do I need to get started on Yuri and Victor? Its so complex and rather difficult to describe their relationship in just a few phrases ,you just see so much of emotion there and you are always rooting for them, always.
The little tidbits with Yuri drunk and asking a shy Victor to be his coach, to them dancing together at the end of the show really brought goosebumps.
There wasn’t a huge back story or a lot of scenes and sequences that played out their relationship like how you are usually used to. Sometimes we feel a strong affinity towards a lead pair and we just can’t wait for them to be together! Yuri and Victor really brings that affinity and thankfully they didn’t drag out their realtionship and it was satisfying to watch. Furthermore, I’m glad that unlike some shows they didn’t twist off the story to be just about the two of them but embraced the heart of the story which is figure skating.
The pressure that Yuri feels is natural. The pressure of being coached by the greatest performer but not even rising up to that standard? Immense pressure.
Yurio demonstrated how you pour your blood, sweat and tears and make it your own.
I learnt a lot about this sport, no this artform. I have always enjoyed it but now I enjoy it even more. I finally understand how it all works what with the scores in technical difficulty and performance.
I watched this show two times and both times I thoroughly enjoyed the show!
I loved that tissue box of Victor’s in the little doggy shape. I kept noticing it throughout the show it was the cutest!
And do I even need to start on the music – no I don’t. Some tracks that I have loved are – In Regards to Love – Agape , In Regard to Love – Eros and of course Yuri On Ice. Not just the music – I’m a big sucker for this kind of compositions but the performance centred around it as well. Even the theme song History Maker really brings you into the mood!
Some articles have mentioned how exceedingly the relationship between them both was experienced but I honestly didn’t feel that congestion. Although we saw a lot of Yuri’s struggles we saw subtle hints of how Victor struggled what with his personal life. Although they didn’t broach much onnl it, I really hope theres a season two, maybe they could have.
Yuri and Yurio amongst all the friendships have a very unique one as well, although its hard to describe. It’s not antagonistic, but I wouldn’t say its all love either. It was perhaps competitiveness at its best?
As much passion as the story and sport tried to deliver I did wish, that the animation was better. Also I understand that the athletes stick with a single theme the entire season but maybe the repetitive performamces could have been altered maybe in situations or mindsets for few of them -AT LEAST, as it may have very slightly, bored us.And I know its frequent in animes but maybe we could have lost those big animated expressions -at least for Yurio since it didn’t match his hot headed teenage demeanour.
There are lots of interesting tid bits about this series including the fact that Kenji Miyomoto helped prepare the sequence as well.
Despite all that I do rate this series very highly. It short, powerful with a well knitted story and characters with a good character depth and background. It’s something you can binge watch, and enjoy over a weekend.
If you’ve watched this, let me know what you feel in the comments below !
For a more episode by episode recap, click here!