As an ex-competitive figure skater myself, this anime has brought me to brinks of tears beyond comprehension and inspired me to write my very first review (please bear with me). To quickly summarize the show in few words that will definitely do the show unjust: this is an anime about passion, failure, inspiration, human nature, and love. Regardless if you are an avid protester against shounen-ai or someone who dislikes sports animes, Yuri!!! on Ice will bring to the table a multitude of other elements you are sure to love.
**Story: 9 & Character: 10**
I might appear to be biased (and perhaps I am), but the
realism of the characters' struggles and emotions are highly relatable and really draws your inner empathy. What sets this apart from other sports/shounen animes are that it does not aim to show unbelievable global success whilst in a beginner's shoes, but rather aims to show progress from a professional's point of view (it starts with Yuri failing phenomenally at the Grand Prix Finals and overcoming struggles to compete in the Grand Prix series again).
And because of the dynamic characters and their development through merely 10 episodes, I give this a solid 10/10. There are no antagonists that you will never come to agree with, but only dimensional characters who each have their reasons for being the way they are.
The art is 10/10 true to the sport, with the programs' actually being choreographed by a professional figure skater. From the kiss & cry, scoreboard and even the details of freshly resurfaced ice, everything is accurately detailed and there is never a "wtf-is-this-even-real" moment in its artistic depictions. (In fact, if there were no copyright issues, the very blades that Yuri Plisetsky skates on are most likely "John Wilson, Gold Seal Revolution" blades.)
Besides on-ice moments, the soft yet vibrant tones also brings much of the surroundings alive and leaves a picturesque aftertaste. That said, the occasional lack of fluidity in character movements while on-ice could be slightly distracting to those who regularly watch figure skating performances / competitions.
The OP and ED itself uses electronic themes, which would somewhat satisfy EDM fans. Yet the variety in music really brings the figure skating world alive. The original song "Yuri on Ice" that Yuri skates to depict the journey of his career is unbelievably melancholic, heartfelt, heartbreaking and tender; if no one told me, I would think it jumped out of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.
**Enjoyment: 10 & Overall: 9**
Personally, I rate this show a 10/10. But taking into account my background as a retired figure skater and the moments I saw my experiences laid out in the show, due to my inherent bias towards the show, I give Yuri!!! on Ice a 9/10 in this review.
Definitely give this anime a try--it has the power to send you flying from a rut in life, and inspires you to accept your failures, and to get up and try again.
What is life, anyway, without ups, downs and a journey to tell?
1) This is the most mature and tasteful anime about romance to date. That said, it is my own personal opinion that your enjoyment for this anime hinges heavily on your own emotional and social maturity. Yes, it's homo. Yes, it's about adult men doing their feminine sports. Yes, it's ~*gay*~, and these people exists in real life. Wake up.
2) This may be labelled as sports, but you would be a fool to think it'll get your blood pumping. Ice skating is about making things look as deceptively easy as possible. The amount of finesse and strength required
to pull these moves off in the show is so incredibly high, the skaters can probably crush your skull with their thighs!
Hope that explains some of the jarring divide plaguing most debates. Moving on.
The romance is of two males. The amount of respect the writers have given to a relationship of that nature is something I have not even seen in BL/Yaoi works. It feels extremely human, realistic and powerful. It is not fetishized, never once poked fun of, and has never treated this romance less than a relationship between a male and a female. Although indirect about the way they tell they romance, you can feel their adoration for each other oozing out and rotting your teeth. These characters never tell you why the specific reasons why they fell in love with each other, but they do show you lots of vague ideas about why they are. It's also a completely healthy, functional give-and-take relationship on both ends. I'm mindblown!
Hands down the best writing in terms of representing people, one of the best animation put together for complex movements I've seen. In short: holy f*cking sh*t. This anime really, really shouldn't be possible given all the social stigma, pressure and workload. Yet here we are.
I am giving this a solid 10/10 for simply doing all the things that other animes have failed to do. This. This is the only anime I have seen where it doesn't treat the emotional and social maturity of the audience like a child's. It handles a romantic relationship so damn well I'm actually having trouble believing this anime even exists at all. Some days I wake up and it's like, "wait, is Yuri!!! On Ice real?".
This should be on Cowboy Bepop level in terms of importance in anime. Why? Because we've been getting loads of BL/Yaoi baiting that stayed stagnant and refused to push the boundary, refused to step out of that fetishized hell and embrace actual human relationship. Hell, it's better than 99.9% of the BL crap I've to sit through. It's human. I can feel these characters. Yuri!!! On Ice is a HUGE game changer in romance storytelling. It has set the bar so high, it oozes out so much good directing, I'm afraid nothing will even come close given the current standard in anime.
The development of the characters and their relationship with each other is so incredibly well done and strong. There hasn't been a single moment where they throw you the typical annoying drivel of the relationship tragedy drama, and the characters, imperfect adults, mind you, just... make do with what they have and progress. It sends out a really good message, and I love it. It is absolutely positive. It's okay to find your niche, your passion, your life and love in your late 20s. This show seems to tell you that, and we do need more anime that sends this message as the active anime community's median age inches ever more closer to the early 10s.
Side characters aren't given that much spotlight, since this is an anime about ice skating competitions and realistically there is only so much screen time you can give to all of them. This is acceptable. It really is the same with a lot of other sports anime if you think about it.
The only flaw of this anime is the animation. Yes, despite my crazy praise earlier, this anime is still made by human beings probably overworked to their bones. Studio MAPPA is nowhere near I.G Production levels in terms of sheer man-power. There are some parts where the motion looks off, and a few where there's errors in the animation, details or coloring. But! That is still a minor issue. These problems usually strikes the minor scenes, and unless you really paid attention you will not see it. It is not a major problem, but amusing to highlight nonetheless.
Expect mindblowing levels of respect, acceptance, maturity, feels, details, comedy and emotional connection.
In short, should you watch it? Yes, absolutely, but read 1) and 2). I have shown this anime to various adults who are either homophobic or do not care about anime, and their unanimous opinion is that Yuri!!! On Ice is an amazingly good show! Watch it!
As I write this, I have official watched all 12 episodes of Yuri!!! On Ice and boy what a spectacle it is. I’m pretty sure Yuri broke tumblr……..anyway. There are a lot of things about Yuri!!! On Ice that make it different compared to many of the other mainstream sports series out there.
First off, this story is based on actual competitive figure skating like the kind that could take someone to the Olympics. Secondly, the series makes figure skating look BAD ASS and BEAUTIFUL all at the same time. Its animation is flawless and the skating just takes your breath away. It was choreographed
by a person who works in the figure skating industry, so it’s definitely not half assed. It portrays a realistic depiction to the lives of these athletes not just on but off the ice as well. One of our main characters Victor is based off an actual figure skater named Johnny Weir – who you should check out because he is beautiful!!! This series as it is based on international competition has characters from around the world, Russia, Kazakhstan, Canada, Japan, etc. and they don’t have any of the stereotypes implemented. My representative J.J. from Canada certainly does not behave like the typical Canadian stereotype (no invisible Canada here).
This show also implements two very important things, first the anxiety and pressure athletes face as well as an actual homosexual relationship. You see the death grip that anxiety has on our main protagonist Yuri throughout the competition but as the story progresses, Yuri learns to deal with his problems, though they never go away completely, like actual anxiety. You also learn the pressure that these players end up facing and how their mental state on the ice, affects their performance. This doesn’t mean that an emotionless skating performance is the best option, in many cases, it is that emotion while skating that helps them achieve greatness which you will see throughout the episodes.
Now to my favorite part VUCTURI!!!! These guys well I’m not going to spoil anything but each episode is like a new piece of the puzzle towards unraveling their relationship. Yuri and Victor do not portray a stereotypical gay relationship what’s so ever and it’s actual quite refreshing to see such a mature, deep relationship between two people especially in sports where most of our couples tend to be just head canons, even the heterosexual ones.
However, Yuri is not the only main player we have, Yurio (Yuri), the kitten becomes a sort of rival to Yuri and friend, who together help each other grow and become better skaters. In each of the performances we learn a little more about the characters, so it isn’t just our main trio that gets the spot light.
The music is freaking great. You can’t help but want to listen to it all the time. It’s a nice mixture of lyrical and classical, nothing to modern. The opening itself is in English and god is it beautiful to look at. Pay close attention to it in each episode because it’s never the same opening twice ;)
Obviously spoilers. Don't see how a review could be written for this series without them.
Alright, so here we go. Blah blah blah Crunchyroll anime awards blah blah x series deserved this award blah blah blah blah blah. I kid, of course. No mention of those in this review. However, I do think that some things really do need to be talked about as to why this series is as overrated as it is, and why those things are absurd. So watch close as I get into them.
Let's start by discussing the premise.
Funny enough, one thing most YoI fans can agree with is that the premise
was nothing too amazing. It was somewhat unique in its own way, as it does remain a fact that up to now, a sports story being started the way it was in YoI hasn't really happened in anything that's been significant/at a moderately blockbuster level. That being, a star athlete wants to quit but is visited up by an even bigger star athlete who wants to become his coach. Usually, in most sports anime, what we're typically given is the protagonist being motivated by something else, not somebody else putting motivation into them.
I originally watched YoI from the very beginning. It wasn't anything I viewed with high regards, but I made it through 3 episodes initially because that's what I promised to give it even prior to when it started airing. Ultimately, I thought nothing of it. Or should I say initially. Nah, that doesn't work because I still really don't feel anything towards it. The predominant thing about it here was the fact that a fair amount of "manservice" was involved, similar to Free!. I had almost instantly assumed it'd be that way; homosexual innuendos, abs, and a massive fujoshi following, so I gave up on it. Same way as I did with Free!.
Now, inevitably so, I was begged by quite a few people to continue it because of "how amazing it gets eventually." Seeing the scores it was plastered with all over the internet, I thought maybe it had been an unexpected surprise and would turn into a huge hit one day in the future... so I continued it.
Onto continuing plot development.
Up to episode 6, the series had very little change besides what you'd expect from a sports anime. More about the actual sport was talked about, and the development was cliche and nothing special. The funny thing in the situation of figure skating, however, is the plain and simple fact that if you've never followed figure skating before in your life, you really won't have any idea about the actual fine details of what's going on. You'll be JUST as aware of what a toe loop, flip, and salchow are on the 12th episode as you were before you even started the first. And to be entirely honest, that fact is just, simply, sad.
Why is it sad? Not for reasons you'd think, such as it being detrimental to the series and your enjoyment is hindered from not knowing what it all means. Though that COULD possibly be the case (I wouldn't know since I know nothing about figure skating), there's another huge problem behind the audience's lack of understanding: how the series tries to get you to understand what everything means.
What YoI does is something that happens a fairly decent amount in anime, but really shouldn't ever happen. Its methods of trying to get you to understand things, and I mean actual things canon to the story (not JUST the things about figure skating, or recaps, or any one specific thing), are done on a 1:1 talk-type of basis. Ever heard of the term "show, don't tell"? YoI does the exact opposite in many situations. And in a medium of entertainment like anime, one that's based more on visuals than anything else, this kind of thing shouldn't be happening. If novel authors are able to show their explanations without directly telling them to you, anime writers should definitely be able to do at LEAST the same thing when it comes to select crucial moments.
In other words, YoI is filled to the brim with annoying infodumps.
This is the exact case with literally every single situation when it comes to figure skating explanation; instead of trying to show you each jump, presentation score, technical scores, competition layouts, and everything else, they just infodump all of it through a method that makes it seem like the main character, Yuri, is talking directly to you. It really is annoying, a huge sign of poor writing quality in an anime, and finally, it really makes a show difficult to enjoy.
Now, there are a few things you're able to understand while going through the series, and that is the value and importance level behind the performances. We're given the ideas that more stunning visuals behind their outfits, general step sequences, and appeal towards the certain criteria/genre that they're working in are all good things, in addition to more successful jumps and better jumps are overall better for their performance as well. It's obvious that there isn't a ton to take in as a spectator when it comes to figure skating, as most things can just be taken at face value directly from your eye and don't really require complicated evaluation unless you're actually a judge of the competition. But a problem lies within that as well.
Figure skating seems to be very limited in how great it is to spectate it unless you're EXTREMELY knowledgeable of it, like to the point where you could be a judge. And I say this all despite what I just said in the above paragraph. Things CAN be taken at face value, but they obviously won't be all that enjoyable if there isn't already a level of knowledge about ice skating as a whole in your brain before even watching the first episode. Without the knowledge I speak of, you're pretty much missing out on every single thing that makes spectator sports fun to watch in the first place; no thrill, no sense of competition, and no way to really prove your self worth. Of course, 100% of all of this changes IF you're extremely knowledgeable in figure skating. But I get the feeling that even if you are, seeing it in anime form will still be a bit boring since things can change completely at the discretion of the animators/writers, thus removing all of the 3 things that I claimed make spectator sports enjoyable in the first place. Overall, the plot development alongside a premise like this was just not good, ultimately because of how difficult it is to create something enjoyable out of something as niche as figure skating.
So far, we have a failed first 3 episodes that were just unnecessary fanservice, and a failed following 3 episodes that were just badly formed infodumps and a lot of boredom. What's funny, however, is how YoI's first half was actually significantly better than the second. How could it possibly get worse? Here's how.
The "most heartwarming scene of the year" (sorry, just had to make that small reference) happens in episode 7, aka a really lackluster kiss that wasn't even fully shown and also lead to absolutely nothing in the long run. This really is when the series took off in terms of popularity and how much the people who watched it from the beginning began to brag about "always being a fan of it" and started to claim themselves as huge/hardcore fans of the series. However, what it did was spelled a major hint of inevitable downfall of the series, which is exactly what it ended up being. The series reached its peak at episode 4, when it started to be quite enjoyable just for what it was. At this point on, all it was was pretentious fujoshibait.
As sad as it was, it's true that YoI from episode 8 and on literally was JUST fujoshibait. Despite the kiss, absolutely nothing happened between the two main characters (Yuri and Victor). The continuation of their false relationship was limited purely to hand holding, snuggles, and rings that were really just meant to be mementos of their promises to each other, and the fact that they were each placed on each other's ring fingers by each other as if they were wedding rings, and the FACT that Victor claimed that they're getting married to a group of friends was just... coincidence? Literally not even TRYING to hide such an absurd amount of bait. It was all just pure cringe, from start to finish, and it made me question what had ever caused this series to become as popular and beloved as it is. Makes no sense to me whatsoever.
Could it get any worse? Maybe just a bit.
The final 3 episodes were absolutely nothing of importance. It continued on in a cliche way, had a very significant yet obvious and mildly unimportant goal from the eyes of the viewer, and was just so incredibly boring.
As Yuri is close to fulfilling his promise of winning a gold medal in the figure skating Grand Prix, he's off to the final competition with Victor. What we get for the next 3 episodes is a bunch of mindless animation scenes of skating that look NO different from the last scene of the same skating program; like, you CAN tell that it isn't reused animation, but the animation we are given is like the Endless Eight in the Haruhi series... it's the exact same thing, just with different money poured into it from the last time. The only differences are if there's mistakes made by the skaters that weren't made last time, or vice versa.
Of course, all of these skating scenes are boring. They fall into the ideals I stated earlier of making very little sense and having no sense of thrill or anything else you'd expect from a spectator sport, just because animators decide what happens as opposed to actual human beings being the ones who perform. And it's just, simply, depressing.
What's also depressing is how little there is to say about the series at this point. To me, it feels like I almost rushed through this review in the last couple sections, but after multiple re-reads I realize I haven't... there just is so little to say overall. Regardless of how acclaimed a series is, even if it's bad, there should at least be a lot to say about it whether in positive or negative light... why is YoI not this way? Was it really that badly written? I can't even be 100% sure in this case.
My final verdict on the story, after my very general analysis of it, is that there really is absolutely nothing that comes from it that's anything special in any way possible. It just makes no sense; what is it that people see in this show that causes them to love it so much? If only I could understand for even a second the answer to that, I'd be more than satisfied with my spending 4.5 hours watching this show. However, I get the feeling that I really never will understand simply because there is nothing there to truly enjoy, and that the entire fanbase of this show really did fall straight into the traps that the show set from the very beginning.
The characters were just a bit different, but not completely in a good way.
To me at least, there wasn't a single positive thing about the main character, Yuri (apparently his name is spelled Yuuri, though subtitles spelled it Yuri. I'll just continue to say Yuri since that's what I've been saying this entire review), that stood out enough for me to say he's a good character. He's extremely bland, and his anxiety seemed to be one of the most forced mental disorders that I've ever seen in anime. He would act like he was more nervous than he's ever been in his entire life, despite the fact that he's just going out to do something he's done hundreds of times with even LESS on the line than some of his other performances... he has nervous wrecks, cries, acts like he can't do it, but then... goes out and gives an amazing performance? At least stick to your roots, YoI writers, or at least give Yuri bipolar disorder instead of anxiety.
Victor was without a doubt more charming and enjoyable to watch on-screen than Yuri was. However, he really does fall into the same cliches as Yuri in the end; his character feels extremely flat, doesn't have any huge personality traits that cause him to stand out more than another similar character, and feels like he only exists because of the plot, as if this kind of person would never exist in real life. That is a MAJOR red flag in an anime that obviously needs to feel realistic to even sustain itself. So overall, Victor still doesn't feel like a good character, despite being enjoyable to watch. Not a lot to say about him in the end since his character formula is so similar to Yuri's.
The best character in the entire series was actually the second Yuri, the Russian one who everyone thought was a huge douchebag. Which, yeah, he definitely was. Without a single doubt. The reason why he was the best character in the series was simply because of how refreshing he was as a whole. He was a guy who refused to ever be looked down upon by others, which a lot of people did because of the fact that he's 15 and already claiming he'll win a Grand Prix gold medal. You also have the fact that Victor broke a promise he made to him and he just simply didn't wanna just take that like he was a little bitch, and he stood up to him and completely destroyed every ounce of main character Yuri's confidence when it truly mattered. Then he actually DID what he claimed he would and man, that honestly was the nicest feeling part of the series just because it felt like the main character wasn't AS plot armored as a typical sports anime protagonist would be. Russian Yuri for the win, without a doubt the best piece of this entire series.
What about other characters? There were a few other skaters but the thing is, their entire existence was yet again just another flaw in the formula of this series. Their entire personalities were shoved down our throat faster than we were able to chew them, and their overall importance to the plot was very little over time because of how they were basically just a bunch of mindless robots meant to serve the purpose of being in the competition with the two Yuris, like they didn't even exist outside of those select situations. Now, this kind of writing is a problem no matter how you look at it, however it could've been a MUCH smaller problem had it been handled differently. If the plot calls for people to compete against the two Yuris in the competition, it'd be fine to just insert characters that mean nothing in to fill those roles. The main source of problems with the side characters ultimately came from the fact that they actually tried to give them all distinctive personalities and a fair amount of development. It was all unneeded; all it did was take up more time that could've been used to make the series better just to make it worse in the long run.
Luckily, the presentation behind YoI as a whole was pretty well-done.
The art lacked a bit for a typical 2016 anime, as there weren't a whole lot of well-animated still scenes. They were mostly just blurs or silhouettes that were only really there for the sake of minor distinction of things. What did need to look good, however, was the characters themselves in their situations, and I can promise you that all did indeed look very good. Also, the skating scenes themselves were extremely well choreographed (apparently from actual live-action skating programs) as well as very well-animated with no CG at all. The art and animation of YoI wasn't perfect by any means, but was still pretty good for what it was, and great when it truly needed to be.
The soundtrack was also very good. The music chosen for pretty much every skater's program sounded very well-composed and generally was of higher quality than most music you'll find in a sports anime. The generally calm yet tense atmosphere of everything helped with that as well, since there was never any reason for forced rock music or anything. Everything sounded nice and chill, and I can't really say I have any direct complaints for any of it.
Well, time for my final verdict. At this point, for the most part at least, I feel like I've gotten my points across pretty well.
So, Yuri on Ice is ultimately just a huge plate of the highest quality bait to ever exist on the anime market. There is very little more to it aside from one good character, a lot of female-friendly fanservice, fujoshibait, and boring sports with seemingly reused animation.
I was hoping for more when I began to hear the reasons why people loved it before getting back into the series at episode 4. However what it ended up turning into was pretty much just more of the same. TONS of bait that was literally nothing more than total bait for fujoshis to fangirl over, boredom, and a lot of really forced emotions. It really does sadden me to say that Yuri on Ice had a fair amount of potential, because the fact of the matter here is that every single ounce of it was wasted in every possible way.
I loved seeing the Russian Yuri on-screen just because of how good of a character he was, however how quickly he was kicked off almost entirely of the show until the very end really did show you exactly what the creators of the show had in mind for it. The rivalry behind the two Yuris was supposed to seem important, but it didn't feel important at ALL because, like I said, it was made extremely obvious from very early on what the creators had intended this show to truly be. If only things had continued on in a good way, and not a way that they knew would just simply guarantee them a lot of easy money.
Yuri on Ice is a beautiful looking, even better sounding failure. A very nice, pretty decorated box with a tag saying it came from the most important person in your life... but the box itself is completely empty.
I don't at all look forward to a second season, because with Russian Yuri completing his goal, I'm almost positive that very little attention will be given to him until the VERY end... almost exactly like the first season, just somehow worse.
Final score - 3.8/10 (sorry, not bothering with full scoring this time)
I felt like doing Yuri on ice some justice due to the number of low reviews, but please remember that this review is biased and will contain minor spoilers. There is a 'should you watch this' at the end.
First things first, this is a sports anime, so it's undeniable that you're going to escape the 'underdog gets epic development and achieves goal' trope anytime soon. Yuri on ice, however, takes this a different direction. Instead of purely focusing on skills and growth as a figure skater, it centers on Yuri developing confidence in himself as a professional skater and the the world of professionals
in general rather than your classic 'highschool sports club lice of life' kinda feel. However, in addition to this, we are given not so subtle hints of Viktors and Yuris ambiguous relationship, which is implied to go beyond that of coach and student. This is a hit and miss concept for many- hit for the fujioshis and those open to the idea of lbgt, miss to those uncomfortable with homosexual themes. For alot of people who claim that the show is 'queer bait' or feel as if it takes up the majority of the show's screen time- The show offers so much more than that. But if you continue to protest, then I guess theres nothing I can do about that. I feel, personally, however that it ties in with the story quite well as their relationship has a strong contribution to Yuuris confidence and Viktors motivation for teaching him.
If it weren't for the fact that the art was visibly a bit inconsistent at times and had a few coloring errors, this would've been a solid 10. I really felt like Studio MAPPA was finally able to show the extent of their animation capabilities through this anime.
Ever since Yuri on ice started I still haven't been able to get over the opening, ending and ost songs to this very day. Honestly, the sound was magnificent, considering that they have to create up to 10 different soundtracks for each character's skating routine, I was absolutely amazed by the quality, and freshness of the mix of classical, pop and future bass(?) in the ost.
The characters are well created and unique, making each one easy to remember. The main 3; Yuuri, Viktor and Yurio sall have distinguishable characteristics and all express clear character development.
Yuuri- Appearance wise, one can argue that he's a character you've probably seen in 10 other anime: shy, glasses, nerd looking and easily embarrassed. But Yuuri's so much more than that; he's emotional but not sensitive and can be rebellious. He's not a character designed from scratch and I can say for sure that he was not intended to fit any stereotype.
Viktor- I'm genuinely surprised how they've managed to create a character so flawless yet so flawed. Viktor is perfect as a bachelor without appearing to be *too* forcibly bishounen and has a very charismatic feel to him. However, he has a hard time handling emotions, bot his own and others, and struggles with the idea of coaching Yuuri and being his mental piller. He's definitely one of the male Anime characters to stand out the most this season.
Yurio- I have mixed feelings about Yurio; on one side he is downright rude and I hate the way that he treats Viktor and Yuri, but on the side he's so loveable that I can't hate him. Yurio's hot hotheadedness and arrogant behavior is difficult to overlook, however, the show has ingrained in the idea that he DOES have a compassionate side to him and that maybe we should cut him some slack since he's 15 and already has to face the trials of being a competitive skator.
(bonus) Christophe- Alot of people seem to hate him and I don't really get why. Sure he's kind of weird with his whole 'nutting on the ice' nature, but I feel like that was added to express his sexual nature in general. I felt like this phrase was used to empasise his 'release' of the pressure felt when performing to keep him in character; as opposed to the other skaters, whom cried after their performance due to relief or strain. Not that I'm saying that hes incapable of crying, but to me I felt like this was his way of feeling 'relief' after finishing a performance.
Definitely a series I will not forget, as a long term anime fan, It's been a long time since I've been this invested in an Anime since Naruto.
Which begs the question- should YOU watch this?
This anime is unusual- It has seinen themes but it's main demographic is females (not statistically proven, just and assumption) So:
-If you've enjoyed sports anime such as Free!, haikyuu, and Kuroko no basket and are a full time fujioshi\fundashi, then this is 100% the show for you. Invest in it enough and every episode will get more exciting.
-If you want something fresh out of the anime market, modern and unique, then Yuri on Ice is something you should get your hands on. I would personally describe it as being very 'tumblr-like' since it deals with lbgt themes, mental issues and flower crowns.
-If you hate the idea that two guys are crossing the 'no homo' line and focusing on improvement, emotional stability and a prominently male cast, then this is NOT for you. Avoid at all costs before you submit to becoming a hater for no reason.
Yuri!!! on Ice, one of the most talked about series of the 2016 Fall Season. It introduced a sport that was not that much seen in anime series, ice skating, and complemented it with a fun set of characters that combined the seriousness of their efforts/goals and the comedy that existed everywhere. Unfortunately, that good mix was not enough to make it into a great series.
First of all, there is no actual story and the pacing is all over the place. Despite the fact that the show brings us a seasoned athlete, so there is no focus how he gets to be a hero from
zero, which is a welcome change, the show just jumps from one place to another in a matter of seconds, while in between there is mainly just dorama between Yuri and Viktor. That is pretty much the gist of this. We get to see other ice skaters too and see parts of their past and thoughts, but considering the show covers 8 months, everything just feels rushed; jumping to a new scene, dorama ensues, other characters just say their piece, they dance, there is tension and repeat. It is a shame, because the focus on the competition could have been handled in a more balanced way and bring out the best in everyone.
Second of all, while the show starts with an upbeat vibe and successfully achieves a balance between disappointment and comedy and tries to procure a story, it pretty much fails at its premise. While they try to showcase a trio of main characters that are intertwined, Yuri – Yurio – Viktor, Yurio did his own thing after the first couple of episodes and seemed to have no relation to the other 2 other than forcibly connecting them with lines “I will not let him beat me”, etc. It seemed liked there would be a more serious rivalry or drama, but Yurio went down his own path and seemed as though he was battling himself to surpass his limits and only as a secondary thought he wanted to prove himself to the rest. But that just might be my personal gripe.
Third of all, the worst part was the excessive fanservice of the BL baiting, because it took precious time that could have been used for smoother transitions or fleshing out characters. The biggest hook of this series is, of course, the relationship between Yuri and Viktor which from the start was controversial to many. Up to the end, the subtler hints became full throttle baits, but only baits, with every single episode. It is understandable since fanservice can garner more audience, but if they kept it in a subtle way, it would possibly have the same results (apart from the rabid screaming) and at the same time it would give it a higher quality. Unfortunately, that never happens and with each episode you will probably wonder “What more can they do?” Believe me, they can and they do!
As already mentioned before, the characters do not have the depth they should have. Undoubtedly, Yuri and Viktor and then Yurio are given the most attention, but only Yurio turned out well. Yuri and Viktor, because of all the fanservice, their characters remain in a state of limbo trying to create more dramatic scenes between them rather than care for them as individuals. There is a personality underneath, but as their core is their relationship, it falls rather flat and while they are both very likable, they are not much more. Yurio on the other hand has some development, because he only focuses on himself and although we do not see much of his thought process, the bits here and there portray his troubles much better. The rest of the characters are given some attention and we see their thoughts, stress and weaknesses, but it feels half of what it could have been.
Animation-wise, it is also disappointing in the ice skating section. The first 2 episodes are truly beautiful and there is detail in almost everything, which of course set the bar too high for the rest of the series. Naturally, a series with that much movement can hardly keep up with perfect animation in every episode, but there is barely any improvement from the 3rd episode on. They reuse animation without trying to polish it in some places at least, it can look very awkward and overall, it just takes away from the experience and considering this is part of its selling point, it is a shame, especially when it seems more attention is given to Yuri and Viktor scenes. Other than that, the show has vibrant colors and the art often takes a more comedic approach with exaggerated features to portray various emotions or entire scenes. There is much detail on the uniforms they all wear, which are distinct and always fitting the music they are dancing to and generally, the art definitely matched the show’s style. Also, the opening sequence is truly beautifully made with flowy colors all around and sketch-like characters ice skating.
The sound was good; voice actors did a very good job, the soundtrack was on point and everything fit. The opening song can be addicting and combined with its animation, it makes a really great opening that not many would skip.
Overall, I did enjoy this series, just not outside the rink as much. I liked seeing them dance and hearing their thoughts while dancing, but there was chaos outside with badly handled situations and forced drama/fanservice to keep up the ship between the 2 main characters. It was disappointing, because it had a strong start that seemed like it could offer a solid journey, but the priority was not that so the excitement kind of wears off in that department. But it is a great watch for someone that truly can enjoy the 2 main characters’ relationship!
<<In short: It's an overambitious anime that doesn't manage to keep up to its potential.>>
Story & Characters - 3
So, i've been following this anime from the very beginning and I'm not gonna deny, i did get charmed quite fast. Viktor was adorable, Yurio was adorable, Yuri and Viktor's relationship was funny and started to be quite adorable as it progressed and it's a friggin story about skating ! How awesome is that?? But ultimately it's just a story that tries too much with an absolutely atrocious pacing.
It doesn't always manage to express what it wants and there is also a lot of telling instead
of showing in the second half (which I have no big issue with if it isn't redundant or taking me for stupid, which this show sometimes did, though I imagine it was cutting corners in this case for time purposes and I can understand that). Sure, it also manages to convey certain performances and motivations without the need of dialogue, which is commendable, but couldn't escape the bad pacing by trying to cramp together several performances without letting us view them in their mightiness and with no time dedicated to the actual development of these characters besides what they tell us they feel, which seriously, in story-telling is just tiresome to follow, which brings me to one of my main problems with this show: the competition isn't really felt. I never really felt tension during the skating programs, I never really felt like cheering for Yuri or cheering for anybody; at parts, it almost seemed like the anime wasn't a sports anime at all because it tried too hard to push a certain element that I'm gonna get to later. One could argue and tell me that it was a sports anime that wanted to focus on self-confidence and pressure, how nobody really has it easy even if they look like it: today you can perform and come out 1st, but tomorrow you can perform and come out last just because of a mental slip in confidence or fear creeping in and yes, I can totally see that, but it still didn't really make me feel any more attached to who I was following. Some developments also really came out of the blue and certain conclusions were narrated to me, but it expected me to shrug with just that one line information. They didn't have enough time to do it? Well, this ties with another issue this anime has: it's overly ambitious. It wants to be a sports anime, but it also wants to be psychological and it also wants to be a bromance story and the later takes a very big portion of all this...which is my ultimate problem.
When I was like 3 episodes in, I really liked Yuri and Viktor and I was okay with the BL shades, but then they started talking and I came to believe that maybe, just maybe, they were trying to go for a naturally developed gay romance (and I say gay, not yaoi or BL, because I hope that most of you are aware of it, yaoi isn't an actual depiction of a gay relationship, it's mostly leaning towards fanservicing girls/ and the potential guys that are into it, but mostly girls.) Well, some would say that I'm wrong and there was really something there even with all the "censoring" explanations I've heard (you know what I mean :/), but come on. By episode 7 it was starting to become clear that it was baiting the fujoshis and the last episode pretty much confirmed that for me (I gave it the benefit of the doubt, so maybe, just maybe, i might hear the potential "I love you" from one of the two, but nope, I never did. It even enforced the couch x skater type of relationship instead.) But believe what you will, I'm not delusional enough and hey, there will be a second season, maybe they won't be as cowardly anymore if "love" is really what they were going for. I'm just gonna shrug deeply right now.
This "baiting" stole too much of the show that I wanted and if it was going to go nowhere, I would have rather just have it toned down a notch instead of continuously getting distracted and wondering whether one of the two would confess yet without making it a joke or somebody denying it with blushy cheeks or make it look like something when it was actually another context, because it does that a lot, a really really friggin' lot.
For the characters as an overall, they were...I don't know. Who are they again? I liked Yuri's confidence building in the first half and the pressure he felt in the beginning of the second half, but I still feel like it could have done a lot more. Yurio had the most potential and it showed, but it was more dealt with off-screen, Viktor being trapped between being a skater and being a couch and overall working on his own person through another perspective was also dealt with off-screen; I can't pretend it didn't happen, though I'd have wished that something more to make it more memorable, and I say that for all characters. I can see there was a great dealt of effort put into defining some of the characters' personalities, even non-main ones, I can see they weren't really trying to stereotype either, but tried to work around it (like the Italian guy being a pessimist, but it's okay, it's actually generally correct at least for South Italy and most of them do have the family mentality...not to the point of being a siscon, of course haha) and they were all fun to watch if you just manage to shut your brain off, but I don't think I'm going to remember anybody besides the main 3 and maybe Pichit, at least till the second season comes around, which..i'm not gonna forgive if it pulls the same meh-ness.
Art & Sound - 5
I really don't know what people were saying when they were talking about beautiful animation and if they noticed the myriad of re-used scenes and disfigured characters or the facepalming moments when it's obvious they put budget in instead of the actual skating (yes i'm looking at you, ViktorxYuri). The opening had a beautiful animation, despite being also re-used, the style and fluidity was beautiful to watch, the first and last episodes also had really good/fairly good animation respectively which is probably the reason why it was spread that the whole show has good animation. But, seriously, it's obvious when they cut corners. I do praise, however, the imagery during some of the characters' first performances, trying to explain the stories of their dancing. It was an interesting visual touch.
As for the ost, i'm going to hum those opening and ending songs for a long time lol The choices during performances were also quite interesting and I praise Pichit's initial choice of Anna and the King, knowing that movie was banned in Thailand. It was beautiful symbolism and maybe the one that touched me the most. JJ's world and Yuri on ice theme will also stay with me for a long time.
Overall - 4
I am not walking away from this anime completely unpleased, I do give it the credit that I think it deserves, but I definitely don't think that this anime should be rated for the relationship that it tries to establish as I saw so many reviews do. Let's not forget this is a sports anime. It didn't play itself like Free were the fanservice was the heart of it, it tried to be so much more and it can't just be all of it.
So....Less baiting and more sports in the next season please?
I want to warn you beforehand that this will most likely contain spoilers integral to the plot and to the main characters. Do not read this until after you have watched the show or if you simply do not care about being spoiled about the show.
Yuri!!! On Ice is just like its protagonist: while it is full of emotion, it does not give away everything you want or need it to. It does not directly tell you the true motivations of your main characters (specifically, the deuteragonist and the tritagonist) and it does not immediately give you an explanation behind the protagonist’s own actions. We
need to piece everything together if we want answers, and that means cross-referencing the dub, the subs, the language, the animation, the soundtrack, and even the show’s writer and staff (from animators to voice actors to choreographers.)
The plot is, essentially, Katsuki Yuri finishes last place in the Grand Prix Finals and feels as if he is lost. Months after his failure, his idol, the figure skating legend Victor Nikiforov, turns up at his family’s onsen and promises to be his coach so that he may win the Grand Prix.
The story is simple enough, isn’t it? Clean and straight to the point, except that it’s not.
Throughout the whole season, Yuri constantly belittles himself for his alleged failure in the Grand Prix Finals. Not only does he think of himself as incompetent and a failure because of this event, but he lets it become the reason as to why he eventually believes that he isn’t worthy being a skater and that he shouldn’t even continue. He should just retire and think of something else. (He doesn’t want to, though, because figure skating is his passion.)
This is where it gets complicated and this is where we first experience a recurring theme within the anime: Katsuki Yuri, the protagonist, is not a reliable narrator.
He sells himself short one too often, and puts down the fact that he even got into the Grand Prix Finals in the first place. That, in itself, is a huge feat. Yuri was able to win regional and local figure skating competitions until he was able to compete at an international level; that’s hard enough as it is, but to qualify for the Grand Prix and even make it into the Finals is a more difficult feat. Pulling in last would not have mattered when you were one of the final six of your category that got into the Finals. (And the Grand Prix Finals is one of the most important international figure skating competitions, only after Worlds.) Sure, it would be nice to be on the podium but you’re one of the six finalists, that’s still a feat not most can do.
Yuri putting himself down and being a bundle of anxiety is not a one-time thing, either. It happens every time he thinks about skating, about the Grand Prix, and his mind will always go back to his failure in the Grand Prix Finals. It doesn’t tell us, outright, that he has an anxiety disorder (except for Episode 7, but only in passing and not him actually admitting that he has a mental illness) but we can infer that from his monologues, his performances, and what his former coach, Celestino, tells Victor in Episode 4.
The reason why I pointed out Katsuki Yuri’s anxiety disorder and lack of credibility as a narrator is because these two things heavily affect the story. His anxiety is what ultimately keeps him from him accomplishing his goal, why he regresses after he develops as a character, and him being an unreliable narrator affects how we see the story, the narrative, and this takes a blow on our understanding of the characters around him as well as the situation he’s in.
If we want to find answers regarding Yuri Plisetsky’s background and his motivations, we have to look for it and guess. If we want to find answers regarding Victor Nikiforov’s background and his motivations, we have to look for it and guess and pray we’re right (yes, we go for that extra mile because this man is an enigma). The two of them are main characters, they’re integral to the show and to Katsuki Yuri, but because we barely get to hear their side of the story -- we are kept largely in the dark of who they are and what Yuri means to them or how Yuri becomes their catalyst for change. We don’t know why they are the way they are, why one acts like the embodiment of rage and anger and the other one is childish and eccentric.
The amount of effort people put into analyzing each episode is overwhelming, and the reason is because the storytelling is not clean cut. It’s messy, unreliable, and you have to shift the angle of how you perceive things if you want to understand the story even better.
It’s frustrating but also very, very endearing. Because the writing of the anime is very meticulous and very consistent all throughout, even if sometimes it feels lacking or even frustrating that these characters make the same mistakes again or they’re too antagonizing or the like.
Yuri!!! On Ice does not waste a second in any episode. Even lighthearted scenes somehow reveal tidbits of a character’s life or the inner workings of their mind, or even a quirk. It reinforces what we already know, reveals things we don’t yet know, and tells us which particular factoid is so important to remember in this crucial moment in each skater’s life.
It may be true that Yuri!!! On Ice is generous with the intervals in which they have a time-skip. They gloss over months’ worth of character and relationship development, but it is important to note that the events that are shown in the anime are the ones that matter the most in Yuri’s career when he’s reimagining himself and creating a whole new image and reputation for himself after the previous year’s debacle. We don’t need to see a random day of him and Viktor training in anticipation for the Grand Prix. We didn’t need to see the aftermath of the Cup of China, of him and Viktor talking about their kiss on the way back to their hotel room. We don’t have to see them on the train ride back to Hasetsu once Yuri returns from the Rostelecom Cup and we don’t need to see the night they go to sleep after they get engaged. They aren’t integral to his journey to the Grand Prix Finals, even if each moment would have deepened his relationship further with Victor, Victor who is the catalyst for Yuri’s skating.
(Before anyone asks, the Episode 7 kiss had been confirmed to be canon by the writer herself and their engagement in Episode 10 is not only solidified by the onscreen label of Maria Dolores, but by the receipt that blatantly displays the name ‘Wedding Rings’ and Victor’s own clarification of them being engagement rings.)
The story, ultimately, is about Yuri’s personal journey as he tries to overcome his anxiety disorder and take a shot at the Grand Prix Finals. It’s about him growing as a person and as a skater. That’s why it’s labeled a Sports anime.
The careful detail and thought put into the writing is reinforced by the art and the music, as we will come to learn for ourselves.
The art has the tendency to drop hints even bigger than what the writing offers, especially in regards to the expressive faces of the roster of characters.
I think the first clue that comes to mind for a fan and/or a viewer is how the lips of either Victor or Yuri are drawn with more detail when there is the intention to either touch it or be intimate. This happens in Episode 2 and Episode 3, when Victor openly flirts with Yuri and brings their faces close together as if they are close to be kissed. This happens in Episode 5 again when Victor puts balm over Yuri’s lips. With this emphasis, most easily draw the conclusion that Episode 7’s Kiss really was a kiss as, in that moment, both their lips were once again highlighted.
Another clue from the art itself would be Victor and how closely he guards his emotions and his true self. People will point out that his vulnerability and sincerity in scenes can readily be seen by how much of his left eye is covered by his fringe -- or if the shot has it that the fringe is not in sight at all (at the expense of framing it to only the right side of his face.)
The most obvious clues, however, lie in the OP of the anime, as with every passing episode, the OP becomes more vivid in color and in detail. Every hue of color that appears by their sides often attribute to their emotions, drive, and relation to one another over time -- which certainly helps in understanding the main characters even better.
Of course, meticulously going over the animation is not just the reason as to why it is so well-loved. While there is light-hearted, well-intentioned teasing of why sometimes the figure skaters look like elongated figure sticks, the animation can be beautiful and even mesmerizing -- especially in the performance of Victor’s FS in Episode 1 and any memorable and important performance of either Yuri later on.
There is something so mesmerizing about how the animators portray each program, each sequence, as it (usually) mirrors footage of actual figure skaters in-competition. The choreography of each program is never less than thrilling to watch (I can never get tired of Yuri’s SP, although I’m still sad his final performance was not like his first entry into the GP) and is absolutely beautiful, especially On Love: Agape and Eros, Shall We Skate, Stammi Vicino, and Yuri On ice.
As for the voice actors -- they each give their all with every line they deliver, always doing their best to capture the emotions their characters have in the most crucial of scenes. The main characters’ voice actors (Toshiyuki Toyonaga/Katsuki Yuri, Junichi Suwabe/Victor Nikiforov, Kōki Uchiyama/Yuri Plisetsky) deliver their lines with a lot of emotion. Whether it’s exaggerated happiness and joy, annoyance, or pure frustration and despair -- they deliver, beautifully. The recurring cast are just as great and they never fall short of fulfilling their roles and their projected emotions (added with the beautiful writing) pull you into this world of Yuri!!! On Ice that is somehow different yet so similar (and somehow, a bit better) than our own world.
And now we turn to the characters, which is very much racially diverse (although there aren’t as many female figure skaters prominent within the anime other than Mila Babicheva and Sara Crispino, but that is expected when the protagonist comes from the men’s figure skating category and isn’t even social within his own category in the first place.) There are, of course, characters added only to serve as competition (Kenjiro Minami, Seung-gil Lee, Emil Nekola, Guanghong Ji, Leo de la Iglesias, Georgi Popovich, Michele Crispino) -- but they were all very lovable in their short screen time, even if some were a bit uncomfortable to watch because the dialogue can either come off as intense familial love and duty or co-dependent incestous relationships (but this is subjective and depends on how one expects family members should display and prove affection to one another.)
Yuri’s family and friends back in Hasetsu are lovable and, frankly, adorable. Even if we don’t get to see them as much after Episode 3, we are still always reminded of their unconditional love and support of Yuri as he goes through the Grand Prix. There seems to be an emphasis on how the women in Yuri’s life has helped shape him (his mother, who has done nothing but be supportive; Yuko, who had introduced him to Victor Nikiforov, the figure skating legend; Minako, his childhood ballet instructor who encouraged him to pursue skating and becomes a second maternal figure, and Mari, his sister, who is most likely the one who had silently supported him and reached out in her own way, always looking out for him as seen in Episode 8, when she gives him the call regarding Makkachin’s condition that implies that she may also be the one to who had called regarding Vicchan the year prior.)
The Final Six, however, seem to garner the most attention when it comes to character development -- including Victor.
For Phichit Chulanont, his character is one that is simply there to have fun. That isn’t to say that he doesn’t take the Grand Prix seriously, because he does, but he isn’t as aggressive as the other finalists in their conquest of the gold medal in the wake of Victor’s absence. His goal for the Grand Prix is simple: to be able to represent Thailand in an international competition and reclaim a song made sung by a Thai actor as his own. Much like Yuri’s family in Hasetsu, Phichit is a confidant and a source of support and love in times of distress and anxiety. His SP and FS are both fun to watch (and listen to) and seeing him is always a delight.
He doesn’t get as much character development as, say, JJ or the two main characters who are in the Final Six, and that’s fine because, in Yuri’s story, he isn’t quite as strong a presence as before when Yuri was still a student to Celestino. They’ve separated paths for now, and that explains why he isn’t that much in the focus.
Christophe Giacometti is very much the same, and his own goal is to simply claim the gold -- like almost every other finalist. He’s perceived as a threat at first since he is Victor’s rival and had always been the one to take silver when Victor won gold. That changes, quickly, even after Christophe strives to improve himself upon seeing Yuri’s SP in the Cup of China. He isn’t perceived as a threat in comparison to JJ or Yuri Plisetsky, and that may be because of his own age.
However, in Episodes 11 and 12, we see that Christophe has a conflict of his own. It is true that, beforehand, he laments that a season is boring without Victor. However, we learn that his feelings of Victor leaving is more complicated than that. Like literally everyone else in the Grand Prix, he too seeks to usurp Victor by claiming the gold medal while the man is still competing. He feels as if he was deprived of that chance once Victor slinks off to Hasetsu. But at the same time, Victor leaving meant that he too would have to leave. He’s old, he’d be retiring soon.
It’s a struggle he (and countless others) deals with and even after the Grand Prix Final, when we have no ending for Christophe, we can assume he will try to usurp Yuri in place of Victor until Victor returns to the ice next season.
Otabek Altin isn’t worth to note much, although he is a very intriguing character. I do think he’ll show up in the next season (should there be one) and he’d have a bigger role there. For now, he is the character that fulfills the space of a competitor within the Final Six, but he is also a plot device used to help move Yuri Plisetsky’s character along, if just a little bit. I don’t think his SP and FS were very entertaining, but that’s my own taste. They were beautiful, I’ll give him that, but it’s not as alluring as, say, Shall We Skate or On Love: Agape/Eros or Yuri On Ice. (I’d say he’s the most forgettable, but I remember his name easily compared to Christope.)
Jean-Jacques Leroy, however insufferable, is there for two reasons. The first is that he is competition to beat, that’s why Yuri (and Victor) has his eyes on him ever since the Rostelecom Cup. He sees JJ as a bigger threat than Yuri Plisetsky and that makes sense -- this man has won nothing but gold in this season alone and in his performance in the Rostelecom Cup, he is able to land four quads cleanly. He’s a threat to Yuri, who is a bit inconsistent with landing his quads (since he gets out of it easily.)
While he’s annoyingly arrogant and a bit narcissistic, it’s important to remember that JJ is a more tangible reminder and a TL:DR; version of Yuri from the GPF in Sochi. He is one of the greatest -- a surefire winner -- and people sincerely expected him to be the one to grab gold in the GPF. While we can’t say for sure that people expected Katsuki Yuri to win in Sochi, the sentiment that both men are one of the best that they’d been able to enter the GPF as finalists is there. Yet he screws up in Episode 11 and panic consumes him. He messes up his SP and has the lowest SP score he had since his debut the previous year. He has a bad day, it eats at him and he thinks he’s a failure, but his fans (and his fiance, aw) cheer him on despite his low score. His personal worst. They sing his theme as they encourage him and it’s what makes JJ pull himself together.
The support he has from his parents, his fiance, his fans, is what ultimately makes JJ to pull himself together at the end of his SP.
Day 1 of the GPF JJ is basically Katsuki Yuri from the GPF in Sochi. You can do great but sometimes you mess up and that’s okay, people have bad days of their own. A lesson that resonates within many people, no doubt, just as it is for Yuri. (When he later admits that he can’t think lowly of JJ because of this -- since JJ and he, Yuri, are both finalists for the GPF. That meant they fought, tooth and nail, against all other competition. And Yuri includes himself in that line of thought, which is very important to him in Episode 12.)
He comes back for his FS and it begins, well, terribly. Still, JJ pulls himself together and his family and fans still cheer for him regardless. It’s a promise of what Yuri can do, a way of summarizing Yuri’s journey so far in the season. He fell but he got back up, fighting to land a spot on the podium and he shakes off of yesterday’s mistakes.
JJ’s fall in the GPF is what finally humanizes him in the eyes of the audience as he was nothing but an arrogant prick who was rather overconfident in his abilities before. Did he deserve to be taken down a peg? Maybe, maybe not. We don’t see JJ as a person the way we do Christophe or Yurio because in Yuri’s eyes, he’s competition and nothing more; we can’t say for sure that really deserved to be taken down a peg. (He’s never openly antagonized his fellow figure skaters in which he demeaned them for their skating the way Yuri Plisetsky has before. The worst he’s done was a slight taunt at Yuri Plisetsky and calling the fifteen-year old out back in Episode 9. Maybe even claiming he’d win the gold in Episode 10, but he wasn’t saying it as if he expected Katsuki Yuri or Yuri Plisetsky to do bad.)
His downfall is a wake-up call, a slap to the face, to Yuri just as when he needs it the most.
JJ’s story is one of my favorite things in Yuri!!! On Ice, but that’s because I’ve liked his character from the get go (as frustrating as he was.) He’s another way of looking into the ‘failure’ that haunts Yuri to this day.
Yuri Plisetsky, however, is a far more complicated character. He’s angry, he’s loud, and after Episode 10 I gave up on him already. He’s at the point where his frustrations and lashing out shouldn’t even be excused by his age or the stress he goes through. It’s one thing to be bitter, it’s another to demean and degrade people in an effort to prove yourself.
Yet we can’t say for sure that he’s a completely horrible person; we just need to know why is it he adopts a whole different personality around rink mates and rivals in comparison to his presence around his grandfather. He’s still a little kid, with the little kid tendency to idolise adults and expect them to keep their end of the deal. He’s a little kid who still has that childish tendency to demand on a whim and throw a fit when he doesn’t get it.
But he’s mature enough to understand when he’s being used (see: Episode 3, Onsen on Ice) and that he really does have to give it his all if he wants to win the GPF. I can only assume the number of times he fell on himself attempting his jumps with his arms above his head, and that’s incredibly painful and dangerous. He may be one of the few of the Final Six who worked himself to the bone, poured all his blood and sweat into his SP and FS. Who exhausted himself even after he’s hit the limits of his body.
There are little quirks of Yuri Plisetsky that we get to see over the course of the series: like how he dislikes being trivialized and would rather be complimented for his hard work and sacrifice (see: Otabek and Episode 10) how he’d only be kind and open to fellow figure skaters once he’s assured that his goal is, in fact, within his reach (see: Katsuki Yuri, katsudon pirozhki, and Episode 9) and that he had once idolized both Victor Nikiforov and Katsuki Yuri (see: Episode 2, Episode 12.)
He has a dream of beating both his idols even though, in his anger, he claims as if Victor is no longer someone he idolises or looks up to. (Which is doubtful, based on their interaction in Episode 12.)
He’s still young and he has twelve (or fourteen) more years to continue to make a name for himself. He still has the chance to develop his character, to humanize him and fleshing him out, and while I am proud of his own achievement -- I feel as if he does not really deserve it.
I will concede to the fact that this is the only way to convince Katsuki Yuri to stay in the competitive world of figure skating. I will concede to the fact that Yuri Plisetsky is a very intricate character who copes and expresses himself in a very different manner, but he has to mature, eventually, and realize that his grandfather isn’t the only person he can lean on for emotional and unconditional support. I’m still a bit bitter about his win, but I am proud because he’d worked so hard and, honestly, I do understand his need to give his all in his final FS out of spite that his idol plans on retiring once he wins gold.
Victor Nikiforov is just as difficult to read as Yuri Plisetsky, and that’s partially because he doesn’t openly speak his mind and his actions are rather guarded, and also because Katsuki Yuri still has this certain image of Victor he can’t simply undo from his mind. What we do know is that he loves to motivate people to do their best (see: Christophe Giacometti, Katsuki Yuri, Yuri Plisetsky) and that he genuinely loves ice skating. His love for it is so great that, in an effort to take much of it as he can, he devotes his whole life to it and ignores other facets of his life. Fate rears its ugly head on him, though, as the rewards of all his hard work eventually becomes the reason why he feels so trapped in competitive figure skating.
He is pressured to always be the best, to always win and surprise people, and in an effort to keep on delivering that, he slowly loses his passion for skating and ultimately loses his will to live. It’s heavily implied in his brief narrative moment in Episode 11, supported by Episode 10. He has depression and he no longer finds joy in something that was once his whole world because he fell in love with it.
This was something I easily picked up on in the early parts of the season, something I was expecting because I know that feeling, too. I understand that, and he ignores it with his simplistic, over-the-top, larger than life personality as if to say that he’s still okay and he’s fine. That’s something I admire about Victor -- it’s not a healthy thing to do, honestly, but to know that someone was able to capture that feeling and that coping mechanism is something that made me tear up. I relate to him and why he’s one of my favorites.
I still feel as if we need a bit more backstory on Victor on a more personal level and perhaps a more active role as a main character with his own narrative like Katsuki Yuri. Doing so would give the audience a better grasp on what’s happening within their universe as they would have two (or three, if we include Yuri Plisetsky) narratives to compare to one another.
Katsuki Yuri is a piece of work. He really, really is, but that’s what you get when you’re a bundle of anxiety who sincerely thinks they won’t ever be good enough. That’s something I personally relate to, especially because I am just as competitive as Yuri.
I think that him being an unreliable narrator makes the show feel more real. Heck, having Yuri as flawed as he is -- or any other character as flawed as they are -- makes the show feel more real and close to home. Like I said, Yuri!!! On Ice uses competitive figure skating as a medium for the story they’re telling, which is actually a very personal and very troublesome journey a lot of people go through.
And having put Yuri in this situation is actually a great way to explore that. He falls in love with skating because he was inspired by Victor and it grows into him becoming a competitive figure skater. Yuri is great, both Victor and Yuri Plisetsky concede to that, but for him that’s not enough. He can’t land a quad-Sal properly, most of the time, and he still remembers how he flubbed every jump in his performance back in the GPF in Sochi. Mind you, Yuri Plisetsky said that his step-sequence was beautiful to watch and didn’t mention anything about Yuri messing it up. That meant his step-sequence was perfect -- it was just him jumps he couldn’t seem to nail down.
It does cost him points, of course, because that’s the scoring system for you.
Still, it eats at Yuri that he Messed Up when he was having a bad day. His sister had just called, his beloved dog had died and he couldn’t even go to see Vicchan one last time. You couldn’t blame him for falling apart the way he had, but he blames himself for not being able to put it away for a minute.
He lets that one day define his whole skating career and where it should go -- to the ditch, in small Hasetsu.
Yuri needs to believe in himself more, be more assertive in things he believes he knows how to work his way around to. He needs to stop depending on people because he thinks they’d do a better job than he would. He needs to stop depending on Victor’s physical presence to calm him down.
Yuri’s a piece of work because he doesn’t really know how to properly express himself when he’s not crying in a parking lot after his heart was broken by a low-key threat. He’d avoid confrontation, altogether, and it eats up at him because he’s just second-guessing everything and all the guesses and possible scenarios he thinks of are all quite negative and it leaves him frazzled.
It has him thinking and he’s out of it every time he skates and it becomes a cycle. It happens again and again and maybe Yuri is a bit better at communication and expressing what he wants and what he needs, but he still has that problem.
By the end of the season, Yuri still has this (wrong) notion that Victor will leave once he wins gold and when he retires. We know how much Victor means to Yuri (whether platonically or romantically depending on your own view of their relationship) and the prospect has him distraught and afraid. In turn, Victor already thinks that Yuri knows, for sure, that he will always be by Yuri’s side no matter what and so he doesn’t say anything. It’s this kind of miscommunication that I’m expecting in the next season (and many more to come, if we even get a second season) and it’s this kind of miscommunication that eats up at the both of them throughout.
The two were, essentially, having very different conversations with one another a lot of the time and Yuri’s inability to properly express himself doesn’t help their situation.
Yuri is selfish and very, very determined because he’s so competitive. He wants to win the gold in the GPF, in the Worlds, maybe even the Four Continents as well. He wants to keep Victor all to himself (see: Episode 6) but at the same time he is selfless.
He’d let himself be alone in Russia if it meant Victor could see Makkachin one last time and not have the burden of your lifelong companion die and you can’t see them in their final moments. He’d retire if (in his mind) it meant Victor was free to pursue competitive figure skating again. He’d willingly compromise himself for the happiness of Victor and countless others, too, but the thing is--
He’s under the assumption that he knows what Victor wants, what Victor needs. He made Victor’s decision for the man without even asking him beforehand.
Yuri is caught up in his own world, too closed of and silent to properly reach out to those around him and realize that he has his head up his butt. That he’s not taking into consideration that the people around him give him unconditional love and support, that they will always be there. Yuri’s mind always makes up some kind of excuse as to why he’d even be sympathized with -- when it comes to Victor, he reasons that it’s because he is Victor’s student so the man automatically cares for him.
He’s flawed like that, he’s complicated and it’s frustrating but he’s real. He’s someone you can relate to because we all make these kinds of mistakes. We all have our heads up our butts at some point in our lives and there are times when we’re knocked down a peg or two. We all have that one Bad Day that we let define us.
Yuri’s anxiety doesn’t dissipate once he and Viktor kiss and are in this relationship, either, and that’s true because that won’t fly away once you have a promise of getting laid or whatnot. That’s not how it works. Getting your idol to be your coach and then your boyfriend and then your fiance won’t chase it away.
Even then, you still need to communicate and be frank in what you need and what you want to tell the other person. He has to learn that -- he can’t just leave it up to Victor to guess because he assumes the man should already know (see: Episode 7, Yuri’s FS), which is just like Victor’s problem of not telling Yuri his intentions of being with him forever (see: Episode 10 Engagement Rings.)
He’s flawed, he’s not perfect.
That’s what makes him a brilliant and memorable protagonist.
That’s what makes this show a phenomenon, a thing of beauty.
It’s messy, it’s flawed, it’s human. It doesn’t shy away from showing how ugly anxiety can get, how bad it can get you. It doesn’t shy away from showing how much sacrifice it is an athlete will make for their goal. It doesn’t shy away from the imperfections of relationships (from romantic to platonic to familial) and it doesn’t shy away from portraying that anxiety as something that you deal with everyday, with some days worse than the others.
But at the same time, Yuri!!! On Ice isn’t afraid to remind you that it’s okay, because there will be people by your side ready to catch you when you fall. There will be people who try their damndest to help you out and bring you back out there.
I do wish that the anime wasn’t as rushed as it was, but they had only thirteen episodes to work with. I do wish they didn’t cram so much time into the Crispino Twins’ dilemma and compromising Seung-gil Lee’s and Emil Nekola’s characters. I do wish that they addressed the current miscommunicating issue of Victor and Yuri. I do wish that they flesh out Yuri Plisetsky. I do wish we get to see and understand Otabek Altin even more. I do wish to understand the scoring system in the anime’s own version of the ISU (ISO, in the yoi world.)
But this anime was great as it was, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. It’s a personal kind of anime you’d get to appreciate when it hits so close to home, when it hits you in the face with a bat. I’d watch it again and again and I have, so many times, and I still see a new detail every time and I understand it even better. I understand the characters and their motifs.
So I recommend it to non-fans who’ve watched it to give it another try. I recommend people who read this but haven’t even watched it to go and watch it. I recommend it to fans who’ve watched it to watch it again.
It’s a great anime, though far from perfect, because it’s writing is real and meticulous -- it’s art and audio just as so. There is so much love and effort poured into this anime, and it shows in every passing episode.
It’s heartfelt and it is endearing.
YOI is easily my favorite anime from the past few years. It’s really, really great.
And if there are non-fans who still actively dislike the show then fine, it’s not your cup of tea. But don’t go around telling people that they shouldn’t bother because it sucks -- say why you don’t like it in a review and that’s it. Kubo and the staff will hear what you need and address it as best as they can. But don’t try to swat potential viewers away because that’s not fair to the creators, who worked hard on this, and the ones who want to watch out of pure curiosity. Who knows what it will bring for them? A wake-up call? An anime that validates them and what they feel? A genuinely interesting anime? Figure skating in general?
In short : If you love being a fan serviced by males, this show is for you. Not recommended as a sports anime.
Now, I know many things have been stated, from one extreme to another, as well of various shades in-between. I couldn’t bring myself to read each one of them and I’m sure most of what will be stated already have been, in one way or another, stated over and over. That shall not matter, I will repeat what has been said if necessary.
This pseudo-review also contains slight spoilers, so you’ve been warned.
Many things can be stated regarding the story and I’ll mainly
focus on its issues as well as a bit of an extra.
First of all, let’s remind us this is a 12 episodes long show, and if it can be enough for some stories, this isn’t the case : the writing wasn’t able to develop itself within the accorded length. On one side, because there’s too much content and on another because a good portion is used for fanservice, taking away time that could have been allocated for other things.
For example, a better pacing. The erratic pacing is especially noticeable in the first episodes, and while it gets better after a while, the pacing is never fixed up and starts getting worse again in the last two episodes.
One of the things that plays against the pacing is the overuse of ellipses. While I can partially understand it due to the amount of content it wants to add and the limits of 12 episodes, it’s also true the show should have compromised, and it didn’t.
Another thing that plays against the pacing is the constant tonality switch, bad tonality switch. The show seems recalcitrant to let emotions sink in most of the time. More times than it should, it is too quickly replaced by action or humour, and in writing…that doesn’t work. As the saying says : “there’s a time for everything” and that includes the amount of time you allocate to one scene. To create a metaphor that is understandable for most : a well-written story, or episode for that matter, is like a roller coaster, parkoured with ups and downs ; a YoI episode could be summarized as falling during 23 min straight with some one-second stops every now and then. Which isn’t only bad in terms of writing, but also exhausting.
It’s the reason why, for example, when in the first episode hyperactive chibi-Yuri is supposed to represent Yuri purposely “overhyping” to deny/repress his real emotions, it doesn’t work. Because the humour or the action arrives too quickly afterward.
Ironically enough, the moments that are the “calmest” tend to be the sport sequences, which…for a something that was advertised as a sports anime, or would want to be a sports anime primarily, is surprising. There’s rarely built up or tension, both preferring to revolve around Yuri, Viktor and occasionally Yurio. In that aspect, as a sports anime, it is failing at one of its core.
Now, to get a bit “around” the show rather than the writing itself, I’d like to point something out : according to the writer of the show – whether or not you’re the type to put value in the creators words are up to you – the relationship is supposed to be open to interpretation. And, why not ? Written like that there’s no issue with it, right ? Well…usually…when you try to write something “open to interpretation”…you don’t have overt fanservice as a dominant trait of your show ; it’s “almost” contradictory. But I’ll keep most of my words regarding that in the “characters” section. I just shortly mentioned it here because in the end, that played against the story writing as well.
Now, I’d like to diverge from the pure writing and to come back to two events, the hug/kiss and lucky charms/engagement rings scenes.
First, a kiss or a hug ? Well, the first part of that scene possesses all the indication for a classical kiss scene, the only thing that opposes that reading is their body position once they are on the floor which wouldn’t allow a kiss to occur. Contradiction or a misleading scene ? Well, when you put it in the perspective of the whole show, it is neither of the two. Actually, the show repeatedly comes up with cover-ups, and this is scene simply is one of many. One endorsed by the almost immediate transition to another sequence, a complete absence of mentioning of it by anyone later on and its absence as a step stone in their relationship. And the latter is the biggest issue : relationships are made of steps stones. This step stone is denied, and instead, the kiss is turned to a pseudo-“interpretable” kiss/hug scene, a scene which is basically treated as none existent within the narrative.
As for the reason why it would possess cover ups to begin with, the answer is quite simple : they don’t want potential viewers who aren’t comfortable with homosexuality to drop their show, which is quite silly, actually, in the face of its fanservice.
But I’m not done with this kiss. Of course, I came across people justifying it as a form of censoring. And it could be, of course, a creative censoring from the writer herself, pressure from the producer or studio (which wouldn’t exactly be legal), but due to Japanese law ? That would be a fairly recent law then, to the point the English translation of it hasn’t yet been updated. Thus, this justification feels unlikely credible.
However, let’s admit for a second such a law existed, there would still be a question arising : “why Yuri on Ice ?” Because it isn’t tagged as yaoi ? Fair enough…if males kissing outside of yaoi tagged animes couldn’t be found up to 3 decades ago as well as in fairly modern shows. Making this claim as little credible as the one above.
To switch to the second part – and let’s be shorter - the exact same type of cover-up can be applied to the engagement rings (presentation, visuals, etc.) turning to “lucky charms” to cover it up (dialogues and humour). The only difference is that people acknowledge it – because, this time, it really worked as a step-stone - but just as a means to reinforce the cover-up : being asked whether or not they are engagement rings, for Viktor to joke about it and Yuri promptly denying it. And from then on, it is exclusively referred to as “lucky charms” to burry up the visuals that narrated otherwise. And it isn’t the oral endorsement of Vikturi as purely coach/apprentice – third biggest cover-up – throughout the show that makes it any better.
Anyway, it is more than time to proceed to the next section.
Ice-skating is an art, a sport. And this show tries to reciprocate that, but not where it should have been. It is a sports show, advertised as such, and my minimal expectation when coming to those is for their sports sequences to be decent.
And…the ice-skating sequences are for the most part, the lowest in quality. I do not possess any knowledge regarding ice-skating, so I’m unable to properly judge the performances of the various skaters, but such ignorance doesn’t prevent from perceiving the incredible amount of deformation as well as, too often for the show’s own good, each separate keyframe, leading to “stuttering” performances. The visuals of those sequences being too low in quality to transmit emotions through performances, it is unsurprising the show has each performance accompanied with inner monologues from the performer. A writing issue I shall come back to in the character section.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there was close to no budget given to the art department, there can be beautiful visuals, but you’ll have to look in a different direction. A direction called “fanservice”. Yes, the fanservicing interactions between Yuri and Viktor can be visually beautiful. And the difference with the rest, be it in colours, drawings or composition is striking enough you can easily see where the budget went.
Naturally, it isn’t a 100% truth, some backgrounds are, in their design, sometimes noteworthy, but this is in the first episodes as they eventually turn to be sometimes even lower in quality than the performances.
Another note is how sometimes the choreography doesn’t suit the song. Now, it’s just an assumption of mine, but when you perform ice-skating, the song you choose and the choreography created has to fit together and not appear disconnected (unless on artistic purpose, but that’s an exception this show neither acknowledge nor does it seem to follow). Positively enough, there is a few suiting choreographies.
A second note regarding the choreographies is their general lack of variety. From the protagonist, the rival and the others. They may be different between themselves, the various cast keeps repeating the same performances without any noticeable alteration or progression (which could have been interesting to see). Instead the show mainly relies on reused animations (that they won’t slightly modify so the lighting and colours fit in properly in the new background). Thus, the risk of getting tired of the repeated choreography is high. Not only that, but through the internal dialogues of the cast, it’s obvious they are supposed to be different each time, but with no visuals to back it up, it can’t properly work.
All in all, the contract, as a sports anime, is broken artwise as well. The budget for the visuals not being dedicated to the right sequences.
Regarding the soundtrack, it is varied in styles, beats and tones, which fits the “ice-skating” part featuring various skaters and styles, but it has to be noted a good portion of them aren’t music produced specifically for the show. And of course, since the characters keep using the same songs, there’s a risk for potential boredom.
The fanservice is overt. Whether or not you find it something positive or negative, I will let you judge, but one thing is clear, it underlines most of the characters’ interactions and Yuri and Viktor are the most obvious examples. No…scratch that. Viktor. From right off the first episode, the show made it clear he’d be a fanservice provider, not because he’s flirty, but because of the way his attitude was portrayed, from visuals to dialogues : his physical closeness to Yuri, his nakedness, his teasing, his lines, they aren’t performed as coming from a person – none of them are innocent (or rarely) - but as fanservice.
That Viktor embodies fanservice isn’t an issue in itself, but will probably serve as a tolerance tester for many. It’s fully understandable why people wouldn’t stand fanservice “thrown in their faces”, whether or not you’re the marketed audience and there’s nothing wrong with that.
There can be a real issue, however, when the fanservice ruins the narrative.
And here we are in front of two equally possible outcomes regarding this specific show :
-yes, yes it is a case of ruining it, because it is a sport anime and the fanservice’s place in this show is way too big
-no, no it isn’t because, while it was targeted as a sports anime, the core of it is clearly Viktor and Yuri and their interactions are fanservicing in nature
It is debatable, especially since both perspectives need their respective reading of the show, but I shall avoid taking a step in one or another direction. What I can do instead is point out at a relation between the two : the bromance. Sports animes are nothing new and bromance – voluntarily or not – among them isn’t either. The main difference is that the “bromance” of YoI is too “extreme” to fit into that category, flirting with yaoi in its treatment and yet eventually avoiding it through so-called “interpretation”. And that, maybe, is a sincere achievement of Yuri on Ice : breaking down the usual “bromance” you’d expect in sports animes and going full force into the fanservice, hardly holding back.
But here I am, writing and writing, but not really talking about the characters. Well, Viktor is the fanservice provider, fine, is he more than that ? Well…yes…he’s as fleshed out in few minor details – that won’t have a huge impact on the grander scale - as stereotypical in his fanservicing, and if you’re familiar with yaoi, you’ll probably tag him as “seme”.
If one complaint had to be formulated regarding this character, it’d be toward an event that occurs in the last quarter of the show. His motivation to become Yuri’s coach. It basically is the equivalent of a “retcon”. It’s a contradiction to the first episodes, be it through the dialogues and attitude or the way the charas interacted, but from that moment on, everyone will suddenly act as if that always existed. An incoherence whose source most probably find itself in a last-minute add decision, as another fanservice. An incoherence that weakens the character of Viktor and even impacts the Vikturi relationship negatively.
Speaking of “Vikturi”, it is time to actually speak about Yuri ? The “obvious” “uke” of the pair in name as in attitude ? Well, whereas Viktor’s attitude never falls off the tree, the same cannot be stated for Yuri. His character isn’t written as a fanservice provider as Viktor does, he’s the “receiver” of the pair and yet, sometimes, he’ll fulfil the role of “giver”, when it contradicts his established traits. It’s not the only moments he’ll contradict his traits as a way to fulfil the fanservice, he does too as a “receiver”, but from the two positions, the latter is the least questionable.
And here I have a perfect transition for the next part, another hot debate : Yuri on Ice : gay or yaoi ? Well, if you think it as a “genre”, then…no it isn’t either of the two. The presence of romance between characters, regardless of the gender of the pairings, doesn’t de facto make a show a romance (genre), something you should be aware of if you came across a few fictions in your life.
No, what this question is referring to is rather the…depiction of the same sex romantic relationship. And if you think that means I perceive “Vikturi” as canonical, the answer is : no, it doesn’t imply that. Bromance doesn’t need any canonical romantic feelings. Romantic friendship doesn’t either. If anything, since the writer seems to lean toward “interpretation” and the show toward cover-ups, I shall lean toward “romantic friendship”, after all, I too can play with blurriness, but let’s get back to the subject.
So, yes, gay or yaoi ? Well, maybe it should be pointed out what I mean through those two terms as I’m sure for most it means the exact same thing. And well, technically it isn’t, as “yaoi” is an acronym for "no climax, no point, no meaning" which…”gay” isn’t, but I think most of you understood I was referring to those words in terms of homosexuality.
It is anything but rare among the manga/anime community to see people use the term “yaoi” to refer to real life homosexuality. And my issue with that is…yaoi, as a genre is anything but a faithful depiction of gay people, even less in terms of relationship. And Yuri on Ice fully resorts to codes typical of yaoi. Which is…unsurprising, really, its marketed audience are females, and Japanese writers are well aware “yaoi” sells much better than “gay” (which, I hope you understood, I use in the meaning of “realistic homosexual people/relationships) – it isn’t the dominant depiction in animes/mangas for nothing. And in itself it isn’t an issue, until the moment the readers/watchers assume those fantasized, unrealistic depictions are “correct” (the same goes regarding “yuri”). So, no, YoI isn’t gay, but it is fully embracing its yaoiness, and this from episode 1, whether or not they are canonical as a pairing doesn’t contradict the codes used. You can celebrate the show as bringing full fanservice in the sport anime genres, and “progressive” in its attempt to “mainstream” yaoi, but progressive regarding LGBT ? No, definitely not.
Ok, I write and write again, is there anything else I can still add regarding Viktor and Yuri before focusing on the rest ? Well, yes, because if their relationship is primarily coded as yaoi, reducing them exclusively to that would be reductive. Sports codes also define their relationship, and sometimes – even if it is a minority compared to the other two – they can be…”credible”, “casual”, the correct term escapes me, but they can interact like normal, real people would. In a way, it could be concluded that their relationship is a “mixture”. And if I had to form one complaint regarding them, it'd be the quasi inexistence of tension in the development of their relationship as well as the cover-ups regarding their relationship.
So what about the rest ? Well, let’s keep it short since there isn’t much left to state.
First of all, our second Yuri – the “love rival” ? – also known as Yurio. While all signs put him as Yuri’s rival, and if his competition with Yuri is the only sport-related tension provider of the entire show, those moments can be reduced to 2 maximum. Making his status as a rival a failure.
That aside, his role in the narrative…isn’t as important as to be expected, and considering the overall lack of tension of the show (the other charas not making up from it), something that could have been acceptable turns into an issue.
As for the others ? What could possibly be said ? Do they try to build them out ? Yes…by telling…by lots, lots, lots and almost exclusive telling, through inner monologues… If you are a little familiar regarding writing, you may have heard of the “show, don’t tell” rule. Well, these characters are “told” through and through. The characters each possess superficial traits that never get out of the superficiality spectrum and their arcs are rushly/briefly told without any type of development/exploration all while talking to themselves. And that’s not writing. That’s an attempt to make up for a lack of time because of the show’s focus on Vikturi. It’s a stigma from failing at making compromises. They should have focused on a few instead of going into every direction to obtain a convoluted result.
And I shall end this part by adding that the most unpleasant thing regarding those inner monologues is that they are successive and that their “arcs” can come out of nowhere.
Despite what one may think, I did enjoy the show. It was fun, despite all its issues. And I genuinely understand why it entertained so many people. Aside from the last two episodes, I was entertained as well. Annoyed, frustrated, felt like being slapped by the pacing and cover-ups and filled with headaches, but entertained.
It feels like it would have worked more as an intimate Anime (which then would have to have less overt fanservice to not be too off). The “sport” tag seems to be yet another sort of cover-up regarding what the writer really wanted to do (I repeat, as a sports anime, this is a failure). Not that it means the ice-skating part should have been taken away altogether, but making it a setting rather than the core would have been better. Because the writer’s aim seems to have been the relationship between Yuri and Viktor, whether or not their relationship is canonically romantic.
And that’s my biggest issue with this show, it doesn’t concern the art, it doesn’t concern the story, it doesn’t even concern the characters – despite the numbers of issues being enough to rightfully question the quality of the show - but its lack of honesty. If it wanted to be sincerely an “interpretative show”, it would have relied on subtlety rather than overt fanservice. And if it wanted to be sincere regarding Vikturi, it wouldn’t have hidden in “interpretation”.
I am already aware this show will have another season, and I hope it will be able to improve itself by learning compromise and honesty.
This is probably the most beautiful anime I would ever have the pleasure of watching, It's all about love, life, and following one's dreams, even if those dreams seem far out of reach. This anime tugged at my heart and made me cry both tears of sadness and tears of joy.
The plot was very well written, the characters had great backstory, and the animation was gorgeous. They did a great job with the skating, and were even very accurate on how an actual competition goes; they even had real announcers do the announcing parts.
The main plot is the guy who hit rock bottom
in his career as a skater, so he does an homage of his idol and skates a perfect program of the other guys performance. This man sees it and decides to drop everything and go be his coach. Let the hilarious antics ensue as we watch them work towards the main characters goal of winning gold at the GPF!
Also there is a real love story going on between the two male leads, and it isn't queer baiting!
Note;- I DO NOT RECOMMEND this anime to People who dislike Male fanservice, sports or anime target towards Female or Fujoshies. You will not like it.
Bored of Highschool sport show? Angry because some sluts are around you babes? Love male fanservice and gay characters in non-bl series? Love skating anime? THEN THIS SHOW IS FOR YOU!!!
Original and not a copy paste from other series, YOI is about a guy called Yuri (Yuri IS a Japanese, Russian, Greek, Hebrew and Korean name according to Google-san) who wish to be the best skater in Japan/or in the world just like his role
model "Victor Nikiforov"
At the very young age, Yuri loved skating with his friends (Specially Yuuko Nishigori) and he was trained by a baley dancer Minako-san (since she was his trainer, he use to dance and run to lose weight and to skate properly in the ice cuz ofc no fats are needed "no offend to over-weight/fat people, please take it as a joke" XD) Anyway, Yuri enter the competition (as shown in 1st episode) and after that he went back to Japan. Sadly he was sad but, what happened is that after he showed to Yuuko his sexy dance (the dance which Victor danced when Yuri was young), Yuuko daughters took a video and by mistake (I laughed at this part so much) uploaded it in YouTube. At that time millions of people saw it in social media and Victor was one of these people. At that time, he ran from Russia to Japan to become Yuri couch. Now, when both of them agreed, Yuri Plisetsky who is know "Yurio" went from Russia to Japan for Victor to bring him back to Russia. But what happened is Yurio and Yuri are rivals. And yes, the story become more and more Joyful. Would like to explain more but I don't want to spoil.
What? The animation is bad? ARE YOU SERIOUS? God bless Mappa, Kubo sensei and Hiramatsu for taking care of the art and the animation. The characters are hot/cute and beautiful, JUST LOOK AT VICTOR *drool* I mean *cough cough * let's change the subject.
No way, even Yuri on ice haters loved the OP/ED. God bless the seiyuu's for making the best voice for each characters. The atmosphere, the winds, and the skating sound. ALL OF THEM ARE DONE MADE WITH FULL HARDWORKING. Characters voice definitely suit them all specially the main characters.
No way, I won't score it 9.9/10 because THE CHARACTERS ARE MY TYPES YESSS!!!! The characters are all loved, yes I even like the girls. All of them have a nice suitable characters with each nice storyline. Definitely my favorite is Victor but STILL I love them all.
Thank you so much to all the staff, studio and specially to Kubo-Sensei. These people made me in love with the series, for me, it's one of the best series of 2016. Yuri On Ice is definitely a new series to Fujoshies and Sport anime. This anime made me laugh from their comedy sense, made me cry for their sad story and sad theme and me happy for everything.
Now to the end, I'm going to buy the anime 100% once it's out from FUNIMATION. Thanks for reading my review, feel free to comment on my review.
This anime uses the most typical and generic and uninspired and annoying of anime tropes. Like, showing physically abusing men as something casual and even comedic. Or like expecting a man to prove his worth simply because he happens to be a member of the male gender, while a female isn't expected to do anything more than what she feels herself like doing and should always be protected and taken care of regardless and is excused from doing anything, while a male must always do what is expected of a man to do and preferrably also more.
Then there's the BS romance between Yuri and Viktor,
which is entirely dependent on them being a trainer and a competitor. For some dumb reason, they couldn't just be a couple regardless of anything - no, god forbid apparently. And there is no bonding process or them just hanging out unless it's related to the competition. No cuddling or chilling out - all about the training and competition all the damn time.
And SOOO much focus on them skating on the ice with the same recycled skating animation repeated for each character over and over and over AND OVER AND OVER again. Not just for the protagonist, nope. It's also for all the other competitors. No montage or anything, just dragging each segment out for forever and ever.
They try to give us backstories for every single one of them, but there is just no reason for us to care about them. And there's this disgustingly pretentious tone over the whole thing with ice skating meaning more than life or something.
I just don't get why they can't make an honest romance out of this instead of this pseudo-romantic stuff with them only MAYBE eventually getting together if the protagonist succeeds in achieving something. It's the same stuff like in other poorly written animes like Love Hina, where they postpone them becoming a couple over and over again because the protagonist must make sure he doesn't fail at succeeding some sort of test - in Love Hina's case, getting through the exam.
In fact... Yuri looks and acts an awful lot like Keitaro. SOMETIMES. They don't seem to make up their mind on who or what Yuri is. Sometimes a spineless nerdy twat, other times a generic uke from a yaoi, other times a shounen-esque "I'm gonna be the best!"-character. It doesn't make him more complex, it just makes it feel like it's more difficult to know who or what Yuri really is.
Just like all other animes with male gay romances in it, this was a pure disappointment. And being a gay guy myself, that is extremely depressing to have to realize.
People say that the anime industry is in decline, and that a lot of stupid anime series come out. Well this anime sends that thesis into oblivion. This show has been such a breath of fresh air, and in my opinion one of the candidates for anime of the year. What makes me sad the most is that a lot of people are not even wathing this, because they think it's IN YOUR FACE Yaoi, without any redeeming qualities, which is so wrong, that it's not even worth my time to explain. So I plead that people would give it a shot with open mind.
It really is a gem.
It is a figure skating anime, which is a sport that not a lot of people are familiar with, and not very popular except for mostly in Russia and Japan. However the thing that separates it from other sports anime out there, is the fact that it is a very character driven story. Every episode we learn something new about our characters, and they evolve through their interactions with others. The beauty of figure skating, that is portrayed in this anime, is that the characters are dancing based on their emotions. Every movement, every glare has a significance, and you can't help but get closer and closer to them as the story progresses. It does not follow a linear path, where the only important thing is the victory, they struggle through their performances, there is doubt, exaltation, suffering, and most of all there is no one that you can hate. Everyone has their own reason to want to win, and there are no cheap shots. The other thing that makes this anime a true diamond is the artwork. Studio MAPPA has went all out, to present to us an eye candy, with which you lose track of time, and every episode feels like it is five minutes long. All throughout these 12 episodes, there has never been bad frame, anything to suggest that they didn't give their 100 % to make this into a groundbreaking show. The music as well is stellar. Since you hear the opening, titled History Makers, you can expect greatness. I have never seen Yaoi, because I am not a fan, however if every Yaoi is as good as Yuri On Ice, than I will watch everything I can get my hands on, nevertheless I don't think that there will be something as good as this. The music during the performances is incredible as well, in a way that it makes you stand up and dance as well. I have enjoyed this anime a lot, and I will be the happiest man if there is another season. It has been a hell of a ride, hopefully, this is not the end, but a see you soon.
Yuri on Ice is one of those shows that hype you up with a trailer that promises if not outstanding then at least appealing animation and a premise ripe for drama, and... that's about it. At no point does the actual show get better than or even live up to its promise, which is a telltale sign of poor execution.
It ultimately doesn't matter how much research you do about the sport you're writing about if the athletes you're writing make no sense in any universe, real or fictional. Victor Nikiforov, the world's best male figure skater who - at the age of 27 -
can't possibly have much more left to give his sport, loses his “inspiration” and decides to take a season off. As in, up and leaves Russia, apparently with not a word to the public, the skating federation, the sponsors... you know, all those people who make it possible for him to be nasty rich and famous. So there goes realism as Victor leaves home to become the coach of a guy who's a perfect stranger to him, for flimsy reasons to be explained later on, and that's possible because... he's Victor, I guess. That's all the explanation we ever get when it comes to him, which is unfortunate since he's supposed to evolve from the protagonist's unreachable idol into a flesh and blood human being the protagonist is personally close to. He's supposed to be an important main character who's slowly but surely humanized in the eyes of the rest of the characters who all look up to him to some degree, but that never really happens. Oh, there's a halfhearted attempt to explain away his lack of a personality but honestly? It just feels like weak storytelling.
Weak storytelling reminds me, the show wants to be so many things at once, it ends up being none of them but a schizophrenic amalgamation of poorly constructed sports drama (you know things are not going well in a sports anime when you'd be okay with just about anyone winning, you just want the repetitive sporting sequences to end already) and lowbrow comedy populated by a jarring mix of characters who are “realistic” and characters who are insufferable caricatures (the triplets? JJ? Give me a break.) This mess is peppered with character and relationship drama that never really gets explored beyond a few scenes which, at their best, suggest complexity (Russian Yuri and Victor's bittersweet mixed feelings towards each other, while largely unsaid, are perfectly understandable and thus far more compelling than any other relationship on the show) and at their worst are really just fanservice taken to a distasteful level. It's been said before but it bears repeating: gay characters and relationships have been done well by mainstream aka non-BL anime before. Not often but it does happen. It doesn't happen here.
In conclusion, YoI is far from the best or worst of the medium. The animation, script and sound are all safely in the 'average' range. It's not the kind of bad I'd warn people off of – if you're interested after seeing the trailer, give it a try. Maybe you'll find it enjoyable entertainment. Just don't expect anything life-changing, because – despite promises to the contrary – no history gets made here.
Sports anime don’t come very often, let alone skating anime. However, 2016 has been a year for sports anime. With anime based on volleyball, rugby, soccer, and… water jousting with butts and boobs(?), Yuri on Ice needed to prove that it can top most of the sports anime and make theirs more intense. Or maybe they don’t need to compete with other with the sport. Maybe Yuri on Ice doesn’t need to compare itself to other sports anime and maybe compare itself to other series like Ping Pong – where the sport isn’t the main focus. In Yuri on Ice, the skating it simply the
backbone that holds the series in place. The real focus of the series is its characters and their relationships. And does this formula end up holding up well? Luckily is does!
In most sports anime, the story is never the selling point for the series, but rather the sports and the characters are what pulls the series through. Yuri on Ice is no exception as its overall plot is quite simplistic and gets the job done. But despite all that, the writing still manages to be intriguing and exciting, primarily because it’s not completely predictable. This isn’t the type of anime where the protagonist ranks first in everything. It’s never really clear who the winner of a tournament can be, and that’s what makes the writing feel stronger than it is. Other than that, it’s a typical underdog story of how the protagonists idol becomes his mentor and coach and helps him in becoming a better skater… with a lot of fujoshi-baiting of course. And that’s another reason why the series ends up feeling a little more unique in its writing is because the series focuses on its characters more than anything and spends a lot of time in creating relationships. The skating is the background stuff, while the characters are in the foreground. It’s the moments with the character and the development in their relationship rather than the development in the competitions.
As mentioned before, Yuri on Ice is more of a character-driven anime rather than a story, or sports-driven anime. For the most part, the series focuses on the interactions between the characters, particularly Yuuri and Victor’s. The tone of this series is a nice balance between seriousness and lightheartedness, just like many other sports anime. And Yuri on Ice’s style is definitely worth mentioning. It has a modern feel to it with its use of social media in the anime and it maintains an elegant and traditional feel during the skating moments. During more of the slice-of-life segments of the series, the series maintains a more lighthearted feel and simply focuses on making the series feel fun by using its characters to its potential. However, during these breather moments, there’s also moments of seriousness that focuses on the character relationships. And the series is at its most serious during competitions and maintains a more intense tone. Despite it being a sports anime, it’s main real focus it its shounen-ai moments, and that’s not a bad thing. There’s a lot of sports anime where fujoshi-baiting is one of their selling point, or maybe the anime was designed to be normal, but the fujoshi fanbase went crazy on Tumblr. Yuri on Ice is more than baiting as it’s quite genuine, and that’s what makes this series succeed. With it actually having the will to go all out with its character relationships, it makes the series stand out more. One issue with the series is that not all buildup pays off, particularly the finale. Arguably, it’s the buildup moments that are more enjoyable and they keep the standard high, and when the result of the buildup arrives, it feels a bit underwhelming. That isn’t to say that they lack impact, but with the inconsistent production values, some of its effects are lost.
What Yuri on Ice’s biggest selling point is its characters. For a character-driven series, it’s important for the characters to feel complex, or at least interesting. Luckily Yuri on Ice manages to succeed in doing that. The protagonist, Katsuki Yuuri, is a great character, despite being built up from an initial cliché characterization. At first, he starts off as a character who is lacking in skating abilities, but with the help from his idol and coach, he’ll try his best to win the gold medal at the Grand Prix. What started as an simple character ended up being more enjoyable and felt a bit more complex. This is primarily due to his relationship with Victor Nikiforov, the deuteragonist of the series. Victor is consistently fun to watch due to his humor, style and personality. His and Yuuri’s relationship feels more than just fujoshi-bait, and that’s what makes their relationship feel stronger. Nothing feels forced, despite the fact that the sole reason this relationship exists is because of its fan-base. There’s a misconception that Yuuri is the titular character of the series, when it’s actually Yuri Plisetsky, despite him not being the main character. Yuri is a grouchy, ignorant and selfish person who is somewhat easy to tolerate despite his attitude. As a matter of a fact, he’s one of the more enjoyable characters of the series, and they fact that even he gets character development by the end of the series is a well addition. And there are other enjoyable characters in the series that make the cast of characters feel more violent. From the overly narcissistic JJ, to the logically composed Otabek, this series has a wide variety of characters that get enough spotlight to be likable.
The art in Yuri on Ice, for the most part is very good-looking, however, there are moments when the art quality drops, especially when it’s sacrificed for more fluid animations. When Yuri on Ice looks good, it looks really good. Character models are well detailed with great lighting effect being used. Background look fairly detailed and has a modern look to it. The character designs are also quite pretty and attractive and it feels unique. However, due to its art looking really good during these moments, it makes it even more distracting when it doesn’t look good. During many of the skating moments, character models will lack details and sometimes the character bodies would be disproportional. And sometimes the backgrounds (in outside areas) would be done with a water-paint design. Though some can argue that it might be used for artistic purposed, it’s clear that it’s just done that way to save effort and time. However, Yuri on Ice still looks good for the most part and these quality drops aren’t terrible enough to ruin the experience.
The animation quality also suffers the same problem as the art quality, as it is quite inconsistent. During its high points, Yuri on Ice looks really good and very fluid. As seen in the first episode and during the most important skating sessions, the animation quality feels very top-notch. Character motions look very fluid and it adds a greater impact to the performances. For a sports anime, it is very important for the production values to be top-notch inconsistent. Since characters are in constant motion in most sports anime, it’s important that the animation quality is fluid so the character motions don’t end up being distracting and more engaging. Anime with poor production values may end up making their series look like a slideshow, especially during the sports part (I’m looking at you Days). And for a skating anime, where characters will move constantly in a fluid motion, good animation quality is necessary. Yuri on Ice’s animation is consistently fluid during these skating moments… in sacrifice for some other stuff. As mentioned before, the art quality ends up being undetailed during most of the skating moments, but also the series fails to create a proper depth in perspective. Sometimes characters would look farther than they are and this is because of a failed sense of depth. However, these moments are distracting, but luckily they don’t happen too often.
The voice acting cast also does a great job in representing their characters. The seiyuu cast for Yuri on Ice is filled with well-known seiyuu with great track record. Toyonaga Toshiyuki does Yuuri very well, even if he sounds a little younger than he should be. But he gets both the comic timing and serious moments right. Victor’s seiyuu, Suwabe Junichi, is a well-known one and he does an extraordinary job as Victor. He makes his character hilarious and passionate and overall makes his character feel more enjoyable. And whenever he says random Russian words, it’s pretty damn funny. Yuri’s seiyuu, Uchiyama Kouki, is one of my personal favorite as he’s able to do both serious and lighthearted characters. Yuri is more of a serious character, who at times you can’t take seriously, and Uchiyama manages to capture the characters rough personality very well. There are other really well known seiyuu that play important roles, such as Hosoya Yoshimasa, Ono Kensho, and Miyano Mamoru, and they all do a very good job in voice acting their characters.
Voice Acting: 7.5/10
The music in Yuri on Ice is one of its biggest strong points. The OP, “History Maker”, is simply put on of the best openings of the year. All of the lyrics is in English and they have a really good meaning to it. Plus the music used in the opening is brilliant and complements the vocals. The ED, “You Only Live Once”, is just as good as the opening and the song has a very upbeat and modern vibe to it. Complemented with Instagram-style visuals, the ED feels refreshing and it’s something you’ll rarely hear in an anime. However, the background music is also really good, particularly for the ones used in the skating performances. “In Regards to Love ~Eros~” and “Yuri on ICE” are easily my favorite soundtracks from this series. And there’s so many other well orchastarted music used in the series that makes these skating moments feel more impactful.
Yuri on Ice ended up meeting my expectations and satisfied me. It never goes beyond to something special, but it manages to consistently entertain with both its lighthearted and serious moments. Some of the buildup doesn’t pay off as well as I was hoping to be and with the inconsistent production values, some of the skating programs can feel a bit unsatisfying. But Yuri on Ice makes up for that with its character development and interactions, and its modern feel and tone. Most of the competitions feel enjoyable and the humor is really good in the series. The most entertaining part of the series is Yuuri and Victor’s relationship and without it, Yuri on Ice wouldn’t have anything too special that could make it stand out.
In the end, Yuri on Ice manages to be what it originally promises; however, it never goes beyond that. The unique and fun cast of characters makes this series have more fun to it and the relationship between the two main characters is well handled. The skating moment are really enjoyable to watched due to great background music being used during these moments. However, some of the impact is lost due to inconsistent animation and art as characters can look undetailed or deformed at times and the lack of proper depth can be distracting. Though not all buildup is payed off, the series still manages to be quite satisfying and it ends in a way where it’s open for a second season. Hopefully we get to see a continuation of Yuuri, Victor and everyone else’s journey.
+ Great characters and Yuri and Victor’s relationship is well handled and doesn’t feel forced.
+ Nice blend of lighthearted and seriousness, complemented by a modern style used for this series.
+ Outstanding OP and ED with the background music complements the skating moments well.
+ Great voice acting from a cast filled with well-known seiyuu.
- Average production values lead to inconsistent animation quality and undetailed characters at times
- The pay-off for all the buildup isn’t completely satisfying.
I'm sure you'll all be glad to know I just found the cure for insomnia. And I give this cure the title of Yuri on Ice. OUTSTANDING levels of pure boringness that it will put even the hardest insomniac to sleep in minutes! No joke. No clickbait. This is the only cure guaranteed to work!
I am also proud to announce and welcome Yuri on Ice to my dropped list. Why waste my time with this shit when I could be watching good anime? Or okayish anime. Or really any other anime that's not Yuri on Ice.
There's more character progression in Your Lie in
April than this crap. Yuri is supposedly a good skater who's in a slump. Or so we're told. Then along comes his gay lover and suddenly everything's perfect. Talk about no substance for a story. It's basically YLIA with ice skating and gayish lovers who don't die.
You'll get tons of lengthy performances by poorly introduced characters that you neither know or care about. Exactly like seen in YLIA. It gets so old, you'll yawn and go to sleep.
(And in case you want to know my reputation for falling asleep during anime, I watched every single Naruto filler without dying of boredom. This, though, this is boring.)
And no, I'm not a fujioshi or a yaoi fan by any means, but if I were, this anime would have disappointed me. Is it gay? It's gay. But is it gay, gay? Who knows.
It's average. Nothing extraordinary. It's a 2016 anime so that sort of art is expected. I'm meh about it, but it's alright.
This was the only part I enjoyed. The opening. In fact that was the ONLY part of the entire anime that I wasn't snoring through or tempted to skip. The opening is very catchy and also nostalgic memories for me. I could listen to it for hours. Also the character voices were great too. I watched in the dub, and for one reason only. Victor was voiced by Jerry Jewel, the same voice actor who voiced Russia from Hetalia. And THAT I gotta hear. It was like gay Russia and I was 10/10 all in for laughing at that. But even that got old and I went back to snoozeworld.
They all sucked. Dick. Because they were gay.
Like I said, it sucked. It all sucked. Besides that op and Jerry Jewell.
And making fun of Yuri for being a pathetic gay loser. That was fun.
Pathetic. 100% pathetic. I dropped it because there was no way, no matter the ending, that this anime could be anything but a boring, crappily made snoozefest. No ending could convince me otherwise at the point of failure Yuri on Ice reached. And to the fujioshies who fangirl for this shit, I think ya'll can do better. -_-
Yuri on Ice? More like my snoring face on ice.
Before I start, I would like the preface this by saying that a 6/10 means I deemed the show as "fair" or "fine". Many people think of anything below a 7 to be bad news, but that is not the case in my reviews. As always, you are free to agree or disagree with my own views as you like, but I always do my best to review a project in totality, and not just based on enjoyment as many reviewers tend to do. Now on to all the technical stuff!
Yuri!!! on Ice is Fall 2016's most popular anime, with an interesting take on the
rarely touched field of professional figure skating. Originally I passed on starting this show as I figured it would be a fairly average sports anime with a fair amount of yaoi bating for all the fujoshi's out there. However after hearing positive opinions on the show I figured I'd give it a shot, alas it was about what I expected: alright.
A five according the grading criteria on this site is described as "mediocre" or "average", and I found this to be a fitting way to describe the writing of Yuri!!! on Ice. I'll avoid summarizing the show here in an effort to avoid spoilers, as well as avoid repeating information that finished viewers are already aware of. To be straightforward, the writing wasn't particularly impressive, and ended up falling into a more predictable sports anime type of plot. Main character loses his passion for the sport -> In getting a new coach his spirit is revitalized and he struggles to reach the top and win 1st place. Through Yuri and Victor's little adventure towards the 1st place in finals, we find ourselves subject to many story telling issues.
1. Weak characters that last an episode and then just make cameos that serve as a time filler or attempt at comedic relief
2. Forced romance (if you even want to call it that)
3. Mild melodrama to make things seem like plot points
4. A story that is crammed into twelve episodes and finds itself struggling to keep up with and develop all of the main characters.
5. A final episode that felt extremely cramped and rush as they tried to fit too much info to properly end the show. (And I can't agree the show was properly ended either. Sure there might be a second season coming, but it still felt rushed and we barely saw any of the performances compared to usual, and saw basically nothing in terms of conclusive material)
Although many of my points seem like complaints, the story itself was still follow-able, and served as a fine background for people to indulge in the animation and sports drama.
A seven is likely low enough to get me punched by plenty of people, but I still think it to be a fair assessment. The animation was good, but there are two main reasons this score isn't higher for me. One reason would be that there often seemed to be a severe contrast in animation between different scenes. For example, it was obvious most of the budget was poured into the skating scenes, but in turn the scenes outside of the skating rink oftentimes were comparatively weaker. My second complaint is that I found it obvious that this show did not have enough time every week to produce the art they wished for. By this I mean that because the artists are restricted so heavily by time restraints and deadlines, it often seemed like the art felt choppy even in the skating scenes. To further illustrate this, in the earlier episodes I often found myself annoyed with some of the skating scenes because it was obvious they were drawn apart from the backgrounds on which they were drawn for. The skaters themselves were drawn to show disparities in depth from the camera, but they still seemed out of place compared to the constant picture of the rink behind them. I can't really fault the artists for this though, as drawing every single frame of an ice skater and their respective rink would take immense amount of time and budget. And here's where we end with my rating of 7.
The art was good, but it was obvious that the art could have been better if the show had more time and money behind it. Alas it was a single season show with an episode weakly, so it's hard to ask for much more. Thus we end with a good rating of 7.
I plan on keeping the sound section on the shorter side because I don't have a ton to say about it. The music across the whole series was good. Oftentimes it felt like the staff chose good songs for the respective performances. Apart from just the music, the voice acting was good as well. The VA's did perfectly well for most of the characters, and the voices were cast well for each individual character. Another positive note here is that the foreign voice acting were better than most anime. A good example of this would be the French reporter seen in the last episode, who was voice acted by someone who obviously spoke fluent French, whereas in anime it is very common for companies to just have a Japanese individual attempt speaking a language in which they are not comfortable in.
Overall, good sound in general. Nothing absolutely amazing, but nothing I can really hate on either, so the safe rating of 7 was given.
To be abrupt, many characters were very simple and one-dimensional, and as discussed before in the story section, were undeveloped and under-utilized. The rating 5 means average, and I found that very accurate in describing the characters of a show. No characters stood out as very interesting, but instead fell into very common tropes. The main character, Yuri, was the average wimpy MC who has to change who he is to reach the top. Victor was a fairly average bubbly flamboyant male. Yurio was an angry teenager. And most other characters could be described in one or two words.
One more thing to comment on would be the awkward forced romance between Yuri and Victor, but I won't complain too much about that because if I do I'll likely just be called a homophobe.
For a short summary : The characters were average. Not much else to say there.
In terms of enjoyment I found this show pretty average. I didn't particularly enjoy or not enjoy the show, so an average score of 5 would likely be the best option here. It's worth noting however that I did tend to enjoy the skating scenes themselves because I found them interesting as a person who has never been into figure skating, but this enjoyment was counteracted a bit by the fact that many performances were just repeated. To be conclusive, in terms of enjoyment, I found this show to be average.
Final Thoughts. Overall Rating is a 6.
The show wasn't awful. It was alright. Generally a 6 or above on my list means I consider the show recommendable. Objectively I don't think this is a great show by any means, but I can understand it's appeal to specific people or audiences.
Was "Yuri!!! on Ice" overhyped? Yeah, I think that's perfectly fair to say. Is it an awful show? By no means. It's just alright.
This concludes the review. If you'd like to further discuss anything, or have any questions, you are always free to add or message me. Thanks for reading the review guys and gals.
After watching the Crunchyroll Anime Awards 2016 and some Youtubers reactions to it I decided to give Yuri!!! on ICE a go. At first I quite liked it, then it became less and less enjoyable with every episode...
I generally don't watch sport animes nor BL so the show was new to me in these aspects, but did not capture me in the slightest because of these elements.
Let's start with the sport aspect... For the first 5 or so episodes it felt like I was watching the Olympics. I did not really understand how difficult the performances were but it felt good to see them. After
that it just became more of the same with more and more forced personal struggle. The last 2 episodes were really really boring because of this....
For the BL part it felt like it was there to be there so our main character could improve for a reason and that's all. It was obvious from the start but there weren't enough screen time for it to feel entirelry right with me when the establishment of the relationship happened. There were tears, anxiety, happiness after that but all of it felt forced and it got more screen time than necessary...
The story was like this: Get somewhat familiar with the characters > Competition > New characters > Competiton > New characters > Competition and that's all. Because of this the characters were vague for me. All had some kind of a dream but nothing I would remember after some days. Especially Yuri's character was bad. It was all over the place. Agressive, submissive, brave, cool, crybaby, anxious, etc. Inconsistency in it's finest.
The art and animation was alright but a lot of short clips were repeated more than once. I did not like the skating bits however. They felt too much like cheap green screen parts from older live action movies with unmoving backgrounds... The character designs compansated for it though, they were quite good.
The one part I praise is the sounds. The OP and ED were good especially the OP as far as the music goes (The animation for them was kinda meh...). The songs the skaters were skating to were diverse but enjoyable and really set a mood for the skating. The voice actor selection for the skaters were really good as well amd they did a fine job with their lines.
The last thing I would like to rate is the fanservice. It was definitely for the female watchers. Asses, musculine (half-)naked men, shiny and tight costumes for the performances, and some close up lipshots...I still can't get over those....
All in all it was watchable, even entertaining to some degree. I expected far worse than what I got because of the Youtube reviews.
I wouldn't recommend it to everyone but if you like ice skating or shipping male characters with each other then give it a go.
Btw I'm a straight man in his early twenties with an acceptance to homosexual relationships. Maybe someone can better understand this review with these informations.
Yes, this may be biased, but I am speaking from facts and personal opinion.
Let me begin with a slight introduction.
Yes, I am a female. Yes, I enjoy shounen-ai/yaoi. And, yes, I despise this anime with a passion.
The fact that this show has a higher rating than legitimate shows, and is even considered to be a good anime, physically pains me.
The plot in itself is inconsistent, weak, and unoriginal. The characters were designed as classical anime (incorrect) cliches. The animation was horrible, and the only decent part of it all, was the OST.
Now, let us begin!
Yuuri is our protagonist that's a typical underdog character,
that deals with anxiety, is obsessive over Victor, and deems himself to be depressed.
As a person who deals with anxiety, I can say that we do not "suddenly" lose our worries when we meet that certain person.
Just as Yuuri suddenly became the homoerotic and confident skater he was once he met Victor, and began to get coached by him. Wrong.
Anxiety is not that easily overcome. It's a process, and does not immediately vanish once the correct person comes into our lives.
Secondly, his character isn't interesting in any way. Although he does fail here and there, he blames his anxiety for everything, and clings onto Victor far too much.
He idolizes him to a point he named his dog after him.
He has a double-personality, and is generally uninteresting.
Victor, the love-interest, over-confident, idol-posed and "humorous" character.
He suddenly decides to coach Yuuri after remembering the night at the banquet when a drunk Yuuri dry humped him as he watched his routine copied by him.
Also, pole-dancing with the same drunk boy. Ah, yes. How attractive.
Victor is played as an attempt at humour, as comes off as extremely extra, and frankly annoying.
Yurio, the tsundere ice-fairy. Heh.
He's nothing but rude, obviously tsundere, a friendly rival that is a child prodigy.
He's arrogant, constantly rude towards Yuuri and Victor, and honestly isn't likeable. I don't understand why so many people like him.
He's way too cliche to be true.
Other characters such as Christophe, Leo, Phichit, Minami, etc; are there as rivals and provide no plot development. Remove them, and the anime wouldn't change a bit.
Christophe is a character of attempted sexual comedy relief, yet fails terribly at so.
The plot is confusing, mostly regarding Yuuri and Victor's relationship.
They don't act as any couple would, with just occasional hugs, "good luck charm" rings, and an overall relationship that's paced far too fast.
People enjoy this anime solely on the fact that they're both males. If this was a normal romance show, it wouldn't have gotten much praise.
The relationship is unconfirmed, and although they may have feelings for each other, for whatever reason, we, as the viewers, aren't given important details.
Everything is resolved with Yuuri's skating.
The angst is cringe-worthy with the dilemma in episode 10 being fixed by Yuuri's perfect performance!!!!
The ending was predictable, with an extra scene of a skating duet of Victor and Yuuri in matching outfits, with a slight rendition of Victor's theme.
Yaaay, fangirls cry, I cringe.
The animation is far below mediocre, with repetitive and uninteresting skating sequences. The camera shots are terrible, and the overall animation is one of the worst I've seen. Unlike Haikyuu's animation with interesting camera shots during the game, it simply pans in and out, focused on the majority of the rink, the given character's perspective (which occurs at least 3 times), and a focus on the character themselves.
The opening is simply a looped basic animation with some catchy song. The ending isn't good. The song OST's are enjoyable, to say the least, but are not memorable.
What most ruined the show for me was the fandom. The obsession from fangirls that deemed this as the most incredible, and perspective-changing anime.
"Wow, the first anime that allows the main couple to be gay that isn't yaoi!"
Me, an intellectual, pointing at the No.6 manga/anime.
And the fact that anyone who disagreed with them was deemed as a terrible person.
It doesn’t matter if you are a girl or a boy, you will enjoy this sports anime. I never thought that you could make a good anime about figure skating but Yuri on Ice proved me wrong.
The plot is one of a typical sports anime: the protagonist fails at the beginning and tries to succeed again with a lot of obstacles on his way to the top, (very simplified version).
It is beautiful animated, you can see how much effort and time they put in to the animation.
This is one of the rare anime that you can watch the first episode and decide if
it’s for you or not, it’s that simple.
It has a lot of sexual innuendo between the protagonist and victor, this is one of the main reason you should watch it. It makes literally every person a little more “gay”, in a total positive way.
One of the “nicknames” is on purpose: yaoi on ice, although you are left alone with your imagination. :-P
The intro and ending songs are just beautiful, every episode I sing them along (or at least I try).
The anime combines a lot of different animation styles, sometimes really basic “stuff” and then with a lot of “specialties”.
I think you should give it a try, the first episode and then decide for yourself.