Everything on the ice is called love. And, everyone finds love and defines it in a different way.
Yuri!!! on Ice made its debut airing on October 6, 2016 in Japanese. The world watched, both captivated and enthralled as this story of dreams, success, shortcomings, and love began to unfold. And if you haven’t streamed the episodes online yet, as of February 6, 2018, American fans can finally bring home the DVDs in English.
Most likely- you’ve heard of Yuri on Ice– it’s everywhere in nerd culture. So, what’s the big deal about this sports anime everyone is talking about? Well, a lot. Yuri on Ice has taken the world by storm because it’s different in all the best ways.
For starters, the main character, Yuuri Katsuki, is an unlikely hero, and sloppy at best when we first meet him. He’s suffered a loss that he thinks has defined his career, and it’s established early on that our hero isn’t the confident type. Like most people who chase after dreams, Yuuri’s journey is full of moments of anxiety, and self-doubt, which makes him relatable, and an underdog.
The other main character is Victor Nikiforov, a five-time gold medalist, and Yuuri’s hero (and crush) since the beginning of his career. The problem is, though Victor is confident in his abilities, he’s fallen out of love with the sport, struggling to find joy and surprise in his monotonous routine.
Both worlds change when Victor sees a viral video featuring Yuuri skating to one of his routines, he shows up unannounced and proclaims himself Yuuri’s new coach.
The last of the main characters is fifteen year old Yuri Plisetsky of Russia. Growing up in Victor’s shadow, he’s finally made it out of the junior leagues and is ready to compete. He’s thrown for a loop when Victor departs to Japan and makes it his mission to prove himself worthy- no matter how hard he has to push himself.
The cast continues with backstories of many of the skaters featured. We get to learn what inspires and motivates them, as well as their shortcomings- and many of them are easy to love, such as Phichit of Thailand. Others, most love to hate, like Jean-Jacques of Canada. (But trust me, his song will get stuck in your head, nonetheless.)
The story is captivating enough already without the ‘aww’ factor. From this point on we do warn of spoilers.
One of the biggest draws to this anime is the romantic relationship that develops between Victor and Yuuri. Not only does it offer representation that is rarely seen, but their relationships is (for the most part) healthy. They struggle, but they do their best, and they support each other. The relationship between the two of them is beautiful- and shows that even through our own faults, we can encourage the best in others and be loved regardless.
The entire first season is bingeable, running five hours total (and you won’t want to put it down for a second). It’s packed with nail-biting drama, as well as a few tearjerker moments, heaps of action, and some of the most beautiful romantic scenes you can imagine.
Until the end, you’ll follow the stories of these loveable and complex characters, wondering where they’ll end up next year, and who will end up on top at the end. It’s anyone’s guess, really, and that’s one spoiler that you’ll just have to watch and find out for yourself. The anime is really and truly worth every second of your time, and if you want to get an idea of what it’s about before committing to buying the DVD- check out Funimation for a teaser.
See you next level!