Yuri Katsuki (CV: Toshiyuki Toyonaga) is a figure skater who just did awfully during the Grand Prix. Rumours has it he’s going to retire, and Yuri himself is too depressed to continue for a while. He had been practicing in the States, but eventually returns home.
Needing time to think, Yuri borrows the local ice rink and shows one of his childhood friends the routine of his idol, Victor Nikiforov (CV: Junichi Suwabe), and the daughters of hers record it and post it on YouTube. It makes an uproar and Victor decides to quit skating for the season and takes up coaching Yuri, which leads to a change of life for Yuri himself.
FINALLY! You don’t understand just how much I have waited for this. Not this particular show, but figure skating! In anime! I LOVE FIGURE SKATING.
What’s better yet, while I’m aware a lot of people complained about the lack of reality in the choreography, as someone who watches figure skating on a regular basis, I can say this is in many ways true to how figure skating really is. If it’s one sport I know, it’s figure skating. Just saying. Which was also why I was really surprised when Victor and Yuri skated together at the end of the show. As far as I know, none of them has been in pairs, so it makes me even more surprised.
Anyway, so I obviously started watching this for the figure skating alone and it was really the only thing I cared about, but the characters skated their way into my heart and by the second half, I was infatuated by the characters and the relationships. I’d call this show gay, but it’s not in the way I’d normally mean it. This show features a love and admiration beyond sexuality, and the titular character and Victor are hinted to be (and apparently confirmed as, but I have no official statement to reference) in love with each other. I think that part of the beauty is that it leaves out information for people to decide what kind of relationship the two has. And I say this despite the finale skating together. While I don’t doubt many will see the intimacy of the number as a show for their love, skaters are artists. I think, in other words, it’s really all up to interpretation.
Although I think a lot of it is kind of difficult to wave off as “their just really close friends” or “they can do this because they’re coach and skater”.
I do find the lack of homophobic response in the show unrealistic – as opposed to the skating – but at the same time, I see it as the best of all worlds. That regardless of where you live and what you do, you can love anyone you like. But at the same time, aside from some questions about competitions and whether or not Yuri and Victor are retiring at different times in the show, we don’t see all that much of the press in the show. The characters hang out on Instagram more often than we see the press, is what I am feeling. In other words, it’s also something up to interpretation, although we’d probably see some kind of reaction in at least Yuri if he read something negative, or got negative comments.
All in all, I really love this show. It was not as drama filled as I expected it to be, considering we’re talking figure skating and that is actually a good thing, because the drama that can be in the sport is one of my least favourite aspect. It was such a beautiful show though, and I’m not surprised so many like it. Victor got too close for my comfort zone a lot though, and that’s amazing considering he never interacted with me. Very good show and one show I definitely will rewatch one day. It’s one of those things that I will forever keep close to my heart, because in this show Yuri and Victor’s relationship was for their own sake, and it was beautiful.
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Want to buy Yuri!!! On Ice? Good idea!