If you haven’t heard of Yuri on Ice, then you should get acquainted with the anime as soon as possible. The sports series debuted on TV Asahi in October 2016, and it has quickly become one of the year’s most buzzed about shows.
The series blends the sport subgenre with rom-com as smoothly as the characters glide during their ice skating routines. The engaging series is a meeting point between sports enthusiasts and drama addicts who can’t wait for more emotional sucker-punches. And, of course, fans have absolutely fallen for the show’s protagonist and his humble charms.
There are countless reasons for the success of Yuri on Ice. Though luck has its part in it, the show’s creator devised a carefully plotted anime whose tense sport sequences leave fans breathless. But, to make things simple, ComicBook.com has looked into the series and narrowed down the top five reasons why Yuri on Ice is taking over the world.
The Price Of Passion
Professional ice skating is not for the weak. Sure, the end product sees athletes dressed in elegant costumes and performing physics-defying tricks, but the pain associated with the sport is both mental and physical. Yuri on Ice does not shy away from how painful it can be to follow one’s passion. The show’s protagonist Yuri Katsuki is an outstanding technical performer, but he lacks the self-confidence to take his career to another level. When his idol Victor Nikiforov learns about Yuri’s untapped talent, he pushes the boy to continue pursuing the dream even if it means a few bumps, bruises, and scrapes.
The animation drawn at MAPPA Studios is a fresh of breath air to anime fans. Yuri on Ice is known for many things, but audiences have come to expect its unique, fluid style of artwork. The anime is gorgeous and uses camera angles which many have never seen in the medium. Yuri on Ice isn’t afraid to use 3D rendering, tracking shots, and even extreme close-ups to convey its emotional storylines. And, so far, fans have noticed.
Accurate, Researched Choreography
As a sports anime, fans may wonder just how accurate the routines in Yuri on Ice are to real-life competitions. The show’s creators were determined to create an authentic show from the start, so they brought in Kenji Miyamoto to do the choreography sequences for Yuri on Ice. The skater has worked with Olympic medalists like Yuzuru Hanyu, and he is the reason why the anime has such awe-inspiring floor routines. Each character is given a unique style of skating, and the nuances hidden in each routine help characterize each skater without using words.
Yuri's Exploration Of Mental Health
These days, it seems like nothing is off-limits when it comes to anime. Yuri on Ice tackles plenty of complex issues when it comes to interpersonal relationships, but it also takes time to focus on its characters’ mental health. While Yuri is known for his kind-hearted personality, the character also suffers from crippling self-doubt and anxiety. Yuri’s career as a skater is left stagnant because of his self-hatred, and the show gradually depicts how the protagonist copes with his psychoses. There’s no jokes or judgements passed; Yuri on Ice shows that even the strongest characters feel weak every once in awhile, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Victor, Yuri, and LGBTQ Relationships
There are dozens of iconic couples in the world of anime, and Yuri on Ice is responsible for one of them. The series dips into the yaoi - or boys’ love - subgenre without defining itself as such. The anime is centered around two male figure skaters who love their sport and one another in equal measure. Yuri and Victor’s relationship is not a smooth one by any means, and Yuri on Ice shows how the two men go from being strangers to being inseparable. For sports anime, that balance is almost unheard of, and its grounded portrayal of a healthy LGBTQ relationship is equally eye-catching.