On December 21, 2016 Crunchy Roll had issues with crashing and was unable to post the season finale of one of the biggest animes from this season. That anime was Yuri!!! On ICE, an anime about men’s figure skating which follows Yuri Katsuki. Fans include actual figure skaters, youtubers, and celebrities. It is a world wide hit. He has failed to place in the Figure Skating Grand Prix Finals and because of this he continued failing during that same season. After a video that his friends’ kids uploaded without permission of him skating his role models program went viral, his role model flew all the way from Russia to Japan just to be his coach. His coach is Victor Nikiforov, a five time world championship gold medalist. This anime follows Yuri, Yuri’s rival Yurio, and Victor as they grow as figure skaters and train for the Figure Skating Grand Prix.
The first thing I want to praise this anime for is its opening sequence which shows Yuri, Victor, and Yurio skating to a song called “History Maker”. The song is amazing and so is the animation style used in the opening which is different from the style used throughout the rest of the series. The splashes of colour multiply and change colour as the series goes on. This is the perfect way to open an episode based completely around the sport of figure skating.
The skating was choreographed by a real life figuring coach so it is sure to be accurate. It is animated beautifully and the fact that you can hear the characters inner monologues as they skate through their programs only makes it even more beautiful. The skaters themselves add a lot to the show. With such a massive cast of characters usually it is very difficult to give them all the attention they need. Yuri!!! On ICE succeeds in this. No character is left unchanged by the end of the series. The characters of this series is the sole reason why Yuri!!! On ICE is so well loved by the anime community.
The story is pretty straight forward, exactly what you would expect from a sports anime. The protagonist that has a severe weakness improves themselves and goes on to win the big tournament at the end of the series. Normally I would not praise the plot of such a show, but for this show I will. There are enough twists and turns in the plot to make events unpredictable and to keep the people watching wanting more. Never once did I grow bored watching this.
This was a fantastic anime that I enjoyed watching. The perfect mix of beautiful skating, romance, and light humour. There were few if any problems I had with it. If I were to complain about anything it would be the fact that it seemed like the writers started pandering to the large fanbase that grew soon after the first episode aired. However I don’t really know if that ending is what was intended or not. I would recommend this anime to anyone who wants to watch a fantastically animated piece of art as well as to anyone who wants to watch something that has characters who may or may not belong to the LGBT community. I think that this will be my highest rating for an anime thus far.
Final Rating – 48.5/50