With the millions of anime produced and published every day some rise to absolute stardom and acclaim, others fall through the cracks and are rarely ever spoken of. And when it comes to sports anime, they’re rarely ever in the spotlight. Even if they reach the summit of acclimation and praise it doesn’t last.
However, Yuri!!! on Ice seems to break defy that fate.
Yuri!!! on Ice was released in October 2016 during the fall anime season and caught the attention of anime fans from just the trailer. The sports anime – as that is what it is categorized as – is set in the world of competitive figure skating. The anime, with its spot on depictions and beautifully choreography, lays out the behind the scenes trials and tribulations of competitive figure skaters. The training, the practice, the competitions, the performances and interactions between other skaters all to reach the climax of the Grand Prix Final where the skater is crying out of sheer joy and happiness or utter despair.
Main protagonist Yuri Katsuki is the main focus of the anime as it follows him from the bottom to the top. He is a magnificent performer but lack the confidence in himself to nail the technical portion of figure skating. However, Viktor Nikiforov – five time gold medalist and idol of Yuri – sees the potential in Yuri and decides to be his coach.
Yuri!!! on Ice has cultivated many fans for varying reasons. Yuri!!! on Ice is authentic and true in its depiction of competitive figure skating in part due to the fact that Kenji Miyamoto – a professional figure skating choreographer and coach – is collaborated with to manufacture the intricate and awe-inspiring routines. The plot of the anime is something untapped as well; competitive figure skating hasn’t been touched upon by the anime industry unlike basketball, baseball, and soccer. It also delves into the issue of mental health in the form of Yuri Katsuki and his anxiety.
However, the most plausible reason is the fact that Yuri Katsuki and Viktor Nikiforov are gay.
This is what makes Yuri!!! on Ice so unprecedented. The fact that the main couple is canonically homosexual. There have been many recent sports anime that tease the idea of its characters being homosexual but never deliver * ahem FREE!! Iwatobi Swim Club, Kuroko’s Basketball, and Haikyuu!! ahem *.
All of these factors contributes to the instant main stream anime now known as Yuri!!! on Ice. Its captivating skating routines, its believable and real characters, the beautiful soundtrack, fluid animation, and heartwarming – and at the same time heart destroying – story, is what makes Yuri!!! on Ice what is meant to do. Yuri!!! on Ice was “born to make history.”