Welcome and thank you for joining me for another aniblogger review and our target this time is:
ユリ!!! On ice.
English: Yuri!!! On ice
The show’s story revolves around Yuuri Katsuki, who carried all of Japan’s hopes on his shoulders to win at the Gran Prix Finale ice skating competition, but suffered a crushing defeat. He returns home to Kyushu and half feels like he wants to retire, and half feels like he wants to continue ice skating. With those mixed feelings swirling inside him, he confines himself inside his parents’ house. Suddenly the five-time consecutive world championship ice skater Viktor Nikiforov appears before him, and along with him is Yuri Plisetsky, a young Russian figure skater who is already defeating his seniors. Viktor and both Yuris take up the challenge on an unprecedented Gran Prix series.
Mains and their voices:
Grimjow Jagerjack (Bleach)
Justin Freed (Fairy Tail)
Archer (Fate/Stay night)
Mikado Ryuugamine (Durarara!!!)
Hideyoshi Nagachika (Tokyo Ghoul)
Ruth (Mahoutsukai no Yome)
Ichijou Raku (Nisekoi)
Souler Eater (Soul Eater Evans)
The anime starts at the Grand Prix qualifying round where Yuri K has just decided to end his (half a$$ed) career. Filled with frustration and regret and constant failure as a figure skater he decides to head for his home town. This is where things start to turn in his favour. However just keep in mind that this isn’t your normal romantic comedy.
The one thing that I immediately identify with his innate ability to pick up weight at the drop of a hat. If he even looks Katsudon it goes to his hips.
Anime food always looks so amazing.
*Ippai* (I’m full)
The anime is basically dripping with Yaoi themes, full of a somewhat vanilla BL without actually crossing the line into full on BL. In stead of Yuri on ice It should have rather been called Yaoi on ice.
It’s a sports anime, so it followed the typical sports motif. The underdog who’s working his hardest to be the top of his sport.
Even though it follows an almost cliché progression it has a solid narrative, there was almost nothing that drew away from it, as a result the anime never strayed nor made use of filler scenes or episodes. It remained relevant to either the story or character.
The figure-skating choreography was done by Kenji Miyamoto, two time Japanese National Title winner. Using Miyamoto as a reference the key animators were able to vibrabtly capture the natural motion and fluidity of ice-skating. There is no other word for this other than “astonishing”. They went as far as to capture the skaters shadows and reflections as well as the track lines the skates leave on the ice. Another astonishing fact: The opening, with the sketch-like animation was done by a single key animator and it took a total of two weeks to do – simply amazing.
Yuri!!! On ice had the most key animators of any other animations in the 2016 Fall season, averaging a whopping 48.5 key animators per episode! It would make sense, since skating on ice is not easy to animate continuously through all 12 episodes.
48.5 key animators per episode
But was the animation or the anime, for that matter, any better for it?
I wouldn’t be so quick to come to that conclusion. All anime’s have the basic time, budget and man power constraints, looking at Yuri on ice we will take away their massive man power constraint and they are still bound by Time and Budget. Below you’ll see gif animations from early episodes versus the older ones. You can be the judge..
Yuri K again
Hmmmm? So how do they compare? What is your opinion?
To me It looks like the animation in the later episodes became a bit choppy and slightly incoherent, though if you weren’t paying attention you would certainly miss it. But in the end if I were to liken my comparison to something it would be like sitting in a Rolls Royce and picking on how small the radio knob is.
The animation is simply amazing off the ice as well, paying attention to smaller details – mouth movements, gestures, body movement. It truly is brilliant.
Though everyone maybe up in arms about who is “Best Boy”, Yuri or Victor. (It’s Victor, btw) each character has a strong identity which is able to make them unique. Nationality traits are brought through with the characters and not a hint of “Same Face Syndrome”. Each character is well designed with an individual identity and personality that there’s no way you could confuse the characters.
The character of Victor is inspired by the actor, writer and director John Cameron Mitchell, the writer, Mitsurou Kubo, explains that she was moved by his fans love for him.
John Cameron Mitchell
All I can say is: “Thanks for giving us Victors hair”
The music is good and it brings out the skaters performances as well as bring out emotions in key scenes. The opening theme song: History Maker by Dean Fujioka. It was used recently in the 2018 Winter Olympics in, Japanese competitors, Miu Suzaki and Ryuichi Kihara’s performance. Other than the opening theme song, nothing else really stands out in my mind.
So why watch this anime?
If you like the underdog story or of you like the sport anime genre, then I recommend this. Further more: the story is good, it’s entertaining, it doesn’t have slumps and rises in the progression and moves as a good pace. You definately would be able to watch episode after episode and at the end wonder where the time went. Yuri on ice draws you in with the animation, and keeps you watching for the emotions and story. Yuri on ice is acclaimed for the amazing depiction of the human reaction to anxiety and panic, with this it keeps your eyes glued. It will make you laugh, it will make you feel It is a definite, must watch.
So when Yuri returned home in the first episode and got back onto the ice to clear his mind. His childhood friend was there to watch him. He’s always had feelings for her. Mind you she is now married to the “other childhood friend” and has triplet daughters.
So before he begins to skate he was about to say the words. “Zutto mae kara suki deshita”. Which translates to: “I’ve always loved you”, but her daughter’s butt in before he’s able to say it.
I mean come on man!! That was in such bad taste and it’s the only thing I really didn’t like in this anime. Confessing to your life long love after she’s married with kids?😡😡😡 Moving on swiftly…
Character Design: 9
Story/Plot : 9
Voice Acting: 8
I would recommed this on any watch list just for the quality of the animation and the well paced story. Go ahead and watch it if you’re interested and if you’ve watched it let me know what you think. I’d like to hear your opinions of Yuri on ice.😉
Look out for my next review. Until then.. Cya..
The Ani Blogger