Yūri!!! on Ice (2016)

Yūri!!! on Ice

  • by Sayo Yamamoto
  • 1 season: 12 episodes

yuri on ice

Yūri Katsuki, a Japanese figure skater, failed at the Grand Prix Finale. Being depressed, he returns back home to his family where he is gaining more and more weight. Even though Yūri is “only” 23 years old, his window for being a successful skater is closing. However, his life turns upside down by performing and perfectly copying a routine skating performance of his idol Viktor Nikiforov. Indeed, Yūri is secretly filmed and the video gets uploaded on the internet. His idol, Viktor is very fascinated by this video and so he decides to appear at Yūri’s house to become his mentor. Being a big fan, Yūri accepts this wonderful offer. However, the 5 time world champion, Viktor also promised Yuri Plisetsky, a Russian rising star in figure skating, to do his choreography for his performance. And so, the adventures and competitions begin for the Japanese Yūri. Indeed, this won’t be an easy going, because the Russian Yuri wants to defeat him and get Viktor back to Russia.

(Side Note: the Russian Yuri will be referred with his nickname Yurio (given by Yūri’s sister) to avoid any confusion with the Japanese Yūri.)

The anime series shows the reality of figure skating. There is much hard work and pain behind the scenes. The competitions are not easy at all and the training is more intensive. Especially the difficulty and tough times of the training are shown. For instance, the hurting feets of Yūri after many days of practice are good displayed. Other scenes show the suffering and exhausting skaters at the end of their performances. It is also interesting to see that not only skaters have hard training even the coaches have to do a lot to assist and support their skaters. Skaters and coaches practice a lot to achieve their only goal: getting gold at the competitions. For instance, Viktor even decides to stay at Yūri’s house to train with him, whereas Yūri tries everything to make his coach proud. The Russian skater Yurio starts working hard and even takes many ballet courses to impress Viktor and be better than his rival Yūri.


The main focus of the anime is clearly on figure skating, because it is a sport anime. The relationships between the characters are also very dominant. Therefore, ‘Yūri!!! on Ice’ is mostly seen as yaoi (Boys Love). The anime series addresses many social themes such as mental illness and homosexuality. The latter is one of the main themes. ‘Yūri!!! on Ice’ plays in a world where homophobia does not exist. Nobody cares if you love a man or a woman. The sports anime also deals with mental illness which mostly affects the main character Yūri Katsuki. After his failure at the Grand Prix Finale, he gets very depressed and even wants to stop the figure skating. He lacks of confidence and is filled with many anxieties. The anime carries deep messages (even in the opening theme ‘History Maker’) such as:

  • Failures do not define you!
  • Follow and do not give up on your dreams!
  • Your mental illness (like Yūri’s depression) should not define you!
  • You should never give up!


‘Yūri!!! on Ice’ does not only contain serious topics but also funny elements. Viktor being a bit of an airhead and making people feeling uncomfortable gives the audience many laughter. A further character who brings people to laugh is Yurio because of his rudeness towards other skaters, especially Yūri. The fact that Yūri prefers eating ‘Katsudon’ (Japanese food: Pork Cutlet Bowl) makes Yurio giving him the nickname Katsudon or pig. The name ‘Katsuki’ (Yūri’s last name) has almost the same spelling as ‘Katsudon’ which might also be the origin of his nickname.

The character developments are very obvious in the anime and are very well done. Especially the three main characters (Yūri, Viktor and Yurio) have made a good and drastic development. The most important and obvious character development is made by Yūri Katsuki. Yūri used to be a shy, quiet boy who suffered from lack of self confidence (especially in front of his idol and coach Viktor). However, after being a student of Vitkor, Yūri’s personality starts changing drastically. He gains more self confidence and seems to be determined to follow his dreams due to Viktor’s mentoring. The other character who develops in the anime is Viktor Nikiforov. He used to be bad at dealing with emotions and hided his compassion behind his arrogance. Even his coach says that Viktor only thinks of himself. After meeting Yūri, he starts to show compassion especially towards him. He even cares about others and seems to be less selfish. Viktor also used to have a very calm personality, however later in the anime as his dog almost died, he panicked. The last main character who also did a character development is Yuri Plisetsky. He has a dismissive personality: insults and offends others, especially Yūri who calls him the ‘Russian Punk’ due to his rude attitude. However, after meeting Yūri, Yurio seems to become more warm hearted and softer. He seems to care about Yūri such as cheering him on at competitions and giving him a birthday present. To sum up, one can say Yūri is the key of Viktor’s and Yurio’s character development: He shows them what love is.


Favorite Characters:

Viktor Nikiforov


Viktor is a Russian figure skater and a five time world champion which makes him a living legend. He can be described as a bit arrogant who is fond of himself and very confident. His speciality is to surprise others. However, he is also a bit of an airhead and very forgetful which gives the audience enough laughter. He is a good looking, handsome and hot young man who has a charismatic and flitirous attitude.

Yuri Plisetsky


Yuri, mostly called Yurio, is the second Russian figure skater. He is extremely talented for his young age of 15. Being very ambitious, he does not doubt to win gold in figure skating or even to become the best. Yurio has a very high self esteem which makes him arrogant. Apart from being popular because of his talent as a skater, he is also known for being rude and short tempered: he curses and yells a lot.


The anime contains of a beautiful art. We were very fascinated by the competition and sightseeing locations. For instance, the sightseeing in Barcelona such as The Sagrada Familia and the Park Güell are well designed. In addition, the skating choregraphies and figures are beautiful animated. The variety of costumes and characters themselves are the most fascinating aspects.


The choices of the sound and the music are very good. The music to which the skaters perform their choreographies fits perfectly to their moves. Even the short background stories of the songs and the characters themselves are very creative. The most stunning music choice is the opening theme. ‘History Maker’ by Dean Fujioka is an awesome song, it is a blast. We love this song and it is impossible to skip the opening theme. The song perfectly matches to the anime series and it carries a very strong message: you should never give up on your dreams. At the end of the anime, the characters actually have made history.

There is also one negative point in ‘Yūri on Ice!!!’. The repetitive performances of the same choreography are shown too often. Moreover, the anime also contains some shōjo elements such as the romantic relationship between Yūri and Viktor. Another more female target element is clearly Viktor’s appearance as very beautiful and hot which is emphasized by his common undressed and naked presentation. Moreover, the special edition (Exhibition – Welcome to Madness) reinforces the relationship between Yurio and Otabek. ‘Yūri on Ice!!!’ is the first and only sports anime series we have seen so far. At the beginning, we were sceptical because we usually prefer animes with supernatural elements. However, ‘Yūri on Ice!!!’ really impressed us especially because it contains strong messages. All in all, it is one of the best anime series we have seen so far, because it also contains obvious and drastic character developments.


MikaYuu Hyakuya

2 Kommentare zu „Yūri!!! on Ice (2016)

  1. Glad you enjoyed it and that there is another Yuri on Ice fan out there. I really loved this anime and I loved the characters and watching them grow over the course of the series. Thanks for sharing this and reminding us about such a great show.

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