Editorial: Thoughts on Yuri on Ice Season 1

Yesterday, not only did I finish my first semester as a sophomore at college, but watched the first season of Yuri on Ice come to a close in such a grand finale. I had just arrived back home and watched Episode 12 to my leisure, and I must say I am satisfied with the ending.
For now.

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If you’re familiar with it (who isn’t?), Yuri on Ice tells the story of a Japanese figure skater named Yuri Katsuki who has lost his chance at becoming a professional and is saddened by his defeat at the finals. However, after a video of him performing is leaked online, Russian professional/his idol, Victor Nikiforov, decides to become Yuri’s coach in hopes of winning the Grand Prix. What follows is awkwardness, life lessons, and a blooming relationship between Yuri and the man he’s put on a pedestal his entire life.

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Honestly, it sounds like an average sports anime at first glance, but there’s absolutely more to it than that. Yuri on Ice is arguably the most talked about anime of late 2016, not just because of its gorgeous animation, it’s beautiful musical score, the pacing and how funny it can be, but because of how it handles the portrayal of a gay couple. And not just a gay couple who are side characters, but as the main characters.

Rarely has there been anime (aside from yaoi) where we have homosexual protagonists, especially in a sports anime. And to watch as Yuri and Victor grow as people as as a couple together is just amazing to witness. The way they work off of each other is both interesting and hilarious to watch, mostly because of how much Victor sees the vulnerability in Yuri and his lack of experience in coaching. From his moments of seriousness and bluntness to moments of air-headed innocence and carefree attitude, we see how much he begins to care for him more than as a coach when he isn’t teasing and trolling the poor boy. And to see how much Yuri begins to feel confident in himself while seeing his idol in a new light is both heartwarming and adorable. Honestly, these two are probably one of my most favorite couples in anime and in fiction.

What else can I say about Yuri on Ice that nobody else has so far on other blogs? Well, not much other than the wonderful music (I could watch the opening over and over again), animation and how funny the show can be. Seriously, the comedy in this show is on-par with The Wallflower, with the interactions between the three protagonists making you crack a smile at least.

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If I did have any problems, it’d be that I honestly couldn’t follow how the rules of figure skating works. Okay, we know that falling on the ice is a deduction for points, but I couldn’t follow what types of jumps and flips they were referencing. To be fair, most sports anime don’t exactly preach how the rules work compared to other TV anime, but all I could do to know how well they did is from the scores and inner monologues.

Plus, it may be a bit of a pet peeve, but I wanted to see more of Victor and Yuri together. I mean, the creators have confirmed over and over that Yuri and Victor are together (just wait until Episode 10 to see it over-confirmed), but we don’t see them do things couple-related aside from over-excessive flirting and a offscreen kiss. I don’t know if we didn’t see more of it because of artistic license or the fact that Japanese TV isn’t fond with an onscreen gay couple (strange, seeing as how Naruto can get away with it between two twelve-year-olds if it’s an accident and meant as a joke), but I wanted to see more of their relationship blossom.

Oh well, we have season 2 to see that. If you watched the credits of Episode 12 like I have, I agree with you and say I cannot wait to see more of Yuri Katsuki and Victor Nikiforov together, and cannot wait for Yuri on Ice Season 2!

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