You may not expect this, but I’m kind of a closet anime fan. I have been since I was little and Sailor Moon was on TV. Lately, I’ve gotten back into the genre, and one that I’ve fallen in love with is Yuri!!! On Ice.
Yuri!!! On Ice is on the surface about competitive ice skating, specifically males. But it’s so much more. It follows Yuri Katsuki, a Japanese figure skater who fails at his first ever Grand Prix, one of the biggest competitions. He meets Yuri Plisetsky, another competitor, who tells him he should just quit, that two Yuris is too many. And he almost meets his hero and fellow competitor Viktor Nikiforov, but before they can meet Yuri runs away out of fear and returns home to his family’s hot springs spa. Jump ahead in time, and suddenly Viktor is at Yuri’s spa offering to be his coach for the next season of skating. This angers the other Yuri who through circumstances is eventually called Yurio (and I’ll do it here to avoid confusion). Yurio wants nothing more than to face Viktor in competition and prove that he (Yurio) is the better skater. Viktor remains as Yuri’s coach however, causing a sort of frenemy relationship to develop between the Yuris.
I entered this show thinking it would be cute and fun. And it is. But it is so much more than that. It’s moving. It’s real, in a way. It shows Yuri, the hero of the show, with all his worries and anxiety laid bare throughout. It shows Viktor, this angelic like character worshiped by all, taking on a new challenge and learning what it truly means to love and to care about someone else. It doesn’t sugarcoat the emotions, it hits you hard with them. I will be the first to admit it has made me cry; it has made me feel how Yuri is feeling and how Viktor is feeling and really how all of the characters, no matter how minor, feel no matter the circumstance. It’s a beautiful show full of laughter and tears and joy through everything no matter what.
If you want to watch it, you can find it on Crunchyroll. All 12 episodes are available, though as of the time I’m writing this episode 12 is only available to Premium members of the website. Hopefully that changes soon because I need to know how this season ends. Please, take the time to watch and support this wonderful show.
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