Yuri On Ice practically needs no introductions after it snared everyone with its gorgeous opening PV. It is currently the craze for sports anime fans right now with other bloggers posting their thoughts on this glorified first episode and Imagine what would happen when I had the same idea…Oops Although I just LOVE the thought of figure skating done right in an anime (I’m tired of basketball), I know I will run out of my room with a nervous look when the BL fan service comes kicking in.
For starters, the story is not set in high school…Yay! Katsuki Yuuri the main boy of the show has failed to appeal to the judges and he ended up taking last place in the Gran Prix Finale where his role model, Victor Nikiforov is all the buzz after winning for five times in a row. On top of that, Kazuki has also lost the National Competition and returns home to Kyushu. Frustrated about his future, he tries to cheer himself up to get back his love for ice skating by imitating one of Victor’s performances only for a video of it to go viral and back fire on him with Victor coming to his place proposing that he become his couch. I’ve seen this before, the childhood idol of our main characters sees talent and inadvertently wants to take him under his wing and teach him his skills.
The premise sets things up perfectly, Yuuri is a talented ice skater but he was not at his best mentally in the competition, which is very understandable. He doesn’t know how he should act now that he failed to make his mark on the skating world and goes back to Japan to gather his thoughts. But why would a prodigy like Victor visit him anyways? Because after winning for five years straight, Victor must be mighty tired and running out of competitors and with another amazing skater Plisetsky Yuri moving through the ranks, he might have felt like scooting over to help Yuuri out after he saw the video since he can be considered a pro for even making it to the Gran Prix Final. Well Victor’s reasons aside, it seems like they are going to stick to this ‘plot’. *wink*
I don’t know about you but I felt a little motion sick when Yuuri showed off his skills to Yuko, his childhood friend who trained with him and also admires Victor, Yuuri was clearly trying to get out of the friend zone, yep. While I was plastered to the screen, it felt as if Yuuri was skating on a two dimensional ice surface rather than a three dimensional one and his rapid movements made it worse. Maybe I was sitting too close to the screen? It kinda seemed like Yuuri was layered on top of the ice, it was irritating. Most people won’t notice it much so moving on…I am glad they didn’t blur the spins and flips and stuck to the usual way of animating things, only showing a few frames to give the illusion of Yuuri spinning which was choppy but fantastic non the less with the show cutting between Victor’s actual performance in a huge stadium and his little late night skating practice to flaunt his best stuff for his crush. If it was in real life, you wouldn’t catch him rolling through the air in a quad, see him pull off some depth-defying tricks or make out his legs individually when he spins like hell. All of that would look out of focus and blurred. There’s a silver lining though, you have to give them credit for hiring a real professional figure skater and drawing his moves for us to experience.
The animation quality elsewhere was not bad at all with a lot of beautiful shots of the scenery. There definitely was a cozy and welcoming atmosphere with comedic effect on the topic of Yuuri being fat and his family being worry-free and only wanting to support him after he comes back from a long trip to another country. Though Yuuri doesn’t look like a glutton to the slightest when he’s skating. How do you explain that logic guys?
Overall, very excited for what we’re going to see in the next episode and how they will handle the interactions between the characters. I am genuinely stoked to see how Yuuri will go back to skating again. Let the beautiful skating scenes continue as tradition and I’ll see you next time! That title is a little misleading don’t you think? -KKSparrow