[SPOILER ALERT: This mentions characters seen in later episodes!]
I’ve been anxiously following this show (alongside RWBY and Sailor Moon Crystal, the latter of which seems to be on hiatus again—assuming there are plans to continue the show into the dream arc) and there’s so much I love about it!
As someone who already enjoys watching figure skating when it comes on, I was pretty happy to see an anime about it. I’m not a very good skater myself (limited to school trips only, unfortunately), but I’ve been wanting to pick up a new pair of skates and drag some friends to the rink for a while! I don’t even skate so much as walk until I get up enough speed to glide, but it’s really fun and relaxing!
Before I forget: are there any other fans of Patrick Chan in the audience? I don’t think I’ve ever been able to see him skate live, but I have seen groups like Black Ice quite a bit. I also used to live relatively close to the Elvis Stojko arena, where my school used to take us for field trips. Oh, and if you have an old pair of skates and live in that area, you should visit Play it Again Sports. They let you trade in your old pair which is great if you need a different size.
It feels like there’s something for everybody in this soundtrack. Aside from the regular background tracks, 70-80% of the music they actually skate to is really dramatic and memorable. For example, JJ’s theme song sounds like something that might have been written by Coldplay, and Phichit’s main theme is a nod to The King and I. Oh and let’s not forget that epic opening theme!
Seriously, listen to this and tell me to my face you’re not inspired!
Yuri on Ice is all about different kinds of love. As the story goes on, viewers are introduced to many different characters—each with their own love story. We see examples of romantic love (of course!) but also familial love—such as the bond between siblings, appreciation for supportive fans, intense dedication to and passion for skating itself, and even more abstract forms like Yuri’s love for pork cutlet bowls (which I really want to try now, if it’s as hearty and delicious as schnitzel then I know I’ll be hooked!). I think we can all agree, though, that the major selling point is the strong bond between Yuri and Viktor.
Coaches and athletes really do connect on deep levels, and it’s not uncommon at all to see them hugging—both in celebration and consolation. What makes this pair really exciting is that Yuri practically idolizes Viktor, and is initially shocked when Viktor is so moved by a video of Yuri’s skating performance that he books it to Japan to become his personal coach. That’s basically the equivalent of your favourite celebrity flying out to your hometown because they love your work so much and have, ironically, become YOUR fan!
As of episode eleven, I was in a bit of a funk and the big question presented was this:
“What kind of love sustains you?”
Honestly? That one hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s such a profound thing to think about because it straight up asks you—who or what is it that you live for? What gives you strength and keeps you moving forward?
I applaud the writers and animators for gifting us with this gem. I really do! There is some tension (so far), but they don’t drag it out and hop from competition to competition. My only complaint is that every skater seems to perform to two songs at the most. This isn’t as noticeable for characters that fall off the leaderboard early on, but Yuri so far has only skated to On Love: Eros, and Yuri on Ice. Yurio only ever seemed to skate to On Love: Agape. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in episode 12—and especially what happens after that! A second season seems like a logical place to introduce a new song for Yuri, though it may also mean that he picks a new theme.
The next episode airs on Wednesday, so we’ll have to wait and see!