The anime world is buzzing about Yuri on Ice and rightly so. You have probably heard about this anime that is currently streaming through Crunchyroll. It is a beautifully animated anime, to the point that some of the yaoi boards are posting pictures of the figure skating instead of any gratuitous fan service.
A sharp departure from all of those Free! aficionados. There’s nothing wrong with beautiful anime bodies, that’s just usually what winds up being talking about ad nauseam on said boards/groups. And there is a HUGE group of people out there who love sports anime. Besides Free! Haikyuu, Days, and Kuroko Basketball spring immediately to mind as recent sports anime that have been wildly popular. However, I usually find them flat unless the sport is really just a backdrop and not at all in the forefront of the anime. Not with Yuri on Ice. And I have been rebuked lately for the fact that I often like to read while watching anime, subbed or otherwise. I had no idea this was so rude!
Yuri on Ice though. This show had me glued to the screen from the opening strains, the first step sequence and triple axel I was hooked. It combines two of my favorite things to watch-beautiful animation and breathtaking figure skating. I watched it spellbound through the first episode. It immediately transported me to watching figure skaters such a Ilia Kulik, Kristy Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan, Evgeni Plushenko, Takeshi Honda and Katerina Witt.
Watching these athletes always inspired me with a sense of awe and wonder as well as a belief that if someone can achieve something that beautiful than anything is possible. And beautiful animation paired with a good story always takes me out of myself as well. So this anime appears custom made to hold me captive, spellbound to its beauty. While the story is somewhat predictable, paired with its beauty it is overwhelming, holding our entire house captive from the sketch style opening to the playful ending. And the MUSIC, good lord, every piece of this anime is exquisitely choreographed and scored. It is most definitely a show that you could watch for the music alone.
I have a friend who cried to the opening theme they were so moved. And I am sure that there are plenty of fans out there who could watch this without sound in order to delight in animation. In the end though, it is the ultimate pairing of music and movement that delights the sense, just is it with real figure skating. And just as it is with actual figure skaters, you are drawn from the first strike of skates on ice to the final position they hold, chests heaving, to the audience’s adulation.
The only thing to disappoint is the lack of skating in the second episode, but the third more than makes up for it. Sarah and I got to the end of the third episode and felt like some wonderful enchantment and sadly ended. We can not wait for the fourth episode tomorrow and in the meantime plan to re-watching the skating footage from the other episodes every chance we get.
I only hope that this show live up to the promise it has made.
See you again soon.
If you want to read more, there’s a great article about Yuri on Ice at PCU.