Yuri!! On Ice Review

yurionice-pngStory:
Figure skater Yuri Katsuki suffered a huge loss during the Grand Prix, leading him to fall into depression and nearly give up on his career. But when the world champion skater Viktor Nikiforov sees a online video of Yuri’s rendition of his own winning performance, he shows up in Japan to declare himself Yuri’s new skating coach forcing Yuri back into the rink!

Violence:
Not much here besides some kicking and falls, mostly used for slap stick effect.

Language:
Some b-words on rare occasion, with a more steady appearance of sh-ts and such, as usual for TV14 fare.

Nudity:
We actually get a decent amount of heavy handed masculine fanservice in this show. Think Free! here. So lots of suggestive angles for specific characters, implications in dialog now and again, and a few revealing bath scenes. Compared to the usual fanservice at the expense of female characters, this show might be seen as tame. Even so, it’s by no means subtle, so if this kind of thing bugs you, I’d stay away from this show.

Theology/mythology:
Besides some brief mentions of mythology, there’s not a ton to discuss here. We do see a small memorial set up for the dead, namely the MC’s dog, but these things are not explained in detail nor discussed.

Personal impression:
Welcome to my first review for 2017! I must say that this is a somewhat fitting one as it was by far the most hyped show of last season. In fact, the fever over this show was perhaps the highest I’ve seen all through 2016 and I feel it was a fanbase reaction very similar in tone to Free!, that fanservicy swim number a few years back that everyone and their cousin died over.
That said, I do feel as if this show was a bit more focused on the sport, which was nice as I enjoy watching figure skating myself. And there in lies the biggest pull of this show for me: the animation for the skating sequences. Despite a few scenes being rough here and there (the DVD release is supposed to have the “polished” versions), overall the skating is beautifully animated and quite realistic in movement. The camera angles are also very well done and keep the scenes interesting and new depending on the character’s emotions at the time, despite the skate sequences often being the same routine.
This isn’t to imply that the story and characters don’t have their own pull. They do, but not as much as I was hoping when I had started this show. The first few episodes of this series have a bit more introspection for the main character, but as the series closed the competitions overtook this aspect and conversations, in-depth ones at least, between leads became more rare. The last episode in particular felt a bit rushed.
In the end, this series wasn’t at all bad. It was quite good and had some nice moments of both mirth and drama that were visually and emotionally well executed. The music is pretty spot on too (despite the theme being oddly Americanized). There’s good reason behind the hype for this one. My desire for more heart to hearts between leads is simply a personal taste choice. Overall this series did very well for itself and I’d highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing fancy at figure skating for the visuals alone.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Langauges sub and dub (dub through FUNimation only)
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Sports, drama, comedy
Studio: MAPPA
Company: TVAsahi (US – FUNimation)
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

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