Hoo boy, this anime was kind of a scary one for me to tackle mainly because of how popular it is. I remember when it premiered last year and the community began freaking out over it. Needless to say, I’ve watched it twice now, once in Japanese and in English, and I’m ready to give my thoughts!

Story

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We shall start here since this is the most important to me when it comes to a form of media that I’m watching. Ice skating isn’t something you usually see outside of the Olympics over in my neck of the woods, so watching a show that revolves around it was fascinating to me. The sport was explained well without jarring you out of the story. A complaint I’ve had in the past with any kind of ‘sports’ anime is when they take an entire 10 – 15 minute section explaining the ins and outs of said sport. YOI was able to do this when necessary without pulling you out of the experience.

Character Development

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Something I really appreciated about Yuri K. was that he was a little bit older. In fact, him and I are the same age. This made his entire character arc much more relate able for me. They really dove into the trials of trying to get your foot into a career as an adult, something that a lot of people don’t like talking about. His battle with anxiety was something else that we share, and it hit me hard watching him go through emotions that I myself have gone through. I love how he was written in a way that almost everyone can identify with.

What I had a bit of a hard time with was Yuri K’s relationship with Victor. I know the fan girls and boys have gone crazy with the yaoi hype, but in reality I was confused. I understand what the writers were going for, a strong male bond that didn’t have to be classified as romantic, but so many things occurred that should have pushed their relationship over that line that in the end I just didn’t know what to think. I read that the potential ‘boy-love’ between them was taken out for Japan’s censorship rules, but I wish that it was kept in. It would’ve at least cleared up some questions I had during my original viewing of the show.

Yuri P. was my second favorite behind Yuri K. I feel as though he had the most development out of them all and I was very happy with how his story arc ended.

Art

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The animation itself was generic, but I prefer it that way. As I mentioned above, my takeaway from anime in general is the story. I appreciate beautiful animation, but it isn’t a necessity. The art wasn’t gorgeous, but it wasn’t bad either.

I did love the dances. They were beautifully animated in my opinion and I could watch them over and over (which I did through the course of the show, but you get what I’m saying).

Music

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Fantastic. I immediately found the opening soundtrack and saved it for the future. It helped that a lot of people did some really great covers of it.

The choreography music was beautiful as well. I enjoyed almost everyone’s songs enough to listen to them multiple times (the only exception was the King JJ song… ugh).

Voice Acting

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This show is one of the rare few that I fully enjoyed in both Japanese and English. I feel as though the Japanese voice actors are able to give a more emotional performance, and I stand by that. However, those accents in the English dub made me giggle in a good way every time. I’m a big Jerry Jewel fan (He also played Kyo in Fruits Basket) and he did a great Russian accent for Victor.

My favorite was Yuri P. Micah Solusod played the perfect angry Russian teenager. Every time I hear his voice coming out of Yuri’s mouth I smile. He brought so much emotion into the performance that I think I preferred his version of Yuri over the original Japanese.

Final Thoughts

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I really enjoyed Yuri On Ice. The characters are well written and likable, the story is good, and the music is wonderful. I recommend it to anyone who likes a feel good story and figure skating. There are some borderline boy – love scenes, so be wary of that if it’s not your thing.

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