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Anime Review: Yuri!!! on ICE S1E01

11 Comments

Episodes: 1st episode of the ongoing series (English Dub)
Yuri!!! on ICE Online: Wikipedia
Genre: Drama + Sports

I don’t usually watch sports anime, but based on numerous reviews (including one by anime roaster Gigguk) and a rather lovely trailer, I decided to give the first episode of Yuri!!! on ICE a watch to see if it is worthy of the level of hype that it received leading up to the release of the anime.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!!!!!! (Yes, I added more exclamation marks because the title does have three after all)

Professional Ice Skater Yuri Katsuki has been following his ice skating idol Victor Nikiforov ever since he was a little kid, but has recently hit a performance slump in his own career. After bombing the current season, Katsuki returns home to the dying Japanese town of Hasetsu in order to make a decision about his career. After a video of him emulating one of Victor’s performances perfectly at his local rink goes viral, Katsuki is shocked to find that his idol has arrived in order to coach him.

To begin with, this series has one of the loveliest intro songs and sequences that I have ever seen in an anime. The song, History Maker by Dean Fujioka, is freaking epic to begin with but those ice skating visuals kick it up a notch. Whoever decided on the layout, choreography and music is a freaking GOD! It is so gorgeous that I can easily watch it over and over again. I really dig the outro song as well.
Yuri Katsuki (Yuri.K) is a really sweet main character, with some mild flaws. One of those flaws is stress-related binge-eating. He also suffers from low self-esteem because he feels like he can never reach the heights of his idol. That being said, Yuri.K has a really supportive group of friends and family. His drunkard sister Mari does seemingly want to use her brother’s success as a way to meet hot ice skater guys but is otherwise supportive of her brother’s dream.
We get from the first episode that Yuri.K will have competition from Yuri Plisetsky (Yuri.P), one of Victor’s associates. Plisetsky is an ambitious fifteen year-old that to some degree views the mere presence of another Yuri as an affront. That is because Yuri.P is a whiny little bitch. Seriously, he’s proven to be an overly aggressive asshole so far. I look forward to seeing more character development from him though.
The storyline so far has been logical yet chaotic enough to emulate real people and circumstances that those same people face. That made it easy to relate to the situations. It appears that the writer also knows something about the sport as well, unlike some anime and manga writers that simply attempt to make shit up as they go. This allowed me to enjoy the episode without having to ignore things.
As for the art style, it was gorgeous and did justice to the ice skating sequences. There is also enough variation in the appearances of the characters to avoid them looking like clones of each other or of characters ripped directly from other anime.
To the voice acting, folks that have been following English dubbed anime for a while now will recognize some familiar voices. I don’t see this as a bad thing because many of these actors have been involved in a host of anime shows for more than a decade, series that have made me laugh, cry and gasp in disbelief. This includes Engish.Kirillon, that dude from Dragonball that voiced the talking Squirrel in Brothers Conflict and numerous characters in several other notable series.

In conclusion, this first episode has me willing to watch more of the show. It may be a bit slow for some viewers though, but I hope that folks give it a watch to see if they enjoy it. If you watch it, feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you did and didn’t enjoy about the anime. I look forward to reading what you thought about it.

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Author: keikomushi

Reader, Writer, New Media Buff, Anime Fangirl, Gnome Hunter, Last Action Femme Fatale, Appreciator of Nature, Jack-of-all-trades.

11 thoughts on “Anime Review: Yuri!!! on ICE S1E01

  1. I love this anime so much, you don’t even knooooooow. I love sports anime and I love homoerotic sub(over?)tones. And it’s well-made on all fronts. I also really like the inclusion of other countries and languages- real other foreign people. And not a Japanese person with a Japanese name that seems vaguely influenced by something non-Japanese. Aaaaggh, I can go on and on!

    • YoI is a neat anime so far, and I have some other new shows to check out as well. This anime season is really shaping up well so far with a huge variety of stories to . It is nice seeing some variety after a few seasons of VR or mecha fighting clones. I think that my hubby is looking forward to watching Keijo (aka butt wrestling, because butts are the new boobs) as well given that it is being released as an English Dub by Funimation. We need silly and we need stories about otherwise overlooked areas such as Ice Skating. If we get some eye candy in the process, SCORE!!!
      Are there any shows that you are enjoying this season besides YoI?

      • I didn’t get a notification on this! Well, I did also watch Occultic Nine and Touken Ranbu Hanamaru ❤ Looking forward to some good stuff this season too!

      • Long time, no see. I haven’t added much to my goodreads shelves in ages because I was catching up on anime. As long as I am consuming stories in some fashion, I am happy.
        There’s so many anime shows to watch. And here I am, taking time out to watch a few older series whilst some of the new shows finish current seasons. I still haven’t watched Occultic: Nine or TRH. I will likely give them both a run at some stage to see if I have the same opinion as some of the other anime bloggers that I follow.

      • I have seen some of the stuff you’re watching. You do reviews right? I read a lot of reviews, haha. You should really watch theeeem. I’m now obsessed with Jojo (I had only watched six episodes when it first came out and now I’m almost caught up in about a week)

  2. This show isn’t my usual thing either but right from that opening I was sucked into it. Hopefully it can maintain that draw for the entire series.

    • That is the thing, isn’t it? If a book, show or movie doesn’t have an interesting beginning then folks won’t have the incentive to continue. In most cases, folks want the beginning to be fast-paced and pose enough questions about the situation to hook the audience. In YoI’s case, we see Yuri.K’s current situation and want to root for him because he is a really likeable guy, sort of a slice of life aspect that works well for folks willing to wait longer for a payoff. There will likely be people wanting to see more physical conflict through flashy fight scenes, which I don’t find necessary given that I am more inclined to watch or read a character-driven story because I like characters change over the course of a story. Sometimes that change will be for the better and sometimes for the worse. In the case of Guilty Crown, we saw the male protagonist go through one rollercoaster of an arc due to his screwed up circumstances.
      I have just subscribed to your review blog and added a link to it in the Reviews section on my blogroll.

      • Thanks for the follow and the comment. I think they’ve hit a good balance between making Yuri someone we want to see succeed without making him too pathetic that you just want to walk away. It’s hard to get a character with just the right amount of flaws that they make him kind of endearing.

  3. I absolutely loved the opening song as well, I actually ended up getting it on iTunes. There’s so much hype around this show, I’m thinking of checking it out after all the episodes have aired. Great review 🙂

    • The song actually had me looking up some of Fujioka’s other music as well. BTW, I checked out your blog and took a look at some of your recent reviews. (I’ll probably see if some of the Otome games that you reviewed are available at the Windows Store) Anyway, I just subscribed to your blog and added a link to it in the Reviews section of my blogroll.

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