When the anime first started airing at the beginning of the Fall season, at first I could not get into the first episode and I almost dropped the series.
It took me three attempts to watch the first episode, I think it was more a case of my own headspace getting in the way at the time than the actual anime to be honest because once I got to the end of the first episode I was hooked!!
By the end of episode 2 I was in love with Viktor, Yuri and starting to somewhat like Yurio (I didn’t have a good first impression of him, he came across as a bully in his first scene and due to my own history I instantly hate characters like this) and by the end of episode 3 I was on the Vikturi bandwagon to the point where I got in trouble for fangirling too loud off the family the morning I watched that infamous scene a few weeks later.
My mother could always tell when I was about to or had just watched the latest ep of Yuri!!! On Ice because a few mornings I had come skipping out of my room singing ‘History Maker’ to myself, actually I think I have hummed the theme so much to the point of annoyance around my mother and brother, but what was it about this sports anime that set this fangirl’s heart aflutter?
The story of Yuri!!! On Ice is in truth nothing really new to the sports anime genre, the underdog story with a protagonist that not only lacks skill but more importantly lacks confidence in himself. What takes Yuri!!! On Ice above and beyond this overdone story, however, are its underlining themes of love, sexuality, and self-discovery.
One thing I have stated before is that I do not believe the series is a Boys Love series and to be honest after watching the series all the way through several times, I still believe that. This is an anime that skates along the border of being a boys love series but never completely crosses that line. Yes, there are themes of homosexuality in the series but it is not the main focus of the story, for a story to be BL for me the relationship has to be the main focus of the story.
This does not mean BL can mix with other stories, Ai No Kusabi is both a yaoi anime and light novel series as well as Sci-Fi, the story has elements of both but the main focus of this story is the relationship between Riki and Iason.
Yuri!!! On Ice is one of the best character-driven animes I have seen in a long time and that it’s not just sport anime and in my follow up review to this one that will contain spoilers for the series I want to write about why the characters of the series work and one other part of the series that I feel a lot of reviewers have overlooked as well.
Till Next Time, Mistress of Yaoi!!!