Beauty on Ice
The season has finally ended, and that final episode was just amazing. I'll get onto that later
I remember the first time I knew about this anime. It just released on Crunchyroll, and I thought I'd check it out after seeing people talk about it on Twitter. Then I watched it. About 30 seconds in and I thought "what is this?" and turned it off. And that was just the opening! Mind you there were other people around and they were talking quite loudly so I couldn't really catch the opening song.
After 3 or 4 episodes released, I gave it another try. Sat alone this time, and I click play on the first episode. And I loved the opening song! I looked forward to it in every episode, mouthing the words and trying to make the ones out I couldn't quite catch. It was worth it.
So I was in love with the opening and the choreography of the figure skating and how each time it repeated itself the scenery would change slightly. That was about halfway through the series that I realised that happened.
Now to the story. Katsuki Yuri is the MC of the series. He's Japan's only figure skater and his idol is the famous Viktor Nikiforov, the All-Star Undefeated Champion of figure skating. But sadly for Yuri, he bummed out of last year's Figure Skating Grand Prix and gains weight after eating to overcome his depression. Unknown to him is that the day he calms himself down by copying one of Viktor's routines, he's recorded and the video goes viral, and seen by Viktor. Because of that, Viktor decides to become his coach. Yes you heard right folks! Viktor retires from figure skating and becomes Yuri's coach! Yuri's next year of figure skating begins.
He's 24 in this year's competition, and must start from the local preliminaries and work his way towards the Grand Prix. Thanks to that we see his friends and competitors, including Yuri Plisetsky, an upcoming Russian figure skater who we meet quite early in the series. He's a hot-headed fella and one of the youngest in the competition, and doesn't like the fact that Viktor becomes Yuri's coach, It's nice to see people from different countries, including Kazakhstan and Thailand. Definitely a diverse series. They're all included in the story, each with their own backstory and personalities which keeps things moving and interesting, and the competition that more dramatic.
Figure skating isn't really something you'd consider to be included in an anime, but Yuri on Ice delivers this perfectly. All the characters' determination to be the best they can is shown through their skating and what they're thinking about during their program, each of which are beautiful and dramatic in their own way as they fight to qualify and win the Grand Prix and other competitions. You can see they have go through all that hard work and dedication in order to pull them off. Beauty does not come so easily, as the stress and fear of messing up is shown on their faces and when they mess up part of their program. It really is heartbreaking when you see them work so hard, only for fear and stress to overwhelm them and they're not 100% during their programs.
I like how the series brings in the reality element into it rather than making it a sports anime with a mixture of reality and non-reality elements, like Kuroko no Basket (which is a brilliant anime). And, it's one of those anime that bring in the use of social media and how powerful it can be when seen by the right people. I'm sure that we can all relate to some moments in the series because of this, like when Yuri's video goes viral, and when people are taking pics of where they are in the world and what not. It's a truly amazing anime that perfectly delivers modern elements. But I am neutral about a certain ship people are hyping.
So Yuri on Ice is definitely a must watch series of 2016. You may underestimate it in the beginning because it's all about figure skating, but I was like that before I watched it. The story, characters and figure skating are brilliant, and the latter is just beautiful. There is some comic relief with the characters which is added to the story at the right times, and if you've seen some of my tweets about Yuri on Ice, you'll know what I mean. It's only 12 episodes long with the possibility of a second season, but I highly recommend it! Let me know what you guys thought of the series.