Reviews Id 524917

May 15, 2024
"Yuri!!! on Ice" is a very risky project, in which everything - from the plot to the characters - is served on the edge of silliness. On the one hand, the series literally screams of the shounen-ai genre, and yet it is not about the relationship between men. On the other hand, it's a story about figure skating, which is not very popular with male audiences, but has a specific female audience. Again, a misstep. This is not a story about sport.
This is a story about an impossible dream, about beautiful people who help and support each other, who carry on when there is no hope of victory. And this transcendental humanity, this transcendental love, which practically does not exist in real life, is the basis of the series.

The main character, Yuuri Katsuki, is ending his career as a figure skater. His results are poor, Japan is not proud of a 24-year-old who has never won a medal, and he is past the peak of his sporting form. He has spent most of his life praying to the god of figure skating - Russian athlete Victor Nikiforov - and on one of the worst days of Yuuri's life, the living dream walks into his house and announces that he will be his coach. But the Japanese has a rival who will tear anyone to pieces just to get the divine Nikiforov as his teacher. And here's a coincidence! Yuuri's rival is called Yuri!

The first thing that catches your eye is the divine opening, with super expensive, detailed character animation and hand-drawn characters. The title theme immediately "tears your head off" and puts you in the right frame of mind: this anime is not about the love of two men, no, it's a story about the struggle for a dream, about the efforts of people on the edge of the possible, about the beauty and greatness of the human essence, which manifests itself in every work, if only you put your heart into it. And most of the series is a hymn to the human body, its grace and beauty, and the power of the spirit hidden within it.

Almost every episode is well done, with long and well thought-out competition sequences. Each skater has their own unique routine, their own specific movements, their own temperament and pace, and for that alone the animators should be given an Oscar. No one has sweated and worked harder on the anime that year than the MAPPA studio.

But that's not enough! They have worked out the details of the character of absolutely all the characters, the emotions, and not only in terms of animation, but also in terms of directing. You believe in the characters as you do yourself, they are too human, imperfect and so close and understandable. Yuuri looks particularly cool when he goes over the edge and shows such passion on the ice that it gives you goosebumps. The main character himself has so many faces and sides that it is impossible to guess how he will behave: one moment he is a frightened, bespectacled man who has never even held a girl's hand, the next he is a fierce young man ready to tear his idol coach to shreds if he takes his eyes off him and stops following him.

It should be warned that there are hints of BL in this anime, and clear ones at that, but all these embraces and ostentatious gestures seem unexpectedly human, like a powerful movement of the soul that pushes to say the right words, to do something unimaginable for another person, something that can support them, rekindle the flame of enthusiasm in them, and it doesn't matter who is of what gender. And this pseudo-BL romance turns into an unexpected catharsis if you want to believe in human nature, in all the best that is in each of us.

Some seemingly stiff characters suddenly reveal a tender essence, full of grace and of such monstrous beauty that it sweeps you away, leaving nothing but pure delight.

Music. The music doesn't just hook you up, it sometimes tears your soul, bringing you to the pinnacle of bliss, and together with the divine animation and incredibly sharp moments that create a ‘wow effect’ in the same place, the experience is simply unforgettable.

‘Yuri!!! on Ice" is a must-see for everyone. Don't let the BL innuendo scare you away, the comedy of positions on the edge of stupidity. Don't read the comments of enthusiastic yaoi women, it's all rubbish and doesn't matter. The main thing is the wonderful feeling of belonging to the ascent of a lonely soul who suddenly realises that they are not alone, they are loved, that their beautiful essence touches other people. So much so that their eyes light up, they know what they are living for, they open up, dazzled by this beauty and power.
Reviewer’s Rating: 10
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