Yuri!!! on Ice – the big yawn

Frankly I don’t where to start.

There’s no dispute that Yuri!!! on Ice was spectacular in many ways. Its animation sequence is next to flawless, the BGM and theme songs uplifting. Accuracy in its resemblance to competitive figure skating, yup.

I understand the plot. Katsuki Yuri is down, depressed, lost and needs someone to help him get back up on his feet. He meets his idol, Viktor Nikiforov, and after a series of events not only does the protagonist become one of the best in the game, but also becomes his fiance.

Yuri-on-Ice.jpg

I gave up after five episodes.

Everything was funny and fresh at first, but then the same skating sequence was repeated in almost every competition (in the first five episodes at least). Viktor’s flirting became more distracting. The whole “unprecedented” love blossoming between two male characters.

I’m reminded of a movie I watched about Oksana Baiul, a Ukrainian figure skater in the 90’s. She made figure skating graceful – and dangerous, after she collided with another skater and needed stiches.

I’m also reminded of Scott Hamilton, another Olympic gold medalist from the United States. He made figure skating fun and cool. Have you seen him golf on the ice rink while skating to “Double Boogey Blues”?

Hanyu Yuzuru made figure skating flawless and effortless. He pushed boundaries and made so many axels I stopped counting.

So after being exposed to these amazing skaters since childhood til now, the world that Yuri!!! on Ice made was a little too… sexualised, for lack of a better description, for my liking.

And if I may take it a step further, Yuri!!! on Ice wasn’t really about the figure skating, was it? It was primarily a love story between two men in an ideal setting where they are accepted.

I’d like to see what happens if one of them was in a skating accident, and is left with no choice but to end his career. Or one of Viktor’s past lovers comes into the picture and things get serious. And at some point, the katsudon has got to retire.

It’s harsh, but that’s what happens doesn’t it?

Anime can be about escaping reality from time to time. That’s what I love about it. But life is more complex than that, and anime can be a outlet to address these issues. Yuri!!! on Ice is a fantasy that has unfortunatley watered down the tough world of figure skating so much for me it’s disappointing.

Do you know what we need? An anime about ice hockey. It’s a rough sport but there’s nothing like watching men chasing a rubber puck while elbowing the other players up against a window. It’s awfully thrilling to watch.

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