Genre(s): Sports, BL
Age-Appropriateness: 13+ (Partial nudity, minor language, suggestive themes)
Platforms: Crunchyroll, Funimation
TheAwersome Rating: 8.5 / 10 (Worth watching, good change of pace)
Premise: After a terrible defeat in the figure skating Grand Prix Final, 23-year-old Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki takes some time off from skating and returns to his hometown. Having conflicting feelings toward his career, he visits his childhood friend and performs a near-perfect imitation of an iconic performance by his all-time idol, Russian champion Victor Nikiforov. Secretly recorded footage of the piece surfaces on the internet and catches Victor’s attention, who decides to pay him a visit, and offer to be his coach.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: More like YAOI on Ice amirite? K, now that that jokes out of the way, I really enjoyed this one. Having been a competitive dancer (ballroom) there was a lot that I really connected with, though I feel it’d be enjoyable for anyone. There’s a lot of figure skating (obviously) and the show does a good job of explaining basics, rules, and nuances to catch all of us clueless folks up to speed on terminology, etc. Interestingly enough, I feel the animation quality varies a LOT between the various performances. Some are gorgeous with beautiful flow and angles, while others feel worse than Don Bluth’s awkward rotoscoped humans among animals. That being said, you feel a different and specific style from each skater, and even between the different pieces they do, so that was very well done.
There’s really good character growth, and a very accurate look into the mind of a performer in the heat of the moment, in the midst of competition. The line between Bromance and romance gets mighty blurred, so heads up if that makes you uncomfortable. There are some real, raw, emotions in this that go against stiff “macho” stereotypes, and I appreciated it.