It’s easy to think of anime as all about action all the time. But romance is just as much a part of the anime as the Kamehameha explosions and the cursed katanas. There is no better introduction to this subgenre than “Yuri on Ice”, a love story that combines the high-risk, high-reward world of professional ice skating with the desperate search for the balance that defines adulthood.
Yuri Katsuki is one of Japan’s greatest figure skaters, but Episode 1 finds him brought down by a series of failures. However, he can’t sulk for long: his idol, Victor Nikiforov, wants to be his trainer, and he has traveled to Yuri’s sleepy hometown to prove it. Thus begins their bond, which deepens through intense training, international competitions and the arrival of Yuri Plisetsky, a 15-year-old phenomenon with whom Victor had promised to work.
In just 12 episodes, “Yuri on Ice” moves at a fast and satisfying pace. This makes him ideal for newcomers and also enriches the story: just as the days go by for Yuri K. in a race of training, performance and falling in love, so do the episodes that chronicle his journey. Yuri and Victor’s love story is a breathtaking leap to fame, full of sacrifice, risk-taking, and new experiences. Although they stumble along the way, as every skater does on occasion, watching them regain their footing is a joy. Add an adorable poodle, colorful support cast, and electric animation, and you’ve got romance for the ages.