The second show this season to grace us with it’s boy’s club goodness is the new and highly popular Yuri on Ice, a sports anime about figure skating and implicit bromance. There’s a lot of hype over this one, so let’s dive in see if it’s worth it and if it is the Fujoshi gold mine we’re hoping for.
Victor the Russian Figure Skating Idol
We begin with Yuri informing us of how he fell for Victor the first time he saw him and he became his inspiration, leading him down the path of becoming a Figure Skater.
Victor is #1 again.
Yuri was competing in a qualifying competition, and while Victor wins it all once again, Yuri has a setback and comes in last place.
Yuri getting choked up while speaking to his mom.
Naturally Yuri takes it pretty hard and can just barely hold it together while speaking to his mom. Once he hangs up, it all comes out and he breaks out into tears. Losing sucks.
Someone’s feeling threatened.
Yuri’s private time is interrupted by the Russian Yuri, who also competed in the competition and won. He aggressively gets in his face and tells him to get out. Not a very warm first impression, but I bet they’re going to be best buds later on.
Yuri heads home, but on the way he sees Victor and for a moment thinks of saying hello. Victor sees him looking and offers to give him an autograph, but Yuri runs away, too ashamed to face his idol in such a disappointing state.
Clearly he’s a hometown celebrity.
Clearly she’s his #1 Fan.
Yuri arrives home and is immediately faced with his posters all over the place, making him seem like quite the celebrity. He’s greeted by his Sensei, who seems to be his fan. We find out he finished University and the returned home, his next step still undecided.
Yuri’s mom is adorable.
His dad seems kind and funny.
His sister seems wise. I’m waiting for her to drop some serious life lessons on us.
Yuri returns home to his family’s hot spring restaurant and we meet his family. They all seem very supportive to him and are happy to see him back home. His sister asks him what his next plan is and Yuri can’t say for sure. It’s something he must figure out on his own.
This is hilarious out of context.
Sensei’s not feeling the chubby Yuri. Did I mention I love her?
Sensei finally called Yuri out on his increased weight and made him strip, revealing his plump, but still adorable figure. I guess Sensei is a serious Yuri fangirl.
Victor dancing gracefully on the TV.
Yuri getting flustered from seeing Victor on the TV.
Yuri decides he needs some time alone and so goes to his local skate rink to get some practice in. We meet Yoko, his childhood friend that he always looked up to. He also clearly had a crush on her, as early as when he was a precious little cutie showing off his moves to her. She was two years older though and things never seemed to take off between them, so she ended up marrying someone else, but never stopped being his fan and rooting him on. Even now, she’s still got his back and I love that bond.
Victor doing his famous routine.
Yuri performing that same routine almost perfectly for Yoko.
Yoko is the Fujoshi in all of us.
Yuri tells her he wants to show her something and it turns out to be a copy of Victor’s famous performance. We see a beautiful segment of both Victor and Yuri performing at the same time, though in different places. Sensei was watching Victor’s performance on TV and comments that although nice, the routine would be more heartfelt if it were danced by someone younger and more naive. I’m sure we can all guess who that would be. Yuri finishes his graceful performance and then Yoko gives the best fangirl reaction ever.
The start of a heartfelt confession…
Yuri seems to get a bit emotional and appears as though he’s about to confess his secret feelings to Yoko, however he’s interrupted by the 3 little devils that are Yoko’s girls. Perhaps no one informed Yuri that he’s starring in a Bromantic Comedy, not a Romantic Comedy. I’ll admit though, they almost has me shipping them, but a better ship approaches…
Seems like this Yoko’s husband got over his baseless hate for Yuri in his younger days and is now his fan. The girls are total Fujoshi in training and it’s excellent!
They are an adorable little family.
It seems their training may be too good…
They’ve got their priorities straight.
Yuri gets the surprise of his ,life when he discovers the triplets had recorded his performance and uploaded it to the internet where it went viral. Everyone was talking about it to Yuri’s dismay and so he went off the grid for the night and hid.
Is he impressed or offended?
It got everyone’s attention, including the last person he probably wished for, Victor himself. He watches the video and his reaction is hard to read, but is surely significant.
The other Vicchan.
We all know who he means…
Yuri is asked to go shovel and upon opening his door, he is attacked by a dog looking just like his Vicchan, but it’s far too big to be his. Then his father informs him the dog came with a good looking foreign guest and so that could only mean one thing. Yuri runs like a madman to the outdoor spring and he sees none other than…
Victor in the flesh.
The wonderful nice flesh. Finally some fanservice for the ladies.
Victor of course. He’s come all the way to Japan and is now sitting in Yuri’s family’s hot spring. Yuri is blessed not just by his visit, but by a wonderful view as well. I give him props for holding it together and not passing out from the heat and delicious fanservice.
What a wonderful way to give someone good news.
He’s sexy and he knows it.
Victor greets Yuri in the most wonderful way and informs him that from now on he will be his coach. What his intentions are exactly have yet to be seen, but one things for sure…an epic Bromance surely awaits.
So, the first episode of Yuri on Ice turned out to be a real treat in so many ways. The animation was gorgeous, the skating routines were breathtaking, the characters are all extremely likeable, the fanservice is tasteful and welcome and of course, the Bromance is strong and the yaoi undertones are there.
However, I really want to make it a point to note that Yuri did clearly have real feelings for Yoko and also seems to have hints of genuine feelings for Victor as well. This is actually pretty important because it speaks to Yuri’s possible bisexuality, which is something you may not always see in most yaoi or even yuri. It most often goes from one extreme to the other and anything else serves as fanservice or as a plot point for the character’s denial. Yuri, to me, seems canonically bi and that’s awesome!
So all of this being said, Yuri on Ice was every bit the wonderful start I wanted it to be and it’s definitely got the makings to be one of the best this season. Once we get deeper into the plot and the other guys are introduced, i’m expecting to see plenty of Bromantic relationships form and most of all, I’m looking forward to see how Victor and Yuri’s relationship progresses. I can definitely agree with the others who say this is like Free! on Ice, as it shares some of the similar aspects of being a sports anime with fanservice for the ladies and lots of Bromance and yaoi undertones. This is certainly shaping up to be a Fujoshi shipping paradise and I’m so ready for it! I’ll be covering this every week as well along with Touken Ranbu and it may be a new addition to my newly started B-View series.