Yuuri!!! On Ice is one of my favourite animes. It’s a story about love–not just romantic love, although that plays a big role, but also self-love. It is a sports anime featuring Japanese figure skater, twenty-three-year-old Yuuri Katsuki. After a terrible figure skating season following a mortifying defeat at the Grand Prix Final, Yuuri returns to Japan. Yuuri is a big fan of Viktor Nikiforov, the Russian figure skating legend, and as a way to console himself after his defeat, Yuuri goes to the ice rink and practices one of Viktor’s routines. Unbeknownst to him, he’s being filmed, and the video goes completely viral. This catches Viktor’s attention. He follows Yuuri to Japan, promising to coach Yuuri for the next Grand Prix Final, and the episodes that follow detail their adorable romance.
While the queer representation in the show is great, and I love pretty much everything about the plot (except the mentions of fatphobia and a couple of annoying characters – looking at you, Mikey Crispino), what I enjoy the most is the show’s depiction of insecurity.
Yuuri has a lot of self-image problems. The story could have just stopped at that. There’s no shortage of plots about characters with poor self-esteem, who learn to love themselves through the love of their friends. Yuuri!!! On Ice goes a step further. It shows how Yuuri’s negative self-talk isn’t just hurting himself, it’s hurting the people who support him.
My first ever Youtube video explores this in detail!
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