First Impressions- Yuri!!! On Ice

Imagine feeling the wind in your hair, seeing the world rushing by in a blur. Close your eyes and feel yourself fly as execute a perfect loop. Visualize the world spinning away while waiting for it to come back. Dancing on the blades, the ever graceful heart on fire. That exhilarating moment when you feel unstoppable. Experience the sharp pain of falling, which will make you strive for the satisfaction of perfection. Welcome to the world of figure skating.

 

I love figure skating. It’s the first sport I fell in love with.

How ironic. I have never seen ice or snow IRL in my entire life. But still the Lutz and Loops and Axels never fail to draw me in. The grace and beauty literally brings tears to my eyes. [I’m not even joking!] Seeing this, what could be better for an avid otaku than a figure skating anime! It’s literally the dynamite combination of two of my favorite things to watch in the world. What’s not to love??

If you actively follow the new anime and manga of each season, you will know why I am suddenly writing about this. You guessed it. Today I am going to write about the extreme feels I got from watching the amazing Yuri!!! On Ice.

I had been excited about this but not as much as the new season of Haikyuu! Yesterday finally, I decided to sit down and give it a shot. And…………Oh. My. Gawd! Actually, never mind. Just go ahead and go watch the 1st episode, I swear you’ll feel it too. Honestly, go ahead. And then, come back and give me your thoughts. Oh…….my! This…this beauty is literally the best new anime of Fall 2016.

The 1st episode….it just blew me away. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. I was yuri-on-ice-01-25expecting to be entertained. But only at a filler level. And oh, was I wrong. It literally slapped me in the face. It is soooooo good! I can’t stress enough on the fact how good it is. The character animations. Man, they are beyond realistic. The way the characters move. The way they feel real. While watching the episode, I was able to become immersed in the episode. No. Scratch that, its actually the emotions the animators managed to portray just through their body movements and postures. It is a slice-of-life sports anime. Which means that a major part of it depends on the feels. So far, it is one of the best factors of the anime.

The first five minutes or so of Yuri!!! On ICE seem to set the tone of the show as a whole in a very sudden but effective way. The premiere begins with the titular ice skater Yuri Katsuki observing his Russian idol, Victor Nikiforov. It’s a short but beautiful sequence, followed up by one of the most striking openings that has come out this year. I have lost track of how many times I have watched that title track. Even, after the 30+ times, I have listened to it, I am still listening to it, mesmerized, now as I write this post up.

The most surprising part here, though, is what comes right the opening – while browsing news sites talking about his recent losses, Yuri breaks into a super deformed inner yuri-on-ice-01-3monologue, and the show’s loud sense of humor takes over. The juxtaposition of those two very different moods is what defines the experience of Yuri!!! On ICE, and so far, it works really well. The combination of heightened drama and over the top comedy ironically helps make the show as a whole feel natural.

Of course, the show is about ice skating, so it would be remiss to ignore the centrepiece of the episode, a wonderful few minutes where we see Victor and Yuri perform the same set simultaneously. The choreography here is superb, and the sequence is beautifully animated. I also appreciate that the episode was willing to dedicate such a significant amount of time to this part. It is very important to getting across both Victor’s skills and Yuri’s passion. I soooo hope the show can keep bringing us scenes like this, executed so cleanly and smooth, because it is such a unique delight to watch Yuri and Victor elegantly fly across the screen.  Yuri performed for his old friend, whose children happened to be there and managed to capture the entire thing on video, uploading it to the internet right away (“But all the skater otaku will love it!”). In probably the most distinctly “sports anime” moment of the episode, this video inspires Yuri’s hero Victor to show up at his family’s inn and declare himself to be Yuri’s new coach. Ok. OK. Heh…..(sheepishly grinning) Gomen! I’ll stop here. So no more spoilers for you lot. Go watch it!!

Forgot to mention, one of the plus points of this anime is that it is very modern. The characters are very active on their Instagram accounts. I mean, the entire outro is basically someone’s Insta feed. And the posting of Yuri’s video online and it becoming viral is a sign to this.

Thus, finally finally in a nutshell, I’d like to say that Yuri!!! On ICE is an unique little piece of show, so far juggling a variety of moods and feelings with the grace of its talented ice skating characters. It literally slaps you in the face with its impressive technical aspects on every level and just the right amount of levity in its writing to keep things impactful without becoming overbearing – warm and inviting, while also promising rewarding drama.

Actually, just one word. I…..love IT! (Actually dats 3…oops!)

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Jaane!

Yours somehow-giddily-fangirling-already-after-only-2-episodes,

ZEEBEE.

P.S. Go watch it. And don’t forget to give me ur views. I’d love to discuss it.

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One thought on “First Impressions- Yuri!!! On Ice

  1. I definitely felt this anime had an impact. I’ve watched the opening a lot of times too because that song and the fluid visuals are just fantastic. I even managed to get a friend to watch the first two episodes with me so unlike most anime that I watch week to week I’ve already rewatched what is available of this. That said, it still isn’t my top anime for the season because at the moment the story itself is a little weak. I am hoping that now that we have met our main characters they can start developing the story a bit more in future episodes. Even if they don’t though, I’m kind of sold on just watching how these characters move. It is beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Like

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