Yuri on Ice is one of the most beloved original anime series of recent years, but what makes it so popular and what is its story all about?
The series first launched in 2016. Despite having little fanfare or buildup and not coming from an established manga series, it achieved enormous success internationally. Almost six years removed from its premiere, what do we now know about the series? And what do newcomers need to know before getting into Yuri on Ice?
What is Yuri on Ice?
Yuri on Ice is a sports romance anime from 2016 produced by MAPPA.
The anime follows Yuri Katsuki, a Japanese figure skater at the tail end of his career. The series starts with him crying in a bathroom after a disastrous performance in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final which stemmed from the death of his dog. Following this, he contemplates retirement and neglects his fitness regimen.
In an effort to break out of his funk he emulates a program skated by Victor Nikiforov, a character based on real-life Olympian Evgeni Plushenko. Footage of Yuri’s rendition of Victor’s routine leaks to the internet and is seen by Victor. Victor is on hiatus and contemplating retirement after years of dominating the competition, but decides to spend his time off coaching Yuri.
With Victor’s help, Yuri returns to form and makes headway in international competitions. This also leads to Yuri and Victor’s relationship becoming more romantic as the series progresses.
Who is Yuri’s love interest in Yuri on Ice?
Yuri’s romantic interest in Yuri on Ice is Victor Nikiforov.
While Yuri was in training, Victor was a rising star in the junior circuit of international figure skating. By the time Yuri reaches the senior circuit, Victor is firmly established as the best in the world with a number of medals to prove it. Victor is familiar with Yuri, having met him in and around competitions in the past.
While it can be inferred that Yuri had long been attracted to Victor, Victor seemingly develops feelings for Yuri after spending a length of time with him.
Is Yuri on Ice based on a true story?
Yuri on Ice is not based on a true story.
The depictions of figure skating are all based on real-life competitions. The Grand Prix of Figure Skating is a real-life event and many of the competitions shown in the series are real. Victor Nikiforov is modeled after real-life figure skating star Evgeni Plushenko, a four-time Olympic medalist.
But the story of Yuri on Ice is not based on any specific relationship between real-world individuals.