Skating into Center Stage

Skating into Center Stage

Anime fans are currently losing their minds over one of the newest shows on the scene, Yuuri On Ice. Focused on the lives of star figure-skaters and their journey to the Grand Prix, this show is another addition to the ever-growing sports anime genre. Yuuri on Ice premiered on October 5, and has just wrapped up its first season, with 12 episodes.


Written by Misturo Kubo, the show follows the main character, Yuuri Katsuki and his struggles with his figure skating career. He is considering retirement, before Viktor Nikiforov, world legend figure skater (and Yuuri’s idol) shows up and declares himself Yuuri’s coach. The rest of the episodes follow the pair as the train and prepare for the final, with many obstacles and bumps on the way.


What truly sticks out about this show, however, is how incredibly diverse it is and its groundbreaking spotlight on a gay couple. Very few anime have ever featured an open same-sex relationship, and certainly not in the light that Yuuri On Ice presents it in. This article won’t name the couple, simply to stay away from spoilers, but the pair is so comfortable with their relationship and no one in the show treats it any differently than they would a straight couple. It is refreshing to see a queer couple represented like this, especially in a culture that has ignored them for so long. On top of this, the show has a wonderfully diverse array of characters. While the main characters are Japanese and Russian, the show also features people from Thailand, Kazakhstan, China, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, Korea, The Czech Republic, and the United States. It is certainly ahead of the curve in the anime scene.


One big fan of Yuuri on Ice is Elizabeth Lopez (’17). “It’s a really important show right now. Not only is it really enjoyable and a good anime, it brings up important topics.” She stated. “It’s so new to see a positive same-sex relationship portrayed in anime, especially in a sports setting. It’s so typical to see homophobia in this culture, so this is very refreshing. I hope that it leads to more shows having a gay couple as their main romantic plot. A lot of fans have been waiting for something like this.”


Episode 12, the season finale, aired on December 21, 2016 and left the impression that much more was to come in season two. As fans eagerly await the next season, expected to come later this year, it is the perfect time to catch up on Yuuri On Ice!