Yuri on Ice
|Name:||ユーリ!!! on ICE, Yuri!!! on Ice, Yuri on Ice|
|Creator:||Mitsurō Kubo, Sayo Yamamoto|
|Date(s):||October 5, 2016 - December 21st, 2016|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||Official Website (E)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Yuri on Ice (stylized Yuri!!! on Ice; also ユーリ!!! on ICE) is a 12-episode sports anime series following Katsuki Yuuri in his competitive figure skating career. The series is produced by MAPPA, directed by Yamamoto Sayo and written by Kubo Mitsurou.
Yuri on Ice was first announced by producer Axev Pictures at AnimeJapan 2016, with an official website for the series opened on March 22, 2016. The project was planned over the course of four years; according to writer Kubo Mitsurou, she and co-creator Yamamoto Sayo visited Beijing, Russia and Barcelona for location hunts, and Kubo also created over 900 pages of draft scripts in manga format.
The first episode of Yuri on Ice aired on October 5, 2016. At the end of October, shortly after the fourth episode, there were already more than 3000 illustrations and 400 novels on Pixiv, almost 600 works on Archive of our Own, and more than 150 stories tagged "yurionice" on Wattpad.
The show quickly gained a large fanbase, prompting many writers to analyse how and why Yuri on Ice was "taking anime by storm". Daily Dot writer Gavia Baker-Whitelaw dubbed Yuri on Ice "one of the best shows of 2016", saying, "You will experience, at minimum, about 37 emotions per 20-minute episode, tangling your heartstrings into a Gordian Knot of delicious romantic tension."
Yuri On Ice has a reputation of being much more openly gay than similar shows, drawing in LGBT audiences in support of the canon Yuuri Katsuki/Victor Nikiforov pairing. Tumblr user unicornmagic described the audience reaction to Yuri On Ice as "[one] of people starved for sustenance shocked and tearful at being fed a decent meal ... There’s no reason we should be starved for stories like this."
However, the show has also engendered criticism, particularly from LGBTQ+ fans, over the lack of explicit on-screen romance between the two romantic leads, drawing accusations of queerbaiting. Others have hit back at the accusations by pointing out that Japanese culture is not all that LGBT-friendly, and that the show's creators had clearly done everything they could to portray a genuine, positive gay relationship on-screen whilst still abiding by the censors. Still others have pointed out that the intimate exchanges we see between the two main characters are far more meaningful and positive as a representation of gay romance than "them saying I love you in so many words". In the official fanbook, director Sayo Yamamoto stated that she faced censorship in regards to the kiss.
At the end of October 2016, different romanisations of the characters' names were in use, making matters confusing because two of the main characters share the same name: Yuri or Yuuri.
Using Yuuri and Yuri to differentiate between the two is a popular convention. On the Yuri on Ice Wikia, the Japanese figure skater is spelled Yuuri, and the Russian ice skater is spelled Yuri. These are also main tags on Archive of our Own. A popular method on Tumblr is to use second name initials to disambiguate, calling them Yuri K and Yuri P.
A different convention is to call Russian Yuri Yurio, a nickname that is used in canon and that the character dislikes.
The coach's first name is usually spelled Victor, but can also frequently be found as Viktor, such as on the Yuri on Ice Wikia. However, the spelling was later changed to Victor, after many complaints from several outraged commenters on the Wikia.
In English speaking parts of the fandom, the format of the characters' names is more often Firstname Lastname (e.g. Yuri Katsuki), as per western culture, rather than the other way around, as per Japanese culture.
Yuri on Ice has a fairly extensive cast of characters introduced over the course of its 12 episodes, from figure skaters of various nationalities to their coaches, friends and family. Some of the key characters who appear in fanworks include:
- Yūri Katsuki / Yuuri Katsuki. 23 year old figure skater from Japan. He is often self-deprecating and lacks confidence during performances and in his relationship with Victor. Yuri is shown to have been infatuated with the figure skater Victor Nikiforov since his childhood.
- Victor Nikiforov / Viktor Nikiforov. A 27 year old Russian figure skater, and legend in the figure skating world, with a number of world records to his name. He comes to Yuri Katsuki's home town to train him after Yuri returns there following his losses at the Grand Prix Final and Japanese Nationals. A video of Yuri imitating Victor's show is leaked by fans, which piques Victor's interest. Victor is generally pictured as tall and handsome, but also forgetful, playful and over-enthusiastic. It is revealed that he feels he has neglected his "Life and Love" for skating, and his uncertainty about his life after his impending retirement led him to impulsively decide to coach Yuri.
- Yuri Plisetsky / Yurio. A 15 year old figure skater from Russia, generally characterised as wild, determined and childish. Victor promised to train him, but forgot and went to train Yuri Katsuki instead, so Yuri Plisetsky wants revenge, follows Victor and starts to compete against Yuri Katsuki. He is often associated with cats, and his fan club have a tendency to throw cat ears and other cat-related items at him.
Other characters: Figure skaters
- Phichit Chulanont. A 20 year old figure skater from Thailand. He is Yuri Katsuki's closest friend in the ice skating world, and the two trained together as part of a Detroit skating club under the same coach, Celestino Cialdini. He has a cheery, upbeat personality, and his goal is to raise the profile of ice skating in Thailand and south-east Asia.
- Christophe Giacometti / Chris. A 25 year old figure skater from Switzerland, and a contemporary of Victor Nikiforov's who has competed against him in various major competitions. At age 25, Christophe is one of the oldest skaters still skating competitively, and believes that it is his time to finally win gold at the Grand Prix Final. He is a very sexual character, uninhibited and sensual, and his skating routines emphasise "mature sexuality" as a theme.
- Otabek Altin. An 18-year-old Kazakhstani figure skater, also known as the "hero of Kazakhstan". Although he is introduced by name relatively late in the series, he becomes a key character in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth episodes, striking up a friendship with Yuri Plisetsky, with whom he has a history.
- Jean-Jacques Leroy / JJ. A 19-year-old figure skater from Canada. JJ is boisterous, self-confident and a talented skater who styles himself "King JJ" and is famous for his motto, "It's JJ style!" His overconfidence regularly brings him into conflict with his fellow qualifiers for the Grand Prix Final.
- Michele Crispino / Mickey. A 22-year-old Italian figure skater, Michele is inseparable from his twin sister Sara. They skate together and are always seen at competitions supporting each other. However, Sara recognises that this co-dependence is holding them both back, and seeks to put some distance between them for both of their sakes.
- Leo de la Iglesia. A Mexican-American figure skater, aged 19, who won gold at Skate America and came close to qualifying for the Grand Prix Finals. He is very creative and choreographs most of his own skating programmes. He shares a love of social networking with Guang-Hong Ji, with whom he is good friends.
- Guang-Hong Ji. A 17-year-old Chinese figure skater who wins bronze at Skate America, sharing the podium with Otabek Altin and Leo de la Iglesia. He looks up to Viktor Nikiforov and fanboys over him with Leo de la Iglesia and Phitchi Chulanont. All three are good friends and share a love of social networking.
- Sara Crispino. A 22-year-old Italian figure skater, Sara is rarely seen without her twin brother Mickey. They began skating together at the age of nine, and are always supporting each other at competitions. But while Mickey has no desire to separate from his sister, Sara recognises their need to be more independent from one another.
Most of the popular pairings are slash. Some members of the fanbase identify as fujoshi, and many more are generally interested in Yaoi and Boys' Love. Without a doubt the most common ship is Yuur Katsuki/Victor Nikiforov, also smushnamed to "Victuuri" (pronounced like "Victory"). Fans were pleasantly shocked (to say the least) when this ship became canon mid-show, with many contrasting this against other sports anime that don't go past queerbaiting or fanservice-y suggestions of slash.
- Yuri Katsuki/Victor Nikiforov. Also called 'Victuri' or 'Victuuri', this is the main canon ship of the series. Notable moments are The Kiss in episode 7, and an exchange of gold rings (indicating a marriage or engagement) in episode 10.
- Otabek Altin/Yuri Plisetsky. Also called 'Otayuri'. Despite Otabek's introduction as a character relatively late in the series, this ship has quickly risen to become one of the most popular Yuri on Ice ships, with fans building on the two characters' history together and supportive on-screen friendship.
- Leo de la Iglesia/Guang-Hong Ji. Also called 'Leoji'. One of the more popular ships in spite of the fact that both are fairly minor characters who are seen relatively little later on in the series. Leo and Guang-Hong are shown to be good friends, sharing a love of social networking. In later episodes, the two are seen talking over the phone and watching the Grand Prix Final together via livestream.
- Sara Crispino/Mila Babicheva. While not often a focal point of fanworks, Sara/Mila is one of the more popular yuri ships, and is favoured as a background pairing. Sara and Mila are seen watching the Grand Prix Final together in later episodes of the series.
- Michele Crispino/Emil Nekola Often background characters in other works. Emil and Michele are seen watching the Grand Prix Final together.
- Yuri Katsuki/Yuri Plisetsky. Popular because of their rivalry, but sometimes frowned upon because of the age difference.
- Jean-Jacques Leroy/Yuri Plisetsky
- Leo de la Iglesia/Guang-Hong Ji/Phichit Chulanont
- Yuri Katsuki/Phichit Chulanont Sometimes seen as a pre-canon relationship.
FanworksFanart is very popular in this fandom, edits and AMVs less so. Fanfiction and imagines are also popular.
- Transfic. All of the main characters have been headcanoned and written as trans women, trans men, and nonbinary. There are a few canon occasions where Yuri K explicitly expresses an affinity to femininity and desires the role of a woman, which leads to Yuri K being seen as a trans woman or a nonbinary person by some fans. One early theory suggested that both Yuris were in fact trans women, which would make the title a reference to the genre Yuri.
- Owing to the prevalence of Instagram and other types of social media in the series, chatfic (fanfiction written in the style of a group chat) and other fanworks which centre around social media as a theme or plot device are common. Many fanworks creators imitate the format of social media in their works to create fake posts and screencaps. Others include references to photos and videos going viral, or reference an individual skater's followers and fanbase.
- Rivals series / Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches by Reiya. ‘…Of all the rivalries in the world of sports over the years, perhaps none has become so legendary as that of Russian figure skater Viktor Nikiforov and his rival, Japanese Yuuri Katsuki…’A single event changes the course of Yuuri’s life, throwing him into a bitter rivalry with Viktor Nikiforov that spans across his entire skating career. But as the years go on, rivalry and hatred begin to develop into something very different and Yuuri doesn’t seem to be able to stay away, no matter how hard he tries. Hatred and love are two sides of the same coin and even though everything changes, some things are still meant to be.
- No Less Unthinkable by rageprufrock. "In which Katsuki Yuuri fights a losing battle with chronic anxiety, the quadruple Salchow, and his own judgment four drinks in — but wins the war."
- Unwritten by kaizuka. Soulmates AU where whatever you write on your own skin appears on your soulmate, but when there is a language barrier, meeting becomes just a little more difficult than it should be.
- What is Love? (Baby Don't Hurt Me) by ScreamHoney. Soulmark AU, when someone sees their soulmark on someone else (aka their soulmate) their mark starts to cause them pain until the two connect romantically, normally a simple kiss is fine (Incomplete)
- katsuki_fc wrote by tetsurashian. "Just because Yuuri isn't big on social media, doesn't mean his fans aren't. (aka a social media fic)"
- The Fundamentals of Caring and All the world’s a stage by braveten
- Imposter Syndrome by renaissance, a fake dating AU
- Setting Sun by LittleLostStar, a renowned songfic
- Blackbird by sixpences, a historical spy warfic
- [PARODY Yuri!!! on Ice - History Maker YAOI VER.] by Judee Zee on YouTube. A parody of the song's theme, 'History Makers', with alternate lyrics describing the feelings of the YOI fandom whilst watching the show.
Resources & Communities
- ユーリ!!!onICE tag on Pixiv
- Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime) tag on Archive of our Own
- Search for #yurionice on Wattpad
- Search for yuri on ice on Tumblr
- #YuriOnIce hashtag on Twitter
- Yuri on Ice Kink Meme on Tumblr
- Yuri-on-Ice deviantArt group
- Yuri!!! on Ice Wikia
- Original Anime 'Yuri!!! on Ice' Announced, MyAnimeList, March 26 2016. (Accessed December 25, 2016).
- Why Yuri On Ice Is Taking Anime By Storm by Megan Peters, comicbook.com, 19 December 2916 (Accessed December 25, 2016).
- Figure skating anime 'Yuri on Ice' is one of the best shows of 2016, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, DailyDot, December 2 2016 (Accessed 25 December, 2016).
- Why People Are Hyped About A Male Figure Skating Anime, Cecilia D'Anastasio, Nov 7 2016, Kotaku
- The thing about Yuri on Ice by unicornmagic, published 8 December, 2016 (Accessed 22 December, 2016).
- I'm all about Victuuri, ok... by batmancalledataxi on tumblr (Accessed December 22, 2016).
- Okay but how is yuri on ice not queerbait??? by galaxyprincenova on tumblr (Accessed December 22, 2016).
- Can I just say that it really gets on my nerves... by madelezabeth on tumblr, published December 11, 2016 (Accessed December 22, 2016).
- This is for anyone who wasn't completely satisfied by the finale... on tumblr (Accessed December 22, 2016).
- @ people saying it was queerbait before the kiss... by oikawatoo on tumblr, posted November 17, 2016 (Accessed December 22, 2016).
- Yuri on Ice Wikia Page "Yuuri Katsuki", saved to the Wayback Machine on October 31, 2016
- Yuri on Ice Wikia Page "Yuri Plisetsky", saved to the Wayback Machine on October 31, 2016
- "Viktor Nikiforov" on Yuri on Ice Wikia (accessed December 22, 2016).
- Fanart by rianemone on Tumblr, accessed December 22, 2016.
- What's So Gay About Yuri!!! on Ice?, Jacob Chapman, Anime News Network, Nov 2 2016
- Yuri!!! on Ice tag on Queer Headcanon of the Day
- Trans Katsuki Yuuri, Non-Binary Katsuki Yuuri, Genderfluid Katsuki Yuuri works on AO3
- Trans Victor Nikiforov, Non-Binary Victor Nikiforov, Genderfluid Victor Nikiforov works on AO3
- Trans Yuri Plisetsky, Non-Binary Yuri Plisetsky, Genderfluid Yuri Plisetsky works on AO3
- Tumblr post by Khodi, October 24 2016, archived October 31 2016
- Fanart by b-tandoodlez on tumblr, published December 8th, 2016 (Accessed December 25th, 2016).