Like many others, I was initially disappointed when I found out Yuri on Ice was named for two guys named Yuri and not girls’ love. It made sense, too, because Sayo Yamamoto could totally make that show. In retrospect I feel very silly, however, because Yuri on Ice ended up exceeding all of my expectations anyway. Together with Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu it’s only one of two shows that I considered for Anime of the Year 2016, and I still haven’t actually decided which one I like more.
Yuri on Ice had an incredibly solid premiere. I couldn’t think of many bad things to say about it – aside from the fact that I didn’t immediately love the comedy – but over time it started feeling like a real show: Some episodes were more interesting, others were less. Some looked great, others less so. But, at that point it had already managed to charm me, and I’d even started liking the comedy.
By the end, I was laughing at all the jokes and crying at all the emotional moments. I was swept away by how enjoyable the show was. Sure, the figure skating premise did a lot of work, but I don’t think it would have been enough to carry the show had the characters not been so loveable. I almost jumped for joy when I found out there was going to be a continuation (I’m assuming a second season) at some point, not because I’m super interested in figure skating but because I want to find out more about the characters. The main characters got a lot of development in the first season, but there are many side characters who I wanted to see more of. I hope the sequel delivers in that regard.