Okay so story time! When I was around 11 (roughly 5 years ago) I took about 6 weeks of figure skating. I fell in love with it, but I played 3 other sports at the time and it was an EXPENSIVE sport so I was finished.
Flash forward to end of 2016 - 2017. I found this super cool sports anime that was about VOLLEYBALL, another sport I played. One episode led to another and another, until I moved on to new sports animes (I found out that I played a lot of sports when I could count at least 4 sports animes that were based on sports I played).
As I flicked through new animes, something caught my eye. An ice skating anime? Well this sounds awesome! Four episodes in, I found out one of my best friends also had found the show. Together we waited for each Wednesday eagerly and created fanblogs (Love you Rachel ;D).
I went skating in December of 2016 with my cousins. I could barely complete a spin, but I had remembered my “fishies” and “swizzles”. I went another time with my cousins and I had more fun. I asked my mom in a joking manner if I could take skating back up again. She laughed along with me and I went back to skating after grabbing a drink.
Then in January, I went with my friend (aforementioned fangirl friend, that is). I could get some spinning down, and I even giddily tried to mimic Yuri’s step sequence in Agape. We both squealed when we saw a man who did some jumps and the woman he was with also did some (*cough cough* Victuuri *cough cough*).
The next week, I went with my non fangirl friend. I taught her some spins and I overheard the girls next to us talking about Yuri on Ice. I’ll admit I did go out and do a few spins to try and impress them, but after one approached me to help her with skating backwards (a skill I had only just gotten the hang of) I offhandedly mentioned Yuri and they squealed. (It was amazing)
I had such a great time I started going every week, sometimes on Sundays, most times on Friday, sometimes even going twice a week. I’d go after High school softball practice, and yeah, I’d regret it the next day, but it felt amazing when I skated.
Two weeks ago, my mom watched me skate and clapped when i attempted my backwards crossover (I failed). As I got off the ice to grab some water, she watched me silently. She finally smiled and quietly told me that if I raised some money/got a job, she’d pay for lessons and competitions because I seemed so dedicated (that and I payed for my skates as well as rink admittance which impressed her). I was so happy I started crying. I also immediately practiced some more.
This week I went to the rink as usual and there was a guy there who was also skating. He mentioned he had started self teaching himself in January and he was pretty good. I even asked him some advice for a toeloop.
The video above is me attempting a toe loop for the first time. Its far from good, but I posted it here because I decided that others needed to see this. Yuri on Ice isn’t just some sports anime. It connected with me on a different level (the way it dealed with anxiety and other problems also connected me to the show).
The video above shows that with some determination, you can do what you set your mind to, which is what I think one if the messages of YoI was. I went from slow single spins to attempting toe loops.
So yeah, YoI is an anime and sometimes it can be silly, but how it effects people, that’s what makes it such a great show.