Okay, but can we take a moment to realize how difficult it must have been for the creators of Yuri on Ice to even get an anime studio to work with them?
Because this was not a simple project at all.
Like, think about Kubo-sensei walking into an office to begin negotiations with an anime studio to get the project known as “Yuri on Ice” greenlit and approved for production (I mean, in real life it’s a bit more complicated than that, but let’s just imagine for the sake of brevity and clarity), and she begins pitching her product:
“We would like to make an original anime about male figure skating”
[Figure skating is one of the most niche sports you could think of, esp in Japan, which could make it really hard to sell]
“Featuring a serious emotional (romantic) relationship between two men”
[Anime is notorious for its poor presentation of homosexuality and is afraid to treat the topic seriously and respectfully because it might scare away potential viewers]
“As well as about 14 different skaters, all from different parts of the world and relevant to the story in some way”
[All of that requires extra character design and casting]
“Which would all need at least 1 figure skating program each, amounting in about 22 different skating programs total”
[That requires immense amounts of animation (and research, and references for its sake) which also means the animation team has to be sufficiently large and skilled to accommodate this need]
“And for this we would also need a professional figure skating choreographer, to actually design all the programs”
[Finding someone who could design 22 different programs, some of them particularly impactful and memorable is a difficult task in and of itself and finding someone who would want to work on an anime project is even harder]
“And of course, we would need someone to write about 22 different music pieces for all of the programs”
[All of which would need to be impactful and memorable, similarly to the choreography]
“And all of this would be contained within 12 episodes.”
[Meaning very little downtime between competitions, as we saw, which means that the animation team has no time to rest because they must complete all the frames for the next episode’s programs (and let me tell you that fluidly animating figure skating is not only difficult but also time consuming as all hell)]
I feel like I could still mention a few aspects, like for example the design of the different locations and the references that it would require, but I think this already gives you a picture of how difficult it was to not only make this anime, but how hard it must have been to actually get it approved (considering how difficult the production process would be, especially for something that originally looked like a risky project that may not even be popular enough to make a profit).
In case you needed more reasons to appreciate Yuri on Ice, let’s take a moment to appreciate how much work and effort went into the creation process for this anime.
Because the fact that it even exists is nothing short of a miracle and something we should never take for granted.