Yuri on Ice is an entirely different anime that focuses on destigmatizing toxic masculinity and gender behavioral aspects imposed by society on men and touches sweetly on the topic of mental health, confidence, the pursuit of dreams, and motivation. The anime portrays eating disorders, inspiration, love, creativity, facing failure, being confident, finding meaning and someone to love, succeeding in following dreams, struggle in the matter of twelve episodes. Katsuki Yuri is an aspiring figure skater who is very talented and graceful but due to his lack of confidence, struggles to be on top of the ladder and finishes last in the Grand Prix final competition.
He is crestfallen with his coach trying to cheer him up but in vain. He sees Viktor Nikiforov, the five-times champion of the same series of competitions and an inspiring figure for Yuri himself, but he avoids engaging in conversation with him. His shyness, timid awareness of his behavior, and social awkwardness are portrayed so beautifully along with his character development in confidence as well as figure skating is spectacular.
Katsuki Yuri’s representation as a boy
It is beautiful how the creators of the anime gave the traits that are not well received by the orthodox and conservative society into Yuri and made it the protagonist who is empathized and loved by the viewers. His inability to perfect difficult jumps, overthinking and underestimating himself added to the uniqueness of his character by showing and normalizing such traits among people.
His reserved characteristic found a new break when Viktor crashed into his life, claiming to be his new coach hell-bent on making him win the Grand Prix final. Since then, Viktor helped Yuri find flexibility in his character, challenging narratives of his known personality. He perfected acts that he could never do if he didn’t receive such motivation and inspirational push from his coach. He asks Viktor to have more faith in him which shows how much he needed someone to put as much faith in him as he needed to secure his self-confidence.
Yuri and Viktor's relationship
The coach-student relationship escalates from just acquaintances to being in love with each other and helping the other express their full potential in their field of expertise. Viktor’s perseverance to make Yuri believe in himself and induce his belief and love into him helps him conquer his fears and take a stride towards accepting himself.
Yuri’s character goes so far as to teach the viewers that it is okay to be vulnerable and reserved, but it is important to not let fear destroy self-confidence and competence. The intimacy between Yuri and Viktor helps Yuri embrace his becoming and characteristic as the anime proceeds. As Yuri conquers every step of the competition, his character goes through a considerable increase in confidence and belief in the self, inspiring the viewers as well.
By being among people, knowing their characteristics, having Viktor by his side supporting unconditionally to being on the ice together to help each other shine, Yuri sets himself an inspirational figure for anyone following their dreams and finding their confidence and love along the way.