Genre: Comedy, Sports
After suffering a crushing defeat during the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and other failed showings at other skating competitions, Yuri Katsuki develops mixed feelings about ice skating and puts his career on hiatus, going to college in Detroit and later returning to his hometown of Hasetsu in Kyushu. He visits his childhood friend Yuko at an ice rink known as “Ice Castle Hasetsu” and perfectly mimics an advanced skating routine performed by famous Russian figure skater Victor Nikiforov, who is Yuri’s idol. When secretly recorded footage of Yuri’s performance is uploaded to the internet, it catches the attention of Victor, who travels to Kyushu and offers to coach Yuri and restart his figure skating career. Together with Victor, Yuri aims to win the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series as he battles against his rival, Yuri Plisetsky, a 15-year-old rising star skater from Russia.
The main protagonist, Yuri is a 24-year-old (23 at the start of the series) figure skater. Yuri began skating since a very young age and aspires to become a great figure skater like his idol, Victor Nikiforov. As stated by his teacher Minako, Yuri is not a prodigy at skating, but his skills were honed by rigorous training, which also grants him good stamina. One year prior to the start of the series, he was Japan’s top figure skater; his greatest skating assets being his peculiar sense of rhythm and unique step. However, Yuri succumbs to pressure easily, causing him to mess up at crucial moments. After he failed his first Grand Prix Final, his self-confidence was greatly affected and he became depressed due to his shortcomings and performances in following competitions, leaving a black mark on his career.
Yuri is kind, sensitive, and mild-mannered; he is also introverted and has a hard time opening himself up to others, preferring to be alone and practice ballet or ice skating than socializing with his peers. Despite having a lot of support from his family and friends, he greatly lacks self-esteem and is easily discouraged, causing bouts of anxiety. Contrary to how Yuri sees himself due to his past failures, he is still considered Japan’s best skater, having the loyal support of his fans and the juniors skaters that looks up to him, much to his bewilderment. Under Victor’s tutelage, Yuri slowly becomes more self-assured and confident, aiming to reinvent himself and putting more input into his programs as he strives to win the Grand Prix series.
Victor is a 28-year-old (27 at the start of the series) figure skating genius and living legend from Russia who Yuri K. has idolized since he was a child. Ever since his teenage years, Victor has won numerous competitions, including winning five consecutive Grand Prix Finals, following a string of victories in Nationals and the European Figure Skating Championships. At the start of the series, Victor wins the World Championships consecutively five times and people begin to question what Victor will do next season, as he is approaching the retirement age for figure skaters. Victor’s personal motto is to “Do the opposite of what people expect, that is the only way you will surprise them!”. He shows this through his skating programs as he creates his own choreography and music. However, he lost his inspiration to make new routines because he knows people have grown used to his record-breaking talent. After seeing Yuri K. skating his winning routine in the viral video, Victor regains his inspiration and decides to become Yuri K.’s coach to unlock his full potential.
As the top skater in the world, Victor is very popular and charismatic, as well as being flirtatious and liking to candidly speak his mind. As stated by Yakov, Victor does whatever he wants and often gives off a whimsical, carefree attitude. When he needs to be, Victor can be serious and contemplative, especially in regards to skating. As a coach, Victor is very patient and supportive, yet he challenges and helps push Yuri K. into exploring his untapped potential and charm.
Yuri is a 15-year-old Russian figure skater and a rink mate to Victor Nikiforov. Yuri has been a figure skating prodigy since he was young and has won three consecutive Junior World Championships. He won first place in the junior circuit during the year Yuri K. lost in the Grand Prix Final and is now preparing to skate in the senior circuit. Due to the fact that he surpasses his peer group, Yuri is arrogant and his harsh personality earned him the nicknamed “Russian Punk,” though he is also known as the “Russian Fairy” because of his good looks. During his stay in Japan, he is called “Yurio” to differentiate from Yuri K.
Although Yuri is typically crude and short-tempered, he also shows a kind side, though he shows it in an abrasive way. He has a strong fondness for cats and any feline-related merchandise. Yuri is very ambitious to make the most of his skating career as he can, being at a precarious age where his abilities will dampen as his body matures.