Yuuri Katsuki & Finding Strength In Yourself

 

YoITitle

Yes, it’s another Yuri on Ice post. The blogosphere has been flooded with those these past few months but all the same, I have my own piece to say.

As my recent review made clear, I love Yuri on Ice. There are a great many reasons for this and I can talk about any of them at length but for this post, I chose to focus on what, or rather who, made me so invested in this anime.

Y1

Yuuri Katsuki has earned a place as one of my all time favorite characters for the simple reason that he is immensely inspiring. He’s a figure-skater who’s shown to struggle with debilitating anxiety and also depression. He has zero faith in himself and as a result, tends to see his achievements as far less than what they are. Come on, he’s Japan’s top skater but calls himself ‘dime-a-dozen’. Does that sound like the words of someone with healthy self-esteem?

In the first episode of the anime, we get to see Yuuri spectacularly self-destruct from a combination of factors and almost give up on his dreams. Almost because even before Victor shows up, it’s clear that Yuuri is hesitant to quit skating. In spite of a series of disastrous events that may just end his career – events which Yuuri himself sees in a far worse light than others would because that’s the kind of guy he is – he doesn’t just up and quit. Instead he tries to regain his love of the ice.

Y2

This alone is enough to make me love this guy. I mean, I’m someone who can hide their stage fright well enough but still slinks away from the spotlight instead of harnessing their potential. Of course I’d be awed of someone – even if that someone is a fictional character because when has that stopped any of us – who defies their very nature to try and make it big in competitive figure skating.

He’s successful at it too. While Yuuri’s thoughts about himself and his career paint a less-than-pretty picture, we can see from the reactions of others and the narrative that he’s actually pretty good. He did make it to the Sochi Grand Prix Final as one of the top six skaters in the world. That’s nothing to scoff at. So yeah, Yuuri’s talented and a hard-worker. But that’s not enough, not when he sees himself as far less than he is. Our image of ourself is an extremely important part of life and I don’t imagine that a professional athlete who thinks so little of himself can have a smooth career. Like I said in my review, Yuuri’s greatest enemy is himself. Thus throughout Yuri on Ice, we see both Yuuri’s anxiety and insecurity, and we also see him battling both.

Y3

It’s not just Yuuri’s career that suffers from his problems. His personal life also takes a hit since he comes across as cold-hearted and self-centered. There are elements of that in his personality but they also seem heightened by his tendency to close himself off from others, even those who love and support him. So when Yuuri slowly, steadily discovers his potential, it’s not only his professional career that benefits but also his relationships with others. Just as he learns not to let his lack of confidence completely ruin his performance, he learns to appreciate the people in his life. That’s the kind of character growth that is truly rewarding to see.

Of course, he doesn’t completely vanquish his demons. It’s not that easy and we all know life doesn’t work that way. But he does struggle valiantly and gets the results for it. The parts where Yuuri bares his heart on the ice, the good and the ugly, and gets as close to self-acceptance as possible, are my favorite parts of Yuri on Ice.

Everyone

Advertisements

About D

Just another avid anime fan.
This entry was posted in Anime, Yuri on Ice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Yuuri Katsuki & Finding Strength In Yourself

  1. Karandi says:

    Thank you for another Yuri on Ice post. I never get enough of reading about it. And Yuri is such an awesome character to focus on. His inner conflict and character growth are what really make the core of the show work so well. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      He really is. I think I knew halfway into the series that I wanted to write something on him. If there ever is another season, what I want to see most is how he’s dealing with everything after the Grand Prix. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. raistlin0903 says:

    Okay….as someone who has been struggling with selfdoubt his entire life,and used to having zero faith in himself as well, this was a very inspiring post. I have been on the fence of watching this series for quite some time now. But after your review for it, I had already decided to pick it up pretty soon (but then along came Weekendotaku with his rewatch event and ruined that idea). Seriously though, I am ofcourse kidding, as I really am very glad I have joined that rewatch event. (Else I would have missed out on another fantastic anime). Next up, will definitely be this though.
    Lately due to some crazy things, the almost gone but never forgotten feelings of selfdoubt have at times resurfaced. So it is a good thing to watch something like this to combat those feelings. (And ofcourse finally seeing this series for myself to find out what this is all about). Thanks for posting this one: I really enjoyed reading it 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      There are so many great anime out there and we need about 10 more hours in the day but an extra lifetime or two to get to them all 😀

      On a more serious note, I think Yuuri is someone a lot of people can identify with. Yuri on Ice is a mix of an underdog story and coming-of-age story, and Yuuri himself is different from your typical protagonists. If you end up liking him – which is easy to do, trust me – then the anime as a whole is likely to be one big feelfest for you. In a good way.I hope it’ll help you combat those feelings and let me just tell you anyway that self-doubt or no, you’re a pretty damn amazing dude.

      Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        Okay, is it that time again: are we going to do the blushthing again? 😊 Seriousky though, thanks for these kind words. Truly appreciate them. After finishing weekendotaku’s rewatch event, Yuri on Ice will be next, so I will let you know what I think for sure 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • D says:

        It’s an ongoing thing 😀
        I’m looking forward to that!

        Like

  3. Pingback: Last Week Today: Week End Recap- Apr. 2nd- Apr. 8th – Nice Job Breaking It, Hero

  4. Pingback: Mel’s Round-Up Week 28 – Mel in Anime Land

  5. Pingback: In Case You Missed It | 100WordAnime

  6. zboudrie says:

    Yuuri is such a great character. He’s so relatable and realistic for someone of his age. He’s nothing like the general, over-the-top sports anime protagonist and it’s honestly refreshing. This show blew me away in so many ways I can’t even express how happy I am it exists. Yuuri has become one of my favorite characters for so many reasons.

    Like

    • D says:

      My experience with other sports anime is limited to Kuroko no Basket, Prince of Tennis and Prince of Stride but all the same, it’s clear that Yuuri is quite different in that regard. He feels like an actual person rather than a contrived character. I echo your sentiment – he’s become a great favorite of mine as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • zboudrie says:

        In all honesty, the only sports anime I’ve watched has been Free and bits of Kuroko and Prince of Stride, but I’ve seen the stereotypes. I’d be repelled from Yuri on Ice initially because I thought it was just another sports anime but upon seeing some things online I gave it a go and ended up loving it. I honestly forget it is a sports anime at times

        Liked by 1 person

      • D says:

        I do like sports anime so I’d always planned on watching Yuri on Ice but I probably would have waited a year or so if it weren’t for the way it made so many waves in the anime community. As you can see, I don’t regret it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • zboudrie says:

        I never would have watched it if it hadn’t become so popular. I remember looking at Funimation’s dub lineup for Fall anime and it was on there, and I just skimmed through the description before deciding I wasn’t interested. Then about a month later, I saw it everywhere. I ended up watching it all in January. I loved the show before I even got ten minutes into the first episode. And my love for it just has been increasing over time.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Remy Fool says:

    While the way Yuuri approaches the ice and his profession (and passion) is admirable, I can’t say I really like how he handles his relations with others. His family and friends noted that he never properly acknowledged their support when he talks about his reason for skating (it’s all for love!), for instance. Or the way he breaks Viktor’s heart and has the nerve to try to get a better glance at Viktor’s tears out of sheer curiosity despite the stressful situation.
    Despite being someone who lacks self-confidence, Yuuri comes across as being rather self-centered at times. This is all just my opinion, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      You’re absolutely right I’d say. It’s mentioned in this post too that Yuuri comes across as self-centered and cold-hearted. But for me, being self-centered alone isn’t a flaw. That would be hypocritical since I am extremely self-centered myself. Most shows present such characters in a negative light but in Yuuri’s case, it’s handled more organically and I love that.

      I believe he did acknowledge his family an friends during that speech.? Their problem was that until that point,their love and support were abstract to him. The crying scene was something I found both horrifying and hilarious. Like – who actually does that? What even was Yuuri thinking at that point? Was he thinking at all? So many questions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Remy Fool says:

        Ah, we approach his behavior differently, then. I understand that being self-centered is not a flaw by default, but it’s hard for me to look past that in a character.

        You are most probably right about the speech and how they felt. They just seemed a little bummed out from what I can remember.

        Yeah, that was the scene that really had me going, “What….? Are we supposed to cheer for this guy…?”

        Liked by 1 person

      • D says:

        Yup, we do. For me, Yuuri is an excellent character because of his flaws rather than despite them. That’s not to say I’m as forgiving to anyone that reminds me of myself. Things just work sometimes, y’know?

        And if I’m honest, the way they drew Victor crying, I’d want a better look at him too. Tears are never that pretty in life.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s