I'm going to say, first of all, that I have been skating for way more than half of my very short life. Figure skating means a lot to me, in a way that it doesn't to a lot of other people. While it's only been two years since I actually became actively involved in following international figure skating (yes...it was thanks to none other than the current King, Yuzuru Hanyu), I've loved this sport for basically my entire life.
Thus, when I first found out about Yuri!!! on Ice, I freaked. I freaked and my brother told me to shut up and I totally didn't and proceeded to play the teaser for gods know how many times. This!!!was!!!a!!!dream!!! I thought was never going to happen, and then it did???
And then the internet started reacting and hoo boy was that one huge shitfest. It's still going on now too...I hope it quiets down when YOI finally starts airing...
Right anyways the point I'm trying to make here I guess is that since I already have sort of an intimate understanding of figure skating I can tell right away that this isn't going to be your typical sports anime.
No but seriously. (Keep in mind these are only things that are guarenteed due to the nature of the sport)
Typical sports anime:
- Team Sport! (add in a dash of the nakama factor, power of friendship!, staring off with rivals, etc.)
- School Club! (add in the usual coaches, teachers, friends from outside the club, managers, etc.)
- Total Beginner Protag (add in a whole team full of total beginners, with maybe one or sometimes two experienced senpai!)
- [In Relation to the Above] Lots Of Explanation On Rules And Moves
Yuri!!! on Ice:
- This is not pairs this is not synchro this is Singles there is no one on the ice but you and if you fail it's all. on. you. Every single one of your competitors is out for the top spot, it doesn't matter if you're teammates from the same country or rink mates under the same coach, everyone wants to be the best and will do anything for that gold medal.
- No high school or even college/university has the proper facilities for a figure skating club they're just not a thing. Plus, again, schools tend to favor team sports and figure skating is highly individualistic.
- You literally cannot be a beginner and compete in ISU competitions, especially for the Senior division competitions. That is not a thing at all, ever. By the time a skater hits the age for eligibility for Senior division competitions (depending on their birthday) they should have been skating for at least seven, if not ten, years. Every single one of those characters is a veteren skater, even little Yuri Plisetsky at 15 years old. Skating is a sport you have to start young at in order to get to that level.
- As such, by the time they hit Seniors skaters should already have a grasp of the fundementals. Judging standards can get a bit tricky of course, but the rules are generally straighforward and so are the moves. I'm pretty sure that Yuri on Ice will force people to look things up. Actually I'm really hoping it'll force people to look things up.
Of course, this is all assuming that the staff of yoi will keep true to the sport, but honestly I don't think that'll be an issue. I just wonder if it might be a good idea to have a guide for the basics of figure skating so that people will, at the very least be more inclined to do more research on their own.