Viktor Nikiforov (canon spelling: Victor Nikiforov; Russian: Виктор Никифоров; Japanese: ヴィクトル・ニキフォロフ, Vikutoru Nikiforofu) is a figure skater, coach and choreographer, and one of the main characters of Yuri!!! on Ice.
Viktor is considered a living legend for winning five consecutive World Championships, five straight Grand Prix Finals, and numerous European championships. By the age of 16, he was already at the top of the figure skating world, under the guidance of his coach Yakov Feltsman. Viktor's home rink is in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Viktor is a handsome man with short gray hair with bangs that cover his left eye. He has light blue-green eyes. During competition warm-ups, Viktor wears a white and red runner jacket over his costume. However, when he practices skating, Viktor's outfit consists of a black T-shirt and grey jogging pants.
Viktor is fond of wearing trench coats over his outfits when in cold places. He owns several in various colours, including beige, brown, and slate blue.As a junior skater, Viktor had long, waist-length hair, so his costumes often had both feminine and masculine elements to them.
In Barcelona, Yuuri places a golden ring on Viktor's right-hand ring finger, which Viktor later confirms to be an engagement ring. After this, Viktor is always shown wearing his ring. Yuuri has a matching ring on the same finger of the same hand.
Viktor has a rock star-like charisma and is naturally very flirtatious. He prides himself on being able to surprise people. He likes to do things at his own pace and is considered a carefree and free-spirited person. Viktor is a bit of an airhead and, according to both himself and Yuri Plisetsky, very forgetful. According to Yakov, he only cares about himself. Viktor is also rather sensitive about his looks, especially his thinning hairline.
Despite this, Viktor can be serious when the situation demands it, and blunt about the faults of others. He is not very good with emotional situations, being awkward at best, and cruel and insensitive at worst. Viktor is naturally calm and level-headed, even when he loses his temper. A softer side of Viktor may also emerge every so often, usually when talking to the people he cares for regarding deeper issues.
Viktor is shown to have a very high level of skill in landing difficult jumps. His signature move is the quadruple flip, and he has been shown to be able to cleanly land three more quads. As such, he is able to to do at least four out of the five currently ratified quads.
Viktor is also able to do a triple axel with a back counter entrance, and a quad toe-triple toe combination right at the end of his program. Given that he can land all these quads, Viktor would be able to land their triple counterparts as well.
Viktor does not have very high stamina, and as such usually arranges more difficult jumps early on during his performances.
Viktor is adept at choreographing his own programs, as well as choreographing for other skaters. He chooses his own music and themes, and works to the strengths of the skaters he choreographs for, such as incorporating jumps later into Yuuri's programs owing to the latter's high stamina.
Yuuri arouses Viktor's curiosity after a video of Yuuri perfectly replicating his free skate program "Stay Close to Me" goes viral. He decides on his own to fly to Japan and coach Yuuri to victory in the coming season. He moves into Yu-topia Katsuki, and spends most of his waking hours with Yuuri. Viktor enjoys teasing Yuuri and is very physically affectionate with him. Though Yuuri is at first not very comfortable with the physical contact, he becomes used to Viktor hanging off of him for prolonged periods of time.
Viktor is inexperienced as a coach and often has difficulty learning how to properly deal with Yuuri's performance anxiety. Despite this, he tries his best to support Yuuri and cheer him on. In return, Yuuri strives very hard to impress Viktor.
In Episode 10, it is revealed that Yuuri and Viktor had first met each other at the banquet after the Grand Prix Final the previous year. During that party, they danced together, after which Yuuri invited him to his home and begged Viktor to be his coach. However, Yuuri being very drunk, had no memory of this encounter.
There are two significant turning points in their relationship. The first is after Yuuri spontaneously changes his final jump for his free skate in the Cup of China to a Quad Flip, which is Viktor's signature move. Overcome with emotion, when Yuuri skates over to Viktor after the program, Viktor knocks Yuuri onto the ice with a kiss. The second is when Viktor and Yuuri exchanged engagement rings with each other in Barcelona, with Viktor promising they would marry after Yuuri won gold.
Yuuri later moves to Saint Petersburg, Russia, to stay with Viktor.
Viktor and Yuri shared the same coach, Yakov. Several years beforehand, Viktor had watched one of Yuri's performances. Impressed with the younger skater, Yuri and Viktor made a deal where, if Yuri were to win his Junior Grand Prix Final without attempting any Quads, then Viktor would choreograph a program for his Senior Division debut. Viktor is aware of Yuri's determined personality and uses it in order to push him.
Yuri initially respected Viktor as a senior skater and as a living legend. Being quite close to Viktor, Yuri was accustomed to Viktor's forgetfulness. Yuri's perception of Viktor changes as the season progresses as he no longer looks up to him. He also sees Yuuri Katsuki as more of a threat than Viktor had been.
Makkachin is Viktor's beloved pet poodle and constant companion. Viktor is very fond of Makkachin, bringing Makkachin from Russia to Japan, and then later back to Russia. Viktor's love for Makkachin is truly shown when he returns to Japan to oversee Makkachin's operation after the latter choked on some sticky buns, despite having to leave Yuuri alone in Moscow.
Viktor and Christophe have known each other for at least ten years, and have often competed against each other. Christophe sees Viktor as his motivation for skating and aspires to surpass him, and is unable to understand why Viktor left figure skating to coach Yuuri. However, they are shown to be good friends off the ice.
Yakov is Viktor's current coach. Viktor refers to Yakov as Coach Yakov, even after leaving Yakov's guidance, and Yakov calls Viktor by the name Vitya. Yakov is most of the time angry with Viktor, as Viktor tends to be disobedient to Yakov's instructions. Yakov is upset when Viktor chooses to leave Russia to Japan, believing that the latter would not be a very good coach. During the Barcelona GPF free skate, Viktor expresses his wish to return to competitive skating, most likely under Yakov's guidance.
JWC - The Lilac Fairy
Free - Aria: Stay Close to Me
Exhibition Skate - Duet: Stay Close to Me
- "Yuuri, starting today, I'm your coach. I'll make you win the Grand Prix Final." (To Yuuri)
- "You have to do the opposite of what people expect. How else will you surprise them?" (To Yuuri)
- "How can someone who can't motivate others motivate himself ?" (To Yuuri)
- "Skaters' hearts are as fragile as glass. If they're so fragile, then...Let's try shattering [Yuuri's] into pieces."(To himself)
- "If you mess up this free skate and miss the podium, I'll take responsibility by resigning as your coach." (To Yuuri)
- "This was the only thing I could think of to surprise you more than you've surprised me." (To Yuuri)
- "It's almost like a marriage proposal."(To Yuuri)
- "I wish you would never retire." (To Yuuri)
- "When I get away from skating, two L words come to mind, Life and Love. I've been neglecting both for over twenty years." (To himself)
- "Yuuri's life and love have taught me about a brand new world that I'd never known before." (To himself)
- "If I'd stayed in Russia as a competitor, Yurio wouldn't be this motivated to fight. And, neither would I..." (To himself)
- "Yuuri, you may not have realized this, but many others besides me got their L words from you." (To himself)
- "I don't want to kiss it unless it's gold!" (To Yuuri)
- Viktor likes sweet potato shōchū.
- He has custom skates with gold blades and the Russian flag on the sides of the heels of his boots.
- His Instagram account is v-nikiforov.
- The canon spelling of his name is "Victor", as seen in various official art and on the official website, though "Viktor" is more culturally accurate.
- His name possibly alludes to Nike and Victoria, the Goddess of Victory in Greek and Roman mythology respectively.
- In Episode 1, Viktor's surname during the Worlds Press Conference was originally written as "Niliforv". It has since been corrected to "Nikiforov" in later episodes, and also in the Blu-Ray.
- The appearance of Viktor is based on the American actor and director, John Cameron Mitchell.
- Viktor's rose crown and outfit in the Europe Championships in Episode 7, as well as Viktor's Makkachin tissue box, pay homage to figure skater Johnny Weir, who became a fan of the show after the resemblance was pointed out to him.
- Besides Russian and English, Viktor is also a fluent speaker of French. He greets Stephane Lambiel in French in the final episode.