Victor Nikiforov (alt. spelling: Viktor 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.
Victor 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. Victor's home rink is in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Victor 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, Victor wears a white and red runner jacket over his costume. However, when he practices skating, Victor's outfit consists of a black T-shirt and grey jogging pants.
Victor 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, Victor had long, waist-length hair, so his costumes often had both feminine and masculine elements to them. He usually wore his hair in a ponytail when skating.
In Barcelona, Yuuri places a golden ring on Victor's right-hand ring finger, which Victor later confirms to be an engagement ring. After this, Victor is always shown wearing his ring. Yuuri has a matching ring on the same finger of the same hand.
Victor 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. Victor is a bit of an airhead and, according to both himself and Yuri Plisetsky, very forgetful. According to Yakov, he only cares about himself and never listens to him. Victor is also rather sensitive about his looks, especially his thinning hairline.
Despite this, Victor 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. Victor is naturally calm and level-headed, even when he loses his temper. A softer side of Victor may also emerge every so often, usually when talking to the people he cares for regarding deeper issues.
Victor 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 do at least four out of the five currently ratified quads.
Victor 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, Victor would be able to land their triple counterparts as well.
Victor does not have very high stamina, and as such usually arranges more difficult jumps early on during his performances.
Victor 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 Victor'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. Victor 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 Victor hanging off of him for prolonged periods of time.
Victor 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 Victor.
In Episode 10, it is revealed that Yuuri and Victor 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 Victor 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 Victor's signature move. Overcome with emotion, when Yuuri skates over to Victor after the program, Victor knocks Yuuri onto the ice with a kiss. The second is when Victor and Yuuri exchanged engagement rings with each other in Barcelona, with Victor promising they would marry after Yuuri won gold.
Yuuri later moves to Saint Petersburg, Russia, to stay with Victor.
Victor and Yuri shared the same coach, Yakov. Several years beforehand, Victor had watched one of Yuri's performances. Impressed with the younger skater, Yuri and Victor made a deal where, if Yuri were to win his Junior Grand Prix Final without attempting any Quads, then Victor would choreograph a program for his Senior Division debut. Victor is aware of Yuri's determined personality and uses it in order to push him.
Yuri initially respected Victor as a senior skater and as a living legend. Being quite close to Victor, Yuri was accustomed to Victor's forgetfulness. Yuri's perception of Victor changes as the season progresses as he no longer looks up to him. He also sees Yuuri Katsuki as more of a threat than Victor had been.
Makkachin is Victor's beloved pet poodle and constant companion. Victor is very fond of Makkachin, bringing Makkachin from Russia to Japan, and then later back to Russia. Victor'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. Victor's wanting to spend more time with Makkachin is one of the reasons Victor decided to leave competitive skating.
Victor and Christophe have known each other for at least ten years, and have often competed against each other. Christophe sees Victor as his motivation for skating and aspires to surpass him, and is unable to understand why Victor left figure skating to coach Yuuri. However, they are shown to be good friends off the ice.
Yakov is Victor's current coach. Victor refers to Yakov as Coach Yakov, even after leaving Yakov's guidance, and Yakov calls Victor by the name Vitya. Yakov is most of the time angry with Victor, as Victor tends to be disobedient to Yakov's instructions. Yakov is upset when Victor chooses to leave Russia to Japan, believing that the latter would not be a very good coach. During the Barcelona GPF free skate, Victor expresses his wish to return to competitive skating, most likely under Yakov's guidance.
JWC - The Lilac Fairy
Free - Aria: Stay Close to Me
The real-life choreographer Kenji Miyamoto describes this program as statuesque, meant to show off Victor's throat and jawline. In-series, Victor choreographs the entire program by himself.
Exhibition Skate - Duet: Stay Close to Me
This is not Victor's own exhibition skate per se, but he joins Yuuri on the ice for the latter's exhibition skate as a pairs dance.
- "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 and Yuri)
- "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)
- Victor 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 or Victoria, the Goddess of Victory in Greek and Roman mythology, respectively.
- In Episode 1, Victor'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 Victor is based on the American actor and director, John Cameron Mitchell.
- Victor's rose crown and outfit in the Europe Championships in Episode 7, as well as Victor'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, Victor is also a fluent speaker of French. He greets Stephane Lambiel in French in the final episode.
- Mitsurou Kubo mentions that "the wedding is later on" referring to the scene where Phichit announces Victor and Yuuri's "marriage" in Episode 10, but it is uncertain whether she was just alluding to the scene, or saying it in jest, or whether she meant something else.
- The caption on the first Instagram post that is Victor's in the credits reads 'Nakasu in Japan! Everything is really great and delicious! #nakasu #Japan #ramen.'
- The next Instagram post that appears in the credits, also being his post, reads 'Time flies so fast.'