Yuri on Ice features skating routines that vary in music and style based on the individual characters that are performing. The music itself truly helps to set the intention of each performance, either reflecting or challenging the skater on an emotional, technical and personal level.
Yuri on Ice stars a large cast of fictional professional figure skaters from across the globe competing to be the best in men's figure skating. Their individual personalities, strengths, technical styles and messages that they attempt to convey on the ice are clearly showcased in their performances. All of the music within Yuri on Ice is specifically composed for the anime, greatly elevating the quality of the show itself. Here are some of the most notable performances and how they relate directly back to the characters.
Yuri Katsuki and Yuri Plisetsky: In Regards to Love - Eros and Agape
“In Regards to Love: Eros” and “In Regards to Love: Agape” are both musically chosen and choreographed by Victor Nikiforov. He sets both Yuri Katsuki and Yuri Plisetsky to compete for his time and coaching by having them perform the two short programs. Although the skaters initially believe that Katsuki would have naturally been the best fit for “Agape” and “Eros” for Plisetsky, Victor has them do the opposite.
Katsuki’s personality is first shown as timid and defeated, which is reflected in both his mannerisms and his skating. However, his potential shines through when it comes to Victor. With the older Russian skater as his goal and challenge, Katsuki becomes brave and almost recklessly pushes himself out of his comfort zone in order to try to meet Victor halfway. The challenge of Katsuki with “Eros” is one of sexual desire and passion. The music itself is confidently sensual, and sound-wise is reminiscent of music combined from every romance language-speaking country. This challenge is intended to showcase Katsuki’s ability to fight to stay alive, but it also showcases the love that he has for Victor, and which he needs to have for himself as a person.
Conversely, Plisetsky’s personality is initially portrayed as troublemaking and dominating. With Victor’s challenge of “Agape,” he is forced to dig deep mentally and emotionally to truly find and perform the short program as intended by Victor. The music is much slower than its counterpart, delicate, ethereal and melancholic. The emotional intention that must be reflected in this piece is that of unconditional love. Plisetsky ultimately shows his technical, emotional and personal growth in his final performances of this program. While it may not be so obviously reflective of Plisetsky’s personality, this challenge is intended to showcase his multifaceted skating and personality, not just what can be seen on the surface.
Jean-Jacques Leroy: Theme of King J.J.
“Theme of King J.J.” is the featured song in the music-loving Canadian figure skater Jean-Jacques Leroy’s short program. J.J. is confident, boisterous, and an all-around solid skater with a huge fanbase. While one of the favorites to win, his originally composed song almost rings through as a premonition. The lyrics within the song set sky-high expectations and declare him as a king. However, this self-imposed pressure ultimately contributes to his mental implosion within the competition.
Christophe Giacometti: Intoxicated
Performed by Christophe Giacometti, “Intoxicated” is probably the clearest representation of a character via music in Yuri on Ice. The music itself for the short program is overtly sexual and compelling. The choreography is meant to entice viewers, although Christophe's real intentions are to pit his sex appeal against Katsuki's "Eros." Where Katsuki's appeal is more innocent, Christophe shows off a more mature version, holding absolutely nothing back. The short program reflects not only his personality, but also his challenge to Katsuki and his desire to compete against Victor once again, utilizing a sexual performance to try and 'seduce' Victor back to the ice.
Phichit Chulanont: Shall We Skate?
Phichit Chulanont's choice of “Shall We Skate?” for his short program speaks volumes about him on both a personal and cultural level. He makes history by becoming the first Thai figure skater to competitively skate to the song, which is from the fictional figure skating movie The King and the Skater, which stars a Thai actor (a nod to the real-life movie The King and I). Phichit's choreography, music and costuming directly reflect not only the cultural weight of Thailand but a beautiful homage to his country. His skating reflects how much the film means to him, as well as his hopes of making the people of Thailand proud with his performance.