Yuri!!! on ICE had caused quite a sensation in the anime community when it first hit the screen in 2016. Besides stunning visuals and accurate and intricate choreographies, Yuri!!! on ICE was also critically lauded for its depiction of queer love between the two male leads, Yuri and Victor.
Yuri!!! on ICE tells the story of Yuri Katsuki, a professional figure skater who loses his zeal for the sport after suffering a crushing defeat in the Grand Prix Final. He is able to climb back to his feet and return to the rink after his idol Victor Nikiforov decides to be his mentor and support him in his journey back up.
The immense success of Yuri!!! on ICE managed to creep into mainstream pop culture and dominated the online anime arena for quite a while, becoming a staple in the sports anime genre.
In this article, we have curated 10 anime shows for you to watch if you've enjoyed Yuri!!! on ICE.
Ginban Kaleidoscope and 9 other anime shows to binge watch if you enjoyed Yuri!!! on ICE
1) Kuroko’s basketball
Kuroko Tetsuya has a very special talent on the basketball court which makes him a hidden asset to the team. After leaving his middle school team, consisting of five arrogant basketball prodigies, he teams up with Kagami Taiga in his new high school team of Seirin to defeat his former teammates in the upcoming tournaments. This sports anime shows that it is okay for the team to lose besides just glorifying the wins in a formulaic manner. The stark character developments in the series are commendable as they highlight the different depths of relationships among the characters, thus enhancing the viewing experience like Yuri!!! on ICE.
2) Banana Fish
Despite being thematically poles apart from Yuri!!! on ICE, Banana Fish contains the same mentor-protégé dynamic that the fans lauded in the former. The complex relationship that Ash and Eiji share is sure to remind the Yuri!!! on ICE fandom of Victor and Yuri. The story follows Eiji Okumura, a Japanese photographer who becomes involved with a 1980s New York City gang leader Ash Lynx, who unravels a conspiracy surrounding a drug named “Banana Fish”. Throughout the series, the two men continue to form a close bond, which sometimes hints at romantic attachments as well.
3) No. 6
The depth of male relationships is yet again explored in this anime, sharing the trope with Yuri!!! on ICE. The story takes place in a dystopian city called No. 6 made by the Treaty of Babylon, where the protagonist Shion lives. His comfortable and uneventful life is disrupted when, on his 12th birthday, he meets a fugitive named Nezumi and gives him aid. This lands him in some trouble with the authorities. Four years later, both of them cross paths with each other again when the dark secrets of the seemingly great city of No. 6 are revealed. Like Yuri!!! on ICE, the relationship between the two male leads becomes a focal point of the show.
4) Your Lie In April
A great tragedy befalls Kosei Arima, a piano prodigy, when he loses his mother. This causes a mental breakdown which leads to him becoming unphased by the sound of the piano, and he gradually loses all zeal to play. He was pulled back from the darkness by another musical enthusiast, Kaori Miyazono, an open and free-spirited girl with an eccentric musical style that reflects her chaotic personality. She is a violinist who reintroduces Kosei to the wonders of music and its capabilities, influencing not only his artistic caliber, but also helping him overcome his trauma. The premise of Your Lie In April itself is evident in its similarities with Yuri!!! on ICE.
Here is another heartwarming sports anime that focuses on teamwork and friendship, coupled with motivational commentary, typical of a top-tier shonen series. Shoyo Hinata dreams of becoming a great volleyball player despite having short stature. When he meets Tobio Kageyama, a prodigy on the court with his highly accurate setting skills, the pairing between him and Hinata’s powerful jumping skills proves to be a recipe for success in the Karasuno Volleyball team. Besides the two main leads, Haikyu!! features some formidable opponents throughout the show, garnering those characters some much-deserved attention from the fans.
6) Welcome to the Ballroom
Yuri!!! on ICE is about ice skating, a sport where aesthetic grace meets athleticism, much like ballroom dancing, the focal sport in Welcome to the Ballroom. The series revolves around Tatara Fujito, a middle schooler with no aim in life, struggling to find a purpose. One day, after being saved from bullying by a man named Kaname Sengoku, a champion dancer, he is introduced to the world of competitive ballroom dancing, finally giving him something to work towards. The teacher-student relationship is similar to Yuri!!! on ICE in this series.
7) Ginban Kaleidoscope
If you’ve been enticed by the world of figure skating in anime, then Ginban Kaleidoscope promises the same elements of visual grace as Yuri!!! on ICE. The story follows Tazusa Sakurano, an Olympic figure skater who gets possessed by the ghost of Pete Pumps, a Canadian pilot who died in a plane crash, after falling unconscious during a performance error. Elements of romance are more prominent in this series than in Yuri!!! on ICE, which will appeal to fans looking for a feel-good romance in a sports anime.
8) Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club
Haruka Nanase, a high school student, decides to rejuvenate his school’s swim club in dreams of facing off his childhood rival Rin Matsuoka in the upcoming tournaments. Other students to join the team include Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki, and Rei Ryugazaki, each having their specialties in the pool. The boys do not always win every competition, but that, in turn, further enhances their friendship. Like any good sports anime, Free! is emotionally driven and explores the complexities of life and friendship.
Similar to Yuri!!! on ICE, Tsurune features a protagonist who is dragged up from rock bottom and reintroduced to his potential by a mentor. Minato Narumiya fell out of his love for archery after an incident at one of his middle school tournaments. He then meets a mysterious man who turns out to be Mr. Tommy, a stellar talent in archery, who decides to mentor him. Minato’s love for archery is rekindled as he gears up to fight his way back to the top with the support of his friends Seiya and Ryohei, along with the guidance of his new teacher.
10) Kids on the Slope
Despite not being a sports anime like Yuri!!! on ICE, Kids on the Slope can be enjoyed by the fandom as it is a feel-good slice of life with core elements of friendship and love along with a passion for your art trope. Typical of Shinichiro Watanabe's direction, the series has musical elements which becomes a prime focus in this series. Kaoru Nishimi has always been a wallflower with no real friends owing to the fact that his father’s job never let them stay in one place. However, when he meets Sentaro Kawabuchi, a delinquent student in his new school, he discovers jazz music, the shared love for which, bring the boys closer to each other.