‘Yuri on Ice’ is probably one of the best sports anime out there. There are several aspects in the anime that are quite striking: its depiction of gay relationships is quite realistic, and the animation during the ice skating routines is extremely well detailed. The show follows Yuuri, an ice skater, as he tries to get back into the competitive sports. He is coached by one of the best competitive skaters out there, Victor Nikiforov. If you really enjoyed watching this anime and are looking for more shows that explore similar concepts and ideas, then you have come to the right place. Here’s the list of best anime similar to ‘Yuri on Ice’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these anime like ‘Yuri on Ice’ on Netflix, Crunchyroll or Hulu.
5. No. 6 (2011)
This is a sort of a surprising start to the list since on paper, ‘No. 6’ does not look similar to ‘Yuri on Ice’. While one is about competitive ice skating with pretty male characters dancing to some music, the other is a sci-fi anime which takes place in a dystopian setting. But what made me put this anime on the list is the relationship between the main characters. I know many of you who have already seen this anime will not believe me but in my opinion, there are several signs showing the romantic chemistry between the main characters in ‘No. 6’. Yes, I agree that there isn’t something as conclusive as in ‘Yuri on Ice’, but there is something definitely going on there. Even apart from the implied romance, the relationship between them is very similar to that of Yuuri and Victor.
‘No. 6’ takes place in the aftermath of a bloody war which changes the structure of the world. The human population now lives in six city-states. One such state is No. 6, of which Shion is an elite citizen. Inside the city, life is great and peaceful. It seems like a utopia. But Shion gets a glimpse of the darkness that the city sort of tries to hide or ignore after meeting a boy, Nezumi. Nezumi lives in the wasteland out of the city and even though he is a fugitive, Shion lets him stay at his house. As a result, his family loses their elite status and has to relocate, which brings Shion to experience the darkness on a larger scale. Years later, he gets a chance to meet Nezumi again. The duo decides to go on an adventure which might, in turn, bring forth more shattering secrets about the city.
4. Free! (2013)
If what gravitated you towards ‘Yuri on Ice’ is the competitive sports involved in it, then ‘Free!’ might be worth your time too. This anime is entertaining and has some great emotional and competitive scenes. You remember the final performances and all those ‘edge of the seat’ moments in ‘Yuri on Ice’? Well, they also happen in ‘Free’ but the sport is completely different. This time there is no dancing that takes place on ice but rather synchronous limb movements on melted ice to keep one afloat (see, I found a weird way to say swimming).
‘Free!’ is about the competitive sport of swimming. Again, this is another show which focuses on a bunch of main characters who are males. But though there are some innuendos, we don’t have any conclusive boys love in this anime. Rin Matsuoka, Makoto Tachibana, Haruka Nanase, and Nagisa Hazuki were close childhood friends who share a passion for swimming. Together they won a relay race in swimming in their elementary school. The friends sort of drifted apart after that event as life happened.
However, years later, they have a great chance of taking things back to what they were. But it seems that Rin is not very keen on that idea. He feels jealous of Haruka and wants to prove that he is better than him at swimming. He also attends a different high school. The other three friends attend the Iwatobi High School and want to form a swimming club there. But they need someone to replace rin and this is where Rei Ryuugazki comes in. He is a former member of the track team and with his addition, the Iwatobi High School Swim Club is complete.
3. Ballroom e Youkoso (2017)
If you want to watch an anime which gives vibes similar to ‘Yuri on Ice’ and is also on the same level (in terms of entertainment value and depth), then ‘Ballroom e Youkoso’ is one of the best anime out there. I just knew that I had to put this anime on this list; there are so many similarities. The main character in both the anime is a male who is trying out a competitive sport and is trained by a world-class professional. There’s plenty of dancing and music in both of these anime. But there’s plenty of new, different, and interesting stuff too to set it apart on a league of its own.
Tatara Fujita is the protagonist of this anime. He is 15 years old and has been trying to live on the safer side of life. He does not take on any challenging stuff and tries to avoid any sort of confrontation. But well, we all know that one cannot go on like that for very long. One day, a few bullies start harassing him for money. Thankfully, a man, Kaname Sengoku, arrives and saves him from the predicament. Turns out that Kaname is a dancer and he invites Tatara to his dance studio. Something about the place and the atmosphere and Kaname’s commanding presence touches him deeply. When he gets an opportunity to practice with a fellow classmate, Shizuku Hanaoka, he feels good. He needs to feel that attention — all those surrounding eyes glued on him when he is dancing again. This makes Tatara return to the studio.
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2. Starmyu (2015)
Look, it is hard to find a show of the same caliber as ‘Yuri on Ice’ and has a similar feel to it. But if music and dancing along with lots of pretty male characters are what enticed you about ‘Yuri on Ice’, then you should give ‘Starmyu’ a try. Though I cannot promise it to be as good as ‘Yuri on Ice’, it has plenty of awesome music and some really well-animated dance sequences. There is some boy’s love tension in the air but nothing too strong to make any definitive conclusion. The character designs are bright and colorful but at certain places, the animation looks a little off.
The anime follows a group of five boys — Shuu Kuga, Tooru Nayuki, Kakeru Tengenji, Kaito Tsukigami, and Yuuta Hoshitani. They all have a deep passion for musical performances. Ayanagi Academy is a popular academy which focuses on music. These boys want to get into the music department of the academy. Kaou-kai is a music group in Ayanagi Academy. The members of this group are among the best in the academy and to get a chance to learn from them, one needs to get into the Star Frame Class. The students of this class are taught by the members of the Kaou-kai group. It isn’t going to be easy but it seems that luck is on their side as Itsuki Ootori, a member of the Kaou-kai, spots them.
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1. Cheer Danshi!! (2016)
I really like the idea that ‘Cheers Danshi!!’ tries to explore. It takes a group of teenage boys and pushes them into the art of cheerleading. If you want an anime like ‘Yuri on Ice’, then you probably cannot ignore male characters involving themselves in music and dance competitively. The premise is really interesting, but the anime does not really live up to its true potential. Nonetheless, you might find the series entertaining, so do give it a try.
Haruki Bandou’s family owns a dojo where they practice the art of Judo. But after a shoulder injury, Haruki is more than willing to give up this activity. Kazuma Hashimoto is Haruki’s best friend and the two used to practice in the university of dojo. But it seems that around the same time as Haruki, Kazuma has also left the Judo club. Though Haruki does not have any idea of what activity to start doing or what sports to get into, Kazuma has already set his mind. He wants to create an all-male cheerleading team. Yes, he is going to attempt to be good at something that the society generally associates with females. After many unsuccessful attempts at trying to dissuade his friend, Haruki joins him and they start creating an all-male cheerleading team called the Breakers.
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