Every fujoshi around the globe remembers Yuri!!! on Ice as one of the most blessed non-BL anime ever produced. With a catchy opening theme (remember “History Maker”?), outstanding animation and love between male characters blossoming everywhere, it was bound to be a success. Now, a couple of years later, we get Skate-Leading Stars, another anime centered around ice skating. Will it bring something different to the table? You can absolutely count on that!
Rivals For Life
Ever since he was a little kid, Kensei had to tolerate the frustration of always getting second place. No matter how hard he practices, he can never be number one, but that just makes Kensei want to get better, pushing him to practice even more. However, after a very important tournament, Kensei walks up to his rival, Reo, and declares that he’s going to win the next competition of figure skating. Of course, Reo tells Kensei that he would be better off retiring since he’s never going to beat him...
Reo’s words stick with Kensei, who decides to quit, ignoring his friends and moving on with his life. Now a high school student, Kensei acts like a big shot, helping out in different sport clubs but refusing to help the ice skating club… even though they’ve never asked for his help! When Kensei learns that his rival Reo is moving on from solo figure skating to skate-leading, something changes. Is this Kensei’s chance to finally beat Reo?
A Not-So Welcoming Team
Although Kensei refuses to go back to skating, a new transfer student has an interesting offer for him. Hayato is a mysterious boy who shows up one day in front of Kensei, knowing everything there is to know about Reo and holding a deep grudge against him. Knowing that Kensei wants to beat Reo, Hayato tells him he can help: if they both train together and join the ice skating team, defeating Reo’s team wouldn’t be just a dream.
However, the members of the team are not very welcoming and would rather not allow Kensei to join. In the past, Kensei used to share the ice rink with all of them, but since he always thought he was better than everyone else, Kensei didn’t talk to them. Itsuki, the vice president of the club, is strongly against letting Kensei join and he doesn’t hide it, but he can’t go against the captain’s decision. When Shoutarou decides to give Kensei and Hayato a chance, most of the members of the club are not happy, but Kensei is so dense that he doesn’t realize the tension in the air. He just wants to practice and defeat Reo as soon as possible!
Ships and Rivalry
It’s not complicated to let our minds start imagining things when we have a cast full of passionate guys. Right from the beginning, we can see a love triangle in the making, with Hayato and Reo being the ones fighting for Kensei. Reo has a cool personality and not a lot of things affect him; this makes Kensei desperate for Reo’s attention and, even though he won’t admit it, his approval. Hayato is the complete opposite: he’s hot-blooded and loud.
Itsuki is also very passionate, but he knows how to keep it cool. Whenever he lets his temper get the best of him, Shoutarou is there to calm him down. Yeah, we like to think it’s not only because it’s his duty as the team captain but because there’s something special going on between these two. Truth be told, the shipping possibilities are endless, with new male characters showing up every episode. We can’t wait to see all the rivals that Izumi and the rest will meet in the future… and the interesting pairs that we’ll discover!
Although Skate-Leading Stars is centered around ice skating, the plot is different to that from Yuri!!! on Ice. Still, it’s a perfect opportunity to discover a new side of figure skating and get attached to even more fictional characters.
With every new sports anime, our list of ships just grows more and more! And who said we can’t ship characters from Yuri!!! on Ice AND Skate-Leading Stars? The ice is melting in our heads!