Just as Nobunari Oda appeared as himself in last week’s episode of Yuri!!! on ICE, his fellow pro skater/choreographer Stéphane Lambiel will voice himself in tomorrow’s final episode. Lambiel hails from Switzerland and has won the World Championship twice, so it’s fitting that he’ll be there for Yuri’s all-important free skate in the Grand Prix Final.
Lambiel said he was nervous at the prospect of his role, but his time in the recording booth ultimately went well, and he was delighted to be given the opportunity. A fan of the show himself, he says Yuri and Viktor are his favourite characters, describing their relationship as “wonderful” and “inspiring”. Lambiel is also glad of the show’s existence as a whole, as professionals, fans and newcomers to the sport can appreciate the series and find something to enjoy.
Nobunari Oda appeared in episode 11 on December 14th, though not on the ice. Instead, he commentated the short program of the Grand Prix Final beside Hisashi Morooka, who is voiced in turn by the real TV Asahi commentator Taihei Katou. The two are pictured below, Oda on the right and Katou on the left, and they looked just as lovely together in the anime. New ship, perhaps?
Mangaka Mitsurou Kubo and director Sayo Yamamoto, the latter known for Michiko & Hatchin and Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, are each credited with the original work for the show. Yamamoto also directs, as well as being in charge of scripts, while Kubo designs the original characters and handles storyboards. The series premiered on October 6th and Crunchyroll are streaming it as it airs, describing Yuri’s journey as follows:
Yuri Katsuki carried the hope of all Japan on his shoulders in the Figure Skating Grand Prix, but suffered a crushing defeat in the finals. He returned to his hometown in Kyushu and hid away in his family’s home, half wanting to continue skating and half wanting to retire. That was when the five-time consecutive world champion, Viktor Nikiforov, suddenly showed up with his teammate, Yuri Plisetsky, a young skater starting to surpass his seniors. And so the two Yuris and the Russian champion Viktor set out to compete in a Grand Prix like none the world has ever seen!