Yuri Killian (ユーリ・キリアン Yūri Kirian) is a character from the Kaleido Star anime and the main antagonist of the first season. He is one of the best performers at Kaleido Stage and he is partnered alongside Layla Hamilton until Sora Naegino arrives on the scene. While he seems calm and suave on the outside, he harbors a secret hatred for Kalos Eido (Yuri's boss) because he believes that he is responsible for the death of Arlon Brass (Yuri's father).
In Kaleido Star's first season, Yuri first arrives during the Romeo and Juliet performance to assist Sora Naegino when she is suddenly casted on stage during a live performance. With his help, Sora is able to make it through the show in one piece. During Sora's time at Kaleido Stage, Yuri is mostly seen as a background character with little effect in the story plot. He is seen a few times whenever he is driving with Layla Hamilton around or having a talk with her. When Sora and Layla were casted together for the Arabian Nights performance, it was Yuri's words that convinced Layla to plan the audition and to move into Sora's room when they weren't in sync with each other. All the while, Yuri's true motives were kept secret. Soon after Sora and Layla's partnership proves successful, Yuri creates his own performing company and starts to steal members of Kaleido Stage away. He even once asked Sora to join when he invited her for lunch. But she rejected his offer and with her friends help, they created the Freedom performance following the end of the Arabian Nights.
Not ready to give up, Yuri buys out Kaleido Stage and becomes its new owner. He then throws Sora and her friends out as well as cancel all future performances of Freedom. Unfortunately, Yuri is driving Kaleido Stage into the ground with the audience members shrinking one show after another. He also keeps an eye on Sora and her friends' progress. He went to Marine Park after seeing Sora performing with Layla as the Masked Star and convinced the owner that Sora lied about the Masked Star being apart of their new company Freedom Lights. He then tries to invite Layla back to Kaleido Stage by sending her flowers in the mail from him. When Sora and her friends go on to compete in a performance competition, Yuri is one of the judges and he had hired his own group of performers that stole their performance styles from Marine Park and used them before Sora's group went on. He didn't count on Layla's sudden appearance and her aide in helping Sora. Feeling furious, Yuri goes on during Sora's performance, separates Sora from Layla and rips Layla's mask off telling her not to get in his way. After they leave, he disqualifies Sora's entry under the accusation that Layla was no longer a professional performer. The result of the competition is unknown. Sometime after, he fires Charlotte and Julie when they are talking about Kaleido Stage's failing success.
He tries to invite Layla back again to Kaleido Stage when they meet together for lunch. However, Layla denies saying that Sora is her partner now and the two are attempting The Legendary Great Maneuver. Yuri quickly calls Layla's decision saying she should do it with him. But Layla says that he is not worthy (he cannot see Fool), which causes Yuri to leave. He announces their performance attempt to the public and lets them have it at Kaleido Stage, without consulting them at all. When Layla proposed a wager to return Kaleido Stage control back to Kalos, he accepts telling them they have a month. When their time is nearly up, they return to see Yuri going slightly insane. During an earlier moment, he tells the investors in Kaleido Stage that when Sora and Layla's show is canceled, he will announce his attempt at the maneuver with Layla. But they said that since the company is failing, Kaleido Stage will be sold to the highest buyer even if the show goes on or is canceled. Even after Yuri claims it's futile to even perform, he is slapped by Layla saying that they won't stop the show by any means. The slap proved to put more pain on Layla's shoulder and her friends visit her in the hospital. Yuri turns to Kalos full of rage asking if hurting Layla was all apart of his scheme to get Kaleido Stage back. His past with Kalos is then revealed. Kalos and Yuri's father once worked together on the Legendary Great Maneuver with Kalos helping him. But during the performance, he tells Yuri's father that it would be okay to drop out if he felt like he wasn't prepared. This sparked a dark seed in Yuri's father that led to his death. While knowing that Layla was hurt, Kalos said that he wouldn't interfere and leaves the choice to Layla whether to perform or not. When Layla is back up, Yuri sees how determined Sora and Layla are in doing the maneuver and it triggers a memory of his childhood with his father saying the exact thing. He is soon out of their way and invites the investors and Layla's father to their show. After which, the wager is completed and Yuri turns Kaleido Stage ownership back to Kalos.
Yuri is absent for most of the first half of the new season. He makes his return when Sora Naegino goes to France to seek him out. It was nearly time for the Circus Festival and Sora wanted Yuri to be her partner for the festival since he and Layla won the festival before the series start and were automatically invited to participate (May Wong already had won Layla's Phoenix Ticket to the festival and was partnered with Leon Oswald).
Even with Yuri telling Sora how dangerous the festival is, he agrees to be Sora's partner and they work on The Angel's Maneuver to battle May and Leon's Demon Spiral. Yuri is much more sincere and kinder than what he was earlier in the series and has made a new life in France with a new hobby of painting. Even with all their training and after Mute and Alice steal their performance, they lose the Circus Festival to May and Leon after Sora drops out in tears.
Soon when Sora leaves Kaleido Stage and comes back, Yuri joins her returning to the company as a producer and performer. He meets Leon again (they met before at the festival) and reveals the past behind their rivalry in which he accidentally caused the death of Sophie Oswald (Leon's younger sister) in a car accident. They duel on Kaleido Stage's trapeze in a sword fight, in which Yuri's constant taunting caused Leon to go slightly insane, but it ended early when Sora bursts onto the stage in tears that the stage should not be used in this way. He then joins Layla Hamilton when she challenges Sora for the lead role in Swan Lake but they lose when Layla sees Sora's growth. He is there when Sora and friends perform and the Angel's Maneuver is a success. Later on, he goes to announce Rosetta's partner role with Sora in The Princess Without a Smile, Kaleido Star's first OVA.
Manga: Wings of destiny
In manga: Wings of destiny, it is revealed that Yuri is to be the next director of Kaleido Stage having succeeded Kalos Eido. Yuri had made an appearance when Yume Naegino (Sora Naegino's little sister) had appeared at Kaleido Stage looking for her older sister that hasn't visit her family for 15 years.
Performances Through the Series
- Romeo and Juliet - Romeo (Lead, partnered with Layla Hamilton)
- Cinderella - The Prince (Lead, partnered with Layla)
- Arabian Nights - Pirate (Supporting)
- Circus Festival - Partnered with Layla before series start (Won), Partnered with Sora Naegino in New Wings (Lost)
- The name Yuri has many meanings depending on the different languages:
- In Japanese, the name Yuri means "lily" (百合).
- In Hebrew, the name Yuri or Uri means "the light of God".
- According to Kalos Eido in Episode 17, it is revealed that Yuri's surname Killian is "his mother's maiden name."