Where to start. I loved this episode. The end of the episode… I fell out of my chair.
The animation is a huge plus. But the storyline as well, the main character, Yuri Katsuki, starts off already a pro. Yes he lost at the competition, but he’s in professional competitions. Most sports animes a start you off at the beginning, where the main character is nothing but a bundle of nerves and will to play. In this case, Yuri is already a bonefide professional. He lost his matches because of not being in the best place mentally, which is understandable.
While I may not have been a professional, I did take figure skating lessons, and competitions are hard! Bright lights, and threat of the ice slamming into your face… is a bit fear inducing. Plus our costumes were never as cool as Victors *flashback to cardboard unicorn horns*
Yuri, our main character, has not returned home for 5 years, but upon losing 3 competitions he finally returns. There are posters of him and a welcome party of 1 there to pick him up from the airport. He’s a small time celebrity it seems. His family runs the last hot spring in the town, as main characters families do. Where would we be if we didn’t have unlimited access to hot spring?
Yuri and his childhood friend, Yuko, both started figure skating, and spent a lot of time doing mock Victor performances, a best they could for small children. They both were fans of Victor, and Yuri was offered a chance to have a picture taken with him. He was ashamed for losing and ran away. I thought that perhaps they were more on the rival side than fan and untouchable idol. But that’s not the case, or rather, that wasn’t the case.
Victor is a 5 time world championship winner, and seems to be getting bored of it. His teammate, also named Yuri, is on track to be a champion as well. It’s the typical story of ‘ the natural is becoming tired of the sport’. He seems likes ramping up to quit.
Well when 3 little shits post a video of Yuri performing his imitation of Victors performance online, and it goes viral… I fell out of my chair. This emotional performance was recorded and posted…. And Victor watched it. *commence dying*
Up until this point, it felt like Yuri was ramping up to quit as well .He was losing competitions, he was gaining weight, he was losing his steam. He performed the Victor routine to remember why he fell in love with skating in the first place, not to become an internet sensation, let alone have Victor himself see the video! The panic ensued afterwards felt very relatable. When your mother finds a blog post of yours where you list the yaoi hentais you’ve seen.. You’d turn your phone off and hide as well.
Now the first episode is fantastic, no doubt. Its stunning visually, and it has that impact at the end. I will never forget this episode. But carrying onto the second episode. Embarrassing videos cant be released every episode. So from here on does it become a standard sports anime then, with training montages and small rivalry’s? The main goal was to be on the same ice as Victor. But what now? Will there be a media frenzy, bringing back tourism to the town? Or is Yuri going to be ushered away? Im trying to not spoil the ending… you need to go watch it! If not for the skating then for a nice shot of Victors fine ass~
The animation of the show is not CGI, which I am EXTREMELY appreciative of. So the skating all hand drawn and I love it. It makes the skating more emotional. And its so beautiful. With the hand movements and the dance elements.. Its beautiful. The camera angles are swoopy and they follow the skater to show off the routine very well. They focus on the feet when they need to, and on the hands when there is just large movements going on. Id love it if there was longer skate scenes. The background, the audience tends to move faster than the skater when performing, which is accurate if the camera is focussed on keeping the skater centered.
The skate scenes between Yuri and Victor overlapped a bit, so I don’t know which of Victors routines Yuri was emulating. I doubt that he would know Victors champinship routine prior to the actual performance though..
So yes, I loved this episode. There was great camera movement when it came to the skating, there was great animation when it came to the skating. There was comedic relief in the form of teasing Yuri about his weight. Although when he’s in the rink he looks just as skinny as ever. Its like the environment and the people he is around dictates how Yuri looks. During the skating period he looks skinny and slim and drawn more humanely. His actions are not exaggerated. But when he is around the people from his hometown, as well as everyone else in that hometown, everyone has a more rounder appearance and acts more erratic. Its likely to create a separation between ‘country folk’ and ‘city folk’
I think that this anime, will become a typical sports anime, where the Main character is almost reset. If he’s going to be in training, getting ready for the next competition, then there has to be a struggle. And after that performance of him emulating Victors performance, you’d think there was nowhere but up for Yuri, but there will always be a lower and a higher position. So either from nerves or from a downgrade of his abilities, Yuri will most likely be made worse for storylines sake, which I hope is not the case. I really really loved this episode. I was on the edge of my seat, and then off my seat.
What rating would you give Victors tush? Let me know! I want to make this one of the week by week series. So far im doing BRNK and Yuri episode by episode. So check back in 168 hours! Or follow me to receive 2-3 posts a day! Cause I have no life. And sitting at a desk makes me feel important.
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Thanks for reading!