The confession! The Hug! The nosebleed!! The… katsudon again? Were back to that? Whelp okay.
This episode was possibly my favorite. There were definitely some issues, but story wise, a lot happened.
The entirety of the Japan cup happened, so 2 performances from Yuri, as well as by Minami, the little Chibi who idolizes Yuri. The first performance is Eros, and the second is Yuri on Ice. Yuri goes back into the mindset of imagining a katsudon, and how the cheese melts into the breading as inspiration of his performance, at least in a practice run of the program. In the actual performance there are flashbacks to the more.. Sexier scenes involving Victor. Right before heading for center ice Yuri was hugged by Victor and told to ‘try and seduce me’, a phrase he seems to say during practice as well.
His second performance, Yuri on Ice, was narrated by Victor, who commented on the elements Yuri is changing. A triple to a double and such. Victor told him to lower the difficulty of the jumps, and to focus on getting performance points, and a good little boy would do just that. But Yuri’s a stubborn boy, and pushes himself in the performance, resulting in a slip, and a faceplant into the boards!
Watching the performance a second time, the criticisms Victor has for the performance also reflect how Yuri’s grown as a skater. The beginning of the performance is safe but stiff, like Yuri before. The second half is all about him pushing himself, doing multiple jumps. He doesn’t listen to Victors direction, and Victor compares that aspect to himself, especially when Yuri finishes with a classic Victor pose.
I believe they used different animations for the majority of the Eros performance instead of recycling episode 3s, and he stumbles in one spot, but the final pose, and the same fish face remained. In Yuri on Ice, he stumbles in one spot again, the exact same spot, the exact same frames. So in total he’s slipped up in the exact same way on the upper left corner of the rink 3 times this episode, including in a practice.
The animation is also exeeeeeeeptionally noodly in the second half of the Yuri on Ice performance. Like Flat Stanley was skating. On closer shots he was less noodly, and more proportionate but on full body shots, he was channelling Ramen, not Katsudon.
With Minami, this is where Yuri grows as a competitor. He starts off as being the eldest by at least 4 years. He doesn’t remember Minami at first, which is odd because ‘he’ talks about him in the preview of the last episode. I get that Yuri’s not actually telling us about the next episode, but its his voice, and he mentions Minami, so you go in thinking he remembers him.
Minami remembers Yuri, and idolizes him like Yuri Idolizes Victor. This is an issue for Yuri’s self esteem, because he doesn’t see himself worthy of being idolized. He even puts himself down, only to be defended by Minami. Minami is even using a costume similar to one of Yuri’s old costumes. He is kind of the polar opposite of Yuri, confident, energetic and fun, and it comes across in his performances. He is innocent, and reacts accordingly when Victor puts some lip chap on Yuri~ Minami is all of us.
Seeing the differences between Yuri and Minami is like seeing night and day. Minami is cheering and hollering and dolling out challenges with such confidence, while Yuri is putting his head down and avoiding everything.
Victor ends up disappointed in his behavior and leaves him with a ‘how can you motivate others if you cant motivate yourself’ which not only surprises Yuri, but also gets him in gear. He smacks Minamis back, and cheers loudly from the sidelines… before walking off halfway through the performance. Then he stretches in silence for the next 3 performances. Odd.
The end result, a cheering crowd, a nosebleed, and a win for Yuri.
The episode rounds off with Yuri announcing his theme of Love, and about Victor who inspired that theme.
Again, whether this is in the romantic sense, or not,… because Yuri does say ‘my love is not something clear cut like romantic love’ but is accompanied again by all the sexy and suggestive flashbacks.
The episode was good, it did get noodly, but the content is not repetitive. It seems to be constantly moving forwards, and each episode does offer more in terms of developing Yuri’s confidence as a skater. Whether other feelings are developing~ lets hope that sub plot moves along nicely as well. Minami served a purpose, so whether he is going to be returning, I don’t know. I think he’s out of this years competitions? If that’s how it works. A bit of heartbreak happened when Minami said he wanted to compete against Yuri again, because we’ve heard Yuri say before that this is probably his last year. Although.. Victors older, so it doesn’t HAVE to be Yuri’s last year..
Either way, the next challenge is Yurio, so we will get to see just how far our Tsundere has come!
Thanks for reading!