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Yuri!!! on Ice – 09

「ユリ対ユリ!ホラー!ロストエレコムカップ、フリースケート」 (Yuri tai Yuri! Hora! Rosutoere Komu Kappu, Furo Suketo)
“Yuri vs Yuri! The Horror!! Rostelecom Cup, Free Skate”

Yuri!!! on Ice has definitely found its comfort in these competitions. This isn’t a fanservice show with sprinkles of sports scenes to keep the plot afloat – this a genuine sports anime with bundles of adrenaline and passion, and a diverse cast of characters we can all root for. Haikyuu!! is of course my favourite sports anime out there, DAYS hasn’t gotten as much love as I’d expected, and I’m too behind on All Out!! to comment, but Yuri!!! on Ice certainly has them matched – and in two of those cases, beaten – when it comes to the execution of the sport. An anime about ice skating seems like an obscure thing, and a difficult one to animate since the characters are constantly moving. And if you also told me this was going to feature a heavily implied gay relationship between the two main characters as well, I would never believe this would be one of the most popular titles of the season (both in Japan and Overseas). Sometimes the anime industry offers these rare blessings…

This week’s episode mainly followed the same routine as the previous competition showcases; which is to say it was another great episode that had me entertained from the moment the OP ended to the final scene. There’s never a dull moment here whether on or off the ice, and the fact I can care about all these new characters to some degree says plenty about Yuri!!! on Ice’s appeal. There’s all so damn likeable, even the borderline-incest siblings. Their storyline is the most ‘out there’ of the bunch, but it’s delivered with the same passion as the rest, so even if it’s an absurd motive for the characters, it’s amusing and touching when it needs to be.

The other highlight this week has to be little Yurio, who has proven yet again that he’s developed so much from the beginning. He gave his best performance yet, and that showed on-screen, and seeing him actively rooting for Yuri against JJ was both adorable and admirable. He’s come a long way… if only he’d accepted Yuri’s hugs.

That brings me to Yuri. Poor Yuri. With Victor having to rush off he’s feeling the pressure and unable to do the best he can. I personally thought he delivered another impressive performance, but he barely scraped by in making it to the next stage. It would have been a twist if he didn’t go any further, but that wouldn’t make for a satisfying end to his arc that we’ve established thus far; sometimes the predictable route is the better one. I did love his hug spree after the performances, which I read as him trying to replace that affection and support he gets from Victor. He hugged everyone in the cast apart from Yurio, but nothing compares to his coach, which is obvious as even when he’s not there, Victor is on the only thing on Yuri’s mind.

But the best part of the episode was the final scene. Yuri and Victor’s reunion was so heartfelt it almost seems surreal to be happening before my eyes. I never expected this much care and effort put into the depiction of love between two men in anime, but it feels so good have my hopes exceeded. They’re one of the best couples of the year, even if they’re nothing “officially” canon. But seriously, how can they not be at this point? As Victor notes, Yuri practically proposed to him at the airport as he asked him to coach him until his retirement, to which Victor hoped he would never have to retire. I welled up a little when Yuri did, because their bond feels so believeable. It truly feels like they love each other, and that’s amazing to watch.

 

Preview

December 2, 2016 at 5:37 am
21 comments »
  • December 2, 2016 at 7:02 amNN4

    We keep seeing Victor supporting Yuri and being his rock, but I really wish we could see Yuri support him for once. It’ll give the relationship some more balance. Victor spreading his arms for a hug in the airport is the first time we saw him “needing” Yuri as much as Yuri needs him.

    Also, word has it that the proper translation for “coach until I retire” was more like “take care of me until I retire” as in retiring from life, as in “stay with me forever”..

    Romantic meaning aside, does that mean Yuri isn’t planning to retire after this final?

    Ep. 10 preview: Yuri will gift Victor something round and golden.. Ring or Medal?!
    Stay tuned.

    • December 2, 2016 at 9:46 amSherrisLok

      I really hope he doesn’t retire! His low self-esteem is getting in the way though. The poor guy thinks that a decent, but not the best performance he gave in this episode makes him into some sort of a failure on ice. Take confidence lessons from JJ, Yuuri!

    • December 2, 2016 at 3:31 pmSamu

      I’m looking forward to see what that golden gift is next week. We can only hope…

  • December 2, 2016 at 8:17 amzztop

    Yuri’s line, “Boku intai made, boku no koto onegaishimasu”, directly translates as “Until I retire, please take care of me”. Some have theorized the line was meant as a type of indirect “marriage proposal” in the situation.

    Maccachin-shaped tissuebox holders will be sold this January. Get one for 3400 yen.
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2016-11-30/yuri-on-ice-makkachin-tissue-case-heads-to-real-life-rinks/.109249

  • December 2, 2016 at 8:33 amTimaeus

    “…had me entertained from the moment the OP ended to the ED began.”

    There was no ED in this episode, Samu. :D
    Also, you might be missing a word there.

  • December 2, 2016 at 8:39 amBlue

    I can’t believe someone as self-centered as JJ has a girlfriend. And here I thought his only love was himself.

    ‘Something round and gold’ My thoughts were a lot more…R-rated than they should have been.

    • December 2, 2016 at 9:50 amOther

      Watching JJ is like if Tamaki from Ouran did professional skating (yes I know same VA)

      • December 2, 2016 at 11:20 amMi-Chan

        co-rr-bol-ration stuck in my head since he had said it lol xD

    • December 2, 2016 at 9:54 amSherrisLok

      Well, it makes sense if his girlfriend adores him in the same way his fangirls do. After all, he’s super-narcissistic, so maybe hearing her words of praise round the clock is all he ever wanted from her?
      Did you notice that she wears a necklace with JJ’s initials as well?
      http://randomc.net/image/Yuri%20on%20Ice/Yuri%20on%20Ice%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2024.jpg

    • December 2, 2016 at 3:07 pmSamu

      Even narcissists fall in love. Sometimes with each other, but maybe not.

  • December 2, 2016 at 10:18 amSherrisLok

    Victor kissing Yuri’s hand was the best scene. Ekhem.

    I expected Yuri to have another breakdown once Victor is not around, but I was pleasantly surprised – he managed just fine, although all he could think of while skating was Victor :3

    I like the message the show’s been pushing all along: you can only do well when you skate with emotions. Seung Gil was too focused on calculating the scores in his head and wasn’t trying to convey any feelings in his routine and he failed. Crispy, on the other hand, channelled the love for his sister and the sadness of the imminent separation into his performance and scored high (even Georgi was impressed!). Yurio’s anger at JJ proved to be just the right fuel.

    Speaking of JJ, his level of delusion is sky-high. In his mind Victor took a break from his career as he was too scared to have a face-off with the King! Know you place, boy!

  • December 2, 2016 at 11:19 amMi-Chan

    Am I the only one who wants more in depth episodes with Victor :( even though he’s the only thing EVERYONE is talking about he’s hardly there xD

    • December 2, 2016 at 3:32 pmSamu

      Me too, but the mystery makes it all the more exciting as well. We know as much about him as his many fans, so it would be interesting to delve into his character further.

  • December 2, 2016 at 2:34 pminnerchihiro

    Enjoyed the ep, but it didn’t exactly blow me away. The final scene was absolutely the best part, and the preview for next week got me real excited for Victor and Yuri!

  • December 2, 2016 at 3:43 pmOne Pinch Man

  • December 2, 2016 at 4:39 pmichigo

    OH! Phichit has his selfie stick. Hope you get great shots (of Yuri and Victor)!
    http://randomc.net/image/Yuri%20on%20Ice/Yuri%20on%20Ice%20-%2009%20-%20Large%20Preview%2002.jpg

  • December 2, 2016 at 5:05 pmRinnnnm

    I admit it, I cried at the airport reunion scene, twice.

    Now I am really looking forward to the newly-introduced Kazakhstan skater!

  • December 3, 2016 at 2:32 pmSherrisLok

    Evgeni Plushenko made his cameo in this episode! >D
    https://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g450/kelestermoon/stuffz/image_zpsjc5wbbnd.jpeg

    • December 3, 2016 at 9:05 pmdree74

      OMG you’re right!!

  • January 10, 2017 at 8:48 pmgravitation

    There’s a big translation ambiguity here, when Yuri said, “Intai made, boku no koto. Onegaishimasu~”

    On dub and sub, it’s translated as “Until I retire, please be my coach~” when Yuri did not say “boku no coach.” The correct translation is here https://youtu.be/kAOO4qSEN7g?t=4m59s It should be “Until I retire, please take care of me” or “Until I retire, please let me be under your care”