「２人のユーリ！？ ゆ～とぴあの乱」 (Futari no Yuuri! ? Yuutopia no Ran)
“Two Yuris?! Drama at Yu-topia”
I’m in love. I’m floored by the passion and vibrancy and energy that Yuri!!! on Ice possesses, and I have nothing but praise for every aspect of this production. Perhaps it’s a little unfair that I have nothing bad to say whatsoever, but even after re-watching this episode twice, this is just as perfect as the premiere, even if the animation wasn’t as jaw dropping. Yamamoto Sayo has a winner here. Her passion project is practically bursting through the screen with every frame, and if, like me, you’re a fan of the zany comedy, fast pace, sharp dialogue, and consistently well-crafted aesthetic, then you’re likely enjoying this just as much as I am. If you’re not part of that love-fest, or if there’s any key element to this production that doesn’t mesh with your tastes in anime, then it appears Yuri!!! on Ice will never change its approach to telling its story. I feel bad for those left behind, though thankfully this is getting wide acclaim and massive love online, so let’s focus on the (many) positives instead.
There’s so many elements I could focus on that work well with Yuri!!! on Ice, and one that stuck out to me after this episode was how this feels like a true modern anime. If, in several years or decades later, I was asked to present an anime that perfectly sums up “2016”, I would show them Yuri!!! on Ice. This is an drama clearly aimed for adults (primarily women), and it captures what life is like right now in the world. I highlight that because so few modern anime manage to feel authentic to our current time, instead going back to the times before social media was all the rage, when high schoolers used flips phones and landlines. I could point to so many anime that feel like they’re set in 2005, even if they’re released in the past few years. And that’s not a terrible thing, but the fact that Yuri!!! on Ice goes the extra mile to make this feel like the day and age we live in right now, it pays off. Also, there’s clearly been extensive research put into the differing languages of the characters and the authentic locations, which make this feel more like real-life than your typical live-action.
It sure helps that every character here is a winner. Even with their limited screentime, Yuuri’s childhood love interest and her family (especially her kids) have made the most of what we’ve seen of them, and their presence on-screen is always amusing, and never annoying… which is more than can be said about a lot of children in anime. Yuuri’s family are also sweet and charming, going along with the flow of this whirlwind that’s taking over their inn. It’s mad what can happen with the power of social media, and Yuri!!! on Ice seems to understand that. Funnily enough, Victor and Yuri’s necessity to post on Instagram whenever they find a photo oppertunity goes back to my point of telling a story that feels like it’s set here and now. What’s even more clever is the official Instagram for Yuri!!! on Ice is posting the photos that the characters take in the episodes as and when they air – that’s a genius marketing method, and shows that the effort put into this show goes beyond what appears on-screen.
This episode was definitely more about our two Russians, Victor and Yuri. Victor is the best for me, with his love heart mouth and his broken English coming through at the best of times (“Really?” “#ninja”). He had me smiling through all his scenes, but his closeness with Yuri is bound to raise questions of his sexuality. He was ever so curious as to how many girlfriends Yuuri had had, and when he didn’t get the answers he turned it around to: “Let’s talk about me now” (which made me chuckle). There’s a definite sexual energy to Yuri!!! on Ice that isn’t there by happenstance; whether it will turn into genuine romance is unlikely, but the fact remains that this show is very, very gay. Expect more of that next week and all the weeks to come, especially when Victor is on-screen.
The ice skating scenes were limited this time around, but the set-up between the face-off of the two Yuris made up for the lack of on-ice choreography. I expect next week will offer plenty of spectacle as they both take on the tracks that they didn’t want to do. Victor is channelling some Taki-sensei energy (from Hibike! Euphonium) in his coaching methods, which contrasts from his easy going and joyous personality. In the end, I don’t think it matters which Yuri wins because surely both of them are going to get the training they deserve and want? From a conventional storytelling perspective, Japanese Yuuri has the edge, but I wouldn’t put it past Victor to make up his own rules as he goes just to satisfy his own wants.
Until next week! #yurioniceisgreat #animeissaved #ninja
I think it says something that I’m enjoying this show so much, even though I’m not particularly a fan of the director (haven’t seen any of her previous works other than the Space Dandy episode, and didn’t even know it was hers), nor is this show aimed at me or in my preferred anime genres. I can definitely see why Sayo Yamamoto has gotten so much love; she’s really infused this show with an energetic visual style that, among other things, makes it work really well as a fun, silly comedy with a strong narrative backbone. I feel like it’s the kind of show that should appeal to a lot of people, even if they would not otherwise be interested in ice-skating pretty boys.
Definitely looking forward to more of this.
I’m very much enjoying the show so far.
Regarding Victor’s sexuality though, I wish that he will be straightforwardly portrayed as gay/bi, instead of having those moments of homosexual tension be treated as just fanservice for girls. I mean, this guy is from Russia. Life in Russia is shit for LGB people now, there are anti-gay laws and violence. If the show dared to make some actual pro-gay statement with the Russian Victor, it would be really positive.
Victor being Russian would make it trickier, or so you;d think. But it would be something else if we got some actual confirmation and weren’t just teased. I mean, it’s obvious what’s being shown here is meant to be sexy and give off a gay vibe, so it wouldn’t be too much to go the whole way.
Japanese Yuri’s hometown of Hasetsu is fictional, but it’s based on the real-life town of Karatsu in Kyushu. http://acepalindrome.tumblr.com/post/151452852993/yuri-on-ice-location
Karatsu Castle was an actual castle, but was demolished in the Meiji era. The current one was rebuilt in the 1960s as a tourist attraction.
Viktor’s plane is leaving from St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport…
…and this flashback occured at the St Petersburg Ice Palace, an actual hockey/skating rink.
So safe to say that Viktor and Russian Yuri were based in St Petersburg initially!
Apparently Russian Yuri’s based on female ice skater Yulia Lipnitskaya, if you compare these shots.
– In Viktor’s conversation with Japanese Yuri about girlfriends, he uses the word “koibito/恋人”, a gender-neutral way of referring to a lover. So more accurately he was asking if Yuri had any lovers in general – whether male or female.
I’ve heard about Yuri being based off Yulia Lipnitskaya, which is super cool and really obvious when you put it together. As for the “lover” part, that’s a noteworthy distinction, thanks!
times before…when high schoolers used flips phones and landlines.
To go slightly off topic, early Japanese flip phones were much more advanced than the rest of the world in the late 1990s. Their flip phones could be used to read emails, perform mobile computing, watch TV etc. compared to the simple text messaging and pixel games of everyone else’s phones. However the technology was only compatible wih Japanese telecoms networks, too advanced for international tech, and never made it out of Japan as a result. Likened to the isolated evolution of lifeforms on the Galapagos Islands, these phones are called garakei, Galapagos phones, compared to the more international-compatible smartphones.
If someone told me a month ago that I will be watching bishies ice skate and bathe in hot springs, I’d laugh at them.
…But goddamn, this is too good.
The plot is, of course. Not…. the ‘plot’. >_>
*cough*Get dat booty, Victor.*cough*
I still can’t believe this is an original anime. Is this truly the first step towards saving anime ?
Yes. Anime is being saved as we speak.
Victor is the perfect troll XD
Are they…..? Is this….? Am I….? Let me just soak all this in. Amazing Show. SO GAY. God Bless. I’ll see myself out.
Anyone else notice that the opening sequence changed in the second episode? There were different tones used in the background and additional colors were added, especially to the characters’ hair and skates. I’m looking forward to how it shapes up throughout the season. Here’s a side-by-side comparison I found on Tumblr. Thank you, tobiho-chan!
To add, there are audience stands forming once both Yuris and Victor are in their performing wear. Will it end up having a full house by the last episode!?
I seriously can’t get enough of the OP and ED. The OP is simple but artistic and inspiring, while the ED is stylish and all about enjoying the moment.
Both the OP and ED are unique standouts compared to what you typically get. I especially love the smart use of social media that carries over into the ED, it’s genius.
Despite all of these baits, I still love this anime with passion.
I can’t deny that Victor is a cute/hot dude. Yes, he’s the best guy of the season!
Yup, Victor is easily Best Boy of the season.
Just watched the first two episodes and I am intrigued! Feels like the shot in the arm the anime industry needs. I simply adore the opening and ending, it feels very western. Would love to see the queer baiting turn into something real here, but so far I haven’t been given a reason to believe it’s anything other than flirtatious. Excited for the next ep!!
I adore the attention to details in this anime. The seiyuus are all spot-on as well. I also find it hilarious that the triplets look like their dad xD
I do wish the fanservice could’ve been more subtle/natural though. And when Yuuri’s contemplating, I wish the anime would’ve paced down some more to let the emotions sink in.
I love the little things they do to add character depth. Russian Yuri falls into the badass/tsundere type but I like that they add little quirky things to this rather keeping him squarely in those boxes, like his rather bold fashion sense and the fact that he could not restrain himself from taking a picture (thus giving away his location) when he saw a really cool shirt. What an adorable loser.
I like that Japanese Yuri realised that Yurio was underestimating him rather than just agreeing that yeah, he’s awful and has no talent. The way he’s not always just a submissive yes-man, but has bouts of confidence and loss of confidence is what makes his character more interesting.
I couldn’t figure out why I felt that smirk scene made me feel so much better about his character, until I read your comment and went “yes, that’s exactly it!”
He could just be the typical self-doubting MC, but that one little smirk shows that he’s not that easy to bring down as well.
It took me a few minutes in the first episode to get used to the humour, and once I did I LOVED it. And the characters are really easy to like. They really manage to tell us everything we need without trying too hard. A short chat with the ballet sensei + skating seniors and watching Yuuri’s skating is enough to see how important skating is to him as a part of his life. And in just an episode Yuri(o) quickly became more than just this rude genius guy – I really look forward to seeing more of him. And Victor is Victor. Enough said. The characters were all so cute this episode 😀
Specific things I liked this episode: when Yuuri smirked at Yuri(o) thinking he’s being underestimated. Also Yuuri’s expression when Yurio said “let’s go back to Russia!”.
thanks to you I’m follow them on Instagram now xD this episode was great, we have yet to know why Victor was so interested in Yuri and what are his motives.
I love how he mixed the roles, giving both of them something that doesn’t match their personality to begin with, but rather the opposite, I can’t wait now..
Thanks for your review :p
eh why is it I keep thinking Victor is voiced by Miyano Mamoru, for some reason that feels like his gendre of charecters lol ^__^”
I’m following them as well! I’ve never followed an anime’s official INstagram before, but they deserve it after the effort they’re putting into the cross-promotion.
This is a pretty gay show…and I absolutely love it. I didn’t think I would actually enjoy this show, but it’s been a very entertaining watch. The humor is on point, the choreography of the figure skating is great, and our three leads have a lot of charm to them. I’m pretty excited to see how the two Yuri’s will tackle their song, Japanese Yuri going for the more sensual one while the Russian Yuri goes for the innocent one.
i wonder how this show would be like if Katsuki Yuri was voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya.
every time Yuri kind breaks the 4th wall and starts explaining stuff i kepp imagining him speaking with Kamiya’s voice and, i start laughing. Lol.XD
This looks like show for fags and fujoshi.
Would you look at that, not everything out there caters specifically to you. It’s a tough world we live in.
Has postmodernism gone too far? XD