「顔まっ赤!!初戦だョ!中四国九州選手権大会」 (Kao maaaka!! shosen da! chu shikoku kyushu senshuken taikai)
“Face Beet-Red!! It’s the First Competition! The Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu Championship”

If you prefer Yuri!!! on Ice when it’s more about the ‘on Ice’, then this episode was made for you. We got three nicely animation figure skating performances, and plenty of amusing moments in between to make this an entertaining watch from tip to toe. It still lacks the vibrancy and relentless pace of the premiere, but Yuri!!! on Ice seems to have found its comfort zone between it being a sports anime, a comedy, and a character drama. Personally, I prefer the episodes that delve deeper into the characters’ backgrounds and motives, but I’ll take a performance packed episode any day of the week.

Is it just me or was this the first time Yuri’s performance was actually as impressive as it was made out to be? Often times I feel like the character art in his sequences is below standard or just a little choppy compared to the rest. I appreciated that in the first episode as it showed the contrast between him and Victor performing the same routine, with the experienced prodigy being more polished. But up until this episode I felt Yuri’s moments weren’t as breathtaking as we were led to believe. Perhaps I’m alone in that notion, but thankfully his second performance was brilliant; much more fluid than usual and showed a nice variety as he tried to hold back and deliver something more confident rather than a risky routine. Yet he still fell and actually injured himself in what looked like painful blow to the nose. That impact made me a recoil a little, but I liked that it was played for humour in his final moments while he tried to maintain his sexy persona.

We got a formal introduction to Minami Kenjirou (Murase Ayumu) this week, and he is way more loveable than I thought possible. A character as energetic as him can quickly become irritating, but he fits into the series perfectly and brings out the best in the comedy. I especially love the fact that he seems to be the only one bewitched or even aware of the closeness between Victor and Yuri. I got plenty of laughs from this kid, and his performance was even more impressive – like him, it was full of energy, brimming with character, and something different from what we’ve seen thus far. I like that he had fun with his routine, and even though Yuri was destined to win, I think their performances were neck and neck. Either way, I hope to see him return later on in the series, even if just for his blushing cheeks and apparent ‘admiration’ for Yuri. He’s a funny one, definitely a keeper.

As for Victor and Yuri… wow. These two get gayer every week. I don’t want to spend my reviews focusing on what could just be unfair teasing, but each week there is a more convincing case that this could actually be going somewhere. Victor is as affectionate as ever, and Yuri seems way more receptive to his touch than before, and by the end he straight up confessed that he loved Victor and was using that as his theme for his performances going forward. There was clarification that it’s not necessarily romantic love – though Yuri doesn’t quite know how to label it – but whatever the case, a series this popular and of this quality embracing the idea of two men together is remarkable to say the least. And going by next week’s preview there’s going to be even more homoeroticism and intimate touching between them, which is something to look forward to. By next Wednesday we’ll know whether America has voted for their impending doomsday, but at least we’re safe in knowing that Yuri!!! on Ice will be everything we expect it to be.




  1. I really am tempted to buy the Blu-Ray for Yuri on Ice, not only to support this stellar show, but also to enjoy all these magnificent skating animation sequences in their top quality! CDJapan lists the Blu-Rays at about USD70 per volume (is it one episode per volume?). This is my first time checking out Anime BLu-rays & DVDs, so

    Hi everyone from RC, does anybody have any tips on buying them please? OwO

    1. Funimation has actually licensed this show and is already working on the dub so if you can wait a while they will release it on Blu-ray for way cheaper than it would be to buy it from Japan. Plus, if you do not have a Region 2 player (I think that’s what they have over there) then whatever you import from Japan will not play on whatever machine you have. Usually the Japanese releases only have two episodes per disc which can really rack up the price of the show. I’ve seen Amazon carry anime like this though I’ve never bought any. I hope this is helpful.

      1. If you buy Funimation’s copy, you’ll need to make sure that their version will use the Japanese Bluray versions, and not the incomplete TV/Crunchyroll versions. I’ve heard of some cases where Western distributors were wrongly given incomplete TV versions of anime for release rather than the cleaned up Bluray ones (although I think those were due to miscommunications). In addition, some Western distributions may not have the rights to release extra materials like OVAs/specials released after the anime’s airing.

      2. Ah, thank you both very much. With the region issue, I guess I will hold out for now. On the other hand, I am not used to watching Dub anime. Ultimately, I may just wait until the anime finish airing and pick my favorite episodes to buy the Blu-Rays for them.

      3. Hmm…if I remember right, Japan is classified as Region A for Blu-ray encoding which is shared with North America, South America, and other Asian countries (Mongolia and China are not included). Region 2 is a reference to DVD encoding so if you are looking to buy the DVD and not the Blu-ray version, then you should refer to the Region 2 classification (shared by a different list of countries/continents). As zztop mentioned, some of the bonus features of the Japanese DVDs/Blu-rays might not be included in the Western version release. Don’t know if foreign licensing companies plan to include it but apparently the JP release of Yuri on Ice will also include bonus footage of Miyamoto Kenji (choreographer for the series) performing the routines so I suppose that’s an appeal point you could consider for buying the JP version. Oh, and as mentioned above, each blu-ray/dvd package should include about 2 episodes per release.

      4. It’s a shame that Funimations releases can’t compare to the Japanese ones. I love my Love Live Sunshine BD volumes. The box art and everything is great. Same for Macross Delta, KonoSuba etc. But at the end of the day, I guess you get what you pay for.

    2. You should probably wait and pick the show up on Amiami when it gets discounted. They have a sales section with some anime BDs reduced down to 2500-5300 yen. If you’re not in a rush to pick up an anime series, it’s best to wait until the show you want is discounted. I’ve picked up a few anime BDs this way.

      I think they’re great for Blu Rays as some retailers insist on using a courier and they give a wide range of options like SAL etc.

    3. So I saw that it is true that a Japanese Blu-ray should be able to play on a Blu-ray player from the Americas, Korea, and South East Asia which is pretty cool. Personally though, I just can’t spend that kind of money on a show no matter how much I love it, even if it means missing out on some of the bonuses. I did want to let you know that even though Funimation is doing a dub it does not mean that the Japanese audio won’t be included. As far as I know every release with a dub from them has had both viewing options available, so if you prefer the original Japanese then you won’t be forced to listen to English. Good luck with whatever you choose :).

    4. The cheapest deals (used – but when the condition is described as ‘very good’ it’s almost like new!) are on the Japanese Amazon. Though you would need to wait to get the release into the pre-owned category.

  2. I don’t know if it is excessive teasing, but Yuri!!! fans, even the characters themselves, are aware of Yuri and Victor’s close relationship.

    Minami and Phichit know.

    Is it just me or was this the first time Yuri’s performance was actually as impressive as it was made out to be?

    Yes, Yuri’s last performance also felt underwhelming to me. Besides the choppy character art, I kept thinking his previous costume did not suit him as it was clearly meant for Victor. I get easily distracted by details like that. Nonetheless, Yuri’s performance felt like a step up from last time.

  3. There were a number of developments that happened in this episode that you did not touch on.

    This episode showed that Yuri’s low self-esteem and confidence had him losing sight of the big picture. Just as he has admired and inspired by Victor, he too has his admirers and those inspired by him amongst the younger skaters. Minami hero worships Yuri but Yuri is too self-absorbed in his low self-esteem and low confidence that he does not see it. It took this competition and a scathing remark by Victor to get him to open his eyes.

    We also get to see Victor learning and evolving as a coach. After the short programme, he was still very critical of Yuri – being the perfectionist and high achiever that he is – even though Yuri did quite good in securing a nineties score for his short program, his best ever by more than 10 points. Because Victor could have skated that short program and breached a 100+ points, he was critical of Yuri of not doing better due to being nervous. After the free programme, his thoughts about scolding Yuri for defying him like what Yakov would have done and what he was about to do, but seeing how the crowd loved Yuri’s performance in the free programme and thinking through about how he was also swept up by the performance even though the jumps were not good, he thought hard and decided to welcome Yuri with open arms from his initial look of dissatisfaction.

    The free programme performance while littered with jump errors was compelling to watch because it felt like we were watching the history of Yuri on his figure skating career. The near misses on some jumps, the times he landed the jump very well, the pushing of his limits, and his face hitting the wall in doing his last quadruple jump. This was him trying his best and competing instead of being fearful and losing confidence. This growth in confidence starting from Victor coming into his life as his coach to now is very palpable.

  4. I’m surprised they used the Yuri on Ice theme so early, usually that is the kind of music they save until the very end. I really liked all the performances this episode. Sometimes, I just go back and rewatch those scenes. Minami’s was really fun.

      1. In figure skating, competitors use the same short and long programs throughout the entire season. There may be slight changes, especially if something isn’t working so well, but usually nothing too major.

        So what we’ll see is Yuri (hopefully) getting better at them. And the staff animating more of the programs with each competition we see.

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