「勇利VSユーリ！おそロシア！！ロシア大会 ショートプログラム」 (Yiri VS Yiri! Oso Roshia!! Roshia Taikai Shoto Puroguramu)
“Yuri vs Yuri! The Horror!! Rostelecom Cup, Short Program”
Yuri!!! on Ice charges on with its pretty boys and diverse skating routines at its relentless pace, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, I would have liked some acknowledgement of that kiss, but even if this episode didn’t mention it, it definitely happened, and Victor and Yuri are just as close and lustful as ever. It’s refreshing to see, even if we’re unlikely to get a concrete confirmation of their relationship. Then again, I was convinced things wouldn’t progress as far as they have already, so I’m not going to make any predictions from now on. I’ll just see where the story of Yuri and Victor’s relationship goes from here and enjoy the ride.
However, that particular pairing took a backseat here after last week’s emotional tournament as we instantly jump forward to the Russian cup where we have a familiar face returning and many more memorable ones to be introduced to. Much like episode 6, this focuses on the new skaters – giving each of them their own distinctive routines and fleshing out their personalities through their relationship to skating. With such limited time and many faces to get through, Yuri!!! on Ice manages to make everyone stick in out in some way or another (did anyone get an incest vibe from the Italian siblings?). That comes down to the full throttle pace that keeps everything exciting no matter what’s happening onscreen. It’s part and parcel of Yuri!!! on Ice’s appeal, and helps prove that Yamamoto Sayo is one of the best directors in the business right now. I just hope it doesn’t take her 4 years to direct her next show – must she wait until each American election year to give us something of this caliber?
Of all the new characters this week, the star of the show has to be Jean-Jacques Leroy aka JJ (Miyano Mamoru), the Canadian King. It’s official: JJ is the hottest of all the boys we’ve seen so far. There’s something about his confidence/arrogance that shines when he takes centre stage – and that’s where he was for the last portion of this episode. His routine was perhaps the best animated after Victor’s skating in the premiere, and his musical background and cockiness was well portrayed in his performance. He’s one hell of a character, but it’s easy to see why he gets on Yurio’s nerves so easily. Partly because he’s a brilliant skater for such a young age, but because he’s so damn sure of himself that it’s hard not to get a little bit annoyed by him. Yet watching him in his element and hearing Miyano Mamoru chant out those ridiculous lines is enough to make me love him. He’s no Victor or Yuri, but as far as the supporting cast goes, I kind of what him to do well just so we can see more of him in future episodes.
Speaking of Yurio, he gave a pretty performance as well, even with that ugly fall. He recovered and proved himself as the newcomer, though Yuri seemed to have the edge over him. Their interactions are fun to watch – a mix between one-sided rivalry and genuine encouragement, depending on whose point of view you consider. But this Russian youngster has proven himself to be much less of a brat that he initially appeared, especially in those scenes with his grandpa when he turns into the kid he is, chibi faces and all. And now that Victor is rushing back to Japan to aid his dog, I’m interested to see where this coach sharing with the two Yuris goes. I’m sad that we won’t get many Victor/Yuri moments because of it, but I suppose they can’t be adorable and sexy together in every episode. We’re spoiled enough as it is.
Please be okay.
Mascot characters have plot armour, worry not.
Sad you didn’t mention the bullying of Yuri in Russia – he gets ignored by the media, ignored by other skaters (JJ) and everybody is cheering for Victor, though he’s not the one competing. And even though Victor himself wants the public to pay attention to Yuri – in the last episode he boasted about Yuri’s achievement to the press, in this episode he takes a humble stance (blade kissing) as if signalling to everyone WILL YOU FINALLY GET THE CLUE.
I think the better question should be: What are the consequences of Viktor acting like a gay couple with Yuri as far as Russia’s concerned?
‘Cause I can’t see the Kremlin taking too kindly to one of their most famous idols in figure skating having a romantic attachment to a *Japanese* male. Am I the only one who thinks homophobic Russia would ‘retire’ him for being gay or labeling him a ‘corrupter of youth’?
But, then again, this is anime. I just wish they’d be more realistic about Russia’s anti-homosexual stance and how vicious they are regarding it to their our countrymen… :\
I think you are a bit misguided. If this show aimed at realism, Yurio wouldn’t be able to board a plane to Japan without the consent of his parents/guardians. A 15-yo kid travelling alone to a foreign country, yeah… In the last episode the crowd in China was cheering after the kiss (can you see that happening in the real life?), Yuri was never bothered how his relationship with Victor is shown in the media etc. Let’s just accept the world of YoI as some sort of alternative reality.
I didn’t pick up on the bullying, my bad. but if this were real-life, I’m sure the affection between Victor/Yuri would not go down well in Russia. I don’t know exactly what the repercussions would be, but I imagine it wouldn’t be pretty. It doesn’t seem like Yuri!!! on Ice is going to explore that potential backlash…
It’s just not this type of show. Sports series in general avoid ‘heavy’ topics such as doping, corruption etc. Why would YoI deviate from the formula mid-series? I’m not sure about figure skating, but when it comes to speed skating, antiasthmatics (and athletes faking asthma) are popular drugs for improving one’s performance. Sorry for being off-topic though.
It’s not too off-topic. There are certainly many realities that sports anime/manga aren’t willing or likely to tackle. And that’s fine. I’m sure it will happen at some point (if it hasn’t already), but not in Yuri!!! on Ice.
The thing is as a Queer person myself we are all aware of how homophobic and transphobic Russia and the rest of the world is (looking at the elections in my recent USA) Since the elections I have not been well both physically and mentally because on top of being Queer I’m also a person of color and I’m extremely fearful and trusting of my surroundings since the elections. I have heard from friends in other parts of the USA that the violence against them has increased and its brutal for our youth in the school systems now more than ever. Hell even white nationalist are showing up here in Toronto wanting a Trump like leadership. (I still voted because i didn’t want that fucker in power but this is what happened when people ignore the cries of the people who are the most going to be effected by his policies).
HAVING SAID ALL THAT Yuri on Ice has been a blessing and Kuo-Sensei has gone on record on the Twitter a month before Yuri on Ice began broadcasting that she wanted to write a series about healthy and complex relationships. Whenever she tried doing that with Male/Female characters people would complain WHY DONT THEY GO OUT ALREADY!! and when the same is done for Male/Male it is criticized for going to far. Seriously check out her twitter, she is WOKE.
In a time when all I see is hopelessness and fear for the future I am happy with Yuri on Ice going on the route exploring how these two are forming a healthy and loving relationship with each other. While yes its important to address real world problems but there are plenty of films, series, and books discussing the topic in depth. I think there is room for shows like Yuri on Ice that not only explores those relationships, but normalizes them too. Because we need more narratives like that where our love stories are shown in all its raw, complexity, and beauty.
As a fellow queer person, I agree. Representation is important. Yuri!!! on Ice may not be the pinnacle of realism, but it sure feels good having a relationship blossom onscreen like we’ve seen with Yuri/Victor. We need more of these relationships in anime/manga, and less of the tropey archetypes that only perpetuate stereotypes.
“The thing is as a Queer person myself we are all aware of how homophobic and transphobic Russia and the rest of the world is (looking at the elections in my recent USA) Since the elections I have not been well both physically and mentally because on top of being Queer I’m also a person of color and I’m extremely fearful and trusting of my surroundings since the elections. I have heard from friends in other parts of the USA that the violence against them has increased and its brutal for our youth in the school systems now more than ever. Hell even white nationalist are showing up here in Toronto wanting a Trump like leadership. (I still voted because i didn’t want that fucker in power but this is what happened when people ignore the cries of the people who are the most going to be effected by his policies).”
Dear God, stop it with your ridiculous hysteria and fearmongering. Trump is THE most pro-LGBT Republican to ever run for a public office and if you don’t believe me watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWh4a98Fwlc
Let me remind you it wasn’t the “white supremacists” who assassinated 5 police officers based on their race in Dallas, accumulated 9 million dollars of destroyed property in Baltimore, burned down nursing homes, blocked ambulances, cut holes in firetruck hoses, attacked innocent people with socks full of stones and glass, or literally placed a bomb at an elementary school. It was Black Lives Matters, the Black Panthers, and hired thugs outside of Trump rallies. The “white supremacists” never murdered or attacked anybody, the leftwing did. If you are scared of white people who say offensive things instead of actual terrorists, actual murderers and actual criminals, then you have removed all doubt you’re nothing more than easily brainwashed cattle.
As not a queer person from one of those countries you mentioned above, I will have you know that they do exist no matter how you see it, and they do live their lives freely – no one really stops them from doing what they want. It is not like Russia is putting a GPS on them and tracking one flow to bash it – look at social media.
In here no1 cares about your interests as long as you don’t impose them on others and you keep your interests private. It is a culture, even straight people keep their interests private. Note: keep it private to yourself your ok – no, not because your queer, because the culture here and people are private. It is really your life and how you do.
Also I really think there’s more to Victor than just a queer lol
As a girl I enjoy these “moments” *coughcough* I mean I am a girl with interests AFTER ALL, but I think there’s just more to Victor. I am surprised no one touched on the fact that Victor did not answer when he said ‘would you want to compete with him someday’. Damm, Is Victor preparing Yuri so he can face him in the next Grand Prix?
Oh em gee, a sight I would love to see! that rhymes =) tc!!!!
I gotta agree with the other two replies. If you believe everyone in those and your country to be homophobic or racist, you’re far more homophobic and racist than 99% of the right-wing could ever be. As they say – how you see the world will always be a reflection of your own thoughts.
I myself am more on the “evil” side politically and I just do NOT CARE. I never cared about those things, until the far-left-wing came along and wasn’t contend with me “not caring”, but wanting for me to “like” it. I don’t. But that´s because colour or gender or whatever are neutral attributes, nothing to be ashamed of and also nothing to be proud of. I simply DON’T CARE. The left-wing and it’s media made badly informed people like you believe that everyone like me is homophobic or racist and now look what that made out of you.
Liz, I’m sorry you’re being targeted by homophobic and heteronormative individuals in this thread too caught up in their own privilege(s) to have empathy and compassion. As another queer Torontonian whose neighbourhood has also been targeted by the local white nationalists since Trump was elected, I stand with you and Samu against this childish and fearful invective. And with you I celebrate a normalized, happy, and healthy queer relationship of main characters in an anime! May there be many more in the years to come.
I saw on a reaction video that the red jacket JJ was wearing is a reference to Canadian Tire. From Canadian governement website, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is a national charitable program that helps financially disadvantaged children participate in organized sport and recreation by covering registration, equipment, and/or transportation costs.
It is truly amazing the amount the research that the creators put into this show. Also, this is a bit far-fetched but, imagine if JJ was actually one of those disadvantaged children that were helped by Canadian Tire and got into Figure Skating professionally…. I think I am going to cry, as if I hadn’t love him enough!
Ah, that’s a really neat detail if it does lend to his backstory! There’s clearly been a lot of research and effort put into this production, and it shows.
You’re not the only one who thoroughly enjoyed JJ. I wanna see much, much more of him. There’s something about Miyano’s acting that just really sells that goofy, egotistical personality of his.
Also, love Yurio’s relationship with his grandpa, but where the heck are his parents? He’s 15, shouldn’t they be in the crowds cheering him on, at least when he’s in Russia. Don’t tell me they’re dead or always working overseas or something.
Given that the only association Yurio had with ‘agape’ was his grandad… I think they are either dead, left him or are very cold people.
JJ’s pose is modeled on the actual one by Czech skater Michal Brezina.
JJ’s performance is likely modeled on Canadian skater Patrick Chan, known for his brash and confident style. His hyper-masculine attitude to skating is likely based on 90s Canadian skater Elvis Stojko, who often mocked feminity in male skating.
Viktor’s rose crown and black costume are based on those worn by US skater Johnny Weir.
Whoever threw the cat ears perfectly on Yurio’s head deserves to join the next Olympics track and field event.
Mitsurou Kubou, head writer for YOI (and mangaka) drew YOI fangirl and skater Evgenia Medvedevda together with Vikotr.
Ha, that’s awesome. I love that so many ice skaters are watching/referencing Yuri!!! on Ice. Good to know it’s been accepted by the community itself.
I live for the crowd shot(s) in Yuri on Ice….
I guess they’re going forward as if the kiss didn’t happen. It’s a shame, but not at all surprising. My guess is this won’t be the last time the show does something like this, but the takeaway from last week is still clear as day. I’m excited for what the future holds.
At some point, you gotta wonder why Yurio is sticking to his Agape theme. It doesn’t really seem to suit him, maybe he should be playing to his strengths instead. I’m excited to see Yurio’s free skate next week. It was also awesome to see how excited Yuri and Victor were about Yurio’s performance, this group of skaters seem very supportive of one another for the most part.
Though I have to disagree with you on JJ, I HATE that guy. I want Yuri to defeat him at all costs! The fact that he wore purple, sang with a band, and came from Canada gives me serious Justin Bieber vibes. He’s the perfect nemesis to love to hate.
Until next week!
See below for my thoughts on the kiss. TL;DR: it’s been confirmed by the creator (I can get you the link) and there is a mountain of evidence to support it
As to Yurio, it’s clear he doesn’t understand agape fully yet and needs to, because it’s central to his character growth arc. Even though he made some progress in the first plot arc of the show when he thought of his relationship with his grandfather, problems in stories, like in RL, can be stubborn and take some time to fix. He clearly doesn’t get agape fully yet, because he can’t accept affectionate care and teasing from anyone else and that hurts him as a human being and a skater. He’s “more at home” with Yakov and Lilia’s more distant treatment. For storytelling reasons he needs to stick to it through the difficult times until he gets it (he will). It’s this refusal to accept Yuuri and Viktor’s feeling of agape towards him that enrages him, thus distracting him and making the opening of his program much weaker than normal. THis points up why he needs to grow. But he will get better. Trust the superb storytelling ability of Kubo-sensei, she’ll ensure he’ll get there.
Except that the creator Kubo-sensei DID confirm it was a kiss via Twitter. Even if she hadn’t confirmed it, the evidence is so strong that saying it was a hug is the far weaker argument. Supporting the kiss you’ve got: two examples of foreshadowing, an offer of a kiss that is rejected and a het kiss that cuts out just before the liplock happens (and yet is anyone disputing that kiss happened in Gyorgi’s mind? I wonder why not? could it be het romance “evidence” has a much lower bar than same-sex romance?), plus context cues like the sudden dramatic cutoff of sound, the astonished faces and gasps of the onlookers and viewers, the camera angles (how Yuuri is held in the profile show is all wrong for a hug), and subsequent dialogue all point to the kiss). Seen in the context of the boy’s growing physical intimacy, with Yuuri already initiating hugs in ep3, hugs are initiated by both are common. There have been images and videos of them hugging caught by Phichit and the press before the day of the free skate. A hug wouldn’t have the rhetorical weight as the lovely, romantic kiss.
It’s pretty obvious too the boys have become closer than ever between the two contests (Beijing and Moscow) and are now flaunting their relationship before all of Russia, with tie-grabbing and skate-kissing. So it happened, but in the more idealized world of YOI, it’s not a big deal, because:
1) it appears same-sex relationships are normalized. Note that there are photos and video of the two of them floating around since ep5.
2) it’s part of the theme of underestimating Yuuri (ep1 onwards), almost treating him as invisible because Viktor’s shadow is so powerful. Even Viktor’s attempts to divert the press to talk more about Yuuri in the beginning of ep 8 are ignored. Don’t forget competitors like JJ also ignore Y or aren’t really concerned about him, despite his second at the Cup of China.