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-The moment also breaks Yuuri enough that he is able to clearly state exactly what he wants from Victor. For him to just be with him and to have faith in him for when Yuuri begins to doubt himself.
-Then there's Georgi's performance. I like how his costume represents the male and female characters like the costume Yuuri got from Victor. I wonder if that's just an aesthetic that a lot of Yakov's students take.
-As for his song I admit it's kinda creepy in regards to Georgi's one-sided relationship but I actually relate it more to Victor and Yuuri's more mutual relationship when I hear it. Probably because when the chorus kicks in it flashes to them. And even though most of the song is the singer going to save their beloved there is the line "You always make me strong, I'm not alone" implying that the singer also needed to be saved which is good for a mutual relationship where the give and take is equal.
-Then Yuuri takes to the ice for his performance. First he reassures Victor that he's okay by poking his hair swirl like he did way back in episode 4 when they were practicing. Then he realizes that he's not as tense as he was before his cry. The cry basically release all the tension that had built up in him leaving him in a kinda floaty mindset where he can concentrate again and manages to pull off a great if not technically perfect performance. Proving that sometimes crying is necessary and can be a healthy part in going though life.
-Getting to the end I love the symbolism of Yuuri putting Victor's signature move at the end of his performance. Everyone else is shocked because of the difficulty but Victor created the program with Yuuri and understands the story it's trying to tell. I expresses Yuuri's entire career . from when he first started all alone, to the present when Victor joins him as his coach, to the future. By putting Victor's signature jump at the end Yuuri is basically declaring the Victor is his future. No wonder Victor is overwhelmed.
-And then we come to the kiss that resonated through the entire anime community and beyond. This was the moment that turned Yuri on Ice from a great show to one that Made History. I still remember first watching this episode during some down time at work and not believing what I was watching. And it still brings a smile to my face every time I watch it.
-This is probably my most watched episode, most specifically the ending with the Kiss.
-Of course Victor's idea on how to get Yuuri to rest is to strip him down and then lay on top of him to make sure he stays put.
-Pretty much the entire first half of this episode has me sad at how anxious Yuuri is. He take every "congratulations" and "good luck" as another block to build up the amount of pressure he's under. Such a contrast to the last episode where he single mindlessly went after one goal no matter what anyone else thought.
-I really like how Victor tries his best to relieve the pressure from Yuuri in any way he can think of. Starting by trying to get Yuuri to rest, trying to stop Yuuri from jumping because a miss would mess with his confidence, and then trying to get him away from watchers. He does everything he can think of except actually talking to Yuuri and when he does of course he ends up going to far over the other end with the whole "let's break his glass heart" thing. But he tries his inexperienced coaches best.
-I kinda feel sorry for Guang-Hong. After the first few episodes expressing how a skater needs to emotionally connect with their program Guang-Hong doesn't really seem that in tuned with his. And his coach isn't helping but telling him to be a hero before a program that has him as an underground assassin. (fun note about the cinematic for his program is that Leo is the ally that he runs into and Georgi is the big bad)
-While "The King and the Skater" is Pichit's more referenced performance I personally prefer his free program. And here he performs it flawlessly. He does so well the cheers reach all the way down to the car park, which unfortunately does nothing to ease Yuuri's nerves which were hanging by a thread anyway.
-A small note but I feel really bad at how badly Leo does in his free. (he does so bad that he's in 6th place after only 4 competitors have gone)
-Yuuri finally says that he is one of the top male figure skaters in Japan. Yay for more character development!
-It makes him seem like a bit of an airhead but Victor's ability to brush off Yakov's harsh words probably comes from the experience of brushing off doubters and criticism on his rise to become a top athlete.
-I think it's cute that Pichit nicknamed Celestino with the phrase he constantly says as a greeting. Also how he shows concern for his coach by taking pictures of him as he's passed out or close to it.
-Pichit just loves his social media in general. And he probably drove Yuuri crazy with it when they were rink-mates.
-Chris, oh Chris. I wonder if that's always the way Chris has greeted Yuuri since Yuuri has a fairly subdued reaction to Chris being in his personal space.
-Anyway between Chris's words and Pichit's great performance to a song that he's always wanted to skate to a switch gets flipped for Yuuri. Seeing one of his closest friends give it his all with something he wants gives Yuuri the determination to do the same. He realizes that no one would be satisfied with just an okay performance. So he is able to narrow his focus on giving the best most flawless skate he can. And as Victor pointed out Yuuri falters when he's thinking of multiple things. But with a single goal in mind he can put his all into the program and succeeds in beating his personal best by almost another 10 points. Meaning his personal best has jumped 20 point just this season.
-I just noticed an error with Georgi's age. When he's first introduced the caption says he's 25. But when the announcer introduces him for his program they say that he's 27. Gur gjragl-frira ntr vf gur pbeerpg bar.
-And speaking of Georgi, he's spent the last 5 episodes lurking intimidatingly in the background of most of the Russia rink shots. All for it to be dashed by an overuse of eye shadow. Also he theme of 'heartbreak' I wonder it that was his original theme that coincidentally came true or if he created a whole new program after his breakup? Mila talks like the split up was fairly recent (within the last few weeks/months) and Georgi acts like it was a recent turn of events as well.
-Finally there's Chris's program... yah... I do like how Victor wanders over to watch with the skaters and just hangs off of Yuuri.
-(no actual spoilers just confirmed extra outside details) Fb V whfg ernyvmrq jul Ivpgbe frrzf gb npg nyy fcnprl jura Lhhev'f gnyxvat gb ercbegref. Lbh jbhyq guvax gung nf n gbc nguyrgr Ivpgbe jbhyq or n ceb va unaqyvat zrqvn. Ohg va gur svefg vagreivrj ur'f ohttvat Lhhev nobhg Ubg Cbg juvyr va gur vagreivrj ng gur raq nyy ur fnlf va "jva". Ohg fvapr Lhhev'f snzvyl vf jngpuvat n oebnqpnfg gur vagreivrjrq vf zbfg yvxryl va Wncnarfr. Naq nf zragvbarq orsber Ivpgbe qbrfa'g npghnyyl fcrnx Wncnarfr fb ab jbaqre uvf zvaq jnaqref va gur svefg vagreivrj naq nyy ur fnlf vf cebonoyl bar bs gur srj jbeqf gung ur nf svtherq bhg va gur frpbaq.
-Victor's so excited for his debut as a coach. But Yuuri's stuck in his own head with the pressure he's putting on himself to redeem his performance from All Japan the previous season.
-Just "I'm a pork cutlet bowl fatale that enthralls men." Talk about something that makes no sense in any other context. I kinda wonder what someone not familiar with YOI would make of it.
-Victor's a ridiculous gem. He actually gives good coaching advice by telling Yuuri to reduce his jumps so he can concentrate on his performance but he does so by speaking through his Makkachin tissue box holder.
-(kinda expectation spoiler but not really) V xvaqn jnag gb frr jung Lhhev ybbxrq yvxr qhevat uvf "Yburateva" cebtenz
-Yuuri finally takes a step back after Victor scolds him to see that Minami is just like how he was when he was younger. It also puts into perspective just how far Yuuri has come in his skating career. He may think of himself as another dime-a-dozen skater but from the reactions of the other competitors he's the one they look up to.
-I have to say that I absolutely love Yuuri's free skate costume.
-Also I'm not that into instrumentals but I can and have listened to Yuri on Ice on repeat several times.
-That fall into the boards makes me wince every time
-I love that Victor's reaction to Yuuri, declaring to the world that he wants to hold onto Victor and that he doesn't know what the feeling he has toward him but decided to call it love, is to criticize his tie. (deals with info reveled by creators. Not actually a spoiler) Vg'f fhpu n avpr fhogyr jnl gb vyyhfgengr gur ynathntr qvssreraprf rira vs jr unir gur "genafyngrq sbe pbairavrapr" gebcr ng jbex. Onfvpnyyl vg'f orra pbasvezrq sebz gur perngbef gung Ivpgbe naq Lhhev fcrnx Ratyvfu gb rnpu bgure nf gung vf gur bar ynathntr gurl ner obgu syhrag va. Gur cerff pbasrerapr ubjrire vf n Wncnarfr oebnqpnfg fb boivbhfyl Lhhev jbhyq or fcrnxvat va Wncnarfr. Fb Ivpgbe unfa'g n pyhr jung Lhhev whfg oyhegrq bhg gb gur jbeyq naq sbphfrf ba jung ur qbrf xabj, juvpu vf gung Lhhev unf na htyl gvr.
-Other hot-sping patrons watching Victor and Yuuri. Especially the praying grandpa. You have to wonder how often this happens that everyone knows to leave them alone in there.
-(expectation spoiler) Guvf rcvfbqr fubjf gur svefg uvagf gung Lhhev vf na haeryvnoyr aneengbe. Gur jnl ur gnyxf nobhg ubj uvf zhfvp vf pubfra fbhaqf yvxr ur unq ab vachg gb jung ur fxngrq gbb. Ohg nf fbba nf jr urne sebz Pryrfgvab uvzfrys jr svaq bhg gung gur bcgvba gb pubfr uvf bja zhfvp jnf nyjnlf bcra sbe Lhhev. Ur jnf whfg arire pbasvqrag rabhtu va uvf pubvpr gung rira n fznyy dhrfgvba nobhg vg unq uvz ohpxyvat naq onpxvat qbja.
-I like that Celestino doesn't seem to be mad at Yuuri that he dropped him as his coach and went with Victor, a complete amateur instead. Celestino is just glad that Yuuri didn't stop skating altogether and that he's found his drive to win and redeem himself again.
-Yurio and Yuuko keeping in touch. Going with my thoughts about their relationship last episode it makes me happy that Yurio has someone in his life that he doesn't feel compelled to always be angry at.
-Mila casually picking Yurio up. I like that they have an almost sibling relationship. They have an understanding where Mila can poke and tease Yurio and Yurio can rage at Mila but neither is actually hurting each other.
-Yurio's expression when he's doing the ballet exercises is such a contrast to Yuuri's face when he was doing the same exercises just last episode. You can tell that for Yuuri ballet is another passion of his while for Yurio it seems to be just another means to an end.
-I can relate so much to Yuuri starting to avoid Victor because he snapped at him once. Then was uncomfortable at the possibility that he would reveal more about himself if he was around Victor anymore.
-I like how Victor doesn't respond to Yuuri saying that he doesn't want Victor to play a role but just to be himself. He seems kinda stunned for a moment. After all, as a world renowned athlete who's learned the lesson that one can't "chose their own image", how often has Victor been expected to just be himself. Victor is not the only one "meeting [the other]where [he] is". Yuuri is subconsciously trying to do the exact same thing for Victor.
-One thing I never quite understood is how Yuuri got an assignment in the Grand Prix if he lost his qualification the previous season and needs to compete in regionals. Unless the qualification is for something like nationals and he just needs to do the regional for that, which takes place before the Grand Prix but it won't actually effect his Grand Prix placement that he earned by making the finals the previous year.
-We get another reason as to why Yurio seems so driven. He knows he has a certain image and understands how his body works now to be competitive. But he's going to start hitting his growth spurts soon and there's no telling if he will be able to retain all that he can do during and after they are done.
Jr qba'g unir znal qrgnvyf ba Lhevb'f snzvyl. Jr frr uvf Tenaqsngure va guvf rcvfbqr naq urne uvz fnl gung vg'f bxnl vs uvf zbgure'f abg nebhaq nf ybat nf uvf Tenaqsngure pna jngpu uvz fxngr. Na rkgen qrgnvy tvira va fhccyrzragny zngrevny gb gur frevrf vf gung Lhevb fhccbegf uvf snzvyl jvgu uvf fxngvat (juvpu nyfb rkcynvaf jul ur'f fb qevira gb nyjnlf jva). V trg gur srryvat gung uvf zbgure unq uvz lbhat naq fgehttyrq jvgu envfvat n puvyq fb yrsg uvz gb or cevznevyl envfrq ol uvf Tenaqsngure.
V unir n urnqpnaaba gung gur ernfba jul Lhevb gnxrf fb zhpu gb Lhhxb vf gung ur frr'f n orggre irefvba bs uvf bja zbgure va ure. Gur gevcyrgf ner nobhg 6 naq Lhhxb vf 25 (2 lrnef byqre guna Lhhev) fb fur zhfg unir unq gurz ng 19. Ohg hayvxr Lhevb'f zbgure jub frrzf irel nofrag sebz ure fba'f yvsr Lhhxb vf irel vaibyirq jvgu gur gevcyrgf naq vf rntre gb funer va ure ybir bs fxngvat jvgu gurz.
It's the training for and the actual Hot-Springs on Ice competition. Both Yuuri and Yurio struggle to really connect with the themes that Victor assigned them. Yurio because he's to busy concentrating on the technical aspects that he doesn't try to understand the emotional components. And Yuuri builds a picture of the routine that he doesn't feel matches his own personality (juvpu vf vebavp orpnhfr gur vqrn bs gur unaqfbzr zna nccrnevat va gbja, frqhpvat gur ornhgvshy jbzna naq gura yrnivat jvgubhg n genpr vf rknpgyl jub Ivpgbe gubhtug Lhhev jnf nsgre gur onadhrg. Npghnyyl gung'f vagrerfgvat fvapr jr xabj gung Ivpgbe unq orra cercnevat gur ebhgvar gb cresbez uvzfrys. Jnf Ivpgbe gelvat gb haqrefgnaq Lhhev orggre ol cbegenlvat n punenpgre gung erfrzoyrq jung ur gubhtug Lhhev jnf yvxr. Be jnf Rebf nyjnlf zrnag gb or cresbeznapr bs gur jbzna frqhpvat gur zna naq Lhhev jnf whfg cebwrpgvat jung ur gubhtug gung Ivpgbe jnagrq ba uvf vavgvny vzcerffvba?)
Anyway they both eventually discover a way to connect with their pieces. Yurio, after being put through several meditation exercises (that some fans joke were just excuses for Victor to visit places like temples and waterfalls), figures out that the root of his Agape is in his relationship with his Grandfather.
Yuuri's revelation comes in two parts. The first being connecting Eros to his want of Pork Cutlet Bowls. Which he is immediately embarrassed by but Victor goes with it. The second way he connects with his program is in tweaking the story he wants to portray from the man pursuing the woman to the woman seducing the man. This connects better with the way that Yuuri sees himself, while he's not great at putting himself out there and actively pursing something if the opportunity presents itself he has no problem throwing himself into a situation to get what he wants. The difference between the two is small but even that small adjustment means the world in Yuuri's emotional connection with the performance.
This episode starts off with everyone in the world trying to figure out why Victor has dropped his legendary career to coach Yuuri. And with Victor trying to get as close to Yuuri as possible by being extremely forward, which understandably freaks Yuuri out a bit.
We are also fully introduced to the angry kitten known from here onward as Yurio. I love just how dedicated he is to his whole cat aesthetic. He even breaks his cover because he can't resist showing off the awesome new cat shirt he got. (Also I wonder how in the world he managed to get all the way to Japan on his own without anyone knowing where he went. Is anyone watching this child? No wonder he's so angry. He's yelling to get attention)
For Yuuri we learn a little more about his frame of mind. We see his first flash of confidence when he's confronted by Yurio. And even though a few scenes later he's unsure of himself again it shows that he does have the competitive spirit to be a world ranked athlete. I love how it's explained that his skills were something got by working harder than anyone else. Partly because he seems to be uneasy with making friends but also because he hates to lose.
-V'z enaqbzyl nzhfrq ol Trbetv pbafgnagyl va gur onpxtebhaqf
-Guvf vf bar bs gur zber vagrerfgvat rcvfbqrf gb erjngpu nsgre svaqvat bhg nobhg gur onadhrg gjvfg orpnhfr vg vasbezf gur npgvbaf bs Ivpgbe naq rira Lhevb fb zhpu orggre. Jvgubhg xabjvat gur gjvfg Ivpgbe pbzrf bss nf npgvat ernyyl enaqbzyl naq rkgerzryl sbejneq. Yvggyr qvq jr nyy xabj ur jnf erfcbaqvat gb ubj sbejneq Lhhev jnf naq lbh pna gryy ubj pbashfrq ur vf ng orvat erwrpgrq.
Sbe Lhevb, uvf natre gbjneq Lhhev vf rira zber haqrefgnaqnoyr orpnhfr, rira gubhtu Lhhev qbrfa'g erzrzore, ur jnf gur bar gb fhttrfg gung Ivpgbe pbnpu uvz svefg. Ol znxvat gung erdhrfg naq gura abg qbvat nalguvat bapr Ivpgbe qbrf pbzr gb uvz znxrf Lhhev frrz ernyyl syvccnag, rfcrpvnyyl va gur rlrf bs fbzrbar fb qevira gb fhpprrq nf Lhevb.
History with the series:
I remember being vaguely aware of it a few months/weeks before it's release from someone I follow in Tumblr but I didn't actually start watching until it was a few episodes in. Since then I've been obsessed and I think I've watch each episode 7+ times (either individually or on a series re-watch.) It was amazing following the series in its original run and I can't wait to follow Mark through it.
One thing I love about this series (other than the skating and the characters) is that it doesn't shove information in your face. It presents things and trusts that the audience will pick it up. For example Yuuri acts like he's a not a special skater and one could mistakenly believe him. Until you realize that while he did come in 6th place, he did so at the finals of a world wide competition. So while there are 5 skaters better than him there are dozens of other that he rose higher than. It does a lot to illustrate just what Yuuri's mindset is at the start of the series without spelling it out and I love it.
I also really like the twist they pull with what one would expect Yuuri and Yuuko's relationship to be. The scene starts and it seems like it's a typical boy likes girl situation but nope the entire sequence focuses on their mutual (or in Yuuri's case extreme) admiration of Victor. Then he preforms the routine and one would think he wants to impress her. But nope, she has kids and is happily married and he just wanted to show that he's in an okay head-space even after all his loses and wants to find a way to keep moving forward.
Other random thoughts about the episode
- I don't' know why but I love the little random detail that Victor has the Russian Flag on the bottom of his skates
-Watching Mark have pretty much the same reaction as Yuuri at the realization that Victor has just shown up at the hot-spring was amazing.... and the reaction to Victor being butt naked
Spoilers (general expectation):
Abg zhpu gb fnl bgure guna n ybg bs ynhtuvat ng whfg ubj hacercnerq Znex vf ba ubj tnl guvf frevrf trgf.