The showdown begins in this episode! Who will win, Yuuri or Yurio?
Now the music has been chosen, it’s time to study the routines themselves! Will Yuuri be able to express Eros without a fuss? Will Yurio be able to surpass him with his Agape and take Victor to Russia with him?? Super exciting!!!
I just realized I’m starting to act like Newscaster Morioka here. Sheesh.
Victor, in his usual flamboyant self, demonstrates the Agape routine. While Yuuri comments that the routine is hard, Yurio just looks at it nonchalantly and it does seem like he gets it, as expected from a prodigy.
Meanwhile, the Eros routine is…damn. Hot damn. Can’t say anything else.
It’s 5:30 AM when I watched it, and I screamed so hard that my mother thinks I’m watching a romantic series or something (disclaimer: I don’t). It’s hard to maintain a poker face on this show, to be honest. I really felt like I was going to get pregnant or something. I’m sure all the fudanshis around the world suddenly developed a uterus that day…
In short, I was screaming again like a banshee while watching the show. It’s a tiring exercise, watching sexy men glide on the ice. I never knew.
It’s a nice touch that Yuuri makes such outrageous claims of getting pregnant and all, knowing how homosexuality is still sort of a taboo in Japan. Most of the time, gay stuff are being played off a a joke in anime and manga. Male admiration to their fellow men are being dismissed as just “idolizing” or “looking up to them.” This particular sentence is only uttered by women in anime and manga, as far as I know. So it’s super refreshing to see and hear a guy say it, which is the first time in anime, I think? (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). Good job, Japan! Keep it up in the next episodes!
Pregnancies aside, Victor and Yuuri himself knows exactly what is wrong why he keeps on messing up his routines. So for Yuuri, the training’s going to start from the basics for the meantime. Victor said that he will train Yurio first.
But did you think that the writers and producers of this show is done playing with our hearts (and ovaries)? Heck no.
While my heart was recovering from too much doki-doki, the skating otaku triplets and Minako-sensei are putting up posters all over town to officially announce the showdown between two skaters. It’s a good start of boosting the town’s languishing tourism, and also help people to get interested in the sport.
Yuuri is busy with his warm-ups ad stretching with the help of Takeshi. While he is still clueless on what eros means to him, he is seeing a story in the piece about a man who drops by to seduce the most beautiful woman in town, makes her fall in love with him, only to cruelly leave her and travels off to the next town. He knows that he cannot surpass Victor’s image of a sexy bachelor, so he has to think of some other way.
Yurio is not doing good in his own as well. While on the technical side he is able to copy Victor’s moves, something is still lacking. Victor suggests he visit a temple to reflect, but that doesn’t seem to work.
I’m getting a little long-winded here, so here’s some motivation. ❤
Seeing Victor’s butt in episode 1, then in episode 2…I feel so blessed! I feel so pure!! 😀
After a day of grueling training, it looks like Yuuri has found his eros in katsudon, but he was met with eerie silence. Victor agrees to his idea, but Yuuri can’t shake off the feeling that the two might be thinking that his ideas are way too immature. Hiding his embarassment, he rans off outside.
Over the next few days the training continues.
While there is a noticeable dip in the animation in this episode, it’s still good. Some of the footage was repeated from episode 2, like the free leg skating done by Yuuri (Victor was just added to the scene), and the failed jump made by Yuuri at around 8:50. This is not really bad in my opinion. The tracks left in the ice by the blades can be seen, the gestures and movements are still fluid, though not as refined and meticulous as episode 1. Let’s hope that this will be corrected in the blue-ray copies in the future.
The practice is still not doing so great for Yurio, as Victor suggested him to try meditating on the waterfalls instead. So he brought Yuuri along with him.
Looks like the Russian punk has a soft side to him after all. We were given a short glimpse of his past life (and hopefully we’ll see more in the next episodes). He left the waterfall as a changed man, and Victor thinks that he is ready for the “next stage.”
Yuuri is bothered, since at this point in time he still doesn’t know what is eros to him. But another problem crops up: what about the costumes?
Victor has got it covered, though. They’ll be selecting amongst the mountains of costumes Victor wore in his previous competitions. Being the fanboy that he is, Yuuri recognizes almost every one that he laid his eyes on, and then he saw it: the costume that Victor wore when Yuuri saw him perform for the first time. Naturally, Yuuri chooses this outfit.
It seems like the costume gave him some ideas for his routine. He asks Minako-sensei a favor.
And now, the day of the competition arrives!
And yet a few moments after, Victor becomes all serious again. Looks like he’s brooding over something.
I actually like this touch they did to Victor’s personality. He’s world-famous; men and women flock all over him. He knows he’s desirable, and effectively uses it to his advantage on the ice. He knows how to grab the audiences’ attention. In person, he’s sometimes forgetful, goofy and happy-go-lucky, and yet we also see him in moments like this. I really would like to know more about him: his past, his motivation to skate, the real man behind the smiles and goofiness. In a way, it’s apparent that just like what he told Yuuri, there is also a side of Victor that no one else knows. I hope we’ll see it!!! (And I hope only Yuuri sees that..hahaha! *fujoshi mode on*)
While Yurio had a good start, obviously undergoing a lot of change compared during his practice, he suddenly changes gears midway. He became engrossed with landing all his jumps and perfecting his routine (which of course he did). He forgot what his performance is all about, and of course, Victor noticed it too.
As Victor said, it was his best performance so far, but Yurio feels it’s lacking..
Oh god, I don’t think I can type anymore…it’s Yuuri’s turn already!!! The performance has not yet started, but damn..I’ve seen this episode several times already and yet…
Yuuri, who flinches every time Victor touches him, seems like he’s doesn’t have any issues with hugging Victor instead. Teehee~ And I really wonder what those people on the sides think. Hmm..
Victor’s reply is much more earth-shattering at this point. I can almost hear the screams of glee-stricken fanboys and fangirls during the broadcast of this episode.
Let’s try something else: ignore all the subtitles and focus on their actions. It looks like Yuuri is proposing, and Victor says yes. Damn, my mind is in overdrive!!!
Okay guys, has everyone calmed down already? 🙂 Brace yourselves, Yuuri’s performance hasn’t started yet!
Yuuri’s off to a good start, if Victor’s reaction is based on.
By this time we already know the favor he asked from Minako-sensei. He knows that being “the playboy” is too far from his personality, and the costume he had chosen gave him the idea.
He decides to give the story he’s thinking about the piece a little spin. Instead of acting as the playboy, he will be that woman. And instead of the man seducing the woman, then leaving her once he had successfully captured her heart, Yuuri decided that as the woman, he should be more proactive: the woman will seduce the man, intense enough that he will never leave her side for good. And it worked.
It got lost in the translation, but Yuuri was so engrossed in his role as the woman that he was referring himself as atashi instead of boku during the performance.
For Japanese noobs like me who only knows bits and pieces of Japanese words from watching too much anime, we all know that boku is the pronoun used by men, while atashi is used by women.
This is so nice. Here we have a man who is not afraid to express his sensuality and sexuality by taking on the woman role. I live in a country where machismo is still rampant, and being a little soft can make you less manly. Which is bullshit, really. It’s a good thing that this anime manages to avoid that kind of thing, and it’s a sports anime o boot. It’s kinda given since we’re talking about ice skating here, but nevertheless. It’s still a huge step for anime to portray men like this. ❤
Yuuri missed his quadruple Salchow, but he manages to get up right away and finish the routine seamlessly.
At this point Yurio knows he lost the competition already, so he packs up and leave.
Who really wins?
I’ve been reading forums about this episode and there are people who say that Yurio’s performance was better. Of course he’s better, if we’re going to be technical about it. He managed to land all his jumps effortlessly, and that can also be attributed to age. Yurio is only 15, and his body is still flexible enough to do the jumps. Meanwhile Yuuri is already 23, and in the skating singles category, he’s already old. Sounds unfair, but even though they look like flying and just gliding across the ice, the training their routines brings such a tremendous pressure on the body. Hence, a skater’s career is shorter compared to other sports.
Also, keep in mind Victor’s criteria: the one who manages to surprise people the most is the winner. Yurio was able to amuse the audience because he’s really good. On the other hand, Yuuri not only manages to capture the audiences’ attention, but also kept them engrossed in his performance until the very end.
To us heathens who don’t know any better, the importance of fully incorporating your feelings with the routine is emphasized greatly in the show. Not only do you have to memorize the steps accurately, but you also need to know what the song is really about. I thought it was just a fluke, but it’s all true. The performer should learn to understand every line, every lyric of the song, and be able to express it using his body. Training such as this usually takes weeks, or even months to complete and perfect. Just thinking of practicing the same song, same routine over and over again seems nauseating to me, but there are people who do it.
Animation (somewhat) fail
The animation for Yuuri’s routines are clearly drawn better than Yurio’s, I’m not sure if this was done deliberately or not. He’s supposed to be like a bird, jumping and flying on all directions. But because of the animation, Yurio looks like a kelp under the water on some scenes, extra elongated and willowing too much. It makes him look taller than what he actually is. But anyways. Or maybe it’s because of the steps in the routine itself.
Yuuri’s routine on the other hand, is much more similar to tango and only incorporates a few spins and doesn’t move a lot abruptly, and so the animators managed to accurately capture his movements nicely.
So there you go. If you think the show is done playing with our hearts in episode 3, you’re very wrong! Wait for episode 4! ^__^