I am finally back with episode 3 of the hit anime series, Yuri!!! On Ice. I do not have much to say and so will jump right in to the review…..
But before I begin, a warning:
Previously On: You can catch up on my thorough analysis of episode 2 here. But to briefly state what has been going on so far, Yuri P. (now Yurio) moves to Japan after getting wind of Victor’s tutoring of Yuri K. While there, Victor comes up with a proposal to decide which Yuri he will work with. Will he continue his journey with Yurio, or will he form a more intimate relationship with Yuri K.?
Source: Crunchyroll on YouTube (ep. 3)
To avoid the opening theme, skip until 1:30 (on YouTube of course). There is also a short recap of what has happened so far, so you might as well skip to 2:02.
2:03: We start off with Victor demonstrating Yurio’s “On Love: Agape”. It’s a very innocent concept, and it will be hilarious to see how the otherwise disagreeable Yurio will pull it off.
3:14: Victor now begins Yuri K.’s program, “On Love: Eros”. And no, Yurio’s did not last for over a minute, but there is a lot of irrelevant rambling in between. At any rate, Victor’s performance gives such eros that it can make Yuri pregnant (Yuri’s words not mine); it also gives Yuko a rather violent nosebleed.
4:29: Hey! It’s the start of something beautiful. Some more skin contact, although this is initiated by Victor. It does not feel too forced and is natural, given what we know of Victor’s personality. This could have been a sexier scene… had it not been for Yurio’s interrupting.
5:01: The otaku triplets are back with Minako. Nothing much happens in this scene really. We just have to look at several posters announcing the upcoming competition between the two Yuris.
5:30: Yuri states that there was a clear story within the Eros program and here it is: a playboy arrives at a certain town. He begins to persistently court a beautiful woman until she gives in, then abandons her and moves to the next town almost immediately. It is a very Victor thing to do, but it’s a good challenge since Yuri is the exact opposite personality wise.
6:30: Yurio is not doing well with the routine because he cannot truly express the concept of ‘agape’. This is not surprising; he’s got the personality of an angry badger.
7:58: Yuri gets it now. Pork Cutlet bowls represent eros to him. I get it Yuri…
9:42: Flashback to Yurio and his grandfather. It’s a very sweet scene and young Yurio is nowhere near as disagreeable as the present one.
10:38: The two Yuri’s bond, almost. Yurio is teaching the other how to land a salchow, although he is very mean about it. There is an interesting power dynamic here. Yurio, the younger, knows more than the elder, Yuri. Plus, the former has a more commanding presence than the latter.
11:10: To Yurio, agape means his grandfather. He actually has feelings! Excuse me while I go sob in a corner.
11: 30: Meanwhile, Yuri still struggles to find his eros. It’s good to see that he is self-aware of his own shortcomings. These are the marks of a well written protagonist. His improvement stems from his own self-awareness and the general desire to be better. Also, he shows up at Minako-sensei’s house. I wonder what that’s about…
12:34: It’s competition time! Yuri begins to promote his parents’ hot spring resort (very cute!) but Yurio exudes confidence that he will crush Yuri. I live for these two’s interactions. The contrast is absolutely hilarious! Victor also appears and promotes the hot springs.
14:37: Yurio’s short program begins. His costume is quite beautiful and fits his routine. It is dazzling but still keeps a theme of innocence. The performance is stunning. Yurio lands all his quads, which puts more pressure on Yuri who can’t land the more difficult ones. However, he is not very pleased with his performance as he has focused too much on nailing the moves and not on truly depicting ‘agape’.
17:44: Yuri hugs Victor! Awww. Their relationship had developed a lot in only three episodes, yet it does not feel rushed. Yuri promises that he will be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever and Victor responds that he loves them. Foreshadowing much?
17:49: Yuri begins his routine. There is an obvious improvement. He is showing way more sexual confidence than before. He even gets Victor to whistle! Once he actually starts skating, the theme suits him very well.
18:43: We finally learn why Yuri went to visit Minako late at night. He wanted her to teach him how to be more feminine, as being a playboy was not something he could convincingly pull off. Again, he is showing the ability to self-reflect and here, he demonstrates that he can spin a negative into a positive. When life gives you lemons, make sexy lemonade.
19:53: Yurio leaves towards the end of Yuri’s performance. Victor also compliments Yuri, saying that he is the tastiest pork cutlet bowl he has ever seen. Foreshadowing much?!
20:47: Yurio already seeing something in the relationship between Victor and Yuri? Although he does compliment Yuri’s performance, sort of. Either way, he decides to leave and claims that he will continue to train under Yakov. He also claims that he will be the one to win the Grand Prix Final. The amount of foreshadowing in this episode, I swear…
21:18: Mmmm, more skinship. And Yuri also promises to try and win the Grand Prix Final. And that is pretty much the end of the episode.
We had a big showdown between the two Yuris and while Yuri K. won, it seems the stakes have been raised higher for the loser, Yuri P. There are even more hints that the relationship between Victor and Yuri will develop, but it does not feel heavy-handed in any way. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next episode!