Yeah, it was a given that I’d do this one.
Some fun lil tidbits first, the tagging on Viktor’s instagram/twitter/whatever fake SNS it is reveals that this is set in Saga prefecture right next to Fukuoka. Which, to be honest, makes me laugh even more because Saga is even hotter than Fukuoka. So I’m still going to stay confused about how cold and snowy its portrayed at the start. As for Hasetsu, I finally found out that it does actually exist! Well, kind of. The reason no one could find anything was because there technically isn’t any town in Saga called Hasetsu. There is, however, a town called Karatsu which is definitely what Hasetsu is modeled on. Here is a blog post from a helpful Japanese netizen who was also determined to get to the bottom of this. The statue, castle and even Yutopia (under a different name of course – although it even serves katsudon apparently) also all exist. Why they didn’t just call the town Karatsu, I don’t know. The only reason I even care so much about this is because if an anime is going to concern Kyushu for once I feel like its my duty to care. Especially when it’s in the prefecture next door to where I am now.

Viktor is so moe I didnt foresee this

Viktor is so moe I didn’t foresee this

Yuri is still reeling from his idol showing up at his family inn with the intention to be his coach, especially because Viktor is keen to act as chummy as possible, even wanting to sleep with him, all in the name of ‘getting to know him’ better. (Sure, Viktor, whatever). Beneath all the friendly smiles, though, Viktor is quite stern, and decides that if he’s going to get Yuri to win the  grand prix final then the first thing that needs to be done is to get him to shed all the weight he put on. Banning him from his favourite katsudon and making him go running every morning, Viktor forbids him from even entering the skate rink again until he’s back in shape.

Meanwhile, Hasestu is in a complete uproar over someone so famous being in the town and the pair attract attention wherever they go. It’s not long before this makes its way back to Yuri Plisetsky in Russia, and the kid becomes so enraged at Viktor helping this Japanese rando instead of him (as Viktor did apparently promise him a while back) that he storms all the way over to Japan to give both of them a piece of his mind.

It turns out that Viktor actually forgot all about his promise with Plisetsky, so decides to hold a little contest for them both in order to determine which of them is more worthy of his attention. He announces that he will choreograph a performance for them both and they will compete to see who can surprise the audience more – and it looks like its set to be a huge audience as Hasetsu wants to capitalize on the contest as much as possible and make it a massive event.

Also, feeling that it’s unfair for Yuri K. to get Viktor all to himself at the inn, Yuri P. moves in too, because of course he does.

is this how you usually build trust in people viktor

is this how you usually build trust in people viktor

I love how one of the kids has a Viktor phone-case. But what kinda spoiled toddlers have smart phones and cameras?

I love how one of the kids has a Viktor phone-case. But what kinda spoiled toddlers have smart phones and cameras?

In this episode one of the inn staff echos the sentiments of the viewers by remarking that having two Yuris is confusing, so she randomly decides that Yuri P is now called ‘Yurio’. I’m going to follow her example, even though it makes him mad, because saying Yuri P and Yuri K all the time gets annoying.

I honestly love this show so much, and this second episode only confirmed that more. Most of what I said in the First Impression review for episode one still stands here – it’s still beautiful, it’s still a very active and expressive show and I still love all the characters in it.

I’m actually surprised that I ended up liking Yurio, because I’m genuinely not a fan of spiteful little edgelord teenager characters and the trailer made out like he was just going to be that angry asshole character trope I can’t stand. I mean, he’s still an angry asshole, but now that I see him contrasted with Mr Perfect Viktor and the gentler Yuri…it’s honestly kinda adorable. The show doesn’t even try to portray him as being as cool and mature as he no doubt thinks he is (and that scene with him buying the tiger shirt is one of my favourite things in the show so far) and I think that makes all the difference. In a show where everyone was the same age as Yuri he’d definitely be a lot more annoying as a character but the way he’s portrayed here instead makes him seem like some kind of angry little chihuahua and its great. And given that both Viktor and Yuri are adults, they react to him in a mature way, which is honestly just so refreshing to see. If the shipping fandom for this show isn’t going to be primarily focused on Viktor and Yuri being Yurio’s dads, then you all get an F.

Anyway, Viktor is the real star of the episode because like I said, he’s adorable in a way I didn’t expect. He’s strict and often says things bluntly, but that actually kinda makes him more endearing to me. To be honest the only thing that really annoyed me was the fact that he keeps randomly saying English words. He’s Russian. He says some Russian stuff too, but he bizarrely says a lot more things in English, and Yuri says random English phrases to him too. I know Japan has this ridiculous idea that all caucasians speak or even understand English but this is pretty ridiculous and makes even less sense with the Russian parts included as well. Not to mention that he’s already speaking fluent Japanese to begin with, so I have no idea why this was included at all. Unless its a weird way of conveying that both Yuri and Viktor are actually speaking English the entire time as a way of communicating, and the Japanese is just ‘babelfish effect’ for the viewer. Either way, it’s still odd to me.

be still my heart

be still my heart

I like the background people all 'wow check this edgelord out'

I like the background people all ‘wow check this edgelord out’

Out of 5

melonmelonmelon

melon 1/2

 

Episode 3

just some guys gettin to know eachother thats all

just some guys gettin to know each other thats all

In the lead up to the monumental skating contest between the two Yuris, both can’t help getting anxious about the choreography Viktor has assigned them. Both represent different types of love – Agape, unconditional love, and Eros, sexual love – and although Yuri chose the former and Yurio the latter, Viktor makes them do the opposite in order for them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. It’s difficult for them to put their soul into it without being able to find their own inspiration for their feelings, and it doesn’t help that Viktor makes them do all kinds of ridiculous things in the name of ‘training’ – such as going to temples and standing under waterfalls.

Yuri thinks it best if he ties his performance to the lose narrative given in the show’s program booklet –  a story about a playboy who comes to a town and seduces every woman except one, the most beautiful woman in town – eventually she seduces the playboy herself and they fall in love, until he grows tired of her and leaves her. As much as he tries to unlock his inner Sexy Man he cant seem to get it right, although it could also be because he for some reason decided that his inspiration for his Eros is katsudon. (Yurio, meanwhile, uses his grandfather as inspiration for his Agape)

On the day of the contest, while all are awed at Yurio’s performance he seems to hate it himself – and Viktor is much more enamoured with Yuri’s. Yuri reveals that he found his true inspiration not in trying to act the part of the playboy, but the part of the woman seducing the playboy…

This is my favourite screenshot for this episode.

This is my favourite screenshot for this episode.

that...sure is a costume

that…sure is a costume

So uh this episode was super, super gay. Really gay. This seems to be the part where director Sayo Yamamoto decided that the subtext should just be straight up text at this point, unless anyone seriously wants to argue that Yuri thinking Viktor’s performance was erotic enough to make him pregnant (an actual real quote from the episode), Yuri getting way too happy about getting to wear Viktor’s old outfits, Yuri wanting Viktor to imagine him as a delicious katsudon (and hugging him while telling him this) and Yuri explicitly smiling at Viktor while performing the Eros choreography while thinking about ‘seducing the playboy’ (and then having Viktor wolf-whistle at him), are all extremely heterosexual guys being pals things (and, because I can never underestimate peoples’ ability to be stupid on the internet, in the time between me writing the draft for this review and then posting it I found out there actually ARE people trying to argue this). I want to be optimistic that this could actually end up a gay romance, even if many others are wary of potential queer-baiting to secure the fujo audience and nothing more. There’s no doubt in my mind that Yamamoto wants to make it as clear as possible, it’s more a question of whether she’s allowed to (given how rare this is in stuff that isnt explicitly labelled as BL – hell not even Free! wanted to confirm that Haru and Mako definitely ended up together after high school, they just tried to make it as obvious as possible) but dammit, just give me this. The combination of Yamamoto at the helm and the adult characters gives me more hope than it usually would at least. My greatest fear is that Viktor’s behaviour will end up waved away with ‘this is just how wacky foreigners act’ – or, possible worse, he ends up mirroring the ending of the playboy in the story.

While this episode definitely gave us a ton of stuff to speculate on re:will they wont they, I’m still also speculating about what role all these other random characters that appear on the key art and throughout the ending will have. I imagine they’re other characters in the grand prix final, so I’m curious when the show will move towards that if it wants to give them all decent screen time because this is apparently only going to be 12 episodes.

The only thing that gave me some pause in this episode was that I couldn’t help noticing that the animation quality had a dropped a little – also known as the dreaded 3rd Episode Curse. They still kept things pretty in the closeups and dramatic parts, but I really think both Yuri’s skating performances were intended to look more impressive than they did. It’s not quite what I’d call bad, it’s just noticeably a dip in quality from what we’ve been shown so far. I hope this is just a small hiccup and the show saving its budget for what’s to come.’

Damn right I was capping the hug.

Damn right I was capping the hug.

I didnt notice the fingerless gloves on that outfit till now pffffffff

I didn’t notice the fingerless gloves on that outfit till now pffffffff

Out of 5,
melonmelonmelonmelon

1/2

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