I am getting way too invested in this fricking series. No joke, y’all. People who have seen the series and have gone through the same struggle are probably giggling or laughing with total understanding. You don’t expect to like a thing nearly as much as everyone else. But then you slowly get so sucked into the thing that you start dreaming about the thing. Yup… dreams. You heard me correctly.
But this isn’t about my bizarre dreams. It’s about episodes five and six.
Episode five begins with the start of the competitive season and Yūri participating for the first time since his terrible loss. My favourite part were the parallels as well as the contrasts that were shown between what has been going on this season versus the catastrophe that was the prior season. Most of the influence has to do with Victor, but a good chunk of it also has to do with some inner growth on Yūri’s part. He is rediscovering what originally made him fall in love with the sport to begin with, and it’s beautiful (a word I use a bloody lot when chatting about the series, it seems).
Some of these things were explored via Yūri coming face-to-face with an individual who views him in the same light that which he views Victor; one of idolising and inspiration. I found this specific example to be subtle, but also quite profound. It makes me wonder who else our pork cutlet loving little dude will encounter and what lessons they will be teaching him.
Other things that were enjoyable included the continued humorous shenanigans, but unlike the previous two episodes where the tone was distinctly serious, the tones that complimented the comedy here were passionate. As I mentioned, it’s about Yūri reaching his full potential in small steps, and that requires a bit of mental evolution. Passion is a big, driving factor in competitive sports. I say this as a former athlete, and I remember that when I found my passion was when I really kicked arse.
Episode six takes us to the second phase of the competitive season, which takes place in China. The very first thing that made me smile from cheek to cheek was the brown Thai character! To make things even better, he—nor any of the other POC characters—wasn’t depicted in any racist-infused form at all. They also weren’t used as joker characters who are there to be made fun of or to add levels of stupid comic relief. I appreciated this SO much because figure skating is a wonderfully diverse sport. People from all over the world compete, and by adding competitors from various countries, without subjugating them to common inappropriate ethnic bullshit banter, made it that much more real and genuine. Good job, creators!!
The second thing I was quite grateful for was that it took the time to share portions of the other competitors programmes, which helped put a personality and a distinctive style to the rivals rather than mere foreign names. It makes it easier to remember them, as well as to see the separation between them and our awkwardly geeky protagonist.
Since I am officially halfway through the series now (wow it went by fast), I figured it’s a good place to talk about the flaws, and honestly there’s only one: all of the sexual euphemisms and innuendo is starting to get a tiny, itty-bitty bit annoying. It’s really a crumb when compared to all of the pleasure that I’m getting out of this experience. Fans of boy love type narratives, and maybe even yaoi (even though I wouldn’t necessary classify the series as either of those things), will probably love this element with a passion. With that being said, watching Victor and Yūri flirt back and forth, and then seeing the fiery jealousy it instils in Yūrio, makes my heart bloom with much amusement. So… there’s that at least.
Also, the opening and ending songs are so fucking good that I went out and snagged copies of them. The opening, in particular, is one of my favourites in a long, long time.