In Honor of Getting Another New Yuri!!! On Ice Illustration Let’s Talk About How the Series Has My Favorite Anime Plot Twist
Thank you "Yuri!!! On Ice" episode ten!
Spoilers for Yuri!!! On Ice
If you’re a Yuri!!! On Ice fan, you might remember seeing some new art that was released to celebrate the 5-year anniversary of the series. The art showed Yuri on the ice, representing Japan in the 2022 Winter Olympics, and fans were quick to point out how happy he looked while skating.
They also noticed a certain ring he was still wearing.
Recently, a second piece of art was released, revealing that Victor is still very much supporting Yuri and his ice skating. My ice-skating husbands are still together, y’all!
MAPPA was wise to turn off comments as every response would be some variation of “When’s the movie” because it kinda feels like we all hallucinated that Ice Adolescence trailer. That aside, this new addition to the collection of “we know you miss Yuri!!! On Ice” art has me thinking about how far Yuri and Victor have come.
More importantly, it makes me realize that these two really went from “I got so sad about my performance that I got drunk and hit on you” to “happily married.”
The story of Yuri and Victor
After placing last in the Grand Prix, Yuri Katsuki feels like he’s hit rock bottom in his career. To add insult to injury, he put on that sloppy performance in front of his idol, Victor Nikiforov. After returning home to Japan, Yuri decides to ease his mind by ice skating, for fun, to one of Victor’s routines. Unbeknownst to him, his childhood friends’ adorably chunky kids record his performance and upload it online.
Hm. It’d be a shame if his idol (and crush, let’s be honest) saw the video and became so inspired that he rushed to Japan to become his coach…
The start of Yuri and Victor’s story is as chaotically comedic as you’d expect it to be. Yuri’s scrambling to hide posters of Victor so he doesn’t see them. Victor is, well, coming on REAL strong to Yuri.
As I continued to watch the series, I assumed Victor’s extremely flirtatious ways were just standard homoerotic sports anime fodder that would be explained away as “training.” After all, Yuri was working on a rather sultry ice-skating routine (suggested by Victor) so I thought the characters would brush those kissably close moments off as a necessary part of helping Yuri discover his, quote, “Eros” (his sexual love).
But then, the series actually begins fleshing out the relationship between Yuri and Victor, and it becomes clear how much these two need each other. They learn how to work with each other and come to rely on each other, both in their careers and their personal lives. Through Victor, Yuri embraces a confidence he didn’t realize he had, and through Yuri, Victor falls in love with the ice in a whole new way.
And just when you think you have the whole thing figured out, Yuri going so far as to get the two of them matching rings, you find out the real reason why Victor rushed to Japan.
He’s been enamored with Yuri for a lot longer than we thought.
The twist no one saw coming
We spend most of the anime thinking that Victor is just an overly friendly guy whose method of coaching is, ahem, pretty hands on. Then we find out, in the tenth episode, that there was a banquet after the Grand Prix we saw Yuri lose back in episode one.
Yuri doesn’t remember what happened at the banquet.
His fellow skaters and Victor, on the other hand, do.
Yuri got completely wasted, took part in a dance battle that involved a stripper pole, and went from not being able to speak to Victor to dancing with him, grinding against him, and asking him to be his coach.
This moment? Changed everything!
Because you watch the series thinking that Victor is throwing caution to the wind after seeing Yuri duplicate his routine. What he’s actually doing is pursing the guy he’s been into since that drunken moment at the banquet a year ago. He’s not going after Yuri on a whim, he’s going after him because Yuri asked him to be his coach after they had a moment like this:
Victor picks such a seductive performance for Yuri because he saw firsthand that he had it in him.
When I tell you I hollered when I realized that my “soft boy crushing on his idol” trope actually started with “idol seduced by soft boy” I need you to know that I mean that with my whole heart. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the plot twist of VICTOR being the one who was pining this entire time! We weren’t watching some guy who didn’t believe in personal space, we were watching a guy who assumed he was free and clear to get up close and personal because that’s what Yuri had done with him!
Not only was this plot twist a total game changer, but it also added a really nice layer to Yuri and Victor’s already fantastic relationship. Turns out the idol crush was fawning after the cute and sexy pork cutlet bowl all along.
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(Image: Sayo Yamamoto/Mitsurō Kubo/MAPPA)
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