Three episode reviews: Yuri!!! on Ice

In which I base
my opinion on the first three episodes of a series and give watching
advice.

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What it’s about:

Yuri is a b-list professional skater who fumbles a tournament and
comes back home, head hanging. But he gets a last chance at winning the grand prix final when his idol wants to coach him.

First impression:

So I wonder a lot about first episodes. They’re almost always this
super fast, completely packed affair that has to set the tone,
introduce the main characters, sketch the background and basically
set the stage for the whole story. Some shows do this really well
while others take a while to get going. Yuri has one of the better
first episodes. I mean, yes, it feels a bit rushed and it’s way over
the top, but it is almost genius in its execution. The show likes to
switch between the more ‘down to earth’ parts of Yuri, with his
adorably pudgy parents and a much simpler art style, and then it
brings out the gorgeously elegant animation for the skating
sequences. From the very first episode you get a very visual
impression that there are two sides of Yuri’s life. Apart from that,
the storytelling is rather clever. The show takes like four panels to
show you a lifetime of back story on his childhood crush Yuko and her later
husband. You can see this whole love story happening off screen and
suddenly there’s triplets. And of course, there’s the ‘establishing
shot’. You can almost hear the creators go: ‘let’s make clear what
kind of show we are’ and then go full nudity on the main hottie. Is
it tacky? Hell yes, but it’s also effective and very, very glorious.

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Second impression:

Holy crap what is this show? It’s so gay? It’s so beautiful? And also
so silly?

I give you exhibit a:  Yurio

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And exhibit b: Yurio, but
gayer

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Every character has
this, and I have the feeling that they either have three sets of
animators working on the show (sexy, elegant, silly) or it’s some
brilliant cost cutting strategy, but it works.
Yuri!!! on Ice is
almost a guilty pleasure.
I mean, a lot of the characters remind me
of other shows and the storyline is somehow both cliché and
completely out there realism-wise and I don’t care at all because
it’s so well done. It is highly entertaining, mixing beautiful
dramatic shots with silly gags and shockingly blatant, almost yaoi
level of… affection. I’m pretty into this.

Hottest dude: Duh.
Victor.

He is set up to be the worlds hottest bachelor and he
delivers. The way he moves is amazing. I adore his personality.

He has a stupidly floofy dog
and he somehow mixes parts of Haikyuu’s Oikawa with a shot of
Bungou’s Dazai. Dude is insane, but also
does the wise mentor thing, making his two little apprentices search
for what’s missing in their life. Also: he is so friggin gay for Yuri
I can’t even. It’s almost predatory.
Did I mention this show is gay? It’s so gay and I
appreciate that.

Surprisingly hot
also: Yuri?

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Like, half of the time he’s a chubby chibi and I know
he’s supposed to be the frumpy main bespectacled character who’s totally got a
crush on his idol and those types of main characters aren’t supposed
to be hot until the finale but the whole point of early season Yuri
is for him to find his sexy side and that somehow works. He does
this, by the way, by getting in touch with his feminine side and
through the power of gay (I’m not even kidding, just watch the
episode). Colour me impressed.

Extra notes:

  • While not the
    hottest dude, Yurio is my absolute favourite. This angry child is
    just so… he kind of reminds me of Rin from S1 Free? But more petty? He’s so
    angry and frustrated. Like, all the time. But then he’s also the one
    that is all ‘omg are you ok’ at Yuko-san’s massive bloody nose
    problem (while Yuri is mesmerized by Victor’s performance and wouldn’t even notice if she died). And he’s cool enough to teach Yuri and you already know
    he’ll turn out to have such a massive heart of gold and I just want
    to hug him and give him kittens.
  • Coming in
    second on favourite character: the triplets. Pretty sure they’re a
    single character. Those girls are shrewd AF, especially for, what,
    six year olds? How old are those kids? They’re already running their
    parents’ skating rink.
  • I’m digging
    the OP song.
    It’s kinda lame that they reuse the animation twice in
    like a minute, but it’s a pretty good OP.

Winner of the grand
prix?

Oh god yes.
Personally, the speed with which I seek out
a show after a new episode has come out is a pretty good indicator of
how in love I am with said show and, well. I am very into this.

Recommended for those who can handle their gay, with some really nice
animation and well placed humour.

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