Yuri on Ice, Episode 1: Easy as Pirozhki!! The Grand Prix Final of Tears
A reminder this is the second time I’ve recapped this episode, and this is a more casual version, though also far more informed. Probably this is best consumed if you’ve seen the show, though you’re free to wade in if you hadn’t But you should watch the show.
So I watched this on my BD because I can’t ever stand to watch it streaming now that I have the high quality version—I put on the Crunchyroll stream for reference while I type this response up, and the difference is intense. Of course, I’m missing all the subs, which is an issue. I’m going off my memory, and since I almost never watch the version with text, it’s increasingly hazier. Though I notice more when I don’t have the words at the bottom, so. I always read the signs around them and pay more attention to the details of the animation.
This time the first thing I noticed was, poor Cao Bin from China—he finaled last year but wasn’t even a blip on the radar this year. Will he be a dark horse next season? Time will tell.
Also, I love chibi Yuri. Like, I love, love, love chibi Yuri.
The next thing that occurred to me for the first time (I’m probably the last person to get this) is that Yuri Plisetsky didn’t burst into Yuri Katsuki’s stall to be an asshole. He did it to jerk him out of his downward spiral. Or…maybe it wasn’t that deliberate—maybe he really was just mad at him for flaking. But I don’t know. Maybe it was deliberate.
We get to the bit then when Victor shows up after the show’s over, dragging his suitcase, talking to Yuri P, offering a commemorative photo to Yuri K, and I just sigh, thinking, man, the journey you two are going to take. I’m already squishy and we’re like two inches in.
Now we’re at Hasetsu, and Minako is picking up Yuri—why is she wearing a ring around her neck? All of a sudden I’m imagining all kinds of backstory. Is she a widow? Is that her mother’s? Grandmother’s? Is this just a fashion thing? This is the sort of thing that’s going to keep me up at night.
And meanwhile Victor is in Tokyo. Honestly, was he expecting to run into Yuri? Hoping? How hard was he pining at this point? Also filed under “things keeping Heidi up at night.” Additionally “things fueling her fanfiction.”
Oh—Minako’s “Ahhhhhh!” in the scene where she finds out how much weight Yuri’s gained? That’s the first Japanese I ever read! That was my first moment of comprehension. I realized that was the letter A and it was Ahhhhhh and everything clicked and I felt so cool.
(This reaction thing is a little disjointed because I’m basically watching a second time and typing up my reactions. If you queued it up and played along it would track.)
I love the Yuutopia hot spring, and I want to go to an onsen. It’s on my bucket list now. In a big way.
Okay now I’m after the break, Yuri going to Ice Castle Hasetsu to skate for Yuko, having the flashback. I do love the moment baby Yuri has his gay awakening. Like, he doesn’t even quite get it’s his gay awakening. It’s mostly his Victor awakening. “I’ll just be a complete Victor nut. That’ll cure this.” Uh-huh. Just you wait, kiddo.
I’ve always found it significant, though, that Yuri doesn’t stay to pine over Victor’s performance but instead goes to make his own. That speaks so much to his drive and his forward momentum. If he were truly stuck, he’d be at home imagining what he’d be doing, not going out and doing it. I mean, he could have said, “I’ll go see Yuko after Victor skates.” No. He went while. That’s my boy.
God, but what in heaven is going to happen when Victor and Yuri skate on the same ice? It will melt, I think. Well, and Chris will ejaculate on it.
I love showing people who haven’t seen YOI episode one. I love how it captivates them. The story of a guy totally fucked over who decides to skate his idol’s routine for no reason except to lift himself up, and then his friend’s kids humiliate him online in a huge way and he wants to die, except this somehow gets him his childhood idol and secret gay crush and also skating rival as his new coach. Also, he gets to see Victor buck ass naked.
I mean. Everybody keeps saying Victor is extra. I would say Sayo-sensei and Mitsuro-sensei are the extra ones.
I love though how everyone takes him back in, how the Nishigori family adopt him and give him a private rink, how he watches Yuri and Victor training in St. Petersburg and gets jealous and determined (oh honey, just you wait). I love how the two twins cry when scolded and the other just sits there smiling serenely at the laptop. I love everyone’s reaction to the viral video, especially Victor’s determined expression. I mean, it’s like he just gets up and packs up his dog and takes off.
And then Victor in the fucking bath. That scene. That wink. That ass. Iconic as hell.
Oh—I FORGOT, yesterday. I think again I’m the last one at this party, but somehow I did not know that Georgi is the guy who sings the end credits? This blows my mind. I know that’s not uncommon for voice actors to sing the theme songs, but I totally didn’t see that one coming. He came out and sang it during Yuri on Stage and my jaw hit the floor. The things you learn.
THAT’S GEORGI. FOR REAL.
So, that’s episode one rewatched and in the can. I don’t know how many times this is. We’re definitely over twenty. That seems really low, too. It’s a lot. It’s still a great show. It’s a fantastic show. It makes my heart sing. And this episode is still like the first dance step in falling in love.
Tomorrow we shall go onward to episode two.
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Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.
Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.
Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys playing with new recipes, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com.