Recap/Rewatch, Yuri on Ice — Episode 10, Gotta Supercharge it! Pre-Grand Prix Final Special!
Obviously I have been nothing but excited, waiting for this episode. Not a lot new jumped out at me while I watched it, but there’s just so much loveliness it’s not like I’m going to have any difficulty talking about it for thousands and thousands of words. So let’s dig right in, shall we?
So of course this is the episode which, after having nothing but competitions since episode five, we pause to not only have a slice of life, we also get, for the first and only time, an exclusive look at the story from Victor’s POV. He tells us, now famously, he’s been neglecting his life and love for twenty years. He’s swimming in the rooftop pool, but it’s cold up there, and only Chris is fool enough to swim with him, which he does. They goof around and take photos of each other, tease one another.
Victor also gives us some nice monolog about Chris, how he’s sexy on and off the ice but he used to be a sweet little Swiss boy when they first met, how he couldn’t imagine a season without him. We switch over to Yurio as he arrives, gives lip to Yakov, tries to swear his fans but Lilia is all I don’t think so, child and he poses for pictures instead while Victor does voiceover and tells us about Yurio, about how he finaled right off at his senior debut, talks about his visit to Japan, his nickname, his fan group. Then in real time Yurio throws down with JJ and his girlfriend, the latter who is being a catty bitch and has it coming. Victor follows up with monolog about how JJ is some Canadian skater, he thinks, who is performing well but nobody seems to connect with.
He intros Otabek too, and we get Otabek and Yurio’s hotel lobby meet cute, which doesn’t seem to go well here but we now know was just a misunderstanding. Then of course Phichit is adorable AS EVER and goes off for sightseeing, and then Victor talks about how he’s Yuri’s friend and great at selfies.
This takes us, finally, to Victor talking about Yuri, who he calls his sleeping beauty. He relates how they’ve spent the time since Russia practicing, and he also talks about how much he’s enjoyed spending time with Makkachin, indulging in the baths, eating katsudon, and learning about life and love with Yuri. Yuri has shown him a world he’s never known before.
The characterization 180 this episode does never ceases to amaze me. It’s actually all there, laid out in plain sight, but we all buy the red herrings and see what we want to see in the pretty boy, playboy setup because it suits what we want to believe. And it’s like only Yuri ever knew who Victor was, maybe even from that hair flip on the ice when he was young. Yuri didn’t fall in love with his hot body or even his skating. He fell for Victor. For all of it. For the up, down and sideways. The rest of us were blown away when this episode peeled away our preconceptions and made us see that, actually, Victor didn’t get out much. Playboy who? Who was he playing with? The only night on the town he had the whole show was when he went out for ramen after Yuri said his eros was katsudon. He’s not jumping Yuri’s bones, ever—he’s patient, solicitous…huggy, but gentlemanly. He’s not shy, but he definitely puts up a false front to hide his true self. He’s kind of a geek, really.
Yuri wakes up from his nap while everyone else is out running around and checks in to verify this on his phone. He then descends into anxiety about the GPF, calls out for Victor, and as if summoned he appears—wet from the pool—with Chris. They leap onto him in the bed to warm up, and he’s certainly not worried now, not about finagling. He’s more concerned with being surrounded by wet, cold men.
Then we’re at the rink, where everyone is finishing up practice, and Victor recommends rest but Yuri says hell no, bitch, take me SIGHTSEEING. I do have the BluRay and so can see the new edit where he winks at him when he says this, but for these I’ve been watching Crunchyroll for subs, so no wink for me this round, alas. I absolutely adore watching the lightning round of their day around Barcelona—night around? Anyway, I love all their poses and shouts. They’re cute as hell. And then Victor spinning because he’s so happy shopping? And his internal monolog worrying about Yuri because this isn’t like him, noting that this is clearly some kind of nervous reaction? Then deciding he would buy him a suit for his birthday, obviously to distract him? Rushing off hopping, holding his hand?
This fucking episode does nothing but one-up itself in adorableness. And then it just blows itself up. I believe I’ve written about this already, but when we watched it the first time, my husband came into the room twice to ask why the hell were we yelling so much. We told him to either watch with us or go away.
While Yuri and Victor are competing in the cute Olympics, Yurio is being chased by some seriously creepy fans, and he’s rescued by Otabek on a motorcycle and taken to a famous sightseeing place (the name of which I cannot remember and am too lazy to look up) where Otabek confesses he’s been wanting to connect with Yurio because they actually trained in the same place before, and Otabek has long admired him. They become friends, and Yurio’s really excited about it because it’s his first one. Seriously. WHAT do they do to these Russian skaters?
And now. Back to Yuri and Victor and that moment.
First we have Yuri freaking out because he can’t find the nuts, Victor tries to calm him down—fake smile alert—and Yuri gets pissed and then Victor stops fake smiling and is just like, chill, babe. They take a walk to do just that, and then they both keep trying small talk to get the mood back, both kind of misfiring but they’re also clearly trying to reconnect too. And then. Then Yuri sees the jewelry store and goes to buy the onamori. The omamori which are also a pair of matching wedding bands.
The look on Victor’s face—on the first watch through we hadn’t seen the credits to this episode yet, but the second you know that score, you’re in on the know that this man has been in love with Yuri for over a year and now Yuri is buying him a wedding band. Call it a charm, call it whatever—Victor has spent the episode relishing in life and love that Yuri has given him and now it is getting fucking sealed. Yuri doesn’t just present it to him in the store, or on the street. He takes him to the cathederal and makes it a proposal. Blushing and all. Victor just looks stunned as Yuri puts it on him. But then he rallies when Yuri stumbles and gives him what he needs. Because that’s what they do for each other. And then they are practically wrapped up in each other like octopi as they walk away.
But I love, love how we come back from the food break and Mari is screaming. Every time I see it I’m just like SAME, MARI. FUCKING SAME. Anyway. Mari and Minako are literally pressing their faces to the window outside the restaurant where Otabek and Yruio are having a nice quiet dinner, and they beg Victor and Yuri to take them in and make them part of the conversation, which leads to the huge table full of skaters plus those two weeping quietly in joy. Which, face it, would be any of us but replace skaters with YOI creators.
And now we come to…the banquet reveal.
Everyone is eating and chatting, and Yuri is marveling about how different everything is this year, since last year he couldn’t even talk to anyone at the banquet, espcieally Victor. Then Victor spits his drink, and everyone else laughs, and reveals how Yuri in fact got drunk off his ass, challenged everyone to a dance battle, and pole danced half naked. They produce video, which as Yuri tries to suppress, shows off his rings, which Chris notices, and when Yuri tries to supriess that, Victor shows his off too. “They’re a pair,” he boasts. Phichit is STUNNED, calls a spade a spade and congratuatdes them—loudly, to the room—on their marriage. Everyone claps, Yuri freaks out, and then we get my favorite shot of the damn anime. If I weren’t so in love with my Yuri avi I’d make this my avi.
Victor whips out his ring, declares it to be an engagement ring, not a wedding ring, and announces they’ll get married after Yuri wins a gold medal. Yuri is like, the fuck, Victor, and everyone else gets their back up over the idea of Yuri winning and not them, and then JJ comes in all chotto matta, I’m gonna win, and suddenly everyone has to call it a night because nobody wants to be with JJ.
Like I’ve been saying.
Now Yuri’s sleeping again, but this time with bling on his finger, and Victor’s on the beach admiring his ring against the sun when Yurio comes up and kicks the shit out of his back and declares him to be dead. Victor is like, “you wanted to compete against me?” He’s smug at first, but then Yurio starts getting really bratty and insulting and it starts pissing him off and he grabs his face. And then his monolog starts back up and he acknowledges if he’d stayed in Russia, Yurio wouldn’t be motivated to fight…and neither would he. And he says Yuri has given life and love to more than just him.
Then we do the wind up before the actual GPF, everyone lining up and sitting down and setting up their livestreams, Guang-Hong with his awesome pink curtains, and then, finally…we get the closing credits with a peek inside everyone’s phones and the record of what actually went down at that infamous banquet.
Honestly the first time I watched this ep by the time we got here I was so dizzy and what the hell I could barely breathe, and then they throw this at us. At first you’re like, holy shit, Katsuki, you had this in you? I mean, it’s one thing to be a little more lively when drunk, but it’s when he’s arching through those spins with Yurio and standing on Chris while pole dancing that you’re like, shit. But the most intense are those dances with Victor. How sweet, how playful, how tender they both are. You’re watching both of them fall right there—or rather you’re watching Victor fall and you’re seeing the love Yuri has had for him all along unhindered. They mesh so well, blend so flawlessly. You think, aw, wow. What a pefect way to end the show. Yuri, how could you forget this!
AND THEN. Then you get the fucking coda. Drunk Yuri, pantless, tie on his head, wiggling his hips and begging Yuri in Japanese to come see him in Hastesu, and then in English to come be his coach. And Victor’s eyes widen, and he makes that little gasp. The same look we watched Yuri have when he fell in love all those years ago.
This episode is one of the greatest gifts on earth. I had been in such a depression until I found this show, but when this episode landed, this is when I feel like my life burst open again. I will love it forever. For. Ever.
A single stroke can change your world.
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.