I can’t avoid talking about this show more. With getting the Blu Ray last week and seeing all of the figure skating from the Olympics these past two weeks, this anime has been nagging in the back of my mind, and I’ve realized a lot of things while rewatching it.
Plus with Valentine’s Day being Wednesday, I had to do something in honor of it, even if my initial plan fell through. I’ll be combining the topics of competition (the theme of OWLS this month), and the theme love shown throughout the anime.
**To make things easier on myself, I’ll be using “Yuuri” to refer to Yuri Katsuki, and “Yuri” to refer to Yuri Plisetsky.**
Winning ≠ Satisfaction
Going along with my official OWLS post, I’ll be discussing how being “the best” at something doesn’t always mean that you will be happy.
Which means I’ll be talking about the controversial ending of this anime. In turn that means I’ll be spoiling pretty much everything.
We’re good? Let’s continue.
I personally don’t mind that Yuuri got second place. Or that Yuri got first. Really, it made a lot of sense to me, and it didn’t mean that Yuuri did badly. We have to remember that just the previous year, Yuuri had gotten sixth place. He jumped four whole places, which was something he didn’t even think he could do before he began training under Victor. He’d given up completely, there was no improving, not until Victor showed up.
And did you see his expression when he got that silver medal? He got to stand on the podium! He was able to show other people his motivation and dedication towards improving on his skating. This was something he thought was so far from his reach before, but he still made huge strides. It wasn’t gold, but it was something far better than the year before.
As for Yuri, I think he deserved that gold. He trained really hard. And he’s talented. His routines are always amazing, and he pushes himself to do something that he knows is difficult. And of course the win made him happy, since he’s the youngest competitor and has already won gold. It’s insanely impressive. And he was proud of himself for all that he achieved.
Now let’s talk about Victor. Because he’s really the definition of being unsatisfied by success. And I really love that this was a part of the anime. Victor won five consecutive gold medals, which is great and all, but once he looked back at his actual happiness, he realized that it wasn’t even there. Winning began to give him nothing. But he felt like he couldn’t just stop winning, so he kept at it, for his fans, or just so he could have something constant. It didn’t make him feel anything, really.
I also want to point out how Yuri felt about Yuuri wanting to retire after the GPF. He said something along the lines of ‘Are you really going to just leave right after making it this far?’ Yuuri had dragged himself out of his slump, and made huge strides, even Yuri could see that. At the time of Yuri saying this, he thought Yuuri was going to win, and he hated the idea of Yuuri just leaving like that.
In Yuuri’s perspective, he had it drilled in his head that being coached under Victor was just to get him to the top, and then they’d go on their separate ways. I still don’t quite understand why he’d think that. It was obviously a mutual understanding that they complemented each other well, and Victor was considering joining the competition again.
Finding Purpose through Love
Because of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to talk about how both Yuuri and Victor pulled themselves out of their slumps through each other. And really, even if it wasn’t Valentine’s Day this week, I would still want to talk about this.
In the beginning of the anime, they both are lost in where they should be progressing. Victor, presumably, would just continue on with skating until he retired. Yuuri maybe would eventually push himself to compete again, but there’s no way of knowing if his anxiety would allow that. There’s really no telling how either would fare if they hadn’t met each other. We just need to be glad that they did.
Without realizing it, they began to lean on each other for support. Victor needed someone that he could be close to, Yuuri needed someone who would have confidence in him and push him. I read this thing on tumblr that I can’t for the life of me find, and that’s what really inspired me to write this post. If I can find it later, I’ll give a link so you can read that as well.
It went along the lines of: Victor for years didn’t have anybody he was really close to. Even his fans saw that there wasn’t a close friend or significant other in his life, it was just his dog.
He is friends with Chris, but I don’t know how close you could call that. It seems they only interact during competitions. He talks to the other Russian skaters that practice at his rink, but I’m not sure if any could be considered close friends. Victor hadn’t had anyone he could say he loved. Whether it be through friendship or romance. He became empty. So, when he was able to meet Yuuri, it really changed the way he felt about his life in general. He finally had someone to depend on.
The same goes for Yuuri. The only reason he was able to progress and return to the skating competition was because he met Victor. He learned how to push himself to improve, and learned that he had a lot more to bring if he could become more confident in himself. His confidence level went from being practically nothing to being much more present by the end of the anime. He was feeling down about his skating, calling himself “a dime a dozen” skater, basically saying he’s not worth watching, to now leaning on Victor’s support to show the world his love through skating.
This anime is about love, that’s pretty obvious, but I wouldn’t call it romance. It’s a different kind of love that’s put up for interpretation, and I think that’s one of the coolest things about this anime.
There’s no denying Victor and Yuuri complement each other and succeed in things they never thought they’d be able to do on their own. The trust and confidence they have in each other is just beautiful to watch.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to watch the Olympics, since my family hasn’t had cable for most of my life, and I just can’t find the time to watch a live broadcast. I have been able to keep up a bit with the scores, at least with the figure skating portion, and I hope to be able to watch everyone’s performances later! I did get to watch the pair skate to the Yuri on Ice song, which was amazing, and when I went with my brother to ice skate last weekend, I watched some of the women’s skating. I’ve never kept up with skating, but I do love the sport, and I hope to be able to keep up at some point.
In case you aren’t aware, I generally post on Tuesdays and Fridays, and today is neither of those days. I also didn’t post on Tuesday. I ended up scrapping the Tuesday post because I realized it didn’t turn out how I wanted, and I didn’t have it in me to rewrite it or edit heavily. So, I apologize, and hopefully next week will be normal! I have some very different posts in mind.
I hope you enjoyed this post as well! I thought it’d be fun.