Favorite Scenes: Yuri on Ice

Following similar posts for Attack on Titan and Shiki, here’s a compilation of my favorite scenes in Yuri on Ice.

As my review of it has made clear, I love Yuri on Ice. It has many elements that make it dear to me, the most important ones being the figure skating itself, the main character Yuuri and also the relationship between Victor and Yuuri. It was once again hard to narrow down my favorites into ten but here we are. Be warned that this is fairly Katsuki Yuuri-centric.

 

  1. Yuuri performing Stay Close To Me

The full impact of this scene didn’t hit me until some time after the series was over. It’s not just Yuuri’s masterful imitation of a record-breaking routine that I find impressive. Sure, that’s pretty cool on its own but what makes this really great is Yuuri’s mental and emotional state leading to the performance. He spectacularly bombed his last figure skating season and is even considering retirement. He admits to being depressed. He’s gained enough weight that his figure is not ideal for skating. All things considered, he’s at a dark point of his life and is a hot mess. But rather than resigning himself to his misfortune, Yuuri makes a conscious attempt to make things better. He wants to regain his love of skating that his recent losing streak has stolen from him. And for that, he looks back to his childhood days before skating became about competitions and tries to do what he did then – recreate Victor’s routines with his close friend Yuuko. He skates for her and for himself and he skates it beautifully. It’s clear to see that there’s a lot of emotion and effort behind that program and the end result is stunning for more than one reason.

 

  1. Yuuri’s first Eros skate

The phrase ‘I’m a katsudon fatale that enthralls men’ is one I won’t forget for as long as I live. That phrase is not from this particular instance but it sums it up pretty well. I like this skate for two reasons. One is that it shows us a whole other side of Yuuri than the nervous, easily flustered one we’ve seen until now and also marks the point where his demeanor becomes more confident. But the main reason is the mindset Yuuri adopts for this skate. The story he envisions for the Eros program is of a playboy coming to town and seducing the most beautiful woman but rather than play the part of the playboy, he opts to be the beautiful woman who seduces and then casts away the playboy. That kind of nonchalant gender fluidity is very rare in media and the way Yuuri’s internal monologue assimilates this feminine persona is a true treat. Even the costume Yuuri wears from Viktor’s long-haired pretty boy days is deliberately tailored to evoke both femininity and masculinity. This is also indicative of the way Yuri on Ice in general seems unconcerned with gender roles and as you can imagine, I’m 100% there for that.

 

  1. The Parking Lot Conversation

Real imaginative titles I’ve got, huh? I really didn’t see this confrontation coming at all and was blindsided in the best of ways. Once again, it’s about Yuuri. We know that Yuuri is prone to anxiety so the way he becomes a nervous wreck after placing first in the Cup of China short program is no shock. Victor knows too but he’s a first time coach who’s got little idea what he’s doing and his desperate attempt to try and fire Yuuri up backfires spectacularly. This scene could have gone wrong in so many ways and ended unsatisfactorily. An example of that is there in the show itself when Victor offers to kiss him. How many stories have we seen where the love interest kisses the main character in the middle of conversation? It’s always treated as the height of romance but honestly, it’s pure assholery. So Yuuri’s vehement disapproval of this idea followed by his earnest plea that he just needs Victor to believe in him and support him is heartwarming and also the best direction for this conversation. Things aren’t magically solved between them but there’s communication and the solid basis for forgiveness. Yuuri’s bravery in coming out and saying what he needs rather than suffer in silence as per usual is also a sign of his character development.

 

  1. The Kiss

I’m not having the hug/kiss debate with anyone. How you choose to interpret it is up to you and none of my concern. The reason I love this scene is pretty simple. It’s where the relationship between Yuuri and Victor enters the next level and it’s portrayed as an emotionally charged moment that’s the culmination of all the mutual mental turmoil they went through prior to and during Yuuri’s free skate. While both Yuuri and Victor are unsettled at the beginning of it, Yuuri’s skating actually benefits from the way his crying released some of his tension, allowing him to skate calmly. Even the way he’s preoccupied with Victor actually helps his performance He also adds a quad flip, Victor’s signature move and a jump Yuuri’s never tried before for the sole purpose of surprising Viktor and seeking his approval. Victor’s sufficiently surprised and returns the favor by tackling Yuuri to the ice and kissing him. It’s clear that Yuuri is shocked but also visibly pleased. Potential danger aside, it really is a very sweet scene and the wide, happy grins on their faces in the aftermath are truly a beautiful sight. Episode 7 really was a wild one.

 

  1. Airport Scene

I may have a prickly exterior but I’m a big softie at heart. So I did unashamedly aww over Victor, Yuuri and Makkachin reuniting at the airport after the Rostelecom Cup. It was already a tense episode with Makkachin’s health at risk. I do not deal well with animal deaths whether they’re fictional or real and damn was I impatient to find out whether the poor thing was alright. Then there was Yuuri’s own less than stellar mental state after his free skate. In short, the whole episode was building towards an emotional finale and boy, did it deliver. There’s Makkachin, alive and well, at the airport right along with Victor and then we get a scene worthy of a romcom where Victor and Yuuri just run towards each other from opposite sides of the glass without either one ever taking their eyes off the other. It ends up with a sweet, kinda desperate hug with a bonus happy Makkachin. This level of sappiness doesn’t always work for me but this time around, it didn’t just work, it had me on the verge of tears. Not only is the dog just fine but the humans involved get even closer and make some really sweet declarations to each other. It’s all just…sweet. Yeah.

 

  1. The Rings

Again, not having the engaged or not debate. I do see the rings as good luck charms but also as engagement rings. Not only does Viktor state as much out loud, there’s also the ring exchange scene which was rather loudly symbolic. To be honest, I find this scene sentimental but also very humorous. The way Yuuri just sees a jewelry shop and runs in there to buy fucking wedding rings slash good luck charms with his partner right there is really something else. That’s some high level of impulse buying right there. What follows is actually a very lovely moment where they exchange the rings in front of a church. The ambience of this scene is pleasing visually as well. I love the way it’s framed even though I don’t really know the words to describe it from a cinematographic angle. Of course, we’re right back to humor afterwards with the group dinner where the engagement announcement is swiftly superseded by the gathered competitor’s rivalry. It’s a strange episode altogether but it’s got a lot of great parts and is probably my favorite episode of YoI. The thing with the rings isn’t best part of this episode though. That comes later.

 

  1. Yuuri’s Final Free Skate

I love all of the routines in this show but this one takes the cake. Yuuri’s programs have always been remarkable for his internal monologue during them. It’s really the only times in the show when we see him be wholly, brutally honest without any of his usual reticence to hold him back. From the first Eros program, this has been true and it only got better and better as the show progressed. And his Grand Prix Final performance of the eponymous Yuri on Ice is absolutely gorgeous and no, I am not talking about (just) the animation. We see Yuuri give everything he’s got to his skating, improvising the program to have the same difficulty as those of Victor, the man he’d been chasing after since he was a kid. And he executes it perfectly. There’s more to it than that though. We also finally find what Yuuri actually feels about retiring and letting Victor go. He wants to keep skating with the guy forever but is afraid of killing Victor’s career if he does so. He says none of this out loud to Victor (because these two need to work on their communication) but he is honest about it during his skate. The whole thing is brimming with emotion and it’s a beautiful, though somewhat sad, sequence.

 

  1. Yuri’s Final Free Skate

It took me a while to warm up to Yurio’s character – I don’t really have much patience for the obnoxious brattiness he displays in his first few appearances and the frequent kicks he was prone to dishing out made it worse. But he mellowed out a bit in the later parts of the anime and the kinda nice kid beneath the brattiness showed himself so I warmed up to him. He is a bit of a complex character though most of that complexity seems to come from the teen angst we’re all familiar with. And nothing shows off Yuri’s layers more than his free skate in the Grand Prix Final. It’s not a perfect performance but it is raw and real. It’s also the first time we see Yuri skate not just for himself. Even more than the previous Agape routine, this last free skate is where he shows his passion for others including his coaches, his grandfather, his friends and most importantly, Yuuri whom he wants to beat so that Yuuri will continue skating and not retire. The Yuri-Yuuri dynamic is an interesting one and some of the revelations during this skate show us more clearly than ever that there’s something beyond hostile rivalry on Yuri’s part towards Yuuri.

 

  1. Pair skating

I have the bad habit of skimming seasonal blog entries of anime I plan to watch so a few of Yuri on Ice’s key moments were spoiled for me. This was one such moment but that did absolutely nothing to reduce the impact of the pair skate when it finally appeared in the last minutes of the final episode. Simply put, it’s fucking beautiful. I have been abusing that word a lot in this post but to be fair, if I had to pick just three words to describe this anime, beautiful would be among them. So yeah, the beautiful pair skate. Yuri on Ice has been a pleasant surprise for its entire run but it was still something else to see two men do a pair routine onscreen. Not to mention that the whole thing is so sentimental that it hurts. There was this intense intimacy to the routine and I am not exaggerating when I say that it’s one of the most romantic things I’ve seen in anime. Beauty and emotion is an amazing combination and Yuuri and Victor’s pair skate has them both in spades. Also, using the duet version of the same song that kickstarted the story is brilliant. I do wish we could have seen all of it.

 

  1. Banquet Scene

You know how, sometimes, there’s this one thing in a story that irrevocably alters our perception of everything that transpired before? I love those kind of reveals but I was not expecting something like it in Yuri on Ice. Then episode 10 happened and what was supposed to be a laidback filler episode ended with this little bombshell. We see a whole new Yuuri or rather we see what he’s like when filled with enough alcohol to kill a horse. If I drink too much, I get a headache and pass out. When Yuuri drinks too much, he turns into a frickin dance master. The break dancing with Yuri and the whatever it was with Victor are both lovely but it’s the pole-dancing with Chris that really made my jaw drop. Seriously, pole dancing. But Yuuri’s mad skills ain’t what turned the whole story on its head, rather it’s his interactions with Victor. They already seem to be close and having fun while dancing but the brief bit at the very end of the episode reveals that Yuuri drunkenly asked Victor to be his coach while half-naked and grinding on him, and that Victor was obviously affected (no, no like that, get your minds out of the gutter) by the whole ordeal. Victor’s willingness to fly halfway across the world over a single video and his early over-the-top flirtatious behavior to Yuuri at the beginning all take on a whole new level of meaning after we find out about the banquet. The poor guy must have been so confused though.

(No, I didn’t forget how numbering worked. #7 is at the end on purpose.)

 

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About D

Just another avid anime fan.
This entry was posted in Anime, Yuri on Ice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Favorite Scenes: Yuri on Ice

  1. yukinocake says:

    They’re all my fav scenes too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oishi says:

    I had thought Victor flying across the world was just him being interested in talent, but episode 10 really does change your perspective of the whole series and their interaction in general. I love how it has been almost an year and we’re still not over it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Arria Cross says:

    YEEESSSS!!! All my faves, too! But I also love Yurio & Otabek scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Karandi says:

    This is such an awesome post and just reminded me about how much I loved the show and why (I’m still smiling after reading that and I think that smile is going to take awhile to fade).
    Though, I do have to point out about the impulse buy on the rings, lots of people do that. Not necessarily the good luck charm thing, but a lot of engagements happen because walking past a shop, see a ring, idea planted and it all just goes from there. People are impulsive, and people in love are sometimes really impulsive, so I actually loved the ring buying scene because it felt incredibly genuine to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      Thanks! Writing this involved rewatching the show and yeah, the magic is very much there still. It’s great.

      I’ve read and seen people buying rings on an impulse but not when their fiance-to-be was right there with them and with the proposal happening a few minutes later. I guess I didn’t make that bit clear in the post – will edit a bit. But yes, that whole exchnage was incredibly romantic. This show really knows how to make its sentimental parts impactful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karandi says:

        Maybe it is an Australian thing, but I know a lot of couples that I am friends with, bought rings together. That way you can instantly judge if you are making a good choice or not.
        Not that it matters, but that received a fair amount of criticism when the show aired to, and at the time I just thought how real it felt.

        Liked by 1 person

      • D says:

        I’m from India and here, a good amount of marriages are arranged by the families so ring-buying is anything but impulsive. It usually involves going to the jewellery shop…with your family…and picking out rings. So pretty soulless from a romantic perspective.

        Things are changing a bit though.

        But I can see why that might have irked you if people harped on it. Some of the things this show is criticised for makes no sense to me either.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Karandi says:

        There’s definitely a few things people liked nit-picking about this show. I think it is the usual issue of people not just being able to admit that the show was fun to watch even if not technically perfect. Though a lot of the ire of those who have to complain turned toward the Cruncyroll awards rather than the show itself.
        Not saying there aren’t some things you can criticise, but some of the targets of criticism in this case just made no sense. The whole did they or didn’t they kiss argument drove me crazy as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • D says:

        I think there’s this whole host of people who hate it because it got popular and because its fans hailed it for its gay couple. Hype backlash, I guess. Sure, it’s not a perfect show and critisim is always wise but they should make sense.

        ‘Still shots of skating routines look grotesque’ is not sensible. Neither is ‘they didn’t show their lips touch in minute detail so they’re not a real couple.’

        The relationship criticisms in particular piss me off because most of the detractors wouldn’t be saying anything of the sort if it was a male/female couple.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Karandi says:

        I do not understand why you have to actually see a kiss to believe two people are a couple. Or one blogger was complaining they aren’t canon because they didn’t actually have sex. Really? That’s the only way you will admit two characters are in a relationship? Every rom-com heroine in anime just had their heart broken because they never ended up in an ‘official’ relationship if that is going to be the measure of whether two people are a couple.

        I’m with you. The relationship criticisms really annoyed me because it seemed like a totally different standard was being applied just because of the gender of the characters.

        Liked by 1 person

      • D says:

        I’ve heard that argument – the sex one – was going around in some circles but I never saw it with my own two eyes. I’m sorry you had to. I wonder how many brain cells the person who typed that lost making that ridiculous leap.

        And yeah, that argument would invalidate almost every anime heroine ever. But oh no, it only applies when it’s a same sex relationship because apparently, queer folk can’t just fall in love, they need to screw.

        (Not to mention that brings up what the hell the people making these claims think about asexual people but you know what, I’d be scared to ask.)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Keiko says:

    Couldn’t agree more with this list!! It reminded me of why I loved the show so much! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Artemis says:

    Oh man, I loved all these scenes so much as well! I think my own top spot would probably have to go to the parking lot conversation though. When Yuri basically screams at Victor that all he needs him to do is believe in Yuri more than Yuri believes in himself… that really hit me hard, in all the right ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      I know what you mean. That scene blindsided me in the best of ways. I didn’t expect that particular to end on such a genuine note with solid character development to boot. I swear, I’ll never get over how awesome these two are.

      Like

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  9. AGH, all this and more just takes me back to that magical time in the community when it aired as a Simulcast. So much YES to be found here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      I actually watched it about a month after it aired so I missed out on the simulcast fun but still, everyone was enthusiastic long after it finished. So much YES indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Remy Fool says:

    Don’t know how I missed this! Sorry!

    All of these scenes were amazing. Great list you got going here, D!

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      I’ll be the last person to blame you for that since I’ve recently switched from e-mail to reader for keeping up with posts and wow, it’s a dumpster fire.

      And thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Remy Fool says:

        Ahhh dumpster fires sound dangerous. And a way for homeless people to stay warm.

        Interestingly enough, I’ve switched from the reader to e-mail recently. Funny how that works!

        You’re very welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Chizurue says:

    Oh no. This made me miss them! I think a rewatch is coming. Love your post!

    Liked by 1 person

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