Hello, everybody!! Once again, school got in the way, but I’m hoping to get out most of my blogs out this weekend, so no worries. Anyway, this is Yuri on Ice!! and I’m going to review episode 5, or “Face Beat-Red!! It’s the First Competition! The Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu Championship.”. Wow, that’s a long title. As always, if you haven’t watched this episode yet, please go ahead and watch it, as I will probably be spoiling a few things. If you want to skip the summary of the episode, please go past the picture of Yuri and Victor. With that said, let’s get started.
Episode Summary: The episode begins with Yuri getting ready for his first competition. Yuri begins to show his nervousness, as he is still has doubts because of how bad he did in the previous year. Victor, who begins to take his role of coach more seriously, tries to encourage Yuri, telling him that if he can amaze him, he can do the same thing with this audience. Yuri does do well for the first half of his program, but becomes too nervous and makes mistakes in the second half. Victor later tells him that, for his free program, he should lower the difficulty of his jumps, to which Yuri hesitantly agrees to. Yuri then meets one of his opponents, Minami, who turns out to be a big fan of Yuri’s, as well as the one who beat him in the Nationals the year before. When Yuri begins to talk about his so called “dark-ages”, Minami gets angry, as he actually looks up to Yuri a lot, and he challenges him to give his all in the free skate. The next day, Yuri does not acknowledge Minami, which angers Victor. Victor tells him that it’s because of fans, like Minami, that he should be motivated to skate. Yuri realizes his mistake and cheers for Minami as he about to start his program. After Minami skates, Yuri goes to a quiet room, so he can focus and calm down. When he returns, he seems more serious and, after having a few gay moments with Victor, Yuri begins to skate. As he skates, Victor realizes that Yuri did not lower the quads, but also sees that, because of Yuri’s impatience with each jump, that he soon gains everyone attention, even with a few mistakes, and his face slamming into a wall. When Yuri is done, Victor thinks about scolding him, but instead praises him. Yuri ends up winning the championship.The episode then ends with Yuri announcing that the theme for his season will be love, and his next opponent will be Phichit.
Review: So this episode was beautiful, both physically and emotionally. It showed how serious are characters are growing to be, with Yuri seeming to be a different person in competition, and even Victor dressing as a coach, and becoming angered if Yuri does not consider his fans, or when Yuri goes against what he said. It showed immense character growth, and it did it by showing us, not telling. That’s partially the reason why the summary was so long; because there was so much important stuff happening that its hard to put it down in a small summary. Of course the episode still threw in cute, comedic moments, which were hilarious, enjoyable, and had me fangirling the entire time. We even had a confession(?) towards the end of the episode by Yuri. Whether this was a confession or not, we will just have to wait and see. I can’t begin to describe how happy I am with this episode, as our characters do learn a lot. Yuri learns about the importance of motivating others, recognizing fans and rivals alike, and how to have fun in competition. Victor learned about being a coach, and how much of a pain he probably caused his former coach, for doing the same thing Yuri was doing to him. In the end they were able to grow together, both in the relationship as coach and student, and maybe even in the romance department.
The other part I will praise is the new character, Minami. When I first saw his character, I was worried that the show was going to make him the cute, but rude, annoying character. But they not only made him adorable, but extremely likeable because of his respect for Yuri and how he aspires to be like Yuri someday.
If there was any part I would criticize, I would have to say that the animation, especially during the skating, seems to be kind of dropping. Its not a horrible drop, but its nothing like what we saw in the first episode. I do hope that the animation is improved upon DVD release(I mean, c’mon, Funimation is dubbing this show, so, no duh this show will get a DVD release).
Conclusion: Overall, this episode is exactly what the series needed. This series has been great so far, but this episode definitely gave us more than what, I think, most people were expecting. I hope we get to see more of Yuri’s newfound “love” in action, and see where his relationships, more specifically on Victor’s, go in the future. With that said, please comment below: “What did you guys think of this episode?”, “Did Yuri seriously confess to Victor?”, “Will Phichit really give Yuri a run for his money?”. We’ll just have to wait and see. If you want to watch this show, please head over to CrunchyRoll for the sub episodes, and, if you want to watch the show dubbed, which I do recommend and will probably review, go to Funimation. Find your love and I hope to see you guys next time.