Episode 7 of Yuri on Ice is the episode I’m going to remember where it stopped being just a fun and interesting watch with some characters I kind of liked and it became a show where I truly respected the characterisation of the protagonist (and by characterisation, I don’t mean they finally kissed). Yrui’s journey isn’t anything new in storytelling, from underdog to finding his feet and using romance as a vehicle for it, it’s all been seen before. However, the organic evolution of this character and the way it has come across finally won me over during this episode and Yuri is going to be a character I’ll remember for more than just likening romance to pork cutlets. This particular moment of clarity came while listening to his internal monologue while skating and instead of the puppy like adoration of Victor we get a clear and rational view of the situation he is in before he still determines that he wants to surprise Victor. This episode makes these characters equals in their relationship where both have something to offer and both have something to gain and finally romance between the two seems not only likely but actually like it could work really well (though not without dealing with a few more of either character’s issues).
Oh, yeah, I should probably talk about the actual episode though. I really liked that instead of just showing us all of the routines (as we did last week) we instead saw more of the imagery and memories the skaters were drawing on while skating (we also saw Yuri and then Victor go through their pre-skate freak outs). Visually really interesting, great music, but mostly forgotten and blown away by the final sequence of Yuri skating and his growth.
Yuri on Ice is available on Crunchyroll.