Review (full of spoilers if you haven’t watched):
There’s one thing that all sports anime have in common and its one of the reasons why I’ve seldom got into them. From a plot point of view, predictability is inevitable. Yuri made it to the Grand Prix (but we kind of knew that had to happen). Because Victor left, he only just made it through. Wow. Yuri had a tough time because his moral support left but not tough enough to completely fail because from a timing point of view we don’t have time to start the journey over.
It’s a very good thing that Yuri on Ice has never tried to stand on the strength of its plot alone because there just isn’t that much to look at there. Certainly where there is works well, but it isn’t anything special. The characterisation however is still soaring. Yurio’s genuine thrill at success and the combination of pride and aggravation that his best wasn’t good enough to beat JJ (and who else thought Yurio looked amazing and emotionally so much more mature than when we met him weeks ago).The Italian skater finding his feet after his sister essentially told him to get over his obsession with her. JJ just having an ego that is soaring all by itself.
Finally, Yuri’s genuine confusion about how to skate without Victor and still trying to figure out what Victor actually is to him. Is he a coach or is it something more and that question is confronted directly when they meet at the end of the episode and Yuri asks Victor to be his coach until he retires. Victor replies that when Yuri says it like that it sounds like a proposal. All of this gets the viewer wondering because Yuri’s been pretty upfront that the Grand Prix is his last skate, which means his time with Victor will end, but will the two actually part os skater and coach or will their relationship continue. That part of the story is still a mystery and there are hints that it could go either way. Regardless of how they resolve this I anticipate that its going to be an emotional explosion and that is one thing this show has always hit the mark on. Those moments between characters and really connecting the emotions with the audience.
Yuri on Ice is available on Crunchyroll.