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EP. REVIEW: Yuri!!! on Ice


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11692
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:24 pm Reply with quote
Oh wow, this show really is quite something. One of the most surprising premieres even though I had high expectations for the show already. Glorious animation, great music, and interesting cast so far.

This show genuinely got me interested in learning more about figure skating.
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iatheia



Joined: 20 Jun 2009
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:12 pm Reply with quote
I honestly don't understand what everyone sees in this series. It reads like a bad fanfic. If I had to compare it to any series, it gives me a vibe of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, certainly not a deep and meaningful story. May be my expectations were too high when everyone has hailed it to be a contender for the aoy, I expected that it may become something that can rival Rakugo Shinjuu in terms of the interpersonal relationships, but I honestly don't see it.

You compare it to Free, I honestly think that Free is much better both in terms of the plot, in terms of the characters, and in terms of knowing what it wanted to be. It had potential, sure, but it just jumped right off of the cliff when they decided to have Nikifrov force himself into Katsuki's life instead of meeting on the equal ground. I like BL, I like fanservice, I certainly do not appreciate five innuendos per second that this series is trying to force. How awesome would it have been if instead of beating us over the head with "lol, sex", we actually would have stayed in Nikifrov's head for a bit? At least building on the moment on where he sees the video, doubting himself, conversing with other people about it. So that we actually could see what exactly he sees in Katsuki so far, getting a moment of "woah" that would be apparent even if they didn't state "you are skating to a song called Eros", and then this would have lead him to actually react like an adequate human being and admit his attraction? Would that have been so hard?

All the characters are little more than caricatures at this moment, no motivation, no soul. It may change later, but there is nothing to build on right now.

I hate all the fat-shaming that these two episodes have done (hopefully they got it out of their system), I hate the fact that they call Nikifrov and Plisetsky by their full first name - media is one thing, but no one uses them in private (well, may be Nikifrov, since he is older and in a mentor role of some kind, but Plisetsky would certainly be called Yura). I hate the occasional broken English that they force in, just because there are "foreigners" in the series. Either go all the way, or let us pretend that all of them speak in such a way that they understand each other.

It has good pedigree, it has good art, nice skating, but overall, it is just sickening to watch. Again, may be it is me. But it could have been so much more than what it is.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 2005
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:18 pm Reply with quote
Having watched the second episode, I'm a little less leery of this show doing the directorial equivalent of putting Yuri and Victor in a room and going "Now kiss!" (something Free! seemed to dabble in a lot from my point of view) as it is significantly more erotic and mature-feeling than Free! ever was, but I'm still kind of wary. Especially when Yuri has lines like "Oh, my heart's pounding because my idol is here, and not for any other reason", which pops up in one too many "Can't Say I'm in Love" shoujo scenarios to not start ringing some (very faint) alarm bells.

I just want this show to commit to something more than pandering and eye-candy, regardless of whether it ends up in a relationship or not. I'd be much happier thinking Gabriella's right on the money with "let me help you express yourself differently" theme rather than "let's throw in lots of sexy BL undertones to ramp up the doki doki and then just not do anything with it". I mean, given the director's pedigree, I'm tempted to think that won't happen, so, hey, fingers crossed. ^^;

On an unrelated note, I am curious if the opening is any indication that the two Yuris will be an ice dancing pair at some point. Either way, I could watch that OP for hours.
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Wingbeats



Joined: 23 Feb 2015
Posts: 272
Location: Boise, Idaho
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:29 pm Reply with quote
I too would love it if this show committed to the gay. But at the same time, I love it for what it IS. These first two episodes were glorious and I'm so hyped for more. I love these characters and the backgrounds and the art and uuuugggh.

Help.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 3119
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:30 pm Reply with quote
Here's my one big question: how much rotoscoping will we get? It's probably my favorite animation style, but it always get paired with artsy (and I use the term as an insult) project. Now there's finally a serious show that seems like its going to use it but apparently it's quiet hard to do so I'm a bit worried they'll only use it in the big pieces and most episode will be devoid of it (I think the only part in episode 2 that was rotoscope was like half a second of the ballet teacher).

Otherwise, I don't really like sport show but ice skating is one of the few sport that I'm genuinely interested in so I can follow it. The character are pretty fun, even the side character, the ballet teacher is definitely fun. I doubt anything will ever come of the Yaoi aspect, it'll be hinted non stop but there won't be any conclusion.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 2005
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:34 pm Reply with quote
@Wingbeats

Oh, for sure, this show is amazing, top to bottom, and I adore it to pieces. I'm just wary of getting burned in the end, and it's basically the only thing keeping me from going all "Let me love you!" on the show. Anime hyper

EDIT: @meiam

I'll have to double-check, but I don't think we've gotten pure rotoscoping thus far. Rotoscoping tends to have this weightless look that I think comes from natural weight shifting of the body not being translated properly by anime's limited budget and framerate--see My Love Story!!'s ending theme for a good example of this. I think it's obvious that the animators have done some really heavy research and used some great references, but it still looks like (really great) typical animation to me. If rotoscoping is being done, I think there's definitely some stylized animation going on top of it so it doesn't have that typical rotoscoping look.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5403
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:49 pm Reply with quote
It is in fact improbable/impossible that the skating sequences are rotoscoped because, as explained more in detail here, Victor's routine is just slightly beyond what can currently be achieved in figure skating
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 2005
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:05 am Reply with quote
CrowLia wrote:
It is in fact improbable/impossible that the skating sequences are rotoscoped because, as explained more in detail [url=http://iwillbeyourhands.tumblr.com/post/151495858582/as-a-long-time-figure-skating-fan-I've-been]here[/url], Victor's routine is just slightly beyond what can currently be achieved in figure skating


Aha! I *knew* there was something fishy about all those quads. Time to brush up on my figure skating know-how. ^^; Awesome link, though!

EDIT: I do think it bears pointing out though that at 27, Victor is really pushing it for staying on top. Most, if not all skaters tend to bow out around 30. Even Evgeni Plushenko, arguably one of the best skaters in the world, is 33. So Yurio being 15 strikes me as more par for the course than an aberration.
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:38 am Reply with quote
Sad that I think this anime isn't gonna teach me Ice Skating at all but all I did while watching it is thinking that it looks awesome and I can live with that. I do like the links with information.

I'm not gonna repeat myself from the Preview Guide, but Yuri!!! on Ice just packs so much character, I really love it, I love the direction I just love how much they show of each character very well through body language and well-timed dialogue.

I don't think that this series exactly pushes the fanservice into your face as in, that it deliberately strips the story purely for fanservice, but I'm hesitant to this Viktor's being particularly insistent on almost having his hip joined to Yuri's, I think it really needs to deliver that part of the relationship very well. The show has prepared itself for do or die, and I hope it really executes it very well.

We need a poll through the whole season of Russian Yuri and Japanese Yuri. I really enjoy watching the Russian Yuri, he's very funny and very expressive, but I do find Japanese Yuri more compelling as a character and as a main character, specifically.

By the way, I don't think the scenes are rotoscoped, the series does have a Japanese ice skating figure for coreography (I think he's a gold medalist? Sorry I'm not that well-informed on names but I saw his performance and it was awesome), and I think that the chroeography is good enough to make very well-done and fluid animation without the need of rotocosping. If there is, it's probably on very specific moments but I hardly believe it; rotoscoping has a particular feel to it, especially obvious without sound.
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+ 光



Joined: 22 Mar 2016
Posts: 226
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:44 am Reply with quote
Great review Gabriella. I don't have a lot of time so I'm just going to drop one quick point:

Gabriella, you should probably pick one between 'Yuri', 'Yuuri' and 'Yurii'. Just saying it might help for a smoother read.
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Calsolum



Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 886
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:58 am Reply with quote
this looks to be an... interesting series to say the least.

i once watched an episode of free and the fanservice was off-putting and the story or plot wasn't interesting enough for me.

with yuri on ice i still don't fancy the fanservice but i definitely want to see japanese yuri succeed in his goals and dreams.
one thing that really bothers me though is Russian yuri.
he strikes me as a complete and utter asshole.
I mean come on man you don't harass a guy who either had a bad day or performed badly by kicking the toilet door and then unleash that amount of abuse on him.
Russian yuri reminds me too much of real life a$$holes and while I'm sure later on he'll probably have insecurities that make it 'ok' for him to lash out like that because that's how he 'expresses himself' or its a 'defense mechanism'

as long as the series can properly handle Russian yuri i'll be able to accept it
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5403
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:00 am Reply with quote
^I think the wisest decision would be to stick for Yuuri (Katsuki) since that's how you'd normally romanize his name and Yurio (Plisetzky) since that's how the show is calling him now
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MikeNeko San



Joined: 02 Dec 2015
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:01 am Reply with quote
+ 光 wrote:

Gabriella, you should probably pick one between 'Yuri', 'Yuuri' and 'Yurii'. Just saying it might help for a smoother read.


The spellings makes sense to me if we break their names down:
Japanese Yuri is spelt Yuuri in Katakana.
Russian Yuri is spelt Yurii in Cyrillic. Of course sister Mari renamed Yurii P. as Yurio in the second episode: let's see if that sticks.
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+ 光



Joined: 22 Mar 2016
Posts: 226
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:16 am Reply with quote
MikeNeko San wrote:


The spellings makes sense to me if we break their names down:
Japanese Yuri is spelt Yuuri in Katakana.
Russian Yuri is spelt Yurii in Cyrillic. Of course sister Mari renamed Yurii P. as Yurio in the second episode: let's see if that sticks.


That's well and all (can even just stick to the surnames), all I'm saying is that it should be used consistently: If it's Yurii for the Russian one, then it needs to be Yurii everywhere.

Of course I know when she's talking about who so it's not like I can't follow the argument, but as a text it looks untidy when jumping between names for a single character.
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TianShan



Joined: 13 Oct 2016
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:31 am Reply with quote
iatheia wrote:
I honestly don't understand what everyone sees in this series. It reads like a bad fanfic. If I had to compare it to any series, it gives me a vibe of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, certainly not a deep and meaningful story. May be my expectations were too high when everyone has hailed it to be a contender for the aoy, I expected that it may become something that can rival Rakugo Shinjuu in terms of the interpersonal relationships, but I honestly don't see it.

You compare it to Free, I honestly think that Free is much better both in terms of the plot, in terms of the characters, and in terms of knowing what it wanted to be. It had potential, sure, but it just jumped right off of the cliff when they decided to have Nikifrov force himself into Katsuki's life instead of meeting on the equal ground. I like BL, I like fanservice, I certainly do not appreciate five innuendos per second that this series is trying to force. How awesome would it have been if instead of beating us over the head with "lol, sex", we actually would have stayed in Nikifrov's head for a bit? At least building on the moment on where he sees the video, doubting himself, conversing with other people about it. So that we actually could see what exactly he sees in Katsuki so far, getting a moment of "woah" that would be apparent even if they didn't state "you are skating to a song called Eros", and then this would have lead him to actually react like an adequate human being and admit his attraction? Would that have been so hard?

All the characters are little more than caricatures at this moment, no motivation, no soul. It may change later, but there is nothing to build on right now.

I hate all the fat-shaming that these two episodes have done (hopefully they got it out of their system), I hate the fact that they call Nikifrov and Plisetsky by their full first name - media is one thing, but no one uses them in private (well, may be Nikifrov, since he is older and in a mentor role of some kind, but Plisetsky would certainly be called Yura). I hate the occasional broken English that they force in, just because there are "foreigners" in the series. Either go all the way, or let us pretend that all of them speak in such a way that they understand each other.

It has good pedigree, it has good art, nice skating, but overall, it is just sickening to watch. Again, may be it is me. But it could have been so much more than what it is.




God bless You. Your review is indeed the real one.
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