Some of you are probably looking at the title of this video and thinking to yourselves: “Who does this guy think he is?” or possibly: “Why does Geoff hate Yuri on Ice all of a sudden?” And the answers to those questions are, respectively, I’m Geoff Thew, professional shitbag, and this is My Mother’s Basement and… I don’t. In fact, Yuri on Ice is one of my favourite shows of last year so if you’re in the other camp and excited for some anti-fanboy backlash against the series, that’s… not what you’re going to get here. I think that Yuri on Ice is a fundamentally good show with great characters and a great plot. However, the series falters, sometimes quite severely, in executing on the promise of that great foundation. Which is why today’s episode of What’s in a Scene? is gonna be… a little different. Although not so different that I’d avoid using spoilers for once in my goddamn life so if you want to know what’s going on, you should head on over to crunchyroll.com/basement and use that sweet 30-day free trial to watch yourself some Yuri on Ice and get caught up on what I’m talking about. Instead of praising what Yuri on Ice does right in one of its better scenes, and don’t get me wrong, there IS a lot to praise, I’m gonna be looking at a scene doesn’t work quite so well, breaking down where it falls flat and offering some suggestions for ways that the scene, and the series as a whole, could be improved. The scene in question is the first big event of the series, the “Hot Springs on Ice” promotional competition between Yuri Katsuki and Yuri Plisetsky. It exemplifies many of the issues that hold the series back from greatness, but it also shows hints of how many of them can be fixed. Those issues stem mainly from how the series is directed and how its plot is paced And to understand why the show has these problems, you kind of need to understand how it came to be. Yuri on Ice is the brainchild of Sayo Yamamoto, a brilliant director best known for her work on Michiko & Hatchin, and Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. But, more relevant to this channel, she has worked on a number of fantastic anime openings, including the simple yet evocative first opening to Psychopass, both openings of Arakawa Under the Bridge which, man I’ve really got to get around to, and, in the video game space, the flashy, funky opening to Persona 5. Between that opening, her animator expo short Endless Night and, now, Yuri on Ice, one very important thing is clear: this woman really, really likes figure skating. Yuri on Ice is a passion project for her, something that she’s been developing and pushing to get made for years now. And while it’s amazing to see someone’s dream project finally get off the ground like this, the reality of TV production doesn’t always allow for dreams to come true, exactly as they were envisioned. Compromises have to be made to get a show off the ground, especially one about risky subject matter like figure skating. The most frustrating thing about Yuri on Ice is that you can clearly see where those compromises were made and where Yamamoto seemingly refused to make the compromises that might have otherwise improved the overall quality of the show. The first two episodes Yuri on Ice are fairly well paced, they set up Yuri’s struggles within the world of figure skating, establish his relationship with his friends and family back home, as well as his new one with Victor, and create a solid basis for the story moving forward, but almost every episode after that seems incredibly rushed. Episode 3 has some problems condensing a small competition as well as the training montage leading up to it, into a single episode. But that’s nothing next to what follows it. The show folds four full competition arcs, each with six unique competitors, into the space of just eight episodes. That means that it needs to tell, effectively, almost twenty different stories in under five hours. I understand, to an extent, why the show is this way. Yamamoto spent a lot of time developing backstories for each of these characters, placing special focus on their countries of origin, making the concerted effort to tell a truly universal, international tale. I don’t blame her for not wanting to toss that quirk out, having only twelve episodes to work with, she had two options, neither of which was palatable. She could either cut the story short, and hope for a second season, or cut some of the characters and detail from each tournament arc to give the main story the focus that it really deserves. She chose to do neither of those things and the problems this causes are two-fold: Firstly, neither Yuri’s journey to become a champion skater, nor his blossoming romance with Viktor, are given a chance to breathe. With all of the skating programs in each episode, this may as well be a half-length, 15 minute series. This is perhaps most egregious in episode 7, which keeps awkwardly cutting away from Yuri having a panic attack to the free skate programs of five other skaters. The whimsy of their performances clashes horribly with the tone of Yuri’s emotional struggle and the unfortunate result of that is when he finally overcomes his worries, it doesn’t have the triumphant punch that it should. The other problem is that none of the other skaters are given much room for character development, with the exceptions of JJ, Christophe and Phichit, who make recurring appearances in two tournaments, we barely see anything of them off the ice at all. And the show’s painfully awkward solution to this is to have each skater monologue over their skating program like they’re using copyrighted music and trying to avoid content id. Instead of showing us what their deal is through cutaways and asides between performances, they have to just straight up tell us. “My whole country is counting on me to represent them on the world stage and I wanna do them proud!” “My ex-girlfriend is watching this and I hope she dies! (but also I hope that she still loves me)” “I’m the best character in this whole show, but the way that I hide my insecurity with false bravado is gonna get 4 minutes total screen time!” This is a lot to take in already, but each performer is also trying to tell a story through their skating choreography. Stories which are often presented with cool, unique, artistic flourishes, and are interesting and complex enough to carry a scene on their own, and when you pile both of these stories on top of each other, it becomes difficult to fully appreciate either one. One thing that I like about the competition in episode 3 is that for both Yuris, the stories that they tell on the ice are largely about them, which means that at least the conflict is mostly eliminated, but even so, the show could put a lot more effort into showing, rather than telling us what’s going on with them or in some cases just put faith in the viewer to “get” it. The show *almost* does this toward the tail-end of Yuri P’s program while he’s spinning out, both physically and emotionally, and losing his composure. The animation, erratic camera work and sound design, which has the sound of Yuri’s skates overwhelming the music, really sells it. Most of his monologue consists of simply swearing or berating himself inside his head in stark contrast to the praise of those around him. And it works really well. We feel the emotion of the moment for him, but when we cut to Yuri K watching from the sidelines, the monologue about how Russian Yuri is this ever-evolving monster is totally unnecessary. We can tell just by looking at his face that Yuri K is intimidated by his rival’s skill and that he, like everyone else, is being sucked into the performance. And for that matter, we don’t need this jarring flash-back to understand that the waterfall scene is where Yuri P made this transformation. The scene was clearly added late in production, it’s so out of place in the rest of the scene that they had to abruptly change the music for a half a second just to stick it in. And it’s totally unnecessary, we just saw it happen not 10 minutes ago! We can connect the dots! It drastically improves the pacing of this scene to remove the flashback, and it could honestly do with a few more cuts on top of that. If we’re seeing everything from either Yuri’s perspective right now, then we should be feeling the performance anxiety that they feel. But between Yuri P’s exhausted, defeated finish to his performance and Yuri K’s existential crisis, there’s 8 seconds of the one confidently posing and the other clapping along happily. It creates this weird tonal whiplash that pulls you out of the mood which is supposed to be what happens when Victor talks to Yuri but since it’s already happened, the beat has no effect. It’s important to sell that Yuri’s a good sport who just loves skating, but not at the expense of the emotional impact of the rest of the scene. If we just cut it a little differently, with a different initial reaction from Yuri Katsuki and a more drawn out moment of despair, I think it works much more effectively. The scene just doesn’t need the extra voice-over, period. And the same applies to Yuri Katsuki’s skating. Everything from his flirtatious gesture toward Victor to the fact that his routine has a new, seductive edge to it can be understood without a word of this monologue from all of the characters. And while it’s not quite as easy to understand the full context without the flashback to a cut-scene of him training with his dance teacher, that could have been done so much better, if it had been given more time, that is. If this scene where he visits her studio late at night had come either earlier in the episode or a previous episode, all she’d need to do is give his performance a knowing smile and we’d get it. Plus the performance would have a smoother flow. Instead, she has to explain it to us, again cutting away from the music, and it’s just clumsy. In general, I’m of the opinion that inner monologues like third-person narration are something that should be very sparingly, especially in stories that attempt to be grounded in reality. Because they give the impression of the character being stuck inside their own head. That’s why they work well when Yuri P is losing his cool, and even when Yuri K is trying to psyche himself back up after making a mistake. But coming from the audience, they feel very, very forced. It’s a lot more natural for characters to just say what they’re thinking to each other. And that would make sense in the context of people watching a sporting event too. Hell, even the announcer already does that. And while he could do a better job of explaining the rules of figure skating for viewers who don’t really understand it, he does help you appreciate the skill that goes into Yuri’s moves. Compare this to the first big performance in Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju. That scene also involves multiple stories being told at once, three actually. There’s Yotarō’s telling of Dekigokoro, his evolution as he feeds off the energy of the audience in his first really successful performance, and his former boss coming to accept his new career. But aside from a few whispered comments from the characters in the audience, and one little monologue at the beginning where the character is inside his own head, it’s all told with visual cues and good sound design. Konatsu doesn’t have to say “Oh no, Dekigokoro! He was struggling with this one earlier!” The name and the tone of her delivery is plenty to remind us of what we need to know. The problem compounds itself compounds itself as the scene goes on. We keep cutting away to other characters thinking about what Yuri is doing, to the point that it actively contradicts some of what we’re hearing. When Takeshi says “No one can take their eyes off Yuri”, all I can think is “Then why do we keep cutting away from him?!” Obviously the reaction shots are needed to hammer home the significance of what’s going on, I’ve explained as much in my videos about Baby Steps and Haikyuu!! but considering the spell-binding nature of Yuri’s performance, they really should’ve framed it in such a way that he’s almost never off-screen. Simply putting glass between Yuri and the audience could’ve gone a long way toward fixing this. Then he could’ve simply been reflected in front of the other characters as they showed their reactions, preventing us from taking our eyes off him. And we wouldn’t need Takeshi to tell us this thing that the directing failed to convey. The only shot where it’s really acceptable for us to look away is when Russian Yuri leaves early in defeat, since he’s also looking away. And the proceeding shot of Victor’s head since it’s used to build up a small reveal later when Yuko chases after him and asks if he’s gonna stick around. And I will say that the conclusion of this scene does work, mostly because it makes use of dialogue rather than internal monologue. And it trusts the audience enough to figure out what characters are thinking and what their actions mean without narrating it. With that said, I do think it ends way too abruptly but that’s a very difficult problem to fix because saying “this show needs more episodes” basically translates to “they should’ve spent more money” and often that’s just not feasible, especially for an original animation project where you can’t make the case that the plot of the manga or light novel worked better a certain way already and changing it would be a bad idea. The obvious alternative is to cut content but again, I think Sayo Yamamoto had a very good reason not to do that. Improving the pacing and emotional weight of the story in that way would’ve compromised her artistic vision for the message of the show. But as I hope I’ve demonstrated here, there is one more alternative solution that’s a little more practical: To pack more of the story into each scene through visual information and the language of film. With more thoughtful editing and small changes to shots, as well as maybe cutting a little bit of some of the figure skating performances, the show could convey just as much without compromising its own emotional impact or its meaning. Of course, even that would’ve been difficult. The show’s production famously came down to the wire every week it was airing which is not the optimal situation for encouraging careful, methodical direction. I think Sayo Yamamoto and her team at MAPPA did an excellent job with the resources they had in creating this show. Clearly a lot of people agree with that sentiment, considering the size of its audience and how much love people have for it. But I also think that its production woes really hold it back from being a proper anime of the year contender so I can understand a bit of backlash towards its sweeping certain award shows. Speaking personally, I love Yuri on Ice and I just hope that the team behind it can get enough time and money for the sequel to turn it into the master piece that this show so clearly strives to be. I think that, given the opportunity, they can really pull it off. Anyway whether you’re a fan of the show or not, thank for you sticking around through this critique. I hope that it gave you a new perspective on the show at least. And of course, special thanks go out to the patrons who help me do what I do and make videos like this possible. If you want to hear me talk up an anime that I think is a true masterpiece, then you should check out this video where I name my anime of the year. Or if you want to hear about more dumb sports stuff then you might enjoy these videos about Haikyuu!! If you wanna see everything that I make from here on out, be sure to turn on Notifications from Mother’s Basement. For now though, I’m Geoff Thew, professional shitbag, and this is G.G. Style.

What’s in a Scene? – Fixing Yuri!!! on Ice
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100 thoughts on “What’s in a Scene? – Fixing Yuri!!! on Ice

  • February 9, 2018 at 1:35 pm
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    Around 4:23 the chorus for jj’s song started playing in the background and LITERALLY made me start to tear up and I’m not even a JJ fan?!?!????!???? I guess that scene at of his performance at the end with the crowd crying and singing along really stuck with me without me even noticing

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  • February 9, 2018 at 9:47 pm
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    I love this. I like this anime enough to be interested but not enough to be triggered about constructive criticism. I’m really curious what you could find wrong with animes that are better in my personal opinion— Like Hyouka or Akagami no Shirayukihime. Because no matter how butt-hurt people get with stuff like this, you make really good points.

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  • February 14, 2018 at 3:19 am
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    "They cant take their eyes away from yuri"

    THEN WHY DO WE KEEP CUTTING AWAY FROM HIM!!!

    Me : LOL

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  • February 15, 2018 at 8:19 pm
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    Yuri is Best Girl!!! But horrible On Ice.

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  • February 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm
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    6:35 a scene similar to this was done in Ballroom e youkoso and it's exactly everything wrong with this scene done right.
    I am referring to the scene when Tatara realized how AmAzIng Sengoku was at dancing in competitions. can't remember which episode though, but it was when they first introduced Sengoku's partner

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  • February 17, 2018 at 5:24 am
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    I agree on these issues too, and I always thought something was off with the pacing watching it, however, as you say, the show is really good for what it is, but it’s hard not to note the wasted potentiall

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  • February 18, 2018 at 12:40 am
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    Nothing is perfect, everything can be improved upon and I think you did a very good job of pointing out the small things that could have made Yuri on Ice sooo much better than it already is ( and it's already fantastic)

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  • February 20, 2018 at 6:44 am
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    What I'm hearing is YOI needs separate seasons and arcs to flesh everything out well. That just translates to me WE NEED MORE YOI:D

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  • February 22, 2018 at 3:03 am
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    I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS BUT I LOVE YURI ON ICE FOR WHAT IT IS!! ^\\^

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  • February 26, 2018 at 5:25 am
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    How to fix it name it to "yaoi on ice"

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  • February 26, 2018 at 6:48 pm
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    true i watched the last episode yesterday and i really think it needs more episodes they didn't even let victor's and yuri's relationship bloom whole series i was like ok are they gay no just flirting…no but it looks gayish ok ring scene was cute but confusing as well it totally looked like a marriage ceremony i felt like they left a relationship something like between coach or lover but not 100%(atleast i didn't felt like they are some kind of ameobas who are neither straight nor gay only attracted to water like i felt in free series was good but still) it was disatisying i want to know more about all the characters and i also think they rushed too fast on yuri's skill development i want more episodes

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  • March 2, 2018 at 3:25 am
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    Monologs are one of the things i love the most in anime.
    having a character have a moment of introspection is a great way to get me closer to him and empathise with their strugles in a way a less expositive method could never deliver.

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  • March 3, 2018 at 11:19 pm
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    I like this video and I m agree with you but in the same time I hate it so much … because you just show this little things that bother me when I first watch YOI but couldn't explain proprely and now I know that this serie could have been so much better. And for me he desserve it.
    (also excuse if I made mistake but english is not my native language)

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  • March 8, 2018 at 11:57 am
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    yuri on thin ice

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  • March 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm
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    I actually thought the monologues were well-done. They were enough to tell a story and the inner monologuing is what I tend to do myself. Plus, they do usually make it sound convincing, strained, and sometimes even pained (I'm talking about you, melodramatic Georgi)

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  • March 15, 2018 at 1:53 am
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    Just make it gayer

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  • March 15, 2018 at 1:56 am
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    What about Kubo???

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  • March 25, 2018 at 5:46 pm
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    Well, guess what? I LIKE that Yuri on Ice does that with the story of the characters. It is one of the reasons I like this show!!

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  • March 26, 2018 at 12:37 am
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    I showed Yuri!!! on Ice to a few of my friends and the reaction was very split, but can be summed up as group 1 saying, "What's all this romance doing in a sports anime?" and group 2 saying, "What's all this sport doing in a romance anime?". Most of my friends are quite new to anime, so I figured that Yuri!!! on Ice was a good show to get them out of the cliché loop, but everyone was too caught up on which genre was the subplot to really be able to take in the show's messages. It's really disappointing that a lot of popular anime are of just one genre with a clearly defined subplot (e.g – School life anime with romance subplot/Romance anime with school life subplot) so a lot of people who are new to anime become conditioned into the liking of a simple, one plot story stuffed full of clichés so that anyone who's seen a lot of anime can easily predict what will happen.

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  • March 27, 2018 at 10:06 pm
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    My fave scene is the scene where Victor and Yuri's rings get noticed and everyone thinks they are married XD

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  • March 30, 2018 at 9:30 am
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    I disagree. Personally I love this show as it is. But I respect your opinion.

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  • April 6, 2018 at 2:47 am
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    I have to disagree with you about the scene where Yuri struggles while everyone is free skating.

    My thought: I use to be a nationally ranked dressage rider when I was younger. With dressage and skating there is this huge element of time. I can not tell you how many times I’ve had an emotion break down in the middle of a competition.
    You should be ready to go and watching others but you aren’t ready emotionally and don’t want to feel more out of place by watching others. It’s a whole overwhelming feeling. I think the scene really shows how intense everything is, because you have to deal with yourself-however everything and everyone is still competing. It’s an extremely weird experience knowing you have to deal with everything and yet need to compete. And it is jarring, much like the scene cuts. Everything happens quickly but it doesn’t change the importance of both yuri’s moment or the competition.
    It is also intense for a couch to watch his student struggle when you know they can do it-they just have to get out of their head. But you can’t force someone to understand that. I personally loved that episode, the whole dynamic of yuri and victor as student and couch and the pressure of competition. It felt genuine and real.

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  • April 6, 2018 at 5:08 pm
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    You can't fix it its too amazing

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  • April 9, 2018 at 9:38 pm
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    Well… at least the criticism is constructive. GG

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  • April 11, 2018 at 6:53 pm
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    i agree with you 100%

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  • April 22, 2018 at 9:41 pm
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    I actually fell out of love with Yuri on Ice because of the last episode and it's…characterization and plot stuff. I haven't seen it since the last episode aired, but I remember being so…torn about it. I liked what they did with JJ and he became one of my favorite characters, but there was also a lot of stuff the final episode got sloppy on. It's a good show, but it wasn't the strongest one.

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  • April 25, 2018 at 2:03 pm
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    I hope that the movie will have more character development and less skating

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  • May 6, 2018 at 6:50 pm
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    It's the title: I keep expecting icy lesbians and I'm always disappointed.

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  • May 11, 2018 at 6:38 pm
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    No need to fix Yuri On Ice it’s the best!

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  • May 13, 2018 at 8:42 pm
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    ive watched it 13 times

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  • May 16, 2018 at 12:09 am
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    I didn't catch the name of the anime with the japanese "comedian"? I think can someone tell me please.

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  • May 16, 2018 at 5:52 am
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    Plz shut up. Yuri on ice is beautiful.

    My opinion. U can do nothing. Don't judge.

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  • May 17, 2018 at 3:12 am
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    I want you to review any story I ever make ^_^''

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  • May 19, 2018 at 1:35 am
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    Yuri On Ice? More like Yaoi On Ice!

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  • May 20, 2018 at 6:27 am
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    Great analysis! I didn't notice some of these problems while I was watching. Great video, honestly. I love seeing a fan be able to put aside their liking for a show to critique it constructively, but also realize a lot of work was put into it.

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  • May 20, 2018 at 9:10 am
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    ”No one could take their eyes of Yuri”

    ”THE WHY DO WE KEEP CUTTING AWAY FROM HIM”

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  • May 21, 2018 at 4:22 am
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    gay

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  • May 21, 2018 at 6:45 pm
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    I have never watched this anime, but when watching the blond guy's performance my reaction was "What the f*** that guy's crazy!" and that was all that was needed to sell your point.

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  • May 21, 2018 at 8:49 pm
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    Basically we need way more episodes of yoi to really see all of those great stories and growth

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  • May 22, 2018 at 3:52 pm
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    THANK YOU. ;^; I've been trying to pinpoint why exactly this series bothered me this entire time and all along it was the pacing and now I'm hitting my head against the wall because I couldn't figure it out before.

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  • May 27, 2018 at 11:50 am
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    True, everything that were in the episodes all happened so quickly, when I first watched episode 4, I had to back track a second to see if I had missed something.

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  • May 29, 2018 at 2:38 pm
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    I hate the fact that you r right

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  • May 29, 2018 at 11:32 pm
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    Fixing Yuri on Ice? Not making it Yaoi on Ice.

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  • June 3, 2018 at 7:38 pm
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    I enjoyed the anime, but I wish they could redo it to give it more time and have better resources to animate the skating scenes, but you can’t do that

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  • June 11, 2018 at 11:50 pm
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    I enjoyed the anime, but the pacing wasn't great. In fact, it was *terrible*. It was slow, and then all of a sudden too fast, and honestly made the plot seem disjointed. It was a good plot, but it could have done with a second season so it could have spread the storyline out.

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  • June 12, 2018 at 5:48 am
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    So if u don't want cutting away from the skating scene, u want to back story or wut ever, to be in a corner so you can still see the dance? Lol

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  • June 13, 2018 at 6:50 am
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    Well after season one went so well.They will hopefully invest more into the show if they ever make season 2 or the Movie.Also in a season 2 they could always go more into the characters stories and backstory

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  • June 23, 2018 at 9:18 pm
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    Yuri on ice is my favorite thing in this life

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  • June 24, 2018 at 7:42 am
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    Your summary for Georgi was THE BEST THING EVER. And yes I agree! I think that Yuuri on Ice was a good show. Not great, just good. It had a lot of flaws, but I hope that they can improve on that with the time and money that they have hopefully gotten since YoI turned out to be so popular.

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  • June 24, 2018 at 11:26 pm
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    You heard him he profeconal trash bag 😂 no i love your content

    Reply
  • July 14, 2018 at 11:20 am
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    I don’t get how ice skating is a risky subject matter when we have anime of cooking.

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  • July 14, 2018 at 11:26 am
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    I’m also waiting for a yuri on ice abridged.

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  • July 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm
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    I love the show to death but even I agree it needed more episodes, more time to show the development of Viktor and Yuuri's relationship (which is obviously what all fans want) and more time to show the relationships with the supporting cast

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  • July 17, 2018 at 5:09 am
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    I rewatched a few episodes and I see what you mean. I agree with most of what you said and it's always very interesting to rewatch something after hearing what others think.

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  • July 21, 2018 at 5:51 am
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    Victor gay

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  • July 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm
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    Man I wish we saw more of Yurio

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  • July 30, 2018 at 9:48 am
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    Me: If you like it you like it, if you don't you don't. Just don't get mad at people for liking or hating it. But I have no say on people's feelings.

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  • August 21, 2018 at 7:36 pm
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    unpopular opinion most of the skating scenes looked like hot garbage

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  • September 1, 2018 at 7:43 pm
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    My best friend is opposed with this show I had to see what all the fuss is about.

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  • September 13, 2018 at 11:11 am
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    It needed 26 episodes. Not 13. The anime was too ambitious for 13.

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  • September 14, 2018 at 6:54 pm
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    We were born to make history
    Coz we are all fujoshis
    Yeah we need to clear our histories

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  • September 16, 2018 at 11:29 pm
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    Literally cannot wait until Ice Adolescence comes out lololol

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  • September 25, 2018 at 11:44 am
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    I dont agree… They should rush more… it was sometimes a little bit boring because it was sooo much ice skating and ice skating and…

    And I also dont agree that the screen time of the stories of the competitors is too short. I think its perfect that we dont get to know the whole fucking life of 20 characters… but we get an insight to the “enemies“ and realize that behind everyone is huge story!

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  • September 25, 2018 at 11:53 am
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    I dont agree with ANYTHING you say… not because I am such a fan but because you just seek the bad of a series but anything you criticize IS bad… every point you criticize I find just PERFECT just how it was made!

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  • October 9, 2018 at 4:28 am
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    DAMN ! i love how people ….all of a sudden…. become specialized experts when it comes to the anime/ manga industry. This master piece was shelved several times for the lack of interest from the powers that be…. meaning …. the bank didn't want to back the idea. This creation was out of the blue… meaning it didn't have the backing of statistics from the sales of a manga or gaming series to give the banks a little more security for their bucks. With that said, it's quite the miracle that Y.O.I. got made and for that i'm eternally grateful !…Also to all the so called fujoshi and fudanshi out there….this is not considered YAOI… if anything it's closer to shounen ai.

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  • October 14, 2018 at 4:06 pm
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    And then the movie is announced…

    All hell broke loose in the fandom

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  • November 9, 2018 at 1:22 am
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    Wait… victuuri is real?

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  • November 11, 2018 at 7:48 pm
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    I'm so exited for the movie in 2019 so exited

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  • November 17, 2018 at 12:54 am
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    Okay, honestly, I only managed to watch 10 minutes of this vid. You do point out to some interesting elements, like the creators being forced to make compromises due to the length and budget of the show (the 8-second flashback during Yurio's performance was probably inserted due to that), but a lot of what you say is, I'm sorry, bs.

    Entwining the backstories of the characters with their perfomances and the narratives of the performances makes up for a very dynamic result. Sure, it might feel like wasted potential, but they are SECONDARY characters. We get decent in-depth exposure for Yuuri and Yurio, because – together with Victor – they are the main characters of the show. If we got as much exposure to the other skaters, it would distract the viewer from the protagonists, feel messy, unnecessary and lengthy. If the backstories were cut out altogether, the characters would fall flat and the viewer wouldn't feel the need to invest in them. The way it is, you either love or hate every single one of them, but you do form a bond and recognise even the skaters that dropped out after a single competition.

    As you move on to rant about internal monologues and telling-not-showing, you prove that you have NEVER watched figure skating. As a fan of the sport, I can't begin to tell you how genuine YOI depiction of the competition feels to me. The skaters' internal monologues are something every fan has wondered about, "what are they thinking while skating?" We can only guess that some skaters will imagine the stories their programmes tell, other will focus on the technique, some will berate themselves, lose their composure, try to make up for lost points. This isn't a case of "telling-not-showing", it's a study of different skaters' metal state during the competitions.

    The world of figure skating aside, Yuuri's breakdown is a brilliant scene and I say this as a person who majored in narratology. It is exactly the intertwinement with the performances that makes the scene stand out rather than overwhelm the viewer with the intensity of the events in the parking lot. Otherwise, to preserve the seriousness of the breakdown, the creators would have to turn the scene into a melodrama of tears, quarrels, and sentimental apologies. Meanwhile, inserting the pieces of performances gave us a breather from the drama, while, concurrently, peaking our interest with short hiatuses. While we're hooked on the lovers' quarrel, we are reminded that time is running out, Yuuri's turn is getting closer and closer while he's a mess and that stresses him out even more (if that's not show-don't-tell I don't know what is – not only are you shown that Yuuri's stressed out, you are made to feel the same way!).

    The lack of explicit resolution in the breakdown scene boosts it even more narration-wise. The thing I personally hate about American narratives is how you handle most of the love plots. It's usually tears, drama, hugs and overwhelming explicitness that doesn't even pass as fanservice. Who needs that? All we have to do is take a single look at Yuuri and Victor's faces to know they sort-of made up but not really because there was no time to really talk things through, and Yuuri is still sulty while Victor's worried and helpless. Plus, while anime generally gives a false impression about this, the Japanese are actually very timid and reserved when it comes to romantic relations. This is best seen during the famous engagement scene which couldn't be more straightforward when you're acquaintanced with Japanese mentality. Both the breakdown and the engagement scene lack an excplicit resolution because they don't need one. From narratological point of view, a story is told not only by the medium (i.e. the book, the TV show, the film…) but also by the mind of the reader/viewer. We fill in all the blanks the story leaves out for us. Doing so craftily (as YOI does) is not a flaw – it's the best strategy to make the viewers invest and fall in love with the characters. The vast popularity of fanfiction (in general, not only for YOI) is the best evidence that rather than be provided with every single information the fans prefer to weave the skipped events in their heads.

    The last point you made before I went "screw this vid" was about the spectators internal monologue. And once again, you prove your utter ignorance in terms of figure skating. This isn't a sport like football with people shouting, commenting, swearing and drinking beer. During figure skating performances, people generally SHUT UP to admire it in complete focus. Recently, even most commentators have started to limit their voice-over during performances and wil only name jumps and sometimes point towards mistakes. Only today when the world champion was about to skate, the Russian commentator at Eurosport (and usually they hardly shut up!) briefly listed the jumps planned in the programme and said he was going to stay silent for the rest of the performance so as not to disturb the viewers. So, again, providing the spectators' internal monologues was a step towards genuity of the depiction. I do, however, acknowledge that at the same time it was probably the creators acceptance of their inability to fully represent visually that a skater has improved over time or that his performance is stunning so that an amateur in terms of figure skating would notice. Still, for the most part the creators make up for this fallacy in a way that felt natural to me.

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  • November 21, 2018 at 6:56 pm
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    I wanna see the 2nd season already djvnaogke dndsk do jdskskdjjdskakjkcjdnhfnnakxkcjsksksjsjsksjsjksskkkssksksksjsjsjsjkk did

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  • November 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm
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    Yoi is my go to anime to just watch when I’m down. It has good themes of love either it be unconditional, sexual or unrequited. It showed me that love is never black and white. And to care for those does not mean to just “be there” for them but to lift them up. You may fall. You may tire hell you may want to quit but having that bond that ties two souls together with such intensity will make people stand back up and dust themselves off. Yuri on ice oddly enough made me understand love better than some life experiences. (Which sounds lame I know) but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my gay skaters.

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  • November 24, 2018 at 6:10 pm
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    I do admit that 12 episodes is not enough. I don't really get much details about the other skaters like Leo or Emil, the same goes for the people in Hasetsu. We also didn't get Viktor's backstory, though it might not have been mentioned yet (I haven't read the manga so idk hehe)

    As much as I love watching them skate, I'd also like to see their stories. Guess its time to wait for the next season!

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  • November 29, 2018 at 1:54 am
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    I loved this series and expected to disagree, but I can't agree enough with all of these points — particularly regarding the voice-over monologues. If the show could do such a good job conveying Yuri and Victor's emotional development, it's super frustrating to see them lean on the world-muted, slow-mo, Anime Monologue crutch for so many other characters. Like Mommy's Basement said, it's about trusting the audience to "get it," and we feel a lot better about a show when it actually does.

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  • December 3, 2018 at 7:58 am
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    Thanks so much for your super helpful constructive critique. We need more reviews like this to improve the quality of the onscreen entertainment that we consume these days.

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  • December 7, 2018 at 10:25 am
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    30day? I watched Yuri on ice in a day

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  • December 11, 2018 at 11:33 pm
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    You make some good points, especially about the "Can't take their eyes off him!" bit

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  • December 15, 2018 at 8:34 pm
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    Personally I think this is one of the few shows where the internal monologue really worked as I felt it was part of their performance. To me it was about personifying the intense emotion of figure skating and how they pulled themselves through their performances.

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  • December 19, 2018 at 12:57 pm
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    You have a point. But I think they mostly involve the other characters‘ reaction and thoughts for it not to get boring ? Yuri on ice is an anime about figure skating, not everyone might find it interesting, even more if we see the routines multiple times. I think what you say is right, up to a certain point. They did not have enough time and place to fully develop every side characters and that’s a pity.

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  • December 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm
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    A no.

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  • December 27, 2018 at 1:02 am
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    But seriously… We all love Victuri and we need them to get married ASAP

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  • January 19, 2019 at 6:10 am
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    i watched yoi very quickly in a few days, and i had an absolute blast & had no idea what happened other than that i loved every single character. going back and watching it a second time was an eye-opening experience, and even though i still love it because hell fucking yeah, it does seem hectic in many parts. however, as someone with anxiety (though not a career in performance— i could never, godspeed to anyone who can) it was still difficult for me to watch them perform routines and receive scores, just as much as it was hard to watch yuuri panic before so many competitions and decisions— it hurts me to watch, and i think it’s clouded my judgement on the impact of the scenes based on their actual construction versus my feelings about it. this was way cool to see another, more objective view on it :^)

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  • January 24, 2019 at 1:40 pm
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    Heh. Gayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

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  • January 27, 2019 at 7:32 am
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    I love Yuri on Ice! but I wish they did like My Hero Academia and slowed the paced of the show. One episode of Yuri on Ice! would of been 6 episodes of My Hero Academia.

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  • January 29, 2019 at 12:43 pm
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    Thank you
    You criticzed the anime (which I really like, but much more for the animation for figure skating and Yurio's character cause he is amazing) pointing the flaws and reasoning them without the "it's fujoshi stuff" or "overrated"
    Thank you!!

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  • January 29, 2019 at 1:37 pm
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    Sequel!!!!!

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  • February 6, 2019 at 3:32 am
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    i saw the title and i was geoff i hope tf not

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  • February 6, 2019 at 7:59 am
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    Imagine if Yuri on ice was a 24 episode series. That would have helped the pacing issues a lot more.

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  • February 22, 2019 at 12:34 am
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    What would be better is if they brought the show back!!!!

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  • March 5, 2019 at 3:09 am
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    this show made me cry my eyeballs out more than any anime ever has, which is strange. it wasnt even that sad, it just made me incredibly emotional. every time i even think the show i just turn into a puddle of goo. maybe its because im just sad i dont get to see more of victor and yuri, or maybe its because i know i'll never have a relationship as cute as theirs lmao

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  • March 17, 2019 at 6:01 pm
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    Just wait for the movie this year

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  • March 28, 2019 at 5:01 pm
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    These videos are always spot on. Trusting the audience could have helped a lot!
    I was sure they cut away from the skaters constantly to save money by not animating them, but it sure could have been done better.

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  • May 13, 2019 at 3:51 pm
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    i love that persona poster in the background

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  • June 13, 2019 at 6:46 am
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    You gonna do the openings you said you would get to at 2:05?

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  • June 19, 2019 at 11:39 am
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    I mean just the poster for Ice Adolescence looks beautiful so

    👍

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  • June 29, 2019 at 6:53 pm
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    I always thought Yaoi on ice seemed cool on the surface.

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  • July 2, 2019 at 1:32 am
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    me: hasn't finished the show
    geoff: spoilers!!!
    me: ehh
    also me: is surprised when i see a spoiler

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  • July 29, 2019 at 11:08 pm
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    I think the misstep was having more than just Yuri’s and Yurio’s dances shown more than once. We see them perform their short program 4 times each and free skate programs 3 times each.

    We didn’t need to see every skater perform each of their acts more than once it ate at a lot of screen time.

    My only criticism is that it doesn’t have enough story. I found myself fast forwarding during a few of the acts bc it wasn’t grabbing my attention enough.

    Really hope it gets renewed

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