Enough of that. The CCSF is chugging along - the logic puzzle I put together seems to be going over well - the semester is basically over except that I need to email my advisor about some things, and today was Yuri on Ice day!
The first time I saw this episode (at Z's place, during the simulcast, through an HDMI cable) there was a lot of lag... glad that didn't happen when I watched it again on my laptop later. It was so distracting during the skating sequences.
The OP got an upgrade! Are there more splashes of color than before or is it my imagination? It's too late to check right now, I'll rewatch an earlier one in the morning. And backgrounds!
The ring kissing <3 And then again on the ice! "Why matching rings?" Oh, Sala, come on. I guess she hasn't heard yet? (Michele, no. Do not get your sister and you matching engagement rings. That's weird. *stores idea away for fic*) And that flashback we get to them talking about the flip in Hasetsu; Yuuri's pose as he tries to convince Victor, Victor's eyes, and the hug <3 it's so cute. So much so that I paused the video to grab the screencap and save it to my rapidly-growing YoI picture folder, haha.
Yuuri's face on starting his skate kind of throws me off; I'm sure it's supposed to come across as very determined, but it almost seems angry/too focused to me.
Man, the flip though. Victor jumping in time with him was very cute, but oh man, Yuuri's reaction. It was so visceral. I've felt that feel before, and it sucks.
At least it's followed up with the joy that is Phichit :D The budget upgrade hit him hard this week. He was fun to watch and looked like he was enjoying himself so much! And that flashback - so not only does he love hamsters, he has some and lets them crawl all over him, d'aww. (And new details to add to that fic I'm finishing up, woo.) Plus him and Yuuri being so supportive of each other even though they're competing against each other is always great.
I liked that little moment of Lilia fixing Yuri's hair before he skates, I missed that the first time around. His skating is so pretty. Especially that little moment where he's dancing right the flashback to young!Victor, it's just elegant and perfect. He didn't even complain about how hard it is this time.
How bittersweet for Victor - his record just got surpassed by his much-younger former teammate and he's no longer around to take it back. Even if he's happy to move into coaching instead, it must be strange to see the world he's been living in since he was kid - as a legend for years - and have it change and pass while he stands at the side. (Good job for Yuri, though.)
On Chris: "His mature skating and giant quadruple Lutz have bewitched the entire world." Sure, Mr. Announcer guy. That's the part that bewitched them. I still don't feel the appeal (looks like Michele doesn't either, lol) but it wasn't quite as cringeworthy this time. Also, team cat! (And he wears glasses, too? More things to file away for fic.)
I liked Otabek's costume. Not so much the dancing; it was boring, compared to everyone else. Sorry, Otabek. However, I'm glad we got to see a bit of his time training in Russia and his first glimpse of Yuri to add some context to what happened last episode.
Goodness, JJ. People love him so much he gets his own flag runner. But even he can crack under pressure! It was great to see him choke :D I loved that scene where he's falling off the cliff and looking at the other skaters glaring down at him - tough Otabek, rageface Yuri, half-smiling Phichit, and flirty (?!) Yuuri. And Chris, who is just there. I even loved him clawing his way back up.
As a side note, the engagement scene is so different from Yuuri and Victor's - very public, with everyone around, rather than quiet and private...ish (I mean, they're in a church with a background choir but not surrounded by people), and explicit, and we also don't see his girlfriend give him anything, whereas the exchange of rings was so important and focused on for Yuuri and Victor.
...I kind of want fic for those two now. Either one where they're honestly in love but just have a different way of expressing it than Yuuri and Victor (she seemed honestly upset when he crashed), or one where the feelings aren't quite there and they're both kind of the trophy boyfriend/girlfriend. (Am I misremembering or was his girlfriend supposed to have been the head of his fanclub or something like that?? I think I might be thinking someone's fic or headcanon.)
JJ promptly went back into annoying me with the whole "JJ STYLE" after his kiss and cry though. I think he's supposed to be reassuring his fans but oh my gosh shut uuuuup. (Good on Yuuri for not being gleeful over his failure. I will be gleeful on Yuuri's behalf.)
...so it turns out I loved all of the flashbacks. It was a nice way to get into the characters' heads a bit when they all had to have skating sequences (and save budget, I assume).
As for the end: I freaked out a bit the first time I watched. Second time around, not so much. He said, "Owari ni shiyou", not "Wakareyou" or something like that; I feel like the English makes it sound more dire. I predict that he either wants to retire (like he was thinking about back at the beginning) or have Victor quit being his coach (he and Victor both know he's not experienced with coaching), but that doesn't mean them parting. Since right after that we have "I'll be sure to skate my and Victor's love", there's been all the work put into their relationship, and also I just don't want to believe that this anime would throw that hard of curveball at us after all the happiness it's brought. Yuuri retiring would be sad, sure, but that was going to happen in the next few years anyway; and if he wanted to switch coaches again, while he would have to finally for honest with himself about the nature of their relationship that's not a bad thing, either.
I guess we'll find out in 超超超がんばらんば (that title still makes me crack up). Ahhh, I want to read what everyone else is writing about this episode but it's late and I need to get to bed. For the morning! Then get some fic writing done now that I don't have final projects taking up all of my time.
One last thing before I go to bed: when are the stateside blurays coming ouuuut. I don't want to pay for the expensive Japanese ones but I do want to own this series and I'm hoping it gets another animation upgrade on disc.