In the last month and a half you’ve probably seen a whole bunch of blog posts coming out as part of ‘OWLS’. OWLS (Otaku Warriors for Liberty & Self Respect) is a group of bloggers who promote the existence of all peoples, regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, religion, gender or disability. Each month OWLS chooses a theme to write posts for that reflect our beliefs and help promote equality. This month, all the OWLS bloggers are writing about ‘Yuri on Ice’ with the theme ‘flight’. If you are interesting in joining OWLS click here.
Yuri on Ice “Flight” Blog Tour
An individual takes flight when there is a goal, a dream, or an ambition that he or she wants to achieve. However, for this blog tour, we are going to look at “flight” in different lenses: the underdog’s dream, the possibilities that Yuri on Ice allows viewers to think about, and also the dangers of greed and ignorance that can influence one’s dream.
Life and Love have been discussed for thousands of years, in art, poetry, music and any other type of media you can think of. Everybody wants to find love, and everybody wants to live their life to the fullest. But the world isn’t so simple, life in itself can be a rollercoaster, taking you to new highs and the deepest of lows This was also discussed (briefly) by Victor in one of the last episodes – how he found life and love after coaching Yuri. In my blog piece, I want to discuss how ‘Yuri On Ice’ helps characters take ‘flight’ through experiencing life and love in their skating routines. Make sure to check out Rai’s blog piece from Wednesday, and the upcoming blog on Monday by Pink Chan! Check out the full schedule over here.
Eros & Agape
When Victor gives Yuri and Yurio their individual routines, they were surprised when they were given opposite ones. Yuri, the quiet sweet boy with no romantic experience was given Eros, erotic love. The hot headed Yurio was given innocent love – Agape. By connecting to these two opposite forms of love, Yuri and Yurio were able to find different sides to themselves, sides that ultimately help them achieve their goals.
Both of them struggle with their assignments, but it was the young Russian hothead that breaks through it first. Yurio looks back at his relationship with his grandfather, and the unconditional love and support given to him throughout his life. He uses his emotions to transform himself, he is no longer the erratic, spark plug of the ice skating world. In both his routines, he becomes a prima ballerina telling a story of tenderness, and sweet kind love. Through the lens of agape, Yurio also learns to connect to other people, notably Otabek, the stoic skater from Kazakstan. He begins to open himself up, and even, we as audience, see a new side to Yurio. He truly care about the people around him, he may be a bit harsh, but he truly wants his friends to be happy. Even with Victor, his anger towards Victor wasn’t from a selfish desire for Victor to teach him, but concern over Victor ‘throwing’ away his talents.
Yuri on the other hand is the sweet country boy, with big dreams. His self-confidence isn’t particularly high, and he can be a little bit meek. But the ‘Eros’ routine, which, lets all be honest, is about Victor, gives him a new dimension. He portrays himself (in line with the music’s story) as the most beautiful woman in town, not as the handsome playboy, he is the woman who seduces all who lay eyes on her. Victor helps Yuri rediscover his passion for skating and to overcome the devastating pressure he puts onto himself. Every time that Yuri does his route, it is for Victor. Every movement he connects to his love for Victor, how he desires Victor to only look at him, to only love him. This desire is what pushes Yuri, it’s not that he didn’t want to become great before, but now he has a newfound purpose to become the best. To show the naysayers and everyone that not only has Yuri been reforged into a great skater, but that Victor belongs to him
Through their routines, the characters are constantly interacting with these ideas of love. They use these ideas as a lens to reflect to on their life experiences, to appreciate the people they have around them, and to gain renewed confidence. The characters of Yurio and Yuri take ‘flight’. ‘Love’ and ‘Life’ has pushed them to new heights, they’ve become stronger individuals, and ultimately, it’s helped them achieve.
When It Doesn’t Work Out
Georgi Popovich’s routine first appears during the China Cup. With Victor no longer skating, he sees himself as the new top skater in Russia, and he certainly has the potential to be. His entire program is dedicated to his ex-girlfriend, Anya. In the short program he depicts himself as an evil witch, casting a spell on Anya, in the free program he is the prince that breaks the spell. His girlfriend had left him for another man, and his routine was designed to try and win her back. But that’s where he went wrong. His entire routine, and entire process was dependent on another person, on their reactions and applause. Where Yuri and Yurio’s routines were inspired by another person, ultimately their routines were focused on discovering new aspects about themselves.
Georgi’s first short program goes well, and he is placed second in the competition. He uses the program, in a way, as a catharsis. The break up could have been shocking and obviously not mutual, he has a form to vent his anger and pain. But it’s the second program where he looks to Anya for approval, he fails. She’s moved on, and is not impressed, a thumbs down, sends him into a spin. He looses a medal place, and is distraught. His skating should have been for one person – himself, but he latched too tightly on a love that was already gone, and he was desperate to get it back.
Ultimately Yuri and Yurio succeed in their routines because they view the ideals of love and life holistically, and learn from them. Where Georgi’s routine is filled with bitterness and regret, Yuri and Yurio ascend to new levels, rather than focusing on the past, they constantly seek to improve themselves. ‘Yuri on Ice’ shows that it doesn’t matter the gender, race, ability nor sexuality of an individual, you just need to find someone that will support and love you. An individual that guides you through love and life, but gives you the chance to gain independence and learn for yourself. That support can be an inspirational driving force, showing new sides to yourself, and ultimately helps you take ‘flight’.