I might be completly wrong in this and yall have free pass to come scrub it in my face when YOI ends, but like…. I don’t think the whole point of the show is having an antagonist?
Yes, compared to what we know of almost every character (and the writers put some effort in telling why they skate, what are their motivations and a little bit of everyone’s past), Viktor can seem a little… Off? Because the writers don’t dwell as much on his thoughts, and there’s very little we know about him (except he likes surprising people and he’s bored of winning at this point).
(I mean, look at this smile. It looks really fucking fake, even for someone thats 24/7 cheery af like Viktor.)
And while this might seem a bit iffy, considering we’re already halfway to the end of the show, I kind of just want to point out that Yuri on Ice is, mainly, about Yuuri (duh, Heloisa, you say, but hold on a second). And Yuuri’s development is really tightly walking together with Viktor’s. Through those episodes, it’s clear that Yuuri has a lot of talent and skill. He is perfectly capable of suceeding (as shown by the perfect copy of Viktor’s routine that won him another gold), except for the fact that he’s insecure and a very anxious person. He still pretty much anxious, even by episode 6, when he is able to perform Eros perfectly, as shown by the fact that he is freaking out about being first place. But I think that this is where Viktor comes through: Yuuri is dealing with his feelings way better this time. He is opening up to someone, which we all know he’s very wary of doing. He doesn’t like showing weakness, don’t like people thinking less of him. But he feels safe when Viktor is listening (the beach scene anyone?).
And that’s really important! This is a really nice example of a healthy relationship.
(This is actually the most pure scene is the story of media, fight me on this.)
So, back to my point. Until now, he have been following closely Yuuri’s story, since his failure at the Grand Prix (that wrecked him) and his decision to get back up, to try ice skating, to go “well, I really love this thing, and so I’m going to keep trying, even if my body hurts and I’m tired and upset still”. When Viktor shows up, this resolve strenghtens, and Viktor puts him back on intensive training. Not only that, but Viktor urges him to be more confident and sure of himself. Viktor makes himself available to Yuuri, pushing ever so slightly until Yuuri is able to come to him and talk about what he’s feeling. But! There’s one more thing. It’s not only Yuuri that’s benefiting from it.
(Compare this man’s joy in this pic to the first one. I mean… Yuuri isn’t even close to winning the Grand Prix yet, but Viktor is more happy at his routine – this is before the scores came out – than when he won the gold medal for the 500th time.)
Some speculations have surfaced about Viktor being a very lonely person, which might or might not be true. But well. He was a child prodigy, reached fame at a very young age, and has been in the spotlight ever since, grew under it, every move hyperanalysed to exhaustion. As charming and extroverted as the guy is, that must be tiring. Which probably had a huge impact on his decision to just drop his career and go “well, look at this kid performing my routine better than I did. It would be a shame if I didn’t fly to Japan to coach him”. While we aren’t 100% sure of his full motivations (except Viktor does say that Yuuri creates music when he performs, and that sounds pretty much enough of a motivation, considering that Viktor wants to surprise and be surprised and wants passion, most of all) and past and wishes, etc, etc. What we have of Viktor right now is his development very strongly intertwined with Yuuri’s.
And, I mean… Viktor looks absolutely thrilled with Yuuri. Even more than Yuuri himself because, even when he’s building his confidence, Yuuri is still aware that a) people aren’t taking him that seriously just yet, b) everyone wants Viktor back to performing and c) most think Viktor is wasting his time. So, honestly, tha fact that Yuuri basically raises the middle finger (although, yes, metaphorically) with his performance to every single one of these people, because he doesn’t care how much they cry out, he did fucking stole Viktor. Deal with it, he says. So it’s safe to assume Viktor is more than slightly encouraging Yuuri to think like that.
Would all of this be necessary if Viktor was only doing this because he wants to create a new competitor worth of his time (when, I don’t know, Yurio seems strong enough to steal Viktor of his first place without so much extra care)? Would all this endless flirting and touching and intimacy be necessary to build up Yuuri’s confidence? Would Viktor actually say Yuuri to seduce him just to, you know, build His Straight Friend confidence? Would Viktor do all of this just to get more attention, when the reactions of everyone of their closeness isn’t even of shock at this point? Like, Phichit posts a picture of Viktor half naked all over Yuuri on the internet and the worries are “will people think I’m fooling around before competition?” and not that he’s fooling around with Viktor instead? Besides some embarassed reactions like Minami watching them hug, the whole affectionate thingy isn’t really a surprise anymore. Sure, photographers took a lot of pictures of Viktor and Yuuri hugging during the Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu Championship but, as showed on episode 6, Viktor is all over Yuuri any chance he’s got.
On live television, also… Just like Yuuri’s love confession (also, I super recommend reading this post on Yuuri’s speech. Just read all of OP’s posts because great analysis! And great translations!).
So, anyway, my point is that, if Viktor is doing this for pure and only his personal gain, he takes his objectives really fucking overboard and should get some sort of acting prize.
And my other point is that, if the show ends up making Viktor some sort of evil-only self-absorbed selfish douchebag, it won’t be a plot twist, it will be bad writing and very misleading (and I’m not only saying this because of the past episodes: both the open and ending of the anime are very upbeating; the tone of the anime and its writing are overall light, even when dealing with hard issues; etc).
Also can we just drop the whole narrative of same sex/gender relationships always having heavy drama, because it’s really getting tiring at this point. The drama is the Grand Prix, it’s all these fucking skaters trying their best and falling and getting up again, it’s the literal depression Yuuri went through and is trying to get out of with the help of Viktor and everyone else. That’s enough drama, don’t yall think?