I don’t know if anyone has pointed this out yet, but I wanna say something about episode 9 that barely has anything to do with Yuri or Victor.
Right here we have the common anime character with a strong sister complex. These characters seem to pop up every so often in animes and a lot of the time, it’s a totally normalised thing and the feelings are mutual and it’s sometimes even seen as more normal than the homosexual (not to mention sometimes really unhealthy) relationships that rarely show up in mainstream animes (that end up being shown only to more mature audiences because of the censorship).
But Yuri!!! On Ice doesn’t normalise it. Sure, you might be able to feel a little bit of empathy for him because he seems heartbroken and everything, but that’s it. They point out the fact that this love that he has for his sister is unhealthy and unacceptable. Sara doesn’t accept his feelings for her. She tells him to move on, that they will be fine on their own. That he needs to let go. And he does. He finally lets go of his sister and frees her because he knows that what he wants isn’t mutual. And that really spoke to me.
This anime is more than willing to normalise the obvious homosexual couple (the two even practically say they never want to leave each other). Rather than focusing on the cheap, “Oh, they’re gay, how scandalous, let’s have five episodes with Yuri focusing on how he isn’t gay,” troupe, they get to have a loving relationship where the feelings are mutual, where it’s healthy and they care about and support each other and they don’t have to focus on how they’ll make it work because they’re just so in love with each other. And the relationship that could have been an incestuous one wasn’t regarded as more “normal” or “acceptable” just because the characters would have been in a heterosexual relationship. The creator of this anime is more than aware of what love should be like and how it should be portrayed rather than giving the audience the same exact thing they’ve seen fifty thousand times before just because some other show got away with it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Yuri!!! On Ice is one of my most favourite animes, not just in the sports genre anymore, but in general because for once the creator of it actually put a lot of time and care into this show and is going to present it exactly as they envisioned it without fitting into any moulds or pleasing the people who have to air it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really need to.