Yuri’s weight issues
I was thinking about Yuri’s weight issues in the first couple of episodes of Yuri on Ice. When I was watching the show with @cassandrexx she commented with surprise on how quickly Yuri lost the weight and it’s true. Given what we see in the first episode, one would expect it to take a lot longer to get down to what Victor deems acceptable (and weight loss that fast would be seriously unhealthy).
But the thing is, Yuri’s appearance alters dramatically, sometimes from shot to shot. For example, there’s a shot of Yuri exercising in episode 1:
A few seconds later, the angle changes and we see him from the back.
He looks considerably thinner in the second shot. Now this could be put down to inconsistencies in the animation (there’s a moment in the airport scene in a later episode when Yuri’s coat changes colour, so the show doesn’t always get it perfectly right), but the thing is, we know Yuri is an unreliable narrator with a heap of self-esteem issues. What if his perception of his weight - and subsequently his appearance in the animation, fluctuates based on his mood?
For example, when Minako first brings up Yuri’s weight, his stomach is bulging out of his shirt:
He’s feeling really self-conscious and when his weight is brought up, he feels huge and his perception of himself changes.
A few minutes later, when he’s discussing other subjects with his sister, the weight isn’t nearly so obvious: He’s still got a bulge to his stomach, but it’s nothing like the picture above.
When he goes to skate, he’s focusing on the program and there’s no stomach bulge:
Even when we see him from the side:
Then, a few minutes later, Takeshi shows up and comments on Yuri’s weight, and we get this:
Either that t-shirt was really holding in his stomach, or the comments made him feel fat again, and thus it translated onto the screen.
Similarly, when Victor talks about Yuri’s weight in episode 2, Yuri’s stomach instantly shoots out when Victor mentions his weight. It’s possible that Yuri was trying to hold in his gut and couldn’t manage it anymore, but I like the interpretation that Yuri’s image on screen is based on his perception of himself.
I have no idea if this was the intention of the creators, but as someone who’s had serious weight-related issues for more than half my life, I like the idea that the show is presenting us with Yuri’s body dysmorphia.