Davai! (Or why Otayuri actually wins the world)
(Tweets by @Aki_the_Geek)
I’ve been thinking a lot about this comment of Kubo-sensei’s. It’s just the most adorable thing I have read in a while. I am not the biggest Otayuri fan, but only mostly because they’re seriously too young for me at this point. I do like their tandem, however, and I am enjoying the attention they are getting recently with the official photos and everything.
This comment, though, just paints such a cute picture for me: Otabek as a god of victory, like a mystical butterfly who ignores and flits past everyone else but chooses to rest on one particular mortal’s shoulder and bless him with strength and victory.
Listen, this is what is great about what Kubo-sensei said. Yuuri Katsuki has the gold rings that connect him to Viktor as his lucky charm - we know this. BUT! Yuri Plisetsky’s lucky charm, on the other hand, is Otabek Altin.
Yuri’s a great character. He is an angry teenager, but also a talented one who has big dreams and the actual skills to achieve those dreams. From the very beginning, we know this. It was even a point he has above Yuuri Katsuki.
He aims to win and does not see what others might consider obstacles. So what if it will be his first Grand Prix? He’s awesome. He won the juniors series. He can win as a senior, too.
Yuri, however, is also very immature. He is pretty poor at expressing himself and seems to shortcut through having to process most personal encounters and interactions by just being angry all the time. Affection for others embarrasses him, which is why he gets so high-strung around Viktor and Yuuri.
(I can’t really blame the kid, though. Those two just have no chill. They’re embarrassing.)
Interestingly though, Yuri seemed to calm down after Otabek came in the picture. It’s a complete 180. Yuri still had that passion, but somehow it became more tempered, less angry and more focused - so much so that the moment Otabek came in, Yuri broke a world record and then proceeded to win his first Grand Prix Final.
I am not saying that it is Otabek’s doing, like an actual god of victory. That would be ridiculous, and it’s more an expression than anything else. The timing is just pretty neat, and isn’t that how people develop lucky charms in the first place? You happen to have them right at the moment of a great win. It is also not as if Otabek was completely useless. He did provide a friend to Yuri, who thus far had been going on without someone he can actually call a friend. Everyone around him were either older than him, a competitor, a mentor or a teacher. I think Otabek calmed Yuri down by reminding him that he can just be himself… well, a cool version of himself anyway. Yuri actually sort of acted his age with Otabek around. For instance, this?
I thought Yuri was kind of cool-guy-posing here - you know, acting chill, even looks kind of smug. Lol, this reminded me so much of my younger brother when he was about Yuri’s age. He was such a useless brat at home and was pissed off at everything and nothing 99% of the time, but the moment his friends came over or one of them called him on the phone, he sort of became this cool version of himself - wittier, sharper, less fidgety. Lmao, his voice even became deeper. Smh at these boys…
What I also love about Otabek’s character is that he reminds us of Yuri’s name. Names are a big deal, okay, and I thought that Yuri being Yurio was kind of like him being a secondary character to Yuuri Katsuki - Yuuri #2, if you will. Ever since episode 2, Yuri is Yurio, and for every episode hence, he is Yurio. It was actually a bit of a shock to me when Otabek yelled this out in episode 11:
I was literally, “Oh yeah, that’s Yurio’s name.” I know Yakov and Lilia call Yurio by his name, but somehow it was when Otabek was calling him by this did Yurio become Yuri to me again. My theory is that it is Otabek’s manner, this I-know-you-call-him-Yurio-and-I-don’t-care-because-his-name-is-Yuri attitude he has going, that is somehow more convincing than anyone else. It is as if no one else matters in his world than Yuri Plisetsky. It is ridiculous to call him by anything other than his name because to Otabek, Yuri is Yuri #1. He probably calls Yuuri “the other Yuri”, “the Japanese Yuri” or just plain “Katsuki”.
So yeah, Otabek enters Yuri’s life and now Yuri has that source of affirmation that is outside family, who is a peer and even a close contemporary. He is no longer fighting alone. Yuri’s a strong guy, but he is still a kid, and at that age people can be quite vulnerable. No 15-year-old is so self-sufficient and self-confident that they can stand on their own at all times - at least not to my knowledge. That is why I love this friendship and why I love that Otabek came along. I think his coming triggered something that Yuri has long been building throughout the series but has yet to stabilize - his strength, his growth, his maturity as a skater as well as a person.
And actually, Yuri did win in the end. I think the series did not celebrate Yuri’s win enough and admittedly, even I was on such a high during those last weeks of the show that I could not be happy for him all that much. Episode 11? I couldn’t get over Yuri’s world record; I did not want to see Viktor dethroned. By episode 12, I still couldn’t look Yuri in the face. I was bitter about his world record and I was bitter about Yuuri Katsuki not winning the Grand Prix.
BUT, it’s time to face it: Yuri Plisetsky is amazing. He won the GPF on his senior debut. He beat a world record. His coach is obviously grooming him to be the next Viktor Nikiforov, and actually, the series has been hinting at it before hitting us on the face with it in episode 11 - Yuuri Katsuki is not the next Viktor Nikiforov, but Yuri Plisetsky is. What is more amazing is that he might even surpass Viktor, especially with Yuuri Katsuki as his main rival. Viktor never really had that one rival to push him up further than he thinks he can. We are told that his wins had wide margins from his other competitors. Viktor only had himself to beat each and every time. Yuri, on the other hand, won by a hair’s width and he knows it. He is even more driven now. He will push himself harder than Viktor ever had pushed himself, and that just might tip the scale a little bit more to future Yuri’s favor.
As for Otabek? Nah, he actually does not need to do anything. He is a lucky charm; he just needs to exist. With him around, Yuri is stable, and that’s all that this talented monster skater needs really.
Lol, look at this guy just watching his favorite so proudly:
“I’m not really needed here, but fuck if I’m not staying put to watch and join the cheering.”
Otayuri actually has a lot more going for them, future-wise. They are young, they are talented, and where Viktor and Yuuri are still struggling and see-sawing between victories and losses, Otayuri actually kept a steady climb. We already know and mentioned Yuri’s wins, but Otabek was also actually that steady character from the very beginning who skated well without question and was even the first to qualify for the GPF.
So, yes. In case you are asking, Otayuri is, in fact, the real power couple of the show.
Lmao, TL;DR - Otayuri just trumped Viktuuri and ultimately even stole their gold. The secondary OTP lowkey just beat the main OTP and I, albeit a hardcore Viktuuri shipper and just an Otayuri bystander at best, still find that really hilarious.