I’ve been toying with the idea for a long time that some of the things Yuuri says, especially in the first couple episodes, are not exactly the truth and should be looked into farther. Honestly, we knew Yuuri was unreliable the moment the show opened–he referred to himself as “dime-a-dozen,” when he is literally the only male skater certified by the JSF within canonverse.
And he made it to the GPF, you know? He’s one of the top 6 skaters in the world, right off the bat! It took us a few episodes to understand Yuuri’s character to realize the context of these statements, but we figured out pretty early on that Yuuri is the embodiment of Unreliable Narrator™. Especially after ep10, jfc.
Anyway, why I’m bringing this up is because Kubo seemed to confirm a little theory of mine I’ve had stewing for a while and I wanted to share it with you.
So. Episode 1. The commemorative photo scene.
I wanna first establish that this scene took place before the banquet. During the series run, sometime just afterwards, and occasionally even now there’s debate over when that scene took place. It wouldn’t make sense to happen after the banquet because they’re not only still wearing the team jackets, but they’re also wearing passes
The outside sign has information about the competition
and Victor is talking to Yuri about his routines
which he probably wouldn’t do if it was up to a day later.
We know how the rest of the scene goes. Victor seems to not recognize Yuuri at all, mistakes him for a fan, asks if he wants a photo, and then Yuuri leaves, thoroughly humiliated. Or, at least, that’s Yuuri’s version of what happened. I think generally everything that was said got said, all the movements and series of events were the same, but the implications of the offer were different.
I have multiple anxiety disorders. When I remember something that I felt was a misstep or caused embarrassment, I always remember it slightly off. A person’s tone is more mocking or condescending, my reaction is worse than it was. There’s a lot of shame when it comes to anxiety and your mind immediately assumes you’re viewed to be–and are–on a lower pedestal than everyone else. Yuuri, clearly, has severe anxiety, so I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to think that, since this is from his perspective, maybe reality is a bit different than what he is able to give us.
Anyway, my thoughts had no basis, so I’ve kept them to myself, but then Kubo came out and said this:
and then the fanbase lit up in flames because Victor know Yuuri was a fan before the banquet. But this also implies one thing I got super excited about: Victor has seen him skate, before the commemorative photo scene.
meaning that everyone’s preconception that Victor mistook Yuuri for a fan has been completely blown out of the water.
So, why would Victor ask him about a photo then?
I think it’s important to keep in mind that Victor likes to make people feel good about their abilities. He likes teaching others, and he likes motivating them too. He gets pleasure out of seeing people rise to their potential.
Although he’s flighty and kind of an airhead, and tends to ignore what he doesn’t find interesting, I don’t think Victor would ignore the scorings or the competitors landing below 3rd place. Victor clearly knew that Yuuri fell to last place, hard. This is just speculation, but maybe Yuri mentioned to Victor the incident with Yuuri crying in the bathroom. Or, perhaps Victor had already seen the press about Yuuri: he’s notorious for losing his nerve during competitions and failing to meet his potential. When Yuuri goes down, he tends to crash and burn.
(also honda’s words imply yuuri usually performs very well)
Victor likes making people happy and better versions of themselves. Now he’s faced with the competitor who fell to last place, staring at him a few feet away. A competitor who is known for his anxiety and tendency to shy away from others. A competitor who just so happens to be a fan. So, what is Victor to do to help Yuuri feel better, or even open up a bit?
Initiate conversation. Try to reel him in to interacting with an open, non-threatening question and a tried-and-true welcoming smile.
Victor didn’t mistake Yuuri for a non-competing fan, he knew who Yuuri was and was just trying his best to make Yuuri feel better. Victor, as we’ve seen throughout the series, resorts to giving comfort through action rather than words first and foremost. Unfortunately for him, this is not what Yuuri needs.
It backfired. But I think Victor had good intentions. They were strangers so it’s not like Victor could just walk up and start a motivating speech. He tried to invite Yuuri to talk to him, someone Yuuri looked up to, and maybe they could talk and Victor could brighten his day?
Victor wasn’t very tactile, and Yuuri didn’t stand his ground and identify himself, so they got nowhere with that.
I’m so glad Kubo said this. This face looks like a combination of surprise and disappointment, perhaps not only in Yuuri rejecting him but also in himself for not being able to help.
and this face
looks more concerned and surprised that Yuuri showed rather than like “oh shit, he’s a competitor.”
Poor Yuuri. Poor Victor. They really need to communicate better.