One of the things I adore about the banquet reveal was how well everything came together at once, and you get this epiphany moment I hadn’t experienced since reading Fight Club for the first time. It pulled together not only the most obvious pieces of the story (e.g., poor Victor’s desperation to get laid in the first 3 episodes), but also the tiniest lines, and the latter is what I wanna talk about.
The attention to detail on this show makes me lose my mind. There’s so much work that has to be done to get foreshadowing to work properly; I think your audience should be smacking themselves with the realization that “we were told, but we didn’t listen!” and YOI managed to do that with at least a couple short lines that came quickly and unassumingly and left just as quick. The first line I noticed was in the first episode, and it’s something Yuuko says after Yuuri performs Stammi Vicino for her:
“A perfect copy of Victor.” You have no idea how much that line bothered me, because, based on all the evidence we had in the first couple episodes, there was no reason Yuuri should be a perfect copy of Victor! Stammi is a song about longing for another/something and not being able to reach them/it. We knew early on what this song means to Yuuri; we knew already that Victor was Yuuri’s idol and Yuuri’s version of the skate could easily be (and probably is/was) about him. Yuuri was where he perceived to be at the rock bottom of his life, so it makes sense for him to feel that sort of longing. Therefore, the comparison to Victor, a playboy at the top of the world who can have anything/one he wants at any moment, seemingly made no sense.
(Funnily enough, I remember tagging a gifset of Victor skating Stammi with something along the lines of “i’d like to see his skating post-yuuri, i’m interested in how different it would be,” oh past me, you had a big storm comin!)
The other one occurred in episode 5 at the Japanese regionals. During Yuuri’s Eros, he says this:
And I remember being like “?????what????why????” well-crafted shows never bring attention to something we already know about unless it’s incredibly important to the story.
We all know the original Eros story: playboy comes into town, seduces most beautiful woman, leaves her heartbroken in the end. The moment Yuuri identified himself with the woman in the story in episode 3, the woman becomes a stand-in for Yuuri. Any time the woman is mentioned after this point, it’s specifically about Yuuri.
Anyway, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, Yuuri changes the story around. The woman, Yuuri himself, leaves at the end of the story and breaks the heart of playboy instead. I think at this point in the series, it’s valid to identify Victor with the playboy since, you know, that’s who Yuuri’s trying to seduce outside of the story.
(lol also they have a shot of Victor when he says “love-crazed couple,” like……subtle guys…….)
Now, there’s a difference between lines for the audience and lines for the characters. I think this one falls under both categories.
Pre-banquet reveal, this can only be interpreted as character development for Yuuri. He’s gaining confidence and can create the idea that he could have the power over another person to break their heart. This is a huge step for Yuuri and his self worth.
That’s the line in-canon, or the line for the characters as I said above. Here’s the line as for the audience.
Post-banquet reveal, we can now interpret that line as a massive hint to us about the true Eros story! The sentence is not only Yuuri’s progression through his arc, but also foreshadowing for the audience to pick up on later!
I love this show!!
(moral of story: if something you’re watching or reading has a line, or a look, or an event that’s repeated or specifically brought attention to, even in the most casual way, it’s probably something you should look for later. it’s gonna be important.)