today it's national day

I think we can all agree that Yuuri’s speech was a central scene this episode, and although I’ve seen a lot of people giving great explanations about Yuuri’s use of 「愛」 in his speech and the difference between 「愛」(ai) and 「恋」(koi) there aren’t many people who go further into his speech than that.

Firstly I’ll just briefly gloss over 「愛」 and 「恋」because what they each connotate in the Japanese language is important to the Yuri!!! on Ice plot

「恋」is kind of like a physical love. It describes one’s longing for someone, but lacks a deeper emotional bond. Used for boyfriend/girlfriend/partner.

「愛」 is a deep love, it encompasses 恋 but also describes emotional love. While it does mean you long for someone, it kind of implies that you’re willing to do, give, or change something to be with them. Used for family/spouse.

***note: on the contrary, while「恋」does imply a physical romance/love, 「恋人」refers to you’re true love, you’d call your fiancé or spouse that, and「愛人」implies someone you’ve had an affair with. So when Victor uses the word 「恋人」…. ;)))

So when Yuuri says
He’s saying his「愛」is not just the physical and emotional love he has for others, his love is literally his relationship with Victor, it is literally his family, and that it is the complicated/abstract feelings he has for others around him (aka Yuuko, Minako, Nishigori). It is a tangible THING such as actions and words as implied by Yuuri’s use of 「物」 instead of 「事」which would describe an idea or a concept.

Another interesting thing to note is when Yuuri says he has “no name for this emotion”
At first I thought Yuuri might have been downplaying his emotions but then I realised it wasn’t that, it was that Yuuri really just doesn’t know exactly what 「愛」is just yet despite describing it briefly before because he’s still exploring what it truly means for him.
Before Victor, we all know Yuuri had a big crush on Yuuko, hell, he was going to confess in the first episode. But that’s all it was, a crush, which would take neither 「愛」nor「恋」, but 「好き」(suki).

Now I’m sure you know the difference between 「愛する」and「好きです」but just in case
「好きです」refers to a wide range of types of “like”. You use it for objects, hobbies, and topics, or people-wise, friends and crushes.

Through Yuuri’s speech, we are witnessing his growth and exploration of what 「愛」is, what it means to him, and who the word applies to. Most prominent are his developing feelings of 「愛」towards Victor. The phrase
Does mean “to hold on to”, but it also means “to fasten” or “to tie”, and this implies that while Yuuri does not want to let go of Victor, neither does he want Victor to let go of him. Yuuri wants to create a mutual bond with Victor, and he has decided to call this bond 「愛」.

As a side note, here’s further meta on Yuuri and Victor’s developing relationship, shown through the episode preview. It’s very short but 
I do think it’s a cute example of them becoming closer to each other.

The first time I attempted to end my life, I was in kindergarten. The girl in class I was infatuated with liked the boy who sat across from her. I spent weeks fixated on this slight. I felt it dig a hole in me. Classroom crushes are routine, sure, but I also had a dad who broke my face in his hands. And a shipwrecked mother anchored to mental illness. So the smallest thing, piled atop everything else, became the biggest thing.

I have struggled with suicidal ideation for thirty-five years. When I was little, I called it other things: Escape. Relief. A self-inflicted act of violence to answer the routine acts of violence. An un-daughtering.

Two of my family members have committed suicide. One on my birthday (Christmas Eve.) A third has made several attempts, as recent as last month. I have been on both sides of the wall. I have seen its aftermath, and I have also bowed to its dark allure.

Today is National Suicide Prevention Day, and I’m thinking of my friends & family who are no longer here to read this. People who, in their worst hour, or maybe in their worst 60 seconds, answered emptiness with more emptiness. Gone. GONE.

If you are feeling like you cannot handle what burdens you, if you cannot see yourself living another day beyond this one, please tell someone you trust. Give them the opportunity to listen to you and support you and guide you through this. If you don’t trust anyone you know, speak with a trained counselor by contacting 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you’re like me and hate talking on the phone, gift yourself a simple mantra. Repeat it over and over until it sticks: What overwhelms me is only temporary. Nothing is bigger than my existence.