There has been a lot of meta posts talking about Yurio’s crush on Yuuri.
Is this still a thing despite having a best friend in Otabek and having managed to stave off Victor and Yuuri’s marriage by winning gold.
While the only ending we saw for episode 12 was Yuuri skating to Victor’s “Stand By Me” and Victor joining in partway through the routine, there was more to it that didn’t make the cut.
As shown in a clip and special manga inclusion on DVD 6, YOI originally planned on showing Yurio’s exhibition skate as well.
You can search for it, but it is very punk, edgy, and shall we say…eros?
Now one could say it was Yurio being the angsty, punk teen he is. But if you have heard about the side manga that is a prelude to the skating exhibition, there’s a tiny bit more to it.
In short, Yurio wanted to do something different. Even though he won gold, he lost the free skate to Yuuri, and it left him feeling very torn up. He wants a routine that is him, one that can exemplify his trust in what he loves. With help from Otabek, he created a very edgy routine, with quite a bit of stomach showing. Not unlike how Yuuri was dancing in their dance-off a year ago.
But prior to going on the ice, Yurio is watching Yuuri’s routine and thinking to himself how much he wants to show off to Yuuri. It is then that Victor appears on the ice to join Yuuri. And in typical Yurio jealousy rage, he calls the two pigs and turns to Obatek and demands he becomes part of his routine to up those two. Which leads to Obatek pulling off Yurio’s one glove with his teeth.
In short, Yurio wanted a routine that was fully him, not one choreographed by Victor or Yarkov. And we all know that he likely very much enjoyed the dance-off with Yuuri last year, enough to keep over 30 pictures, primarily of Yuuri on his phone. And one could very much argue the parallels in the amount of abs Yurio showed off, similar to Yuuri’s drunk dancing.
So Yurio wanted a routine that mimicked his idol, his crush, Yuuri. And he was determined to show it off and grab Yuuri’s attention. But then suddenly his love rival, Victor, joins Yuuri in his exhibition routine, sending the jealousy waves to new heights. And Yurio being Yurio, turns to the only way he knows best – a mix of revenge and competition. So he demands Obatek to join him to attempt to up Victor’s appearance in Yuuri’s routine, and maybe, just maybe, try to get Yuuri jealous.
It’s only additional confirmation of what fans speculated about Yurio’s feelings toward Yuuri. Even though the YOI staff inidicated Victor and Yuuri are endgame, I do thoroughly enjoy Yurio’s crush and behavior, and find it an integral part of his character and role in YOI.