In episode 7 of Yuri!!! On Ice, Victor and Yuuri share what is almost definitely a kiss on the ice. However, this kiss is blocked from view by a conveniently placed arm, as seen below:

Yuuri and Victor kiss

Some people have said that the kiss wasn't directly shown because of Japanese censorship laws, while others have said it is just part of the norm of ignoring queer relationships in Japan. Is there any truth to either argument and any precedent or law to back it up?

  • 3
    Just to play Devil's Advocate: how can one say it's a kiss and not an overly affectionate hug? Bear in mind I'm saying this as one who will likely not see this anime and an seeing this gif for the first time.
    – Makoto
    Feb 22 '17 at 6:14
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    It's obviously impossible to know for certain, but if you look at where their faces are (shown in goo.gl/images/GauUUx), spacing wise the most logical explanation is that they are kissing.
    – kuwaly
    Feb 22 '17 at 6:16
  • I've seen people comment that there's no real legal reason for censorship, and that it's more about cultural norms, which I find convincing as an explanation, but I also don't have anything to back that up.
    – Maroon
    Feb 22 '17 at 7:03
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    @Makoto: the implication is somewhat stronger with the bit preceding it, I think.
    – Maroon
    Feb 22 '17 at 7:06
  • 1
    In Naruto, Naruto and Sasuke, both are guys, had something you can call "kiss scene". So I would think there shouldn't be a problem showing this kiss. Feb 23 '17 at 21:47

I'm a little late to the party, but I think it might be more of an artistic choice than anything else.

Victor's arm is probably there to protect their own private moment together instead of it being due to censorship reasons.

There's a post on tumblr here that cites Kubo-sensei's tweet as an 'official' confirmation of the kiss. I'm a complete novice at Japanese, so the reliability of this source completely hinges on the OP's translation. If the source is right, however, and Kubo-sensei's tweet indeed heavily implies that the kiss is in fact, canon, then I don't think censorship is really much of an issue here.

Some have cited the cultural norm being the main reason like you mentioned, but I think it doesn't really hold if you examine what happened in the later episodes. They proposed and literally got engaged with gold bands on their fingers, and if the entire series was meant to be reflective of the queer culture in Japan, I kind of doubt that would happen.

What I have said is just mere speculation though; please take it with a pinch of salt.

  • FWIW there's some notion of a social backlash in the commentary here, but I doubt that was responsible for the kiss being hidden, since this appears to be more an issue of whether or not the implied kiss was going to be shown in the first place.
    – Maroon
    Jun 23 '17 at 21:56

I think maybe it's not about ignoring queer relationships mostly because how much money they make off of yaoi, etc. I think they blocked the view because they want to make people excited and wonder was it a kiss or a hug. I think they are saving the real relationship in the second season.

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