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About micaelis

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    Sparkly Ruffle
  1. General Yuzuru chat

    I found this on a Tumblr devoted to Yuzu and I've not encountered it here although I've barely begun exploring this site (that shows how large the Planet has become). It's a documentary subtitled in English on Yuzu and his dealing with the earthquake and the mental conflicts that almost drove him out of skating. I found myself shedding tears at times. I cannot exaggerate how this is the most extensive media piece on Yuzu and 3/11 (Japan version of US 9/11) I've discovered. If any of you have had any doubts on how deeply Yuzu was effected by the quake and tsunami you won't have after seeing this. The earthquake/tsunami was the most pivotal experience in Yuzu's life so far and this documentary shows you why.
  2. Daily Yuzuru Photos thread

    The second POTO costume on the right is my favorite of all Yuzu's costumes. I wish they all were that marvelous.
  3. General Yuzuru chat

    Get used to it. We all learned from the Big News Blackout at TCC over the winter that Yuzu and his cronies are more than willing to indulge in disinformation campaigns to keep the competition off-balance. For all of us fans around the world we just have to realize that when it comes to strategizing against the enemy we're just cannon fodder in the information wars.
  4. General Skating Chat

    Thank you for the correction. I wasn't sure I was reading things rightly. That's why I pasted in the original text.
  5. General Yuzuru chat

    He's still not fully back, as I read things. Some of the quads he knows are still sort of off-limits. If, however, his 3A is back, then I think he's fairly well off. He just has to unlearn his 3A enough so that he can move forward on the 4A (ie, get his 3A off autopilot so he can work on body memory for 4A). I would love to see him charge into the new season with a fully functional 4A, even if it doesn't have the impressive entry his 3A has. For the other skaters out there the psychological effects would be profound, particularly since I have a suspicion that all the other male elites are working on the 4A. It's like the American/Russian race to the moon back in the '60s. As for the music for this next season, I'm not surprised that it's already been chosen. I've felt that during his long down-time after the injury he decided that he shouldn't waste the opportunity to scout out music for the coming season's programs. I wouldn't be surprised, also, if he doesn't have the basic choreography worked out since he's said in the past that he edits the music envisioning what he plans to skate so that the music actually is chasing after the choreography rather than the reverse.
  6. General Yuzuru chat

    Jump Sequences: a proposed new definition: a jump sequence consists of 2 (two) jumps of any number of revolutions, beginning with any jump, immediately followed by an Axel type jump with a direct step from the landing curve of the first jump to the take-off curve of the Axel jump. Am I reading this correctly? Does this mean that the second element in a jump sequence MUST be an Axel? Above is a cut-and-paste directly from the ISU website. If this is what it seems to say jump sequences are about to become theoretically very very difficult, with Yuzu the only one who can go into a 3A directly the only one who can benefit from it (recognizing that there are two easier Axel jumps before you get to a 3A). If this is the case there are going to be a lot of skaters (meaning, like ALL of them) and their coaches rethinking how to handle jump combinations.
  7. General Yuzuru chat

    Some thoughts on the rule changes - As I've commented before, I think it's Yuzu who will benefit most from the changes. The shortening of the FS means that those who are putting the maximum number of jumping passes into their program and require significant setup time to launch will have less time to spend on other elements - spins, steps, choreo. Yuzu, as one writer here informed me, masks his setups by complex moves rather than just skating all out to get airborne. All those moves are garnering him PCS points. Secondly, the changes in the GOE range from 3 to 5 means that there is greater flexibility in granting pluses or minuses by the judges and if it works the way it's hoped it will, the judges will be less inclined to go full tilt on extras, giving a full five for what can only be described as elements executed beyond perfection. Changes I wish they'd put in would have been increasing penalties for multiple falls - minus one point for the first fall, minus two for a second, etc. That would make skaters more cautious in planning out their programs. They'll be more inclined to skate safe. Another change would be to tinker with the PCS scoring in such a way as to bring it more into balance with TES scores. Exactly how to do that I don't know but I'm sure there must be a way. As for the rule of no duplicated quads, while I think it might work to Nathan's advantage I'd say that Yuzu would still come out the winner there since with the expanded GOEs he'd be able to up his score by doing absolutely beautiful triples, particularly his patented 3A. The person I think will most benefit from this is Stephen Gogolev, who according to Brian (who doesn't generally exaggerate) has been doing all the quads (meaning those other are capable of doing) since the ripe old age of twelve. Stephen still has a lot of growing to do so his jumping may be in jeopardy as the inches pile on and the core migrates to unfamiliar places but I think Brian, after the problems with Nam, is already working on schemes to get Stephen through those difficult times. He has the luxury of having had Stephen as a student since age seven and I wouldn't be surprised if even now Brian's been working with Stephen to get him past the upcoming problems and discussed with him what to expect. In closing, I'm not worried about the rules changes since I see Yuzu as actually benefiting the most from them. It's almost as if the ISU, seeing the quad problem emerging and the imbalance between TES and PCS, looked at Yuzu's skating and put together changes that make his skating the model for others and the one likeliest to score maximum points.
  8. General Yuzuru chat

    Omg is that Yuzu in the centre with his arms up in the air? It's so great seeing him with other skaters! (especially Javi ) It probably is, since it's Fantasy on Ice. Yuzu is the major headliner with FoI so it's normal for them to highlight Yuzu in many ways. Remember that one performance where all the guys are wearing regular fabric trousers but Yuzu's lower half is decked out in PVC (fairly skin-tight, also). Since 2014 Yuzu's always been the last to be introduced in Fantasy performances (saving the best for last). So, as I said, it's probably Yuzu there (Who else might it be?)
  9. General Yuzuru chat

    I have to agree there. The trouble with lists like this is that they are very much apples and oranges type comparisons. The situation here is that there's no real way to factor in the status of an athlete in his/her sport. Yuzu, for all practical purposes, owns figure-skating right now. His stature within the sport is not challenged by any of those in ladies, pairs or dance. I know there are some here who would say I'm exaggerating but really when you compare his stature with any others skating today there's little outside of wins and losses to challenge him. Yuzu owns the men's record book. In terms of the major competitions (Worlds, Olympics, GPF) he is clearly the leader over the last several seasons combined (Medvedeva might rival him here). He has one of the most passionate fanbases of any athlete in any sport. He has a stature within Japan that is on a level that few athletes possess in their sport (the only athletes who might rival Yuzu in terms of prominence within their countries are almost certainly found in soccer/football), particularly in the way that Yuzu has become for many in Japan a symbol for overcoming adversity after the earthquake. In terms of what might be called 'iconicity' Yuzu in Japan rivals the reputations within Canada of Wayne Gretzky and within the US of Michael Jordan. All of these are factors that cannot be incorporated into a survey like ESPN's here. In looking at Yuzu's reputation in Japan the link he has with the earthquake, I am discovering as I explore his past, is quite crucial to understanding his position there. We have to remember that he battled his way to the top in the years immediately after the earthquake but particularly important here is the symbolism of his Sochi gold medal. Within Japan it's safe to assume that virtually everybody knew how he was skating on the ice when the earthquake occurred and how he almost quit skating but was finally able to find a temporary training venue and also was able to find skating time by skating with ice shows. That was a narrative that most Japanese knew. Then comes 2013/2014, his breakout season, when he possesses simultaneously the GPF, Olympic gold medal and World Championship gold, the first man to do that in over a decade. His Olympic gold is most important here, not only because it is a competition that occurs only once in four years but also, for Japan I'm sure this was very important, Yuzu was the only Japanese in Sochi to win a gold medal in any sport. He was Japan's sole gold medal that year. That focused the Japanese on his achievement and I really think, coming after the earthquake, that is what made Yuzu not only a skating hero, but a Japanese hero, a position he continues to occupy. It is Yuzu's connection with the earthquake that makes his particular reputation so unique in Japan and in terms of an athlete's relationship to his home country unique world-wide. Add to that his physical beauty and his engaging personality you find in Yuzu then a Japanese version of the 'boy next door' (an American folk-icon, the boy you'd like your sons to be best-friends with or your daughters to marry). So getting back to ESPN's survey, there is no way that ESPN could have come up with a set of criteria that could have done justice to Yuzu (or actually almost any athlete), since the factors that would be necessary to create a truly meaningful result are too multifarious. In fact it's more than an apples/oranges comparison, it's an entire fruit-basket. Yuzu, however, remains the most delicious and nutritious fruit to be found in that basket.
  10. General Yuzuru chat

    Two things here - Yuzu is the only Japanese on the list. Yuzu is the only figure skater on the list. Beyond that - No Comment.
  11. General Yuzuru chat

    The amazing thing about Yuzu is that he can be so many of these in the space of a few minutes.
  12. General Yuzuru chat

    I'm just sort of wondering - With what we know of Yuzu's musicality and also how he partially choreographs his programs these days, adding to that his ability to get into so many types of music, if Yuzu might put that to use upon retirement and start doing choreography for others. It would give him the opportunity to put his stamp on the sport in the way he's been wanting, that is, to increase the artistic level, particularly to bring into better balance the PCS and TES aspects. He's never mentioned that possibility, as far as I know, but it would certainly be a possibility. That highlights what I think is really mind-boggling when we see how many valid choices Yuzu would have post-retirement - producing ice shows, coaching, commentating (for Japanese media), choreographing, even becoming part of the hierarchy that governs figure-skating. He has the intelligence, the personality, and the talent to be successful in any of those choices.
  13. General Yuzuru chat

    I hate to put myself forward like this but in answer to the question of knowing somebody who has a particular sensibility I can point to myself. When I first became involved with classical music right when I was entering my teens it did not take long for me to begin perceiving certain patterns in music that led me to identify a piece as being by a particular composer as opposed to another one. But in my case it was not just music, but pretty much across the board where I could recognize art works as being by one painter over another and literary works also. Those abilities were not instantaneous but were what evolved as I became more immersed over the years in the fine arts. My ability to identify the style of painters was inestimable in my A'cing every art history course I took in my undergraduate years. It also helped me in developing my writing style as a result of something I developed on my own, rather than in a class, as on my own I would read closely the works of a particular writer and then endeavor to write in his or her style. The point I want to make here is this - I did not learn this in any class nor did I (except in those writing exercises) even develop it deliberately. It just came to me as I listened to more or looked at more or read more and even now if you asked me to describe why a Beethoven piece sounds like his rather than Schubert's I couldn't put it into words. I just sense the things that make Beethoven sound like Beethoven and not like somebody else. It's an inborn talent and if what I read today about him is accurate, Yuzu appears to have the same talent, a talent which allows him to get into a piece of music much more deeply than most other skaters. I think Shoma has the talent but not in a major way. He seems to be sensitive only to classical music (the same for me but partly that's because I've never gotten into non-classical music). Boyang is showing the same sensitivity although it's still in early days for him. Nathan strikes me as almost tone deaf. I think that as Yuzu seems to be the one now who chooses his music and even edits it for his programs that Yuzu's musicality is probably exponentially greater than most other skaters. In his early years, while I think Nanami was probably the guiding hand as far as his musical choices are concerned, she probably might have sensed that musicality he had and allowed him to have a freer hand in choosing his music, an approach more liberal than most coaches do for skaters early in their careers. That, though, is purely speculative, but Yuzu's early years have a breadth of musical styles that show either he demanded or she allowed or even encouraged Yuzu to explore the various styles of music out there. In any case Yuzu has shown over the years an ability to skate to styles of music that are extremely different from each other, even in the context of a single season. Witness the two very different styles, LGC and HL in 2016-17. The breadth of Yuzu's music sensitivity is one that we all should recognize as we speculate on what music he might pick for the upcoming season. I've stated earlier that I really don't think he's going to recycle an older program. His ice show seems to me to have been his way of ending a chapter in his life as a skater and now he's moving forward. I wouldn't be surprised if during those many weeks when he was forbidden to even set foot on the ice he might already have been searching for new music for his future programs. Yuzu has shown an immense talent over the years to move forward on his own, unprompted by others. I await the coming season with bated breath, knowing only that Yuzu will probably not conform to the common wisdom in his choices. He's anything but common. You have his word on that.
  14. General Yuzuru chat

    I wonder how often he practices in his full costume. After all, all those rocks weigh something and I can't see how that additional weight would not factor into his performance, particularly the jumps. Perhaps he use a weight belt or something along those lines. Could any of you who know such things illuminate the rest of us or am I making too much over what is essentially a trivial issue?
  15. General Yuzuru chat

    I wasn't comparing Yuzu to Epke. As you pointed out Epke is mainly flash. My point was that Yuzu doing those three jump combinations was showing how jumping can involve more than just counting how many times you rotate, it can be how many jumps you get into a combination and showing how just like the number of quads in a program you can take things to an extreme. If I were trying to compare Yuzu to a gymnast in terms of quality, as you said a comparison is to be found in Japan itself, Kohei Uchimura. The two of them both share the title of Living Legend.