Kenji Miyamoto: from Choreography to the Rink!

Two more days until Yuri!!! on ICE 9! To help tide us over, here’s another interview with Kenji Miyamoto, from the December 2016 edition of Pash! I’ve also added quite a few links to the Masterpost, so be sure to check it out!

Kenji-sensei with Yuzuru Hanyu on Kenji’s Room

From Choreography to the Rink!!!

Here, we talk directly to Kenji Miyamoto-sensei, who choreographed all of the programs that appear in the show! Just what kinds of emotions and toil did he go through in order to complete those 20 songs? Read more of this post

Yuri and Yurio’s path to the GPF!!


Another week, another Yuri!!! episode! And we got a mention of Pyeongchang, so this has to be set between 2012 and 2018! Chances are that it’s 2016, though, since we’d have heard much more about Pyeongchang if it were Olympic season.

In any case, with the last GP qualifying competition, the NHK Trophy, on this weekend, Jackie Wong of Rocker Stating has taken a look at the skaters that remain in the race in the real world. Let’s do the same and have a look at Yuri and Yurio’s chances! Read more of this post

Kikuchi Yasuhito on making Macross F: The False Diva

Interview with Kikuchi Yasuhito (Technical Director1), from The Macross F The Movie Official Guidebook: Perfect Triangle.

“Turning those strange ideas into reality is what my work is all about.”

A director and episode director, Kikuchi Yasuhito’s association with the Macross series began with The Super Dimensional Force Macross Flash Back 2012, where he was an in-betweener. As a director, he’s worked on titles like El-Hazard: The Alternative World and The Legend of Black Heaven.

Putting together all the materials to produce new visuals

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Kawamori Shōji on writing Frontier, from 2059: Memories


Sorry to have kept you waiting! Amidst all the Yuri!!! madness, I’ve finally made it back to my project on Anime ‘Writing’, with the bonus entry I promised over a month ago. This time, let’s take a look at Kawamori Shōji’s comments on each and every Macross Frontier episode, from the TV series guidebook 2059: Memories. The first five entries are revised versions of what Gubaba posted years ago on a discussion forum…and I must say, I think I understand why he didn’t continue. The text is smaller than that of the main interview, so these were a *lot longer than I thought they were at first glance. So please pardon any strange sounding expressions…by the time I finished it, I really didn’t want to give it another run through! Read more of this post

Kenji Miyamoto literally worked his butt off for Yuri!!! on ICE…

From this video: Rie Arikawa and Kenji Miyamoto performing at Worlds, 2002

A couple of week’s ago, manga artist and co-creator of Yuri!!! on ICE Mitsurou KUBO drew our attention to some of her old tweets. In them, she chronicled former ice dancer and choreographer Kenji Miyamoto performing the programs he’d created so that the animators would have video to work from. Let us now join her in celebrating Kenji-sensei’s heroic efforts back in spring!

Let’s film the choreography!!

We rented the skating rink overnight to film the choreography. Kenji Miyamoto-sensei told us that he’s the type who improves when someone praises him, so we’re like “That tight ass looks absolutely fantastic!” This pic shows Kenji-sensei warming up.
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Kenji Miyamoto on choreographing Yuri!!! on ICE

Kenji Miyamoto
Born on 6 November 1978 in Hyogo Prefecture, he competed as an ice dancer until 2006. Following his retirement, he became a choreographer, and has since worked both in Japan and overseas. He also hosts the currently airing TV show The Figure Skating Oasis♪ KENJI’s Room

NOTES: This is an interview that appeared in this special edition of the Kiss & Cry Mook. As always, this translation is entirely my own, as are any mistakes or misinterpretations (though I sincerely hope there are none – I’d be incredibly grateful if you let me know if you spot any!). Following conventions in the figure skating world, all names in this interview are in first name-last name order, because Miyamoto himself was a figure skater, and because he also talks about some current skaters towards the end. —karice

Special Interview

Behind the scenes of the men’s figure skating anime, Yuri!!! on ICE

A genuine anime about figure skating, with a story plotted out on draft storyboards by Manga creator Mitsurou Kubo, who also designed the characters, Yuri!!! on ICE is currently being broadcast on TV Asahi and various other stations! Here, we ask Kenji Miyamoto, who choreographed the programs for the characters, about what he did behind the scenes.

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Understanding Yuri!!! on ICE: Figure Skating 101!


After an incredibly strong start, the third episode of Yuri!!! on ICE generated some ambivalence—dare I even say, controversy. The spur-of-the-moment “Hasetsu on ICE!!” skate-off saw a quiet flawed program trump an exciting one with perfect jumps. Even I had to agree with a conversation on my Twitter timeline, which lamented how the animation had failed to convince us that Yūri had embodied the “eros” that Victor had demanded of him. Yurio’s monologue came across as a poorly-judged attempt to tell instead of show viewers exactly why he had lost. It simply wasn’t convincing at first glance.

The moment I rewatched the skates, however, I had to change my mind. Other fans—and even a former figure skater—have already elaborated on why Yuri’s skate was indeed better, and also how this was demonstrated through the animation. What I realised, however, is that there’s a fair amount of background knowledge that I draw upon to help me understand what’s going on. So I figured that viewers might appreciate a more in-depth primer about how the sport of figure skating works. Read more of this post

(First impressions) A Silent Voice [Koe no Katachi]


A Silent Voice is my film of the year.

This is not a claim I make lightly. I saw your name. just two days prior to this masterpiece, and I’ll be seeing Godzilla Resurgence this coming week. I’m sure that I’ll also be catching some of next year’s Oscar favourites come Christmas. But even as my mind returns, time and time again, to the story that Yamada Naoko and her team at Kyoto Animation have brought to the screen, my conviction only grows. I simply cannot conceive of anything else giving me anything close to that experience at the theatre.

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(First impressions) your name. [Kimi no Na wa.]


Unlike Kizumonogatari, Shinkai Makoto’s your name. was one of the two films I’d planned to see on my trip late last month. Seeing the trailer all three times I’d been to the cinema in July was one significant factor…but I was also a bit ambivalent about the idea, for Shinkai has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed thinking about his favourite themes regarding human connection in his earlier works—Voices of a Different Star and The Placed Promised in Our Early Days. However, whilst everyone else seems to rave about it, 5 Centimetres Per Second left me a bit cold. Because of that, I’ve yet to see Children Who Chase Lost Voices or The Garden of Words, even now.

In the end however, I gave in to the hype and went off to the theatre. It was still packed even though the film had been doing the rounds for three weeks by then…and I have to admit that I found myself a little bemused seeing a few moist eyes as everyone walked out two hours later. However, whilst my underlying ambivalence about the director has kept me from raving about the film—unlike everyone else who’s seen it, so it appears—with your name., Shinkai has achieved something that none of his other films did: characters that I would actually like to meet again. Read more of this post

(First impressions) Kizumonogatari: Nekketsu


I should probably admit: this film wasn’t initially on my “to see” list when I arrived in Japan late last month. I’ve actually fallen off the Monogatari bandwagon a little—even now, I’ve yet to watch Koyomimonogatari. I also figured that since it had arrived in Japanese theatres on August 19, and because it’s more niche than your name, it would have left Tokyo’s cinemas by the time I got there. As it turns out, I managed to catch it during the last week of screenings in Shinjuku, after hurriedly checking out Kizumonogatari: Tekketsu as well. Since then, as some of you will have noticed, I’ve been working on some of the interviews from the movie pamphlets that you can pick up in Japan.

But enough of the irrelevant background, and on to first impressions. Is Nekketsu worth seeing at the cinema? I’d say…that’s a definite ‘YES’. Read more of this post