Lost in Translation: YOI characters’ handwriting!

Well, turns out that another of those “Lost in Translation” pieces found its way into my head this week, courtesy of Twitter and tumblr. But hopefully, this one’s just going to amuse you as much as it did me.

Early on Wednesday morning, Yuri!!! on ICE animator Itou Noriko posted the following image on twitter:

It reads: “It is said that your handwriting can reveal your personality and traits,” with the tweet noting that this was “Yuuri’s writing.” I think we’ve heard about this before, but Itou-san is the person responsible for all of his writing, not only on the famous “love” placard at the the TV Asahi Grand Prix series opening press conference, but also on all the chalk board explanations throughout the series.

Of course, this tweet has gone viral. In fact, it hit the English-speaking fandom within a few hours, on Twitter and on Tumblr, with both translators pointing out one of Itou-san’s subsequent comments about Yuuri’s writing looking like a/his mother’s (お母さんみたい).

The second person read the tweet conversation the way I did when I first saw it, as in, Yuuri’s handwriting looks like “a mother’s” rather than “his mother’s.” They thought that the whole affair—which saw Itou-san also reveal her take on Yurio practicing his name in hiragana—incredibly cute, though it “sort of came out of nowhere.”

But to tell the truth, it didn’t just come out of nowhere. If you happen to look through Itou-san’s twitter timeline, you’ll see that just prior to posting that image, she’d replied to this tweet by a friend of hers:

In the subsequent conversation, Itou-san noted that she had previously been told that her own handwriting looked like something that would belong to a mother (「お母さんが書きそうな字って言われたことはあるような(笑)」). It’s an incredibly cute exchange that had me giggling, and that’s precisely where this whole thing started. If you look again to the thread on Yuuri’s writing, you’ll see her friend jokingly calling Yuuri (Itou-san) “Okaasaaaan!,” which is what leads to the comments about Yuuri’s writing not being particularly youthful and thus looking like a mother’s writing.

The friend went on to muse about both Victor and Yurio’s writing. To her, Victor’s incredibly neat room gave off the impression that his writing would be incredibly methodical/neat as well. As for Yurio, since he leaves his stuff all over the place, it’d be kind of messy. That’s what eventually led to the image of Yurio practicing his name:

As for Victor—apparently, they actually asked someone really methodical, whose desk is so neat that everyone can only laugh about it, to write that list of FS elements in episode 4. I don’t know about you, but I’m super curious as to who this creator is!


So it seems like the comment about “Yuuri’s handwriting looking like a mother’s” isn’t based on anything official. Rather, they’re random, personal musings that Itou-san and her friend had fun with earlier this week.

In any case, this shows just how easy it is for something a creator says to be taken out of context, especially on social media. So please be careful and always remember to check the context around what they say. After all, creators are people, too, so you never know what kind of amusing conversations you’ll uncover!

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

2 Responses to Lost in Translation: YOI characters’ handwriting!

  1. inksquid43 says:

    I always love seeing Japanese handwriting because I like to compare it to Chinese, so that in the once in a million times I need to hand-write something in Japanese I can write it in a native-like.
    Also the Yurio handwriting looks like they wrote with their off hand.


    • karice says:

      I’m always embarrassed to write in Japanese, tbh, because I don’t always remember some important details, like how long a particular horizontal stroke should be, or if there is a hook on the end of a particular vertical stroke. I really need to get back into practicing my kanji ^^;

      Also the Yurio handwriting looks like they wrote with their off hand.

      Haha — that’s true! Having gone through that stage of practicing hiragana, I can say that even someone used to writing an alphanumeric script shouldn’t have such unsteady strokes. Though perhaps the writing instruments also have an effect? (writing on a white board can be tricky ^^:)


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