Yuri!!! on ICE, one year on…

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since that first episode dropped on us. Whilst I have yet to make it to an actual skating competition or ice show (it WILL happen!), Yuri!!! on ICE certainly changed my life. One year ago, I would never have thought I’d go to another anime convention, much less one in the US. I wouldn’t have encountered many of the people that I met there, whom I now consider my friends. And I may have gone many more years before discovering Yamamoto Sayo and the “relationship without a name” theme that runs through so much of her work, a theme that means a lot to me personally.

Hence, to celebrate this anniversary, I bring you another translation. But I’ve put aside my rule of “full interviews only” for a day, in order to focus on the few minutes in episode one that captured so many of our hearts. I present, thus, a collection of translations on Victor’s free skating program, Aria 《Stammi vicino, non te ne andare》.

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Where I’ve been, Summer edition

Not a very big update this time, because I’ve already written about the major event that dominated my summer (well, winter, technically)! Actually, I also thought that I’d only have one thing to report, but looking back through WMC, it turns out that I’d built up a bit of a backlog of contributions there. I should really do a better job of crossposting them here ^^; In any case, here are four more behind-the-scenes pieces I’ve touched that came out this last quarter.

First up is another of those editorials on anime writing. When megax began putting together a series of posts on anime pre-production, I figured that it was time for the posts I’ve first envisioned when I began this project in April last year: From Story to Script.

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Featuring Aldnoah.Zero, Yuri!!! on ICE, SHIROBAKO and more!

The second and final piece in this series has been completed — I really don’t know when it’ll be published, but I’ll post it here as well as on twitter.

Following on from that, WMC ran a Lupin month, which you should all check out if you like any of the works in that long-running franchise. With help from Nachi-san, here’s an interview on the musical soundscape of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, with Director Yamamoto Sayo and the Jazz maverick Kikuchi Naruyoshi whom she invited to do the music.

Fujiko-Mine-Sound

A bit later that month, Josh published the first snippets of the Kizumonogatari work I’d been doing for him. It’s basically a glimpse of how words from a script make it to the final product that we see on the screen, so do check it out if you’re curious about how anime are made!

Kizu-sakuga-1

And finally, I also helped frog-kun check the second part of an interview with Shinbo Akiyuki, on Le Portrait de Petit Cossette. It was quite a while back, actually, but it is a pretty interesting discussion between the famed director and the best anime journalist in the business: Oguro Yuuichirou. (And yes, that’s a nudge for you to follow him on twitter!)

What’s next?

That’s it for now. I was going to write that there wouldn’t be a Reflections on Summer post, as I didn’t actually pick up any of the season’s shows. But then I remembered that I have seen several anime films that did make their first appearances in the West this summer, so look out for that, along with a brief Ghibli retrospective!

I also have about 5 other translations at various stages of completion, though I have yet to decide where and when they’ll be posted. But just a little teaser: there will be a little Yuri!!! on ICE special next week, celebrating the first anniversary of the first episode that blew us all away! So do look forward to that (^_-)≡★

RL Japanese skaters on Yuri!!! on ICE part 2

Satsuki-Muramoto

Satsuki Muramoto’s photo is from the official website of
the Figure & Speed Skating Association of Thailand

And here’s my second translation from the guidebook. This time, we have former ladies singles skaters Akiko Suzuki and Satsuki Muramoto, who have both continued to be involved in the figure skating world even after they retired from competition in 2013. Suzuki is the skater who joined Kenji Miyamoto as “course lecturer” on this special Yuri!!! on ICE figure skating program back on March 3. And as the above image shows, Muramoto is the model for Phichit’s coach at his home rink in Thailand. Please read on if you want to hear their thoughts on the impact that Yuri!!! on ICE has had on their world. Read more of this post

RL Japanese skaters on Yuri!!! on ICE part 1

ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Ljubljana Day 2

Kazuki Tomono of Japan competes during the Junior Men Free Skating on day two of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating on September 23, 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson – ISU/ISU via Getty Images)

Well, here’s my first translation from the guidebook. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I chose to start on the real life skaters that Figure Skate Life interviewed: this time, I present the young bloods Ryuju Hino, Kazuki Tomono and Koshiro Shimada!

(NB: You can find full translations of the interviews with Evgenia Medvedeva, Stéphane Lambiel and Deniss Vasiļjevs translated by @soukatsu_ here.)

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MAPPA Producer Otsuka Manabu on the charm of Yuri!!! on ICE

Having writers’ block and what I’ll call “translators’ block” at the same time ain’t fun. I won’t promise anything—except Animestyle sometime before August, hopefully—but in the meantime, let me continue on this quest to translate all the Yuri!!! on ICE interviews that I can get my hands on.

This interview was published on November 2, 2016 on Mantan-web’s Anime Questionnaire, a column that probes creators about the charm of shows that are the talk of the town. In it, MAPPA Producer Otsuka Manabu shares what he thinks viewers should pay attention to as the characters head into the Grand Prix (episode 5 and onwards).

Personally, I found this interview to be pretty vague, which is to be expected given that it was published online just four weeks in. However, Otsuka did mention a lot of the elements that I personally found fascinating: the animation, the music, the figure skating choreography and most of all, the out-of-this-world characters. It is in no way a must-read, but it does contribute to the canon of interviews that continue to paint a picture of what the creators were focused on in Yuri!!! on ICE.

Also, in other news, I did write a 4,000-word essay on what I loved about this show, and it’s finally been published thanks to Josh on WMC. It might be a bit controversial, but I hope you will give it a read.

Otsuka-mantan-int
Usual disclaimer applies: This translation is entirely my own work. Please do not copy and paste large parts of it elsewhere, though feel free to link to it if you wish. —karice

Anime Questionnaire: Yuri!!! on ICE

A hitherto unseen charm, stretching the limits of a TV series

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Kato Taihei on doing play-by-plays for Yuri!!! on ICE

SPOTTED!

The “Bento Announcer”!?, Katō Taihei, and the show that has left the Queen speechless!

Katō Taihei (TV Asahi Announcer), who plays announcer Morooka Hisashi

T/N: During his college days, Katō—not to be confused with the skier with a similar name (different kanji)—was known for his aggressive and dynamic plays as a forward in the Waseda University soccer team, the Inaho Kickers. Following graduation, he has worked on the announcing team at TV Asahi. He’s known as the “Bento Announcer” amongst fans because he often tweets about the boxed lunches he eats in the course of his work. This interview was part of the “Sports News!” broadsheet that came with the January 2017 issue of Newtype.

Meet the announcer Katō Taihei, who has achieved great success doing live commentary (play-by-play and analysis). The design of the announcer he plays, Morooka, also seems to be based on Katō himself, complete with his cheerful and refreshing personality.

—As we plunge into the Grand Prix Series and watch the performances of the skaters one after another, I suddenly realised that each of them was graced by your voice, in ‘live commentary’ mode.

Katō: The other day, Toyonaga (Toshiyuki)-san took a little playful jab at me, like “It feels you’re the one who has the most lines, don’t you think?” (chuckles). Read more of this post

Kubo Mitsurou on Yuri!!! on ICE: an early interview

yoi_early-promo-image

And here’s my ‘Anime Writing’ post for this week! This interview, from Spoon.2Di vol.18 (published September 30, 2016) is one of the earliest interviews that Kubo Mitsurou did for Yuri!!! on ICE. If I’m not mistaken, it’s her second magazine interview, after the short one in the October edition of Pash!1 In it, Kubo expands on the way all the stars lined up such that, in the summer of 2014, she embarked on a journey to help Director Yamamoto Sayo create the figure skating anime that the latter had long been dreaming about. If you prefer to read the Japanese original for yourself, aliasanonyme has shared the scans here.

This is the full translation of the interview that I discussed in this editorial. As I mentioned there, I originally intended to post it back in January, until frog-kun advised me to write a more in-depth piece about the mistranslations and misinterpretations we found. I only addressed one of them in the editorial, but if you’re curious about the other major mistakes, you can take a look at them here.

But if you’re only interested in what Kubo herself said about Yuri!!! on ICE just before it started its broadcast, you can find it right here, just under the cut.

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That’s what she said?! Kubo Mitsurou and Yuri!!! on ICE

If you’re a member of the hard-core Yuri!!! on ICE fandom, what has happened over the past few weeks can hardly have escaped your attention. On February 7, the March issue of CREA saw Kubo Mitsurou—who’s credited for the original story and the scripts—indicate that Victor and Yuuri can be thought of as “soulmates,” inciting cheers and celebrations in various places around the web. Then on February 10, her comments in Pash! about the rings being akin to items worn by “members of the same circle” created a fair amount of consternation amongst fans who believe Yuuri and Victor to be engaged.

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(Thank you to @3A3T_ for passing me this scan from CREA!)

The fallout was immediate. Some fans started criticising Kubo for again leaving mixed messages over what she really stood for. In response, others pointed out that what she said did not negate “just how much Yuuri and Victor truly love each other,” an interpretation that the show itself amply supports. But the order of the day seems to have been confusion—one person even asked a major YOI translator not to translate what Kubo said about the rings so as “to keep everyone in YOI fandom happy.”

toraonice responded as I would have, Read more of this post

Kenji Miyamoto on skating as the characters of Yuri!!! on ICE

kenjis-room_shimada
Kenji Miyamoto with Japanese junior skater Koshiro Shimada (source)

My plans for blogging and translating have been all over the place these last few weeks. I’ve actually been sitting on an early interview with Kubo Mitsurou, but the editorial that I’m drafting to accompany it is still in the works. The skating songs and Rakugo Shinjuu interview that I highlighted last week are also in various states of progress, and one of them should be finished by early next week. But then I started reading this interview…and got to a point where I couldn’t stop laughing for about a minute. Imagining Yuuri and Yurio as those animals…oh, Kenji-sensei!

In any case, this is the last interview from the “Miracle on ICE” special that came with the Jan 2017 issue of Animage. After I translated Kubo-sensei’s long interview back in December, Toraonice has slowly been working through the rest. If you’ve missed them, you’ll be able to find all the links in the masterpost.

I honestly wish I’d found time to translate this interview back in December. Being a former figure skater himself, Kenji-sensei has always been the one best able to share just how realistic Yuri!!! on ICE has been, and he goes into far more detail here than in any other interview I’ve read so far. The wrap-up posts I’m planning will be dominated by just how much I love this show as a figure skating fan, but I’m tempted to just let Kenji-sensei do all the talking for me! So please enjoy this interview, and let me know what you think of it in the comments!

I skated the choreography as if I were playing the characters themselves.

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A little update on where I’ve been…

wiped

If you’re wondering where I’ve been the last few weeks…well, the picture above just about sums up how I’m feeling at the moment. I usually take a one or two week break from posting after finishing up my 12 Days of Anime posts…but the start to this year has been crazy. The immediate reason, of course, was the Rakugo Shinjuu interview that I translated—and in some ways, it’s kind of fitting that I’m talking about it again this week, given what happened in episode 5.

I had been looking forward to having a rest after that, to recoup and catch up on a long backlog of anime and translations. But then Lauren Orsini published a piece arguing that screenwriter Okada Mari’s work on the latest Gundam is entirely in keeping with what we’ve seen in the franchise so far. And that’s how my 15th post on Anime ‘Writing’ came to be. I had to do a fair amount of research for the piece—Iron-Blooded Orphans is NOT “Mari Okada’s Gundam”—but it worked out, since I was long overdue for another editorial on screenwriting in this medium!

ibo

But putting aside the Okada interruption, I’d actually planned to have the Ishida x Hayashibara interview translated before starting on my 12 Days posts. So why did I find myself still wrestling with it on the night before the second season started? Well, if you follow me on twitter, you’d know the answer to that. For those of you that don’t, however, here’s what else I’ve been doing over the last few months: Read more of this post