Where I’ve been, Spring edition

I do have a “Reflections on Spring” post coming…though I might have to find another name, because it may not actually contain any Spring series! For a number of reasons, the only simulcast anime I’ve finished this time was The Eccentric Family, and that should be getting its own post. But it’s the end of the financial year for us here down under, and I just wanted to make a mental break with the past few months and start anew.

Eccentric-Fam

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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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Kubo Mitsurou on “love and figure skating”

ANN_Myu-Comi_1

Given what’s been happening to a fellow Yuri!!! on ICE fan, translator and friend on tumblr in the wake of the stage event on April 29, I’ve decided to publish a transcript and translation of something that Kubo Mitsurou said about “love in the figure skating world” on live radio last December.

On December 14, 2016,1 Kubo appeared on All Night Nippon’s Myu~Komi Plus radio, where she regaled hosts Yoshida Hisanori and Ogino Karin with tales from behind-the-scenes of the show and her growing love for the world of figure skating.2 Towards the end of the discussion, she started talking talking about the love ( “ai”「愛」) that permeates that world. Here is the entire two-minute segment of that discussion, along with the transcript and translation that I made.

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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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That’s what she said?! Kubo Mitsurou on ⚤ romance

Pardon me for putting this post off—I was, shall we say, more than a little distracted by certain figure skating competitions over the last month and a half. But now that Worlds and the World Team Trophy have come and gone, I’ve finally been able to get back to the third of three major misinterpretations that arguably led Yuri!!! on ICE fans to criticise Kubo for leaving mixed messages about what she stood for.

Credit: Jason Brown, aka the inspiration for Leo de la Iglesia ^^;

The issue I address here was actually the first one that I personally witnessed, right from the time it started. The comments in question were tweeted by Kubo towards the end of August 2016, though they were only picked up and translated—often separately—for the Western fandom around November 20.

The August tweets

Since context is especially important in this case, let me first present all four of the relevant tweets. Read more of this post

Reflections on Winter and Pick that Voice!!

Of course, there is one show that will not show up here, because it deserves several essays of its own. But even if we hadn’t had the wonderful story that is Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, winter wouldn’t have been so bad. In fact, the season that has just began looks to be even drier for me. Well, I’ll gladly take the opportunity to keep watching Yamamoto Sayo’s previous offerings, whilst also savouring a bit more of The Eccentric Family!

But before I get to those, here’s most of my winter 2017 viewing experience! Read more of this post

Suetsugu Yuki: Drawing the Cover of Chihayafuru volume 34

Chapter 34 of Chihayafuru was published earlier this week, featuring a pretty blue cover with its title character once again.

(sourced from the official twitter account)

In celebration of the release, the manga’s author—Suetsugu Yuki—posted a series of tweets detailing how she went about creating the cover, from initial drawings all the way through to the final touches. I know it’s not going to make up for my having fallen off the Chihayafuru bandwagon this past year, but I still hope you enjoy finding out about how this one artist works! Read more of this post

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

That’s what she said?! Kubo Mitsurou and the kiss(?)

Today, I’m going to look at what Kubo Mitsurou has said about the scene at the end of episode 7, where Victor had a surprise greeting for Yuuri as he came off the ice after his Cup of China free skate. Well, I’m stepping right into a minefield here, so I might as well just take the plunge:

yuri_kiss

Personally, I believe it was a kiss, for reasons I’ll go into below. That being said, I fully support anyone who believes otherwise, which brings me to my next point.

What I’m really concerned about is the view that “Kubo implied that it was obvious”—especially when this is used to bash fans whose interpretation of Yuuri and Victor’s relationship is not the same as the dominant one. 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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