I always thought that Oda was swamped by the Tchaikovsky. He wasn't able to put an interpretation on the music that stamped it as "his" program. "Mission Impossible" should suit him a lot better, and I think that was a good move.
Posters leave Oda and Takahashi out of their predictions at their peril. These two have skated extremely well all season (except at the GPF, where both were deathly ill with the flu). They are skating at homeand are motivated to succeed.
Well for the men it is hard to know to leave off at this point. Joubert has been red hot almost all season. Oda and Takahashi are hard to leave out for the reasons you stated. Lysacek though has been very consistent in the free skate all year, and in his last 2 events has been so even with the addition of a quad, and he maxes out jump layout and levels well. Lambiel is a question but for obvious reasons hard to count out totally either. There are only 3 medals.
What I look forward to the most is definitely seeing Lambiel's two new programs, which will hopefully carry him to his third world title
And also how Virtue/Moir will place now that all the dancers are there.
Both Joubert and Lambiel come into this competition with minuses: Joubert because of his foot injury, and Lambiel because he may have lost a step competitively by taking off a big chunk of time to do shows. In addition, Joubert had a big splurge at the beginning of the season and his Europeans showed that he had tailed off some from that. With the injury, he doesn't look as formidable as he did earlier in the season. Lambiel's motivation may have paled quite a bit from last season. He has even said the fire doesn't burn as bright as it once did.
That is not to say that either of them is not a potential medalist or winner, but they may not be as sharp as some of the others.
How do you think the Japanese Men will do in their Home Country. Will it be a factor for both?
The way I see it, is that if one hits the quad, the crowd will go wild and that skater will execute all elements without problems. the other skater will either be intimidated by his colleague or just not able to cope with the pressure, if he skates before the quad skater. I don't see both on the podium but hey, I've been wrong before.
It's so hard to know how the Japanese men (well, anyone) will do.
Takahashi has landed a quad in comp, and has been very consistent this year (save the flu). So, basically - if he hits the quad/skates clean this time he will become 'a consistent skater' without doubt. Problem is, will the pressure of home get to him? of worlds? Is he still an inconsistent skater with a couple of good ones this year is my question? I hope not, cuz I love this guy!
Oda is a different question because to my knowledge, he hasn't done a quad yet in competition; I think he was justing starting to hit them in practice in the fall. He has beautiful airy jumps, soft landings with deep knees and racks up points with combos. There's just this way I imagine that if he is ready to put the quad in, he'll land it - period. But that's another big if. Oda seems very consistent jump wise; so I expect him to do well. The bigger question for him is his stamina for the long (he gets slow and winded sometimes); and whether his footwork and in betweens have improved.
Having said all that, I really don't know what the home ice will do for them. But my feeling - like intutition - is that they will rise to the occasion.