I went to the Saturday evening show "Dreams on Ice." I didn't plan actually, but when they added Dai to the cast at the end of May, naturally I couldn't resist. The only question was when, and while I was cleaning up my schedule, the tickets were sold out. But there is always the way out. Also, I heard that they sometimes sell tickets without seats in Shin-Yokohama Skate Center just before the show. Anyway, I had no ticket at all, so I would be happy to get in no matter with a seat or without it. I couldn't make it yesterday or on 16th morning. So I went to the ticket office on Saturday during my free-time at around 3pm. The window was shut down literally with the iron curtain, a few ladies were waiting in a line, the written note was telling that the sell will start at 5pm. I couldn't come there at 5pm, so I came when I got free but it was already around 6:30pm, the start time of the show. The ojisan in the ticket window was speaking on the phone and gave me a sign to wait. I didn't want to wait and it seemed like there was no tickets afterall, I was late. On the corner near the traffic light right next to the convinience store 7/11 there was an easily-recognized broker. Those guys are usually keeping a ticket in the hand and are always standing back to the officials. He was dealing with a 17,000 yen stuff and I am sure he would be happy to sell it at a cheaper price because the show has already started. Nevertheless, I gave him two banknotes of 10,000 yen and said some local equivalent of "keep the change" (well, in fact there is none since here there is no such a thing as tips, but you can always say what you mean). I CAN'T STAND ticket brokers! That's why I always treat them like dogs- giving them cheap digs. I am sure he was happy. Nasty people doing their filthy "business". In Russia they are like parasites, making business almost officially. I still remember Moscow Worlds and all negative stuff that those morons created around tickets sales. Once again I use the moment to tell a thank-you to Plush fans in Moscow who helped me to get an OCG card after I failed to buy Worlds tickets from Japan. The 40+yo guy in a black jacket and glasses who I dealt with today sold me the ticket that he bought in a Family Mart in Musashi-murayama-shinmei-ten, I have no idea where exactly it is. It's still in Tokyo prefecture but near Saitama? Anyway, it's not even near Yokohama. Probably those guys have a headquater there. It's not a very common thing in Japan- ticket brokers, I mean compared to Russia. But occasionally they do exist.
I entered the arena when the entrance of skaters was going on. While the staffer was showing me in the dark where to go, I had to go down to minami-arena and pass people, then again a ticket check before I entered my area, and all this was in the dark, blah-blah. So, I coudn't see well the whole entrance procedure. Narumi fell from a throw jump, as usual. Hanyu fell from a quad. Takahiko Mura landed his fantastic 3A and 3F. Dai landed his classic combo 3F-3T, then 3L and performed a very fast combo-spin. Chan fell from 3F, first he fell on a butt, then he turned around somehow and ended up lying on his tummy face down, then he tried to jump into a spin or whatever, but he landed on the knee. Boys did an eagle, girls- a spiral. That is what I could catch while talking with the arena staff and trying to get to my seat. Finally, after the entrance was over, I could reach my chair.
Baby Shoma Uno was as cute as always, his feature element- Klimkin eagle with a 2A right after was adorable. Many junior skaters did well today, girls including. They were all ice-princesses, which always bores me, but comparing how meh-ed their elder sisters did later, the youngests were kicking around quite well, all of them: Imai, Sato, Soji and especially Miyahara, very confident, with a full set of 2A-3T, 3F-2T, 3L. Risa Shoji had the most beautiful jumps of the night- a terrific combination of lightness, highness and length. Watching Hino it's hard to believe that once he was over Hanyu. They guy is simply walking on the ice, trying to land something and to look entertaining. Kenji Tanaka presented his new SP, did everying almost clean, no combo though, and caused the first ovation. Daisuke Murakami, the dude with edges, is trying to be the second Daisuke very hard. He presented a shorten version of his new FS, quite elegant but far from clean- started well but then fell down from 3L and he twice double-d what was supposed to be 3A. When I saw Tatsuki Machida, and knowing his easy-going nature, at first I thought he was going to perform some parody on Dai's EX "The Crisis". The same shirt, the same pants, even the same posture at the beginning. And then- well, that was a perfect blend of passion, where a fun guy is still trying to sneak with his light-minded nature, and then again a storm of emotions. Everything was clean, all his jumps, 3A included. The magnificent performance of a young prince who deserves a much better place in team Japan than just a spot for 4CC. Pretty much the same can be said about Takahito Mura. What a shame that Japan can send only three spots to Worlds. Mura's 3A, one of the the highest and most powerfull 3A ever, would be a jewel in any event. His style is different, he is mature and masculine, very cool and that is his way to express himself. Mura and especially Machida got the hugest ovation of the night that got later beaten only by Daisuke.
Kozuka skated the same style that he skates for years, could be enjoyable and fun with his footwork in sunglasses. But all those shaky landings, on combos, 3A and even solo 3L, don't speak well for the guy. In PIW in May he looked a little better and I had a hope that he will recover after a disaster season. But it seems like no radical changes are happening. Well, it's June and who knows what will be at JN when the team will be decided. Kanako challenged a 3L and a 2A-3T combo, and failed on both. The first lutz was butterflied, the combo was 1A-2T. She was so awfully upset that she couldn't focus after that and just kept skating mechanically, probably thinking what the hell had just happened. Narumi-Tran presented their new SP. The twist was okay, the side-by-side jump: both oops-ed. Narumi fell again on a throw jump. Miki looked beautiful and skated her "You must love me" stuff clean. But what she skated was in a la Arakawa set- 2A, 3S, a spin and postures. Hanyu was probably the biggest disappointment for me tonight. The set of jump was 3T, 3A, 3Loop, 3S, all clean and fine, yet no combo and no quad, which wasn't like that in last summer shows. But that wasn't the main reason for my upset. What kind of EX is it? I have no idea who contributed more in this EX, either Kurt or Orser. But Dear Uncles, he is just a kid! No need to dress him up in leathery-like pants and a silver jacket like a hooker. And surely no need to give him some lousy music, dancing cheap tricks, then undressing him till undershirt, "drawing" heart and throwing the clothing around. Come on! Send him back to Bestemyanova&Bobrin. They did an amazing job with him last season. Hanyu's talent is much worthier than some showy crap. Caro butterflied 3L, did 2L instead, 3S with step-out and two hands. Chan landed 3F and didn't fall, then landed two 2A, what he skated made me miss his Rach EX that I saw at WTT. Both Caro and Chan are World champions, who should think well when they are going with shows to Japan. Even junior skaters challenged more serious stuff here, not all of them succeeded everything, but they all challenged. Such lousy performances from both World champions is simply unacceptable. The audience was very supporting, with Italian and Canadian flags, and you guys with WC gold medals should have worked hard to pay people back. Akiko skated her new EX "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg", fell down on 3F, 2A was okay, then 3S with step-out and two hands on the ice. Dai skated the tango Primavera Portena and it was one of the most sensual tango that I ever saw live. The audience was bewitched, following his each move and didn't even dare to breathe. All set of 3F, 3A, 3L was there cleanly delivered. In a finale boys jumped, girls spinned, elder boys Dai, Hanyu and Kozuka all landed beautiful 3A. Chan chose to join the last group with elder girls, not boys, Akiko, Kanako, Miki, Caro and spinned with them. Then- bowing and fireworks.
It's not enough to visit one show only. So I am a little disappointed that Dai was put on the list so late. I can't make it tomorrow, unless some emergency happened and my personal stuff will by cancelled. Then I'll go to the arena to deal with my beloved broker. If you decide to visit the show tomorrow morning, just keep in mind that the ticket office opens not at 10:00 but at 9:30am. The arena is cosy and small, with the perfect location. Have fun. I am jealous.