My honest opinion of Kanako Murakami as a skater is that she has much potential. She exuberates such passion and emotion when she takes the ice; furthermore, she has great presence on the ice with blistering speed into her jumps. I find her to be my second favorite on the Japanese Ladies' Team (right next to Mao)
This season, I think both of the programs suit her very well. Her short to Prayer for Taylor highlights her ability to draw emotion from lyrical pieces. Absolutely stunning. Additionally, I absolutely adore her step sequence at the beginning, I didn't even realize that it was a step sequence until half-way through. Her Tango free isn't quite there yet, but I think it is an improvement over her prgram last year. I think there is room for growth, but she still seems to fall apart at the half-way point.
Can she achieve a world medal this season? I believe her chances are higher than last years. What is holding her back is the HUGE edge call on her Lutz and her UR problems, particularly after the half-way point. If she can clean up those flaws, she'll be in prime contention for her first world medal.
I hope that she realizes her potential though, as I believe her inconsistency comes from her lack of confidence. :/
I think she could challenge the inconsistent Mao even. She has nice flo but there are so many good Japanese lady skaters. Look what happened to one of their top skaters - she just sort of fell off the face of the earth - Fumie Suguri.
Her programs are good, but she needs to clean up her technique: in the SP, all of her three triples were <!! I like the energy and the passion of her FS, especially the second half, she really looked more relaxed and confident than last season; but I don't think that she's going to have a World medal chance: the field is really a difficult one but, at least, with Miki not competing, she's sure of getting the spot...