2019-20 Japanese ladies' figure skating

Greengemmonster

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
This performance of Las Strada at Nationals in 2017 when Rika was still a Junior was huge for me and many others and was the first time Rika really struck me as an extra special skater as the large number of views and praise beneath the video indicates. Many of her most watched videos were removed after this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFRiKM4dOgU

Awww her skating was expressive even back then. She smoother now but I can still see how the body really feels the music.

Omg the wonky loop! I'd heard about the wonky loop but have never been there for it as all her loops when started watching are fine.

Thanks for posting that!

I miss her so much!!!!! Been rewatching her performances at 4CC this year.
 

Greengemmonster

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Anyone know if Rika has any ice time at all?

Although I've been loving all the clips of her cooking on Twitter! She's such a cutie!
 

nussnacker

one and only
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Mai posted on Instagram recently and still looks quite thin and haggard. Even without COVID-19 I think it would take a long time for her to return to a competition-ready form, alas. We can only pray she is healthy and happy at the moment :pray:

Poor Mai :( wishing her fast recovery. She’s such a sweet girl!
 

gotoschool

Medalist
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Mai posted on Instagram recently and still looks quite thin and haggard. Even without COVID-19 I think it would take a long time for her to return to a competition-ready form, alas. We can only pray she is healthy and happy at the moment :pray:

Thanks for the link to Mai's message and photos on instagram. It sounds like there is some room for optimism because she says she has the energy to do stretching, training. dancing, taking online classes and making masks with the help of her grandmother. I also think she looks healthier and like she has put on some weight since the last time I saw her.
 

Sai Bon

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Country
New-Zealand
Mai posted on Instagram recently and still looks quite thin and haggard. Even without COVID-19 I think it would take a long time for her to return to a competition-ready form, alas. We can only pray she is healthy and happy at the moment :pray:

Yikes, it might partly be due to her haircut, but she does look very thin. I hope she can regain her health.
 

YuBluByMe

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Anyone know if Rika has any ice time at all?

I’m....not sure. I saw a video and she was landing a few rotated 4S. It’s certainly possible that this could have been an older video, but she was missing a bit of rotation in her earlier attempts which made me believe the clips I saw were more recent.

Japan lifted the state of emergency in most of their prefectures last week. Tokyo, Osaka, and Saitama are a few areas that still remain in red light status. But....

....perhaps we’ll hear good news very soon. Japanese government is currently contemplating lifting the state of emergency in Osaka and that’s where Kihira trains.

EDIT: The state of emergency has been lifted in Osaka.
 
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YuBluByMe

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
I don’t think it’ll happen as Kihira is the only all-rounder with the technical elements to realistically compete. She scored very high last season (average around 227) without a lutz or quad and with mistakes. She also has a strong head game with being able to change her layout under pressure - she’s done this multiple times already - and she hasn’t had a melt down skate yet in her senior career. Hamada knows what she’s doing and I’m expecting to see great things from Kihira next season. Especially another gorgeous step sequence. The one in her SP was ace. The most complex in the ladies field. I want to see more of that and a 4S.

As for the other gals....

Higuchi can rotate a 3A, but I don’t see her scoring very high even if she lands it. Her non-jump elements need help. Same with Sakamoto and the desperate 4T attempts.

By the way, Kihira returned to training immediately after the state of emergency lifted in Osaka and she’s currently showing off sky-high 3Lz+3Ts.
 

lzxnl

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
With Kaori's PCS, I think she with a 3A and 4T can skate to win. I prefer Higuchi though.

Let's see what is necessary for Kaori to beat Rika:
1. Clean-ish skate from Kaori, given her utter lack of consistency this last season (big ask)
2. Actually rotating a 3A and a 4T, none of which is guaranteed as we haven't even seen her land either yet
3. Rika falling a few times to compensate for the likelihood that Kaori will fall on a 3A and/or 4T
4. Rika deserves more PCS than Kaori, tbh.
5. Rika's jumps deserve more GOE in general, except the loop, perhaps, if Kaori doesn't mess it up.

That's a lot of things going against Kaori. Japanese Nationals 2018, Kaori benefited from some slightly lenient scoring, AND Rika falling on the 3A in the short, popping a 3F-3T in the short, stepping out of a 3Lz-Eu-2S combo (which wasn't even meant to be that to begin with)...and she didn't win by much either.
 

Skatesocs

Final Flight
Joined
May 16, 2020
Thanks. My post was simply based on an assumption, but I'll play along. I don't see how 1. means Sakamoto will never regain her consistency this season. And in no way do I agree with 4.
 

lzxnl

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Thanks. My post was simply based on an assumption, but I'll play along. I don't see how 1. means Sakamoto will never regain her consistency this season. And in no way do I agree with 4.

4 is a bit subjective. The past season's scores probably aren't the fairest comparison of PCS, because Kaori's lack of consistency definitely hurt her components. 1 doesn't mean Kaori won't ever regain it, but it's definitely a hurdle for her to overcome if she is to ever beat Rika in a competition. Not saying it's impossible, but there are certainly things that have to go her way for her to win.
 

theharleyquinn

Medalist
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
4 is a bit subjective. The past season's scores probably aren't the fairest comparison of PCS, because Kaori's lack of consistency definitely hurt her components. 1 doesn't mean Kaori won't ever regain it, but it's definitely a hurdle for her to overcome if she is to ever beat Rika in a competition. Not saying it's impossible, but there are certainly things that have to go her way for her to win.

The new judging system stands to help a consistent Kaori out a bit, since she consistently struggles with the lutz edge but has a good 3F3T. As far as PCS, I agree it's subjective. Kaori has grown into a good performer and she has a lot of innate charm. Even when her programs were going poorly this season, she had the audience engaged. She projects out. Rika is more of a "quieter" performer for me. It worked for her in her SP, but the FS was underwhelming.
 

Skatesocs

Final Flight
Joined
May 16, 2020
All I meant was that Kaori was still getting very high PCS this season despite not skating very well at all. I think the judges love her the most of the Japanese ladies.
 

randomfan

Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Let's see what is necessary for Kaori to beat Rika:
1. Clean-ish skate from Kaori, given her utter lack of consistency this last season (big ask)
2. Actually rotating a 3A and a 4T, none of which is guaranteed as we haven't even seen her land either yet
3. Rika falling a few times to compensate for the likelihood that Kaori will fall on a 3A and/or 4T
4. Rika deserves more PCS than Kaori, tbh.
5. Rika's jumps deserve more GOE in general, except the loop, perhaps, if Kaori doesn't mess it up.

I agree with the first 4, but not too sure about 5. I'd actually say Kaori's jumps deserve more GOE in general because of the greater height, distance, and flow, with the only main drawback being her shaky air position. But Rika's jumps are definitely not too far behind in terms of quality, and she has better overall consistency than Kaori as well which is why she ends up getting higher total +GOE anyway. I'm just saying if both landed and rotated their jumps, then Kaori should generally have at least a bit of an edge over Rika for +GOE (except for the lutz of course).
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Higuchi is the main threat to Kihira, not Sakamoto. If she gets her 3A consistently, and it was looking good leading up to world's, she is a big threat. She is faster, a bigger jumper, has better step sequences and is much more charismatic than Kihira. Rika is more sound with her edges and has better spins, along with a big reputation edge from the last 2 seasons. But if Higuchi can continue improving her 3A, that will put more pressure on Kihira than she has had lately against her own countrywomen.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

Gabby30

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
People seem to forget that Wakaba is a world silver medalist. Both Rika and Kaori don't have world medals. Rika's best chance was her first senior year, after that, she started to fade away. It's what happens with most skaters. The first senior season they are fresh faces and interesting. But for some reason they can't stay interesting in the next season. It's the same with Russian girls. Big things are being promissed from the juniors, but all you had to see you already saw in the first season- after that, nothing new happens
 
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