2020-21 Japanese Ladies' Figure Skating

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Why did Zagitova win? She didn't have any jumps in her arsenal that Higuchi didn't also have.

Nobody is going to win every time. But true talent will eventually find a way to the top at least once against other similar talent. Even Rika Hongo won a Grand Prix event.
Wakaba would have won 2017 CoC, 2017 CoR, 2016 Internationaux de France, etc. with the same competition.
Mai would have won any GP she entered with the same competition.
Radionova would be two-time european champion if everyone else had bombed like when Samodurova won.
Some would be olympic champions if favorites had bombed like when others won.

All of that just to say that this is a very unfair and unecessary comparison. The comparisons that matter are the face-to-faces. Like the fact that Kaori was better than Wakaba at this competition. It's clear for everyone. Just not THAT better for some.

And "even" Rika Hongo is a Japanese national medalist and ranked 4th at worlds.
 
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Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I have been watching Wakaba since 2015. And from looking at her competitions since then, I just can’t get with the thought that the judges “hate” her. And honestly if Wakaba was clean like we know she can be (landed 3A in short and free, rotating all of her triples w/no pops, and all level 4s) I think she would have gotten about 29 points more.
It would be about 16 in the free and 7 in the short with clean and all level 4s and corresponding GOE increase. That still leaves her 6 pts short. And that is with Kaori missing most of her levels in the short. I highly doubt they would increase her PCS by that much the way they score her. But say they do. Do you really think that is even close to fair that higuchi would have to land 2 3Aa and be completely clean to just maybe tie Sakamoto? Of course not.
 

Skatefan15

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Do you really think that is even close to fair that higuchi would have to land 2 3Aa and be completely clean to just maybe tie Sakamoto? Of course not.
I thing it comes down to other things as well like levels and GOES. And I think that’s what Kaori has over Wakaba (this is my opinion though so it doesn’t have to be yours). For example, at the beginning of last of season I thought that Trusova or Shcherbakova we’re going to win everything because of the quads. But then Kostornaia ended up winning virtually everything even though she had less tech content (still 3 3A’s I know, but on paper that didn’t look possible to beat 4 quads). How she won was having better PCS, GOE’s, levels which is also how I view Kaori in this situation...
 

Li'Kitsu

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
I thing it comes down to other things as well like levels and GOES. And I think that’s what Kaori has over Wakaba (this is my opinion though so it doesn’t have to be yours). For example, at the beginning of last of season I thought that Trusova or Shcherbakova we’re going to win everything because of the quads. But then Kostornaia ended up winning virtually everything even though she had less tech content (still 3 3A’s I know, but on paper that didn’t look possible to beat 4 quads). How she won was having better PCS, GOE’s, levels which is also how I view Kaori in this situation...

How Aliona won was by being cleaner. Sasha and Anna made more mistakes. Had Anna or Sasha delivered, they'd have beaten her - just look at RusNats.
And additionally to that, there is a very clear PCS gap between Aliona and Anna/Sasha (Sasha was basically only focused on the jumps, Anna is lovely in terms of Interpretation but her skating skills are average at best) that simply isn't there between Wakaba and Kaori. On the countrary, I'd argue in the SP, Waka just edges Kaori out in PCS due to her better PE and IN, even if I'd give Kaori better TR (and slightly SS). Wakaba's emptier FS makes that argument harder, but still, both clean they should be close. The comparison to Aliona vs Anna/Sasha doesn't work at all.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I thing it comes down to other things as well like levels and GOES. And I think that’s what Kaori has over Wakaba (this is my opinion though so it doesn’t have to be yours). For example, at the beginning of last of season I thought that Trusova or Shcherbakova we’re going to win everything because of the quads. But then Kostornaia ended up winning virtually everything even though she had less tech content (still 3 3A’s I know, but on paper that didn’t look possible to beat 4 quads). How she won was having better PCS, GOE’s, levels which is also how I view Kaori in this situation...
Except that Kostornaia has a huge edge on those 2 in those categories. Wakaba and Kaori are pretty close in levels generally and Kaori should have a small edge in GOE where Higuchi is also strong. However I would ld say Higuchi should have a bigger edge in PCS due to her much better upper body control, musicality, and performing abilty.
 

zanadude

Medalist
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
I'd put senior Grand Prix final winner with similar prestige to a worlds silver medal .
Ah yes, the Olympic year Worlds, where all the other main contenders prepared to reach their peak a month earlier. Certainly no need for an asterisk there. Nor for Daisuke Takahashi's ice dance bronze medal at the NHK Cup!
 

Skatefan15

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Except that Kostornaia has a huge edge on those 2 in those categories. Wakaba and Kaori are pretty close in levels generally and Kaori should have a small edge in GOE where Higuchi is also strong. However I would ld say Higuchi should have a bigger edge in PCS due to her much better upper body control, musicality, and performing abilty.
I guess this just depends on opinion. For most areas of PCS I think that Kaori is better🤷‍♀️ and her GOEs should be higher because I find that all her jumps when landed have much better flow (and height) than almost anyone in the world.
 
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Skatefan15

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
On the countrary, I'd argue in the SP, Waka just edges Kaori out in PCS due to her better PE and IN, even if I'd give Kaori better TR (and slightly SS). Wakaba's emptier FS makes that argument harder, but still, both clean they should be close.
Honestly we can all have different opinions🤷‍♀️. I think that Wakaba was definitely underscored in PCS in both programs (I would have added 3-4 points to each), but I just don’t think that she should be higher than Kaori in either of them. Wakaba has better lines but when it comes to skating skills, transitions, composition, and sometimes performance (depending on the day) Kaori wins for me.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I guess this just depends on opinion. For most areas of PCS I think that Kaori is better🤷‍♀️ and her GOEs should be higher because I find that all her jumps when landed have much better flow (and height) than almost anyone in the world.
Higuchi actually jumps higher and is slightly faster, but flow does go to Kaori. Opinion makes up about 95% of the scoring, even in the technical if you think about it. Which is not a good thing for fairness in the sport, but is a great thing for fan blogs. Lol
 

Li'Kitsu

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Higuchi actually jumps higher and is slightly faster, but flow does go to Kaori. Opinion makes up about 95% of the scoring, even in the technical if you think about it. Which is not a good thing for fairness in the sport, but is a great thing for fan blogs. Lol

Yepp, at least at last years nationals the measured statistics were better for Wakaba (wasn't her 3Lz the highest measured jump of the ladies competition even? Her speed into that jump was also the highest recorded).
Though in the end, the current scoring system makes whoever jumps 0.01 cm higher then the other a moot point. The GOE bullet is simply "good height/ice coverage". Not "top 3 height/ice coverage at this event" or whatever. Both Kaori and Wakaba have generally big jumps. If they hit, they should both get that point.
 

Skatefan15

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Higuchi actually jumps higher and is slightly faster, but flow does go to Kaori. Opinion makes up about 95% of the scoring, even in the technical if you think about it. Which is not a good thing for fairness in the sport, but is a great thing for fan blogs. Lol
See I think that Wakaba’s lutz and axel are higher but Kaori’s flip, loop, toe, and sometimes salchow are higher. And I think Kaori’s combos are better, height, flow, and transition wise. Sometimes Kaori’s jumps are at a lean so it’s hard to tell. But since Wakaba’s axel is higher her triple axel is wayyyyy better and more likely to be cleanly landed (hopefully at nationals👀). I think opinions is what makes skating interesting from a fan standpoint, but it does affect judging (if only judges judge what they see that day). We can just agree to disagree on this topic at this point.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
See I think that Wakaba’s lutz and axel are higher but Kaori’s flip, loop, toe, and sometimes salchow are higher. And I think Kaori’s combos are better, height, flow, and transition wise. Sometimes Kaori’s jumps are at a lean so it’s hard to tell. But since Wakaba’s axel is higher her triple axel is wayyyyy better and more likely to be cleanly landed (hopefully at nationals👀). I think opinions is what makes skating interesting from a fan standpoint, but it does affect judging (if only judges judge what they see that day). We can just agree to disagree on this topic at this point.
I think we're kind of in agreement other than personal preference of what we prefer, which is fine. If Im not mistaken, you seem to like both, but prefer Kaori and think her GOE and PCS should be slightly better than Wakaba, and many people seem to share your opinion. What I dont understand is how that slight edge can translate into enough points to counter 2 3As. Those are worth at least 11 or 12 points. Thats far more than a small edge in PCS and GOE will give you.
 

Skatefan15

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
What I dont understand is how that slight edge can translate into enough points to counter 2 3As. Those are worth at least 11 or 12 points. Thats far more than a small edge in PCS and GOE will give you
It shouldn’t be enough with all that. But I want to wait and see what the judges in Japan do with a completely clean, level 4, high GOE, good PCS, and 2-3 3A Wakaba. Because Wakaba 100% clean should be 1st or 2nd (to Rika) in Japan. If everyone is completely clean, Kaori should be 3rd which I don’t think she should have problem with if Rika and Wakaba both land 3A’s. I wouldn’t be mad if those 3 were the Olympic team to be honest(but I know there are tons of skaters who could spoil that—it’s nice for Japan to be so competitive!). In a way I wish skating federations could have 4 spots because I adore Mai and her skating.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
It shouldn’t be enough with all that. But I want to wait and see what the judges in Japan do with a completely clean, level 4, high GOE, good PCS, and 2-3 3A Wakaba. Because Wakaba 100% clean should be 1st or 2nd (to Rika) in Japan. If everyone is completely clean, Kaori should be 3rd which I don’t think she should have problem with if Rika and Wakaba both land 3A’s. I wouldn’t be mad if those 3 were the Olympic team to be honest(but I know there are tons of skaters who could spoil that—it’s nice for Japan to be so competitive!). In a way I wish skating federations could have 4 spots because I adore Mai and her skating.
The top 3 almost never all skate clean at the same time, and Wakaba needs to prove she can or this whole debate we have had is meaningless. Add in Satoko and a very talented junior and next season is unpredictable.
 

Skatefan15

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
The top 3 almost never all skate clean at the same time, and Wakaba needs to prove she can or this whole debate we have had is meaningless. Add in Satoko and a very talented junior and next season is unpredictable.
Yeah I would love to see Wakaba clean. I watch her 2018 World FS at least once a month lol. And yeah... I know the top 3 almost never skate clean, that was completely hypothetical (I really would love to see that though). I’m excited about nationals and all the potential 3A’s we will see (and those without are still lovely as well).
 

ali0125

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Country
Australia
Wakaba's emptier FS makes that argument harder, but still, both clean they should be close.
Agreed - Kaori's FS is great (much better than Wakaba's) and she skated it clean. She definitely had her moment - reminded me of the piano program that crowned her in nationals, and it makes sense that judges awarded her with some extra bonus.

I'm even more excited about nationals now - if Rika, Kaori and Wakaba all skate clean, what their scores will be
 

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Higuchi actually jumps higher and is slightly faster, but flow does go to Kaori. Opinion makes up about 95% of the scoring, even in the technical if you think about it. Which is not a good thing for fairness in the sport, but is a great thing for fan blogs. Lol
I think height and air position goes to Wakaba while the distance and the flow goes to Kaori. Distance create that "fly" image that impress most of people. And with clean programs all her jumps seems to be excellent (+4/5 worthy) while some are average/good (+3). So all her jumps get scored the same way. Kaori should get slightly better GOEs on most of jumps, like a gap of +1 not +2.
For example, in the SP Wakaba landed a very good combo and the max she got is +3 while Kaori's combo got +5. Wakaba had better height and in flow they were equal. Even in distance, Kaori didn't have a greater distance on that combo. That's the kind of thing i'm not ok with.
 
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Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I think height and air position goes to Wakaba while the distance and the flow goes to Kaori. Distance create that "fly" image that impress most of people. And with clean programs all her jumps seems to be excellent (+4/5 worthy) while some are average/good (+3). So all her jumps get scored the same way. Kaori should get slightly better GOEs on most of jumps, like a gap of +1 not +2.
For example, in the SP Wakaba landed a very good combo and the max she got is +3 while Kaori's combo got +5. Wakaba had better height and in flow they were equal. Even in distance, Kaori didn't have a greater distance on that combo. That's the kind of thing i'm not ok with.
I agree. Kaori seems to use her speed to jump out where Wakaba is more about jumping up. I know the scoring, but I have always thought verticle jumps were more impressive, more explosive, but thats just my preference. Kaori reminds me of Osmond, on the verge of being out of control(like last season), but impressive when she is on. Wakaba is more controlled and varied in her movement. Plus I always get the feeling that Wakaba might spend too much time on things she likes and entertains the crowd, but doesn't really add more points. Whereas Kaori and her team seem better at hiding her weaknesses and doing everything to get every point she can, the exception being adding a 3A, but that is an ability issue, not by choice.
 

silveruskate

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
I think height and air position goes to Wakaba while the distance and the flow goes to Kaori. Distance create that "fly" image that impress most of people. And with clean programs all her jumps seems to be excellent (+4/5 worthy) while some are average/good (+3). So all her jumps get scored the same way. Kaori should get slightly better GOEs on most of jumps, like a gap of +1 not +2.
For example, in the SP Wakaba landed a very good combo and the max she got is +3 while Kaori's combo got +5. Wakaba had better height and in flow they were equal. Even in distance, Kaori didn't have a greater distance on that combo. That's the kind of thing i'm not ok with.
On the average GOE of 3.7 vs 2.5, one difference could be how Kaori times her 3F-3T? It felt really impressive in the moment. On the other aspects I really can't tell myself, but I felt like Kaori had better flow through her combination. But I am a very very biased fan here - as a disclaimer.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
On the average GOE of 3.7 vs 2.5, one difference could be how Kaori times her 3F-3T? It felt really impressive in the moment. On the other aspects I really can't tell myself, but I felt like Kaori had better flow through her combination. But I am a very very biased fan here - as a disclaimer.
Flow and edges are her trademark. Since both girls are fast and powerful, if you like one you usually like the other too, as I do. However as a fan of Wakaba, I admit that I do let my anger at the judges sometimes make it appear as if I don't like Kaori(and Rika too) and my criticisms, while honest, can be quite blount and even hyperbolic sometimes. Lol. For that I do apologize to all the Kaori fans out there.
 
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