2020 NHK Trophy: Thoughts on Ladies

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
I just saw it on the little big screen (network television). Very enjoyable. The men made soem mistakes, but that's skating.

For the ladies, Wakaba Higuchi was my favorite. She is the Japanese Liza Tuktamysheva. :)
 

Jeanie19

Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Country
United-States
I thought all the ladies brought something special.
I am so happy to see Mai.
Marin is so underscored in pc's , I really don't understand it.
I liked Young You's Lord of the Rings program.
Yuhana and Nana both are special skaters, I hope they bring it at Nationals.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
As for skating, I liked Kaori, although her previous programs where IMO more interesting. With the new ones she feels quite comfortable, though. My problem with her is that even with the perceived "warm attitude" towards her by the Fed, even with a good margin after a SP she did not try anything new in the free program. Resting on laurels is not what figure skating is about nowadays. She can be competitive with Bradie and Mariah. But with the top Russians her only chance to beat them is relying on meltdowns....unless she is willing to take risks and introduces 3A and/or quads later this season
Easier said than done. It is one thing to say, "I guess I'll skate like Nathan Chen this season and do 5 quads." Actually doing it -- well, sometimes a skater can improve through hard work, sometimes the skater finds that she is already at the level that her talent can take her. Everyone else is working hard, too.
 

colormyworld240

Medalist
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
I just saw it on the little big screen (network television). Very enjoyable. The men made soem mistakes, but that's skating.

For the ladies, Wakaba Higuchi was my favorite. She is the Japanese Liza Tuktamysheva. :)
Then Marin is the Japanese Anastasia Gubanova. Many similarities in their excellent skating skills, interpretation, and style down to 2 of the best R&J programs ever. And also very similar career trajectories: extremely talented standouts in novices and juniors even in a crowded field, but overtaken by their initially less talented and special teammates in seniors. It's crazy that they never medalled at a senior GP despite having junior World/GPF medals.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
I don't know. They both (Liza Tuktamysheva and Wakaba Higuchi) are full of life and spirit. They are not etherial waifs. They are in your face, this is me, take it or leave it.
Agree, and I love them for it. I do think Wakaba and Tuk are polar opposites in terms of speed across the ice. But, neither aims to be an ice princess and both have SPs that I love this year and LPs that are less impressive.
 

surimi

Happy 21st, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
I finally finished watching the ladies free.
Kaori was really enjoyable and skated to the beat of the music. Simpler jumps, but she kept her energy throughout, and expressed the music quite well. The best of the night for me.
Wakaba is artistic, but apart from the step sequence I have to agree with my country's commentator this time, I am not feeling the flamenco much, and she looked very focused on her jumps. The 3A was big though.
Matsuike was a very pleasant surprise, hers was a loveable light program, very reminiscent for me of the young Canadian lady in last year's JGP.
Kudos to Yuhana for tackling cartoon music - pity the jumps weren't always there, but it has potential, and it's entertaining. She's a very expressive performer, too. I liked her.
I like Young's skating, but I don't get that music cut at all. I love LotR and remember most of the complete sountracks. I have no idea what the opening/closing gesture was supposed to mean, why she chose uruk-hai music while wearing an elven-style dress, or how her skating related to the dramatic Minas Tirith theme. I liked the SP much better. Good for her for tackling her first competition of the season like this, though.
It's good to see Mai and her artistry back. For how frail she still is, her content is admirable.
 

Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Country
New-Zealand
why she chose uruk-hai music while wearing an elven-style dress, or how her skating related to the dramatic Minas Tirith theme
Hmm... Maybe she's trying to allude to the beseiging of Helm's Deep by the Uruk-hai and the fact that the elves came to defend it (in the movie only). But then, why Minas Tirith? 😅 The orcs at the battle of the Pelennor Fields were from Mordor, not Isengard...

Maybe we're over-thinking it though. Otherwise every mundane detail could mean something (e.g. a stealthy reference to the re-forging of Anduril by having the symphonic score re-forged into a piano-violin cover?)
 

Stank Face

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Am I the only one who prefers Wakaba’s long program dress from last season, the purple and red one? I thought it was gorgeous and different/unusual. I don’t really like the black and red one. Too cliché
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Am I the only one who prefers Wakaba’s long program dress from last season, the purple and red one? I thought it was gorgeous and different/unusual. I don’t really like the black and red one. Too cliché
When she came out on the ice my first thought was, "OK -- it's going to be Carmen."

Flemenco on ice is a hard sell anyway (unless you are Stephane Lambiel). Pretty hard to work in any authentic-looking dance steps.

Great performance overall, though.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
I was really hoping Wakaba would get a new LP this year, but I imagine the pandemic prevented that and she wants to focus on technical growth. Her SP allows her to highlight her power, her good upper body control and her unique musicality. The LP is just a bit empty. I did prefer the LP dress last year, but the program is a bit forgettable
 

ali0125

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Country
Australia
I can tell Young You is the only non-Japanese (Colorado based) lady by looking at her edge - hope she can catch up soon since she's also training in Japan now.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
I can tell Young You is the only non-Japanese (Colorado based) lady by looking at her edge - hope she can catch up soon since she's also training in Japan now.
Actually believe she is primarily training with Hamada now. However, yes her knee bend and power aren’t close to normal Japanese standards. Most young Korean ladies don’t have particularly impressive SS. Haein Lee is an exception. Her basic skating is lovely.
 

Skatesocs

👋
Final Flight
Joined
May 16, 2020
I don't know. They both (Liza Tuktamysheva and Wakaba Higuchi) are full of life and spirit. They are not etherial waifs. They are in your face, this is me, take it or leave it.
Strange. I wouldn't say they are similar because of that at all. And I would not say "ethereal waifs" are not "in your face, take it or leave it". I can perhaps agree with you entirely literally, but I'm not looking at "ethereal waifs" like say Mao Asada and thinking she's not "take it or leave it" - that was entirely her own joy, her own spirit, her own personality on the ice. The "sassy" choreography of someone like Tuktamysheva or certain others whose fans I'd hate to attract because of their uninteresting takes on skating, OTOH, seem much more forced - "this is me, because you want me to be" - fake.

Wakaba Higuchi I'd say is the Mao Asada category, despite not being an "ethereal waif".
 
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