2020 NHK Trophy: Thoughts on Men

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Quick note about my favorite Shun. He really wasn't even close to his best here. I love that kid but injury is really taking a toll. His SS looked worse, his posture looked worse and his programs aren't doing him any favors. That being said, I still believe in him and love his skating for some reason??? His little face looks so crestfallen when he makes mistakes. At least it looks likes he has a supportive coach. He has to stop throwing in jumps like that, but I don't think he is going to stop that YOLO attitude so I just wish him recovery and success.
I want him to skate clean programs at nats just to see his coach repeat his jgpf reaction:biggrin:
 

Stank Face

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Yuma's performance is even more impressive when you consider that only three weeks ago he fell four times during his lp at Japanese Sectionals. He was so embarrassed that it appeared he was crying in the K&C. He was also probably in pain. It's obvious it was a fluke, though. He had a nasty trip and fall during the choreographic sequence and I think that's probably what led to the further two falls on the triple axels.
 

Jenda358

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Overall, I really enjoyed this event, the highlight being Yuma Kagiyama ofc.

Anyway, I would like to point out one thing about Shun Sato's 4Ts – the one in the short and the first one in the free (the solo one). The rotation he gets is enormous! Not only he fully rotates it (literally nothing is missing), he actually finishes the rotation in the air and then just waits! Amazing and very rare thing to see on a quad!
If you haven't noticed this, look at the slow-mo shots of these jumps and perferably slow them down even more (or, ideally, go frame by frame).
 

Greengemmonster

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
My love for Shun really comes from three things. First, I feel he is the underdog and has no idea how truly talented he is. I feel motherly toward him and want him to succeed. I love a humble nerd and he is one. Secondly, he is fearless. Thirdly, when not injured his jumping skills are really unparalleled. I believe he can land a 5T or a quad axel. If you don’t believe me look at his LP at JGPF last year, and see how much time he has left in the air when he finishes rotating those elements. Finally, he skates with his heart on his sleeve. Basically, I have adopted him in my heart and the ugliest spins won’t remove him from it.
So weird we both really like Shun and Rika. I followed someone on Twitter for Rika info and they love Shun as well!

I've been observing Shun since JGP last year. I secretly kinda love the crazy yolo attitude. I've always wondered if skaters could tack on more random jumps when they miss one. It amused me to no end that Shun came along and does just that.
 

Skater Boy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Yay Yuma! Boo Covid. Yuma was the class of the filed and won by a landslide. But it is hard to get into this as a GP event. Japan didn't even have one ifs top two world conenders. And the scoring is suspect - like all "national' events even though this is suppose to be international. I am not sure the gP events should have been allowed to keep their name.. they should have had alternative name. Sayingyou won this year is rather disngenious or asterik. Not to take away whoever won was the best who could show up with quarintine and restrictions. So the overall competiition was rather ho hum
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Yeah, once again, the beauty is on the eye on the beholder 😬
Yuma's packaging, with that all green costume and a lot of random transitions/choreo executed without emotion, doesn't do it for me.

I also think 'Yumaflation' is basically depressing the whole field - everyone was extra stressed because they know they had to be pristine clean in order to have the slight chance against Yuma. I think if the fed wasn't so obviously playing favourites, Yuma would still win, but we would have had a better event overall.

Also, it's easy to brand Shun as 'crazy', but I'm not surprised he's injured. He probably feel that doing 26374849 quads is the only way of beating Yuma, and that's not good for his health and overall development.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
I just found videos of foetus Shun and Yuma.
I was searching a video of Shun at 2017 junior nats when he yoloed a 3A at the end of his FS. Didn't find it.

So cute! Shun was a great jumper even at 9(?) sadly his spins look exactly the same. Shun practice your spins! Yuma was adorable he had the face of an old man. He does not seem like a natural jumper so it is very impressive that he is such a good consistent jumper now.
 

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Also, it's easy to brand Shun as 'crazy', but I'm not surprised he's injured. He probably feel that doing 26374849 quads is the only way of beating Yuma, and that's not good for his health and overall development.
Not only that but he is also probably feeling since....forever that it's the only way for him to be in conversation for anything.
He didn't get any jgp ot jwc spot for two years while he was age-eligible. He missed the junior nats title (and jwc spot) by 0,47 points (robbed).

Yuma took a clear lead on him just 1 year back. Before that, Shun was frequently winning against him in junior level, finishing twice above him at junior nats.
Before Yuma there were other skaters who were always getting generous mark and the only way for him to compete was to land hard jumps. At seniors nats he was basically bullied. So much that he had 0 chance to win any spot. The pcs treatment was bs.

He can take time to work on spins, posture, ss and other things but other skaters have so much lead that he must feel that quads are the easiest way to close the gap.

So cute! Shun was a great jumper even at 9(?) sadly his spins look exactly the same. Shun practice your spins! Yuma was adorable he had the face of an old man. He does not seem like a natural jumper so it is very impressive that he is such a good consistent jumper now.
It's indeed impressive. Three years back i wouldn't have said that he could one day land quads and 3As like that. His father did a good job.
 
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KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
He can take time to work on spins, posture, ss and other things but other skaters have so much lead that he must feel that quads are the easiest way to close the gap.
This! The way the fed and the press treat him like just a sparring partner for Yuma makes me so sad.
 

lostlutz

Spectator
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
In contrast to many of you, I actually think Yuma pcs is too low. His ss, posture and the way he moves on ice is exceptional. The choreography is great and unique too. For his age his body movement and body expression is outstanding.
Yep. If Boyang and Morisi can get 88 in this gp seris, I think Kagiyama can get at least 85. Unlike some others here, I think the Jpn fed isn't holding him up that much but rather sending him message to wait for his turn. I doubt they'd let him win Nationals this year even if their #1 and #2 bomb. :rolleye:
 

lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
Sato won JGP last year, so it wasn’t all doom&gloom for him. Certainly fingers crossed for him to recover by the JapNats & put an excellent skate.
 

MarkinBerkeley

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
I enjoyed the event, but Yuma was the only one who really impressed, with just one minor popping error and many gorgeous jumping passes. He's definitely a World Championship silver or bronze medal contender.
 

Stank Face

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Yeah, once again, the beauty is on the eye on the beholder 😬
Yuma's packaging, with that all green costume and a lot of random transitions/choreo executed without emotion, doesn't do it for me.

I also think 'Yumaflation' is basically depressing the whole field - everyone was extra stressed because they know they had to be pristine clean in order to have the slight chance against Yuma. I think if the fed wasn't so obviously playing favourites, Yuma would still win, but we would have had a better event overall.

Also, it's easy to brand Shun as 'crazy', but I'm not surprised he's injured. He probably feel that doing 26374849 quads is the only way of beating Yuma, and that's not good for his health and overall development.
Blaming Yuma's existence and/or JFed for Shun's injury and the mistakes made by Shun and the rest of the field is unfair and sounds like bitter grapes. If Shun wants to get similar PCS and GOE to what Yuma is getting, maybe he should work on his skating skills, spins and jump landings some more.

Yuma certainly needs to work on his performance ability and facial expression, but there is a reason his PCS was several points higher than the rest of the field. He only made one minor mistake while the others made tons of mistakes, his skating skills are already some of the best in the world, and the choreography and transitions were quite complex. There were lots of changes in direction and pattern (multidirectional skating), and his body went through a lot of changes in plane, especially during the choreographic sequence of his lp (which it's obvious he's still getting used to as there was a slight loss of balance at the end of it). Also, I'm not really a fan of either music choice this season, but the transitions and choreography are not random. Several of his jumps were choreographed to land right on the musical accents (the 3F near the beginning of the lp immediately comes to mind). Lori Nichol knows what's she's doing. She doesn't just randomly place things in programs. I will agree that the lp costume could be better, though. I think it looks like green silk pajamas.
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
I definitely don't question Lori's ability, but for me any choreo looks random when it's executed without emotion and commitment.

About Shun, if you don't see the political context, welp, I don't know what to say 😬
 

Stank Face

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
I definitely don't question Lori's ability, but for me any choreo looks random when it's executed without emotion and commitment.

About Shun, if you don't see the political context, welp, I don't know what to say 😬
If you don’t see how Yuma is a much more complete and well-rounded skater than Shun at this point, welp, I don’t know what to say 😬
 

Stank Face

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
I definitely don't question Lori's ability, but for me any choreo looks random when it's executed without emotion and commitment.

About Shun, if you don't see the political context, welp, I don't know what to say 😬
Also, a skater can be committed to the choreo with their body, but not their facial expression, and that’s exactly the case with Yuma. It was also the case with Mao Asada for much of the early part of her career. She often had a blank face until later in her career. Some people have been saying the same about Kostornaia the past couple of seasons, especially this season. And Rika Kihira isn’t exactly known for her facial expression, even though I very much enjoy her skating.
 
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