Sota Yamamoto

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thank you so much for the translation, Rainbow, and for the video link, cornception! And lovely photos there! Love how Kazuki and Sota are posing together, aww. It looks like they even swapped medals in some of those photos, or are my eyes deceiving me?

I hope Sota isn't too harsh on himself after Gensan. He did look apologetic after the skate, but he did his best. He just needs to get used to the upgraded layout. Both me and mom (fellow Sota fan) got worried when we saw Sota limping away to the KnC after the LP. I hope it was just exhaustion, and that his poor ankle is fine... :pray: Little by little he'll get there, as long as he doesn't rush too much. Now onward to the Challengers! Is anyone going?
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
OP updated to include provisional results from Gensan. If anyone stumbles upon the SP video, I'll be happy to edit it in too.
Koshiro's words from Cornception's link on the previous page would be nice to have translated, if anyone cares to?
BTW @ cornception - congrats on your new avie! I believe it's the first Sota avatar on GS. :hap36:
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018

Thank you for this! Sota's skills impress me as usual, and the song suits him more than I thought :love:
I just think the programme needs more choreo to be more distinctive, especially as Kevin Aymoz's rendition of this song is still very fresh on people's minds.
Also, the costume! He needs a new one ASAP. This one is not flattering and the colour looks really washed out on the ice.
Overall, I don't think it's a bad programme/choice for him, just it needs some adjustments to make full use of his amazing artistry and gorgeous lines. Hopefully his team will work on it as the season progresses :pray:
 

Gabby30

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Thank you for this! Sota's skills impress me as usual, and the song suits him more than I thought :love:
I just think the programme needs more choreo to be more distinctive, especially as Kevin Aymoz's rendition of this song is still very fresh on people's minds.
Also, the costume! He needs a new one ASAP. This one is not flattering and the colour looks really washed out on the ice.
Overall, I don't think it's a bad programme/choice for him, just it needs some adjustments to make full use of his amazing artistry and gorgeous lines. Hopefully his team will work on it as the season progresses :pray:

I don't know who Kevin Aymoz is and why should people remember him? Lets focus on Sota here, it's his FF.
I wouldn't judge a program skated at a summer competition, for obvious reasons. Lets see how international judges are going to react
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
I don't know who Kevin Aymoz is and why should people remember him? Lets focus on Sota here, it's his FF.
I wouldn't judge a program skated at a summer competition, for obvious reasons. Lets see how international judges are going to react

You see, the thing is, Sota will not be competing in the vacuum. His programme will be compared to his competitors' programmes and it's sort of inevitable that there will also be comparisons with people who skated to the same songs before him (Kevin Aymoz is just an example, those of us who actually follow figure skating know who he is).

That's just how figure skating is, I'm afraid. It's a judged sport. All I'm saying is I hope his team work on the programme so it can fully showcase Sota's amazing qualities.
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Contrary to what you may think, it is possible to be a fan and express concerns or even criticize at the same time. Being a fan doesn't equal blind uncritical admiration. Kirara has every right to express her opinion. If you've not seen Aymoz's FP last season, it is your problem. It has won quite a bit of praise so Kirara raises an absolutely valid concern.
@ Kirara, at least there won't be a battle of the Shirts at NHK as Kevin has a new FP. :) Now, let's wait where Sota moves the programs with more practice and with the early season kinks gone. It's demanding and at this point I still prefer the previous seasons' programs, but once he gets comfortable with these two, who knows, it just could work! I am particularly curious about his SP potential. I wouldn't have a problem with him returning to his previous expression range TBH, because it was already good and his posture is to die for, so no need for any body contortions if he finds out it doesn't work for him. JMO.
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Contrary to what you may think, it is possible to be a fan and express concerns or even criticize at the same time. Being a fan doesn't equal blind uncritical admiration. Kirara has every right to express her opinion. If you've not seen Aymoz's FP last season, it is your problem. It has won quite a bit of praise so Kirara raises an absolutely valid concern.
@ Kirara, at least there won't be a battle of the Shirts at NHK as Kevin has a new FP. :) Now, let's wait where Sota moves the programs with more practice and with the early season kinks gone. It's demanding and at this point I still prefer the previous seasons' programs, but once he gets comfortable with these two, who knows, it just could work! I am particularly curious about his SP potential. I wouldn't have a problem with him returning to his previous expression range TBH, because it was already good and his posture is to die for, so no need for any body contortions if he finds out it doesn't work for him. JMO.

LOL 'Battle of the shirts' :laugh:

You hit the nail in the head here. I have concerns BECAUSE I'm a Sota fan, and also a figure skating fan in general, so I am fully aware of the challenges ahead. Japanese Nationals, for example, will be a complete bloodbath. Sota will definitely need programmes that stand out and showcase him at his best.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how his programmes will develop. You're right, it would be nice to see different sides to his skating but if it doesn't work out, going back to his previous style wouldn't be a problem ;)
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Looks like Tsurara is very busy so I summarized what Koshiro said about Sota in an interview at JSF camp.
Basically Koshiro said briefly said that he trained with Sota for the first time since Youth Olympics and was impressed by Sota's quads and his seemingly effortless gliding across the ice.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
A bit late but here's an excerpt from an article after Gensan Summer Cup. https://www.daily.co.jp/general/2019/08/12/0012602386.shtml

After LP Sota said,“I wanted to win so I am very kuyashii.”
He newly added the 4S to the 4T which was his only quad previously. With upgraded layouts he came to this season’s first competition and after he finished, he expressed his regret “(Before this season) I used to be able to skate well because of easy layouts. With harder layouts I could not deliver good performances because of my lack of ability. He noticed his problem, “The last step sequence should have been the highlighted part but I ran out of stamina.”
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thanks Rainbow! Good to know it was only a stamina issue. I hope he's feeling fine otherwise.
haha, I did catch the “I wanted to win so I am very kuyashii” in that interview (it went "yuushoushitakatta node, totemo kuyashii desu" IIRC?). Cf. a 12-year-old Sota after Asian Open (his earliest interview I know of): "yuushoushitakatta node, chotto kyuashii desu!" The difference between the 12-year-old and the 19-year-old is just the degree of kuyashii, lol! First he was a little frustrated, now he's very frustrated. :laugh:

Some cool Sota fanart by my favorite artist (got inspired by the Kazuki thread, but this artist doesn't seem to have drawn Kazuki yet :( )
- Nobunaga concerto opening pose: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Drp2h71V4AETeo-.jpg
- from another angle: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dwep0OxU8AUBOYi.jpg
- performing Nobunaga: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DtqlOscU4AAbYh2.jpg
- another take: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D_qLHTtUYAAA1P1.jpg
- Air on G String: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dvgh962UwAU4mDf.jpg
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
A Japanese Sota-fan blogger, Komichi, posted a Gensan Cup report written by her follower, June, who went to see Sota’s short and free programs for two days. I got permission from them to share this review by June, who wrote it down each day late at night while the excitement was still fresh. Huge thanks to Komichi and June! https://ameblo.jp/kmn-psn/entry-12506750123.html
Translation:
◇◇◇
Hi, I am home! Wow, it was amazing, in many ways.

It was the first time I have gone to the Summer Cup to see Sota-kun’s new programs (short and free) with my own eyes. The journey was more grueling than expected but I was deeply moved all the more.

<Day 1>
■ Arena
First off, the day of the short: Since Sota-kun was to compete late at night, I went to the arena around noon and watched junior ladies’ competition from partway through. As there were so many ladies competing, even though I missed the earlier part I saw about 30 ladies. I was standing for about three hours.

I spotted some empty seats on the opposite side but I held on wanting to see skating from the judges’ side! In the end, I was lucky to get the seat which I’d had my eye on as the best as soon as it became open. Anyway, this time the arena temperature was extremely high and I was drenched in sweat and had been already exhausted from standing on feet. Phew.

■ Rinkside
Afterwards, youthful and heartwarming junior men competed, and finally senior men started. Towards the end of the second group when Kishina-kun was skating, Sota-kun showed up at the rinkside. I was watching Sota-kun most of the time so I could not focus on Kishina-kun’s performance. (Sorry) :)

■6-min. warmup
And then Sota-kun went on the ice. During the 6-minute warmup he landed a clean 4-3 and the crowd went wild. I got the impression that he went for the jumps with confidence. It was perfect. The one he fell on was salchow? My heart skipped a beat. Fall is bad for the viewers’ hearts.

Anyhow last season he was still cautious in 6-minute warmup and he kept his jump attempt to a minimum, but this season he was eager to jump. He seemed more determined.

My heart was pounding when he took off his jacket, but I was a bit relieved to see the never-failing Anthem costume. :)

■SP
And now, his performance started. When he landed the opening (quad) salchow the audience erupted in applause. Unfortunately he made a combo mistake but he nailed the axel jump and he received another thunderous applause. To be honest, although I wished his success in salchow I had been in half doubt, and when he landed it in front of me I was amazed even more.

Well, it was certainly great to see his jump success, but I was particularly moved by how well Sota-kun’s skating blended into the music! Wow, Sota-kun had said “This music suites my skating,” but I had never imagined it would work so well; magnificent skating to the magnificent music. They enhanced each other. I felt great to see his skating matched the music so well.

I cannot recall the details of choreography, but the movement where he quickly spread his arms wide looked like he was spreading his wings. I want to add that my own, purely personal view is that this program will surely turn out to be out of this world. His upper body movements were sometimes still stiff but if his jumps become consistent as he completes his program with fine tuning, “Sota-kun’s” East of Eden will no doubt stay in our memory!

<Day 2>
Well, his short blew me away, but his free knocked me out.

■Arena
Although I knew that it would be more crowded on the day of the free I did not leave my hotel early to go to the arena. Of course all the seats were taken and unlike the day before no one left in the middle. I had no choice but to be standing and chose the last row behind the judges’ middle seat.

Therefore I ended up standing for more than five hours. People kept coming in and I was unable to leave because if I did I would have lost my spot! As a result I could not go to ladies room…:cry:. As before it was incredibly hot inside the arena, and the heat kept draining my energy.

However, my fatigue and exhaustion went right away when I watched Sota-kun’s free program.

■Rinkside
Among the last group of senior men Sota-kun came to the rinkside. Through opera glasses I saw him getting focused using AirPods.

Before the short he was not warming up very much and he was walking up and down listening to music. Compared with the time going into the free, before the short he looked much more relaxed.

By contrast, he looked highly motivated before the free and I could tell even from a distance that he was fired up. He was thoroughly warming up; jogging around and shoulder rotation. Also he gazed at the ice for a while, probably trying to see the condition of the ice.

■6-min. warmup
6-miinute warmup: The costume he revealed was—huh? What color was it? Anyway it seemed to match the vibe of the song. The soft fabric trembled in the wind. When I looked carefully I saw sparsely scattered rhinestones. Looking at Sota-kun in his new costume I said to myself “Huh? Who on earth is this tall young guy?” He looked mature so suddenly that I was startled and my heart fluttered.

And then he landed a clean 4T. Every time he landed a jump the crowd was excited. We were in kansai and Tomono-kun seemed to be most popular with the crowd, but they cheered for Sota-kun about as much as for Tomono-kun.

■Rinkside
Next, the last group competition started. However, unfortunately [smile] while skaters before him were performing Sota-kun was warming up at rinkside; slow jogging around, shoulder rotation, etc, Thanks to that I could not concentrate on Kishina-kun’s performance (I am so sorry). :)
■ FS
Then, finally Sota-kun delivered his free program. What can I say? I don’t know how others felt and I hate to use this word but…It was awesome (yabai). After his performance I was in a daze. I felt I saw something incredible. Only people who were there in the same arena might have felt that way. Or I may be the only one who felt like that.

Part way through the program, from the moment he paused with his head down between his hands, honestly I kept trembling. I was so captivated. This kid…he…Sota-kun… Since when was he able to perform like this? When did he learn how to express these emotions? I may be exaggerating but I felt like all the feelings of pain, sadness, heartbreak, being madly in love…these emotions were gushing out of his body.

Was I touched? Ah, what I felt was much more than that. His performance touched my soul. I have never experienced such a feeling since I started watching figure skating. Jump? Oh, come to think of it, he was jumping too, [smile] but his performance was so heart-touching that I almost forgot about jumps and spins. Even now I am still dazzled. Camerlengo sensei was great, and Sota-kun who followed his instructions was great as well.

■ Medal Ceremony
About 100 people surrounded the podium. I got there late so I was at about 5 meters away from the podium. The heat was unbearable and I felt like being in a hot steam room. Sota-kun was jiggling his costume. I was all sweaty too and when I raised my arm holding a smartphone, the sweat started dripping down my arm.

Sota-kun was smiling during the whole time. He did not look tired and was thanking his fans for their congratulations, but upon closer look of his eyes I sensed his kuyashii feeling. When Tomono-kun spoke to him he responded with a smile, but he must have been very kuyashii in his heart.

Finally after taking some photos of medal ceremony and remembering Sota-kun’s pleasant smile (a great treat), I headed back home. Originally I had planned to see senior ladies competition but I felt I should rather preserve the precious memory of Sota-kun, so I changed my plan and left the arena.

Now I conclude my Summer Cup report. I am sorry for my unsophisticated writing. I apologize if my writing is incoherent because I was too excited. After all, it was worth going to see the competition all the way. The heat and standing on feet wore me out, but I felt like I came home with a diamond, much better than beef. Thank you Sota-kun! Thank you all for cheering for him.

■ Extra
Komichi (blogger): I saw his costume on TV on demand and it looked yellowish grey. What kind of color was it when you saw it with your own eyes?

Well, it is hard to describe its color. Looking at the photo taken at the ceremony it looks to be dark greenish grey. I felt the subtle hue is a quite good fit for the atmosphere created by the music. Actually until last season his costumes are more like made for a junior skater, but when I saw him in his new costume I felt like he had become an adult all of a sudden. I would think at last Sota-kun is hot and mature!

■ Extra 2
On the day of the short, after finishing his, Tomono-kun was watching Sota-kun’s performance. They have a nice friendly rivalry (^^).
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Some cool Sota fanart by my favorite artist (got inspired by the Kazuki thread, but this artist doesn't seem to have drawn Kazuki yet :( )
- Nobunaga concerto opening pose: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Drp2h71V4AETeo-.jpg
- from another angle: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dwep0OxU8AUBOYi.jpg
- performing Nobunaga: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DtqlOscU4AAbYh2.jpg
- another take: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D_qLHTtUYAAA1P1.jpg
- Air on G String: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dvgh962UwAU4mDf.jpg

Oh wow, those fan arts are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! :love:

■ Extra 2
On the day of the short, after finishing his, Tomono-kun was watching Sota-kun’s performance. They have a nice friendly rivalry (^^).

Thank you, rRainbow, for your translation! :thank:
I have no idea what Sota thinks about Kazuki's skating (does anyone know?), but I can tell you for sure that Kazuki was watching Sota not only as a friend and rival, but he's also a HUGE fan of Sota's skating! I have no doubt if Kazuki was a GS user he would be here in Sota's FF, fanboying with us :laugh:
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
I haven't had a chance to read many Sota interviews unfortunately, so I cannot answer Kirara's question - maybe one of Sota's Japanese fans would know? :)
I'll bet that Sota admires Kazuki's contact with the audience and his ability to skate to upbeat music.

I have a question of my own as I'm a skating theory illiterate: why was Sota's last spin in the Gensan Cup LP invalidated? The LP link is here in this thread, but I see nothing in that spin that would strike me as unusually bad - in fact his second spin looked visually worse to me than the last. Help appreciated. :/
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Hiya, just wanted to share this report from the Gensan Summer Cup: http://yumiyo.myjournal.jp/archives/20578985.html, there is a short interview with Sota.
It kinda works on Google Translate, but I won't post it here in case rRainbow wants to translate ;)

There is also an interview with Kazuki, and the writer mentions Kazuki finished his interview in a hurry because he wanted to see Sota skate :laugh:
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thanks for sharing, Tsurara! But I have to say, a post saying 'today it was Sota's turn' coming right after one saying that Tatsuya was injured, made my heart initially skip a beat. :drama:
Just one more week till US Classic btw...
 

Tsurara

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Oops, sorry about that, surimi... I thought I had talked about NHK Trophy messages in here too, but it was in another FF thread :drama:
(And don't worry, I would never talk about anyone's injuries so lightly.)
 
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