Yuri on Ice interview translation - PASH! 2017/03 (p11) (Q&A part)
Here’s the Q&A part that was published with the episode commentary and I didn’t have time to translate the other day.
Regarding the question about Chris’ acquaintance, you may want to read the report of the other day’s talk show to get a more complete idea.
(Side note: I still haven’t had time to answer some of the questions I received, please wait a little… I will also work on the very long interview with Kubo on the magazine Febri from tonight. Interview rush this month, really.)
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Mitsurou Kubo presents Q&A exhibition!!!
We asked Kubo-san about curiosities that didn’t fit the commentary, in a Q&A format.
Q. Why is Victor cold to JJ?
A. He genuinely doesn’t care (LOL). He doesn’t even remember JJ’s name correctly, but that’s because he is the type of person that doesn’t try to remember things he isn’t interested about. It’s not like he’s looking down or him or doesn’t get along, he really just doesn’t care. Until this point we hadn’t clearly shown Victor not being interested in someone, so I was thinking about a character who wouldn’t feel hurt even if Victor didn’t care about him… and realized that it could only be JJ. In fact, he wasn’t really bothered.
Q. What is Victor to JJ?
A. I think he is someone he has to challenge. The type of person he wants to confront and beat when they’re both in their very best condition. He would never want to win because Victor is in a bad condition or just out of a slump. More than admiring him, I think he wants to be his equal rival. And he believes that if he does his best he will get the gold medal. Therefore, to avoid looking at Victor like someone who is no match for him, he takes the liberty of speaking with him in that overfamiliar way. But I think that JJ is currently the one who is fighting against the fear of losing more than anyone else. It also looks like he didn’t really have a good relationship with his previous coaches and people didn’t understand him.
Q. Is Victor worried about the “whorl” of hair on his head?
A. More than Victor, this is something many Russian people care about. Though in Victor’s case I think it’s more like his hairline than the whorl (LOL). But I think that having such a weakness makes him a fascinating person. Before the FS in episode 7 Yuuri even presses the top of his head while a large audience is watching. In this scene I wanted to do something that people wouldn’t actually do in the real figure skating world, I had fun drawing it.
Q. We want to know more about Otabek!
A. In his private life he is also a DJ, and he’s kind of a street style guy. He actually has many mischievous friends. That’s why he finds Yurio really cool, because he has so many things that Otabek doesn’t have and admires. And he’s also the type who doesn’t give importance to hierarchies, so Yurio was happy that he wanted them to be equals. So you figure what happens when he asks him “will you come or not?”… (LOL)
Q. Who is the handsome guy always together with Chris?
A. He’s a man from the Swiss Skating Federation. I created him because I didn’t want Chris to feel lonely (LOL). I’m not going to say anything about what his relationship with Chris is, but we believe that he’s a former ice dancer that belongs to the Federation.
Q. We want to know some secret anecdotes about the last episode!
A. When I wrote the storyboard, I added “They say Katsuki is retiring.” as a subtitle. For Victor’s line I also considered “the ‘katsu’ in ‘Katsuki’ is the ‘katsu’ from ‘selfish’!*”, but I thought “nah, Victor is not that good at Japanese” and I didn’t use it (LOL). Also, in the storyboard there was a scene where Yuuri, before skating, is trying to tell Yurio that he’s going to retire but in the end isn’t able to tell him. But there was no time, so it was cut in the anime…
[*translator’s note: “Selfish” in Japanese can be said “jibunkatte” 自分勝手, where the kanji for the “kat(su)” part is the same kanji as the “Katsu” in “Katsuki” 勝生. I’m glad she didn’t use that because it would have been impossible to translate properly… though Victor does still use the word “jibunkatte” in the episode. Also, in the end they are supposed to be speaking in English together, so yeah. By the way, the subtitle she originally thought, which in Japanese is “Katsuki, intai suru’tte yo” is probably a reference to the title of the novel “The Kirishima Thing” that in Japanese is “Kirishima, bukatsu yameru’tte yo” and was adapted into a movie. The ’~tte yo’ wording has kind of become popular after that.]
Q. How did you decide the way Victor cries?
A. I drew it so that Victor’s tears wouldn’t stream down his cheeks but “drop from the tip of his eyelashes”. Sometimes people who aren’t used to crying do not move their facial muscles and don’t wipe their tears, so they just trickle down. The way Victor cries is something I had already roughly sketched in a meeting with the director.
Q. Why didn’t Phichit talk to Yuuri about his dream?
A. I think the reason Phichit-kun still hasn’t talked to Yuuri about his dream of holding an ice show in Thailand is that he too wants to surprise him. They have this kind of relationship. I think that all skaters, even if this time they couldn’t achieve their best results, are thinking about what they can do to create a skating world that they can enjoy even more than now, and about what they can do for their home countries.
Q. Why does Michele speak in the Hiroshima dialect?
A. In the setting he is from Naples and speaks English with an Italian accent, so to express that I decided that he would speak in Hiroshima dialect.
Q. Tell us how you feel now that the series is over and about the future!
A. I am very well aware that you are all hoping for a continuation of the show, and with director Yamamoto we always talk about what we would like to do if we ever have the chance to work again with the staff that has gathered to make this series. We still do not know if a “St. Petersburg arc” would be the best. However, it’s definitely not something that I can do alone, and to draw this series again we would need to collect a lot of information and find many new things. It wasn’t a series that was possible to create just inside my head. But we must create something convincing, otherwise people are not going to follow us, and it wouldn’t come true. More than anything, the thought that we might not see Yuuri, Victor, Yurio and the other characters again makes us sadder than anyone else. Actually, I’m going to go on a trip abroad with the director soon (LOL), and we are planning to talk about the future too. I hope we have time to discuss carefully about what lies ahead for “Yuri on Ice”, and I’ll be happy if you keep on supporting us in the meantime.