There’s nothing unusual about this particular Tuesday. He wakes up in the abandoned warehouse he’d claimed in North Carolina, on top of an old flea-bitten mattress, and he’s wallowing in his usual morning routine of self-doubt and questioning his life choices. It isn’t until he realizes the sad, pitiful meowing is not coming from the feral cats he tries to feed with what meager income he can get doing odd jobs, but is in fact, coming from himself.
He is a cat.
Derek takes stock of the situation. This must be that witch he met yesterday; he’d politely asked her to move on from this town because her anti-aging potions were giving the neighborhood ladies glow-in-the-dark hair and it wouldn’t be long until she attracted attention– of the local supernatural enforcement kind, meaning packs, meaning emissaries, meaning Derek would have to move on. Yet again. She’d shot some spells at him, ruined his favorite leather jacket, and chased him through the woods where there were a startling amount of hidden cameras. Derek then had to avoid several bungling FBI agents and led them on a merry chase through the woods until losing them, then he headed back to town.
The worst part was that whatever spell it was, Derek couldn’t shift into a wolf. He’d forgotten about it once he got to safety, and there didn’t seem to be any other effects of the spell, but…
4/2 Interview with Yuzuru and Shoma after the Worlds gala.
Y = Yuzuru, S = Shoma, I = Interviewers
Y and S: Thank you!
I1: Hanyu-senshu. Your free was unbelievable.
Y: Thank you.
I1: After getting 5th in the short, how did you get over it and have a strong mentality for the free (literal translation: how did you switch your feelings)??
Y: I actually did not prepare myself mentally (literal translation: I did not switch my feelings), and it was my fans’ voices and the voices of support from my team that motivated me.
I1: You said you felt as if you were the wind and you were flowing in a river and that you were part of nature, but when exactly was it that you felt this way?
Y: It was during the steps before my first quad loop when I felt as if my consciousness was melting away.
I1: When you say melting away, do you mean like how you felt like the wind during your performance?
Y: Hmm yes, I felt as if I was floating.
I1: Everyone’s been saying your 4S3T is one of your biggest points, how did you feel about it?
Y: I was very nervous, especially because when I missed it in the short program, I didn’t feel any doubt going into it.
I1: You had an injury this season and even though I assume you probably struggled with that, you said that you are your biggest rival. I am just very curious on why your motivation is so high!
Y: There’s still so many things I have to work on, and during every single one of my performances I think, “Oh this time this was bad, that was bad”.
I2: Yuzuru, well done! (Otsukaresamadeshita!)
Y: Thank you so much.
I2: We saw that you hugged Javier, but were you able to tell him anything?
Y: (stumbles a bit calculating years) 2 years ago when I couldn’t win for the second time in a row, and last year when I was very frustrated, Javier was able to make me feel better, and this time I told him the same exact words that he told me during those times.
I1: Was Shoma a good presence for you in this competition?
Y: Yes, of course, he is so good, and he is improving consistently, one step at a time, so competitions are so exciting with him.
I1: Again, Shoma, congratulations. After that devastating result last year, I’m sure you practiced very much this season. Being able to stabilize two new quads this season, I think you practiced a LOT, right?
S: Last season, I practiced way too much which was why I wasn’t mentally prepared for the pressure at competitions, so things did not go my way. So if I was asked if I practiced more this season than last season, I don’t think I did. However, this season, I really think during each practice, and the quality of each practice session has changed, and I believe the result of this competition really showed that.
I1: Wow, you practiced less on purpose! I saw that you watched Yuzuru’s performance and scores before your free. How did you feel stepping onto the ice for your free?
S: I knew for sure that Japan would safely get 3 Olympic spots, so I was determined to just do my own performance.
I1: So you were really conscious of the spots then?
S: Yes, I definitely thought that was the most important thing, and my goal to avenge for last year was only my second priority. So I was able to skate very lightheartedly after seeing Yuzuru skate like that.
I2: When you entered the green room, we saw that you two hugged and you told Yuzuru, “It was because of you, Yuzu-kun!” How did Yuzuru support you?
S: Well I felt a lot of pressure because of the spots, and as I said before, that was my number one priority, and I am very happy that we have 3 spots for next season, and of course, because of the heart-strengthening presence of Yuzuru, I was able to skate like I did.
I1: (to Yuzuru) Was it the first time you felt as if you were the wind/you were flowing in a river?
Y: Yes, that was the first time.
I1: We saw some exhibition footage, and rumors are going around that you tried jumping the 4A.
Y: Nope, no I did not. I kept trying to revenge the 3A, as I really wanted to land a nice 3A… I’m so sorry, I apologize!
I1: And Shoma, we heard you were trying the 4Lz?
S: Yep, indeed I was.
I1: Is it because you’re gonna try to do it in the Pyeongchang Olympics?
S: Well, this was the first time I ever tried it and it was merely for fun, so please don’t expect anything from it!
I3: Well done, Yuzu! Man, after the short program I did not know what to expect!
Y: Haha, sorry.
I3: Your axis was a little off wasn’t it?
Y: Yes, it was.
I3: And you made sure and adjusted it to perfect it in the free right?
I3: This shows that you really are Hanyu Yuzuru, the ‘Jumping Genius’.
Y: Thank you. Well, in reality I wasn’t really thinking about the axis, I was more conscious of the entrance. Actually, I didn’t feel any doubt going into the jump when I missed it in my short, so I just decided to believe in myself and went for it.
I3: Your free made everyone in the world emotional. It was absolutely amazing.
Y: Thank you very much.
I1: Next season is Olympics, how do you think the competition will be at Pyeongchang?
Y: I believe it will be the exact extension of this competition. After experiencing this competition, I really really felt a ‘pre-Olympic season’ vibe. Because we have so many talented skaters going into the Olympics, with many bringing in new elements, it will come down to how consistent we are as we are right now, and how high the perfection will be even with the new elements. I believe this next period will be very exciting.
I1: Are you planning to include a new quad?
Y: Right now, I am thinking about it. After this competition, I feel very accomplished that I was able to skate perfectly with four quads, and it gave me a lot of confidence, so I will see based on how I practice from now on.
I1: We’ve heard that you were saying that there isn’t even a scoring system for quints.
Y: I don’t think myself personally is going that high yet, but skaters like Boyang, Nathan, and Vincent who won Junior Worlds this season and can do a 4Lz with his hands over his head… These skaters are doing crazy stuff in juniors, so I believe there might be a scoring system for quints after the Olympics.
I1: Shoma, going into this Olympic season, there is a big big wall in front of you named Yuzuru, how are you going into this next season?
S: Well, Yuzuru isn’t a wall for me, he is more of my goal, as I’ve been practicing with Yuzu-kun as my ultimate goal, and I will be, even from now on, practicing with Yuzu-kun as my ultimate goal.
Y: Thank you.
I1: Yuzuru, to conclude, as this has been a very proud, emotional night for all the fans in Japan, please say a message to all of the fans.
Y: All of Team Japan has fought very hard for our spots for the Olympics. The three spots were something we won over. As a team, we would like to continue doing our best heading towards the Olympics.
Just tried some quick painting~ I’m curious about Nami’s dress. I imagine it dark red but Luffy’s suit is already that colour and I don’t think they will repeat it? So I did it in green. I like also dark lilac or black ~