Yamamoto: Many of YoI’s skaters were inspired by real-life people, and Yuuri is no exception. In Yuuri’s case, I’ve heard about someone who is usually timid, lacks confidence and believes to be mentally weak, but once he steps on ice, turns into a competitive skater who wants the audience, the judges, and the viewers from all over the world to look only at them. I found it to be a really interesting mentality and that’s where I got my idea for Yuuri from. This Yuuri stands at the edge of the proverbial cliff - and then changes through his meeting with his hero and rival, Viktor. Thanks to this meeting, Yuuri himself starts reaching for more and more, grows stronger. I find relationships with labels like “lovers” or “family” to be stifling, so I came up with these two characters that are not bound by names like that, who hold each other dear and who share a bond that would be difficult to replace. As a skater Yuuri has an individual sense of rhythm, his steps his unique weapon, but even on a solid ground, he’s a great dancer. When he was young, Minako-sensei taught Yuuri the basics of ballet, and, as Viktor praises him highly, his skating feels like he is creating music with his body - it moves into dance on its own as he charms his audience.
Kubo: Yuuri is the kinda type of a glass-wearing character I draw often. (laughs) Many skaters have bad eyesight, and Yuuri too skates without his glasses. I though people would love the narrow-eyed, uneasy face he makes when trying to read his score, so I added that element, too. I aimed for a design that would be easy for Hiramatsu to draw, so instead of deciding every detail, I drew a base that would later spring to life under Hiramatsu’s hands. “Change” is an important aspect of Yuuri, so I gave him a seemingly ordinary appearance instead of making an easy-to-get pretty boy. Yuuri is slightly taller than a typical Japanese person - that’s because both the director and I are around 165-170cm, and we though it’d be nice if he was taller than us. Yuuri’s eyebrows are in a slanted ハ shape, but turn sharp when he competes. Things that are easier to explain via animation, like Yuuri’s hair growing longer as the show progresses, are also present.
Hiramatsu: I made sure he looks different during his chubby and slim phases. His best body shape would be right after “Onsen on Ice”. We based Yuuri on a typical Japanese body: he doesn’t have long legs, wide shoulders or a spectacular butt, but going with Kubo’s drawings, I gave him long arms and bony hands. Yuuri grows about 10cm taller when he dons his skating shoes, which makes his legs look longer. Yuuri’s Japanese silhouette was influenced by Yasuhiko’s style, who was in charge of many of his scenes.
Yamamoto: I think, surprisingly, there are many people like Viktor in the skating world (laughs). Viktor doesn’t care about what people around him think of him, he thinks it’s obvious that he is the center of all the attention. Viktor acts as he pleases and through it, he believes he brings joy to others. I love it when characters like him appear out of the blue. In this case, Yuuri is the cause of Viktor’s sudden appearance. Yuuri barged into Viktor’s world that he closed himself in without noticing, believing he has to create all the new surprises. Yuuri offered Viktor a possibility he hadn’t thought about - becoming someone’s coach. Unconsciously, Viktor is lonely, without anyone of similar circumstances, without anyone he could empathize together with. Viktor didn’t yearn for someone to understand him; he didn’t see it as a problem, but also didn’t realize how lonely he was. Yuuri is not the only one who became stronger by experiencing love - through Yuuri, Viktor learned new feelings and grew stronger.
Kubo: I challenged myself to create a character everyone would look at and find handsome, moreso than in my previous works. Viktor’s hair is silver, with some lighter streaks. At first I also thought about giving him a hair that looks silver, but once you see it from up close, turns out to be blond hair with many streaks of white hair. However, I couldn’t find enough information on how white hair grows on blondes so I gave up (laughs). Thinking of balancing his height with Yuuri’s when they stand next to each other, I made Viktor slightly taller.
I wanted Viktor’s face to be recognizable in gag scenes and so gave him a heart-shaped mouth.
This is something straight out of the shojo manga era of “Tokimeki Tonight” or “Ohayo! Spank” (laughs).
I wanted there to be something unexpected in contrast to Viktor’s usual handsomeness.
That aspect of him where he worries about his receding hairline, you know, where it goes slightly above the sweet spot?
I wanted the viewers to watch it with a beating heart and confuse that feeling with falling in love. A suspension bridge effect. (haha)
I took heaps of inspiration for Viktor’s sexiness from Stephane Lambiel.
Hiramatsu: I paid attention to the flow and quality of his hair - and same goes for Yurio.
Viktor’s eyebrows are straight, rarely ever turn into a mountain-like shape.
Viktor’s posture is beautiful and adds to his brilliance; he sports a magnificent butt and long limbs.
Viktor has a confidence of an adult, but as someone still in his 20s, he can be quite childish.
Viktor’s heart-shaped mouth was there in Kubo’s storyboards, which influenced the staff to emphasize that in the show.
Yamamoto: Russia is a country where skating can change your life - the country supports its strong skaters. When I learned that some families bet on their children or grandchildren becoming famous and make them learn skating I thought there must be many children with unrelenting spirit and a will to climb up - and created a deformed version of that in a form of a Russian badboy. Yurio has many lines with swears, but there’s one in ep 10 that angered Viktor when Yurio implied he is now looking after a “pig”. This line goes back to my 20s - whenever I saw a pair wearing matching rings I’d think, “A pair of pigs tied with rings” (laughs). When I mentioned it to Kubo, she was like “Pigs! That’s good!” and we decided to put it in. Yurio is the only one with a potty mouth in the series, so coming up with his bad boy lines was fun. Many growing skaters probably understand what Yurio said when he mentioned his time in his current body grows short. Girls change a lot during that period, but boys too have their muscles grow - it’s a big burden on the body that makes it impossible to perform some moves. We tried to put as many things that Yurio can only do now as we could into the show.
Kubo: There are many elements to Yurio’s design that make him popular, such as blond hair and blue eyes. He really does stand out. Looks-wise Yurio is probably most similar to Rabi from Madō King Granzort. To quote the director, there are many elements from different skaters in Yurio. The base inspiration was Yulia Lipnitskaya. When I saw her at the rink, I realized there are many different kinds of skaters and that a more mischievous character could work too. Yurio’s visuals were decided on early, earlier than Yuuri’s, as he is very anime-like, easy to animate. As story progresses, Yurio’s hair grows longer. I wanted to express how, when you haven’t seen him for a while, Yurio grows more and more beautiful. Is it Lilia who styles his hair, or is it Yurio himself?
Hiramatsu: Half of his face is covered with hair, which strengthens his expressions. It was fun to give emotions to that slightly visible eye. Yurio’s body is slim, girlish, with long limbs and not much muscle. I draw him as I would draw a girl. His looks were heavily influenced by Tatenaka’s style, who was in charge of many scenes as well as the skating of our model Honoka Kawanishi. Yurio has a potential to grow, outgrowing Yuuri and reaching 180cm or so.
Yamamoto: I wanted to create a character who would share popularity with Viktor, a character overflowing with masculine charm. I wanted Chris to have this showy sexiness in him like an ice dancer, so he’s one of the taller single skaters in the series. It was so difficult to show a sexy man type of a character, as there aren’t many visual symbols associated with it. I am hoping to one day establish a new frontier of male sexiness.
Hiramatsu: Chris has a sturdy body, and the most emphasized butt in the whole series. I poured all of my drawing skills into that scene where Chris grabs and lifts his butt while skating. (laughs) Until halfway both his arms and butt are raised, and then arms go up, butt goes down, which is how I showed the butt’s bounciness.
Yamamoto: Yuuri is friends with Phichit because even if Yuuri doesn’t go to him, Phichit will come to Yuuri on his own. Yuuri doesn’t have to be suspicious of Phichit’s motives and he doesn’t show customary concern over him like Japanese people do which in turn is less stressful for Yuuri.
Yamamoto: I created JJ because I wanted a character type that falls into a “mentally a musclehead” category. JJ entered Toronto University as a top student, off season participates in charity activities. His girlfriend is his HS classmate, but as a devout Christian, premarital sex is a no-no - they’re in a pure relationship. He often says JJ this, JJ that in conversations and in general only talks about himself. Even if he nods with understanding as someone speaks, he soon butts in and changes the topic to himself. JJ talked to Otabek in ep10 because he found it sad that his old rinkmate was alone - couldn’t leave him out of kindness of his heart. Even when people find him overbearing, JJ believes he is doing a good deed, so it doesn’t bother him.
Hiramatsu: JJ could be considered a good catch if he just shut up. (laughs)
Yamamoto: First, I wanted a Kazakh skater to be a dark horse of the GPF and that’s how Otabek was born. There are many Russians in Kazakhstan and Russian is the official language so I thought Otabek could easily be friends with Yurio. Some Kazakh skaters are known to train in Russia, so the bit where Otabek participated in Yakov’s camp and became fascinated with Yurio came to me naturally. We created many qualities that Yurio finds cool in Otabek outside of skating - such as riding a bike and DJing.
Yamamoto: All Seung-Gil does is training, and has no interest in things beyond skating. To create a contrast with his personality, for his SP, I went with a passionate mambo. The idea to have him count his score as he skates during competition came from Kubo.
Hiramatsu: Because of his personality, I always draw him alone in the back of group images, but he still looks into the camera. (laughs)
Yamamoto: To protect his sis, Michele tries to be threatening to scare off others. This doesn’t work on Emil, so they’re on good terms.
Kubo: As an Italian who cares about appearance, I made him look like he visits a hairdresser once every two weeks.
But I also wanted to add something non-Italian to him, hence the pretty dark personality.
Hiramatsu: Michele also would be a good catch if he shut up.
Yamamoto: Emil is rarely scared and there is nothing two-faced about his personality; he doesn’t feel too down when he makes mistakes
which means he can still grow and become strong.
Kubo: I googled “Czech, male” and based Emil on one of the first pictures I found.
At the beginning Yamamoto was talking about making Emil the most handsome out of the European skaters, but I completely forgot. (haha)
(s/o to everyone on discord for enabling this, esp @actualyuuri)
“You can’t swipe left on everyone,” Christophe laments. “He was cute.”
“Nope.” Viktor flicks his finger again.
“Oh come on! He’s cute, too!”
Christophe sighs. “I’m seriously starting to question your taste in men, Viktor.”
“I don’t think he’s cute at all,” Yuuri says, frowning. Next to him, Phichit laughs.
“Come on, you never know. It’s just a fun game, and it doesn’t hurt to cast your net out a little!”
“I don’t want to cast out my net,” complains Yuuri.
Phichit rolls his eyes. “There’s gotta be someone here that’ll fit your exacting standards, Yuuri ‘I only date men who have done quad flips’ Katsuki.”
“And you making me swipe right on everyone isn’t going to help matters,” retorts Yuuri.
Phichit blows a raspberry. The next profile comes up.
“I don’t know,” says Yuuri, looking at it with a frown. “He’s got a bathroom abs selfie.”
“Swipe right,” replies Phichit.
Viktor gets to the profile named “Yuuri Katsuki”, who is currently 1.2 kilometres away, and purses his lips. Because the guy’s picture has two very attractive men on it, but one of them sparks Viktor’s interest a lot more than the other.
Which one is Yuuri? His gut instinct goes for the one in the cat-eared beanie, but it could just as easily be the cheery-looking darker-skinned one next to him. Both of them are beaming in front of the Detroit Skate Club, though, and based on their next picture of them goofing around on the bleachers inside, must be involved with the DSC somehow.
The third picture is a picture of a pork cutlet bowl. Just a fuckin pork cutlet bowl. Viktor groans, though he’s also intrigued. Christophe raises an eyebrow and leans over.
“Which one is he?” he asks.
“Probably the pork cutlet bowl,” replies Viktor. He swipes right, intrigued.
“Ooh, Viktor Nikiforov is on Tinder?”
Yuuri purses his lips, looking at the selfies. They’re all recent ones from Instagram. “Could be fake,” he points out.
“There’s only one way to know,” replies Phichit, grinning.
Yuuri swipes right, intrigued.
It’s a match! the app announces, and Viktor wants to immediately fire off a message to Yuuri, asking him which one of the two men in the picture he is. But that might come off as rude, so he decides to go about it a little more sneakily.
i notice you’re a skater, and you’re nearby. want to grab coffee sometime? and bring your friend! - vn
There. That should do it.
He gets a message a couple minutes later. That sounds good, is the response. We’ll both be there. Time and place?
i’m only in town for a couple more days. i don’t know detroit very well. you guys can pick. - vn
How about Astro Coffee this Wednesday at noon?
Viktor smiles. perfect - vn
Yuuri’s not nervous at all.
(That’s a lie. He’s grabbing coffee with Viktor Nikiforov. Or at least, who he hopes is really Viktor and not some serial killer catfishing as him.)
At least Phichit will be coming along. Which is fair, since he set things up. Though it is a little strange that Viktor had asked for both of them. Maybe he was more interested in Phichit.
But that’s strange. Phichit had his own profile. Heck, he’s going through it right now, for shits and giggles as they wait in line to place their order.
“Yuuri?” he hears, and turns towards the door, and oh.
It really is Viktor Nikiforov. And he’s beaming like he’s made of pure, unadulterated sunshine.
Viktor watches a young man in blue-rimmed glasses with a shock of dark hair turn at the call of his name, and his heart leaps into his throat, because oh.
It really is the guy in the cat-eared beanie, and he’s even cuter in person.
So I watched the opening scene for P5 again and how everyone skates down the road so I wanted to draw Yusuke (because of course). Also @gokupo101 mentioned this pose had a Victor-vibe. So Yusuke on Ice.
Yuri on Ice interview translation - CREA 2017/03 (p34-35)
Second part of the YOI interviews featured on CREA. As for the one with Kubo, more than “interviews” they are like “mini articles” that incorporate what the interviewed people said. The interviews are with Kenji Miyamoto (choreographer), Eiji Abiko & Junpei Tatenaka (figure skating animators), Yuuko Sagiri (original costume designer), Keisuke Tominaga (music producer).
Random note: thanks to this magazine I was finally able to know that Sagiri’s name is “Yuuko”. When I translated her interview on Pash I did lots of research but wasn’t able to find out the pronunciation so I used Yuiko because that was what came out searching for the name alone, but now it’s confirmed that it’s Yuuko so as soon as I have time I’ll edit that interview to fix it. I swear all magazines should be obliged to provide the pronunciation of names, because sometimes it’s really hard to find out how the kanji are pronounced when it’s not famous people with Wikipedia pages and such…
By the way, the issue of Pash coming out today (Feb. 10th) has an article I was really looking forward to (the second part of Kubo’s detailed commentary on each episode), so I’ll probably spend the night translating it when I get home from work. Also because I want to post it before the YOI all night event on Saturday (I’m going to the live viewing).
***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it*** ***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***
The reality as expressed by 5 people who created “Yuri on Ice”
Reality #2: Choreography x Kenji Miyamoto “The footage taken with the camcorder was the key to create realistic and powerful anime scenes”
Profile: From Hyogo prefecture. After retiring from competitive ice dance in 2006 he started working as a choreographer and commentator. With director Sayo Yamamoto’s “ENDLESS NIGHT” for the first time he was involved in creating figure skating choreographies for an anime.
The choreographies for all characters’ programs were created by choreographer Kenji Miyamoto. He created them integrating the music with the information he received from director Yamamoto and Kubo regarding the characters and their programs. What was different than usual is that the songs for the FS were 4 minutes long instead of 4:30 minutes. “In the anime characters need less strokes to speed up, so it’s possible to use less ‘transitions’, the movements connecting different techniques. I cut down on those and made the programs more compact.” Miyamoto was filmed with 4 fixed cameras and 2 portable camcorders as he danced all the programs, then the footage was edited into a multiframe video based on which the animated figure skating scenes were created. “I believe that the footage taken with the portable camcorder, that filmed me up close, is what made it possible to create realistic and powerful tournament scenes.” After watching the finished anime, Miyamoto commented that the characters’ monologues during their performances are realistic. “When you are performing lots of things are whirling around inside your head. In my case it wasn’t words but still pictures, like photographs. I was happy that they expressed the athletes’ feelings.”
Reality #3: Animation x Junpei Tatenaka & Eiji Abiko “The performances look realistic thanks to Miyamoto-sensei’s choreographies”
Profile: Animators working for the anime production company MAPPA. Specialized in sports and action scenes. They both created animation for director Sayo Yamamoto’s “ENDLESS NIGHT”.
Animation of the figure skating scenes was created by action specialists Junpei Tatenaka and Eiji Abiko. “It’s the first time that we digitally create 2D pictures after deciding the camerawork. It was very difficult because we had to figure out how to do everything”. Tatenaka, who was already a fan of figure skating, says: “For the moments I believed to be the ‘highlights’ of a performance I would add 1-2 extra stills. This way, I was able to draw out a little what in the live footage only lasted an instant.” They actually made jumps much higher than they are in real life. “While being aware that real skaters wouldn’t jump that high, I still wanted the scenes to be striking, therefore I was always looking for a good balance between realism and what could be allowed in animation.” (Abiko) They both agree that Miyamoto’s choreography footage was the most important factor that allowed them to create realistic performance scenes. “When there was a key point in the music, Miyamoto-sensei would pose with all of his body creating a beautiful line, from his fingertips to the tips of his toes. It was very easy to draw.” (Tatenaka)
Reality #4: Costumes x Yuuko Sagiri “I think the only difference is that there were no budget restrictions (LOL)”
Profile: Ballroom dancing costume designer working for the ballet & dance supplies maker Chacott. She has designed figure skating costumes for athletes such as Nobunari Oda and Akiko Suzuki.
Yuuko Sagiri, designer of the athletes’ costumes, created the designs giving importance to functionality that would improve a skater’s performance and to elements that would make the character’s personality stand out, just like she does for real costumes. She chose materials, cuttings and decorations that would actually be employed in costumes used for real performances. “Normally I objectively watch an athlete’s past performances to understand their level and what kind of movements they are skilled at, and this is then reflected in the design. This time I based the design on the characters’ setting materials, the information I received from the director and the choreography footage by Miyamoto-sensei. I think the only difference is that there were no budget restrictions (LOL).” Regarding Yuuri’s costume, she mentions that she wanted to reflect the fact that he is psychologically weak and gains weight easily. “I added shining decorations on his chest so that his face would look bright even when he is tense. The cuts on the waist are to make him look slim.” Actually, she also designed a costume for Yurio’s exhibition. Sagiri said that she created the design thinking of what “Yurio would really want to wear”. We’d definitely like to see him skate with that costume!
Reality #5: Music x Keisuke Tominaga “I added melody to the beautiful lyrics that is ‘Yuri on Ice’”
Profile: From Kanagawa prefecture. Music producer. He founded PIANO INC. in 2012 and is the current representative director. His main works include the Pocari Sweat 2016 commercial “Kimi no Yume wa, Boku no Yume.”, the TV anime “Zankyou no Terror”, etc.
When creating the music for this show, music producer Keisuke Tominaga constantly asked himself whether it was music you could dance to. “I would move my hands, feet, my whole body, sometimes even checking the rhythm like a conductor or a dancer. Figure skating has many elements that resemble ballet, so to express the elegant movements of the body I used many tunes in triple time like waltz and bolero.” Most of the classical and orchestra tracks were created by Taku Matsushiba, while the vocal tracks and modern band songs by Tarou Umebayashi. They worked on the music as a team, always communicating with each other. “The world created by Kubo-san and director Yamamoto was like realistic and beautiful ‘lyrics’, and I feel that our role was to create a ‘melody’ for those lyrics. In fact, when I joined together Yuuri’s FS song “Yuri on ICE” and Victor’s recorded voice for the first time, the lines sounded just like the words of a song, and I can’t describe how moved I was. I believe that this strong, deep expression that you would not be able to obtain with music alone is what realistically affects the viewers.”
Bonus in case you haven’t seen it already: Sagiri’s design for Yurio’s exhibition program.
You know that like Victor’s skating is going to be like so much more beautiful and joyous next season like IDGAF how cheesy it is I so want that to be commented on by commentators and other skaters and fans and everyone. “Oh wow there’s so much more love and emotion in it! I thought it was amazing before, but when I compare what we’re seeing now to what we saw before, it’s so wonderful.” Like whatever that’s corny as can be I DON’T CARE. Give me all the Victor’s so filled with life and love for Yuuri now that it’s pouring over into his skating and it’s amazing and everyone is so touched watching him wow. And like P.S. you know he’s skating totally romantic programs because of course he is.
the media is going to try SO HARD to set up a rivalry between victor and yuuri and find that somehow every time they try it the interviews devolve into one of them talking about the dinner the other made last night or photobombing the camera as one of them swings by to kiss his fiancé on the cheek and they’re both just absolutely going to GUSH over each others’ skating.
the closest they ever get to a “rivalry” news story is when they get yuuri to say “of course i’d love to win. but when i skate it’s just about me and what i can do out there on the ice, not about anyone else. i don’t want to win because someone else fails. victor is the best skater in the world, in history, and i’ve looked up to him my whole life. i want to continue supporting him and seeing him succeed. and if i ever do win one day, it will be because he brought me here and made me better, as my coach and the man who inspired me. he’s given so much to all of us.”
frustrated they move on to trying to set up the victor and yurio rivalry, which yurio is much more enthusiastic about when it comes to providing sound bytes, but the problem lies in victor’s “don’t his step sequences look better after yuuri worked with him on them?” before he walks away from the press to step back up on the podium and to say to yurio below him, “keep up the work and you’ll be doing almost as well as i did at your age!”
Yuuri Katsuki is like the skating world’s Married Cousin™
Like, you always thought he was pretty cool and you still think that but he’s the oldest and he married well and now all anybody can talk about is Married Cousin Yuuri and you’re like Why can’t they ever talk about me, Straight B Student Cousin Kyle.
“Oh yeah, Viktor and I just bought a house,” says Married Cousin Yuuri, smiling and perfect as all of the trainwreck late-teen skaters simmer with jealousy in a corner.
“I used to be like you,” assures Married Cousin Yuuri, patting a young skater’s back as she has her fourth existential crisis of the day. “Before Viktor and I got married, I–”
“Ugh.” The skater wedges her head between her knees. “UGH.”
Getting an invitation to Viktor and Yuuri’s post-season celebratory dinner party is like being told by your mom that you’re going to Married Cousin Yuuri’s house for Thanksgiving because he and His Husband Viktor want the whole family to be there for their First Thanksgiving In The New House.
The only difference is that instead of standing up halfway through the meal and announcing that they’re having a baby, Viktor starts the night by walking into the dining room with not one but two poodle puppies in his arms and says, “Meet our babies!”
“I want to die,” mutters Yuri Plisetsky, and the five under-eighteen skaters surrounding him grunt in agreement.
at the mall, there was pack of Skater Boys zooming around and I spotted these two guys in the pack of Skater Boys who started pushing each other and this dude with a backpack on actually STUCK HIS FOOT OUT to trip the other guy with an Active shirt but he fell off his skateboard. he totally wiped out and the Active Shirt Guy fell a second later because he tried to grab onto the Backpack Guy and they both went down. their pack of Skaters didn’t even stop. I didn’t know what to do cause they were in my way so I stood behind a pole and watched as the Backpack Guy helped up the Active Shirt Guy, threw his arm over his shoulder, kissed his cheek, picked up their skateboards, then walked into an ice cream store together
ARTICLE: Yuzuru Hanyu: I am at 20% right now (Number 934-5)
In a rink reverberating with music and the sounds of blades against the ice, quiet surrounded Hanyu. –– Takaomi Matsubara
Despite still trolling with one single 3A, the brat (you’ll see) shows his tender side (you’ll also see) in his pursuit of figure skating mastery and ideals…This is quintessential Hanyu––calm, confident and thoughtful as he discusses the Olympics, his programs and the significance and meaning of skating itself. - gladi.
Translated by gladi. Please do not repost without permission. Images belong to Number.
From Number Issue 934-935. Published on 2017.08.24
Contending for successive Olympic victories, the champion––Yuzuru Hanyu. Programs for the season have been decided, preparation is steadily underway. At his training base in Toronto, Hanyu talked about his thoughts on the Pyeongchang Olympics, and the ideal skate he continues to seek.
Text by Takaomi Matsubara・Photography by Asami Enomoto