not limited to sports either) create (is creating something new for the first time

Yuri on Ice BD booklet translation (with Mitsurou Kubo interview) - Volume 1

The BD/DVDs were available in stores today, 3 days earlier than the official release, so of course I went to Animate to get my copy even if this meant waiting in line for almost 30 minutes, hah. I’m sure screencaps are being posted all over the net already, but I haven’t watched the BD yet because, guess what, I was translating the booklet.

The booklet has 3 parts:
1) Character introduction for Yuuri and Victor, which is mostly information we know already except for a few extra info (for example, I don’t think it was ever mentioned so far that Victor is fluent in French?).
2) “Topics”, in other words random curiosities. This is the same as above, information we already know plus extra tidbits.
3) Interview with Mitsurou Kubo, from which among other things you can understand that she is probably having fun reading all kinds of fan theories found on the web, lol (though mostly the Japanese ones I think).

Have fun reading, while I finally go watch my BD…

P.S.: I was actually meant to post the translation of an interview with Georgi Popovich’s seiyuu Wataru Hatano, but after being obscured by Victor’s birthday he also managed to be obscured by the early release of the BD… Poor Georgi. I will post that tomorrow or on Thursday possibly.

***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***


Will the piglet become a prince?

Yuuri Katsuki
voiced by Toshiyuki Toyonaga

Height: 173 cm
Date of birth: November 29th
Blood type: A
Born in Hasetsu City

Past record:
Grand Prix Final 6th place
Professional Japanese figure skater

Introduction
He finally manages to participate in the Grand Prix Final, but ends up last. Following that he is unable to display his potential in the Japan National Championships and his season finishes there. 23 years old. He is called “glass heart” and the success rate of his quadruple jumps is low, but the peculiar rhythm of his steps has a good reputation. He was rumored to be retiring soon, however after Victor Nikiforov becomes his new coach he decides to aim for victory at the Grand Prix Final on his last season.
He is a Kyushu boy who is actually very competitive. The source of all his problems is his lack of confidence, but he has made up for it by training hard and is currently the ace of Japanese male figure skating. Since he tends to gain weight easily, he has decided that he will only eat katsudon (900kcal), his favorite food, when he wins a tournament. His romantic history is top secret.

A new legend is about to start.

Victor Nikiforov
voiced by Junichi Suwabe

Height: 180 cm
Date of birth: December 25th
Blood type: private
Born in Russia

Past record:
5 times consecutive winner of the Grand Prix Final
5 times consecutive winner of the World Championships

Introduction
The living legend that from the age of 23 years old has never lost a World Championship and has kept on surprising the world. He is not only considered a legend for his brilliant results, but also because he creates his own choreographies and is a pioneer always looking for new ways to express himself. He can perform 4 quadruple jumps, among which the quadruple flip that is considered his signature technique. His splendid and unlimited performing skills capture the hearts of skating fans and athletes from all over the world.
Beside Russian, he is also proficient in English and French. Although he is always smiling and ready to provide fan service, his innocent and uninhibited remarks coming from his absolute confidence never fail to create tension in the Russian skate federation. Christmas is celebrated all over the world as the birthday of Victor Nikiforov.

YURI!!!’s TOPIC

TOPIC 1: Poodle
Looking at the pictures of Victor and Makkachin, Yuuri also decided to get a poodle and named him “Victor”. His nickname was Vicchan. Now both his smartphone case and background picture feature poodles. His dog Victor lived out his natural life span when Yuuri was at the GPF, but Makkachin came to Hasetsu together with Victor! Yuuri’s first thought when he sees Makkachin is “so huge!”. Indeed, even though their faces are identical, Victor was a toy poodle, and Makkachin is a standard poodle. The size is completely different.

*His display background is also a dog
*His smartphone case is also with dogs
*His tissue case is also a dog
*Yuuri’s pet dog Vicchan
*The magazine picture that made Yuuri decide to get a dog

TOPIC 2: Blade
The blades each athlete uses are different depending on their personalities. Yuuri’s blades are a standard type. Yurio’s are a new lighter model said to make it easier to perform jumps. If you look closely, the shape of the parts under the sole that support the blade is different. Victor’s blades are golden. Even the sound he makes when he glides the ice is beautiful. The personality of each athlete can also be seen in the color of the edge case used to cover the blades when the skating shoes are not used.

*Yuuri
*Yurio
*Victor
*Edge case: 1) Yuuri, 2) Yurio, 3) Victor

TOPIC 3: Hasetsu City
A castle town by the sea in Kyushu. …Or so it’s called, but the castle is actually fake and has a ninja house inside. It’s famous for its marine products, however due to the decreasing population it’s somewhat of a lonely place. The monument in front of the station that Yurio found gross portrays the local “yuru-chara” (mascot characters), a squid and a sea urchin, which are not very popular among the locals either. The popular menus of Yuuri’s house, daytime onsen “Yutopia Katsuki”, are squid sashimi and katsudon. The sweet potato shochu “Makai e no Izanai” was also appreciated by Victor.

*A town with a castle and the sea
*Unpopular yuru-chara!
*Currently there’s only one onsen resort in the town

TOPIC 4: Russian yankee
Yurio’s fashion style is Russian but it also corresponds to the style of Japanese punks (“yankees”). Or the style of old ladies in Kansai. His favorite design is leopard print and tigers are his favorite animal (he owns a cat). His meticulous aesthetic sense, with shoes, clothes, edge case, suitcase and even disguise mask all in the same style, makes his fans a little uneasy. However, his most hardcore fans “Yuri’s Angels” consider him a fashion leader.

*He’s fashionable but doesn’t like cleaning up
*Attempt at a disguise?
*He wants to show the world

TOPIC 5: Ice Castle Hasetsu
Skate rink at the base of Hasetsu Castle, one of the few in Kyushu that are open throughout the year. It’s the place where Yuuri started skating and also his current training base. Thanks to his friends, the Nishigoori family, working as staff, he is allowed to use the rink to train even outside normal business hours, which is very helpful. It’s rare for a Japanese rink to have light coming in through a window, and to Yuuri this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The names of the mascot characters are Ikahime and Ikadono.

*The castle can be seen in the background
*Yuuri is lucky because he can have the rink all for himself
*The Nishigoori family


Original plan / “name” (manga storyboard) / character plan
Mitsurou Kubo interview

A story where Yuuri seizes things with his own hands.

The first time I met director Yamamoto, 2 years ago, she told me that she wanted to create an anime about the deep bond between a coach and an athlete. How to concretely shape the story is something that we decided after carrying out extensive research on figure skating and studying it. The director taught me a lot and I also checked out stuff on my own, while at the same time keeping in mind the feelings of an amateur, as it’s important to understand what would catch the heart of someone who doesn’t know anything about figure skating and has their first approach to it through an anime.

-The feelings of the creators emerge in their work-

The director doesn’t follow single athletes, she really watches everything, ice dance, single, pair, and she has respect for everyone, both past athletes, current athletes and even young ones. For example, she always calls all athletes with the “-san” suffix (common Japanese honorific), including the junior skaters. And not only in front of them, she does it when she speaks with me too. I think it’s the small things like this that emerge in your work. I believe that it’s important to act freely within our creation, while treasuring the feelings of respect and support for the athletes and without feeling superior.
However, you don’t really feel like enlivening the story with someone getting hurt. At least within the anime, you want everyone to stay safe from injuries. Since in real life it actually happens often…… But then, when the series started airing, I saw people worried that someone might get injured or die, and I realized that maybe it’s actually that kind of things that people look for in fiction.
If it were a long serialization it could have been possible to accurately portray someone going through that kind of hardship, but this time we only had one cour. That is why we chose to limit the worries of the protagonist Yuuri Katsuki to his talent and his psychological weakness, instead of having the people around him put a lot of pressure on him or having someone that disapproves of his choices. We wanted to show someone who has trouble progressing while being surrounded by kind people who don’t step too much into his territory, thus diminishing the enemies. I was careful because I didn’t want to make a story where he would put the blame on someone.
I was very happy when, after the show aired, I saw people comment that they can watch it over and over because they don’t hate any characters and so they don’t feel stressed.

-Having viewers get accustomed to the characters-

Indeed, what’s important is that characters are alive within this work. The first thing I thought when I found myself creating a story about sport is that if a saw a person completely unrelated to me that skates, no matter how well they skate I probably would not feel them “close”. If a person that isn’t really interested in real world figure skating watches it they would just think “oh, some skilled guy is skating”, like watching from a distance. I realized that if the viewers don’t become familiar with the characters they will never feel personally involved watching them in a tournament.
That’s why we didn’t jump to the matches right away but we spent 3 episodes getting the viewers accustomed to the characters as much as possible. If you can get familiar with the characters and personally experience how it feels when an athlete you really like is participating in a tournament, then you can finally be engrossed in the world of the series. I hope this mechanism works well. I really did my best, because I’m sure that the fiction will not strike a chord in the viewers’ hearts if we don’t create the necessary premises first.

-Is it the same for Katsuki-kun?-

Based on my experience working with shounen magazines, Yurio wouldn’t make for a good protagonist. He shines the most as a rival, but if you use him as a protagonist he is not going to push the story forward, he would probably send it more in a tragic direction. Yuuri Katsuki really pushes the story forward, he’s helped me more than once. Yuuri is indeed the type that doesn’t have confidence, but when you see the interviews of lots of athletes from the real world, who have developed through many battles, you see what a strong personality they have. When you see a skater who is very passionate about training say “I don’t really listen to what my coach says”, automatically you think that maybe Katsuki-kun too doesn’t really listen to his coach when he’s focused. When a kind and sensitive-looking skater says that the judges should “watch me more” in a very blunt way you think that maybe Katsuki-kun too, deep down, has that kind of thoughts about the judges. I like it when real athletes say things that I would never come up with. Still, I use what I hear as a reference when deciding how the characters would behave, but the decision is ultimately based on the personalities that I created for them.
Also, I didn’t want to make it so that Victor as a coach would give and teach everything to Yuuri. The driving force of this story is how Yuuri Katsuki seizes things with his own hands. When you have a coach that twists you around his finger you necessarily have to change yourself or to change something to understand how to move forward….

-The difference between manga and animation-

It’s the first time that I’m involved with animation, and first of all, in manga you cannot show music and movements together. Obviously. Recently I’m realizing how much manga actually rely on the imagination of the readers. If you draw someone saying “what an amazing performance!” and then spend a few frames to draw the pose in an impressive way the reader might actually be convinced that they’re indeed doing an “amazing performance”. I draw my manga adding details until I’m satisfied and consider them “completed”, but now I think that might not be true.
I feel that this work, that was born from the joint effort of animators, voice actors, musicians and many other people, is now standing on its own. I reckon that there are people who think “since real life skaters are so wonderful, there must be something deep in the world of the anime too”, and so they imagine new things. Among many different languages, sexualities and discussions, there are many people who are bringing out their creative ideas, and I guess to every one of them this work is becoming something special. When I take a look at people’s impressions there are so many things that surprise me, for example how different people will interpret something in completely different ways, and how some people look for deep meanings I didn’t even think about.
I have come to find it really captivating that these characters have left my hands and are existing somewhere else. When I see things like that I really feel like I would never get tired to hear the thoughts of people who say they love this work.
And at the same time, the feeling inside me that makes me not want to lose to anyone has also become stronger. I didn’t create these characters alone with my own power of course, but more than ever I feel that I am responsible for making these anime characters grow stronger than anyone else! Like Victor, I found motivation.