Just a tiny bit on height, distance, air position, edges on that entry spread eagle, speed on approach, flow out of it, edge control on exit, direct transition out of it, axis, upper body control, am I missing something?
And I just picked one of Yuzuru’s 3A version, the one out of a spread eagle to give a direct comparison. (I won’t even start about how Shoma smartly uses that spread eagle to push for the jump, that’s another story. But one good one since Higuchi&Co have maybe finally done something good :D Or maybe it was Alex. Probably it was Alex.)
The reason Yuzu’s 3A is considered the current best (a moment of silence for Han Yan 3A who has decided to take a break in the race) is for the total control he has on entry and exit edge, whatever transitions he is doing in and out, for the combination of height and distance, for his text-book perfect air position, for his axis, for his flow in and even more out of it and for the tiny fact that despite doing crazy transitions in and out of it, in all his senior career he almost never missed it.
But maybe you saw it backwards? After all Shoma does a cantilever out of that 3A (well, usually after the exit, when he doesn’t have to put down both his feet and push on it, because his edge control on exit is often quite shaky or the fact he can’t keep that cantilever much long because his speed out of it is what it is, but let’s not speak about these details) not a 3A out of cantilever… (I can’t image his 3A backward is much better than forwards version, tho).
I agree his 3A is much better than his 4F, but technically wise his 4F is really not a great jump. Prerotations issue aside, it’s a jump with little height and little distance, a jump that has a air time on par with his 3F, a jump that’s smaller than many ladies triples, so… yeah, his 3A is much better than that, but it doesn’t mean much.
And his 3A is better than many others around, but this tells more about the sad state of 3A nowadays than about Shoma’s 3A.
Saw the posts about 3A entries and thought about other 3A entries that yuzu have done like from a ina bauer, spread eagle etc. Can i like request you to do a post with all his various entries to 3A and rate them from easiest to hardest and like put a gif?? Omg i’m sorry for this request, you could always ignore it. Thank you, you’re a blessing to us xoxo
Hello! I’ve always loved your analysis and gifs about yuzu. If it’s not bothering you, do you have your favorite yuzu triple axels and could you possibly answer it with gifs? Thank you very much i really love your blog! 🙏💙
These two are surprisingly tough questions, guys. One, because I kept getting into argument with people over which entry of his is harder than which, and two, because I can’t for the life of me make up my mind which Axel of his I love most *wail*
Well, let me try.
So, the most difficult Axel entry Yuzu has is the back counter. It is hands down the toughest entry to an Axel, and really to any jump for that matter, that you can find in the world of figure skating. I’ve dedicated a gifset and several tech posts to it so this time I’m going to skip the technical details.
Among all of his back counter 3As, I have a special place in my heart for this one:
Cup of China 2011, SP, GOE +1.43. It was, after all, the one program and the one jump that sparked my interest in Yuzu :)
Among more recent iterations, I’d like to honor this jump that netted him two perfect scores last season: the Let’s Go Crazy 3A:
NHK Trophy 2016, SP, GOE +3.00. Just look at how much deeper his edge on the counter has become compared to the one at CoC above, and pay attention to his incredible control on the landing: how much speed he had going out of it, how smooth his transition was from the exit edge to the high kick to the lunge. All throughout there was absolutely no break to the rhythm, every phase of the jump blended seamlessly within the choreography. It was, simply put, perfect.
Ranked by difficulty, the next entry on the list is the twizzle. After much debate with Tumblr friends, I have had to grudgingly concede that this entry is a bit easier than the back counter, owing to the fact that it is, at least, not counter-rotated, plus he has a change of foot so the takeoff benefits from that tiny extra speck of momentum. Yuzu has only ever used this entry in exhibition, so here are both of those renditions:
World Championships 2016 and NHK Trophy 2016.
In terms of exit, though, what he does at the end of the Notte Stellata 3A is without a doubt the most difficult jump exit ever:
NHK Trophy 2016 and Rostelecom Cup 2017. See the way he gained speed and rotational momentum for the twizzle seemingly out of nowhere, using only the landing axis, a push of his knee, and that graceful motion of his right arm? Please don’t ask me how the physics of that movement work because I have no idea. None.
Next difficult entry is the spread eagle. Yes, I know, spread eagle as Axel entry is so popular these days it’s almost trite to bring it up, but bear with me.
Skate Canada 2015, SP, GOE +3.00. What sets Yuzu’s entry apart is the control: see how long he held the spread eagle for, the distance he covered with that one move, how deep the outside edges were, and how serene his body line was throughout? When we get to the takeoff, pay attention to how quick he was with the transition, how fast his free leg moved into the swing up and snap into an optimal air position, how he relied almost exclusively on his left knee for the push, with very little aid from his right foot. Then came the landing, and there, notice how he achieved full extension on a perfect check position before transitioning into the spread eagle. Notice also the way he held his exit spread eagle on deep outside edges and then changed edges mid-curve in perfect coordination with the arm movement. Tumblr’s gif limit sucks so I can only show you up to that point, but if you continue watching you’d see that he went on to hold that inside spread eagle for almost a full circle more. Precision, speed, elegance, musicality, ice coverage, this one jump had it all.
And since he’s Yuzuru Extra™
Hanyu, he would sometimes do stuff like this:
Grand Prix Final 2013, FS, 3A+2T, GOE +2.14. Why choose between back counter and spread eagle entry when you can have both? Please don’t ask me why this combo of his didn’t get +3 (there’s a judge who gave it +1 even). The ISU works in mysterious ways.
And that brought me to the entries to his Axel combos, among which I’d like to highlight this one:
Grand Prix Final 2015, FS, 3A+1Lo+3S, GOE +2.43. His entry here was a series of steps: outside spread eagle / inside Ina Bauer / 3-turn sequences / edge change / jump. The 3-turn sequence is somewhat similar to what he likes to use for the entry to his flip, only this one is harder because all those turns were executed clockwise - counter to the rotational direction. This entry from Seimei is but one example. If you look closely at all his free skate Axel combos, you’d see that every one of them is entered using similarly intricate connecting steps. You will also notice that he maintains both speed and precision for these entries: his turns and steps here are of the same quality as those performed during his step and choreographic sequences. That’s what you need to do, in theory at least, to hit that GOE bullet 2 on clear recognizable entry.
One final shout out I’d like to make is for this #YOLOAxel:
Four Continents Championships 2017, FS, GOE +2.43. Entered from a layback Ina Bauer, exited straight into the travelling camel entrance for his final spin, done at the end of a thoroughly taxing program, both
physically and mentally, and yet executed in such an effortlessly beautiful manner. If this jump doesn’t showcase all the qualities that makes Yuzuru Hanyu who he is, I don’t know what else does :)
In Daisuke’s defence for using music from the 2015-2016 season, he was off for all of the last season and so he just stays with what he had previously. ;)
(Also funny there are two more Japanese man who return to music from previous seasons: Takahito Mura returning to Phatom of the Opera from 2014-2015 and Keiji Tanaka using his music from last season 2016-2017! )
Sorry for the long post! Getting my thoughts into an order! Basically a coincidence that amused me ;)
Just a short reminder, I don’t care that they reuse old music, because I love them. I still would have liked it better, if we see new programs, but that does not mean that I am disappointed or that I don’t like it. And it seems like everyone is following the trend….
Okay, so I’ve heard a lot about how Yuzu is getting shipped here and there, and many fangirls spazzing over how much he’s like a manga character.
Personally, I don’t like the shipping part because Yuzu is a real person, and I don’t exactly like shipping real people. But that’s just my opinion.
BUT I empathize with you fellow yuzurists. I understand why it’s so difficult to separate Yuzu between fantasy and reality.
Last night, I spent a few hours (WHICH I SHOULD’VE SPENT ON REVISING FOR MY EXAMS TOMORROW HELP) analysing Yuzu’s documentaries and stuff and whatever bio I could find online. And I discovered, Yuzu’s entire life- yes, his life, is painfully similar to the storyline of a typical shonen manga. No, I am not saying that Yuzuru is a manga character. Yuzuru is real, and we shouldn’t mix fantasy with reality. But like what I said, I empathise with the mangazuru fans. Somewhat. So let’s take a look at the similarities, shall we?
Childhood- Yuzuru started skating when he was four, after watching his sister skate. Now doesn’t that sound familiar? In Area no Kishi (A manga on football), the main character was inspired to play football while watching his genius brother play. But well, it’s pretty common for kids to follow their siblings. So let’s move on.
Special talent- Indeed, Yuzu has a special skill which most male skaters don’t. Flexibility. Yuzu’s flexibility is incredible, and as Shizuka Arakawa said, a male skater with both the powerful jumps and flexibility of a woman could become the perfect skater.
Goal- Since he was young, Yuzuru aimed to become an Olympic champion. That’s the mark of a champ, and also of a hero of a shonen manga.
Obsession- Yuzu’s obsession with jumps is pretty well-known, as it has been seen in many videos and documentaries. It’s also often seen in manga characters when they are fixated with a certain skill, and end up focusing on it so much, despite working in the wrong direction. Yuzu’s jumps are great, but his obsession with quads may hurt him and also affect his skating. Of course, there’s the intervention which we’ll talk about later.
Obstacles- Ah, yes. The problems, the challenges. Yuzu’s skating rink closed in around 2005-2007 once, if I recall. It was the wake-up call for Yuzu, which also made him love skating even more. And the tragedy, the 2011-311 Sendai disaster. He almost gave up FS, but of course, he didn’t, and continued to skate while practicing for shows and stuff.
The change in arcs, plot twist and enlightenment- Every manga has arcs. And of course, in life as well. In Yuzu’s case, it was his switch to Canada. At first, he switched to Orser to help him learn and stabilise his quads. Yet, Orser made him practice basic skating skills and improve his speed. At first, he didn’t understand, and he even thought of returning to Japan. While practicing his jumps (yes his quads), Yuzuru sprained his ankle and got injured. However, he didn’t rest and continued to practice, which resulted in a less-than-stellar performance in Worlds 2013, where he was one spot away from the podium. From this, he probably realised the importance of rest and fundamentals, and under Orser’s guidance, continued to practice his basic skating skills instead of focusing only on quads.
Drive- Because of the disaster, he realised that he did not skate for himself alone anymore. He held the hopes of Sendai, inspiring his people to live to the fullest and to overcome all odds. After all, he said “I am here because of all the people in Japan who supported me.”, while dedicating his gold medal to his hometown. I’m sorry but THIS IS SO SHONEN
Desire- Unfortunately, he didn’t deliver a perfect performance in the LP in Sochi. However, this drives him to work even harder for the next Olympics, and defend his gold medal in 2018. (And of course he’s gonna try for 4A even if it breaks him but seriously please take care of your body Yuzu)
Lack of social media- We all know that Yuzu-chan is a hermit when it comes to social platforms. Because he spends all his time on training and studying. Like who needs a life because I’m the olympic champ THIS IS WHY I’M STILL BARELY PASSING IN SCHOOL AND NOT SOME OLYMPIC CHAMP I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
And it doesn’t help that he has a body with perfect manga proportions
I’ve come to the end of my rant! I definitely still don’t like shipping Yuzu, nor do I see him as a manga character. I JUST SEE MANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN YUZU AND TYPICAL MANGA HEROES. But I don’t agree with flaming shippers and starting internal fandom wars because of why we love Yuzuru and whatnot so let’s all love Yuzuru peacefully.
And why did I make this post? I have no idea. I should be studying for my exam.
(oh yeah i found the image on google so idk who to source it to, sorry!)