Yuri on Ice BD booklet translation (with Jun Shishido & Yuusuke Tannawa interview) - Volume 4
The full translation of the booklet of vol.4 is finally done… Actually, one of the reasons it took me so long is that I spent most of the time I was home from Thursday to Sunday watching Fuji TV’s live coverage of the World Championships, lol. And I’m glad I did because it was really exciting. It does make a difference to watch it live without knowing the results… I will work on the audio commentary and choreography part in the next few days, and hopefully on other stuff too.
The booklet has 3 parts:
1) Character introduction for Phichit, Chris and Guang-Hong.
2) “Topics”, in other words random curiosities.
3) Interview with chief director Jun Shishido and screen designer Yuusuke Tannawa. Most of you will probably have no idea who they are (and their titles are by no means a good explanation of what their actual role was), but I really recommend reading this interview because it gives more insight on the creation process of YOI and maybe it helps understand how hard it is to animate figure skating. The parts in round brackets are exactly like they are in the original text, it’s not something I added.
***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***
He’s going to leave a mark in Thai’s skating history with his blades!
voiced by Kenshou Ono
Date of birth: April 30th, 20 years old
Height: 165 cm
Blood type: B
A new hope for Thailand, that didn’t have any skaters who got remarkable results. His popularity is quickly growing also thanks to his spontaneous and pleasant skating style that mirrors his friendly personality. This season he is skating both his short program and free to songs from the movie “The King and the Skater”, which is something he had always dreamed of doing. He is the first Thai skater to have succeeded in a quadruple jump and he also obtained his first Grand Prix victory. He is continuing to rewrite Thai’s figure skating history.
He used to train under Celestino in Detroit, but from this season he has moved his base back to Thailand. He loves hamsters and has a lot of them. Posts about them can be seen on his SNS.
The lethal weapon made of sex appeal that shines on the ice.
voiced by Hiroki Yasumoto
Date of birth: February 14th, 25 years old
Height: 183 cm
Blood type: undisclosed
10 years since he moved to the senior class, he is one of the world’s best skaters fighting for the top. Beside his quadruple Lutz and his characteristic sexy moves, he is also praised for his unique and precise spins. As a veteran, he never breaks down too much, but he is a slow starter and tends to not perform at his best in the Grand Prix series, which is held in the first half of the season. Last year he came in 2nd in both the Grand Prix Final and the World Championships. With his long-time rival Nikiforov missing this season, he is one of the candidates to snatch the king’s throne.
He is a popular skater who captures the hearts of women all over the world with his passionate and alluring performances that ooze the sex appeal of a grown-up man. He has a cat.
To become, one day, China’s hero.
voiced by Yuutarou Honjou
Date of birth: January 7th, 17 years old
Height: 160 cm
Blood type: O
A growing 17-years-old who moved to the senior class this season. In the Grand Prix’s America tournament he placed 3rd, achieving the amazing feat of standing on the podium on his debut performance. The success rate of his quadruple jumps, which he started training for this season, is also high, and as China’s new ace he is expected to grow further in the second half of the season.
He has a shy personality, but at the same time he also uploads many selfies on the SNS. It seems that he also bought a lot of clothes during his training camp in Canada. Together with his friend Chulanont from Thailand and Japan’s Minami, he is called by fans “one of Asia’s 3 cutest skaters”.
TOPIC 1: Grand Prix Series
It consists in a total of 7 tournaments: 6 tournaments held in different countries every year from the end of October to the end of November, and the final that sees the 6 skaters who got the highest scores in the other tournaments as its participants. The 6 tournaments are always held in the same countries (the order may vary), but the location of the final changes every year, and this season it’s Barcelona in Spain. The participants are chosen based on their results in tournaments regulated by ISU (International Skating Union), their world ranking, recommendations by the host country etc.; however, each skater can only participate in a maximum of 2 tournaments. In addition, only up to 3 skaters from the same country can participate in the same category of the same tournament. The period when the skaters’ allocation is announced is somewhat of a festival among skating fans.
*It’s night in Japan when the skaters’ allocation is announced
*The first 6 tournaments are held in 6 countries over the span of 6 weeks
*In every tournament skaters receive points depending on their placement (15 points for the 1st place, 13 points for the 2nd place and so on), and the final ranking decides who will participate in the final
TOPIC 2: Quadruple Jump
(*at the moment of the Russia tournament)
One of the techniques that decide the game in male figure skating is quadruple jumps. Since the number and type of jumps greatly influences the score, recently it’s common for skaters to include multiple quadruple jumps in their programs. However, according to the rules the same jump can only be repeated a limited number of times, therefore skaters try new types of jumps and train hard to be able to have more quadruple jumps to put in their programs. Currently, 5 types of jumps except for the Axel have been successfully landed in official competitions. The one with the highest score is the Lutz, which top skaters such as Victor, Giacometti and JJ are using in their programs. The quadruple toeloop, which has the lowest score, is successfully used by young skaters such as Kenjirou Minami, Guang-Hong and Phichit too. Yuuri can jump the toeloop and Salchow and is currently training to master Victor’s trademark flip. After the Lutz, the flip is the jump with the highest score.
*Yurio in his junior years getting scolded for jumping a quadruple that was not planned
*Seung-gil is the first who successfully landed a quadruple loop
*Emil is a jumper that has 4 quadruples in his free
*JJ jumps an amazing quadruple Lutz in the second half of his program
*Victor uses as his weapons 4 types of quadruples, except for the Axel and loop (in the EX he landed a loop too)
TOPIC 3: Support Item (cheering goods)
It often happens to spot flags and banners used as cheering goods in figure skating venues. After a performance flower bouquets and plushes are also thrown into the rink. Banners do not only feature the skater’s name and flag; sometimes they have a message or a portrait of the skater with which people try to show their support, and in some cases they are even made using photographs. Yuuri is often thrown plushes of food. The bouquets and plushes are picked up by children who are learning skating, usually called “flower girls” and “flower boys”.
*JJ’s cheering group, called JJ girls.
*Yurio’s hardcore fans are called Yuri angels.
*Flags are basic items. Some fans bring different types.
*Present snacks from fans for Yuuri who is on a diet?
*After popular athletes skate the flower girls and boys have a hard time picking up everything
*Sometimes skaters will actually put on the items that are thrown into the rink
TOPIC 4: Kiss & Cry
The kiss & cry is where skaters wait for their score after a performance. The name comes from the fact that it’s a place where athletes can experience both happy and sad feelings. Normally the skater and their coach will sit there, but in some cases there might be people from a country’s federation or the choreographer too. In many venues there will be a microphone, therefore skaters can also send messages to their family and fans. If you listen to the broadcast closely you might be able to hear the athlete and coach reviewing the performance or other conversations.
*Sometimes the coach might strike a pose too
*It’s also a place where athletes vow to make up for a defeat
*”Please support me!” addressed to the viewers
*The JJ style gesture in the kiss & cry is a recurrence
*Michele’s sister Sara can be seen in the kiss & cry too
Chief director / Screen designer
Jun Shishido & Yuusuke Tannawa interview
I want to make the gag scenes dynamic. (Shishido)
The opening of episode 11 was possible thanks to the viewers’ response. (Tannawa)
Shishido: I’m the chief director, but in fact I did a lot of things. Director Yamamoto was too busy, so she mainly did sound and editing, and then since it’s an original story she focused on the story composition…
Tannawa: Shishido-san was like the site supervisor. We would ask things related to the story itself to director Yamamoto, but the one who actually took action and gave directions was Shishido-san. Though in the credits I appear as “screen designer”, the anime’s screen design was created by the director of photography, and my job in this series mainly consisted in creating the footage for PVs, OP etc. and checking the final product before delivery. I started working on the PV at the beginning of 2016. I asked director Yamamoto what kind of layout she had in mind, and decided how to set the visuals of the series. Regarding the contents of the episodes I also discussed with Shishido-san about various topics – for example, “this processing can be done with camerawork, this expression can be recreated with CG” – and shared this information with the involved work groups.
-Trial and error to create the huge amount of skating scenes.-
T: In figure skating athletes perform while continuously moving around, therefore it was extremely difficult to understand where an athlete was and in what direction he was skating in each frame. In the 1st episode we created a CG model of the skater based on the real choreography footage and had it skate in a rink created with 3DCG, then we followed it with tridimensional camerawork and used that footage as a base for the animation. It was a very elaborate process. However, we realized that it was impossible to continue using this method with the production schedule of a TV series, therefore we switched to a different method where we would create camerawork on a general background map. Also, after episode 5, for certain characters we preceded the creation of the key animation with 3DCG. The final animation is all done by hand, but by having a base to use as a reference it was possible to calculate the available time frame and create the animations accordingly, thus shortening the working time.
S: Even if you suddently ask the 3D staff to create figure skating animation, of course they have almost no knowledge of the jumps and techniques. They create the animation based on the reference footage, but they cannot express complex details such as how athletes balance their feet the moment they jump, so for that I and (figure skating animators) Abiko-san and Tatenaka-san adjusted the animation. Among the people working on the series, the only ones who had technical knowledge about figure skating were the 3 of us and director Yamamoto. And it’s not something that you can just explain verbally, so we took on all those jobs ourselves. We checked… everything, probably. Actually, until episode 4 the skating scenes were all created by Abiko-san and Tatenaka-san, so I didn’t need to check them, but from episode 5 the amount of skating scenes became so huge that we asked Tannawa-san and the others whether we could get help from the CG team… I completely trusted Tannawa-san, because I knew that if we explained what to do he would understand what was needed.
T: I basically asked what they couldn’t do, and we did all we could to make up for that and reduce their workload. We would never have finished the series otherwise. That’s why for this anime no one ever said “isn’t that your job?”. For every episode, everyone just fought toward completion.
S: Everyone took responsibility for their job and worked with extreme care, like no one was going to double-check what they did afterwards. We thought, “if we don’t do our best, this series will not make it to the broadcast, therefore we must all be responsible and work hard”…
-A scene you especially paid attention to.-
S: All the storyboards for the skating scenes were drawn by the director, but I drew them for quite a lot of daily life scenes. I especially like the scene where Yurio gives a pirozhki to Yuuri (in episode 9). I was particularly careful to make Yurio look cute. I wanted to show that, even though normally he is rude (to Yuuri), he actually rather trusts him and they do get along. I also like gag scenes, so I had fun with scenes such as the hug competition at the end of episode 9. Gag scenes do not need to be drawn as neatly as serious scenes, therefore I decided to animate them in a very comical and dynamic way.
T: I paid a lot of attention to the opening. The way we changed it in episode 11 to reflect the current story development is something I myself suggested to the director. Actually, only the opening of episode 1 was still incomplete when it was broadcasted. From episode 2 onwards it was always the same footage, but the viewers wrote a lot of comments about it (and were wondering whether it was changing every time). Since everyone was watching it every time without skipping it, we decided to really change it in the end.
S: My favorite character is Georgi Popovich! He’s a man who can talk about love seriously. He actually makes a few appearances since the 1st episode. When we were working on episode 1 we only had Kubo-sensei’s character plans and the storyboard saying “a character named Popovich is standing here”. We made him stand out a little because we understood that he would show up in the story later on. And what a character he was, when he was introduced in episode 6!
T: He was so striking that I was actually shocked! I like Popovich too. Also, among the programs, I like Yuuri’s FS “Yuri on ICE”. It’s the first song I listened to working for this series, and at that time I used it for the PV without knowing that it was going to be Yuuri’s FS. In the PV Yuuri is skating in Hasetsu with his slender appearance from episode 3 onwards, and (the character designer) Hiramatsu-san commented “it’s a wonderful video, but now we have to make him fat”. I remember thinking “what is he saying??” (LOL).
-The power of the support that reached the studio.-
S: When we were creating the anime we were so busy with the work at hand that we didn’t really realize how much of a response the series was having. However, we received lots of presents, food, goods and letters of support from fans.
T: Even items based on the contents of the series, like (retort-packed) borscht. That made us feel that fans were really supporting us because they liked the series, and it boosted our morale. Knowing that there were so many people watching and cheering on us motivated us to our best even it meant working overnight without sleeping.
S: The charm of this series is the love of the original creators, director Yamamoto and Kubo-sensei, that you can feel from it. It’s just so strong.
T: It also feels like you are touring various countries to follow Yuuri and the others and watch their matches. You can watch it with the eyes of a spectator and think “I didn’t know a lot about this athlete, but now I see how he skates”. I think that another element that allows viewers to really get into the world of the series is how not only the matches but also the skaters’ practice scenes and the back yard are drawn with lots of details. Everything is detailed, even the different shape of each skater’s blades. The director herself is full of very sincere love for figure skating, and that was transmitted to both the staff and the viewers.
S: The animation studio had a very nice atmosphere. It’s the first time that I’m working with Tannawa-san, but when I saw his work I realized right away that he was someone I could trust. Trust and unity are something you find in the staff of many series, but for this one it was especially strong.
On a side note, Kubo & Yamamoto went to see the Worlds in Helsinki and are now in St.Petersburg. I am confident it’s tourism but with a spoonful of location hunting… (What a timing, though. I hope none of you or your acquaintances were personally affected by what happened the other day in the subway)