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 Mao's strategy going forward?

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Sun Dec 21, 2008 8:32 am

In some recent documentary it was said that Mao's missing only 2 features in her LP seqence; a loop (not the loop jump, but a loop figure) and (IIRC) changing direction in some particular manner. study I think the levels are pretty messed up currently. Lips sealed It is pretty easy to achieve lvl3, but lvl4 is virtually impossible to achieve for ladies... Whirly The level requirements are pretty random as well, and there are some very difficult moves/features that do not bump up the level at all. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:00 am

The step sequence requirements are pretty convoluted, IMO. That said, I'm pretty sure Mao fulfills at least 1 of the 4 features for a level 4 sequence, which is:

Like a Star @ heaven Rotations (turns, steps) in either direction (left and right) with full body rotation covering at least 1/3 of the pattern in total for each rotational direction

I'm pretty sure she meets the 4th feature also, which is:

Like a Star @ heaven Immediate changes of rotational direction executed by rockers and/or counters and/or twizzles and/or quick steps following each other

I honestly don't know what the ISU wants by "full" use of upper body movement (third feature for a level 4), so no comment there. I'm not sure how it's possible for anyone - male or female - to get a level 4 anymore considering the crazy requirements the ISU asks. For those who are curious, take a look: http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=934 (pages 10 & 11).

Since all 4 features need to be met in order to be rewarded with a level 4 on the step sequence, I'm supposing its either the "full" upper body movement feature or the step "complexity" feature that Mao is missing, since she fulfilled 3 of the features for a level 3 (or both, if her upper body movements were judged as "moderate" instead of "full" and her sequence deemed as having a "variety" of turns and steps throughout instead of "complexity").

To be honest, I can't recognize half of the turns and steps that skaters perform in their sequences, even under slow-mo... Who, me? Tagmats on YT used to do step analysis vids, but s/he's no longer active so I have no idea if Mao's sequences this season fulfill the "complexity" requirement. Lips sealed

Er, I'll pass the baton now to someone more knowledgeable about this matter, because this is the most help I can be of regarding this issue, lol. Unconscious

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:45 am

I watched some recent fluffs, and I got the feeling that the closer to the Olympics it gets, the crazier the media become. silent

I hope Mao isn't too influenced by the craziness and just sticks to whatever she's comfortable with. flower She already accomplished so much - re-learning 3T and 3S, improving 3Lz and landing two 3As in one program. Many people had been saying that it would be impossible for Mao to accomplish those tasks... Well, not for Mao. queen

I think that as long as she is not troubled by illness or injuries ( and and pray for her to stay healthy Worship ), Mao will be just fine. Good luck!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:50 am

clovera wrote:

To be honest, I can't recognize half of the turns and steps that skaters perform in their sequences, even under slow-mo... Who, me? Tagmats on YT used to do step analysis vids, but s/he's no longer active so I have no idea if Mao's sequences this season fulfill the "complexity" requirement. Lips sealed

Ha! Here is tagmats analysis of Mao's step sequence in the long program:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy3hN1QsVJY

Love
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:23 am

Okami wrote:
clovera wrote:

To be honest, I can't recognize half of the turns and steps that skaters perform in their sequences, even under slow-mo... Who, me? Tagmats on YT used to do step analysis vids, but s/he's no longer active so I have no idea if Mao's sequences this season fulfill the "complexity" requirement. Lips sealed

Ha! Here is tagmats analysis of Mao's step sequence in the long program:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy3hN1QsVJY

Love
Thank you so much for posting this vid Okami !!!! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:15 pm

Okami wrote:
Ha! Here is tagmats analysis of Mao's step sequence in the long program:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy3hN1QsVJY

Love
I stand corrected. Shocked Well, this makes things a whole lot easier! So, judging from tagmats's comments - in Japanese - it looks like right off the bat, Mao does meet at least 2 of the features for level 4:
Like a Star @ heaven Rotations (turns, steps) in either direction (left and right) with full body rotation covering at least 1/3 of the pattern in total for each rotational direction - tagmats points out she does more than enough of this!
Like a Star @ heaven Complexity of turns and steps throughout

The third feature, full use of upper body movement, is assigned according to the judge's discretion, so I'm not too certain about this one, although judging by the GoE Mao gets on her SLSS for Masquerade, I'm going to assume this feature is met as well.

This leaves us with the last feature, which is:
Like a Star @ heaven Immediate changes of rotational direction executed by rockers and/or counters and/or twizzles and/or quick steps following each other

According to tagmats, this is the feature missing from Mao's steps currently - it appears the two twizzles (beginning with the catchfoot-twizzle) around the middle portion of the sequence attempts to fulfill this requirement, but the cw three turn between them is probably preventing that feature from being ratified. She therefore fulfills 3 of the 4 features for level 4, hence she's awarded a level 3 with the highest GoE's out of all the ladies for the step sequence this season. I love you

Again, I'm not an expert on this issue at all, but I imagine removing the cw three turn between the twizzles - which tagmats theorizes will be the key to getting level 4 - is not a very easy thing to do at all, especially with the battle against stamina Mao has to go through near the end of the program. WOW! And her steps are already phenomenal as is! Yep!

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:12 pm

WOW! Thanks for the link to the steps video! Mao's steps are just mind-boggling.

clovera - You might be right that it is very difficult for Mao to change her steps to get a level 4, but I have a feeling that she's going to try! In the interview after the exhibition, she had this unsatisfied look like "Grr, I can do this better!" when they were reviewing the step sequence part of her program. Very Happy

Anyway, going back to my original post, well it seems that the Tokudane program where they claimed that Yu-Na is better than Mao drew quite a backlash. So much so that the newscasters had to admit they made a mistake and apologized to Mao. So that made me feel better. Sweatdrop But I'm still kind of shocked that Yoshie Onda would have made that mistake and said that if neither Mao or Yu-Na made mistakes, Yu-Na would have won. Disappointed

Actually I haven't watched the whole Tokudane - the first 8min. or so was enough to turn me off. Evil or Very Mad

Onto a happier subject - I just watched a fluff about the first time Mao went to Japan Nationals - when she did the triple-triple-triple combo. Is it just me, or is there way more focus on Mao now? Another video clip I saw said that Japan is in the middle of "Mao fever." I mean, I know she was always very popular, but it seems like it is craziness now (but maybe not quite like Korea, yet). Laughing

I'm a little worried about the extra pressure this attention will put on Mao...Earlier I had said that I had mixed feelings about the media focusing on Mao's weak points. But now, I think what the media should really do is highlight all the wonderful Japanese skaters who are really all potential World/Olympic medalists. That way they don't have to say anything bad about Mao, and the attention is not only on her, which is good. Thumbs up!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:56 pm

Wow! Thanks, guys!

This has answered all my questions...and more!
Thank you Okami, for posting the vid..and clovera..your comments are invaluable! not forgetting Zamboni! Thanks!!

It seems it's such a small thing preventing Mao from getting level 4 on her slss...
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:21 am

Batsuchan wrote:

Anyway, going back to my original post, well it seems that the Tokudane program where they claimed that Yu-Na is better than Mao drew quite a backlash. So much so that the newscasters had to admit they made a mistake and apologized to Mao.

Here's the apology video if anyone is interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYyrTqDdcrY&feature=related

This is quite an interesting video - Shizuka Arakawa, Rena Inoue (pair skater) and Takeshi Honda are talking about Mao. I think this was filmed when Rena was in Japan for the NHK Trophy, but I think it just aired a few days ago.
I didn't quite understand everything so maybe clovera or someone can help translate. Sweatdrop

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ErKIr83tGM&feature=related

In the beginning they're talking about how fun/exciting it is to watch the juniors grow up, and then Rena mentions Mao-chan, and they talk about how she moved up to the senior level during Shizuka's last season. [Rena's Eeee~ is cute. Laughing] They say how cute Mao's pink Nutcracker outfit was, and then Shizuka says Mao's costume was different from the first competition, so I asked her if she changed her costume and she said, I got bigger so I tore it/couldn't wear it anymore. And Shizuka thought, that doesn't happen to me anymore. lol!

In the next part, which is a little too fast for me, Shizuka talks about how she and Mao were in all the same Grand Prix competitions [and Mao won, so Shizuka didn't go to the Final??] And then she was worried about herself? when there was talk about if Mao could/could not go to the Olympics...?

After they show the clip from the GPF, they talk about what makes Mao amazing. Shizuka says "Mao was amazing, even from that time." Rena says "Do you remember? Yoshie-chan said "Amazing! Even at 5:00 in the morning [Mao] is doing triple axels, will do triple axels for us." Then they talk about how Mao is at a different level from everyone else. During practice while everyone else took their time, Mao would speeding around the rink into a double axels, and then she'd be done practicing her triple jumps. [? something like that?]

Shizuka says Mao doesn't really fall into slumps, but Rena says that she herself might have slumps [that we don't know about]. But again, Mao is at a different level from everyone else.

At the end Shizuka says Mao is also impressive mentally, because she knows what she'll do, what she has to do, what she's doing - she can see everything. The ability to control - at that age (15 or 16), I didn't really have it at all. Rena agrees, and says Mao is growing up well. flower

Sorry for the haphazard translation.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:39 am

Batsuchan wrote:

Here's the apology video if anyone is interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYyrTqDdcrY&feature=related

It`s actiually a bit funny to here them say this... Well, it`s good that they understand now... Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:52 pm

Ok, so Mao stuck to the same jump layout she used at NHK Trophy and GPF. People on other forums are calling for Mao to give up the 3F-3Lo and just do an easier program in general. As clovera pointed out, even Shizuka said that Mao could be competitive with an easier jump layout...

But clearly, that is not what Mao wants to do. I think she wants to do that 8 triple layout. And as Machiko Yamada pointed out, even if others tell her "That's good enough," Mao herself can't be satisfied - so I think she's going to go for it. Because if she doesn't go for it, if she doesn't challenge herself, I think she's going to be even more disappointed. It's like at TEB - when she decided not to do the two 3A's - she said it made her lose more confidence.

The question is when to try? Obviously, Mao would like to skate cleanly at 4CC and Worlds and hopefully win, but in her heart of hearts, I'm not sure if winning this year is the goal. But does she try it at 4CC and potentially fail, casting a bad memory over the Vancouver rink - i.e., "Oh no, the Olympics are at that rink where I messed up badly"? Or does she try it at Worlds, where failing means she gives up her "World champion" title? Hmm... Neutral

What do you guys think?
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:02 pm

Batsuchan wrote:
Ok, so Mao stuck to the same jump layout she used at NHK Trophy and GPF. People on other forums are calling for Mao to give up the 3F-3Lo and just do an easier program in general. As clovera pointed out, even Shizuka said that Mao could be competitive with an easier jump layout...

But clearly, that is not what Mao wants to do. I think she wants to do that 8 triple layout. And as Machiko Yamada pointed out, even if others tell her "That's good enough," Mao herself can't be satisfied - so I think she's going to go for it. Because if she doesn't go for it, if she doesn't challenge herself, I think she's going to be even more disappointed. It's like at TEB - when she decided not to do the two 3A's - she said it made her lose more confidence.

The question is when to try? Obviously, Mao would like to skate cleanly at 4CC and Worlds and hopefully win, but in her heart of hearts, I'm not sure if winning this year is the goal. But does she try it at 4CC and potentially fail, casting a bad memory over the Vancouver rink - i.e., "Oh no, the Olympics are at that rink where I messed up badly"? Or does she try it at Worlds, where failing means she gives up her "World champion" title? Hmm... Neutral

What do you guys think?
In my opinion she doesn't think about this too much Smile I suppose she will be trying to do the program with two triple axels and 3-3, like she wanted to do at JN , at 4CC and Worlds, and I'm not sure if she will gonna change 3-2-2 to 3-3, it seems to me that it's not her goal now.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:15 pm

Thanks for the translations, clovera and Batsuchan.

Well, Mao has fallen once this season. I think that whatever she is doing is working, and I know the 8 triples are a little risky but I think if she felt it was too much of a roulette she would ditch the other 3A and do a 2A instead. Mao is aware of what she can and can't do, and I think she'd be able to tell herself that she shouldn't do a certain jump, however difficult it may be to admit.

Mao would NOT be fine with an easier jump layout. It makes her more vulnerable to Kim, whose skating is at a similar level to Mao's. The only difference in their jumps is that Mao has triple-triples, and Yu-Na has one. I'm not sure which program gets more points total... I'm guessing Mao because she has the axels and loads of combos, including 3-3s.

I'm HOPING that Mao will succeed on the Vancouver rink. Like Batsuchan said, I hope that if she does fall, she won't have the "Oh, no. this is where my mistakes happened!" kind of attitude. Mao is a great athlete, though. I doubt she'd have such superstitions... I think.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:28 pm

bleedingblades3 wrote:
Thanks for the translations, clovera and Batsuchan.

Well, Mao has fallen once this season. I think that whatever she is doing is working, and I know the 8 triples are a little risky but I think if she felt it was too much of a roulette she would ditch the other 3A and do a 2A instead. Mao is aware of what she can and can't do, and I think she'd be able to tell herself that she shouldn't do a certain jump, however difficult it may be to admit.

Mao would NOT be fine with an easier jump layout. It makes her more vulnerable to Kim, whose skating is at a similar level to Mao's. The only difference in their jumps is that Mao has triple-triples, and Yu-Na has one. I'm not sure which program gets more points total... I'm guessing Mao because she has the axels and loads of combos, including 3-3s.

I'm HOPING that Mao will succeed on the Vancouver rink. Like Batsuchan said, I hope that if she does fall, she won't have the "Oh, no. this is where my mistakes happened!" kind of attitude. Mao is a great athlete, though. I doubt she'd have such superstitions... I think.
Sweatdrop TAT said today:" Strong girl!" Mao can do everything,she's the most strongest women skater ever....
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:49 pm

clovera wrote:

I'm secretly keeping my fingers crossed that the Hollywood media darlings like Paris and Britney suddenly develop an interest in skating and attend competitions so they can attract some much needed media attention (and more importantly TV broadcasting time and advertisers) for next year's LA Worlds. Wink Not the best way to get the attention, yes, but the sport truly is in the dumpsters as far as popularity in the U.S. is concerned, so I'm not complaining...especially if this means we get to see NBC cover skating live - not just their planned 2 hours of the ladies' free skate - instead of college football which I can care less about... Who, me?

I can just imagine Paris Hilton going, "The triple something by this Mao girl. That's hot" ROTFLMAO ROTFLMAO


You
know:lol!:, if the ISU and the USFSA were smart, they would send celebrities
invites to big competitions held in the US! It's actually a pretty good
idea. It may not do much good, but it wouldn't do any harm. Some
celebs actually used to be skaters themselves. I actually started a
thread about that on golden skate a couple days ago.

Anyway, since the subject of the thread is Mao's strategy, I heard she is planning on doing 3 triple axles by the olympics! (Someone may have already mentioned this, but I didn't have time to read everyone's post. I read most of them though.) I think she is totally capable of this. IF she keeps her nerves under control. She is pretty good at dealing with nerves, but at the olympics, nerves get to almost every skater, and it's often the skaters who keep their cool who win.

Last season, Yu Na was becoming more popular, and this season, she is the "golden child" it seems. Mao is getting picked on pretty bad this season. I don't understand what is so special about Yu Na. I think she is a great skater, and if Mao wasn't around, she would probably be my fav. But no one comes close to Mao in my book. Not even Yu Na. Mao had a little bit off a rougher start to her season than Yu Na, and her scores may not be as high as they were last year, but does that mean Yu Na is that much better than Mao? I don't think so. Seems like many others do though:disappointed:

As for Mao's speed: Most skaters are not too fast, and not too slow. They fall somewhere in between, and they do fine. That's where Mao lies. Yu Na is a little faster, but that doesn't really mean much since they both lie in that safety zone. Mao's speed is fine, and it's never been a problem for her as far as I know.

As for Mao's expression: I always thought Mao's expression, and emotion in her skating, and her face were very, very good. I couldn't even see them getting too much better actually. However, in her long program this year, I have seen a lack of expression compared to her other programs. I think that is just because this program is challenging her. And if Mao is doing something that is challenging her, I think that's great. She will only improve from it.

As for Yu Na's expression, I always felt that she lacked Unconscious . Especially in facial emotion. She's not really bad, but I think she definitely needs to work on it.

Mao skating is so beautiful, thanks partially to her emotion/expression, it touches me emotionally. Not many skaters can do that to me. Yu Na has never done that to me. I don't see how so many people out there don't feel this way toward Mao... My opinions are with the majority most of the time on most things. Not with skaters though! Johny Wier is not my favorite male skater either (he's gotten really popular). I like him a lot, but I actually like Even better! He is not my fav either though.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:54 pm

Star85 - I love your avatar!! I Love Hearts Sailor Moon. Hell, no!

About Mao and three triple axels: Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think skaters are not allowed to do three of the same triple jump in the long program...? So even if Mao wanted to (and I agree with you that if the rules allowed it and she wanted to do it, she probably would succeed!), I don't think she can...

I think her goal is to do two triple axels and two 3-3 combos. And probably all 5 triples just in case the new bonus rule passes. So in my view, the biggest change she can make to increase the base value of an 8-triple program would be to move one of the 3A's to the second half. A 3A+2T in the second half, if Mao could rotate it, would be worth 13.42 points. WOW!

About Yu-Na being a "golden child" - hmm, well I don't read a lot of sites other than this one and FSU and lots of Japanese news, but I haven't really gotten this impression...Mao even won the FSU trash can contest! Very Happy Certainly there are lots of Yu-Na fans and people who don't like Mao, but I hope there are also a lot of Mao fans out there!
I agree with you Star85, that for me, no one comes close to Mao, but I try not to say that on other boards because the Yu-Na bots/Mao-haters scare me. Sweatdrop

As for Mao's expression: I've always thought Mao's expression was great, but I guess I can see why others are critical...Sure, sometimes she's concentrating hard and gets off the beat, and she doesn't really change her facial expression, but it's all in her body. I'm used to watching ballet performances from the nosebleed section - there's no way I can see the ballerina's face, so if she's not expressing the emotion in the tilt of her head, the curve of her back, the position of her arms, etc, etc, I'm not going to see it. So that, more than facial expression, is what I watch for.

And even if Mao is sort of an "introverted" skater, lost in her own world, that's okay with me too. The feeling that I get when I see Mao really get into in her performance, like the 08 Worlds SP, or the "So deep is the night" ex, or the recent Japan Nat'ls SP - for me, that's when I feel like she's skating because she loves it. I can't describe it well, but for me, it's kind of like in the myths/stories where humans would come across fairies/nymphs dancing in a clearing. If the fairies realize you're watching, they'll disappear, but if you stay hidden, you'll get to see these wonderful creatures dance the most beautiful dance you've ever seen. But they're not dancing for an audience, they're dancing for themselves... That's kind of how I feel.

Anyhow, I became a figure skating fan because of Mao, so I'm extremely biased, but Mao inspires me. Her desire to challenge herself continually, to push the limit - I find it extremely inspiring. And that's why I'm a fan...Goo Mao! Cheering
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:35 am

I am careful of how I go about talking favorably of Mao, and not so favorably of Yu Na on other message boards too. I have to be careful to say, "in my opinion", "I think", etc. I just don't want to to get into it with people. Even if you say things politely, you still often **** someone off. And it seems like I'm always ganged up on when that happens! No I hate that. That's what I like about this message board: people agree with me!... About Mao anyway flower .

When I said Yu Na seems to be the golden child this season, it's cause that's what I really feel like I've been seeing. She seems to have more fans, and support from critics and media than ever. Even more than Mao (which I can't understand). Overall, people seem to be criticizing Mao more, and praising Yu Na more. And I think Mao has only been getting better. I've been going to several message boards this season, and Yu Na seems to be more popular.

Maybe it just SEEMS like Yu Na is more popular, and the golden child this season, cause there was a lot of hype over worlds being in her country, she's over her injuries, and she started the season off so well. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but that's my best guess.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:14 am

Batsuchan wrote:
About Mao and three triple axels: Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think skaters are not allowed to do three of the same triple jump in the long program...? So even if Mao wanted to (and I agree with you that if the rules allowed it and she wanted to do it, she probably would succeed!), I don't think she can...
She can definitely go for it, and make the audience go "Holy cow!" ROTFLMAO but it'll get Zayak'ed and the third one won't count since skaters can only go for two of same triple jump in the free skate (one in combo). I think star85 meant the 8 triple program..?

I feel the same on the expression thing. Yu-Na has the dramatics and *facial* expres​sion(she uses her upper body well too, which Mao does excellently as well), but as far as lines, pointing the toes out, extension and stretch - Mao is the one for me...and Uncle Dick, lol. I remember his constant bantering about "point your foot/toe out my dear" whenever he saw Yu-Na skate. Lips sealed If I have to categorize the two, Mao will be the ballerina or the dancer, while Yu-Na is the actress.

So ultimately it's about what defines artistry to the person, I guess. I also feel that the longevity of Michelle and Sasha had made some casual fans of skating connect "facial expression" with "artistry" (especially about the whole deal with smiling during a performance). Artistry can definitely be enhanced by facial expression, but smiling and showing facial emotion isn't artistry per se, and that's where the complaints come in, IMO. But this is all silly to me, since Mao is full of emotion during competition and in her exhibitions. She does appear focused during her LP, but that's perfectly fine if we get to see her amazing jumps, spirals, spins, and steps. Wink

(I forgot to mention this, but for Nats, the donut spin Mao traded in for her broken camel...was done with her face and part of her upper body facing upwards, which I thought was a very neat variation, not to mention the improvement in speed compared to previous seaons) I love you

I'm pretty sure Mao has numerous adoring fans over at FSU - the only "total" skating forum I consider civilized. A lot of the members here posted there too (e.g., floskate, Okami). I use to post there, but lost my account a few years back and never bothered to make a new one. Maybe I should. Razz

I guess Yu-Na is seen as the golden child because she is the "safe" bet. While she has an explosive 3fl-3t and a 2A-3T combo, she doesn't have the 3A, or the loop combos and thus not in danger of getting too many DG's. Her programs are also pretty audience friendly, and is typical in its structure/approach with good choreo. Mao, on the other hand, is the girl that challenges herself, and apparently Tat's Masquerade program seems to divide most skating fans. But we have to remember that not all people are favorable to different approaches like the constant rhythm and no-rest program that is Mao's FS, and I'm fine with that. What's important is that there *are* those who enjoy it, like us, and that Mao herself feels satisfied performing it. I love you

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:16 am

[quote="clovera"]
Batsuchan wrote:


I'm pretty sure Mao has numerous adoring fans over at FSU - the only "total" skating forum I consider civilized. A lot of the members here posted there too (e.g., floskate, Okami). I use to post there, but lost my account a few years back and never bothered to make a new one. Maybe I should. Razz

Mao, on the other hand, is the girl that challenges herself, and apparently Tat's Masquerade program seems to divide most skating fans. But we have to remember that not all people are favorable to different approaches like the constant rhythm and no-rest program that is Mao's FS, and I'm fine with that. What's important is that there *are* those who enjoy it, like us, and that Mao herself feels satisfied performing it. I love you

Whoever is running FSU never get's back to me on confirming my account... I look at their message boards once in a while though. I would like to participate in them someday!

I was unsure if I liked Masquerade at first, but it grew on me. The music and the choreography are different from what Mao usually does, and I admit, I like her usual style better. I think it suits her more, and compliments her skating best. I do think it's good she's trying different things though. Challenging yourself, and trying different things makes you better.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:57 am

clovera wrote:
She can definitely go for it, and make the audience go "Holy cow!" ROTFLMAO but it'll get Zayak'ed and the third one won't count since skaters can only go for two of same triple jump in the free skate (one in combo).

Holy cow WOW MAO! ROTFLMAO That's what I'd say!

clovera wrote:
What's important is that there *are* those who enjoy it, like us, and that Mao herself feels satisfied performing it. I love you

Amen to that! Happy dance
FSU does have a number of dedicated Mao fans, but even there I never post as much as I do here. Different people have different views on "artistry" and prioritize certain qualities more than others, so I feel like there's no point in getting into ugly arguments...

As for Mao, yes, I guess in the end, what I wish for her is for her to be satisfied with herself--for things to end with a smile! flower
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:20 am

bleedingblades3 wrote:


I'm HOPING that Mao will succeed on the Vancouver rink. Like Batsuchan said, I hope that if she does fall, she won't have the "Oh, no. this is where my mistakes happened!" kind of attitude. Mao is a great athlete, though. I doubt she'd have such superstitions... I think.

Didn't Mao ditch her black Czardas dress for the red one in the 2006-2007 season because she felt it brought her bad luck (since she fell twice on her 3A in that dress)...?

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:41 pm

Mirai wrote:

Didn't Mao ditch her black Czardas dress for the red one in the 2006-2007 season because she felt it brought her bad luck (since she fell twice on her 3A in that dress)...?

Yes - that is one of Mao's "traditions" - she likes to change her costumes, especially to get rid of "bad luck". That's why she switched her SP costume mid-season last year. She also likes to wear red - that's her lucky color. sunny

So I fully expect Mao to have a red/magenta/pink costume for the FP and probably a new SP costume too (I hope it's more silver/white!) by Worlds. Can't wait to see them! Happy dance
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:49 am

Batsuchan wrote:

Onto a happier subject - I just watched a fluff about the first time Mao went to Japan Nationals - when she did the triple-triple-triple combo. Is it just me, or is there way more focus on Mao now? Another video clip I saw said that Japan is in the middle of "Mao fever." I mean, I know she was always very popular, but it seems like it is craziness now (but maybe not quite like Korea, yet). Laughing

I'm a little worried about the extra pressure this attention will put on Mao...Earlier I had said that I had mixed feelings about the media focusing on Mao's weak points. But now, I think what the media should really do is highlight all the wonderful Japanese skaters who are really all potential World/Olympic medalists. That way they don't have to say anything bad about Mao, and the attention is not only on her, which is good. Thumbs up!

I totally agree with you here. I also got the feeling that the more Mao wins, the more the media's attention gets centered on Mao only. I don't think it's good for the sport in Japan, because:
1. The pressure on Mao is becoming too huge, and it will only get stronger with every month that brings us closer to the Olympics. pale
2. The Japanese singles team is perhaps the strongest singles team in the Worlds, and so many great skaters get ignored. Less media exposure means more difficulty in finding sponsors or hitting a good endorsement deal... silent
3. ...Not to mention that poor promotion of the Men event and inconvenient timing caused the arena to be half empty during the Men's SP. Sad
4. The Pairs and the Ice Dance disciplines are very poorly developed in Japan... And they will remain this way if the disciplines will be completely ignored by the media! The winners' performances were not even broadcasted... Depressed Crying

As for the opinions on various forums, I think that actually there's quite a lot of people who love Mao and her programs this season. I think the only forum where the majority of users seemed not too fond of Mao's programs was the MK forum... Which seemed to adopt YuNa as the new MK, and Mao as the new Irina, Tara and Sasha all in one person. Laughing But I visited it only once and never went back, so I can't be sure about their opinions now.
On the other forums - FSU, GS, ISU, IN - a lot of posters praised Mao a LOT and called Mao's LP a masterpiece that will be remembered as long as T/D's Bolero. Mao was also praised for constantly evolving and working on her jumps. Certainly, there were a few people who weren't quite as impressed, and if somebody started a "Mao's program is empty" thread, there were usually some users eager to hop on the bashing bandwagon. But this is normal - there's been no skater that would be universally liked. Even in threads about the legends like Katarina Witt, Torvil/Dean, Yags or others there is always a few negative opinions posted. Laugh So I definitely wouldn't worry too much about few naysayers... Too sweet!

One thing I find funny is the total polarization of opinions. I don't think I've read a neutral opinion on Mao's LP yet... Usually every program provokes a wide range of responses from fans, from "I love it!", through "It's good", "Not bad", to "I don't like it". With Mao's LP, it's either "A masterpiece!" or "No choreo at all!". Laugh I start to think that Mao's LP is like the caviar of figure skating. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:17 pm

MKF actually cooled down a bit in their reactions to Mao's LP, which is good, with a few members being quite appreciative of it. I do find it interesting though that opinions regarding Mao's programs are indeed polarized...I hardly see neutral opinions anywhere! Surprised

I would definitely like more interest in the men's discipline though - and the others, of course. For skating though, it seemed like the general interest in the men's event was always never that high - I recall hearing my father saying that Minoru Sano's bronze medal way back at 1977 was met with surprise in Japan, mostly because (and I quote) "figure skating was assumed to be performed by ladies." Maybe it had to do with Janet Lynn's impact back at Sapporo for this assumption to have formed amongst the general public. Razz

And then there's the fact that Dai - whom I feel made the men's event more known - is injured, and that Japan doesn't have a world champ at the men's event yet... I don't think they will get the attention as much as the ladies (or rather, Mao) until that happens. I obviously think they deserve to, of course, but the Japanese media seems to be picky about who to spotlight as the media darling, and oftentimes I feel its based on looks - yeah, I said it! Razz - more than their actual performance in the sport.

The level of attention, for example, given to the "Ogushio" pair in ladies' badminton, or Ryo Ishikawa of golf by the Japanese media reaches levels of silliness IMO. The media right now has a trend of paying particular attention to "ikemen" or "handsome" male athletes like Daisuke Miyazaki, Kei Igarashi etc. that I can't help but feel they need to fix their priorities pronto. Ability and results over looks, please! Twisted Evil What Nobu, Kozu, Dai...or Fumie, Miki, Yukari did in terms of accomplishments to the sport on the international level are on par with, if not far greater, than the four examples I mentioned above (and a slew of the other athletes that are getting the media love). Kozu isn't bad looking though, so maybe with a medal at worlds he'll become part of this crazy "ikemen" athlete movement? Who knows. silent It certainly felt like it happened for Dai with his silver at Worlds 2007.

But it's always like this for athletes and sports, isn't it? I mean, look at all the media brouhaha Michelle Wie got in the States... Rolling Eyes Neutral I'll end my rant here. Who, me?

P.S. Happy New Year everyone! Confetti Confetti Confetti

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PostSubject: Re: Mao's strategy going forward?   Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:37 am

I like Mao's LP and I think it's a great strategy for her to try to interpret different types of music even though it's not necessarily her style.
All of her senior LP's so far have been extremely challenging and very fast paced but she always managed to handle it and leave some beautiful and memorable performances.
Now if she for once chose a slower paced LP for the Olympic season things would certainly seem much easier to her after these three years of challenging herself.


And don't worry about MKF Wink , while I respect that people have different preferences and not everyone necessarily has to get Mao I can't help myself thinking that if only she wasn't the big sensation drawing so much attention and expectations in a time when Michelle was leaving the scene or if only Mao said she idolizes MK she might get a slightly better treatment at MKF.
At the time Yu-Na was still somehow in Mao's shadow and wasn't hyped as much, as they might say, making it easier to accept her instead if Mao. Yu-Na also did say Michelle is her idol which is obviously an extremely important criteria.
Of course I don't think these are the only reasons for some people there to dislike Mao or prefer Yu-Na but it definitely does play a part, IMO.
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