Happy Happy Birthday! Yuzu! Yuzu! Yuzu!
I hope Yuzu takes some time to celebrate today. Yes he’s preparing for GPF, but on your birthday you need to make time enjoy 🙂
Today I think we have a lot to celebrate. Being a Yuzuru Hanyu fan, this has been a pretty excellent past 12 months. And that’s not just the phenomenal scores we saw a few weeks back. There were definitely some injuries and some less than stellar performances but there was also a lot of greatness and very memorable moments.
December 7, 2014 still remains the day I got the most views here (Brian Orser also tweeted at me :-)). I’ve been close a few times since, but I wonder if I’ll be able to top it today.
Last year it was 20 Videos for 20 Years of Yuzuru Hanyu, today I have 21 Videos from Yuzu’s 21st Year! Hope you all enjoy!
21 Videos from Yuzu’s 21st Year!
21. Grand Prix Final 2014 SP – I can still remember when this happened. I was driving around making stops for school and before my next stop I literally pulled over in a residential neighbourhood and watched just Yuzu live on my phone (I’m not sure I’ve told many people that one!) After the disastrous GP season this was everything us Yuzu fans could have hoped for. It wasn’t clean, but the smile he wore throughout sure made up for it. When I finally got home that day blogging about this SP was one of the first things I did.
20. Grand Prix Final 2014 FS – Now this event I was able to watch from my bed, where I watch a lot of live figure skating events. This program was fabulous. I think it’s my favourite version of Phantom of the Opera. Everything was so clean and so easy, except for that pesky lutz. But again, that smile afterwards and his pure relief at having skated such a good program and finally being relatively healthy was just everything. This moment in my opinion, just like NHK a few weeks back, proved why he is the Olympic Champion.
19. Grand Prix Final 2014 Exhibition -There was a special moment during the exhibition at GPF last year where Javi introduced Yuzu to the Spanish audience as his friend and training mate before his skate. But even more precious, just before Yuzu introduced Javi (in broken Spanish, I believe). His ‘Ola Barcelona’ is just too cute. Plus Yuzu found an España jersey for the occasion. As a special treat you get both videos here. This Yuzu-Javi bromance has seriously been lacking so far this season.
18. World Championships 2015 SP – Coming into Worlds we really had no idea what to expect from Yuzu. With the injuries and lack of training I didn’t have high hopes. Plus, he hadn’t been training with Brian for months leading up to this. But Yuzu surprised us all and skated a pretty stellar SP. Of course it wasn’t clean, but none of them were last season, but it was so darn close. That moment where he clasps his fists at the end in an act of finality is amazing. I’m guessing this will reappear as the current season goes on. His control over the crowd in that moment is astounding.
17. World Championships 2015 Medal Ceremony – Worlds last season didn’t end quite the way Yuzu would have liked, but given his season I think everyone can agree that a silver medal was a very respectable way to end. Without the injuries I think he would have been World Champion again, but I’m almost glad he didn’t win. Because this was Javi’s moment. And in Javi’s moment Yuzu was the most gracious and supportive training mate you could ask for. The hug on the podium is precious. You can really tell these two are friends and were genuinely happy for each other (writing those last couple lines I was reminded again of the Yuzu-Javi fanfiction I stumbled upon a few weeks back…).
16. World Championships 2015 Exhibition: Team Orser Jump-Off – I love that jump-off’s are now a thing Yuzu likes to do at the end of an exhibition. The one we saw at Worlds was extra fun. All of Team Orser got involved! After successfully landing their jumps Yuzu and Javi worked really hard to get Nam to try a quad too. Very much adorableness between #TeamOrser. I am so happy Nam is now part of this group, it can only be positive for him moving forward.
15. World Team Trophy 2015 FS – Many would argue this is the best Yuzu skated Phantom of the Opera all last season (though I still prefer GPF). This one was extra special with it being right after his disappointing Worlds. It wasn’t completely perfect, but it was sure close! What a great way to say goodbye to this FS. Plus Yuzu in the Kiss n’Cry with Team Japan is quite adorable. I love that they gave him a Phantom mask. I also love how shy he was about it and took it off quite quickly.
14. World Team Trophy 2015 Exhibition – Yuzu came out for this exhibition skate in a blue shirt that could only mean one thing, we were going to see Parisienne Walkways again. And with that announcement every Yuzu fangirl squealed just a little. And it was just excellent. I missed this program. And funnily enough, this was the only time he did a clean SP last season (because obviously he was going to skate this program with full SP jumps!).
13. World Team Trophy 2015 Exhibition: 4Lo-3A – Yuzu was just on fire at WTT last April. After the decently successful jump-off at Worlds, Yuzu upped the difficulty here. This time it was quad loop. And not just quad loop, but a quad loop-triple axel sequence. Like what!?!? 4L-3A!! His reaction is priceless, but so is everyone else. Meagan and Eric bowing is just too perfect.
12. Fantasy on Ice 2015: Hello I Love You – Last summer Yuzu took part in a number of shows in Japan. I don’t know a lot about shows in Japan, but Fantasy on Ice seems to be one of the big ones. Yuzu skated a number of different programs during FoI last summer. He brought back is old Hello I Love You program. I still find it so odd to see Yuzu skate to something fun and upbeat. It seems he can skate these programs well and is having fun, but it’s still so odd. Why doesn’t he do it more often? The crowd sure goes crazy every time he does. Continue to embrace the rockstar image!
11. Fantasy on Ice 2015: Believe – Yuzu also skated to Believe during one of the FoI shows. For this performance he had Che’Nelle there singing as he skated. I’ve always thought these types of events were a little weird but that’s irrelevant. There was some beautiful skating by Yuzu here.
10. Fantasy on Ice 2015: Vertigo – Another program that Yuzu brought back during FoI was Vertigo. This is an excellent program where Yuzu is a rockstar. He is lovin’ it and the crowd is lovin’ it. Though I’m still not 100% behind Yuzu being sexy. But still, he looked fabulous and so many girl’s hearts were melting watching. I wish we got to see this version of Yuzu more often. I imagine there are so many skating fans out there who don’t even know this side of Yuzu exists. https://youtu.be/1WN4UNO-6Ow
9. Fantasy on Ice 2015: Seimei – The most exciting thing that happened at Fantasy on Ice last summer was that Yuzu used it to debut Seimei. It was definitely a shorted version, but it was Seimei during the summer and he was trying all 3 quads even then. I remember watching this video during the summer and not really thinking much of it, boy how things have changed since. Seimei is a masterpiece and you can even see its potential back when he was skating it during the summer. Plus, this is also a reminder of the cleaner version of the costume that existed back then.
8. Skate Canada Autumn Classic International 2015 SP – At the start of the season we were given a little treat. Yuzu would be beginning his season at a little event in Barrie. Naturally the Japanese figure skating community went crazy at the news. This was an excellent start to the season for Yuzu and one of those rare occasions where we got to see the original layout for Chopin. Keep this one bookmarked, with two quads now, this is the cleanest we’re ever going to see the original layout.
7. Skate Canada 2015 FS – I attended Skate Canada back in October and could barely contain my excitement at seeing Yuzu skate live again. After such a disastrous SP this FS was everything. Seeing Seimei live was everything. It was no where near perfect (now that we know what that looks like) but he fought through it and showed us that he can land 3 quads in a FS. Plus at the end we got to see fierce Hanyu, which is possibly my favourite Hanyu. As the Youtube link probably won’t work for some, here’s another link.
6. Skate Canada 2015 Press Conference – At the FS press conference at Skate Canada Yuzu showed everyone just how adorable he can be. He tried really hard with his English at the start but boy could you see him start to struggle. His body language throughout though is super cute. And then finally, he gives up and asks with that charming smile of his if he can speak Japanese. I’ve seen so many gif’s from this. Sometimes Yuzu can just be too cute for words.
5. Anan Photoshoot 2015 – This is my one non-skating video on this list. A while back Yuzu did a photoshoot for Anan magazine (which is coming out this week I believe). Throughout Yuzu is just playing up the rockstar image he has in Japan. Perhaps it’s because we rarely see him in street clothes, but I absolutely love this. He looks so good! The white striped sweater is gorgeous and the black scarf a perfect accessory. He looks like he’s having so much fun. I’ve seen some of the final photos online and I can’t wait for the rest!
4. NHK Trophy 2015 SP – Oh how I love this SP. Oh how happy I am we’ve finally seen it clean. I will watch this on repeat for days. The spread eagles are gorgeous and everything is just so perfectly timed to the music plus he increased the jump difficulty and nailed it. Simply amazing.
3. NHK Trophy 2015 FS – I’m still not over this. I still watch it and just smile. I still watched it and get so happy every time he lands that final 3Lz. I’ve already excessively talked about this, so there’s not much more to say. Congrats on this skate Yuzu. It’s definitely one of the best that’s ever been. Here’s hoping there’s more of this in the future. I know the Youtube link likely won’t work for some, so here’s another link that should.
2. NHK Trophy 2015 Exhibition – We’ve seen Requiem a few times now. I even saw it live at Skate Canada. But there was just something about skating it in Japan and skating it after those record-shattering skates. Yuzu let go and was free. He felt everything he did in this skate and he brought the audience along with him.
1. NHK Trophy 2015 Exhibition Encore – Yuzu performed his choreographic step sequence from Seimei for his encore and it was just as powerful and as exciting as when he finished his FS. This little section is definitely my favourite part of the program. And if you look closely there’s even a little smile at the start.
Here’s hoping the next year brings just as much excellence! Let me know how you’re celebrating today!
– Justine Alyssa