I think if Kaori lacks something in the presentation side of her skating, it’s attention to detail—things like toe point, turnout in laybacks, hand positions, refinement in arm movements, facial expressions, framing a position for a moment and holding it and looking at the judges to call attention to it. Things like that. And, although her speed and flow can interact with long notes or crescendos to create excitement, I’ve never found her to be a very musical skater in the sense of expressing smaller but interesting moments in the music.
Looking at her presentation from a sort of traditional gender-normative standpoint feels a little uncomfortable to me (although I acknowledge that is how many people will see things).
Agreed completely. I think Kaori can improve things like her posture and the movement of her arms but I hate using terms like un-feminine to criticize her. In addition, sometimes skaters with “traditionally feminine” body types get away with having bad posture since they fit the traditional physical mold of a figure skater.