Yuri!!! on Ice is an original figure skating anime presented by studio MAPPA that took the anime community by storm in fall of 2016. It ran for a single season of 12 episodes and features a well researched, magnificently animated story about figure skating. The main focus of the show is on the emotional connection between Yuri Katsuki and Victor Nikiforov as they grow as individuals and develop a romantic relationship through a sport that they both love. The overall reaction to the series was overwhelmingly positive and a sequel was highly anticipated. It even went on to win two Tokyo Anime Awards in 2017 for Best Animation in Television and the audience voted Fan Award. Unfortunately, the future of the series since then has become a bit unclear, despite a movie announcement.
The story follows Yuri, an anxious 23 year-old and once-promising figure skater formerly set to represent Japan, now struggling to fulfill his potential. Because of his age, Yuri's window of opportunity is closing fast as he doesn't have many years left to compete on a national level. When an old video of Yuri's skating goes viral, the charismatic five-time World Champion, Victor, flies to Japan with the intention of coaching Yuri for the Figure Skating Grand Prix.
While an official second season was never announced, a movie — Yuri!!! on Ice The Movie: Ice Adolescence — about Victor's early figure skating career was slated for a theater release in 2019 . However, since that announcement, the movie has been delayed until further notice due to production changes. Meanwhile, any details about the movie are kept tightly under wraps. With a teaser trailer released back in 2018, no other information has been made available since then. While the studio has expressed interest in creating a second season after the movie's completion, it is unknown when that will be.
While the show garnered much attention from anime fans, actual figure skaters started paying attention, including Masato Kimura, Johnny Weir and Evgeni Plushenko who have all admitted to watching the series and sung its praises, some even creating routines to songs from the show's soundtrack. Joseph Johnson, another figure skater, did the famous JJ style pose at the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships (at the 5:42 mark).
With a fun, eccentric cast, great storytelling and strong focus on a very human romantic relationship between two men, Yuri!!! on Ice successfully captured the attention of anime and non-anime fans alike. The sport was highly researched with the animation stunning to watch, making it all the more entertaining. With its success, it's hard to believe that this will be the last we see of Yuri and Victor. While information regarding season 2 remains unknown, fans can be assured that there is a movie on the way, but it will require more patience until its release. At the very least, we know that there is more content to look forward to.