Yuri!! On Ice fans, are you still here? Four years after the first season ended and three years after a movie release was announced -- leaving doubts to fill fans' minds as to whether they'll be able to see Yuri and Victor ever again in the interim -- the production team behind Yuri!! On Ice has just made an announcement, confirming that, yes, a movie is still in the works.
The skating anime rose to popularity in 2016, garnering praise for its skating animation, realistic portrayal of mental health and the romantic relationship between two of its skating stars, Yuri and Victor. Yuri Katsuki, the central protagonist, is a figure skater who, after a disastrous Grand Prix Final, decides to go back to his hometown in Hasetsu, Japan, unsure if he wants to continue skating. Then, one day he wakes up to the news that his idol, Victor Nikiforov -- a five-time World Champion -- is going to become his coach.
What's Happening With the Yuri!! On Ice Movie?
The last episode of the anime ended with the teaser, "See you next level!," hinting that there would be more to come after the conclusion of the first and, so far, only season. Many hoped this meant a second season was in the works. In 2017, MAPPA, the studio behind the anime, released an announcement that a movie would be released instead called Ice Adolescence, with nothing more than a poster of Victor standing with Makkachin, his dog, bundled up in presumably Russia to accompany it. The title implied that the film would focus more on Victor, presumably set when he was a young, up and coming figure skating star.
Since then though, there has been nothing but silence from MAPPA on the project, leaving many fans to worry that the movie had been canceled or forgotten. But yesterday (November 26), MAPPA suddenly released a statement, apologizing to fans "for the circumstance and ask for [their] generous understanding," reassuring them that the film was still ongoing and the production team is working hard on it.
The Ice Adolscence Teaser Trailer
Following the announcement was the online release of the teaser trailer, which was released last year as a special exclusive to the theatrical screening of the TV series. The trailer opens with the line, "There's a first for everything," as Victor steps out onto the ice, long silver hair tied up in a ponytail, to the roaring cheers of the crowd. Dressed in an emerald costume with white frills at his neck, sleeves and back; wide black belt cinching his waist; mesh opening at his back, and black ribbon tied at his throat, Victor at 17 years old is a magnificent sight.
A pigeon flies across the screen, leading many fans to believe that Victor must be at the Grand Prix Trophée Éric Bompard, which is known for pigeons flying around inside the venue. Since the trailer says it's an Olympic season, this might be the competition before Victor's first Olympics.
What Could The Movie's Story Be About?
Victor, being the enigmatic person that he is, doesn't reveal a lot about himself during the first season of Yuri!!! On Ice -- except that he fell out of love with figure skating at one point, and winning a competition felt meaningless because he was at the top of his game and virtually untouchable. It's part of the reason why he initially goes to Yuri, having seen the viral video of him skating to his routine. Yuri manages to perfectly capture the emotion of Victor's routine despite not having any jumps.
Since the trailer seems to start when Victor is 17 years old, the film may explore what the turning point was when figure skating started to swallow his entire being, leaving him without love and without a life outside of the sport. It may even explore more of his family background and answer one of the anime's biggest unanswered questions: what led Victor to chop off all of his hair?!
We may not be able to see much of Yuri because the film will likely be more focused on Victor when he was younger, but because he was such a big fan of Victor's from childhood, maybe he'll make an appearance in some small way.
While some fans may be a little disappointed that there is still no release date, they can now, at least, watch the trailer, and be reassured that the production studio and team are taking their time to ensure that the movie is of the highest quality.