Producers seem committed to keeping the story going, not just making an easy cash grab.
If I’m being totally honest, I really, really don’t like the trend of anime putting exclamation points in their official franchise titles. Most of the time, it ends up feeling like a combination of a pandering attempt to create fan-cred trivia and cockily pretentious self-aggrandizing.
But in the case of anime TV series Yuri!!! on Ice, that self-assigned breathless excitement turned out to be pretty justified. Succinctly described by my coworker as “hot guys on ice,” Yuri!!! on Ice started with a story about male figure skating (a sport which was already enjoying an upsurge in popularity in Japan when the anime premiered), poured on lavish character animation, and tied up the whole package with a detailed look at the formation of a same-sex romantic relationship, making the show one of the biggest hits of last fall’s Japanese TV season.
With its home video sales booming (even with the limiting factor of export restrictions), many fans were keeping their fingers crossed that there would be more Yuri!!! on Ice anime to come, and their prayers were answered last weekend at a special event called Yuri!!! on Stage. While appearances by the anime’s vocal cast and crew were no doubt a treat for those in attendance, the biggest story to come out of the event was the announcement of an upcoming Yuri!!! on Ice anime movie, which was later confirmed by the series’ official Twitter account.
✨特報✨「ユーリ!!! on ICE」完全新作劇場版の制作が決定しました!!! 続報をお待ちください!!! そして、本日ご来場頂いた皆様、全国の劇場で見てくださった皆様、本当にありがとうございました‼️… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
TVアニメ「ユーリ!!! on ICE」 (@yurionice_PR) April 29, 2017
Popular TV anime are often repackaged as compilations for theatrical release after they finish their broadcast run, generally with a few sequences of new animation added to help convince audiences to buy tickets for a story they’ve already seen play out on TV. That’s not the case this time, though, as the Yuri!!! on Ice movie will be, according to the announcement, “an entirely new production for theatrical release.”
No further details have yet been revealed, and so the movie’s release date is also presently unknown, but anime movies generally don’t have protracted production timelines (Evangelion notwithstanding). As such, a premiere in late 2017 or 2018 seems most likely, and hopefully the exact date will match up with another of anime-loving pro skater Evgenia Medvedeva’s trips to Japan.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’d like to thank the Laemmle’s Theater for screening the Silent Mobious movie back in the mid-’90s.