Yuri!!! on ICE Fans Demand Closure After MAPPA CEO’s Disappointing Update

Jul 19, 2023
Manabu Otsuka says Yuri!!! on ICE's production structure made MAPPA little money, necessitating changes and raising worries over Ice Adolescence.
Yuri!!! on ICE Fans Demand Closure After MAPPA CEO’s Disappointing Update

MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka cites the production structures of Chainsaw Man and Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill as part of a necessary direction for the company's survival.

Per Kompass, Yuri!!! on Ice's profitability relative to its success was "insignificant," Otsuka outlines. "For example, it was possible to describe the outcome of Yuri!!! on ICE, which we produced, as a big hit, but relative to its success, the money that the studio gained was insignificant. We have responsibilities, I feel - even as we accepted this [equity] structure - and we had to increase what we were capable of doing."

"It's not like we can control when we produce a blockbuster [anime]," Otsuka said. "As an enterprise, to not take advantage of our limited opportunities, it wouldn't have been possible to grow the company. In order to rid ourselves of those concerns, we financed other ventures; investment in our environment and human resource training became necessary." The YouTube event MAPPA STAGE and the Jujutsu Kaisen-themed JuJu Talk were cited as examples of different ventures. He adds that acquiring the now-MAPPA producer Makoto Kimura, as well as the rise of foreign anime distributor platforms, enabled the company to find many more opportunities.

The End of Yuri on Ice?

Fans were not pleased with the news, taking to social media to express their displeasure.

Since Yuri!!! on Ice's debut in 2016, MAPPA has become a household name for many anime fans. Adaptations of KakeguruiTerror in Resonance, Dorehedoro and others had associated the company with a degree of prestige within the community and later restructures catapulted them to bigger acquisitions like Chainsaw ManJujutsu Kaisen, Hell's Paradise, and Attack on Titan: The Final Season. MAPPA was in financial straits for many years despite this. Like many other studios, MAPPA entered into "production committees" with other stakeholders to produce animes like Yuri!!! on Ice, however, the equity structure meant that while MAPPA incurred less debt, the Yuri!!! on Ice's massive successes went to other parties.

In fact, given that MAPPA was listed in very few production committees between 2015 and 2020, it's said that they were effectively subcontractors who produced anime for little-to-no profit. The necessary changes that Otsuka now refers to are decisions like 100% financing Chainsaw Man, allowing MAPPA to reap most of the profit. Otsuka's comments seemingly imply that Yuri!!! on Ice isn't financially viable, which immediately prompted demands for clarity over the indefinitely delayed Yuri!!! On Ice the Movie: Ice Adolescence which has been promised since 2019.

Pointing to the words of MAPPA co-founder, Masao Maruyama, who reportedly joined from Studio Madhouse because it had grown "into a studio that was limiting creativity and becoming more of a capitalistic venture," some fans criticize Otsuka's reasoning, while others cite that their weakened hand from 2016 leaves them with no easy out.


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