Though the second season of MAPPA’s Vinland Saga has already provied itself a contender for many a “Best Anime of 2023” lists, fans were recently shocked to learn that despite mangaka Yukimura Makoto having fleshed it out specifically for this season, a newly-penned backstory for one of Ketil farm guard Snake was unable to make the cut for the animated adaptation’s second season.
Taking to his personal Twitter account on April 25th to seek forgiveness from fans, director Shuhei Yabuta announced (via DeepL), “I would like to apologize to all of you. I had hoped to create a short story that would delve deeper into the story and characters in addition to the main story for the Season 2 production. One of my plans was to create an episode about the past of Snake, which was given to me by Mr. Yukimura, but I have decided to abandon this plan in order to give priority to the production of the main story.”
According to Yabuta, “Although there were elements of the premise of this short story in both episodes 16 and 17 left in the main story, and storyboards and settings were also ready, I was unable to make it happen this time due to my lack of ability.”
“I know that some of you had been looking forward to this story since the information had already been released,” he acknowledged, “and I am very sorry for the outcome.”
Notably, a brief look into Snake’s backstory is also shown in the manga’s 90th chapter, ‘The Price of Food’.
Therein, Snake reveals that prior to meeting Ketil, he was nothing but a young man on the run from an unspecified bit of trouble.
However, after finally crossing paths with Ketil – or at least someone who falsely claiming his identity – Snake is given a home, a purpose, and a future.
With his apology made, Yabuta concluded his thread by assuring audiences that “the entire staff will continue to make every effort to produce this volume and we look forward to your continued support of Vinland Saga.”
On his own account, Makoto confirmed that he had indeed worked with Yabuta on an episode titled The Snake’s Past and likewise acknowledged that it was cut because the two had overestimated the current state of the anime’s production team.
“That’s right,” wrote the mangaka. “I, Director Yabuta, and I had a talk with everyone, and we decided to do an old episode of Snake in the anime.”
“I’m sorry,” he added. “I got ahead of myself and leaked a bit of information without knowing what was going on on the animation production side.”
“The Snake’s Past,” Makoto further explained. “This is an episode that I had planned to draw in the first place, but never realized it. After all, it is not easy to make it happen.”
“The main story is really amazing, isn’t it?” he then asked. “I can tell that everyone at the animation production team is working with all their might. Director Yabuta, are you back home? Please don’t strain yourself.”
However, rather than abandoning his plan for The Snake’s Past all together, Makoto ultimately revealed that he was still intent on someday sharing Snake’s story.
“But!” he exclaimed in conclusion to his thoughts. “It might happen. Somewhere, somehow, as an outside story. So I’m sorry, but please don’t tell me yet what kind of history Snake has.”
Vinland Saga Season 2 is now airing exclusively on Netflix.