Sequels to anime series often generate great anticipation as fans are eager to re-immerse themselves in the world and characters they loved so much in the original series. However, despite the best intentions of the creators, sometimes these sequels can disappoint and sometimes even abandon the project. What factors contribute to the failure of an anime sequel?
First, there is pressure to match or surpass the success of the original series. When a series becomes a cultural phenomenon or gains a passionate following, expectations for the sequel become extremely high. Fans are hoping that the story and characters will develop significantly, while maintaining the essence that attracted them in the first place. This pressure can be overwhelming for creators, sometimes leading to hasty decisions or forced plot changes that don’t always work.
In addition, the lack of basic materials can be a problem. In many cases, an anime series is based on a manga, light novel, or video game. If the source material has not yet progressed enough to provide a strong foundation for the sequel, the creators may be forced to invent new stories or fill out the plot.often resulting in a less cohesive and satisfying final product.
Changes in the creative team may also be a factor. Sometimes the original writers, directors, and character designers may not be available to work on the sequel, causing the series’ vision and style to change. This could lead to a lack of consistency with the original series and dissatisfaction among fans who expected continuity in terms of quality and tone.
Finally, lack of time and budget can also play a big role in the failure of the sequence. Tight deadlines and limited resources can affect the quality of animation, which affects the viewer’s viewing experience.
But what are the most disappointing anime sequels so far? Let’s review what the public has to say:
The original FLCL was a six-episode personal growth story that followed Naota Nandaba as he grappled with the difficult emotions of growing up, separated from the eccentric Haruko Haruhara bursting into his life and bringing a lot of sci-fi weirdness with her . It was short but significant and surprisingly got two consecutive seasons some fifteen years later. FLCL Progressive served as a more direct sequel, but its new characters were uninteresting and its plot dragged on. FLCL Alternative was more independent in its approach, but its plot was more generic and barely resembled the original FLCL. Despite their best efforts, none of these sequels could recapture what made the original a cult classic.
The first season of Black Butler initially followed its source material, but eventually the plot veers into anime original territory, and the season ends with Sebastian taking Ciel’s soul. However, these events did not stop Black Butler 2nd Season from trying to continue the story, and the results left a bad taste in the mouths of fans. While completely original to the anime, Black Butler 2nd Season suffered from unsympathetic new characters, plot holes, and an unimpressive story with a very unsatisfying conclusion. It was so unconvincing that the third season would go on to restart the story, leaving the second as non-canonical.
Nanatsu no Taizai
Nanatsu no Taizai had a very promising start. With a motley group of knights fighting to take back a kingdom against them, the characters were quirky but likable and the animation was energetic and vibrant. However, the production of this shonen battle was transferred to Studio Deen from the third season onwards. That was the beginning of the end for this anime. With sloppy and unimpressive animation, Nanatsu no Taizai’s exciting battles became gritty and difficult to watch. To make matters worse, the story also began to fall apart as it lost its plot, wasting its premise and characters as it slowly moved towards its conclusion.
One Punch Man
Few anime manage to make as much of an impact as One-Punch Man did in its first season, portraying the powerful but boring Saitama as he saves the world with a single punch. With amazing animations that give weight to the power of these heroes and extremely strange and fun characters, many wanted to see more of Saitama’s works after the first season ended. Finally, the second season arrived, but unfortunately it was a disappointment. The change from Madhouse to JC STAFF caused the animation quality to drop compared to the original season, and the lack of humor or focus on Saitama himself caused this sequel to quickly lose its charm.
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu is fondly remembered by many of its fans in general, thanks to its strange but charming premise and its equally strange but charming characters. So it was no surprise that at the end of the first season, viewers were eager to see what the SOS Brigade would do next. To everyone’s surprise, they would find out in the worst possible way. The second season of Haruhi Suzumiya features an arc called “Indefinite August” where the group is trapped in a time loop for eight episodes where the same events are repeated over and over again with slight differences. This arc continued for most of the second season, leaving any fan enthusiastic about this season and the series as a whole.
Strange, violent and tough, Tokyo Ghoul quickly made a name for itself in its first season. While it wasn’t perfect, it managed to keep its story coherent, something that can’t be said for the rest of the series. The second season made some big mistakes by trying to mix original material from the anime with straight fragments of the manga’s plot, and the results were an erratic mess that ended up with little excitement. Tokyo Ghoul:re tried to continue beyond the second season, but the fast pace and low-quality animation didn’t help. In short, Tokyo Ghoul faltered after its first season and never fully recovered.
Yakusoku no Neverland
Yakusoku no Neverland gripped the audience with its dark premise, striking visuals, equally terrifying antagonists, and the enduring spirit of Grace Field’s children trying to escape their fate. The series was ready to continue its intense story after the end of the first season, but everything went wrong in the second. Although it started off well, viewers began to notice that something wasn’t right, with details and characters from the manga being omitted as the anime progressed, which became more worse when the much anticipated story arcs were left out. The anime went through more than a hundred manga chapters of the story, which turned this highly anticipated season into a major disappointment for many. Yakusoku no Neverland rose high only to fall.
The use of CGI in anime can be an acquired taste for many, and some have managed to make it work in their favor. The same cannot be said for the 2016 sequel to Berserk. While its dark and deep story was still very present, the animation was ugly and sloppy, making it almost unbearable to watch.. What hurts the most in this case is that there have been high expectations for a new season of Berserk since the late 90’s, and the reboot movies raised those expectations even more. But with two incredibly animated seasons, any hopes for more content from this dark fantasy epic almost vanished into thin air.