Let’s be real – there are numerous anime titles out there that deserve a second season, so many that I couldn’t possibly list them all. Sometimes there just isn’t enough of a mainstream fanbase to secure a second season, no matter how great the anime. Sometimes the fanbase is there, but exists chiefly overseas rather than in Japan where it usually counts the most. Sometimes there simply isn’t enough money to meet production costs, no matter the wishes of the creators. Whatever the reason, viewers are often left unsatisfied and thirsty for more – particularly when the ending to an anime doesn’t really seem to be an ending at all, but instead an indefinite (and frequently permanent) hiatus.
Unfortunately, there’s very little fans can do about this other than reach for solidarity. On that note, here are my own top 5 anime for which I’d most love to see a second season. Feel free to commiserate with me in the comments and/or nominate your own top picks, regardless of how likely they are to ever see the light of day.
5. Tonari no Kaibutusu-kun/My Little Monster
Number of episodes: 13 + 1 OVA
Chance of second season: Hopeless
There are very few anime romantic comedies out there, whether they’re aimed at the male or female demographic, that I’ve been able to fully get behind. Most often they’re mired in tired clichés and stereotypes, with humour that relies on the slapstick and/or on antics that would most certainly be classified as sexually abusive in the real world. Tonari no Kaibatsu-kun is one of those rare exceptions for me, where a) I actually like the majority of the characters and b) I actually laugh out loud nearly every episode, even on a re-watch. While not a particularly unique story in and of itself, the series is everything I look for in a decent romcom, with a quirky, non-archetypical cast and a vibrant atmosphere. Regrettably, the show ends with nothing in the way of a solid conclusion to anything, largely feeling like it’s halfway through a two-cour title, and there’s no new material to draw on since the manga finished its run back in 2013. That said, I’d say the OVA (despite basically being just an extra gag episode) is worth the watch for comedy’s sake alone; something that strikes me as a huge rarity.
4. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar/Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Number of episodes: 12 + 1 OVA
Chance of second season: Vaguely Possible
The gorgeous artwork alone in Grimgar would have almost been enough to make me stick around, but against all the odds, it has a compelling narrative as well, and a cast that shines despite everything that could have gone drastically wrong with such a premise. The fanservice is irritating background noise but not a deal-breaker, and while not exceptionally popular with Japanese fans (possibly because of what I like to call a hardcore slice-of-life focus rather than being an action/adventure-style show), that’s exactly what endears it to me so much in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s that very focus which probably counts most against Grimgar getting a second season, despite several compelling mysteries remaining unsolved. All hope is not completely lost, however; the original light novels are still ongoing, and it hasn’t been too long since the anime was released for people to have completely forgotten about it. In all, I think there’s at least some chance, however slight, of Grimgar returning to pick up where it left off at some point.
Number of episodes: 12
Chance of second season: Highly Doubtful
A lot of people were sorely disappointed by Gangsta – not because it’s a bad show, but because it starts off so promisingly and yet viewers are let down so spectacularly by not only the complete lack of ending, but also the dramatic decline in narrative quality over the last handful of episodes. For all that, I’d still love to see a second season; it has an atmosphere that’s dark and gritty without seeming like it’s trying too hard to be cool, dark, or ‘edgy’; both the main leads are extremely unique and unexpectedly likable; and the story has a surprising amount of subtlety to it. Sadly, the studio behind the show filed for bankruptcy during its run, hence Gangsta’s rushed and untimely conclusion. That said, I think it’s very unlikely, yet not entirely impossible, for the series to eventually see a revival of some kind. It’s not as though plenty of anime titles haven’t passed between studios before (Fate/stay night, Log Horizon, Natsume Yuujinchou, Spice and Wolf, and Durarara, to name just a few), and the ongoing manga has gained decent popularity among both Japanese and English readers.
2. Akatsuki no Yona/Yona of the Dawn
Number of episodes: 24 + 3 OVAs
Chance of second season: Somewhat Probable
For all it looks in many respects like a stereotypical reverse-harem show at first glance, Akatsuki no Yona has some real depth to it. In particular, Yona’s gradual and surprisingly realistic character development, from spoiled and ignorant princess to resilient and determined… well, freedom fighter basically, really makes the series for me. Yes, there’s some romance, and no, the series isn’t totally devoid of related cringe-worthy moments. Even so, having a female lead in a relatively serious action/adventure fantasy show, especially one not subjected to repeated bouts of fanservice, is fantastic in and of itself, to say nothing of some of the genuinely moving backstories of the other cast members. In short, I’d say Akatsuki no Yona is far from the melodramatic and romance-centric title that many probably assume it to be. The anime ends without resolving any of the overarching story, but given that the manga is still ongoing and has a pretty solid fanbase both in and outside Japan, I think there’s an equally solid chance of it getting a second season… eventually. In the meantime, the OVAs, particularly the third one, is well worth a look.
1. Kuragehime/Princess Jellyfish
Number of episodes: 11
Chance of second season: Dubious
I honestly can’t think of any anime more deserving of a second season than Kuragehime; it’s not only sweet as well as funny, but also a lot deeper and more down-to-earth than I had assumed it would be going by the synopsis. All the characters are very loveable in their own way, and are also fully-realised individuals rather than simply an excuse for romance fodder. However, I have a particular love for Kuranosuke – quite possibly still the only male anime character in existence who regularly (and non-comedically) cross-dresses for reasons that have little to do with gender identity or sexual orientation. His older brother, surprisingly, also makes for an extremely interesting and likeable cast member. Sadly, I don’t really expect a season two of Kuragehime at any point. The manga is ongoing and has been quite well-received by Japanese as well as English speakers, but the progress of release is fairly slow and the anime is now over seven years old. It’s by no means impossible, but I’m certainly not holding my breath on this one.
Question of the post: No matter how farfetched the possibility, what unfinished anime series would you most like to see picked up again for a second season?