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Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Anime Series Most in Need of a Sequel:

Given that One Punch Man was literally the last gasp of popular adaptions left to the anime industry, I'm here to suggest some sequels of old material they could start doing instead of their relentless drive for new popular showcase works.

Just like the best selling 2014 manga, all of the best selling 2014 light novels have already been adapted into an anime.

The only exceptions are Kokuhaku Yoko Renshu, some vocaloid song turned book, God knows if it could ever be legibly adapted into an anime, and Ero Manga Sensei, which at three volumes long may just be long enough to be adapted into an anime now.  Again, that's just 2 exceptions out of the top 30.  The other 28 have already been adapted or will be adapted soon.  Adding the 'unused' popular manga and light novel sources together, you get a whopping three shows that haven't been adapted yet that would probably be hits if done right.

Even the best visual novels, if they aren't key works, tend to get low anime adaption sales.  Grisaia no Kajitsu has an average of 4,380 in sales, which is nice, and is also getting a sequel anime starting this spring which is also nice, but hardly 'hit' material.  That's the best success of visual novels around.  Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, the award winning top game of 2013, only sold 923 copies per volume of its anime adaption.  Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete, the only other visual novel based anime of 2014, sold an even more horrendous 404 copies per volume.  If the top visual novel of the year can't even sell 1,000 copies of its anime, no visual novel adaption is safe or even sensible anymore.  When even Da Capo III falls flat with just 2,383 sales per volume (when Da Capo 1's anime sold 14,992), there isn't a single visual novel based show you can rely on anymore outside of key works or Fate/Stay Night sequels, which have always been big adaption successes.  Aside from Rewrite, there aren't any major key works left to animate though.  So at best, there's one popular visual novel companies can count on to make a profit over left to adapt.

Aside from the coming Grisaia spring anime, only one other visual novel has been announced for an anime adaption, Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm.  It won the 2014 moe game awards and came in 2nd in the 2014 Getchu Awards, so basically we're again looking at one of the most respected visual novels available for adaption.  That's it.  That's all companies are willing to consider adapting anymore from the enormous pool of visual novels on offer, because they just don't sell.  It's hard to pitch a new visual novel adaption when 2013's 'best visual novel' sells 923 copies as an anime.  What are you going to do, say your visual novel is better than theirs so there's nothing to worry about?

At least for now, visual novel adaptions are verboten territory.  No company will look at them twice anymore.  Adding visual novels, light novels and manga together, that's basically all possible sources for anime to adapt from.  And all you get is 4 popular shows left to work with.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Since there is nothing popular left to showcase with anime, here's what animation studios could be doing instead, sequels of shows we already know are good, in the order of how great a blessing they would be to the Great Beauty Utility Function in the Sky if they actually happened:

Negima remake from the very beginning to the very end, this time strictly following the manga
Seikai no Senki
Haruhi Suzimiya
Full Metal Panic!
Rurouni Kenshin
12 Kingdoms
Flame of Recca
Spice and Wolf
Umineko no Naku koro ni
Dragon Ball remake (as opposed to the Dragon Ball Z remake we currently have)
Da Capo III part 2
Hayate no Gotoku
Ranma 1/2
Maria-sama ga Miteru
High School of the Dead
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
Outbreak Company
Little Busters! (Kud Wafter)
Kokoro Toshokan
Hikaru no Go
Kitakubu Katsudou Kirouku
Break Blade
No Game no Life
Hataraku Maou-sama!
Kimi ni Todoke
Ao Haru Ride
Clannad (Tomoyo After Story)
The World God Only Knows
Aishiteruze Baby
Valkyria Chronicles
Sakura Trick
Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
Yama no Susume
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Lucky Star
Soul Eater
Binbou Shimai Monogatari
Tears to Tiara
Shinryaku! Ika Musume
Sora no Otoshimono
Gokukoku no Brynhildr
Nanoha Force
Tales of 'X'
Amagi Brilliant Park

I'm counting 64 sequel series that haven't been adequately adapted yet and still have plenty of source material left to adapt.  For some shows, like Hikaru no Go and Aishiteruze Baby, just a few oav's would be enough, you wouldn't even need a full season to finish adapting the work.  Other franchises still need hundreds of additional episodes, like Kenichi.

All together, these shows could occupy animation studios, and viewers, for years to come.  And once all those years have passed (let's say 3 years), there will be new shows worth animating again they can switch back to.  It's a win-win for everyone.  By then, Haganai, Saki, and Locodol will have generated enough new material to merit sequel seasons of their own, so that even gets us up to 67 sequel series worth doing.

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