It’s an outstanding achievement for a manga or light novel author to have their material picked up for an anime adaptation. It’s even more impressive when that show is renewed for a second season and beyond. For all the stories adapted from beginning to end, many more fall by the wayside for one reason or another. It could be due to sales numbers, studio proirities or factors that simply remain unspecified. Let’s take a look at five anime that, despite being well-received by fans and critics, appear unlikely to have their tales completed on screen.
The homeless god Yato’s slacker lifestyle has caught up to him. He’ll perform any service for anyone for a grand total of five yen. A bus accident has him crossing paths with high school student Hiyori Iki, whose soul begins to slip in and out of her body. She becomes increasingly involved in the supernatural world of gods, spirits and monsters as she joins Yato in his quest to become a loved and well-respected god.
The show’s first two seasons, Noragami and Noragami Aragoto, have received widespread acclaim. Unfortunately, one of the manga’s two authors (the press release did not specify whom) suffered from health issues which saw the series go on hiatus from 2017 until February 2019. Although it has resumed with new material past the anime, the manga is releasing in Japan at a slower rate than it had previously. An in-depth look at the anime also shows that Season 2’s blu-ray sales dropped significantly from Season 1.
It’s impossible to say with certainty that Noragami will not receive a third season, but with a clear drop in both manga and Blu-ray sales, it seems less likely to happen with each passing year.
A group of people with wake up in a fantasy world with no memories of their previous lives and no special abilities. They must fight battles against dangerous monsters just to make enough money to survive. While Grimgar‘s plot sounds like a standard isekai series on the surface, it stands out due to its medieval world’s harsh nature, memorable character development and stunning watercolor-esque backgrounds. There are also a few shocking moments that remind viewers to stay on their toes.
Unfortunately the art studio behind Grimgar, Atelier BWCA (also known for its work on Mob Psycho 100, My Neighbor Totoro and Love Live!), closed in 2017 due to its director’s ill health. The show was also unlucky to air in January 2016 — the same time as the hugely popular Konosuba — leading to Grimgar flying somewhat under the radar. Although the Blu-ray release saw fair sales numbers in Japan and author Ao Jūmonji’s light novels continue well past the events of the anime, four years later there remains no word on a second season.
The widely loved Spice & Wolf follows the misadventures of traveling trade merchant Kraft Lawrence and harvest goddess Holo. He dreams of settling down in a nice town and opening his own trading shop, while she longs to see her distant hometown of Yoitsu again after hundreds of years away. The show, which first aired in 2008, received much acclaim for its unique focus on economics and the clever banter between its protagonists as their relationship deepens.
Unfortunately, Spice & Wolf is the one show on the list that will definitely not get another season. Isuna Hasekura, author of the light novels, has confirmed as much in multiple interviews. Though an exact reason was not given, the novels and their accompanying manga series have been completed and fully translated into English. The manga runs 16 volumes while the novels go for 22 volumes, along with four side stories, so Lawrence and Holo’s heartwarming story can still be enjoyed from start to finish.
A special group of knights called Blazers have the supernatural ability to call forth magical weapons through the power of their soul. Ikki Kurogane is an F-ranked Blazer at his academy due to his low magical abilities, relying on studying his opponents’ techniques to combat them. Stella Vermillion is a famous A-ranked Blazer and considered to have a genius talent level. Chivalry stands out thanks to the dynamic of its two protagonists and their budding romance as they work in tandem to be selected for the Seven Stars Sword Art festival, where schools compete to determine who has the strongest Apprentice Knights.
Despite airing its first season to a highly positive reception in winter 2015, there remains no word on a potential Season 2. With the light novels currently sitting at a whopping 17 volumes — the anime covered vols. 1-3 — there remains plenty of story to adapt and a hunger among fans to continue the anime. Each passing year brings a slew of “will it happen” YouTube videos discussing the topic, but as of spring 2020, no official news has emerged.
This psychological thriller both entertains and challenges viewers, often in the same episode. A group of Japan’s brightest students are selected to enter a specialized academy, with the expectation that they will become the best of the best upon entering the working world. However, they are split into four classes — A, B, C and D — and are put through increasingly challenging and unique exams to try and improve their ranking. It’s a journey of rivalry, mystery and frenemies where almost no one is exactly who they appear to be.
One of the most common reasons an anime is not renewed is that it was always intended to be a short-term advertisement to help boost manga and/or novel sales. As Classroom of the Elite was one of the top 10 bestselling light novel series in Japan in 2019 — alongside the likes of Demon Slayer and Sword Art Online — it seems crazy to think the anime isn’t at least being considered for a second season. However, a look at Studio Lerche’s history doesn’t inspire confidence. Since the studio’s founding in 2011, the vast majority of shows they’ve picked up have only run for one season, regardless of story length or popularity.
Spice & Wolf aside, however, there’s always reason to remain hopeful. With the recent news that The Irregular at Magic High School is finally getting a Season 2 after a six-year wait, you never know what the future could hold for incomplete anime stories. If nothing else, there’s always the source material to enjoy.
Despite their popularity, many anime adaptations never have their full stories told on screen. These five beloved shows have remained in limbo.