Fun With Numbers: Explaining Why Popular Anime Don’t Get Sequels

There are few things more frustrating than loving an anime that has room to grow as a story, but never gets beyond one season of material. It’s arguably even more of an irritance when you know the second season would easily pay for itself. Fortunately, it’s very rare for popular anime to not get sequels (happens only about 20% of the time), and there are ways to predict which ones those will be. I like to think knowing softens the heartbreak.

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Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Hyperdimension Neptunia and Gatchaman Crowds

With this Friday’s two new shows (and the only full-length Friday shows on the season), the flow of first episodes for this summer season has come to a close. Fortunately, the day went 1 for 2, and added another show to the slate of things I’m gladly continuing.

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Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Love Lab, Symphogear G, and C3-Bu

Woop, it’s Thursday, the day of massive-impact airing!* We’ll have to wait a week for Silver Spoon, but there’s a six-shooter’s worth of ammo to chew on in the meantime.

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Introducing Unnecessary Terminology: Creative Constraint

How do you create the ultimate anime? Buy the best director and the best writer and give them infinite time and infinite money? Seems like that’d be obvious, right? Obvious, but wrong.

Leaving aside auxiliary questions like how one can actually judge who the best director and best writer are, there’s a much more fundamental problem with that idea. It’s an thought I often find expressed in critical circles, that the best successes come simply from good talents being able to do what they really want, free of any constraints. It’s the ideal of creative freedom unchained and free to race around the world with gumption and gusto.

The problem with this idea is that it’s too much yang and not enough yin, and it neglects the fact that a lot of the most creative ideas of our time have only come about because people didn’t have the materials or editorial approval to try their first choice and ended up doing something totally new. And how the choice that spends the most money isn’t always the choice that’s best for a particular show. Creative constraint is the polar opposite of creative freedom, but almost as vital in the production of powerful anime.

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