(Ed. Note: SpeedontheBeat.com won’t turn into nothing but anime musings, but anime has been there when even music wasn’t. It’s only right I show love to it.)
Over the past 20+ years as an anime fan, I’ve seen a lot of series that felt as if there could’ve been more to the story. Unlike many media, anime and manga (tend to) end when they need to. Heck, even some of the popular series go on years-long breaks to give the artists time to recharge. With that in mind, here’s a list of a few series that I wouldn’t mind seeing another season or two worth of. I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum, since, like Cardcaptor Sakura, I’d like you to check these series out.
Darling in the FRANXX
When I first started watching this series, I was admittedly uncomfortable with the frank sexualization of its characters. I joked and called it “Horny Evangelion” among friends, since it had two synthetically-created teens “merge” together on a physical and mental level to pilot mechs. Well, that and it was a series animated by TRIGGER. Without giving too much away, the story is equal parts shonen bloodbath, space opera and romantic drama.
As the series went on, it went from teen pilots (“parasites” if you’re sticking with the language of the show) engaging in the most unmuted allegory for sex possible to a deconstruction of the mecha genre along with your typical romantic drama anime. It was like Gurren Lagann with even more deconstruction of what it meant to be a hero and what it meant to grow up. While it didn’t necessarily have a Kamina moment in it, FRANXX evolved–and quickly–past its initial fanservice energy. The way that the series ends, there was a huge nod to hope and discovery. However, the way it ended also felt a bit like Angel Beats or even elements of Welcome to the NHK. It was conclusive and satisfying, but open-ended as hell. It’s a series that I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel in some form, if only to see how Hiro and Zero Two discover everything they need to in order to live on–in one way or another. Oh, and “Kiss Of Death” is a certified bop.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun
This romantic comedy features common tropes in an inventive setting. The set-up is this. There’s a group of high school students. There’s your obtuse guy, the quirky, head-over-heels-in-love-with-him girl, and a colorful array of supporting characters. The twist? The obtuse guy is a mangaka of a popular shojo series and every one of the characters involve themselves in the series, whether by force or by choice. Think New Girl meets Bakuman, if the Bakuman characters wrote something along the lines of Fruits Basket.
It’s a funny series, one that subverts a lot of what you expect out of romantic comedies and shojo series. Our heroine, Chiyo Sakura, doesn’t try to change her love interest, the obtuse Nozaki–even though she grows up despite his obliviousness. While she can lose composure, she’s often the voice of reason out of the group. The supposed suave ladies’ man is actually neurotic as hell and the real ladies’ man is actually a lady herself. The beautiful songstress is kind of an asshole, though she also comes with a bigger heart than she lets on. The senpai of the group isn’t all that wise, he’s shorter than most of the cast, and he’s hotheaded. It is well-written and the laughs land in sub and dub form, as it’s more about situations and turning tropes on their heads.
But the anime ends about a third of the way into the story. There’s not really much resolution to the series, as feelings are just left out there, the final episode feels rushed, and you feel slightly cheated by it all. A second season could’ve delved deeper into the rest of the series. But since Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun‘s anime adaptation ended in 2014, I doubt we’ll ever get a conclusion. It’d be nice, though.
Now this one is kind of a cheat, as there was a very conclusive ending to KLK. However, I’d love to see how Ryuko and her cohort of overpowered-by-the-power-of-clothes teens live their lives after the finale. TRIGGER could do a slice-of-life approach to the series, but still maintain the absurdity of the original series. Sure, Senketsu wouldn’t really be around to have Ryuko in scantily-clad powersuits. However, I think that the premise would be interesting, almost in a Violet Evergarden sort of way. In other words, we see what happens to warriors after there’s nothing left to fight for/fight over.
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
You’re probably noticing a theme here, as a lot of GAINAX/TRIGGER shows have set-ups for second seasons. PSG is one of these sorts of shows. It’s what’d happen if you mixed The Powerpuff Girls with uncut Family Guy. I’ve discussed this series before as it’s one of my favorites. It’s a classic mesh of American and Japanese adult cartoon sensibilities that has an ending that screams “SEQUEL!” Unfortunately, we never got a sequel season for several reasons (possibly because GAINAX was just trolling with the sequel bait). As with Nozaki-Kun, PSG is an older series. With that in mind, I don’t see a sequel happening–ever. That’s even before you get into the kerfuffle that is modern-day GAINAX. But a guy can dream.
Ouran High School Host Club
Another comedy series, Ouran is based off a manga that ran for about eight years. However, the anime adaptation only got into a teeny part of the story. Here’s the gist: a girl has to work off her debt to a “host club” by becoming a member of the boys-only club. She’s astounding at it, and comedy ensues. It’s one of those reverse harem series, kind of like Kiss Him, Not Me but without the “MC wants the guys to love each other, not her” plot. It also acts as an otaku culture parody, but isn’t mean-spirited in its jabs. The anime is funny and sweet (and the animation is better than you’d expect since Bones handled the animation), but it also lacks a real ending since it leaves a lot out. This one would be great for a sequel series.
While we got Soul Eater NOT, the gothic-tinged Soul Eater did not receive an ending that followed its manga counterpart. This is possibly because the manga ended four-plus years after the anime. Soul Eater wasn’t perfect, but it got a lot of things right. From existentialism and spirituality to comedy, it was en enjoyable series that fans still want a reboot/proper ending for. It’s been eleven years since the first series ended, though. While its popularity has waned over the years, there are still fans that’d tune in to new Soul Eater–especially if Bones handles the animation again. I’m one of them–as long as it doesn’t just try to recreate the original scene for scene.
While these are only a few of the anime I’d love to see more of, I do get why there isn’t more. Anime is typically a medium where creators don’t overextend their welcome (and if they do, it usually because there’s an almost-infinite amount of material to adapt–like One Piece or the Dragon Ball franchise). Also, sometimes sequel series fall flat (looking at you, Eureka Seven AO). With that in mind, these are some anime I still recommend checking out. The more eyes they get/keep, the more likely they’ll be continued/revived at some point. Go forth an be nerdy.
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