One of the biggest fears otakus have to deal with is the terrible second season of any popular anime. The idea of getting into a popular anime and enjoying all the episodes of the first season, only to be completely disappointed with the follow-up, is something that most of us have experienced at least once.
While anime being more accessible worldwide nowadays is a true blessing, it is also a curse. With so many fans claiming for their popular anime to continue, the people working on the show feel rushed or are forced to extend a series that should not have been. As such, in this list, we will talk about ten anime that ended up having an appalling second season for one reason or another.
Disclaimer: This article was created using various reviews and forums about the subject found online. It contains spoilers.
Oreimo and 9 other popular anime series with lackluster second seasons
1) Death Note
A concept that was hard for parents to understand during the early 2000s was the idea of anime not just limited to kids. Death Note, a popular anime that is still acclaimed all around the world, was the perfect example of this. The first season proved how mature and alarming the subject of an anime could be, while also creating a fascinating world that caught the eye of millions.
With the arrival of the season two, fans started to become disappointed with the show. The plot was sometimes too convoluted, the new antagonists were poor replacements for L, and the series reused many ideas from season one. Because of this, many fans considered Death Note to have one of the worst second season in the history of anime.
2) Black Butler
Black Butler had the misfortune of being a popular anime that did not have enough manga chapters for a second season. After seeing the massive success the show had worldwide, the executives behind it wanted to continue the show as soon as possible. This had to be one of the worst decisions they ever made, as the resulting second season ended up being a complete mess.
The show completely forgot about the beloved main cast of the series, focusing instead on new supporting characters that were extremely annoying. The new original stories, created for the continuation of the series, were also not as appealing as the ones adapted from the manga. The anime later tried to make amends later, but it was too late for many fans who ended up abandoning the show after season one.
3) The Promised Neverland
Sometimes popular anime end up being hurt by the popularity they hold instead of benefiting from it. The Promise Neverland is the best example of this phenomenon. The first season gave fans exactly what they had been asking for - dark mysteries, macabre demons, and a group of determined heroes who would do anything to survive.
While the second season tried to keep the same atmosphere and charm, it completely rushed the story, skipping pivotal segments of the original manga in order to advance the plot quicker. This horrified fans who wanted to see the story develop at a regular pace, making them feel like the second season was nothing more than an excuse to make money.
Most harem anime end up being popular because of the mystery behind which girl will eventually become the protagonist’s lover. Oreimo is no exception to this, seeing as it is one of the most popular anime of this genre.
Nonetheless, no one could have predicted the questionable solution for the mystery contained in the second season. The show ended with the two blood-related siblings becoming a couple, which is weird to say the least. This received heavy backlash from fans who were uncomfortable with the taboo nature of the couple.
5) Psycho Pass
Sometimes, popular anime do not need to be extended after the completion of the first season. This is a fact that Psycho Pass fans can attest to. The futuristic dystopian series gained a lot of fans when it came out due to the heavy subjects it dealt with, as well as the seriousness these topics were treated with.
When the second season was released, fans quickly realized that most of the episodes were basically carbon copies of their predecessors. The villain and the motivation were the same, the lessons did not change at all, and most conflicts in the series were repeated at least once. Fans still complain to this day about the horrible and unnecessary second season of this show.
6) The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Experimenting with unique and intriguing concepts is a good way to keep the second season of the show from becoming repetitive. But when your experiment involves the series becoming a literal repetition, it is best to let go of the idea, as proven by the creators of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
Fans of the series have still not forgiven the people who worked on the show for creating a saga known as the Endless Eight. The saga comprised of eight episodes that all told the exact same story. The idea was obviously taken from the famous movie Groundhog Day, but it was not well received by fans at all.
7) Log Horizon
Oftentimes, it is hard to keep the quality that made the first season of a show as popular as it was. Popular anime have struggled with these for decades, the most popular case being Log Horizon. The show is a more mature and realistic version of the "trapped in a MMORPG game trope" that dominated the industry a while back.
The first season was filled with amazing moments and realistic depictions of their subject material, as well as eye-catching visuals that left fans yearning for more. Sadly, the second season never got close to the success of the original, as it proceeded with an awkward pacing, boring episodes, and a lackluster animation that disappointed fans completely.
8) Tokyo Ghoul
Like Black Butler, Tokyo Ghoul became a popular anime before the manga series had enough chapters to create a decent second season. After the show became a classic of horror shonen shortly after its release, there was obviously going to be a second season to keep the hype for the series going.
Due to the rushed development behind the second season, the series created an original plotline for Kaneki to follow. The creators completely disregarded the direction the manga took for his character. This caused season two to be a huge letdown, driving a large portion of the fanbase away from the show.
9) Sword Art Online
For the majority of season one of SAO, Asuna was depicted as a warrior who completely left behind the concept of the damsel in distress. It was refreshing to see such a strong woman in a series mostly dominated by men. Because of this, and the unique take on the isekai genre, the show became extremely popular worldwide.
The second season was all but guaranteed, and fans were exhilarated with the return of this popular anime. They were tragically disappointed when the show went against its core values, turning Asuna into a helpless maiden and Kirito into a generic overpowered protagonist. The entire charm of the first season was replaced by cheap cliches that killed the hype for the show.
10) One Punch Man
One Punch Man is without a doubt one of the most popular anime of the last decade. The series is so beloved because of its amazing humor, unique take into the superhero genre, and disregard for being taken seriously. Season one of the show was an enormous success, which is why there were never doubts about a second season being released in the future.
Yet, when the second season came out, most fans of the series were sorely disappointed with the direction the show took. Instead of focusing on Saitama and his hilarious adventures, the series tried to approach the subject material in a more serious manner. This caused the hilarity of the series to be lost, causing fans to stop watching after a few episodes.
This is a recurring pattern in the anime universe, and eager fans will continue to face such disappointment in the future. It does not necessarily have to be for every other anime since we have examples such as Haikyu!!, My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, and many more to prove this, but some of the show's follow-up seasons turn out to be a major letdown. On that note, let us know which anime's second season failed to live up to your expectations in the comments below!