Well damn, I wasn’t planning to write about this. But Future Diary is on a break this week. None of the new anime have aired yet, mainly all being packed on either the 7th or the 9th. The only new anime airing today is Prince of Tennis and I’m not touching that franchise again unless more dinosaurs are involved. There was meant to be another one of those eye-cancerous quality Nico streams of Nymphogear, but apparently nobody bothered to even rip the raw, let alone bother to sub it. So sod it, let’s talk about Yet Another Bloody Natsume.
It’s rather interesting to see what started out as a single cour 13 episode anime turn out its fourth iteration, now going to span over 50 episodes. Natsume is fairly popular in Japan, but it’s hardly blowing the world apart. It’s nothing more than a steady seller that turns a decent profit for them. This didn’t really happen in the past. One of the reasons why I stopped doing those retro season previews (apart from the insane amount of work they took) was because anime seasons weren’t as clearly defined as they were today. The 13 episode series is fairly new, only really starting in the 00’s. It’s down to risk. Producing 26 episodes of an anime that goes on to completely bomb will severely hurt a company. Alternatively, producing a 13 episode series and then making more if it sells is less risky.
This is generally a good thing, in my opinion. Less risk on each individual anime means companies are willing to take more risks with their variety. I remember reading a few years ago that Spice and Wolf would never had been made if it wasn’t for the expanded number of anime being made in general. It’s also good that companies don’t lose out all their money funding some crap and it ends up being cancelled. I cannot think of a single anime that was cancelled while it was airing from the 00’s onwards (someone will probably correct me on this, but there’s definitely been none since 2008 when I starting following anime weekly). Anime never getting that second season sort of means it was cancelled, but they know from the start there’s always going to be that possibility and should try to keep that single season self-contained. There is a trend recently of sequels being announced before popularity can even be gauged. OK, so Fate/Zero was always going to be 26 episodes, and the announcement was more that there was going to be a 3 month break more so than a season 2. But Horizon got a second season announced after only a few episodes, while Kimi to Boku had a second season announced just before the first season even started. I dunno what’s going on there, it’s weird.
What, talk about Natsume? Come on guys, it’s still the same damn show. It’s no different from those episodes I covered right back in 2008 when I first started blogging (don’t read those posts, they’re rubbish). My point here is that Natsume heading for over 50 episodes after 4 seasons worth of content is a product of its time. When I see people complain about too many sequels in a new season, the complaints always seem a touch hollow when there’s still far more new anime being made nowadays because they’ve gone for this sequel model. I seem to whine a lot about Natsume getting sequels, but I really shouldn’t. It’s a decent show, and they even seem to be taking this season in the direction I hoped they would. But…you know, isn’t there a Durarara sequel you guys should be working on?