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【Rent-A-Girlfriend】An in-depth examination of the reasons for the realization of the second term! Are you sure you don’t want to have two cool seasons?

出典 : © 宮島礼吏・講談社/「彼女、お借りします」製作委員会 : TVアニメ『彼女、お借りします』公式サイト

Immediately after the first season of the manga-based anime “Rent-A-Girlfriend” aired in the summer of 2020, a second season was promptly announced!
I’m going to thoroughly examine whether this second season was really two separate cool seasons, or whether it was purely decided to be produced as a second season!

A romantic comedy about a prick hero and a cute heroine based on “Rental Girlfriend”

出典 : Amazon.co.jp

Weekly Shonen Magazine, which regularly produces romantic comedy hits, began serializing “Rent-A-Girlfriend” in July 2017.
While many readers were dismayed by the main character Kazuya Kinoshita’s tendency to speak falsehoods and his small capacity, the freshness of the story, which depicts a pure romantic comedy with the risqué subject matter of a “rental girlfriend,” and the excitement of having cute and peculiar heroines appear one after another, including the main heroine Chizuru Mizuhara, attracted even more readers. In July 2020, exactly three years after the start of the series, a TV anime adaptation was released.

Although Kazuya’s scumminess is looked down upon by anime fans, the quality of the anime itself is very high, and fans of the original work generally appreciate it, and it gradually rises to the top of the trending rankings.
In September 2020, when the final episode of the first season of the anime was aired, it became the number one trending topic.

Immediately after the end of the broadcast, a further surprise awaited the viewers.
The decision to produce a second season came at an unexpected time.
While there was an overflow of joyful voices, there were also many voices on the Internet, including SNS, that questioned the announcement.

What is the boundary between two cool and two periods?

出典 : Amazon.co.jp

Most of the doubts about the decision to have a second season of Kanokari were about “Wasn’t it really a split season? and doubted that the show would be split into two seasons.
At this point, the Blu-ray and DVD discs were not yet released.
Since the viewers had no idea how popular the Kanokari anime was, many of them wondered why the second season was announced at that stage.

In the first place, why is it a problem to have two separate seasons?
Let’s start with the explanation.

The term “2-cours split” refers to the case where a work is originally scheduled to be produced for 2-cours, but for reasons such as to allow more time for production, the work is not broadcasted for 2-cours in a row, but for a certain period of time after the first one is broadcasted, the second one is broadcasted.
The most common pattern is to broadcast the second course three months after the first course ends, such as “Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]” and “The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls.

In most cases, the second season is called “2nd season” instead of “2nd season” to differentiate it from the regular second season, and this is usually announced before the broadcast.
Therefore, the viewers know from the beginning that it is a split second season.

However, in some cases, even though it is not officially announced that the show will be split into two separate episodes, viewers may wonder, “Wasn’t there actually a second season (second course) decided from the beginning? Even though it was not officially announced as a two-cycle series, there are cases where people suspect that the second season (second school year) was already scheduled.
The most common case is when the second season is broadcasted about a year later even though the disc sales are not good.
The reason why the second season is aired when it is not that popular and there is no merit to air the second season is that “it was planned from the beginning”. ……

In the past, it was thought that the second season would be decided in the following way: “the first season aired → gained popularity → disc sales and distribution were strong → sufficient production costs were secured and the sequel was expected to be a hit → the second season was decided.
For this reason, there are sometimes cases where the second season was decided from the beginning, but the production side wants to make it look like “it was decided to make a second season because of its popularity”, so they claim that it is a second season instead of a second season.

However, this is a one-sided view, and not necessarily a correct one.
With a few exceptions, anime attracts the most attention and has the best sales in its first season, and the longer time passes after the first season, the worse it becomes.
The more time that passes after the first season, the more disadvantageous it becomes. It also costs extra money for advertising, so it is too disadvantageous to postpone the second season just to make it look more popular.

Besides, in recent years, there have been many cases where second seasons have been produced even for works whose disc sales are not that high.
This is probably due to the diversification of means to secure funding, such as the sale of exclusive broadcasting rights, revenue from the strong performance of pachinko/pachislot machines and social games, support from overseas companies, and crowd funding.

Most anime are produced using the production committee method, in which multiple companies invest in the production, and it is important for many companies to see the merit in investing in the anime.
For example, if merchandise sales are strong, toy manufacturers will invest, and if shadow games are strong, the companies that distribute the games will join the production committee.

If you can get the support of these manufacturers, and if the amount of investment reaches the target before or during the first season, it is possible that the plan for the second season will be approved without waiting for the results of disc sales.

What made you decide to produce a second season?

出典 : Amazon.co.jp

Kanokari’s original work was announced to have sold a total of 3 million copies (volume 13) in December 2019 when the anime adaptation was announced.
In July of 2020, right after the anime started, the total number of copies sold reached 4 million (volume 15), and in August of the following year, it had grown to 5 million (volume 16).
This is similar to the growth of the first season of “Kaguya-sama wa Kurerasetai”, a romantic comedy work, so it can be said that the effect of the anime adaptation has been strong.

I’m just guessing, but I think that the growth of the original work has been a big factor in the success.
Kodansha is very active in investing in visual images, and for example, the same magazine’s work “Blazing Fire Brigade” saw a remarkable increase in sales of the original work despite low disc sales, and as a result, a second season was produced.
Since Kanokari is in a similar situation, we can assume that the publishers shook their heads early on.

In addition, Kanokari had a relatively high number of ratings on Amazon Prime Video, which suggests that it had a large number of users, which in turn suggests that the distribution was also strong.
This may be one of the factors that influenced the decision for the second season.

It is also actively developing merchandise, and various companies are already producing figures at this point.
In other words, it can be assumed that a large number of companies have joined the production committee at the time of the first season, making it easy for the anime to secure investors for the second season.

Judging from all of these factors, it seems that Kanokari was not split into two separate seasons, but that there was a prior agreement that there would be a second season if the original story grew, and that the plan went through smoothly and the second season was able to be produced during the first season’s broadcast.

Another important factor for the production of the second season is whether or not the director, the staff, and the production company have the motivation and schedule to produce it.

The first season of Kanokari was produced by TMS Entertainment, which is known for the theatrical version of Detective Conan, but the latest Conan film, Detective Conan: Scarlet Bullet, was postponed for a year due to Corona.
The latest Conan movie, Detective Conan: Scarlet Bullet, was postponed for a year due to Corona. (However, Conan was made by a production studio called V1Studio of TMS, which may or may not be involved in Kanokari.

How long of the second season will be visualized?

出典 : Amazon.co.jp

In the first season of Rent-A-Girlfriend, volumes 1 through 6 of the original story were animated.
If the second season progresses at the same pace, volumes 7 to 12 will be animated.

However, from the latter half of volume 12, there is a new chapter in the story, a feature-length episode called ……, in which Kazuya’s idea is to collect funds through crowdfunding in order to make an independent film for Chizuru’s grandmother, who has not much time left to live.
This episode continues until volume 17, the latest volume, so it would be difficult to broadcast the entire episode in the second season.
Therefore, it will be difficult to broadcast the whole episode in the second season, so either the second season will be up to that point, or they will rush through to volume 15 and bring the scene where the target amount is reached to the climax.

Summary

It is inevitable that people would suspect a split second season due to the timing, but in the case of Kanokari, there are positive factors such as the clear growth of the original story, so it is not surprising that the decision for a second season was made right after the broadcast ended.
There’s plenty to show for each heroine after the first season, and Kazuya, who used to be a bum, becomes a pretty decent protagonist after the first season, so I’m pretty excited for the second season!

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