Manga Series that Deserve a Sequel
In recent years, there have been many popular manga series that have received sequels, to the surprise and delight of fans. Some sequels have continued the original story right where it left off (for example Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card), a few have given the author a chance to help fix the issues or fill in gaps that they have not been able to fill in the original’s run (such as Vampire Knight: Memories) or they’re just one-off random chapters that breathe new life into the series but don’t stick around too long to wear out their welcome (the epilogue chapter that came out for free earlier this year pleased many Death Note fans). It’s becoming more of a trend, and it’s a welcomed one for now as not only do we get to spend more time with the characters we love, but they seemed to be done with the author’s passion to do so, rather than a quick cash-grab.
So, the staff at Anime UK News ask: what manga series deserves to get the sequel treatment next? Which series do we wish to see more of, and which ones need the story to continue? Take a read at our suggestions below.
I am very surprised that Sailor Moon has never gotten the sequel treatment; there are a couple of side stories and ‘what if’ scenarios made, but never a fully fledged sequel. This is super surprising because the original mangaka, Naoko Takeuchi, has not had any success with manga outside of her golden goose series and has always been fully involved in all the adaptations of Sailor Moon out there, including writing lyrics for many of the series’ catchy songs. The original manga even has the seeds sown for a sequel: in the final arc, we see a brief cameo from an older Sailor Chibi-Moon alongside her own senshi team, the Sailor Quartet, so we could easily have a mini-spin off series about Chibiusa coming into her powers and learning more about her guardians in Crystal Tokyo. I think that premise could be an interesting tale, it’s certainly a lot more fun and exciting to think about than another potential re-telling of the first arc which has been done to death by now.
Another series I’d like to see get a sequel is X; CLAMP are no strangers to creating sequels to their works, X is even a sequel itself to two of their earlier works, but the story currently remains unfinished and in limbo since 2003. They have said nothing about its ending, but why not create a one-shot that can take place far in the series future that can maybe allude to what the ending was? Or perhaps as a soft reboot to create an alternative timeline that can lead into the final pages of what X was suppose to be? CLAMP have certainly played about with timelines in Tsubasa and xxxHolic. Either way, if CLAMP love creating sequels so much, perhaps they should focus their attention on the next series that needs it the most…
Before Weekly Shonen Jump featured the popular slice-of-life romance We Never Learn, they had popular series Nisekoi: False Love. The series had a variety of characters from many different backgrounds (including a gangster family!) and now everything is said and done, I’d love to see what the next generation of kids from our original cast would get up too. Even if the focus was largely on any kids the characters may or may not have had, I think it would also be fun to see how adult life is treating Raku, Chitoge and the others. There is a lot of potential for another romantic comedy in this universe, so I’d certainly be intrigued to see more.
Another series I’d like to see a sequel to is Death Note. As Darkstorm mentioned above, the series was recently given a new epilogue chapter, but I think mangaka team Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba could bring a whole new story to life. Things have changed a lot since Death Note was running in the early 2000s and technology has changed drastically. I’d love to see more of what would happen if a Death Note was dropped in today’s world and handled differently to what the protagonist of the recent one-shot chose to do.
Even if the team didn’t go back to Death Note, I’d like to see them (briefly or otherwise) go back to Bakuman. It would be interesting to see Mashiro and Takagi as older mangaka and how fame has changed them and their opinions on manga, if at all. It wouldn’t need to be more than a short series or one-shot, but I often find myself thinking about this one and the potential the world had for more stories with its cast.
Josh A. Stevens
For over a decade, I’ve been haunted by the final words of Kentaro Yabuki in the closing of his Weekly Shonen JUMP action manga Black Cat. While the former ruthless assassin Train Heartnet had finally avenged the death of Saya Minatsuki in an ending that wrapped everything up and honestly felt complete, Yabuki himself noted that it merely felt like the end of “Part One” to him, and that there are other stories he wants to write in a potential “Part Two”. He did caution, however, that if a continuation wasn’t possible, the characters Train and Eve may reappear in another project. So, with sixteen years having passed since Black Cat’s finale, which future came to pass? Well, considering the manga’s inclusion in this list, you can probably guess.
Since the end of Black Cat, Kentaro Yabuki really made his name with a popular (albeit completely different) manga serialised in the same magazine, teaming up with Saki Hasemi to draw the artwork for To Love Ru. In a nutshell, the series was a harem comedy about a boy who accidentally finds himself engaged to an alien by grabbing her breasts as she teleports into his bathtub (Don’t ask. I don’t know either) and has a tendency to fall into young women’s crotches and other such lewd mishaps. As I approach my thirties, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit that To Love Ru was a guilty pleasure of mine, but it obviously was for a lot of other people too; it ran for 18 volumes, before spawning a racier sequel of the same length, To Love Ru Darkness, which wrapped in 2017. Since then, Kentaro Yabuki has undoubtedly established himself as an ecchi artist, having also illustrated manga adaptations of Mayoi Neko Overrun!, DARLING in the FRANXX, as well as illustrating the Hatena Illusion light novels. That’s not without good reason, as he’s a phenomenal artist who can draw really cute girls, but I do wish his talents could resurface in a genre more likely to get the mainstream acknowledgement he deserves.
So, you might be asking what all that has to do with Black Cat. Well, aside from taking up his time, a number of Black Cat’s characters found their way into To Love Ru as everything from cameos to full-on supporting cast members. The most notable examples being how the cute bio-weapon Eve was basically cloned wholesale into the secondary character Golden Darkness (with her creator Tearju joining the cast in Darkness), and then Train himself made a guest appearance under the name “Kuro”. Kentaro Yabuki’s backup plan had been achieved, so is the dream of Black Cat 2 dead?
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where a Black Cat sequel would go. Gonzo’s 2005 anime adaptation did go beyond the manga’s ending with an original final arc and conclusion, but I don’t know how much involvement Kentaro Yabuki had with its scenario, and it frankly wasn’t very good. In the author’s Volume 20 message, he did acknowledge that Train’s journey is over, so maybe a sequel could follow another character’s perspective? The flash-forward epilogue did tease us with the escapades of a sportier-looking Eve on the verge of becoming a licensed bounty hunter, so maybe we could tag along on her future capers? Or maybe a side story showing us what former Apostles of the Stars members are up to now? Either way, it’s clear Kentaro Yabuki had some ideas of where to take the series, and it would be unfortunate if we never got to see that. I also just really want to see Sven again, because he was cool.
Black Cat was released in print by VIZ Media, and is available digitally as part of their premium Shonen JUMP service.
It certainly seems that I am not the only one to catch wind of the Death Note one-shot and think “wouldn’t it be great to have more?” as the series is the foremost thing that comes to mind when thinking about sequels, particularly for some more high profile manga. While the tense cat-and-mouse game between Light and L was the main reason I couldn’t get enough of this series, there’s just so much potential around the Death Note concept that you could go pretty much anywhere with it. How about a hardboiled detective story where you unravel who the villain is as you follow a grizzled detective in a large-scale investigation? Or maybe a more fantastical piece that focuses more on the Shinigami themselves? There’s a ton of potential here and I think it would be a good time to bring back the franchise for a whole new generation of manga readers who maybe weren’t old enough when the series debuted.
Veering more into light novel territory here, but it strikes me as surprising that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya still lacks a concrete ending. One-shots and side stories occasionally raise their head, but with mostly silence from the author, Nagaru Tanigawa, for so long, could it be that he’s just not interested in writing anymore? If that’s the case, how about an alternative way of giving fans some closure by having someone else do a sequel to the manga adaptation that wraps up the core story past The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya? Considering it inserted its own original material here and there anyway it wouldn’t be too much of a far-fetched idea and you could even treat it as an extra alternative universe if there was concern about treading on the light novels’ toes. As one of my favourite Japanese media franchises, I’ve always had a feeling of disappointment over how it just disappeared, so I think something along these lines would be a great idea.
Darkstorm has already briefly touched upon this, but if there is one series that I would like a sequel to, or at least to be continued, it would the apocalyptic X by CLAMP. There is one simple reason for it to return – we never actually got to see the apocalypse, or at least in full anyway. The reason given for the series’ ending was that the people at Monthly Asuka magazine considered the series to be too violent. Please allow me to be sarcastic when I comment: “Who would have thought a series about the apocalypse would be a touch on the violent side?”
What is more annoying is that not all the chapters are available in English. While the original 18 tankobon editions have been released, with VIZ Media publishing them in 3-in-1 editions with colour pages, the last chapters are only in Japanese, and can only be read in the book All About CLAMP. The TV anime adaptation of the anime film didn’t wrap the end up properly either.
However, the characters do crop up elsewhere in CLAMP’s work. In Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, one of the many worlds that Syaoran and his companions travel to is a post-apocalyptic Tokyo, which is the victim of acid rain storms and has X’s rival factions fighting over the last drinkable body of water in the area. However, in this story the roles of hero and villain, if those are the correct terms, appear to be reversed, with “The Dragons of Heaven” (the ones trying to stop the apocalypse in X) being a gang of vampires in Tsubasa.
I, for one, would love to see X return, primarily because the artwork in that series is some of CLAMP’s absolute finest, and makes an interesting contrast with the minimalism of the covers. Also, I just want to know who comes out on top of this almighty battle for the fate of the world.
In terms of other series I would be happy to see a sequel too, one that occurred to me was the rom-com Mysterious Girlfriend X by Riichi Ueshiba. I love the relationship between the leads, Mikoto Urabe and Akira Tsubaki, which is one that develops into true love. Also, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to find out more about a girl with addictive drool whose hobby is “scissors” – a pair of which she keeps on her at all times, tucked into her underwear? I would love to see the couple as adults, and perhaps for Urabe’s position to transition from “Girlfriend” to a title with more permanence like “Partner” or “Wife”.
Tokyo Ghoul: re was already a sequel to the popular manga Tokyo Ghoul, yet its final chapters perhaps felt a bit rushed in areas and the final chapter, set five years after the final battle against Furuta and his “Precious Dragon”, didn’t explain what happened to some characters and their relationships.
A sequel to TG: re, set after Chapter 178 but before that final epilogue could work wonders to give more context to plot points that weren’t resolved, like the previous Dragon-like creature that Ayato discovered or how Mutsuki had to confront their actions to their former teacher and mentor Haise/Ken Kaneki.
It wouldn’t necessarily need to be another 100+ chapter epic but maybe a set of stories similar to the novels by Shin Towada which complemented aspects of the story and helped to expand the closely-knit world of Tokyo Ghoul and its various conflicts. Seeing more of the CCG transition away from Ghoul killing would be intriguing to witness too.
Another series that springs to mind is I am a Hero (Dark Horse), which ended on an anticlimactic note that left many, myself included, feeling dissatisfied and disappointed. Hideo’s story felt a bit incomplete with them simply wandering off into the wilderness.
One could argue that mangaka Kengo Hanazawa ended it before the plot dragged on too long but with questions left unanswered and the reader left yearning to see more of the world and its barely-surviving characters, a sequel feels all the more desirable.
An honourable mention goes out to the recently finished Hiromu Arakawa’s Silver Spoon (Yen Press) which I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing for the site alongside Tokyo Ghoul: re and other titles. Despite only recently ending, and on a good note, I’d love to see the next steps that these characters take as they expand upon their business ideas and develop further as people.
When is a sequel a good idea? The author/mangaka has worked so hard to resolve the central dilemma facing their characters and to give them a satisfactory conclusion that adding anything else can often take away from the impact of the original ending and seem redundant and extraneous. Sequels so often end up demonstrating the law of diminishing returns as in Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket Another (a TNG story in which no main character from the original series plays a significant role) or the endless shonen spin-offs from titles like Fairy Tail or Naruto handed over to other mangaka. When the conflict that’s kept us turning the pages is resolved, what else is there to keep us involved, no matter how much we’ve become attached to the main characters?
My choice is josei series Frau Faust by Kore Yamazaki (best known for her ongoing The Ancient Magus’ Bride fantasy manga). I suspect that Kore Yamazaki was put under some pressure to bring Frau Faust to a much more rapid conclusion than she’d originally planned. She might also have chosen to wind it up because she needed to devote all her time to Chise and Elias’ ongoing adventures in Magus’ Bride. But her new take on the Faust legend, with a female protagonist, is filled with interesting ideas and fascinating characters (and maybe paying homage to Fullmetal Alchemist from time to time) and ended far too speedily at five volumes. The young viewpoint character, Marion, who follows Johanna Faust, would make a good protagonist – as would the ‘enemy’ Lorenzo who’s pursuing her and who also has enough backstory to create a spin-off/sequel. It’s a fascinating world, with demons and homunculi and a powerful church with inquisitors pitted against them and I’d be more than happy to read another story in this setting which Kore Yamezaki has created (inspired, I suspect, by her travels in Germany!)
Are there any manga series that you think should get a sequel? Share your thoughts in the forums.