King's Game Season 2 may heavily divide anime audiences between those who want to see a sequel and those who believe Ousama Game The Animation is a train wreck. The funny part is that even the critics continue to watch this train wreck because the anime remains popular on Crunchyroll. But is it popular enough to justify making Ousama Game Season 2?
The MyAnimeList score for the Ousama Game anime is hovering around a 5.5, which is labeled as being "average," but keep in mind the true mean (average) of all anime on MAL is a 7 score. That must be pretty disappointing for anime studio Seven considering that fans regard the live-action Ousama Game movie as being good. Fortunately, the manga series is well-regarded by fans and reportedly does a better job of telling the story.
Like many cell phone novels, the series was eventually sold as several book volumes. From 2010 through 2016, the story was adapted into four Ousama Game manga series by Nobuaki and Hitori Renda. The first two manga, Ousama Game (King's Game) and Ousama Game: Shuukyoku (King's Game: Extreme), cover the same events as the first anime series. The third manga, Ousama Game: Rinjou (King's Game: Spiral), is a side story that focuses on Chiemi's twin sister Natsuko before she transferred to Nobuaki's school. The fourth manga, Ousama Game: Kigen (King's Game: Origin), explains the origin of the deadly game. The final two books, Ousama Game: Annihilation and Ousama Game: Abyss, have not yet been adapted into manga.
Anime studio Seven made the odd choice of adapting King's Game: Extreme by relying on flashbacks to explain the context of the first story. The anime also makes brief references to King's Game: Spiral to explain how Natsuko's mind became twisted. But presenting the story out-of-order has created a bumpy ride for audiences, although even the ending of the manga is pretty confusing.
Writing the script for King's Game Season 2 should be even more difficult since the story events of the remaining books and manga are somewhat disconnected. Annihilation and Abyss are focused on different sets of main characters and are probably best adapted as standalone anime movies. However, Origin and Spiral could be combined by making the story a tragedy about Natsuko's family.
It definitely seems like studio Seven plans on making a second season since Episode 12 ended with an ominous-looking "To Be Continued." However, the fact that nothing has been announced already for 2018 probably does not bode well for a quick turnaround. Many anime studios are booked years in advance, so the development of an anime sequel could take more than a year. The future of the anime series will likely depend on sales.
The Ousama Game Blu-ray and DVD sets in Japan will be divided into six volumes, each with two episodes. According to Amiami, the release dates for these volumes are as follows.
Besides the "To Be Continued" end scene, it's obvious the studio hopes to make King's Game Season 2 based on the ending of Episode 12. Studio seven could have decided to go with a happy original ending, which would have been a good reason to not continue producing the anime. Instead, the show ended on a cliffhanger note by showing how the game will continue in the rest of Japan, which leaves the door open for the sequel.
The main characters in Annihilation are Tomohisa and Tomoka. Nobuaki does play a small part in this story since the new characters find out about him, but the focus is on a new set of students. After the national incident ends, the final game takes plan on an island near Taiwan. Students from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are gathered for training when the ousama virus rears its ugly head once again. The names of the main characters in the final book are Akio Sakamoto and Komatsuzaki Mika.
Although the ending of the anime seems to point to Annihilation being the focus of the second season, studio Seven could also adapt Natsuko's story for King's Game Season 2. The origins story is set 30 years ago in the remote village of Yonaki. The main characters are Natsuko's father, Honda Kazunari, and his lover, a woman who is also named Natsuko.
The anime showed the aftermath of this first game, but not how it came to be. It turns out that the ousama, or king, is not a person, but a self-aware virus that infects the minds of its hosts. The first to be infected is Natsuko and she is the writer of the letters that contain the orders.
Without getting into major spoilers, the first game ends terribly and Kazunari goes to live with government researchers in a nearby mountain. Research into the virus stopped when the virus was declared to be dormant, so Kazunari was able to leave. When he had twin daughters, he named them Natsuko and Chiemi, but this name reminds Kazunari too much of his former lover and he ends up sending the young Natsuko to live with her grandparents.
Years pass by and the self-aware virus managed to transfer itself into the digital space, attacking through both biological infection and text messages. It continued to follow after Kazunari's daughters, and in King's Game: Spiral, the young Natsuko and her boyfriend, Kentaro, find themselves stuck in the latest iteration of the death game. Audiences will likely find this version of a Natsuko to be a sympathetic character, but she has a cruel fate slated for the ending.
Whether Studio Seven goes for a prequel or a sequel anime, the good news is that there is plenty of source material for making King's Game Season 2. Fans will just have to watch their smartphones for any news updates. Stay tuned!