The release date for B: The Beginning Season 2 is highly anticipated, especially after the ending in the post-credits set up conditions for the second season for characters like Kirisame and Koku. Fortunately, Netflix’s director of anime, Taito Okiura, is committed to pushing out more original anime content and Production IG CEO Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and director Kazuto Nakazawa have already begun revealing their thoughts in interviews about the second season for a Killer B anime sequel.
Chief Animation Director Nakazawa is the original creator and character designer for the B: The Beginning anime. He is probably best known for his directorial work on the anime sequence in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volume 1, but he’s worked on a variety of popular anime including The Animatrix and Samurai Champloo. He also worked on Perfect Bones, which was the first Netflix anime exclusive to the streaming platform.
After finishing his previous project, Nakazawa told Gigazine that he was approached by Producer Rui Kuroki and the animation director said he wanted “to make dark hero stuff.” But over time this original intention for the Killer B anime morphed from being a story about a dark hero into a crime suspense story.
“I intended to make something of a dark hero story. First of all, I was ‘painting.’ I do not have a theory for fundamentally creating a theory of direction and story. I am not interested in that in the first place. I draw original drawings as drawings. I thought that drawing the screen itself is also about making any work, so I combine memory, experience, and technology inside of me. When the images float [into my head], I’m going to make something that accompanies it. It was like a feeling. Finally, it seems like it’s painful to draw actions for a crime suspense.”
Dark heroes will usually lead an “aloof existence” and Nakazawa’s character designs played into that ideal. The B: The Beginning character Keith Kazama Flick apparently started as a sub-character but the director jokingly claimed a “hero will not cut his hair.”
Netflix’s leadership apparently involves taking an oversight role in the creation of their original anime series. Although Nakazawa does “not remember the details,” he says that Netflix gave orders during several meetings for how the B: The Beginning anime should be produced and he answered “yes” to all demands. There were some “strict regulations” related to being an international title but Nakazawa did not mind since he was given a high degree of freedom overall.
“The atmosphere itself is also aimed at those conscious of overseas dramas,” he said. “If you are told, ‘Please do something like this,’ I will study what I learn and use any good parts that which I think can be incorporated into the animation.”
The biggest freedom is that Netflix’s binge-watching release approach allows for flexibility of programming length and storytelling structure but Nakazawa knew “it was necessary to complete a complete story before delivery.” But old habits die hard and the director was “afraid” he “was in trouble” since after creating each episode’s story he thought, “What will happen next week?”
“In this case it is an overseas drama, but it was fun to look at, but I was frightened because there are anime that are broadcast on TV every week and there were also things that were cut off from them,” he said.
The director was not used to delivering a story all at once, but as he “started making it [he] just pieced it together because [he] cannot change it now.”
“It takes time, budget and people to make a work, but it is limited,” Nakazawa said. “I thought of what kind of ways to make the show as pretty as possible with the available time and effort. You can make a mistake, so proceed and try to fix it if you fail. As a result, it is now in shape.”
B: The Beginning — Ending With Kirisame Leaves An Opening For A Second Season
The B: The Beginning anime is an original story written by Katsuya Ishida and Production IG that is not based on a manga or light novel series. As Nakazawa intended, the ending in Episode 12 provided a “complete story,” but that means both Koku and Keith have completed their main goal unless something happens to Yuna again.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for the ending of the B: The Beginning anime.
In the post-credits scene of Episode 12, Kirisame is revealed to be alive even though it appeared like he died when Koku cut off his blue steel sword arm earlier in the season. Kirisame admonishes an unknown person in the room for allowing Koku to be left to a Reggie. Kirisame also says he will keep his promise that he will see Koku again soon.
“Didn’t I tell you. This is what you get when you leave things to a Reggie,” Kirisame said. “I’ll go this time. I need to get my left arm back from him, anyway.”
Nakazawa was asked if he intended on making B: The Beginning Season 2 based on this ending, but his answer seemed to leave the anime sequel in Netflix’s ballpark.
“I think many interpretations can be made, but I think that any story is only part of a big story,” the director replied when asked if he’d like to make a continuation of this work. “I think that ‘The Story Continues’ represents my own feelings, but I do not know if it will… or not.”
Production IG CEO Mitsuhisa Ishikawa has also expressed similar sentiments during 2018 interviews. While talking about the business alliance with Netflix, the CEO noted that the ending of B: The Beginning was set up for those who say, “I’d like to see Season 2 if this is the case.”
“It will be a pity for both the viewers and Netflix to end in Season 1,” said Ishikawa. “So if you can ask for a continuation, it will be our pleasure as the creator.”
The story certainly seems to demand that Netflix and Production IG produce B: The Beginning Season 2. The lore behind Killer B aka Lohengrin and the two fossils found on Jetblack needs a second season for that subplot to be developed further. With Kirisame alive, the story also has to deal with the unknown leader that was talking with him.
B: The Beginning Season 2 Release Date
As of this publishing, anime production company Production IG has not announced anything official about the B: The Beginning Season 2 release date on Netflix, although this article will be updated as soon as the anime sequel’s premiere is confirmed. However, there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the B: The Beginning Season 2 premiere date may occur.
Really, it all depends on Netflix. The streaming giant has dumped $8 billion into original content in 2018. Many of the Netflix anime are like Violet Evergarden or The Seven Deadly Sins Season 2, which are airing first in Japan but delayed for international streaming until the final episode airs. But Netflix is also now co-developing anime series with Production IG, Bones (A.I.C.O. Incarnation was just released on Netflix), and Wit Studio (the planned collaboration with Netflix hasn’t been announced, but Wit Studio confirmed a sequel to Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress).
In February of 2018, Japan Times interviewed Netflix’s director of anime, Taito Okiura, who helped co-found the company David Production which oversaw major anime titles like Code Geass, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Tiger & Bunny(both Code Geass Season 3 and Tiger & Bunny Season 3 have been confirmed). Okiura says anime is “graduating from niche market to major player” thanks to globalization and the efforts of Netflix and its competitors like Amazon. Netflix has promised to “deliver 30 new exclusive anime series” but the question is whether they’ll renew these anime for second seasons.
Unfortunately, even if Netflix has the desire to renew the anime for a second season, Production IG may not have the capability right away. All of the anime studios are working at peak capacity and they’ve booked projects out several years in advance. Let’s just hope that the release date for B: The Beginning Season 2 will be confirmed soon. Stay tuned!
[Update March 18, 2018] Added interview with Production IG CEO Mitsuhisa Ishikawa where he briefly discussed B: The Beginning Season 2.