Fans of anime, whales, and fantasy series may have a new favorite show to watch. Children of the Whales is soon to make its Netflix debut and with the marathon-streaming model comes the question of whether or not Children of the Whales will return for Season 2. No official announcements of a second season have been made, yet there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful about the future of the series.
Children of the Whales is an anime based on a manga of the same name originally written and illustrated by Abi Umeda. According to the official summary from Netflix, the series takes place in a world covered in sand. In that world, 513 people live completely isolated on a ship called the "Mud-Whale." However, when the Mud-Whale comes upon another ship, the society’s super-powered archivist, Chakuro along with a mysterious girl Rikosu, go on an adventure to discover what lies beyond their limited world.
The first hint that Children of the Whales will not be a one-and-done project for Netflix is because of Season 1’s ending. I won’t reveal spoilers, but according to a writer with Inquisitr, after the initial 12-episode run, the first season had a rather open-ended finale. That, of course, makes it ripe with possibilities for more stories to be told. While there may be limited source material for adapting the manga into an anime, the producers could always just take the anime series into a different direction from the manga. Moreover, now that Netflix has stepped in and shown interest, the streaming giant could seek to extend production.
The other reasons why a second season of the series seems likely have virtually nothing to do with story. From a viewpoint strictly focused on production costs, anime series are a potential goldmine for streamers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Dan Rayburn, a market research analyst from Frost & Sullivan recently spoke to Wired about the benefits of producing anime over live-action programming. “Typically it’s cheaper to produce,” Rayburn said. “You’re not paying all that cost that goes into sets and stars and all that. You’re paying for all the people who have to produce it, but it’s at a much, much lower cost.”
Additionally, anime series also present another benefit: global appeal. The potential success of Children of the Whales, or any of Netflix’s new anime series, go beyond more than just the cost of production. Rayburn also noted that the potential for international audiences could be greater than that of a live action series. Anime shows can have subtitles added or be dubbed with another language. This makes them easily exportable no matter the country.
This dedication shows itself in Netflix's relationships with well-known anime studios like Production I.G, Wit Studio, and Bones Inc., who created Ghost in the Shell, and its subsidiary Attack on Titan, and My Hero Academia, respectively. Additionally, if you have been noticing more anime series in your suggested Netflix queue, you’re not just seeing things. According to Inverse, Netflix plans to release 30 new anime (both TV and movies) before 2018 is done.
Children of the Whales hasn’t been renewed but it hasn’t been cancelled yet, either. And, with Netflix embracing the genre, Whale's open-ended finale, and the production advantages to anime, there fans should hopefully get a second season of Children of Whales by 2019 — or sooner depending on production timelines once (and if) the series is renewed. In any case, the future of anime on Netflix looks bright.