10 Anime Sequels That Ruined Their Franchise (2023)

Hundreds of new anime series debut each year, many of which explore completely original ideas, but it’s always exciting when a series functions as a sequel extension to a beloved property. Sequels are inherently controversial and the continuation of any story runs the risk of ruining its predecessor or somehow presenting a message that’s antithetical to the original.

RELATED: 15 Anime Sequels That Lived Up To The Original

There are plenty of occasions where more content is a good thing and a sequel finds the perfect approach to continue a satisfying story. That being said, there is also no shortage of sequels that are rushed into production for the wrong reasons, don’t possess a strong enough vision, or blindly attempt to cash in on nostalgia.



10 Tokyo Ghoul √A

12 Episodes

10 Anime Sequels That Ruined Their Franchise (1)

The first season of Tokyo Ghoul rises to the occasion with a compelling counterpart to the manga. However, the second season, branded Tokyo Ghoul √A, forges an original path that strays from the manga's story. Tokyo Ghoul √A explores Ken Kaneki's defection from Anteiku to Aogiri as he grows increasingly comfortable with his ghoul side.

Tokyo Ghoul √A has periodic flourishes of greatness, but its treatment of Kaneki rubs many the wrong way. What's even worse is that the concluding season of the anime, Tokyo Ghoul:re, returns to speed through the events of the source material, which makes the events of √A even more out of sync with the grander story.

9 Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny

50 Episodes

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is popular for being a somewhat modernized update to the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Accordingly, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny functions as its sequel that pulls a lot from the framework of Zeta Gundam. This isn't a flawed starting point, but Destiny amounts to a pointless sequel because the creators caved into fan pressure and deviated from their original vision.

There's a major shift that occurs at the mid-way point of SEED Destiny where the anime sidelines its original lead, Shinn Asuka, in favor of SEED's head Gundam pilot, Kira Yamato. This causes the second-half of SEED Destiny to feel rushed, irrelevant, and that it lacks confidence.

8 Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

293 Episodes, 1 Movie (Ongoing)

10 Anime Sequels That Ruined Their Franchise (3)

Naruto has more than 700 episodes and it’s still regarded as one of the biggest shonen series. Heroes who pass the torch on to the next generation is a popular formula for sequel series and audiences were content with Naruto scratching this itch through a feature film.

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However, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has amassed close to 300 episodes with no end in sight for its silly ninja shenanigans. Boruto is quite consumed with extraneous filler content early on in its run and the show’s broader and lighter tone doesn’t do it any favors. Boruto is slowly building an original voice, but it’s otherwise copied Naruto, albeit to lesser effect.

7 FLCL: Progressive

6 Episodes

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FLCL is lightning in a bottle visual storytelling that's difficult to replicate. FLCL: Progressive doesn't undo the original's progress by returning to Naota Nandaba and instead it wisely follows a new individual, Hidomi Hibajiri, who ends up in the orbit of the guitar-wielding vespa-riding Haruko Haruhara.

FLCL: Progressive (as well as its own follow-up, FLCL Alternative) would work better if the original series didn't exist, but it instead feels like an unnecessary retread. FLCL: Progressive looks beautiful and properly taps into the chaotic energy of the original, but its exaggerated efforts to help an introverted girl come out of her shell just make the first FLCL feel more pedestrian.

6 Bubblegum Crash

3 Episodes

10 Anime Sequels That Ruined Their Franchise (5)

Bubblegum Crisis is an entertaining mix of crime, mecha, and magical girl mechanics. The anime's futuristic world is full of threats that are handled by the Knight Sabers, a group of female mercenaries who don powerful exoskeleton suits. Bubblegum Crash is the three-episode OVA sequel that functions as the conclusion to Bubblegum Crisis, but it's frequently considered to be the cyberpunk series' low point.

A generic story about renegade artificial intelligence causes the Knight Saber team to reassemble for one last mission. This plotting never hits the heights of the original and Bubblegum Crash lacks the mature intensity of its predecessor.

5 Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: Lovers Again

6 Episodes

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Macross is a totemic mecha series that’s evolved into a unique franchise that takes the source material down alternate paths. The first sequel, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: Lovers Again, is a six-episode OVA follow-up to Macross: Do You Remember Love?

RELATED: 10 Anime Sequels More Light-Hearted Than The Original

Macross II has creative mecha designs and inspired use of music, but it pales in comparison to the original by largely repeating the same ideas, but with less interesting characters. Macross II takes place 80 years after Do You Remember Love? and its focus on an intrepid journalist rather than a pilot becomes a major hurdle that the sequel struggles to overcome. Subsequent Macross sequels build upon alternate canon.

4 Psycho-Pass 2

11 Episodes

10 Anime Sequels That Ruined Their Franchise (7)

Psycho-Pass is one of the smarter dystopian crime series that borrows from Minority Report with its Sibyl System, a sophisticated technology that reads the public's Psycho Pass to determine their likelihood to commit crimes. Psycho-Pass sticks its landing and there's no need to rock the boat with a second season.

Nevertheless, Psycho-Pass 2 soldiers forward as Akane Tsunemori and her Unit One team hunt a criminal who aims to dismantle the Sibyl System through the manipulation of its flaws. A new writer for the anime and the introduction of intrusive main characters, especially Mika Shimotsuki, really ruin the story. Tsunemori grows more palatable over time, but Shimotsuki only gets worse.

3 Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon

48 Episodes

10 Anime Sequels That Ruined Their Franchise (8)

Legacy sequels are all the rage, even in anime, and Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, the successor to InuYasha, is one of the more surprising modern continuations. Yashahime is set a decade after the events of InuYasha's conclusion and it follows Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha, the powerful children of InuYasha's main characters. The biggest problem with Yashahime is how unnecessary it all feels.

It's certainly nice to check in with characters like Kagome, Sesshomaru, and Inuyasha, but there's no reason why this couldn't be more efficiently explored through a movie. Yashahime wastes too much time and the story that does come together during its final episodes feels too rushed to properly connect.

2 Eureka Seven: AO

26 Episodes

10 Anime Sequels That Ruined Their Franchise (9)

Mecha series often indulge in sequels, but they only work if there's actually something original to say instead of just a shallow attempt to extend an IP. Eureka Seven: AO fails as a sequel to the transgressive 2000s era mecha anime, but also as a standalone piece of storytelling.

Ao makes for a bland, passive protagonist with a hackneyed goal. Eureka Seven: AO never does enough with its world to make it feel as if the bigger choices actually have consequences. It's also just a considerably simpler anime at half the length of the original and with a focus on action rather than a blend of drama, action, and romance.

1 Dragon Ball GT

64 Episodes

10 Anime Sequels That Ruined Their Franchise (10)

Dragon Ball GT was released hot on the heels of Dragon Ball Z, but lacked Akira Toriyama’s dedicated involvement. Dragon Ball GT takes some big swings and it gradually grows more confident. The ongoing Dragon Ball Z sequel, Dragon Ball Super, has essentially taken GT out of the franchise’s canon.

However, Dragon Ball GT has been reappraised in recent years and its ideas and characters are still popular in video games. The increased comedy and lack of action during Dragon Ball GT’s introductory episodes gave the anime an uphill battle. The fact that a Dragon Ball series only has 64 episodes is a testament to Dragon Ball GT’s poor reception.

NEXT: 10 Anime Characters Who Were Ruined By The Sequel

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