The Arknights Season 2 anime TV show will continue the story of the land of Terra with Amiya trying to rescue a recon team from a new icy threat in the ruined city of Chernobog. But when will Arknights: Perish in Frost come out?
The production decision of Arknights: Perish in Frost was officially announced at the end of Arknights Episode 8 on December 16, 2022. It’s specifically listed by official sources as a “TV animation” so it’s not an Arknights movie.
On December 28, 2022, the official Arknights Twitter simply stated that the Arknights Season 2 release date is “coming soon. Please stay tuned!”
The Japanese cast for the roles of Amiya (Tomoyo Kurosawa) and the Doctor (Yuki Kaida) are confirmed to be returning.
Arknights Season 1 was officially titled Arknights: Prelude to Dawn (Arknights: Reimei Zensou). Since Arknight Season 2 will be adapting a new story arc the 2nd season has a new sub-title named after the game story arc, Arknights: Perish in Frost.
When Yostar Pictures first announced the Arknights anime adaptation in October 2021 it was literally described as “Season 1” in the series. As such, it was implied early on that Arknights Season 2 was already planned out in advance.
Prior to the initial announcement, Anime Geek predicted that the anime production committee would definitely have Arknights renewed for a 2nd season based on the large increase in Arknights game revenue in Fall 2022. Since the producers apparently planned ahead, it’s also predicted that the Arknights Season 2 release date will be in late 2023 to early 2024 at the earliest. (Please see the Arknight Season 2 release date predictions section for more details.)
The total number of episodes for Arknights Season 2 hasn’t been announced yet. However, since the next game story arc, Shatter of a Vision, is much longer, it’s expected that the anime’s 2nd season will have more episodes by necessity. (See the game comparison section below for more details.)
The first season’s finale, Arknights Episode 8, was released on December 16, 2022.
The first season was streaming on Crunchyroll in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Crunchyroll’s Arknights English dub release hasn’t been announced yet.
The 12 episodes were released as a single Arknights: Prelude to Dawn Blu-Ray volume on February 22, 2023. The BD version included approximately 5 minutes of visual extras and the creditless OP/ED videos.
This article provides everything that is known about Arknights Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Arknights: Perish in Frost release date predictions: Is 2023 or 2024 more likely?
As of the last update, Studio Yostar Pictures, producers Yostar or Hypergryph, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Arknights Season 2 release date. However, the production of an Arknights: Perish in Frost anime sequel was announced on December 16, 2022.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.
In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when the Arknights 2 release date will occur in the future.
The Arknights: Prelude to Dawn review scores have been solid but not amazing. First-time lead director Yuuki Watanabe pulled off some solidly executed cinematography at times and animation quality is above average despite criticisms of the 3D CGI artwork. The music quality isn’t a surprise since Hypergryph is specifically known for making music.
As the sub-title Prelude to Dawn alludes to, the first season literally is the prelude to the main part of the story. It’s simply an introduction to the world of Terra, but the problem is that the rich backstory of the characters is mostly revealed in-game by side stories, which were not adapted by Prelude to Dawn.
The Arknights game has some of the best worldbuilding and story to tell, but the first season needed to keep anime-only audiences watching, not just AK game players. Arknights Season 2 will start adapting the more interesting game chapters (game episodes), but its current success will predicate whether there is a future for the anime TV series.
From a financial perspective, Arknights Season 1 was regularly featured in the Top 20 on Crunchyroll’s popular anime list in Fall 2022. Since it wasn’t regularly in the Top 5, if the anime relied on only streaming revenue it would not be a shoo-in for renewal like SPY x FAMILY Season 2, Chainsaw Man Season 2, My Hero Academia Season 7, or even Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun Season 4. But it’s not a surprise that Arknights Season 1 got lost in the crowd since the Fall 2022 anime season was fairly stacked with action-based competitors.
Of course, while streaming revenue is a factor, the biggest financial issue is whether or not the Arknights anime does its job of marketing the game. The anime production committee is probably hoping to replicate the success of the Princess Connect! Re:Dive anime series, which sold a monstrous number of BD disc copies in Japan in addition to influencing the revenue for its respective mobile game.
Arknights game revenue was reported as $510 million USD in 2020, whereas in July 2021, Game Refinery reported that the Arknights game revenue had “been diving quite low in its revenue in the Asian markets” despite being the only Tower Defense RPG game in the top-grossing 500 in the Japanese markets. The game finished 2021 with around $455 million USD in revenue.
Keep in mind that games often do best in their first year and then gradually decrease with occasional spikes in revenue. Besides the game itself, revenue comes from merch and other tie-ins.
Arknights was reported as the 13th most popular gacha game in October 2022 when Prelude to Dawn premiered and when the game was updated to version 12.0.01. The total revenue in October 2022 was reported as $12.9 million USD, but by November 2022 the revenue jumped to $57 million!
By the middle of December 2022, Yostar had 25 apps but the international Arknights app and the South Korean language version of Arknights were the most downloaded and provided the highest revenue by far. Their second most popular mobile game, Azur Lane, was providing about one-fourth of the revenue of Arknights.
There are many factors influencing gacha games revenue, but in this case, it seems obvious that Prelude to Dawn gave a significant boost to Arknights revenue in Fall 2022. As such, it was a no-brainer to have Arknights renewed.
The only question is how quickly the turnaround time can be for Studio Yostar Pictures, which is literally focused on creating animations for Yostar’s various games in addition to serving as a producer for other anime projects. As previously mentioned, it seems like the producers planned on Arknights 2 from the outset so it’s likely that they have already scheduled out the main production staff and cast.
Therefore, assuming that the pre-production phase had already begun in secret before December 2022, and that official sources are already saying it’s “coming soon”, it’s predicted that the Arknights Season 2 release date will be in 2024 or late 2023 at the earliest.
Arknights 2 story spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
Note: It’s predicted that Arknights Season 2 will pick up the story again in Arknights Game Episode 4: Burning Run.
The last time audiences watched the anime, it was learned that Misha had decided to side with the Reunion Movement. After the death of her younger brother, Alex, Misha became the second Skullshatterer and launched an all-out assault. When Amiya confronted Misha in a tense standoff, LGD Special Inspection Unit Chief Ch’en had no choice but to kill Misha, and the Assault Squad was annihilated, but Amiya believes this tragedy should have been avoided.
Two days after this failed “rescue mission”, Rhodes Island sends a recon team which includes Frostleaf backed into the ruined city of Chernobog, which has become a base for Reunion in the wake of the Catastrophe. Recognizing that the thick frost on the surrounding buildings was a sign of the Yeti Squadron, Frostleaf and the recon team find themselves under siege in the ruins of the city after being attacked by Mephisto and the Sarkaz mercenary W.
With the recon team trapped and fallen prey to frostbite, Rhodes Island and members of the L.G.D. (Lungmen Guard Department) are sent on a rescue mission. What awaits Amiya, Frostleaf, and the others is the Reunion leader FrostNova, the so-called Yeti Princess that brings Wintry Death. Completely encircled, they will need to survive the coming assault, but that’s just the beginning of the new threat…
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Arknights Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!
Arknights game compared to the anime
The story for the anime TV show is based on the popular Arknights game, the free-to-play tactical RPG/tower defense mobile game was created by game developers Studio Montagne and Hypergryph. Launched in May 2019, it was initially released in China only but then it was launched worldwide by Yostar with a global version in January 2022.
Arknights can be played on Android and iOS platforms and features gacha game mechanics. The game has been regularly updated with new stories that are divided into multiple arcs. In Fall 2022 the latest update was in October 2022.
In March 2022, a spin-off game titled Arknights: Endfield was announced for PC and mobile devices.
Since 2019 Arknights has inspired several animated promotion videos, including a 9-minute video titled Holy Knight Light, which marked the game’s first anniversary.
You can watch the short anime Holy Knight Light on Yostar’s official YouTube channel here:
Arknights’ Main Theme is the main story of the campaign mode. As of December 2022, it was divided into 3 major story arcs that are divided into a Prologue and 11 Episodes. There were a total of 292 operations although only 167 were main operations. Some operations were secret and unlocked through special progress.
The launch version of the game came with Act initium: Hour of an Awakening, which includes the Prologue and Episodes 1 through 3. Act 1: Shatter of a Vision is Episodes 4 through 8. Act II: Shadow of a Dying Sun is currently unfinished. A new episode is released every several months.
Arknights Season 1 adapted only the first story arc, Hour of an Awakening. To put the story in perspective, the game’s first story arc had 40 main operations (most of it was introductory training episodes). Arknights Season 2 will be adapting 70 main operations so it’s very likely that the 2nd season will be at least a full-length cour of 13 episodes.
Arguably, the rich worldbuilding of a video game series is difficult to condense into a focused narrative for an anime TV series. Light novels also have this problem, so it’s unavoidable that many details are skipped or simplified in order to fit into the time constraints of the TV episodic format.
While Amiya and Misha were fleshed out the majority of side characters, even including the Operators, were simply named and given a handful of lines in the first season. Even the mysterious Doctor was more developed by showing facial features behind the mask and this nameless amnesiac character was designed as a self-insert for the game player.
(In-game, this character is purposefully referenced in a neutral genderless manner, and players can name the Doctor anything they want, even though the Doctor is voiced by female voice actress Yuki Kaida.)
Many game fans were probably just happy to see them animated at all, but this problem was largely created by condensing the game’s introductory story arc into only 8 episodes. If Arknights had 9 episodes it’s possible that more time could have been spent developing the side characters during the time period when the Rhodes Island land vehicle was traveling to Lungmen.
As it was, the anime rarely took a breather as it rushed forward with its fast-paced plot. But even though the anime left out a lot, at least the parts that were adapted were done well.
Arknights Season 2 cast, studio, and staff
Arknights: Prelude to Dawn cast members include:
- Yuki Kaida – Doctor
- Tomoyo Kurosawa – Amiya
- Atsumi Tanezaki – Dobermann
- Ayane Sakura – Nearl
- Shizuka Ishigami – Ch’en
- Kiyono Yasuno – Hoshiguma
- Ai Kakuma – Franka
- Yui Ishikawa – Liskarm
- Manaka Iwami – Exusiai
- Azusa Tadokoro – Texas
- Risa Taneda – Meteorite
- Youko Hikasa – Kal’tsit
- Takahashi Matsuyama – Ace (this character was unvoiced in the game)
- Kouichi Yamadera – Wei Yenwu
- Momo Asakura – Medic
- Chiaki Kobayashi – Guard
- Kouhei Amasaki – Mephisto
- Maaya Sakamoto – Talulah
- Risae Matsuda – Skullshatterer
- Satsumi Matsuda – Misha
- Sayaka Senbongi – Crownslayer
- Shun Horie – Faust
The main staff and studio that is making Arnights Season 2 haven’t been announced yet. In the best-case scenario, the main staff will return.
Studio Yostar Pictures should return to make Arknights Season 2 since the company has typically adapted its games into anime with in-house talent.
For the first season, the Arknights: Prelude to Dawn production was helmed by director Yuuki Watanabe. As previously mentioned, he’s a first-time lead director, but he was previously involved in making the Arknights: Holy Knight Light 1st-anniversary anime short and other animated promo video shorts for the smartphone game. He’s also been an animation director on multiple projects and created the key animation for notables such as Mob Psycho 100, SSSS.Gridman, One Punch Man, and Kill la Kill.
Assistant Director Masataka Nishikawa also worked with Watanabe on the Holy Knight Light anime short. They previously worked together on SSSS.Gridman among other projects. He was also the main director of the 2020 Breakers anime.
Artist Aya Takafuji (Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, SSSS. Gridman) was the character designer. Composer Yuuki Hayashi (My Hero Academia series, Haikyuu!! series) created the music.
Arknights Season 2 OP and ED theme song music
The Arknights Season 2 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music haven’t been announced yet.
For the first season, the Arknights OP “Alive” was performed by ReoNa, while the ED “BE ME” was performed by Doul.
Let’s just hope the wait for the Arknights Season 2 release date isn’t too long. Stay tuned!