A Deca-Dence Season 2 anime will probably be greatly desired by anime fans who love the mashup of concepts provided by the story. Unfortunately, the real question is not when, but if, Deca-Dence Season 2 will come out.
The anime is being produced by animation studio NuT, which is best known for adapting The Saga of Tanya The Evil (Youjo Senki) book series into an anime season and a movie. They were also one of the multiple studios involved in making FLCL Alternative.
The Deca-Dence anime project is being helmed by director Yuzuru Tachikawa, who is best known for directing the Mob Psycho 100 anime and Death Parade.
The director worked with writer Hiroshi Seko to create the script. The scriptwriter also worked with the director on Mob Psycho 100, but he’s also worked on popular anime such as Ajin, Banana Fish, Kakegurui, Kill la Kill, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Levius, Attack on Titan, and Vinland Saga.
Artist Shinichi Kurita (One Punch Man: Road to Hero, Death Parade) is the character designer. The cyborg designs were by Kiyotaka Oshiyama (Devilman Crybaby, FLCL Alternative/Progressive, Space Dandy). Composer Masahiro Tokuda created the music.
For the first season, the Deca-Dence opening (OP) theme song music is “Theater of Life” as performed by Konomi Suzuki, while the ending (ED) is “Ark of Memories” by Kashitaro Ito.
The Deca-dence Season 2 opening and ending have not yet been announced.
The Deca-Dence anime is streaming on FUNimation Now and Hulu. Assuming no delays, the finale, Deca-Dence Episode 12, will air on September 23.
Updated November 3, 2020: Added the first week of Deca-Dence Blu-Ray/DVD sales in Japan.
This article provides everything that is known about Deca-Dence 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.
Deca-Dence’s ending determines the anime’s future
Can Deca-Dence 2 be made in the future? The 800-lb Gadoll in the room is that the Deca-Dence anime is an original story so it really depends on Deca-Dence Episode 12’s ending.
Anime expert kViN of Sakuga Blog believes that the Deca-Dence anime is “likely a one-off” and it seems he was probably right based on the way Deca-Dence ended.
The creators revealed the way they created the ending in a Web Newtype interview. First, they wrote the scripts all the way out to the end based on the overall structure they had composed. Then they circled back to the first half and added foreshadowing so the second half wouldn’t feel crammed.
Unlike multi-season plots like My Hero Academia, which is already gearing up for My Hero Academia Season 5, the Deca-Dence anime series is not based on a Deca-Dence manga or light novel series. The main issue is whether Deca-Dence is intended on being a self-contained story or whether the ending will leave an opening for a continuation.
Arguably, the anime managed to do both.
Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Deca-Dence Episode 12.
After all, the first episode provided a setup similar to Attack on Titan since there was a major plot twist underlying humanity’s decline and the constant besiege by the Gadoll.
Rather than teasing audiences with the mystery for multiple seasons like Attack on Titan and Eren’s infamous basement, Deca-Dence Episode 2 pulled out the rug from under everyone by nonchalantly revealing that human misery was for the sake of gaming pleasure by a world population which had long ago been transformed into cyborgs.
The tonal dissonance of the two main characters’ relationship sets Deca-Dence far apart from other anime. The “world is really a game” plot gimmick allowed Kaburagi and Natsume to bond based on their intertwining goals, but Natsume wrongly assumes Kaburagi is simply being stereotypically overprotective.
Natsume naively hopes to end the threat of humanity’s extinction without realizing regular humans are just cannon fodder for game events. She’s perpetuating the exact goals of the system by focusing on the Gadoll.
In reality, both the main characters are stuck in a system they wish to dismantle for their own respective reasons. For Kaburagi the thrill of the Gears fight has long since worn out and he hates the system since it’s literally fallen into an endless cycle of decadence with its emphasis on hollow materialism.
Deca-Dence Episode 5 set up a fake “final battle” that results in Natsume starting to realize the truth of the world. The episode seemingly killed off Kaburagi, but then in Deca-Dence Episode 6 we learned it was simply his avatar being deactivated.
By Deca-Dence Episode 7 Kaburagi was declaring his intention to destroy the Gadoll factory and thus save the Tankers. Deca-Dence Episode 8 through 12 focused on the new revolution. Kaburagi became Kabu-Dence and fought off the final mutant Gadoll.
Plus, there was the huge revelation that the System itself was designed to allow for the existence of so-called Bugs. The System monitored the fight between “Bugs and anti-Bugs” (those who desired change and those who opposed it) and then upgraded itself based on a cycle.
The ending seems to suggest the System upgrade allows for a “kinder gentler” System where everyone lives in peace together. But is this peace a shallow veneer or lasting change? The possibility of a Deca-Dence sequel will largely depend on whether Kaburagi and Natsume managed to completely overturn this System by Deca-Dence’s ending.
If not, Natsume and Kaburagi simply being freed from the game that can’t be won offers good plot resolution for the first season. Deca-Dence Season 2 could then focus on the larger issue of transforming society itself.
As a comparison, Studio Trigger is well-known for standalone anime stories like Darling in the FranXX but their 2020 BNA (Brand New Animal) left wiggle room for a sequel. In Trigger’s anime, the immediate threat to Anima City was vanquished, but larger looming social conflicts still remain so BNA Season 2 could refocus on those issues.
Then you have original works like Studio NAZ’s ID:INVADED anime. The basic premise of brilliant detectives using id wells to track down serial killers could have ended with the destruction of the system after the tragic revelation of how the system actually worked. Instead, the first season provided closure by vanquishing the main villain but did not resolve the larger problem, thus leaving an opening for ID:INVADED Season 2 (the series has already spawned a direct sequel in manga format).
Similarly, since Deca-Dence’s ending resolves the threat to Natsume’s life while still leaving the threat of The System lingering that would leave a window for Deca-Dence Season 2. And there’s a huge financial incentive for Studio NuT to create an ongoing series rather than a standalone story.
When studios are contracted by anime production committees to animate someone else’s ideas they don’t make nearly as much money in comparison to original work. In fact, sometimes studios are given so little money that they barely break even.
For example, WIT Studio built its reputation largely on Attack On Titan, but Attack on Titan Season 4 is being left or Studio MAPPA to produce. WIT Studio would rather focus on the original anime series like Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress or the Great Pretender since it’s their own original IP.
Kabaneri was designed from the start to be an ongoing series and a continual influx of cash. (Coincidentally, Deca-Dence writer Hiroshi Seko also wrote the script for Kabaneri.)
Hopefully, that’s what Studio NuT intends for the Deca-Dence anime TV series. They got their start off by adapting popular light novels like The Saga of Tanya The Evil, but now they have a chance to make their mark with original work.
The Deca-Dence story as a social commentary on crony capitalism and socialism
Before the anime initially aired, director Yuzuru Tachikawa and NuT producer Takuya Tsunoki gave an interview where they discussed the meaning of the show’s title. The director says the initial concept was developed along with Kadokawa producer Sho Tanaka and once they reached a certain stage the head writer Hiroshi Seko became involved.
“The meetings to discuss the pitch happened around 2016, but the story was completely different from what it is now. The form was changing every time we had a meeting. We settled on the current form around the summer of 2017,” the director said.
He continued, “It takes a long while to develop the setting and characters for an original work, so I prioritized developing the script for the dramatic beats that I wanted to depict.”
Of course, they couldn’t say anything about the big plot twist in advance but the story apparently started as a “setting where it’s an everyday occurrence for giant beasts and moving fortresses to be in conflict.”
The hyphen in Deca-Dence was intended to convey two opposing themes: “ruin” and “living big.” In Japanese, huge things are called “dekai” which sounds like “deka,” whereas the “Dence” part means “to live.” Then the plainly stated name of the mobile fortress (and the game itself) refers to the ruin or decline of society.
The anime’s title is also telling of the writer’s intentions to create a social commentary on the nature of capitalism and socialism. In fact, the concept of decadence itself is crucial to the communist theory that a capitalist system will inevitably collapse during a “decadent” phase and lead to the rise of a socialist society.
Crony capitalism is the corrupt nexus between business and government, where a corporation survives based on its dependence on political influence rather than success in the free market.
In the anime’s story, the world has apparently already gone through this process since crony capitalism allowed Solid Quake corporation to purchase the rights to humanity hundreds of years ago only to morph from a megacorp into the governing body itself.
Since then, the ubiquitous “The System” has transformed society into a socialist dystopia where everything and everyone is owned by a top-down government. The ruling System owns the means of production and personal property is limited to tightly-controlled consumer goods and Oxyone points earned by participating in the game.
The game’s ultimate purpose in cyborg society seems little to do with profit and more about Panem Et Circenses. It’s an old Roman saying about how politicians will give the public “bread and circuses” in order to keep the masses appeased while ignoring the collective suffering.
In sum, The System determines how people live and work… and even predetermines the very day they die with a set robotic expiration date.
Episode 2’s title of Sprocket is also intentional since Gears are treated as disposable cogs in the System. Anyone who does not conform is deemed an error or bug that needs to be squashed by Recovery Agents like Kaburagi. (This concept is remarkably similar to the Executioners in Star Ocean 3: Till The End Of Time.)
It’s notable that the tagline for the anime is, “It is for me to decide which world to live in.”
According to the director, “Living is a continuation of a choice, and the result changes a lot depending on what you choose.” And one of the central conflicts is the main characters agonizing over their lack of ability to make choices.
The reason why Kaburagi and Natsume fight is the desire to fulfill their potentials as individuals. Unfortunately, Abraham Maslow’s theory of self-actualization is a foreign concept to the dehumanizing The System since the needs of the world government’s interests come first.
It was interesting to watch how these self-actualized individuals change their world. The result may give us an idea of what the creators perceive as a balanced way for the world to be governed.
While Kaburagi talked big about breaking The System, in the end, it seemed as if The System was perpetuated yet reformed in the form of an upgrade. Does this mean the creators believe real-world government systems that are in place should be repaired or reformed from within rather than being replaced?
Like any work of art, in the absence of the creator’s thoughts, the interpretation is left up to the audiences. In 2020 especially, the direction in which society should go is definitely a hot button issue throughout the world, so it’s easy to see how this anime could spark many a conversation.
(Some readers may object to Deca-Dence’s world being likened to a socialist dystopia. It could also be compared to a fascist dystopia since fascism is an economic system in which the government (The System) controls the private entities that own the factors of production (Solid Quake). In fascism, a central planning authority (The System) directs company leaders (Solid Quake) to work in the national interest. Either way, both dystopian scenarios involve a totalitarian ruling body that’s based on authoritarianism.)
Deca-Dence Season 2 release date prediction: Sequel seems unlikely
As of the last update, Kadokawa, Studio NuT, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Deca-Dence Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a Deca-Dence sequel been announced.
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, or if, the Deca-Dence 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
Like any original anime series, the chances of the sequel depends on popularity. Unfortunately, when the first week of sales of the Deca-Dence Blu-Ray/DVD volumes were reported in November 2020 the first volume only sold 853 copies.
Thankfully, disc sales are only an indication of popularity within Japan whereas streaming revenue is the major deciding factor. Reviews have been positive on FUNimation Now, but the streaming platform doesn’t indicate popularity like Crunchyroll does.
But popularity doesn’t necessarily mean a sequel is inevitable. If that was the case, No Game No Life Season 2 would have happened ages ago.
Hopefully, the same won’t happen to the Deca-Dence Season 2 anime, although it’ll remain a work of art to inspire future anime workers even if it stays a self-contained, one season story. Stay tuned!