The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 anime TV series will have Cid Kagenou taking Shadow Garden to the next level as ancient vampires arise, conspiracies swirl, loyalties are tested, and literal worlds collide. But when will Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute! Season 2 come out?
It’s possible that the anime production committee will have the 2nd season renewed quickly. After all, early on the first season featured story events that do not become important until later story arcs. (Please see the predictions section below for more details.)
The first season was released as two consecutive cours, which means that The Eminence in Shadow Season 1 Part 2 came out in Winter 2023.
The first season’s finale, The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20, was released in March 2023.
The 20 episodes were released as four The Eminence in Shadow Blu-Ray/DVD volumes that came out from January 25, 2023, to April 26, 2023.
- Updated December 21, 2022: Added The Eminence in Shadow English dub release date on HIDIVE.
This article provides everything that is known about The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 (Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute! 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.
Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute! Season 2 release date predictions: Renewal likely?
As of the last update, Studio Nexus, publisher Kadokawa, producer Aiming, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute! Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of the Shadow Garden Season 2 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 Eminence in Shadow Season 2 release date will occur in the future.
The Eminence in Shadow review scores were only slightly above average for an isekai anime, which is surprising considering that this is isekai done right! The directorial execution, the dramatic timing, the dark undertone in contrast to the comedic beats… everything comes together in a package that undeniably stands apart from the pack. It’s like a self-aware combination of KonoSuba and Overlord with chuuni thrown into the mix.
The way the opening story arc from Episode 1 ended with the credits rolling mid-episode was worthy of applause. I was almost expecting Cid to show up and blast the end credits away with magic similar to the running gag from Peter Grill and the Philosopher’s Times, but this anime maintained a serious tone throughout this rendition of the dry joke.
Critics of the anime point out that it overly relies on tropes. But that’s the whole point since it’s how the story creates the source of humor by subverting these tropes based on the genre’s bad writing. As part of his bucket list, Cid literally lives his entire life in order to roleplay his favorite tropes of the stereotypical mob side character, but when he transforms into Shadow it’s all about taking actions he believes would be the coolest.
There are also those who recognize that the story is attempting to deconstruct the ridiculous power fantasies of the isekai genre. But they decry how the story mashes together school rom-com elements with an edgelord vibe that takes itself seriously.
As such, the anime certainly suffers from tonal whiplash since it’s a bizarre juxtaposition of high school comedy, cutting character drama, and bloody action that’s just about as gory as Berserk or BASTARD!!! Since Cid is a walking chuuni character it’s hard to tell if audiences are supposed to laugh or be in awe of his “coolness” when he begins to take things seriously as Shadow.
Those who lean toward finding these scenes awkwardly laughable in a cringe-worthy sense probably explain many of the negative reviews. There’s also the fact that fans of the manga and light novel series had differing expectations of how the anime would adapt this major aspect of the series, so some may have been disappointed and rated the first season lower.
Another unrealistic factor is the way Cid blithely goes about believing that Shadow Garden is simply an increasingly elaborate charade despite the Shades Alpha through Zeta discovering that the Cult of Diabolos is very real. This central theme is reminiscent of Ainz in Overlord.
In both stories, the Shades and the Floor Guardians enable the supposed will of their lord despite the deluded leader having no clue what’s really happening. Both Cid and Ainz only manage to stumble through their follower’s machinations due to being blessed with OP powers, although Cid must have maxed out his luck points since he consistently accidentally guesses the correct action to take against the “imaginary” cult.
Detractors might raise their hackles at The Eminence in Shadow being compared to Overlord, but it is what it is. But at least in Ainz’s case, he knows he’s bluffing whereas Cid really is completely oblivious to the reality of his situation, which is denseness on the level of Katarina Claes in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
Perhaps it could be argued that making Cid a devious-yet-still-dense mastermind is all part of the charm of the story, but it’s fairly odd for someone so capable and cunning to not realize that the bad guys really are part of a cult. Certainly, the Shades are grateful to Cid for saving their lives, but it’s hard for Cid to ignore how these “bandits” and “terrorists” are consistently admitting to being part of the very cult he thought he made up on the spot for elf girl Alpha. Cid somehow doesn’t even realize that he achieved his life goal very early on! So even fans of the series would have to admit that aspect is fairly unrealistic even if it’s necessary for maintaining Cid’s edgelord antics.
It’s also unrealistic that Princess Alexia and Rose do not instantly recognize Cid’s face despite the grandiose costume and glowing eyes. In the source material, Cid hid his identity behind a mask, not just a hood, but the anime character designs removed the masks, which makes witnesses seem fairly stupid.
To summarize, the way that Eminence in Shadow subverts the genre is not for everyone’s tastes. People either love the concept or hate it, but there’s no denying that the anime beautifully adapted the light novels. The execution of the cinematography heightened scenes when needed and the animation quality was higher than average for the isekai anime genre.
In that regard, it’s actually better than the Overlord anime! There, I said it.
The question at hand is whether the anime production committee will have The Eminence in Shadow renewed for multiple seasons like Overlord. Unfortunately, the anime didn’t give a big boost to volume sales of the manga or light novel series since both failed to make the Top 20 Oricon chart for October 2022. (As a comparison, both Overlord and My Next Life as a Villainess made the Top 20 Ociron light novels chart during that time frame.)
But it’s not like being in the Top 20 is necessary to be considered financially successful. By the end of 2021, The Eminence in Shadow light novel series had 1.5 million copies in circulation. By October 2022, when the first season premiered, the entire series (including the manga) had 2 million copies in circulation.
Part of the failure to give a major boost to book sales might be attributed to the series being limited to only HIDIVE and Disney+ subscribers. With the exception of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, both of those streaming platforms are not exactly known (yet) for anime.
As for streaming performance, HIDIVE provides something similar to Crunchyroll’s popular anime list to judge the popularity of the anime’s first season. During Fall 2022, The Eminence in Shadow Season 1 Part 1 was often #1 in the Trending Now section and Top 10 in the Most Popular section.
HIDIVE had a very strong set of anime exclusives in 2022, but it’s a fact that being available to watch on only one smaller streaming platform limits an anime’s exposure. Big titles like Made In Abyss, Call of the Night, and DanMachi: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? might have contributed to HIDIVE’s subscriber growth, but that still didn’t stop the Sentai Filmworks/HIDIVE Owner AMC Networks’ CEO from stepping down in November 2022 amidst a layoffs announcement.
It’s possible that The Eminence in Shadow Season 1 got lost among the crowded Fall 2022 anime season since weekly popularity polls from October 2022 indicated that it barely managed to hang onto a spot in the Top 20.
In any case, the elephant in the room is the source material, or lack thereof, since the light novel Volume 5 only just came out in December 2022. What’s more, the author is known for going on long hiatus in between releasing new books. As such, the creator has averaged one new light novel per year.
At the same time, the first season didn’t rush through the book series by adapting every available volume despite the relatively limited number. Assuming that The Eminence in Shadow Season 1 Part 2 maintains the same adaptation pacing there should be plenty of source material available already for making the 2nd season.
Regardless, it’s debatable whether the producer planned out the production of a second season already. But the fact that even the first episode foreshadowed story events and characters that won’t become important until the 2nd season may indicate that the producers are planning for the long term.
Therefore, in the best-case scenario, the wait for The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 release date will only be a couple of years.
The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 English dub release date predictions
The Eminence in Shadow was licensed by a variety of companies in 2022. HIDIVE had exclusive streaming rights in many territories, but Disney+ was also streaming the episodes in certain countries. Meanwhile, Crunchyroll Games released The Eminence in Shadow: Master of Garden RPG game on Android and iPhone (it’s also coming to PC).
Here is The Eminence in Shadow dub cast:
- Adam Gibbs as Cid Kageno/Shadow
- Natalie Rial as Akane
- Olivia Swasey as Alexia
- Christina Kelly as Alpha
- Annie Wild as Beta
- Elissa Cuellar as Gamma
- Raven Troup as Delta
- Ellen Evans as Epsilon
- Dominique Meyer as Zeta
- Luci Christian as Claire
- Patricia Duran as Iris
- Greg Ayres as Po
- Nathan Wilson as Skel
- Scott Gibbs as Zenon
- Andrew Love as Kidnapper 1
- Michael Wronski as Kidnapper 2
- Cyrus Rodas as Monster
Here is the original Japanese dub cast:
- Seichiro Yamashita as Cid Kageno/Shadow
- Kana Hanazawa as Alexia Midgar
- Yoko Hikasa as Iris Midgar
- Asami Seto as Alpha
- Inori Minase as Beta
- Fairouz Ai as Delta
- Hisako Kanemoto as Epsilon
- Reina Kondo as Eta
- Suzuko Mimori as Gamma
- Ayaka Asai as Zeta
The Eminence in Shadow English dub release date was at noon EST on December 26, 2022, which means the first dubbed episodes came out months after the series premiere in Japan.
The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 English dub release date hasn’t been announced yet. Assuming that HIDIVE will be streaming the 2nd season, it’s likely that The Eminence in Shadow dub will similarly come out weeks or months later.
Shadow Garden Season 2 anime TV spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
Warning: These spoilers were written before The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20 release date and will be updated over time. It’s assumed that The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 will pick up the story again in light novel Volume 3, but it’s possible the 2nd cour of season 1 will adapt these books.
Deep within the Lawless City lies the Blood Queen, a Progenitor Vampire, slumbering in her coffin for many moons. An expert at landing himself in trouble, Cid should know better than to go after her…but he’s dying to get a piece of the action. It’s time he shed his daytime persona of Cid to take on the role of Shadow!
It seems, however, that he’s not the only one with this idea. Soon enough, he finds the three rulers of the Lawless City—Juggernaut the Tyrant, Yukime the Spirit Fox, and Crimson the vampire—are all on his tail.
To complicate things even further, the Shadow Garden descends on the scene as the hour of the Blood Queen’s awakening looms closer and closer… And while vampires can smell blood, Cid is busy sniffing out cold hard Zenis!
The Mitsugoshi Company is suffering a financial crisis and its rival is the Great Trade Alliance. Alpha dispatched Delta to investigate the increased circulation of counterfeit banknotes at the behest of the mysterious John Smith. Delta disappears and when Alpha goes after the culprit herself she’s shocked and dismayed that Lord Shadow himself is involved in the money scheme!
After Alpha rebels and demands answers, Shadow defeats all of the 7 Shades in a fight, leaving Alpha heavily depressed and questioning why her master would abandon Shadow Garden. Can the unwitting Cid revive his followers’ faith in him while still holding onto this pile of cash?
As if a vampiric awakening and greedy Shadows aren’t enough, the specter of war hangs thick in the air in Oriana Kingdom, where the curly-haired blonde Princess Rose Oriana is expected to wed… *checks notes* Duke Perv Asshat. (No, that’s not a typo. Although this character was introduced in the first season, you just have to wonder what the Japanese version of the name means exactly.)
Cid makes his way to the royal capital to put a stop to the ceremony, breaking up a wedding will put Shadow Garden at odds with Rose’s father, King Raphael Oriana! Worse, there are even bigger schemes at work behind this unholy marriage, and worlds will literally collide.
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!
The Eminence in Shadow manga, light novel series compared to the anime
The story for the anime TV show is based on the Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute! light novel series by author Daisuke Aizawa and illustrator Touzai.
The title literally translates into English as “I Wanted to be a Powerhouse [or Powerful Person] in the Shadows!” Many English-speaking fans refer to The Eminence in Shadow anime as the Shadow Garden anime.
Published by Enterbrain since November 2018, the book series was up to The Eminencein Shadow Volume 5 as of December 28, 2022. Historically, a new light novel book has been published only once a year on average (2 books were released in 2019 whereas the author published zero books in 2020).
Assuming the author maintains a similar schedule, that means The Eminence in Shadow Volume 6 release date should be in the 2nd half of 2023.
Like many isekai books, the story first was self-published as The Eminence in Shadow web novel on the Let’s Become a Novelist (Shousetsuka ni Narou) website. Started in May 2018, the web novel’s ending hasn’t been finished yet despite numbering 8 volumes with over 200 chapters by Fall 2022. The web novel was put on indefinite hiatus by the creator back in September 2019, but in Fall 2022 multiple new chapters were released.
The light novel series expanded on the premise of the web novel by rewriting certain story arcs and introducing new content. But the biggest difference is that the light novel series began branching in a different direction from the middle of the web novel’s story, which is probably why the author hasn’t put much effort into continuing the web novel in recent years.
Starting in December 2018, the original creator teamed up with artist Anri Sakano to serialize The Eminence in Shadow manga in Kadokawa Shoten’s Comp Ace magazine. As of November 25, 2022, the manga adaptation was up to Volume 10.
In June 2020, Aizawa teamed up with illustrator Seta U to create the spin-off series The Eminence in Shadow: Shadow Side Story manga. As of October 25, 2022, the Shadow Garden Side Story manga was up to Volume 4.
North American publisher Yen Press is handling The Eminence in Shadow English translation for the light novels and the main manga series, but not the manga spin-off. By June 7, 2022, the print light novel books were up to Volume 4 in English, whereas the main English manga was up to Volume 6 as of February 21, 2023.
The anime has been one of those rare adaptations that do not rush through the source material while remaining true to the heart of the story. In fact, it’s comparable to the 86 anime, Rust Eater Bisco, or The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat anime since almost the entire first cour adapted only 1 book.
The comparison is apt since those other anime series also introduced many anime original scenes that enhanced the story. Even worldbuilding was enhanced in The Eminence in Shadow Season 1 since the books didn’t have guns and steam-powered technology.
Fans of The Eminence in Shadow book may debate whether the anime pulled off establishing the series’ main selling point of a delusional madman pretending to be a secret mastermind who’s pretending to be a completely ordinary mob character. Episode 1 definitely played things too straight since the main character embodied the ethos of the edgelord without the characteristical winking at the reader that the books maintain.
At his core, Cid is a psychopath since his feelings are centered around his own desires even when he considers certain people important enough to “care” about. For example, after Cid’s sister, Claire, is kidnapped he’s more interested in killing bandits and playing the role of Shadow rather than the well-being of his sibling. Sure, sure, Cid does save her, but he also leaves her hurt and defenseless in a dungeon filled with corpses and feels nothing about her being upset.
Besides burying the lede that Cid is actually a laughable edgelord, the opening episode was also slightly shocking to book readers since it dived right down into future story arc territory by showing more of Cid’s past life as detailed by an auxiliary chapter of light novel Volume 4. The anime introduced original material in combination with Kageno playing Moonlight Sonata and acting out as the Stylist Ruffian Slayer, yet pushed back the comedic truck-kun scene until Episode 3, possibly to avoid tonal dissonance.
(It should be noted that in the truck-kun scene Cid was banging his head in a delusional attempt to gain magic in the real world. The anime doesn’t explain this gag well at all since the reason he leaped in front of truck-kun was his mistaken belief that the truck’s headlights represented enlightenment! Yes, Cid really did “see the light”, and in later book volumes he still believed the headlights were magic.)
Instead, the anime started from the perspective of high school girl Akane Nishino as the narrator and greatly expanded on the kidnapping story arc. Yet Akane seems like a throwaway character designed only to set the tone for the series. To be fair, The World’s Finest Assassin Episode 1 also did the same thing by introducing an anime original female character who is never heard from again.
WARNING: The following paragraph contains a major spoiler for The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 that’s relevant to the discussion of the first season.
While it’s a MAJOR SPOILER to explain, Nishino does make a comeback, but it doesn’t happen until the 2nd half of light novel Volume 4, which is predicted to be adapted by The Eminence in Shadow Season 2.
Episode 2 was fast-paced in that it skimmed how Cid discovered the utility of slime magic and how he collected the other Shades besides Alpha. But it’s not surprising that certain world-building details would be skipped since all anime adaptations of light novels need to make concessions in condensing the source material. Anime-only audiences might suspect that even more details were skipped since all 7 girls were collected in only one episode, but only Alpha and Beta were given spoken lines in early scenes from the Prologue and Chapter 1.
More importantly, the anime changed the way he “made up” the Cult of Diabolos. In the book, Cid was researching history when he accidentally stumbled upon evidence of an ancient conspiracy contained in a fairytale. Thinking it sounded cool but not really believing it, he recalled the fairytale when he was put on the spot by Alpha, but then she went on to confirm Cid’s findings with the help of the other girls.
Cid was even accidentally right about the girls being descendants of the heroes who defeated Diabolos, which explains why they’re all very powerful in their own right. The anime will briefly mention the so-called Wisdom of the Shadows when it’s important to the plot, but it doesn’t make it clear that Cid, despite being delusional, really is exceptionally skillful and a great teacher who can bring out a person’s latent talents (even when it’s by accident) by nurturing them. He educated the girls in everything from combat to economics to housing construction to otaku trivia based on random recollections from his past, which meant that he accidentally implemented the critical thinking education method of students seeking the answers for themselves with minimal guidance. Thus, it’s the girls’ own innate brilliance, especially Alpha and Gamma, that explains how they were able to achieve greatness and establish Shadow Garden in the world on their own. The whole joke is that Cid is a good teacher, whether he realizes it or not, since he managed to raise 7 top-tier women all on his own without ever intending to reach these results since it was all just a game to him.
The more serious tone of the anime version actually paid off when it came to the introductory story arc for Princess Alexia in Episodes 3 and 4. These episodes even intentionally shifted forward to The Eminence in Shadow Episode 10 a comedic scene where Alexia and Iris are shopping for G-string underwear, which would have only lightened the mood. This consistent tone only heightened the tension of the kidnapping and torture and the way Alexia’s eyes slowly gave up hope made audiences anxious for Cid to come to the rescue in ridiculous fashion.
Still, Cid’s likability as a person took a nosedive since it was obvious he put his roleplaying for his cover story over having empathy for Alexia’s dire plight. That point is driven home when Cid nukes part of the royal capital city (and presumably all the people living inside those buildings) just so he can showcase his powers and dramatically declare, “I. Am. Atomic!” Cid would literally let people die if it means the mood lighting and aesthetics for a theatrical entry is better.
As for the comedic elements, Episode 5 should have actually ended with Cid turning down Alexia’s confession by saying he’d rather die and then flipping her off, not just giving a thumbs down. Why the studio chose to tone down Cid’s rejection is unknown, but the original version certainly better explained Alexia’s over-the-top reaction.
It’s also good that the anime spent time developing Alexia since these scenes are the only times she gets to shine. It’s a spoiler, but Alexia essentially becomes a background character, or isn’t present at all, until Volume 5 as other female characters come to the foreground in Volumes 3 and 4 (or Shadow Garden Season 2). The same happens to Sherry since her revenge plot against Shadow is ominously teased but Sherry’s plan hasn’t come to fruition in the light novel series…. yet.
The Eminence in Shadow Episode 10 launched the 2nd major story arc of the novel series by adapting only the Volume 2 Prologue. Shadow Garden Part 2 started out on a much lighter note by shifting around rom-com scenes that were in Volumes 1 and 2 to focus on many “man of culture” scenes.
As previously mentioned, Alexia and Iris’ pantsu shopping scene originally took place after the Zenon fight in Volume 1 although Alexia pulling a kabedon on her older sister was an anime original addition. But Beta and Epsilon’s “battle” was actually moved up. It appears that the screenwriter indeed attempted to not disrupt the serious tone of certain story arcs by stuffing as much fan service into one episode!
(The anime does not directly adapt The Chronicles of Master Shadow Complete Version, which is a relatively short summary of events that’s greatly embellished by Beta, but it certainly references it.)
Since the first episode featured Nishino, and the opening video showed the 7 Shades wearing white uniforms, it seemed safe to assume back in October 2022 that the 20 episodes of the first season would adapt the first four books with 5 episodes adapting each volume. But as new episodes were released it became readily apparent that this early prediction was wrong.
By the end of The Eminence in Shadow Episode 9 the anime had adapted through manga chapter 14 (at the time, the latest manga chapter was 46). The adaptation pacing for the first half averaged a little less than 1 chapter adapted per episode since Volume 1 had 8 chapters including the prologue.
All in all, it’s predicted that the first season’s finale, The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20, will find an ending corresponding to light novel Volume 2. The book has 10 chapters including the prologue so the adaptation pacing should be maintained for the entire first season.
It’s a good stopping point since Princess Rose Oriana joins Shadow Garden as No. 666 and the Bushin Festival tournament arc acts as a good climax for the first season. The only negative is that the elaborate setup involving Akane Nishino is left hanging until the 2nd season.
Keep in mind that this is a prediction. It’s possible that The Eminence in Shadow Season 1 Part 2 will greatly increase the adaptation pacing in order to finish 3 light novels in 11 episodes.
The good news is that there is plenty of source material available now for making The Eminence in Shadow Season 2.
Better yet, English-only light novel readers who wish to read ahead of the anime can jump straight to light novel Volume 3. Manga readers can jump to Volume 8: Chapter 30 (by December 2022, the latest manga chapters had adapted about half of light novel Volume 4).
The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 studio and staff
The main staff and studio that is making The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 haven’t been announced yet. In the best-case scenario, the main staff will return.
The first season was produced by the Japanese animation Studio Nexus, which is best known for making the Granbelm anime and Darwin’s Game anime.
The anime project was helmed by director Kazuya Nakanishi. Although he’s been an animation director in the past, The Eminence in Shadow Season 1 was his lead directorial debut. In recent years he’s worked exclusively for Studio Nexus and was a character designer on the Darwin’s Game project and chief animation director for Granbelm.
Writer Kanichi Katou (Teasing Master Takagi-san, Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun) wrote the series composition. Artist Makoto Iino (Demon Lord, Retry) was the character designer. Composer Kenichiro Suehiro (Golden Kamuy, Shadows House, Re:ZERO, Darwin’s Game, Fire Force) wrote the music.
The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 OP and ED theme song music
The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music haven’t been announced yet.
For the first season, The Eminence in Shadow OP “Highest” was performed by OxT, while the ED “Darling in the Night” was performed by the Seven Shades, the Japanese voice actresses who played as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon, Eta, Gamma, and Zeta (Asami Seto, Inori Minase, Suzuko Mimori, Ai Fairouz, Hisako Kanemoto, Ayaka Asai, Reina Kondou).
The Eminence in Shadow Season 1 Part 2 OP and ED haven’t been announced yet.
Let’s just hope the wait for The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 release date isn’t too long. Stay tuned!