Many shows in America (I am using the US as example because I live here) have TV shows announced almost right away. There aren't usually gaps of more than a year in between seasons.

However, for anime, there are usually several years gaps in between seasons. For example, Attack on Titan has a couple of years in between seasons, and the Fate series had several years in between all of them.

Is this because they aren't very popular, or is it due to a different reason?

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    Do the TV shows you mentioned air without mid-season finales or hiatuses that last for several months? Probably not. Same is with anime. Both take time to produce more of, but it takes different amount of time to make some more of a TV show and anime.
    – Hakase
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 10:57
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    This is a good question. I don't have a good answer at the moment, but one relevant factor is that most multi-season anime are vehicles to promote an underlying manga/LN/videogame/etc, and are timed accordingly.
    – senshin
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 23:28
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    It's definitely not due to lack of popularity. It's more due to how the system for producing TV shows is in Japan. Making one season, then having a big gap, then making another, is actually a relatively recent change in anime as well. It used to be much more common to have shows that spanned multiple sessions, without breaks.
    – Kai
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 16:52
  • The change @Kai mentions appears to be connected to a shift away from "filler episodes" meant to vamp until the manga is far enough ahead again to animate it (and often leading to a quality decline that in turn results in a viewership decline). A series will air a season, pause until the source material is far enough ahead again, then air another season.
    – Allison C
    Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 14:46

4 Answers 4


There are sooo many anime series (and manga for that matter), that broadcasting companies don't know which will be hits and which won't be at the time of establishing a contract with a studio.

The fact is, when a studio gets the green light to do a series, it is typically one season; that is, with the exception of some of the Jump comics that have long-running series (e.g. Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, and so on).

So when the studio gets the green light to start production, the number of episodes is already decided. For some, this is enough to do a full story arc and have a clean ending. Others end more openly or on a cliffhanger. This can drive the audience to pick up the manga to see how the story continues, or to the hopes of the studio, the popularity will be high enough that the audience will request or demand a second season. This is evident in the recent Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) boom.

This is also true for Japanese dramas. Typically, they are all one season. And if there is a second season, it comes much later because the studio and the TV broadcasting company weren't originally planning to make a second or third season from the get-go. This means you also have to account for production time between the seasons too.

Hope that helps. (My only reference is that I lived in Japan for over 5 years and saw this happening a lot and heard about it in the news.)


One reason may be that anime takes longer to produce than a normal show (as in ones with actors such as supernatural), however I have no idea wether this is true or not.

The other reason I know of is that most (if not all) anime is based off of manga, and also usually advance much faster than it story-wise. Thus it needs to pause for a while to allow the manga to beat it. I do know for certain that, that is the reason Attack on Titan hasn't aired in a couple years.


Just to clarify my main reference is family, namely my brothers and father who have all lived in Japan for years at one time or another time for various reasons.

One of the biggest reasons is their expense. Animes are expensive to make. Anime and video games are the most expensive form of advertising there is for manga, which is the real moneymaker. A single episode can cost anywhere between $100,000-200,000. That's the equivalent, in the current market, to ¥1,0072,000-2,0144,000. This is also an average as it isn't always a set amount, and some anime get more funding than others if they are popular or raised it somehow. So that means for a single 24 episode season you just spent $2,400,000-4,800,000 (which is a lot of yen, you can do the math yourself) on what may be a boom or bust for the company.

Now with the anime out you have to give it time to market your manga for you. If sales don't pick up much or at all after the anime comes out it isn't likely the anime will continue. Like KiaiFighter pointed out the only ones that get a really longstanding season are the ones who have an incredibly long and popular manga, probably through JUMP or one of their competitors. Like he said you have anime like One Piece, Gingtama -- or Fairy Tale through Weekly Shōnen Magazine -- which all feature hundreds of episodes because they were popular and established before the anime even got started and can afford to be given longer seasons. The ones that don't have that kind of backing must wait potentially years for the anime to market the manga and paraphernalia before there is even consideration for a new season.

Then there is also the problem it takes time to make a manga and storyline. Lesser known mangas that don't have the advantage of JUMP or other forms to effectively distribute their manga probably don't have a whole lot of arcs covered. Basically a single 13 episode season can catch up on the whole series effectively. So even if it is popular, the funds are available, and the populace is waiting, it is likely it might very well be delayed anyway for several years simply so the author can get ahead a few arcs. Look at the anime Tsukaima no Zero which had between two to four years between each 12 episode season so that the light novels could get ahead enough (didn't really matter though because the author passed before he could finish but I digress). If they don't then you just have a huge number of filler episodes, like with Naruto and the Hunter x Hunter from the 1990's (I can't get over how the nickname for Hunter x Hunter is Hiatus x Hiatus because the author constantly puts off continuing the manga which was only recently started again. Its been around for almost 20 years but they only have about 150 episodes worth of anime, as opposed to One Piece which started a year before, and even GinTama. But again I digress).

Lastly, like KiaiFighter also pointed out, Dramas are a whole other ballpark and shouldn't be touched with another season because they generally leave everything wrapped up nice and tightly so there shouldn't be any complaints other than the tears of joy a the happy ending or shock and denial for the depressing ending.


I think it depends more of production than if is an anime or a TV show. But is true that in anime sometimes the time between seasons is more than one year. That's because some anime are quickly than manga and anime need stopping for don't reach the manga.

Is possible that the reason is only the business model un US about manga, but I think is for the reason I comment. For be sure you can consult the time between season in Japan.

  • 4
    You're missing a lot of detail and don't have any reliable references. What is it about the production that causes some shows to have longer breaks between seasons? What is it about the business model that's different between US TV and anime? And how do you know? Adding those things could make this a good answer, but right now it's vague and speculative.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 23:07

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