Accel World is a successful franchise, having a long-running light novel, a manga series with multiple entries, video games, and most importantly – anime adaptions.
The first season was released in 2012, and quickly managed to gain a large fanbase, make sufficient profits and had a promising run. Two OVAs were also released, and then the last release we saw was in 2016 – which featured a long recap of the entire series, and then continued the story from the last episode of the anime and onwards.
Since then, fans have been waiting for Accel World season 2, but even in 2020, there has been no official confirmation for whether it would be released. So here, we will take a look at all the information that we are aware of and determine whether or not the second season is coming anytime soon.
The Reason Behind the Hiatus of Season 2
The first season of Accel World mainly adapted the first four light novels, written by Reki Kawahara, while some content from the tenth light novel was adapted as well. So, with so much content still left to adapt, and the season ending without a real conclusion to the franchise – it is obvious that a season 2 is meant to exist.
The reason for the lack of a second season can be traced towards two main reasons; the first one being Sword Art Online, and the second one being the Japanese animation studio Sunrise.
Sword Art Online
The author behind Accel World, is also the author behind one of the most known anime franchises of all time – Sword Art Online. While Accel World is also a successful franchise, it falls short greatly behind the success and profits that are gained through Sword Art Online, which is a franchise still relevant to this day in several media forms.
From the perspective of a fan, Accel World is just as relevant as Sword Art Online and should get a season 2 as soon as possible; but from a financial standpoint for the author and the people who fund anime projects, it makes great sense that they would focus on a franchise that makes much more money in comparison.
With this information in mind, it is unfortunately clear that Accel World may not be a top priority for Reki Kawahara anymore, nor for the people who produce and publish Accel World’s anime series.
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The studio that worked on Accel World’s anime, Sunrise, is currently working on a more profitable series called Love Live! School Idol Project, which is significantly more successful than Accel World and can even be called a surprise hit. It has turned into a major franchise that is still very relevant and is getting multiple entries, and is currently one of the top franchises in Japan.
Neither the author themselves, nor the studio that made the anime for Accel World, are prioritizing the anime, and both parties are working on significantly more profitable projects for the time being. The light novels of Accel World are at a slow pace in terms of release, and we hardly see Accel World being marketed in any way in this year.
With these reasons, it is very logical for the respective studios and companies to keep Accel World on a halt for the time being, for as long as their currently prioritized anime franchises remain at their peak profits.
Is There Going to Be Accel World Season 2
While there have been no official confirmations so far regarding the second season of Accel World, there are several things to look at that speculate whether or not a second season is likely to happen. These things are:
1. The Anime Stopped at An Open Ending
Despite the anime being followed up by the movie, the story is still open and not concluded. While that does not matter for a failed anime series, Accel World was successful and it would not make much sense for it to be abandoned despite having potential for the story to be continued.
The pace of releases has been toned down for the past few years, with the last three light novels coming once per year, and the last release we saw was in the fourth quarter of 2019.
While the slow speed of releases is not the best thing for a series, it at least confirms that the brand is alive and continuing, and this has also opened the room for the western audience to catch up to the translated series, and a new entry to the anime could have both Japanese and western audiences watching it simultaneously.
2. A Large Amount of Source Material is Yet to Be Adapted
In total, there are 24 light novel chapters of Accel World released throughout Japan so far and the anime only adapted chapter 1, 2, 3, 4 and 10 – while the movie adapted some of the story from the 19th chapter.
This leaves up to 18 chapters of the light novels not adapted into animation so far. That is a lot of material still to be adapted and for a series that is successful and beloved by fans and the anime community alike, it would be very unlikely for them to never follow up on the missing chapters and bring them to life in future seasons (or films).
3. Accel World Light Novels Are Among the Top Sellers Even in 2020
While Accel World isn’t as successful as Sword Art Online or Love Live! School Idol Project, it is still one of the most successfully sold light novels throughout Japan. Each volume consistently still sells approximately 60k copies, and a few years back the sales were even higher, with each book selling more than 100,000 copies.
The only reason the sales have dropped is because the novels are released so slowly as of now, and there is not much marketing being done for it due to a focus on other projects by the author and the publishers.
4. Accel World Season 1 Blu-Ray Sales Figures
Accel World managed to get great numbers for both the audience of its TV broadcasts, as well as the home release sales. It has been estimated to have sold over 9,000 Blu-Ray copies and was also released with English subtitles later on.
While this may sound like a low figure to a foreign audience; for anime standards it is a great figure, as most anime series are considered to be a success even at just 10,000 sales.
5. Accel World Has Merchandise and Video Games
As with most anime series centered around cool characters that have visually stunning super-powers, Accel World also managed to release merchandise, and sold it successfully as well.
Accel World managed to have two main video games, the first one being Accel World: Ginyoku no Kakusei, which was released on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable – and a second one that was called Accel World: Kasoku no Chōten, which was released on the same platforms.
On top of all that, there is also an Accel World and Sword Art Online cross-over video game that sold nearly 100,000 copies. It is called Accel World vs Sword Art Online: Milennium Twilight and was released on the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation Vita and even the titular PC platforms.
Crossing over with one of the most successful anime franchises is certainly a feat, and such things also help in terms of raising awareness for Accel World in general and getting it more fans.
While the sales figures may not be big hits conventionally, for Japanese video games based on popular anime, they sold a great amount – and the fact the first game also managed to get a sequel is good proof of that.
6. Having an Anime Movie Is Kind of a Big Deal
While TV animation has made a great name for itself, cinemas are still referred to as ‘the big screen’ and continues to have an unparalleled reputation.
It brings in large amounts of profits that are not possible through the home releases, and it is the easiest way to watch something together with your friends and family, leaving all complications at home.
The fact Accel World managed to have a movie shows that it is indeed a very relevant franchise, and is one of the more successful ones around.
The movie was only shown in approximately 19 screens within Japan, and the Blu-Ray release managed to sell 7,000 copies, and even get a release with English subtitles later on.
While this shows that the studio played it safe with the limited releases, they have definitely made as much of a profit as they expected, and Accel World has proven itself as a successful franchise.
So, What Does This All Mean?
With all of the points considered, it can be easily concluded that Accel World is too profitable as a franchise to be considered dead. It was well-received, it has managed to gather a large fanbase, it has managed to sell a lot of merchandise and has a movie, and even video games.
Accel World season 2 is very likely to happen, even without an official confirmation, and we will most likely see it once the author of the light novels and studio Sunrise have to slow down production of their other, more-profitable franchises.
We can expect a new season sometime between 3 to 5 years, and we may be getting more video games and light novels in the meantime.