When Netflix started picking up more and more anime series, fans of the wide-spanning genre started getting excited. Kuromukuro is one such series that gained a lot of Western audience traction on the streaming service, and now, everyone wants to know whether or not we’re going to see season three of this popular show, possibly in 2017. Though no concrete details have been revealed by the anime’s creators — or Netflix, for that matter — we have enough information that we can speculate about Kuromukuro’s future.
Whether you’re a fan of the anime already or have only seen the first handful of episodes, read on if you’d like to learn a little more about the show, and it’s possible future!
Is it experimentation, or just expertly-calculated business practice? More so than any other major streaming service, Netflix has been pushing all of the right buttons for its own success. From the original program that it finances and hosts, to the shows that it picks up from abroad, and then broadcasts as part of the “Netflix Original” family, the company has been kicking ass. For the most part, services like Funimation and Crunchyroll have been where anime fans like to congregate. But more than ever before, Netflix has a lot to offer. Kuromukuro isn’t alone. There’s Knights of Sidonia, Seven Deadly Sins, Ajin, and Perfect Bones. Top all of that off with anime series that are simply offered for streaming, and you’ll find a treasure trove of great stuff.
And there haven’t been many stinkers, either. Netflix is in the habit of promoting excellent shows; top-of-the-genre stuff that deserves to be watched, and is beloved by millions of fans. Kuromukuro is one such anime, though several rumors and behind-the-scenes movements have cast quite a lot of doubt on whether or not we’re going to see more of the show. Whether or not that’s a bad thing — or if it’s even true — is something that we hope to learn!
Anime on Netflix
If you’ve kept up with contemporary entertainment media, you know that “anime” is a massive collection of media content, and it’s not entertaining solely for specific demographics. Anyone can get into it, it’s extremely accessible, and the antiquated notion that it’s too nerdy for most audiences is utter tripe. Romance, action, comedy, suspense, mystery — every genre that we popular watch is currently getting a ton of representation in anime, and it comes packed with great characters and compelling narratives.
Netflix seems to know this, based on how frequently the company is bringing in extremely popular shows for its streamers. Kuromukuro is a rather exemplary Netflix Original anime, but other series like Attack on Titan and Fairy Tail have fanbases numbering in the millions.
And for good reason, too. The quality of the best anime series is easily on par with what we’re seeing on major networks in the west. Excellent writing, relatable characters, and fun action are all present and often brought to us in refreshingly innovative animation techniques.
Kuromukuro actually encompasses several different genres, and it does so in a way that’s fresh and innovative. At its heart, Kuromukuro is a “mecha” anime — a story in which gigantic robots and large-scale fights are frequently taking the spotlight. But it also has elements of historical fiction, in a way that’s firmly rooted in historic Japanese culture. But not so deeply that Western audiences who aren’t familiar with it can’t easily relate.
For a show that sets alien invaders against a sparsely defensible Earth, it’s not a particularly violent show. In spite of there being plenty of fighting, combat, and other tension, it’s not as gory as something like Attack on Titan, and the trauma suffered by characters is never particularly dire.
Plot & Premise
Hundreds of years before our present, an invading force attacked earth. Kuromukuro begins in Sengoku-era Japan, where a stolen weapon — the mecha, Black Relic — is used to fend off the invaders. Due to tumultuous circumstances, both the mecha and its pilot are tucked away in stasis, sleeping away the years until the story catches up to the present day.
Fast forward until then, and we meet Yukina, daughter of an ambassador to the UN. An excavation project unearths the Black Relic and its pilot, Kennosuke. The alien invaders — the Efy Dolgh — return to earth, bent on revenge. However, all of the years since their first attack on Earth haven’t helped humanity. Strife and conflict have kept the human race far behind the capabilities of their attackers, and so the Black Relic remains the best defense that the planet has. And since it needs to pilots, the antiquated Kennosuke and Yukina team up to drive the mecha.
Many parts of the show are standard-fare, mecha-anime elements. But the characters and plot turns remain interesting and fresh, which helped Kuromukuro to become one of the more noteworthy animes being streamed on Netflix.
Kuromukuro Season 3?
Before we delve too deeply into speculation and possible answers to this, let’s look at the nature of Kuromukuro, as it exists on Netflix. Like many shows in the “Netflix originals” group, the company only holds streaming rights — it isn’t solely responsible for the development of the show, but it’s now responsible for streaming it.
On top of that, it’s Netflix that’s responsible for dividing the show into “seasons” for Western audiences. In spite of seasons one and two appearing on Netflix for Western audiences, all of the episodes of Kuromurkuro are currently part of a single batch-order. They should realistically be considered a cohesive whole, rather than two separate seasons.
One last little detail — Kuromukuro is not based on a manga, like many popular anime series are. Where most have intricate, long-term storylines to draw upon, this one was created from the ground up to be displayed as an anime and isn’t an adaptation. It tells us that any continuation of the series is going to have to be developed as brand-new material.
- Understanding these important things, we can look at whether P.A. Studios and Netflix will have any vested interest in continuing Kuromukuro.
- Right now, most analyses are right in the middle of the road.
- The fact that we haven’t heard any announcement since the series debuted on Netflix in 2016 doesn’t necessarily bode well.
- But when you juxtapose that with the current, overworked state of the anime industry, it becomes more understandable.
Attack on Titan didn’t receive new episodes for far longer than a year, and it’s one of the most-watched animes worldwide.
So, we’re stuck right in the middle. We might get more episodes, and we might not. We can be absolutely certain, however, that both Netflix and P.A. Studios will begin promoting Kuromukuro as soon as they’re ready to announce any such thing. It was a runaway success for both parties, and if the creative talents behind it decide to continue the show, any follow-up is likely to garner a lot of attention.
Shows Like Kuromukuro
If the above news seems like doom and gloom, don’t despair. There are quite a few other great anime series that aren’t terribly different from Kurokukuro, and some of them are even easily accessible on Netflix! Whether you’re looking for something high-concept and packed full of mecha, or simply a series that has well-drawn, fleshed out characters, you never have to look particularly far.
Another popular series that has humanity facing an enormous threat (one that we’ve made mention of, above) is Attack on Titan. It’s not a Netflix original, but you can watch the first series there. Be prepared for darker themes and darker imagery, since it’s a fairly violent show. But it also has amazing characters and compelling drama!
If you can get away from that need for mecha-anime, try watching Knights of Sidonia. This one is another Netflix original, and it’s set far into the future. Humanity has evolved for a life in deep space, where we’re on the run from a rampant alien aggressor that we don’t truly understand. Or maybe it’s the technology of Kuromukuro that has you engaged with the show. In this case, check out Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. It’s a steampunk anime that has humanity fighting for survival against hordes of strange, zombie-like creatures. You’ll have to look somewhere other than Netflix to get your hands on it, but it’s definitely worth your while to do so.
We wish that we could give you some definitively good news about Kuromukuro’s “third season,” but as of right now, nothing has been announced. We don’t know if more of the anime has been ordered by Netflix or P.A. Studios, or if it’s being considered for production. On the other hand, though, “no news is good news,” as they say. And as long as fans remain ardently in support of watching more Kuromukuro, there’s no reason to give up hope on it.
Because the anime isn’t tethered to any particular manga series, the show’s creators are free to head in any direction that they want to. Nevermind that the current episodes give some great conclusion to the show’s conflicts — there’s plenty of room for this Netflix favorite to do something fun in “season three.” We might even still see it in 2017 since shows like this are in the habit of announcing their return closer to when it happens.