Factors in Anime Getting Another Season
Unpopularity, sudden staff changes, and a lack of source material are major factors as to why most anime only finish at 12-24 episodes with no hope for a second season.
In order to get a second season, the series must reach an adequate level of success and popularity. If the first season is poorly received then there is low chance of renewal. Studios determine popularity based on ratings and merchandise sales as they are the means of getting a budget.
Ratings don’t necessarily correlate with quality. They're determined by how many people watch it as it airs and stream it through official applications.
Sales are measured by the number of goods purchased like DVDs, posters, and figurines. Naruto and its multiple filler seasons are an example of this. Because Naruto has fans that regularly purchases merchandise, it produces enough sales to sustain funding for additional seasons.
Staff Changes and Availability
While it's possible for a series to get a second season, the same production company might not be working on it. This can have both a negative and positive outcome.
Due to the absence of staff members, new ones will have to take their place despite not working on the original project. People unfamiliar with the series have the potential to cause strains in workflow and content productivity, especially if they replace key figures such as the original director.
On the other hand, it can potentially bring in people with fresh ideas and perspectives, ultimately providing a more successful series. Typically, Japanese animation studios aim to keep the original staff. Even the absence of a few members can halt the production of an additional season.
Aside from the production, there can also be issues with the voice actors. Consistency is very important and unless there is an emergency, anime studios don’t really change their character voices. This presents a problem as a voice actor's schedule could conflict with the staffs production.
The delay of Attack on Titan season two would be a good example. Yuki Kaji, the voice actor for the main protagonist, Eren, is in high demand and involved in multiple projects. His extreme workload and scheduling caused delays in season two because he wasn’t readily available.
Following the Source Material
While there are many original series, most are adapted from other sources such as video games, manga, and light novels. If the anime catches up to the source material, then there won’t be a new season until it has made significant progress.
Light novels and manga are especially affected by this. For example, the light novel series' Oregairu and Haganai.
Both were successful enough to receive a second season, but due to the anime adaptations passing the light novel’s story content, they were forced to end on abrupt cliff hangers.
In regards to video games, anime studios are challenged with a lack of source material. If a video game series ends, the story has been completed in its entirety. The only way it can receive a second series is if there is additional content that can be later adapted.
Steins;Gate is an example since after the completion of the first visual novel there have been multiple spin offs diverging from the first game resulting in the release of Steins;Gate 0.
Patience and Support
Getting a second season can be a very difficult task. While some series may never receive one, others can with a bit of time. For fans that don’t want to wait andd wish to dive right into the story, it might be best to pick up the source material. Supporting it might just give your favorite series the boost it needs to continue.