Arifureta is short for Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. On the whole, this Japanese franchise followed a pretty typical path for anime and anime-adjacent media. In short, its first component was a web novel that started up on November of 2013 on Shōsetsuka ni Narō, which is a popular Japanese platform for people who want to make their own works for other people to read. Arifureta was one of a number of works on the site that have proven to be popular enough to be published as light novels. Something that started up in June of 2015 and has continued running to the present time. Soon enough, the light novel was followed by a manga that started up in December of 2016 and has continued running to the present time. As such, it seems safe to say that both of these have managed to find receptive consumers, particularly since Arifureta is one of those series that have managed to receive both a prequel light novel and a manga for that prequel light novel. Neither one of which would have happened if they weren’t able to sell enough copies to convince the relevant parties to provide the relevant backing. Under these circumstances, it was natural for Arifureta to receive an animated adaptation that was broadcast from July to October of 2019.
Story-wise, Arifureta is pretty typical as well. For starters, it is an excellent example of the isekai boom that has been becoming more and more popular in anime and anime-adjacent media ever since the 2010s. In isekai works, the protagonist is someone who has been transported to a different world, which often incorporates fantasy themes, video game mechanics, or other elements that appeal to its intended audience. Said concept isn’t exactly a new one in either Japanese or non-Japanese media. However, the isekai boom can trace its roots to a particular sub-culture in a particular time, meaning that isekai works share a lot of common elements.
To name an example, the protagonist of Arifureta is an otaku named Nagumo Hajime who is transported with his entire class to a fantasy world. In some isekai works, this would be point when the protagonist receives a special power that causes their popularity to shoot up; in other isekai works, this would be the point when the protagonist receives either a useless power or a seemingly usefuless power before proceeding to become powerful and thus popular anyways. Arifureta is an excellent example of the latter. Furthermore, it features the often-used plot beat of the protagonist being betrayed by his classmates, with the result that he becomes cynical and ruthless enough to seem cool in the eyes of the intended audience while still retaining a measure of very nebulous “kindness” that makes him seem heroic when compared with characters that are supposed to be bad. Naturally, the protagonist proceeds to collect a number of female love interests who occupy a number of stock roles for the purpose of appealing to different people with different preferences. In this case, these characters include a centuries-old, high-ranking vampire who looks nothing like that, a rabbit-girl, a dragon-girl, a classmate who was not really secretly in love with the protagonist all along, and others.
Will Arifureta See a Continuation?
As mentioned earlier, Arifureta seems to be quite popular. This is backed up by how each volume of the light novel has managed to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, with the result that the light novel as a whole had surpassed four million sales in 2020. Suffice to say that isn’t the kind of numbers that every light novel can manage, meaning that Arifureta should be considered exceptional in this regard. Granted, the sales of the Arifureta anime have been less impressive with each volume managing a bit more than 3,000 units. However, the performance of an anime doesn’t necessarily mean much for the chances of an anime getting a continuation. After all, animated adaptations are meant as advertisements as much as anything else, meaning that what matters is their impact on the franchise as a whole rather than their impact on their own. Clearly, the light novel has done well. Meanwhile, though sales figures aren’t as readily available for Arifureta merchandise, there seems to be a lot of it. Something that further suggests a considerable degree of popularity. As such, it was no wonder that the Arifureta anime was confirmed for a Season 2 in October of 2019.
What Do We Know about Season 2 of Arifureta?
Most of the cast and crew will remain the same for the second season of the anime. This is particularly unsurprising in the case of the cast because a lot of voice actors and actresses in Japan have their own fan bases, meaning that switching out a major role runs a very real risk of alienating the consumers. However, it should be mentioned that there are a couple of notable changes in other respects. One, Yoshimoto Kinji won’t be returning as the director. Instead, his role will now be filled out by Iwanaga Akira. Two, the secondary studio is seeing a change, with Studio Mother replacing the previous White Fox. Besides these, other aspects have remained the same, so it seems reasonable to say that interested individuals can expect a great deal of consistency from season to season.
Content-wise, the first season of Arifureta covered the first four volumes of the light novel. As such, there are seven volumes that can be used as source material. It is possible that the second season will keep the same kind of pace, meaning that it will use up another four volumes. However, it is also possible that the second season will proceed at a different rate, particularly since the anime has already shown a willingness to cut out what are reportedly major moments for the sake of its own convenience. Currently, Season 2 of Arifureta is set to start broadcasting in January of 2022, so it will be interesting to see whether it can boost the franchise’s popularity enough to ensure another continuation.