This has been happening since forever and is nothing new but it’s something which has become an issue in my anime viewing in the past year or so. Generally a story (someones intellectual property) gets a sequel for one of two reasons. The first being the writer hadn’t finished his/her story and needed a sequel to tell the rest of the story about his or her characters or world. The second reason for a sequel is simply a money grab beating a dead horse with a stick to get more money out of the fans of the original. A lot of the time a story doesn’t need a sequel especially if it reached a conclusion but there are cases where a franchise is brought back from the dead and given life once more. The problem is that this reanimated corpse is a shadow of it’s former self and can taint the original story.
Now in my opinion there are a few anime that have done this in the past year or so and it saddens me because the charm of the original series was lost in the sequels which didn’t help extend the story for a casual fan and only really satisfied the hardcore fans. I’ll go into this idea later but for now here is a few stories which I personally didn’t think needed a sequel as a casual fan.
Code Geass, Last Exile and Eureka Seven
Coincidentally these sequels use the same world but a different set of characters then the first series excluding maybe one or two reoccurring characters which aren’t the main focus anyway. I’m not arguing that these series would have been better if they had used the original character because they wouldn’t have been. Lelouch, Renton/Eureka and Claus/Lavie’s stories had all ended fashionably and reusing them after the events in the end of their stories would have been a cruel fate but the alternative was much worse I fear for none of the future stories and new character have the appeal of the originals even though they are in the greatest of settings.
Comparison is their ultimate downfall but that’s their own fault for trying to revive something in a half-assed manner. I’ll get back to the casual/hardcore fan idea now because I can use it to explain my thoughts on why these sequels failed in my eyes. I believe you can be a fan of something but not be a raving drooling fan of something. (I’m guilty on that case for a few anime series.) but most of the time if I enjoyed something I’ll claim to be a casual fan and that means that when a sequel or more content for that story is produced I don’t drool all over it like the hardcore fan would.
What I’ve realized is that reviving a story based franchise with new characters isn’t appealing to me and presumably some others. The idea of reviving a world with new characters sounds like a good one to me but it rarely ends up as good as I hope it to be. Maybe am subconsciously wishing the old characters were back or it could just be something more complex then that. Either way I’m sure someone else has an opinion on this and could potentially clarify the situation.