Stars Align Season 2: A Disappointing Sequel

Despite being a non-commercial anime, Stars Align stands out as a unique and rare gem in the world of anime. Its focus on sensitive topics like family abuse and LGBTQ+ may not appeal to the masses, but it has a dedicated fan base. Even the original creator and director, Kazuki Akane, did not anticipate the global love and support for the series.

Regrettably, fans of Stars Align were disappointed when the series did not receive a sequel. The opportunity to fully tell the story was taken away when the show was forced to condense from its original plan of 24 episodes into a 12-episode anime. While it was possible for Kazuki to compress the story into 12 episodes, he made the decision not to do so.

Despite facing a hefty price for his efforts, Kazuki was determined to make a difference through Stars Align. Delivering 12 episodes with a cliffhanger for the sequel, he aimed to let the neglected ones know they are not alone. However, the possibility of a second season for Stars Align remains uncertain.

Will There Be a Second Season of Stars Align?

maki and arashi anime
Maki and Arashi | Source: Fandom

Despite Kazuki Akane’s best efforts, the sequel for Stars Align was not able to meet the expectations of investors who prioritize the money-making potential of a show rather than its fanbase or social media presence. Sadly, the anime did not have the commercial appeal that investors typically look for.

You may be wondering why Kazuki did not include any commercial aspects in the release. The reason is straightforward – he never wanted to sacrifice the story for the sake of financial gain.

The Unlikelihood of a Second Season for Stars Align

maki and team
Maki and the Soft Tennis Club | Source: Fandom

From the onset, Kazuki Akane has been transparent about his intention to remain truthful to the audience, the medium, and himself in his storytelling through Stars Align. He has also made it clear that the sequel will only be released in anime format. Profit is not his goal for this project, making it a potential nightmare for investors.

Despite any assumptions that the selection of Soft Tennis as the primary sport in the show was arbitrary, this was not the case. Kazuki intentionally chose this sport because it lacked the potential for financial gain like Basketball or Soccer. This allowed him to authentically depict the characters’ emotional struggles both on and off the court. Despite facing numerous challenges, Akane never wavered in her determination to see a second season of Stars Align come to fruition.

In reality, a Special Fan Movie was released with additional scenes following the conclusion of Stars Align S1, providing fans with renewed anticipation for a potential sequel, five months after the show’s initial airing.

The Special Fan Movie: A Teaser for the Sequel!

According to Kazuki, the 3-minute 33-second Special Fan Movie serves as a promotional video for Episode 13 and beyond, showcasing the developments and events that occur with the characters.

The video reveals that two years have gone by, and Rintaoru and Taiyou are searching for new recruits to join their soft tennis club at their shared high school. While Shingo has chosen to attend a military school, Tsubasa remains dedicated to playing soft tennis. Nao appears to have drifted into delinquency, evident by the bandages on his hands, possibly from getting into fights. At the end of the video, Touma is shown with a noticeable scar on his left hand as he runs into Maki while leaving school.

Update on Stars Align Season 2

soft tennis club members anime
Soft Tennis Club Members | Source: Fandom

In 2021, Kazuki stated that he was unable to secure a company to produce the sequel, but he remains determined to release Episodes 13 to 24 as an anime. He has considered crowdfunding, but the estimated cost of 300 million yen (as mentioned in a 2020 interview and potentially higher in 2024) is a daunting amount to gather.

In February 2023, Kazuki provided an update on the long-awaited sequel he had planned to release. He stated that an anime adaptation is not currently possible, but he is currently revising the remaining episodes, particularly episode 13, and plans to make them available online in their original form. While he had hoped to also release an English version, he has decided against it due to the limitations of machine translation and will only release the episodes in Japanese.

Despite his health issues, he mentioned that he hasn’t been able to devote as much time to working on the script. However, he expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming love and interest that Stars Align has received from international audiences.

Final Thoughts

maki and yuta anime
Maki and Yuta Source: Fandom

Finding a bold producer who is willing to take risks for the sake of the medium is crucial for anime such as Stars Align. Unfortunately, this is a rarity, much like the anime itself. If Stars Align had been planned as a 12-episode series from the start, the lack of a sequel would not be as disappointing.

Despite the fact that it was initially planned to have 24 episodes, the fact that it was reduced to only 12 episodes is adding insult to injury. Whether it’s a rough script, a novel, or a manga, it seems like these are the only options left to bring this amazing story to a conclusion. What are your thoughts?

About Stars Align

The animated series Stars Align was created and directed by Kazuki Akane and premiered its first season in 2019.

The story follows the journey of a group of boys in a junior high school who are members of the soft tennis club, as they come of age. Maki’s inclusion in the team greatly enhanced their previously inadequate performance.

Gradually, the team members’ backgrounds are unveiled as they each battle their own inner demons.

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