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Understanding the Possible Reasons So Many Anime Are Getting Delayed

Why are So Many Anime Getting Delayed? Zom 100 Beatrix
Credit: BUG FILMS

Nowadays, the number of shows released each anime season continues to rise, giving the impression that anime studios are producing new shows like it's a piece of cake. However, with so many anime getting delayed now, the anime community is concerned about the actual causes of these hiccups.

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Why Are So Many Anime Getting Delayed?

Why Are So Many Anime Getting Delayed?
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Credit: Connect

The Winter 2023 anime season, in particular, has seen numerous delays in the release of new shows.

From Ayakashi Triangle to the NieR: Automata anime, shows were dragging out episode releases, frustrating anime fans worldwide.

Not to mention the Spring 2023 season, which saw delays in some of the biggest anime shows of the year like Mashle: Magic and Muscles, Hell's Paradise, and even Oshi no Ko!

It's not surprising to hear announcements about anime delays. The number of anime being released every season reminds us that the ratio between production companies and new anime shows is not equal.

For instance, a typical anime production company can work on two or three anime, but they have the potential to compromise the well-being of staff members who are desperate to finish their workloads.

Thank Kami-sama that Demon Slayer Season 3 did not face any delays, but we are getting concerned with the other shows.

So, let's delve deeper into the reasons for such delays and what they might mean for the anime industry moving forward.

Anime Delays Caused by COVID-19

hy Are So Many Anime Getting Delayed? The Impact of COVID-19
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Credit: AtelierPontdarc

The substantial surge in COVID-19 cases around the world two years ago impacted many industries, including the anime and manga sections.

Not only did it cause many anime shows to be delayed, but it also had an impact on the working environment of production staff in both Japan and China. As a result, the quality of anime shows produced at the time suffered.

But, at this point, the anime community was taken aback when new shows began to announce episode delays due to COVID-19.

It all began when Uncle from Another World announced that the release of its episodes would be halted due to COVID-19.

Later, the anime resumed airing its episodes, but it was soon announced that it would be delayed again for the same reason.

Following Uncle from Another World, anime series such as Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible, Ayakashi Triangle, UniteUp!, and NieR: Automata Ver1.1a, which aired during the 2023 winter anime season, followed the same pattern.

Furthermore, the 12th episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury was delayed by one day in Japan due to COVID-19.

The Impact of COVID-19
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Credit: Doga Kobo

Understandably, with the holidays in Japan and the Lunar New Year in China, the number of COVID-19 cases in both countries increased dramatically, which could be the primary reason anime production has been affected.

However, the anime community believes that there is much more going on behind the scenes of anime production, as many anime directors have come out and expressed their concerns about these production delays.

If this is true, it is past time for anime production companies to stop using the COVID-19 card as an excuse to delay new episode releases and instead focus on the underlying and most pressing issues that must be addressed as soon as possible.

We all know that the world is healing, and there will come a time when production companies will not be able to use COVID-19 as a reason for future anime delays.

Anime Delays Brought Upon by Production Issues

Why Are So Many Anime Getting Delayed? Production Scheduling Issues
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Credit: Connect

There are multiple anime shows produced each season, but this does not imply that creating one is simple.

In fact, it takes nearly two to three years on average to produce an anime, but with so many new shows being released one after the other, the production staff and their schedule can't keep up.

The production staff will eventually burn out because their creative juices will quickly run out as more work piles up, not to mention that many of them are perfectionists.

Obviously, delays will occur if the work they were doing is not done to their standard of quality.

Why Are So Many Anime Getting Delayed? Production Scheduling Issues
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Credit: Production I.G.

This happened with the Uzumaki anime adaptation, which was supposed to be released in 2020 but was pushed back to 2021, then again to October 2022, and is still without a firm release date to this day.

It also doesn't help that anime studios keep picking up new shows while the previous ones are still unfinished.

The same thing happened with Zom 100, which suffered from consecutive delays due to production issues.

Because of this, the hype for the anime has wavered, and fans are losing interest in finishing the show.

These issues also exist in China, where much anime production is outsourced.

With the holiday season and the lunar new year, no amount of money can make the production staff work on a holiday regardless of deadlines.

Don't forget about the anime shows that are still unfinished and are still broadcasting! This is also a production-related issue that causes delays.

It puts a lot of strain on the production committee, especially if they have unreasonable working hours and pay.

As a result of all this, fans are now questioning if it will become the norm for many anime episodes to be delayed in the future.

It's far better to have fewer anime shows each season than more if they get delayed in the middle of the season.

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Mismanagement Issues Affecting Anime Releases

Why Are So Many Anime Getting Delayed? Mismanagement Issues
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Credit: CloverWorks

Aside from the production budget and staff wages, anime production companies face a high demand for new anime titles.

While some see it as a challenge, others see it as a problem due to long-standing issues of human resource scarcity and staff burnout.

Simply put, depending on how these companies handle this critical issue, mismanagement will occur at some point.

Notably, Aniplex produced nearly all of the anime shows that have been delayed for the 2023 winter anime season.

Aniplex, which is owned by Sony Entertainment Japan, is a production and anime licensee company.

Its subsidiaries include A-1 Pictures and CloverWorks, which also did the animation for NieR: Automata Ver1.1a and UniteUp!, both of which have been delayed.

Why Are So Many Anime Getting Delayed? Mismanagement Issues
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Credit: A-1 Pictures

Even the upcoming A-1 Pictures anime, Fate/strange Fake: Whispers of Dawn's special episode, has been pushed back to Summer 2023 from its original December 31, 2022 release date.

Because of this, fans are looking to Aniplex to solve the chaos that was the 2023 winter anime lineup.

Despite Aniplex's COVID-19 excuse for the delays, the anime community knew there was much more to it, especially after anime directors like Kanta Kamei (Usagi Drop, Dimension W) and Tomohiko Itou (Sword Art Online, Erased) expressed their concerns about Aniplex's production circumstances.

Kanta Kamei stated on his official Twitter account that an Aniplex producer ignored his suggestion to not release any new anime during the winter season due to staff burnout.

Moreover, Tomohiko Itou stated in a magazine interview that Aniplex has a problem with having too many anime titles at work.

If all of this is true, Aniplex is taking on more anime projects than it can handle, resulting in the current delays.

Various Circumstances That Force Anime to Be Delayed

Various Circumstances
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Credit: Doga Kobo

Perhaps this reason is one of the most used by anime production committees.

In fact, the anime KamiKatsu used this as a justification for delaying Episode 8 as well.

They didn't give a reason for the delay, but anime enthusiasts assume it has something to do with production troubles and everything else mentioned above.

On the contrary, viewers are being shown special programs, which causes episode delays.

It happened to Mashle and Oshi no Ko, which announced a special program and/or a bonus episode to be aired on their regular schedule, causing their new episodes to be pushed back a week.

There's also Hell's Paradise, which had to postpone its ninth episode owing to scheduling issues caused by the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships.

Overall, there are a lot of pressing reasons so many anime are getting delayed.

We hate it whenever new episodes get delayed to a later date, but we need to remind ourselves that all the people working behind our favorite shows are dealing with different issues that affect their work.

Thankfully, the Fall 2023 season has been doing great without many announcements of delays.

We are crossing our fingers that 2024 will be a good year for anime, and so will the production companies and their workforce.

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