UPDATED: Jun Maeda’s new anime is an original story called The Day I Became a God (Kami-sama ni Natta Hi). As discussed below, Angel Beats! and Charlotte were used to promote the third major collaboration between Key, Aniplex, and P.A. Works. The remainder of this article remains as originally published.
An Angel Beats! 2020 announcement was teased by the official Twitter account for the anime series. A month ago, it was officially stated that a “continuation” of the Angel Beats! anime series could be forthcoming. Now, it’s been confirmed that an announcement by Jun Maeda, Aniplex, and animation studio P.A. Works will take place on May 10, 2020.
While some anime fans may hope for an Angel Beats! Season 2 anime, it’s more likely that the 2020 announcement will be about a 10-year anniversary project that’s either an Angel Beats! remake/reboot or a prequel based on the Angel Beats! Heaven’s Door manga series.
It’s also possible that the anniversaries for these two anime are simply being used to promote a new anime project that hasn’t been named. If that’s the case, the new project could involve the production team behind Angel Beats! as a collaboration between Key, Aniplex, and P.A. Works.
As a similar example, the Tiger & Bunny anime series was initially used to promote the Double Decker! Doug & Kirill anime even though the only connection was the anime staff members involved in the latter anime project. It wasn’t until much later that the Tiger & Bunny Season 2 anime was finally confirmed to be in production.
What is known for certain is that new anime projects are going to be announced by Angel Beats! The Last Operation manga writer Jun Maeda, who is also known for writing Clannad and the Charlotte anime. As fans of the series would know, the original 2010 Angel Beats! anime was an original story written by Maeda.
During a Genron Cafe live stream event that took place on April 28, 2020, Maeda teased that multiple new projects are going to be announced on May 10, 2020. While Maeda did not say anything about a new Angel Beats! anime project at the time, on May 1 the official Angel Beats!/Charlotte account began advertising that a major “decision” will be part of Maeda’s New Project Announcement Conference scheduled for May 10.
This announcement conference will be held by Aniplex and animation studio P.A. Works, who produced the 2010 Angel Beats! anime in addition to recent anime such as Fairy Gone and Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger. Visual novel studio Key, which was co-founded by Maeda, is part of the conference.
Is an Angel Beats! Season 2 anime possible based on the ending?
There are other reasons to think that an Angel Beats! 2020 announcement will take place. In early April 2020, the official Angel Beats!/Charlotte Twitter account noted that the anime “celebrated its 10th anniversary today”, while the Charlotte anime will be celebrating its 5th anniversary later on July 4, 2020.
“I may report on a continuation soon!?” said the official Twitter account. “Please look forward to it!”
A word continuation usually implies a sequel. But anime fans know that Angel Beats’ ending makes Angel Beats Season 2 fairly unlikely unless Maeda comes up with a good reason to directly continue the story.
More likely, if any 10-year anniversary is announced then it would probably be an Angel Beats! reboot or remake. The story for the new anime project could be based on the Angel Beats! The Last Operation manga series, which is also written by Maeda.
The Last Operation is considered the “true arc” for the overall story. It follows the same overall plot as the 2010 anime but adds extra info and shows more about the Angel Beats! characters.
It should be noted that this tweet was written at 11:01 AM EST on April 1, 2020. But Japan is 13 hours ahead of the United States eastern time zone, so it was technically written in the early morning of April 2, 2020.
Anime is often broadcast after midnight in Japan due to content restrictions, so it’s not unheard of for anime news to come out in the middle of the night. Also, the original Angel Beats! anime did come out in early April 2010.
But there is yet another reason to think that an Angel Beats! 2020 announcement is forthcoming. On April 18, 2019, P.A. Works producer Mitsuhito Tsuji discussed how he wanted to work with Maeda on a new project.
Q: Are there plans to create original animation with Jun Maeda as original creator and script writer?
A: Charlotte episode 6 may be the most I have cried in our own show. (Also Angel Beats episode 10…) …(continue)
— P․A․WORKS English ???♀️ (@PAWORKS_eng) April 18, 2019
As you can see, this desire to work together again was stated in direct reference to both Angel Beats! and the Charlotte anime series. On May 1, 2020, Mitsuhito tweeted that he was “looking forward to” the May 10 conference.
So, it’s possible they were planning an Angel Beats! 2020 announcement a year ago. Anime projects take years to develop and projects are planned out far out in advance so it’s not a surprise they were teasing a future project back then.
Angel Beats’ ending means that an Angel Beats! Heaven’s Door anime prequel is more likely
There are multiple possibilities for any new Angel Beats! anime projects. However, Angel Beats’ ending in the original anime series did not leave any wiggle room for a sequel.
The solid ending meant that the 11-volume Angel Beats! Heaven’s Door manga, which ran from 2010 through 2016, was a prequel. The Heaven’s Door manga was based on the Angel Beats! Track Zero novel and it showed Yuri’s gang before Otonashi’s arrival.
In addition, the story for Angel Beats! The Last Operation manga is unfinished and Volume 4 is releasing this fall. Therefore, it’d make more sense to create an Angel Beats! Heaven’s Door anime to celebrate the 10th anniversary.
Whatever the case may be, let’s just hope a new Angel Beats! 2020 anime is greenlit for production. Stay tuned!