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Shadows House Season 2 release date coming: Sequel confirmed! Manga creator Somato speaks on adaptation issues

Shadows House Anime
Will Shadows House Season 2 feature Kate and Emilico gathering allies and learning to fight back against the evil power structure imposed by the shadow nobility? Pic credit: Sotano

The Shadows House Season 2 anime TV series is confirmed to be in production.

The announcement was made during a special live-streamed event on September 11, 2021. A special teaser trailer was released that include a preview of one special character.

What stood out in the Shadows House Season 2 trailer is that it fully animates Ghost Robe (Ghost-sama), a major character that was skipped by the first season.

On Twitter, original creator Somato created a special animation in celebration of the anime news. The creator will be supervising the creation of the anime scripts once again while working on the manga.

Shadows House Season 2 will have Lady Kate and her Living Doll face Emilico uncovering the mysteries of the manor as they stage a rebellion against Lord Grandfather and the shadow nobility. But when will Shadows House Season 2 come out?

The first season of the anime TV series was produced by animation studio Cloverworks, which is known for producing the popular Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai anime, co-producing Darling in the FranXX, and the Fate/Grand Order anime series.

In 2021, they also released the controversial The Promised Neverland Season 2 anime, the good-yet-abbreviated Horimiya anime, and the well-reviewed Wonder Egg Priority, which was an original story that concluded with the delay Wonder Egg Priority Episode 13.

The main staff and staff for Shadows House 2 hasn’t been announced yet.

Shadows House Season 1 was helmed by first-time main director Kazuki Oohashi. In the past, he’s been an episode director for Digimon Adventure, Kakegurui, and Persona 5: The Animation.

Writer Tohiya Ono (Blue Exorcist, Land of the Lustrous, 86 Eight-Six, The Promised Neverland both seasons) handled series composition. Original manga creator Somato was involved in the writing process.

Artist Chizuko Kusakabe (Inazuma Eleven, Pumpkin Scissors) was the character designer. Composer Kenichiro Suehiro (Darwin’s Game, Fire Force, Goblin Slayer, Golden Kamuy, Re: Zero) wrote the music.

The Shadows House Season 2 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music hasn’t been announced yet.

For the first season, the Shadows House OP “A Hollow Shadow” was written by composer Kenichirou Suehiro. The ED “Nai Nai” was performed by ReoNa (singer for Sword Art Online, Happy Sugar Life).

The first season’s finale, Shadows House Episode 13, released on July 3, 2021 (or July 4th; after midnight in Japan).

  • Updated September 11, 2021: Shadows House Season 2 confirmed!
  • Updated July 16, 2021: Added Shadows House hiatus info.
  • Updated May 31, 2021: Added Shadows House Volume 8 release date and cover art. Added Shadows House dub release date.

This article provides everything that is known about Shadows House Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

FUNimation’s Shadows House English dub release date confirmed

The first season of Shadows House was streaming with English subtitles on FUNimation Now exclusively (not Netflix, Hulu, or Crunchyroll). Initially, FUNimation’s SimulDub schedule simply listed the first season as a SimulCast, but then the dub was confirmed in late May 2021.

Here is the Shadows House dub cast:

  • Dani Chambers as Emilico
  • Emi Lo as Kate
  • Jordan Dash Cruz as Shaun/John
  • Adam McArthur as Ricky/Patrick
  • Marisa Duran as Lou/Louise
  • Risa Mei as Rum/Shirley
  • Emily Fajardo as Mia/Sarah
  • Michelle Lee as Rosemary/Maryrose
  • Elizabeth Maxwell as Barbie/Barbara
  • Christopher Smith as Edward

FUNimation’s Shadows House English dub release date was May 29, 2021.

Shadows House Season 2 release date predictions

As of the last update, Aniplex, Shueisha, Studio CloverWorks, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Shadows House Season 2 release date. However, the production of a Shadows House sequel has been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.

In the meantime, it’s impossible to speculate about when the Shadows House Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.

The Shadows House anime had the potential to be a sleeper hit in 2021 as word of the TV show spreads. It’s premise is a breath of sooty air in comparison to the many contenders from the isekai and RomCom anime genres. But there were several factors that still made Shadows House 2 a surprise.

Popularity of an anime can also be judged by a corresponding increase in manga sales. While it’s no Tokyo Revengers, which saw its manga sales skyrocket, the Shadows House manga was still doing better than To Your Eternity (Fumetsu no Anata e) in May 2021 according to Oricon.

That’s an interesting fact considering that the Shadows House review scores have been considerably lower than To Your Eternity. But the review scores have been still been good enough in comparison to other TV shows that were renewed for a sequel.

On the other hand, in June 2021 the Shadows House Blu-Ray Volume 1 sold less than 500 copies in its first week after release in Japan. It’s also claimed that “streaming numbers also do not seem to be that great, either.”

Worse, CloverWorks once again took the anime original route for an ending, which is a huge turnoff to some anime fans.

Regardless, the anime production committee had Shadows House renewed. Considering that anime productions are scheduled years in advance, and that the second season was not preplanned in advance, it’s likely that the Shadows House Season 2 release date will be in 2023 at the earliest.

Shadows House manga compared to the anime: Adaptation issues create continuity problems?

The story for the anime TV series is based on the Shadows House manga by Somato, which is a pen name. The creator is actually an artist duo.

Serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Young Jump magazine since September 20218, the Shadows House manga is over 100 chapters and has been collect into tankobon volumes up to Volume 8 as of June 18, 2021.

Unfortunately, an official English Shadows House manga translation has not been announced by any North American publisher. However, fan-made translation projects have kept up with even the latest chapters.

There was a brief Shadows House hiatus that started in July 2021. Shueisha’s Weekly Young Jump 2021 Issue 33/34 announced that the manga would be on break until August 26, 2021, when Issue 39 was released.

Shadows House Manga Volume 8
The manga cover art for Shadows House Volume 8. Pic credit: Somato

Studio Cloverworks combined gothic visuals and music to create a creepy-yet-cute atmosphere that created tension reminding me of the studio’s earlier work in The Promised Neverland Season 1. Unfortunately, that comparison brings to mind the adaptation disaster of the second season, which condensed well over 100 manga chapters into one short anime season.

Of course, the anime production committee, not the anime studio, was likely at fault in that case. Studios are typically just contractors, not stakeholders in the production, and they produce the number of episodes and cover the story material as ordered by the committee.

When I first began watching the Shadows House anime there was a lingering fear that the story pacing would similarly rush through the source material. Unfortunately, CloverWorks did manage to surprise again by unexpectedly going the anime original route near the ending but at least most of that concern regarding pacing was unfounded.

I say “most” in regards to pacing since the earlier slice-of-life chapters were condensed to focus on key elements. Episode 1 actually covered seven chapters, but considering that the manga’s slow-burn introduction was fairly sluggish the anime version could actually be considered an improvement by some, especially since there were anime original extras that flowed well.

One skipped scene which stands out was the humorous introduction to the soot removal air dryer room. In the manga, Emilico freaked out when she mistakenly believed that Kate was blown away into sooty pieces by the strong airflow!

Shadows House Manga Volume 7
The Shadows House Season 2 anime will feature flashbacks for certain characters. Pic credit: Somato

The biggest problem with the anime’s beginning was the eerie opening scene in Episode 1, which was actually a major spoiler since it showed the train and the children drinking the coffee whereas the manga jumped straight to introducing Emilico and Kate in their daily lives.

Opening the manga in this manner limited the reader’s information to what only Emilico and Kate knew at the time. The slice-of-life antics primed the reader to become comfortable so when the tonal switch happens it builds a sudden sense of dread based on the unfamiliarity of the mansion and its strange inhabitants.

On the other hand, introducing the setting in this manner teased anime-only audiences with an early glimpse into the mystery horror aspect of the story. It’s a hook for newcomers that serves the purpose of letting them know that there’s more to the story so they are less likely to give up watching within three episodes.

Episode 2 skipped a minor scene from the manga where Emilico became trapped in the the window when cleaning Kate’s room from the outside. Looking upward, she spotted Mia and waved shortly before she noticed Barbie down below.

The anime introduced the Lord Grandfather, the noble retinue of the 3rd Floor, and Edward and his living doll friends during the post-credits scene of Episode 3, which was much earlier in comparison to the manga.

Shaun, Ricky, and Rum also had cameo appearances in Episode 2 whereas the manga introduced these main characters slowly from Chapters 8 through 17.

Episode 4 skipped the mini-arc about the Ghost Robe from manga Chapters 19 through 20, replacing the Ghost Robe with a Faceless that startles the children. In the manga, the Ghost Robe character followed Emilico and Shaun as they searched for Rum and the mysterious map of the mansion was introduced.

Shadows House Robe
Ghost-sama may have been ripped out of the anime’s first season, but this character plays an important role in Shadows House Season 2. Pic credit: Somato

On one hand, the absence of the Ghost Robe in Season 1 means that the plot thread wasn’t left hanging by Episode 13. On the other, removing the foreshadowing provided by the character completely presents a huge continuity problem for Shadows House Season 2 since Ghost Robe is very important in the next major story arc after the debut arc.

If a second season is produced, scriptwriters will need to introduce the Ghost Robe in a new way. It’s a big enough issue that the original manga creator felt compelled to discuss the problem on Twitter when Episode 4 released.

“In order to prioritize the cohesiveness [unity] of a one-cour anime, I had to change the script for Episode 4 for certain parts that couldn’t be covered. If there is a next time [Shadows House Season 2], I will do my best to connect the episodes at that time, so please continue to support us!” Somato tweeted. “As an aside, the reason why this foreshadowing from the original story was set aside in this episode is because, as I mentioned in the Comic Natalie interview, the initial plan was to finish the “debut” arc in about three episodes. (In other words, I was planning to cover it quickly.) (That’s the fun of weekly serialization.)”

Warning: The following two paragraphs contain major spoilers for those who haven’t watched Episode 13 yet.

Another important continuity issue is the changes the anime made to Shirley’s death scene during the debut story arc. The anime shows Shirley disintegrating completely whereas the manga has Rum being left with only a small handful of soot left of her beloved shadow master.

As part of another anime-only change, Episode 11 actually provided huge foreshadowing in regards to Rum’s fate. It’s a reference to manga Chapter 100, but it’s a blink-and-you-miss-it moment if you don’t recognize morph Shirley. (Of course, the anime is blatant about the morph’s identity in Episode 13.)

On the plus side, once the debut story arc began in Episodes 5 through 10 the anime’s pacing noticeably slowed down to about 5.5 chapters per episode. The ending of Episode 10 roughly corresponded to manga Chapter 45.

Despite the reduced pacing, the anime still skipped manga lines related to the characterization of Kate. The manga made it more apparent how important Emilico is to Kate.

Notably, Kate claimed during her debut that she didn’t desire to be a proper Shadow. Kate purposefully wanted a living doll who was an individual different from her, which is the reason why she chose Emilico’s name. Kate also told Emilico that she intended on sharing a secret after the debut.

Of course, all of that came spilling out during the anime original content. In Shadows House Episode 10, the first hint that the anime would be making major changes was when John passed Kate the handkerchief.

Shadows House Episode 11 started off by following the manga’s story from Chapters 46 and parts of Chapters 47 and 48 but then completely jumped the tracks when Emilico was kidnapped. In the manga, Kate’s first goal was to gather allies, but she knew she couldn’t necessarily openly trust her friends from the debut, John/Shaun Lou/Louise, and Patrick/Ricky, since they had already begun to feel the effects of the brainwashing coffee.

In the manga, there was a sense of intrigue and suspense since Kate and Emilico needed to surreptitiously contact the others, test their alliance to the shadows house, and let them know what’s really going on with “living dolls” without being caught. Although water-drinking and punching did occur in the manga, the anime blew away several chapters worth of carefully built suspense by simply having Kate gather everyone and blurting out the big secret.

Considering how much emphasis the manga put on Kate not doing exactly that it felt weird to see how the scene played out. Instead of carefully and slowly plotting each move it was their common angst against Edward and feelings toward Emilico that united them into an instant rebellion.

But that motivation still leaves a major plot hole based on the established characterization. First, the idea that a single emotional sentence can undo the effects of the coffee really undermines the effort it takes to overcome the brainwashing.

Second, if Ricky and Lou are still fully brainwashed during this meeting, why did they just stand there while their shadow masters planned a revolution? If anything, it would have made more sense to have excluded Patrick and Louise from the rescue plan since the former is too calculating and the latter too selfish to be dragged into an ad hoc scheme.

As it turns out, the original creator spoke up about how these changes came about when Episode 11 released. Somato said that the anime script was written based on the original plans for Chapter 86 and beyond but he ended up changing the manga. He also tried to write the anime original episodes in a way that could connect to Shadows House Season 2.

“While I was working on the regular manga series, I was required to write a chapter that would have been serialized around the time the anime was airing,” Somato explained. “So I came up with a different story when I was working on Volume 7 [Chapters 75-86]. As a result, the content of the original [manga] story changed. However, I adjusted the setting [of the anime] so that it would connect to the original [manga] story to some extent if I made some changes on the other end.”

By Shadows House Episodes 12 and 13, the anime had diverged even further from the manga by introducing a completely new conflict with Edward that had zero basis in the manga. Perhaps the anime’s writers felt that jettisoning the intrigue and suspense in favor of a traditional boss conflict would provide a better sense of closure for audiences.

After all, the debutants needed a solid win at the ending after the loss of Rum/Shirley and the beginning of the story arc after the debut is a really weak way to end an anime season since the highlight is simply Kate declaring revolution. But creating this new high point came at the expense of making it difficult to connect this new story arc to Shadows House Season 2.

Before all these anime original story events Edward was only suspicious of Kate due to hiding her soot powers. In later manga chapters, he relied on spies rather than taking direct action himself and thus avoided being caught openly breaking the rules. It really defies the suspension of disbelief that Edward would tamp down on his paranoia after a child he kidnapped is rescued!

Edward’s soot power to mimic voices was also revealed far too early. Thus, when this ability comes up later it won’t be intriguing.

In order to leave room for an anime sequel, Shadows House Episode 13 did manage to resolve the conflict in a manner that makes it somewhat believable that the status quo returns and that the mind games can commence. Arguably, Edward acted in secret and without permission so it’s reasonable that he was forced to back down to prevent any backlash, but that still comes down to justifying plot holes that affect Edward’s characterization moving forward.

Still, it was fairly odd that Edward’s punishment was reduced from banishment to a sharp reprimand by Lord Grandfather. Yeah, we get it that outright banishing Edward is impossible without destroying any chances of Shadows House Season 2, but to have Lord Grandfather be forgiving of a major transgression seems out of character.

If anything, the really odd part is that Episode 13 not only teased far-future events, it flat-out showed anime-only audiences exactly what happened to Rum and Shirley! While it’s nice that anime-only audiences received some closure in that regard, this reveal ruins the dark mood and thus the shocking surprise for anyone who decides to read the Shadows House manga after finishing the anime.

Another notable addition by the anime was the montage scene near the ending. It reminded me of The Promised Neverland Season 2 ending since this montage was snapshots of future events from the next story arcs.

Shadows House 47 English
Kate’s declaration of war on Shadows House could have been the perfect way to end Episode 13. Pic credit: Somato

All in all, the stopping point of the first season’s finale, Shadows House Episode 13, roughly connected back to the final panel of Volume 4: Chapter 47. Instead of having Kate voicing rebellion, a breaking coffee cup is shown along with Emilico stating, “For the sake of the Shadows family.”

The original creator explained how Episode 13 was created.

“The final story is from the latter half of Volume 4 and includes elements from Volume 8. The closing part is left was the director’s taste,” Somatoma tweeted. “It was really difficult to develop the theme of the anime while having all of the classmates play an active role and yet still finish the story in 13 episodes.”

It’s the best stopping point since the debut is over and the grand secret of the mansion is finally revealed. It may be a cliffhanger ending even after the awkwardly inserted conflict with Edward, but at least anime audiences now know where the story will go from here.

Shadows House 10
After Shadows House Episode 10 released, the official website made a sad change to the key visual pictured on the right side. Pic credit: Studio Cloverworks

The good news is that there are already enough chapters available as source material for making Shadows House Season 2. But the second season faces story writing problems.

Besides the aforementioned continuity issues, the only other problem is the pacing of the next major manga story arcs. Creating a good stopping point will be difficult based on the standard format of 11 to 13 episodes.

Shadows House 2 anime TV spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

The true identity of the shadows as fairy morphs has been revealed. Audiences now know that living dolls are humans brainwashed by coffee laced with Lord Grandfather’s soot.

Worse, the endgame for the shadow morphs is to unify with humans, thereby taking over the human’s body and replacing the personality.

After shadow Shirley disintegrated into soot, poor Rum is being made to drink the coffee so her memories were reset and she was transformed into a Faceless.

Shadows who have unified with their human hosts will take the train down to the village where they play the role of the kind nobility by putting on their human faces. In fact, the soot clouds the villagers’ minds, making them easier to manipulate… and easier to take their children.

Kate has realized that the coffee has brainwashed Emilico but manages to return the girl to normal. It also occurs to Kate that since shadows are not directly affected by the coffee that Lord Grandfather maintains control by brainwashing the shadows through the loyalty of their living dolls.

In the manga, the next story arc had Kate and Emilico working to break the mind control imposed on their friends. While the anime arguably already cover this arc it’s possible the anime could reconnect to the original timeline by having their friends be forced to drink the coffee. Kate’s extreme caution would also be completely justified this time around since she knows Edward is waiting to pounce on any mistep.

In the manga’s version of the story, Kate searched Emilico’s diary and realized that Emilico’s “soot sickness” might be cured by drinking a large amount of water. She also notices mention of the Ghost Robe during the Night Watch punishment.

After curing Emilico, Kate reveals that she is declaring war on the nobility of shadows house. It’s at this point that the story begins to resemble The Promised Neverland Season 1 due to the mind games and the conspiracy to help humans escape the clutches of the demon-like evil nobility.

Shadows House Manga English
Standing in their way are the elite shadow-human pairings of the Star Bearers in control of the children’s wing of the mansion. Suzanna teaches shadows how to use soot powers, but the one to watch out for is Barbie and Barbara. It turns out Barbara makes six times the amount of soot used by the whole shadows house in a single day. Pic credit: Somato

In Chapter 48, Kate explains to Emilico the need to overthrow the power structure of the shadows house. But in order to do that they need some power themselves, so they decide to become Star Bearers in addition to learning how to control their soot powers.

Kate also realizes that contacting the Ghost Robe might be important. And it turns out the Star Bearers are also interested in the Ghost, which they believe originated from the Sootery (the Episode 13 montage scene briefly showed this area).

As previously mentioned, Shadows House Season 2 will need to introduce Ghost Robe in a different manner. So, it’ll be interesting to see how the second season handles the changes.

Shadows House Twins
The Belles twins and their shadows Mirabelle and Isabelle are hostile toward Kate and Emilico but they end up unexpectedly helping the cause. Pic credit: Somato

The Star Bearers have invented contraptions to ensnare the ghosts created by the mysterious robed person, whom they believe to be the source of recent problems.

When rebels manage to shatter a vial of weekly coffee, the Star Bearers prioritizing finding those responsible for the ghost incident… even if it means pinning the blame on Kate and Emilico!

Shadows House Manga
An angry Kate demands that she and Emilico be given a chance to investigate and clear their name in the ghost incident. Pic credit: Somato

Unfortunately, anime fans will need to wait until the Shadows House Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

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