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Development Hell / Anime & Manga

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  • An anime adaptation of Tonari no 801-chan was originally supposed to be animated by Kyoto Animation, and even had a preliminary website up for it. Then something happened and it fell into limbo. The project was ultimately cancelled, though a 90-second animated OP was created by A-1 Pictures and bundled with Vol.4 of the web manga.
  • The planned Spiritual Successor to the Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, Aoki Uru, entered preproduction in 1988, but hasn't been completely abandoned yet. Despite it being shelved indefinitely, Studio Gainax is still wishing to eventually produce it, and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto still releases the concept arts from time to time.
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  • Lost Universe, which had only one season, fraught with Troubled Production; a second season was due to follow, but because of a financial pitfall occurring through animation studios at the time, it was held off in favor of more Slayers media, and may be still.
  • A stall can be typical of all English manga distributors, especially for less common titles, but the Yaoi distributor Drama Queen seems to have either gone on a dragging hiatus since 2007, or is dead and no one can figure out where it's been buried, so to speak.
  • The U.S. release of Shonan Junai Gumi is similarly stalled.
  • The Five Killers was supposed to be an original creation from writer/producer Eric Calderon as an animated TV series (12 episodes with a 1 hour finale) done by GONZO. A trailer is unfortunately all that came out due to GONZO's financial situation.
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  • An Appleseed television series titled "Appleseed: Genesis" was first announced in 2005 and languished in Development Hell until it was officially canceled in 2008, resulting in several lawsuits. A new (possibly a replacement or even a Retool) series titled "Appleseed XIII" was released in 2011 and dubbed into English in 2013.
  • After Gundam SEED Destiny ended, it was announced that there would be a movie sequel which would be the Grand Finale for the Cosmic Era timeline. However, the film's head writer Chiaki Morosawa underwent a hysterectomy to treat her uterine fibroids and an ovarian cyst (according to her April 2008 interview with Animage magazine, in which she explained the delays behind the movie), so literally no progress has been made on the film since 2005. With Morosawa's death in February 2016, it appears that the movie is currently on indefinite hold, if not cancelled outright.
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  • Despera's production is currently on hold due to the director Ryutaro Nakamura's health issues and his untimely death.
  • We might have found out what happens after GaoGaiGar FINAL if not for the fact that Project Z ceased to be. Though a net novel based on Project Z has been confirmed.
  • After the release of its third movie, the credits listed the release of a third Tenchi Muyo OAV series. Took about five years and a series that took place a year after it to do so. This is pretty normal for the franchise, because its creator, Masaki Kajishima, is essentially a free agent and always seeks to obtain funding without relinquishing the rights and the creative control, which is quite difficult.
    • And let's not forget the fact that the English release of said 3rd OAV series' 2nd and 3rd volumes languished for a year due to the fact that Funimation screwed up on its contract.
  • The Dream Machine the last film by Satoshi Kon was back on track for a short while but financial difficulty has put the film off indefinitely.
  • The English version of Heroman falls into this category thanks in part to a lack of cooperation between Studio BONES and Disney. The deal with Crunchyroll to get it streamed to English speaking territories was rushed in at the last minute.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Due to the writer, Yoshihiro Togashi, being extremely ill in real-lifenote , the manga goes on hiatus for long periods of time. The Chimera Ant arc took roughly seven years to complete because of this.
  • The D.Gray-Man manga suffers a similar problem to Hunter × Hunter where its manga creator, Katsura Hoshino, was involved in a car accident in real-life which gravely injured her writing hand. To help endure the pain, the D.Gray-Man manga was later switched from weekly to monthy releases, but even then, she has a rough time turning the work in monthly.
  • NANA has been in this since the summer of 2009, due to Ai Yazawa's serious illness and hospitalization. While she was released from the hospital in April 2010 and a special chapter/spin-off was made in 2013 for the 100th issue of Cookie magazine, as of 2019 the main series is still on hold.
  • Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road was first announced in 2003 and was to be released in 2005. Then various complications happened (e.g. the staff members all left). It was later announced to become a 3-hour special on New Year's Eve of 2013. That's 10 YEARS it's been stuck.
  • The first season of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, which aired in 2010, had a typical Gainax Ending plus Sequel Hook. Despite Studio Gainax releasing promotional images for season 2, it was cancelled due to most of the show's staff (director Hiroyuki Imaishi) leaving to form Studio Trigger. Gainax has however teased in late 2016 that they may have something new for the show in the works after all... Sadly, it turned out to be merely a temporary themed café and a bunch of merchandising items.
  • In July 2011, an anime adaptation of the light novel Savanna Game was announced, planned to air in 2012. There has been no word on it since. It has gotten to the point that some people believe there was never going to be an anime and that the announcement was just shameless advertising for the novel.
  • A sequel to Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 entitled Tokyo 2041 was announced almost a decade ago to be in the early stages of production, with ADV Films, the US distributor of Tokyo 2040, backing the project. ADV later said that they were waiting on the staff from the original series to become available before they could proceed. We haven't heard any updates since, and with the downfall of ADV Films, and the rights to Tokyo 2040 now belonging to Funimation, it's safe to say the project is canceled.
  • A sequel film to Ninja Scroll was announced in 2005, but nothing new has come about since.
  • Back when t.A.T.u. were at the height of their popularity, an anime starring their animated counterparts called t.A.T.u. Paragate was in the planning stages. According to what remains of the official site (Wayback Archive link) it was supposed to come out in Winter 2004. Nothing more is known about it, since when the girls cut ties with their manager (the same guy who decided about adding a lesbian subtext to their performance) the project ground to a halt. The opening animation was to be directed by none other than Shinichiro Watanabe, but there's no evidence about it, and it's possible that nothing other than a title and a vague hint of plot was ever put together for this failed project.
  • In 2012 Madhouse announced they were animating a short based on Peanuts, but as of 2017 more info has yet to be released.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion is certainly taking its sweet time. The quadrilogy of films was supposed to be completed in 2009; it's 2016 at the time of this writing and there's still not even the slightest hint on Evangelion 4.0. Sure, there was the trailer at the end of 3.0, but given that the trailer for 3.0 at the end of the previous film ended up totally unrelated to the actual film's contents, it might as well not even exist. It's assumed that Hideaki Anno was just busy directing Shin Godzilla, but that film has been released, and the fourth Rebuild movie is still stuck in hell. In July of 2016, Anno apologized and insisted he had gotten back to working on it, and the film series' animation director stated in November of that year that the film's production was in progress. Almost exactly two years later, 2020 was announced as the planned release year; only time will tell if yet another Schedule Slip will occur.
  • Chronic with the Robotech franchise:
    • Robotech II: The Sentinels was Harmony Gold's attempt to continue the series through original animation once more episodes were ordered. The scripts for all 65 episodes were written, and production began. However, after Matchbox pulled out its sponsorship deal due to the falling Japanese exchange rate, Harmony Gold could no longer afford to continue on with the project. The completed animation was later edited together into a Direct-to-Video movie that ends on a cliffhanger. The remaining scripts were later adapted into novels and comic books.
    • Robotech: The Odyssey was supposed to follow The Sentinels, but the cancellation of that project resulted in this one never entering production. Some of its ideas were incorporated into novels though. Fourth and fifth sequels in the series were also whispered about, but never went past the rumor stage.
    • Robotech 3000 was Harmony Gold's attempt to continue the series in CGI. The project stalled following poor fan reception at a screening of the trailer in 2000. Then the animation production company went under. There was talk of reviving the project through traditional animation, but it was later canceled.
    • Robotech: Mars Force was revealed in 2004 by writer Greg Weisman, who confirmed that the series would be more children-focused. No updates have been confirmed since 2006.
    • Robotech: Shadow Rising was the planned sequel to Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (the only other animated sequel to the original series to actually result in a released project). It was announced in 2007 with a tentative release date of 2009. The film entered hell with Funimation pulled out as a production partner. However, Harmony Gold still insists that the project is not dead.
    • Robotech Academy was announced in 2014 when Harmony Gold launched a Kickstarter to raise half-a-million dollars to produce a 24-minute pilot episode. When the project was only able to raise about $200k, the campaign was canceled, though Harmony Gold is still reportedly shopping the project to developers.
    • The long-mooted Hollywood movie adaptation has its own entry in the Live-Action Film section.
  • Mirai Arise, an original anime by Sunrise, was announced in 2015 with a release date sometime in 2016, but for unknown reasons, no news has been heard of ever since.
  • An anime adaptation of the manga Alive: The Final Evolution was announced in 2008, however the project was canceled in 2010 due to GONZO's financial troubles.
  • The increasingly-theoretical sequel to Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion. The original series came out in 2011, and Rebellion in 2013. It's a Cash Cow Franchise, so another anime installment seems inevitable. However, the original screenwriter expressed no interest in working on another Madoka project, and it's unclear whether Studio Shaft ever decided on a replacement. A new anime was finally announced for 2019... based on Magia Record, a mobile game spinoff which literally has "Side Story" in the title, so it's clearly not a main-canon continuation.
  • This Tumblr post gives details about a Time Bokan series that ended up not being made. It was to be called Time Bokan Express Daredaman and was going to have a 1930s Western-inspired setting, with a time-traveling train that also could turn into a mecha and was used for temporal tourism. The Terrible Trio was inspired by American gangsters this time. Unfortunately, the Itadakiman series (1983) was a complete failure, so Tatsunoko pulled the plug on Daredaman and didn't come back to the Time Bokan metaseries until 2000's Kiramekiman.
  • According to insiders, an anime adaptation Hannah Montana was in production in the late 2000s. It was to be produced by Toei, but it never came out. This video discusses it.

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