The recently announced anime adaptation of the popular massive multiplayer online (MMO) game “Phantasy Star Online 2” seems to be coming to the West next year. The license was acquired by Sentai Filmworks and will be christened as “Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation.”
According to IGN, the anime will focus on one of the game’s players named Itsuki Tachibana. Like most shows that are based on online games, the anime will follow Itsuki as he faces challenges from the game world and the real one, as a way to reflect the lives of real life gamers.
It’s not a terribly original concept, as shows like “.hack” and “Sword Art Online” have already explored the concept multiple times through multiple seasons. Still, it’s the execution that matters, so fans will have to wait and see if “Phantasy Star Online 2” will differentiate itself enough from the other shows and be unique.
At the least, the show can take the familiar premise and execute it well. With Keiichiro Kawaguchi directing and Mitsutaka Hirota writing the script, this could be a solid anime series based on the beloved online game.
One thing that might frustrate gamers is the fact that “Phantasy Star Online 2” has yet to reach Western shores as a video game. The title was released in Japan back in 2012, with a Vita version arriving in 2013. In addition to those versions, Sega announced that the game would be coming to the PS4 next year.
What makes the news frustrating for gamers is the fact that Sega told fans worldwide that it would be getting an international release, as noted by Polygon. Fans have been waiting for the online game for quite sometime and it’s a bit odd that the anime spinoff might come out in the U.S. before the game does.
“Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation” is currently solicited for a 2016 release window. The anime will first be released through digital outlets, with a physical release soon to follow.
There’s a chance that Sega wants to see how the anime does in America before they release the game. Should the anime do well, it’s possible that the game will finally come to the rest of the world. Fans can only hope that’s the plan Sega has in mind.