Directed by Noriyuki Abe, ‘Ōoku: The Inner Chambers’ is an alternate history romance anime series. The story is set in a world where Japan is ravaged by a plague, the red-face smallpox, during the Edo period. It affects especially male children and young men. When the numbers start to settle, it becomes apparent that the male population has dwindled to one-fourth that of women. This brings a drastic change in Japanese society, turning it into matriarchal. Women take over every aspect of daily existence, while men become prized possessions of a household, often used by families to improve their wealth and social status.
The narrative is predominantly focused on the events transpiring within Ōoku or the Inner Chambers. Historically, the Ōoku was the women’s quarters at Edo Castle, but after the outbreak, it starts to house men who are tasked to please the female Shoguns. Following its release, ‘Ōoku: The Inner Chambers’ mainly received positive responses, with much praise directed at the show’s animation and characterization. If you are wondering whether there will be a second season of ‘Ōoku: The Inner Chambers,’ we got you covered.
Will Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Season 2 Happen?
‘Ōoku: The Inner Chambers’ season 1 premiered on June 29, 2023, on Netflix. It comprises 10 episodes of 26-80-minute runtime. As for ‘Ōoku: The Inner Chambers’ season 2, here is what we know,
Neither the series creators nor the Netflix executives have yet confirmed the development of a second season. However, there is definitely scope for that in the narrative. The story mostly revolves around various Shoguns of the Tokugawa shogunate. At the start of the series, Yoshimune becomes the 8th Tokugawa Shogun of the country. With the desire to advocate for frugal living to the subjects and tackle financial hardships, Yoshimune and her associates cut out everything excessive from the palatial life, and the Ōoku becomes an obvious target. Yoshimune also wonders why the women take up male names at the time of inheriting their mother’s properties. She can’t fathom the need for it as it creates administrative issues. She goes to speak to the Chief Scribe of the Edo Castle and learns about ‘The Chronicles of the Dying Day,’ a book in which the scribe has written down what transpired at the Edo Castle and beyond at the height of the outbreak.
Most of the narrative is set during the reign of the third Shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, Iemitsu. The first Iemitsu is a man, but after his death because of the plague, his daughter is secretly installed in his place with the hopes that her son will become the Shogun someday. But Chie or Iemitsu gives birth to three girls, and the rest of her pregnancies end in miscarriages. She eventually reveals to the country that she is a woman, and the daughters of the noble families inherit their father’s name and titles, along with their properties. At this point, this has already become a norm among the pageants and the merchants.
In the season finale, Chie or Iemitsu passes away at age 27, and her lover Arikoto, the former monk and the first male Senior Chamberlin of Ōoku, decides to stay at Edo Castle to raise her successor. ‘Ōoku: The Inner Chambers’ is based on a manga series originally published between June 28, 2004, and December 28, 2020. It has previously been adapted into two live-action films and a TV drama. The first season of ‘Ōoku: The Inner Chambers’ covers up to chapter 15 (volume 4) of the manga, which has 79 chapters (19 volumes), so plenty of material is available for future seasons.
In the prospective season 2, we might see the reigns of Ietsuna, Chie’s eldest daughter, Tsunayoshi, another daughter of Chie, and Ienobu, the 6th Tokugawa Shogun. We might also learn what destiny holds for Arikoto. Ultimately, a show’s renewal depends upon how successful the first season is. If everything goes well, and the anime does get renewed within the next few months, the viewers can expect ‘Ōoku: The Inner Chambers’ season 2 to come out sometime in Q3 2025.
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