Has Shōgun been renewed for series 2?

The finale for the historical drama is out now on Disney+

Hiroyuki Sanada in Shogun (FX/Disney+)
Shogun stars Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga. (FX/Disney+)

Shōgun has come to its thrilling conclusion on Disney+, bringing an end to John Blackthorne and Yoshii Toranaga's journey on the small screen.

The 10-episode period drama followed English pilot Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) who found himself thrust into a civil war in a fictional version of Japan in 1600. When he and his crew are shipwrecked off the country's coast he is taken in by Lord Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada), and becomes an important part of the battle alongside Lady Mariko Toda (Anna Sawai).

Read more: Shōgun is a masterpiece that deserves every bit of your attention

The historical epic ends on a reflective note, one that will no doubt make viewers question whether the show could return for another season in future. It really should. Before we examine why be warned, this article contains some spoilers for the Shōgun finale.

Shogun (Disney+)
Shogun has been dazzling critics and viewers alike over the course of its 10-week run on Disney+. (Disney+)

Shōgun is a perfect example of prestige television, with its phenomenal cast, strong writing, and the drama's stunning set and costume design only adding to its overall charm. From start to finish it has been a wonder to watch — this is the kind of show, and world, that you want to return to, but it's sadly highly unlikely that it will.

The Disney+ series is based on James Clavell's book of the same name, and it has amazed and delighted both viewers and critics since it first premiered in February. Full of political intrigue and tense mind games, it sees Toranaga face battles on multiple fronts and he had to use his intellect and wit not to let his plans slip to his enemies or even his allies, lest it ruin the chance of his ambitions coming to fruition.

The feudal lord's plan to become Shōgun are finally revealed when he has a heart-to-heart with Izu's lord Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano) in the finale. Speaking together before the latter is executed for his betrayal which led to Lady Mariko's death, Toranaga tells Yabushige how there will be a battle between him and rival Ishido Kazunari were he will be triumphant after Ishido's allies choose not to support him.

Shogun (Disney+)
The series ends with Yoshii Toranaga on the eve of battle, the war that will win him the title of Shogun. (Disney+)

This is a reference to the Battle of Sekigahara, one of the most important battles in Japanese history that led to the ascension to Shōgun of Tokugawa Ieyasu (whom Toranaga is based on), and whose rule —and that of his ancestors— lasted nearly 300 years. But, the Disney+ series ends before this battle actually takes place, with Toranaga on the cusp of going to war and claiming the title.

Read more: The real history that inspired Shōgun

There is so much going for the series, and the way in which the finale ends —on the eve of battle— makes it feel like the door is open for more. Given how much critical acclaim the series has received since its release, and indeed every week a new episode has launched, it would seem like a no-brainer to renew it and continue the story.

Per Deadline, it is now a possibility, as the publication reported that Sanada had inked a deal with FX to star in a second series, with other elements said to be being "worked out" in order to make it a reality.

Prior to this, it seemed like a second season was unlikely to happen. The reason for this is quite simple, the show ends at the same point that the Clavell's book does.

Co-creator and showrunner Justin Marks spoke with The Direct to explain why he felt the show should remain a limited series by saying: "I think we tell the complete story of the book. And we get to the end. I hope those who have read the book will see it's exactly where the book ends.

Watch the trailer for Shōgun:

"And we're really excited about that because it's a very surprising ending that [James] Clavell does for the book. And it's kind of beautifully ambiguous in certain senses. But you know, that's the stories we tell it. I will also say it took us five years. This show is older than both of our children. You know, it's a lot."

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Marks similarly said: "We took the story to the end of the book and put a period at the end of that sentence. We love how the book ends; it was one of the reasons why we both knew we wanted to do it — and we ended in exactly that place."

Michaela Clavell, James Clavell's daughter who acts as an executive producer on the series, teased the potential for more by telling The Direct: "You know, the audience will let us know whether there is their appetite for that. We shall see. It's a great question. I wish I knew the complete answer, but I don't.”

Shogun (Disney+)
Showrunner Justin Marks said that the show ends where James Clavell's book does, so it is unlikely it will be renewed for more but there is potential for other books by the author to be adapted. (Disney+)

While the story of Shōgun seems to be done, there is one way in which the FX series can continue and that is as an anthology series. This is because Clavell wrote multiple books as part of the Asian Saga, Shōgun is the third book in the series and there are six novels overall that are set in different periods.

There's King Rat, which is set in a Japanese POW camp in 1945, or Tai-Pan which takes place in 1841 Hong Kong, or even Gai-Jin which takes place in 1862 Japan.

Any one of the Asian Saga books could be adapted, and given the impressive way in which Shōgun was executed it seems like the stories would be told in the right way. So, perhaps rather than get a second season of Shōgun we will get to see a different work of Clavell's come to life.

It might not be exactly what viewers are asking for, but it could well be another series deserving of our attention just like Shōgun.

Shōgun is available to watch in full on Disney+ now.