Cast of Pachinko with a teenage Kim Sunja played by Kim Min-ha in front. Image: AppleTV+.

Will There Be a ‘Pachinko’ Season 2?

It’s been a while since the emotional multigenerational family drama Pachinko finished its first season in 2022, leaving us all crying wrecks. But will there be a Pachinko season 2?

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Though the second season was greenlit before the finale aired in 2022, it’s been some time since we’ve heard any further news on the matter, so what’s happening with it and when can we expect to see it on our screens?

Based on the 2017 novel by Min Jin Lee, Pachinko follows the stories of members of a Korean family across four generations between 1915 and 1989. In 1931, Sunja leaves Korea for Japan to build a life for herself while in 1989, Solomon, Sunja’s grandson, is working hard to show his worth at an American company. The show flits across timelines, showing the life of the zainichi (foreigners, particularly Koreans, residing in Japan) and the discrimination they have faced over the decades. It’s a brutal and beautiful rendition of the struggles that Koreans faced during this time, with author Min Jin Lee having collected stories from zainichi women to bring authenticity to her novel.

The series was critically well received, holding a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and won numerous awards, including the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Foreign Language Series. Given how well the series was doing even as it was airing, it was no surprise that the second season was greenlit just before the finale episode aired. The finale left us on a cliffhanger, with Isak arrested for suspected treason against the Emperor of Japan, and Hana’s death left us all bawling our eyes out as her family come to accept her final moments.

What’s happening with season 2?

Pachinko, Hansu played by Lee Min-Ho, stands on a dock with a white suit and hat
(Apple TV+)

It’s been a while, then, since the second season was greenlit in April 2022. Fans are wondering when we will get to see the family once more, given that it’s been two years already. Of course, a lot happened in the media industry over this time, and many series and shows have been delayed due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes that took place for a large chunk of 2023, grinding most of Hollywood to a complete stop.

Filming was meant to take place in Toronto from January 9 to March 27, 2023, before moving to Japan from March 27 to June 16. It was expected then that we would get a second season at some point in 2024, but no release date has been dropped, let alone a trailer or even promotional images. We do have a rough idea of what to expect for the characters, though, after the creator and showrunner Soo Hugh spoke to Deadline about the second season back in the summer of 2022, sharing that the second season will cover Sunja and her family dealing with life in Japan during WWII.

With her husband in jail, Sunja must become the family breadwinner, and she sets off to sell kimchi to provide for her sons. The actor who pays Sunja, Minha Kim, says her character will “become stronger, even though there are so many burdens on her shoulders.” She adds, “It’s about the story of her, continued from Season 1 … even heavier, but still, there’s joy. There’s still joy.”

Earlier this year, Soo Hugh struck an overall deal with Apple TV+ and Media Res which could see more of her projects come through the streaming site courtesy of her production company, Moonslinger Productions, which will look at creating other shows outside of Pachinko. Hopefully, though, we will hear some good news soon and we can finally start to get excited about the continuation of this epic story.

(featured image: Apple TV+)


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Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.