Attack on Titan (or Attack Titan)’s final season started airing initially and people felt frankly bamboozled by “Part 2” being announced out of nowhere at the end. When Part 2 ended yesterday, the third part was announced and again, everyone felt tricked, betrayed, and deceived by it. To be fair, there are only ten more chapters left if I remember correctly, so this should truly be the final part – but it’s only coming in 2023, so there is a lot of time left before it comes.
When it comes to the Final Season, I found the pacing too slow for it to get through the rest of the material in part 2. Hence, I figured that there would be some sort of finale in the form of a movie as there shouldn’t be too many chapters left, right? Well,… no. It will just be another season and maybe some sort of movie summarising the events again.
The season itself was quite great, actually. I already read everything when Part 1 came out and was just looking forward to some of the bits and pieces and how they’d be animated. Yelena’s face in particular is something that is both terrifying… and somewhat comedic… and I highly anticipated it. The director of the show really did a great job with it – which is where the Kakegurui experience comes in, I assume? By the end of Part 2, I had already forgotten some of the minor events that happened in the manga, so it was a semi-blind experience for me overall and I had fun. The new opening, the more mature characters, the constant massacre – it was great. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of it animated and I don’t mind waiting for it for another year…
But the point still stands that labelling something as “The Final Season” is quite misleading if you’re going to follow it up with not one but two more seasons that, sure, are shorter, but it feels weird. Of course, making money is important and having it all labelled as “The Final Season” only for the last three parts of it to be sold as a DVD set or something makes sense. It’s smart of course and I wouldn’t get mad at the production committee for making that choice. A lot of people, however, don’t get mad at them but rather get upset at Studio MAPPA, which is incredibly unfair.
MAPPA, after all, is just an animation studio. They are not the ones that fund the projects. The animators are the ones contracted for the job. They have multiple projects going on every season. Animators are understaffed, overworked and underpaid. Some studios like MAPPA have reportedly bad working conditions and with every person quitting, the workload increases massively for other animators. At the end of the day, the animators do get paid monthly and are usually only employed for a given amount of time, after which they may become permanent employees but most people don’t have that luck. They’re not rich by any means. The people that could in theory be criticized for “milking a franchise” aren’t the ones making it but the ones funding it. The ones making it are the ones trying to make a living by animating anime. The ones funding it are the ones that handle the PR, the movies, the shows, the merchandise, the games, the spin-offs, etc. They’re the ones selling these three seasons as “The Final Season” even when in reality, it’s three fucking seasons. In My Hero Academia’s latest season’s case, the people that fund it decided to put in a filler episode at the mid-point of the season to promote the upcoming movie… They kept the “My Villain Academia” arc relatively short though and moved it quite far to the back of the show, making it feel like an anti-climactic finale – even though that arc is one of the best arcs that the show has. It’s executed well in the manga and carries a lot of weight, actually, for the world-building – but they shortened it and just kind of ruined it when one more episode dedicated to it would have been just a lot better in general.
After digressing a bit, we’re back to Attack on Titan again and frankly, I’ve been quite excited about it ever since the third season. I found the first season to be entertaining but it didn’t quite hook me. I felt as if the premise of the show is basically as predictable as it gets and it didn’t really do much new stuff. Then, the second season came out and I was frankly bored with it. Starting with the third season though (and yes, I kept watching to be able to talk to my friends about it) the show took a turn and just felt a lot more fleshed out and amazing. By the end of it, I was so incredibly excited for what’s to come that I ended up reading all of the manga and well, I loved it. It was great. A lot of bizarre twists happened and I frankly didn’t think that it would get me this hooked when I first started reading. Now, with the Rumbling having started and with the final season’s final part (this time for real) coming out in 2023, I’m incredibly hyped to see some of those action scenes on the screen, fully animated, and I really hope it turns out as great as I think it will.