It’s coming. The Final season of the hit anime Shingeki No Kyojin, AKA Attack On Titan. It’s hard to imagine that after 6 years and many a cosplay extravaganzas, the worldwide phenomenon gore fest/ psychological antiwar propaganda thriller, is reaching its end.
Now, as some have already discussed, there has been much worry with the reveal that Studio MAPPA has taken over for Studio Wit for animating the series. Since we live in the era of immediately freaking out when potentially unpleasant news arrives, we were blessed when the trailer for season 4 dropped.
I know it’s a subject of mild panic whenever a new studio takes over for a series that has an already established fan base (we do not need to talk about the One Punch Man Season 2 Fiasco or the Mild Annoyance of Legend of Korra season 2) but based on the trailer, fans, and this humble writer is not as concerned as previously believed.
I will be one of the first to say I preferred the animation style of the first season. The American influenced lining of the characters and squeaky clean aesthetic was something that gave the original series a pop that wasn’t quite popular at the time for anime. But, I understand the criticism that the anime diverged too heavily from the more angular, gritty, almost messy style of the early manga chapters. And if you were a fan of this, MAPPA’s work on this season with be a happy surprise.
Gone are the thick lines and abrasive CG (I didn’t think the Colossal Titan looked that bad). With MAPPA behind the wheel, we have a clear, concise anime season with a dirtyness that matches the sorrow and anguish of the final manga chapters (ones that are still going and will probably be done by the Anime’s release date.)
The trailer is almost an open conversation with fans who were less than pleased with the anime liberties. Showcased are our new characters; a more adult, less “anime” depiction of everyone’s favorite waifu Mikasa (who is now sporting a black scarf as opposed to the anime’s red). This attention to the original manga is an interesting choice. Some may enjoy this accurate depiction, but some fans, fans who have grown accustomed to the anime version of the characters, may be left feeling betrayed.
An anime is its own separate world from the manga and to change it at season 4 may be as worrisome as the original shift in animation studios. However, seeing as how we have 1 trailer, a trailer that looks pretty darn good (One Punch Man season 2 I don’t want to talk about you but it’s hard) I am excited for the final arc of one of the most original, balls to the wall anime of the last decade. And I think we can all agree as long as the openings continue to be absolute bangers, no one can really complain.