The highly anticipated final season of the anime “Attack on Titan” premiered on Dec. 7, 2020, and immediately became one of the most popular anime of the winter 2021 season.
The series is an adaptation of mangaka Hajime Isayama’s best-selling manga of the same name. The manga has been serialized since September 2009 and will officially end this April. Studio WITT released the first season in 2013 to a wild reception. There was then a six-year hiatus before season 2 was announced. The final season of “Attack on Titan” was announced this September along with a studio change.
Season 4 is being animated by Studio MAPPA. It covers the manga’s “Marley” and “War for Paradis” arc which covers chapters 91-106 and chapters 107 onwards respectively in 16 anime episodes. The anime is currently covering one to two manga chapters per episode, which is considered good pacing. The animators have been more faithful to the manga’s original artstyle.
This has caused controversy among fans who preferred Studio WITT’s character design. Additionally, there has been pushback because of the use of CGI to animate the series’ characteristic Titans. This was due to the time constraint Studio MAPPA was under.
Regardless, many fans are still excited for the culmination of the “Attack on Titan” saga. Here are what some Fountain Valley High School students think about season 4.
Author’s note: Answers may include spoilers.
“Season 4 has been an insane season so far, starting off with entirely new characters in a new setting, to a giant battle between our original cast and these new characters. I like how we got to learn the Marleyan perspective of everything that has been happening in the series so far, such as in episode 62 where we got to see Reiner’s full backstory, and how he, Annie, and Bertolt earned their titans.
“Although I do love the storyline and the character development of Reiner, It is not my favorite part. My favorite parts have to be the animation and soundtrack of this season! The animations and music during the fight between Eren and the Marleyan titans were amazing and got me so excited to see more. I did not like that they changed the art of our original characters.
“Although I am aware of the time skip, I just personally do not like how they changed the looks of Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. Although I do feel it will grow on me eventually, I was very surprised when Reiner called who I thought was Kruger Eren, as he looked VERY different.
“My expectations for the ending are honestly pretty dark. We now know how the titans were created and about the original nine. We also know that Eren and the others are just looking to make peace and be happy like they were before the destruction of the walls. However, can this ever really happen as someone needs to be carrying the original 9 with them?
I have a feeling that Eren is eventually going to carry the weight of all 9 titans with him and have to pass it on. The question is, who will he pass them on to? Also, I have a feeling Mikasa is going to die. She has been with us from the beginning and has always been a protector of Eren, she’s in the perfect position for the creators to make a very heart-wrenching death,” senior David Serna said.
“Originally I was mainly an anime watcher, but after waiting too long for an episode one day I went ahead and read the manga myself. When compared, the manga definitely was a bit of an information overload, with each chapter being enough to be an anime episode of their own at times. But despite that, the story itself was very well planned out and consistent even in its 136th chapter.
“I’m honestly really excited to see how season 4 will play out now with a new studio in charge. Studio MAPPA is a god in terms of making action/seinen anime, and I have very high hopes for them as someone coming from their Dororo adaptation.
“After watching the trailer, it’s very much obvious how much MAPPA is keen on emulating the art straight out of the manga, with the market scene with Gabi being a spitting image of the same one in the manga alongside many others.
“It’s a no brainer to me that this season will stay true to its author’s original ideas. Other than how loyal the anime has been to its source materials, I enjoyed how MAPPA portrayed the characters this time round using Isayama’s artstyle.
“The characters this season are a lot similar to their manga counterparts and aren’t as colorfully exaggerated as they were in seasons 1-3. Studio WITT may have done a fantastic job in the art direction for the first three seasons, but I definitely preferred the darker and solemn styling of the original designs in season 4.
“The one thing that bugs me quite a bit in this season, is how some key parts to the story had been cut. A prime example of this would be in episode 3 when a key action for Annie (one of the main focuses for this episode) was left in without any explanation or context behind why they did it. Leaving the viewers to have to find out why for themselves, and making an otherwise good scene in the source material feel flat and weak.
“The ending itself has been delayed for some time now with Isayama himself stating that he planned to have the series end years prior to 2021. However, to me this doesn’t indicate the series’ ending will a disappointing one as Isayama himself had planned the ending to the series for years before the Marley arc. Ultimately, however, I can only hope that Isayama is confident in this decision and deliver a proper ending to such a beloved series,” senior Holly Dinh said.
“I have only read the manga, which might make my view of the show different, but I personally prefer books over movies. I am likely missing some great action scenes though.
“I enjoyed [the manga chapters that cover] Season four, it had a good twist with another foreign country being the cause of the titans. I enjoy stories where the protagonists are up against odds that seem impossible to beat and strive against a seemingly unstoppable force, and this is a great example of that.
“I enjoy the politics and deception, but more than that the characters. Every character has their own goals and motives and that really influences the story in great ways!
“There is not much about this show that I dislike, it was a little confusing but that could be because I waited a month or two between reading chapters. My biggest issue with the show is pacing, where it can be slow one second then have a massive time skip the next,” junior Ethan Klein said.
“I thought season 4 was really good. I particularly enjoy the action and fighting scenes. I think the CGI is good, but I feel like MAPPA overuses it. I do read the manga and look forward to each new chapter.
“Hopefully, Isayama makes a depressing ending because a happy ending doesn’t fit with the plot,” sophomore Hannah Le said.