Attack on Titan season 4 is currently on hiatus, but remains touted as the popular anime’s final chapter. Recent developments suggest otherwise.
Attack on Titan‘s end may not be as close as everyone assumed. Attack on Titan season 4 premiered in December 2020, confirmed in advance as the show’s last stand. Given how much manga material remained, wrapping up Eren Yaeger’s story inside a single season always felt ambitious and, sure enough, the anime ended some way from the final chapter, with Marley launching a full-scale assault on Paradis Island, airships and all. Fortunately, Attack on Titan season 4 part 2 was announced for 2022, and will wrap up the remainder of Hajime Isayama’s popular anime franchise – for real, this time.
Except, maybe not. The final issue of the Attack on Titan manga was released in April 2021 to a highly divisive fan reaction. While some fans enjoyed the ambiguous flavor, others were disappointed by the lack of clarity and how certain character arcs played out. Without divulging major spoilers, the Attack on Titan‘s finale is a conclusive one. Every major storyline is resolved, and the fates of the main (surviving) characters all explained. The ambiguous notes of the final chapter, mostly regarding Eren Yaeger, feel thematic in nature, and clearly aren’t intended as any kind of sequel setup.
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However, those closing moments will be altered thanks to the confirmed release of unseen additional pages. As explained by Isayama himself, Attack on Titan‘s final chapter was curtailed by 8-10 pages due to printing restrictions. This extra material will be released via the official final volume in early June, tacked directly onto the end of the original chapter. According to early reports coming out of Japan and on social media, the previously-unreleased panels add new character pairings, reveal a darker fate for the future, and introduce the descendant of a main character. Most significantly, however, the revised chapter explicitly sets up a continuation to the Attack on Titan story, heavily suggesting that either season 5, or a sequel anime, is in the works.
Once again avoiding major spoilers for anime-only viewers, Attack on Titan season 4, part 2 will explore the full backstory of Ymir Fritz, the Founder, revealing how this enslaved young girl became humanity’s very first Titan. In essence, Attack on Titan‘s new final scene reportedly recreates the moment Ymir Fritz receives the Founding Titan, but in the current timeline with the aforementioned main character descendant. The message in Isayama’s new ending is clear – the Attack on Titan curse is going to begin all over again with a brand new generation.
Attack on Titan has been an incredibly successful property for Kodansha, and it would’ve been surprising were the franchise not maintained in some form. Although the initial chapter release gave no hint as to how that might happen, the rumored new scenes lay a clear path toward future projects that follow broadly the same premise. This could come in the form of Attack on Titan season 5, set after a significant time skip and introducing a completely fresh crop of tragic heroes. While Attack on Titan season 5 would make sense from a marketing perspective, more likely is a sequel series in the mold of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, where old and new casts combine, and themes carry over from one chapter to the next, but the property itself is rebranded with new artists and a more modern aesthetic.
Given how fans have reacted to Attack on Titan‘s manga ending, a continuation could be viewed as a second chance to pitch the finale a little better and leave fans satisfied. On the other hand, perpetuating the ongoing Titan war might be seen as discrediting the efforts of Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and the rest in the main Attack on Titan timeline. What was the point in it all if history is destined to repeat itself anyway? Any anime sequel announcement will most likely be made in the aftermath of Attack on Titan season 4’s 2022 finale.
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