It’s becoming increasingly clear to Attack on Titan fans that there is just no way we can wrap up the manga before Season 4 Part 2 of the anime ends. So what does that mean? Could there possibly be a movie to finish the story? Or would a movie be a mistake for an anime this complex? Here’s what we know so far.
Note: This is an article for anime-only viewers, so no manga spoilers will be shared. Check out our review and analysis of Episode 86 here.
A Movie Is Definitely a Possibility, Since MAPPA Just Released a Movie for a Different Anime
Some fans think a movie is definitely in the cards for Attack on Titan, especially considering that MAPPA just released a movie for a different popular anime. (However, I have mixed feelings about this and truly hope we’ll get a Season 4 Part 3 instead, which I’ll explain in the next section.)
But first, here’s why a movie (or a third part) is looking increasingly likely.
Inverse reported that Season 4 Part 2 will consist of 12 episodes. Which means that counting last Sunday’s episode (S4E27), there is only one episode left in Season 4 Part 2. Episode 87 will be the finale. “Night of the End,” corresponded with Chapter 127 of the manga. But the manga itself ends on Chapter 139. There’s simply no way the anime will complete the manga in just one more episode, especially now that we have confirmation that last episode will only be 25 minutes long. The anime would have needed to increase to cover a little more than three chapters per episode about a month ago to even have a chance at finishing. Instead, the anime has slowed down and has been covering just one chapter per episode in recent weeks. It looks like MAPPA has no intention of even trying to complete the manga in Season 4 Part 2.
The producers of the Attack on Titan anime already promised to adapt the manga all the way to the end, CBR reported, and insisted that they would not conclude just halfway through. This was announced back in October 2020 and confirmed by anime producers Kensuke Tateishi, Toshihiro Maeda and Tetsuya Kinoshita.
So with that in mind, we know the anime has to continue. It can’t complete the manga in one more episode, so we either need a Season 4 Part 3 or a movie.
As of the time of this article’s publication, MAPPA has given no indication of which direction it will go. This isn’t unusual. We actually didn’t even get Season 4 Part 2 confirmed until the Season 4 Part 1 finale ended in Japan and they aired a small teaser trailer for Season 4 Part 2 at the very end. (The teaser trailer was never officially aired on any streaming platforms in the U.S.)
MAPPA Just Released a Movie for a Different Anime
MAPPA just released a movie for Jujutsu Kaisen in the U.S. on March 18, one of its most popular animes, called Jujutsu Kaisen 0, Gizmodo reported. However, it’s not a continuation of the anime. Instead, it’s a prequel. So while there’s definitely precedent now for MAPPA releasing a movie based on a popular anime, the precedent isn’t set for this to be part of the main storyline. It’s certainly evidence, however, that there’s a chance MAPPA will decide to go the movie route.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 first premiered in Japan on December 24 and didn’t make its way to the U.S. until three months later. It was a major hit in Japan, having the second-strongest opening in Japan movie theater history, Slate reported, and had the #1 spot for 12 weeks.
What does this mean for Attack on Titan? It’s tough to tell. The major hit they had with a movie in Japan might compel them to do the same with Attack on Titan, if that’s possible based on the manga storyline. But the bad news is that this would mean it would release in Japan three months or so before releasing in the U.S., which means it might be impossible for U.S. viewers not to get spoiled on major plot points. It might even be longer than three months. Apparently Demon Slayer’s movie released six months in the U.S. after it released in Japan.
MAPPA Is Opening a New Studio
MAPPA is doing quite well for itself. They just announced that they’re building a new studio in Osaka, Comicbook.com reported. It will be for CGI artists working on photography, design, and editing. MAPPA said they chose Osaka to accommodate artists who can’t move to Tokyo, and MAPPA is hiring new employees right now. Some people are speculating that new work on Attack on Titan might be done there.
Many Fans Hope for a Season 4 Part 3 & Not a Movie
Many fans, however, are hoping for a Season 4 Part 3 and not a movie. Sure, it would be fun to watch a movie with friends and fellow fans.
But there would be a lot of downsides. We wouldn’t be able to analyze each new chapter as it releases and share theories with fans, breaking down each minute by minute. This is what manga readers got to enjoy, and putting everything together in a movie would end up having viewers just rush past major surprises rather than having time to truly process them. Attack on Titan is such a complex show that it feels like it would be a shame to learn the new plot twists through a movie rather than an episodic adventure.
On top of that, as mentioned earlier, a movie would release months earlier in Japan than in the U.S., leaving many viewers at risk of being spoiled if they didn’t already read the manga.
On Reddit, u/jessiemanagerie wrote, “I would rather a Part 3 than a movie. My experience with anime movies is that they have a different ‘vibe’ than the shows. They have bigger budgets and so you can get some aesthetic changes that don’t really feel like the rest of the series. I’m thinking of the Inu Yasha movies in particular. And we’ve already been through one animation change this season (fortunately, for the better imo) and no need to put us through that again just yet. Also movies tend to get super hyped in Japan, so I’m always leery of added fanservice just for the sake of making a cool-looking trailer and appeasing a wider general audience, rather than focusing on the core fanbase.”
Redditor u/KingVibrant wrote, “9 1/2 chapters (most of 123, 131-139) equates to probably around 190 minutes of screen time. I’d be disappointed with a movie, there are certain episodes that deserve their own spotlight and there are multiple climaxes and plot twists that deserve fan speculation and digestion. To do that all in one go wouldn’t seem gratifying… The difference between a JJK movie and a KNY movie is that this would literally be the finale of the show as opposed to a prequel or one arc.”
In summary, we’ll definitely end up with either a Season 4 Part 3 or a movie. But most fans agree that a movie wouldn’t be the ideal way to close out the series, so here’s hoping for a proper episodic sendoff.