Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3’s first hour-long movie was amazing (and absolutely heartbreaking.) But a few key changes are dashing manga readers’ hopes that we might get an anime-only ending. Here’s why it’s looking less and less likely that the anime will end differently than the manga.
WARNING: This post has MAJOR spoilers for the manga.
The Amount Left to Cover in the Manga Points to an Anime-Only Ending
The first movie in the two-part Season 4 Part 3 finale was one hour long. We’ve been hearing that we can expect the second part to be about the same length. Some manga readers were hoping that an anime-only ending might include some extra scenes or more fleshed-out moments. However, with the amount of the manga that’s left to cover, this seems unlikely. If the second part is around the same length, we could only manage an anime-only ending if some parts were rewritten rather than adding more scenes to the end.
Season 4 Part 3 Part 1 of Attack on Titan covered Volume 33 of the manga, which was four chapters long.
That means that Season 4 Part 3 Part 2 will need to cover all of Volume 34 of the manga, which is five chapters long.
And these aren’t shorter chapters. In fact, Volume 33 as sold on Amazon is 192 pages long, and Volume 34 as sold on Amazon by the same publisher is 256 pages long. Sure, there are more action scenes in Volume 34 which means some scenes will go by faster. But even with that in mind, that doesn’t really leave any time to add in extra scenes if the second movie is going to be roughly the same length of time as the first.
A Scene Was Retconned to the First Episode that Fans Thought Originally Pointed to a Different Ending
This next section covers a big reason why an anime-only ending is looking less likely. There was a major scene in the first chapter of Attack on Titan’s manga that was not included in the first episode of the anime. And this scene ended up being pivotal for a big storyline that happens at the end of the manga. It had a hidden meaning that didn’t become apparent until the very end of the manga.
Because that part was redone in the anime, many fans have wondered if it pointed to an anime-only ending.
But when Season 4 Part 3 Part 1 began, this golden anime-only theory was erased. The episode started a little differently than Volume 33 of the manga started. Instead, they used the first few seconds to show us that theories about episode 1 were wrong.
I’m talking about the moment in the anime where we hear Mikasa tell a sleeping Eren, “I’ll see you later Eren.” I’ve included a screenshot at the beginning of this section.
And here’s the same scene in the first chapter of the manga.
If you go back to the first episode of the anime, that phrase is never said. Instead, we jump right into Eren waking up and crying after he had a strange dream with a montage of odd moments that didn’t make any sense to him.
I personally was wondering if this meant we’d get a different ending for the anime. Some of the scenes from his dream still aren’t fully explained. Others have thought that because this was the first season and they weren’t sure it was going to be renewed, they took some liberties. Mikasa’s tattoo was written out of the anime and then retconned back in later, for example. And Eren was given a weird berserker Titan mode in the anime that was never addressed again.
The new hour-long movie brought back the “See you later Eren” that was taken out, pointing clearly to a manga-ending rather than an anime-only ending.
I’m still not sure about all those dream sequences though.
Did those two memories in particular ever get an explanation?
If not, I think they’ll probably be dropped.
The Tree at the End Might Leave Some Hope
If you’re looking for hope, I guess you could go to the tree at the very end of the ending credits song and find some copium there. Some manga viewers like me wondered if it was a certain tree from the ending. If it was, that would erase all hope of an anime-only ending.
But it’s not.
Here it is:
This actually just happens to be the tree that Ymir fell into.
So no, it’s not the tree from the part of the manga that anime viewers haven’t seen yet. Instead, it’s the tree that housed the body of water Ymir fell into where she was first infected.
One could argue that including it in the ending song is still a hint that we won’t get an anime-only ending. But others might argue it still leaves hope, since it’s not the tree.
I’ll leave it up to you which side you fall on.
Key Scenes From the Manga Were Left Out of the New Episode
Some key scenes from the manga were left out of this episode, even though the episode covered those volumes. One was the infamous baby on a cliff scene, which is horrifying but holds no implications to an anime-only ending or not having one.
I think the horror of what happened to Ramzi was enough, and we’ll likely get that baby cliff scene in Season 4 Part 3 Part 2.
There was also a scene of Historia giving birth from the manga, and this was left out too. Once again, I think this will likely be in Season 4 Part 3 Part 2 so it has greater impact. They did the same thing with the trip to Marley. It was shown in an earlier chapter of the manga, but it was aired later in the anime. I think we’ll still get both of those scenes ultimately.
For what it’s worth, there are some people who think leaving out some of the Rumbling scenes that took place in other parts of the world might indicate that Eren’s Rumbling in the anime will affect less of the world than his Rumbling did in the manga. So if you want an anime-only ending, you can hold on to some hope based on that theory.
The Ending Song’s Official Video Seems to Point to the Manga Ending
The official video for the ending song, which highlights the way Mikasa reached out to a sleeping Eren’s face, also seems to foreshadow a key moment in the Attack on Titan manga’s ending.
To me, the fact that the ending song focuses so much on Mikasa and Eren (aka Eremika) is proof enough that we’re not getting an anime-only ending. Oh, in many ways I’d prefer one. But I don’t see it coming.
My best guess is that a few small things might be changed for Season 4 Part 3 Part 2 (like Eren’s dialogue with Armin that people can’t stop talking about), but all the major strokes of the ending will remain the same. So in that sense, we might get a very small anime-only ending, but the majority of it will track with the manga.
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