This article is anime-focused only and contains no manga spoilers.
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A New Original Animation Will Release Before Season 4
According to Shingeki no Kyojin’s official website, the return of Season 4 isn’t the only thing that fans have to look forward to. They’ll also get to enjoy a new OAD (often referred to as an OVA.)
Google’s English translation from the official website reads:
“Before the new broadcast, a special omnibus that looks back on the progress so far, and an original animation (OAD) that talks from the perspectives of Levi, Ani, Mikasa, etc. will also be broadcast!”
So it looks like not only will fans get a recap movie, as often happens before a new season premieres, but there will also be a new OAD. This appears to be similar in format to the OVAs that have been released previously for Attack on Titan. What’s not clear is if they will air immediately before Season 4 in January 2022 or if they will be released sometime earlier.
(The difference between an OAD and an OVA can get a little murky, especially in the context of this announcement. Typically, OVAs or Originally Video Animations refer to extra episodes outside of the regular storyline, while Original Animation DVDs or OADs may be bundled with a manga, a Quora discussion explains. However, this new AoT OAD is going to be broadcast on TV and not bundled with the manga, so referring to it as an OVA might be more accurate.)
More About the Previous Attack on Titan OVAs
How people outside of Japan will get to watch the new OAD/OVA is another question. Historically, English subtitled or dubbed versions of the OVAs have been a little tougher to come by and may be released later than their original Japan broadcast. So you likely won’t find the new OVA in Funimation’s Attack on Titan catalogue after it airs. However, since this new OVA is being broadcast rather than bundled on a DVD, there’s a chance they might approach this last one differently.
Here’s a look at the past OVAs and what order to watch them in, according to an anime subreddit:
- Attack on Titan Season 1 (Episodes 1-25)
- OVA 3.25: Ilse’s Notebook
- OVA 3.75: Distress
- OVA 0.5a: No Regrets Part 1
- OVA 0.5b: No Regrets Part 2
- Season 2 (Episodes 26-37)
- OVA 16.5a: Lost Girls: Wall Sina, Goodbye Part 1
- OVA 16.5B: Lost Girls: Wall Sina, Goodbye Part 2
- Season 3 (Episodes 38-48)
- OVA: Lost Girls: Lost in the Cruel World
- Season 3 (Episode 49-59)
- Season 4 Part 1
- New OVA being released soon
- Season 4 Part 2
This guide also explains that all of the OVAs except Ilse’s Notebook were not written by Hajime Isayama, the author of the mangas. But both Ilse’s Notebook and No Regrets are important for the main plot. Apparently “A Sudden Visitor” (which isn’t listed in the guide) is actually based on a joke manga preview that Isayama wrote but was never supposed to be canon.
As far as where to watch these previous OVAs, they were subtitled and bundled with some mangas’ limited editions. So they’re tougher to come by and aren’t on your typical streaming services. Some may be able to be found on sites like YouTube or gogoanime.sx.