No, you weren’t imagining things. Attack on Titan’s final episode of Season 4 Part 2 didn’t have both the intro theme song (“Rumbling”) and the ending song. Yes, the bookend songs were skipped for the most recent Episode 87 (Season 4 Episode 28.) Read on to learn more about what happened.
The Show Ran Credits in the Beginning Instead of the Theme Song
When Attack on Titan didn’t air the opening song at the beginning of the episode, some fans were confused. They wondered if it meant that Hulu, Crunchyroll, or Funimation had perhaps skipped the beginning of the episode and started midway through. But no, all three of the streaming platforms didn’t have the opening or the ending songs.
The opening credits started rolling at the very beginning of the episode, making it clear that they were going to skip the Rumbling theme song this week. The last time they did this was for Season 4 Episode 25.
Then the show didn’t even air the closing credits at all for Season 4 Episode 28 on any of the three platforms. Instead, we just saw a “to be continued” title card after the terrifying ending scene. I personally think that showing the ending song after we get a glimpse of the Rumbling would have been amazing, but that song was also skipped.
There are a number of reasons why this might have happened. But the most likely explanation is that the two songs were skipped simply due to time constraints.
This episode was 25 minutes long, which is only two minutes longer than normal. However, the episode itself animated Chapter 123 and Chapter 130 of the manga, even though the title only matched the title of Chapter 130. For the last few weeks, each episode has animated only one chapter.
There were important elements that had to be included from 123 and 130. In fact, pretty much all of 123 was animated and no major parts were skipped.
So they had to basically fit two chapters into one episode.
Although the anime’s website hasn’t shared an official reason for skipping the intro and ending songs, the reason is easy to deduce. It was simply due to not having enough time to include both of the songs and animate two chapters in the manga. They had to cut the songs in order to free up more time to include both chapters while still fitting within NHK’s time slot in Japan. Remember, Attack on Titan airs on TV in Japan before it airs on streaming platforms. So they have to fit the show within the allotted time on TV, even though it could easily be made longer for streaming platforms.
I certainly missed the opening and ending songs this week, especially since this is the last episode until 2023. But if I had to choose between them, I’d rather have both chapters well animated and have the amazing conclusion we enjoyed.