Attack on Titan: Bidding Farewell to a Titan of the Industry
First serialised in 2009, Hajime Isayama's Seinen manga Attack on Titan has been around for over a decade.
The rather little known manga of that time received an anime adaptation in 2013 and became a sleeper hit among anime casuals and connoisseurs alike, despite being released alongside other popular shows like The Devil is a Part-Timer and Oregairu. Many were attracted to the action and unpredictable plot of the show, while others appreciated the dark theme of Seinen without the extra baggage.
The first season ended with 25 episodes, and it was clear that fans wanted more. After a hiatus of four years, the second season was released, followed by such colossal hype from the fans that can hardly be compared with other show airings of the time.
The latter seasons steadily exhibited a paradigm shift to the core theme of the show, transposing from revenge-driven violence to geopolitics and finally ideological philosophy hence adapting to a more mature tone. Although the tonal shift changes the direction of the story, the magnitude of the segments leading to it can certainly be perceived.
What might have felt as insignificant incidents in the early stages of the story became much more significant in the climax, demonstrating the comprehensive storytelling capabilities of the author.
Attack on Titan boasts an expansive cast who are directly involved in the progression of the story. Clear character development can be seen in many of the core actors, making their presence more riveting to the audience and therefore enacting their sacrifices to be just as heart wrenching and tantalising. The diverse cast plays a significant role in the portrayal of multiple opposing perspectives, bringing more nuance to the plot of the show.
Bringing a satisfying closure to such a tale is not an easy feat, as it would be difficult to meet the expectations of a fan base of such an enormous scale.
The final chapter of the manga, published in 2021, had poised itself to be more polarising than most would have predicted. Many appreciated this unorthodox ending while others desired a different conclusion. However, despite being on different sides of the fence, almost all fans can agree on the enjoyment they have experienced on the journey to this very finale throughout the years.
The final season (Part 2) of Attack on Titan is set for release this January which will cover the ending arc of the story from the manga. As the anime starts to wrap up this 12-year long epic, a void can unequivocally be felt in its place, and as we bid farewell to this titan of the anime industry, we thank Isayama for entertaining us throughout this bombastic ride of sublime narration and extraordinary storytelling seldom seen in this media.
So one last time, as this modern-day epic comes to an end, we crumple our right hands into fists over our hearts, place the other hand behind our backs, and scream in unison – Shinzou wo Sasageyo!