‘Attack on Titan’ Debuts New Season with MAPPA



The new season of ‘Attack on Titan’ is now premiering. MAPPA studio has done an amazing job on animating the new season. Photo courtesy of @attackontitan

After four years and an arduous wait, Attack on Titan’s fans have been able to see their favorite characters once again on screen. On Dec. 7, 2020, season four was released, sparking a lot of discussion on how this anime was created.

For the final season of Attack on Titan, WIT, the original studio that animated the first three seasons of the anime, decided to back off from the project as the producers decided to switch to the famous studio Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association (MAPPA). In the monthly anime publication Newtype’s November 2020 issue, Attack On Titan producers Kensuke Tateishi, Toshihiro Maeda, and Tetsuya Kinoshita explained the reason for this change. 

“Because the end of season three [had] the protagonist gazing at the ocean, [it marked] a turning point for the story,” Tateishi said. “As creators, we wanted the anime to escalate even further. Kinoshita, Maeda, and I divided the searching duties among ourselves, but most studios turned us down. Everyone understood what big shoes they had to fill, and we were told by dozens of studios that they emphatically could not accept.”

MAPPA is one of the most recognized studios in Japan. Its first production was Yuki Kodama’s manga Kids on the Slope, and it has since continued animating well-known animes like  Kakegurui, Banana Fish, Yuri on Ice, and Jujutsu Kaisen.

Now that MAPPA has started animating Attack On Titan, many fans have started giving their opinions regarding whether or not they think the studio is executing the animation well or not. In my opinion, so far, this studio has done a really good and precise job, since they have stuck to the manga designs in which anime is based on. 

First of all, I’m going to talk about the main characters Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Akerman, Armin Arlert, and Levi Ackerman. I truly believe that these characters have evolved pretty well in these four years. We can see how they have grown and their facial expressions truly demonstrate how they have confronted a lot in their lives despite how young they are. There has been a lot of discussion with one character specifically, Mikasa Ackerman. Ackerman is one of the protagonists and in the first three seasons, she was portrayed more femininely than in this last one. The studio decided to make her look exactly as she looks in the manga, following a more tomboy style. Many of the fans are criticizing this decision because they believe that most anime girls can’t look like tomboys. They say that she should look as feminine as other female characters look. I agree with the animators, she should look like the Mikasa from the manga. It follows the canon and she still looks good and pretty. 

Now I will address the design and the animation of the titans. WIT studio did a really great job in creating and developing the titans. In this new season however, we can see new titans, such as the Hammer Titan and the Jaw Titan, two of the most powerful titans in the world. These characters are designed according to the manga and really show their strong factions. The Jaw Titan has a powerful jaw that is able to tear through everything. The Hammer Titan is one of the rarest titans in my opinion. It looks magnificent and extravagant. The other titans have a similar or equal design except for Armin Arlert’s titan : the Colossal Titan. It looks quite different from Bertolt’s Colossal. This last one looks much more powerful because of the facial features it has. Its eyes have a ferocious look when compared to Armin’s eyes. 

Finally, I will comment on how the animation of this anime has evolved and how the characters and the titans move and gesticulate through the eight different episodes that have been released. I believe that the movements and the ways that they are animated, really make everything look more exciting and impressive. MAPPA has remained true to WIT’s work by making the characters look very similar through using the same color tones and measurements, but has added a touch of their own individuality. In my opinion, this last studio has a more realistic drawing in their work. 

There has been a lot of really bad criticism from some part of the fandom, but in my opinion these are the type of people that are really critical about everything and like to see perfection in every anime or movie they see. Besides this, the studio has received love and support from mostly everyone.  MAPPA has done an outstanding job on continuing the animation of three seasons of Attack on Titan and has reached the same level of success WIT did. These last eight episodes have received a lot of good reviews and comments from the fandom and I believe that it will continue to receive them with the arrival of the following episodes.