From WIT to Mappa – What changed in Attack on Titan: Final Season?
A lot has changed in AoT Final Season. Not just the studio, the staff, the animation style. Even the tone of the series itself is going to change from this season on. But, that is unrelated to the studio change. A lot of things have changed since the previous season and in a good way. So first and foremost –
Why did WIT not take AoT: Final Season?
WIT did not continue AoT for multiple reasons: they are working on an original anime of their own with the author of Re: Zero. They have a packed schedule, and even if they did make AoT this year, they would not have been able to maintain the quality, or it would have been later this year (as late as December). When they worked in season 3, part 2, they were working on two other anime.
One of them was a full-season, high effort anime, Vinland Saga. They were having budget troubles too, so in the end, they ended up dropping it. Most of the major studios are busy with big projects this year. Those that weren’t busy didn’t take AoT because of the expectations and effort it comes with. Mappa stood up to the challenge. Even though they are doing a significant project, Jujutsu Kaisen still delivers very high-quality content in both anime.
There are slight differences in the art style, mainly because WIT changed up character proportions a little bit while Mappa follows the manga art style. Both of the cases are good because, in the manga’s starting arcs, Isayama’s art style is bad. His art gets better as the manga continues. By the time we reach the season 4 portion, his art has improved a lot. His art from this point on is good enough to be used as-is. People complain about Mikasa’s new character design but, that is how she looks in the manga. Mappa is just staying true to the Manga art style.
If you want waifus, look somewhere else. AoT is not meant for that stuff. As for the animations, WIT was doing part hand-drawn and part CGI, and Mappa is doing full CGI. Mappa is doing the CGI so masterfully that it does not feel much different from WIT’s way to do things. I love how they are staying true to manga art style on purpose. As we progress, there will be some scenes that will look the best with the manga art style.
Season 4 is going to be very different from the seasons in terms of its theme and tone. This change is reflected beautifully by the soundtrack. AoT soundtrack has been a work of art from the very 1st season. A friend of mine once said, “A good soundtrack is something you overlook while watching the anime. But then you listen to the soundtrack separately and realize how good it is” AoT soundtrack is the best example of this. The OST of the previous seasons was usually fast and meant for hype and fight scenes, perfect for the past seasons. But in the current arc, once the recent fight ends, there won’t be any fights for a very long time, just conversations, explanations, and a lot of talking. It will become very psychological in contrast to the start of the season or previous seasons.
Hence, the OST’s tone is different to reflect this tone shift of the series. As for the opening, while I am sad we no longer have Linked Horizon giving us an opening, the new opening is a masterpiece. Mappa took full advantage of the opening to show the tone shift. They even snuck in some spoilers in the opening lyrics. They did not show a single character in the opening, only Eren’s titan in the end.
Except for this, everything remains the same for the most part. Mappa is doing good so far and making us aware of the tone shift in the story while keeping the feel of the anime as close as possible to WIT so that anime does not feel awkward. The story is only going to get better and better. Get ready for a highly psychological part of the coming episodes. If you thought AoT was dark, you have seen nothing yet. With this, I take my leave. Let me know in the comments what you think about the new season of the anime so far.