Attack on Titan must keep its original ending


With Attack on Titan coming to a close in 2023, many fans are left wondering if the adaptation will keep the manga’s original ending.

Kelly Quinn and Carmen Quinn

As the mind-blowingly popular anime Attack on Titan’s fourth and final season comes to a close, there is speculation among viewers regarding how the controversial manga ending will be depicted. Many fans of the franchise have advocated for the ending to differ from that of the source material, as many disliked the manga’s ending. Instead of criticizing the finale, however, we believe it is actually one of the best endings in any modern franchise. Above all else, the Attack on Titan anime must keep the ending of the manga. 

In order to begin, let’s first analyze the ending of the manga and what makes it so distinguished. The final chapters of the manga entail the soldiers of Paradis and warriors of Marley forming an alliance to stop the protagonist of the series, Eren Yeager, on his quest to eradicate everyone outside of Paradis. 

Eren intends on completing this extinction of the outside world through a catastrophic event called The Rumbling as the Founding Titan, having made a deal with Founder Ymir Fritz. In turn, The Rumbling triggers the walls of Paradis to collapse and the colossal Wall Titans within to stomp out all non-Eldian – descendants of Ymir and those who can turn into titans – life. 

Realizing the repercussions of this genocide, island dwellers and allies Mikasa Ackerman, Armin Arlert (The Colosal Titan), Jean Kirstein, Connie Springer, Hange Zoe, Levi Ackerman, Onyankopon and Yelena join up with warrior unit members Annie Leonhart (The Female Titan), Gabi Braun, Reiner Braun (The Armored Titan), Theo Magath, Pieck Finger (The Cart Titan) and Falco Grice (The Jaw Titan). 

Upon separating the essence of life, Eren takes on a Colossal Titan form, having transformed all regular Eldians into Titans. Only the five shifters, Mikasa and Levi Ackerman, are left due to their genetics. Eventually, Mikasa weakens and decapitates Eren, causing the end of the Titan warfare and freeing the Founder Ymir. 

Three years later, the surviving members of the alliance rejoice because Queen Historia Reiss has given birth to the heir of Paradis, with plans to form a new global peace alliance. However, the readers of the manga never know the exact outcome, only that the alliance is somewhat successful. 

Hundreds of years later, the audience is shown a futurized Paradis, bombed and destroyed in war. Some time after – nature having reclaimed Eren’s hometown, Shiganshina – a boy wanders to the tree where Mikasa laid Eren’s head to rest. The tree now resembles Founder Ymir’s.

Many long-time fans of the series were upset to see Eren take on the role of the villain. This was a long time coming, however, as he had always expressed radical ideals. By season three when he’d been shown the truth of the outside world, he had conveyed his desire to wipe out everyone outside of Paradis, saying, “If we kill all our enemies over there, over there, will we finally be free?” 

Fans also strongly felt that when nearing the end, the manga departed from its original thematic message that humanity is cruel but worth fighting for. In the words of Mikasa Ackerman, “This world is merciless and it’s also very beautiful.”

The viewers can see this theme carried out during the final season: it takes an approach to show that while humans can’t turn away from warfare, there are still moments that display hope for humanity. For instance, the whole concept of the alliance is founded on the goodness within humankind, as the Eldians of Paradis do not necessarily benefit from stopping The Rumbling. This is mirrored when Keith Shadis assists the alliance due to their touching act of humanity. 

Lastly, many people disliked the final panels of the manga because they believed it depicted a depressing cycle of abuse – with the boy inheriting the founding titan, history is doomed to repeat itself. 

However, this could not be further from actuality. It directly ties into the theme that humanity will find a reason to hate each other regardless of titans, especially considering that it was not the Titans who bombed Shinganshina. 

Many original conclusions to beloved stories prove to be ahead of their time and will someday gain the respect of the audience. It is because of this that Attack on Titan must keep the manga’s ending. Above all, it is not the fans’ story to tell, but creator Hajime Isayama’s.

What do you think?