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A look back at “Attack on Titan”

Chloe Zarrinkelk
“Attack on Titan” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The manga began its publication in Sept. of 2009 and concluded in April, 2021. An anime adaptation followed the success of the manga, airing from 2013 to 2023, producing a total of four seasons. “Attack on Titan” has been a critical and commercial success, amassing a large, devoted following, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. Set in a world inhabited by large, man-eating monsters known as Titans, the young protagonist Eren Yeager vows to defeat these monsters and bring salvation to his home.

The first episode of “Attack on Titan” came out on Sept. 28, 2013. Now, after 10 years and Studio MAPPA announcing the final part (just for there to be another final part), the series has come to an end.

Attack on Titan” follows Eren Jaeger (Yûki Kaji) and what is believed to be the remainder of humanity who are forced to live behind walls so that they aren’t eaten by large humanoid creatures called titans. But one day, a huge titan named “The Colossal Titan” kicks down the wall, putting humanity in danger once again.

The show was first released under the production of Wit Studio to worldwide popularity. The public was captured by its mature tone, riveting voice acting and shocking plot twists. That being said, there were still some issues in the first season. Many of the side characters were left undeveloped and the pacing was all over the place.

There was then a long drought between the first and second seasons, with the ladder not releasing until April 1, 2017. Because of this, many lost interest in the show, leading to the second season having lower viewership. This was unfortunate as season two improved upon both of the main issues from the first season. Just about every character received some sort of development with some even becoming antagonists. The animation was also improved upon making this a far better experience than season one.

Luckily with season three, viewership shot back up and there wouldn’t be another four-year wait for new episodes. Season three also made the story a lot deeper as the main characters weren’t just fighting Titans now, but other humans. It’s also when the truths of where the Titans came from and what happened to the rest of humanity are revealed, creating a lot of mystery as to what would happen next.

But then there was worry once again with Wit Studio handing the reins over to Studio MAPPA. This change ended up working out as the slight change in animation style fits season four’s grittier tone. Four years have passed since season three and Eren has changed from what many would consider to be an average anime protagonist to a calculated and ruthless maniac. Throughout the season, Eren transforms into the series’ true antagonist as everyone else must put their differences aside to stop him.

With its final part, many were worried as when the manga ending came out, it was divisive amongst fans. But the anime stuck the landing flawlessly with a sad but satisfying ending.

“Attack on Titan” is a brilliant work of art that delivers on themes like the inevitability of war, the cycle of vengeance and that while life may be cruel, it’s also very beautiful. Although it may be saddening to see “Attack on Titan” come to an end, the show has profoundly impacted its viewers and the anime industry.

What do you think?
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About the Contributors
Kelly Quinn
Kelly Quinn, Writer
Hello. My name is Kelly and I enjoy writing about movies and video games. Oh, and I have beaten Elden Ring five times.
Chloe Zarrinkelk
Chloe Zarrinkelk, Multimedia Editor
Probably sleeping.

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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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  • K

    Kieran BuxtonMar 18, 2024 at 10:56 pm

    I really like AOT, it is definatly in the top 5, my #1 anime to watch is Redo Of A Healer though.