Many anime series have become phenomena that have relevance beyond the anime community. Attack on Titan is a special example thanks to a passionate audience that has stuck with the changing characters through the apocalyptic body horror war drama. Three seasons of incredible storytelling have played out over the course of seven years and the series is finally coming to an end with its fourth season.
There was a lot of love for Attack on Titan coming out of FunimationCon 2020, the anime company’s first “virtual convention.” Beyond the already released teaser trailer for Attack on Titan Season 4, Funimation had no additional details about the progress or release of these final episodes. This news isn’t exactly surprising for fans of the series, but what did come as a shock is the announcement of a new compilation film, Attack on Titan: -Chronicle- which will be released later this year.
Funimation announced that they’re partnering with Kodansha to help bring the new -Chronicle- compilation movie to audiences in United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. The scope of this news indicates that they may be hopeful for some kind of theatrical release, like they’ve done in the past. Attack on Titan: -Chronicle- was teased for 2020, so it’ll likely hit at the end of the year, at which point movie theaters may be a thing in the world that make sense again.
The talented dub cast for Attack on Titan had many fond memories to reminisce over during FunimationCon, but Funimation’s announcement of -Chronicle- also indicates that the compilation film will also get a dub. This is a nice bonus, since these movies often allow the cast to re-experience old moments, but with a fresh perspective.
Anime in general is no stranger to the concept of “compilation films” that aim to condense a season’s worth of story—or sometimes even more—in a tight 90-minute or two-hour film. This helps the anime series become less impenetrable with these compilations making it easier for newcomers to jump on board.
Attack on Titan has been especially receptive to these movies. The first season of the anime was released as a pair of two-hour movies, Crimson Bow and Arrow and Wings of Freedom. Later on, another compilation film titled The Roar of Awakening summarized the events of season two. However, the direction that’s being taken with the newest endeavor, Attack on Titan: -Chronicle- seems like the most ambitious of the lot since it’s set to cover all three seasons of the series.
Attack on Titan is so dense with tiny details that the two previous compilation movies were forced to erase a lot of the nuance from the anime series. The series’ third season covers the most ground yet and takes some radical departures. A compilation film that only breaks down season three would have seemed like a lofty task, and the scope of Attack on Titan: -Chronicle- seems nearly impossible (unless the film is three hours long).
It should be very interesting to see how -Chronicle- comes together and how quickly it moves through the events of the first two seasons. Regardless of how successful it is, it’s nice to see Attack on Titan stick with tradition and release another of these films. Since Funimation had no details to provide regarding the release of Attack on Titan season four, this film should at least make the wait for new episodes less excruciating.