Each season of Attack on Titan has made for electric appointment television and the highs experienced during part two of the anime’s final season have pushed its characters into unparalleled darkness. Attack on Titan’s heroes have had to break promises, form new alliances, and consider the impossible as their center progressively gives out.
Audiences prepared for the worst as Attack on Titan’s 12-episode final final season got closer to its end. However, the final episode, “The Dawn of Humanity,” concludes with one of the series’ biggest cliffhangers rather than a resolution to seasons of storytelling. Audiences will fortunately get a little more time to contemplate the events of this season’s finale, as well as consider what’s to come and how to properly mentally prepare for the true final final final finish. Attack on Titan: Final Season, Part 3 is on the way, but what exactly does that mean for the anime’s future?
When Is It Coming?
Some fans speculated that the last episode of Attack on Titan: Final Season, Part 2 wouldn’t truly be the series’ end, but thankfully the anime didn’t leave audiences in the dark for long. The conclusion of “The Dawn of Humanity” was marked with a teaser announcement for Attack on Titan: Final Season, Part 3, which is dated for 2023. There was nearly a year between the end of Final Season, Part 1 and the start of Part 2, so it’s not unlikely that a comparable waiting period will be present for Part 3. A Winter or Spring 2023 release seems likely, but there will be a more concrete date provided closer to the premiere. It’s hard to believe that the series’ “final season” will have lasted for three years once Attack on Titan is finally over.
How Many Episodes Will It Be?
Attack on Titan’s final season is currently 30 episodes long, with its first section consisting of 18 entries and Part 2 delivering another twelve. To many audiences it feels like Attack on Titan doesn’t have much story to tell and this will likely result in Part 3 being the shortest “season” yet. “The Dawn of Humanity” ends Attack on Titan on the manga’s 130th chapter. Hajime Isayama’s manga is only 139 chapters long, which leaves the series with only nine chapters left to adapt.
The pacing during Attack on Titan: Final Season, Part 2 slowed down enough that basically each chapter was getting an episode to itself. Accordingly, it’s likely that Part 3 will be anywhere from eight to twelve episodes. This will allow the final episodes enough freedom to take their time with their events, but also have the luxury of adding extra material to the mix, too. The amount of content that remains in Attack on Titan is short enough that Final Season, Part 3 could even go beyond the events of the manga’s final chapter.
What Will It Cover?
The scope of Attack on Titan is truly remarkable and the conflicts that drive forward the final season are infinitely more intense than the anime’s introductory problems. The events of the final season have forced an eclectic group of survivors to band together, set aside their superficial differences, and pool their talents together to save the world. The resistance unit that forms between Marleyan and Eldian soldiers is still overwhelmed and with few matters of recourse, but Part 3 looks like it will take to the skies in an effort to get the upper hand on Eren and his staggering Wall Titan army. There are sure to be more Titan collaborations on the way, especially with Falco’s fresh Jaw Titan in the mix.
Amidst this conflict, there is also some important catharsis to reach with many of the show’s relationships. “The Dawn of Humanity” spends a considerable amount of time on the frayed bond between Eren and Mikasa, which will definitely receive closure by the series’ end. There’s equally raw material that lingers between Eren and Zeke as these brothers engage in complex mental manipulation with each other.
Additionally, one of the most talked about moments from Final Season, Part 2 is a peculiar dream (or flash forward) to a peaceful future where Jean and Mikasa have a child together. The significance of this sequence still remains to be seen, but it’s possible that it’s a tease of what’s to come and that the anime will eventually reach this destination. If nothing else, hopefully Levi will get one last chance to prove that he’s distilled badassery and not a mummified pin cushion.
Will Eren Jaeger Need To Be Eliminated?
There have been non-stop obstacles for Attack on Titan’s characters to overcome, but the series’ final season progressively teases the reality that Eren Jaeger has evolved into an ultimate evil and is now humanity’s greatest threat. The biggest question that’s hung over the characters’ heads in the final season is whether Eren needs to be killed and if they’re even capable of committing such an act. The danger that Eren represents is set to consume Part 3 and many characters already view Eren as a lost cause that’s beyond redemption.
An ending where Eren needs to be eliminated is a radical turn for Attack on Titan, but absolutely feels plausible at this point. Alternatively, Eren does seem to genuinely want his friends to survive and have a peaceful future, even if innocent lives need to be claimed to ensure that. It’s easy to hate Eren and view him as the villain, but there’s still the belief that the Rumbling will do more good than harm and that it’s a necessary means to an end. Eren wants to erase the generational cycle of violence and create a truly fresh start. It seems like nothing will change Eren’s mind and that murdering him will be the only option, but characters like Mikasa and Armin hold out hope that they’ll be able to reason with whatever humanity is left in Eren and get him to stop.
Why Is A Part 3 Better Than A Movie?
Attack on Titan has decided to conclude its story with a third installment to its final season, but there was much speculation that the series would wrap things up with a movie instead. With only nine chapters left to cover, a two-hour movie is the perfect length for what’s left of Titan’s story. There are even some sly references towards the end of the manga that gave readers the impression that a movie was an inevitability. Anime feature films have only grown more popular in recent years and cinematic efforts like Demon Slayer: Mugen Train and Jujutsu Kaisen 0 have set new box office records in Japan. Attack on Titan has acquired such a massive fandom that there’s no doubt that a feature film finale would be a success that’s as gargantuan as the Colossal Titan.
A feature film would have made for an epic finish to Attack on Titan, but there’s ultimately more benefits to a final batch of episodes. For one, it’s more content. The minimal amount of material that’s left to cover also means that Part 3 can employ a slower pacing akin to Part 2 so that these episodes can breathe. There were definitely Part 1 episodes that felt rushed, crammed too many chapters into a single episode, and would have benefitted from Part 2’s pacing. The quality of MAPPA’s animation over the final episodes of Part 2 also proves that a season of television can have comparable quality to a feature film. The episodes already look gorgeous and feel cinematic. Funimation’s efficiency with simuldubs also means that audiences will likely have to wait less for a new season than they would for a feature film.
It’s also possible that a Part 3 could have been entirely avoided if Final Season, Part 1 ended with Eren’s head getting shot off by Gabi and then a 12-episode Part 2 that’s able to properly cover the duration of the manga.
Will It Include An Anime Original Ending To The Series?
There’s an extremely committed fraction of Attack on Titan’s audience who are convinced that the series’ anime will feature an original ending that deviates from the conclusion of Isayama’s original manga. Anime original endings are not unheard of and are quite common when anime adapt source material that’s yet to finish its story. To be clear, there’s no firm indication that an anime original ending is on the way, but there have been revised manga lines and tiny anime alterations that have been viewed as subtle hints to an incoming change. Some think that multiple realities and timelines could come into play with Attack on Titan’s endgame and push the conclusion somewhere new, albeit reflective of the manga’s original themes.
An anime original ending isn’t necessary, by any means, but it’s curiously become a highly debated possibility within the series’ fandom. It’s one way in which Attack on Titan’s anime can still offer something new for those that have already read through the manga numerous times.
We’ll continue to keep you updated on more Attack on Titan: Final Season, Part 3 news as it becomes available.