Attack on Titan has proven itself to be a masterpiece in long-form storytelling. The end of the show’s third season exploded the anime’s mythology in drastic ways and suddenly increased the scope far beyond the core cast of characters. Eren and company head forward with a renewed sense of purpose, armed with more knowledge and power than ever before.
It’s been announced that Attack on Titan season 4 will be the show’s final year. Now that a full trailer has been released for these concluding episodes it looks like season four is only going to expand the boundaries of this universe even more and end on a scale that’s far bigger than anything that’s been seen before.
The tail end of season three spent a healthy amount of time in the past with Grisha, Eren’s father, and detailing the history of how this Titan situation really got moving. What’s so exciting about this trailer is that it feels like it could be for a totally different show. The majority of it features an entirely different cast of characters that could be from Grisha’s past or be the people from Paradis Island, the destination for season four. Attack on Titan has operated with a Lost-like sensibility at times with how it reveals new pockets of people and then goes over pivotal events from their perspective. Attack on Titan season 4 looks like it will be the biggest example of this yet.
Is There a Time Jump?
The other thing that’s so striking about the events of this trailer is that when familiar faces like Eren and Mikasa do show up, they almost look like entirely different characters. This likely implies some sort of time jump that either happens off screen between seasons or will take place during this final season. It’s very likely that Attack on Titan Season 4 will consist of 25 episodes, like season three, which provides an opportunity for some kind of time jump at the halfway point. Eren and Mikasa both look more hardened and built for battle (Eren rocks an eight-pack during a moment in the trailer) as if they’ve been training for war.
All Out War
That also addresses the other major aspect of this trailer and the biggest indicator of what’s going to consume this final season, which appears to be a war of apocalyptic levels. Battles are always huge in this series, but now there are naval ships, dirigibles dropping bombs, and a whole level of combat that’s grand beyond the Titans. Titans have cannons strapped to them and appear to be weaponized in a way that’s never been seen before and very terrifying. There’s also a gigantic Silver Surfer-esque character that seems to indicate a whole new style of Titan, or another species entirely, that’s also going to be added to the mix. It looks season four will radically change what the audience knows about Titans, much like how season three did.
It appears that this final season will push the idea of Titans as human weapons to its extreme. The thought of Titans becoming outsourced and turned into fixtures of the military is a sadly realistic idea, even if the subject matter here is so heightened. It’s interesting to see that Attack on Titan will look this far into the cycle of Titans as a concept and how they’ve been treated throughout the series. The trailer features a lot of wild visuals that go as far as Titans raining down from the sky and the confrontation with a glowing Tree of Life. Season four definitely seems interested in looking at the beginning of Titans as it heads towards the end of them.
Eren has always been treated like a special character throughout Attack on Titan who has a larger purpose, but he’s specifically called out by this opposite warring nation. It seems like he’ll be a crucial figure in resolving whatever conflict that’s going on, which will likely also be the final battle of the series. It’s unclear who will be the major players in this season, not to mention who will survive by the end of it all, but Levi also shows up in the trailer. Eren’s core group appear to be present, but it’s likely to be a much smaller crew this time around.
Attack on Titan has certainly never been boring, but it’s comforting to see that these final episodes are willing to go all out and truly surprise the audience in a way that hasn’t been done before. After the events at the end of season three it’s really a show that can reinvent itself in some major ways and go down some wild directions. This looks to be beyond anything that was expected and fortunately it appears that Attack on Titan: The Final Season is still set to air before the end of the year.