Attack on Titan: Has the Final Season Gone on Too Long? (2024)

Attack on Titan promised an incredible, unique spin on cartoon action that many hadn't seen since old-school 80s underground anime. But what happened? Characters in the final season are all seemingly suffering from major depression, agoraphobia, and anxiety disorder! What is going on with this show? It used to be that Attack on Titan could draw audiences due to not just its Godzilla-like premise but also its incredibly detailed and meticulous animation created in the service of exceptional action and combat scenes.

However, now, where there once were endless combat scenes, there are only tears and unending dialogue, leaving anime fanatics to question what exactly happened to the amazing action in Attack on Titan.

The Problem Is the Drama

Attack on Titan: Has the Final Season Gone on Too Long? (1)

Talking – talking – more talking. Are we done with talking yet? No, more talking? Cool, cool – well, as fanatics and Kaiju enthusiasts wait for something to actually happen in Attack on Titan, the lead and supporting characters are meanwhile busy crying, sighing, and going through emotional turmoil. But not because of what's happening around them, no, not because of the endless destruction wrought by skinless giants led by a megalithic spider freak. They're crying because of things that happened in their childhood. Gigantic, world-shattering demons are obliterating their cities, and what are the characters discussing? With tear-filled eyes, they say, "20 years ago when I was 10..."

This bizarre fixation of Attack on Titan to delve deeply into characters' pasts and explore their emotional unrest could be a great plot device in a soap opera or period-piece romance – yet it feels incredibly out of place in an anime action series, as if the animators asked the writers to drag out scenes so they wouldn't have to work as hard.

Related: Attack on Titan: Character Guide and Descriptions

The Problem Is the Monsters?

With the inception and execution of season three, Attack on Titan took a different narrative turn. While many anime and manga enthusiasts point to the fact that a great deal of Japanese animated features have slow episodes (see Naruto – the slowest of the slow), they deem it relatively par for the course in anime. However, the end of season one was an almost interminable and excruciating wait for progress of some kind, and then it simply ended!

This overarching excuse of "every anime does it" is not valid, and it doesn't make the experience any less boring. It's the very reason many fans ceased watching Naruto and One Piece – the agonizingly slow pacing and tiny bits of important plot miserly doled out over the stretched story across over one hundred episodes. Where are the damn monsters?

The Problem Is the Ending

Attack on Titan: Has the Final Season Gone on Too Long? (3)

Attack on Titan was a fantastic animated exploit into the mythos of Japan's giant monster-beast fixation that started with the Kaiju phenomenon back in the late 60s. The issue is the first five episodes of the final season – they're a tease, a taunt, and a trap.

From episode six onward, the pacing grows slower and slower and never really improves after the tenth outing. Technically, stuff is still happening, yet the method in which the episodes are managed means that the plot itself crawls along at a snail's pace. Many viewers have gossiped that streaming services, Crunchyroll, and even Adult Swim could likely be dragging Attack on Titan out for profits because the studios are taking on so many new projects. Some also believe that MAPPA has a threshold of quality it needs to uphold and that its handling of the ending of Attack on Titan reflects that – hence, slower, more detailed, and unorthodox finales.

Related: Attack on Titan: 10 Important Details Fans Missed About The Warrior Unit

Lastly, the way Eren acted in front of Armin at the end? Some felt this scene was quite out of character as he had previously been rude to Mikasa, yet seemingly, out of nowhere, he started confessing his love for her while still speaking with Armin. The fact that Ymir was in love with King Fritz also did not sit well with fans, given how he'd used her. Aside from these short-sighted character motivations, there remains the unmitigated death toll. Most of the deaths viewers see in Attack on Titan are pointless, and they don't contribute anything to the plot. They're used to create cheap shocks or perhaps an edgier atmosphere.

Finally, perhaps the final season went on too long because Attack on Titan tried to do too many things at once. One of the most controversial animes of all time, despite taking place in a fantasy world, the story – initially centered on the black-and-white conflict between humanity and Titans – incorporates a variety of historical images and issues, including colonization, segregation, and nationalism. This heady, heavy atmosphere may have been too much for long-time enthusiasts, spelling the end of Attack on Titan.

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Attack on Titan: Has the Final Season Gone on Too Long? (2024)
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