Attack On Titan Season 4 release date confirmed for 2020, but did WIT Studio quit? Shingeki no Kyojin manga’s ending doesn’t leave room for Attack On Titan Season 5 [AoT/SnK Anime Spoilers]

The Attack On Titan Season 4 release date is certain to be highly anticipated since the fourth season of the Shingeki no Kyojin anime adaptation will finally reveal the secrets of the larger world. At the same time, fans may fear Attack On Titan’s final season since it might not be produced by WIT Studio! (See below for more details.)

The good news is that Attack On Titan Season 4 has been confirmed to be in production by WIT Studio’s AoT series director Tetsuro Araki. Although this is not an official announcement, multiple Japanese fans attended an AoT concert in June 2019 and they had a chance to ask Araki some questions when he was spotted waiting in line to buy some merch.

Over on Twitter, a fan translated one of the posts which claim that Araki confirmed Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4.

“Good news. Araki was at this live concert and some fans recognized him. They asked him some questions about Kabaneri [of the Iron Fortress] and AoT. When asked if there would be an [Attack On Titan] Season 4, Araki answered ‘yes’ briefly and quickly. But he didn’t tell them if Season 4 would be made by Wit Studio.”

What’s more, prior to Episode 59 releasing the official Twitter account announced that Attack On Titan Season 4 is the “final season” of the anime series.

At least we know the upcoming story will be enough to make Erwin Smith jealous. Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, Armin Arlert, and Levi Ackerman will be taking to war against an overseas foe after discovering Grisha Yeager’s journals in Eren’s father’s basement in the Shiganshina district.

Audiences may be surprised by what the Survey Corps finds on the other side of the ocean, and may think this story has the potential to go on endlessly, but the 800-ton Titan sitting quietly in the corner is the fact that the story the anime adaptation is based upon is swiftly reaching an ending. Apparently, the fourth season will not leave room for Attack On Titan Season 5.

The story is based on the Shingeki no Kyojin manga by creator Hajime Isayama. Since 2009, the mangaka has released one chapter around the 8th of each month, with each chapter being about 45 pages long. To put both the manga and the anime adaptation into perspective, most of the events of Season 2 were already shown in manga chapters released way back in 2013.

The hardcover tankobon format book volumes usually come with four chapters each and as of April 2018, the manga series was up to Volume 28. Based on history, Attack On Titan Volume 29 is likely to be scheduled to release in August 2019 and Volume 30 in December 2019.

The English translation by publisher Kodansha USA historically tends to come out within several months of the Japanese release. As of April 2019, the English Volume 27 is already out and Volume 28 is scheduled to come out on August 6, 2019.

The third season of the anime adaptation went on hiatus for several months. The second half, AoT Season 3 Part 2, began airing on April 29, 2019. Adult Swim will begin airing the new episodes starting May 25, 2019. See below for more details.

  • Updated: June 30, 2019: Added official announcement and the time frame for the Attack On Titan Season 4 release date. Updated all related analysis.
  • Updated June 11, 2019: Added confirmation of the production of Attack On Titan Season 4 by series director Tetsuro Araki.
  • Updated May 20, 2019: Added the news that WIT Studio is not producing Attack On Titan Season 4
  • Updated May 2, 2019: Added a newer interview with manga creator that indicates the manga might end in either 2020 or 2021. Changed analysis of the Attack On Titan Season 4 release date based on this info.
  • Updated April 16, 2019: Added Adult Swim air date for AoT S3 Part 2 and additional information related to Attack On Titan Season 4.
  • Updated March 27, 2019: Added exact release date for Part 2 of the third season, Part 2 key visual, and a video explaining why Part 2 is not considered Attack On Titan Season 4. Updated miscellaneous manga details and spoilers.
  • Updated December 3, 2018: Added final panel of the Attack On Titan manga, a related video, and quotes from the creator.
  • Updated November 14, 2018: Added confirmation that the manga is entering its final story arc and how that affects Attack On Titan Season 4. Added interview about differences between the third season and the manga.

Attack On Titan Season 4 Will Not Be Animated By WIT Studio…?

In May 2019, anime fans were shocked to hear that WIT Studio may not be producing the fourth season of the anime series. This news was confirmed by multiple sources, but so far there has not been an official announcement confirming the Attack On Titan studio change (for the full details, see the full article).

At first, it was just a rumor that started with a Chinese animator who works as a sub-contractor. He was celebrating starting work on AoT Season 3 Part 2 Episode 10, but he ignited speculation when he called the current season the “final season” of the anime series.

Then another Chinese source claimed the third season “would be the last season WIT [Studio] is in charge of. No updates on which studio would take the job or when the new season airs.” He was told multiple times by several different sources “that even the chance of [WIT Studio] returning is nearly zero” due to “many complicated reasons,” which the user believes “implies that there [is] a good amount of information that must remain confidential.”

In response to hearing these rumors, reputable anime sources Yonkou Productions and Sakurabooru independently reached out to “staff on the show” and confirmed that SnK Season 3 Part 2 is the final season of Attack On Titan being produced by WIT Studio.

“I’ll be honest and admit that before everything blew up yesterday I’d simply assumed the prior whisperings were fan speculation gone wild, but after checking multiple first and second-hand sources, I can say with certainty that these aren’t mere conjectures,” claimed Sakurabooru. “WIT [has] said they’re done.

What does this mean for the production of Attack On Titan Season 4? Production I.G. is directly on the anime production committee so they might be able to “borrow a bunch of staff acquainted with the property” but it seems unlikely that the borrowed staff might include series director Tetsuro Araki, action animation directory Arifumi Imai, character designer Kyoji Asano, and chief animation director Satoshi Kadowaki.

Some might argue that since Araki confirmed the production of Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 that must mean he’s returning for producing the fourth season at Production I.G. While that idea is possible, it’s also likely that Araki was present at meetings when WIT Studio declined the project. Knowing the production status doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be involved directly. What’s more, producing Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Season 2 is Araki’s passion project, which makes sense for WIT Studio financially since the company is on the anime production committee since they developed the IP internally.

Another option besides Production I.G. producing AoT Season 4 might be MAPPA, which is larger than the overworked WIT Studio. In the end, it’s up to publisher Kodansha (which controls the rights) to honor the fans by putting together a great team for finishing off the anime’s story. Let’s just hope nobody says the words “J.C. Staff” in a committee meeting.

Shingeki no Kyojin Manga Ending In 2020 Or 2021? What That Means For Attack On Titan Season 5

For years now, fans have known that the ending of the Attack On Titan manga series was coming. Back in 2015, Isayama estimated that he was about 60 percent done when Volume 16 released. While there is no set date for the manga’s ending, the publisher later confirmed in 2016 that the manga had at least three years left in it, which would have meant 2019 but it seems the story is going to be longer than expected.

Fast forward to December 2017 and the mangaka had reached Chapter 100. Isayama said in a blog post that he had started putting thought into exactly how he wanted to end Attack On Titan. He also mentioned that people kept asking him whether the story had been deliberately stretched out.

“I know there is an impression like that, but to me, in fact I don’t think particularly in that way. If you ask me whether it is true, I’d rather say ‘if it gets stretched, isn’t it very bad to the whole sense of completeness of the story?’ I fear things like that will happen,” Isayama wrote. “Same as other people, I also think it better to keep the length short… Although this is what I have in my mind, when I actually implement the ideas appropriately, the story gets inevitably long.”

Warning: The following paragraph contains minor spoilers.

Based on the way the story progressed in 2018 and 2019, new ideas pushed out the ending even further. For example, Attack On Titan Season 4 will open with the newest manga story arc involving multiple time skips. In a March 2018 Q & A session, Isayama was asked, “Any plan to draw the four-year period back on Paradis island?” Isayama responded, “That’s something I can’t tell you for now,” and his editor Kawakubo Shintaro jumped in and said, “Isayama-sensei won’t tell you anything, but please look forward…”

By June 2018, manga fans knew the real answer. Starting with Attack On Titan Chapter 106 and 107, Isayama has slowly begun filling in the time gap by showing what happened from the perspective of the Survey Corps.

However, flashbacks won’t delay Attack On Titan’s ending indefinitely. In a May 2018 interview with NHK Japan, Isayama confirmed that he had already mapped out the manga’s ending. By November 2018, MBS’ Jonetsu Tairku documentary announced that the manga was indeed entering its final story arc.

The program even revealed Isayam’s rough layout draft for the final manga panel of the entire story. While it does not show fans what happens to Eren Yeager or any of the main characters, it does show from the back a long-haired man holding an infant. The dialogue simply states, “You’re free…”

In April 2019, Isayama gave an interview with Japanese newspaper Yomiruri Shimbun. The article does not directly quote Isayama but it states that the manga series will “end in one or two years,” which would mean that the Attack On Titan manga’s ending will be in either 2020 or 2021.

Isayama has not revealed the chapter number for the ending, or which book volume the final chapter will release in, but he has stated in the past that he hopes to finish the SnK manga quickly for the sake of the work itself.

Since Attack On Titan Season 4 is the final season, that probably means Isayama intends on ending in 2020, which means the anime adaptation will likely finish off with two cours composed of 24 episodes. There could have been room for Attack On Titan Season 5 if the final story arcs had been broken up (and not a split cour like the third season) but that’s apparently not the plan.

As for Isayama’s future, he’s worried about meeting the expectations of fans. The manga artist frequently speaks about how tired he has become working all night to meet deadlines. He does have an idea for what he wants to draw after Attack On Titan’s ending, but he’s uncertain if he’ll want to create it.

“I might not be able to draw it. It’s probably more likely that I won’t be able to. I wonder if I’ll have it in me to continue,” he said.

Attack On Titan Manga Compared To The Anime Adaptation: Part 1 Of The Third Season Diverged Significantly

The first cour of Season 1 adapted 20 chapters, while the second cour adapted 16 chapters with 12 episodes. Similarly, the Clash of the Titans story arc of Season 2 was a ratio of 16 chapters to 12 episodes. Without getting into spoilers, Attack On Titan Season 3 attempted to adapt two story arcs composed of 20 chapters each. Therefore, the third season adapted the chapters at a rapid pace compared to the second season.

Well before the anime aired, it was known that WIT Studio would change the Uprising manga story arc being covered by Attack On Titan Season 3. In an interview published in the Season 2 Blu-Ray box set, manga author Isayama Hajime revealed that he was “disappointed” with his own work in the manga volumes that covered the events of the Uprising story arc.

“After writing Volume 12, in the period between 13 and 16 was when I felt the most disappointed with my work,” he said. “Hopefully, now that [Attack On Titan] Season 3 is being made, I’ll have the chance to wipe away that regret and replace it with something I’m proud of.”

The mangaka says he suffered a “personal fallout” where his personal energy was “totally exhausted due to nothing but my own incompetence” after he completed Volume 12. Rather than take a break, he kept working hard to turn manuscripts in on time. Due to this agitated state, he believes the quality of Volume 13 through 16 was harmed. He now believes he “reluctantly extended” the manga chapters and made them “duller each month.” (How that explains his creation of the so-called “shit machine” is anyone’s guess.)

That meant Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 is significantly different from the manga. Based on a recent blog post from Isayama, it was revealed that the overall story remained the same, but how it was executed and the ordering of events changed.

Shortly after the airing of Attack On Titan 3 Episode 1, Isayama wrote about how he worked with screenwriter Kobayashi Keiko to create a “clear and succinct backbone for my messed up manga.”

“At least, in my self-reflection I was weak-minded. Thus, when Season 3’s anime production first started, I discussed with the staff members and expressed that I hope they could appropriately rearrange the sections and functions of storylines in Volume 13 through 16 from the get-go,” Isayama wrote in his personal blog. “As a result, they delivered an idealized script for me. This time, the story has a structure that I had no way of accomplishing with my own skills!”

While many fans love the Uprising story arc since it really dug into worldbuilding, critics disliked the dialogue-heavy stories that were not as action-packed as previous story arcs. While the exact changes to the third season were left undefined, Isayama did say that writer Seko Hiroshi “turned some poorly-written plots in the original manga into more compelling forms.”

Finally, the Attack On Titan creator thanked director Araki Tetsuro for bringing “together guidelines for the overall production … as well as all members who participated in the production.” Back in June 2018, Araki had already discussed how WIT Studio planned on changing the structure of the third season.

“Whether it is structural composition or animation, [Attack On Titan] season 3 differs from the previous two quite a lot – it almost feels like an entirely new series. Whether it is Eren, Levi, or other characters, the production now focuses on their innermost attributes, and it will be quite clear that up to now, we’ve only understood them on a surface level. Even just looking at a key animation draft, it’s apparent that this is not a direct extension of the previous seasons.”

The November 2018 issue of Pash! featured an interview with screenwriter Kobayashi Yasuko where he dived into the changes. Kobayashi says “the first episode’s presentation was completely produced in accordance with Isayama-sensei’s wishes. The timeline, setting, and contents were all courageously reshaped.” In later episodes, extra action sequences involving Levi and Kenny were added, as well.

“The first step was to organize all the information, so we wrote each development onto separate pieces of paper. Then, in accordance with a chronological timeline, we attached and reorganized the papers one-by-one onto a wall, grasping each development individually while crafting the overall story. This was because we must thoroughly understand who communicated what to whom, and what emotions the characters felt due to those interactions. There were even times that if we changed the order of a single event, a character would not be aware of a specific piece of information – thus, the work became complicated (Laughs). This was especially true for episode 38, where significant changes took place in terms of both setting and story, which made our work very challenging. That was the season 3 episode that we spent the most time conceptualizing.”

But the biggest change was the characterization of the revolution itself. The Uprising story arc originally showed how human society pushed the royalty out, not just the military. But the anime version left out the alliance between Levi and Dimo Reeves.

“Throughout the third season, we omitted the elements pertaining to ‘revolution’ from the original work. Ultimately, the scenario we wanted to showcase was ‘coup d’état,’ which was a point that never changed. Hence, the anime’s storyline skewed towards that direction. The citizens, such as the Reeves family and the journalists, definitely belonged as part of a ‘revolution’ rather than a ‘coup d’état.’ It was unfortunate that we had to remove their screentime. In order for the plot to become more comprehensible, we only retained the most essential of the developments.”

In the manga, Dimo Reeves was also the person to utter the line, “Give him a punch after you become queen.” Since the anime had already killed the character off by then, that line was given to Mikasa.

While some fans may dislike it when an anime adaptation changes the source material, Isayama believes the differences made the third season even better than his original vision. In fact, he says, “This time, I can ascend to heaven right after I die!”

Attack On Titan Season 4 Release Date: Will There Be Another Long Wait?

The official Twitter page has officially confirmed that the Attack On Titan Season 4 release date will be in the fall of 2020. However, the exact Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 premiere date has not yet been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.

Shingeki no Kyojin S3 began airing on July 22, 2018. Attack On Titan Season 3 was a two-cour season and ran for 22 episodes.

The third season was a split-cour anime season, which is when a single season takes a multi-month break before renewing broadcasting. In this case, the second half of the third season began airing on April 28, 2019, during the spring anime season.

It is possible that Episode 22 of the third season (Episode 59 of the entire series) will conclude by announcing the fourth season.

By the time AoT S3 Part 2 aired in late April 2019, the monthly manga was up to Attack On Titan Chapter 116. Based on the information available during the premiere, Part 2 of the third season will likely find an ending somewhere around Chapter 90 (Volume 22).

So why is Attack On Titan Season 4 waiting until fall 2020? It could be argued that this stopping point will give the production studio over 26 chapters to work with for producing Attack On Titan Season 4, which is more than enough for a single-cour season, but the current chapters for Volume 29 do not provide a good stopping point for the fourth season that provides a semblance of closure to the middle of the final story arc.

Instead, the closest thing to a decent stopping point is Chapter 110 since the ending of Volume 27 concludes with a major turning point in the story.  There was also Chapter 113, which included a surprising battle. But since neither stopping point is optimal it’s probably best the anime is covering all of the remaining manga chapters to the ending.

(Note: This analysis does not even factor in whether or not WIT Studio is really quitting the anime series. Despite the word of trustworthy sources, keep in mind that WIT Studio quitting is still a rumor until an official announcement is made. Assuming the rumor is true, anime projects are scheduled years in advance, so it’s possible the studio change for Attack On Titan Season 4 was planned in advance.)

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Spoilers

Note: Attack On Titan Season 3 Episode 12, Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall, has the same title as manga Chapter 72. The following spoilers for Attack On Titan Season 4 assume that the ending of the third season will correspond to Chapter 90 of the manga. This article will be updated once the final episodes air in Japan.

One year after the battle of Trost district, the Survey Corps finally set about beyond Wall Maria for the first time in several years. They find the ocean in the year 851, reaching the border of Paradis Island. While others played out scenes from the inevitable anime beach episode, Eren is focused only on killing enemies across the sea.

The secrets inside Eren’s basement proved that the true history of the walled world is about as flip-flopped as anyone might guess. The Eldia world map is based upon a reversed Madagascar and Africa and it turns out Paradis is simply an isolated fraction of humanity.

The empire of Marley was created during the Great Titan War when the Marleyans rose up against Eldia and expunged the Eldians from all of the territories except for Paradis Island. The highest authority in the nation is the Tybur family, Eldian nobles who sided with Marley during the Great Titan War. Marley sent Warriors into Paradis to recover the Coordinate, but after that failure Marley officially declares war on Paradis in the year 854.

What’s more, the rest of humanity is at war with each other, as well. The beginning of Attack On Titan Season 4 will open by presenting to anime audiences the viewpoint of the Warriors of Marley. For the last four years, they have been battling against the Mid-East Allied Forces, a coalition of territories located in areas physically similar to a reversed real-life India or Arabian Peninsula.

The Mid-East Allied Forces had declared war when Marley lost the Colossus Titan and the Female Titan thanks to Eren and his friends. Marley had other Titan types to spare, but the Allied Forces had anti-Titan artillery, machine guns, Naval dreadnoughts, and other military hardware.

But Reiner Braun’s Armored Titan and Zeke Yeager’s Beast Titan intend on taking a stronghold called Fort Slava in order to put an end to this war. And they do it in dramatic fashion by taking a zeppelin and raining Titans down from on high. While the four-year war is brought to an end, the fact that weapons capable of harming the Warriors’ Titan exist means the age of relying only on Titan power is coming to an end.

Meanwhile, Marley’s forces have realized that every ship sent to Paradis Island has been destroyed, which means that Paradis must be in control of at least several Titans: the Founding Titan, the Attack Titan, the Colossus Titan, and the Female Titan. Besides developing more conventional weaponry to retain their strategic advantage, Zeke recommends to the Marleyan military that seizing the power of Eren’s Founding Titan become a military imperative. It is believed that Paradis Island must be crushed because they are a threat to the rest of the world.

The story also follows Reiner as he meets with children who are Warrior candidates. Reiner regales them with tales of living among the devils of Paradis Island. Audiences will be introduced to Falco, a candidate for inheriting the Armored Titan from Reiner. Falco becomes suspicious of Reiner because of the older man’s behavior and the fact that he described the people of Paradis Island as being just “different” rather than fully evil as Marley’s propaganda would suggest.

Marley’s military is entrusting the power of Titans to children who go through intense training. Through many flashback sequences, audiences will also get to see the childhoods of Reiner, Bertolt, Annie, and Marcel and see why they are so motivated by hatred toward the people of Paradis Island. The anime will also show the attack on Wall Maria, which led to the death of Eren’s mother, and the subsequent military training with Eren from the perspective of the four Marleyans.

While the opening episodes of Attack On Titan Season 4 will be mostly about backstory and developing the Marleyan characters, the action will finally start to heat up when Eren successfully infiltrates a Marley city called Liberio with the help of an unwitting Falco. Eren meets a shocked Reiner and both of them talk openly of their beliefs regarding the world they live in. With both men’s motivations and beliefs laid bare, Eren proceeds to transform into the Attack Titan and kill Marleyan citizens, including children, who had gathered for a speech.

The surprise attack turns into a battle against the War Hammer Titan, one of the Nine Titans capable of creating weapons and structures out of hardened Titan flesh. Mikasa joins the fight armed with thunder spears and other members of the Survey Corps, including Levi, attack using anti-personnel vertical maneuvering equipment.

The battle quickly escalates into a full-out war between the Survey Corps and Marley’s Warriors. The Survey Corps has a grand plan for taking on Marley and the rest of the world to secure the future for the hated Eldian race.

But the military’s plan causes loyalties to shift and friends to take up arms against each other. Even former enemies suddenly find themselves on the same side.

Attack On Titan Chapter 115 ended on a huge cliffhanger involving fan-favorite character Levi. There have also been several more huge revelations, including a new type of healer character who is able to bring another character back from the dead.

Unfortunately, anime audiences will have to wait until the Attack On Titan Season 4 release date happens to see how the story goes. Stay tuned!

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