Attack On Titan Anime Finale Delivers A New And Improved Ending

It seemed like the last season of the incredibly famous shonen anime show Attack on Titan never ended. On November 4, it finally ended on Crunchyroll and Hulu. Unlike the manga it’s based on, which had a controversial ending that made fans split down the middle over whether the ten-year series was a complete letdown or “peak fiction,” the anime smartly changes one important line from the manga to make the ending look better.

Eren Jaeger is a boy soldier in Attack on Titan who uses his power to turn into a giant to protect his town from Titans, which are huge monsters. At some point, the show changes from a fight anime with scary parts like The Walking Dead to a heavy political drama with fascist undertones. Eren and his friends’ home of Paradis and their dangerous fight against the Titans were caused by his people being ruled by Marley, a cruel foreign country, for generations. In the last season, Eren becomes the show’s bad guy and threatens to kill everyone in the world to free his people from slavery by using his newfound titan-controlling skills.

Before the finale, AoT creator Hajime Isayama said that he had asked to be able to write a new script for the anime. This made fans excited for the show to “fix” the ending of the book that caused a lot of trouble. As it turns out, the hour-and-a-half-long ending is a lot like what happens in the manga. After Eren kills 80% of humanity, his old friends beat him. Eren does talk to his best friend Armin Arlert before crossing the big rainbow bridge, though. This talk goes a little differently (and better) than it does in the manga, but it gives us much-needed information and closure about Eren’s new, murderous self.

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In both the anime and manga, Eren says that his power—which lets him live in both the past and the future—and his skewed view of freedom made him a homicidal psychopath that can’t be fixed. Eren knew he was going to do these horrible things before he did them. He also believed that his friends would stop him in the end and become heroes in the process.

Some people don’t like how the manga shows this scene. To comfort Eren, Armin thanks his childhood friend for “turning himself into a mass murderer” for them. This shocking line seems to clear Eren of his horrible actions and show him as a force that brought people together for the greater good. The manga, on the other hand, does something different: Armin makes Eren pay for his crimes. Instead of telling Eren goodbye, Armin says, “We’ll be together.” There in hell.”

This change makes Eren less of a martyr and more of someone who deserves to be damned forever. It’s more in line with what the show’s creator, Hajime Isayama, wanted their talk to say to fans. Isayama told The New York Times that he planned the ending of the story when the show first started in 2013. He said that Eren was always meant to be a “victim who then goes through this story and becomes the aggressor.”

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“What I really thought at the time wasn’t that Armin was trying to push Eren away for some reason, like justice or something.” It was more that he wanted to share some of the trouble. “He wanted to work with them,” Isayama told NYT. “Armin had to use strong language so that he could take responsibility for the crimes in order to become an associate. In that case, that was the goal.”

Isayama told the New York Times that he felt limited when writing Eren’s growth throughout the series and longed for the freedom to change his original idea for how the manga should end.

So the truth is the situation with Eren actually overlaps in a certain sense with my own story with this manga. When I first started this series, I was worried that it would probably be canceled. It was a work that no one knew about. But I had already started the story with the ending in mind. And the story ended up being read and watched by an incredible number of people, and it led to me being given a huge power that I didn’t quite feel comfortable with.

It would have been nice if I could have changed the ending. Writing manga is supposed to be freeing. But if I was completely free, then I should have been able to change the ending. I could have changed it and said I wanted to go in a different direction. But the fact is that I was tied down to what I had originally envisioned when I was young. And so, manga became a very restrictive art form for me, similar to how the massive powers that Eren acquired ended up restricting him.

I think that the anime’s revisionist take on Eren and Armin’s last talk makes the ending better because it makes Eren responsible for his horrible actions. Let’s just hope that Isayama’s upcoming extra Attack on Titan manga chapter doesn’t undo what the last episode of the series did. We’ll always have Code Geass if things go badly.

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