Attack on Titan: The Final Chapters Special Summary and Review


(Top) Eren’s founding Titan leading the army of colossal titans. (Bottom) Eren finally achieving freedom, at a terrible cost.

by Reid Hulst, Staff Writer

March 3 marked the return of one of the most popular and critically acclaimed anime series of the last decade, Attack on Titan. The manga the anime is based on began in 2009 by Japanese mangaka author Hajime Isayama. A few years later WIT studios picked up the license and broadcast the first season of the show from April to September of 2013. It quickly grew in popularity in Japan as well as America as the dark and gritty story was appealing to audiences at the time with the show being compared to the Walking Dead. The seemingly simplistic story of the remnants of humanity surviving against giants called titans would grow into a complex web of plot and intrigue.

Following season 3 part 2, WIT studios dropped the license due to time limitations and it was picked up by Studio MAPPA who would go on to release Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 1 in December 2020, which would air until March. With a decent chunk of the manga left to adapt, Final Season Part 2 was announced for Winter 2022. 

In simple terms, Final Season Part 2 saw the shows titular main character Eren Jaeger betray his half brother Zeke and activates the Rumbling, an apocalyptic event where the walls of Paradis are undone, allowing the millions of colossal titans within to trample the entire world outside of Paradis island. Eren’s friends join forces with their enemies to stop him from committing this reprehensible act. At the end of Final Season Part 2, the Rumbling arrived on Marley, destroying the world’s strongest warships in the blink of an eye. Things were quite hopeless.

On March 3rd 2023 Studio MAPPA released a one hour special debuting Attack on Titan the Final Season Part 3. Picking up after we left off, we are given a heartbreaking scene of Eren apologizing for what he’s going to do in the future to a boy he barely knows. In present day scenes that can only be described as pure horror are shown, showcasing the absolute tragedy and horrifying reality of the Rumbling. Fans of the manga were concerned with potential censorship by MAPPA, as Chapter 131, the chapter adapted, is among the manga’s most highly regarded chapters. To state it plainly, MAPPA didn’t hold back in showing the gruesomeness and horror, making it one of if not the darkest moment in the entire series.

This one hour special also saw the sendoff of beloved character Hange Zoe as they sacrificed themselves in a dazzling display of amazing animation so the alliance could escape and head for Eren in order to stop him. The hour-long special also saw the alliances come to terms with their sins but accept that despite their wrongdoing, they must try their best to save the rest of the world if they can.

(Top) Beloved Character Hange Zoe making her final stand. (Bottom) Eren’s grotesque founding titan form.

The special faithfully adapted chapters 131 to 134 as well as adding many anime-original scenes to strengthen the impact. However some fans had concern for crucial scenes being omitted from chapter 134; I hold to the personal opinion that they were rearranged and will be in cour 2. The omitted scenes showcased the effects of The Rumbling across the world and it included one of the most iconic panels in the entire manga. It wouldn’t be the first time MAPPA rearranged manga scenes for better effect.

Although an official release date for cour 2 of The Final Season Part 3 hasn’t been announced quite yet, MAPPA revealed that the series will come to an end some time in September 2023. The manga has been completed since 2021, but discourse within the fandom speculates possibilities of an Anime Original Ending or AOE as it is colloquially known. Only time will tell.