On Friday, eleven months after the initial announcement, Attack on Titan season 4 finally went online with its first trailer and visual. With that, they also revealed the studio and staff that will be replacing the Studio WIT in the final season. The fourth and final season of Shingeki no Kyojin will be animated by MAPPA.
So there is a lot to discuss to discuss about this but first let us start with why WIT abandoned the Attack on Titan production.
Why Studio WIT left Attack On Titan production?
WIT Studio was founded in 2012 as a subsidiary to production I.G and part of I.G Port. It first appeared in the anime market in 2013 with their blockbuster hit Attack on Titan. The anime topped charts in terms of viewership and sale. WIT continued their work on the property till season 3. However in 2019, a Chinese animator who works for a Chinese firm called Zhenglei/Thundra and was contracted to work on Attack on Titan, commented that season 3 part 2 will be last season that will produced by WIT. Soon the statement was supported by multiple anime influencers such as YonkouProductions and KVin from Sakurabooru.
According to YonkouProductions the WIT studio was suffering from bad scheduling throughout the series. The staff overworked to meet Kodansha’s deadlines. Multiple episodes throughout the series had more than 30 key animators or 10 animation supervisors which is quite an unusual number for any show. Also they had their hands full working on multiple series such as Vinland Saga and upcoming original series Great Pretender. All this led WIT to leave the production of Shingeki no Kyojin.
Is Studio Mappa a good choice for Attack on Titan?
After Wit left the project, it was upto Kodansha and other producers to decide how to proceed with production. They could possibly ask Production IG or its any of its subsidiary such as Signal MD or lookout for a new studio with a brand new staff working on it. So in end they decided to go with Studio Mappa.
Attack on Titan The Final Season, which is scheduled to be broadcast on NHK-G in Japan, will be directed by Yuichiro Hayashi (Dorohedoro, Kakegurui) at MAPPA, taking over from the staff at WIT Studio. Hayashi said that he and his team will “do their best” for this “exciting” chapter of the franchise, with the previous director Tetsuro Araki praising the team calling them “wonderful” after they’ve “had many meetings together exchanging information for a long time.” Hiroshi Seko is now the series composer, with Tomohiro Kishi on character design, and Kohta Yamamoto working on the music alongside veteran Hiroyuki Sawano.
Manabu Otsuka, the President of MAPPA said that the studio is “enthusiastic about taking over from such a great studio” with George Wada, the President of WIT saying he only has “great expectations” for The Final Season.
Hajame Isayama, the original author of series, drew a thanking illustration for Wit Studio and commented:
“Attack on Titan” will be animated to its end. I would like to thank the readers for their support so far. The series has been together for over 10 years, and I’ve been together for a long time, but I Thank Araki (previous director), WIT STUDIO, and the corps for all the memories that made me happy ! I’d like to continue the animation “Attack on Titan” with Director Hayashi and other MAPPA members, and make wonderful memories again!”
Mappa was founded around the same time as WIT in 2011 by former Madhouse producer Masao Maruyama. Unlike Wit, Mappa grew exponentially in the last 9 years in terms of staff and animation projects. Some of their notable works include Dororo, Banana Fish, Zombieland Saga, Yuri on Ice and Dorohedoro. They are also working on upcoming two projects- Summer’s God of Highschool and Fall’s Jujutsu Kaisen.
Attack on Titan production won’t be affected much by these two ongoing projects as God of Highschool is said to completed its production while Jujutsu Kaisen is in its final phase. Also Attack on Titan fourth season has a separate team working on it.
And if you watched the trailer then you might have noticed that the art and animation isn’t the same as previous three seasons. The final season will have an art style close to manga with more of shadow lines and less aesthetic look.
But Shuhei Yabuta who storyboarded and directed the teaser trailer said that the confirms the PV is pre-animated. It means that it was animated specially for trailer, instead of taking bits from the original animation. That’s why the teaser contained panels from recent chapters, ans there is a chance that final product might not look the same. They have re-used pre-animated footage before but it remains to be seen how much if any.