November 4, 2023, has finally arrived, and with it, the finale of the Attack on Titan anime series. After ten years, Episode 89, titled “THE FINAL CHAPTERS Special 2”, finally premiered and the anime series has come to its deserved end. Isayama’s story is now over, and while a lot of fans are still collecting their thoughts and impressions, we have decided to talk about the ending of the Attack on Titan anime. It was one of the anime highlights of 2023, and we think that it definitely deserves a standalone article. In this opinion piece, we are going to tell you whether the anime’s ending was a disappointment or not.
The ending did not change much (spoiler free)
Now, we know that several days before the final episode actually premiered, Isayama personally confirmed, as was reported by multiple sources, that the ending would change some things. Now, we all know that the ending of the Attack on Titan manga was highly controversial and that a lot of fans actually felt it was a major letdown when compared to the rest of the story.
And while we have discussed the issue here on Fiction Horizon, we concluded that the manga’s ending wasn’t so much a letdown as it was a kick in the face of the whole story because Isayama made it seem like nothing actually mattered. It seemed that all the sacrifices were in vain and that the status quo after Eren’s death was maintained for a short time so that the heroes of the original plot could live out the rest of their lives in peace.
And while they certainly deserved that, we’re not certain that anyone among them would have wished for the world to enter another chaotic war right after their deaths, especially one in which Paradis would end up being completely destroyed and in which it was implied that the whole Titan cycle could simply be repeated once again, as the boy found Eren’s gigantic tree. This wasn’t bad, as we said, per se, but it was a major letdown as it seemed like nothing mattered, and the cycle was simply doomed to repeat itself all over again with another set of heroes who would sacrifice themselves for the greater good and so on.
We can understand that such an ending angered fans, and we can confirm that a lot of fans demanded that Isayama write another ending for the anime, which would replace the manga canon. So, when Isayama announced that the anime would have a different ending, many fans were excited because they thought that Isayama would completely change the controversial story and write a more just ending for everything.
So, did it happen? We promised you that this would be spoiler-free, so we’re not going to dig into the details of the episode’s content, but we have to say that the changes were minimal and that the original ending remained in its entirety. Some scenes were extended or even added, some of the dialogues were extended and changed a bit, and the overall impression is that some controversial moments from the final battle against Eren were done better or more smoothly, but the story did not change.
These additions helped explain some things better, and they allowed for a smoother transition between scenes and dialogues, but the story wasn’t changed. The overall ending is exactly the same, and neither Isayama nor MAPPA intervened in the story as a whole. So, if you’ve been expecting a wholly different ending, we have to disappoint you. But, having said that, did the finale disappoint overall? Let us see!
Did the Attack on Titan anime ending disappoint fans?
To cut to the chase, we don’t think that the ending of Attack on Titan actually disappointing. It was a big moment, and the fans were all hyped up to see how it all ended, especially those who had not read the manga, i.e., those who used the anime as their only source of information. The episode provided us with a lot of emotional moments, and based on what the folks online are saying, there was a lot of crying and a lot of emotional moments that made the episode enjoyable.
But we have to also state that the episode and series finale won’t end up being the anime event of the year. It is certainly one of the year’s best moments, but it wasn’t the best moment. It delivered, but since it delivered what most fans expected, we cannot say that it brought anything new to the whole concept and that it provided us with a shocking change, like – for example – Bleach did in its final two episodes, which were executed brilliantly and which showed just how much commitment Kubo put into his series.
Attack on Titan delivered a brilliant and technically superior episode that will certainly satisfy all the basic criteria, but we wanted more. We have to admit that now. We wanted a new ending, and not just a few extended scenes – we wanted a better ending for this great series, and while the anime did not give us a bad ending, it gave us an ending we’ve already seen in the manga and an ending that remains as controversial as it was when the manga ended a couple of years ago.
And that is why Attack on Titan won’t be the anime event of the year. Still, we wouldn’t really call it a disappointment. It provided us with an epic grand finale, with some excellent animation, and with a lot of emotional moments that will certainly go down in the history of anime, so we guess it did not disappoint. We wanted to see that; we wanted to see the series go out with a bang, and it went out with a bang. We hoped for something more, but the fact that we did not get it doesn’t mean that the series was disappointing, and that is our final verdict on the series finale.