Attack on Titan producers talked about why they changed studios from Wit Studio to MAPPA for the final season. The producers interviewed in the November 2020 issue of Newtype include Kensuke Tateishi, Toshihiro Maeda, and Tetsuya Kinoshita.
The news of Wit Studio’s departure from the series had left many fans cautious of the final season’s production quality. Fans where happy with Wit Studio’s adaptation, although noted slight deviations in character design and pacing from the original manga.
Why the final season of Attack on Titan changed studios
(Warning: contains spoilers):
Tateishi: “While season three was in production, we consulted with Wit Studio, and it was decided that The Final Season would be created by a different production studio. One of the reasons is because the end of season three has the protagonist gazing at the ocean, marking a turning point for the story. Also, as creators we wanted the anime to escalate even further. Through many talks with Wit Studio, we understood that the continuation would be difficult, so we looked for a new studio. Kinoshita, Maeda, and I divided the searching duties among ourselves, but most studios turned us down. Everyone understood what big shoes they had to fill, and we were told by dozens of studios that they emphatically could not accept.”
Maeda: “Of course, there were also those who told us that they had the desire to do it but just couldn’t make it work in their schedule.”
Tateishi: “The only studio that said they would consider it was MAPPA. When we talked to WIT about it, they said they could rest easy knowing it was in MAPPA’s hands. The producers were in agreement, so the production shifted to MAPPA.”
Kinoshita: “MAPPA took the matter firmly into their hands, saying, ‘Attack on Titan should have a proper ending for the sake of the fans,’ which also made a strong impression on us.”
Maeda: “I think you can see their fighting spirit reflected in The Final Season’s PV. The show is in good hands.”
Broadcasting rights shifted to NHK
The producers wish to reassure fans, they intend to adapt the original story all the way until the end. Kinoshita said his reaction to viewing season one, episode 13, where the Eren Titan seals the wall made him determined to see the series until the end.
After the broadcasting rights transferred to NHK, MBS chose to remain a part of the production. Maeda noted MBS’ passion for the show had them stay as investors even after selling the rights. Tateishi said that despite viewers increased with each season, he suggested NHK would garner the largest domestic audience possible. MBS pleasantly surprised Tateishi as they continued investing in a show not on their broadcast lineup. As a result, he feels greatly indebted to both the NHK and MBS.
Yuichiro Hayashi returning from Wit Studio
Most pleased by MAPPA’s takeover are the manga fans, who are impressed by the closer adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s manga. MAPPA previously worked on Yuri on Ice, Terror in Resonance, and Dorohedoro. A particular point of contention which marred fans was the CG Colossal Titan in seasons two and three. However MAPPA appears to have improved its adaptation. With the latest trailer’s release, fans are hopeful for an adaptation potentially better than what WIT could have produced.
Yuichiro Hayashi (Dorohedoro, Kakegurui) will direct the series’ last season. Shūhei Yabuta, the 3DCG director for the first three seasons of Attack on Titan, will return to the CG team for the final season. Yabuta will be the only member of the original Wit team to come back for the series. Takahiro Uezono (Yuri on Ice) will replace Yabuta as head of 3DCG for the final season.
The final season of Attack on Titan premieres on December 7th, 2020.