Manga fans usually hate it when an anime adaptation makes significant changes to the plot or story and will cry foul all over the internet (or maybe just Reddit). Shingeki no Kyojin manga creator Hajime Isayama recently admitted that Studio Wit is planning to do exactly that with Attack On Titan Season 3, but the mangaka believes these changes will be a good thing.
Isayama maintains a personal blog where he’ll often share personal insights into both the Shingeki no Kyojin anime and SnK manga series. His blog has been on hiatus for about two months, but he came back with an original sketch of the cover of Attack On Titan Volume 26 (see below). What’s more, he explained why Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 would be changed.
Isayama claims he suffered a “personal fallout” after he finished drawing Volume 12 which he believes affected the quality of Volume 13 through 16. He says that he was in a state where his personal energy “totally exhausted due to nothing but m own incompetence.” Regardless, he managed to keep in turning manuscripts in time rather than take a break, but he now feels he “reluctantly extended” the chapters and made them “duller each month.”
This is not the first time Isayama had expressed such sentiments. In an interview included in the Blu-ray box set for SnK Season 2, the manga creator had said that he regretted how that story arc had turned out.
“After writing Volume 12, in the period between 13 and 16 was when I felt the most disappointed with my work,” he said. “Hopefully, now that [Attack On Titan] Season 3 is being made, I’ll have the chance to wipe away that regret and replace it with something I’m proud of.”
Now that Attack On Titan 3 has begun airing, Isayama shared that he was indeed able to work with screenwriter Kobayashi Keiko to create a “clear and succinct backbone for my messed up manga.”
“At least, in my self-reflection I was weak-minded. Thus, when Season 3’s anime production first started, I discussed with the staff members and expressed that I hope they could appropriately rearrange the sections and functions of storylines in Volume 13 through 16 from the get-go,” Isayama wrote in his blog. “As a result, they delivered an idealized script for me. This time, the story has a structure that I had no way of accomplishing with my own skills!”
Manga Volumes 13 through 16 covers the so-called Uprising story arc. While many fans love this part of the story since it really dug into worldbuilding, others felt it was very dialogue-heavy and lacked action. Isayama did not explain exactly what will change in Attack On Titan Season 3, but he did say that writer Seko Hiroshi “turned some poorly-written plots in the original manga into more compelling forms.”
Finally, the SnK creator gave thanks to director Araki Tetsuro for bringing “together guidelines for the overall production … as well as all members who participated in the production.” Back in June 2018, Araki had already discussed how the structure of the third season would differ greatly from previous seasons.
“Whether it is structural composition or animation, [Attack On Titan] season 3 differs from the previous two quite a lot – it almost feels like an entirely new series. Whether it is Eren, Levi, or other characters, the production now focuses on their innermost attributes, and it will be quite clear that up to now, we’ve only understood them on a surface level. Even just looking at a key animation draft, it’s apparent that this is not a direct extension of the previous seasons.”
In the end, Hajime Isayama seems to believe that all of these dramatic changes should make the anime Attack On Titan Season 3 even better than his original vision. In fact, he says, “This time, I can ascend to heaven right after I die!”