The Attack on Titan Season 4 anime is probably be one the most anticipated anime sequels of 2020, but that announcement is sullied by the rumor that animation studio WIT Studio might be quitting the production of Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4.
The topic apparently came up when WIT Studio President and CEO George Wada was interviewed during a studio panel at Crunchyroll Expo 2019. In addition to being a producer for the Attack On Titan anime series, Wada has produced Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and The Ancient Magus Bride. Director Hiro Kaburagi, manga artist Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, and scriptwriter Ryota Kosawa also attended the panel.
During the panel, Wada was directly asked, “Opinions on possible Season 4 of Attack On Titan?” In response, Wada simply said, “If there’s an opportunity.”
Both the question and the response have greatly confused anime fans. How can Attack on Titan Season 4 merely be “possible” when it’s already been announced to be releasing in the fall of 2020? What opportunity is Wada talking about?
The reason that the question was even asked is due to rumors that have been flying around since May 2019. A Chinese freelance animator (pretty much the majority of all Japanese anime are produced by freelancers) ignited controversy when he suggested that the finale episode of AoT’s third season would be the “final season” for the studio.
Hearing of these rumors, anime sources Yonkou Productions and Sakurabooru independently reached out to “staff on the show” and reportedly confirmed that WIT Studio won’t be producing Attack On Titan Season 4.
“I’ll be honest and admit that before everything blew up yesterday I’d simply assumed the prior whisperings were fan speculation gone wild, but after checking multiple first and second-hand sources, I can say with certainty that these aren’t mere conjectures,” claimed Sakurabooru. “WIT [has] said they’re done.”
— WIT_STUDIO (@WIT_STUDIO) June 30, 2019
When Attack On Titan: The Last Season was officially announced, Yonkou thought it was suspicious that the official WIT Studio Twitter account celebrated the ending of the last season with various tweets but did not retweet or discuss the Attack On Titan Season 4 announcement. Instead, recent WIT tweets have focused on promoting the Vinland Saga anime produced by WIT Studio.
Part of the reason the rumor is believable is that WIT Studio is relatively small and yet they’re overwhelmed by high-quality projects. Besides Vinland Saga, WIT is also working on the Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress movie and Netflix’s Vampire In The Garden anime.
They’re also working on the Great Pretender anime which is also scheduled to release in 2020. The anime is an original story and when WIT held a special panel at Anime Expo 2019 back in July they focused on Great Pretender without even mentioning Attack On Titan Season 4 once.
Depending on how you choose to interpret Wada’s interview at Crunchyroll Expo 2019, these rumors about the Attack On Titan Season 4 studio change might be justified. Since the release date is a little over a year away it’s likely another animation studio has been chosen but not officially announced. Therefore, the “opportunity” Wada is speaking of could be to provide animation assistance in the production of Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4.
Assuming the rumor of a studio change is true, what does this mean for the production of Attack On Titan: The Final Season?
Production I.G. is directly on the anime production committee so they might be able to “borrow a bunch of staff acquainted with the property” but it seems unlikely that the borrowed staff might include series director Tetsuro Araki, action animation directory Arifumi Imai, character designer Kyoji Asano, and chief animation director Satoshi Kadowaki. It’s also possible that the fourth season will be co-produced with another animation studio besides WIT.
It could even be argued that a studio change would be a good thing since WIT’s employees would not be overwhelmed by a crazy schedule next year.
Let's just say that if Season 4 isn't at WIT as per my suspicions… it'll be good because it's specifically not being made at WIT.
— YonkouProductions (@YonkouProd) September 3, 2019
Of course, another way to interpret Wada’s comments is that he’s simply teasing anime fans since he’s surely aware of the rumor about the Attack On Titan studio change.
Let’s just hope the ending of the Shingeki no Kyojin anime series does the SNK manga series justice. For more details and spoilers for Attack On Titan Season 4 see our full article. Stay tuned!