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Attack On Titan ‘Season 5’ release date: 2021 Shingeki no Kyojin Final Season ending with Part 2 or a movie?

Shingeki no Kyojin Final Season
Anime fans are already searching for news about Attack On Titan Season 5, but when MAPPA says “Final Season,” they really mean it. Pic credit: Studio MAPPA

The Attack On Titan Season 5 anime is on anime fans’ minds now that the fourth season has exploded onto our TV screens. The demand was so high that Crunchyroll’s servers crashed from all the people trying to watch the SnK Episode 1 premiere.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. It’s doubtful that the anime’s ending will be titled Shingeki no Kyojin Season 5. The newest anime episodes are labeled as Attack On Titan: The Final Season, and when they say “final season,” they really mean it.

The only real question is whether the final part of the story will be released as Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Part 2 or as a final Attack on Titan movie.

We’ll consider the evidence for both ideas for ending Attack On Titan “Season 5.”  It’s possible that even the anime’s creators haven’t decided how to end the story.

Instead of WIT Studio, the ending of the Attack On Titan anime series is being produced by animation studio MAPPA, the studio that has given us anime such as Garo, Punch Line, Yuri On Ice, Kakegurui, Inuyashiki, Banana FishZombie Land SagaDororo, and Dorohedoro.

In 2020, MAPPA was also working on Mr. Love: Queen’s ChoiceThe God of High School, and Jujutsu Kaisen.

Despite having built the AoT anime series into a success story with three seasons, WIT Studio was merely a hired contractor. Studios in that business arrangement are paid a certain amount to produce a set number of episodes, usually not decided by the studio.

The studio doesn’t share in with the financial success like the license holders, which is why in recent years, WIT Studio has been more focused on producing original works owned by them, including Netflix’s Great Pretender and the 2021 Vampire in the Garden.

By contrast, Studio MAPPA has been given a seat on the anime production committee for Attack On Titan’s final season. A committee is a group of companies invested in an anime project that shares both the risk and the rewards.

As such, MAPPA has a vested interest in making the final season as successful as possible. They should also have more control over how the story ends.

  • Updated December 9, 2020: Added Attack On Titan Season 4 Episode 5 release date info.

Attack On Titan Season 4 director didn’t know the ending

MAPPA might be still figuring out the ending themselves.

“Right now, we don’t even know how this story will end. We’re just going to face this epic climax head-on,” MAPPA director Yuuichirou Hayashi said. “Although I say ‘final,’ we still have a long way to go, but I hope you enjoy it to the end.”

To put this quote in its context, it was printed next to artwork that was part of an official MAPPA exhibit held in Japan in late November 2020. Thus, we don’t know when exactly the director said these words and when the situation changed.

The main issue is that Attack On Titan “Season 5” will be based on the Attack On Titan manga’s ending, which won’t be released until early 2021.

Manga creator Hajime Isayama teased the early draft of the final panel many months ago. As of November 2020, we only know that he’s about 1 to 2 percent away from completion, not the exact number for the final chapter or its release month.

Attack On Titan Season 4 Episode 16 confirmed to be the final season’s ending

The only other certainty is that Attack On Titan: The Final Season is currently listed as having 16 episodes by the Blu-Ray/DVD page on the official website.

The Attack On Titan Season 4 Episode 5 release date reportedly is set for January 10, 2021, not January 3.

That means the final season’s finale, Attack On Titan Season 4 Episode 16, releases on March 29, 2021.

The number of episodes was already known months ago thanks to anime news leakers, but the number being confirmed has caused consternation among some anime fans.

The reason they’re concerned is due to the pacing of the story. The first 90 chapters of the manga were adapted by 59 episodes, which means the anime series averaged about 1.5 chapters per episode.

Since the manga will be up to Attack on Titan Chapter 135 in December 2020, there are at least 45 chapters left to be adapted.

Fans of both the anime and manga series would be horribly upset if MAPPA really did adapt about three chapters for every episode. Fortunately, anime news leakers claim that The Final Season will average somewhere around 1.5 to 2 chapters per episode.

In a December 2020 interview video, the director stated that he “wanted to reproduce the manga drawings as much as possible,” implying he intended to stay true to the heart of the manga’s story.

But in what format will this ending be released?

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Part 2 anime could be 8 episodes long or more

As previously noted, Attack On Titan Season 4, Part 2 is one option for finishing the story. So far, it seems to have the most evidence.

In fall 2020, sound director Masafumi Mima tweeted a photo of a desk where he was apparently working on the sound work.

“I’ve received a letter from director Yuuichirou Hayashi about the song selection in the first and second episode of Attack on Titan. Based on the director’s polite response, I will have to rework, but it’s also fun work. I wonder if I will reach the director’s soul this time?” Masafumi wrote.

“The sound work of Attack on Titan is in progress!”

Sharp-eyed fans immediately noticed that Attack On Titan “Final Season Part 1” was listed. Masafumi quickly deleted the tweet, but it went viral, regardless.

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Part 1
This photo by Studio MAPPA Sound Director Masafumi Mima clearly lists Attack On Titan Final Season Part 1. Pic credit: Masafumi Mima

On top of that, Netflix Japan also referenced “The Final Season Part 1”. Some Japanese fans even claimed they’d received a Netflix app notification with this title for the anime.

Netflix Shingeki no Kyoujin Season 4 Part 1
A screenshot of Netflix’s Attack On Titan Season 4 Part 1. Pic credit: Ranobe Sugoi

A Part 1 implies that there will be a Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Part 2. This wouldn’t be too unusual since the third season had a Part 2, and it wasn’t officially confirmed until the third season’s Part 1 was over.

Anime news leakers have also speculated that Part 1’s ending will correspond to Chapter 122 of the manga series, which means the pacing would average two chapters for every episode.

It’s a decent stopping point that sets up a massive battle, but it’d also end on a crazy cliffhanger.

But ending with Chapter 122 is just speculation, not leaked info, and it’s possible it could end at an earlier point in the story. Either way, Part 2 will have at least 8 episodes.

(For a more detailed analysis, please see our article that’s focused on Attack On Titan Season 4 Part 2 rumors.)

The only question is when The Final Season’s Part 2 will come out.

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Part 2 release date predictions

Assuming no delay, the Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Part 2 release date could be in April 2021, the Spring 2021 anime season.

But this TV scheduling seems unlikely since the Kingdom Season 3 anime rebroadcast is also starting in spring 2021. In the past, that anime TV series previously occupied the Japanese TV timeslot currently occupied by Attack On Titan.

Unless Kingdom takes a different timeslot, it’s possible that Part 2 could be a split-cour anime.

What’s a “cour,” you might ask? For those unfamiliar with the lingo, a “cour” is a three-month TV broadcasting block based on the physical seasons usually composed of 10 to 13 episodes.

A “split-cour” is where a single anime season takes a multi-month break before resuming TV broadcasting. (Which is why many people will assume there will be an Attack On Titan Season 5.)

Since the third season was also a split-cour anime, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was planned for The Final Season.

Assuming that the fourth season also takes a six-month broadcasting break, that would mean the Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Part 2 release date would be scheduled for October 2021, the fall 2021 anime season.

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4 Armored Titan
The Armored Titan in Attack On Titan Season 4 Episode 1. Pic credit: Studio MAPPA

Attack On Titan: Final Movie rumors from anime news leakers

The other option is that The Final Season really is the final TV anime season and that an Attack On Titan Final Movie will finish the story.

So far, there’s no direct evidence from any official sources that MAPPA and the rest of the anime production committee intend on ending with a film.

However, anime news leaker Alter DAC believes “it’s not very likely that the anime sequel will be in TV format.” So far, leaks from Alter DAC have been solid, although this particular tweet is mere speculation and should be treated as just a rumor.

What’s known for certain is that future story arcs contain more violent and gory scenes than usual. Alter DAC points out that “public broadcasters have some strict regulations in Japan,” and, in his eyes, an Attack On Titan: Final Movie would make more sense for the final arc.

Of course, especially gory scenes and explicit content are often censored in other anime with glaring lights or black boxes even when the TV episodes are streaming on Crunchyroll, FUNimation, Netflix, Hulu, etc.

In these cases, the uncensored version (which often comes with visual improvements like hand-drawing a CG-rendered titan) is released on the Blu-Ray/DVD box sets.

Therefore, it seems unlikely that censorship issues would be the primary motivation for creating a film out of the final arc.

Instead, MAPPA and the rest of the anime production committee are probably eyeballing the titan-sized box office numbers of the Demon Slayer movie and wondering if they could duplicate the financial success.

The only negative is that the movie would either have to be over two hours long or split up into two parts.

Obviously, anime-only fans wouldn’t be enthusiastic about such an idea since the release date for the anime’s ending would be pushed out into late 2021 and potentially into 2022.

Whatever format the Attack On Titan “Season 5” anime takes, let’s hope MAPPA does the manga justice with the ending. Stay tuned!

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