Four clues that a movie could follow season 4 of the anime

With Attack on Titan barrelling towards its season 4 finale, fans are theorising that an anime movie could be the answer to end Eren’s story.

Attack on Titan remains one of the most popular ongoing television series in the world, animated or otherwise.

However, with the series moving quickly towards its season 4 finale, fans are also busy looking ahead to what the final few episodes will have in store and more importantly, what could follow.

Now, there is a new theory dominating the global conversation… Attack on Titan could develop an anime movie to end Eren’s story, instead of rushing to cover the remaining manga chapters in the final few episodes of season 4.

Attack on Titan | Final Season Part 2 | Official Trailer

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Attack on Titan | Final Season Part 2 | Official Trailer

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The First Clue: Attack on Titan S4 may not adapt the entire manga

The first major clue that Attack on Titan could be lining up an anime movie after season 4 comes from the original source material ie, the manga series by Hajime Isayama.

Specifically, it doesn’t appear like the remaining episodes from Attack on Titan season 4 will be able to adapt all of the available remaining manga chapters.

The manga ended with the release of chapter 139 in Japan on April 9th2021. According to the franchises Fandom page, episode 83 “Pride” adapted the entirety of chapter 126 in the original manga, which was also titled “Pride”.

This means that, at the time of writing, there are 13 chapters left to adapt, but there are only four episodes that are scheduled as part of season 4 left to be broadcast!

Popular Twitter leaker ‘Spy’ (@_Dominating) also recently added to this theory, reporting that season 4 part 2 will end on chapter 130. This was reaffirmed when Spy suggested in a follow-up Tweet that the episode 12 title will be “The Dawn of Humanity”, which was also the title of chapter 130.

As the theory goes, leaving nine full manga chapters after the season 4 part 2 finale would not provide enough source material for another season, but would be enough for a feature anime movie.

Interestingly, the calls for a final anime film have also been supported by the ‘Game of Thrones trap’ as noted by ScreenRant. In this view, Attack on Titan season 4 risks rushing to completely adapt the entire source material, leaving both fans dissatisfied and the legacy tarnished.

As explained by ScreenRant, recent episodes have felt “suspiciously transitory”, meaning that the content has been focused to fill time as we move closer towards the season finale. Couple this with the fact that the ending to the Attack on Titan manga was not well received by the global community, it could encourage MAPPA to take matters into their own hands.

The fourth season has made a habit of adapting roughly one chapter every episode, so where will MAPPA speed up their content and finish Attack on Titan in four episodes? Perhaps, but it’s starting to feel like enough chapters are specifically being left for a Colossal final feature film.

“Five episodes may not be long enough to do justice to Isayama’s manga ending, but five episodes and a movie feels much more doable. Those extra minutes should be plenty of time to deliver a visually stunning final battle, cover all of the necessary time-twisting exposition created by Eren’s possession of the Founding Titan, and honor each main character’s personal arcs.” – Craig Elvy, via ScreenRant.

The Second clue: The Attack on Titan S4 finale will be delayed

The second reason why some fans believe that an Attack on Titan anime movie could be in the works is that the season 4 finale has been delayed.

Episode 87 (season 4 episode 28) was originally scheduled to premiere on March 27th. However, the official Japanese website for the series recently confirmed that the season finale would be delayed by one week.

The season 4 finale will now be broadcast domestically in Japan and released for international streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu on Sunday, April 3rd.

According to Shingeki.tv, the finale has been suspended for a “special organization event”, but right now there has been no information as to what this event will be.

Interestingly, fans are theorising that this is the next clue that Attack on Titan may end with one final massive movie, and not with season 4 of the television series.

This is especially curious when you pair that information with the third clue, see below, that a special panel is now scheduled for March 27th – the finale’s original air date.

The Third Clue: Attack on Titan has a special stage panel coming up

The third potential clue for a final Attack on Titan movie comes from the view that there could be a big announcement made before the now-rescheduled finale airs.

This is because the franchise will feature a special panel as part of the AnimeJapan event on March 27th – the original date for the season 4 finale to air.

Again, the production team have kept their cards close to their chest with the AnimeJapan panel, being suspiciously quiet about what the main themes will be… A goodbye, or a to be continued message perhaps.

Between the availability of source material, the delay to the series finale and the subsequent panel at AnimeJapan, many fans are becoming more confident in the theory of an anime movie.

However, there will only truly be one reason why an Attack on Titan film would be a potentially realistic option for the team at MAPPA… money.

The Fourth Clue: Big movies make big money

One final anime movie for the Attack on Titan storyline would also be a positive decision from a business standpoint.

The trend of feature anime movies is well-and-truly back for the global industry; catalysed by the success of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train in 2020.

That film earned more than $500 million at the global box office, becoming not only the highest-grossing film of 2020, but also the highest-grossing anime movie of all time and the highest-grossing movie in Japanese history.

Understandably, production companies and globally-established anime franchises were quick to jump on the bandwagon, emboldened by the success of Mugen Train.

Following its premiere in October 2020, feature film announcements were shared for My Hero Academia, Jujutsu Kaisen, Dragon Ball Super, Black Clover, Laid Back Camp, One Piece and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, amongst many others.

“Many are assuming the movie will be announced at this panel. If so, would the April 3 episode would be that movie, or simply lead up to it? At least the panel will tell us definitively whether the series will end in a film or not.” – Kristen Carey, The Mary Sue.

It’s safe to say that one final Attack on Titan movie would be one of the biggest cinema releases in anime history and could potentially rival the success of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train.

Therefore, one thing certainly is assured, that potential paycheck for one final Attack on Titan film could be enough to encourage MAPPA to take that one last big step towards a definite, and lucrative, legacy.

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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