Although Attack on Titan is widely considered to be one of the best anime series and mangas of all time, there is still a lot of controversy over the way the series ended.
Throughout the series, Eren’s goal has been to kill the monstrous humanoid Titans and to protect the people of Paradis Island — but apparently, the only way to do that was to kill literally everyone else, i.e. the whole world. To make things worse for fans after their heroic protagonist committed mass genocide, the ending also revealed that his actions and subsequent death were ultimately meaningless. The final chapter of the manga implies a bomb will destroy Paradis, and that the curse of the Titan will return in the near future.
So, many fans deemed the ending too bleak and disappointing because it meant that not only Eren died for nothing, but also made his abhorrent actions pointless.
The creator of Attack on Titan, Hajime Isayama, has reportedly received a lot of abuse and death threats following the ending of the series: so much so that, prior to his appearance at Anime NYC on November 19, he released a statement appealing for fans to be “kind” to him, admitting he felt “anxious” about attending the event.
Fortunately, the event seemed to go smoothly for the mangaka, and in response to a question about the series’ controversial ending, he said via a translator: “I still struggle on this point. I’m very sorry about that.”
He later released a second statement expressing thanks for fans’ response to his apology, writing, ” I wasn’t sure how to feel about the end of the story. I was having a difficult time and I apologize. Carrying heavy feelings, I was down for a long time until yesterday when I met fans during the signing. Fans told me the ending was great and that they loved the ending, and it made me happy, and coming to New York was a great experience for me.”
The final instalment of the animated series, Attack on Titan season 4 part 3, will be released on Crunchyroll sometime in 2023 — and it remains to be seen if it’ll have the same controversial ending as it’s source material.
If the surprise ending of Attack on Titan still shocks you, check out our guide to the best plot twists in movie history, or see how we rank some of the best anime movies of all time.