Attack on Titan Final Chapters anime had a more detailed, definitive yet similar ending to Hajime Isayama’s manga. The one-hour special episodes by MAPPA Studios not only completed several themes and storylines that were left in the open by the manga but also coincided with the source in order to not create controversy.
Prior to the release of the season finale of Attack on Titan, there were rumors that Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman would have a happily-ever-after ending. This would’ve proved to be controversial, given the foreshadowing of Eren’s fate throughout the series. The ending wasn’t changed by Hajime Isayama but instead, he added more detailing to the anime to give their fans a treat.
Armin Arlet and Eren Yeager’s Conversations Were More Animated Than The Manga
Armin Arlert, the childhood friend of Mikasa and Eren, is the antithesis of Yeager. He believes diplomacy is the key to achieving peace and prosperity while Eren Yeager, as the Founding Titan, found an aggressive way to implement peace. Both Armin and Eren had a kind heart but the latter was corrupted by the power he possessed.
The final conversations between Armin and Eren had been fleshed out. In the anime, Armin is visibly shocked by the Yeager stating that he would annihilate 80% of the world’s population to completely destroy Marleyan resistance. It was a severe blow to Armin’s sense of peace and justice, one that made him furious and resentful of Eren, and one that wasn’t properly depicted in the manga.
Similarly, Armin’s emotions become the focus when he speaks his last words to Eren Yeager. They deem themselves to be responsible for the destruction and Armin even states how he will meet Eren in Hell. The two characters had a short conversation in the Attack on Titan manga, which did not bring out their deep friendship, but that was changed by the anime.
Following the Rumbling, Armin Arlet becomes the ambassador for peace for Paradis Island. The anime came full circle with the manga to depict how Eren’s ‘mass murder’ visibly affected Armin and how he wanted the chaos to end. Unfortunately, the ending of Attack of Titan anime was similar to the manga, meaning that peace was seemingly not an option.
The Aftermath Of The Rumbling As Portrayed in Attack on Titan Anime & Manga
Attack on Titan endings in both anime and manga are connected but the animation recontextualizes some events. For instance, Mikasa kisses Eren Yeager’s decapitated head to finally bid goodbye to the “boy who sought freedom.” She is the first person and the last person that Eren laid his eyes on and this moment is made more emotional when the anime features the image of Mikasa in Yeager’s eyes, highlighting their first-ever encounter which was portrayed from a first-person perspective.
Without deviating from the manga, Attack on Titan anime also embellished the darker tones in the finale. One of the most talked-about scenes from the ending is about the young boy and his dog visiting a tree under which Mikasa buried Eren’s head. It is a throwback to how Ymir gained his Titan powers, symbolizing how another Founding Titan might bring the Rumbling in the future.
While the manga only hinted at the boy venturing into the place where the tree is located, the anime clearly depicts him standing in front of the tree. This means that the war in Attack on Titan will never come to an end despite Eren Yeager’s ‘master plan’ of achieving peace via mass murder.
The anime does end with a sense of hope in the readers rather than being entirely negative like the manga. Levi Ackerman is seen handing food to children while Gabbi and Faclo work on a farm in an attempt to rebuild after the war. This is contrastingly different from Attack on Titan manga, which featured a depressed-looking Levi in a wheelchair being carried by Gabi and Falco.