Which Attack on Titan ending was better: Anime vs. Manga?

Attack on Titan ending

Attack on Titan anime aired for the first time in 2013 and throughout the decade-long journey, it continued to be in the news. From bringing complex themes into the mainstream to popularising anime as a medium to an extent, it became a prominent part of anime history as a whole. Even though the anime raised eyebrows now and then, with the abrupt studio switch and an erratic release schedule, everything seems to have ended well with the anime ending. 

Given the history of how the manga ending outraged a majority of fans, the anime ending left fans confused. Simply because it wasn’t as bad as they expected it to be, their expectations were rooted in the reactions received by the manga ending. Does that mean the Attack on Titan anime ending was better than the manga ending? Let’s find out! 

How did the Attack on Titan anime handle the rage-inducing parts of the manga ending?

Eren and Armin
Eren and Armin’s conversation in the manga | Image Courtesy of Kodansha USA

Contrary to how well explained everything in the anime ending was, the manga pretty much speedran through everything. It seemed as if we were getting a series of horrible revelations with basically no time for them to sink in. This was a result of nothing but strange wording choices and rushed execution. These problems were apparent in a few scenes: 

  • In the manga, Armin and the others condone the actions of Eren. While the others are more subtle about it, Armin straight up thanks Eren for killing people for their sake. The anime dealt with this interaction in a way much better. Instead of thanking Eren, Armin ends up saying that he’ll see Eren in hell. With this, he shouldered a small part of the consequences Eren must face even if he dies, without condoning everything he did. 
  • Another reason why the manga ending was hated is how clueless Eren was. He didn’t have a justification or any grip on why things ended the way they did. He answers all of it with an “I don’t know”, which is unacceptable, to say the least. In the anime, it’s highlighted how there were no other choices. No matter how many times he tried to come up with a different answer, the conclusion was always the same. There’s a vague hint of this in the manga as well. 
Mikasa Ackerman
Mikasa in the Attack on Titan manga | Image Courtesy of Kodansha USA

While most of the criticism had to do with the interaction between Armin and Eren, another theme that rubbed fans the wrong way was how romantic love became one of the main themes. Along with toxic dynamics between characters who were a part of the romantic angle. With these, we’ve covered the main gripes fans had with the Attack on Titan manga ending and how the anime handled it all.

Which Attack on Titan ending was better?

Armin and Eren
Armin and Eren’s conversation in the anime | Image Courtesy of MAPPA

There’s a two-year-long time difference between Attack on Titan anime and manga ending. Throughout this time, Hajime Isayama must have reflected on how he could further polish his vision for the ending. As a result of that, we now have the anime ending with better execution and dialogue. Given that he didn’t come up with an entirely original ending for the anime, we get a confirmation that this is how he wanted his creation to end.

With all the changes major and minor, the Attack on Titan anime ending is better than the manga ending. Besides the implementation, the animation and the sound effects provided fans with a more immersive experience as well. 

Conclusion

Levi Attack on Titan
Levi after beheading Zeke | Image Courtesy of MAPPA

Now that the Attack on Titan anime has ended, the discourse can shift from the ending to a potential sequel. Will the adventures of the Survey Corps and the funny-looking giants continue with Beren in an Attack on Titan sequel?

We hardly know the answer to that but what we do know is that the in-depth analysis of all things anime will continue to take place in the Spiel Anime Newsletter! You don’t need a Beren to enjoy the coolest designs paired up with fun content curated exclusively for the cultured fans of anime. It comes out twice every week so that you have fun reading on a bi-weekly basis!

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