Attack on Titan Producers Discuss Reason Behind Studio Change to MAPPA
posted on by Kim Morrissy
In Newtype's November 2020 issue, Attack on Titan producers Kensuke Tateishi, Toshihiro Maeda, and Tetsuya Kinoshita addressed the reason behind the staff change from Wit Studio to MAPPA for Attack on Titan The Final Season. Their responses are translated into English below (note that their comments contain spoilers for the anime until this point):
Tateishi: "While season 3 was in production, we consulted with Wit Studio, and it was decided that The Final Season would be created by a different production studio. One of the reasons is because the end of season 3 has the protagonist gazing at the ocean, marking a turning point for the story. Also, as creators we wanted the anime to escalate even further. Through many talks with Wit Studio, we understood that the continuation would be difficult, so we looked for a new studio. Kinoshita, Maeda, and I divided the searching duties among ourselves, but most studios turned us down. Everyone understood what big shoes they had to fill, and we were told by dozens of studios that they emphatically could not accept."
Maeda: "Of course, there were also those who told us that they had the desire to do it but just couldn't make it work in their schedule."
Tateishi: "The only studio that said they would consider it was MAPPA. When we talked to WIT about it, they said they could rest easy knowing it was in MAPPA's hands. The producers were in agreement, so the production shifted to MAPPA."
Kinoshita: "MAPPA took the matter firmly into their hands, saying, 'Attack on Titan should have a proper ending for the sake of the fans,' which also made a strong impression on us."
Maeda: "I think you can see their fighting spirit reflected in The Final Season's PV. The show is in good hands."
The producers also stressed that, for the sake of all the fans who have supported the series, they are determined to adapt the manga all the way until the end instead of concluding midway through. Kinoshita said that he has felt obliged to adapt the entirety of the manga ever since seeing the reaction to season 1 episode 13, where the Eren Titan seals the wall.
Finally, the interview addresses how MBS has remained on the anime's production committee even after the broadcasting rights shifted to the NHK. Maeda said that MBS was not obligated to keep investing after selling off the rights to the earliest broadcast, but their sheer passion for the project overcame that business logic. Tateishi said that although the number of broadcasters increased with each season, he was the one who suggested broadcasting the anime on the NHK in order to reach as many people in Japan as possible. He was very surprised at MBS's decision to keep investing in an anime that would broadcast on another station. As a result, he feels greatly indebted to both the NHK and MBS.
Yuichiro Hayashi (Dorohedoro, Garo the Animation, Kakegurui both seasons) is directing Attack on Titan The Final Season at MAPPA. Hiroshi Seko (Ajin anime franchise, Vinland Saga, Mob Psycho 100 anime franchise) is returning to oversee the series scripts. Tomohiro Kishi (Dorohedoro, 91 Days) is designing the characters. Hiroyuki Sawano is returning to compose the music, alongside Kohta Yamamoto (Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments).
Shūhei Yabuta, who was the 3DCG director for the first three seasons of Attack on Titan, announced on his Twitter account earlier this month that he will be joining the CG team for Attack on Titan The Final Season. He mentioned that he is "the only staff in the graphics team working since Wit Studio's season." Takahiro Uezono (Yuri!!! on Ice figure skating CG Director) is replacing Yabuta as 3DCG director for The Final Season.
The first television anime season premiered in April 2013, and the second season premiered in April 2017. The first part of the third season premiered in July 2018, and the second half premiered in Japan on the NHK General channel in April 2019. The Final Season will premiere on NHK General on December 7.
Source: Newtype November 2020 Issue