The globally acclaimed anime and manga series, penned and illustrated by Hajime Isayama, is not just popular for its iconic Titans and Walls. It has also gained notoriety due to the controversial ending it was given.
Believe it or not, according to MyAnimeList, the final chapter of Attack on Titan was the most discussed manga chapter of all time. That certainly speaks volumes.
Many readers who were disappointed with the series’ conclusion argue that the creator, Hajime Isayama, originally envisioned a different ending but eventually changed his mind. Yet, a recent interview reaffirms that Isayama had already decided on the series’ ending early on.
At the K Manga launch party, an exclusive pre-recorded interview with Hajime Isayama was revealed. He was asked about when he planned the ending. Isayama responded, “I had thought about this storyline since the beginning. Of course, not in great detail, but I thought about the general flow. I also spontaneously added parts each month.”
Isayama further elaborated, “At first, the story was highly likely to finish in two volumes. I was so desperate about whether the serialization would continue. After gaining some popularity, I thought about the desperate ending. I had that story in mind initially, but I started to question that direction. But the groundwork solidified while writing up until that point, so the story ended how I first vaguely envisioned it.”
Isayama Previously Talking About The Manga Ending
This isn’t the first time that the series’ creator has discussed the idea that the series’ ending was determined from the outset. In a 2013 interview with the radio show “Kawakubo Shintaro and Maeda Shigeyuki no Anime-zing!”, Isayama confessed that he had the manga’s ending planned out, saying it would be a very, very cruel ending.
However, he also expressed that he was feeling conflicted about sticking to this cruel ending because of how much the series had become popular.
In 2014, during an interview with “White Screen”, a Japanese magazine, the manga artist disclosed that he was reconsidering the manga’s ending due to the immense pressure he was feeling as a result of Attack on Titan’s skyrocketing fame.
In order to not betray the readers who were supporting “Attack on Titan,” he hinted that the ultimate ending might not be as cruel as he had initially planned.
Fast forward to 2019, Isayama was interviewed during the final exhibition of Attack on Titan, where he revealed that he wants to hurt his readers. He wants readers to say, “This manga will stay in my heart” when they think about Attack on Titan.
Despite all the clues about the ending being decided from the beginning, it didn’t resonate with all readers. Many who disagreed with the conclusion began illustrating their own versions of the Attack on Titan ending. Among the significant fan projects that emerged was Attack on Titan Requiem.
In November 2022, during the Anime NYC convention, Isayama acknowledged that he was aware of the controversy surrounding Attack on Titan’s ending.
Source: Kodansha USA