It’s been 2 weeks since Attack on Titan Final season was released and people are all over Mappa. Even with animation quality comparable to One-punch man season 1 Mappa studio’still getting good amount of hate. Most of the hate stems from the use of CGI, without considering the workload on the animaters nor the details put into the anime. This is an attempt to show how the Mappa studio is handling the anime so far within 5 points.
5. Character interactions
It seems that Hajime Isayama has given a lot of lease to Mappa writers when it comes to character interactions which are not significant to the plot. Many minor interactions between characters have been changed either for the better or for the worse. This Is pre dominant in every episode till date and the most striking one to me was the interaction between Galliard and Pieck. In the manga Galliard starts of the conversation with Pieck “I don’t feel like that much time passed since we’ve seen each other” to which Pieck replies “we were always together on the battle field”. This exchange takes a complete 180 in the anime. Galliard starts off with “It feels like I haven’t seen you in ages” to which Pieck replies “Even though we always fight together?”. Now, given that this was one of the first exposure to the lifestyle of titan shifters outside paradis island I think this would have been more appropriate if this scene was a frame to frame manga copy (I personally think the intimacy between Pokko (Gilliard) and Pieck was ruined in the anime). But that doesn’t mean everything should be a freaking carbon copy of the manga. Creativity is always appreciated.
4. Racism towards Eldians
Eldians are treated bad in Marley and that is a known fact. But what anime only’s don’t know is that just how bad it is. Because in manga the hatred of Marleyan people towards Eldians is shown in almost every page containing an Marleyan. But in anime it’s muffled. The slurs which were meant for Eldians are directed towards “Titans”. Anime has watered downed the Racism the Eldians faced in the manga. This may have been done in order to make the audience sympathize with Marleyan characters like Theo Magath or maybe due to some weird editorial choice. In anime Eldians are seen as second-class citizens while in manga the Eldians aren’t seen as people. The best example to show how severe this censorship is the hero’s welcome scene in episode 2. In the anime we see the war heroes receiving a warm welcome in their hometown of Liberio which is an interment zone. People are cheering, heroes are happy, it’s a wholesome moment, right? Yes, it is. But what it’s missing is as whole panel of smug Marleyan faces looking in disgust and hate as the people who risked their lives for their land make their way to caged houses.
3. Mappa handling the Titans
This is the most obvious one. Yeah, the titans are CG. But the textures are done so well w.r.t to the surroundings that almost to none of the titans look out of place. The movements aren’t sluggish and for a normie’s eyes first few seconds are undistinguishable from hand drawn animation. The only titan that took a bit of glow down is the Beast titan. The dark dingy Titan energy seems lost in the new CGI, but we only saw maybe a minute of the beast in action. So, there’s still hope for improvement. If you’ve watched God of high school than you should know how good Mappa is at rotoscoping. Moreover, the CG titans didn’t look out of place like season 3 colossal titan. If anything, Mappa’s titan give out that ominous Courage the cowardly dog vibe of strange but kind of pleasing to watch. Given the monstrosities Hajime Isayama has drawn in the manga CGI is more than necessary. Work load on animaters is enormous. And If you’re one of those people who can’t appreciate all the work Mappa’s put into this series because of that CGI than good news for you Satan, not all Titans will be made in CGI. (of course, personal life? Animators don’t need that right)
2. Character and scenery
Mappa’s character adaptation is Manga accurate. Gone are the thick highlight lines from Wit. Contrast is not overdone; ambient lighting is on point and every episode feels like a movie. Even those dingy lines below the eyebrows are kept. The real magic is in the background scenery. Mappa has gone above and beyond with it. So many details which Isayama didn’t draw has been added to keep the continuity in the lore. May it be the dead Eldians soldiers in the background while the titans are fighting, or may it be the pictures of the of Fort Salva on the newspapers Mappa’s pouring its heart and soul (along with animaters sleep) into this. My favorite detail till now is the opening scene of episode 2 when the marshal is talking about the future of Marley just to emphasize the fact that the roof has been blown, we see a shadow of the bird when Magath starts to speak. This is not much, but the detailing is insane. And while we are on it can we appreciate the foreshadowing with “you-know-who”. Anime establishes that “you-know-who” wasn’t present at Fort Salva while manga talks nothing about how and where he came from.
1. Everything related to Reiner
We can safely say that Mappa studio has some vested interest in Reiner. His titan was the most detailed titan in previous 2 episodes, his design looks slick with the stubble and all, and whenever Reiner enters a scene you can physically see the increase in quality of animation. His arm was blown to bits in anime but not in manga, hell in manga there wasn’t even a 2nd anti titan cannon(But galliard saving Reiner was a nice touch though). Second thing is that they didn’t show Reiner’s backstory in episode 2. Going by the rule that 2 manga chapters equal 1 anime episode, we should have been shown Reiner’s tragic past. But Mappa has decide to reveal it in episode 3. Hell, they are even excited about it! Yuchiro Hayashi who is the director of Attack on Titans season 4 even claimed that people will love Reiner after episode 3, In giddy excitement of a 3-year-old.