Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 3With the premiere of the final anime season’s third part just around the corner, the Attack on Titan creative team is prepping for the event with a multifaceted promotion campaign that includes a unique feature from creator Hajime Isayama.
The manga and anime worlds were pleasantly surprised to find that the cover of Kodansha’s February 2, 2023, issue of Bessatsu Shonen Magazine was dedicated to Attack on Titan. The cover, posted to the account for the AoTWiki‘s Twitter, promotes the March 2023 premiere of upcoming Attack on Titan film special. Included is an awesome full-page image of the series’ main characters standing in the foreground of Fort Saita, where the series’ epic final battle takes place. Attack on Titan had been a regular on the magazine’s cover and its pages during its publication run but had not been seen there often since 2021. Even more – pleasantly – surprising was the fact that the image was drawn by none other than series creator Hajime Isayama himself.
Attack on Titan Cover Spoils the Manga’s Ending With Easter Eggs
Based on the contents of the image, Isayama seems to have fully gotten over the fandom’s reaction to the ending of the manga, and clearly does not seem to fear what the anime fans will think of the series’ conclusion sometime later this year.
The first clue that Isayama is drawing something more than an Attack on Titans promotional ad is the fact that everyone in the drawing is, or seems happy – including Attack on Titan’s king of despair – Eren Yeager. As fans of the manga know, and fans of the anime can guess, the series’ conclusion is anything but cheerful despite a few bright spots. Instead, there’s a significant amount of death and betrayal. Accordingly, to see everyone striking happy poses suggests Isayama is having a good-hearted laugh at all the seriousness surrounding fans’ reactions to the manga’s ending.
The artwork also contains a lot of subtle details with character placement that will no doubt get a laugh from fans of the series. One of the more interesting inclusions in the image is that of Attack on Titan’s Founding Titan Ymir, who is shockingly looking rather relaxed considering the thousand years of mental anguish she’s endured. Another notable character present is Sasha, who most would agree died well before her time. Conversely, perhaps the most notable exclusion is that of Historia, a key figure in Eren’s ultimate endgame. But perhaps the most striking element of the image is that of Mikasa and Eren holding Eren’s head as it was depicted in his iteration of the Founding Titan. It’s a piece of dark comedy that only Isayama could add, but it says much about his mindset going into the conclusion of this story that has taken over his life for over a decade.
While the promotion of Attack on Titan’s final season has taken many forms, none say as much as Isayama’s single image. It’s an image that celebrates the saga’s long and amazing journey from new manga to an international cultural icon. It’s also an image that provides a wealth of information at a glance about what anime viewers should expect in the upcoming season. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, its an image that makes clear Isayama‘s determination, like Attack on Titan’s Eren, to be free and tell his own story – his way.
More: Attack on Titan’s End: Who Lives and Dies in the Final Chapters?