Hajime Isayama’s Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan

The genre-defining anime Attack on Titan recently aired its polarizing series finale, sparking intense debate and even outrage among its vast fandom. The ending proved profoundly divisive, with fans struggling to process or justify protagonist Eren Yaeger’s apocalyptic actions revealed in the final arc.

Feelings clearly ran high, as just days before creator Hajime Isayama was scheduled to appear at an American fan convention, he felt compelled to release a statement addressing the intense response from fans worldwide.

This step underscores just how severely the anime’s conclusion missed the mark for swaths of viewers who had invested years in the show’s intricate lore and character journeys.

While thoughtful discourse and passionate criticisms should be respected, Isayama’s comment implies some fans have taken that too far.

Though fiction, art like Attack on Titan clearly resonates at a profoundly personal level for dedicated fans. But the torrent of threats or harassment from disgruntled ones goes beyond reasonable reactions, whatever one thinks of the ending itself.

Hajime Isayama’s Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan

Even before its climatic finale, the smash hit manga and anime series Attack on Titan sparked a heated debate with its sprawling last arc that upended everything fans thought they understood.

Central protagonist Eren Yaeger shockingly transforms into an antagonistic force hellbent on worldwide genocide, a narrative swerve that many struggled to reconcile with the heroic journey they had projected.

By April 2021, when the manga’s final chapter dropped, criticism among fans had reached a fever pitch. Some core arguments stemmed from feeling creator Hajime Isayama had foreshadowed Eren’s turn to the dark side all along, while others insisted this betrayal of his character assassinated fans’ ability to root for him.

Hajime Isayama's Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan (Credits: Hajime Isayama)

General sentiment held that the series concluded by abandoning its heroes to nihilism and empty death rather than offering any inspiring message.

From that view, Isayama failed to stick the landing by rushing Eren’s descension into definitive villainy instead of finding creative ways to recover some heroic redemption for the protagonist fans had rooted for during 90+ chapters.

Whether his choices served the story or not, many readers ultimately came away feeling Isayama dismissed their investment in the complex characters they had championed over more than a decade.

With tensions swirling amidst the polarizing finale of his genre-redefining manga, Attack on Titan author Hajime Isayama broke his silence when a scheduled appearance at NYC’s Anime convention approached in November 2022.

He issued a statement through longtime publisher Kodansha expressing enthusiasm for finally visiting America, a key inspiration behind Attack on Titan’s aesthetics and themes.

Hajime Isayama's Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan (Credits: Hajime Isayama)

However, Isayama acknowledged head-on the intense controversy and pervasive disappointment surrounding his ending to the post-apocalyptic saga.

While conveying openness to good faith criticism from fans who felt let down, he nonetheless appeared to brace for potential hostility around the unfinished business many felt his conclusion left.

The creator concluded by affirming his simultaneous excitement and anxiety about facing the New York crowd so soon after, reactions to his finale turned sharply contentious across the fanbase.

Above all, though, he asked fans to show basic kindness and humanity towards him as a person behind the polarizing story decisions.

This plea suggests Isayama likely faced alarming hostility in the aftermath of his ending, hopefully reminding fans he remains just as human as the flawed characters penned in Attack on Titan. Despite valid critiques, threats cannot be part of voicing frustrations over any work of fiction.

Attack on Titan Creator Voices Anxiety About Fan Reactions

While Hajime Isayama courageously owned the intense blowback from fans, his call for kindness suggests some critiques turned alarmingly hostile after Attack on Titan’s polarizing climax. Yet even amidst threats over fiction, Isayama reaffirmed his excitement to engage with fans in a spirit of openness.

Upon reflection, his refusal to glorify or redeem Eren as a typical heroic protagonist feels fitting for Attack on Titan’s thematic DNA.

Hajime Isayama's Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan (Credits: Hajime Isayama)

Despite his main character’s downward spiral into extremism, Isayama stays true to Eren’s established pattern of violent retribution, blinding moral clarity.

Furthermore, Eren’s allies enable his darkness by never confronting his fundamental shortcomings as a leader and savior figure.

In that sense, Attack on Titan could only ever culminate in tragic consequences born of Eren and the company’s failings.

Isayama forged an uncompromising end where humanity’s last heroes become complicit in the death and oppression they aimed to eradicate. However agonizing, this fits the series’ spirit rather than selling false hope.

While fans need not celebrate nihilism, Isayama told the story as his vision intended without compromise.

Hajime Isayama's Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan (Credits: MAPPA)

Though means of expressing frustrations matter greatly, he remains but one imperfect creator behind a resonance fiction. With some perspective, fans can process feelings about the ending itself apart from the person who penned it.

Impact of Attack on Titan Anime on the Series’ Ending

Amidst Hajime Isayama’s call for consideration from fans, his openness to honest feedback further speaks to his creative ethos regarding Attack on Titan’s divisive climax. This receptive approach likely influenced pivotal tweaks the anime adaptation made to the manga’s original ending scenes.

Namely, protagonist Eren Jaeger’s final exchange with friend Armin takes on a markedly more reproachful tone in the animated version.

Hajime Isayama's Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan (Credits: MAPPA)

Rather than consoling Eren in his last moments, Armin explicitly rejects and condemns his global genocidal path while refusing to even remove his chains. This better captures Armin’s agency and morality, separate from Eren’s all-consuming ambitions.

While Isayama did not directly oversee the anime himself, changes like these suggest he welcomed ideas to refine his original ending instead of insisting upon faithfulness to his unadulterated vision.

Between production choices and his statement’s humility, Isayama demonstrates admirable openness for Attack on Titan’s audience to guide him toward the most resonant creative choices. The series always belonged as much to the fans as to him.

Hajime Isayama's Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 Episode 2 | Still (Credits: YouTube

So, for devotees still struggling, the parallel options of the show versus manga and Isayama’s self-awareness may yet provide some sense of closure if the pure manga finale could not. As with any great epic, the journey still resonates most, not one author’s attempt to encapsulate that for all in a single chapter.

Crossing Boundaries in Critique

Whatever one thinks about the merits of Hajime Isayama’s ending to the acclaimed series Attack on Titan, the deeply hostile fan response clearly crossed lines of basic decency.

While impassioned disagreement and critique serve art’s evolution, Isayama’s plea for kindness makes clear that rhetoric turned dangerously malicious rather than constructive.

Fiction, though it may be, devotees clearly felt their investment betrayed enough to unleash disproportionate bile towards the creator himself.

Hajime Isayama's Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan Final Season | Still (Credits: MAPPA)

This excess exposed the ugliest side of fandom, where connections to cherished stories can blind fans to the real people behind them.

Isayama’s poignant reminder of his humanity in the face of potential confrontation carries a tragic irony, considering his manga’s themes of human fallibility.

Much as Attack on Titan’s heroes cannot undo their role in the destruction, fans cannot undo the hurtful impact of their words just because fiction catalyzed them.

In this sense, the insensitive attacks in response to the ending rather than the ending itself represent the true disappointment.

For the resonant epic Isayama crafted, it remains disheartening that hostility overshadowed discourse and led him to plead for basic dignity he did not forfeit by writing a polarizing finale.

While the fandom may stay divided on his creative choices, they must unite around principles of decency while expressing that division.

Why Everyone Hated Attack on Titan Ending

Attack on Titan’s epic decade-long saga took a turn for the shocking and macabre in its final chapters. With protagonist Eren Yaeger undeterred in using his Founding Titan abilities to unleash the apocalyptic trampling of humanity worldwide, his childhood friends were forced to become his executioners.

In the finale, Mikasa, as the newly crowned titan host, locates Eren’s colossal form and emotionally decapitates him.

Hajime Isayama's Heartbreaking Statement on the Conclusion of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan Final Season | Still (Credits/ MAPPA)

She then kisses his severed head in tragic farewell to the man she loved but who had become committed to omnicide. After retreating from the battlefield, she and her fellow friend Armin could only mourn how profoundly Eren had strayed from the righteous hero they had once known.

Eren’s demise marked the end of the era of titans as Eldians reverted to normal humans again, no longer slaves to this cannibalistic transformation curse.

Yet the hasty explanations and underdeveloped motivations driving the climax shocked fans expecting deeper intricacy from the long-running series.

For one, Armin suddenly convincing Eren’s brother Zeke to foil the Rumbling defied the complex characterized writing that defined the best of Attack on Titan.

Additionally, Eren abruptly professing buried love for Mikasa rang hollow next to a hundred chapters of indifference toward her affections.

While these narrative moves offered closure, the rushed and clumsy execution sullied the ending’s emotional impact, leaving fans feeling robbed of a satisfying capstone.

Hajime Isayama crafted a peerless epic, only to falter at the finish line with choices that lacked foundation in all that came before.

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