There is no doubt that MAPPA did an amazing thing by animating the final season for Attack on Titan and delivering us the episodes as quickly as possible. However, art is something that should not be rushed, and the after effects of the rushed production by MAPPA was easily visible while watching the latest episodes of Attack on Titan. There were mistakes ranging from improper implementation of CGI to the non-strategic use of colors and color palettes.
Fans are a little bit angry about this, because everyone was expecting MAPPA to surpass the quality of WIT studio. However, things don’t go always go smoothly. We can clearly see that through the mistakes that MAPPA made while animating the final season of attack on titan. People are just ranting and blaming MAPPA for its poor performance, however nobody is trying to actually explain what was the mistakes that MAPPA made during the production. So in this post, I have covered the most important mistakes that MAPPA made, that they should probably avoid in creating the second part of the final season.
1. Making the Characters “Chubby”
Especially when we talk about Mikasa, we see that in the 4th season, her face is less defined and looks very dull. I don’t know why MAPPA chose such an artstyle, but after comparing it with the WIT’s style, it looks very bad. I have put an image comparison above just to make you realise that Mikasa from WIT looks more refined, refreshing as compared to Mikasa in attack on titan season 4.
What particularly striked my eyes is the fact that she had been made quite chubbier than before. And as we all know that very few anime fans actually love to see chubby faces in anime. For a character like Mikasa who is strong, independent and skilled (and a little hot-headed), giving her a chubby and somewhat masculine look ruined the whole purpose. However, we did like the new detailed facial structures like nose and lips that MAPPA created (which is probably inspired from hollywood). Nevertheless, we can’t deny the fact the Mikasa as well as other characters used to look better in the previous seasons.
If you are a keen observer, you would have also seen how the clouds behind her are less detailed as compared to the 3rd season. When we talk about art style, we take everything into consideration, however it feels like MAPPA just focused too much on the characters and ignored the environment. Along with that, you must have also observed the shiny effect on her hair in the previous seasons, which was just plainly missing in the 4th season.
Again, one MAJOR difference that people might have not noticed is how MAPPA changed the eyebrows for Mikasa. In the previous seasons, she used to have slanted and thin eyebrows, which used to spice up her personality. However, in the 4th season, MAPPA’s Mikasa has surprisingly thick eyebrows which are also not slanted anymore. This affected her ‘visual personality’ and I was unable to relate her new personality with her old personality.
Now this was only just about Mikasa, there had been countless of characters who were made chubbier and less detailed, including Eren himself. Personally I loved the previous character designs a lot, and was expecting MAPPA to deliver the same quality, but instead we got this. Although it is not that bad, still things could had been better if they had not rushed the production for the final season.
2. Using unnecessary CGI (3D Titans) and at the wrong moments
3D Titans are lifeless.
Beast Titan from the 3rd season was many times more dramatic and realistic as compared to the 4th season. This probably happened due to the fact that MAPPA tried to incorporate CGI to show their creativity and effort behind the production of the final season. However, it is evident from watching the episodes, and from the opinions of the fans that MAPPA’s strategy didn’t worked as planned.
Instead, the opposite happened, and fans were wishing that if MAPPA had used hand drawn 2D Titans instead of 3D. If you look at the beast titan from the 3rd season, you will see how magnificient it looks in terms of emotions and art style. We actually needed something very similar or maybe even better in the later season, however we didn’t get it. I don’t really think that CGI and 3D titans were even necessary in this anime, because 3D does not always work the same way. Yes there are moments were 3D was justified, like the movement of the scout with the ODM gear. Yes that was particularly insane in the 4th Season.
But the 3D Titans were looking bizarre, also the animation was drastically affected because the Titans were very slowly moving, and it was basically looking very unprofessional. It was visually confusing, and the impact got reduced because the titans were not themselves very detailed. Every titan was looking like a toy, especially the Jaw Titan was the worst of all. While watching the trailer, I was so much hyped about the jaw and the cart titan, however the impact that trailer delivered was just missing in the actual anime. It will be much better if MAPPA focuses on 2D quality, instead of working on the 3D because it is simply not worth it. All those efforts could have been utilized elsewhere.
3. Lack of lighting effects and dullness in environment
One of the most disappointing things about the 4th season of AOT was the overall environment. I seriously was fed up with very monotonous color and lack of brightness in the environment. Now we do know that AOT is supposed to be a very dark anime, but that does not necessarily mean the the entire environment design should be neglected in such a way that the audience are not able to see the characters clearly.
If you search the pictures of AOT from season 4, you will find that there is a lot of darkness around the characters, which is causing them to look low quality and sometimes you are not able to see the details as well. For this post the feature image of the Attack Titan is not looking very promising, the reason is the lack of lighting.
Whereas if you look at the picture from the previous season, you will find that there is a lot of emphasis on lighting, and also far object details like the clouds, which was downright neglected in the 4th Season. Look at the clouds from the 3rd season, they look dope! Even the smoke has its own depth.
4. Too much blur effects in scenes
Blur effects are important sometimes, especially during the combat and destruction scenes, however it looks like AOT S4 has used up a lot of blur scenes, which has caused a little bit frustration for the fans. In the earlier seasons, there were not that much blur scenes and the characters as well as the fight scenes used to look sharp and crisp. However, this added blur effect that is probably an inspiration from disney and hollywood movies combined, is not looking promising on the anime side.
There was already a lot of frustration due to the lack of lighting effects and detail, for which the blur effect added even more frustration and confusion for the audience. It could have been better if MAPPA had skipped blurring the scenes and kept forward with the high crisp animated characters. In short, what I am trying to say is that blur effects are causing the scenes to become even more low quality. Due to the blur effect, I was not able to see the character details, their ODM Gear, and the Titan’s Details easily.
5. Keeping the animation quality just ‘average’
I was surprised by the fact that the animation for AOT S4 was done as if it was a regular TV anime show. Attack on Titan needed more, but MAPPA failed to fulfill the expectation. I don’t know what was the real reason behind such a negligence and ‘miserness’ in creating a sequel of one of the top ranking anime in the entire world. Even if you don’t compare it with WIT, still you will find a lot of mistakes.
It is not like that MAPPA does not have enough resources to animate perfectly. In the case of Jujutsu Kaisen, MAPPA delivered more that what was expected, but unfortunately failed to focus on Attack On Titan. When you closely look at how titans are moving throughout the entire series, the way they are transforming, and the way characters fight and use the ODM gear, you will feel as if their animations were ‘missing something’.
However, I would like to mention that the rotoscopy that was used during the initial episodes of Season 4 was something that could had been much better, it was interesting to see something new in the anime. It had potential.
6. Uninteresting and Bland POV
We do really miss the POV from the previous season, just look at the GIF clip that I have inserted above. The way eren is transforming and the movement of the camera near his eyes as soon as he is going to transform is something that we miss in the 4th season. I don’t know why MAPPA never even tried to make the POV better. There was not a single scene with a POV like this, instead what we got was an exact copy POV of the Manga, which some are liking but I am not.
It is also interesting to see how the camera moves along with the character and also moves from his back to the front in such a magnificent way.
7. Lack of Emphasis on Colors
Last but not the least, I am disappointed with the color choice used in this anime. Again they tried to make it very monotonous when it comes to color. It would have been better if they used a more rich and interesting palette, something similar to the previous seasons. Throughout the series, what I saw is mostly brown and nothing else. In comparison to the 4th season, the previous seasons used large range of colors and even shades to make it more lively and interesting to the eyes.
So that’s it, these were the 7 ways in which MAPPA probably ruined AOT S4. However, I do know that is is very easy to criticize when there are a lot of people agreeing with you. That is why, I will also be coming up with interesting and unique things that we got to see in the 4th season, so stay tuned!