Regardless of the backlash from fans, MAPPA is worthy of every praise for producing a top-notch finale for the AOT fans.
Ever since MAPPA took over the Attack on Titan finale from studio Wit, fans are worried about how MAPPA will pull off the series in such a short amount of time. Though the animation speaks for itself, MAPPA did a remarkable job creating believable characters, immersive backgrounds, CGI, and animations. Still, several differences are too visible, and even non-anime fans can point out the dissimilitude between Studio Wit’s final products in seasons 1-3 and MAPPA in season 4.
The use of CGI in season 4
Japanese animation is known for the hand-drawn technique that requires extra precision and frame-to-frame drawings. Using CGI for animation is a big no-no in the industry. Still, some scenes need CGI, and only a handful of studios can pull off the CGI without getting retaliation from the fans. Unlike studio Wit, MAPPA used many CG effects, and even the fight scenes are full of it.
The entire team of season 4, including the animators, CGI experts, character design experts, directors, and sound engineers, was new to the series. You can see the visible difference between the CGI used in the last three seasons vs. the finale. V-sign is the CGI company designated to animate the movement of characters in season 4. Surprisingly, they did an admirable job at animating the humans, titans, and other objects in the show. Even the new ODM gear is made of CGI. How cool is that!
The new character designs
Since MAPPA took over the project, the AOT staff has been releasing artworks, sketches, and character designs to the online community. The most significant change in the character design is visible through the character of Eren, who is now 19 years old and looks more badass than ever before. The design for Levi, Mikasa, Titans, and other characters was changed to signify the time skip in the Attack on Titan lore. Additionally, MAPPA used a more refined design to bring out realism in the animation, including more detailed face shapes, shadows, and facial expressions. AOT fans can easily spot the new clothing design consisting of upgraded ODM gear, new metal suits, new weaponry, and a new Attack Titan. Furthermore, we are yet to see the full potential of MAPPA in the upcoming episodes. Attack on Titan season 4 might be the only chance for appreciating the studio for giving an above-average series in a short amount of time.
The use of rotoscope animation in season 4
Rotoscoping is an animation technique used by animators and filmmakers to trace a live object’s border and place that outline in a different background. This technique allows the animators to create life-like characters that can move like real human beings. By ditching the traditional method, MAPPA heavily relied on rotoscoping to move the characters. Fans familiar with the technique should have realized that most Attack on Titan season 4 episode 2 was created using rotoscoping. Even though there were no fight scenes in the episode, the use of rotoscoping is visible. Also, Eren’s movement is more human than in the last three seasons, signifying how much the animation has changed since MAPPA took over the project from Wit.
The schedule for the fourth season was tight. Studio Wit was bustling with other projects, and they were unable to take responsibility for finishing the finale in time. MAPPA was chosen as the production house for Attack on Titan season 4. With a tight schedule and most people backing out, MAPPA had a little time to do everything and make the episodes worth the AOT fans’ hype. Studio Wit created the last three seasons with dedication, and the hard work paid off as Attack on Titan became one of the most popular anime series of the decade. Though there are some differences between the two studios and how they animate a series, MAPPA pulled off a big project with grace and professionalism.