After Attack on Titan's second season ended with one hell of a cliffhanger, fans of one of the biggest breakout anime series in recent memory were worried that their favorite show would have another painfully long hiatus. Thankfully, this will not be the case for the upcoming third season, which has been confirmed to hit the air a lot earlier than expected.
During the Anime Expo 2017, Funimation - the American distributor and licenser of Attack on Titan - revealed that the show's third season would be released on Spring of 2018, meaning that the Scouting Legion will most likely get back to slaying cannibalistic giants sometime from March to May next year.
A Coordinate, Humans and Titans: What to Expect in Attack on Titan Season 3
Warning: This post contains spoilers for 'Attack on Titan' seasons 1-2 and its manga source material of the same name.
Season two ended with Eren, Armin, Mikasa and the surviving members of the Survey Corps learning more about the world they live in. Among these shocking revelations were dormant Colossal Titans residing within the walls, the intelligent yet dangerous Beast Titan, the possibility that humanity may not be extinct after all, and the twisted realization that all of the Titans were once human beings.
Above all this, perhaps the most significant discovery is Eren's power, "The Coordinate, which allows him to control lesser Titans. This explains why the Titan Shifters (Annie, Bertolt, Reiner) and their bosses were determined to capture Eren alive in the previous episodes. More importantly, Eren's ability gave the desperate bastions of humanity a new weapon to fight the Titans.
The third season is expected to pick up where season 2 ended, adapting 'The Uprising' arc from Attack on Titan's original manga series. Viewers should prepare themselves for a more detailed look at society as the political elite and the mysterious Church of the Wall cult try to use Eren's abilities for their own sinister purposes. The signature action of the anime, humans versus Titans, will take a temporary backseat to the humans fighting among themselves as a violent power struggle between the ruling monarchy and the military reaches a boiling point.
But if the rumors about season 3 having a 25-episode run turn out to be true, the anime could go as far as realizing the 'Return to Shiganshina' arc too. The story shows the Survey Corps successfully pushing the Titan threat all the way back to Wall Maria before a four-year time skip occurs. This penultimate arc was even hinted at in a teaser trailer for season 3:
However, this teaser angered some of the fandom's manga readers due to the spoilers that were callously revealed. Other fans were also disheartened when Attack on Titan's second season was less than half the length of its first season. The critically acclaimed first season aired with 25 episodes, while the follow-up season was released with just 12 episodes. This was due to Wit Studios' busy schedule, as the studio were also working on projects like The Ancient Magnus Bride and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress at the time.
These shows took away time, manpower and resources from the continuation of Attack on Titan, leading to spin-off materials, OVAs (original video animations) and a pair of live-action movies that were made to capitalize on the title's immense popularity. Despite a lengthy hiatus, it seems that Wit Studios now aims to make up for previous delays and prioritize Attack on Titan - making season 3 all the more exciting.