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Attack On Titan: Why Did They Stop The Show For 4 Years?

These days, it's safe to say that "Attack on Titan" has established itself as one of the most popular anime series in history. An adaptation of Hajime Isayama's doom-laden post-apocalyptic manga series of the same name, it's produced four successful seasons that have earned heaps of critical acclaim. That said, it's often been a frustrating journey for viewers as they've had to endure long waits without new episodes to sink their teeth into. 

This frustration was particularly evident during the first two seasons, which were separated by a four-year hiatus. Season 1 ended in September 2013 and "Attack on Titan" didn't return until 2017, which is quite a long gap between new episodes. So what caused the freaking hold-up? 

There was actually good reason for the long break, which probably helped the show maintain its quality in the long run. As documented by CBR, the manga was only 49 chapters into its existence by the time Season 1 ended, meaning that there wasn't enough source material out there to adapt. If "Game of Thrones" taught us anything, it's that TV shows outpacing their source material can lead to diminishing returns over time. With that in mind, the "Attack on Titan" creators deserve credit for their patience.

Did the Attack on Titan hiatus pay off?

When "Attack on Titan" returned to screens in 2017, the manga was still going strong and had produced enough stories for the anime to catch up. Unfortunately, Season 2 only treated fans to 12 episodes, which was 13 less than its predecessor.

On top of that, the series' release schedule has remained chaotic in the grand scheme of things. While the hiatus between Seasons 1 and 2 gave the creators some time to develop the series, it continued to have a stop-start scheduled for a variety of reasons; for example, Season 3 was picked up by a brand-new studio, MPPA, so that was a transitional phase. Furthermore, the anime continued to outpace the manga at times, which caused delays to the final season.

As such, the "Attack on Titan" creators chose to wait for the manga to catch up before they proceeded to create a finale for the show. "Attack on Titan's" Season 4 has been getting released in chunks since 2020, and, as of this writing, fans are still waiting for it to wrap. Three years is a long time for a single season, but "Attack on Titan" moves to the beat of its own drum.