'Attack On Titan' Season 3 Release Date/Spoilers: 'Shingeki no Kyojin' Manga Lets Us See Beyond AoT Episode 12

Patrick Frye

The Attack on Titan Season 3 release date has been officially confirmed, but the 12 episodes aired for AoT Season 2 are just not enough content to sate fans' Titan-like hunger for new anime. Fortunately, English anime fans can look ahead to the Shingeki no Kyojin manga for spoilers or to fill in the gaps in the Attack on Titan story.

After all, Attack on Titan Season 2 left fans with many unanswered questions. How do regular humans become transformed into mindless Titans within the wall? Who is the Beast Titan? Why do the Titan Shifters seem at odds with other mindless Titans yet the Beast can control them? Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover both hinted at greater revelations to come but SnK's main characters Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert will be forced to consider the possibility that the world is not as it seems.

"To people disappointed by Attack of Titans S2 being only [12 episodes]. Sad but there is a real shortage of staff because of anime overproduction," Romain tweeted out. "It's now nearly impossible to produce [26 episode] high-quality shows. Studios are already doing their best within the schedule they get from clients."

In this case, the clients are a variety of organizations (Production I.G, Dentsu, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Pony Canyon, Kodansha, Mad Box, Shingeki no Kyojin Team, and Pony Canyon Enterprise) who set the budget and schedule for WiT Studio based upon their individual needs. There's also other interests in play since publishing houses often use anime to boost the sales of manga and light novels.

Creating a 12-episode anime can take months and WiT Studio also has other priorities. In this case, they've invested their time into creating Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus Bride), a 24-episode anime series that tells the story of a young girl who eventually becomes the apprentice and bride of a magus. Mahoutsukai no Yome is owned by Japanese holding company IG Port, which also happens to own Wit Studio and both the producer and the manga publisher backing the series. Creating Attack on Titan Season 3 will also be taking a back seat to Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Season 2, an anime which some argue has similar thematic elements to Attack On Titan.

As of this publishing, Isayama has released Attack on Titan Chapter 93 of the manga. To put things into perspective, most of the events of Season 2 were already shown in the manga released in 2013. At one point Isayama believed the AoT ending would happen in Volume 20, but by June of 2015, he announced he was more than halfway finished, and the publisher later confirmed there were about three years left.

Since the manga chapters are released on a monthly basis, the entire story should be complete by late 2018 with over 100 chapters. That means Attack On Titan Season 3 should have over 50 chapters worth of manga source material to draw upon. Hopefully, the next season will have between 21 to 25 episodes since the next major manga story arc is about 20 chapters long so releasing another 12 episode season would leave anime audiences hanging in the middle of a major story arc.

The Shingeki no Kyojin Blu-ray collection will include multiple bonus items:

Japan splits up its anime release time frames into Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Most anime series launch with around 12 episodes and in some cases additional episodes will air during a later season. For example, My Hero Academia aired 12 episodes in 2016, but the second season will be 25 episodes, with the second half finishing off in September of 2017.

As previously noted, the next manga story arc would seem to require at least 20 episodes to match the manga chapters. In a best-case scenario, it's possible WiT Studio could plan on releasing two halves of AoT Season 3 over two consecutive time frames in 2018. Based on the available information, the Attack On Titan Season 3 release date will be in July of 2018 and the finale episode will likely air in December of 2018.

The AoT Season 2 finale ended around chapter 50 of the AoT manga, with anime audiences learning that titans come from humans and Eren has a mysterious ability as the Coordinate to control the mindless titans. Even as commander Erwin smiles at the prospect of getting closer to the truth, audiences are treated to a glimpse of a blonde, bearded man who is controlling the Beast Titan. These teasers give anime-only watchers a quick peek into the future without giving anything major away. This article will also attempt to provide teasers without spoiling any major plot points, so anime-only fans can still enjoy the surprises in store for anime audiences.

The story for AoT Season 3 begins with the failure of the traitorous Titan Shifters to kidnap Eren. An injured Hange Zoe is being housed in the same military barracks as Minister Nick, the religious man in Season 2 who knew about Titans being inside the walls. Hange finds poor Nick dead, apparently tortured and beaten to death.

The death of Nick leads the Survey Corps to suspect a conspiracy involving prominent members of the Military Police Brigade. It is discovered that the squads of the Interior Military Police is not under the Brigade's direct command. The results of the investigation lead Commanders Erwin and Pixis to conclude that they need to overthrow King Fritz and the Royal Government and install in power a new person with the royal bloodline.

Meanwhile, Eren is experimenting with his new Progenitor Titan powers and trying to master the Titan hardening abilities. This experiment goes horribly wrong, but in the aftermath, Eren is able to remember some details about what happened to his father. Eventually, Eren will recall the horrible truth, a memory that he'd been forced to lose. Audiences will also learn the backgrounds of more characters, including Hange and Historia Reiss. Timid Armin even gets to murder someone while other characters are framed for murder.

The majority of the events of this story arc focuses on the civil war and an internal power struggle within a royal family. Audiences will learn the identity of another Titan Shifter in addition to learning how the three walls were built a century ago. It will also be revealed how a human turns into a Titan Shifter, never mind how and why regular Titans are created. Mikasa's bloodline along with the Ackerman family turns out to have special abilities.

Many card-carrying fan club members of Team Levi were upset that their "husbando" did not make a major showing in Season 2 due to his injury. Thankfully, that issue should be rectified in Attack on Titan Season 3 since a new Levi Squad is reformed. Levi himself even gets into a rooftop gun vs. sword fight against a Special Operations Squad using Anti-Personnel Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, which should be amazing to watch in the anime.

The story of Attack on Titan Season 3 should culminate in a battle with a new Titan that towers even above Bertolt's Colossus Titan. Even though this Titan seems unstoppable, Eren manages to do some radical dentistry using gunpowder. Levi mops up whatever's left, winning the fight, only to get punched in the face for his efforts by the newly installed ruler. (Yes, that description is vaguely glib on purpose.)

Assuming that Attack on Titan Season 3's ending finishes with Chapter 70 of the manga, the finale episode should show a fight between Reiner and the Beast Titan. The human inside the Beast Titan is revealed, and he orders Reiner and Bertolt to join him in an ambush of the Survey Corps, which is planning on retaking Wall Maria. Their goal? To retrieve the "Coordinate".

Another major issue is whether anime fans will finally see what's in Eren's basement. The manga did not answer this question until the Survey Corps finally returned to the Yeager household in Chapter 85, which should mean this event will take place in Shingeki no Kyojin Season 4. If WiT Studio wants to be mean, they could leave audiences with a huge cliffhanger where the episode, or even the entire season, ends with Levi kicking down the basement door (no, Eren's key didn't work!).

This article will not spoil the surprise completely, nor paint a complete photo for you, but let's just say the true history of the walled world is revealed -- and AoT's world is about as flip-flopped as you might guess; both figuratively and literally since the author apparently drew the Eldia world map based upon a reversed Madagascar and Africa.

— Patrick Frye (@icepowered) May 24, 2017

[Featured Image by Hajime Isayama]