April has brought some bittersweet news to the Attack on Titan fandom. After several long years, the franchise finally made a comeback when Wit Studio premiered Attack on Titan’s second season last Saturday. The long-awaited debut has been on the mind of fans for more than three years and seeing the Survey Corps gear up after all that time was a surreal moment for many.
However, the return of Attack on Titan was not met with unanimous joy. Fans had spent months hyping themselves up for the anime’s return, but their excitement was doused when reports about Attack on Titan’s episode order broke. Fans feared that the show had not been given a lengthy episode order, a fact which stunned many given that Attack on Titan’s first season ran for 26 episodes. And, now, those reports have been confirmed.
If you were hoping Attack on Titan would run for more than 20 episodes, you’re about to be sorely disappointed. According to the anime’s home release pre-orders, the second season will only house 12 episodes total.
The official Twitter for Attack on Titan broke the news inadvertently when it shared new information about the second season’s Blu-ray, DVD releases. The page confirmed the box sets would be split into two volumes, and each one would contain six episodes. Fans quickly did the math, leaving them to realize that Attack on Titan’s second season would only consist of 12 episodes. And, unsurprisingly, fans are not pleased with the revelation.
Many anime enthusiasts have taken to the Internet to question Wit Studio’s decision to order a 12-episode series, but the choice comes down to money. While anime may be gaining in popularity all over the world, many audiences are watching shows through illicit venues, and studios aren’t getting enough money to pay animators for extended projects.
Those animators also work in high-stress workplaces which often demand quantity over quality - and Attack on Titan does its best to buck that trend. In order to give the best product, Wit Studio was forced to shorten the episode order of the anime’s new season.
For fans who waited years for Attack on Titan’s return, their frustration is an understandable one. So much collective hype was put into the franchise's return, but the damaging business model of the anime industry has made it nearly impossible to give a 25-episode season order for shows which require intricate animation. Work conditions and over-production have forced the hand of animators, and the Attack on Titan fandom is experiencing the fallout of that reality firsthand.