The star behind Attack on Titan's Eren Yeager opened up about his change in approach to the character with the fourth and final season! After a ton of waiting the final season of the series has finally returned with the Winter 2022 anime schedule, and fans are beginning to see just how far Eren is willing to go to accomplish his wild new goals. But this was all being set up in the first half of the season as it was immediately apparent that the Eren since the third season has undergone a huge amount of changes physically, emotionally, and mentally.
This new version of Eren is going to some dark places, and thus Yuki Kaji, the actor providing his voice in the Japanese dub, had to approach the character in some new ways. Explaining in a new interview ahead of Part 2's premiere (as detailed by @AttackOnFans on Twitter), Kaji revealed that he had some troubles with this new take on Eren at first because he didn't really know where the story (or Eren) would be going next. It took some adjustments to his new performance to work out the rougher edges.
"At the time of Part 1, the story wasn't finished yet. So Eren, even I, didn't know how the story would end," Kaji begins, "That's why I was worried about how to play [Eren]...At the time of [the MAPPA stage event], the director told me that he didn't know how Eren would be voiced in the final season. I felt the same way, so I was very nervous about the voiceover in Part 1. However, when I began to play him, Eren began to move naturally with a different consciousness than I did. And then Eren Yeager showed up as a wounded soldier named Krueger."
Elaborating on this further, Kaji revealed his initial rougher patches when starting out his recordings, "When I voiced him in Part 1 for the first time in front of the microphone, I didn't know what kind of voice to put on. But then the sound director told me, 'He is now away from his family. So what kind of voice is Eren putting on?'" But then Kaji was able to find a way to make it work thanks to that sound director's advice as he explains, "Thanks to that I could imagine what kind of expression he had, and I even wondered if I could imagine myself making that kind of sound. I remember being very nervous when I had to start talking, so I had to psych myself up that I was in a different place and in a different environment. That's when I started walking as if I were Eren."
But what do you think? How do you feel about Kaji's approach to Eren for the final season? How do you feel about Eren's new self in the final season so far? Let us know all of your thoughts about it in the comments! You can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!