Interview with team behind AoT alternate fan ending

Attack on Titan is a manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. Manga series ended with the final chapter on April 9 but not all the fans were satisfied with the ending. At this time, a group of Attack on Titan fans came together to explore an alternate route to the story. While many AoT fans appreciated this alternate ending, some fans were still confuse about what is the purpose of this alternate ending.

We asked the team behind AoTnoRequiem project to answer some popular questions and the motive behind this ending. Here is the summary:

Q: Can ErenXMikasa fans read AotnoRequiem? or this alternative ending isn’t for ErenXMikasa shippers?

A: It’s okay to ship whoever you like. Shipping, at the end of the day, is just for fun. But if you are coming to read this chapter just for the ships, this is not for you because our goal is to give proper closure to the character arcs of every character and not just the main trio.

Vera

Q: Will AotnoRequiem add something new to the plot or will strictly follow the AnR theory?

A: AnR theory is just that, a theory. Largely based on a music video and some other aspects of foreshadowing or statements, there was only so much room for AnR to be fleshed out. We will of course be telling a story of how AnR comes to be, how forgotten foreshadowing will play out, and the endings these characters deserve.

K

Q: Are you guys plan to make profit from this project? There are allegations that you guys received donations from a previous Interview

A: The only money we’ve received has been to support our website which we received through a live interview hosted on YouTube so it is still NOT FOR PROFIT. The donation was also something we did not expect and was clearly stated by the youtuber that the donation is simply for doing the interview. The chapter is still offered for free, all content is available for free. Even if we were to accept donations, we wouldn’t be in the wrong since doujinshi in Japan are very commonly sold and made for profit. Also, see: comic con. (A lot of artists make money from fan-art and merchandise made from established copyrighted material and make their money for profit). A lot of us don’t see why this is such a big issue just because our work happened to make a pretty big splash. We’re not doing anything illegal (See the Legal page in our website), nor are we doing anything that hasn’t already been done

Somnu

Q: Is AotnoRequiem team planning a video animation project? If so, what can we expect from it? (Motion manga, animation etc)

A: We are aware of a separate, independent group that has already begun production for an animated adaptation. There are also multiple motion manga adaptations of what we have released thus far by fans. All of these, however, are not directly tied to the project’s team. If people do anything like this, that’ll be available from a separate team not AOT no Requiem. We are not directly involved. Our focus right now is just completing the chapter.

Vera

Q: Roughly how long till the part 2 is released? Is AotnoRequiem team already working on Part 2?

A: Yes, the entire chapter is in progress. We cannot disclose a release date at this time.

Uplift

Q: Initially, AotnoRequiem received a lot of backlash. Considering that fanfic (doujinshi) are not something new, Is it because people don’t know what doujinshi is?

The nature of fandoms is a tale as old as time. Bleach, Naruto, etc all became extremely polarized over certain key issues or pairings. Attack on Titan is no different. Many people have an open mind to new ideas, but there will always be a loud minority who not only disagree with an interpretation but actively try to stymie its success. The legal aspects of doujinshi may not be common knowledge, but many use it as an obvious excuse to try to demotivate or put pressure on the project. If people didn’t know about doujinshi or their legality before, they certainly can now.

K

Q: What does AotnoRequiem team think about the recent Hajime Isayama interview leaks? How will it effect Attack on Titan overall?

A: We were a bit confused since some parts of the interview were quite contradictory to Isayama’s past interviews. For example, Isayama had mentioned before how “The story might not end with Armin being good friends with Eren”, or how he also wrote in a previous Guidebook, Inside & Out that “Mikasa loves Eren as a brother”. Isayama himself also stated in the third volume of Gekkan Shingeki no Kyojin, “For Eren, rather than a lover, Mikasa’s presence is more like a mother to him.”  The idea that “Eren could one day develop less-than-platonic feelings for Mikasa” was simply the interpretation of the writer of the article. And now in the recent Guidebook, it was suddenly stated that Historia had a “childhood friend” when chapter 52 of the manga said she had no friends in the past as a child, only bullies. Regardless, if Isayama changed his mind along the way, we have already started this project based on his older interviews and the new ones will not deter us in the slightest. Plus, the recent interview leaks do not take away from the foreshadowing that were already established in the canon manga which we will use in our version of the ending.

Uplif/Somnu

Q: In interview, Isayama said that “whiny Eren” is the real Eren. Will this effect AnR ending at all

A:

Before we answer this, first consider that our project stems from the idea behind the “Death of the Author, birth of the Reader” concept.

The concept comes from mid-20th Century literary criticism; it holds that an author’s intentions and biographical facts (the author’s politics, religion, etc) should hold no special weight in determining an interpretation of their writing. This is usually understood as meaning that a writer’s views about their own work are no more or less valid than the interpretations of any given reader. Intentions are one thing. What was actually accomplished might be something very different. The logic behind the concept is fairly simple: [Stories] are meant to be read, not written, so the ways readers interpret them are as important and “real” as the author’s intention. On the flip side, a lot of authors are unavailable or unwilling to comment on their intentions, and even when they are, they don’t always make choices for reasons that make sense or are easily explainable to others (or sometimes even to themselves). – source; tvtropes.org

Isayama is the author, but once a story enters the head of others, that story, in part and according to this concept, becomes theirs as well. The work at this point has become its own living, breathing, autonomous thing. This is not to say that Isayama is suddenly irrelevant to the story as a whole. He’s the story’s creator after all. However, he is still just a man and not a perfect writer, we are all aware of this. If we all intrinsically decided that his word is like God’s and must never be challenged then all kinds of fanwork and interpretations would, by that logic, be seen as blasphemous (lolol).

That being said, Isayama has every right to view his main character, Eren, as he wishes, but we at AotnoRequiem and thousands of other fans have that right too since the work has been published. These statements, and any future statements, will not affect the ending we wish to see realized.

And once again, our version is an ALTERNATE, FANMADE ending so it is, in its very nature, outside of the visions of the original author. This does not suddenly usurp the canonical events from being canonical. We know fully this is just for some people to enjoy the series and see how another route may have panned out. 
A narrator should not supply interpretations of his work; otherwise he would not have written a novel, which is a machine for generating interpretations.” – Umberto Eco

Q: Some fans criticize that Eren in AotnoRequiem looks out of character, like showing no emotions or regret. What do you think about it?

A:

These criticisms towards AoTnoRequiem remind me of the main criticisms of Attack on Titan Season 1 back in 2013:

Other than it’s slow pacing, Season 1 was also seen as “too edgy”, and “overrated”, hyped only due to its “mindless violence” and over-reliance on “shock value”, leaving most of its characters “bland and one-dimensional”. I also remember back in S1 the criticisms against Eren’s sudden ability to transform into a titan because it “made him too overpowered” and “deus ex machina”. The show’s action-packed sequences in the first season indeed garnered massive appeal, but nonetheless it lacked “depth” and felt “empty” in some aspects.

AoTnoRequiem has only released 21 pages so far out of 100+ total pages planned. Our intention for this first part is to better explain paths and the origin of the titans while at the same time, hook readers with a thrilling first impression despite the “lack of emotional depth” on Eren’s part. We are aware that Part 1 of AoTnoRequiem barely scratches the surface of Eren’s deep and complex character because this is only just the FIRST PART. This Eren is simply a continuation of the version of Eren Jeager from when he was last seen at present time in the manga which was the Paths scene in chapter 121 and 122 where Eren was shown to be more “edgy” and steeled with unwavering resolve especially AFTER his breakdown in the flashback that was Chapter 131. Eren, despite apologizing to Ramzi, still made up his mind to go forward with the rumbling.

Similar to how the 2nd Season of Attack on Titan began to “slow down” in order to develop its (side) characters and reveal more information about their world, we want to peel Eren’s “facade” in a more gradual and natural way so it does not come off too sudden or out of left field, hence please look forward to the next subsequent parts. 

Nonetheless, we are aware that some of those reading the project with preconceived notions about the team and AnR theory in general can never be satisfied with our different take. But we welcome those who are willing to read our fanmade ending with an open mind. In the end, it’s just for fun and not everyone will enjoy it. That’s okay too.

Somnu

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