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Found this on a French website. I did the translation really quickly because I was in a rush when I found this, so I apologize in advance if it's not that good.
Q: About the ending. You have publicly stated that you had a specific ending in mind right from the start.
A: The plot is pretty open-ended, new elements were added, and some characters have emerged in a very unexpected way.
Q: So the story kind of built itself, and could have an ending that's different from the one you had previously planned?
Q: This is a big change. I've read all your interviews up to this day, and I've come to think that you had something incredibly traumatizing for the ending.
A: I'm a little lost. At first, I was going to make a traumatizing ending. Like in the movie Mist where everybody dies. I wanted to do something like that.
But when I saw all the fans who had started supporting the series because of the anime, I realized that I could not do something like this anymore (which would not be very well received by them).
A: I'm really lost, right?
Huh, I wonder where the manga will go now. To be honest I kind of expected an 'EVERYONE DIES!' ending, and I wouldn't mind one. Now I wonder where the manga is going. I just hope that the author is just a little lost and not anymore than that. I don't want this amazing manga to stop being amazing because of ass-pulls or Deus Ex Machinas or this sort of things (I'm looking at you Naruto).
Thanks dustofoblivion and a Happy New Year to all Shingeki no Kyojin fans !
Papermoon, giving his (or her, I don't know if it's a he or a she, and I don't care), opinion and translation of the different interviews.
Well if you just checked this link, I mostly agree with everything.
If not or if you find it too long to read, here is my even longer point of view (maybe, I'm not sure, I'm typing while sorting my train of thought but nobody cares about this detail I think) :
He wanted to do an ending like the movie "The Mist" :
Does it seems like a good ending to you ? (In terms of quality, not of good ending for the characters)
Here, I'll take the best example we had in the manga and it's : Sasha !
Honestly, tell me if you would have preferred Sasha to die, just like that, in chapter 36 or what we actually had, which is in my opinion, a pretty damn good change in the story (thank you, editor in charge of the publication of SnK) !
We can be optimistic in this manga (for once, but not for the characters' fates sadly), and say : "The author is now open to criticism, he wants to make the best story out of what he created and well he had an ending planned in his head to say the least 3 YEARS AGO, and is now thinking if it's even a good idea or if he can find a better way to end this story, ABOUT TIME !"
We can see it like for FMA, the author changed her idea of the ending because the anime was going on at the same time (2003 anime, if you remember this one), and it was for the best I think, the big finale wasn't that awesome but we still had awesome stuff during the end, and well she clarified what she wanted to do in the last chapters (compare the end of the anime FMA and the manga or FMA brotherhood if you can't turn pages)...
Stop thinking it will turn like a Naruto, Bleach or One Piece, Isayama never said he was going to kill and revive characters every three chapters, that it was going to be his last Arc and then come back at the end to say : "Oh, I lied here is another one", or that he would make Mikasa/Sasha/Historia/Zoe or whoever you want go from a 85B to a 90F !
Okay, now that I have bashed the manga I used to like more than 5 years ago, I can end on a more positive note :
Only a few days left for the next chapter.
Once again : wait and see...
Last edited by BobobVanBlob; January 05, 2014 at 12:13 PM.
I laughed when you mentioned the hypothetical change of the female cast's bra sizes. They'd have to really get out of shape for that to happen. Seriously, that is one of the best things of this manga; females are not treated as sexual objects, but as people with actual personalities, ambitions, aspirations and so forth.
Last edited by TheOwl; January 05, 2014 at 11:37 AM.
I don't expect we'll be seeing major story changes. Just probably a more satisfying ending. This shows that he has an complete plan right up until the end at least, so for the next 2 years or so I have confidence in the story as of now. The ending is really up to him.
When he first came up with it, it was before the series had much popularity. He was probably thinking "f*** it, kill everyone", now that the story has properly come to life and characters have progressed he doesn't think that's a good way to conclude it. A similar think happened to JK Rowling initially going to kill of Ron in the HP books.
Back in 36 it would have been a waste of character to kill Sasha, and it wouldn't have contributed to the story at all. Though some wpohld say that it's a bit of a waste to have most of chapter dedicated to her, just so she can 'survive'. My initial reaction was for Hajime to go with his original plan, but honestly I wouldn't see the point in killing everyone (not EVERYONE at least). To anyone who has seen The Mist, were you satisfied with the ending? I wasn't, it felt cheap.
Last edited by epictoads; January 05, 2014 at 03:19 PM.
Changing the story as it goes along seems like a pretty natural thing, I doubt most authors stick with their original plan over the years (sometimes decades) it takes to finish a manga. This is Isayama's first manga so maybe he didn't expect things to turn out this way, he's still learning as an author after all. Also, I'm guessing he started growing attached to his characters as well and no longer just wants to discard them carelessly, as he originally did with Sasha.