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Should…should I make the joke again? Yeah sure why not.
“Look guys, this one says final season, guess that means we’re getting more next year.”
Attack on Titan’s horrendous advertising of the final season aside, it does seem there is finally going to be a conclusion to what has been a literal decade-long journey through the adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s groundbreaking work. According to the article linked above, the hour-long special which will be the focus of this post is part one of two of the show’s final arc. However, it seems as though this second part is not going to be airing until the fall. Sigh…oh well, there is still plenty to talk about with this first special. So, with that being said, let’s talk about the first part of the final arc.
Speaking of finales, wow, what a cliffhanger to leave on. Seeing basically an entire army gets wiped out only for the last fighting force of Eldia to swoop in and charge at Eren full force was an incredible scene. Attack on Titan is a series that lives to create hype moments and watching Reiner titan bomb on top of Zeke was certainly nothing if not hype. There’s also a sense of simultaneous dread and hope in the fact that a group of the last of humanity is watching all of this play out in much the same way Eren and the others believed themselves to be the last of humanity at the beginning of the series.
The special also does a great job of creating those feelings throughout the course of the entire episode. As Eren and the colossal Titans march through the world, it quickly devolves into utter chaos, with people desperately trying to get away while they only watch out for themselves. There is also a whole section where the episode focuses on Eren apologizing to a small child while they are visiting the outside world, knowing full well how the future plays out. This then goes into a heartwrenching scene where that same kid and his friend are stomped on by one of the colossal titans.
Attack on Titan really does do a great job at creating its atmosphere, and part of what contributes to that atmosphere are some excellent character moments. I mentioned the episode’s cliffhanger already, but the midsection which focused on Hange and her defense of the plane had some amazing direction and camerawork, adding to the already intense scene of her trying to buy as much time as possible while burning up in the process.
The animation for this episode also feels above average, even by Attack on Titan standards. My guess is that a lot of that has to do with the fact that it is basically a short film which means MAPPA did not have to put as much planning and coordination into it as they would have done with a full season.
While my overall impression of the special is fairly positive, I do think some things about it feel a bit, for lack of a better word, meh. For example, the relationship between Annie and Armin, while not coming out of nowhere, does not seem to add much to the overall narrative other than giving her a potential reason to join the fight later.
Also, though this is not directly related to the episode itself, the whole Eren being able to see the future plot point never really sat right with me. On the one hand, the planning around said plot point mostly makes sense within the context of the series, and even some easter egg stuff I have seen floating around on Twitter seems to further confirm it. On the other, it does feel a bit retroactive in how it has been implemented in the story. IDK, it has not significantly altered the quality, so it is not like there is much room for complaining, but it still feels weird.
Overall, it was a great episode/special, and assuming part two does not go off the rails production-wise, it will likely serve as a great conclusion to the series.
How do you feel about the first half of Attack on Titan’s conclusion? Let me know in the comments below.
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