Tag Archives: Final Season

Attack on Titan Final Season Episodes 80-87 and What’s to Come

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Advertisements

The journey through Attack on Titan has been, if nothing else, exciting. It started with a re-ignited spark of interest in the series and has turned into a strong change in opinion about its quality. Whereas my original opinion of AOT was positive but not all that passionate, it has now become one of my favorite series, if not top 10, then at worst top 20.

It is a series like no other and has really proved that over the course of the last season, from its strong political drama and allegorical elements to the production side of the equation which remained equally strong even after swapping studios. So, the ending, at least for now, has finally come. How was it?

Not like this will be much of a surprise, but it was amazing. I was honestly kind of surprised just how many compelling stories beats the show was able to fit into the season’s last eight episodes. There is of course the Rumbling and its initial devastation on Paradis, which transitions pretty smoothly into Gabi’s redemption arc. There is also Armin stopping Coney from killing Falco, and Annie meeting up with Hitch just in time for the Apocolypse, after which they join together with Reiner, Levi, Hange, Piecke, and the Marleyian general.

This would be a lot for a normal 10-12 episode anime, but to fit into the final third of an already reveal filled-season while still remaining totally coherent is an incredible feat. Bubble had about the same time to accomplish that and could barely manage 1-2 engaging plotlines.

As for particular highlights, Coney and Armin’s interaction right before meeting up with the others felt the most compelling. It serves as a reminder that desperation can make people do anything. Coney’s mom is the only one who has a chance of being alive, and so he takes that chance, even despite part of him knowing it was wrong. The final fight at the harbor was also really cool as well. One thing that Attack on Titan is consistently good at is showing both the ease and difficulty of throwing away one’s humanity at the drop of a hat. Again, we see Coney making a difficult choice in order to save Armin.

Speaking of choices, might be worth addressing the founding titan in the room, Eren. It was not much of a surprise to see Eren take back the founding Titan from Zeke (The opening of this half is literally called The Rumbling), but that does not make it any less dramatic. Finding out about Eren’s ability to see the future and therefore have everything already planned down to the second was wild. The screenshot of him staring down Grisha while right next to him is funny, but also indicative of Eren’s willingness to do anything for Paradis.

Advertisements

All of that ignores the fact that Eren has become a genocidal maniac. However, hindsight is always 2020, and I think what a lot of initial discussions about AOT’s ideology missed is that Eren is rarely the good guy. The only time he is ever cast in a sympathetic light is during the first few episodes. After that, Eren’s reckless and homicidal attitude is very often framed as at best concerning and at worst actively putting others in danger.

The show has always been about ideology. I mean, they live in a post-apocalyptic military state. However, it has never, up to this point at least, actively glorified these repressive beliefs and systems. This could change in the last part, and if it does then we should be having a different conversation, but since I am definitely not reading the manga, we will have to wait and see.

I know I have mentioned it a ton of times already, but man the action scenes in this show are amazing. There is the inherent appeal of Godzilla like battles against two monsters just beating the shit out of each other, or the David and Goliath style battles of man versus titans. Besides those two, the show also takes care to make sure that the human-level conflict is engaging as well. Going back to Coney and Armin, their meeting in Coney’s hometown felt genuinely nerve-wracking in a way that the outcome was unclear until the last second.

Good CGI also helps its case. There are very few anime that can actually claim to have good 3D animation, with Beastars being one of the only ones that I personally have seen. However, the titans and heavy machinery that is rendered in 3D still fit seamlessly into the world.

Ok, but where does the series go from here? Well, ideally up. The reality is that Mappa is working on a number of projects over the next year, including the upcoming Chainsaw Man adaptation that also has a large number of eyes on it. This means that, while it would be awesome to see the last of Attack on Titan go off without any problems, there is a non-zero chance that an extremely overworked production team will inevitably let some things slip through the cracks.

Still, this last season was arguably the best so far. On top of that, Mappa at this point has established itself as one of the best Studios in the industry, employing a lot of talent throughout the years. Hopefully, that means good things to come.


Now that I am officially done with all of Attack on Titan‘s anime available story, what are your thoughts on the series? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Advertisements

Attack on Titan Final Season Episodes 76-79

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Advertisements

Wow. Attack on Titan has been through some crazy arcs. Revelation after revelation has come and gone, and while many of them have been shocking, none have really hit with this level of intensity, outside of the Reiner and Bertolt reveal in season two. These episodes genuinely made me consider abandoning this episode-by-episode format and just marathoning the rest. Without rambling for too much longer, let us get into it.

For starters, the stakes have never been higher. What sets the content of the final season apart from the rest of the series is its sense of scale, which is on full display in these episodes. The Marleyian army has begun their invasion of Paradis, with a large percentage of their strength, including the Titans, helping out. The story of Attack on Titan has gone from the survival of a small group of people trapped inside the walls to a global conflict implicating millions of people. An event like the rumbling does not just affect Eldians, but rather everyone on earth.

We also find out that Eren, who was presumably on board with Zeke’s euthanization plan, was actually only using him to access the founding titan’s power, even if it ultimately backfires. Part of me wants to argue that this was a pretty obvious twist, but at the same time, was it? Eren witnessed the deaths of hundreds, probably thousands of his comrades at the hands of titans. I am by no means saying that euthanization is a proper response to the situation, it is understandable how someone whose mind has been twisted by that kind of trauma might ultimately arrive at that conclusion.

On top of this, Eren…dies? Probably not, but seeing his head gets blown off by a titan rifle was one of the more visceral scenes of the entire series. While in liminal space, Zeke takes it upon himself to show Eren some memories of their father Grisha, but after a while, it seems as though Zeke is coming out of the experience more surprised. Also, the whole attack titan having the ability to predict the future thing both made sense and did not, but it was a pretty cool reveal anyway.

While Eren spends his screen with Zeke time having a, uh, reverse change of heart? Gabi has a normal change of heart. For her entire life up until this point, the people of Paradis were nothing but devils to her, an amorphous blob of evil on some distant island ruining the Eldian identity. However, as she spends time with the locals, and almost gets killed by “one of her own,” she comes to understand the folly in her thinking.

It is a brutal realization to have, not just as a kid, but as a kid who has spent a non-insignificant portion of her waking hours training to inherit a titan that would be used to kill the Eldians as well. It is the kind of identity crisis that can only come to fruition in the midst of something as traumatic as war. 

The stakes were also pretty high for Falco, as despite going with his brother to beg Zeke not to turn him into a titan, he ultimately ends up as one anyway. Well, he was for all of two minutes, anyway, but ultimately end up eating Galliard, and will presumably take the roll of the jaw titan. Still, this was another section where it felt like nothing was guaranteed. His confession to helping Eren back in Marley and admitting his feelings for Gabi ultimately made it seem like his time was coming to an end.

On top of some quality writing, there were also some crazy bits of animation. Specifically, the transition scene between Eren getting shot and finding himself in the liminal space with Zeke was some of the most expressive animation I have seen, not just within Attack on Titan, but across anime period. The way it portrays the slowdown of time alongside the compactness of the battlefield in stark contrast to the empty desert that is the home of the Eldian founder Ymir is breathtaking.

These were without a doubt some of the best episodes in the series, and I am beyond excited to see its conclusion. Speaking of, since it is the end of July, I figured next week would be a good time to marathon the rest of the episodes and wrap up this series, so stay tuned for that!


What are your feelings on the “final” season of Attack on Titan? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Advertisements

Attack on Titan Final Season: Episodes 64-67

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Advertisements

It is once again time to talk about everyone’s favorite dumpster fire: Attack on Titan. The first part is a joke, obviously, because the series has been amazing. These next four episodes have continued to impress as well, highlighting the chaos that has come from the Marleyian government and its focus from the rest of the world.

As it worked out, these next four episodes covered what ended up being a pretty big reveal, not that it was not obvious anyway. As it turns out, the older man that Falco was helping deliver letters outside of the camp was Eren, who managed to sneak in through the military. Eren and the others use the power of the titans to launch a surprise attack inside the camp, on the night that the head of the Tyburs made his big speech.

Again, what surprised me about these episodes is not necessarily the reveal itself or what happened after, but how it happened. While it certainly makes sense after the fact, Eren confronting Reiner directly was not something that I was anticipating. It felt like something that would have happened near the end of the season, rather than it its first quarter. Still, it was a surprisingly powerful moment, one in which neither character came out looking morally good but certainly the emotion behind it was there.

As for the fighting that happened after…look, if there is one thing that I can count on AOT for its some damn good looking fight scenes. Seeing two giant monster swing at each other is always going to be fun as long as there is some reasonable context behind it. On top of that, the lighting in most of these scenes gives off the feeling of war movies set in enemy territory at night, and it absolutely nails the tense atmosphere that comes with those settings. People and titans are moving quickly and often the only light comes from gunshots and the fires burning just a few hundred feet away.

Another element of warfare that Attack on Titan does fairly well is the strategy. A good battle scene not only gets the audience invested in what is happening immediately but subtely draws their attention away from things that they might have lingered on otherwise. A good example of this comes in the middle of the fight between the Eldian titans and Eren, when unbeknowst to everyone else, Armin was getting ready to set of the Fat Guy level bomb that is the Colossal Titan, destroying an entire bay of ships.

The only thing that feels somewhat protest worthy is the character development of Gabi. Whereas Falco has fairly clear motivations for his actions at this point in the series, Gabi, who is important enough to be considered the next Armored Titan, does not give me that same feeling. The episodes this week helped with that a fair amount, which is why I would not consider it a big deal, but I do hope she gets a little bit more development before they inevitably kill her off.

At least, those are the vibes I get from the season thus far. On top of Gabi and Falco’s suicide mission into the blimp and procedeing murder of Sasha, there is also the reveal of Zeke working for Eren and the others. I would be lying if I said that this made total sense to me, but it did happen in the last five minutes of the last episode I happened to watch, so judgement will be reserved for next week’s episodes.


Have you finished season four already? Have you yet to even watch Attack on Titan? Are you a clearly superior manga reader who already knows what’s going to happen? Let me know down in the comments, but please avoid spoilers, for my sake and others.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks to Jenn for cotinuing to support us on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Advertisements

The Observation Deck: Attack on Titan OADs

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Advertisements

Some of those reading the title right now might be a bit confused as to why I am choosing to cover the topic of this post. After all, OADs are often not important to the story, and on top of that, I rarely if ever talk about them outside of the context of reporting that they exist. In fact, I do not even watch them most of the time unless I am struggling with things to watch.

Well, apart from the fact that Crunchyroll has them conveniently listed on their website and the fact that I said I was going to cover them, I want to feel like I am getting the full-on AOT experience. Plus, it seems as though most of these are to be treated as canon, and since that is the case, I want to give them the respect they deserve as proper entries into Attack on Titan.

There is not really a convenient summary I can write since each episode, or in some cases dual episodes, cover different characters and events. It might be easiest to think of them as an extended “Tales of Ba Sing Se” only a lot darker and with completely different timestamps and contexts. In fact, the range of time in which these episodes happen spans from before the first episode to the middle of season three.

Highs and Lows

I will say that there is no bad episode among the released OADs. There is, however, one mediocre episode, which comes right at the beginning. Episode two focuses on a cooking competition between Jean and Sasha, all the while Jean is looking for every excuse not to see his mom, even going so far as to kick her out of the barracks when she comes to visit him.

Rather than outright bad, I would describe this episode as just being closer to mediocre. Everything about it feels…off for some reason. Whether it is the stakes, which are some of the lowest the series has ever seen, or maybe even the focus on Jean’s homelife which is not particularly interesting. If I had to choose one thing about it that feels the most wrong, it would be the comedy, which just feels out of place as the focus of an entire episode.

The highlight of this season is by far the episodes focused on Levi’s backstory. He has always been one of the most popular characters in the series, memes or otherwise, and these episodes cemented the justification for said popularity. These episodes also give us the origin story of Levi’s friends, and how exactly his relationship with Erwin came to be.

Advertisements

Levi’s story is by far one of the most compelling in the Attack on Titan universe. Little is known about the underground city outside of the fact that those who live down there tend to stay down there. Poverty is its defining characteristic and through a major tragedy, Levi is able to make it to the surface.

In fact, I would argue that both of the two-part OADs are worth mentioning, as Annie’s is also surprisingly good. Her episode focuses on investigating the missing daughter of a wealthy elite. The job is passed on to her after she asks her roommate to report her sick for tomorrow’s Military Police work. Despite not caring that much, to begin with, she ends up solving the whole thing in a day.

It is an interesting story because Annie is one of those characters who also feels a bit underdeveloped despite how much importance she has early on. Unfortunately, I cannot say these episodes do as much in terms of properly explaining her motivations, but it does give us another side of her that makes her feel decidedly more human than even Reiner or Bertholdt. On top of that, the episode shows us yet another aspect of the seedy underworld that is human society within the wall: drugs. At first, it felt like an odd choice, but considering they have weapons that literally send them flying through the air at top speed to kill titans, it makes sense that they can cook drugs.

OADs vs Main Seasons

Outside of the aforementioned episode about Jean, all of these are above average episodes, with a lot of them focusing not just on individual characters, but the soldiers as a group. Something that feels missing from Attack on Titan is a sense of comradery which the earlier military training episodes fail to really foster. I dare say that making time for the content of, let us say, episode three would help to improve that.

Episode three showcases Eren and friends during a training mission in which the only immediate objective is to reach a checkpoint and come back. The group is attacked by black market weapon sellers at which point their gear and Krista are taken. The crew is then forced to use their better judgment to devise a plan and get her back.

Honestly, if this episode were just dropped into the middle of the original series and edited a bit for context, the series as a whole would be a fair bit better. This is not to say that right now Attack on Titan is not compelling, but it feels like if more time were spent on characters earlier on, there would be a bit more impact later on.

That could actually be said for most of the episodes here. Their division from the main series as OADs, while they may still be canon, gives them an air of unimportance. One of my biggest gripes with Annie’s episodes, for instance, is not even anything to do with the episodes themselves. Rather, it is the fact that they exist outside the preview of season one, where their inclusion would have seriously assisted her character.

Advertisements

What is the Point?

Though not as narratively or technically impressive as some of the others, Mikasa’s “flashback” during the last OVA feels compelling enough to talk about. Many have argued that her character basically comes down to having strong feelings for Eren, and while I do not deny that, it is not necessarily a bad thing for a character to be solely focused on another.

During the episode, Mikasa reimagines the world with the stipulation that Eren has to die at some point, and their terrifying reality mirages itself away, replaced instead by one in which Mikasa’s parents are still alive, and Eren becomes her distant friend.

This episode appears to be in the context in which the group figures out that Eren only has a few years left to live, which makes a lot of sense. Those feelings of desperation can be hard to deal with, and yet, by the end of the episode, it all vanishes, which highlights the immediacy of their situation.

Music? Music.

Surprisingly there are actually a few cool things to say about the music in these OADs. For starters, during the intro sequence to the episode about Jean’s cooking competition, the intro for Guren no Yumiya is edited to focus more on Jean himself. While not incredibly important to the overall episode, it is a nice touch that was admittedly pretty funny.

Of course, I cannot talk about Attack on Titan music without also mentioning the man, the myth, the legend, Hiroyuki Sawano. The base soundtrack for the series is already beautiful, but the female rendition of Call Your Name which is included at the end of Annie’s episodes is absolutely phenomenal and was quickly added to my music rotation.

Conclusion

For the purposes of this review, these episodes are being judged as a sort of loosely connected mini-series, with the over-arching story coming from Attack on Titan itself and not from any internal connectivity between the episodes. Even with that being the case, they are a great addition to the overall story of AOT, and with the full context of the series now under my belt, I look forward to the final season.

83/100


Have you seen the Attack on Titan OADs? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, thank you to our awesome Patron Jenn

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Advertisements