[ Attack on Titan ] An End to a Cruel Yet Beautiful World? Part I

[ author’s note: this post may or may not contain spoilers. I have alluded to the subsequent possibilities of the final season, but I tried to save all spoilers for part II ]

The end of an era is upon us. Well, not really, but we are entering the final phase of Attack on Titan. The premiere of the final, yes that’s right, final season is just a few weeks away. And considering where Season Three left off, one wonders just how are they going to pull this off.

There are a few things to note for the final season. First, the change in animation studios. From what I’ve seen floating around the internet, the producers wanted to up the animation for the final season, and with WIT being more engaged in creating more original series; they came to the agreement that passing the baton would be the best idea. At first I was a little wary that WIT had decided to pass on taking on the final season, but even they agreed that MAPPA would be up to the task for the final arc.

And judging from what we’ve seen from Jujutsu Kaisen this season (which I highly recommend by the way) and the trailer for the final season; I think it’s safe to say we’re in good hands. For now, I’m going to be optimistic.

Secondly, the trailer looks like it comes from an entirely different anime from what we’ve seen in the past. With a whole new cast of characters being introduced, and a scenery that is unknown to us, it poses more questions than answers for a final season.

What we can take away from just the trailer alone is that:

  • New Titans: We got glimpses of some of the other titans that we have yet to see. I had always wondered where they had been hiding, but after Season 2 and 3’s revelations, it’s apparent the rest had been hiding in Marley.
  • Time Skip: Just by looking at the glimpses of our beloved cast, we can see there has been a time skip. Reiner: looks older, has a beard. Jean: looks entirely different with longer hair and facial hair (not gonna lie, mature grown Jean is very handsome). Mikasa has even shorter hair as well as Sasha. Also, that slow-motion sequence of Eren? Armin also has changed his hair significantly! I almost didn’t recognize him. Long hair pulled into a ponytail (and not to mention is body is no longer one of a child).
  • The emphasis on Reiner and Eren’s relationship: I hate to admit it, but I never picked up on the importance of these two’s interactions. It wasn’t till I read the final arc that it really started to make sense. Eren had looked up to Reiner from day one as cadets for the 104th, only to find out that he and Bertholdt had sent the very war they’re in into motion. Eren’s hatred for titans was now directed to Reiner, the moment that Reiner admits (casually by the way, I will never get over the way he just says ‘I’m the armored titan’) to being the armored titan. Not only did Eren hate Reiner, but it was a reciprocated hate. Reiner hated Eren because Eren foiled their plans. They hadn’t anticapted the attack titan to be within the walls. They couldn’t have accounted for Eren holding the coordinate. Eren has been the singular roadblock in making him fail his mission.

Needless to say, as a manga reader, we are heading into a very tense arc.

Thinking about what occurred at the end of the third season, I think it’s very important to note, Eren’s change in behavior, because this will be critical and crucial to the next arc.

screencap via crunchyroll.com

Eren’s face in this final scene just holds so much meaning, and I’ll be following up with what I mean in a Part II of this post.

I will touch on the fact that, even after ridding of all the titans, of pushing back their enemies, Reiner and Zeke, that in this moment of peacefulness, of reprieve; Eren should have been happy when he saw the ocean. This had been his lifelong dream since Armin showed him that book about the outside world as children. Armin, Mikasa, Jean, Connie and Sasha are shown enjoying the fact they’re seeing the ocean for the first time in their lives. And in that bright spot of happiness, Eren still knows, they are still not free. That there are still enemies across the ocean. Enemies that want to kill them. Eren has sought freedom more than anything from the day he was born; will he ever achieve it? His final sentence of the episode, followed by silence is especially haunting. He poses a question to Armin and Mikasa with Hange and Levi listening.

“Hey…if we kill all our enemies…over there…will we finally…be free?”

I’m not going to lie, I cried re-watching episode 59, knowing what I know now, in the current timeline, a lot of what transpires in the season 3 finale makes a lot of sense. The look of horror on Eren’s face when he’s touching Historia’s hand at that ceremony; and especially, especially, his last sentence.

That, that is what I call a cry for help. Look at Eren’s face, really look at him. He’s no longer the bright-eyed brat we all knew at the beginning of this story. He’s been deeply affected by what he saw, but what did he see. Our optimistic Eren is no longer, he is slowly becoming a shell of what he used to be, but the thing is what what was it that caused his entire demeanor to fundamentally change him.

Anyways, I’m simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the final season. I really enjoyed this series. I had taken a break from it during the political stuff because it was a bit hard for me to really grasp what was happening when I first read it. But, I came back to it and really tried to understand it all. I’m no expert but I have a better handle on the content I’ve been before; looking at Reddit and YouTube has also helped further my knowledge of the Attack on Titan world.

In other news, Isayama has reportedly said he is 1-2% from completing the series! Though, we aren’t sure what that means in terms of how many chapters we have left. It’s possible with where it is in the manga currently, that was are at least 2-3 chapters away from the end. He has also stated that he would like to finish the manga before the end of the year, but with his publishing being once a month, it’s highly unlikely that December will have the final chapter. I’m soley basing this on what I’ve seen in the latest chapter, as there are too many loose ends and we’ve entered the final battle.

And for the final bit of news: Eren, Armin and Mikasa have been immortalized as bronze statues in Hajime Isayama’s hometown, Hita City in Oita Prefecture, at the Dam in which the idea of Attack on Titan was inspired. I’ll be adding this city to my list of places to visit in Japan!

What are your thoughts about the final season of Attack of Titan? Let me know what you’re looking forward to seeing to the most? Who has been your favorite AoT character and have they changed from who they were in the beginning of the series?

8 thoughts on “[ Attack on Titan ] An End to a Cruel Yet Beautiful World? Part I

  1. All I can say is that I’m really looking forward to it! I have been following the anime since it came out, and it’s always been one of my favorite shows despite some ups and downs. As for my favorite character: Misaka, but I hope that she’s getting a bigger part as I have found her role to become a little bit less interesting that when the show first started. Either way: can’t wait until the start of this. I hope it will end with a bang! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will most definitely end with a bang! I cant wait to see your thoughts on what’s to come!

      Ahh, Mikasa. She really is a fantastic character! I’ve always been fond of the trio: Armin, Eren and Mikasa, but have always loved Eren and Jean the most. It’s been something to watch them grow and mature into the people they are currently. I really have a soft spot for Jean. That guy…is just resilient. I don’t know how he does it, but Marco saw it from Day 1 as a cadet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so excited about this!! I don’t read the manga, so I have no idea what’s coming, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! However, as excited as I am, I’m not ready to continue having my heart ripped out! This show is incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. shoujouuuu, it’s been soo long, I hope you have been well. Be prepared with plenty of tissues, and buckle up. We’re in for the wildest ride yet! I agree, the show is incredible and the final arc is even more proof of how epic it’s gonna be!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m excited about this season and I hope the studio is able to keep up with the demands of Jujutsu Kaisen and Attack on Titan at the same time. Especially since Jujutsu looks so great.

    I’m not sure what to expect as just an anime watcher, but I feel better for it honestly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right, my biggest worry would be the workload, i wouldn’t want either shows to suffer in quality to keep up with the demand for each series.

      And to be fair, I don’t think any of us really know what to expect, Isayama has been a great storyteller this entire series.

      Liked by 1 person

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