Attack on Titan Review Season Three Episode Eight

A Personal Truth

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 8

A horrible world needed an equally horrible history and Attack on Titan does do horrible so well.  There’s a disturbing logic behind the events we see in Grisha’s memory and its made worse by the echoes of real acts of idiocy being perpetrated in our own world day after day. The devaluing of others, of labelling groups as less than human, and in the process creating mosters capable of extreme violence and acts of retaliation.

Attack on Titan reflects the very worst of humanity and it does so with a glorifying spectacle that when it hits its stride, as it did early in season one and in this most recent outing, becomes something beyond compelling. It is almost hypnotic as it draws you into the carnage and pain.

Answers we have at last about the oddities of the walled city and the seemingly endless supply of titans surrounding the city. What we still have are questions about is why the residents of the city itself are so clueless and whether the royal family was complicit in covering up the truth. More importantly, there’s a real question of why Zeke knows about Eren and why he cares at all about the events occurring inside the walls.

Affiliate Link
	ATTACK ON TITAN 2: FINAL BATTLE

But we are building a world and a history step by step over this last season and I’m not disappointed by what we are learning this time around with Attack on Titan. However, it remains to be seen how the characters will react to these recent revelations and whether the news will go out to the rest of the city or whether they will sit on this truth for a greater good.

I’m very curious as to where this will go and what pain it plans to rain down upon its character’s next (I don’t have any real hope that they intend to give any of these characters a moment of happiness at this point). I wonder how much worse they can make the situation or whether there will ever be a light at the end of the tunnel. More importantly though, I wonder what happened next in Grisha’s story because while  we learned a lot from the memory this episode there are some really big gaps still to be filled in.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
avatar
Three great ways you can support
100 Word Anime:

Patreon2

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Advertisements

Attack on Titan Review Season 3 Part B Episode 7

So What’s In The Basement?

Attack on Titan - the basement key.

Attack on Titan 3B Episode 7

After so many big moments in the last couple of episodes, Attack on Titan made some smart calls at the start of this episode. Seeing the relief tinged with guilt Eren felt as Armin woke and Eren hugged him was perfect. Seeing Levi, the one who made the final decision, still seeming to be at war with his own emotions clearly conveyed just how big a deal the previous moment was. And then Armin. His horror at what had happened, his disbelief that he was chose and not Erwin, and then his near panicked response as he realised just what weight was getting dropped onto his shoulders.

All of this conveyed through a single scene that brought together the threads from last week when the characters were nearly at each other’s throats over the decision. Hange in particular asked the pertinent question of Eren and Mikasa. Whether they think they can do what they like provided they take the punishment?

Then we move from this quiet moment on the walls to the equally quiet and eerie walk through the town. I loved the juxtaposition between the young Eren and Mikasa running through the streets with the still and somewhat shocked older pair that walked almost mechanically toward the site of Eren’s house. The moment lingered uncomfortably long as we saw scenes of the people who used to live there before they faded away again leaving only broken buildings and the plants that were over-taking the town.

However, we then get to the moment we’ve been waiting a very long time to see. The basement itself.

I wasn’t actually surprised when the key didn’t work in the door. It seemed like the typical thing Attack on Titan would pull. So many characters dying to get this boy and this key to this door and it didn’t even work? Seemed like exactly the kind of thing this story would do.

Affiliate Link
	ATTACK ON TITAN 2: FINAL BATTLE

Levi’s response was suitably measured given the situation and then we began the search through the basement in earnest. There’s really no words for how it felt waiting for them to find something. Knowing that even if it wasn’t going to be what the characters wanted, there had to be something in that basement or the story was literally going to fall over. Waiting then and knowing that the episode was going to conclude before we had more than a small taste was kind of torture.

Attack on Titan Season 3 - Opening the book

I will point out that while I’m not a big fan of the ED this season, at the end of this episode I absolutely appreciated the journey for these characters shown throughout the closing credits. This season really is building on every step of that journey and it seemed perfectly fitting this week. Not to mention, you kind of have to hang around for the after credits sequence this week.

And now we wait for the next episode again.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
avatar
Three great ways you can support
100 Word Anime:

Patreon2

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Attack on Titan Review Season 3 Part 2 Episode 5

Just wow.

Eren and Armin - Attack on Titan Season 3

Episode 5

Wow! Ouch! Wow again. And let’s throw an ‘ooh’ in there for good measure.

Yep, episode 5 of Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 has rendered me effectively speechless and trying to describe the emotional response to this episode results in onomatopoeia, word salad, and mostly inarticulate phrases. Shock, horror, celebration, stunned silence, horror again, utter depression, minor triumph, followed by the stillness that comes from being so confused about how I feel and yet moved nonetheless.

The Beast Titan
A truly hopeless situation and one where there will be no eleventh hour rescue. Regardless of how contrived, this works emotionally.

It isn’t as though the episode is some model of perfection. There’s sections of animation that aren’t as polished as some of the sequences we were getting in season one, the character points are all very much orchestrated as are the emotional notes. It isn’t in the slightest bit subtle as we see the death and disaster roll out before us and other than a moment of excellent timing there’s nothing overly clever about it.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Episode 5 - Armin
Ouch!

What makes this episode work is that it is the culmination of the all the events leading up to it. Each character moment, whether it is Levi, Armin, Eren, Jean, Bertholdt, Reiner, or the random scout who apparently survived the suicide charge, fits beautifully as the next step in their journey’s even if that step seems to be the end of the line.

Levi - Attack on Titan Season 3
In this moment I finally understood the Levi fandom.

Affiliate Link
	BRAVE-ACT ATTACK ON TITAN 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: LEVI -VER. 2B-

This is where episodic reviewing is a problem. In terms of spectacle, this episode brought it. Again, it could have been more polished in places, but it looks good enough (significantly better than a lot of anime out there). There’s enough going on to keep the audience hooked and invested with sufficient pauses for the characters to have their moments. However, this episode doesn’t progress plot or the like. It consolidates a sequence of events we’ve been watching and invested in over the last few weeks and as such it nails the perfect emotional climax.

The moment of death – approximately two seconds after this image was captured. Again, ouch.

I’m not going to say what happened, you should just watch it. However, new respect for Levi. That was pretty amazing. Eren gets an incredibly bitter-sweet triumph with a heavy dose of the bitter side of it. And Armin… well, as I said, just watch the episode.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
avatar
Three great ways you can support
100 Word Anime:

Patreon2

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Attack on Titan Review Season Three Part Two Episode Four

The Last Charge

Levi and Erwin - Attack on Titan Season 3 Part Two

Episode 4

In my review of episode 2, I said there was a real pleasure in seeing the humans occasionally looking like they might come out on top. The key phrase being ‘looking like they might’. See, realistically what hooked me into Attack on Titan in season one was how utterly brutal it was and seeing the humans getting beaten down and driven into a corner. The humans who broke and the humans who stood and fight and the utter indifference the titan showed regardless of the character of the human in front of them.

Simple and yet effective destruction and absolutely devastating to the human characters.

Therefore, it kind of makes sense that episode 4 of season three part two (that is such a mouthful) hit me very much like the very first episode of Attack on Titan. While for a lot of season three (part 1 and now part 2) I’ve been finding reasons to enjoy it again and new respect for the characters, this episode actually managed to bring back the awe and the very real horror of the situation the characters are in.

There were so many moments that just left me breathless and I watched many sections multiple times just to try and absorb and process what had happened. It wasn’t that the episode was fast paced. Arguably, it is quite slow in how it moves forward. It is more that each event is so pivotal to this fight and there’s so many emotions attached with each section that my brain just froze and I had to watch it again.

Titan Eren vs Colossal Titan.
Eren tries to take on the Colossal Titan.

Affiliate Link
	NENDOROID NO. 365 ATTACK ON TITAN: MIKASA ACKERMAN (RE-RUN)

Whether it was Armin freezing in his role and then throwing the torch to Jean in an act of desperation, Mikasa’s reaction to Eren getting kicked through the air to land atop the wall, the scouts freaking out as yet more groups are wiped out in an instant as the beast titan flung broken boulders at them, or Erwin’s ‘motivating’ speech before the last charge, every single moment just hit hard. Everything is so raw and human as characters faced with an insurmountable challenge either crumble or attempt to rally for a last act of defiance and it is beautifully brutal in its delivery.

I really wish I knew what was with this guy’s hair.

It has been a fair while since I’ve really gotten this swept up in an episode of Attack on Titan but realistically there isn’t a thing about this episode I would change. It just worked. And while we’ll once again have to wait for the next episode to really see the outcome, I’m actually happy for now. I need the time to contemplate and digest and that is the mark of a really solid episode of anything.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
avatar
Three great ways you can support
100 Word Anime:

Patreon2

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Episode 3

This world really is cruel, but that’s what makes it such a compelling viewing experience.

Episode 3

Understatement thinking that leaving us mid-battle was going to become the standard this season. Not that there is anything wrong with this episode as it gives us some more Bertholdt and Reiner moments back before they revealed their identities before plunging us back into the battle.

It does feel odd to be getting this kind of back-story now on these two characters who have been there all along, however it does put a new spin on the death of Marco all that time ago and we continue to see that pretty much the world these characters inhabit is just plain horrible. There have been so any moments in Attack on Titan where the phrase ‘that sucks’ has been appropriate and seeing the characters this week and the choices they make and the choices they could have made which were ultimately just as bad, you can’t help but agree with Bertholdt when he points out that the world is ‘cruel’.

For the scouts there is a moment of triumph but also tears as they finally bring down the Armoured titan but even then, what little success it was is momentary before taken from them again. However, even before we realise the futility of their efforts, Conny and Sasha are dealing with the trauma of essentially taking the life of someone they trained with and worked with. This isn’t a nameless titan or an unseen enemy but someone they know very well and they were directly involved in taking him down. While the other characters attempt to remain more detached you can tell the action takes its toll on all of them.

But, there’s no time for processing emotions when you’ve got a colossal titan blowing up and setting fire to the town. Armin might briefly attempt negotiation but what is there really to negotiate in this situation? Neither side intends to change their minds now so the conclusion is decided before they even really begin.

Affiliate Link
NENDOROID NO. 365 ATTACK ON TITAN: MIKASA ACKERMAN

Despite the very limited progress in terms of time, it feels like a lot happened and to be honest the visual sensation that is the end of this episode (even if the animation was quite what it could have been) is more than enough payoff. There’s something just gut-wrenchingly horrific about the entirety of what is playing out here and the colossal titan flailing about surrounded by the burning buildings that it is using as projectile weapons is kind of the perfect visual to capture the true horror of the entire scenario.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
avatar
Three great ways you can support
100 Word Anime:

Patreon2

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Review Episodes 1 + 2

This war is either just getting started – or it’s about to end tragically for everyone.

Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two Episode 1

Episode 1

I feel like this is cheating and Attack on Titan should just call it season 4 but whatever, here we are for season 3 part two. As usual the humans are in a terrible situations, titans are terrifying, and every character is walking around like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and every line of dialogue is delivered as if it is the defining moment of the episode. But none of that is new and if you’ve watched Attack on Titan up to this point that isn’t going to make you walk away now.

Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two Episode 1

Besides, this episode looks great, the plot seems to be progressing nicely, Eren doesn’t shout, and the hook at the end of the episode to get us to come back for the next episode was pretty spectacular. There’s just very little to complain about as this gives us more of Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two Episode 1 - Eren and Armin
Are we just trying to raise a death flag here?

I still have to wonder about the sense of walking past the sleeping titan in the dark and not dealing with it. I just kept thinking as it stared at them creepily in the dark that it could be sending messages or doing anything for all they knew and yet they left an enemy alive behind them. That just seemed to be asking for trouble. Not that it really mattered given they were clearly always going to be walking into trouble.

Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two Episode 1 - Armin

Armin actually got to play an active role for the first time in awhile and I loved his reaction to being put in charge of something. It was a rare amusing moment in Attack on Titan that hit the perfect note and yet didn’t distract from the overall tension of the scene. It’s a shame Mikasa remains pretty much solely Eren’s shadow and seems to still have no personality or life beyond that.

However, the coolest moment of the episode goes to Levi who is very much going with a stab first and ask questions never approach to dealing with the enemy. It may not have actually worked but it was still a definitively cool move.

All and all, here we are for another round of Attack on Titan. Here’s hoping it all works out.

Affiliate Link
NENDOROID NO. 1123 ATTACK ON TITAN: HANGE ZOE

Episode 2

While this episode is entirely the first part of this massive battle they seem to have set up, at no point does it feel like Attack on Titan is dragging its feet. From Erwin making his decisions and ordering his troops to seeing Levi in action before cutting to the awaited Eren and Reiner rematch with the other scouts ready to make a move, it all comes together beautifully and even while you are waiting for everything to fall apart and the screaming, shouting and dying to kick off again (come on, this is Attack on Titan), there’s a real pleasure in seeing the humans occasionally look like they might come out on top of something.

Erwin - Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two Episode Two
And we’re shouting again.

There were a few moments visually where the titans movements felt really clunky or large groups of people or titans seemed barely animated, however you can kind of see why when you look at the incredibly fluid motion in the second half of the episode. While it isn’t quite as thrilling as the first time seeing the ODM gear in action, it is still pretty awesome to watch and Eren’s fighting style as a titan has become vastly more polished now that he’s a bit more trained and more self-aware.

Eren fighting Reiner - Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two Episode Two

As an episode, about the only issue is that it directly picks up from the previous one and leaves us hanging still in the midst of battle (and I suspect that’s going to be the MO for this season for awhile because it feels like this battle is going to take a lot to get through). Binge watching it would be awesome but waiting a week in between means very limited progress given I’m wondering if we even saw ten minutes of actual conflict play out. This doesn’t actually make this bad, but it is where seasonal watching is at a distinct disadvantage to those who wait for an anime to be completed.

Mikasa and Armin

Still impressed by Eren’s lack of shouting, fairly happy with how events are unfolding, and certainly keen to see what happens next. Attack on Titan’s third season definitely got me hooked back into the story and part two seems to be setting up a pretty spectacular battle here.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
avatar
Three great ways you can support
100 Word Anime:

Patreon2

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Attack on Titan Season 3 Series Review

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12 - Sasha

Less Shouting, More Plot, Still Great Action – Yes!

It’s taken awhile for me to get to this review and it isn’t because I didn’t enjoy the anime or that I didn’t have a strong opinion. It was more that the anime ended at a weird time of season and I’d already finished drafting my Summer anime reviews and scheduled them but I hadn’t yet gotten in to my backlog of anime to review and so Attack on Titan season 3 went on the list to catch up on at a future time and then I got busy.

Attack on Titan Episode 5

But, now that I’m writing about this anime again, the only thing I can really think is ‘wow, I really had a lot of fun with season 3’. If you recall my pre-season thoughts, I was pretty pessimistic about Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin). Season one started great but meandered. Season two did whatever it did. I guess we did get an amazing reveal but it really felt like the plot was lost and we spent a lot of time just kind of reacting to things or rushing from action show piece to action show piece. Don’t get me wrong, some of them were cool, but it felt like the plot was lost or stalled.

Well, season three has come along and it has brought us some wondrous things. Levi getting into the action as Kenny attacks his squad in the early stages of the season is a solid and exhilarating beginning to season 3.One that captures the adventurous spirit as well as the danger and idea of life being pretty cheap very well and reignites enthusiasm for the series in a way that was badly needed (at least in my case).

Attack on Titan - Season 3 - Episode 2 - Levi

Sure the fight across rooftops and through the streets of the district is over the top and from a physics point of view highly improbably(how dead is Levi if he actually attempted those stunts), but it is beautiful,fast paced, the sound perfectly complements it, and everything about the sequence just works from a raw emotional point of view. And it opens up the characters of Attack on Titan to us in a way we’ve never really had the chance to explore before.

From Eren and Historia, to the Ackerman’s, the  false King, Eren’s father, Kenny, all of the cast get some life breathed back into them as we take a break from riding around on horses and fighting and actually look at what is behind all the mystery and intrigue. Do we get all the answers? Well, it is Attack on Titan so not really, but it brings together a lot of the plot threads, the half hints and ideas, and it seems to throw them back into forward motion in a way that ends up being immensely satisfying.

Attack on Titan Episode 10

While I’m at it, I’ll mention that the OP this season is fantastic. I get that when you first hear it, or if you hear it without watching the show you will be wondering what that song is doing attached to Attack on Titan, but the opening perfectly captures what this season aimed for and ultimately accomplished. We see that the characters have grown up but that their pasts haven’t disappeared. Who they were and what they have been through has shaped them and continues to have an influence over their lives even as they try to find their own paths. The song and the visuals that go with it capture that, as well as the relationships these characters have formed. It really works and there’s a reason it ended up on my list of favourite OP’s for the year.

However, while the world and characters are being fleshed out there is a trade off. If you are after continuous bouts with Titans you may find season 3 a little bit of a disappointment. For me though, they more than made up for the lack of number of Titans early on by the sheer grotesqueness of the titan they fight just after the mid-season. And of course, by the end of the season we are back to many titans.

Attack on Ttian Episode 9

Still, the greatest accomplishment of season 3 is that it finally made me appreciate Eren as a character rather than merely tolerating him. As a shouting protagonist type, one of my least favourites, Eren has always been a sore point for me with Attack on Titan. While I joked early on in this season that gagging Eren helped immensely, when the gag came off, I found that Eren had finally moved forward as a character. Sure, there are still some stupid moments with him, such as his fist-fight with Jean, but Eren managed whole moments of character introspective later in the season without a single shouted line and with thoughts that I felt I could relate to and understand.This was quite the break through moment for him.

There are negatives of course. As I mentioned, there are less fight sequences this time around and so there are a lot of scenes of people standing or sitting around talking. There’s also a lot of characters from the political groups and military that you probably won’t be all that attached to getting a lot of screen time. And some of these moments could have been trimmed a little, though mostly I enjoyed it. The other thing of course is that we are still unfinished so now we’re back to waiting yet again.

Attack on Titan Episode 11

Attack on Titan really does like to keep us waiting.

Overall though, I’d definitely recommend continuing with season three if you made it through one and two. In my view, this was the best Titan has offered us so far and I’m looking forward to see where they go from here.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
avatar
Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Or, use one of my product affiliate links.
ATTACK ON TITAN 2
ATTACK ON TITAN 2