(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 43 Review

I’m wondering when Benimaru got so incredibly cocky, though given how Tensura 2 has been going I guess having supremely overconfident supporting characters is just par for the course at this point. Though, in any other show, someone acting that confident that they were about to win a war would most definitely be smacked down my instant karma.

Tensura 2 Episode 43 - Benimaru

Tensura 2 – Where the ‘heroes’ have a lot of traits in common with standard villains.

In addition to superb overconfidence we also have underhanded tactics and Benimaru doesn’t actually join the fighting himself this week, though I suspect he’s probably going to have to involve himself eventually.

Anyway, after all of the chatter of the past few weeks, Tensura 2 has at least finally kicked off its war though we do still have Rimuru doing some magic to ensure the dryad can accompany the fairy and we also have a brief glimpse of Milim as Rimuru is told about her subordinates. The pose he visualises her in is probably completely irrelevant to the thought process at hand but there’s really no other reason for Milim to wear that outfit other than to be put in such poses (no this is not a combat friendly outfit) so lets just move on.

Milim - Tensura 2 Episode 43

The beast guys get all excited and pretty much tell Benimaru they are going to take care of a few things on the battle field. Everything goes more or less as planned with a trap taking out most of the footsoldiers and the flying lizard guys cleaning up any of the flying soldiers. Its a good thing the whole army was marching together and nobody was taking a different route. That would have made the whole thing a little less spectacular.


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Then, because like the only plan the villain had was march through this canyon, he’s freaking out because Clayman isn’t going to be happy he failed and apparently failing once is enough of a reason to be killed or turned into a mindless puppet (wow, Clayman’s employment plan sucks). So without any kind of actual plan Ice-Sword guy tries to flee but finds his magic is blocked.

In case my tone isn’t clear, I’m really not caught up in the ‘excitement’ of this. There was no tension, no drama, and the action wasn’t entertaining enough on its own to hold it together. While there’s a definite relief that we’re finally seeing the characters do something, rather than talk about doing something, the army here that was talked up as a potential problem has turned more into a pest eradication mission and I’m really not into watching people swat flies.

Tensura 2 Episode 43

The one battle that potentially could have given us a bit of a thrill as when snake girl from the beastketeers tracks down the ice-sword guy and the two actually start a duel. Even then, it felt a bit one-sided though I am going to throw in here that Gobta gets points for being the single coolest character this episode.

That’s a little tragic for Tensura 2 that Gobta is now actually the coolest character on screen…

Naturally the fight isn’t finished and there’s several other fights and getting set-up for the various characters we are supposed to remember the names of but I doubt much of it will amount to anything. Honestly, Rimuru’s people are so overpowered at this point they can pretty much steamroll entire armies without Rimuru at all. Good thing we’re supposed to like these guys otherwise we’d be calling out ofr a hero to take out this unstoppable monster army.

Tensura 2 - Episode 43

Still, Tensura 2 does remain fun enough for casual viewing. The real issue is that much like many long running series, after a slump of episodes it takes me awhile to get back into it. That’s more or less why I’ve paused My Hero Academia at this stage. I need to really be in the mood to jump back into that or I will genuinely just pick at it.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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Karandi James


(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 42 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 42 Review

Is it time for the villains to talk in Tensura 2?

Or maybe not all villains but at least those not standing with Rimuru. Given Rimuru is pretty okay with overthrowing kingdoms and mass-slaughter there’s little that distinguishes our favourite little ball blue of slime from those who force teleport kids from other worlds and stir up war for gain.

Anyway…

Tensura 2 Episode 42

After many episodes where Rimuru and his gang of worshipers (should I call them allies?) sat around discussing prior events and potential plans moving forward, we now have an episode that starts with Rimuru’s forces dividing and heading off to carry out the plans made previously in Tensura. That should be exciting right?

Except that it seems like instead of following on from there we instead are going to cut to all the other characters because we haven’t heard their exposition about their motives and goals and we haven’t quite managed to make Clayman out to be the cackling evil-doer he is so that viewers can feel suitably satisfied when he inevitably gets his comeuppance.

Tensura, we already hated Clayman, move on.

Episode 42 of course corrects that by showing us how Milim ended up under Clayman’s thumb and his treatment of her upon realising she couldn’t fight back. If you ever wanted an audience to hate a character and want a blue slime to more or less dismantle him, have the cute demon girl get first turned into a puppet and then literally kicked while already down. I will say, Tensura isn’t getting any better at subtlety.

Tensura 2 Episode 42

While I’d love to discuss the insight we gained into any of these additional characters I’m going to be blunt and point out that other than confirming Milim most definitely isn’t in control of her actions there really wasn’t a useful outcome from this episode. The discovery of another dragon was kind of cool but unless they do something with that it won’t really go anywhere.



So, rather than continuing to write about the episode, lets look at the six episodes Tensura 2 Part 2 has delivered so far in the Summer 2021 season and lets all agree that regardless of what this is building up to this has not been good storytelling or particularly entertaining. None of the characters have gotten to be shown in their best light, nothing exciting has happened and the pacing of the narrative has literally slowed to an absolute crawl.

Tensura 2 Episode 42

Sure, set-up is important.

Jumping straight into the conflict with Clayman without setting up some basics for their overall plan would have been foolhardy, but does any story need to plod along like this, holding the audience’s hand and repeating things over and over, and not leaving any details for later discovery? I’d say not and watching Tensura this season is more or less explaining why they really shouldn’t.

I thought last week the exposition dump was at last over and that this week Tensura was finally going to act on all this planning. Instead they pull a bait and switch and leave us with more planning and talking but from different characters. It is almost as if they are trolling viewers now and even if it is deliberate it isn’t fun to watch.

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If we were to compare this to a long running shounen, this is equivalent of the three episode flash back mid-battle sequence that derails the current plot and pacing (that audiences want to watch) in order to build some sense of understanding about a character who is probably literally about to die as soon as they stop flashing back.

Tensura 2 Episode 42

Anyway, enough complaining. I won’t say that I think next week things will start happening because I’ve now been proven wrong again and again. I just kind of hope Tensura manages to do something in this season that makes it worth having stuck it out.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 41 Review

After three episodes in a row of the characters in Tensura sitting around and talking to one another it was kind of a relief that episode 41 at least finally had them moving to prepare for the upcoming events. Sure it isn’t exactly enough action to really redeem this second part of the second season, but it at least indicates we’re finally getting somewhere which is enough to keep me from dropping this in a fit of boredom.

Actually, the real saving grace of episode 41 is that unlike the previous episodes, we’re finally seeing some of the personality of the core cast come back. Instead of stuffy, formal meetings, we see Benimaru responding to Rimuru’s order to destroy an army with a ‘hell yeah’ before he corrects himself to more formal language but it was a small spark of energy that was fairly infectious as all of the characters seemed to find themselves again.

Tensura 2 - Hell yeah from Benimaru

Tensura 2 – finding the fun in war.

Perhaps the characters are a little too upbeat at the prospect of a potential war with the animal kingdom at stake and another conflict to begin in the human city and Clayman still to take out, but Tensura’s characters are happy little warriors and the prospect of taking action isn’t just lightening the audience’s mood but visibly makes Shion, Diablo, and even Veldora seem far more at ease and more like themselves.


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Sure there’s still some plans to be made such as deciding which of the vast characters in Tensura will accompany Rimuru to face Clayman and figuring out how to transport a whole army (easily really and we’ll have an instant magical fix to that), but by the end of episode 41 there’s a definite sense that we’re finally getting somewhere.

Tensura 2 - Shion and Veldora get angry

This week also we get a scene where they work to establish the ice-sword guy leading the enemy army as a complete jerk who deserves to be unceremoniously crushed underneath Benimaru and his army’s heel. It isn’t in any way subtle as we have him bullying two priests and even slicing the arm off of one really just because he could.

His actions served one purpose in Tensura and that was to make us happy he was on the opposing side to Rimuru so that when he inevitably is defeated we feel pretty happy about. Because let’s be honest, Rimuru has so far devoured every enemy that has crossed his path with the possible exception of Hinata. Even if this guy manages to overcome Benimaru’s forces (which seems unlikely) he certainly isn’t going to get to celebrate that victory for long.

Tensura 2 - I'm a jerk, ask me how.

Not to mention, what is with that outfit he’s wearing. There’s so many different attachments, textures and colours there it just kind of looks like he fell into a prop closet of someone who has a lot of cosplay options and just came out wearing whatever attached to him in the process. I’ll give him points because his sword is cool (not just because of the whole ice thing) but really this is not a great look and it doesn’t really seem to fit with the rest of the costumes in Tensura.

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But, if I was after magic and wonder and just the general pleasant feeling that the protagonist could succeed, Tensura Season 2 Episode 41 certainly delivered. And Rimuru’s magical transportation act toward the end of the episode was suitably shiny and spectacular for a display of power.

Tensura 2 - magical transportation

Basically this episode got back to more or less what Tensura has always done best. It set up a villain who seems insurmountable and yet they establish that Rimuru is pretty nonchalant about the whole thing and as he gears up to fight its pretty clear that Clayman has definitely ended up in over his head.

For the viewer we once again have a clear enemy for the characters to be pointed at and enough promise of a suitably spectacular smack-down so things are pretty much on track. I just wish it hadn’t taken three episodes of ‘meeting’ to get here.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 40 Impressions

Tensura Season 2 Part 2 Episode 40 Review

Welcome to Tensura Season 2 Part 2 episode 40 which is also known as ‘characters talk a lot in the garden, then move to a bath where they talk a lot, and finally sit down for a meal where they talk a lot’.

I’m not opposed to dialogue heavy anime but nothing that has come from episode 38, episode 39 or even this most recent episode seems to have been interesting enough to warrant a whole episode devoted to chatter about it. It certainly wasn’t worth three episodes.

Tensura 2 Episode 40 - characters in yukatas

But rather than complain about things I cannot change, I think this episode of Tensura has given me an opportunity to discuss something I’ve been really enjoying about this season, and that is the opening theme.

“Like Flames” by MindaRyn is one of those openings that reminds me of Bleach’s better seasons where just listening to the song you get hyped for the characters and the action to unfold. Although, at least in Bleach they mostly delivered on that promise. Still, there’s a lot to love about the energy of this opening.

Tensura OP - Rimuru

Outside of that, I am really loving Rimuru’s look in this second season, second part OP of Tensura. The black and grey uniform as he strides forward and away from the audience… Rimuru seldom looks all that intense as mostly Tensura is pretty laid back as an anime but the OP makes these characters look so earnest and really like they are really warming up for something amazing.



All of which is awesome only the last three episodes have then left me hyped up for something that is utterly undelivered on. Episode 40 doesn’t even make an attempt to cut away from the talking and the only glimpse of a threat is the subject of yet more discussion.

Tensura 2’s OP rocks.

Though, I did have a few random thoughts while watching Tensura this week. For instance I realise that Rimuru is the one who is at the centre of Tempest and so it makes sense that Japanese culture has kind of wormed its way into village life. Though it is amazing how many isekai have characters behave in a very Japanese manner without that kind of excuse. Still, the scene where they all sit on the floor in Yukata’s and eat with chopsticks just made me realise how very Japanese this setting is.

Veldora - Tensura 2 Episode 40

Of course, I do have to give a shout out to Veldora’s yukata because that thing is gorgeous and the dragon motif is so very perfect for him. If you were after cute, Ramiris’ watermelon themed yukata will probably have you covered.

On the bright side, episode 40 of Tensura 2 does at least finally let Ramiris give her warning in full that Tempest is in danger because Clayman has called a gathering of demon-lords. Then we get a rehash of the events of the last conflict and where things stand to explain what Clayman is doing but honestly, this doesn’t feel very threatening and given the firepower Rimuru has at his disposal, I’m not really inclined to be concerned.

Tensura 2 Episode 40 - Ramiris

Even the final attempt to add tension by outlining a threat to the animal kingdom that is ahead of Rimuru’s plans doesn’t feel all that concerning and I rather suspect they will wrap things up in relatively quick order once they actually start doing anything other than talking.

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All things considered, I would like to believe the promise of the OP and that Tensura is really going to kick things up a notch once they get going. But the season so far has presented little evidence of that. Instead we have a fairly lacklustre effort with little charm and too many characters doing far too little.

Tensura 2 - Rimuru explains

Even if the story goes into overdrive from this point forward, I kind of hope viewers don’t forget that for four episodes (so a third of the season) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 had characters make jokes about just how long the meeting was going and yet still didn’t bring it to a close and move on. Being self-aware does not give you licence to troll.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39 Impressions

Tensura Season 2 Episode 39

It almost feels like Tensura decided to take a page out of Blue Exorcist’s play book in terms of having a sequel season where the characters literally just sit around talking before doing anything. Throw in the self-aware joke with one of the characters also being so bored he fell asleep and this one is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

And I’m clearly not alone in this opinion.

That there’s a build-up here for future events that will be fun isn’t really enough to earn itself a pass for two episodes in a row of sitting around talking. And every time it seemed like the meeting was about to wrap up another character had to have their little moment or confrontation and honestly I just wanted to scream in frustration.

Tensura 2 - Episode 39 - Not surprised

While it feels like they did bring the meeting, finally, to an end in this episode, I’m going to be clear that another episode like this for Tensura and I’ll be dropping this one. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has been fun enough but it is essentially a fairly laid-back slice of life so there’s no driving overall plot really keeping me hooked in and I won’t really care if I miss the ‘ending’. Basically, I’m not willing to keep giving this show 20 minutes of my week each week if the last two episodes are indicative of where this story is going.



But let’s be specific.

Tensura’s season 2 part 2 is so far not hitting the mark.

The fairy that showed up at the end of episode 38 with a declaration that the kingdom is going to be destroyed, is summarily plucked out of the air, used for a lame joke and then faints at the sight of Veldora and is silenced for the rest of the episode. This is an episode called ‘Ramiri’s Warning’ and the warning lasts barely to the opening credits and is actually never considered again in the entire episode.

Tensura 2 Episode 39 - Ramiri

We then get an extended explanation of the story the characters are going to tell the other nations in Tensura (you know, rather than just getting on and telling them we have to explain what we’re going to tell them first) before that various dignitaries all decide to flex their clout and kill us with exposition about their motives and why they have chosen to ally with Rimuru.

It’s dull, repetitive and honestly just tedious to watch. I really could have slapped the blonde guy when he got up and had to ask Rimuru one more question because it felt like we were nearly at the end.

Tensura 2 Episode 39 Rimuru's demonic aura
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In fairness, we do get one decent line from Rimuru when he’s asked if he’s confident he’ll win the upcoming fight but it is all too little too late and a final sequence with the ‘bad guys’ isn’t enough of a diversion to leave you with a favourable impression of Tensura’s latest episode.

Tensura 2 Episode 39 - Reasons to win

But hey, we have allies, we have an enemy and we have a plan. So maybe, just maybe next week Tensura can get back to doing something rather than having the characters talking about maybe doing something at some point.

Even if that something is apparently deliberately causing a civil war in another country.

Um… Okay, so Tensura really is blurring the line on who the ‘good’ guys are at this point given our protagonist as pretty much wiped out an entire army single handily and is now contemplating causing chaos in other countries in order to rebuild them in a way that serves their own purpose.

Anyway, something might happen and that’s definitely a good thing. I hope.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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Karandi James


(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 38 Impressions

Tensura Episode 2

I’m going to be honest in that Tensura this week was a lot of people sitting around talking and a lot of reminding the audience who the different characters are, their allegiances and so on. While with the ever expanding cast this was kind of needed, it didn’t make for the most exciting of episodes and clearly even the animators realised it as they heavily reused images of Rimuru’s fight with Hinata from the first part of season 2 to give us some action.

Tensura leans heavily into political talks.

It isn’t that the characters aren’t fun. Let’s be real, Rimuru just doing introduction is funny enough. Particularly when you are introducing a dragon known for being a natural disaster as your best friend and then more or less just tell him to take a hike.

Tensura - Rimuru casually introduces Veldora

However the process of reminding us what everyone’s positions are does in fact remind the audience that pretty much everyone Rimuru knows is either an overpowered monster or a political heavy weight of some kind.

Tensura - everyone Rimuru knows is actually pretty impressive.

And while the garden setting is pleasant and the characters remain their charming selves it doesn’t change the fact that Tensura Episode 38 has very little actually happen in it. Even decisions from the group talking are few and far between. What’s their next course of action? Don’t know. About all we do know is that these guys, who already weren’t fighting, will continue not to fight and they’ll put the church to the side for now because that’s too hard.


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You’d kind of hope that after that long just talking the characters could have revealed something a little more important or pressing or perhaps something new. Alas, that is not the case.

The opening of the episode does give us a bit more making it clear who is manipulating the current situation and introducing yet another demon lord into the mix. I’m not sure how I feel about this reveal, nor how I feel about Rimuru concluding who this person is before the end of the episode (like it wasn’t even all that hard so not much of a secret) but it was at least something new for the week.

Yuuki - the 'bad' guy of Tensura
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One thing I did enjoy was how Veldora just kind of chilled out reading manga while the whole meeting was happening around him. The only time he really interjected at all was when a fight nearly broke out and then it was just so he could be used for comic relief. Still, there’s something kind of cool about an enormously powerful dragon just reading manga in the garden.

Veldora in Tensura - Reading manga

Though it did lead me to wonder how much it costs to produce manga in this fantasy world because looking at that stack of books I was a little envious and my wallet clearly got a little concerned.

Anyway, there isn’t a lot more to say about this Tensura episode. It is a pleasant enough transition from where we were but it doesn’t really tell us where we’re going and would work better as part of a binge watch than as a single episode as it just didn’t do much on its own.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 37 Impressions

Tensura (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime) Season 2 Part 2

Questionable content in the form of mass-murder from the first part of season 2 of Tensura aside, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has mostly been a low-key oddly amusing kind of affair with limited tension or drama and not really caring so long as things keep moving along. We see this in full display in the return to Jura forest where despite the recent deaths, massacre of enemies and and subsequent revival of comrades everybody is pretty relaxed.

Tensura’s motto – just take it easy.

See, despite the potential seriousness of all of that, Tensura instead chooses to have Rimuru revive Velodra as a manga loving, overly affectionate muscle-head and then get into a joke about Shion’s cooking.

Priorities, right?

Veldora and Rimuru - Tensura Episode 37
I mean, Veldora is pretty fun in an annoying big-brother kind of way.

Part of me kind of wanted more from Veldora given we’d been waiting so long for him to return. However after a few loud declarations and a couple of poses he more or less vanishes for the rest of the episode.

I mean, sure he’s definitely going to be useful in the upcoming war Rimuru is planning but with so many characters now I guess it is hard for him to really get much screen time in this first episode of part 2 of season 2 of Tensura.



One thing I did really like was the return of the ‘Shion is a bad cook’ gag only this time they actually flipped it a bit. Firstly, Rimuru actually critiqued the presentation of the food rather than just swallowing his own comments and they determined one of Shion’s many issues was her choice of knife for cooking. So there is potential for improvement.

Secondly, turns out dying and coming back to life in Tensura continues to have perks (I mean it worked out pretty well for Rimuru). Shion apparently now has a master-chef ability where food tastes the way she wants it to regardless of how she cooks it. Makes you wonder why bother cooking but at least she’s no longer killing her friends with ‘kindness’.

Tensura - food challenge
How can you say no to that face?

Though that doesn’t explain why a moth that flew overhead dropped dead on the spot. As funny as it was it doesn’t fit with the punchline that the food is actually now pretty good.

Then again, I learned way back in season one of Tensura not to ask for too much in the way of logic.

Just as well as Rimuru apparently now has four ultimate skills. I’m kind of certain an ultimate skill on its own is by definition enough so having four seems like a little bit of overkill. Unless ultimate means something else in this context.

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Once the food and drinking are done it is time for a council of war. Here we see that the previous events in Tensura will in fact have some follow-up as Rimuru and the others are more or less preparing to announce to the world Rimuru is a demon-lord (a fact almost everyone already seems to know) and go to war with the kingdom that attacked them and another demon-lord.

This is potentially the most ambitious they’ve gotten yet though there’s certainly enough people joining in this alliance. Characters barely finish a sentence before someone else bursts into the scene.

Tensura Episode 37
Just in case we were confused – or had forgotten who they didn’t like.

Overall, those of us waiting for the second part of season 2 of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (Tensura) will have gotten exactly what we’d expect from this anime with its return this Summer season. Hopefully it keeps up the same standard and will be an enjoyable enough watch for the season.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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Attack on Titan Series Review Season Three Part Two

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What We’ve Been Waiting For

It is hardly a surprise that Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two took out my reader’s choice for anime of the season. Attack on Titan is one of those series that has a fairly persistent fan base who got used to being patient after the long wait between season one and two and whose expectations of the series have considerably lowered since the explosive first episode. That isn’t saying that the popularity of this instalment only came about because of lowered expectations, but the impact this season had certainly can be attributed to this season raising the bar for the series right back to where it started.

Levi - Attack on Titan

While part one of season three established the secret behind the royal bloodline, season three part two continues to build on our new understanding of the world. While the first half of the season is dominated by an extended battle between the beast titan, colossal titan and armoured titan and the scouts, the second half of the ten episode season is almost entirely back story and reactions to the events.

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Emotionally it works a treat as the explosive action draws you in and then you are hit with one emotional bombshell after another until the very end of the series where you are left wondering what the next move might be but given a tiny glimmer of hope (which knowing Attack on Titan will be quickly snuffed out when it returns but at least they left us with a small ray of happiness).

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This is not the small ray of happiness.

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The action is as good as it ever was in this series with some amazing sequences early on. Levi of course steals the show with his incredible flurry of attacks on his path to taking down the beast titan but his screen time is still fairly minimised. Necessarily so as the scouts as a regiment need their moment to shine under the command of Erwin before utter annihilation for the sake of distracted the beast titan long enough for Levi to land an attack.

Erwin - Standing on the corpses of the Scouts.
Erwin accepting everything has been built on the death of countless scouts.

Erwin’s genius as a motivator is on full display here but I find it interesting that even Erwin questions his own decisions that have lead to this point. Whether he is acting for his own sake or for humanity is something he ponders with Levi before he whips the rest of the scouts into a frenzy for their final charge. It is impossible to know whether he came to peace with his decision or not however he held true to his course right to the end even if he did second guess himself.

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It kind of takes away some of the shine of Levi’s actions when you realise it cost the lives of nearly two hundred scouts to achieve. But that is standard Attack on Titan where bitter sweet is the standard and sometimes they forget to add the sweet.

Levi - Defeating the Beast Titan

While the Levi’s battle is impressive it doesn’t take away visually from the battle on the other side of the wall with Eren, Armin, Mikasa and the others. The sequence is well choreographed, well timed, and all and all these two battles are incredibly fun to watch. Okay, maybe fun isn’t quite the right word given the death count, but you will be entertained.

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However, what I felt the crowning achievement of this season really was is how it has aged these characters. We’ve jumped time before in Attack on Titan but Eren, Mikasa and Armin just seemed like slightly taller versions of themselves. Now we see them genuinely age and develop with their attitudes and personalities bearing the full weight of what they have been through and learned over the course of the series.

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I never really hid the fact that while I liked the first season of Attack on Titan I could not stand Eren as a character. He wasn’t quite in the same league as Asta when it came to annoying shouting protagonists, but he would have run him a close second. Seeing Eren as he is at the end of season three part two of Attack on Titan is glorious. He didn’t just suddenly change who he was. His transformation has occurred incrementally since the beginning of season two. That’s what makes it work so well and feel so authentic. Eren has gone from one of my least favourite anime characters to one I very much want to see what the next step of his story is.

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Now, with nearly half the episodes given to back story and dissecting what that means and reacting to it, the question becomes whether or not this slows down the series. Many other anime would in fact have gotten bogged down in their own exposition and while the information might be important the enjoyment factor would have wound down.

titan8b

Not so with this series. Grisha’s past as revealed in his diary is incredibly compelling viewing and every bit as riveting as any of the fights from the first half of the season. Considering the implications of what he is revealing as well as the tragedies that shaped his life prior to arriving within the walls, it is one of those back stories that more or less had to be told and I am really glad they gave it the time it deserved.

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That said I’m not going to get heavily into spoilers here but just know that this season will change everything about how you have viewed the world of Attack on Titan prior to this season, provided you aren’t reading the manga in which case you already knew. I imagine that going in knowing what the reveals are would change the impact these scenes will have, but for me they were game changing.

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Historia also steps up to the plate. While she is sidelined early in the season by her role as a leader, or at least a figurehead leader, Historia returns in the second half and makes her presence felt. By necessity her role has changed in the series but it is her decision to reveal the truth to the people that really makes me respect her as a character. After so many secrets and lies have shaped the world these characters live in it makes perfect sense that when the truth is known it should be shared.

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With great music, great action, good character developments, and the plot moving along at a good clip with reveals tumbling over themselves to mysteries that have been lingering since the beginning, there is a lot to recommend about this season of Attack on Titan. For those who walked away during season two, it might be time to jump back on the Titan bandwagon.


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Karandi James


Attack on Titan Review Season 3 Part 2 Episode 5

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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.

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	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.

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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.


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Karandi James


Attack on Titan Review Season Three Part Two Episode Four

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James