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.

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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.

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Karandi James

Attack on Titan Review Season 3 Part 2 Episode 6


The Twisted Feelings Created By A Twisted Tale

Attack on Titan - Jean - You've got to be kidding me

Episode 6

I know exactly what emotional impact Attack on Titan was going for this week and I know exactly why it missed the mark for me. While I can respect the effort and I think a lot of people will be happy with how it all unfolded, I end up feeling very much like Armin’s sacrifice in episode 5 has been completely undermined.


Which of course, might very well be the point. Armin formulated a plan, he put it into action, he resigned himself to the outcome, and he held fast right to the end. He as a character had more control over his fate than almost any other this narrative has thrown at us and he didn’t die screaming and pleading for his life or in a puddle of tears and piss. He died a true hero.

Eren threatens Bertholdt - Attack on Titan

Only, Attack on Titan doesn’t really like heroes. Or at least that’s how it seems. It is a world where the horrible and the scheming rise to the top and the honest and noble are beaten down or killed before they have the chance to succeed. So in that sense, undermining everything that happened at the end of episode 5 may very well have been the point in which case it succeeded admirably but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Armin has long been one of the few characters in Attack on Titan I’ve liked and seeing his will getting overthrown like that was pretty depressing.

The choice?

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However, if we take Armin out of the equation, this episode did an excellent job with Levi. Also with Mikasa, and Jean, and Hange, and even Eren. Emotionally each of these characters faced choices that truly have no right answer and all of them have horrendous repercussions if they make the wrong choice and yet each of them, in their own way, stepped up to the plate. It is rare that I say that I admire these characters for anything but their absolute guts in the face of insanity, but episode 6 brought out the best in them even as they almost tore each other apart.

Mikasa - Attack on Titan - Please give it to me.
I don’t think this settled who would win a fight between Levi and Mikasa given the situation but it was still kind of cool to watch.

Armin or Erwin, who to bring back? Erwin, who sacrificed every scout essentially for the chance to maybe bring down the enemy and a chance to peek inside the basement or Armin who sacrificed himself and thought of how to save the others so that they might continue the journey. I kind of agreed with that random scout that Erwin should not escape this hell so easily, but Levi’s point that Erwin was the character they made him be was understood.

Titan Armin - Attack on Titan

So instead of moved or caught up in the story, my head is spinning with all the what-ifs and maybes and questioning each of the character choices up to now and in this moment. The one thing that is true is that this episode was very Attack on Titan. I don’t know how I feel about it. I don’t know if I’ll ever sort out the mess it just created when I think about this situation. I do know though that I’ll be watching the next episode as soon as I can because at this point I just have to know what is in that basement.

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Karandi James

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

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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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.

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Karandi James

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.

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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.

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Karandi James