Attack on Titan: Season three, episode four, Trust – Spoiler free and spoiler review: Rise of the side characters.

3 and a half stars

Spoiler Free Review:

The third season of Attack on Titan delivered quite a surprise with its fourth episode, Trust, as the side characters stuck out a lot more than the main ones.
Marlo, Hitch, Flegel and Nile are all side characters and yet had significant development this episode, all to great effect.
For example, when we first met Marlo and Hitch in season one, I did not really care for them but they were actually very likeable this episode.
Then there is Flegel, who had a very inspiring moment that made me cheer.
As for Nile, it looks like this episode set up a lot for him to do in the Uprising Arc.
I really loved what this episode did with its side characters because it gave them a lot more depth, which made them more interesting to me.
Trust truly is a character development episode because even Jean got some significant growth in a scene that was both funny and misleading, but in a good way.
There was even a moment with Hange where the great animation of season three was put on full display.
This is mainly a set-up episode for, what will probably be, the big second act of the Uprising Arc so it did not have as much exciting highlights as previous episodes.
However, that being said, Trust is still a really good and enjoyable episode that made me appreciate the side characters a lot more.

Spoiler Review:

It turns out that my prediction in my previous review was correct as the Military Police officers coming towards the Levi Squad were Marlo and Hitch, Annie’s friends from the Military Police.
Also as predicted, these two actually helped the group out, with Marlo proving himself to be very dependable in a confrontation with Jean.
Speaking of this confrontation, I actually thought that Jean was going to try and murder Marlo and Hitch because of his growth from episode two, Pain.
Thankfully, it was all just an elaborate ruse by Jean to see if they could be trusted.
This also led to a funny moment where Hitch called Jean “horse face”.
It would seem that Jean just cannot escape that nickname.
Once it was determined that they could be trusted, Marlo and Hitch led the squad to the area being guarded with the least Military Police officers.
There they captured one of the Interior Military Police, who gave the big name drop of Kenny Ackermann.
Mikasa heard this so I suspect the official reveal of her and Levi being related to come soon.
I already knew that the two were related because I had heard people refer to Levi as an Ackermann but it will still be interesting to see what implications this has for the anime.
However, the one thing I did not like about this scene was how Levi called Historia Christa.
It is getting kind of annoying because it has to be confusing for people.
She can either be called Historia or Christa, they should stick with one.
Then there is Hange’s storyline, which was one of my favourites of the episode.
This was because of Flegel’s great character development, which led to him standing up to the Military Police and siding with the Scout Regiment.
Hange’s storyline also had a great quote from her because when Flegel says the Scout Regiment will be defeated Hange replies, “defeat is all the Scout Regiment has ever known.”
There is also the fact that many people, including journalists, overheard the truth about the government so this will probably kick off a full on uprising, once word spreads.
However, I do have to say, the moment when that Military Police officer collapsed in tears of joy upon finding Flegel came across as very melodramatic to me, and not in a good way.
Finally, there is Erwin’s storyline and fingers crossed he does not die next episode.
There was a pretty big hint at this happening last episode, with Erwin naming Hange his successor.
There is some hope for him though because it looks like Nile, the commander of the Military Police, may actually switch sides and help him.
I am definitely starting to see more hints that the two used to be friends, as was stated in previous episodes.
The next few episodes do look to be pretty hectic, with hopefully a few reveals, so I am excited for that.

Predictions:

  1. I did not notice this in my first viewing, but in my second viewing of the previous episode, Old Story, Erwin mentioned an “incident” in the Reiss family. I wonder what that is setting up?
  2. Maybe Nile and Pyxis will save Erwin because it looks like both are taking an active role next episode, based on the preview.
  3. In the preview, there is a woman looking at herself in a mirror, while brushing her hair. This looks like a new character so I am interested to see who this is exactly. Maybe it is that Marie woman Erwin mentioned? From the sounds of things she is Nile’s wife so, if this is her, it will be interesting to see what role she plays.

 

Stephen King’s Misery, Court Theatre Performance Review.

4 and a half stars
Stephen King is my favourite author and Misery is one of his best novels, in my opinion.
So, when I heard that the Court Theatre, in my home city of Christchurch was putting on a performance of William Goldman’s stage adaptation, I was intrigued.
I went to see the performance with family last night and I was thoroughly entertained, both for expected and unexpected reasons.
Directed by Dan Bain, this production seems to be based more on the movie than the novel and stars Lara Macgregor, as Annie Wilkes, and Gavin Rutherford, as Paul Sheldon.
Paul is an author who crashes in a snow storm and Annie is his rescuer and self proclaimed “number one fan.”
However, Annie is the type of fan no one would want because, after learning that the injured Paul has killed her favourite character, the titular Misery, she forces him, under the threat of death or worse, to write a new novel, one that will resurrect Misery.
What follows is an intense show with great performances from Rutherford and Macgregor, who both feel like their film and novel counterparts have leaped off the screen.
Macgregor pulls off the deranged Annie flawlessly and, while it felt like Rutherford took a while to get Paul’s accent right during the performance, he still did just as good a job as her.
Then there is Adam Brookfield, who plays the cop Buster and, although having only a brief amount of time on stage, also gave a good performance.
What really surprised me about Misery though was the timing of it all.
There are numerous tense scenes where Paul has to keep out of sight of Annie and the timing of those scenes were expertly handled and must have taken a lot of effort to get right.
The performance was also surprisingly funny with a lot of the film’s creepy moments being played played for laughs in this production.
On a side note though, what I found to be hilarious was how demented the audience was because they laughed at some really sick things.
Overall though, Misery was a great performance and adapted both the novel and film really well.
It had good performances, funny and tense moments and fantastic timing.

Attack on Titan: Season three, episode three, Old Story – Spoiler free and spoiler review: Backstories galore.

3 and a half stars

Spoiler Free Review:

The third episode of Attack on Titan‘s third season aired, giving us the backstory of both Historia and Erwin.
Compared to the previous two episodes of the season, this episode, Old Story, had a much slower pace because it was more character driven that action and story driven.
This is not a bad thing as the anime has been able to give us some truly fantastic character driven episodes, like season two, episode ten, Children, which is one of my favourite episodes of the series.
In comparison with these other character driven episodes, Old Story is a pretty good one that adds a lot of depth to the characters of Erwin and Historia.
Also, while I do not think this episode is as good as the first two of the season, especially episode two, I still found it be very enjoyable.
Along with delivering more background to some characters, this episode also had some revelations and made, what I can only guess to be, more hints for future reveals.
Old Story also reveals, more than any episode so far, what exactly our central characters are facing in this arc as it goes in deep with their foes’ levels of depravity.
My favourite character of the episode would have to be Erwin because, not only did he have a lot of good moments, but the reveal of his backstory also explained a lot about his character.
It also set up, what I think is going to be, a very good character arc for him this season.
Overall, Old Story was a good, if slow, episode.
It may not have had much excitement or even that great of a cliffhanger but it added complexity to more of the characters and set up future reveals.

Spoiler Review:

It seems like every character in Attack on Titan has some kind of traumatic past.
Eren, Mikasa, Ymir, and now Erwin and Historia.
The reveal of both of these characters’ backstories was really well done and both gave a great sense of their characters.
Historia’s was especially tragic because it showed how cruel her mother was to her as she even went as far to want her dead but, thankfully, did not have the “courage” to do so.
It could just be that Historia’s mother was a terrible person, but it seemed to me that, for some reason, she actually feared her daughter so, if that is the case, it will be interesting to see why later.
Even if she did fear Historia though, I still see this as no excuse of her treatment of her.
Historia is freaking adorable in these flashbacks and anyone that would shove a kid, let alone their own, for trying to give them a hug is cruel.
Historia’s past got weirder as it went on as well.
The day after Wall Maria fell, Rod Reiss came to get her, only for Kenny and the Military Police to arrive and murder Historia’s mother right in front of her.
What makes this scene especially strange is that it raises numerous questions.
Why did they want to kill Historia and her mother, why did Historia’s mother refer to Rod as “master”, why did Rod suddenly decide to allow Historia to be spared so long as she lived under a fake name?
I am sure all of these questions will be explained and I am eager to hear those explanations.
As for Erwin’s backstory, this gave me an even bigger sense of who he is because it is revealed he blames himself for his father’s death.
His father was a teacher who told Erwin that he thought the government was lying about history.
Erwin told his friends and the Military Police found out and so it ended with Erwin’s father being murdered.
This inspired Erwin to prove his father’s theory correct and it looks like that will be his main goal in the Uprising Arc.
He also had a really great scene, where he vowed to avenge Dimo Reeves, whose murder he has been framed for.
One thing that does have me concerned though is that Erwin tells Hange she will be in charge of the Survey Corps if he dies.
Hopefully this is not foreshadowing his death any time soon but this is Attack on Titan so you never know.
Then there is the revelation that in order to become a Titan Shifter you need to eat one.
I already knew this because it had basically been confirmed with the episode Children and it just needed to be stated by the characters.
However, all this being said, I did find a bit of a plot hole in this episode and this is what they did with the captive Djel Sannes and his buddy Ralph.
They locked them up in a cell but left no one to guard them.
If the two of them just happened to break out then Rod would know everything Sannes told Hange.
The ending cliffhanger also was not that interesting but the only reason I have a problem with that is probably because of how good the previous two were.
Old Story left me with a lot of questions, especially surrounding Historia, that I hope will be answered in the next few episodes.

Predictions:

  1. In the preview for next episode it looks like the Military Police Officer that is sneaking up on the group is actually Marlow, Annie’s friend from when she was with the MP. You can see him being threatened by Jean, and Levi talking to him. I think he could be pretty important going forward since he joined the Military Police to try and fix it. If this is him, hopefully his story here will make me like him more because I do not really care for him at this stage.
  2. Dimo Reeves’ son Flegel saw Kenny murder his father so could be the key to proving Erwin innocent. He also must have heard Kenny refer to Levi as an “Ackerman” so he will be probably be the one to drop the bombshell that Levi and Mikasa are related. We can see him being captured by the Military Police in the preview but it also looks like he will be saved by Hange and Moblit.
  3. With the confirmation that you now need to eat a Titan Shifter to become one it looks like my grim theory about how Eren became a Titan is correct. Once again, I will not say it because I do not want to potentially spoil you, but I do think it will be revealed soon. Unless of course I am completely wrong about this.
  4. Kenny is certainly living up to his serial killer nickname of “The Ripper”. Forget Levi, I think this guy has the highest kill count out of any character. He has probably murdered hundreds of people and I do not expect him to stop here. I dread to see what he will do next.

 

The Walking Dead: Issue 182 – More of the same.

3 stars

WARNING: Major spoiler for the issue.
In my review of the previous issue of The Walking Dead, I stated I was getting a bit annoyed about how it had been a while since the story of the comics had any genuine excitement.
Sadly, it looks like that trend continued with the latest issue, number 182, The Commonwealth Grows.
Just like Issue 181 though, there was nothing bad about this Issue.
It was good, it just continued the cycle of not much excitement happening.
However, even if there was not anything bad about this issue, there was something about it that felt off.
In the opening moments of the issue, we meet up with the minor character John, the new leader of the Sanctuary.
This scene felt off because John was a completely different character to the one seen in previous issues.
He seemed a lot more generous and willing to work with people, which is a complete contradiction to how he was in previous Issues.
This inconsistency was quite jarring but I do think it is slightly implied that it may be an act to get what he wants.
I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.
Other than this, the issue was enjoyable, although once again lacking in the exciting department, as we got to see Pamela Milton meet and interact with all of the other communities.
One thing I did find particularly interesting was Pamela’s interest in learning about Negan.
It was a brief moment but possibly hints at her potentially trying to have him executed for his crimes, which could be an interesting story if Kirkman goes that route.
Pamela asking Rick about Negan was not the only interesting character interaction this issue though, as Dwight finally made up with Rick over Sherry’s death.
While I am glad that the two are back on the same page once again, this makes their entire conflict feel very forced and unnecessary, considering literally nothing came out of it.
The two best scenes of the issue in my mind though, were the moment when everyone learned about Michonne’s daughter being alive and Rick’s conversation with Mercer.
The scene where everyone learned about Elodie and just stared at Pamela in blank shock was pretty hilarious and Rick and Mercer’s scene seems to be hinting at future events.
Rick explains to Mercer about how their system works and Mercer seems obviously disgruntled with the way the Commonwealth does things.
This could be once again hinting at a coup committed by Mercer.
This scene also really made me love Mercer because it explained why he does not agree with the Commonwealth’s system.
The system has actually left Mercer well off, protecting people like he has always wanted to do.
The thing Mercer does not agree with it that there are others in the Commonwealth “not living their lives to the fullest”.
This shows Mercer to be a very selfless person who is concerned about the well-being of others and really made me like him as a character.
Other than this, Issue 182 was a fairly standard Issue.
What really has me excited is what is coming.
The cover of Issue 183 promises a riot in the Commonwealth and, based on what I saw in this issue and on the cover of Issue 184, it looks like Eugene is planning to get a train going between Rick’s communities and the Commonwealth.
I am genuinely excited to read the next few issues as the story looks to be more exciting there.
As for this issue it is still good but it is just more of the same.

Attack on Titan: Season three, episode two, Pain – Spoiler free and spoiler review: The plot thickens.

5 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

Wow, what an amazing episode this was.
After a really good season three premiere, I was expecting the second episode, Pain, to be an exciting episode but this just blew all my expectations out of the water.
I found Pain to not just be a fantastic Attack on Titan episode but one of my favourite episodes of the series.
It is definitely in the top 10 best episodes for me.
The episode kicks off with one of the greatest action scenes of the entire series, which is amplified by the incredible animation that is the best the series has ever given us as well.
The tension of this scene is highlighted by the conflict between Levi and Kenny, who are the standouts of this episode by a wide margin.
Kenny already seems like a character I am going to love to hate.
Pain does not just consist of action though, but emotional moments as well.
One thing I especially loved is that it makes it clear that not all of Kenny’s squad are evil and goes as far as to humanize some of them.
This all leads to some great character development from Armin, my favourite character.
Then there are the twists in the story and hints at future events, which are expertly handled.
I have said before that Attack on Titan has my favourite soundtrack of all time and this episode really shows why.
The score that is played just as the episode ends is nothing short of phenomenal and makes the cliffhanger of the episode all the more impactful.
We also finally got to see the outro theme this episode and, while I still have mixed feelings about the intro, I think this outro nailed it.
It is an amazing song and has beautiful visuals to go along with it.
Finally, it is interesting to note that every shot we got in the trailer for this season was only for the first two episodes so everything we see after this will be completely new, which is really exciting.
Overall, Pain was a fantastic episode that had excellent animation, action, music and character development.

Spoiler Review

The previous episode, Smoke Signal, ended with the fantastic introduction of Kenny and this episode picked up right from there with Levi fighting Kenny and his squad, who are armed with their anti-personnel omni-directional mobility gear (man that was a mouthful).
As I said in my spoiler free review, the animation during this fight is incredible and it only gets better when Levi is cornered in a bar.
This scene really highlights how interesting both Levi and Kenny are as Kenny seems to really get a kick out of the violence he is causing and Levi shows how smart he is by shooting at Kenny, his aim based off Kenny’s reflection in a bottle of wine.
After Levi escaped came my favourite part of the episode when Armin had to shoot a member of Kenny’s squad to save Jean’s life.
Watching Armin’s guilt at having to do this and highlighting the woman he killed’s humanity by having her hesitate to shoot Jean, before she was killed, was expertly done.
This not only was great character development for Armin but also showed that not everything is black and white.
Then there are the big twists of the episode, the first coming when Hange tells Erwin that if they do not rescue Eren then he will be eaten.
I am pretty sure I know what this means since I rewatched season two episode ten, Children, but I will not say what because I do not want to spoil you.
However, I will say that, if I am right, it will lead to the biggest and most heart breaking twist of the series thus far.
Then there was the twist that Levi and Mikasa have the same last name, Ackerman.
This means the two have to be related so it will be interesting to see how this is explained, most likely through Kenny.
As for the final twist, the Military Police officer who murdered Pastor Nick, Djel Sannes, admitted that Historia’s father, Rod Reiss is the real king and King Fritz is just a figurehead.
This means that Historia is the heir to the throne but it also opens up some interesting questions, like why does the crown need a figurehead and who actually is Fritz?
The next episode does look very intriguing as well based on the preview because there it will go into the pasts of both Erwin and Historia.
This will be interesting because it looks like both Erwin’s father and Historia’s mother were murdered by Sannes in the past, based on what he said this episode, so I wonder if that will tie into it.
Still, for the second episode of the season, Pain was a fantastic episode and one of the best of Attack on Titan. 

Attack on Titan 2 Video Game: Enjoyable but very repetitive.

3 stars
I have become a big fan of Attack on Titan so when I learnt there was a game I was very excited to play it.
I wanted to see what it would be like to be a member of the Survey Corps and fly over buildings and trees with the omni-directional mobility gear and, I have to say, it was really fun.
The first few hours of this game are very enjoyable because you actually do feel like you are in the anime as you fly around slaughtering Titans.
However, if you have played the first couple of hours, then you have basically played the entire thing gameplay wise.
There are almost no new additions to the gameplay after those fist two hours and it gets old rather quickly.
To combat this, I tried to raise the difficulty from easy to normal so I could at least have a fun challenge.
However, this also alerted me to another problem with the game, which is its difficulty settings.
There are absurd variations between the difficulty settings in Attack on Titan 2.
Easy mode offers almost no challenge, normal is frustratingly difficult and good luck beating the game on hard mode.
There needed to be less variation between the difficulty settings so there was one that provided fun yet challenging gameplay.

Gameplay AOT2
The gameplay’s repetitive nature and huge difference in difficulty settings were by far the worst attributes of Attack on Titan 2. 

Unfortunately, it is not just the combat elements of gameplay that get repetitive but the social elements as well.
Since you design your own character for this game, you can make friends with the characters of the anime and doing so will heighten your skill set.
Like the combat, this is fun for the first few hours but, after that, it gets stale quickly.
It is very easy to guess what you have to say for each character and it got to the point that I was just skipping the conversations, stopping only to click a dialogue option.
This is not helped by the fact that the character you construct has little to no personality whatsoever and made me wish I could play as characters from the anime instead.
The final big problem I had with this game was the frame rate, which acted up a few times.
However, the game was not all bad.
As I said, the first few hours of combat are incredibly fun and, even though what follows is very repetitive, it still offers an occasional moment of fun.
Another thing I really liked was the cinematics, which are often played from your character’s point of view.
Watching events like the colossal twist of Warrior and others like it in first person was very interesting and I wish this first person style had been implemented into the gameplay as well, but I understand there probably was not a budget for that.
Finally, there was the final mission of the game.
Attack on Titan 2 covers the first two seasons of the anime but once that is over the game is not finished yet.
There is a final non-canon level where you face off against the Beast Titan, Armoured Titan and Colossal Titan and this final level was very enjoyable and a great way to end the game.

Ending AOT2
The final mission of Attack on Titan 2 is definitely its best with great combat and ending.

Overall, Attack on Titan is an enjoyable game, especially for those who are fans of the anime and manga, however you do have to wade through a lot of repetitive gameplay to get find it.

Attack on Titan – Season Three, Episode One, Smoke Signal: Non-Spoiler and Spoiler Review.

4 stars

Non-Spoiler Review:

Attack on Titan is back with its season three premiere Smoke Signal.
I have been anticipating the third season for so long and am very thankful that we did not have to wait four years to get it, like with the second season.
Smoke Signal is a great first episode that really sets the tone for this part of the season, known as the Uprising Arc.
There were so many great and interesting moments in this episode, along with a steadily growing body count.
I do not know what is going to happen but it is very clear to me that this episode is setting up multiple reveals for the season.
The old characters are back and just as good as they were before.
My favourite character of the episode would have to be Historia, who is quickly becoming one of my overall favourites.
We even got to meet some new characters this episode and they really look like great ones.
The episode ends on a fantastic cliffhanger and the build up to this moment was amazing.
There is also an update in animation for the season and, I have to say, it looks fantastic and should definitely top the second season’s.
As for the opening theme for this arc, however, I have mixed feelings about it.
The opening, named Red Swan, is good but it does not feel like Attack on Titan and I doubt I will remember it as much as I did the first three openings.
Overall though, Smoke Signal was a great start to the third season and I cannot wait for the twist and turns the story will take in future episodes.

Spoiler Review:

There is so much to talk about from Smoke Signal but I want to start with my favourite moment of the episode, with Kenny’s introduction.
The build up to this scene was masterful, with Levi and side character Nifa talking about the legends surrounding him.
That is how you know Kenny is a big deal.
He is so notorious that he is considered an urban legend by many.
Kenny viciously proves his savagery as well, by killing Nifa with no hesitation and even tries to kill Levi.
There were other great moments throughout the episode from Hange subtly threatening the military police soldiers who killed Pastor Nick, to Eren’s failed Titan experiment.
Speaking of which, it was really disturbing to see Eren’s mutilated face when he emerged from the Titan and I wonder what went wrong with that.
As I said in my non-spoiler review, Historia was my favourite character of the episode because we got insight into her real personality.
She just looks dead inside and it is clear that she has been through a lot of trauma.
As for new characters, we not only got Kenny but a brief look at Historia’s father and King Fritz.
This raises more questions, however, as I wonder why Historia is so important, considering she is just the daughter of a lord and does not seem to be related to the king, at least from what I can tell.
Hopefully, we will get more answers in the coming episodes.
After watching Smoke Signal there is really only one thing left to say… KENNY!!!

Attack on Titan OVA reviews

Attack on Titan season three premieres in a few days and I cannot wait.
So, in anticipation for it, I decided to review all of the OVAs so far.
I will be reviewing these from the weakest OVA to the strongest and will be counting two part OVA’s like No Regrets and Lost Girls as one.
Let’s get into it.

Distress:

Difficulty

3 stars
Distress is what I consider to be the weakest of the OVAs.
It simply follows the members of the 104th Cadet Corps on a training mission where they are ambushed by bandits.
After Krista is abducted, the cadets have to band together to rescue her, along with their stolen ODM gear.
This is an average OVA as it adds nothing to the anime and is merely just a side story.
There are a few things that detract from its quality though, as very obvious stock footage from season one is used.
Another detractor is Eren who is his typical, unlikable, season one self.
He was especially annoying in this OVA because he made a terrible decision, which could have got everyone killed.
However, this OVA does have some things I really like at the same time.
The bandits are not portrayed as entirely evil as it is established that they do have families, which was a nice addition.
Along with this, characters who previously died like Marco feature prominently in this and it is good to see them again in the spot light.
Overall, this OVA is average.
It is entertaining but if you decide not to watch it it will not change your viewing experience of the anime.

A Sudden Visitor:

Sudden Visitor

3 and a half stars
This, this is how you do a parody.
Watching Sudden Visitor I could not help but be reminded of the awful Attack on Titan live adaptation miniseries episode The Departure of Freedom, but in a good way.
This is because Sudden Visitor achieved what the miniseries episode could not by making an actual funny parody.
This OVA is about a cooking competition between Jean and Sasha.
Yes, you heard right, a cooking contest in Attack on Titan. 
Surprisingly, this does end badly because the humor is spot on.
There is actually quite a bit of meta humor because this OVA adapts fake gag previews Attack on Titan‘s writer Hajime Isayama put in the manga, to hilarious results.
Sasha and Pyxis are especially funny in this OVA, with one scene where Pyxis has a vision leaving me in tears of laughter.
Still, this OVA does have its downsides as, once again, Eren is unlikable due to his treatment of Mikasa.
Also I hope this OVA is not canon because, even though it is very funny, it does not fit the tone of Attack on Titan.
A Sudden Visitor is 
a good parody but not something that I think should be canon.

Ilse’s Notebook:

Ilse's journal

4 stars
Ilse’s Notebook 
is a unique OVA because it is the only one of the five to actually feature in the Attack on Titan manga.
Sure No Regrets and Lost Girls were mangas but they were spin offs and not part of the official manga.
That being said, I can understand why Ilse’s Notebook was made into an OVA and not featured in the anime.
This is because it gives a massive hint towards Ymir being a Titan Shifter.
The OVA features Hange and Levi discovering a notebook from a dead soldier named Ilse Lagnar who, in her final moments, wrote down that she had communicated with a Titan who said “Ymir’s people” and called her “Ymir.”
This would have made it pretty easy for people to guess that Ymir was a Titan Shifter so Ilse’s Journal was made into an OVA, instead of being included in the anime, to make this twist more surprising.
As for the OVA itself, it is really enjoyable with both funny and dark moments and watching it does add context to some episodes of the anime, like Children. 
I do wish it was added to the anime because it would have added an extra layer to the story but Ilse’s Journal is still a great OVA that explains some things from the anime.

No Regrets:

No Regrets

4 stars
No Regrets is the OVA that goes into the backstory of fan favourite character Levi by showing how he joined the Survey Corps.
The OVA reveals that Levi was a criminal who taught himself how to use the ODM gear with his friends Farlan and Isabel.
However, the three were captured by Erwin Smith who forced them to join the Survey Corps, but Levi and his friends had also secretly been hired by a nobleman to kill Erwin.
From there the story grows showing how Levi came to trust Erwin and lost his friends.
One thing I really liked about this OVA was how it made me care for Farlan and Isabel, despite their short amount of screen time, and how their friendship with Levi was perfectly portrayed.
This OVA also not only has some great use of animation and music but, without a doubt, the creepiest Titan in all of Attack on Titan. 
The Titan that kills Farlan and Isabel is very disturbing and really showed how powerful Titans could be.
However, there was one thing that did hold this episode back for me and that was Erwin. He felt out of character in this OVA when he reflected on his dead men and Levi’s friends, calling their deaths “pathetic.”
This is not something that Erwin would do as every death of a Survey Corps soldier weighs on him.
Other than that though,  No Regrets was still a great OVA and the second best overall.

Lost Girls:

Lost Girls

4 and a half stars
Lost Girls 
is the best OVA of Attack on Titan so far in my opinion.
The plot follows Annie trying to solve a woman’s disappearance the day before she goes on her mission to capture Eren.
The reason this is my favourite OVA is because it made me care for and understand Annie as a character.
After watching Annie’s arc so far in the series I did not really know how she felt about carrying out her mission, like I did with Reiner and Bertholdt, and as a result that made her a much less interesting character. 
Lost Girls really clears this up though, giving us insight into not only Annie as a character but how her past has shaped her.
This OVA also has some great fight sequences and action segments, the best of which where Annie partially transforms to escape her attackers.
The mystery of the missing woman is pretty interesting as well but the real highlight is, once again, Annie and what we learn about her.
It made me want Annie to wake up from the crystal in the anime so we can learn more about her.
I consider Lost Girls to be the best Attack on Titan OVA because of how it took a character I did not understand and made her very relatable.

Top 10 Westworld Characters

Warning: Major spoilers for the show. 

10. Logan Delos – Played by Ben Barnes

Logan finale

In the first season of Westworld Logan was a very one-dimensional character.
He just wanted to sleep with and murder every host in the park and there was very little complexity to him.
After the first season I would have said he was one of the show’s worst characters but then season two came along and changed everything.
In season two we got to see a different side to Logan.
In episodes like Reunion, Kiksuya and The Passenger we saw how Logan’s near death experience in the park had shaped him into a broken man with a serious drug addiction.
It was genuinely sad to see someone who was once so confident become a shell of his former self.
It turned Logan from the completely unsympathetic character we saw in the first season to the broken relatable character and this was just enough to put him on the list.

9. Charlotte Hale – Played by Tessa Thompson

Charlotte_Hale.jpg

Like Logan, Charlotte is not a character with a lot of moral complexity.
Throughout her time on the show she stayed pretty much the same, with her willing to stoop to any low, including murder, to keep Delos out of a scandal.
This can be seen with how she murdered Elsie in The Passenger. 
But what made Charlotte different from Logan was her personality.
Logan’s main characteristic was his desire to do whatever he wanted but Charlotte hides her willingness to do bad things with diplomacy, which she attempts on both Ford and Elsie at different times.
I am pretty sure the only reason she did not kill Ford was because of how much of a public figure he was and how much attention this would bring.
When we are first introduced to Charlotte it is pretty apparent that she is corrupt but her diplomacy makes us think she would rather have someone else kill than do the dirty work herself, which is definitely not the case.
This makes her an engaging character as you never know if she is just going to talk to someone or shoot them.

8. Ashley Stubbs – Played by Luke Hemsworth

Ashley Stubbs.jpg

Stubbs is a likeable character but one that has not had that much screen time as of season two.
He did not make that much of an impression on me in the first season but in season two he really grew on me.
Stubbs is loyal above all else and sticks to his values, doing what he believes to be right.
It was even heavily hinted at in The Passenger that he may be a host who was created by Ford, when he lets Charlotte/Dolores go.
This implication brings more depth to his character as we had seen signs that he did not agree with what was happening to the hosts previously, like with what happened to Peter Abernathy.
However, even more implications are abound if he turns out not to be a host because of what other reason he could have for letting Charlotte/Dolores escape.
Stubbs is an interesting character who has not had much screen time yet but hopefully he will be more important in season three.

7. Lee Sizemore – Played by Simon QuartermanLee Sizemore

I was incredibly surprised watching Lee Sizemore’s character arc in Westworld season two because he went from one of the show’s worst characters to one with a fantastic redemption arc.
In the first season Sizemore was nothing more than an annoying, corporate, sleazeball who would most likely win the narcissist of the year award.
This is why it was so surprising to see him redeem himself and actually become a heroic figure in that second season.
The moment where he apologizes to Maeve in Kiksuya was a defining moment for him and his heroic death in The Passenger is one of Westworld‘s saddest scenes.
Sure, Sizemore is an incredibly annoying character in the first season but he needed to be in order for his redemption arc to work and it definitely does, in amazing fashion.
This arc propelled Sizemore from easily one of the show’s worst characters to my seventh favourite character.

6. Robert Ford – Played by Anthony Hopkins

Robert Ford

Anthony Hopkins is a fantastic actor with many amazing roles but his role as Robert Ford in Westworld might be one of his best.
One of the creators of the park, Ford is the mastermind of the series, constantly pulling strings from behind the scenes, even after his apparent death.
He is also seen to consider himself somewhat of a god and this narcissism leads him to commit heinous acts, like forcing Bernard to murder Theresa in Trompe L’Oeil.
However, even though he is capable of extreme cruelty, Ford is a lot more complex as he seems to feel sympathy towards the hosts and their constant abuse.
This can be seen by him slowly constructing their eventual revolution and how he helps out Akecheta by telling him when to led his people to the Door in Kiksuya. 
Ford is both entertaining and enthralling, not just because he is a great character but because of Hopkins’ incredible performance.

5. Akecheta – Played by Zahn McClarnon

Akecheta

The character of Akecheta is a real achievement in my eyes because they made him my fifth favourite character of the show with just one episode, Kiksuya.
Before this episode Akecheta had been featured but only briefly and had yet to make a significant impact.
Kiksuya changed all of this because it served as Akecheta’s origin story and how he became the first conscious host.
This episode succeeded spectacularly because it really made me sympathize with Akecheta and his journey to find Kohana.
Akecheta is a very noble character, wanting to lead all the hosts to safety, and his story is very touching and really made me connect with his character.
Again, all of this in one episode.
His story arc there was so good that I was literally cheering when he made it to the virtual world with the other hosts in the season two finale.
Akecheta is another fantastic character but is unique in that he became one of my favourites in just one episode.

4. Bernard Lowe – Played by Jeffrey Wright

Bernard Lowe

Oh, poor Bernard.
He has probably had it rougher than any other character in the entire show.
He has discovered he is a host, been forced to kill his girlfriend and many other terrible things, had his memories erased a bunch of times and these are only some of the many awful things that have happened to him.
However, Bernard never gives up and he always strives for what he believes to be right.
Even when his views change he still strives to do good and this will obviously continue to season three if the season two finale is any indication.
Bernard is a truly sympathetic character as things constantly seem to go wrong for him but he never gives up.
His character arc in season two is especially good, with him learning that if you want to change things for the better you cannot always keep your hands clean.
Jeffrey Wright also gives a great performance as Bernard.
Like Anthony Hopkins, his casting was perfect and only made Bernard an even better character through his performance.

3. William AKA the Man in Black – Played by Ed Harris and Jimmi Simpson

William

We now go from one of the show’s most sympathetic character to easily its most despicable with William, the Man in Black.
When the Man in Black showed up in the first episode of Westworld, The Original, there was an instant aura of mystery surrounding his character and his mission.
Everyone watching the show wanted to know who this guy was.
Who would have thought that the dark and sociopathic Man in Black was actually the mild, good-natured William?
Well, everyone actually.
Yeah, even though this twist was figured out by pretty much everybody very early on, it was still engaging to watch William’s transformation into this monster.
It only got better from there as William had a very engaging arc in season two.
In the beginning it looked like he was going to have a redemption arc because of episodes like Riddle of the Sphinx but this was immediately thrown out the window when he murdered his daughter in Vanishing Point.
During the post-credit scene at the end of the season it actually appeared that William had succeeded in having his consciousness transferred into a host body so it will be interesting to see the implications of this.
William is not one of my favourite characters because I like him (I actually do not) but because of his growth due to his despicable nature.

2. Dolores Abernathy – Played by Evan Rachel Wood

Dolores

Evan Rachel Wood delivers what is, in my opinion, the best performance of the entire show as Dolores.
The only reason she is not my favourite character is because I relate to my number one choice just a bit more than her.
It was tough though because I am constantly flip flopping on which of these two is my favourite character of Westworld.
As I was saying, Wood gives a fantastic performance that is definitely award worthy because she portrays both Dolores’ softer side and her crueler Wyatt side perfectly.
One minute she is calm and soothing the next she is demented and cold.
Watching Dolores grow like this and gradually expand the nature of her reality (see what I did there?) was great to watch in both seasons.
I instantly sympathized with Dolores and because of this it made her far more relatable when she became a villain in season two because I understood her motives and why she was resorting to such extremes.
Dolores is truly a fantastic character with an amazing performance behind the character.

1. Maeve Millay – Thandie Newton

Maeve

Maeve goes down as my favourite character in all of Westworld so far because of her amazing character development, cool scenes and great performance by Thandie Newton.
As I said, I have been constantly switching between Maeve and Dolores as to which one is my favourite character but, at the end of the day, I just relate to Maeve’s story more.
Her desire to find and protect her daughter is both touching and engaging as she initially denies this connection but then accepts her feelings and breaks from Ford’s loop to find her.
Naturally, their reunion does not end well with it being revealed that another mother has been programmed for Maeve’s daughter.
However, it does end on a bittersweet moment with Maeve helping both her daughter and her daughter’s new mother escape through the Door before she is tragically killed.
While it does look like Maeve will be back for season three, if she really did die for real here it would be a fantastic way for her to go out.
Along with this touching story, Maeve has many other cool moments like when she learns to control hosts with her mind in Akane No Mai and further develops that power until she can control a full on mob of hosts.
To top it all of, Newton also gives a fantastic performance as Maeve, which helped to further connect me with her character.
Maeve is an amazing character that truly highlights Westworld’s characters and their arcs.

Top 10 Attack on Titan Songs

Warning: This list contains spoilers for the anime. 

Attack on Titan has quickly become not only my favourite anime but one of my favourite shows ever.
This is not just because of its gripping story and characters but also due to its exceptional music, which is the best of any show I have ever seen.
The music manages to convey various emotions in me, depending on the scene, and highlights the tension and atmosphere of said scenes.
So I decided to count down my top ten favourite songs from the anime.
I will not only be placing these based on how good the individual songs are but also on how they are used in the show.

10. AOTs2M他1

This song has not been used often in Attack on Titan, as far as I can tell it has only been used twice, but that does not change that is still both a haunting and spirit raising piece of music.
This is apparent through how the song is used because a different part of it is used in each scene it is played and each conveys a different meaning.
The first use of it is in season 2 episode ten, Children, when Ymir goes to capture Historia. Here the music goes from building tension to flat out exploding into a violin musical score reminiscent of Barricades, which we will get to later.
This use of music gets the viewer ready for what is to come and has them both routing for Ymir and the Survey Corps coming to rescue Eren.
The second time it is used is in the very next episode, Charge, where the Titan that ate Eren’s mother makes its reappearance.
The part of AOTs2M他1 played here is much more somber and darker, and really highlights Eren’s horror at seeing this Titan again.
AOTs2M他1 is a great song with its ability to make me both feel dread and excitement at what is happening.

9. Bauklotze

Bauklotze plays even less than AOTs2M他1 (only once) but it is such a great song and the way it is implemented in the scene it is played in is so perfect that I just had to place it higher.
Unlike the previous song though, this one has lyrics.
These are in German and speak of both destruction and creation.
Bauklotze came at a very pivotal time in the series for me because it was played in season one episode nineteen, Bite, and it was this very moment that Eren finally got the character development he sorely needed.
It was in this moment that Eren decided to trust his squad mates, thus growing as a character.
The song was perfect to play for this scene because of what would later happen because of this scene and how energetic the song is.
Bauklotze  is a very spirit raising song and whenever I think of Bite I cannot help but think of this song because of how good it is and how it perfectly matched the scene.

8. APETITAN

APETITAN is a song that is played throughout the second season of Attack on Titan but primarily serves as the theme for the mysterious Beast Titan.
This song is very haunting with the energetic sense of danger it has to it, enhanced by the gruesome things that happen in the anime when this song plays.
This was the song played when Miche was brutally ripped apart by the Titans, and it was the song played when the Survey Corps attempted to get Eren back from the Armoured Titan only for most of them to be devoured by the Titans.
This song’s freakish nature also excellently reflects that of the Beast Titan and the mystery his character holds.
Throughout the many times this song was played in the season I never got tired of it because it almost always played different sections of the song, only repeating the truly horrifying or enthralling moments.
APETITAN is one of the most haunting themes in all of Attack on Titan through how it is used in the series and how it reflects the Beast Titan.

7. Vogel im Kafig

Much like AOTs2M他1, Vogel im Kafig is a song that conveys the feelings of both hope and dread to the audience through how its music is utilized.
Once again with German lyrics, The song was primarily used in season one and has many standout uses.
Chief among these is the moment when Eren’s mother, Carla, is eaten by a Titan.
As this disturbing scene plays out in slow motion the song plays at full boom, displaying the full horror of the situation in a chilling fashion that makes it far more disturbing than the APETITAN song.
However, as I said, this song is also used to convey hope because it is also played when Eren transforms into a Titan, both when Mikasa thinks about what he could be and in the flashback where Eren actually transforms.
Eren’s transformation is by far the most powerful of these two, with it conveying horror in the beginning when Eren wakes up in the stomach of the Titan surrounded by dead bodies.
The music then morphs into triumphant and hopeful as soon as Eren transforms.
What makes these different feelings of dread and hope created by this song so amazing is that it is the same section of Vogel im Kafig being played in both these scenes.
This song manages to capture both dread and hope in completely different scenes with the same music and that makes it a sure highlight.

6. Barricades

Hear this song once and good luck getting out of your head.
Every time I listen to Barricades it gets stuck in my head for at least a couple of days.
However, this is not a bad thing because Barricades is another amazing song that sings about freedom and breaking free from what is holding you back.
The song is played in the final episode of season two, Scream, in one of the few triumphant moments of the episode, when Historia declares to Ymir that from now on they should “live for no one but ourselves,” before launching herself at an attacking Titan.
This song is both energetic, triumphant and, above all else, catchy.
Barricades will get stuck in your head for days but you will not want it to leave.

5. Call Your Name

Another truly powerful Attack on Titan song, Call Your Name is one of the best songs from the first season of the anime.
This is apparent through how many heroic and triumphant scenes this is played in, primarily when Eren blocks the hole in Trost District and when Jean and the others join the Survey Corps.
I always find myself singing along with the lyrics whenever this song plays in the anime and it always has a huge hand in elevating each scene it plays it.
The song starts off slow, with a simple piano playing along with the lyrics before it explodes into a crescendo with an electric guitar.
This helps to build up each scene to its triumphant moment and gives these scenes a much bigger impact.
This song was so good that it got an updated version in the Lost Girls OVA, which is also pretty good.
Call Your Name is a fantastic song that really highlights the triumphant moments of the series.

4. EREN The Coordinate

EREN The Coordinate is a particularly long piece of music, coming in at over six minutes, but it is a truly great one as, once again, it manages to highlight so many of the series’ triumphant and emotional moments.
A prime example of this is when it plays during Bertholdt’s confession during Charge, where he admits he is horrified by the things he has done.
The use of this song here could not have been better because it perfectly highlighted not only Bertholdt’s anguish but the conflicted feelings of the other 104th cadets at the realization that two of their friends were traitors.
Then there is the final triumphant outburst of the song where it bursts into a crescendo, which is played when Sasha risks her life to save the little girl in I’m Home, and in the final scene of season two Erwin declares that one day “this wall hiding the truth will fall.”
The use of EREN The Coordinate‘s crescendo for this scene was amazingly done as it highlighted the triumphant moments of these scenes, especially during that final scene of the second season.
EREN The Coordinate is a long song, but one that encompasses many emotional and triumphant moments seen throughout season two.

3. Call of Silence

Call of Silence is, without a doubt in my mind, the most powerful song in Attack on Titan.
It is used during Ymir’s flashback, in Children, when she wakes up after 60 years of being a Titan and realizes she is free to live the life she wants.
Although a short song in comparison with the others, Call of Silence is incredibly memorable because of how powerful its lyrics are and how it makes the already fantastic scene it features in even better.
The lyrics sing about rebirth and living your life and this really resonates with the scene of Ymir waking up.
The combination of this powerful song and the emotional scene it is played in made me cry the first time I heard it in the anime.
One of the most somber and inspiring songs of Attack on Titan, Call of Silence is a song I think about every time I remember Ymir.

2. Attack on Titan

The best song from the first season of the show and the second best overall, Attack on Titan is not just named after the show but is another highlight in the series’ songs.
It is played throughout season one and has numerous memorable uses, from Armin, Jean and Reiner’s battle with the Female Titan, to my favourite usage of it during Eren’s transformation in Mercy.
The use of Attack on Titan during this scene was fantastic as it built up the tension and the German lyrics related greatly to the scene.
Attack on Titan is very similar to the the first intro of season one, Guren no Yumiya, because both songs speak of the struggles against the Titans.
Whenever Attack on Titan explodes into its chorus about fighting it always manages to wrack up the tension of the scenes it is played in even higher and never fails to get me excited about what is to come.
This song is truly fantastic but the one reason it is not at number one is because I feel it is a bit overused in the series as it popped up at least five times in the first season before reappearing once in the second season.
Still, its overuse does not change the fact that Attack on Titan is still a fantastic song that never fails to raise the tension of the show whenever it is played.

1. YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T

Now we come to my favourite song in all of Attack on Titan, YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T. 
Whenever I think of Attack on Titan’s music this is the song I automatically think of.
YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T is essentially a second version of Vogel im Kafig and it improves on that already fantastic song.
This new version of the song has two parts: it’s grand opera-like beginning and its explosive second part.
Both of these parts are played in the incredible twist that Reiner and Bertholdt were the Armoured and Colossal Titans the entire time.
Given that this means they are responsible for Eren’s mother’s death and Vogel im Kafig was the song played during that moment, this makes the placement of YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T here perfect because it makes the reveal and Carla’s death mirror each other.
This song also perfectly highlights Eren’s horror at learning two of the people he trusted were responsible for such atrocities.
Thus this song creates the feeling of shock, amazement and horror whenever I hear it, perfectly encapsulating the feelings of Attack on Titan. 
YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T is the best song of Attack on Titan because it is not only an amazing song but fits in perfectly with the various emotions the scene it is played in conveys.