Another year, another finished part of Attack on Titan‘s last season, with the final part coming in 2023.
There was a lot of speculation about how Mappa would follow up Part Two, when it became clear that they could not adapt the rest of the chapters in the time they had left.
So, it would either be a movie or a Part Three and it turns out that it’s the latter, although I will say that they should have just labelled these parts as different seasons, since there’s such a significant gap between them.
Either way, the last episode of Attack on Titan the Final Season Part Two, “Dawn of Humanity”, directed by Hidekazu Hara, Mitsue Yamazaki and Tokio Igarashi, is a fantastic ending for this section of the story and very well adapted from the manga.
In my review for the previous episode, I speculated that this episode would also adapt the missing flashback from Chapter 123 because I thought they would go quite well with the events from Chapter 130, which the episode would be adapting.
Turns out I was right because “Dawn of Humanity” begins with that missing flashback, preluded by Mikasa wondering if Eren really never changed and, if that is the case, what she saw in him.
We then get the actual flashback, which sees the Scouts infiltrating Marley, with the hope of connecting with a group that protests for Eldian rights.
This mission starts off almost disasterously and definintley humorously, as Connie and Sasha both nearly break their cover by talking about leaving the walls of Paradis out loud, to which Jean has to reprimand them for.
The Survey Corps then begins their scout of enemy territory, with even more humorous events, as Sasha eats ice cream for the first time, she, Hange and Connie chase down a car to feed it carrots and, funniest of all, Levi is confronted by a clown who mistakes him for a kid.
Yet, the scene turns serious whenever it changes to Eren, as we now know that he had his future memories during this mission, so he was aware that he was going to kill most of the people the group are currently interacting with.
While this scene is happening, Mikasa reflects on how they did not notice this or maybe did not want to notice, and I think it is the latter, since she looks concerned for Eren on multiple occasions.
The scene then turns more serious, when Levi stops a migrant kid from pickpocketing Sasha, calling him out in front of everyone.
However, he and the rest of the Scouts quickly realize this was not the right call because it is like a switch is flipped in the Marleyans’ heads and they all become racist psychopaths, wanting to toss the boy in the ocean to drown, smash his hand, or hang him.
Levi then steps in, picking the kid up and claiming he is actually Sasha’s brother, to which she and Hange play along with, before the group flee, taking the boy to saftey, only for him to pickpocket Levi before departing.
The Scouts then go to visit Kiyomi, discussing their plan to meet in secret with the Eldian rights group, to which Kiyomi is skepticial will result in anything, but Hange insists they have to try.
Mikasa then notices Eren is missing and runs outside to find him looking over a refugee camp where the boy they saved and his family are staying.
Eren hides his tears from her and when Mikasa asks Eren if something happened to the boy, Eren chillingly replies, “nothing yet”, again indicating to the audience that he has future memories of the Rumbling.
Eren then abruptly asks Mikasa why she is so determined to protect him, questioning what he is to her, to which Mikasa gets flustered and responds that he is family.
They are then interrupted by the young boy’s grandfather, who invites them and the rest of the 104th Scouts to drink with them.
This results in honestly one of the most heart touching moments of the series, as we see the 104th happy togethor for the last time before Eren went rogue.
What makes this even better is the music that is playing because it is the same one that played when Grisha lead Faye outside the walls, leading to her death.
Thus, this scene is yet another moment of final happiness before everything goes wrong.
For this final moment of happiness, we see everyone surprised by how quick Eren is to drink, them all partying togethor, the young boy flinging himself into Eren, Sasha puking in a pot, and Levi, Hange and Onyankopon being mortified as they find the group passed out drunk.
Then comes the moment where it all goes bad, as the scene cuts to the Scouts going to the meeting of the Eldian rights group in the morning, only for this group to condemn the Eldians on Paradis island, just like almost everyone else in the world does, leading to Eren leaving.
In the present, Mikasa now wonders if Eren would have taken another path if she had given him a different answer when he asked what he meant to her.
Honestly, though, I have never really been able to see this as happening.
Even if Eren does return Mikasa’s feelings, I cannot see him taking a different path than the one he has because of who he is as a person.
The episode then cuts to the adaptation of Chapter 130, beginning from Eren’s perspective as he wonders where everything started, if it was the day the walls fell, when the pigs were freed, or maybe from the moment he was born.
Eren then decides that it does not matter because everything that has happened is according to his will.
We then get another flashback, as we see Yelena tell Eren about Zeke’s Euthansia Plan, with Floch secretly listening in.
Eren and Floch then have a private conversation where Eren reveals to him that he plans to destroy the world, stating that they will play along with Zeke until they have the oppurtunity to betray him.
Floch actually looks pretty shocked when Eren says he will kill everyone outside the walls, making me wonder if he was always so gung-ho about this plan or if he needed a little persuading from Eren.
Then we finally see Historia after so long, with Eren going to visit her to tell her his plan.
This scene starts with the two of them discussing the implications of the 50 year plan, where Historia will have to sacrifice herself and her own children by continuously inheriting the Beast Titan.
Historia is still bizarrely okay with this plan, seemingly having forgot all of the character development she recieved in the Uprising Arc, but thankfully Eren is not okay with this, revealing to her his true plan to which Historia is understandably horrified.
She tells Eren that if she does not try to stop him then she won’t be able to live with herself, but Eren says that she can because she is “the worst girl in the world,” calling back to the time she saved his life in the Uprising Arc.
This seemingly convinces her to stay quiet about his plan.
We then get another flashback scene, this time between Eren and Zeke in Liberio, as Eren questions Zeke about his theory that Mikasa’s Ackerman blood makes her a slave to him.
Zeke, however, reveals that Eren’s suspicions are entirely wrong and that there is no Ackerman instinct to protect a host, meaning that Mikasa protects him because she truly loves him.
Although, one question I do have is what caused Eren to come to his wrong conclusion about Mikasa’s Ackerman blood in the first place.
I mean, we know he lied to her about it to push her away, but he seems to have thought it was true back in Liberio, so why did he think so before Zeke disproved it?
In any case, Zeke then questions what Eren intends to do about Mikasa’s feelings, but Eren says he only has four years to live and he wants all of his friends to live long lives.
Intercut among this sequence, we see Eren cutting off his own leg and gouging his eye out with a bullet to act like a wounded soldier in Liberio and, weirdest of all, Historia asking Eren if she should get pregnant.
After this scene, we then return to the present for the final, horrifying scene of Part Two, as the Rumbling finally arrives in Marley.
The world’s naval fleet are waiting for them but their efforts are completley useless, as there are literally millions of Colossal Titans advancing on them from the sea.
The military alliance only manage to take out a couple of the Walls Titans, before they swim right below their ships, the heat incinerating every soldier aboard, which is a much more ghastly display than the one in the manga.
The Wall Titans then emerge from the ocean and march towards the ground forces, who also have no effect on the wall of death fast approaching.
Eventually, the fear wins out and the soldiers run, only to turn back and see Eren’s gigantic Titan form emerging from the ocean as well.
This horrifying image is accompanied with a soldier title dropping the series, “Shingeki no Kyojin!”.
As the Rumbling finally begins its process of destroying the world, Eren’s inner monologue states that he will wipe out every last one of them, while remembering his mother’s death, bringing a close to Part Two’s last episode.
“Dawn for Humanity” is a phenominal episode that adapts Chapters 123 and 130 very well.
I especially have to praise Mappa for their work on the CGI Colossal Titans.
They have definitley improved their CGI from Part One.
The only criticisms I have for this episode are that I still think Historia accepting the 50 year plan goes against her character, and that the ending to the series itself undermines some of Eren’s scenes.
That last point obviously factors in manga spoilers, so I will be discussing that down below rather than here.
Despite these issues, “Dawn for Humanity” is still a fantastic ending for the Final Season’s second half, and it makes me even more excited for the future adaptations of great chapters like 131, 132 and 134.
I said in the spoiler free section of this review that one of my criticisms comes from my belief that the ending to the manga undermines some of Eren’s scenes.
However, I want to start off the manga spoilers section positively, so instead I’ll begin by discussing how the merging of the Chapter 123 flashback and Chapter 130 into a single episode could improve one aspect of the ending: this being Eremika happening.
Eren’s feelings for Mikasa honestly feel very sporadic to me in the manga.
I can only pinpoint three moments before the ending where it looks like he might return her feelings, these being Chapters 50, 123 and 138, with the remaining 135 chapters being him either treating her like family or pushing her away.
Yet, I think that pairing up the Chapter 123 flashback, where Eren asks Mikasa what he is to her, with the scene in Chapter 130 where Zeke discusses Mikasa’s feelings for Eren, does hit it further home that we are heading towards an ending where Eren’s feelings for Mikasa will be confirmed.
I don’t think it fixes the rushed nature of the reveal entirely because, again, Eren’s feelings for Mikasa are quite sporadic in their portrayal, but it does improve it so I think more people will be accepting of it watching the anime than in the manga.
With that positive out of the way, I now have to move onto my criticisms, because while I think Eren’s feelings for Mikasa may be recieved better in the anime, I don’t think the reveal of Eren’s true plan will because of how much it contradicts his actions in this episode.
The ending reveals that Eren knew he would be stopped before he entirely destroyed the world, so this raises the question of why Eren lies to Historia about the Rumbling.
She is horrified by it and initially wants to stop him and Eren could have calmed her down somewhat by telling her that he would be stopped.
Instead, he says, “the only way to end this cycle of revenge fueled by hate is to bury our hate-filled history along with civilization itself.”
It makes sense why Eren lied to Floch about the Rumbling, since he needed him to help start the Jeagerists, thereby allowing Erein to get into contact with Zeke, but lying to Historia served absolutley no purpose.
It makes Eren seem quite contradictive at the end.
I have heard some argue that Eren only learned he would not succeed in destroying the world after he gained complete control of the Founding Titan which, if true, would explain this plot hole because it would mean Eren didn’t lie to Historia.
However, this is stated absolutley nowhere in the manga, with Eren and Armin’s final conversation seeming to contradict this theory as well.
Another weird moment about this scene, which I was surprised to see wasn’t cut, is Historia asking Eren if she should get pregnant.
This was weird in the manga and it is weird here because it seems to be hinting that there is something about this pregnancy we don’t know about but there really isn’t.
Historia just forgot her entire motivation to live for herself and was paried off with a nameless nobody, who contributed to her wanting to kill herself at the beginning of the story, and then she was sidelined with a degrading pregancy subplot for the rest of the story (Yes, I still hate how Historia’s character was treated in the final arc. How could you tell?).
As for Eren, there is another moment where his dialogue makes no sense when considering the ending, this being the final scene of “Dawn of Humanity.”
Here, Eren’s own inner monlogue states that he will wipe out every last one of them.
Again, this is contradicted by what happens in the ending, with Eren knowing he will be stopped.
Coming into the episode, I thought this line would be delivered in a flashback to when Eren said this as a young boy after his mother’s death.
That would have made this moment make sense because it’s not the Eren who knows he is going to be defeated speaking, but the young kid mourning his mother.
Yet, this is not what we got.
Instead, it is adult Eren thinking about how he will wipe everyone out when he should know that he won’t.
This also completley debunks the theory that Eren learned he would lose after gaining the full power of the Founding Titan.
The ending makes a lot of Eren moments in this episodes, and a lot of moments before and after, make no sense.
Thus, the hindsight of the ending really makes these scenes have less impact for us manga readers and will produce the same effect on anime only viewers when they rewatch the series, in my opinion.
But, hey, despite the lackluster ending we will most likely still be getting when the Final Season Part Three comes out in 2023, at least we will still have some amazing moments from the manga to look forward to.
So, until 2023 Attack on Titan.