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.

 

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