Spoiler Free Review:
The fourteenth episode of Attack on Titan’s third season, “Thunder Spears”, tries to top the epic first battle between Eren and Reiner in the second season episode, “Close Combat.”
But does it live up to that episode?
Well, in my opinion, no.
That first fight just had so much weight to it, although this probably came from the revelation in the episode before “Close Combat” that Reiner is the Armoured Titan.
However, this is not to say that the fight between Eren and him this episode is not good because it is still full of many stellar moments that adapted the manga fight very well.
Not only this, but “Thunder Spears” also has a few additions, which improve on the manga very well.
This can be seen with the final shot of the episode, which was not in the manga, and is very gripping, serving as the cliffhanger to get viewers hyped for the next episode.
Along with this hype, came the beginning of many great character arcs that have been set up with this season, primarily Erwin’s.
We get a good look at his inner thoughts in this episode that tells us a lot about him and really adds to his character.
We also got some good elements of Titan comedy, which we have not seen since season two, so it is nice to have that back.
But, while this is all good there are still a few things about this episode that bother me, primarily its animation in some moments.
There is a particular shot of the Beast Titan at the beginning of the episode that looks more like fan art than actually being from the anime.
Then there is the censorship, which really annoyed me.
During one of Erwin’s development scenes, a powerful shot is censored because of how gory it is in the manga, robbing it of much of the weight it had there.
Still, “The Thunder Spears” is a good episode, with a lot of great character development and a battle between Eren and Reiner that will keep you entertained.
It is not as good as the previous episode, but still enjoyable.
“The Thunder Spears” features the first usage of the titular weapon in the anime, with them being used in the fight against Reiner.
This is by far the highlight of the episode for me because I liked how they adapted the Thunder Spears from the manga.
From the animation that showed them being implemented, to the brilliant sound effect as they prepared to explode.
This led to the added scene that improved on the manga, where Reiner gets struck by the Thunder Spears at the end.
With the scene in a red filter, Reiner roars as countless Thunder Spears explode on his nape in brilliant flashes of light, bringing an end to the episode.
Before this moment, the weapons were built up very well, with the flashback to Hange’s experiments setting up the rules for how they can be implemented.
As stated, the episode also began to set up many upcoming character arcs and events.
Erwin’s arc is set up as well as in the manga, with him imagining himself on a pile of corpses.
Although, when Erwin remembers seeing a soldier giving him a salute as he is being eaten and realizes he is the only one fighting for himself it is censored, again lessening the impact.
We also got our first piece of set up for a battle between the Beast Titan and Levi, which is unfortunately where that questionable shot of the Beast Titan I mentioned came from.
Then there is the quadruple Titan, as Erwin calls it, which is officially introduced in this episode.
I will not spoil who this character is for those of you anime onlys, but I will say that, while they do not have a huge role in this arc, they become very interesting later on and I cannot wait to see how the anime adapts this.
Finally, concerning the actual fight between Eren and Reiner, it is a good battle.
Again it is not as intense as their first fight, but it still has a lot of emotional weight because of how much this battle means to Eren, with it being in his home town.
Overall, a good episode that has me excited for the next one.
With the anime looking set to adapt two chapters per episode, I especially cannot wait for episode five onwards because I believe this will be when we get into the five star episodes.