Spoiler Free Review:
Well, it took a while but my favourite episode of Attack on Titan, “Warrior”, has finally been overtaken.
I was looking forward to this episode the moment I read the chapter of it last year, and “Midnight Sun” does not disappoint.
The story picks up in the aftermath of the almost as amazing “Hero” from last week, and centers around what has to be one of the most difficult choices in anime history.
If Attack on Titan was an RPG, and I was playing Levi at that moment, I would have no idea what to do.
This choice makes for the most emotional moment of the entire series, with me crying not once but twice.
What makes these emotional scenes so great is the spectacular voice acting.
Literally every member of the cast brings their A game to this episode, especially Yûki Kaigi and Yui Ishikawa who give their best performances as Eren and Mikasa so far.
What makes their performances even more powerful is the almost complete lack of music, which is very striking because it allows the emotion behind the characters’ pain come through greatly.
As far as I can remember, there are only two instances of actual music being played and both are superb.
The episode does not even play the opening, which is how you know it means business going in.
Along with all this comes more hints to future episodes of the season, with me believing the next one could even top “Midnight Sun” because it will be adapting my favourite chapter from the manga.
We will have to wait and see though and, at least until then, Midnight Sun will remain my favourite Attack on Titan episode with its fantastic story, acting and emotionally gripping scenes.
Rest in peace, Erwin Smith.
You were the best commander the Survey Corps ever had and you have the best death of the entire series.
Yes, we had to say goodbye to this great leader in “Midnight Sun”, and in a perfect way too.
Even with the manga long having passed Erwin’s death, his is still the best of Attack on Titan so far, with it resolving his character arc brilliantly and the impact of his death still being felt.
Erwin was a selfish person but, in his final moments, he threw his dreams away for the good of humanity, finally becoming what he had always pretended to be.
Coming into the episode, I thought this death would not hit me as hard because I had already read it in the manga but, boy, was I wrong.
Erwin’s death hit me like a tonne of bricks emotionally, just as the build-up to this event did with Levi’s big choice.
“Midnight Sun” finally shows those who only watch the anime what Eren and Mikasa’s fight with Levi in the season three part one cliffhanger was about.
Levi can only save one person by turning them into a Titan and feeding Bertholdt to them but he wants to save Erwin while Eren and Mikasa want to save Armin.
This leads to the serum bowl, with the three of them, and Floch, fighting over who should get it, before Hange and the others arrive to stop the chaos.
It is these scenes that deliver the most emotional gut punches of the episode, with Eren and Mikasa’s desperate attempt to save Armin leaving me on the verge of tears.
The dam eventually burst for me when Hange revealed Moblit had died saving her.
Moblit’s death will definitely be overlooked by fans because of Erwin and Bertholdt’s but he was still a great side character who died doing what he was doing the moment we met him, protecting Hange.
It is her speech about this that finally gets Mikasa to mournfully stop fighting, while Eren still struggles to save his friend.
Kaigi’s performance is the best it has ever been in this scene as he tries to convince Levi to save Armin by telling him about the ocean.
This appears to not work though because Levi demands everyone leaves so he can turn Erwin into a Titan.
With Eren being dragged away by Floch, Levi goes to inject Erwin and experiences a series of flashbacks from hearing Armin’s speech about the ocean, to Kenny giving him the serum, to him telling Erwin to die for them.
The integration of these flashbacks into the shot, with them overlapping Levi’s face is amazing.
The best one of all though comes when Erwin, in a dazed state, slaps Levi’s hand away and the shot quickly transitions to the moment Erwin raised his hand as a child to ask his father about if humanity could survive outside the walls.
It is through this that Levi realizes Erwin is a slave to his dreams and it would be cruel to bring him back into this hell so he saves Armin.
Bertholdt’s final moments as he is devoured by him is both gory and tragic, leaving me feeling sorry for him despite all he had done.
The big death of the episode still goes to Erwin though, with music finally coming into the scene when Hange announces his passing, bringing me to tears once more.
Erwin may have been a devil, like Floch said, but he was an inspirational one.
I am also personally glad that Armin is the one who was chosen because, again, he is my favourite character.
Now, he is also the Colossal Titan, which is sure to bring many exciting moments because the scouts now have two Titan Shifters on their side.
Along with these emotional scenes, there are also many hints to future episodes.
The first one comes when Eren meets Zeke for the first time and it is revealed Zeke knows Eren’s father, believing him to have brainwashed them.
How exactly he knows Grisha is not revealed because of Levi’s interruption but, as a manga reader, I can tell you that when it is revealed it will be shocking.
Then there is Reiner, who is rescued by Zeke shortly afterwards but, before this, he begs Hange to deliver Ymir’s letter to Historia.
This means a certain moment from the manga is coming soon and I am very curious to see how it will be changed because I think it needs to be.
Anyway, next episode is the one the entire series has been building to, “The Basement” where the truth will be uncovered.
I cannot wait to see if it will top my new favourite episode of “Midnight Sun.”