Spoiler Free Review:
I had to think over how I felt about the 21st episode of Attack on Titan’s third season, “Attack Titan.”
The reason for this is that, even though it has many fantastic moments, it also has some that drag it down for me.
The biggest of these scenes is actually my most hated from the manga.
It is admittedly a small moment but it still really annoys me with how badly it is written, so I was hoping they would improve the scene in the anime.
However, I did not expect them to make the scene even worse.
It just left me feeling angry about how badly this was thought out.
Sadly, this is not my only problem because “Attack Titan” has a twist that was only just revealed in the manga.
Moving it up like this has created some confusion among the anime’s fan base about what it means.
Along with this, I feel like revealing the twist here will limit a lot of the impact the moment that this was revealed had in the manga, when it is adapted.
Although, I cannot quite fault the episode for this now because that scene has yet to be adapted so I cannot tell if this is what will happen.
All of that said though, the rest of the episode is fantastic, mostly making up for these problematic bits.
While I do not like how one twist is revealed early, the other twists are delivered right on time and are just as shocking and impactful as they are in the manga.
They also raise a lot of interesting questions for anime only viewers to consider.
On top of this, I found the episode to be surprisingly hilarious during some points.
These moments did not really make me laugh when I read them first in the manga, but here I was clutching my stomach.
The music is once again a highlight, especially during the final moments of the episode, where the outro “Name of Love” plays over a scene brilliantly.
These standout scenes could all have come together to make “Attack Titan” a top ten favourite episode for me, however, the problematic moments got in the way of this.
Still, it is a great episode that will have a lot of people confused by the end, but in a good way.
Coming into “Attack Titan” I was pretty sure they were going to show that Ymir had died when Historia read her letter.
The reason for this?
Ymir’s backstory, which was shown here in the manga, had already been shown in season two so it made sense to replace it with her death.
I had my fingers crossed that they would use this opportunity to fix her death.
Granted, I knew I would be disappointed by it because of how much of a waste I think it is but I still hoped they could make me feel emotionally gut punched when her death was revealed.
Sadly, I was wrong because the death is made even worse than in the manga.
Not only is her death still off screen but the actual reveal is only two seconds long.
Seriously, I timed it.
This is so short that people will and have missed it.
I enjoy watching people react to the episodes online after they air, and only about one in ten people realise that this was revealing Ymir’s death.
The rest completely miss it.
If your audience does not realise that a character has been killed off then you have failed to give them a meaningful death.
All it would have required is ten additional seconds of seeing a chained up Ymir’s final moments as she is eaten by her successor and it would have been acceptable.
As for the other problem I have, “Attack Titan” also revealed that Ymir saw the Paths connecting to the Founding Titan after she ate Marcel and turned back into a human.
I find this problematic because when this was revealed in the manga it came alongside something else and was subtly implied in such a way that it was mind blowing.
Here it is just simply stated and is also generating some confusion among anime watchers.
I have actually seen people take this scene as meaning that Ymir is the Founding Titan, once again not realizing that she is dead.
As I said though, despite all this weighing the episode down, the rest of it is still fantastic.
The scenes between Grisha and Eren Kruger is wonderfully adapted, if cut a little short.
The mind blowing reveals that Eren is named after Kruger and that every Titan Shifter dies 13 years after they inherit their power, meaning Eren and Armin are going to die, are very well done.
What are, without a doubt, the bests twists of the episode, though, are Eren realizing that he could use the Founding Titan power because he touched Dina, a royal blooded Titan, and that Kruger somehow had memories of Mikasa and Armin from the future.
These twists are just as shocking and confusingly great as they are in the manga, with the “Name of Love” outro accompanying Kruger’s final scene being a great addition that adds plenty of emotion.
Hange is another standout of the episode, with her talking about Eren going through a phase and imitating his title reveal moment being particularly hilarious.
Speaking of the title reveal, it is funny that the title Attack on Titan is actually a mistranslation of the Japanese Shingeki no Kyojin, which translates to “Attack Titan.”
The name of Eren’s Titan is literally the title of the series and it is mistranslated in English, which is pretty funny.
Overall, “Attack Titan” is still a great episode, even if it weighed down by some aggravating moments like Ymir’s poorly written death reveal.
The next episode, “The Other Side of the Wall”, is the last episode of the season and potentially the last episode from Wit Studio.
I hope they do the manga justice but I do have some concerns.
They will most likely only be adapting Chapter 90, like “The Basement” episode only adapted Chapter 85 and that episode felt like it was padding for time.
Hopefully, if they do have to add some scenes to lengthen the episode then it feels like new necessary scenes, rather than just an excuse to add to the runtime.
Still, I am excited because that episode will have one of the most important scenes in the series’ history.