Spoiler Free Review:
Attack on Titan season three just ended and I miss it already.
It adapted the manga chapters excellently the entire way through, and the final episode, “The Other Side of the Wall”, is no exception.
Coming into this final episode, I was concerned that since only Chapter 90 would be adapted then the episode would need to add pointless scenes to lengthen the runtime.
Thankfully, all of the scenes that are added in “The Other Side of the Wall” serve a point and this all combines with the manga adapted scenes to create a somber and meaningful season finale.
“The Other Side of the Wall” adapts a scene I and many other manga readers have been waiting to see and it does not disappoint.
This moment almost brought a tear to my eye with its thematic weight, beautiful animation, and the way it continues to push Eren’s fantastic character development forward.
Eren is the standout of this episode with Yuki Kaji doing a fantastic job as per usual.
I am so excited to see Eren’s character arc continue in the final season because when I finished this arc in the manga Eren was a top 10 favourite character but the next arc makes him a top five favourite character, for me.
Along with Eren, other characters like Floch get their chance to shine.
Many people may not like him based on what he says this episode but it definitely makes you understand him as a character and what he stands for.
The episode also gives a look at how the society within the walls views the truth of situation and it is done very naturally.
The big scene of “The Other Side of the Wall” though is still its impactful and almost tear inducing ending.
The credits sequence is also pretty surprising, blending images from season one, the future final season, and even some images that I have no idea what they mean.
Overall, “The Other Side of the Wall” is my favourite Attack on Titan finale so far.
It may not have any action like season two’s finale “Scream”, but what this ending represents for the series and characters as a whole going forward makes it one of the most impactful episodes of the series.
As I said in the spoiler free review, I was concerned that “The Other Side of the Wall” would add scenes to lengthen the runtime, which would drag down the episode.
I feared this because another episode that adapted a single chapter, “The Basement”, did this and, as a result, I found that it lessened the episode’s impact.
Thankfully, this is not the case with “The Other Side of the Wall” because every single new scene adds to the character development.
This is most obvious in the scene right before the characters arrive at the sea, where they come across a Titan that can barely move.
Rather than kill it, Eren instead walks up to it and places a hand on its head, sympathetically calling it “a fellow patriot.”
This brilliant scene really shows how far Eren has come.
He has gone from wanting to kill all Titans at the beginning of the series to coming to understand them and even sympathize with them, understanding they are not the true threat.
In the manga, Eren just rode past the Titan while speaking that line so it was not portrayed as clearly how much Eren had changed.
After this great addition, the anime delivers the scene manga readers have been waiting forever to see, the ocean scene.
Watching this joyous moment where characters like Armin finally reach their goal of seeing the ocean is very emotional, even more so because of Eren’s undermining of it.
Rather than celebrating like the others, Eren realizes the threat they all face.
He knows now that reaching the ocean does not mean freedom for them but means they have an entirely new and more dangerous enemy to face.
This moment marks the first big separation Eren has with Mikasa and Armin.
While these two celebrate, Eren does not, and this divide will continue to expand in the final season, as shown by the separation of Eren and Armin in a small post credits scene.
Speaking of the credits though, they are full of many images from next season and even ones we have not seen yet.
There are two particular images I find to be of interest.
One is of a group of kids at some kind of school, and another is where it appears to literally be raining blood.
What the latter image means, I have no idea other than it must be terrible.
As for the image of the kids though, I have a few ideas.
The kid actually looks a lot like Gabi, a character we will meet in the next arc, but the lack of an armband, and with her friends nowhere in sight, makes me question this.
I have also heard people suggest a younger version of Willy Tyber’s sister, which would be interesting.
Whatever these shots may be of, they continue to how how excellent Attack on Titan is with its foreshadowing.
As for the other scenes of the episode, they are just as good, the other highlight being the ceremony where Eren and the rest of the nine survivors from the battle of Shiganshina are awarded medals.
Before this, Floch has a confrontation with Eren and Armin, declaring how he thinks Erwin should have been given the serum instead.
This not only gives us insight into Floch but Eren as well because we see this is the first time that Eren’s belief in the ocean representing freedom are questioned.
Just as he tells Armin he thinks they will be free if they reach the sea, he experiences a flash from his father’s memories of Fay’s dead body in the water.
This not only shows how they are far from free but is also an incredibly smart use of creative censorship.
Even though Fay’s body in the water covers up the gruesome image, it also brilliantly foreshadows that the water Eren and the others will see at the ocean means they are not free but rather in even more danger than before.
I usually criticize the censorship of Attack on Titan but this was such a smart use of it that it surprisingly manages to improve on the manga by adding new symbolic aspects.
“The Other Side of the Wall” is a fantastic season finale.
There may be no action, but the character development and symbolism of the episode is phenomenally handled.
With the final season being announced for 2020, it makes me wonder how long the manga has left?
I personally believe it will end around Chapter 130, which means 12 chapters left, and if I am right then Attack on Titan season four should start right after the manga ends, which would be cool.
Either way though, I just hope the series will get a satisfying conclusion that we all can enjoy, whether that ending is hopeful, tragic, or something in between.