After I saw season two of Attack on Titan, I became convinced that this anime was going to be one of the the most deep and well thought out series of recent years.
Needless to say, when season three finally started last year, I was overjoyed at being proven right.
Directed by Tetsuro Araki, Attack on Titan‘s third season adapts the Uprising and Return to Shiganshina Arcs from Hajime Isayama’s original manga and does it gloriously.
Both arcs are very different in tone, the first arc being more political while the second is more action oriented, and both are fantastic.
Many people were complaining about how, in two seasons, Attack on Titan was not delivering any answers to many of the burning questions fans had.
Well, this season gave us plenty of answers, and then some, in what has to be among the best exposition sequences of all time.
The anime spent so much time building up the basement reveal, and finally shows the history of the Titans in one big episode, “That Day.”
A lot was riding on this episode so it had to deliver big time, and it somehow did that in spades.
“That Day” is basically one big exposition dump and yet it is one of my favourite, if not my absolute favourite, episode of the entire series.
Although, it is a close call between that and “Midnight Sun” because both are amazing for very different reasons.
There are just so many mind blowing episodes in this second arc, which makes sense since it is the best one of the series so far.
As for the first arc of the season, the Uprising Arc, it is heavily changed from the manga, where it was a lot slower paced.
In the anime, many of the events in this arc were switched around or removed entirely to create a more natural flow, which I think worked out well.
Sure, it is a shame that some characters who got development in the manga did not get that here but the anime version is better paced for it, with great episodes like “Wish” delivering the perfect amount of action, exposition, and character drama.
That is another thing I especially love about this season: how it continues to develop its amazing cast of characters.
Armin, Erwin, Historia, Levi and Grisha are the definite standouts this season, with so much backstory and amazing moments given to them.
This results in some gut wrenching moments when these characters are at their lowest points, and some crowd pleasing moments when they are at their highest.
Even characters with smaller roles in the overall story, like Kenny and those introduced in Grisha’s backstory, are memorable and well developed.
Then there is the animation and music, which are both stellar.
Episodes like “Pain” and “Hero” show off the best animation the anime has had to date with Levi’s impressive skills.
One of the few parts where I found that the animation faltered was with the CGI Colossal Titan but the rest of the animation is so jaw dropping that it more than makes up for it.
As for the music, once again I will be adding many of these OSTs to my Spotify so I can listen to them over and over again.
I have said before that Attack on Titan has my favourite soundtrack of any series and this season topped many of the already amazing songs seen in the previous seasons.
This fantastic usage of animation and music helps to build on the suspense and action that is happening on screen.
With this, the story builds to a contemplative conclusion in “The Other Side of the Wall” where Eren is put at a crossroads, which will lead him to a point of no return next season.
Speaking of which, season four is confirmed to be the final season, and with the manga currently in its final arc, it looks like the anime and manga may be set to end around the same time.
I am very excited to see how Hajime Isayama will end his masterwork of a story.
However, It will be interesting to see if season four takes a break in between arcs, like season three did.
Actually, I think it will be more interesting to see whether of not we will be told, if it does happen.
This is my one big gripe with season three of Attack on Titan.
We only found out about the six month hiatus when the first arc ended, displaying a sad lack of communication on Wit Studio’s part.
This does not affect my opinion of the season, since the wait was more than worth it, but I would appreciate more transparency if this does happen again.
I also hope Wit Studio can work on Attack on Titan’s final season because rumors are still floating around that they may hand it over to another studio.
Overall, though, many people are now rightly calling Attack on Titan one of the best anime in modern times, and I am glad to see it getting this well deserved recognition.
I cannot wait for the final season where the story will go to much darker places and, hopefully, end on a satisfying note.