I was quite excited for episodes 19 and 20 of the Final Season of Attack on Titan.
This is because they would be adapting some of my favourite chapters of the manga, Chapter 119, “Two Brothers”, and Chapter 121, “Memories of the Future”, the latter actually being my favourite of the story.
As for “Two Brothers”, it was adapted amazingly under director Teruyuki Omine, detailing the three tragedies between brothers that happen in this episode perfectly.
The episode begins with a thankfully small recap, as we only see Zeke fall from the Wall, as he did in the previous episode, before we get to the current content, which begins with Eren absolutely wrecking Porco when he tries to stop him from reaching Zeke.
However, he is stopped by yet another head shot from Pieck’s Titan canon, only for the Jeagerists, lead by Floch, to intervene.
This leads to a brutal shot adapted well from the manga, where a Jeagerist is killed by Pieck’s canon slamming into him.
Seeing this, Armin realizes they have to take out the Cart Titan if they are to have a chance at winning.
Mikasa then saves him from gunfire, since Armin took his eyes off the battle they are currently in while thinking ahead.
Connie takes out their attackers and the group move forward, with Armin deciding to take Pyxis’ advice to get behind the enemy.
We then cut to Zeke, who wakes up at the bottom of the wall, still in his Beast Titan form, and he sees Eren being attacked by Reiner, who tries to rally Porco to help him.
However, when Reiner reaches for Porco, he unintentionally activates a memory from Marcel, showing Porco how his brother badmouthed him to keep him from inheriting the Armoured Titan, all to protect him.
So starts the beginning of the brotherly tragedies in this episode, as Zeke decides to scream and transform every single Eldian who drank his poisoned wine into Titans.
It is at this moment that Colt runs onto the scene with Falco, begging Zeke to allow his little brother enough time to escape the range of Zeke’s scream.
This clearly strikes a cord with Zeke, who feels the same brotherly bond with Eren.
However, it is because of that bond that he cannot delay the transformations so, to protect his plan and Eren, he screams.
Right as Falco transforms, Colt holds him close telling him that he is there for him.
On that note, I will say that that I wish they had kept Colt’s line from the manga, telling Falco that his big brother would always be with him.
That said, the soundtrack to Falco, Pyxis, Nile and the other infected member of the military’s transformation is top notch, and it becomes even better when the Titan invasion music from the very first season begins to play.
It really reminded me of the attack on Trost at the beginning of the story, especially with some visual similarities, like one Titan peeking behind a building, similar to how the one who ate Thomas did in Season One.
The moment is made more horrifying with Reiner staring in horror at Falco’s disturbing Titan form, and Gabi seeing Colt’s burned body, looking quite similar to how Armin did when he almost sacrificed himself to defeat Bertholdt.
Taking advantage of the situation, Zeke orders Falco’s Titan to kill Reiner, giving Eren the oppurtunity to escape.
Before Eren can break free from Reiner’s grasp, though, Zeke is apparently fatally shot through the nape by Magath, as he, Pieck, and the other Marleyan soldiers have defeated Floch’s Jeagerists, with Floch being the only survivor again.
Just as Magath is about to land another shot on Eren’s head, Armin’s plan to get behind the enemy pays off, as he blows Pieck’s Titan canon up with a thunder spear, while Mikasa kills some more Marleyan soldiers aiming for Armin, including Koslo.
Speaking of, I like how the anime decided to include Koslo in this attack, leading to Mikasa killing him.
In the manga, he just disappears after the Marley Arc, so it was nice to see the anime give him an actual death, even if he is just a minor character who pretty much nobody cares about.
One character I do care about is Porco, who ends up robbing Reiner of his sacrifice, allowing Falco to eat him instead.
This is a great death for Porco for three reasons.
Number One: He is too injured to heal himself so will die anyway but, this way, his death can have meaning.
Number Two: By saving Falco, he is living up to his own brother Marcel’s legacy as a brother.
And Number Three: It is one last middle finger to Reiner, as he dies saying he was always better than him.
Honestly, Colt and Porco were kind of meh characters for me, but their deaths in this episode are so well written it makes me care about them.
Enraged over Porco’s death, Reiner attacks Eren with all of his strength, only for him to harden and then escape, running to finally meet Zeke, who was playing dead that whole time.
Jean and Connie aid Eren, shooting Reiner with Thunder Spears to clear his way.
Zeke screams for Eren to hurry, stretching out his hand as he approaches, only for Gabi to pick up Colt’s Anti-Titan Rifle and literally decapitate Eren with it.
Imagine if this was the cliffhanger for the episode.
Everyone would have lost it right?
Well, that’s how it was for us manga readers because that is exactly how Chapter 119 concludes.
I read this chapter in public and got a few weird looks as I audibly gasped at the sight of Gabi shooting Eren.
However, despite this, I never really blamed Gabi.
Eren still murdered a lot of her friends and, whatever his plan is, it cannot be good for Gabi’s family in Marley.
Besides, it’s not like Eren’s dead, as Zeke makes contact with his head before he can die.
Before this, though, we get a flashback to Eren and Zeke’s meeting in Liberio, where we see just how much Eren means to Zeke, but also get a hint of how Eren may be manipulating Zeke, as he does not catch the ball Zeke gives him as a sign of trust.
This flashback then cuts back to the present, where Zeke catches Eren’s head, and we get the adaptation of the memory shards, which are amazingly adapted, with a couple of interesting easter eggs.
From here, we have Eren entering the Paths with a chained up Zeke, who explains that he waited years in the Paths for Eren to be reformed and that the chains constricting him are there because of the King’s vow renouncing war, stopping those with royal blood from using the Founding Titan, so only Eren can command Ymir.
Speaking of, the little girl who saved Zeke at the beginning of the season is confirmed to be Ymir Fritz, the Founder of all Titans.
Zeke then begs Eren to complete their plan of sterilizing all Eldians, only to learn that it is not Eren’s plan at all, bringing yet more brotherly tragedy to an episode full of it.
When Zeke demands that Eren tell him why he betrayed him, Eren responds with his catchphrase of “because I was born into this world,” before asking Ymir to lend him her power, only for her to walk straight past him and bow before Zeke.
Zeke reveals to a confused Eren that because he was not influenced by the first king’s ideology when he arrived in Paths, he was able to eventually destroy the vow renouncing war, allowing him to take full control of the Founding Titan.
This allows Zeke to order Ymir, who sees him as her master, along with other royal blooded Titan users, since she has the mentality of a slave.
The original Titan Shifter being a slave this entire time is a really interesting twist that plays into the story much better than the idea of her being some kind of evil manipulator.
Now having full control of the Founding Titan, Zeke declares that he will “save” Eren before saving the world with him, pressing their heads togethor with a flash of Titan lightening, bringing an end to the episode.
Although, given the direction Episode 20 goes, this was definitely not the best of idea on Zeke’s part.
Overall, Episode 19 was a fantastic adaptation of Chapter 119 and parts of Chapter 120.
It did a great job of bringing the brotherly tragedies of Colt and Falco, Porco and Marcel, and Eren and Zeke to the screen.
One thing I find especially interesting with the memory shard adaptation is the inclusion of goth Mikasa and nerd Armin from the school alternate universe at the end of every Attack on Titan volume, along with the inclusion of the cover image of Reiner in a sauna.
I’m pretty sure the latter is just an easter egg but I think there may be a possibility that the school au could be included in the anime, specifically the final one at the end of the last volume where a modern day Eren, Mikasa and Armin seem to be watching the end of Attack on Titan in the movie threatre.
This could potentially be a post credits scene after the final episode or movie, if the leaks about that are right.
Now that I think about it, Eren and Mikasa watching Attack on Titan at the movies could have been Isayama’s subtle way of telling the readers that we were getting a movie for the ending.
However, I’m not really sure how I’d feel about the school alternate universe being included in the anime, since I’ve never really cared it, but it’s a possibility I wanted to bring up.