Attack on Titan OVA reviews

Attack on Titan season three premieres in a few days and I cannot wait.
So, in anticipation for it, I decided to review all of the OVAs so far.
I will be reviewing these from the weakest OVA to the strongest and will be counting two part OVA’s like No Regrets and Lost Girls as one.
Let’s get into it.

Distress:

Difficulty

3 stars
Distress is what I consider to be the weakest of the OVAs.
It simply follows the members of the 104th Cadet Corps on a training mission where they are ambushed by bandits.
After Krista is abducted, the cadets have to band together to rescue her, along with their stolen ODM gear.
This is an average OVA as it adds nothing to the anime and is merely just a side story.
There are a few things that detract from its quality though, as very obvious stock footage from season one is used.
Another detractor is Eren who is his typical, unlikable, season one self.
He was especially annoying in this OVA because he made a terrible decision, which could have got everyone killed.
However, this OVA does have some things I really like at the same time.
The bandits are not portrayed as entirely evil as it is established that they do have families, which was a nice addition.
Along with this, characters who previously died like Marco feature prominently in this and it is good to see them again in the spot light.
Overall, this OVA is average.
It is entertaining but if you decide not to watch it it will not change your viewing experience of the anime.

A Sudden Visitor:

Sudden Visitor

3 and a half stars
This, this is how you do a parody.
Watching Sudden Visitor I could not help but be reminded of the awful Attack on Titan live adaptation miniseries episode The Departure of Freedom, but in a good way.
This is because Sudden Visitor achieved what the miniseries episode could not by making an actual funny parody.
This OVA is about a cooking competition between Jean and Sasha.
Yes, you heard right, a cooking contest in Attack on Titan. 
Surprisingly, this does end badly because the humor is spot on.
There is actually quite a bit of meta humor because this OVA adapts fake gag previews Attack on Titan‘s writer Hajime Isayama put in the manga, to hilarious results.
Sasha and Pyxis are especially funny in this OVA, with one scene where Pyxis has a vision leaving me in tears of laughter.
Still, this OVA does have its downsides as, once again, Eren is unlikable due to his treatment of Mikasa.
Also I hope this OVA is not canon because, even though it is very funny, it does not fit the tone of Attack on Titan.
A Sudden Visitor is 
a good parody but not something that I think should be canon.

Ilse’s Notebook:

Ilse's journal

4 stars
Ilse’s Notebook 
is a unique OVA because it is the only one of the five to actually feature in the Attack on Titan manga.
Sure No Regrets and Lost Girls were mangas but they were spin offs and not part of the official manga.
That being said, I can understand why Ilse’s Notebook was made into an OVA and not featured in the anime.
This is because it gives a massive hint towards Ymir being a Titan Shifter.
The OVA features Hange and Levi discovering a notebook from a dead soldier named Ilse Lagnar who, in her final moments, wrote down that she had communicated with a Titan who said “Ymir’s people” and called her “Ymir.”
This would have made it pretty easy for people to guess that Ymir was a Titan Shifter so Ilse’s Journal was made into an OVA, instead of being included in the anime, to make this twist more surprising.
As for the OVA itself, it is really enjoyable with both funny and dark moments and watching it does add context to some episodes of the anime, like Children. 
I do wish it was added to the anime because it would have added an extra layer to the story but Ilse’s Journal is still a great OVA that explains some things from the anime.

No Regrets:

No Regrets

4 stars
No Regrets is the OVA that goes into the backstory of fan favourite character Levi by showing how he joined the Survey Corps.
The OVA reveals that Levi was a criminal who taught himself how to use the ODM gear with his friends Farlan and Isabel.
However, the three were captured by Erwin Smith who forced them to join the Survey Corps, but Levi and his friends had also secretly been hired by a nobleman to kill Erwin.
From there the story grows showing how Levi came to trust Erwin and lost his friends.
One thing I really liked about this OVA was how it made me care for Farlan and Isabel, despite their short amount of screen time, and how their friendship with Levi was perfectly portrayed.
This OVA also not only has some great use of animation and music but, without a doubt, the creepiest Titan in all of Attack on Titan. 
The Titan that kills Farlan and Isabel is very disturbing and really showed how powerful Titans could be.
However, there was one thing that did hold this episode back for me and that was Erwin. He felt out of character in this OVA when he reflected on his dead men and Levi’s friends, calling their deaths “pathetic.”
This is not something that Erwin would do as every death of a Survey Corps soldier weighs on him.
Other than that though,  No Regrets was still a great OVA and the second best overall.

Lost Girls:

Lost Girls

4 and a half stars
Lost Girls 
is the best OVA of Attack on Titan so far in my opinion.
The plot follows Annie trying to solve a woman’s disappearance the day before she goes on her mission to capture Eren.
The reason this is my favourite OVA is because it made me care for and understand Annie as a character.
After watching Annie’s arc so far in the series I did not really know how she felt about carrying out her mission, like I did with Reiner and Bertholdt, and as a result that made her a much less interesting character. 
Lost Girls really clears this up though, giving us insight into not only Annie as a character but how her past has shaped her.
This OVA also has some great fight sequences and action segments, the best of which where Annie partially transforms to escape her attackers.
The mystery of the missing woman is pretty interesting as well but the real highlight is, once again, Annie and what we learn about her.
It made me want Annie to wake up from the crystal in the anime so we can learn more about her.
I consider Lost Girls to be the best Attack on Titan OVA because of how it took a character I did not understand and made her very relatable.

Top 10 Westworld Characters

Warning: Major spoilers for the show. 

10. Logan Delos – Played by Ben Barnes

Logan finale

In the first season of Westworld Logan was a very one-dimensional character.
He just wanted to sleep with and murder every host in the park and there was very little complexity to him.
After the first season I would have said he was one of the show’s worst characters but then season two came along and changed everything.
In season two we got to see a different side to Logan.
In episodes like Reunion, Kiksuya and The Passenger we saw how Logan’s near death experience in the park had shaped him into a broken man with a serious drug addiction.
It was genuinely sad to see someone who was once so confident become a shell of his former self.
It turned Logan from the completely unsympathetic character we saw in the first season to the broken relatable character and this was just enough to put him on the list.

9. Charlotte Hale – Played by Tessa Thompson

Charlotte_Hale.jpg

Like Logan, Charlotte is not a character with a lot of moral complexity.
Throughout her time on the show she stayed pretty much the same, with her willing to stoop to any low, including murder, to keep Delos out of a scandal.
This can be seen with how she murdered Elsie in The Passenger. 
But what made Charlotte different from Logan was her personality.
Logan’s main characteristic was his desire to do whatever he wanted but Charlotte hides her willingness to do bad things with diplomacy, which she attempts on both Ford and Elsie at different times.
I am pretty sure the only reason she did not kill Ford was because of how much of a public figure he was and how much attention this would bring.
When we are first introduced to Charlotte it is pretty apparent that she is corrupt but her diplomacy makes us think she would rather have someone else kill than do the dirty work herself, which is definitely not the case.
This makes her an engaging character as you never know if she is just going to talk to someone or shoot them.

8. Ashley Stubbs – Played by Luke Hemsworth

Ashley Stubbs.jpg

Stubbs is a likeable character but one that has not had that much screen time as of season two.
He did not make that much of an impression on me in the first season but in season two he really grew on me.
Stubbs is loyal above all else and sticks to his values, doing what he believes to be right.
It was even heavily hinted at in The Passenger that he may be a host who was created by Ford, when he lets Charlotte/Dolores go.
This implication brings more depth to his character as we had seen signs that he did not agree with what was happening to the hosts previously, like with what happened to Peter Abernathy.
However, even more implications are abound if he turns out not to be a host because of what other reason he could have for letting Charlotte/Dolores escape.
Stubbs is an interesting character who has not had much screen time yet but hopefully he will be more important in season three.

7. Lee Sizemore – Played by Simon QuartermanLee Sizemore

I was incredibly surprised watching Lee Sizemore’s character arc in Westworld season two because he went from one of the show’s worst characters to one with a fantastic redemption arc.
In the first season Sizemore was nothing more than an annoying, corporate, sleazeball who would most likely win the narcissist of the year award.
This is why it was so surprising to see him redeem himself and actually become a heroic figure in that second season.
The moment where he apologizes to Maeve in Kiksuya was a defining moment for him and his heroic death in The Passenger is one of Westworld‘s saddest scenes.
Sure, Sizemore is an incredibly annoying character in the first season but he needed to be in order for his redemption arc to work and it definitely does, in amazing fashion.
This arc propelled Sizemore from easily one of the show’s worst characters to my seventh favourite character.

6. Robert Ford – Played by Anthony Hopkins

Robert Ford

Anthony Hopkins is a fantastic actor with many amazing roles but his role as Robert Ford in Westworld might be one of his best.
One of the creators of the park, Ford is the mastermind of the series, constantly pulling strings from behind the scenes, even after his apparent death.
He is also seen to consider himself somewhat of a god and this narcissism leads him to commit heinous acts, like forcing Bernard to murder Theresa in Trompe L’Oeil.
However, even though he is capable of extreme cruelty, Ford is a lot more complex as he seems to feel sympathy towards the hosts and their constant abuse.
This can be seen by him slowly constructing their eventual revolution and how he helps out Akecheta by telling him when to led his people to the Door in Kiksuya. 
Ford is both entertaining and enthralling, not just because he is a great character but because of Hopkins’ incredible performance.

5. Akecheta – Played by Zahn McClarnon

Akecheta

The character of Akecheta is a real achievement in my eyes because they made him my fifth favourite character of the show with just one episode, Kiksuya.
Before this episode Akecheta had been featured but only briefly and had yet to make a significant impact.
Kiksuya changed all of this because it served as Akecheta’s origin story and how he became the first conscious host.
This episode succeeded spectacularly because it really made me sympathize with Akecheta and his journey to find Kohana.
Akecheta is a very noble character, wanting to lead all the hosts to safety, and his story is very touching and really made me connect with his character.
Again, all of this in one episode.
His story arc there was so good that I was literally cheering when he made it to the virtual world with the other hosts in the season two finale.
Akecheta is another fantastic character but is unique in that he became one of my favourites in just one episode.

4. Bernard Lowe – Played by Jeffrey Wright

Bernard Lowe

Oh, poor Bernard.
He has probably had it rougher than any other character in the entire show.
He has discovered he is a host, been forced to kill his girlfriend and many other terrible things, had his memories erased a bunch of times and these are only some of the many awful things that have happened to him.
However, Bernard never gives up and he always strives for what he believes to be right.
Even when his views change he still strives to do good and this will obviously continue to season three if the season two finale is any indication.
Bernard is a truly sympathetic character as things constantly seem to go wrong for him but he never gives up.
His character arc in season two is especially good, with him learning that if you want to change things for the better you cannot always keep your hands clean.
Jeffrey Wright also gives a great performance as Bernard.
Like Anthony Hopkins, his casting was perfect and only made Bernard an even better character through his performance.

3. William AKA the Man in Black – Played by Ed Harris and Jimmi Simpson

William

We now go from one of the show’s most sympathetic character to easily its most despicable with William, the Man in Black.
When the Man in Black showed up in the first episode of Westworld, The Original, there was an instant aura of mystery surrounding his character and his mission.
Everyone watching the show wanted to know who this guy was.
Who would have thought that the dark and sociopathic Man in Black was actually the mild, good-natured William?
Well, everyone actually.
Yeah, even though this twist was figured out by pretty much everybody very early on, it was still engaging to watch William’s transformation into this monster.
It only got better from there as William had a very engaging arc in season two.
In the beginning it looked like he was going to have a redemption arc because of episodes like Riddle of the Sphinx but this was immediately thrown out the window when he murdered his daughter in Vanishing Point.
During the post-credit scene at the end of the season it actually appeared that William had succeeded in having his consciousness transferred into a host body so it will be interesting to see the implications of this.
William is not one of my favourite characters because I like him (I actually do not) but because of his growth due to his despicable nature.

2. Dolores Abernathy – Played by Evan Rachel Wood

Dolores

Evan Rachel Wood delivers what is, in my opinion, the best performance of the entire show as Dolores.
The only reason she is not my favourite character is because I relate to my number one choice just a bit more than her.
It was tough though because I am constantly flip flopping on which of these two is my favourite character of Westworld.
As I was saying, Wood gives a fantastic performance that is definitely award worthy because she portrays both Dolores’ softer side and her crueler Wyatt side perfectly.
One minute she is calm and soothing the next she is demented and cold.
Watching Dolores grow like this and gradually expand the nature of her reality (see what I did there?) was great to watch in both seasons.
I instantly sympathized with Dolores and because of this it made her far more relatable when she became a villain in season two because I understood her motives and why she was resorting to such extremes.
Dolores is truly a fantastic character with an amazing performance behind the character.

1. Maeve Millay – Thandie Newton

Maeve

Maeve goes down as my favourite character in all of Westworld so far because of her amazing character development, cool scenes and great performance by Thandie Newton.
As I said, I have been constantly switching between Maeve and Dolores as to which one is my favourite character but, at the end of the day, I just relate to Maeve’s story more.
Her desire to find and protect her daughter is both touching and engaging as she initially denies this connection but then accepts her feelings and breaks from Ford’s loop to find her.
Naturally, their reunion does not end well with it being revealed that another mother has been programmed for Maeve’s daughter.
However, it does end on a bittersweet moment with Maeve helping both her daughter and her daughter’s new mother escape through the Door before she is tragically killed.
While it does look like Maeve will be back for season three, if she really did die for real here it would be a fantastic way for her to go out.
Along with this touching story, Maeve has many other cool moments like when she learns to control hosts with her mind in Akane No Mai and further develops that power until she can control a full on mob of hosts.
To top it all of, Newton also gives a fantastic performance as Maeve, which helped to further connect me with her character.
Maeve is an amazing character that truly highlights Westworld’s characters and their arcs.

Top 10 Attack on Titan Songs

Warning: This list contains spoilers for the anime. 

Attack on Titan has quickly become not only my favourite anime but one of my favourite shows ever.
This is not just because of its gripping story and characters but also due to its exceptional music, which is the best of any show I have ever seen.
The music manages to convey various emotions in me, depending on the scene, and highlights the tension and atmosphere of said scenes.
So I decided to count down my top ten favourite songs from the anime.
I will not only be placing these based on how good the individual songs are but also on how they are used in the show.

10. AOTs2M他1

This song has not been used often in Attack on Titan, as far as I can tell it has only been used twice, but that does not change that is still both a haunting and spirit raising piece of music.
This is apparent through how the song is used because a different part of it is used in each scene it is played and each conveys a different meaning.
The first use of it is in season 2 episode ten, Children, when Ymir goes to capture Historia. Here the music goes from building tension to flat out exploding into a violin musical score reminiscent of Barricades, which we will get to later.
This use of music gets the viewer ready for what is to come and has them both routing for Ymir and the Survey Corps coming to rescue Eren.
The second time it is used is in the very next episode, Charge, where the Titan that ate Eren’s mother makes its reappearance.
The part of AOTs2M他1 played here is much more somber and darker, and really highlights Eren’s horror at seeing this Titan again.
AOTs2M他1 is a great song with its ability to make me both feel dread and excitement at what is happening.

9. Bauklotze

Bauklotze plays even less than AOTs2M他1 (only once) but it is such a great song and the way it is implemented in the scene it is played in is so perfect that I just had to place it higher.
Unlike the previous song though, this one has lyrics.
These are in German and speak of both destruction and creation.
Bauklotze came at a very pivotal time in the series for me because it was played in season one episode nineteen, Bite, and it was this very moment that Eren finally got the character development he sorely needed.
It was in this moment that Eren decided to trust his squad mates, thus growing as a character.
The song was perfect to play for this scene because of what would later happen because of this scene and how energetic the song is.
Bauklotze  is a very spirit raising song and whenever I think of Bite I cannot help but think of this song because of how good it is and how it perfectly matched the scene.

8. APETITAN

APETITAN is a song that is played throughout the second season of Attack on Titan but primarily serves as the theme for the mysterious Beast Titan.
This song is very haunting with the energetic sense of danger it has to it, enhanced by the gruesome things that happen in the anime when this song plays.
This was the song played when Miche was brutally ripped apart by the Titans, and it was the song played when the Survey Corps attempted to get Eren back from the Armoured Titan only for most of them to be devoured by the Titans.
This song’s freakish nature also excellently reflects that of the Beast Titan and the mystery his character holds.
Throughout the many times this song was played in the season I never got tired of it because it almost always played different sections of the song, only repeating the truly horrifying or enthralling moments.
APETITAN is one of the most haunting themes in all of Attack on Titan through how it is used in the series and how it reflects the Beast Titan.

7. Vogel im Kafig

Much like AOTs2M他1, Vogel im Kafig is a song that conveys the feelings of both hope and dread to the audience through how its music is utilized.
Once again with German lyrics, The song was primarily used in season one and has many standout uses.
Chief among these is the moment when Eren’s mother, Carla, is eaten by a Titan.
As this disturbing scene plays out in slow motion the song plays at full boom, displaying the full horror of the situation in a chilling fashion that makes it far more disturbing than the APETITAN song.
However, as I said, this song is also used to convey hope because it is also played when Eren transforms into a Titan, both when Mikasa thinks about what he could be and in the flashback where Eren actually transforms.
Eren’s transformation is by far the most powerful of these two, with it conveying horror in the beginning when Eren wakes up in the stomach of the Titan surrounded by dead bodies.
The music then morphs into triumphant and hopeful as soon as Eren transforms.
What makes these different feelings of dread and hope created by this song so amazing is that it is the same section of Vogel im Kafig being played in both these scenes.
This song manages to capture both dread and hope in completely different scenes with the same music and that makes it a sure highlight.

6. Barricades

Hear this song once and good luck getting out of your head.
Every time I listen to Barricades it gets stuck in my head for at least a couple of days.
However, this is not a bad thing because Barricades is another amazing song that sings about freedom and breaking free from what is holding you back.
The song is played in the final episode of season two, Scream, in one of the few triumphant moments of the episode, when Historia declares to Ymir that from now on they should “live for no one but ourselves,” before launching herself at an attacking Titan.
This song is both energetic, triumphant and, above all else, catchy.
Barricades will get stuck in your head for days but you will not want it to leave.

5. Call Your Name

Another truly powerful Attack on Titan song, Call Your Name is one of the best songs from the first season of the anime.
This is apparent through how many heroic and triumphant scenes this is played in, primarily when Eren blocks the hole in Trost District and when Jean and the others join the Survey Corps.
I always find myself singing along with the lyrics whenever this song plays in the anime and it always has a huge hand in elevating each scene it plays it.
The song starts off slow, with a simple piano playing along with the lyrics before it explodes into a crescendo with an electric guitar.
This helps to build up each scene to its triumphant moment and gives these scenes a much bigger impact.
This song was so good that it got an updated version in the Lost Girls OVA, which is also pretty good.
Call Your Name is a fantastic song that really highlights the triumphant moments of the series.

4. EREN The Coordinate

EREN The Coordinate is a particularly long piece of music, coming in at over six minutes, but it is a truly great one as, once again, it manages to highlight so many of the series’ triumphant and emotional moments.
A prime example of this is when it plays during Bertholdt’s confession during Charge, where he admits he is horrified by the things he has done.
The use of this song here could not have been better because it perfectly highlighted not only Bertholdt’s anguish but the conflicted feelings of the other 104th cadets at the realization that two of their friends were traitors.
Then there is the final triumphant outburst of the song where it bursts into a crescendo, which is played when Sasha risks her life to save the little girl in I’m Home, and in the final scene of season two Erwin declares that one day “this wall hiding the truth will fall.”
The use of EREN The Coordinate‘s crescendo for this scene was amazingly done as it highlighted the triumphant moments of these scenes, especially during that final scene of the second season.
EREN The Coordinate is a long song, but one that encompasses many emotional and triumphant moments seen throughout season two.

3. Call of Silence

Call of Silence is, without a doubt in my mind, the most powerful song in Attack on Titan.
It is used during Ymir’s flashback, in Children, when she wakes up after 60 years of being a Titan and realizes she is free to live the life she wants.
Although a short song in comparison with the others, Call of Silence is incredibly memorable because of how powerful its lyrics are and how it makes the already fantastic scene it features in even better.
The lyrics sing about rebirth and living your life and this really resonates with the scene of Ymir waking up.
The combination of this powerful song and the emotional scene it is played in made me cry the first time I heard it in the anime.
One of the most somber and inspiring songs of Attack on Titan, Call of Silence is a song I think about every time I remember Ymir.

2. Attack on Titan

The best song from the first season of the show and the second best overall, Attack on Titan is not just named after the show but is another highlight in the series’ songs.
It is played throughout season one and has numerous memorable uses, from Armin, Jean and Reiner’s battle with the Female Titan, to my favourite usage of it during Eren’s transformation in Mercy.
The use of Attack on Titan during this scene was fantastic as it built up the tension and the German lyrics related greatly to the scene.
Attack on Titan is very similar to the the first intro of season one, Guren no Yumiya, because both songs speak of the struggles against the Titans.
Whenever Attack on Titan explodes into its chorus about fighting it always manages to wrack up the tension of the scenes it is played in even higher and never fails to get me excited about what is to come.
This song is truly fantastic but the one reason it is not at number one is because I feel it is a bit overused in the series as it popped up at least five times in the first season before reappearing once in the second season.
Still, its overuse does not change the fact that Attack on Titan is still a fantastic song that never fails to raise the tension of the show whenever it is played.

1. YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T

Now we come to my favourite song in all of Attack on Titan, YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T. 
Whenever I think of Attack on Titan’s music this is the song I automatically think of.
YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T is essentially a second version of Vogel im Kafig and it improves on that already fantastic song.
This new version of the song has two parts: it’s grand opera-like beginning and its explosive second part.
Both of these parts are played in the incredible twist that Reiner and Bertholdt were the Armoured and Colossal Titans the entire time.
Given that this means they are responsible for Eren’s mother’s death and Vogel im Kafig was the song played during that moment, this makes the placement of YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T here perfect because it makes the reveal and Carla’s death mirror each other.
This song also perfectly highlights Eren’s horror at learning two of the people he trusted were responsible for such atrocities.
Thus this song creates the feeling of shock, amazement and horror whenever I hear it, perfectly encapsulating the feelings of Attack on Titan. 
YouSeeBIGGIRL/T.T is the best song of Attack on Titan because it is not only an amazing song but fits in perfectly with the various emotions the scene it is played in conveys.

Skyscraper – Basically Die Hard but with The Rock.

3 stars
Have you ever wondered what Die Hard would be like if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in it?
If this applies to you then Skyscraper is definitely your kind of movie.
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thuber, Skyscraper stars The Rock as Will Sawyer a government agent turned security consultant and family man after a horrific accident amputated his leg.
After Sawyer’s family is trapped in the world’s tallest Skyscraper, The Pearl, with terrorists hoping to get something from its creator Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), its up to Sawyer to rescue them and stop the terrorists.
Skyscraper is nothing new as it heavily takes influence from Die Hard and a bunch of its imitators.
However, if anything the film seems to embrace its Die Hard influence based on that poster.

Skyscraper
This poster is either incompetent plagiarism at its worst or a loving homage to Die Hard.

That being said, even though I could not watch this movie without thinking of Die Hard, Skyscraper is still an enjoyable action flick with quite a few entertaining set pieces.
The acting is solid with The Rock once again turning in a likable performance and his character’s wife (Neve Campbell) and their children are also well acted.
These characters’ likability is enhanced by the action they are involved in with the final action sequence being particularly entertaining through how its environment was utilized.

Don't fall.jpg
The action of Skyscraper is genuinely good with its action set pieces.

The action even made me like the minor characters as well.
The body guard Ajani Okeke (Adriam Holmes) for example, was a minor character but one of the things he did during this movie was very heroic and made me like his character, even with he had very limited screen time.
However, even though the characters were likeable and some of the action was pretty entertaining, this film just could not escape its Die Hard influence.
On top of this, some elements of the film did not make that much sense.
(Minor spoilers here) For example, people were cheering on Sawyer during his heroic efforts in the movie but at that point the media was stating he was involved in the terrorist attack so it did not make sense for the crowds to be cheering him on.
Still Skyscraper was an enjoyable film despite its problems.
You will have fun with it but will have a hard time separating it from Die Hard.

Top 10 Westworld Episodes

Warning: Major spoilers for the series. 

10. Les Ecorches – Season two, episode seven. 

Les Ecorches

Les Ecorches is probably the most action packed episode in all of Westworld.
It features Dolores’ attack on the Mesa to get her fathers’s core drive.
This led to many intense moments, including the best in the entire episode when Charlotte tried to talk Dolores down only to learn that may not have been the best idea.
This was such a great scene with Evan Rachel Wood and Tessa Thompson both giving great performances.
Speaking of which, it is also great to compare Thompson’s performance from the past timeline to the present one in this episode.
Her performance as Charlotte in the past and Dolores acting as Charlotte in the present really hinted at the season two finale’s epic twist.
There was also the great confrontation between Maeve and William, and Ford and Bernard.
It was great to have Anthony Hopkins back in this episode and his interactions with Jeffrey Wright as Bernard were fantastic.
The one reason this episode is not higher on the list is because of the scene where that soldier stupidly allowed Angela to get close enough to grab his grenade.
That scene draws me out of the moment every time so held the episode back.
Other than this though, Les Ecorches is a great episode that definitely deserves the number ten spot.

9. Akane No Mai – Season two, episode five.

Akane No Mai

Akane No Mai was the episode that reinstated Maeve as my favourite character of the show.
She just had so many fantastic moments in this episode from her learning how to control hosts with her mind to her trying to help Akane free Sakara and connecting with her due to her mothering side.
The other factor that makes this episode a real highlight is the exploration of Shogun World, which hopefully we will get to see more of in season three because we do not know what happened to characters like Akane and Musashi.
It was great to see Sizemore’s plagiarized versions of the characters from Westworld played out in Shogun World and how that changed due to Japanese culture.
The final scene where Akane murders the shogun and then Maeve takes full control of her new ability is both gruesome and a fantastic cliffhanger to led into the next episode.
There are also scenes in Westworld with Dolores changing Teddy’s code to make him more violent, which thankfully made him a more interesting character for me.
Overall, Akane No Mai was a fantastic episode with great moments from Maeve and an interesting in depth look at Shogun World.

8. Dissonance Theory – Season one, episode four.

Dissonance Theory

Dissonance Theory was the first amazing episode of Westworld, being the fourth episode of the first season.
This is in part due to its standout scenes, chief of which was the memorable conversation between Theresa and Ford where he warns her to stay out of his way.
What was most unnerving about this scene was how Theresa suddenly realised that Ford sat them at the exact table she and her parents sat at when she first visited the park.
Hopkins, once again delivers an amazing performance as Ford and really highlights his god complex.
Another standout scene was William and Hector’s prison break, which had some great moments including the repeated shot of Lawrence’s face as William and Hector gun down the men around him.
Maeve is another character who gets a lot of the spotlight in this episode as she is one of the first hosts to fully realise that her world is not real.
This showed just how bright of a character she was, despite technically later being revealed to being programmed to do this by Ford.
Dissonance Theory was the first excellent episode of Westworld with numerous standout scenes that made me love its characters.

7. Contrapasso – Season one, episode five.

Contrapasso

“I imagined a story where I did not have to be the damsel,” Dolores said right after gunning down the Confederate soldiers.
With that single line Dolores became my favourite, before Maeve took her place.
This is one of my favourite scenes in Westworld and really highlights how good the rest of this episode is in comparison.
Contrapasso showed us just how ruthless William was because he murdered Lawrence, his supposed friend, to revive Teddy just so he could complete his quest.
He even considered killing the child version of Ford but decided not to because he would not have enough blood in him, talk about psychopathic.
However, this episode was not just dark but somewhat funny as well, which can be seen when Elsie blackmailed the necrophiliac.
It was both creepy yet funny to see this guy get caught in the act.
Coming back to Dolores, there was the intense scene between her and Ford, in which both Hopkins and Wood gave fantastic performances.
Contrapasso was the episode that made Dolores my favourite character and made me understand characters like William very well so it comes in at number seven.

6. The Passenger – Season two, episode ten.

The Passenger

The 90 minute season finale of Westworld season two, The Passenger was a great way to end the season, with its own mind blowing twist.
It is revealed this episode that the Charlotte we had been seeing in the present timeline had actually been Dolores in a host Charlotte body the entire time.
The delivery of this twist was brilliant and props go to Tessa Thompson who pulled off a Dolores impersonation perfectly.
This episode also had a lot of emotional moments as well.
There was the deaths of Maeve and her crew, although it looks like they will be back in season three, and the sacrifice of Lee Sizemore.
Sizemore’s sacrifice was especially well done and perfectly concluded his character arc.
The finale was not all sad though because some characters, like Akecheta, did get a much deserved happy ending, if this is the last time we see them.
The episode even ended with Bernard walking through a door, doors being a central goal for many characters to go through this season.
There were also various things hinting towards the third season like Stubbs hinting that he may be a host and the post-credit scene where William appears to have transferred his mind to a host body.
I have heard quite a few people did not like how this episode went but, personally, I think it was the perfect way to end the season.
The Passenger may not have been as good as the season one finale but it was still a fantastic episode with a great twist and emotional moments.

5. The Bicameral Mind – Season one, episode ten.

The Bicameral Mind

The season one finale of Westworld is the better of the two season finales.
One of the things that makes it such a great finale was that if the show ended there I would have been satisfied.
This finale ended all the questions it set up and the only thing the audience was left wondering was what would happen to the characters next.
The episode’s structure was also amazing because it began with Dolores waking up for the first time and ending with her achieving consciousness and killing Ford.
Another thing that makes this structure so brilliant is that if you pay attention to the music at the beginning and end of the episode you will notice it is the exact same music Arnold said was his son Charlie’s favourite.
This music is also played when Arnold is killed so this music really does come to symbolize stages of life.
Birth in the opening scene with Dolores’ creation, death with Dolores killing Arnold and Ford and freedom when Dolores breaks free from her code by murdering Ford.
This episode also had some great reveals like that the Man in Black was William the entire time and the events seen with William and Delores were taking place 30 years ago.
The Bicameral Mind also had the attempted escape by Maeve from Westworld, where she also gains consciousness by defying Ford’s commands and going back into the park to save her daughter.
Overall this season finale was the better of the two with not only a few great twists but powerful character moments as both Dolores and Maeve achieved consciousness.
If we had not got a season two after this episode I would not have been bothered then but now I am so glad that we did.

4. Trompe L’Oeil – Season one, episode seven.

Trompe L'oeil

Trompe L’Oeil, is the seventh episode of season one and has the second best twist of the entire show.
This twist being the reveal that Bernard was a host all along.
Watching the episode slowly build up to the actual reveal is a delight with the most apparent hint coming when Bernard asked Theresa, “what door?”
What followed the actual reveal was a gripping conversation between Ford and Theresa, with Ford calling back to Charlotte’s recommendation for “a blood sacrifice”.
The music also goes along amazingly with this moment being both sad and enthralling.
Theresa’s death at the hands of Bernard was sad to see and what he did would weigh heavily on him in the coming episodes.
The episode also had a few good action sequences as well to keep things exciting before this explosive reveal with Lawrence, Dolores and William fighting the Confederates and Ghost Nation.
More hints are also dropped here also for future reveals like William being the Man in Black, as can be seen when Lawrence told him he had a “knack for killing.”
Trompe L’Oeil had numerous hints towards future explosive twists in the series, including its own twist that left me stunned the first time I saw it play out.

3. The Well Tempered Clavier – Season one, episode nine.

The Well-Tempered Clavier

If the twist that Bernard was the second best twist of Westworld, then the twist in The Well Tempered Clavier that Bernard was a host made in the image of Arnold is by far the best of the entire series.
This twist, in true Westworld fashion, was revealed amazingly well with the entire episode building to Bernard’s revelation as Maeve makes him remember that he is a host.
The build up to the twist also has some incredibly emotional moments like when Bernard had to let go of Charlie’s memory to learn the truth.
However, although this did mark a positive change for Bernard this episode also marked a bad change for William, as he came closer to becoming the Man in Black.
This episode was the perfect transition episode for him, making the twist in The Bicameral Mind make sense.
Things like William’s photo of his fiancee Juliet and his knife all served to hint the viewer towards this future revelation.
As well as this, The Well-Tempered Clavier had a lot of intense moments, like the older William nearly being hanged by a horse.
The Well-Tempered Clavier is my favourite episode of the first season of Westworld and my third favourite overall because of how it delivers the best twist in the show, along with its insightful hints and intense scenes.

2. Riddle of the Sphinx – Season two, episode four.

Riddle of the sphinx

The second best episode of season two and of all of Westworld in my opinion, Riddle of the Sphinx is a fantastic episode that focuses on the struggles of William and Bernard.
This episode gave us plenty of insight into both characters and the secrets they were hiding.
William’s character development was the best this episode as it featured him semi-redeeming himself by saving Lawrence and his family from the Confederates Teddy spared in the previous episode.
Through this we got to see for the first time how the death of William’s wife had affected him and this led to an amazing scene where William told Major Craddock he was death himself.
Then there was the ending twist where William reunited with his daughter Emily, which if you watched the rest of the season you know did not end well.
There was also Bernard who reunited with Elsie, which did also not end well by the end of the season.
Together the two investigated the laboratory where James Delos had been kept.
This was the episode that revealed that Delos was striving to create immortality for humanity and even brought this into question by seeing the slow progression of James Delos and how William initially starts the experiment hopeful but by the the last time he visits he has become disillusioned.
The twist where Elsie and Bernard actually run into the now insane Delos was a really good one and added more intensity to the episode.
With great character development for its characters and exciting scenes, Riddle of the Sphinx is my second favourite Westworld episode.

1. Kiksuya – Season two, episode eight.

Kiksuya

Coming into Kiksuya I expected it to be an average episode at best because it was an origin story of a character we knew next to nothing about.
So I was amazed to discover that Kiksuya was not just an incredible episode but the best episode of Westworld so far.
This episode took the forgettable side character of Akecheta and turned him into one of my favourite characters.
The fact that they took a character I barely noticed and put him in my top ten best characters in a single episode is nothing short of amazing.
The episode, as I stated, shows the origins of Akecheta and how he became the first conscious host.
What followed was a heartfelt story full of love, determination and tragedy.
The scene where Akecheta finds Kohana only to realise she is effectively brain dead and he will most likely never see her again is heartbreaking.
Zahn McClarnon did a fantastic job as Akecheta and the emotion he showed during this scene made me cry, the only time so far in Westworld.
McClarnon was not the only fantastic actor in this episode though, as Anthony Hopkins appears as Ford again and the two share a scene where both got to show off their great acting skills.
The cinematography for this episode is stunning with sprawling landscapes on display and the music fits the episode perfectly.
The use of the song Heart Shaped Box when Akecheta is searching the Mesa for Kohana is the best use of music in the entire series.
This is just an all around incredible episode.
It made me Akecheta one of my favourite characters in just one episode, the acting was great and so was the cinematography and music.
It is Westworld‘s best episode and I hope we can get another like it in season three.

Ant-Man and the Wasp stings with its humor (in a good way).

3 and a half stars.png
Another day, another Marvel movie.
In all seriousness I am curious about how long Marvel can keep their cinematic universe going but based off Ant-Man and the Wasp it will probably be a while because this is another good addition to the MCU.
Directed by Peyton Reed, the film picks up sometime after Captain America where Scott Lang’s Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest for his actions at the airport in Germany.
This is until he gets drawn back into the chaos by Hope van Dyne’s the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and her father Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) on their mission to save Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the quantum realm.
By far Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s biggest strengths are its comedy and action.
This movie can be incredibly funny at times with one scene where Janet communicates through Scott making me have to hold my sides with laughter.
A lot of the humor also comes from Michael Pena’s character, Luis, who is one of the highlights of the film.

Michael Pena
Michael Pena’s Luis is one of the best characters in the film with his great comedic timing. 

As for the action it is very inventive with how Scott and Hope utilize their suits’ powers, which adds to the comedy as well.
I also liked a lot of these characters and even some of the new ones they introduced like FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park).
Along with the comedy the movie can also be impactful at times especially with the mid-credits scene, which I advise you stay and watch because I have not doubt it will be incredibly important for future MCU films.
However, while this film is funny and impactful it is far from perfect.
The film’s villain Ghost (Hannah John-Carmen) and the character of Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) both felt very weak and I found it difficult to like them.
I get what the film was going for with these two but it was just not set up or explained very well.

Ghost
The film tries to make Ghost and Foster sympathetic to the audience but there is very little setup and not a big payoff to who they are so it feels slightly contrived. 

Then there is the new character Sonny Birch (Walton Goggins) who was more a nuisance than an actual threat and had no reason to be in the story.
The way these three characters were used and portrayed really brought down the story for me because of how prominent they are in it.
Thankfully, the humor, action and likeable characters do bring the film up from these problems.
Overall Ant-Man and the Wasp is a good film with its likeable characters and great humor and action, even if it does falter majorly with a few of its characters.

The Walking Dead Issue 181: Another average issue.

3 stars
I am getting pretty tired of all the average issues The Walking Dead has been putting out recently.
Not to say that any of these recent issues have been bad but the last time there was any real excitement to the story for me was when Michonne discovered her daughter was alive.
Since then there has been some interesting commentary on politics but no excitement to go along with this, except for extremely manufactured excitement.
Unfortunately, this carries through to Issue 181: Together Strong.
Usually I would be more forgiving of this because this is the beginning of a volume and those start out pretty slow but with so many average issues coming before it I cannot help but fault the story of this issue.
Once again, this issue was not bad but nothing all that interesting happened.
The one substantial thing to note was the scene where Jesus and Aaron told Maggie that all the Whisperers were dead.
This moment was either Robert Kirkman foreshadowing that the Whisperers would return or admitting through the characters that he messed up the Whisperer storyline.
I hope it is the former because with the Whisperers returning the story could potentially get more interesting.
Besides, just because Kirkman admits he made a mistake does not fix the mistake.
There were also some fairly average scenes throughout.
One scene that I personally thought would be kind of awkward was when Carl met the new kid Joshua.
I get the feeling this is going to be weird for both Carl and Lydia because both of them had friends named Josh and both of these Joshs died.
Finally there was the moment when the group fought off a small herd but this action felt manufactured just to put some excitement in the story.
Both Princess and Mercer were in danger during this scene but I found it difficult to care since they just got introduced and I know Kirkman is not going to kill them yet.
Although, I will admit the moment where Princess kissed Mercer afterwards was pretty funny.
Then there is the cliffhanger, which also feels manufactured to create tension.
It ends with Mercer glaring at Pamela but we already knew he had a grudge against her and her family so this is nothing new.
As I said, none of this was bad and if this issue had came after some exciting ones to bridge the gap between storylines I would like it more but, with a string of average issues coming beforehand, this one just felt underwhelming.
Sadly, it looks like Issue 182 will be just as average based on the cover.
That being said though, I am excited for Issue 183 because that is where it looks like things will get interesting.
Overall, Together Strong was just an average issue.
Not good, not bad, just okay.  

Top 10 Attack on Titan Anime Moments

Warning: Major spoilers for the anime. 

10. Eren vs the Armoured Titan – Season two, episode seven, Close Combat.

Eren vs Reiner

After the shocking reveal of Reiner and Bertholdt being Titans (more on that later) Eren faced off against Reiner, The Armoured Titan, in an epic showdown that is probably the best fight in the series.
The thing that makes this fight so good is how much thinking goes into it.
For example, when Eren fought the Female Titan there was not a big focus on the tactics of the fighting, just Eren being motivated by the deaths of his squad mates.
Here, however, Eren plans out his attack process and we get to see how this leads to him defeating the Armoured Titan… before Bertholdt jumps in of course.
Another thing that makes this fight so great is how Eren expresses his feelings about the Armoured Titan being Reiner, someone he thought of as an older brother.
This fight showed us Eren’s feelings of anger and betrayal, which go nicely with the fight itself.
The combined elements of fighting tactics and Eren’s inner thoughts turn this fight into the best of the series.

9. First appearance of the Beast Titan – Season two, episode one, Beast Titan.

Beast Titan

Probably my biggest question after watching season two was, “who is the Beast Titan?”
Unfortunately, us anime watchers do not have an answer yet but, based on this Titan’s introduction, he looks to be a very important character and a formidable foe for the main cast.
His introduction is the best the series has given us so far as it opens up many interesting questions about the series.
What is probably most interesting about him though is that he can speak without difficulty and can also control Titan’s, although to a lesser extent than Eren I think.
We also got to see how cruel whoever is controlling the Beast Titan is because of the subsequent death of Miche Zacharius, the most gruesome death in Attack on Titan so far.
The Beast Titan just allowed the other Titans to rip him apart while he screamed for mercy and his only reaction to this was an acknowledgement that Miche could talk.
The first time I saw this scene it left me sick to my stomach.
Both gruesome and intriguing, the introduction of the Beast Titan is the best introduction of Attack on Titan.

8. Historia and Ymir’s promise – Season two, episode five, Historia.

The Promise

One of the things I liked the most about season two of Attack on Titan was how it took forgettable characters from the first season and turned them into some of the best in the series.
Case and point Ymir and Historia.
I will talk about Ymir later but Historia had a great moment of character development in the fifth episode of the second season, where everything we knew about her was turned on its head.
In this flashback it is revealed that not only is her name not Christa but her entire personality has been an act.
Everyone time she risked her life for someone it was so she could die and be remembered as a hero.
Remember when she went to save Armin, Jean and Reiner in the Female Titan episode?
She went to help them because she wanted to die.
In the first season I saw Historia, or Christa as she was called then, as nothing more than a one note character who was just cannon fodder for the Titans.
This flashback to her and Ymir’s promise changed my entire perception of her and made her much more interesting, which, I am happy to say, it looks like they will be expanding upon in season three.
On top of this the animation in this scene is stellar and some of the best the series has given us.
This moment changed my entire perception of Historia, turning her from someone I did not care for into one of the most interesting characters.

7. Jean decides to join the Scouts – Season one, episode sixteen, What Needs to be Done Now: Eve of the Counterattack, Part 3.

Jean joins the scouts

I loved Jean in season one.
His character arc in that season was my favourite out of everyone’s.
He went from a coward who only wanted to join the Military Police so he could live safely in the interior, to the guy who joined the Survey Corps because it was the right thing to do.
His defining moment of the season though came in the 16th episode when he actually decided to join the Scouts.
After learning of his friend Marco’s death in the 13th episode, Jean was at a crossroads being unsure of what to do.
However, at the cremation of all the soldiers who lost their lives during the Titan invasion, Jean remembered Marco telling him he is a good leader because he knows what needs to be done.
This inspired Jean and in a heartfelt moment he declared to the other cadets that he intended to join the scouts before bursting into tears.
This is a very powerful moment for his character because we can see he is scared through how he had to grasp his shaking hand and repeat himself a few times before he could bring himself to tell the others his decision.
This moment showed that, despite his fear, Jean was willing to risk his life to do the right thing.
Jean was my favourite character of the first season and this scene really highlights why.

6. Advance!!! – Season two, episode 11, Charge.

advance.jpg

I can distinctly remember screaming in horror when a Titan came out of nowhere and dragged Commander Erwin Smith away by the arm.
However, this screaming soon turned to cheering with one word: “ADVANCE!!!”
With a single word Erwin Smith became one of my favourite characters because he showed he was willing to sacrifice everything in order to save humanity.
I could not believe that he was putting the mission ahead of his own life like that but I thought it was an incredible way for him to die… only for him to survive.
Because a few minutes later Erwin was back fighting, with only one arm.
The he saved Eren’s life, once again, with only one arm.
If there is any moment of Attack on Titan that highlights Erwin’s character it is this one. It is one of the most awesome character moments of the entire series.

5. Eren’s reaction to Hannes’ death, Mikasa’s confession and the Coordinate reveal – Season two, episode twelve, Scream.

Eren cries

This scene marks a pretty huge achievement in my eyes.
I hated Eren in the first season of the show and yet this moment actually made me cry for him.
Watching Eren break down into a hysterical fit of tears and laughter, after the death of Hannes, was heartbreaking to watch and it only got better from here.
This is because, after Eren’s breakdown, Mikasa chose to confess her feelings for him.
I have never really been a fan of the idea of Eren and Mikasa getting together because Eren often acts like a jerk towards her and Mikasa seems to be obsessed with Eren rather than in love with him.
Just like the Historia scene though, this moment changed my perception of their relationship as this was a beautiful moment portrayed with great voice acting from both Yuki Kaiji and Yui Ishikawa.
If we get more scenes like this between the two of them in season three I might actually get on board with their relationship, although if they act like it never happened I will not.
Finally there is Eren’s Coordinate abilities being revealed right after Mikasa’s confession, which brings new hope to the series and combines with everything else to make this all a truly memorable moment.

4. Deaths of the Levi Squad – Season one, episode 21, Crushing Blow.

Petra dies

This was the first time I actually shouted at my TV screen when watching Attack on Titan. 
Prior to this I had felt sad about some of the deaths in the show but none had made me feel like I had been punched in the gut afterwards.
The deaths of the Levi Squad, consisting of Oruo, Petra, Eld and Gunther, changed that with three of them dying in the span of two minutes.
First there is Gunther, killed during the ending moments of episode 20 by Annie in human form.
In the very next episode the remaining Levi Squad tried to kill the Female Titan only for her to kill Eld, Petra and Oruo in quick succession thus putting an end to the Levi Squad.
This moment had me screaming at the screen for the characters to get out of there as they were quickly killed one by one and left me feeling emotionally drained.
Their deaths were not quickly forgotten either, with the very next episode dealing with the effects their deaths would have as we got to see all of their families wait for their arrival, some with a feeling of dread and others with no idea their loved ones had been killed.
The deaths of the Levi Squad are the most gut wrenching of the series so far, but this is Attack on Titan so sadly I think we will get more of these kinds of deaths in season three.

3. Eren transforms into a Titan to fight Annie – Season one, episode 24, Mercy.

Eren transforms

Attack on Titan has a lot of transformations but this is one of my favourites.
Everything in this scene just combines to make a truly epic moment.
In this scene, Eren was struggling to accept Annie’s identity as the Female Titan and this lead to him being crushed and impaled by rubble as Annie desperately tried to capture him.
However, remembering the deaths of his mother and the Levi Squad and Mikasa’s words to him about “a cruel world”, Eren was able to accept what needed to be done and impaled himself further on the rubble to begin his transformation.
This emotional moment lead into the epic transformation where the music exploded into a grand crescendo with the OST Mika Kobayashi.
The use of this OST really sold the scene and the visuals work all the better because it did not actually show the transformation, just the lightening generated by it, along with how the characters reacted to the transformation.
All of this built up and up until Eren rushed at Annie in his Titan form and punched her through a church.
This scene is the very definition of epic and never fails to get me excited every time I watch it.

2. Ymir’s backstory flashback – Season two, episode ten, Children.

ymir-call-of-silence.jpg

I mentioned earlier, that season two did a fantastic job of turning forgettable characters into some of my favourites and a prime example of this is Ymir.
In season one she was not event a character but a trope of the typical mean girl who insults everyone.
So I was absolutely blown away with her character development in the second season and I think there could be a reasonable argument that this second second is her story.
The scene that really established her as one of my favourite characters was the flashback that revealed her backstory in episode ten, Children. 
This is the greatest flashback I have ever seen.
Not only does it tell you almost everything you need to know about Ymir but it also gives major hints as to what is really going on.
I think I have actually figured out some of the things that are going to be revealed in the future of the show because of the hints given here.
I see more hints in this flashback every time I watch it.
Best of all though is what this flashback does for Ymir.
The moment when Ymir turns back into a human and realizes that she is now free to live the life she wants is the most powerful moment of the entire series and was the first time I cried during Attack on Titan. 
This is helped once again by the fantastic music, with the OST Call of Silence, which is not just an amazing song but the lyrics also say a lot about Ymir as well.
This flashback made Ymir one of my favourite characters.
I am so glad it was added as this stage in the anime as I have been told this flashback comes much later in the manga.

1. Bertholdt and Reiner are revealed as the Colossal and Armoured Titans – Season two, episode six, Warrior.

Reiner and Bertolt

If number two was my favourite flashback of all time then number one is one of my favourite, if not my absolute favourite, twist of all time.
The reveal that Reiner had been the Armoured Titan and Bertholdt was the Colossal Titan the entire time was not only shocking but incredibly handled as well.
The way it is revealed has to be the most nonchalant twist reveal of all time.
Out of the blue Reiner just confesses to Eren that they are the Titans who started all this like it is no big deal.
I had to watch this scene a second time to make sure I had not misread the subtitles.
It completely subverts expectations but in the best of ways.
The moments following this confession are also stellar as in a flashback the show pieces together all the hints of Reiner and Bertholdt being Titans from prior episodes.
What follows is the best transformation of the entire series as one of the flags atop the wall is blown away, prompting the two’s transformation.
Did I  mention that Attack on Titan had some incredible OSTs?
Well, I will say it again because the OST they chose for this transformation, YouSeeBIGGIRL/T:T, is absolutely perfect for the moment.
This is not only because it is a great song but also because it is a different version of the song played when Eren’s mother was killed in the very first episode and, given that Reiner and Bertholdt are responsible for her death, this makes the placement of this OST here absolutely brilliant.
The reveal also left an amazing cliffhanger for the audience as to what would happen in episode seven.
I consider this to be the best moment in all of Attack on Titan because of how brilliantly the twist is revealed, the insane things that happen following the reveal, and the genius use of music.
The Reiner and Bertholdt twist really highlights why I love Attack on Titan. 

Sicario: Day of the Soldado is realistic and disturbing.

4 stars
When I first heard about the Sicario sequel I was concerned that it would take the realistic elements of the first film and turn it into an overblown action flick.
Thankfully, however, that is not was happened because Sicario: Day of the Soldado sticks to its realism in a gritty and rather disturbing manner.
Directed by Stephano Sollima this time and once again written by Taylor Sheridan, the film follows the sicario Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro) and agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) as they try to start a cartel war after these cartels are labeled as terrorist organisations by the United States government.
What follows is a complicated, yet enthralling story that, while not as good as the first, delivers a chilling story that highlights the mortality of what these characters are doing.
The opening scene alone is very disturbing and not for the faint of heart as the film fully displays how innocents are so often caught up in terrorism and acts of war.
Emily Blunt is absent from this film because, according to Cinema Blend, Sollima said he prefers “not to have a moral guidance for the audience.”
This leaves Alejandro as the main character and del Toro once again delivers a fantastic performance as the chilling sicario.

Benicio Del Toro
“Adios”, Alejandro declares as he brutally shoots a cartel member multiple times.

Brolin also does a great job as agent Graver, making it three great performances he has given this year including Thanos and Cable.
This film is also brimming with tension and the violence is super realistic, especially in the final moments.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado is not completely perfect, however, because the story does change half way through.
I personally did not find this change in story to be that jarring but I can also see how other people would.
Another problem had to do with how the character of Isabela (Isabela Moner) was treated by Alejandro.
Alejandro serves as her protector in this film but, given what I know about him from the first Sicario, I find it highly unlikely that he would want to protect this girl and that he would actually want her dead.
It just felt like a big plot hole to me.

alejandro and isabela
Alejandro wanting to protect Isabela did not make sense to me because of what I knew about both characters.

Overall though, Sicario: Day of the Soldado was still a very good film with great performances and disturbing elements of realism.
Just be be prepared for the switch in story and you will have a good time with it.

Attack on Titan: Signal of the Counterattack features the worst adaptation I have ever seen.

I just watched the three part miniseries Attack on Titan: Signal of the Counterattack, which is a part of the Attack on Titan Japanese live action movies.
When I started watching these episodes I thought they would be bad but I had no idea they would be worse than the live action films.
They were terribly acted, boring and one of the episodes was the worst adaptation I have ever seen and made me feel insulted as an Attack on Titan fan.
So I will now take you through each episode and why I found them to be so atrocious.

Episode 1: The Strike Back Begins

Hans and Titan
5_Star_Rating_System_1_and_a_half_stars
When I read the synopsis for this episode, I thought it might actually be good because it starred Hans (Satomi Ishihara), the adaptation’s version of Hange, who was one of the few good things about the live action films.
Yet, somehow, this episode managed to ruin her character for me.
Just because something works in anime does not mean it will work in live action and the portrayal of Hans in this episode is a testament to that.
I found Ishihara’s performance here to be laughably terrible, which unfortunately goes the same for the other actors in this episode.
This episode is also terribly shot with time lapse shots that may work for a documentary but not a fictional TV series.
On top of this, there is a moment that blatantly contradicts the continuity of the live action films.
Hans shows that the Titans cannot move at night but we saw them move at night in the first film.
While this change is more in line with the anime if you set something up in your version you have to continue with it because otherwise it destroys all continuity.
This episode is a mess, with the only enjoyment coming out of its laughably bad performances.

Episode 2: The Arrow of Hope
Sasha AOT miniseries
one-star
With the most cringe worthy title of all three episodes, if I could describe The Arrow of Hope in one word it would be “boring”.
This episode focuses on the character of Sasha’s (Nanami Sakuraba) backstory and at no point did I even remotely care about what was happening.
I did not care about Sasha’s dog, I did not care about her catching the food thieves, I did not care about Han’s involvement.
The story telling was that bad.
Along with this, Sasha’s character is, just like in the films, butchered in comparison with the manga and anime.
Her only character traits in this is that she is obsessed with food and is an expert with the bow and arrow.
Sasha’s character was so much more than this in the source material and the jokes they use surrounding her character here do not work at all, once again unlike the source material.
They basically made her a Katniss Everdeen wannabe in this version.
Much like the previous episode, this one is also terribly shot with a point of view shot from Sasha’s dog being particularly atrocious.
Then there is the cringe factor, with so many scenes that made me groan.
The way Sasha’s bow and arrow skills completely defy physics and her literally making heart eyes at someone were the worst moments of the episode.
There is just nothing enjoyable in this episode.
It is completely boring from start to finish.

Episode 3: The Departure of Freedom
terrible
half out of 5 stars
Coming into this episode I expected it to be bad.
What I did not expect was for it to be one of the most torturous experiences I have ever had watching any form of media.
The Departure of Freedom is not just a terrible episode but the worst adaptation I have had the displeasure of seeing.
It is so atrocious that it makes The Last Airbender and Dragonball Evolution look like cinematic gold.
This episode basically focuses on the budding romance between Fukushi (Shu Watanabe) and Lil (Rina Takeda), two characters from the first film.
They are based off Hanna and Franz from the source material, who were minor characters and did not need an entire episode like this focused on them.
You remember the saying, “still a better love story than Twilight”?
Well, this love story actually manages to succeed in being worse than Twilight, and that is saying a lot.
There entire relationship starts with Lin almost beating Fukushi to death, how is that for romantic?
Them falling in love is so unbelievable and stupid.
It goes from them trying to kill each other to them being head over heels in love in seconds.
For the third time, this episode is shot terribly as there is way too much slow motion.
This is a 41 minute episode and if you were to remove all the slow motion scenes then the episode would be cut by at least 20 minutes.
This shows the people who made this had no idea what they were doing and were trying to just fill in time by using slow motion.
CGI is also used in this film and it is atrocious and completely unnecessary.
However, the reason why I consider this to be the worst adaptation ever is the comedy.
About half way through this episode I realised it was not meant to be taken seriously but that does not excuse the fact that adapting Attack on Titan as a comedy with incredibly unfunny cringe humor is completely insulting to any fan of the source material.
There are two women in this film who for some dumb reason are dressed in skimpy outfits while in the military who provide the worst joke in the entire episode.
When one of the soldiers insults their superior officer one of these women glares at her with the the most over the top frown and kissing face and her eyes rolling into the back of her head.
I laughed so hard at this, and not because it was funny but, because I could not believe they were actually doing this.
The final fifteen minutes of the episode delves into a complete cringe fest with some of the most juvenile humor I have ever seen and I hated every minute of it.
This episode was absolute agony to watch.
They took the dark and compelling story of Attack on Titan and changed it into a cringe fueled comedy with no humor whatsoever.
Avoid this episode like the plague.

 

I don’t know how they managed it but somehow this live action miniseries was 1000 times worse than the live action Attack on Titan movies.
The episodes were laughably bad, cringe worthy, boring and had one of the most insulting adaptions of an original work ever.
I am only thankful that I have finished watching these adaptations and therefore never have to see them again.