The Promised Neverland, Season Two, Episode Nine Review: How Convenient!

two out of five
In my review for Episode Six of The Promised Neverland Season Two, I said that Norman’s exposition scene was one of the worst instances of telling instead of showing that I have ever had the displeasure of seeing.
Well, after seeing Episode Nine, I can say that Season Two has done it again, this time providing one of the worst elements of convience that I have ever seen.
Directed by Kakushi Ifuku, Sumito Sasaki and Tsuyoshi Tomita, everything about this episode is so freaking convenient.
Think about it.
The old demon, Vylk, just so happens to have found a dying human 15 years ago, who just so happened to have the pen part that Emma and the others needed, which just so happened to have a map into Grace Field, and also just so happened to have the cure for Norman and the other Lambda escapees’ illness.
Not to mention how ridiculous it is that all this informaiton is somehow up to date 15 years later.
The scene where this is revealed was so terrible that I was honestly laughing my head off at it.
I could not get over how absolutley nonsenically convenient everything was, and this isn’t even the end of it because we still have to talk about the beginning of the episode, where Norman and his squad all give up on killing demons easily.
This was rushed in the manga too but it is a thousand times worse here.
You’re telling me that Barbara, the person who was all gung ho on slaughtering and eating demons, now hesitates and gives in?
I don’t buy it one bit.
Also, was that dying human Vylk met supposed to be Yuugo?
I hope not because if it was then that is probably one of the most insulting things about this season.
And then there’s the cheap cliffhanger where Vincent is suddenly a traitor.
I’ll get into the reason for this being cheap in my review for Episode Ten, which, oh boy, is just as laughably bad.
There is absolutley no hope for The Promised Neverland now.
It’s a train wreck and Episode Nine is easily one of its worst episodes, full of characters who just magically change their minds on a dime and one of the most laughably awful cases of convenience I’ve seen.
The voice acting and animation are the only redeeming qualities at this point.

Tales of Berseria Review: Best Tales Game I’ve Played So Far.

5 stars
Coming into
Tales of Berseria, I was optimistic yet cautious about how my experience would be.
I had heard good things about the game, however, I knew that Berseria was a loose prequel to Zestiria and I found that game to be a bit of a mess with its mostly bland cast and story, and needlessly complicated system.
So, imagine my relief when I was in the first few hours of Berseria and was already ten times more invested in the characters, story and gameplay than I ever was with Zestiria.
In fact, I would go as far to say that this is my favourite Tales game that I have played so far, even beating out Vesperia.
Developed once again by Bandai Namco, and directed by Yoshimasa Tanaka, Tales of Berseria follows the story of Velvet Crowe (Cristina Vee, English Dub), a Daemon on a mission of revenge to take out the man who took everything from her.
Velvet’s quest for vengeance is a gripping one that sees her go through quite the character arc.
Many say her character arc stagnates until the last ten hours of the game and, while I can see what they’re saying, I personally liked a lot of the subtle moments we got from her before this point.

Even when her character isn’t developing, Velvet has a lot of subtle moments that kept me engaged with her character.

Velvet being like this also gives the game time to get you acquainted with the likeable party members.
There’s the sweet as a button Malik Laphicet (Amber Conner), the virtuous Exorcist, Eleanor (Erica Mendez), the fighting addicted Daemon, Rokurou (Benjamin Diskin), the wise yet cursed Malik, Eizen (Taliesin Jaffe), and the sly and eccentric witch, Magilou (Erica Lindbeck).
All of these party members are great to be around and fun to watch grow, with my favourites probably being Velvet, Laphicet and Eleanor. 
It’s also cool how, unlike with pretty much every Tales game, you could be considered to be playing as the villains here.
Overall, would I say I enjoy the main cast as much as I do Vesperia’s?
No, I still like that cast a little more but it’s still close, and given how much I love the main party of Vesperia that is saying a lot.
Two things that Berseria definitely has over Vesperia in terms of characters, though, is its antagonists and supporting characters.
In Vesperia, with the exception of Duke, all of the villains were one dimensional and boring, along with most of the side characters.
This is not the case with Berseria where every single villain is great, especially the main antagonist Artorius (Ray Chase), and many of the side characters, like Dyle and Kurogane, are very memorable. 

Artorius is a fantastic antagonist who perfectly encapsulates the themes of the game.

The story surrounding these characters is also amazing and suits them and their arcs well, with the theme of emotion vs reason.  
Heck, I think the story was so good that it actually made me appreciate Zestiria a lot more.
Seriously, even though I find Zestiria to have a lot of flaws, I would actually recommend playing it before Berseria because, if I had played Bersiria first, then a lot of the fantastic twists and connections with Zestiria would have meant nothing to me.
Speaking of which, I also enjoyed how Berseria expanded on some characters from Zestiria, most notably Zaveid (Ian Sinclair).
I liked him in Zesitiria, but he had no development there.
Berseria, on the other hand, gives him that development, showing how he got to be the way he was at the beginning of the other game and how his pact with Eizen was forged.

Zaveid is a standout side character in Berseria with his dynamic with Eizen being particularly greart.

The final thing I will praise about Berseria’s story is how it was able to bring so much emotion out of me.
I was shocked at certain points, excited at others, laughed with the characters, and even teared up during one incredibly emotional moment between Velvet and Laphicet.
The story and characters of Berseria are just amazing but what about the gameplay?
Well, I am glad to say that you can finally listen to what I have to say about Tales’ gameplay without a pinch of salt because I finally figured out how to play one.
I was new to the series with Vesperia, so was naturally pretty bad at the gameplay there and Zestiria’s was way too complicated for me, but I actually managed to get a good handle of Berseria’s.
I figured out how to power up the characters and their weapons, how to cook, send scout ships, and what play style suited me best.
All in all, I can say that the gameplay for Berseria is a lot of fun.
Each character is unique in their own way and it is fun to rotate which one you are playing.
I mostly found myself playing as Velvet and Eleanor because I found that their play styles worked the best for me. 

Close range, long distance, a mixture of both, each of the characters offer one of these play styles.

One criticism I can give, though, is that Velvet’s demon claw attacks are pretty over powered and it is very easy to constantly spam it if you have the right amount of souls to attack.
Speaking of the souls system, I have heard some criticize it but I personally enjoyed it because it made me have to think tactfully about how I would tackle different enemies.  
As for those enemies, a lot of them were pretty fun to fight and some even offered a unique challenge, like one ridiculously funny level 100 boss, who is thankfully optional.
About the final boss, I actually found them to be pretty easy but that is only because I was enjoying the game so much that I finished most of the side quests before I went and fought him.
The gameplay isn’t completely perfect, though, because dungeons in this game are pretty bland and empty, with the exception of the final one.
That said, this didn’t affect my own, personal enjoyment because I was loving the rest of the gameplay, characters and story too much.
If you like JRPG dungeons, though, you will most likely be disappointed with Berseria’s.
I, however, felt that the game’s few negatives were easily overpowered by its many positives.
I can definitely see myself returning to this game and replaying it again and again in the future. 

Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Thirteen, Children of the Forest Review: An Intense Adaptation for an Underated Chapter.

5 stars
I really loved Chapter 111 of Attack on Titan when I first read it and I think it is one of the most underated chapters in the entire manga.
So, imagine my excitement to see it so well adapted in the thirteenth episode of the final season, “Children of the Forest.”
Directed by Yasuhiro Geshi and Kōnosuke Uda, the episode picks up first with a scene from Chapter 110, which many feared was cut, that being Zeke’s flashback revealing what he did to Ragako village.
The scene opens with the village being consumed by gas, fanned in by Marleyan soldiers, with Zeke and Pieck in attendance.
Once the smoke hits them, all of the villagers, Connie’s family among them, collapse and are unable to move.
Zeke then Titanizes them with his roar, just like he did back in the first episode of this final season.
However, Zeke’s explanation of these events and how he supposedly did it to save Eldia clearly does not satisfy Levi, understandably.
Levi believes Zeke to have not a shred of guilt over his actions, which is not helped by Zeke’s good mood.
This does lead to a pretty humorous scene, though, where Zeke assumes Levi must not be very popular with the ladies.
Oh, Zeke, if only you knew the extent to which Levi fangirls will go.
This comedic and on the nose moment is quickly interrupted, though, as soldiers arrive to inform Levi of Zachary’s assasination at the hands of the Yeagerists.
With that, the episode transitions into the adaption of Chapter 111, as Gabi, Falco, Kaya, and the Braus family arrive to taste Niccolo’s excellent cooking in remembrance of Sasha.
It is here that Gabi and Falco plan to make contact with Niccolo based on Kaya’s advice, all of them still unaware that the woman Gabi killed was Sasha herself.
The tension of this reveal slowly builds as Falco begins to realize something is amiss, and Hange and the 104th arrive to question Niccolo.
However, the impending reveal to those characters close to Sasha that Gabi was the one who killed her is not the only case of growing tension here, because now the wine is coming into play.
I did criticize how easy it was to guess that there was something up with the wine in Episode Ten, when it was more subtle in the manga, but now I would like to rescind this criticism.
It being made fairly obvious that the wine was poisoned with something made the scene where Jean and Connie almost take a sip very nerve-racking.
Thank goodness Niccolo had the foresight, and the added kindness thanks to Sasha, to stop them from doing so, although he did end up using Marleyan racism to cover it up.
This leads to the big conflict of the episode, as Gabi and Falco follow Niccolo when he retreats with the wine and confront him, telling them that they are Warriors candidates who snuck aboard the airship when it was fleeing Marley.
This, of course, tips Niccolo off and he asks the big question: “Did you kill someone? A female soldier.”
Well, any smart person would find this question odd, considering Niccolo is a Marleyan, who have pretty much all been brainwashed into hating Eldians.
This is why Falco picks up on it.
Gabi, on the other hand, oh boy, her brainwashed brain cannot take a hint.
With every word out of her mouth she keeps digging her metaphorical grave deeper and deeper.
You can really see how indoctrinated Gabi is, as she almost seems to be seeking praise from Niccolo, a Marleyan, for killing Sasha.
However, praise is certainly what Niccolo has in mind.
No, he’d much rahter perfer a wine bottle smash to the skull for her.
It’s Falco who takes the blow, though, jumping in front of Gabi and taking the hit but also ingesting the wine.
The soundtrack during this scene is also straight up fire.
Niccolo is much more focused on Gabi than the injured Falco, delivering her a beating off screen, before throwing her before the Braus family and exposing her as Sasha’s killer.
It’s here that the best voice acting of the episode is showcased.
Ayane Sakura again does a magnificent job as Gabi but Eji Hanawa steals the show as Niccolo, who mournfully and furiously explains how Sasha saved him from this war and taught him that he was supposed to make people happy with his food.
Gabi hits back by telling him of the people Sasha killed, claiming that it is actually she who brainwashed him, ironic coming from her.
Mr Braus understandably looks sickened to hear such a despicable thing about his daughter and requests the knife from Niccolo.
The terrified eye movements of Gabi and Mr Braus’ contemplative face here, almost as if he is considering actually killing Gabi in an act of revenge, are animated incredibly well.
However, revenge is not what Mr Braus ultimately wants, as he shows exceptional maturity for a mere side character, giving one of the best speeches of the series about how, as adults, it is their burden to carry and move on from their sins to get the children out of the forest.
The forest, in this instance, being a metaphor for the cruel world and cycle of violence that our characters struggle with daily.
With this, Mr and Mrs Braus convince Niccolo to let Falco go, followed by Mr Braus asking if Gabi is alright.
This shocks Gabi right to the core of her being, as she sees these supposed devils concerned for the very person who killed their daughter.
Well, not all of them are concerned because Kaya is already moving head first into the forest, as she attempts to stab Gabi with a knife for the death of Sasha.
Only Mikasa’s Ackerman insticts save Gabi from a knife to the head.
The animation of Kaya being tackled to the ground and comforted by Mr and Mrs Braus is just great, as well.
Mappa did a really good job with the animation this episode.
With Mikasa and Armin moving Gabi to a safer place, we then get the big reveal of the episode from Niccolo.
Zeke’s spinal fluid is in the wine, and potentially hundreds of military officers among the Military Police and Garrison are currently infected.
Zeke lied at the beginning of the episode when he said that Eldians freeze when they ingest his spinal fluid, and this lie has caused those infected to be entirely unaware of their dangerous position.
The Scouts have absolutley no time to warn everyone, though, because who else should show up but Eren and the Yeagerists, and in a much more abrupt way than in the manga.
Rather than seeing Eren enter the room that Mikasa and Armin are talking to Gabi in, like in the manga, we just hear the door close and see him casually walk up to them, bloodly hand raised in a threatening manner.
It honestly reminded me of the abrupt Reiner and Bertholdt reveal from Season Two, it’s that great.
Just as entertaining is Floch’s arrival with the Yeagerists and Hange’s slow realization that they all knew about the poisoned wine.
Floch grinning at Hange and shushing her is a real improvement on the manga, making Floch look much more sinister than he does in the original source material.
Following this, we get the naturally frustrating cliffhanger of Eren saying he wants to talk to Armin and Mikasa, only for the episode to cut off there.
Well, at least the wait might just be more than worth it because tomorrow’s episodes is about to adapt two fantastic chapters which, with time, I have come to look incredibly favourably on.
If done right, the next episode could easily be in the top ten best episodes of the series.
As for “Children of the Forest”, in my opinion, it is a near perfect adaptation.
Great shots, animation, voice acting and music, it has it all.
I do wish a couple of manga panels, like a particular flashback shot of Sasha, had been included but these are not major things and did not decrease my enjoyment of the episode.
“Children of the Forest” is a fantastic episode and I have my fingers crossed that “Savagery” can be adapted to near perfection as well.

The Promised Neverland, Season Two, Episode Eight Review: WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME!?

3 and a half stars
Episode Seven of Season Two of The Promised Neverland was such a boring episode that I honestly forgot what happened in it not long after.
It wasn’t even so bad that I just had to talk about it, like with Episode Six, it was just extemely forgettable.
Therefore, I never really saw a point in reviewing it, since I could not remember anything about it.
Episode Eight, on the other hand, is definitley worth reviewing since it’s one of the better episodes of the season.
Definitley not quite as good as Episodes One and Two but certainly a lot better than Episodes Five, Six and that extremely pointless recap episode.
Directed by Hiroki Itai, the episode picks up with what should have happened in Episode Six, a flashback to Norman’s time in Lambda.
This is what we should have got instead of that god awful exposition scene, which was one of the worst instances of telling instead of showing that I have ever seen.
I still think that we could have used an entire episode laying out Norman’s time at the facility but it was still decent.
We also got to meet the main villain of the story here, Peter Ratri, who, as an antagonist, is servicable enough.
He’s nowhere near as interesting as Isabella, or the character who would have been the main antagonist of the season if the Goldy Pond Arc hadn’t been cut, but he’s still servicable.
All in all, this flashback is good but could have been more fleshed out.
I wish the anime had expanded on Smee a bit because he’s essentially a plot device to randomly justify Norman’s escape.
Despite these problems, it was still interesting to finally see how Norman escaped Lambda and formed his own little Suicide Squad.
From here, the episode cuts to the present where Emma, Ray and the others are searching for Mujika and Sonju, while Norman and his cronies are preparing to initiate their attack early.
It’s all fairly standard stuff to move the plot along and, as a manga reader, I was disappointed with how one intense shot of Norman was extremely simplified.
In any case, Emma and the others finally locate Mujika and Sonju, only for Norman to attack the demon village early and, just like that, the episode gets way better.
Watching the effects of Norman’s drug on the demons is a pretty big gut punch and the music is straight up fire.
But then my excitement is slightly ruined by yet another contrived scene, when Norman hesitates to kill a demon girl all because the grandpa demon shouts Martha– I mean Emma!
Jokes aside, this had to be a Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice refrence right?
It’s just too similar and just as convenient.
But hey, at least it leads into the final shots of the episode, where Emma arrives just in time and sees Norman as a scared child, which gave me literal goosebumps.
So, overall, there’s a lot of good and a lot of bad about the episode.
However, despite the episode’s problems, it just edges out into the good territory because of the Norman flashbacks and the intense final scene, even if there is a lot of convience there.
In my opinion, Episode Eight in the best one this season, since Episode Two.
However, you will definitley not see me being as kind about Episode Nine, oh no.
I just watched that episode and rather than just being just forgettable, like Episode Seven, it’s just plain bad, like Episodes Five and Six.
Expect a full on rant when I review that one.
Oh well, at least we got one good episode before the show descended into train wreck territory again.

Attack on Titan Chapter 138, A Long Dream Review: A Tragic What Could Have Been.

4 and a half stars
138 chapters, all building to this moment.
We finally got the penultimate chapter of Attack on Titan, “A Long Dream”, and, boy, is it a big one.
It’s funny looking back on my predictions posts because I can see how right or wrong about certain things I was and wow was I wrong about some certain character fates this chapter.
While thankfully not seeming as divisive as Chapter 137 was for The Attack on Titan fandom, “A Long Dream” has still made a substantial splash in the pool of various different opinions on the endgame’s quality, which is no surprise given the end of the chapter.
Some predicted it, and this chapter we seemingly got it, Mikasa just killed Eren.
Decapitated him and then spends the final chapter making out with the head.
Leave it to Isayama to make Eremika happen in the most messed up way possible.
Okay, okay, I know I’m clearly overexagerating on how far Mikasa goes in that final panel.
In all seriousness, I actually really like the scene and think that it makes a lot of sense.
Heck, it even got me tearing up at the moment when it paid off a scene from all the way back in Chapter One.
However, before we get to that, I first have to start at the beginning.
“A Long Dream” opens with the baby that was seen in one of my favourite panels in the manga, from Chapter 134, who is revealed to have survived the Rumbling at the cliff face, since the Wall Titans stopped when Levi killed Zeke last chapter.
Although, I would argue that the baby isn’t the luckiest among the group of survivors there.
No, that title goes to the random guy at the back getting pulled up by two other survivors just as the Rumbling stops.
If the Wall Titans had stopped just a second later, then this guy would be toast.
Literally the luckiest guy on earth.
From here, the chapter cuts to the aftermath of Armin going nuclear Colossal at the end of “Titans”, as Falco lands the Alliance atop Fort Salta and the Warriors are reunited with their parents.
Falco, Gabi and Pieck all reunite with their loved ones and Annie learns that her father is alive and goes to meet him.
But, this is Isayama we’re talking about, so of course this was never going to end in anything other than tragedy.
It would seem that the force of Armin’s explosion has launched the Hallucigenia into the bottom of Fort Salta, and Reiner and Armin arise from the destruction to destroy it once and for all.
However, Eren then transforms again, having survived Armin going nuclear as we all predicted, only this time he is in Colossal Titan form.
At the same time, Annie’s father and Muller have decided to work togethor, as it is predictably revealed that Muller fired into the air to calm the situation down.
Annie then shows up and their happy reunion is cut oh, so cruely short by the Hallucigenia, which Reiner sees releasing Titan smoke that will turn any Eldian who is not already a Shifter or has Ackerman blood into Titans.
This means that Jean, Connie, Gabi and all of the Warriors families are now infected.
Thinking quickly, Levi orders Mikasa and Pieck to get onto Falco so they can go and put an end to Eren.
Left behind at the Fort to Titanize, Jean and Connie embrace and reflect on their times in the Survey Corps, with Jean having adopted the mindset of leaving their legacy to those who live on for them.
Connie also jokingly tells Jean that it is his fault they got stuck with the job of saving the world, before they and all the other Eldians transform.
While this goodbye to two Survey Corps veterans is very emtional, I can’t help but wish we got an extra page of them saying their goodbyes to Mikasa and Levi, and Falco saying his goodbyes to Gabi.
I mean, I know that there wasn’t much time because they were all about to turn but we saw pretty much no reaction from Mikasa about her long-time friends being Titanized.
The scene is still great but I just wish it had a little more time spent on it to deliver a more emotional gut punch.
Another slight criticism I have is the paneling of this scene, specifically where Falco is concerned.
When they are flying away from Fort Salta, Falco screams in anguish at the loss of Gabi and his parents and this has caused many to jump to the conclusion that Falco turned everyone into a Titan with the Beast Titan’s power, which he may have recieved from Zeke’s spinal fluid.
However, this doesn’t make any sense to me.
Falco would never turn his parents or Gabi into Titans, and it also couldn’t have been by accident because he does not have the means to use Zeke’s technique, lacking royal blood.
So, it seems like this is just a case of mistaken intent and Isayama definitely should have structured this scene differently to make it clear that Falco’s scream didn’t Titanize everyone.
There is another complaint about this scene, which I have been hearing, that it is out of character for Eren to turn Jean and Connie into Titans because he wanted them to “live long lives.”
However, I believe this does make sense because it is not Eren transforming them, it is the Hallucigenia.
In Chapter 137, Zeke described the Hallucigenia as Life itself, stating that it had the sole purpose of surviving and multiplying.
Armin and Reiner had backed the Hallucigenia into a corner so it did the only thing it could to survive: turning everyone atop Fort Salta into Titans, so that they could lead it safely to Eren, where it could connect with him again.
So, this scene does work because it is not Eren doing this but the Hallucigenia.
As for Jean, Connie and Gabi, can they turn back into humans?
Well, I think Isayama could go either way in the final chapter.
Jean and Connie’s goodbye feels pretty final but it doesn’t seem to fit into Gabi’s character arc for her to just stay a Titan forever or be killed as one.
Guess we’ll just have to see what happens in Chapter 139.
I’ll admit, a part of me wants them all to stay gone for emotional impact, while the part of me that loves their characters just wants them to come back and live long lives.
Like Bertholdt, though, I feel like I can accept any outcome for them.
Annie, however, cannot accept the ending she got with her father which, in predictable Isayama fashion, seems to conclude with her father being Titanized right in front of her.
The cruel world strikes once again with Isayama as its puppet master.
That leaves Reiner, Pieck and Annie to deal with the Hallucigenia and its Titan army, and Mikasa, Levi, Armin and Falco to bring the fight to Eren at long last.
Beginning with an epic moment, where Armin accuses Eren of loving this hell and saying he will stick it out with him until the very end,the two engage in a Colossal Titan beatdown.
I can’t remember where but I’m sure that I mentioned wanting a Colossal Titan fight somewhere in an earlier predictions post and I’m so glad we finally got one near the end of the story.
As Armin and Eren duke it out and Reiner, Pieck and Annie slowly begin to be consumed as they struggle to hold the Hallucigenia back from its master, another headache hits Mikasa full swing, somehow launching her into some kind of dream world or alternate universe.
In this world, Mikasa confessed her feelings for Eren in Chapter 123 and the two ran off togethor and abandoned everyone, deciding to spend Eren’s remaining years togethor.
There has been a lot of debate online about whether this is an alternate universe or just a dream world.
Honestly, I think it’s most likely the latter because it being an alternate timeline doesn’t really make sense considering that if Eren had run off with Mikasa then he never would have convinced his father to eat the Reiss family, essentialy undoing his Titan powers all togethor.
I should note, though, that someone suggested to me that both timelines could coexist at the same time and, if this is the case, then it would allow for Eren to have manipulated Grisha into stealing the Founding Titan, while in the seperate timeline Eren ran away with Mikasa.
Still, I’m leaning towards the dream theory, mostly because of a leaked storyboard that appears to state that this is solely Mikasa’s “ideal” world and Eren.
I could entirely be wrong about this, though.
Yet, even if this is a dream, there is no denying that it is a shared one between Eren and Mikasa.
Eren’s true self seems to show up part way through the dream and tell Mikasa to throw away the scarf when he dies so she can forget about him.
This is most likely why Eren told Louise to throw away the scarf all the way back in Chapter 126.
However, this is not something Mikasa can do because, even though she now accepts what must be done, she will never let go of the memory of the man she loves.
Mikasa resolves to kill Eren, somehow knowing that Eren is in the mouth of his Colossal Titan, most likely because Eren telepathically told her through the shared dream.
With Armin holding Eren’s head in place, Levi is able to blow a hole in his Colossal teeth with a Thunder Spear, allowing Mikasa to dash in.
Eren’s head is dangling from his extended spine, as seen at the end of Chapter 131.
As Eren opens his eyes, he seems to smile at Mikasa, most likely showing how sadly happy he is that Mikasa will never forget him, despite his insistance.
Mikasa shares the smile and swings her sword.
Then, we get the big moment.
“See you later, Eren.”
We now finally know what Eren’s dream at the beginning of the story means, 138 chapters later.
He was experiencing a memory from the Attack Titan of his goodbye to Mikasa in their dream world, when Mikasa was forced to kill him.
Just like that, I tear up and move onto the final panel… only to be shaken out of any potential tears with the image of Mikasa kissing Eren’s decapitated head and Ymir looking on smiling.
Jokes aside, I see some people trying to paint Mikasa as a necrophile here but it’s pretty clear to me that she was experiencing the dream world when she kissed Eren here and this was her way of saying goodbye to him.
This also seems to all imply that Eren felt similarily towards Mikasa, as it wasn’t really clear before.
Well, this makes the chances of Eren being the father of Historia’s child significantly lower but fingers crossed that Isama can still make this happen because I think it really works for Eren’s character.
Back to the final panel of the chapter, let’s talk about Ymir watching Mikasa kiss Eren.
I believe this is important for two reasons.
The first reason is that it shows how Ymir desires love.
We saw this all the way back in Chapter 122, when she stopped to stare at two of her enslavers getting married.
The second reason it is important is that, in my opinion, it shows that Ymir is finally, truly free.
We have only seen Ymir’s eyes twice before this point and both of these times are when she is experincing freedom.
She chose to side with Eren in Chapter 122 and we saw her choose to release the pigs in Chapter 135.
Now her eyes are uncovered yet again in the last panel of “A Long Dream.”
Whatever Eren has achieved by getting Mikasa to kill him, (I do believe that was his goal given how much he tried to get her to move on from him, like by lying to her that he hated her) it has resulted in Ymir’s freedom, which may very well end with her being reborn as Historia’s child in the final panel.
As for Eren, I believe this is it for him.
His conciousness may survive in Paths, like what with happened to Ymir but, as far as the physical world is concerned, he is definitley dead there.
The final chapter will most likely cover his and Ymir’s true motivations and what they will result in for Paradis and the world.
This last chapter is rumoured to only be 45 pages, though, so I hope Isayma can wrap up his story in so little pages in a satisfying way without it feeling rushed.
Overall, “A Long Dream” is a truly fantastic chapter for Attack on Titan, and a great prelude to the final one.
I do think some things could have been better, like rearranging or removing Falco’s scream, so some readers would not be confused, and adding an extra page to give Jean, Connie and Gabi’s potential goodbyes more of an impact.
Yet, these criticisms do not change my mind that this is a fantastic chapter and I cannot wait to see how my favourite story will end next month.

Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Twelve, Guides Review: The Corruption of Shinzou wo Sasageyo.

4 and a half stars
You know, I was pretty excited for Episode Twelve of Attack on Titan‘s final season, “Guides.”
It was set to adapt one of the most hype scenes in the manga with Eren’s escape from prison and meeting up with Floch and the other Yeagerists, putting on his coat as the sun sets and ready to keep moving forward.
Then, the scene happens, and it’s just as epic as I hoped it would be.
So, imagine my surprise when I see people are once again harassing Mappa over their displeasure with this scene.
Well, no, I shouldn’t say surprised because I’m pretty sure these toxic people (I will not call them fans) will find something stupid to harass Mappa over pretty much every following episode.
If you didn’t like this scene, though, again, just like the people who didn’t like Chapter 137, that’s A-ok with me.
I just want certain groups of people to stop being toxic with their displeasure to the point that they are literally harassing people.
Back to the episode itself, “Guides” is directed by Kunihiro Mori and adapts most of Chapter 110 and half of Chapter 111 pretty amazingly.
Beginning with Armin checking up on Annie in the basement of a military police base, Hitch shows up just in time to stop him from going all Shinji Ikari on her.
In all seriousness, Armin’s hurried explanations to hide his crush on Annie and Hitch saying she can’t understand why Annie is popular when all she does is sleep, which is basically Isayama talking to the viewer, are both very funny.
However, the tone switches when Armin and Hitch emerge from the basement and see a rabid crowd of Eren supporters protesting his imprisonment.
Floch and the other recruits leaking the information about Eren’s escape definitley damaged the public’s faith in the military and this is only increased by what happens after.
Before this, though, we get two scenes of investigations done by Hange and Pyxis.
The first is Yelena finally cracking under the pressure and admitting to Pyxis that she met with Eren.
She tries to paint herself as a fangirl, obsessed with getting to know Eren, which, to be fair, she was, but she is not able to pull the wool over Pyxis’ eyes to hide the true extent of her and Zeke’s plans.
As Pyxis says, the only way to tell a good lie is to mix some truth in there.
Yelena revealing that she did meet with Eren leads to Hange confronting Onyankopon about this, much to his shock.
He then tells Hange about the extremes Yelena went to when it came to dealing with Marleyans who betrayed them or were at least uncertain with their plans.
This makes it unusal that she has been supportive of Marleyan rights on Paradis, Hange notes, which will play a key role in her decision at the end of the episode.
Following this scene, “Guides” cuts to one of the episode’s big moments, as Armin and Mikasa go to talk with Zackly (or is it Zachary? Oh, nevermind) about potentially speaking with Eren.
Zackly, however, is having none of it, having already given up on Eren because he and the rest of the military now believe that Eren is under Zeke’s control.
Now, Zackly plans to pass Eren’s Titan power onto someone else… after he tortures him with his magnificent work of art that is.
Yet, Zackly is smart enough not to let Mikasa in on this but Armin manages to deduce it pretty quickly.
Before Mikasa can go in and listen to Zackly’s conversation with the candidates, though, her Ackerman senses go off and she has just enough time to cover Armin, as a bomb, on Zackly’s chair of all things, explodes, killing Zackly and his candidates to replace Eren.
The military’s commander in chief’s mutilated body then splats on the ground, in full view of the protesting public but, unfortunately, not in clear view of us due to censorship.
To be fair, censorship is nothing new in Attack on Titan and the way its shot makes it clear that Zackly was torn apart by the explosion, so the horror of the moment is thankfully still kept.
Another moment that also translates well in the adaptation is the corruption of Erwin’s catchphrase “Shinzou wo Sasageyo!” translated to, “Devote Your Hearts!”
Erwin used this to rally his troops to fight for humanity, but now it is being used to rally behind a rapidly growing, naitonalist terrorist group, the aptly named Yeagerists, with Eren at its head.
Speaking of, it is here that we come back to the previously mentioned coat scene, where Eren escapes jail, along with Floch and the rest of the Yeagerists, and heads off to find Zeke.
I really like the way this scene was shot, scored, voice acted, and transitioned into the mid-card.
In my own, personal opinion, it was a perfect adaptartion for the scene.
Following the mid-card, we get the beginning of the adaptation of Chapter 111, with the hectic meeting between the military officers and Kiyomi, which quickly dissolves into arguing, mostly at the fault of the Military Police.
Thankfully, Pyxis is there to resolve the situation, and comedically suggest they surrender to Eren.
There is a serious intent behind this, though, because Pyxis realizes that with the threat of Marley and the rest of the world now faing Paradis means they cannot have infighting, so he plans to negotiate with the Yeagerists by putting Zeke’s location on the table.
Some, like Hange and Kiyomi, are clearly not as assured by this, which is made apparent for Kiyomi when she approaches Mikasa and suggests she come to her ship if things go wrong.
Mikasa cleverly confronts her about her intent to use Paradis’ resources but Kiyomi surprises her by telling Mikasa that even though she is considered a “money pinching vixen” she still has the honour to protect Mikasa for her clan.
As for Hange, her doubt about the situation is shown by her belief that there is more to Yelena and Zeke’s plans, spurned on by Yelena’s suspicious actions, like vouching for Marleyans when she was so ruthless with them before, as I mentioned earlier.
This causes her to lead the 104th to Niccolo’s restaurant to interivew him where, surprise, surpise, Gabi and Falco have just arrived with the Braus family.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the episode ends with the cliffhanger reveal of Pieck having arrived in Paradis, likely planning Marley’s surprise attack, which Reiner advocated for at the end of Episode Ten.
In my opinion, “Guides” is another fantastic episode for Attack on Titan‘s final season and Mappa are doing a great job, especially when you consider the rough production schedule they are suffering through.
Sure, some of the shots in the episode, like one of Mikasa running, do look a little off but they are nowhere near as offputting as Pyxis’ Megamind head in “A Sound Argument.”
The one big criticism I do have about the animation is a continutiy mistake where Eren is shown in his Yeagerist outfit in a flashback.
However, this could potentially be fixed in the Blu-Ray.
All in all, “Guides” is another great episode that adapts one of Attack on Titan‘s best hype moments very well.

Attack on Titan Chapter 138 Predictions.

We’re less than a week away from getting the penultimate chapter of Attack on Titan, Chapter 138, so it’s time for me to lay out my predictions yet again.
The previous chapter was… let’s just say divisive.
Personally, I enjoyed it, despite having a couple of issues.
However, many people took their personal dislike of it as a sign to start doomposting, saying that the ending was assured to be as bad as Game of Thrones Season Eight when we haven’t even got the ending yet.
Despite the controversy, I have seen so many different theories on how Attack on Titan will wrap up in these last two chapters and, make no mistake, I think Chapter 138 is going to be the chapter where the big plot twist happens.
“Titans” ended with the Alliance supposedly defeating Eren, so, with the fighting now over, it would be the perfect time for Isayama to drop a twist before the ending.
The reason I think we’re getting a twist at all?
Well, because two important characters’ point of view on this whole situation have been absent not only for the entirety of the final battle but for pretty much all of the final arc as well.
These two characters are Eren and Historia.

Will we Finally get Eren and Historia’s POV?

Like many other readers, I am 100% certain that Eren is not dead after Chapter 137.
Isayama just wouldn’t have his main character, and now main antagonist, killed off screen after he has been absent from the entirety of the final battle.
No, Eren is definitley alive, at least for now, and I think Chapter 138 is the perfect time to reveal his full POV.
What he really saw when he kissed Historia’s hand four years ago, his and Ymir’s true intentions in starting the Rumbling (if they have any that we don’t already no of), and how all of this will tie into the ending.
As for Historia, I believe her POV is intertwined with Eren’s.
There’s something up with her pregnancy and, whether Eren is the father or not, the point of this baby will be crucial for the ending, especially since the final panel of the entire story is most likely going to be someone holding her baby.
Chapter 138 might just be the chapter where Isayama reveals everything behind Eren, Historia, and Ymir’s actions.
Going back to the baby, though, we now have to talk about one of the biggest theories created from Chapter 137.

Is Historia’s Child the Key to Restarting the Rumbling?

It would seem that the subreddit r/titanfolk is using this theory as copium to deal with their displeasure of Chapter 137 and, I will admit, there is some evidence behind this theory.
All the way back in the Return to Shiganshina Arc, Eren revealed through Kruger’s memories that if a Titan Shifter is killed, before they can pass on their power, then it will go to a random Eldian baby.
Well, Zeke just died last chapter and Historia is conviently about to give birth.
So, if Eren really is still in Paradis, controlling his Titan with a Warhammer Cable, as some, including myself, have previously predicted, then he could just go see Historia, and use her child, which would have the Beast Titan’s powers and now be a Titan of royal blood, to restart the Rumbling.
The first time I heard this theory, I thought it was a definite possibility and would be a cool way for Isayama to have Eren win in the end.
However, the more I thought about it and the more counterpoints I heard, I am pretty unsure of it.
For starters, what would be the point of all the sacrifices the Alliance have made and the character development they have had just for them to be beaten like this at the end?
Also, as many have pointed out, Eren was heavily against Historia’s child being used as a pawn, yet now he’s going to use that child in a similar way to which he was against earlier?
Maybe Isayama could find a way to write around these problems and this could be the ending we get but, honestly, I find this theory to be pretty unlikely now.

Alternate Universe Ending Theory.

As the series has been getting closer and closer to its end, I have seen more and more dreaded alternate universe ending theories popping up.
I say “dreaded” because the alternate universe theory would be the worst ending possible, in my opinion.
Either Eren comes from the high school au and transported himself and everyone he knows into the Attack on Titan world, or Eren finds a way to transport everyone from his world into the high school au.
Either way, I really, really, really don’t like this theory.
If Eren took away everyone from their peaceful lives and put them in the hellish world of Attack on Titan then there goes any sympathy I had for his character.
If Eren transports everyone into the High School AU then what’s the point of getting emotional whenever I read the story again, since I know that none of this matters because everyone’s just going to be reborn into a happier life?
Not to mention that the only build up for this is a small panel of Mikasa and Armin from the High School AU in Eren’s memory fragments, which is nowhere near enough needed to justify this ending.
Whatever ending we get, I really hope it is not the alternate universe one.

Helos Ending Theory.

Ok, so now we arrive at the ending theory that I find to be the most likely.
However, I’m not too sure how well the fandom would react to this because of its similarities to Code Geass. 
Now, I’ve wanted Attack on Titan to have its own orginal ending for a while so have mostly been against Eren pulling a Lelouch.
However, I do think Isayama could twist this enough to at least make it semi-original.
This theory is that Eren started the Rumbling to give the Alliance the chance to destroy the Hallucigenia, ending the Titan powers once and for all, and becoming heroes to the world, potentially saving Paradis from destruction.
Hear me out because I think there is quite a bit of build up for this, specifically with Reiner.
For starters, Reiner has often been associated with Helos imagery, like in Chapter 117 when Magath is talking about Helos and there needing to be a hero to save the world, which is literally placed over a panel of Reiner.
Then there’s Reiner tackling the Hallucigenia and holding it back from Eren’s head in Chapter 137, which looks suspciously like the statue of Helos killing the Devil of All Earth from the Marley Arc.
This would also fit in with Reiner’s character arc, with him finally becoming the hero he wanted to be as a child but gave up on after realizing all of the horrible things he had done.
Whether Reiner or Eren dies from this, I am uncertain.
However, I am certain that, if this happens, it will result in a final confrontation between Mikasa and Eren, most likely causing the “See you later, Eren” scene, which was foreshadowed all the way back in Chapter 1.
This being Eren’s plan could also explain some of the inconsistencies in the final battle.
The Warhammer Titan didn’t remove the explosives from Eren’s nape because Eren wanted the Alliance to expose the Hallucigenia and kill it.
The Rumbling stopped when Zeke was killed because Eren had Ymir actually make it tied to his royal blood.
The Alliance defeated Eren with no casulaties because Eren let them win, not wanting to hurt them and also painting them as heroes to save them and Paradis.
With the Alliance becoming heroes to the world, this could create a tense peace.
However, notice the use of the word “tense” because I think it would be against what Isayama has set up in Attack on Titan for there to be instant, unanimous peace.
One of the main themes of Attack on Titan is that the world is cruel but beautiful and I think this is how it will be with the ending if this theory does happen.
There will still be tension and racism between Eldians and the rest of the world but there will also be hope.
Hope most likely held togethor by people like Historia and Kiyomi, who might work to save Paradis in the aftermath of the Rumbling by using diplomacy, since all of the military leaders in Paradis are now dead, effectively leaving Historia in charge, and Kiyomi now wants to make ammends for her actions playing a part in the Rumbling’s beginnings.
There’s also the idea that destroying the Hallucigenia will destroy the Paths, freeing Ymir and causing her to be reborn as Historia’s child.
So, despite its similarities to Code Geass’ ending, I think Isayama could actually pull this kind of ending off with his own unique spin to it.

How Will the Final Panel Occur?

So with all of these theories laid out, the question is, “how will the final panel that Isayama teased result from these potential endings?”
Well, this is another reason to rule the alternate universe theory out because someone holding a baby and saying that they’re free would make no sense in a high school au where nothing previously mattered.
The other two ending theories, though, do have possibilities to tie into the final panel, three possibilities in fact.
Number one: Eren survives somehow and is the one holding the baby at the end, telling them that they are free.
Number two: Eren dies in the real world but his soul stays inside the Paths somehow and he is holding the baby from there.
If the baby is Ymir reborn then Eren telling her that she is free would also be the perfect way to conclude things.
Finally, number three: the final panel is a flashback to Eren’s birth and Grisha is the one telling him that he is free, not only redeeming himself for how he raised Zeke, but also instilling Eren’s drive for freedom, which he had for his entire life.
Those are the three options that I think we have for the final panel right now.
I’m excited to see if I am right about this or if Isayama has something else in mind.
Before that, though, we have to read Chapter 138, which, as I’ve stated, will most likely be the chapter where we get the final big plot twist of the story before the ending in Chapter 139.
I can’t wait to see what happens.

Tales of Zestiria Review: This One’s a Mess.

2 and a half stars
I played my first Tales game,
Tales of Vesperia, almost a year ago, when my country went into lockdown because of the pandemic.
Although I struggled with the combat and found the game pretty outdated in certain areas, I still enjoyed many of its aspects, especially its main cast of characters, which probably puts Vesperia in my top ten video game casts.
So, upon stumbling across Tales of Zestiria in a store I, naturally, had to buy it.
Going in, I knew that Zestiria was considered to be one of the weakest games in the series but, wow, is this game a bit of a mess.
Honestly, when I started planning this review it was initially going to be a positive one but, just like my The Rise of Skywalker review, I came up with so many negatives that I couldn’t justify giving this a positive review.
That’s not to say there aren’t good things about Zestiria because there certainly are but the bad and mediocre do outweigh that good here.
Developed by Bandai Namco, and directed by Yuuta Hase and Mari Miyata, Tales of Zestiria is set in the mythical land of Glenwood, where mystical beings known as Seraphim but cannot be seen by human, except for a mere few who have the resonance to do so.
However, a dark force produced by humans, known as Manevolence, threatens both them and the Seraphim, turning them into monsters known as Hellions.
This is where the Shepherd comes in, the mythica hero capable of seeing Seraphim and purifying the Hellions.
Our hero is Sorey (Robbie Daymond, English Dub), the next Shepherd who, along with his close friend and Seraphim Mikleo (Michael Johnston), sets out to purify the world of Manevolence and stop the evil Lord of Calamity who controls the Hellions.

Following this opening prologue, the game delivers an epic opening, “White Light” by Superfly.

The first thing I will say about Zestiria’s story is that it is incredibly generic, with not much of a driving force.
It’s a typical good guys vs bad guys story, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for so long it feels like the characters are just wandering around with no clear direction.
Granted, Vesperia had a pretty generic story as well but what it did have in its favor was a clear direction, helped by a fantastic set of characters.
In comparison, Zestiria’s characters are pretty boring and have little to no character development.
Sorey is a hero who is always saved from making the hard choices, Mikleo probably has the most striking lack of character development considering what he learns about his past, Alisha (Alexis Tipton) was completely wasted, Lailah (Carrie Keranen) is pretty annoying and hides crucial information for dramatic effect, and I found Dezel’s (Chris Nioso) story to be pretty problematic with his abrupt “redemption.”
I at least liked Rose (Caitlin Glass) and Zaveid (Ian Sinclair) but, again, they have little to no character development.
The one member of the main party who I found to be a great character was Edna (Kira Buckland) who, even though she didn’t have a lot of development, is just hilarious and her presence alone makes the boring characters interesting for at least a couple of scenes.

Edna instantly won me over with her introduction and she is the game’s most insteresting and funny character.

Then there’s the main villain, The Lord of Calamity, Heldaf (Patrick Seitz), who is also incredibly boring but at least has the benefit of a backstory, which made him slightly more interesting than boring.
Speaking of that backstory, though, having to collect all of the Earthen Historia to find out his past and actually progress the game was such a chore.
With that, I now have to get into the gameplay, which, oh, boy, is also a big mess.
I said in my review of Vesperia that I struggled with its mechanics because I was new to the series and Zestiria really did not help this with how needlessly complicated its leveling up and attack system is.
It often left me scratching my head about what exactly I was supposed to do and, even after completing the game, I’m not entirely sure.
Still, I did like the Armitization parts of the gameplay, although I can see some people’s complaints about how they limit your choices in combat, with the player being forced to keep Sorey and Rose in combat.

While the Armitization system does limit gameplay optinions, it is, at the very least, enjoyable.

I also found the final boss to be pretty rewarding in terms of difficulty, so there was that.
I’m just glad we got to fight it an open area and not an inclosed one, since I never would have beaten the final boss if that happened because the camera is really bad in Zestiria.
Seriously, whenever I entered a dungeon and I had to fight an enemy in a tight corridor, the camera would constantly get stuck and I would have no idea what was happening, more often than not resulting in the party’s inevitable death.
So, overall, Tales of Zestiria is quite a mess.
There’s certainly good things, like some of the character interactions, mostly due to Edna, and I found some bits of combat, like Armitization and the final boss, to be rewarding.
However, the story is extremely generic and has no drive for a while, the characters are mostly boring and have no development, and the gameplay is needlessly complicated with a horrible camera in tight spaces.
At least this game resulted in Tales of Berseria, which I just finished and cannot wait to review because I loved it.
As for Zestiria, though, in my opinion, there’s no better word to describe it than a “mess.”

Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Eleven, Deceiver Review: Oh, Boy! Here I go Killing Again!

4 stars
Oh, Gabi, Gabi, Gabi.
Why must you further enrage the Attack on Titan community?
Even though I think Gabi is a great character, I did find myself wanting to slap her in the eleventh episode of the Final Season, “Deceiver”, although that was pretty much the point.
Directed by Teruyuki Ōmine, the episode title refers to many characters, from Floch, to Reiner, to Zeke, to Kaya, to, of course, Gabi and Falco, who are the main decievers of the episode.
This is made clear right from the get-go, as Gabi fakes a seizure to lure a guard into her and Falco’s cell and beat him unconcious with a rock so they can escape… or at least it was implied that he was unconcious in the manga.
Curiously, in the anime they decided to make it abundantly clear that Gabi had killed the guy, who Falco clearly points out was trying to help her.
Gabi goes even further, planning to kill Kaya if she doesn’t buy into her cover story, when the girl stumbles across her and Falco.
She even actually does attempt to kill her, when she learns that Kaya herself was deceiving them because she knew they were from Marley the whole time.
I’ve seen someone use the Rick and Morty “Oh, boy! Here I go killing again!” gag to describe Gabi and it’s funny because it’s absolutley true.
Despite this, I still don’t hate Gabi.
Again, I did want to slap her when she was blaming Kaya, her mother, and their ancestors for all of their suffering but I still know that Gabi is a brainwashed girl, indoctrinated by Marleyan propaganda.
In any case, she seems to have suffered the first blow to this indoctrination in “Deciever” through experiencing kindness from Sasha’s family, with neither Gabi nor Sasha’s parents knowing that she killed their daughter, and Kaya logically breaking apart Gabi’s arguments about the Eldians supposed sins before tearfully demanding an answer.
This results in the final blow for Gabi’s first pillar of indoctrination by the end of the episode, as Kaya offers to help Gabi and Falco get back to Marley by taking them to see Niccolo because she knows that Sasha would help them and she wants to be just like her.
Following this emotional moment, we get the post credits scene of Reiner and the rest of the Warriors beginning to plan their attack on Paradis.
This continued one of the earliest scenes in the episode, where Reiner woke up and demanded to know where Gabi and Falco were.
Reiner may have been suicidal earlier but now he has a new purpose that keeps him living: rescuing Gabi and Falco.
This causes him to criticize Magath’s plan to wait six months for Marley and the other countires of the world to create a global alliance to attack Paradis because Zeke would have undoubtedly made a plan by then.
His announcement that they need to launch a surprise attack on Paradis immediately makes for quite the cliffhanger.
Also, it is pretty funny that the shot cuts to him when Porco wonders how Zeke could have betrayed them.
Reiner’s own sins as a deceiver are always right in front of him, with him constantly being reminded of them through one way or another.
Speaking of reminders, Hange is forced to remember how the corrupt Sannes told her that she would basically be taking his place eventually all the way back in Season Three.
Whereas once Hange fought to let the people know everything the government was hiding from them in the Uprising Arc, she now has to lie to them until she knows all the info that there is, bringing more distrust down on her and the new government.
This is not helped by Floch and a bunch of recruits leaking information about Eren’s arrest.
Now that Floch has seen Eren acting like a devil, just like Erwin, he is fully on his team, a stark contrast to how he was against him at the end of The Return to Shiganshina Arc, showing just how much Floch perception of Eren has chanhged over the four year time skip.
It’s not just Floch, though, because many others are on the side of Eren, including Louise, the girl Mikasa saved all the way back in Season One.
Now devoted to following Eren, based on Mikasa’s example, Louise’s dedication in spite of military law causes Mikasa to remember Eren saving her all those years ago, through a mysterious headache.
However, Eren saving Mikasa is now painted in an even darker lens than it already was in that first season.
Eren has always been capable of committing atrocities and this flashback makes it very clear, even though the people who kidnapped Mikasa and killed her parents pretty much deserved it for what they did.
Along with Floch and Louise, there’s also Yelena, who is almost certainly involved in Eren’s schemes, based on Pyxis’ findings, yet, so far, she’s keeping her mouth closed.
There are a lot of decievers in this episode, making the title quite fitting, which is funny because it was actually swapped with the next episode’s title “Guides.”
While “Deceiver” does fit nicely for this episode, I wonder if “Guides” will end up doing so for Episode Twelve, considering that I can’t quite think of a way in which that title will suit its events.
Either way, “Deciever” is still a really good episode of Attack on Titan. 
Not only does it have some great, emotional scenes for many of the titular decievers, but it also came with some fantastic animation, especially for the backgrounds.
The episode did make me want to slap Gabi but, again, I’m pretty sure that’s the point.

The Promised Neverland, Season Two, Episode Six Review: A Terrible Case of Tell Don’t Show.

two out of five
It’s funny how a couple of episodes has been enough for me to pretty much lose all hope for The Promised Neverland Season Two.
Episodes Three and Four did concern me with all of their cut content, including the best character in the entire story being removed, but I was hopeful because of new scenes given to characters who needed it, like Isabella.
However, then Episode Five happened, cofirming that they had skipped the Goldy Pond Arc, causing everything to make absolutley no sense, including Norman’s return, which was incredibly rushed.
Then there was last week’s “episode”, where they just pointlessly recapped the entire story, including everything in season two for some weird reason, and that would have been completley pointless to do a review on.
Now, we have what looks like the final nail in the coffin for me: Episode Six.
Wow, was this a bad episode.
Directed by Yoshiki Katai, this episode commits the cardinal sin that almost every story should avoid completley, instead of when absolutley necessary, by telling instead of showing.
After Emma and Ray’s reunion with Norman, which lacks any emotion because of how short he has been gone in the anime, Norman goes on a long exposition spiel about what he’s been doing for the past year.
He explains how he was taken to be experimented on at a place called Lambda, how he escaped with the help of someone called Smee, who was then killed, and has since created a drug that he plans to use to cause all demons to degenerate, with all of this happening off screen.
This scene has to be one of the worst cases of telling and not showing that I have ever witnessed.
I will give the anime some credit, though, because this was not entirely its fault.
From what I recall, the manga did not show many of these events either and Norman just explained it through an exposition scene as well.
So, this poor moment is partially the manga’s fault and the anime is just adapting it.
However, the anime still does it way worse because even in the manga we do see at least some of Norman’s time in Lambda, what lead him there, and his plan actually makes sense because he has the means to do it.
Here, he has none of the resources he had in the manga so his plan to eventually use this drug to degenerate all demons is just stupid.
Just as annoying is Emma’s response to this because most of her character development has been cut along with the previous arcs.
Emma’s trauma and now wanting to find a way to make peace with the demons makes very little sense in this episode because it lacks any context because of these cuts.
This makes the attempted emotional moment where Ray convinces Emma to go and talk to Norman ring extremely hollow.
Speaking of Emma and Ray going to talk to Norman, it is here that we are officially introduced to his crew of Cislo, Barbara, Vincent and Zazie.
Honestly, I never really cared for these characters in the manga.
If anything, I actually found them all rather annoying, so it’s a very bitter pill to swallow for me that these are the characters the anime decided to adapt, instead of the likes of Yuugo, Lucas and Leuvis.
Barbara especially got on my nerves, what with her crazed rant at Emma, which, again, makes no sense because Emma has not gone through any events that would make her feel this way, like she did in the original story.
At least this leads into the one redeeming quality of the episode, where Emma and Ray tell Norman about Mujika and Sonju being able to survive without eating humans, causing Norman to look horrified, calling Mujika the “evil blooded girl.”
It makes for a good cliffhanger, which will surely have anime only viewers speculating.
Other than this, though, Episode Six is a flat out terrible episode, full of rushed scenes, annoying new characters, character incosistency, and one of the worst cases of telling instead of showing.
I now have very little hope for the rest of this adaptation and am honestly not looking forward to Episode Seven, or any other subsequent episode for that matter.
I hate to say it but The Promised Neverland Season Two is getting the Tokyo Ghoul treatment.