The Last of Us Part 2: State of Play Trailer and Release Date Discussion.

The wait is finally over for The Last of Us Part 2 news.
There were so many leaks and rumors over the past few years, both true and untrue, that I was just dying for more details on the upcoming sequel to my favourite video game of all time.
Well, this morning we got the details and then some with the latest State of Play, which included a trailer for the game, along with the much anticipated release date.
It is official; the rumors about February were correct because The Last of Us Part 2 will be released on February 21st 2020.
And now begins the slow, agonizing wait for the game to come out.
Not that I think that February is too far away, it really isn’t, but whenever you badly want something the days just seem longer until it comes out.
In any case, the trailer gave us all lots of juicy details to analyse before the game is released.
The biggest of these is that we finally got a look at Joel, alive no less!
He appears right at the end of the trailer and the graphics for him are fantastic.
He has had quite an update from the previous game to the point that I actually think he looks like an older Troy Baker.

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Joel looks incredibly different from how he looked in the first game with the updated graphics.

Along with the appearance of Joel we also get the basic plot of the game, with Ellie (Ashley Johnson) going to get revenge after a personal loss.
While the person Ellie loses is not shown, all signs point to Dina (Shannon Woodward).
Their relationship is just too happy at the beginning of the trailer for it to end well.
With Ellie losing Dina in a snow storm and then stumbling across a cabin where she walks in on something bad, only to be attacked and forced to watch as someone is shot, Dina seems like the most probable person to die.
Unless, of course, this is Naughty Dog wanting us to think it is Dina who dies and they actually kill someone else.
However, the only character I can think of whose death would be enough to get Ellie to go on a journey of revenge is Joel.
This would mean that Ellie is hallucinating him at the end of the trailer but I have never really liked this theory so I hope this is not the case.
Another thing that has me concerned is the people Ellie is after, the Seraphites.
In other trailers we have seen that their method of killing people is to hang them and then disembowel them, and this could make the deaths of Joel or Dina especially horrifying.
Granted, we do hear a gunshot so whoever is killed could die quickly but, again, that could be a part of the trailer intentionally used to mislead.
Also, part of me thinks that it is possible Naughty Dog would do something so dark.
No matter who dies, though, the moment from where Ellie first walks into the cabin to where she is sitting looking broken, with her bare back covered in bruises, is chilling, and sent goosebumps going up my skin.

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The scene with Ellie in the cabin looks to be the most harrowing moment of the game.

From here, Ellie is shown to begin her revenge quest with Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) advising her against it, only for her not to listen.
She almost seems suicidal as she expresses that she doesn’t care how many people the Seraphites have or how well armed they are.
Ellie appears to be solely focused on getting her revenge, not matter what happens to her, and this is translated well through the brutal combat.
I praised the gameplay in the last trailer for how cinematic it all looked and the new trailer continues this.
Ellie pulls an arrow out of her shoulder after getting shot, and even snatches an ax out of an enemy’s hands before killing him with it.
We also get a look at new Clickers and Bloaters, both of which look especially terrifying.
Speaking of the infected, we get a few shots of Ellie going through a spore infested area when she is still with Dina, and she is wearing a gas mask.
This makes me think Ellie is hiding her immunity from everyone else and this could backfire quite a bit if she loses that mask and someone notices.
Back to the gameplay, we also get a quick look at Ellie fighting a dog, which appears to be owned by the Seraphites because it does not look wild and has a collar.
I could honestly talk about how great the gameplay looks forever but I will finish by stating how fantastic the graphics are.
They are downright stunning with both the environment and character animations being awe inspiring.

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The graphics for The Last of Us Part 2 are absolutely stunning with great landscapes.

The opening moments of the trailer give off a real Red Dead Redemption 2 vibe with the snow effects.
All in all, the latest trailer for The Last of Us Part 2 has got me even more hyped up for the game, if that is even possible considering how hyped I already was.
It looks to contain an emotional story, immersive and brutal gameplay, and beautiful animation.
Now we just have to wait a few months for what looks like the next masterpiece from Naughty Dog.

Attack on Titan Ending About to be Revealed… WHY!?

One of the things I hate the most about fandoms is the spoilers.
Whenever I find a story that is highly engaging to me, I want to see it the entire way through with no indication of what will happen.
Sadly, this does not always happen.
Too often someone will ignorantly blurt out a spoiler without realizing it.
I will admit I have made that mistake.
Worse is when trolls actively set out to ruin someone’s experience by spoiling the entire story to them.
There have even been cases of those involved in the story accidentally spoiling events and twists.
However, I have never heard of a writer actively going out of their way to spoil their own story.
Until now.
It was recently revealed that an Attack on Titan exhibition coming this year will reveal “the ending of the story”, in audio format.
That’s right, even though Attack on Titan is still somewhere in its final arc, how that arc will end the series is going to be revealed months in advance.
Before I go on a rant about this, I want to say that I respect the writer of Attack on Titan, Hajime Isayama, a great deal.
He has crafted his story incredibly well, with various examples of great story telling, characters, twists and lore.
That said though, if Isayama actually does reveal the ending to the entire series, long before the time comes for that official release, he will have made a monumentally bad decision.
Why would a writer spoil their own ending?
That just removes almost all the tension leading up to that point.
Now some will argue that if people do not want to know what happens then they could just not look up the spoilers, but there is a big problem with this conclusion, this being the fandom.
Attack on Titan is one of the most spoiler fueled fandoms I have ever seen.
When I was only watching the anime I was getting spoiled about future events left and right, which ultimately made me read the rest of the manga.
After the ending to Attack on Titan is revealed there will be people who accidentally spoil it.
Then there are the trolls who will have a field day attempting to ruin people’s fun by spoiling them.
So, by revealing the ending to those who do want to see it, Isayama is also accidentally giving trolls the means to spoil others who do want to see it.
If the ending is revealed, then people getting spoiled, when they do not want to be, will be inevitable.
Many people’s only option to avoid these spoilers will be to disconnect from the Attack on Titan community entirely until after the series finally ends.
I really do not know what Isayama is trying to do here.
Is he trying to build hype or unsure of how his ending will be received so is attempting to gauge the fans’ reaction?
He also released a draft image from the final chapter last year, which was already taking it too far.
I can only hope that when the article says the exhibition will reveal “the ending of the story” it means that it will be just as ambiguous as the draft panel that was shown.
Either way, I will not be looking up these spoilers because I want to see the entire story the whole way through, without knowing how it will end.
Please Isayama, don’t spoil the ending!

 

No, Attack on Titan is NOT Antisemitic.

I really did not want to talk about this.
More than that, I expected this topic to quickly die out because of how absurd it is.
But its nearly been three months and people are still talking about it, so I might as well just say what I have to because I feel it needs to be said.
No, Attack on Titan is NOT antisemitic.
Honestly, when people first started talking about this I was surprised by how a lot of people appear to be misreading the manga in such a big way.
I think I should start from the beginning, when Chapter 114 of Attack on Titan was released.
This chapter detailed the backstory of the main villain of the series, Zeke, and his true motivations.
It is revealed here that because of all the prejudice he has suffered for being an Eldian, Zeke has come to believe that all Eldians are born to suffer.
As a result, he decides it would be best to euthanize his entire race by sterilizing them so no more children can be born.
After this chapter was released, many people used this backstory as proof that the Attack on Titan writer, Hajime Isayama, is antisemitic.
Along with this, they used other pieces of evidence, like that the main character, Eren, is supposedly in support of Zeke’s plan.
Then there is the idea that Eldians are based off the Jewish people so, because they can turn into monsters, this is an analogy for Jews being monsters.
And finally there is the fact that Isayama based the characters of Dot Pyxis off Akiyama Yoshifuru, a general who has been accused of war crimes, and Erwin Smith off Erwin Rommel, a Nazi general.
However, to believe all of this so called evidence of antisemitism is to mistakenly look over some rather obvious proof to the contrary.
Because Zeke’s backstory and motivations are not Isayama showing he believes some races should be wiped out, it is him creating a cautionary tale about the damage racism can have on individual people and entire cultures.
Zeke’s plan to euthanize Eldians was mostly created by the racism he suffered from Marleyans for being Eldian.
Without this racism, Zeke would never have come up with this cruel plan, or had the means to put that plan into motion.
Then there is the evidence that Eren is now siding with Zeke’s euthanasia plan, which is highly flawed evidence because it has been hinted multiple times that Eren is just using Zeke to achieve his own goals and will actually not go through with the plan.
Then there is the whole theory about the analogy to Jews being monsters, which is just ridiculous.
Yes, The Eldians can turn into Titans and they do wear arm bands like the Nazis forced the Jews to wear during the holocaust.
But might I remind you that the Eldians are the heroes of this story?
If Eldians are truly meant to represent the Jews and the Marleyeans are meant to represent the Nazis, then this paints Jewish people in a positive light with the heroes being representative of them.
Onto the argument that Isayama based the characters of Pyxis and Erwin off war criminals, this piece of evidence is actually true because Isayama has said he respects Akiyama Yoshifuru, who Pyxis is based off.
However, when you look at how Pyxis is portrayed in the series, things get complicated.
Isayama does not portray Pyxis as some paragon of virtue, but as a flawed human being who is willing to go down in history as the butcher if it achieves his goals.
Yes, Isayama’s idealization of Yoshifuru may be serverly misplaced, but at least through Pyxis he highlights his various flaws.
Then there is Erwin being based off the Nazi general Erwin Rommel, whose knowledge and opinion of the holocaust is questionable and he may have been involved in a plot to kill Hitler.
Not only this, but Isayama also does not portray Erwin as a perfect individual either but, like Pyxis, a highly flawed human being, despite being on our protagonists’ side.
Finally there is a bulk load of counter evidence to go against this idea of Attack on Titan being racist and antisemitic.
The Marleyeans are constantly portrayed in a negative light for their horrific actions, propaganda is frowned upon in the series, and our protagonists actually take down a monarchy with fascist elements in the Uprising Arc.
In conclusion, I think there can be no doubt that Attack on Titan is not antisemitic.
There is just too much evidence to the contrary.
People have just massively misinterpreted many of the ideas in the story and have not looked at the evidence which directly contradicts their misinterpretation of the series being antisemitic.
To me, Attack on Titan remains a series that provides commentary on the horrors of war and the extreme consequences of racism and persecution.
If you still think the series and its writer are antisemitic then I beg you to please read the story over again, and you will hopefully see that this is far from the case.

Attack on Titan Chapter 116 Predictions.

Chapter 115 of Attack on Titan, “Support,”was an amazing read, with many explosive reveals that will have a lasting impact on the series.
From Levi’s uncertain fate, to Zeke’s resurrection, to Pieck ambushing Eren, the chapter had many moments that left my jaw on the floor, and wondering how these storylines would continue in Chapter 116, and beyond.
So, I decided to list my theories and predictions for the upcoming chapter, and others, to see if I get any right.
Let’s get into it.

What does Yelena plan to do and how does Onyankopon factor in?

It was clear right from the moment Yelena entered the story that she was untrustworthy and Hajime Isayama has definitely followed through on making her so.
She is essentially a crazy Zeke fan girl, who believes he is a god and will follow his every command.
This has me wondering what she and the other Yeagerists have planned for the military members who drunk the wine with Zeke’s spinal fluid, including Pyxis.
The chapter ends Yelena’s scene with her declaring that Pyxis and the others must be punished for going against Zeke.
I think this punishment will be turning him, and everyone else identified by an armband as having drunk the wine, into Titans with Zeke’s scream.
These Titans will then be used in the final battle when the world commences an all out assault on Paradis.
Sadly, this means Pyxis, Nile, and every other person in the military who drank the wine will die.
However, I do not think they will go down fighting.
Pyxis has been getting a lot of scenes with Yelena and this has me believing he will play a central role in her downfall.
Then there is Onyankopon, whose loyalties remain uncertain.
He was helping Hange in prior chapters but in “Support” he was seen working with Yelena again.
However, I believe that Isayama laid a few subtle hints in this scene that he may actually betray her.
There is a panel of him glaring at her out of the corner of his eye and, when Pyxis asks her why Yelena is thinking of saving the world rather than the island, Onyankopon questions her, showing he has not been told the full plan.
Because of all this, I think Onyankopon will begin working against her, potentially helping Pyxis and maybe even releasing Mikasa, Armin and the rest of the scouts from their prison cell.
As for what happens next, only time will tell.

What will happen to Levi and Hange?

When Chapter 115 was released and everyone thought Levi died, a thousand fans screamed out in anguish.
But, upon closer inspection, it looks like Levi actually survived the explosion.
Otherwise, Hange would not have glared at Floch when he asked to check Levi’s pulse, and she would not have taken his body when she jumped into the river.
Finally, there is Levi’s new scar.
Isayama would not go to the trouble of giving him a battle scar if he was not still alive.
So, if Levi is alive, the question is what happens to him and Hange now?
Many people have speculated about where the river will take the two and most believe they are either going to Shiganshina or Historia’s home.
It honestly could be either, or neither, at this point.
This is the one question that I do not have the slightest idea what the answer is.
Arriving in Shiganshina may seem a bit too convenient, and the reason I do not think they will end up at Historia’s ties into my next prediction.
In all honesty, I think it could be a few chapters before we figure out what happened to them.
All I can say for certain is that if Levi is going to die then Hajime Isayama will be sure to give him a meaningful, and impactful, sendoff.
The crazy fan girls would attack him if he did not.

Where are Reiner and Porco?

The reason I do not believe Levi and Hange will meet up with Historia is because I believe two other characters are going to: Reiner and Porco.
We have not seen these two since Chapter 108, and this created much confusion when Pieck was shown on Paradis without these two with her.
Since Reiner suggested an all out assault on Paradis in 108, it would be weird if Pieck was the only one sent to the island.
So Reiner and Porco must be on an important mission there that we have not been shown yet.
And, in my opinion, this important mission is to capture Historia.
This would make sense both for practical and story reasons.
Marley’s goal is to gain the Founding Titan power but, in order to do this, they need someone with royal blood.
This would make Historia and her unborn child vitally important to Marley.
As for the story reasons, Isayama could do a lot for the narrative and character arcs by having Reiner and Porco meet Historia.
Reiner had a crush on Historia when he was pretending to be a soldier, and made a promise to Ymir that he would save her.
These factors would put Reiner at odds with his mission, and could lead to more growth from him.
Personally though, I am much more interested in Historia meeting Porco.
Porco ate Ymir, who was Historia’s girlfriend, and now has all of her memories, which means he knows a lot about Historia.
Not only that but we have seen how memories affect Titan Shifters, like when Armin inherited Bertholdt’s memories.
So, both he and Historia could grow so much from meeting and interacting with one another.
Not only that, but this could hopefully lead to some more revelations about Ymir with maybe a flashback with Porco’s memories from her?
Hopefully?
In any case, I truly believe that not having Historia and Porco meet would be a massive missed opportunity.
Another thing to note is that this could finally let us know what is going on with Historia’s pregnancy.
If you have read any of my prior reviews, then you know I hate this storyline so am hoping for some kind of twist to make it better.
Maybe her meeting up with Reiner and Porco could provide this?

What is Pieck’s Plan?

After talking about Reiner and Porco, we now move on to their comrade, Pieck.
We spent five chapters wondering what she was up to when she appeared in Chapter 110 and “Support” gave us our answer.
In the cliffhanger of Chapter 115, Pieck ambushes Eren when he comes to talk to Gabi, stabbing his guard in the throat and then holding him at gunpoint.
On the surface, this seems like a stupid decision on Pieck’s part.
Her Titan is by far the weakest of the nine and Eren has three Titan powers, among them the two most powerful, the Founding and Warhammer Titan.
This puts Pieck at a huge disadvantage and, again, makes her look stupid.
But here’s the thing: Pieck is not stupid.
Isayama has shown her to be one of the smartest characters in Attack on Titan time and time again.
She managed to free herself and Porco from the hole Yelena trapped them in and, most recently, managed to sneak into Eren’s inner circle and ambush him.
Not to mention that Zeke constantly praising Pieck for her intelligence, with him proclaiming “that’s exactly right, Pieck”, has become a meme.
So, Pieck must have some sort of plan but what is it?
Coming back to my theory about Reiner and Porco going to capture Historia and her baby, this might tie into that plan.
One of Eren’s biggest motivations for turning against the military was because they planned to sacrifice Historia so he would want to protect her at all cost.
And, if the fanbase is right and Eren is the true father of Historia’s child, this would increase his desire to save her tenfold.
Therefore, maybe this is the ace up Pieck’s sleeve.
She could threaten Historia’s life if Eren does not cooperate.
Or, maybe Eren could convince Pieck to come over to his side, who knows?
Either way, if Eren kills Pieck next chapter I will be dissapointed, both because it would make Pieck look like an idiot, and because we know the least about her out of all of the warriors.
I really like Pieck as a character and what to know more about her, so maybe Chapter 116 will give us some insight into her backstory and what her true motivations are.

Who is the little girl who resurrected Zeke and what part will she play in the story?

Ymir Fritz… Seriously, who else could it be?
If the little girl who saved Zeke is anyone other than Ymir Fritz I will be shocked.
And, since Ymir Fritz has probably been introduced, then that truly shows that we are in the endgame of this story.
What I find to be the most interesting question right now is how the original Ymir will tie into this endgame?
She saved Zeke so he is obviously important to whatever her plans are.
This may make it seem like she is trying to make his euthanization plan succeed but I think her goal is quite the opposite.
I believe she may actually be trying to make Eren’s plan come true because I am almost certain he is manipulating Zeke.
Whatever Eren’s true plan is, he needs Zeke to initiate it and Ymir Fritz saving Zeke shows she is in favor of that plan working.
Maybe she is even already in communication with Eren, since he has three of the nine Titan Shifter powers.
Whether she is or not though, I am almost certain she will play a pivotal role in the story’s conclusion.
I also have a number of theories about how she may be connected to this ending, and I believe it all comes down to Historia’s child.
If you look at Ymir Fritz, she looks almost exactly like Historia when she was a child, living on her mother’s farm.
Not only that, but she has a similar pose, holding a bucket just like Historia.
As for the baby, it would make a lot of sense for Historia to name her baby Ymir because of how much she had an influence on her life.
This would technically make this child’s name Ymir Fritz since this was Historia’s family’s original name before they changed it to Reiss.
My theory is that Historia’s child IS Ymir Fritz and that she is working through paths to ensure Eren’s plan works in the past.
Maybe the series will end with Eren sending his memories of her into the past, generating the legend about Ymir gaining her powers from the devil, which may be Eren.
Although if this theory is correct, then it does raise the plot hole of what created the Titans in the first place so I am probably wrong about this.
Still, I do not think I am wrong about Ymir Fritz playing a major role in the story’s conclusion as that is pretty much a given at this point.

So those are my predictions for Chapter 116 of Attack on Titan and beyond.
I hope you enjoyed them.
Be sure to check out my review for the chapter when it officially drops in April.

The Walking Dead Season Nine Episodes 12-14 Review: It Just Keeps Getting Darker and Darker.

Just when you think The Walking Dead cannot get any darker it keeps on surprising you.
The second half of season nine has continued with episodes 12-14, “Guardians,” “Chokepoint,” and “Scars,” all of which were great.
“Guardians” and “Chokepoint” continue the story of the Whisperers very well, and “Scars” is the best flashback episode the series has had in a long time.
As stated, the series just keeps getting more gruesome with each episode.
From Alpha brutally decapitating a challenger in “Guardians,” to Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) brutal fight with Beta and the other Whisperers in “Chokepoint”, and to Michonne (Danai Gurira) having to kill children to save Judith in “Scars.”
That last one is especially dark and feels very reminiscent of the season four episode “The Grove.”

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In one of the darkest scenes in The Walking Dead a pregnant Michonne has to kill kids to save her own.

It also serves as a satisfying explanation for the scars Michonne and Daryl have and why Michonne is so closed off.
Along with this, “Scars” is the first episode of The Walking Dead to make me tear up since Glenn was supposedly killed off in season six (before it was stupidly revealed he survived by hiding under a dumpster).
The conversation Michonne has with Judith (Cailey Fleming) about what she went through and how she became isolated to protect her brought a tear to my eye.
This also leads to Michonne finally deciding to open up and go to the fair, which will sadly have disastrous consequences for Alexandria, based off what happens in the comics.
As for the other episodes, they are also strong ones with “Guardians” serving as the introduction of Beta, played by Ryan Hurst.
Much like Samantha Morton as Alpha, I am loving Hurst as Beta because he is perfectly cast.

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Ryan Hurst is very intimidating as Beta and was the perfect choice for the role.

In this episode we are also given a first hand look at the way the Whisperers live, which is about as brutal as you would expect.
The scene where Alpha brutally murders the wife of the man who challenged her, and then hands him her head, before killing, is incredibly dark.
The episode also ends on a high note, with Daryl and Connie (Lauren Rindloff) using Whisperer masks to save Henry (Matt Lintz) and Lydia (Cassady McClincy).
This leads to episode twelve “Chokepoint,” which I actually consider to be the weakest of the three episodes because, while it does have an amazing main storyline, it has a very forgettable secondary storyline.
Watching Carol (Melissa McBride) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) deal with the Highwaymen felt unnecessary and more like the filler we would see in seasons seven and eight.
That said though, the storyline did end on a very funny note.
Also, the main storyline of this episode is so exciting.
The fight between Daryl and Beta had me on the edge of my seat and made me eager to see the eventual fights between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)) and Beta.

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The fight between Daryl and Beta was very well choreographed and intense, even though I knew it was unlikely either one would die.

This said, I hope they do a better job with Beta’s storyline than in the comics but, if how he has been presented so far is anything to go by, I would say there is a good chance the show can do it better.
All of these episodes are great and have me hyped up for the next episode, “The Calm Before,” which should be one of The Walking Dead‘s biggest moments.
I can still remember reading that moment in the comics and the feelings of shock and horror I felt.
Hopefully the show will be able to do this scene justice, just like they have been doing with the rest of the Whisperer Arc so far.

Please Donate to the Victims of the Christchurch Mass Shooting

Hello, yesterday, a mass shooting was committed in my home city of Christchurch.
A gunman walked into two mosques and opened fire, and 49 people have been confirmed dead.
This has been a massive shock, not just to everyone in Christchurch, but to everyone in New Zealand because we never thought we would experience such a terrible tragedy of mass murder.
My family and I are fine but there are many good people out there who have lost their loved ones.
I ask that you please donate to help these people at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/christchurch-shooting-victims-fund or www.everydayhero.co.nz/event/christchurch-shooting.
Even the smallest amount could help greatly.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy.
Thank you.

The Walking Dead Season Nine Episode 9-11 Discussion: True Terror.

The Walking Dead season nine has been killing it with the Whisperer Arc storyline so far.
The midseason finale served as a great introduction to these new villains and they have only got scarier since the series returned.
These three new episodes, “Adaptation”, “Omega”, and “Bounty”, continue to show that season nine is returning The Walking Dead to its former glory.
I know I have said this many times since season nine began, but Angela Kang was the perfect choice for showrunner because, under her direction, the series has bounced back from a low point in quality that many of us were concerned it could never recover from.
There are so many differences that improve on the series’ comic counterpart.
This is surprising to me because, off the top of my head, I cannot recall a time when the show has had a change that was better than the comic since season five.

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The characters are some of the best differences from the comics this season. In the comics Connie (Lauren Ridloff) is completely forgettable but in the show she is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.

Character development is truly where these new episodes shine, with many characters, like Daryl, having great scenes.
It is the new characters that steal the spotlight though, because Magna’s group, Lydia (Cassady McCliny), and Alpha are already miles better than their comic versions.
Samantha Morton’s Alpha is the true standout of these characters, with her being one of the most terrifying villains in the show’s history.
I love how they gave her this dirty look to fit with her savage nature as a Whisperer.
It was odd how, in the comics, Alpha’s skin was clean, despite wearing literal human skin all day, so this is an improvement.
Morton is also fantastically scary as the antagonist.
Watching the promos, I was originally unsure about her accent but, after watching the episodes, I can say it works perfectly.
Her arrival at the end of “Omega” is nothing short of chilling.

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Samantha Morton was the perfect choice for Alpha. She looks and acts absolutely terrifying.

Speaking of these episodes, they range from good to fantastic.
The first two, “Adaptation” and “Omega” are the good episodes.
They have plenty of amazing scenes but some moments do feel out of place and drag a little, especially in “Omega”.
This is not the case for “Bounty” though because it is already one of my favourite episodes of season nine.
“Bounty” truly shows what monstrous acts the Whisperers are capable of, with a mother Whisperer leaving her own baby to be eaten by the Walkers because it is too loud.
This new scene is very shocking and is a great addition to the show.
It also leads to one of the show’s scariest moments in recent memory, with Connie rescuing the baby and fleeing into a cornfield.
It is here where she constantly has to fend off the Walkers, and it is made all the more scarier because she is deaf.
It felt like something that would be seen in A Quiet Place. 
“Bounty” is just a great episode, with the only negative I have being the blatant stupidity of Henry (Matt Lintz).
Other than this, and a few missteps though, the first few episodes of The Walking Dead season nine’s second half continues the show’s climb of better quality.
It has me very excited for The Walking Dead‘s equivalent of the Red Wedding, which we will surely see by the end of the season.
And, with what we have got so far, I am sure Angela Kang can pull it off.

Attack on Titan: Season Three, Part Two. Trailer Thoughts.

When the second part of Attack on Titan season three was delayed for six months, I was not happy about it.
I found the lack of communication surrounding this information to be quite unprofessional.
Still, this does not change the fact that I am incredibly excited for the second half, and the recently released trailer has only served to increase my excitement.
I have read the manga since the first part of season three ended so I know where a lot of the shots in the trailer are from and what they mean.
I will not spoil these things but I will say that all of the shots look like they are from the first couple of episodes, just like the trailer for the Uprising Arc.
This makes me even more excited for this arc because of the excellent ways the panels of the manga have been adapted to the anime, which can be seen just by looking at this trailer.
Shots like Eren using his O.D.M Gear to rise above Shiganshina and bite his hand are amazing expansions of manga events, and look absolutely beautiful animation-wise.
We even get a few shots that I do not think were in the manga, like the one where Levi draws his swords while standing on his advancing horse.
This makes me interested in what other additions and changes will be made for the anime.
However, I know that not all of these changes will be for the better, based on the trailer.
This is clear from the shot where Levi stabs Reiner in the neck.
In the manga, the depiction of this scene is brutal and bloody, but in the trailer a sword blocks our view of this violence.
Reading the manga version of the Uprising Arc, it is easy to see how the series has been censored in the anime version and, unfortunately, this censorship looks set to continue in the Shiganshina Arc.
Granted, censorship will not completely destroy the impact of these scenes but it will certainly lessen them.
Although, if there is one thing that has not lessened in this trailer, it is, without a doubt, Attack on Titan’s excellent soundtrack.
Accompanying the trailer is a new variation of the song “Attack on Titan”, which was prevalent in season one and one of my favourite OSTs of the series.
I am very excited to hear its return and look forward to what new songs we will hear in this part of the season.
Overall, this trailer only added to my excitement levels for this arc.
In my opinion, The Shiganshina Arc is the greatest arc of Attack on Titan so far and I cannot wait to see how it is adapted.

The Walking Dead Season Nine, Episode Six to Mid Season Finale Discussion.

In my last The Walking Dead discussion post I talked about the departures of Maggie and Rick and how I felt they would impact the show.
I said that despite their departures the show’s future looked bright and, based on the final three episodes of this half of the season, I think I can stand by that statement.
Even though viewership is still declining, I think The Walking Dead is returning to its glory days and it will only get better as it goes on.
The show has already made improvements on its comic book counterpart, something that has not happened since season five.
This improvement can be seen in the episode after Rick’s Departure, “Who Are You Now?” where we get the official introduction of Magna (Nadia Hilker) and her group after they appeared at the end of the previous episodes.
I already think these characters are a massive improvement on their comic versions.
Magna is a lot more fleshed out and given more backstory, with it being revealed she was in prison.
Her group of Yumiko (Eleanor Matsura), Luke (Dan Fogler), Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Kelly (Angel Theory) are also made much more interesting because they are given more characteristics and a lot more to do.

Magna 3
The portrayal of Magna, Yumiko, Kelly, Connie and Luke is already better than what we have been given so far in the comics.

I also liked how this episode and the other ones place a divide between the communities.
Everything was all hunky-dory after all out war in the comics so to see such open hostilities between the communities is very interesting, especially because we do not know what caused this divide.
We do know it has something to do with the X’s carved into Daryl and Michonne’s back but not much else.
This adds a layer of mystery to the story, which I am really enjoying.
However, the seventh episode of the season “Stradivarius” is definitely the weakest of the season because, while it does continue the character growth of Magna and her group, it only slightly pushes the story forward.
It is certainly not a bad episode though, and the season not having one bad episode out of eight is definitely something the last few seasons cannot attest to.
The mid-season finale, “Evolution”, is one of the best episodes of the season, possibly only falling behind Rick’s goodbye episode “What Comes After.”
It features the moment I have been waiting for even since it happened in the comics… the reveal of the Whisperers and it does not disappoint.
The final moments of this episode felt like a horror movie and brought incredible levels of tension.
This unfortunately led to the death of Jesus.
I had heard rumors of his death before watching the episode but I was still disappointed to see him go because, just like his actor Tom Payne said, he had been badly underused up to this point.
That said, what an epic way for him to go out.
It was a masterful sequence that shocked me, even though I knew it was coming, and showed the true horror of the Whisperers.
Just as Jesus finishes killing some Walkers in an amazing use of slow motion he walks towards safety but two more stand in his way.
He takes out the first one when suddenly the second one ducks and stabs him from behind whispering in his air, “you are where you do not belong” as thunder crashes around them.

Jesus
Even though it is sad to see Jesus go he got one hell of a send off.

This was an amazing way to reveal the Whisperers because it shows how deadly they are with many unable to tell if they are Walkers or Whisperers in disguise.
We then got the intense cliffhanger of the group realizing the supposed talking Walkers are actually people wearing their skin and then hearing multiple Whisperers as they surround them before cutting to black.
And, with that, the first half of season nine comes to a close.
I have been saying for a while now that season nine was the make it or break it season for me, where the show would either recover from its dark descent or rise above it.
Thankfully, I am now certain that the show has moved past the dark times of seasons seven and eight.
Angela Kang has done an amazing job with this season and if it continues like this, it may be one of my favourite seasons of The Walking Dead.
One thing is for certain though, I cannot wait to see how the rest of the Whisperer arc plays out in the next half of the season, where we will get the much awaited arrivals of Lydia, Alpha and Beta.

Did Rick and Maggie get an Appropriate Send off in the Walking Dead?

The fifth episode of the ninth season of The Walking Dead, “What Comes After”, recently aired, being the final episode for Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Rhee, at least for a little while.
When I first head these two were leaving I honestly thought the show was doomed with two of its central characters (Rick being the main character) departing.
However, after viewing all five episodes of this season so far and seeing the direction it is heading, I actually think with Angela Kang as the showrunner The Walking Dead may continue to deliver a compelling narrative.
But even so, this does leave the question of whether the departures of such major characters as Rick and Maggie were done right?
Since Rick is the main character, I will start with him.
Coming into this episode I was very concerned with how he would leave the show because I thought we were going to get another Carl situation with a bad death for such an important character.
This concern was generated by the ending of the previous episode, where Rick accidentally impaled himself on some rods.
I came in feeling like I knew what was going to happen, with Rick hallucinating all of his dead friends before dying of blood loss.
However, while that first part was right, the second, thankfully, was not.
Rick does experience numerous hallucinations and all but one of them are handled expertly.
Seeing Rick interact with Shane and Hershel again was a joy to see, especially Shane because their scene together spoke a lot about how far Rick had come.
The one hallucination I did not like, however, was when Rick talked with Sasha.
This was Rick’s final hallucination and of all the characters for him to talk to during it, Sasha would have been at the bottom of my list.
She and Rick barely interacted and I do not think they were even that close so seeing Rick hallucinate her giving him this emotional pep talk made absolutely no sense.
It should have been Glenn, Lori or Carl Rick talked to, not Sasha.
Other than this though, the hallucinations were all handled well and added to the tension.
Then came Rick’s “death scene” where he blew up the bridge while he and the herd of Walkers were still on it to save his friends.
This was very emotional and if Rick had died here I would actually have been OK with it because it left a big emotional impact and served a logical purpose, unlike Carl’s death.
However, this was not the end for Rick because Jadis saved him by taking him on the helicopter with her.
And so Rick departed the show on this helicopter, with the ending song from the very first episode “Space Junk” by Wang Chung playing in a fitting end his story on the show.
This did leave me wondering what would happen to him in the future but this question was answered when I learned Andrew Lincoln would be starring in the recently announced The Walking Dead spin off movies.
When I first learned this, I laughed but, after thinking about it, I realised this could be interesting.
I will just have to wait and see the movies to know if it was a good idea to keep Rick alive for this.
Overall, Rick’s sendoff this episode was both touching and fitting, and I think they did a great job with it.
Not so much for Maggie I am afraid.
I would go as far to say that Maggie’s sendoff this episode was handled incredibly badly.
I will say I did like what happened to her in this episode, with her finally confronting Negan over Glenn’s death in a scene that, while not as good as the comics, was still very impactful.
However, there was literally nothing in the episode that would suggest this was Maggie’s last episode.
No emotional sendoff, no death, nothing.
It was like they completely forgot this was supposed to be her final episode until they had actually completed it.
Hopefully they can at least give a logical reason for her departure in the next episode.
Speaking of which, even though these two incredibly important characters have departed the show, I am still looking forward to what is to come this season.
We will be getting the full introduction of Magna and her group next episode, The Whisperers will be introduced soon, and it looks like Judith will now be taking center stage in a surprising yet welcome turn of events.
All in all, the future for The Walking Dead looks bright, even with these departures.