Attack on Titan: Season 3, episode 10, Friends review – What a cliffhanger!

4 and a half stars

Spoiler Free Review:

Attack on Titan is killing it this season with the latest episode, “Friends”, being another in a long line of great episodes.
“Friends” details the backstory of Kenny in a way that makes his character much more interesting and goes even further by expanding the world of the Reiss family.
This flashback is easily one of the series’ best, delivering great emotional scenes and character development.
The friendship the episode is named for, between Kenny and another character, provides some excellent level of depth.
The animation especially helps expand these scenes, with the level of details in the eyes really standing out compared to animation of the previous seasons.
However, although I did love this this flashback sequence, I will admit it did raise a plot hole for me about what a certain character was trying to accomplish.
This did not ruin the flashback for me, as I stated it is one of the series’ best, but it was still very noticeable.
After this flashback the rest of the episode is just as good, with plenty of emotional and funny moments and one scene that had me literally applauding.
The best part of this episode though, is undoubtedly its ending, which delivers what I believe to be the best cliffhanger of the entire series so far.
It has me eagerly excited for what is coming in the upcoming Beast Titan arc.
Overall, Friends was another fantastic episode of Attack on Titan. 
My only big problem with it was the plot hole it generated.
It is my third favourite episode of season three, behind “Wish” and “Pain”.

Spoiler Review:

If you are very quiet, you can hear Attack on Titan fans the world over shouting, “Oh my god! They killed Kenny!”
South Park references aside, I was saddened by the death of Kenny this episode.
He is a very entertaining character and I wish he had been given more.
I wanted to see him interact with other characters like Mikasa since they come from the same family.
However, even so, I still found his death to be rather poignant and was a great way for his arc to end.
The flashback that establishes his motives before his death was very well handled, especially when it came to his friendship with Uri Reiss.
Watching how Kenny went from trying to assassinate Uri to becoming close friends with him was very interesting to see and added a new level of depth to Kenny.
It was their friendship that led Kenny to want to try and obtain the Founding Titan’s powers, not just so he could be a king, but also out of interest of how it would change him.
Then there was his history with Levi, which was also explained.
Kenny rescued Levi from starving to death after his mother died and taught him how to survive, before abandoning him to fend for himself.
This is where I found a plot hole in the story because this does not explain why Kenny wanted to kill Levi so much.
He seemed eager to kill him in previous episodes and yet, after learning their entire history, this does not make sense.
Kenny clearly cared for Levi, otherwise he would not have given him the skills to survive, so it does not make sense for him to want to kill him.
This did not kill the flashback for me but it stuck out like a sore thumb.
However, although I did not like this plot hole I loved the scene where Kenny and Levi first meet.
Kenny learns that Kuchel did not give Levi the last name of Ackermann because she did not want him to be persecuted so Kenny continues her wish and does not reveal their last name or their connection.
It was another fantastic moment of development for him before his death.
Speaking of, as I stated his death was rather poignant and what I believe to be a perfect way for him to go out, with him and Levi almost having some form of reconciliation.
After this, Historia was finally crowned queen in a very powerful scene that had me clapping with joy.
My applause turned to laughter in the following scene where Historia tried to punch Levi, only for it to not even hurt him, which does not stop her friends from looking amazed anyway.
We even got a great moment from Levi here because he smiled for the first time in the series, if you do not count the OVAs that is.
But then we got the best scene of the episode, the cliffhanger.
And what a cliffhanger it was.
We see Reiner and Bertholdt in Shiganshina where it looks like Reiner was training with the Beast Titan for the coming battle.
This scene proved just how much of a threat the Beast Titan is because he managed to beat Reiner supposedly very easily.
Along with this we also got a pretty good look at the Beast Titan’s controller himself.
I do not know who he is but he looks to be a very intriguing villain and I cannot wait to see how he plays into the next arc.
This is, in my opinion, the best cliffhanger of the series because it sets up the next arc very well and also has me excited for what the Beast Titan will be doing in the future.
Along with this, it was good to see Reiner and Bertholdt again.
One of the big problems I have with Attack on Titan is disappearing characters.
So many characters have had to leave the story for plot reasons and some of these characters are gone way too long.
The worst offender by far is Annie, who has been gone so long I do not really care about her anymore.
I do not fault any of the episodes for this, this is just a problem I am having with the series overall.
Thankfully Reiner and Bertholdt have returned and hopefully Ymir will be back soon as well.
Friends was another amazing episode of Attack on Titan.
If it had not been for the plot hole it would have been perfect.

Predictions:

  1. Kenny gave Levi the Titan serum in his final moments and I am certain that this will come back in some important way. Maybe in the next arc.
  2. It looks like we will be learning more about Grisha next episode, which should be exciting. We see a younger version of himself in the preview.
  3. The preview explicitly states that Grisha’s story will come from somebody else and I am pretty sure it will be Keith Shadis, the instructor of the 104th Cadet Corps from season one, because the first shot of the preview is of him and you can see him briefly when Eren experiences Grisha’s memories in Sin.

The Predator: Good one minute, atrocious the next.

two stars
Predator 
is a fantastic 80s action film and its two follow ups, while nothing spectacular, were solid and enjoyable for what they were.
2018’s The Predator, however, not so much.
The film stars Boyd Holbrook as Quinn McKenna, a soldier who encounters a Predator, which results in him and his family being targeted by both the Predators and shady government organization.
He then enlists a ragtag team of crazed soldiers to save his family and stop the Predators.
You would think since this film was directed by Shane Black, who played Hawkins in the first film and thus has knowledge of how a Predator movie should be, that The Predator would be in good hands.
Well, based on the first half hour of the film, it would seem so.
I was genuinely enjoying The Predator for what it is, a cheesy action flick, during this time.
However, when the huge Predator is introduced, the film quickly goes downhill and never recovers.

CG Predator
As soon as the big Predator appears with his terrible CGI the film goes from enjoyable to awful. 

Everything from that point onwards was atrocious.
The only good thing about the movie were a few jokes that got a chuckle out of me and the audience but, otherwise, this movie was a mess.
The film goes at an incredibly fast pace giving you no time to care about the characters, and the CGI for the large Predator and its dogs were awful.
Worst of all is how undeniably bad the story gets.
It goes from the good kind of cheesy with the first half hour of the film, to facepalming levels of bad.
The portrayal of the Predator dogs were new levels of embarrassing.

terrible predator dudes.jpg
the Predator dogs not only looks awful but are terribly integrated into the story. 

Then there was the way the Predators themselves are treated, which is especially bad because it over complicates them.
The thing that made the Predators scary in the older movies was that they hunted humans for sport, which showed how little we were to them.
The Predator, however, changes their reasoning, demystifying them.
Characters motivations are vague at best, the action has no tension because we do not care about anyone, and the heights this movie goes to are borderline ridiculous.
This all culminates in an absolutely awful ending, reminiscent of Independence Day: Resurgence, an ending that should never be strived for.
If there were any good things about The Predator, it would once again be that first half hour.
It is nothing special, but is enjoyable and delivers some interesting action and a few laughs.
Everything after that fails on every level.
This is one reboot that should have been deactivated.

The Walking Dead deals with real world politics in Issue 183.

4 stars

WARNING: Major spoilers for the issue.

The Walking Dead goes to interesting places both figuratively and literally in the latest Issue 183, titled “And Michonne Without her Sword”.
The issue sees Michonne witness police brutality at the hands of the Commonwealth soldiers, which results in the death of a civilian.
The Walking Dead has been going for a political storyline since the Commonwealth was introduced but this is the first time it has brought up a current, real world, political issue.
I cannot claim to know much about the subject but from the news I have seen police brutality is a very controversial subject in America so to see this being implemented into The Walking Dead is certainly interesting.
It makes this most recent issue all the more relevant, although I do feel like some of the events went by too fast.
It went from witnessing the police brutality, to a peaceful protest, to a riot in just a few pages, which was very abrupt.
I wish this had been established in previous issues and this one just built off that but that does not mean what we got was not good.
I think Robert Kirkman handled the subject very well and it offered even more insight into the flawed political system of The Commonwealth.
Lance orders Michonne to defend the soldiers because he does not want their system to be undermined.
In a real world scenario, this would be a rather disgusting thing to order, considering a man died but since this is the apocalypse and the collapse of The Commonwealth’s political system could be disastrous it makes the situation more complex.
The other interesting event of the issue saw Michonne and Elodie go to the community of Greenville.
There they met its leader Cloris, who definitely looks to be on Pamela’s side when it comes to political ideas because she criticizes Michonne for giving expensive food to poorer people.
The discussion of political topics in this issue was very well done and it being current certainly made it more interesting than previous issues.
One criticism I do have is the scene where Michonne and Elodie are on their way to Greenville with the soldier Jerome, the one who would later beat the man, Anthony Keith, to death.
In this scene, Jerome is surrounded by zombies, forcing Michonne to save him.
My problem here lies in how Jerome got surrounded as it seemed very contrived and just another way to put in some pointless action.
Otherwise though, “And Michonne Without her Sword” was a really good issue that looks to have some interesting implications for the future because it ends with Rick arriving at the Commonwealth just as the riot begins.
I cannot wait to see what his reaction will be.

Attack on Titan: Season three, episode eight, Outside the Walls of Orvud District review – Provides funniest moment of the entire series.

4 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

This week’s episode of Attack on Titan, Outside the Walls of Orvud District, picks up from the previous episode’s explosive cliffhanger and builds up to what looks to be an action packed episode next time.
Although I did feel that this episode was build up for the next one, that does not mean it was not a good episode.
Outside the Walls of Orvud District had a lot of really great scenes and character moments from both Eren and Historia.
And, while Eren’s growth may have had more implications for the show going forward, it is Historia who truly shines in this episode.
I love what this series has done for her character, turning her from a very forgettable one into one of the show’s best and I cannot wait to see what they do with her next.
Like most of the previous episodes of the third season, Outside the Walls of Orvud District also sets up more questions for the series to answer and gives hints to a few of these.
The episode once again has fantastic music and a good use of CGI that was much better than what we got in season two.
On top of this, the episode gives us what I believe to be the funniest moment of the entire series.
I laughed so hard because it was a brilliant moment of self mockery.
However, all that being said, there were a few things I did not like about the episode, like how convenient a lot of the events felt and there was scene that I felt had some pacing issues.
Otherwise, Outside the Walls of Orvud District was another good episode that provided solid character development, hilarious moments, and appears to be building up to an exciting episode for next week.

Spoiler Review:

Outside the Walls of Orvud District kicked right off from last week’s episode, with Rod Reiss’ transformation into a massive Titan that is twice the size of the Colossal Titan.
This led to the Levi Squad rescuing Eren and, although it is an emotional moment of growth for Eren, this scene felt a little too convenient and the pacing also felt off.
The characters were busy talking while Rod was transforming and it went on for too long as they should have been crushed by the time they finished this conversation.
Then there was Eren gaining the ability to harden his skin, which felt pretty convenient, considering the bottle that he drank to gain this ability just so happened to be sitting right next to him.
I will say, however, I did like this growth for Eren because his new technique can be used to plug up Wall Maria so they can reach the basement.
This all lead to the funniest moment of the the entire series so far.
“What basement? Oh, that whole thing? You mean it’s actually important?”
With that one line from Sasha I burst into uncontrollable laughter for a solid minute.
Getting to the basement was established as a central goal in season one and yet it has been so long that many people may have felt like it was not important anymore so having Sasha state the line like this was having her speak for the audience.
It was a brilliant moment of self deprecation on the writer’s part.
This episode was also another highlight for Historia because she also went through a lot of growth.
First she stated how she would protect those who did not feel needed, showing how Ymir has influenced her, then she admitted she considered eating Eren to gain her father’s love, and finally she agreed to be Queen to find her way in life.
Historia went through so much growth in this one episode and I loved it.
This episode also established numerous things like that the first king somehow brain washes all those who take on the power of the Founding Titan and that Eren’s father probably took this power to stop that from happening.
This means Grisha was not completely bad as he may have been doing this terrible thing for the right reasons.
I do wonder though, what is the difference between the Founding Titan and the Coordinate?
Are they the same thing, just different names?
Another thing I want to talk about is Rod’s Titan form, which is computer generated and, I have got to say, Attack on Titan has really improved its CGI since the second season.
Rod’s CGI Titan certainly looked better than the CGI Colossal Titan from season two.
The episode ends with Erwin declaring they will not evacuate Orvud District before Rod gets there, which is strange but I am sure Erwin has a reason for it.
Either way, I cannot wait for next episode because it looks to be exciting.

Predictions:

  1. Hopefully we will get an explanation as to why Rod’s Titan form is so huge and Eren was able to utilize the hardening ability by drinking the bottle. I think the answers to these questions may be linked though because it may not just be Titans Shifters who can get powers but regular Titans like Rod as well.
  2. I do not think Kenny and his squad died in the cave-in caused by Rod’s transformation. Kenny’s assistant Caven may have but Kenny is definitely not dead because they still have to reveal what happened between him and Levi.
  3. Next episode it looks like Eren and the others will be battling Rod’s huge Titan form and Historia also looks to be taking a pivotal role as she is taking part and seen arguing with Erwin the preview.

 

 

The Happytime Murders: Its selling point is also its downfall.

two-and-a-half-stars.png
It would seem that the bad word of mouth that The Happytime Murders has been getting spread pretty far because I was literally the only person in the theater when this movie was screened.
The reason for this bad word of mouth was made pretty clear when the film started.
Directed by Brian Henson, The Happytime Murders is set in a world where humans and puppets coexist in vulgarity… and there is certainly a lot of vulgarity in this movie.
Puppets doing vulgar things was pretty much the selling point for The Happytime Murders but it is also its downfall because they take it way too far.
The majority of the jokes are just shock value for what disgusting things these puppets will do next but, while they are funny the first few times they happen, they get old very quickly.

dirty puppets.png
The dirty jokes about the puppets are funny the first few times but get old fast and go on to become downright annoying. 

This means the only jokes left in the film are just of characters awkwardly arguing, which never land.
Credit where it is due though, The Happy Time Murders does have superb puppet work.
Along with this, the mystery of the film is intriguing and there is actual good character development from the lead puppet, private detective Phil Phillips, voiced by Bill Barretta.
However, the jokes and certain plot points in this story almost ruin all of that.
The story does not hold up under scrutiny because there are numerous plot holes and subplots are dropped at the tip of a hat.
Melissa McCarthy’s character, Detective Connie Edwards, has a minor subplot about drug addiction that is quickly forgotten about.
This is a shame because I can see that with the intriguing mystery and actual good development for Phil, a puppet of all things, there was potential for The Happytime Murders to be a good movie.

Phil puppet
Phil’s story of growth could have made The Happytime Murders a good film if there was not so much weighing it down. 

However, the tiresome shock value jokes and inconsistencies in the story really drag the film down.
A happy time The Happytime Murders is not.

Attack on Titan: Season three, episode seven, Wish- Spoiler free and spoiler review: Three brilliant character arcs.

5 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

Attack on Titan just delivered its best episode of the season and one of its best episodes ever with its 44th, Wish.
This was an absolutely fantastic episode, with a brilliant action sequence and incredible character arcs. 
The character arcs were the features that stuck out the most to me, with there being three standouts of the episode, Eren, Historia and Kenny’s. 
These three characters’ arcs during this episode are definitely defining moments for all of them and series highlights.
As for the action sequence, it is another one of the series’ best, definitely paying off the intense cliffhanger of the previous episode.
Then there was the music, which was absolutely off the charts.
I have stated already that Attack on Titan has my favourite soundtrack of any show and the music of this episode once again shows why.
It really draws you into the scene and makes the big moments of the episode have an even bigger emotional impact.
This episode had everything, intense action, great character moments and even more explosive reveals.
It made me cheer, cry and feel horrified at some of its events.
If I had one criticism it would be that the midway title card tells us information before a character reveals it but that is avoidable if you do not read the cards.
Overall, Wish was an incredible episode and definitely in the top 10 best episodes of Attack on Titan for me.

Spoiler Review:

Right from the get-go Wish starts off exciting, picking up from the promise of action given in the previous episode, Sin.
Here we got to see the Levi Squad go up against Kenny and his goons for the second time, with a lot more dire results.
This is because it looks like Hange may have died this episode at the hands of Kenny’s assistant.
Granted, we do not actually get conformation on her death, she may just be injured (I hope) but this was a very shocking moment nonetheless.
Hange’s apparent death was not the only big moment of this action scene, however, because we got another great face off between Kenny and Levi, and the rest of the Levi Squad finally got their hands dirty.
Watching Jean, Sasha and Connie being forced to take members of the Interior Squad’s lives was a real moment of growth for them.
The best character growth, however, came from Eren, Historia and Kenny, as I mentioned.
First there is Kenny, who is revealed to have wanted to steal the Reiss family power for himself but realizes he cannot properly wield it.
Angered by this, Kenny decides to even the score by cutting Eren, giving him the opportunity to turn into a Titan.
This revealed Kenny to be a very layered and complex character who could do a lot more in the future.
As for Eren, we got to see his reaction to what his father was revealed to have done last episode and, man, is it heartbreaking.
He breaks down into tears, listing off all the lives that were lost because of his father’s actions and then begs Historia to eat him and save humanity.
This was a very touching and sad moment from him that made me cry, the third time I have done so watching Attack on Titan. 
Finally, there was Historia who, inspired by Ymir’s words to her in the second season, finally chose to live for herself and refused to eat Eren and went on to free him.
This was such a powerful scene that made me cheer as Historia showed her true strength.
She is definitely becoming one of my favourite characters of the series.
The music chosen to accompany this scene was, as I stated, absolutely incredible and really drew me into the emotional scene.
This all led up to the massive cliffhanger, when Rod licked up the Titan serum from the broken injection that Historia had smashed, causing him to transform into a humongous Titan.
Along with being epic, this cliffhanger also leaves me with a number of questions as to how Rod, now supposedly just an ordinary Titan, could be so huge.
This episode also delivered some nice reveals, with the revelations that the walls were built by this “Founding Titan” that most likely made the Titans stand where the walls were and encase themselves in hardened skin.
There was also the reveal that this Founding Titan is the one with the ability to remove and alter memories.
But, the reveal I found to be the most interesting was that Rod and the members of the church view the one with this power as God.
This means that all the times we heard Pastor Nick and the other Wallist priests talk about God they were not referring to some big guy in the sky, rather they were referring to the one with the Founding Titan power.
This particular revelation shows what I love about Attack on Titan. 
If you re-watch episodes after new ones, things you saw in them can take on a completely different meaning because they were hinting at something you did not even know was going to be a future revelation.
Wish was an absolutely incredible episode that has me excited for the rest of the Uprising Arc and the season.

Predictions:

  1. Rod says in this episode, “I must not become a Titan myself.” I wonder if this has to do with why his Titan form is so huge. Maybe this will be revealed in the next episode.
  2. It is revealed that Rod’s brother Uri, was the holder of the Titan power before Freida. It is also revealed that Kenny knew him and takes offense to Rod insulting him, suggesting the two were close. What exactly was Kenny and Uri’s relationship and how does this tie into the story? Hopefully this will be revealed later.
  3. In the preview, the narrator says Eren will have to make a decision in order to save his friends from a cave in, mostly likely caused by Rod’s transformation. What could this decision be?
  4. When Historia frees Eren she tells him that she now hates humanity and is probably its biggest enemy. What did this mean? Is Historia going to turn into a villain? I hope not because what we have seen of her in season three has definitely put her in my top ten favourite characters.

 

Disenchantment, Season One review: meh.

3 stars

Matt Groening has returned with his latest animated sitcom Disenchantment, which parodies various fantasy movies and shows.
Set in the magical world of Dreamland, the series follows the adventures of Princess Tiabeanie, otherwise known as Bean (Abbi Jacobson), and her friends, Elfo the, well… elf (Nat Faxon), and Luci the demon (Eric Andre).
Coming in to Disenchantment I was expecting it to feel a lot like Futurama but in a fantasy setting instead of a sci-fi one and that is certainly what I got.
However, this does not mean the show was great or anything.
It has been a couple of days since I finished watching Disenchantment and I honestly do not think I will remember any specifics about it in a week or so.
That does not mean I am saying the show is bad because I do remember chuckling at about half of the jokes.
What I am saying, however, is that Disenchantment is an average show that is pretty forgettable, for the most part.
The characters are nothing special, with Bean being a stereotypical drunk and Luci having almost no character other than being a complete jerk.
Elfo is probably the only one of the trio that I found myself liking but even he had his annoying moments.

disenchantment trio
Although I did enjoy this trio’s antics, Elfo was the only one among them I actually liked.

The best character of the show would have to Bean’s father King Zog (John DiMaggio) who, although not a good person, did have plenty of funny moments.
Speaking of which, some of the comedy really did work in Disenchantment,
my favourite of which being a meta joke that stated how the magic of the show worked was not very clear.
However, while I did get a few chuckles out of it the humor never had me roaring with laughter or anything like that.
The story structure is also pretty clumsy, with a few plot points sticking out like a sour thumb, the worst of which would have to be in the final episode for me.
In the ninth episode there was actually a good twist but they followed this up in the final, tenth episode with one of the most obvious twists I have ever seen.
I was literally screaming at the screen for the show to get on with it and reveal the twist because I had called what it was as soon as it had been set up.

episode ten Bean.jpg
The final episode’s big twist is incredibly obvious and dragged down the episode with how drawn out it is until the reveal.

But by far the worst aspect of Disenchantment for me, had to be with its animation and sound design.
The sound design is particularly abysmal with sounds like footsteps, doors slamming and fighting being completely left out sometimes, drawing me out of the moment.
As for the animation, it was not bad but it did often feel like there was something off about it and there were plenty of clunky moments, one of which produced the most off-putting moment of the show, for me.
This came in the first episode when Elfo is eating dinner with a group of people he met.
The animation of Elfo eating is so clunky and terrible that I had to rewatch it three times to make sure I was seeing it correctly.
I know it may seem nit-picky to criticize the animation of a character eating food but just watch the scene and you will know what I mean.
It must seem like I am bagging on Disenchantment a lot, but, once again, I will state that it is not a bad show.
It does have some funny moments, one decent twist and a few likeable characters that save it.
However, I probably will have forgotten about this show in a while.
Give it a watch but do not expect anything special.

 

BlacKkKlansmen: Funny yet disturbing.

4 stars
“Dis joint is based upon some fo’ real, fo real sh*t” a title card reads as BlacKkKlansman starts.
This title card immediately sets up what is to come for the audience, in the hilarious, yet also disturbing, film directed by Spike Lee.
BlanKkKsman, like the title card states, it based off the true story about how the first African American police officer of Colorado Springs, infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.
As implausible as this seems the police officer in question Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) achieved this by pretending to be a white man on the phone, while fellow undercover cop Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) pretended to be him in person.

washington and driver
Washington and Driver’s characters make a great team in their combined effort to infiltrate the KKK.

What follows is an oddly comedic take on the KKK, with the absurdity of their racist beliefs being put on full display.
This leads to numerous funny moments as Stallworth and Zimmerman laugh behind the Klan’s back as they talk to them on the phone.
However, this film does not stray away from the disturbing aspects of the KKK, with one story that was told making me feel sick.
The film even managed to make pillow talk between a Klansman and his wife disturbing. However, even though the film does have a mixed tone with its both comedic and disturbing moments it juggles these moments very well for the most part.
One thing I really appreciated about this film though was how subtle it could be.
For instance, there was one scene where Stallworth is relaying a racist story over the phone to the leader of the KKK David Duke (Topher Grace) and it is heavily implied that this is based off racism Stallworth himself experience.

Stallworth and Duke.
A subtle moment between Stallworth and Duke shows how racism affected Stallworth himsllf in his childhood.

This is also a very politically charged movie, not only reflecting on the horrid racism of the 1960s but also the racism seen today.
There are even a few jabs at the Trump administration here and there.
The cinematography is also very well done and the only big criticism I have of the film is that its romance subplot gets cut off before it is resolved, although now I think about it, that may have been the point.
Overall BlacKkKlansman is a very well made film with both clever comedy and subtle moments.
It will leave you laughing at the ridiculousness of racism while also creeping you out about it.

Attack on Titan: Season three, episode six, Sin – Spoiler free and spoiler review: Dark theory confirmed.

4 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

Coming into Sin, I was expecting a very dark fan theory that I shared with many to be revealed and it was to a glorious degree.
I will admit when I first watched this episode, I did feel a little disappointed about the way it was delivered since the scene involving said twist was not shown in full.
I did an earlier review with a negative spin on this but, after watching the episode again I found that it was an interesting way to reveal it and think I was too harsh on it.
Therefore, this is the redone version of that review.
Sin is indeed one of the best episodes of the season, just falling short of the second episode Pain.
This was not only due to the great twist but also two flashback sequences from Historia and Kenny that also look to be setting up more twists in the story to come.
All this builds to an intense cliffhanger that sets up a lot of action for next week’s episode.
However, there was one scene I was not a fan of and that was the one with Dhalis Zachary.
This scene was just so cringe worthy and I felt it would have been better being implied rather than explicitly shown.
On a better note though, I will say that after watching the season three opening more it has really grown on me.
I had mixed opinions about it when I first saw it because I felt like it did not match the show but, after seeing how it has fit in with the season so far, I now think it works very well.
Overall, Sin was a good episode with a very dark twist.
I may have had a couple of problems with the way it was revealed but it looks like that may be expanded on in future episodes from what I have read.

Spoiler Review:

My dark theory that Eren ate his father Grisha turned out to be correct this episode.
This will undoubtedly leave a huge impact on Eren and no doubt the audience as well, although initially I was a little let down by it.
After seeing the reveal, I wished it had been shown in full rather than through flashes of Eren’s memories.
I did let this influence my opinion on the episode but after another viewing I saw how wrong I was about it.
Another part of the twist came when it was revealed Grisha murdered Rod’s entire family, including Freida, who was also a Titan Shifter.
Initially I also found this scene to be slightly disappointing because Rod is narrating the entire event as we see it, which, I felt, removed some of the potential impact.
However, I have heard from people that this will be expanded upon later so I cannot quite judge it for that as of yet.
There is also the fact that this twist about Grisha raises numerous interesting questions.
How was Grisha a Titan Shifter, why did he murder Rod’s family and why did he have Eren eat him?
The scene I found to be cringe worthy was the one where Zachary was torturing the naked nobleman who was removed from power last episode, by making him eat his own excrement.
This scene was unnecessary because it could have just picked up with Erwin and Pyxis’ conversation about it and left what Zachary was doing implied.
Besides the twist, the other interesting scenes of the episode were the flashbacks of Historia and Kenny.
Historia’s showed that Freida not only knew Historia before her death, but also had the power to remove her memories of her, which is something the royal family has been using for years to keep their secrets.
This explains how the royal family was able to wipe people’s memories about the outside world but it does not explain why this was done.
Was it for power or something more?
Then there is Kenny’s flashback, which finally reveals his connection to Levi when Kenny mentions his sister Kuchel, who is pregnant.
Kuchel must be Levi’s mother and that would make Kenny his uncle, although I already knew this because I had been spoiled.
There is also the reveal that the Ackermann family have been long time supporters of the king but, during Mikasa’s father’s time, they were persecuted out of fear.
This is implied to be not just because of their skills but because they are unaffected by the royal family’s mind wiping techniques.
Levi later mentions that there are moments where all of the Ackermanns feel extreme strength growing inside them like nothing else.
Is this some kind of power the Ackermann family have and, if so, is it connected in any way to the Reiss family’s ability to wipe minds?
Whatever the case, it looks like we will be getting a similar episode to Pain next week, with the Levi Squad going up against Kenny and his troops to rescue Eren.

Predictions:

  1. Next week’s episode, Wish, looks very action packed. I wonder if someone important will die, since Eren is covered in blood. However, this blood is clearly not his own or he would be able to transform. Hopefully it is not Historia because this would ruin all their plans to make her Queen.
  2. Speaking of Historia, during that flashback of her with Freida, the book they are reading has a picture of a girl giving an apple to some kind of Titan. This is very similar to the shot from the season two outro, which I have heard shows the history of Attack on Titan. This may be our first hint as to the origin of the Titans and, if it is, then it is good to lay the groundwork for that now. One thing I am intrigued by though is that Freida said the woman holding the apple’s name was Christa, which was the alias given to her by Rod. How does this tie into everything?
  3. When Rod was narrating what happened to his family, I got the feeling that he was not telling the complete truth due to his complete lack of emotion. Maybe Rod is just a sociopath or maybe he was lying to Historia to get what he wants… which would also make him sort of a sociopath, but whatever.  If I am right about Rod lying then it might explain why Grisha murdering Rod’s family included the narration.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Review

4 and a half stars
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 
is one of those anime that I have heard tonnes of praise for.
I have seen many people name it their favourite anime so I had to check it out to see if it lived up to the hype that was being presented.
For those of you who do not know, Brotherhood is actually a remake of the earlier Fullmetal Alchemist anime.
Both are based off the manga written by Hiromi Arakawa (also known by her pen name Hiromu Arakawa), but the first Fullmetal Alchemist came out while the manga was still in its early stages so had to take various liberties with the story.
Brotherhood was made years later and aimed to adapt the source material more faithfully.
Based on this and the fact that, as I said, many people consider this there favourite anime, I decided to watch Brotherhood rather than the first adaptation.
Brotherhood is set in a world where alchemy, a form of magic that relies on the law of equivalent exchange, is an established fact.
The story follows the adventures of Edward and Alphonse Elric, two brothers trying to get their bodies back, which they lost (Al fully, Ed partially) after attempting the forbidden act of human transmutation.

Edward and Alphonse
Ed and Al trying to get their bodies back was one of the main driving forces of the series, and one of the reasons it worked so well was because of their great bond.

In regards to the quality of the show, I will say it is a bit of a slow burn… but when it gets going it grabs on tight and never lets you go until the very end.
I was quite surprised how engaged I became with this anime considering how I thought the first few episodes were nothing special.
This is not to say these episodes were bad but they were not really drawing me in to the point that I felt I had to watch the next episode.
The first episode especially left much to be desired.
It went by way too fast, introducing us to so many characters and attempted to start a political theme right from the get go, when I barely knew how its political system worked.
I do understand why this first episode felt rushed though, because the makers of this obviously knew that people who watched the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime would be watching and already knew this stuff, so they decided to go through it quickly.
Like I said, these initial episodes are not bad and they do have the occasional gem shining through.
The fourth episode, An Alchemist’s Anguish, has one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen in an anime and needs to be seen to be believed.
Then there is episode ten, Separate Destinations, which is a real tear-jerker.
After this, it is not long before Brotherhood quickly becomes a very engaging anime with great story telling, pacing and character development.
I was especially blown away with the character development, as my two favourite characters, Greed and Hohenheim, originally felt very one note but by the end of the series they were some of the most well developed characters of the series.

Greed.png
Greed was one of the most surprising characters with his brilliant character arc.

Then there are the plot twists, with one in between episodes 30 and 40 leaving me very surprised.
When I first started watching the anime I alternated between the sub and dub but the dub was so great that I changed to just watching that.
This sub was still great and well acted but I enjoyed the dub a whole lot more.
The animation and music are likewise great and the episodes also got better and better as the show went on, my favourite of the bunch probably being episode 40, Homunculus (The Dwarf in the Flask).
After all of this, it was not long before I was binge watching the entire anime.
After every episode I wanted to know what would happen next.
This all builds to an absolutely incredible final act of the series, with brilliant episode after brilliant episode, the final five of which had me glued to the screen.
These five episodes made me cry at least three or four times both out of sadness and happiness.

Fullmetal Alchemist ending
The final episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood were very engaging with plenty of emotional moments.

However, even though I loved the way the series ended, I do have to say, I was a little bit disappointed by it as well.
There were quite a few minor plot points about certain characters that were never fully resolved by the end and I really wanted to see what would happen with those.
It may have been because they had a limited time frame with the episode lengths and, if so, I wish they had extended the final episodes so we could see those plot points resolved.
Otherwise, I loved Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. 
It might be slow a slow burn at first but once the story really gets going you will be hooked.
I would recommend this to anyone who has not seen it, even if they typically do not watch anime.