Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Delay Shows Big Communication Problem.

For weeks I have been hearing rumors that Attack on Titan would be going on a break after the Uprising Arc wrapped up.
I did not want to believes these rumors but, as time went on, the evidence just kept piling up.
Sadly this evidence was correct because it has been announced that the second half of season three will be released in April of 2019.
While I do find this disappointing, I cannot fault the creators for the delay because they are clearly putting a lot of effort into the anime and I believe they would not be taking a break unless it was absolutely necessary.
What I do fault them for, however, is their absolutely terrible communication with the Attack on Titan fan base.
Had they announced season three would take a break half-way through before the third season started airing I would not have had a problem with this.
Many shows I watch take breaks, like The Walking Dead, and I do not have a problem with those shows.
However, this is because we know going into the show that there will be a break.
When watching The Walking Dead I know I am going to get eight episodes and then a break before the final eight episodes air.
For Attack on Titan season three, however, there was no such notification other than the rumors until the very last minute.
I came into season three expecting to get all the episodes so it is incredibly disappointing to suddenly realise we are not going to get anymore for about six months.
Had they just announced the break earlier, I would have been okay with this but they only released recently.
This shows a massive communication problem with the anime towards the show’s fan base that needs to be fixed.
To be clear though, I am not mad about this, just disappointed as I believe fans of the anime deserve better.
There is another reason I am disappointed about this break though but I do not fault the creators for this one.
I am also disappointed because of how long this break is, coming in at six months.
With this amount of  time the break takes up I will inevitably be spoiled by future events in Attack on Titan because I am terrible at avoiding these spoilers.
As a result, I have decided to read the manga so this will not happen any further, meaning I will see the rest of the series so far before it is animated.
While I would prefer to see the story told in anime format first, I prefer seeing things for myself more.
So you can expect to see my reviews for manga volumes from where the Attack on Titan anime left off.
As I stated earlier though, the timing of the announcement concerning the break for Attack on Titan season three part two shows a real communication problem with its fan base.
This break should have been announced earlier and hopefully the creators can learn from this.

Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 12, Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall Review: Emotion, Laughs and One Hell of a Mid-Credits Scene.

4 and a half stars

Spoiler Free Review:

The Uprising Arc of Attack on Titan officially concluded with the twelfth episode of the third season, “Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall”, and what an episode to end it on.
This is because the episode serves as the perfect transition point between this arc and the next, which from what I have heard is one of if not the series’ best.
“Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall” pulled many emotions out of me from anticipation to dread as it went on.
Despite the episode’s constant upbeat feel, there was an overlaying feeling of dread hidden throughout that reared its ugly head during the end credits.
Seriously, you NEED to sit through the end credits when watching this episode.
Remember when I said “Friends” had the best cliffhanger for Attack on Titan?
Well, “Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall” put that cliffhanger to shame, with a startling and, honestly terrifying mid-credits scene that left most of the characters’ fates up in the air.
However, along with containing the most worrying scenes of the series, this episode also contained some of the funniest.
There is a dinner scene in this episode that had me laughing constantly in the span of about five minutes.
There were also a lot of great character moments, especially from Erwin and Levi who both grew as characters.
The soundtrack was also a standout with numerous OSTs returning, including one of my favourites “Call of Silence”.
One of the few issues I had with the episode though was that we did not get to see any of Historia and, since this is the episode that wraps up this arc, which was primarily about her, it is kind of a misstep not to have her.
Otherwise “Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall” was another fantastic Attack on Titan episode that concluded the Uprising Arc brilliantly.
If I had to rank this arc I would say it is my second favourite, right behind the Clash of the Titans Arc from season two.

Spoiler Review:

“Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall” kicks off with what is probably its biggest set-up since the reveal that the basement was important, this being the Titan serum given to Levi by Kenny.
The various leaders of the military convene to decide what to do with it and in the end entrust it to Levi.
This has massive implications for the series because it opens up the possibility for another Titan Shifter in the near future.
I think I already have an idea on who this will be because of spoilers but I will not give it away for people who are anime only so if you want to see who I think it is then check out the predictions section below.
Along with Levi being entrusted with the Titan serum, we also got some substantial development from both him and Erwin.
We saw that Erwin was willing to acknowledge that he finds his desire to learn the truth, generated by his father’s death, is more important to him than humanity.
Along with this, we saw Levi’s growth through his close connection with Erwin and how this eventually lead to him listen to Eren, Armin and Mikasa as they talked about the outside world.
Speaking of Mikasa, she finally got some development this episode.
I said in my review of “Bystander” I talked about how I was getting annoyed by her lack of development so I am glad to see she is getting some, even if it is only minor.
Eren and Jean get into a fight for around the tenth time only instead of saving Eren, like she always would, Mikasa says he will be fine and watches him with a smile.
This small moment from her showed a supreme level of growth because she has learned to not worry about Eren as much, although I do think a better job could have been done of showing where this development came from.
However, just because Mikasa did not interfere that does not mean Levi did the same thing because he beat up the two and then demanded someone clean up the puke Jean threw up.
This was one of many moments during this dinner sequence that had me in fits of laughter.
Sasha going crazy over the meat and having to be tied up, her biting Jean’s hand like a rabid dog and various other scouts fighting over the food were some of the many things that made me laugh during this sequence.
This all builds to the triumphant final scene where the Survey Corps goes to plug up Wall Maria, only to be meet by an enthusiastic crowd for the first time ever.
This leads to a cheer inducing, yet hilarious, scene where Erwin roars in triumph with the citizens and then leading the Scouts to Wall Maria with his signature shout of “ADVANCE!”
However, this triumphant feeling is quickly undermined with a feeling of dread provided by a shot of Reiner and Bertholdt waiting at Shiganshina and the explosive mid-credits scene.
This scene was a genuine shock the first time I saw it because its static opening made me believe my laptop was broken.
This initial belief was quickly thrown out the window as the scene continued, however, with numerous quick cuts of old and new footage.
This all culminates in a brief yet terrifying scene where a bloodied Levi tells Eren and Mikasa in Shiganshina, with a burnt corpse beside them, “do you have the faintest damn clue… what you’re doing!?”
This leads him to attack Eren, which causes a tearful Mikasa to attack Levi and prepare to slit his throat before the scene cuts back to the credits.
This ends the Uprising Arc on a terrifying high note that has dire suggestions about the next arc that I cannot wait to see.

Predictions:

  1. In regards to the mid-credits scene, there were numerous shots that offer up suggestions for what could happen in the second half of season three. There are numerous shots from previous episodes like Grisha preparing to inject Eren, the key, and even shots from the season two outro, which is said to explain the history of Attack on Titan‘s world. However, there are also many new shots as well like the shot of a mysterious woman, a shoe in the grass, someone holding a seashell and Titan skeletons in a field. What these images mean is anyone’s guess but it is the scene we get after these quick shots that offers the real meat in terms of predictions. For example, who is the burnt corpse on the roof with Eren, Mikasa and Levi? It should be noted that Erwin is missing during this scene so I wonder if this is him. Although if it is then this does not explain why Mikasa is crying, why Levi attacks Eren and why Mikasa then tries to kill Levi. These are many unanswered questions that I look forward to being answered in the Beast Titan Arc.
  2. WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS!!! I am pretty sure I know who Levi is going to use the Titan serum on and that character is Armin. I got spoiled that Bertholdt dies and Armin becomes the Colossal Titan and the only real way for this to happen would be if Armin became a Titan and ate Bertholdt. So it is almost certainly Armin that Levi will inject with the serum Kenny gave him. This also has huge implications for the series since Armin becoming the Colossal Titan will be a shocking turn of events because even though I know it is going to happen I do not know how.

Whatever the case, I am looking forward to seeing another episode of Attack on Titan next week… wait, it’s not coming back until April, 2019… WHAT!?

 

Attack on Titan: Season 3, Episode 11, Bystander Review – The Mystery of Grisha Jaeger.

3 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

After a week’s delay because of a typhoon, the eleventh episode from season three of Attack on Titan, “Bystander”, has been released.
Overall, I would say this episode is the weakest of season three so far.
This is not me saying that it was a bad episode, it was good, but in comparison with the fantastic episodes we were delivered previously this one is a bit of a slow burn.
The main purpose of “Bystander” is to make sense of prior events in the series, although I will admit, it does do this with a very good use of character development for two of its characters.
By far the most intriguing part of this episode though, was the backstory of Grisha Jaeger, Eren’s father.
I am much more interested to learn about who he really was than when I watched the first season because of what has been revealed about him, not only in this episode but in other ones like “Sin” as well.
Grisha was not the only character who got development though because we also got some insight into Keith Sadies, the commandant of the training corps and the titular “Bystander.”
We also got to see some old faces in this episode, which was nice, and saw a few interesting uses for Eren’s new Titan ability gained in previous episodes.
Although, I will say that it was hard not to giggle when they described Eren’s attempts at perfecting his Titan powers as “hardening experiments.”
Like I said, this episode is good but there is just nothing that really sticks out to me like in the previous episodes of season three.
I will not deny “Bystander’s” necessity to the story because it does help give context to certain scenes.
However, take away the mystery about Grisha and there is not much to this episode.

Spoiler Review:

Just like I predicted last episode, the “Bystander” of this episode was none other than Keith Sadies, who goes on to reveal the backstory of when Grisha was living inside the walls.
Suffering from memory loss, Grisha was discovered by Keith outside the walls and went to become a life saving doctor in Shiganshina, where he eventually married Carla and had Eren.
Learning about Grisha’s life in Shiganshina makes him a much more interesting character and I cannot wait to learn what his motivations were.
It was also nice that we got to see some old characters in this flashback, like Hannes, and, as stated earlier, Carla.
Keith’s development for this episode was also good but made him come across as more unlikable to me than sympathetic, with what appeared to be him damaging Eren’s equipment from the third episode of the series out of spite.
Although he did change his mind about this, it paints Keith in a very negative light.
Along with this flashback, “Bystander” also had a time jump, picking up two months after Historia became queen.
Numerous events have happened since then, like Historia providing a home for numerous orphans, Marlo joining the Survey Corps and Eren using his “hardening experiments” (I still cannot take that seriously) to provide new means of killing Titans without losing any soldiers.
These were all very nice revelations, especially Historia’s because it continued her arc of wanting to help those in need, which was set up in “Outside the Walls of Orvud District.”
Another thing I liked about these scenes before Keith’s flashback was that is seemed to suggest that they are keeping Connie’s Titan mother alive.
I am glad this is being brought up again because it has the potential to result in some more development for Connie who has not had much screen time this season.
One funny scene in “Bystander” came when Mikasa got jealous over Eren and Historia.
The glare she sent there way was nothing short of creepy.
However, while this was funny, Mikasa’s scenes in this episode highlight a problem I have been having with her character recently.
In my “Top 10 Favorite Attack on Titan Characters” list I made after watching season two, Mikasa came in as my second favorite character next to Armin.
However, after re-watching the first two seasons and seeing how Mikasa has been portrayed in this season as well, I find her to be a lot less interesting than I first thought.
Mikasa has had almost no development for a very long time and yet she is one of the main characters, which is a problem.
This lack of development causes only her fighting skills and borderline yandere obsession with Eren to shine through, which I am not a fan of.
There have been multiple moments to give Mikasa development this season, like the reveal that Levi and Kenny are related to her, but there has been nothing but the usual “Eren this, Eren that” from her.
Hopefully she will get more development because she is really starting to go further down on my list of favorite characters at this point.
Just like my problem with missing characters I mentioned in my previous review though, I do not fault the episode for this but rather the series itself.
Overall, “Bystander” was the weakest episode of season three so far.
Not bad but nothing special.

Predictions:

  1. Grisha is revealed to have lost his memories when he first entered the Walls but if he found the Reiss family, passed on his Titan power to Eren and put something in the basement that means he must have regained those memories. I wonder when this happened and if it will be important to the story.
  2. The reveal that Connie’s mother’s Titan may still be alive has some interesting implications. If they ever discover a cure for the Titans then Connie may be able to bring her back.

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.

Attack on Titan: Season three, episode nine, Ruler of the Walls review – Prepare to vomit.

4 and a half stars

Spoiler Free Review:

Another day, another fantastic Attack on Titan episode.
Season three has been killing it so far with numerous great episodes and the latest one “Ruler of the Walls” is no exception.
It had intense action, great character moments and by far the most disgusting scene of the entire series so far.
Seriously, do not watch this episode after eating lunch or prepare to vomit.
As for the intense action it was truly great to see the characters go up against Rod Reiss’ massive Titan.
This intensity was helped exponentially with the fantastic blend of CGI and hand drawn animation.
Not only this but the fantastic character moments also helped to improve the action, with Eren and Historia once again being the standouts.
Eren sure has grown a lot in season one and I am loving it.
I actually hated his character in that first season but looking at how he has grown I can see how his portrayal there really worked to build up his arc for the past two seasons.
Historia also had another great scene where she proved her worth both as a soldier and queen.
She is officially in my top five favourite characters now.
Then there was the music, which as per usual was amazing.
One particular score that was of note was a revamped version of “Barricades”, which stood out in a great way.
As for the ending, “Ruler of the Walls” ends on a typical Attack on Titan cliffhanger but one that has me intrigued for what has to come, especially with the preview for the next episode.
“Ruler of the Walls” was an almost perfect episode, but there were a few things that held it back for me.
There was one scene that did feel a bit out of place as it should have been shown earlier.
Along with this, during the climactic action sequence it felt like some of the characters were lacking urgency and too calm about things, which given the situation is pretty ridiculous.
But this does not change the fact that “Ruler of the Walls” is another fantastic episode for the series.

Spoiler Review:

“Ruler of the Walls” kicks off with Erwin and Hange’s plan to stop Rod’s massive Titan form from destroying Orvud District.
From there the story exploded into absolute insanity as the climactic final battle between Rod and the army began.
The extremely disgusting imagery that might cause people to vomit I mentioned in the spoiler free review came with the way Rod’s Titan form looked.
Due to this Titan being so massive, it could only drag itself along the ground causing it to rip its face off and belly open, exposing its brain and intestines.
While, this was incredibly disgusting, it also led to a great call back to the first episode of the series, “To you in 2000 Years”.
This was where three kids watched in horror as Rod’s Titan appeared, just like Eren, Mikasa and Armin did when the Colossal Titan first showed up.
However, as Eren pointed out, this was completely different because this time they had soldiers to protect them.
Speaking of Eren, I loved his growth this episode.
I particularly liked how he brought up that he had no problem realizing he could become a Titan in the first season.
This was one of the big problems I had with Eren in that season because he had no problem being a Titan, despite hating them.
However, this episode resolved that with Eren explaining he did not question it because he felt he was special but has since grown from that and accepted his true role.
This showed the extent to Eren’s growth from that first episode and I loved it.
Then there was Historia, who delivered the final blow to Rod, killing her own father.
This moment was not only beautifully shot but really showed who Rod was because Historia seemed to temporarily view some of his memories.
I really liked this because it shows that Rod was not a bad person, he was just doing what he thought was right… even though what he was doing was the complete opposite.
The episode ends with Levi confronting the fatally injured Kenny, who has stolen some Titan serum.
I really hope Kenny does not die because he is already such an intriguing character and very entertaining.
As for the negative aspect of the episode, I felt like the flashback where Eren tried to control Rod with his Coordinate power should have come in the previous episode rather than this one.
Still, “Ruler of the Walls” was a fantastic episode and potentially in the top ten best.

Predictions:

  1. Next episode it looks like we will finally get into the backstory of Levi and Kenny’s connection, which I have wanted to see when Kenny was introduced.
  2. It looks like the main focus though, will be on the friendship between Kenny and Uri Reiss, Rod’s brother. Based on Kenny’s flashback in this episode this looks to be very interesting because it looks like Kenny was trying to kill Uri because he had a knife in his hand.

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

Attack on Titan: Season three, episode five, Reply – Spoiler free and spoiler review: Viva la uprising!

4 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

This week’s Attack on Titan episode, Reply, had many interesting and great moments, in an episode that I feel is building up to a shocking revelation next week.
This episode primarily dealt with Erwin’s storyline in the wake of last week’s episode’s worrisome cliffhanger.
This storyline was very important for the episode but it did make me wonder how long the Uprising Arc has left.
From what I have heard, there are supposed to be 24 episodes this season and Reply makes it look like we are already in the endgame of this arc.
If it ends soon, then I wonder how long the next arc will be and if this really will be a 24 episode season.
Another thing, while I did enjoy this storyline with Erwin, it was a very predictable one.
As soon as a character arrived to announce some distressing news I knew what was going to happen.
That did not change that I still found this storyline to be engaging but it did lessen its impact somewhat.
The real meat of this episode lies in what happens after Erwin’s storyline.
So many hints are given and it looks like the dark theory I have concerning Eren’s Titan ability is correct.
Along with giving plenty of hints to numerous revelations, this scene also had a touching moment from Levi.
As a whole, this episode also had great animation and music.
There is a shot of Erwin’s eye that reminded me very much of a similar shot in season two, episode five, Historia, where I have praised its animation.
Well, this animation certainly tops that.
One thing that did surprise me as well was how funny this episode was.
There were a lot of times where I laughed and I honestly did not expect that coming in to this episode.
Overall, Reply was a really good episode that looks to be setting up some dramatic reveals.

Spoiler Review:

Thankfully my concern for Erwin’s safety was all for nothing because he came out on top this episode.
With help from Pyxis, Nile and Dhalis Zachary, he was able to successfully overthrow those in power.
However, this is where my problem with how predictable this storyline was lies.
Pyxis’ aid bursts into the room and declares that Wall Rose has been breached and I immediately realised this was a ploy from Pyxis and Erwin to get the nobles to break the Charter of Humanity, Clause Six, by having them put themselves before humanity.
Sure enough, this is exactly what the nobles did and it resulted in them being overthrown.
This was very easy to guess based on how the Charter of Humanity was being used to convict Erwin so it was natural that he would turn the tables on them using this.
Still this scene did have a lot of great moments as their “coup d’etat” succeeded.
Indeed, this seems like more of a coup than an uprising but maybe we will get that later.
After Erwin’s storyline, the perspective switched to that of the Levi Squad, where Hange informed them of what had happened.
This led to them highlighting all those who had worked towards overthrowing those in power and, after this, Levi apologized for getting Hange’s soldiers killed, which was a very nice moment.
However, all the niceties leave when Hange points out an incident in the Reiss family history, where all of Rod’s family were killed by someone the day before Historia’s mother was murdered.
Whatever is happening here, it obviously has a huge connection to the fall of Wall Maria and how Eren got his Titan abilities.
Then there is Eren himself, who finally wakes up after being captured… again.
Seriously, how many times has Eren been captured?
It is basically its own cliche at this point.
You might as well call Eren the damsel in distress of Attack on Titan… only he is the main character!
The episode ends with him waking up in a strange crystallized room with Historia walking towards him.
On another note, as I said in my spoiler free review, this episode was surprisingly hilarious.
The funniest moments came when Zachary declared why he helped remove the military police, going on a rant about how much he hated them,  and when the Levi Squad reacted to their names being cleared.
In this specific shot everyone is jumping for joy and Sasha wraps her arms around Mikasa who is not having it.
Mikasa’s reaction to Sasha’s hug, even if it was brief, was very funny.
Reply was another really good episode for the third season and has me eagerly anticipating next week’s episode, Sin. 

Predictions:

  1. One of the big shots we get in a preview is of Kenny, who looks significantly younger than he does now. Will his backstory be revealed and his Ackermann connection?
  2.  I think it is safe to say that Eren is the “power” and Historia is the “vessel” that was mentioned. This means that Rod is planning on having Historia eat Eren. How can she do this though? Does this mean they have the shots they gave Ymir when her backstory was revealed in Children? If this is the case, hopefully Historia will not go through with this.
  3. Eren dreams about a women in this episode, who I speculated was this Marie person that was mentioned last episode. However, based on this episode and the preview for Sin, she looks more like Freida, Rod’s daughter who was supposedly killed with the rest of her family. This would make her Historia’s half-sister and it appears she knew her, based on what we see in the preview. But why is Eren dreaming about her if he never meet her?
  4. Warning: Potentially major spoilers for the next few episodes here: After everything I have seen in this episode and the previous ones, I am certain that Eren ate his own father, Grisha. This makes sense because Grisha injected Eren and we know from Children that the injections turn people into Titans, not Titan Shifters. In order to become a Titan Shifter you need to eat one and unless Grisha just had a Shifter lying around it seems highly likely that he was the Shifter and Eren ate him and got his powers. However, there is a shot of Grisha in the preview for next episode and it looks like he is in the exact same strange room as Eren so I may be wrong. Although, this could also be a flashback. Then there is the “unforgivable sin” Grisha committed, mentioned in the preview. I am willing to bet that he had some hand in the deaths of Rod’s family. How ever Grisha connects to the story, next episode looks to be full of reveals about him.

 

Attack on Titan: Season three, episode four, Trust – Spoiler free and spoiler review: Rise of the side characters.

3 and a half stars

Spoiler Free Review:

The third season of Attack on Titan delivered quite a surprise with its fourth episode, Trust, as the side characters stuck out a lot more than the main ones.
Marlo, Hitch, Flegel and Nile are all side characters and yet had significant development this episode, all to great effect.
For example, when we first met Marlo and Hitch in season one, I did not really care for them but they were actually very likeable this episode.
Then there is Flegel, who had a very inspiring moment that made me cheer.
As for Nile, it looks like this episode set up a lot for him to do in the Uprising Arc.
I really loved what this episode did with its side characters because it gave them a lot more depth, which made them more interesting to me.
Trust truly is a character development episode because even Jean got some significant growth in a scene that was both funny and misleading, but in a good way.
There was even a moment with Hange where the great animation of season three was put on full display.
This is mainly a set-up episode for, what will probably be, the big second act of the Uprising Arc so it did not have as much exciting highlights as previous episodes.
However, that being said, Trust is still a really good and enjoyable episode that made me appreciate the side characters a lot more.

Spoiler Review:

It turns out that my prediction in my previous review was correct as the Military Police officers coming towards the Levi Squad were Marlo and Hitch, Annie’s friends from the Military Police.
Also as predicted, these two actually helped the group out, with Marlo proving himself to be very dependable in a confrontation with Jean.
Speaking of this confrontation, I actually thought that Jean was going to try and murder Marlo and Hitch because of his growth from episode two, Pain.
Thankfully, it was all just an elaborate ruse by Jean to see if they could be trusted.
This also led to a funny moment where Hitch called Jean “horse face”.
It would seem that Jean just cannot escape that nickname.
Once it was determined that they could be trusted, Marlo and Hitch led the squad to the area being guarded with the least Military Police officers.
There they captured one of the Interior Military Police, who gave the big name drop of Kenny Ackermann.
Mikasa heard this so I suspect the official reveal of her and Levi being related to come soon.
I already knew that the two were related because I had heard people refer to Levi as an Ackermann but it will still be interesting to see what implications this has for the anime.
However, the one thing I did not like about this scene was how Levi called Historia Christa.
It is getting kind of annoying because it has to be confusing for people.
She can either be called Historia or Christa, they should stick with one.
Then there is Hange’s storyline, which was one of my favourites of the episode.
This was because of Flegel’s great character development, which led to him standing up to the Military Police and siding with the Scout Regiment.
Hange’s storyline also had a great quote from her because when Flegel says the Scout Regiment will be defeated Hange replies, “defeat is all the Scout Regiment has ever known.”
There is also the fact that many people, including journalists, overheard the truth about the government so this will probably kick off a full on uprising, once word spreads.
However, I do have to say, the moment when that Military Police officer collapsed in tears of joy upon finding Flegel came across as very melodramatic to me, and not in a good way.
Finally, there is Erwin’s storyline and fingers crossed he does not die next episode.
There was a pretty big hint at this happening last episode, with Erwin naming Hange his successor.
There is some hope for him though because it looks like Nile, the commander of the Military Police, may actually switch sides and help him.
I am definitely starting to see more hints that the two used to be friends, as was stated in previous episodes.
The next few episodes do look to be pretty hectic, with hopefully a few reveals, so I am excited for that.

Predictions:

  1. I did not notice this in my first viewing, but in my second viewing of the previous episode, Old Story, Erwin mentioned an “incident” in the Reiss family. I wonder what that is setting up?
  2. Maybe Nile and Pyxis will save Erwin because it looks like both are taking an active role next episode, based on the preview.
  3. In the preview, there is a woman looking at herself in a mirror, while brushing her hair. This looks like a new character so I am interested to see who this is exactly. Maybe it is that Marie woman Erwin mentioned? From the sounds of things she is Nile’s wife so, if this is her, it will be interesting to see what role she plays.