Attack on Titan, the Final Season, Episode 28, Dawn of Humanity Review: The Horrifying End of Part Two.

Another year, another finished part of Attack on Titan‘s last season, with the final part coming in 2023.
There was a lot of speculation about how Mappa would follow up Part Two, when it became clear that they could not adapt the rest of the chapters in the time they had left.
So, it would either be a movie or a Part Three and it turns out that it’s the latter, although I will say that they should have just labelled these parts as different seasons, since there’s such a significant gap between them.
Either way, the last episode of Attack on Titan the Final Season Part Two, “Dawn of Humanity”, directed by Hidekazu Hara, Mitsue Yamazaki and Tokio Igarashi, is a fantastic ending for this section of the story and very well adapted from the manga.
In my review for the previous episode, I speculated that this episode would also adapt the missing flashback from Chapter 123 because I thought they would go quite well with the events from Chapter 130, which the episode would be adapting.
Turns out I was right because “Dawn of Humanity” begins with that missing flashback, preluded by Mikasa wondering if Eren really never changed and, if that is the case, what she saw in him.
We then get the actual flashback, which sees the Scouts infiltrating Marley, with the hope of connecting with a group that protests for Eldian rights.
This mission starts off almost disasterously and definintley humorously, as Connie and Sasha both nearly break their cover by talking about leaving the walls of Paradis out loud, to which Jean has to reprimand them for.
The Survey Corps then begins their scout of enemy territory, with even more humorous events, as Sasha eats ice cream for the first time, she, Hange and Connie chase down a car to feed it carrots and, funniest of all, Levi is confronted by a clown who mistakes him for a kid.
Yet, the scene turns serious whenever it changes to Eren, as we now know that he had his future memories during this mission, so he was aware that he was going to kill most of the people the group are currently interacting with.
While this scene is happening, Mikasa reflects on how they did not notice this or maybe did not want to notice, and I think it is the latter, since she looks concerned for Eren on multiple occasions.
The scene then turns more serious, when Levi stops a migrant kid from pickpocketing Sasha, calling him out in front of everyone.
However, he and the rest of the Scouts quickly realize this was not the right call because it is like a switch is flipped in the Marleyans’ heads and they all become racist psychopaths, wanting to toss the boy in the ocean to drown, smash his hand, or hang him.
Levi then steps in, picking the kid up and claiming he is actually Sasha’s brother, to which she and Hange play along with, before the group flee, taking the boy to saftey, only for him to pickpocket Levi before departing.
The Scouts then go to visit Kiyomi, discussing their plan to meet in secret with the Eldian rights group, to which Kiyomi is skepticial will result in anything, but Hange insists they have to try.
Mikasa then notices Eren is missing and runs outside to find him looking over a refugee camp where the boy they saved and his family are staying.
Eren hides his tears from her and when Mikasa asks Eren if something happened to the boy, Eren chillingly replies, “nothing yet”, again indicating to the audience that he has future memories of the Rumbling.
Eren then abruptly asks Mikasa why she is so determined to protect him, questioning what he is to her, to which Mikasa gets flustered and responds that he is family.
They are then interrupted by the young boy’s grandfather, who invites them and the rest of the 104th Scouts to drink with them.
This results in honestly one of the most heart touching moments of the series, as we see the 104th happy togethor for the last time before Eren went rogue.
What makes this even better is the music that is playing because it is the same one that played when Grisha lead Faye outside the walls, leading to her death.
Thus, this scene is yet another moment of final happiness before everything goes wrong.
For this final moment of happiness, we see everyone surprised by how quick Eren is to drink, them all partying togethor, the young boy flinging himself into Eren, Sasha puking in a pot, and Levi, Hange and Onyankopon being mortified as they find the group passed out drunk.
Then comes the moment where it all goes bad, as the scene cuts to the Scouts going to the meeting of the Eldian rights group in the morning, only for this group to condemn the Eldians on Paradis island, just like almost everyone else in the world does, leading to Eren leaving.
In the present, Mikasa now wonders if Eren would have taken another path if she had given him a different answer when he asked what he meant to her.
Honestly, though, I have never really been able to see this as happening.
Even if Eren does return Mikasa’s feelings, I cannot see him taking a different path than the one he has because of who he is as a person.
The episode then cuts to the adaptation of Chapter 130, beginning from Eren’s perspective as he wonders where everything started, if it was the day the walls fell, when the pigs were freed, or maybe from the moment he was born.
Eren then decides that it does not matter because everything that has happened is according to his will.
We then get another flashback, as we see Yelena tell Eren about Zeke’s Euthansia Plan, with Floch secretly listening in.
Eren and Floch then have a private conversation where Eren reveals to him that he plans to destroy the world, stating that they will play along with Zeke until they have the oppurtunity to betray him.
Floch actually looks pretty shocked when Eren says he will kill everyone outside the walls, making me wonder if he was always so gung-ho about this plan or if he needed a little persuading from Eren.
Then we finally see Historia after so long, with Eren going to visit her to tell her his plan.
This scene starts with the two of them discussing the implications of the 50 year plan, where Historia will have to sacrifice herself and her own children by continuously inheriting the Beast Titan.
Historia is still bizarrely okay with this plan, seemingly having forgot all of the character development she recieved in the Uprising Arc, but thankfully Eren is not okay with this, revealing to her his true plan to which Historia is understandably horrified.
She tells Eren that if she does not try to stop him then she won’t be able to live with herself, but Eren says that she can because she is “the worst girl in the world,” calling back to the time she saved his life in the Uprising Arc.
This seemingly convinces her to stay quiet about his plan.
We then get another flashback scene, this time between Eren and Zeke in Liberio, as Eren questions Zeke about his theory that Mikasa’s Ackerman blood makes her a slave to him.
Zeke, however, reveals that Eren’s suspicions are entirely wrong and that there is no Ackerman instinct to protect a host, meaning that Mikasa protects him because she truly loves him.
Although, one question I do have is what caused Eren to come to his wrong conclusion about Mikasa’s Ackerman blood in the first place.
I mean, we know he lied to her about it to push her away, but he seems to have thought it was true back in Liberio, so why did he think so before Zeke disproved it?
In any case, Zeke then questions what Eren intends to do about Mikasa’s feelings, but Eren says he only has four years to live and he wants all of his friends to live long lives.
Intercut among this sequence, we see Eren cutting off his own leg and gouging his eye out with a bullet to act like a wounded soldier in Liberio and, weirdest of all, Historia asking Eren if she should get pregnant.
After this scene, we then return to the present for the final, horrifying scene of Part Two, as the Rumbling finally arrives in Marley.
The world’s naval fleet are waiting for them but their efforts are completley useless, as there are literally millions of Colossal Titans advancing on them from the sea.
The military alliance only manage to take out a couple of the Walls Titans, before they swim right below their ships, the heat incinerating every soldier aboard, which is a much more ghastly display than the one in the manga.
The Wall Titans then emerge from the ocean and march towards the ground forces, who also have no effect on the wall of death fast approaching.
Eventually, the fear wins out and the soldiers run, only to turn back and see Eren’s gigantic Titan form emerging from the ocean as well.
This horrifying image is accompanied with a soldier title dropping the series, “Shingeki no Kyojin!”.
As the Rumbling finally begins its process of destroying the world, Eren’s inner monologue states that he will wipe out every last one of them, while remembering his mother’s death, bringing a close to Part Two’s last episode.
“Dawn for Humanity” is a phenominal episode that adapts Chapters 123 and 130 very well.
I especially have to praise Mappa for their work on the CGI Colossal Titans.
They have definitley improved their CGI from Part One.
The only criticisms I have for this episode are that I still think Historia accepting the 50 year plan goes against her character, and that the ending to the series itself undermines some of Eren’s scenes.
That last point obviously factors in manga spoilers, so I will be discussing that down below rather than here.
Despite these issues, “Dawn for Humanity” is still a fantastic ending for the Final Season’s second half, and it makes me even more excited for the future adaptations of great chapters like 131, 132 and 134.

Manga Spoilers:
I said in the spoiler free section of this review that one of my criticisms comes from my belief that the ending to the manga undermines some of Eren’s scenes.
However, I want to start off the manga spoilers section positively, so instead I’ll begin by discussing how the merging of the Chapter 123 flashback and Chapter 130 into a single episode could improve one aspect of the ending: this being Eremika happening.
Eren’s feelings for Mikasa honestly feel very sporadic to me in the manga.
I can only pinpoint three moments before the ending where it looks like he might return her feelings, these being Chapters 50, 123 and 138, with the remaining 135 chapters being him either treating her like family or pushing her away.
Yet, I think that pairing up the Chapter 123 flashback, where Eren asks Mikasa what he is to her, with the scene in Chapter 130 where Zeke discusses Mikasa’s feelings for Eren, does hit it further home that we are heading towards an ending where Eren’s feelings for Mikasa will be confirmed.
I don’t think it fixes the rushed nature of the reveal entirely because, again, Eren’s feelings for Mikasa are quite sporadic in their portrayal, but it does improve it so I think more people will be accepting of it watching the anime than in the manga.
With that positive out of the way, I now have to move onto my criticisms, because while I think Eren’s feelings for Mikasa may be recieved better in the anime, I don’t think the reveal of Eren’s true plan will because of how much it contradicts his actions in this episode.
The ending reveals that Eren knew he would be stopped before he entirely destroyed the world, so this raises the question of why Eren lies to Historia about the Rumbling.
She is horrified by it and initially wants to stop him and Eren could have calmed her down somewhat by telling her that he would be stopped.
Instead, he says, “the only way to end this cycle of revenge fueled by hate is to bury our hate-filled history along with civilization itself.”
It makes sense why Eren lied to Floch about the Rumbling, since he needed him to help start the Jeagerists, thereby allowing Eren to get into contact with Zeke, but lying to Historia served absolutley no purpose.
It makes Eren seem quite contradictive at the end.
I have heard some argue that Eren only learned he would not succeed in destroying the world after he gained complete control of the Founding Titan which, if true, would explain this plot hole because it would mean Eren didn’t lie to Historia.
However, this is stated absolutley nowhere in the manga, with Eren and Armin’s final conversation seeming to contradict this theory as well.
Another weird moment about this scene, which I was surprised to see wasn’t cut, is Historia asking Eren if she should get pregnant.
This was weird in the manga and it is weird here because it seems to be hinting that there is something about this pregnancy we don’t know about but there really isn’t.
Historia just forgot her entire motivation to live for herself and was paired off with a nameless nobody, who contributed to her wanting to kill herself at the beginning of the story, and then she was sidelined with a degrading pregancy subplot for the rest of the story (Yes, I still hate how Historia’s character was treated in the final arc. How could you tell?).
As for Eren, there is another moment where his dialogue makes no sense when considering the ending, this being the final scene of “Dawn of Humanity.”
Here, Eren’s own inner monlogue states that he will wipe out every last one of them.
Again, this is contradicted by what happens in the ending, with Eren knowing he will be stopped.
Coming into the episode, I thought this line would be delivered in a flashback to when Eren said this as a young boy after his mother’s death.
That would have made this moment make sense because it’s not the Eren who knows he is going to be defeated speaking, but the young kid mourning his mother.
Yet, this is not what we got.
Instead, it is adult Eren thinking about how he will wipe everyone out when he should know that he won’t.
This also completley debunks the theory that Eren learned he would lose after gaining the full power of the Founding Titan.
The ending makes a lot of Eren moments in this episode make no sense.
Thus, the hindsight of the ending really makes these scenes have less impact for us manga readers and will produce the same effect on anime only viewers when they rewatch the series, in my opinion.
But, hey, despite the lackluster ending we will most likely still be getting when the Final Season Part Three comes out in 2023, at least we will still have some amazing moments from the manga to look forward to.
So, until 2023 Attack on Titan. 

Attack on Titan, the Final Season, Episode 25, Night of the End Review: The Weakest Adaptation.

I was quite excited coming into Episode 25 of Attack on Titan‘s final season, “Night of the End.”
The reason for this is that I consider the chapter the episode adapts, Chapter 127, to be one of the best alliance chapters.
It certainly leaves a better impression after the weak coming togethor of the alliance in the previous episode.
So, imagine my disappointment when I saw the clear animation issues in “Night of the End.”
It was blantly obvious when watching this episode that there were problems with the budget, resulting in what I think is unfortunately one of the weakest adaptations of a chapter in the entire anime.
Directed by Mitsue Yamazaki, “Night of the End” begins with Jean imagining his future in a post Rumbling world, where he is married to a woman who appears to be Mikasa and has a child with her.
This high life in the interior with a family has been Jean’s dream from the beginning, however, he is naturally dragged away from it by his morals when Hange shows up and calls him outside to meet her and Mikasa.
Taking refuge in an abandoned house, Hange announces to Jean and Mikasa that she has joined up with the remaining Marleyans to stop Eren, asking for their support.
Mikasa is quick to agree, not wanting Eren to massacre the billions of people outside the walls, yet Jean is more cautious, understandably pointing out that if they stop Eren then the rest of the world will most likely destroy them.
This all leads to Hange recalling her dead comrades in a similar way to how Erwin did in the Return to Shiganshina Arc.
Here, Hange implies that characters like Erwin and Miche would have been against the Rumbling, a subject that still inspires debate among manga readers, even after the ending.
Whatever your thoughts are on this implication, though, the effect Hange’s words have on Jean is clear, as he also imagines seeing Marco looking at him with a reassuring look, convincing him to take a moral stance rather than a logical one.
This is who Jean is.
When push comes to shove, he has always put his own morals first, even if it impedes his goals of earning a nice life for himself.
He is such a great character and his development in this episode only gets better, which is why it is such a shame that the impact this beginning scene could have had is watered down significantly by the animation issues.
Instead of focusing on Jean, Hange and Mikasa’s expressions as they discuss stopping Eren, the shots focus on the walls and windows.
It is quite clear that they are trying to save the budget for future episodes, which is understandable, but it comes at the expence of this episode.
Once this scene is over, we then cut to the main focus of “Night of the End”, which is the campfire talks and arguments between the Scouts and the Warriors.
If you thought that there was not enough conflict during the formation of the alliance last episode, like I did, then this episode alleviates some of these issues by giving us that conflict.
It begins with Magath, who states that the Scouts have finally learned which side is standing for justice, an absurd statement given all that he has done, which Jean rightfully calls him out on, pointing out that if they had never attacked then Eren never would have started the Rumbling because his mother would not have been killed.
Hange eventually puts an end to this back and forth argument, only for Annie to ask an important question: can they kill Eren?
When Armin suggests talking to Eren first, this leads to Annie stating that if she or any of the other Warriors try to kill Eren, then they will just try to stop them, especially Mikasa.
Mikasa takes this as a threat, advancing towards Annie.
Although, advancing is probably the wrong word here.
In the manga she advances on Annie, here she just draws her sword because, again, it really feels like there were some budgetary issues at play.
To be fair, though, this is certainly not as bad as the other animation issues, it’s more of a minor thing.
The impact of this moment is still there, with Annie and Mikasa eventually coming to an understanding, as Annie explains she just wants to save her father and if Eren can be convinced to stop then it will be fine by her.
The reason this impact still holds is because we get clear shots of both of these characters’ faces while their conflict is playing out, which unfortunately cannot be said for the next scene, where Magath asks Yelena where Eren is.
What do we focus on this time?
Trees.
An important discussion about the location of the protaganist turned antagonist is happening and we’re focusing on random trees instead of the characters we are following.
Thankfully, the shots quickly cut back to the characters when Yelena is called out for secretly being a Marleyan by Pieck, leading Yelena to calling out everyone at the campfire for their prior crimes.
Jean hits back by sarcastically mocking her, acting as though she said all of this just to clear the air.
This was a mistake on his part, though, because Yelena is certainly vindictive, using Jean’s sarcasm as an oppurtunity to create more conflict by bringing up Marco’s death, leading to Reiner finally revealing to Jean what really happened to his friend… while the shots focus on the trees once more.
Again, we should be focusing on the characters’ inner turmoil through their facial expressions, not random bits of the environment that have no meaning.
Oh, I have heard some state that the extensive focus on the trees was actually symbolism for the escaping the forest theme but this theory rings hollow for me.
If the shots of the trees were quick and we spent most of the time on the characters, I could buy it.
What I can’t buy is the person who storyboarded the episode deciding to mostly focus on trees during an entire complex conversation for the sake of symbolism that would have only taken a few shots to convey.
Not to mention that the random shots of the wall in the opening scene undermine this.
If the trees were supposed to convey the escaping the forest theme, then what the heck was the point of the wall and window shots, that the characters were confined but had a window out or something?
Thankfully, we actually focus on the characters when Jean snaps and attacks Reiner after he expresses his guilt for killing Marco and aplogizes.
I can also praise this scene for how well Jean’s beatdown of Reiner is animated.
What stops Jean from beating Reiner further is Gabi, who jumps in front of one of his kicks, before she and Falco beg Jean and the rest of the 104th to help them stop the Rumbling, as Gabi profusely apologises for her prior hatred of them, completing her redemption arc in my mind.
Jean is still understandably conflicted and marches off, while Levi sits up and complains that the group is being too noisy.
While this is a good gag, I am disappointed that we did not see Levi call Annie out for killing his Squad all the way back in the Female Titan Arc.
I’m not saying he would deliberately endanger the mission to get revenge on her but I think he should have at least mentioned Petra’s father coming to him after Annie killed her.
This could have lead to some interesting development for Annie, who is trying to get back to her father and is now forced to contemplate how many parents she robbed of ever seeing their children again.
It could have been a fantastic moment of self reflection for her and I think it was a real missed oppurtunity.
What is not a missed oppurtunity, however, is Magath’s development because, despite showing his Marleyan racism earlier in the episode, he now reaches out to comfort Gabi, before pulling back as he realizes what he is doing, the conflict in him clear.
Where this conflict goes I will not spoil but I am looking forward to it.
The next morning Gabi is awoken by Jean who says he will still help them stop the Rumbling, once again proving himself as a moral person, before he humorously yanks Reiner awake, stating that his injuries should have healed by now.
Jean is definitley the highlight of this episode.
Following this, the alliance head off to the port to try and find Kiyomi Azumabito’s plane, which they hope will help them reach Eren.
During this time, Jean apologizes to Gabi for kicking her but tells Reiner he will not be getting an apology to which Reiner accepts.
However, there is a cut here that quite damages this scene, in my opinion.
This is the following line from the manga where Jean says he cannot forgive Reiner, to which he also accepts.
Annie then interjects by asking if she could ever be forgiven.
The forgiveness lines are cut from the anime, so when Annie asks “and me?” it appears that she is asking Jean if he will apologize to her, to which I say, “for what?”
Annie was rightfully called out for her part to play in Marco’s murder.
She is the one who should be apologising, not Jean.
The anime really damaged this moment because it makes Annie look uncaring and selfish, rather than seeking forgiveness for Marco’s death.
Unfortunately, this is not the only cut scene that involves Annie because, when Reiner is beat unconcious by Jean, we see Annie caring for him in the manga but not in the anime.
This is not a huge detail but it was a nice moment of showing Annie’s sympathy and I wish it was kept.
Back to the final scene, as the alliance approach the port, Pieck arrives to announce that the Jeagerists have taken control of it, and we see that Kiyomi is a hostage of Floch, bringing an end to the episode.
Overall, despite having better writing than the previous episode, I would still say that “Night of the End” is one of the weakest adaptations of the manga because of the obvious animation issues that plague it, such as randomly focusing on walls, windows and trees.
Having seen the quality of the animation for Episode 26 “Traitor”, I understand that the animation for certain scenes in “Night of the End” had to be so limited in order to make the action scenes of the coming episodes look better, most likely due to budgetary problems.
Still, it is disappointing to me that the anime adaptation of one of my favourite alliance chapters is so watered down.
I’m not saying it’s a bad episode but it is definitley disappointing.
The writing is still top notch, though, with Jean’s character arc being a standout, proving why he is one of Attack on Titan‘s best characters.

Attack on Titan, the Final Season, Episode 23, Sunset Review: A Great Set-Up Episode.

Thankfully picking up without a recap of what happened in the last episode, Episode 23 of Attack on Titan‘s final season, “Sunset” is great set-up for what is to come.
Directed by Mitsue Yamazaki, the episode begins in Trost District, displaying the horrific side effect Eren’s Rumbling has on the people of Paradis.
With all of the walls crumbling, many houses have collapsed, a lot them with people still inside.
Hundreds are probably dead from this, and we see Hitch helping care for the survivors, only to have to go and gather riot gear when fanatical Jeagerist citizens get into an argument with those who have lost family members in the Rumbling by saying their sacrifices were worth it.
It just goes to show that even if Eren does destroy the world, infighting on Paradis will not end.
As for Hitch, when she goes to gather the riot gear, she notices wet footprints coming from the basement where Annie’s crystal was stashed.
Realizing the warrior is now free, Hitch goes after her, only to find herself remarkably out of her depth as the awakened Annie holds her hostage easily.
But maybe not because Annie is still in a weakened state, allowing Hitch to throw her to the floor, comparing her to a grandma.
However, as Hitch is calling for help, Annie reveals she has cut herself, leaving Hitch no choice but to help her out of fear of the warrior transforming.
Hitch takes this as well as she can, joking that she won’t have to see Annie’s face anymore, to which Annie hits back by saying she won’t have to listen to Hitch complaining about men, revealing she was concious the entire time.
This is a nice way of justifying not needing to explain to Annie all that has happened since she entered the crystal.
The two of them then take off on the horse, looking up at the advancing Rumbling as they go, which looks absolutley incredible.
Seriously, I’m amazed at how well Mappa has done at animating the Rumbling so far.
They have honestly done a better job with the CGI Colossal Titans than WIT.
Not to say that Mappa is better than WIT, no, the two studios just both have things they are better at than the other.
Back to Annie and Hitch, this is the moment where we finally get Annie’s full backstory.
It’s revealed that her birth was the result of an affair between an Eldian and a Marleyan.
She was then raised by an Eldian man with a similar situation to her, who trained her to become a warrior, all so that he could live a better life.
This resulted in Annie eventually breaking the man’s leg and then gaining a complete indifference to human life, including her own.
But then, on the day she left, the man who raised her broke down, begging her to come back home to him, now loving her as his daughter.
This is why she fought so hard to get home and why, if it ends with her seeing her father one more time, she would do it all again.
I like this motivation for Annie.
It is certainly cold, saying she would do the horrific things she did again, but it has understandable reasoning, since she did it all to get back to a loved one.
There is also some great humor here as well, with Hitch interrupting Annie by asking her if this is her life story or something.
Of course it all turns serious when Hitch states that Annie will most likely only find a corpse when she gets home.
Que the perfect cut to Annie’s father and the rest of the Eldians in Liberio arguing with their guards about the Rumbling being started, which they learned when Eren alerted them through the Paths.
The guards, however, do not believe them and place them under arrest, leading to Annie’s father starting a revolt when he remembers Annie’s tearful face when she promised him she would come home.
Back on Paradis, Shadis hears a gunshot before telling the trainees to wait for their moment to take on the Jeagerists, while Armin prepares to go and stop Connie from feeding Falco to his mother.
Armin tells Mikasa they need Gabi’s help to convince Reiner and Pieck to stop the fighting, which means they need Falco too, so he will tell Connie his mother should just stay a Titan for peace.
Mikasa then asks Armin what she should do and Armin says to help Jean.
This is a curious line from Armin because it appears to be changed from the manga, where Armin tells her to think for herself, not to think of how she should help Jean.
Unless this is not a translation error on either the manga or the anime’s part, this is a pretty odd change to make, since it goes from Armin seemingly pointing out how Mikasa often struggles to think for herself, to him just advising her to help Jean.
Either way, what follows is the same as the manga, with Mikasa predictably asking about Eren, leading to Armin exploding at her, ending with him saying that Erwin should have been chosen over him, before departing.
This was a sad moment for Armin, although I did find it humorous how Historia is just randomly thrown into the conversation.
It really is a shame how little screen time she is getting.
Back to the scene at hand, once Armin leaves, Mikasa notices that her scarf is missing.
I am not looking forward to the answer of where it is in the next episode.
Armin then goes outside, where Gabi is saying her goodbyes to the Braus family, telling Kya her real name, before she and Armin depart to save Falco.
Back inside the building, Floch has shot a volunteer who resisted as a fear tactic against the rest of them.
In answer to Jean’s demand of who made him king, Floch responds that Eren came to him with his plan for the Rumbling ten months ago, going on a rant about how the volunteers’ only hope is to side with the Eldian Empire now that their homelands will be destroyed and their family’s butchered.
Floch really is a great antagonist.
He is a perfect example of how nationalism can twist a person.
Case and point, when he brutally executes the volunteer he shot when he resists further, which, by the way, is much more brutal in the manga.
As Mikasa arrives, Floch then speaks to Jean, telling him to go back to the way he was in Season One, shocking Jean who is then struck with guilt upon seeing Onyankopon staring at him.
On another note, the ost during this scene is, once again, incredible.
It gives Floch this villanous theme, one that is further established when he lies about Zeke killing Hange and Levi.
The credits then role, while showing Connie taking Falco to his village.
Connie has used Falco’s memory loss to his advantage but still feels guilty about what he plans to do to Falco, since he is a good kid, even though sacrificing him would bring back his mother.
Much like the resolution to the scarf scene though, I am not excited to see this subplot play out next episode.
With the credits coming to an end, the post credits scene then sees Pieck and Magath being approached by Hange for unknown purposes.
Levi is with her, alive but horribly injured, and Hange calls him a “harmless fellow who refuses to die.”
Harmless?
Hell, no.
Refuses to die?
Oh, most definitley.
Overall, “Sunset” is a pretty great set-up episode, with some excellent animation and visuals.
As for the end result of this set-up… well, let’s just say I’m interested to see the anime only reactions to it and leave it at that for the spoiler free section.

Manga Spoiler Section:
Okay, so I can’t be the only one really intrigued to see how anime only viewers will interpret the next episode, right?
Chapter 126, “Pride”, is one of Attack on Titan‘s most controversial chapters.
It is the point that many manga readers began to become concerned about where the direction the ending was heading because of the way the chapter was written.
While I do think that the chapters following “Pride” are a million times better, and am looking forward to the adaptations of them, I am still dreading the next episode because “Pride” is definitley in my top five least favourite chapters of the series.
It is an extremely rushed chapter, with numerous scene gaps, unearned comedy, and one of the worst subplots of the entire series as a key focus, this being the Connie and Falco subplot.
Still, there are moments I am looking forward to, like the beginning scene with Hange and Levi, and Jean and Onyankopon’s development.
Plus, I think we can count on Mappa to make the episode visually interesting, at least.
But, no matter what my thoughts on the next episode are, I can still say that it had some pretty great set-up with “Sunset.”

Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Fifteen, Sole Salvation Review: A Cautionary Tale.

5 stars
Much like Chapters 112 and 113, Chapter 114 of Attack on Titan is one that I have slowly come to appreciate more in the years since it came out.
So, I was pretty excited to see it adapted in Episode 15 of the Final Season, “Sole Salvation”, which aired right alongside the delayed episode, “Savagery.”
I mention that episode here because while I think that “Savagery” could have been adapted a little better, I think that “Sole Salvation” is a perfect adaptation of its corresponding chapter that mostly improves on the source material, with its fantastic animation, voice acting, and soundtrack.
Directed by Mitsue Yamazaki, the episode is entirely devoted to Zeke’s backstory and explains his relationship with the mysterious man teased at the end of Episode 14, why he decided to turn on his parents, how he came to his ideology and what this ideology is.
That last point is foreshadowed right at the beginning of “Sole Salvation”, where it is shown how Grisha and Dina tried to indoctrinate Zeke in their cause to restart the Eldian Empire by taking Zeke to a tower and showing him the poor conditions Eldians are forced to live in compared with the rest of the world.
It is at this moment that a seemingly kind, old janitor walks in and apologises for interrupting, saying he can come back later.
Any niceties disappear, though, when he sees the armband on Grisha’s arm and throws his bucket full of dirty water at them in disgust, blaming them for the murder of millions of innocents, even though this happened centuries ago and none of them could possibly be responsible.
The old man even goes as far to scold them for “pumping out kids”, in reference to Zeke, an important line that will affect Zeke’s ideology going forward.
Grisha again uses this situation to try and instill a drive in Zeke to change the world, telling him that he will save everyone, however, this is clearly not helping Zeke, considering the poor kid is doing the worst at training because his heart is not set on being a Warrior.
Can you really blame Zeke, though?
The kid just wants to live with his parents and be seen as their son, not as their tool for reviving Eldia.
It is here that we get our first look at Zeke’s father figure, Tom Ksaver, the former Beast Titan who seems to take an immediate interest in Zeke.
Along with him, Zeke also has his grandparents who do actually care about him and what he wants, yet still try to indoctrinate him with Marleyan propaganda about how the Eldian Empire was pure evil and committed countless sins.
One interesting thing to note about this scene is how the illustrations in Mr and Mr Jaeger’s book on the different atrocities the Eldian Empire supposedly committed against Marley actually link back to the ED of the Second Season.
That ED was just full of spoilers and foreshadowing for future events, wasn’t it?
Back to the episode, we then get the opposite side of the indoctrination Zeke suffers, as Grisha attempts to teach him the exact opposite of what his grandparents said, that Eldia never committed the atrocities Marley claims because Ymir would never allow it.
As for the truth?
Well, it’s probably somewhere down the middle.
The Eldian Empire certainly did a lot of evil things but they also did some good.
It just depends on where you’re perspective falls, I suppose.
Once we see both of these scenes showing how Zeke’s parents and grandparents are trying to indoctrinate him, we then get his introduction to the one person who never tried to, Ksaver.
The two offically meet when Ksaver’s baseball rolls into Zeke’s path, seemingly by chance, although it is pretty clear by the end that Ksaver did this on purpose because Zeke reminded him of his dead son.
The two form an instant friendship, as Ksaver praises Zeke ernestly and not based on what he expects him to be, like Grisha and Dina do.
Speaking of which, we then get yet another showcase of how the two were not the best parents, as Zeke returns to find them arguing with Falco’s uncle, Grice, about Zeke’s low scores, which most likely means he won’t inherit a Titan.
Again, Grisha makes it clear what is expected of Zeke as his and Dina’s son and a child of royal blood but, again, Zeke just cannot live up to these expectations.
He still can’t keep up with the other kids and is horrified when Grisha storms off in disappointment.
Clearly not father of the year material.
At least Dina is kind enough to understand that Zeke is trying, attempting to tell a screaming Grisha this, while Zeke cries in the other room.
I also really have to give props to Grisha’s voice actor, Hiroshi Tsuchida, who did an absolutley amazing job this episode, especially with his screaming.
Again, in Zeke’s darkest moment, Ksaver is there to help him, lifting his spirts by telling him how it’s a good thing he won’t inherit a Titan and that they are both decent people.
However, Zeke’s newly lifted spirt is dashed upon the rocks when he hears Marleyan officers talking about how they are close to locating the Eldia Restorationists and their leaders.
Distraught, Zeke attempts to warn his parents, without explicitly telling them that they are close to being found out.
It is right before this moment that Grisha gives him such a look of disappointment that I’m sure it made all of us want to kick him.
If we didn’t know his own traumatic past then Grisha would be completley unlikeable here.
This past is hinted at in this scene  because Grisha only explodes into anger when Zeke brings up his aunt Faye, who was feed to dogs, not wanting to end up like her.
Grisha’s angry reaction results in Zeke breaking down to Ksaver and telling him everything about his parents.
He comforts his father figure, though, telling Ksaver that because of all the fun times they had togethor, he will remember him, even if he is turned into a Titan.
Clearly seeing Zeke as a son now, Ksaver begs Zeke to turn his parents in to save himself and his grandparents, stating that his parents used him as a tool and never loved him, something that is, for the most part, unfortunately true.
And so Zeke turns his parents in at the behest of Ksaver and many years pass, during which Zeke and Ksaver grow closer to being like an actual father and son.
Soon, Ksaver’s term is close to its end, meaning he will have to pass his Titan on.
However, he is thankful that he managed to finish his research, discovering that every single Subject of Ymir is connected to the Founding Titan, meaning that it could change their bodies at any moment, and it is here that Zeke’s ideology finally comes to its full fruition.
Remembering what the old janitor yelled at him and his parents all those years ago, Zeke wonders aloud if the Founding Titan could sterilize all Eldians so that no more Subjects of Ymir will be born, and the power of the Titans will eventually vanish entirely from the world.
In Zeke’s mind, this would also mean no Eldian would have to suffer.
This explains much of Zeke’s apathy when he murdered countless Scouts before.
He believes that he is saving them from the cruel world.
When this genocide by sterlization plan was revealed in the manga, a few people decided this was proof that Attack on Titan was facist propaganda but I think it’s obvious that this is not that at all but a cautionary tale.
Subjected to brainwashing attempts and racism all his life, Zeke came to the conclusion that it would be better if his entire race didn’t exist so seeks to commit genocide by sterilization with his Euthanization Plan, which he sees as saving the world.
It’s screwed up and shows what dangers can be created from such despicable things, like prejudice and indoctrination.
These two things have clearly affected Ksaver as well because his own experiences causes him to align with Zeke’s plan.
When he was young, Ksaver took off his armband and married a woman, who he had a child with.
However, when she found out that he was an Eldian, she killed their son and then herself in disgust.
This goes to show just how strong the hatred for Subjects of Ymir is in the outside world, because it both destroys the Eldians and those who hate them.
In this scene, there also appear to be a few hints through the toys of Ksaver’s son to future plot points but I won’t say what in case any anime only viewers happen to read this review.
Following the formation of Zeke and Ksaver’s Euthanization plan, Ksaver reveals to Zeke how he will need to find someone he can trust to give the Founding Titan to.
Not long after that, Zeke finally inherits Ksaver’s Titan and truly acknowledges him as his father.
Low and behold, who should Zeke learn about many years later who he thinks would be perfect for joining him in his plan to sterilize all Eldians?
Why, his half-brother Eren of course.
The two finally meet in Marley and Eren seems to quickly accept Zeke’s plan, claiming that there is no greater gift than to not be born into this world, warping his own catch phrase into something much more sinister.
Zeke tears up from Eren calling him brother, showing just how much he was longing for this familial love.
Even though Zeke has done monstrous things, you just can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.
Levi, however, is understandably not so sympathetic, as he continues to taunt Zeke in the present about how he will be feed to a Titan.
This was clearly not the best call, along with impailing a thunderspear in Zeke’s stomach because a delirious Zeke rips the pin off with a scream for Mr Ksaver to keep watching him.
Takehito Koyasu also does an excellent job voicing Zeke here, in all his delirious desperation.
Just as excellent is the animation, with the close up on the characters’ eyes and the rain drops falling in slow motion, right before the big bang of the Thunderspear exploding, blowing both Levi and Zeke away, leaving their fates uncertain.
A frusrating cliffhanger for the anime only viewers that is pure Attack on Titan. 
“Sole Salvation” is pretty much a perfect adaptation of its chapter counterpart.
With its amazing animation, voice acting, and soundtrack, it easily tops the manga in plenty of areas.
Now there’s just one more episode of Attack on Titan for me to review before we have to wait for the rest of the final season begins airing at the end of the year or in early 2022.