Westworld Season Three Review: A Fall From Grace.

3 stars
Created by Jonathon Nolan and Lisa Joy, Westworld is a series that I have been invested in right from the beginning.
As soon as it started airing I was hooked.
I loved season one and, even though season two gets a lot of criticism, I personally think it is just as good as the first with some of the show’s best episodes.
And now we have season three, which was… okay?
I put a question mark there because I am genuinely unsure of how to feel about this season.
It certainly wasn’t bad but, unlike the other two seasons, there were very little standout moments that had me on the edge of my seat.
Season three honestly feels like an entirely different show and that is not exactly a good thing.
The story picks up with the setting changing from the titular Westworld park to the outside world, where Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) is beginning her plans to take over all of humanity with a Host Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thomspon) at her side.
Enter Aaron Paul’s character, Caleb Nichols, who is recruited by Dolores to help with her revolution.

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Aaron Paul does a good job as new character Caleb.

However, at the same time, the mysterious Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel) revives Maeve (Thandie Newton) with the intention of using her to take down Dolores… oh, and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and William (Ed Harris) are in this season too but they really don’t matter.
I’ll start by saying that I liked the roles Dolores, Charlotte, Caleb and Maeve had in this season.
While their stories aren’t anything spectacular they are still enjoyable, with Caleb being a welcome addition to the cast.
There are also a few surprise returns from minor characters that are well used.
But then there are Bernard and William who, as I said, don’t really matter.
They honestly felt like afterthoughts this season, which is such a shame because they are among the series’ best characters.
I especially don’t like how William’s story appeared to end.

William
They did William dirty with his screen time this season.

Thankfully, there is one great scene with Bernard in the final episode, although I wish this scene had more build up to it happening.
Then there is the action, which seems to fluctuate in quality across the season.
For example, there are some fights that are very good in the final few episodes.
However, there is a fight with Ashely Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) in the second episode that was just atrocious in quality.
One thing I can definitely praise the season for though is Ramin Djawadi’s score because it is amazing, as always.
Along with this, the CGI is also well done.
The season is surprisingly short too, with only eight episodes compared to the original two seasons’ ten each.
I actually got to the final episode not realizing it was the finale so I was pretty surprised when I learnt that it was over.

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The finale does leave some characters’ fates in question though so here’s to hoping we get satisfying answers in season 4.

All in all though, season three is still pretty good overall.
But, with its story having almost no epic moments, some characters being mishandled, and a few action sequences being laughable, it does fall miles short of the first two seasons.

The Dragon Prince Season Three Review: Best Season Yet.

4 and a half stars
I enjoyed the first two seasons of The Dragon Prince. 
While I did find the first season to be flawed in its animation and some of its story telling, I found season two to be a real improvement.
Well, season three continues to improve on its animation and story, becoming the best season so far.
Created by Aaron Ehaz and Justin Richmond, the story now follows Callum (Jack DeSena) and Rayla (Paula Burrows) on their journey to deliver the Dragon Prince Zym to his mother and end the war.
While this is going on, Callum’s younger brother Ezran (Sasha Rojen) struggles as the new king of Katolis, with Viren (Jason Simpson) and the mysterious Aarvos (Erik Todd Dellums) scheming to take power.

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Aarvos is just as mysterious and threatening as when he was first introduced in season two.

The first thing I have to praise the third season of The Dragon Prince for is its scale.
The story now feels like an epic, and after the final enthralling last episode, “The Final Battle,” I have no idea where the series is going next.
Just as good as the story are the characters who are more investing than they ever have been.
A perfect example of this is my new favourite character Soren (Jesse Inocalla).
Honestly, I did not care much for Soren prior to this season but he really blew me away here with his character development.
This culminated in a scene is the final episode that left me both feeling shocked and having a lot of respect for him.

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Soren really surprised me with how heroic he became this season.

Almost as good are Callum and Rayla, with their relationship being a primary focus.
When the possibility of a relationship between the two was first hinted at last season, I was actually unsure if it could work.
However, the depiction of their relationship definitely proved me wrong because the two are perfect for each other.
Along with these characters, others like Viren, Aarvos, and Claudia (Raquel Belmonte) all have standout moments.
I also really enjoyed Amaya’s storyline and I was very happy to see she got more screen time than last season.
And then there is Ezran whose storyline, unfortunately, has a problem.
As well as this, there is also a deus ex machina in “The Final Battle” that I found to be particularly egregious.
I think these two problems could have been easily fixed, but to explain why I will need to get into spoilers so I will leave that for the end of the post.
However, although these problems do stick out, they are not enough to ruin the season, which has plenty of things to make up for it like the story, other characters, and the animation.
Speaking of, the animation this season is amazing.

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The animation, particularly in “The Final Battle” looks spectacular.

Unlike season one there was no moment where I was taken out of a scene because of poor animation.
As well as this, the season also manages to be incredibly funny with one reference to Avatar: The Last Airbender leaving me laughing harder than I have in a while.
So, all in all, the third season of The Dragon Prince is definite the best so far.
It has a great story, great characters, amazing animation, funny jokes, and I cannot wait to see where it goes.
There have been some concerns that Netflix may cancel it but, hopefully, these fears turn out to be for nothing.

Spoilers:
So, I want to discuss the two big problems I have with season three and state how I think they could have been fixed.
The first issue is Ezran being usurped as king by Viren and then going back to help Callum and Rayla in the span of a few episodes.
This made his subplot of learning to become king feel kind of unnecessary.
The second problem I have is the dues ex machina in “The Final Battle” where Queen Aanya (Zelda Ehaz) shows up out of nowhere with her army to save the day, apparently being convinced by Corvus (Omari Newton) and Opeli (also Paula Burrows) to come and help.
The thing is that Aanya seemed to be pretty against fighting in season two so it really does not make sense for her to come and help now.
In order to fix these two things I would suggest a change in the story.
Instead of Ezran immediately going back to Callum and Rayla when he is dethroned, he instead travels with Corvus and Opeli to meet Aanya and ask for her support.
We could see Ezran learn to negotiate with her and maybe Aanya decides to help him because she sees the good in him, unlike Viren who she could tell was untrustworthy.
This would both make Ezran’s king storyline more important and make Aanya showing up to help make more sense.

My Hero Academia Season 3 Review: End of Act One.

4 and a half stars
After highly enjoying My Hero Academia‘s first and second season, I rushed into the third hoping it would be just as fantastic.
And, I have to say that, while I do think it is a great season, it does fall short of the heights of season two for me.
Again, it is still fantastic.
I have heard people call this season “the end of act one” in the overall story, and I can certainly see why.
Where the season takes All Might and his nemesis, All For One (Akio Otsuka), half way through definitely makes it feel like the first part of the story has concluded.
Although, it honestly felt like they built up All For One a bit much last season.
Whether or not this is a good or bad thing has yet to be seen.
Either way, their confrontation leads to, not only an incredible fight, but a game changing event for both All Might and the very world of My Hero Academia itself.

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The fight between All Might and All For One is essentially My Hero Academia’s act one conclusion.

The build up to this was stellar as well with the Training Camp Arc putting a spotlight on all the interesting new villains like Toga Himiko (Misato Fuken), Dabi (Hiro Shimono) and Twice (Daichi Endo).
There are also plenty of great moments from the training heroes in this arc, especially Deku, whose fight with the villain Muscular (Kousuke Takaguchi) leads to a character defining moment.
Although, I do feel that this fight kind of makes the power system feel slightly broken, with the ridiculous heights Deku takes his power to.
Then there is the second arc of the season, where the U.A students take their practical exams to get their practicing hero licenses.
Here, we are introduced to another series of interesting characters and even see a well done twist.

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The exam arc introduces a bunch of new characters for Deku and his friends to fight, one of which provides a great twist.

The twist is certainly a lot better than the one that is revealed during the All Might and All For One fight, which honestly feels very abrupt, due to the little to no build up.
Sadly, the second arc also has its issues with one episode cutting away to a pointless flashback just to advertise a movie, which annoyed me a lot.
But, there are still plenty of great things about the third season to make up for its bothersome moments.
One of these things is the character development of Bakugo.
When he was introduced in the third season, I could not understand why people loved his character so much.
He was just a bully with an inferiority complex that was always angry.
So imagine my surprise when, at the end of the season, Deku and Bakugo fight and it leads to an incredibly impactful outburst from him.
I had no idea he felt that way so this revelation served as another mini twist for me in a great piece of character development.

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Bakugo’s character development in “Deku vs Bakugo, Part 2” is both surprising and impactful.

This made me understand why Bakugo is a lot of people’s favourite character.
He is still not my personal favourite but he is definitely up there.
As for the animation and music, both are once again stellar, delivering two amazing openings with “Odd Future” and “Make My Story.”
Features like this, Bakugo and other characters’ development, and more all turned out to create a great third season that has me excited for the fourth one coming this year.
Season three may not reach the heights of the third for me but I still found it a fun time with a lot of excellent character development.

Attack on Titan Season Three Review: Proves Itself to be One of the Greatest Modern Anime.

5 stars
After I saw season two of Attack on Titan, I became convinced that this anime was going to be one of the the most deep and well thought out series of recent years.
Needless to say, when season three finally started last year, I was overjoyed at being proven right.
Directed by Tetsuro Araki, Attack on Titan‘s third season adapts the Uprising and Return to Shiganshina Arcs from Hajime Isayama’s original manga and does it gloriously.
Both arcs are very different in tone, the first arc being more political while the second is more action oriented, and both are fantastic.
Many people were complaining about how, in two seasons, Attack on Titan was not delivering any answers to many of the burning questions fans had.
Well, this season gave us plenty of answers, and then some, in what has to be among the best exposition sequences of all time.
The anime spent so much time building up the basement reveal, and finally shows the history of the Titans in one big episode, “That Day.”
A lot was riding on this episode so it had to deliver big time, and it somehow did that in spades.

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Grisha’s backstory in “That Day” is the perfect way to do an exposition episode.

“That Day” is basically one big exposition dump and yet it is one of my favourite, if not my absolute favourite, episode of the entire series.
Although, it is a close call between that and “Midnight Sun” because both are amazing for very different reasons.
There are just so many mind blowing episodes in this second arc, which makes sense since it is the best one of the series so far.
As for the first arc of the season, the Uprising Arc, it is heavily changed from the manga, where it was a lot slower paced.
In the anime, many of the events in this arc were switched around or removed entirely to create a more natural flow, which I think worked out well.
Sure, it is a shame that some characters who got development in the manga did not get that here but the anime version is better paced for it, with great episodes like “Wish” delivering the perfect amount of action, exposition, and character drama.
That is another thing I especially love about this season: how it continues to develop its amazing cast of characters.
Armin, Erwin, Historia, Levi and Grisha are the definite standouts this season, with so much backstory and  amazing moments given to them.

Historia Wish
Characters like Historia get a lot of development this season, causing them to become some of my favourites.

This results in some gut wrenching moments when these characters are at their lowest points, and some crowd pleasing moments when they are at their highest.
Even characters with smaller roles in the overall story, like Kenny and those introduced in Grisha’s backstory, are memorable and well developed.
Then there is the animation and music, which are both stellar.
Episodes like “Pain” and “Hero” show off the best animation the anime has had to date with Levi’s impressive skills.
One of the few parts where I found that the animation faltered was with the CGI Colossal Titan but the rest of the animation is so jaw dropping that it more than makes up for it.
As for the music, once again I will be adding many of these OSTs to my Spotify so I can listen to them over and over again.
I have said before that Attack on Titan has my favourite soundtrack of any series and this season topped many of the already amazing songs seen in the previous seasons.
This fantastic usage of animation and music helps to build on the suspense and action that is happening on screen.
With this, the story builds to a contemplative conclusion in “The Other Side of the Wall” where Eren is put at a crossroads, which will lead him to a point of no return next season.

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The final episode of the season sees our main characters reach their goal, only to realize they are facing an entirely new threat.

Speaking of which, season four is confirmed to be the final season, and with the manga currently in its final arc, it looks like the anime and manga may be set to end around the same time.
I am very excited to see how Hajime Isayama will end his masterwork of a story.
However, It will be interesting to see if season four takes a break in between arcs, like season three did.
Actually, I think it will be more interesting to see whether of not we will be told, if it does happen.
This is my one big gripe with season three of Attack on Titan. 
We only found out about the six month hiatus when the first arc ended, displaying a sad lack of communication on Wit Studio’s part.
This does not affect my opinion of the season, since the wait was more than worth it, but I would appreciate more transparency if this does happen again.
I also hope Wit Studio can work on Attack on Titan’s final season because rumors are still floating around that they may hand it over to another studio.

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The fourth and final season of Attack on Titan airs in 2020, starting with the Marley Arc where new and interesting characters, and perspectives will be introduced.

Overall, though, many people are now rightly calling Attack on Titan one of the best anime in modern times, and I am glad to see it getting this well deserved recognition.
I cannot wait for the final season where the story will go to much darker places and, hopefully, end on a satisfying note.