Attack on Titan, Season Three, Episode Nineteen, The Basement Review. Everything Changes.

4 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

I came into “The Basement” expecting it to be one of my favourite episodes of Attack on Titan.
This is because I thought it would be adapting my favourite chapter of the manga, Chapter 86 “That Day.”
However, this episode instead chose to add new scenes and lengthen the remaining ones, causing it to only go so far as to adapt the first few pages of that chapter.
While this was a little disheartening, I still cannot deny that “The Basement” is a great episode of Attack on Titan that changes the entire direction of the show, finally revealing what the anime has been building up to all these years.
The reveal itself was phenomenally adapted, with it paying off all the build-up, especially in its fantastic post credits scene.
As for the rest of the episode, it is good but has nothing on the ending.
We get to see the aftermath of “Midnight Sun” with Armin grappling to understand the reasoning behind Levi’s choice.
Armin, Levi and Hange all stand out in this scene with their interpretations and reasonings behind the events of the previous episodes.
Before all this, however, there is a creepy scene that Armin experience, which, even as a manga reader, I have no idea what it means.
Whether it is real or just a dream will be interesting to find out as the series progresses.
For the music of the episode, I will say, it is once again amazing.
Most of the episode reuses many musical tracks from the first season in its nostalgic scenes, which was very welcome.
Then there is the music of the post credits scene, which almost brought me to tears with its hopeful notes because I knew the disturbing things this hope would bring.
As for the animation, it went up and down a bit in terms of quality.
The beginning of the episode has animation that looks like it is from season one but I cannot tell if that is an intentional callback or because of the budget.
Despite this and few other limitations though, “The Basement” is still a great episode with a phenomenal ending that changes everything.
And in the end, I am actually happy this episode did not fully adapt “That Day” because I can tell from the preview that, not only will the next episode do that, but it will also mostly adapt the following chapter “Borderline”, which is fantastic as well.
That means, if all of this is adapted well, then the next episode will have a very good chance of toppling “Midnight Sun” as my favourite episode.

Spoiler Review:

“I come from a place outside the walls where humanity lives in elegance. Humanity had not perished.”
With these words, the entire story of Attack on Titan changes forever.
I remember first reading this in the manga and being in complete shock.
I thought the basement would hold a cure or something cliche like that but, no, instead it holds what is my favourite twist of all time.
Grisha left a series of books revealing that the entire world outside the walls is completely fine.
Well, fine is not really the right word to describe it, as will be shown in the next episode, but you get the idea.
And not only is the outside world intact but it also incredibly technologically advanced compared to life inside the Walls.
In the post-credits scene, where we get a brief look at Grisha’s childhood, we see an airship, a clear sign of the 1940s setting the rest of the world is in.
It only gets better though because the twist is not over yet.
I consider the entirety of Grisha’s backstory to be one giant collective twist, and the reveals we will get in the following episodes will leave everyone’s jaws on the floor.
The set-up for this, with the opening part of the twist, is phenomenally handled.
At first, we are fooled into thinking the basement is a misdirect.
Twice in fact because Eren’s key will not fit in the door and, when they eventually break in and open the cabinet the key unlocks, there is nothing inside.
Thankfully, this is just Isayama messing with us because Levi quickly discovers a secret compartment where the books containing the truth are held.
The slow reveal that follows is masterful, with Eren and Mikasa both opening the book in a touching moment, before it cuts to a flashback that reveals what question Erwin asked his father all those years ago.
Him asking how they could really be sure that all humans had been eaten outside the walls was foreshadowed in the previous episode, with Erwin deliriously asking that question in his dying state.
“The Basement” then cuts to the others learning Erwin’s theory was correct, and humanity is thriving outside the walls.
Eren also finds a photograph, another technological achievement they knew nothing about, and on it is a picture of Grisha with a mysterious woman and child.
It is important to take note of this for the next episode.
Then comes the post-credits scene where we meet a young Grisha and his little sister Fay.
It is is severely hinted at by the armbands they are wearing, which are reminiscent of what the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear in World War Two, that they are living under oppression.
Grisha then grabs Fay’s hand and runs outside the wall so she can see the airship which, despite the happy music, will have disastrous consequences.
This first part of the reveal was an amazing ending and I cannot wait to see it continued.
As for the rest of “The Basement”, it mostly expands on things from the manga to stall for time.
Despite knowing this, the scenes are still very nostalgic and do serve a point with Eren and Mikasa remembering their life in Shiganshina before it was invaded.
Aside from the ending, the beginning is the most interesting part of the episode though because it has a scene that is still not explained in the manga.
Upon waking up, Armin sees briefly sees the Colossal Titan with a half skeleton face that has Bertholdt’s voice.
So, what is this?
The Colossal Titan power transferring to Armin, a dream or a hallucination?
We will just have to wait and find out.
Overall, “The Basement” seems like a standard episode at first until that phenomenal ending happens and starts the twist that will change this series forever.

 

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.