Attack on Titan is finally back with episode 76, which wastes no time and picks up right where we left off in the previous season. It has been a turbulent few hours, with both Funimation and Crunchyroll, which is nothing new when it comes to Attack on Titan but nonetheless annoying. Now that we finally managed to watch it, one this is certain. Episode 76, titled Judgment, managed to live up to the hype.
First off, the animation. Some CGI, which is a bit weird in places but still a huge improvement over episode 60 (which marked the beginning of the final season). The fighting scenes had a nice flow, nothing looked out of place except a few closeups of the characters (mainly Zeke). The bright atmosphere is a huge improvement compared to fights in the first half and overall, the episode just felt good and satisfying to watch. It’s not WIT, but it seems like MAPPA managed to find its groove. It will be interesting how and if they manage to keep up since some parts of the preview for the next episode looked a bit…out of place.
War Comes to Paradis
With that out of place, for I am no expert when it comes to production quality, let’s take a look at the actual story. For the first time ever, actual war breaks out on Paradis. Eren is, of course, caught up at the center of it, with him and Marley warriors clashing, in what appears to be the final fight for at least some of them. Paradis forces stand no chance against the might of Marley and their superior technology, leaving Yelena in a pinch as she realizes Eren is in danger. Yelena has always been a mysterious character, but this is the first time that we see a very personal side of her. She may be a soldier, but she is not a leader. Blinded by loyalty which harbors on obsession, she is unable to react in time and save her comrades, while also protecting Eren.
Meanwhile, near the Forest of Giant Trees, shocked Hange finds Levi. Surrounded by Eren’s supporters, she has no choice but to flee to protect Levi, who is already on the verge of death. Zeke gives her a perfect opportunity as he steps out of a titan carcass and tells the story of a young girl who saved his life inside of Paths.
As the shifters fight it’s easy to forget about the human sacrifices. Their regeneration capabilities turn severed limbs into comic relief and destroying whole cities becomes a normal sight. Attack on Titan manages to balance this out by portraying the actual horror of war firsthand. This is not the first time we saw humans clash in the series, but it is the first time that we saw them fight using all means at their disposal. Watching these scenes felt horrifyingly raw, as it doesn’t feel like there is another way out from the situation. When our heroes faced the titans it was easy to pick a side. But now, you can’t help but wonder which side, if any, is right.
Attack on Titan’s Final Season – What to Expect?
This season of Attack on Titan should conclude the story and adapt the manga all the way. For those of us who haven’t read the manga, it’ll be quite difficult to avoid the spoilers. The opening itself is titled “The Rumbling” and is probably a promise of things to come. Eren’s path seems like a dark and lonely one, even though his friends are still trying to help. This is why the ending theme feels simply sad – a child of the devil, looking for freedom and acceptance in the world that rejects it and hates it for being born. What is freedom without a place to call home? Is this something Eren cares about? He is not the type to accept submission and punish people for being born, after all, he is doing this because he was born into this world.
MAPPA continued the tradition of special illustrations after each episode. This week’s was drawn by Manaby Akita, chief animation director on the series:
You can follow Attack on Titan: Final Season Part 2 of Funimation and Crunchyroll, as well as Muse Asia, Hulu, and Netflix in select regions. The anime is also a part of the Anime Corner’s weekly polls, so if you liked the episode make sure to vote for it.
The next episode is titled Sneak Attack and is set to premiere on Sunday, January 16.
Screenshots via Crunchyroll.
©Hajime Isayama, Kodansha, Attack on Titan: The Final Season Production Committee