After a rather long wait and disappointing news that it would be split into two once again, the first half of Attack on Titan Final Season Part 3 is finally here. It was definitely worth the wait, if not for the amazing story continuation than for the exciting visuals that look better than ever (in MAPPA’s AoT history).
Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware that Crunchyroll licensed it as Attack on Titan Final Season THE FINAL CHAPTERS Special 1. No, I am not going to be using that as a title. Also, spoilers ahead.
Story-wise, Attack on Titan Final Season Part 3 picks up right where we last left off. Eren successfully started Rumbling and thousands of Colossal Titans are on their way to Marley, ready to flatten the world. His friends and enemies find themselves united under a common cause: stop Eren at all costs and save humanity. However, the titans are unstoppable and soon they reach Marley. Through the eyes of two young boys, we see just how horrifying their power is. And for the first time in what felt like (and probably was) years, we see Eren for who he truly is: a young man who is resigned to what he feels is his fate. I’m not sure how much of a role the titan powers and Ymir play here, but regardless of that possibility, Eren’s earning for freedom is undoubtedly what caused this.
As the world goes down in flames, humanity unites and the same can be said for our “heroes.” Armin and Annie share a touching, perhaps somewhat misplaced, moment, and Annie finally makes a choice for herself. All of them have their share of regrets and guilt, Armin, Reiner, and Connie especially. Jean confesses to finally understanding Reiner, stating that they are not so different after all, and Reiner says the same about Eren. In true Attack on Titan fashion, this understanding comes too late. The only two remaining original members of the Scouts also share a moment as Levi sends Hange off.
Hange has been a lively presence ever since the first season of the anime. Hajime Isayama always refused to reveal Hange’s gender (they are female in the English dub due to a misunderstanding), claiming that it was not relevant to the story. Apparently, the character was inspired by a childhood friend he had, who was for a lack of better word, weird. Hange’s curiosity and energy carried some of the slower moments in the series and even served as comic relief to defuse tense situations.
However, it was time for Hange to make an ultimate sacrifice to save her comrades. “I’m giddy with the desire to make a supremely cool exit. Don’t stop what I’ve got going,” Hange says as she they head off to fight the titans. And supremely cool exit it was: the animation, combined with Sawano’s “Bauklötze” and Romi Park’s amazing voice acting made for one of the coolest deaths in Attack on Titan history. The post-battle scene was odd for the series, but I have to admit it gave me a sense of closure.
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 3 – Now We Wait, Again
The amount of foreshadowing this anime has had over the years is astounding. Now we circled back to the Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 ending, the one where we see Falco reaching out to birds. At the time it didn’t make much sense, the birds were always a present symbol in the story, but now, with the newfound knowledge of his titan powers the pieces are coming together,
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 3 is exactly one hour long. It felt like it managed to cover a big chunk of the story but it felt over too soon. The second part is coming this fall and I can’t wait to see the conclusion animated. I was never a fan of the “I’ll become the villain to unite the world” trope and I am very glad Attack on Titan is not going with that route. The ending of the manga was seen as controversial, splitting the fandom in half and leading to some unfortunate consequences. The thing is, Eren was never meant to be a hero and through his journey, we see the best and the worst that is ultimately in all of us.
As a final comment, I’d like to point out the animation which was a huge improvement since the last season’s (part’s?) finale. The titans are no longer clunky, gummy-bear-looking blobs that swim but seemingly float up when necessary. The battle scenes are no longer covered in thick “dust” which makes them blurry and hides the unfinished background. The horrors of Rumbling were captured very well: this many episodes in, the titans are no longer scary, but seeing what they can do and how much damage they can create makes you feel very small. Until the Attack on Titan Final Season Part 4, I’m leaving you with this almost adorable scene.
© Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/”ATTACK ON TITAN” The Final Season Production Committee