This is the week I’ve been dreading, I’m doing the seven days leading up to Christmas at work back to back. I just need to hope my prep work was enough that I can keep getting these uploads done in a timely manner.
All I really left myself to do on the day is write these little intros, and I’m already struggling with that. So Apologies if the next few days are bearly eyed nonsense. Today’s anime however is a show that kicks you in the teeth if you even think about bieng tired for it, so let’s just get into it.
#7: Attack on Titan (Season 3, Part 2)
Originally aired: 29th April to 1st July | 10 Episodes | Based on the Manga written by Hajime Isayama | Action, Military, Horror, Fantasy, Mystery
I really wondered if I should be putting this 10 episode chunk of Attack on Titan into my list this year. I already spoke about the first part last year and wondered if it really fell into my remit for the rules I’d imposed on myself for the sake of this top ten list this year.
Then I looked back at the events of those ten episodes and realised there was no way I couldn’t talk about them.
The first series of Attack on Titan was something of a revelatory moment for me and my anime fandom. It was the gateway series that made me realise that anime didn’t end with the kid focused shows I’d been growing up with. The bleak setting, coupled with the brutal horror elements and a super hype opening song made me realise there was more to anime than digital/pocket/card game monsters.
The second part of series three is actually a ten episode long action sequence, one that feels like the culmination of events that have been in motion since the very first episode when the colossal titan showed up and turned Erin’s life upside down. The origin of the titans, the ability to transfer their powers, what lies beyond the walls and the fact that the titans themselves are the least of our worries all make the gruesome horrors of the first series feel relatively quaint by comparison.
The contents of these episodes detail what remains of the survey corps trying to take back the walled city that was the previously devastated in the first episode and see what the hell is in that damned basement. The action and drama in this series truly is in a class of its own.
After spending so much time focusing on political intrigue, regal sabotage and humans fighting humans, coming back to devastating conflict between humans and titans feels like a reminder of why this series became such a phenomena in the first place, and truth be told, I feel like this third season is so much more than the first series ever was.
As much as I don’t especially like Erin as a protagonist, him along with the rest of the cast are so well fleshed out, to the point that the events of these episodes feel so much more impactful. With so many character getting killed off in the early series, it was difficult to get attached to anyone. Since then, the series has a petty static cast, they all feel pretty strong and the final choice between Erwin and Armin felt so much heavier as a result.
In many ways, this felt like it could have been a finale to the entire series, as it ties up pretty much every story thread set up in the first few episodes of the series. But Attack on Titan has been weaving conspiracy and lore into its events right up until the flashback revelation showing the true nature of Erin’s father.
Meaning these episodes manage to act as a culmination of events, and also a jumping off point for the next major conflict going forward.
Even if you’re not interest in the tightly woven political machinations that become a larger focus of the later half of Attack on Titan, it continues to be one of the most dynamic and incredibly animated action anime you can find. It’s kind of a shame that this season has had nowhere near the attention and fanfare that the first series did considering how much better it actually is.