You know what? I’m never going to say “this is the end of AOT” again until the last damn episode has aired. Twice now, I’ve been made a fool. I shan’t be made one a third time.
The first part of the final season (can we even still call it that?) had a fairly tough time of it. Studio changes, rushed schedules, overworked animators, the whole shabang. It made sense for them to take a break partway through the season and come back stronger later on.
So, did they come back stronger? For the most part, yes.
In retaliation of Eren’s strike, Marley has launched a strike on Paradis with the goal of either capturing the Founding Titan or simply killing Eren. Despite the effectiveness of their sudden strike, however, Eren isn’t going down without a fight. Worse, his Jeagerists and Zeke are fast on their way. As the battle escalates, the fate of the world shall be decided. Can the Rumbling be stopped?
Hate to break it to you: no. No, it can’t. Hey, don’t get mad at me! The opening song spoiled that, not me!
The animation is definitely better this time around than it was in part one. The CGI Titans are still around, but they’ve been touched up on to give them a bit more visual flare. It makes them fit the world better than they did before, making them far less jarring. Plus, the 2D animation is much more consistently smooth this time around, and we get some badass displays of sakuga throughout, especially towards the end.
Writing wise, this season is a bit up and down. It has some insane highs, with some truly shocking and grotesque moments. But there are a few episodes that kind of drag. I wouldn’t say any of the episodes are bad, persay. It’s just that some are more interesting or exciting than others.
This season explores the tenuous relationship established between our ‘heroes’. The protagonists from Paradis and Marley don’t automatically get along simply because they have the same goal. Each and every one of them is at each other’s throats, and that is perfectly shown simply by the cinematography; each shot makes it perfectly clear that these are two groups, not one unified group. Yet they struggle to settle their differences, to see each other as humans rather than monstrous invaders. It’s a very compelling struggle and an extremely cathartic pay-off to a conflict that has been boiling over since the very beginning of the series.
It’s also in this season that we finally learn the true lore behind the history of the Titans, Ymir, and practically every other historical mystery that has been brewing over the course of the series. Personally, I found it a bit underwhelming. Sure, it’s absolutely horrifying! But the ‘answers’ we get left me wanting.
So, wait… Titans exist because of this weird… centipede thing? The fuck is that?
Overall, I found part two of the final season (should we just call it season five at this point?) to be pretty good. It had its ups and its downs, and the blatant cliffhanger ending teasing yet another part of the ‘final’ season is the most frustrating kind of false advertising. Still, what we got here was worth the wait.
Now, the question is: how many more parts are they gonna try and squeeze out of this series? My bet is on five total parts.