Remember back before Kingdom Hearts 3 came out, when they released games titled like ‘Kingdom Hearts 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue?’ Yeah, this is starting to feel like that.
The ‘final’ season of Attack on Titan has been a wild ride. Mainly in that it just keeps on refusing to end! Part one, part two, and now here we are in part three. The ‘final’ season has been stretched out to two seasons and what’s basically two movies!
And you know what? We can complain and we can make our jokes. I certainly have. But there’s one thing none of us can deny.
It gave them more than enough time to cook up something amazing.
The Rumbling is in full effect. The lands are being trampled and all the people on them are meeting a gruesome end. Now, only Armin, Mikasa, the remaining scouts, and the few Marleyan Warriors remain to stop Eren. But with him hidden within the massive body of the Founding Titan, surrounded on all sides by an army of Colossal Titans, will they even be able to reach him?
The opening scene of this special is the perfect blend of character drama and horror. We see certain events unfold from Eren’s perspective, allowing further insight into his state of mind. More importantly, we get a gruesome up-close view of the effects of the Rumbling itself. It’s a genuinely horrifying scene that sets the stakes perfectly.
After that, we cut back to Armin, Mikasa, and all the rest. Honestly, I have mixed feelings on this part. On one hand, seeing them desperately scramble to put their plan together in the short time they have is thrilling! On the other, hearing everyone constantly moaning about their regrets can get old.
Oh yeah, there’s also a romantic subplot between Armin and Annie now. That goes nowhere and amounts to nothing. But it sure is there.
Once the Rumbling shows up, things start to noticeably improve. We get some wonderful character moments, mostly between Hange and Levi, culminating in one of the coolest action sequences to date and a powerful character death. It’s jaw-dropping both on a writing and visual front.
And Floch finally croaks. So we are winning.
The second half of the special is more of the same. Lots of characters standing around, plainly stating their regrets and emotions in a somewhat dull manner while the story builds to its climax. Thankfully, the pacing is just quick enough that it never gets grating.
As for that climax, it’s pretty good. Unfortunately, it does cut off right as the final battle begins. So if you’re not a fan of cliffhanger endings, especially ones where you’ll have to wait several months to see it resolved, the ending might make you mad.
Though the ED is pretty sick. No OP, unfortunately. Which just feels weird, given AoT’s history of banger OPs.
In terms of visuals, this whole special looks really damn good. The action scenes are on-par with the best we had back when Wit was in charge of the show. 3D and 2D are blended together seamlessly, creating one hell of a visual experience. Even the Rumbling Titans themselves look great; we get plenty of close-ups of their expressions, which only adds to their terror.
The music is as kick ass as ever. Most of it is just returning tracks, but there are a few cool new ones sprinkled into the mix. No complaints there.
Overall, this penultimate special was incredibly solid. The dialogue could be a bit dull and repetitive, with a complete lack of subtlety. But the pacing is brisk enough to keep us moving through that, taking us into some great character moments and badass action sequences.
And now, we just have to wait another half a year for the finale. The real finale this time. For real. They promise.
It only took them three years… Or was it four? I’ve lost track.
Can’t wait to see anime only fans have their say on the ending. That’s gonna be fun.