Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 Review: A Dark Masterpiece

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The second half of Attack on Titan has come to an end and the very act of reviewing the heart-pounding, brutal events of this season is a feat unto itself. Considering how much takes place in this latest series of episodes, there are many things that we need to take into consideration when you break down the current events befalling the Scout Regiment and the massive changes that have taken place in the life of Eren Jaeger. Needless to say, the anime adaptation of Hajime Isayama by Studio MAPPA is a dark masterpiece that was able to seamlessly interject new elements into the franchise.

The impetus of this season is the character transformation of Eren Jaeger, or rather lack thereof as Eren’s friends to grapple with the idea that the Attack Titan was perhaps always the man that he is today. In this walk down memory lane, we are treated to some meaty episodes that give viewers a lot to think about but do so in a way that actually is far less confusing than you might think were you to read about these events on paper. Time travel is always going to be a tricky element to inject into a series that previously didn’t have this, but Attack on Titan is able to do it in a way that fits the overall themes of the series while also giving viewers a unique way of learning more about the Jaeger family in kind.

Taking into account the time travel elements and the story of Ymir, this is by far the most brutal season in a series that is known for its brutality and it really works. For me personally, the most emotional scene of the series came in the form of Grisha Jaeger encountering his son Zeke and, in a despondent state, begging his oldest son for forgiveness for the sins he laid upon him. It’s a heart-wrenching scene that helps in exploring the humanity of these characters and the journeys that they’ve traveled.

Not to say that this season isn’t without faults, as the sheer amount of different plot points and storylines can be a bit confusing when it comes to darting from character to character. It’s a lot to take in, and while MAPPA’s adaptation does a skillful job in balancing a number of spinning plates, there are still a lot of spinning plates to balance. The confusion of this latest batch of episodes works in elevating the horror of the situation for our characters but it is easy to see how this might throw viewers for a loop when it comes to all these moving pieces.

Speaking of Studio MAPPA, it’s clear that the animation house has been able to learn from its weaknesses in the first part of this final season, with the computer-generated animation of the Titans themselves looking far smoother this time around, especially when it came to Eren taking on the full forces of Marley. There’s always going to be a discussion to be had in comparing the styles of MAPPA and Wit when it comes to the series, and certainly, there are strengths and weaknesses of both, but MAPPA feels tailor-made to handle the darker elements of this new chapter.

Eren’s decision to use the power of the Founding Titan and the Rumbling is a devastating one, effectively flipping the script from the series’ protagonist to becoming the franchise’s greatest threat, but the series took its time in laying out why he’s going forward with this and how this plays into the character that we’ve come to know over the years. One of the biggest strengths of Attack on Titan has always been how smart it makes its characters, and watching the turmoil inherent within the Scout Regiment as they grapple on how to move forward and whether or not Eren should be killed creates an amazingly interesting predicament. This last season has truly excelled at pushing the idea that the lines between good and evil may never be as clear-cut as we might think.

This latest season might not be perfect, but it definitely is one of the best, and most thought-provoking, series running in anime today.

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Rating 4.5 Out Of 5

Attack on Titan is now streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu

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