Jun 30, 2019
HellLyter (All reviews)
Attack on Titan is the face of anime. It exploded onto the scene in 2013 with popularity unmatched by any other anime. No other anime has left as titanic of an impact as this one. It's the anime that introduces many newcomers into the medium. Many with no exposure to anime whatsoever have still heard of or even watched Attack on Titan. So it's only appropriate that it would be great, because that's what should be expected from what is essentially the representative of all anime. And for me, every season leading up to this one has met these high standards and been great.

But this...this is extraordinary!

WIT Studio clearly went all out with this season. It has practically everything that any rabid fanboy (and any casual watcher really) could possibly want: exhilarating action, captivating dialogue, mind blowing plot revelations, and more. This of course is clearly reflected by the overwhelmingly positive feedback that the show has been receiving. And for me, it's totally deserving of all of the praise.

This season essentially tackles what is the ultimate battle between humanity and the titans. Every previous episode has been culminating towards this confrontation, and it's a spectacle that exceeded my highest expectations. Strategies employed by each side are ingenious, and it's bittersweet to witness the immense losses taken as a sacrifice to ensure victory. Instead of just having one character be the hero, I was pleased to see that it took the power, planning, and perseverance of practically all of the major players to pull off an epic win. Erwin's charisma, Armin's tactics, Levi's strength, and more were all vital when it came to taking on their foe. This just made the entire experience so rewarding by seeing all of the characters who we've spent years following contribute to what is potentially the most significant battle in all of Attack on Titan. This approach was much more effective then having some of them cast aside as worthless, and gave worth and meaning to every character.

Speaking of worthless, there's something that I'd like to take the time to clear up. Years ago, when I wrote my review on the first season of Attack on Titan, I mocked Armin for being a weak coward and a generally useless character. I'd now like to officially retract that statement and admit to being wrong...and kinda douchy towards poor Armin. Though it's not just me. Even the other characters in the show always seemed to underestimate Armin's abilities and worth. While his closest friends and even Erwin eventually understand his potential and see his value, it wasn't until he stepped up his game in this penultimate battle that everyone finally got to see how this apparent coward might just be the most courageous of them all.

The other stand out character for this arc who I'd like to give a special mention to is the other blonde boi and Sasageyo Super Star Erwin Smith. Throughout each and every season, Erwin has slowly climbed over the rest of the cast to eventually stand on top of all of them as the best character the show has to offer in my opinion. I've briefly mentioned his charisma already, but I can't stress enough how inspirational this guy is. Erwin even makes me want to get up and give my heart, and he's a frickin anime character!

The weakest point of Attack on Titan for me has always been the characters. Yet with each passing season, they just keep getting better and better. I've already mentioned two of the characters, but the rest have been kinda growing on me over the years. Levi and Mikasa are absolute badasses. Eren has actually developed a bit beyond his "I GOTTA KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF THOSE DAMN TITANS!" mentality and actually develops a semblance of a personality. I also really like what they did with Bertolt. He came out of his shell a lot and gained some confidence. Though he's still completely eaten out by Armin in that department. Whoops, totally meant to say beaten out, sorry about that.

The glue that just brings everything together would be the show's audiovisuals. Attack on Titan completely eclipses the other Spring 2019 anime in terms of presentation with its pristine animation. It doesn't just look good, but the technical aspects that went into its creation are most impressive. A great example would be the Levi vs Beast Titan fight. I watched a detailed video discussing the mechanics that went into designing that scene alone, and it's ridiculously high in quality. It's insane to think about all of the care that the animators put into this series. The AOT animation team at WIT Studio is easily one of the best in the industry, and I commend their efforts.

Voice actors do a phenomenal job at conveying expression. The performances in the emotional episode six alone were enough to solidify the seiyuu as exceptional in my book. They were always good, but the writing of this season gave then a chance to really shine. The GOAT Hiroyuki Sawano returns to compose the soundtrack, and it's, well, typical Sawano. In layman's terms, simply fantastic!

I've spent a lot of time fanboying over the return to shiganshina arc, but I don't want to overshadow the back half of this season, which is great in its own right. We get to see the backstory of Grisha Yeager, Eren's father, and it has some excellent plot revelations and world building. It also hits right in the feels too. It basically ties everything together, which only serves to heighten the already unique and intriguing narrative.

This show features a plethora of great moments. Whether it be Erwin's charge, Armin's final stand against the colossal titan, or the characters finally reaching Eren's basement, each episode just seemed to captivate me with at least one epic scene. And that's precisely where Attack on Titan truly shines: In its entertainment value. Maybe you're not a fan of the story, or perhaps you think that the characters are bland. But you can't deny that Attack on Titan is simply thrilling to watch. The excitement that I get out of watching this anime is unrivalled by practically any other show, and for me, that's what makes Attack on Titan truly special.