[spoilerino warning xD!!!]
"Mikasa. Ever since we were kids, I've always hated you."
With that single line, Eren Yeager had locked in the fate of the world. The weight of it all, from the past to the future, had been too much. The burden he carries had finally crushed him. Eren Yeager, another victim to hatred.
He didn't realise that he closed the final alternative option. The window of opportunity had already pasted. But why? Why does he condemn the world to so much DEATH?!
War never changes because the endless and needless slaughter of life and culture results in a dull and dumb homogenization.
"Okay. And? What of the
Marlyans and Eldians? What of Eren and Zeke? Who is right? Who is wrong? Who is good? Who is bad? AND WHO IS THE ENEMY?!!?!" a curious soul asks.
The smiling Marianne laughs. "A pity," she replies. "So childish. So TRITE!!"
"... You're mentally insane."
"YES, wayward reader! The WORLD itself has made me INSANE!!" She cackles once more before taking a sip from her XL double double Earl Gray tea she purchased from McDonalds. "It is as Pagan Min said once. 'It always hits you when it's too late, [wayward reader], always when they've gone.'"
The curious soul remains puzzled. "Is this even an anime review?"
"What is the value of freedom? What is the value of life? Those are the questions you should have asked. Not this childish prattle." She takes another sip. She looks away from you, disinterested and tired.
"Are you... just disregarding everything these past two seasons talked about??"
"Y'know, I never thought I would feel so sad from watching a Russian man eat [his] Last Big Mac Meal for what could be the very last time," She continued. "He felt as if it was his last meal of freedom. The magic of the golden arches, disappearing forever!"
The curious soul blinks twice, attempting to process the monstrosity of a borderline useless reference.
"Oh, kiddo... okay. I'll give you a moment." She takes another sip.
If you SERIOUSLY support the Marlyans or the Eldians, you're a nutjob. I only mean that in a very SERIOUS way that hopefully doesn't apply to anyone reading this review. Only SERIOUS nutjobs would draw inspiration from wars and hatred, using outdated concepts to push them further and further to mental insanity. It's totally cool to be childish about this, but if it SERIOUSLY defines you? I can only feel pity.
You are snapped back into 'reality' by the sound of her slurping on what now appears to be an empty cup. She sighs and pouts, throwing it away.
"Is Attack on Titan a masterpiece?" the curious soul asks.
She grins once more. "No."
The curious soul tries to gaze into her eyes, trying to see what she can see - as futile as it may be - and fails.
"What is the value of freedom then?", the curious soul presses forward.
She chuckles, then faces the soul. Even with a clean gaze into her pupils, the soul still cannot see anything. She points to her confident grin. "This!"
"... And the value of life?"
She proudly points to the soul. "You, kiddo!"
The curious soul is taken aback. "... H-how...?"
"It is the children who shall carry the future for us, is it not? They are the ones who always inherit the dead corpse of the past."
A single dot connects. She wholesomely chuckles. "What did Erwin Smith die for? Why did Frieda die fighting Grisha? Surprisingly, they're both martyrs for the truth."
"So what is the truth then?!"
"Hmph! It isn't democracy that dies in the darkness, it's the truth :)." Her grin beams with delight.
"Eren and Zeke are both psychopaths. What they did wasn't for the truth, they're burying it."
"Uh... What makes you say that?"
"Who gets to decide the fate of the children? Nobody! It's psychotic to think that either plan is 'good for humanity'! What the hell do these two idiots know?"
"But Eren can see the future! He's just doing what the future beholds!"
She scoffs. "And render Eren a slave to time? Not even Ymir was that pathetic. Seeing the future is such a stupid shoe-in! But, alas. That's a talk for next season."
The curious soul is flabbergastered. She really is intent on ignoring all of the talking points this story offers.
"So what do you think of Eren's decision then?"
"Meaningless. That's why he's neither good nor bad."
The curious soul is stunned. "If it's all so meaningless, what would you do then?"
She laughs. "Finally! You're going to like this...!"
Despite how Eren can see into the past and future, he's still too short-sighted. At least Grisha understood freedom and life. And Eren? When Eren had the world at his fingertips, he only saw two options. Either the Rumbling or indulging in Zeke's sorrowful fetish! If he had one more X-factor to aid in his decision-making, the writing could've had more options! And what is that X-factor you may ask? If Eren made Mikasa preggers... it would've made the show, dare I say it, MATURE.
If Eren x Mikasa actually happened, it would have also muddied the shit out of ancestral bonds, something this entire experience was centered around. Eren would then have to truly think about his family and his legacy before blowing up the world! And honestly speaking, that would have been pretty entertaining to watch as an ANTI-WAR junkie. No, I'm not a war junkie because I don't like spinal fluid and senseless death. It's all so terribly boring and overdone.
Perhaps I am asking a bit much, though. This is still a stupid show for kiddos who don't really know any better. Even if the show took this angle, it probably couldn't follow up anyways because this show IS catered towards everyone. They probably wouldn't have understood it. But, at the very least, it could have been much more respectable if it tried.
"... YES, wayward reader!!! If AoT had a CANON SAO 16.5 moment, it truly would have had a fighting chance at being a TRUE MASTERPIECE!!!"
The curious soul became the puzzled soul. It couldn't tell if she had truly lost her mind or spouted some hidden gypsie gospel truth.
"But even if you took that perspective and still picked Eren's original plan..." She sighs, calming down. "That would make part 3 ostensibly boring."
A quiet moment passes. The puzzled soul doesn't know what to say anymore.
"Because when somebody lets hatred consume them... They become unpredictable," she solemnly says. "When *they* can write history, who gets to decide if they're good or bad? The surviving children, because they have no say in a decision made in the past. At the end of the day, Eren Yeager can't make good decisions. But nobody can judge that! He's only human."
"And that's why AoT is no masterpiece," she concludes. "Because it didn't have the final X-factor, it couldn't truly evolve from the shitty tropes that bind it. That's all!"
In conclusion, AoT Final Season Part 2 is good enough to watch. It returns to being Anime XCOM for the finale, and it's refreshing enough from the suffocating predecessor. I was able to enjoy it as much as I could by letting the mildly entertaining military RP to guide me to the conclusion. AoT's depiction and emulation of war may have been masterclass with a phenomenal depth of perspective, but it lacked the soul to define itself as an artistic masterpiece. Just look at Gabi! FaZe has already accepted her.
The questions and moral conundrums AoT asks are so outdated at this point. But I guess that's what happens when you have edgy writing from the beginning of history to the very present. When all you can do in the present is hate, hate, and hate, humanity will fight itself to the very last man. Didn't Erwin say something like that? Regardless of, it's all so meaningless. So trite. Because the last man standing will die alone; it once again proves that hatred is the true enemy.
Do you know what modernity is, kiddo? It's living in the present. Experiencing the international. Anime tiddies. You reading this very anime review. The ability to have the knowledge of the world at your disposal has changed the game in every single way imaginable. That's why the past should stay dead. Living in the past isn't as fun as living in the present. Video games and anime are definitive proof of this.
Even though I might live a meaningless life doing meaningless things, it's a hell of a lot more fun than wishing I should have never been born. Ouch dude! You papercutted me with your fucking edge! 7/10.
Until next time, kiddos.
PS. In retrospect, I do continue to miss Wit's sakugas. Did we really need realistic 3d maneuver gear action? No. But it's okay, I guess.