Attack on Titan 3rd Season: Part II - Reviews

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Eiraza's avatar
Aug 30, 2019

Ugh man, there's only one season left after this *tear*

Attack on Titan season three part 2 answers soooo many questions it leaves you reeling and trying to remember all the tiny things that had happened in previous seasons that have finally led up to these realizations. Even now I think about characters long gone and their reactions to things and how they now make so much more sense. Granted there are still things to be solved and answered, but for the most part we now know so much more then when we started. We finally got to the basement this season!

The power of the characters as they evolve and make tough decisions is so amazing and the heartache in this series is far more amplified as it feels like it gets darker with every passing episode.

As always 10 out of 10 soundtrack

10 out of 10 character development

And honestly one of the best stories ever written/adapted.

Can't wait for more ~

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
RememberUS's avatar
Nov 13, 2020

NO SPOILER - As before, the AOT did not disappoint me. Once again I found emotion, violence, hatred, revenge in the story, but also friendship, bond and, above all, victory. I can't say I didn't know any of the real truth about the titans or the origins of them, but even so, the truth was far more serious and frightening than I'd thought. Anime has once again exceeded my expectations and I can't wait for the next series.

I will certainly look at AOT films and OVAs in the near future, because it is always a very interesting and exciting experience. I would really recommend this anime to anyone with a strong temper who is not afraid of blood and death, but who has a firm stomach. AOT really gives you a lot and also teaches you a lot and that, I think, is really great about this story...

10/10 story
10/10 animation
9.9/10 sound
9.8/10 characters
10/10 overall
JeiDee's avatar
Jul 15, 2020

Story

The anime plays with a viewer's sense of anticipation well to the point where I would be transfixed with whatever was going on at that moment, and as soon as an unknown factor came into the picture, I would be left dumbfounded. For example, in the 5th episode, the Cart Titan appeared and carried Zeke away, but I was just so absorbed with Levi's abilities and the sudden rush of temporary victory when he had the Beast Titan's pilot at blade point that I completely forgot that Levi never killed the Cart Titan.

The element of surprise is the anime's biggest advantage. They have an original story, and they can weave it however they want. With that said, an episode can fall flat or become memorable. I was at awe when the mass Titan transformations happened in the very 1st episode. I didn't entirely understand how Zeke got a hold of a lot of them, but I didn't care. Epic moment (for me) right there.

Animation

An eye for detail is as important as looking at the big picture and making sure that all set pieces are in place, no matter how small. Their animation is already great--from how the characters use their ODM gears, to how the Titans move and twitch. But what stuck with me the most (and my most favorite scene, animation-wise) was when Levi, Hange, Mikasa, and Eren entered the basement, and they lit a lantern. The light spilled outward. Just that scene alone was enough for the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up.

Characters

I'll start with Armin. One of the best characters in the entire series. He convinced himself that he was a coward, but time and time again, once he would come up with a plan, he would even go as far as sacrificing himself to see it succeed. He has grown to be a reliable strategist, and when he got burned, I almost stopped watching. "They can't just kill off Armin! THEY CAN'T! HE HAS TO SEE THE OCEAN! AAARGH!"

Levi has a serious disposition but says the funniest things. Hange and Sasha, as well, are a welcome comic relief. These three are strong in their own right, and their distinguishable personalities made them my personal favorites.

And with that, I think Eren is the most annoying person overall. If he isn't shouting, he's crying, and vice versa. Yes, he has gone through a lot of emotional trauma, but, as a character, I just don't have love for a protagonist who admonishes himself on almost every scene he's in.

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
8/10 characters
8.8/10 overall
TobioMark's avatar
Feb 1, 2021

The following is posed to be a subjective constructive review of the 2nd Part of the 3rd Season of Attack on Titan. This review has been written around 2 weeks after finishing the 2nd part and thus will follow with vivid articulation of the premise and its categorisation. At the time of writing this review, it’s paramount to note that I watched the 1st season of Attack on Titan almost 7 years ago; therefore, I will avoid trying to make any grand connotation to the 1st season. Naturally, I might update this review should the consideration to re-watch Season 1 strikes me. 

 

Before you delve any further into this review, I must sign some precautionary advices for you readers:-

  • I will be discussing spoilers, so go back and complete Season 3 Part 2 if you haven’t yet. 
  • This review is perceptually my own and shouldn’t necessarily convince or influence your point of view, if it does I’m in no way directly liable for it. 
  • I won’t be summarising any part of the story, whatever events I bring up will be solely utilised for the sake of analyses or dissection. 
  • This review is most likely going to be negative so beware of that before you read any further. If you’re a diehard SNK/AOT fan, this will very likely affect your amygdala and cause you to go into defensive mode. I will not be using any sort of profanity to drive my point but I’ll try my best to scrutinize as much as humanly possible. 
  • I don’t think Hajime Isayama is a bad mangaka, he’s quite talented. I just happen to not be enthralled by his execution. For that matter, if I’m criticising the animation or sound, I’m not necessarily stating that the production team is necessarily uninspired but rather in a pull-push situation where they could have made better tweaks. 
  • You’re free to respond to this or any of my reviews via this link. My only request for you would be to remain cordial. 
  • If my review somehow matches with someone else’s, know that it’s just a coincidence and has nothing to do with me. They just happen to have a similar viewpoint, that’s all. 

 

With all those warnings put up, it’s time to delve into the review. Have fun and thank you for reading ! 

 

Introduction: 

 

Attack on Titan is a medium that comes from a genre which appeals to audiences that fall between adolescence and post-adolescence(Reddit is definitely not a valid source, neither is this survey but, it serves as a decent conjectural highlight - besides being 6 years old). Survival between humans and other species isn’t a setting that’s anything new in the field of entertainment but Attack on Titan does slightly innovate itself by invoking the ‘David vs Goliath’ trope. Similar to survival horror games, the premise of Attack on Titan follows a background of hoarding monsters that feed on the cast like there’s no tomorrow - at least that’s how one would explain it to someone who hasn’t watched the series. This is a fine way of explaining the background albeit a bit on the edgy and mainstream side. The other element that is rampantly present within the setting is its counter, which is of course the military. Keeping in mind that the military is often a toying part of every survival horror series, their fate here isn’t begged to be much different. In fact, it follows a lot of the same types of conclusions when taking a closer look. What makes Attack on Titan stand out is its political paradigm, which is often emphasized throughout the entire series. The influence of politics in Attack on Titan is very significant and the last 3 seasons ( rather 2 seasons and 1 part)  have done a lot to highlight that fact. But has this season lived up to that continuum ? Yes, it has and it continues to do so. It excels in presenting that element very well. If that were to be its only soft point, maybe this review would have been a lot more lenient but as seen, such isn’t the case. The centre of this part has been to reclaim the throne and glory - i.e. central point of story it left back in Season 1- I did say I wouldn’t touch upon Season 1; however, rest assured that this is the only time I’ll bring it up.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 establishes a progression in its plot with the intention of serving a better world-building storyline but assassinates a lot of its core dwelling tropes and elements with contrivances in order to make up for its plot convenient narrative; it tries real hard to create a tragedy out of its characters but at best, makes their presence superfluous or substitutes their shining armour for trying to set up a grander narrative. 

 

Plot: Storyline & Premise: 

 

The best way to possibly explain the trampoline that Attack on Titan is jumping on is by referring to the 20th century horror classic, Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley. Without explaining the story much, I’ll dive right into my parallels with Attack on Titan. Frankenstein’s central theme, as argued by many academics, happens to be the ‘tabula rasa’, coined by Enlightenment English philosopher, John Locke. Tabula Rasa is the notion that a being’s mind isn’t preconceived or predetermined but rather starts off like a ‘clean slate’ as referred to by most philosophers before Locke came to coin the term. So you may be asking, how is this relevant to Attack on Titan ? Attack on Titan isn’t the only medium where such a theme is posited, it’s in fact a renown theme that you’ll find in lots of anime mediums as well. Attack on Titan strikes down on this theme pretty well by setting up its ‘grander narrative’ but when all’s said and done, Attack on Titan doesn’t handle it as well as one would expect it to. For that matter, Frankenstein doesn’t do the best job of handling it either but the parallel to be drawn from both are the prejudices that both the monster ‘Frankenstein’ and the ‘Titans/Eldians’ face in their respective stories. Are Titans really innately evil ? Are Berthold, Annie, Reiner, and Zeke’s motives justified ? This season answers all that in a nutshell by the very end. It can be conjecturally postulated that Attack on Titan doesn’t seem to agree with Locke’s theorisation as much as it should. No one should really be blamed for trying to write stories where anti-fatalism is a strong theme; in general, it’s hard to write stories without any form of deterministic offset. The very fact that a writer writes is enough evidence to suggest a deterministic outcome; however, a display of the theme is another topic and in this regard, Attack on Titan doesn’t hold a very consistent ground of the theme. The cellar/basement revelation holds itself as evident for it, given how strongly it encourages a storm back to its chosen land, will, and being. The ostracized past that Eldians went through won’t serve any medium-rare steak to them after all. Through characterisation, Isayama tries to evoke the question of the Titan’s innocence yet when the revelation plays out, the innocence seems irrelevant altogether. It’s simply ‘kill or be killed’. It leaves no room for the theme to expand any further other than perhaps trying to mingle it with the incumbent progress of the story - in which case, it’ll have to explain a lot of hurdles in order to make up for it, should it actually attempt to traverse that far. Ideally, it’s expected to but the way it’s going on now, it’ll definitely appear contrived. 

 

The initial setup of this season seems quite great from a bird’s eye point-of-view. You have pretty much what’s left of the highlighted cast going back to Shiganshina District. I will be honest in saying that I totally expected the story to roll this way and, I didn’t mind a single bit of that prediction. In essence, that would be the least of my worries. Given how this was an arc where we should have been handed some developments, huge portions of it remain amiss. It’s pretty much expected for military genre based series to have multiple and meaningless deaths here and there, Attack on Titan doesn’t do much different or does it ? That’s where the issue lies, it does which simulates a fortitude that isn’t developed enough to strike the plot progression. First off, sacrificing a good amount of the side characters for the motive or move of a main character doesn’t supply them with characterisation, it’s simply them shining in their essential breath. The character I’m speaking of is Erwin of course. While I liked how he sacrificed himself and his subordinates for the sake of the main cast, perhaps substituting his glory for another time would have been appropriate. I’m not by any means fangasming over him, I’m simply saying that wasting his death in this Season was uncalled for and solely a result of plot armour, nothing more. The contrast in this regard comes with the characterisation of Armin. The writing didn’t give Levi a well enough reason to not inject Erwin with the Titan fluid, it was simply an assumption Levi ran off of - even if Erwin refused it. Erwin’s refusal was definitely appropriate but Levi’s decision was still rash and illustrated poorly. 

 

The major issue of this part comes from how the fights carry out in Shiganshina District; don’t get me wrong when it comes to making antagonists overpowered. That is a fine and decent way to develop your protagonist and a good setup as well. That is a remark that can be attributed to any series really. While this part could have been a showstopper due to its setup for major fights, it neutralises the consequences of it poorly. Reiner’s initial defeat is quite warranted given how long Eren prepared himself for that battle. The inconceivable power of Beast Titan was overwhelming enough to facilitate the casualties but given how thick the Ackerman plot armour is, Isayama could have milked Levi further without the need for Erwin to intervene since Levi pretty much always gets a guaranteed win. Armin’s sacrifice was surely a peak point in the season and something everyone can appreciate from the series: in fact, the highlight of this part has been mainly Erwin and Armin. Erwin’s convictions painfully glamourized his death while Armin’s willingness to step away from his hesitation and taking command of the Survey Corps leads to a very decent progression of the military setting of the series. This is the kind of progression one loves to see from this series but sadly, it’s not enough to overpower the other flaws. As for Eren and Mikasa, there’s not much to highlight in the first part. While Eren gets his spotlight during the fight with Reiner and at the revelation, Mikasa has remained as bland as she has been for most of the series, it’s like she exists solely to babysit Eren whenever she gets the chance. 

 

While Berthold meets his lackluster unwarranted end at the hands of Armin, Zeke serves to live another day with Reiner. And it’s all thanks to………………………………..

Ah yes ! Mouthful Pinocchio with Invisible Armour Titan - Plot Armour of course. Cart Titan has to be one of the weakest plot devices I’ve ever witnessed. At first I thought Reiner’s consciousness transference plot device was bad enough but Cart Titan came to serve him another plot device. Reiner’s relevance slightly shines in later seasons but the fact that he was almost dead is excruciating to express even now.  On top of that, Zeke almost meets his end but gets hing fangled by the Cart Titan. Yes, some could say that this is a brilliant way to stretch the relevance of their characters but what's the point of setting them up in this season if all the storyline had to do was get the revelation from the basement ? Like seriously, Isayama could have avoided this arc altogether and the series would still have been able to progress on a linear note. The battle was simply meaningless for this part, all it did was simulate an excuse for fight scenes. The relevance of Part 2 is mostly contrived, very contrived.  I can’t even express how painstakingly forced this part was but to that extent, it at least tries to highlight some of its ‘submission’. Even then, it’s very delicate to ignore how this whole arc could have been much shorter and minimised. The worst part is what little intrigue they evoked simply vanishes the moment you learn the truth behind the Titans’ existence. 

I don’t have much of any complaints about the revelations apart from the fact that it’s simply another thematic mess and, if you haven’t read the 1st paragraph of this subsection then I urge you to go back and read that. That will convey my raw thoughts on the revelation.

Despite Part 2’s short comings, I expect Season 4 to deliver what it has on its palette. There is still time for redemption and, I hope Isayama has used it to cover up for those illy executed plot devices. 

 

Characterisation: 

 

As discussed in the previous subsection, this part has been a grand highlight of primarily two characters: Armin & Erwin. While Eren’s characterisation has been set up in this season, it wasn’t executed so I can’t touch upon his characterisation as much as I would like to but, he probably needed some development for the event leading up to Levi’s Dilemma. On that note, Levi’s Dilemma perhaps highlights the Ackerman trait a bit, albeit it would be disregarded as simply a human dilemma. Throughout this arc, again and again Isayama illustrates how much of a zombie Levi is and leaves no room to iterate that resonance through its entirety. An e.g. would be when Levi asks Erwin to give up his dreams for the sake of the main cast. While some would say that this is a strong representation of the Ackerman clan, others might clay together the opinion that Levi is simply an archetypal representation of the Ruler. While Levi himself doesn’t appear suitable enough to be a ruler, he illustrates his conviction towards law & order time and time again. 

 

Armin’s characterisation is depicted largely through his command of the Survey Corps and his ability to strategize in the midst of battle; while at times hesitant, he is quick to come up with decisions that ultimately maximizes the danger to safety ratio for his squad’s scenarios or situations. The first highlight of his brilliance is displayed when he reveals Reiner’s location at the beginning of the fight: the art of deduction runs well in him and it can be argued that such is a setup for his future role as the commander. It’s easy to see why he gets contrasted with Erwin in this arc as his bravery at the very end to  Berthold triumphantly turns the battle around for the Survey Corps. This peak moment in the season is a display of what Isayama’s hand can do when he puts some mind to it. 

 

Erwin, the other of his brilliantly written characters comes to display but ends up in an unpleasant tragedy. Erwin perhaps takes the most devastating decision in this season overall. The border between his dreams and his liability as a commander to lead his squad into triumph truly illustrates the conduct his character is supposed to play. While leaving a good portion of the initiation to Armin, he still has to rush for a decision against the rest of the adversaries and when he does take the dire decision, his character stumbles yet knows what to overtake. Although Armin may have made the decision to solely sacrifice himself for a friend, Erwin’s utilitarian decision to decoy Zeke so that Levi can flank ultimately puts himself in a stable that is not worthy of anyone else’s taking. It’s a fair representation of how hard decisions are in a battlefield and Erwin warrants that extremely well. 

 

Eren’s characterisation rests and meanders solely in the revelation for now, it can’t be discussed as much here since it leads to spoilers for the following season. However, his place in this season as expected was relevant along with most of the cast but his character barely develops through the first half, the 2nd half gives way to his character to learn more about the history of the series. It’s through his characterisation that the audience learns much about the world outside. In that regard, his characterisation is decent. 

The only character I can’t say much about would be Mikasa since her role as iterated in the previous subsection, is solely to babysit Eren, that’s it. Her role isn’t prioritised in any other vein or form. She might as well be irrelevant other than that. 

 

The most stagnant characters however, were Jean, Connie, and Sasha. Their roles have been and always seems to be in the preservation of side characters and chess board pawns, they help out with the main cast’s plans and execute it, then viola, they’re done ! Hange, being a commander doesn’t need much highlighting since their characterisation is directly tied in with Armin’s & Erwin’s. Their character probably should have ended in this arc but like most things, it would have still been unjustified. 

 

For the cast of the antagonists, there isn’t much to say here other than how badly they were utilised. Yes, it’s true that Reiner as a character has some depth and so does Zeke but their place within the storyline isn’t as well executed, making them old rusted cookie cutters. As mentioned in my Plot subsection, their relevance in this season was quite unwarranted, it in fact didn’t have any place. But if I were to dedicate that line even now, it would be a bit contradictory considering that they did aid in giving those major characters a boost. 

 

Now, for some honourable mentions who won’t be discussed for obvious reasons: 

Cart Titan, Titan Injection, Reiner’s Consciousness Transfer, Zeke’s Hierarchy Of Survival Tips

 

Animation: 

 

I’m not very good at judging animation or art style, so you’ll have to bear with me for this one and the next. 

It seems as if the quality of Attack on Titan’s animation gets worse each Season. Apart from the mention of the character stickers pasting on to the background, the showstopper has to be the C.G.I. Horses and Colossus Steak. My god, I laughed so hard when I equated Colossus Titan to a Steak, that must have been one of  my worst thought out jokes of this year so far. 

Given merit where it deserves, the art style is definitely decent and you won’t find me complaining too much about it. It’s not terrible but it’s not great either, that’s all that you’ll read from me in regards to its visuals. 

 

Sound: 

Again, I’m not a good judge of this either, I tend to leave this for last since it doesn’t pique my interest as much. OSTs are a bonus for any series, in my humble opinion. I typically don’t count them up against any anime. With that being said, the soundtrack of this season so far has been pretty repetitive and at times, tedious. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Sawano. I love everything he composes but come on, don’t recreate the same opening from the first season. That kind of says that Sawano doesn’t want us to experience his creation to its fullest extent, instead he teases us with some iterations. I don’t mind his stuff but this season’s OST hasn’t been much thrilling. 

Apart from that, I don’t have much to say in regards to the sound quality, it’s quite decent at the very least. 

 

Conclusion: 

 

To sum it all up, Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 is a wasted effort on a storyline that could have been avoided for more innovative paths or takes. The resolution was met but the cost for it was abhorrent writing. While the arc itself is a poor one, some of the setups such as the revelation and Armin’s revival bear some fruit on what can be expected in the next season. This part undermines Attack on Titan and degrades it to perhaps its lowest point ever. Should such a progression path be taken again, it may as well put an end to the series’ list of potentials. In conclusion, this is the worst arc of the series.

2/10 story
4/10 animation
5/10 sound
5/10 characters
3.9/10 overall
moonchild15's avatar
Sep 19, 2019

(spoiler free review) this season is brilliant. So many answered questions. It felt more like a grandeur cinematic ride than just an ordinary show. This show is especially brilliant for the younger generation because it makes us think. Throughout the seasons ive grown to care quite a bit for the lovable characters and was eager to see what becomes of them in this season. Now i am eagerly waiting for the final season. A criticism i would make is at times its a bit confusing and i had to rewind and think about the situation a few times but thats ok. Good excuse to rewatch the show again

9/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall