Attack on Titan Final Season THE FINAL CHAPTERS Special 2 Review
Ten years ago, Attack on Titan rocked the world with one of the darkest and most morally complicated stories in anime history. Now, more than two years since the final chapter of the manga, the anime has come to a close in a movie-length event so hotly anticipated, it broke the Crunchyroll website.
Of those who managed to watch it right when it appeared, they had nothing but praise for it on social media. As one of the people who read the manga, my expectations for the finale were very high. And while knowing what would happen did dampen my excitement a little, the animation was so amazing, I couldn’t help but get excited to see how it all ended. What’s more, series mangaka Hajime Isayama listened to fan criticisms about things ended and actively took steps to improve on it. He even apologized to Studio MAPPA for making them do extra legwork.
Like Something Out of a Triple-A Video Game
Picking up right where the first part left off, the anime wastes no time diving into the Scout’s and Titan Shifters final, desperate battle to stop the Rumbling. They pull out all the stops to keep Eren from destroying what’s left of the world, and it shows. Gone are the green rookies that got thrust headfirst into the fight against the Titans. In their place are some of the best soldiers and warriors in the world, and they give everything they have against Eren. While some people might complain about the fact that none of the remaining protagonist’s died and call it plot armor, I don’t think it’s entirely that. It’s more of a testament of how well they’re able to work together. This is in spite of the fact that just a few days ago, both groups were trying to kill each other. War makes for strange bedfellows, it seems.
The entire film (it deserves to be called such) plays out like the final battle of a triple-A video game in the vein of Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy. Much like those series, interspersed between all the action are scenes that provide emotional depth to most of the main characters. The best of these scenes, though, are the ones between Armin and Zeke, and later, Eren. Getting to see Armin talk Zeke out of his nihistilic views on life and how it has meaning beyond survival is a major highlight for the former. It shows how, even after everything he’s gone through, Armin strives to see the best in humanity. The world needs more people like him.
The action itself was, of course, jaw-droppingly good. From the appearance of Falco’s Jaw Titan to Mikasa dealing the final blow to Eren, it was clear that Studio Mappa didn’t hold anything back. No wonder Hajime apologized for making them work so hard.
Hajime Isayama Improved the Ending
When it first came out two years ago, a lot of fans didn’t like the way Attack on Titan ended, and made sure Isayama knew this. It got so bad that some people even started a rewrite for the finale called AoT no Requiem. Isayama himself stated he’d also come to have problems with how he ended things, so he took the criticism to heart. Thus, the anime’s finale was his chance to change things for the better. While the ending as a whole remained the same, he did add more depth to certain moments to make it better.
More to Say Between Eren and Armin
First, there’s that infamous scene between Eren and Armin. Eren breaks down and starts crying over the fact that he won’t get to live out his life with Armin and Mikasa. I never had a problem with this, because I took it as proof that the cold-hearted facade he’d been putting on since the timeskip was an act. A coping mechanism to deal with the chaos he would one day unleash and alienate himself from his friends so they wouldn’t feel bad once he died. Not everyone saw it that way, though.
The anime extends that scene in the hopes of better explaining Eren’s rationale behind everything. To summarize, he was disgusted with what he had to do as everyone else was. He didn’t want to do it; no sane person would! However, due to the hand that the world had dealt him, and his own, future actions, he had no other choice. He was forced into this role by himself and those around him, something that Armin even acknowledges and accepts that he’s partially guilty of allowing. It was horrific, but to save the world from the Titans, Eren was forced to become a sacrifice.
The reason why I never had a problem with this ending is because I had already seen a similar one happen in another great anime, Code Geass. In that story, the main protagonist conquered the world and became its sole dictator to unite everyone in opposition against him. Once that was done, he had his best friend fake his death and then assassinate him to erase all that hatred, letting the world move on in peace. That’s more or less what Eren did here: he set himself up as the enemy of the world to be taken down by his friends. They’d become heroes, their home would be spared for centuries, and the power of the Titans would vanish from the world for a long time. It wasn’t a wholly happy ending, but it was the best one they got with the cards they had.
Paradis Got to Thrive For a Long Time
Another key thing that got improved was the epilogue for the series. After the release of the final chapter, Isayama made an extended version that showed the future of the world of Attack on Titan. Mikasa got to live out her life in peace before dying in old age, her new family burying her next to Eren under their tree. Time then flashes forward and shows Paradis becoming a modern metropolis before getting destroyed in another war.
Some fans saw this as a way of saying that everything Eren sacrificed had been for nothing. Thus, Isayama and Studio Mappa changed the images seen in the end credits to provide better context. Rather than lasting for a few generations after the story’s events, the anime clarifies that this war likely occurred hundreds of years later. More than enough time for Paradis to live and thrive in peace like Eren wanted, and enough time for the rest of the world to start recovering. It might seem unfair that Paradis still got destroyed, but it was going to happen. For all we know, it might have been due to a completely different reason besides the Rumbling. In addition, the sight of the boy entering Eren’s tree means that the Eldian people weren’t wiped out.
As for the power of the Titans, it’s still not clear if it would return in the distant future. However, if it does, I’d like to think mankind will have learned not to use it as they did in the past. Or, at the least, they’ll have progressed to the point where it won’t be so big of a threat.
Still an Amazing Ending for Attack on Titan
Regardless of my own opinions, one cannot deny the fact that the finale to Attack on Titan was epic. Everyone working on it brought their A-game, and it showed in the acting, animation, and music. Speaking of music, there were several instrumental remixes to some of the best songs in the anime peppered throughout the anime. What’s more, the anime also dives into a little more detail about what happened to the secondary characters who survived the ending. Each of them is doing their best to live their lives and rebuild the world, even Yelena. It’s not much, but it’s nice to see what happened to the secondary cast.
The only regret I do have is that this was never released in theaters as the movie it deserves to be called.