Key points for Attack on Titan: Final Season review:
- Personally, I believe the series reached its peak in the Marley Arc. The introduction of new plot elements and the exploration of perspectives on both sides of the conflict made this arc incredibly engaging.
- In my opinion, the Conclusion Arc had its flaws, especially with plot holes around Eren’s powers. However, I appreciate the intentional misery in the ending, deeming it a fitting conclusion to Eren’s character arc.
- I still think Eren’s character is well-written. Despite the controversy surrounding the ending, his transformation from a determined freedom-seeker to a broken individual controlled by memories is a compelling and fitting evolution.
- Focusing on characters beyond Eren, I find the supporting cast’s development commendable. Mikasa’s acceptance, Armin’s growth, Reiner’s ironic survival, and nuanced reactions from characters like Falco, Gabi, and Zeke contribute to a well-rounded narrative.
- From my perspective, WIT’s version had superior soundtracks, thanks to Hiroyuki Sawano’s exceptional music direction. While Mappa’s animation, particularly the demonic look of Eren’s Titan, stands out, I lean towards WIT’s varied background music, feeling it added more depth.
Ah, Attack on Titan… I still remember how much hate the ending got when it was released in the manga. So from the perspective of a manga reader, it has been interesting to see the reception of the ending by the anime-onlies. So, did Mappa ruin Attack on Titan: Final Season? Was the ending really that bad? Is the series over-rated? Let’s talk about all of that and more in this massive review.
In preparation for this review, I watched the entirety of the series again. Yes, not just the Final Season but also the first of the series by WIT Studio. I’m not too fond of Mappa for what they’re doing to their employees but I will try to be as fair as possible in my comparison.
So welcome to a massive review, today we are talking about the entirety of Attack on Titan: Final Season. Obviously, there will be spoilers ahead. Let’s go.
Marley Arc/Paradis Island Invasion Arc
In my opinion, this is the part where the series peaked. We got so many new plot elements to digest in this arc, it was crazy. The introduction was perfect too, starting us off with a bunch of people we have never seen before. Getting us familiarized with their lives and what they live for. This gives us an incredible PoV on things on both sides of the fence. Neither of them are in the right or in the wrong, just people fighting for what they believe is right.
Eventually, we get to know exactly where the walls were and why they were placed there in the first place. We get a taste of just how much technology has advanced during the time skip and how Marley uses the Power of the Titans in their war efforts. During these two arcs, Eren was an absolute badass and a menace. He would not stop at anything to make Marley pay. And then when both sides start an all-out war, you realize how pointless the conflict is. These two arcs are incredibly well done.
Now this is the part where a few plot holes start to appear, Specifically when it comes to Eren’s time-bending powers and actions and the founder, Ymir. The characters were still pretty well done in this arc but the overall quality and pacing of the plot definitely dropped. I know a lot of people hate the ending, but I am fine with it. It is not meant to be satisfactory, it is not meant to be happy, it is meant to be miserable and it is. A fitting end to what Eren had become. It could have been executed in a better way but, I don’t mind the idea behind the ending itself.
I still think Eren is a well-written character. Probably a controversial opinion, especially after the ending. But hear me out.
When he achieves his proper power with the help of the founder, his mind completely breaks. There is no future or past to him, just memories. So this badass antagonistic character we saw in the first half of Attack on Titan: Final Season completely breaks and turns into something messed up. If it wasn’t clear in his conversation with Armin, the overwhelming memories really messed up his brain and he pretty much became a clown at that point.
His character rises to become this badass who will stop at nothing to attain freedom but then he falls again into a shell of his former self, a slave to his own powers. I like the irony, which is why I think that the ending was very fitting for what he had become.
The supporting cast remains strong throughout the arcs. Of course, Eren is the prime focus but every other major character gets a good amount of character development. Like Mikasa in the conclusion coming to terms with what they have to do. Armin grows into more of a man, taking responsibility for everything he has done and preparing himself in an instant to deal with Eren. He didn’t quite reach the heights Erwin had for me, but again, Armin is still relatively young at the end of the series.
Reiner was really good throughout this arc as well. I love the irony of his character, he is a guy who wants to die the most but ends up surviving till the very end. I don’t like Falco and Gabi, I personally find them annoying but Gabi has a good character arc with Sasha’s family and I love how Eren “corners” her in a way. The last one up is Zeke, I love his reaction after all the shit he sees because of Eren. I love the little character moment he gets in the last episode, his character development finally coming full circle.
Animations and Soundtracks
The WIT version definitely had the better soundtracks. No disrespect to Kohta Yamamoto but Hiroyuki Sawano’s music direction is special. The WIT version had that and an awesome band called Linked Horizon to do the opening and ending themes. Mappa had neither of these. Yes, My War, Rumbling, Akuma no Ko, Ashes on Fire, etc. are awesome but the BGMs in particular don’t hold a candle to Sawano’s work. Mainly because Mappa for some reason loves to spam Ashes on Fire in every serious moment. While WIT used a lot more variety.
As for the animations, it’s pretty toe to toe. Both studios’ style has their merits. I absolutely love how demonic the Titans (Eren’s Titan in particular) look in the Mappa version, while WIT’s fluid af ODMG action scenes are unmatched. This is just an example because which studio you like boils down to preference. The only thing Mappa ruined other than their employees’ lives is the release order of the series. They named it “Attack on Titan: Final Season” a little too early.
So favorite openings: Guren no Yumiya, Shinzou wo Sasageyo, and My War; my Favorite Ending: Akuma no Ko.
Sooo, here are my scores for Attack on Titan: Final Season:
- Plot – 8.5/10 (taking a hit because of the last arc)
- Characters – 10/10
- Animations – 9/10
- Soundtracks – 8/10
- Enjoyment – 10/10
- Number of Final Season Parts – 69/YES
- Overall – 9/10
I know that was a long one but I wanted to do a detailed review for the series when it ended. Share your thoughts in the comments. I do admit that the ending isn’t perfect and that the plot takes a hit in the last arc but personally, I don’t mind it. Either way, I will take my leave here. See ya!!
Also, check out my favorite episodes of last week here!