”As Exciting and Action-Packed As Ever” – TV Review: Attack on Titan: The Final Season (Part 1)

Gemma Cockrell

Attack on Titan is no longer the same show that it was in Season 1. Back in 2013, the plot was relatively simple: the main protagonists were Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert, and their goal was to kill Titans. Now, in the final season of the show, things are slightly more complicated… 

To give a simple recap of the show’s origins, Titans first appeared 100 years ago, and humans found safety by living within massive walls – until a Titan smashes through these walls, causing the death of the mother of soldier Eren Jaeger. This led him to vow to kill every single Titan.

I highly recommend that you watch Attack on Titan: Chronicle (2020)

The plot is much more complex than this, and if it has been a while since you watched the first three seasons of the show, then I highly recommend that you watch Attack on Titan: Chronicle (2020) before you start watching the final season. This film, roughly two-hours in length, recaps the entire show up until this point – much quicker than re-watching the entire show from the start.

The reason that I recommend this is because from here onwards, the plot becomes even more complicated. Part 1 of the final season is made up of sixteen episodes, the first of which immediately introduces you to an array of brand-new characters from the other side of the story, causing me to feel quite lost at first – this wasn’t the Attack on Titan that I knew at all! In fact, it felt like an entirely different show.

However, once you get used to this, you will quickly find that the new characters are nearly as easy to connect with as the original characters. Things begin to make more sense a few episodes into the season, when the original characters are reintroduced. The two groups of characters merge to form what is evidently the start of the closing plot line of the entire show.

The most difficult thing to get your head around at first is the difference between the two opposing groups within the war: the Eldians, and the Marleyans. Once you figure out who is who, and which side is fighting for what, then you’re good to go, but you will very quickly realise that there is not really a true enemy – the real enemy is the repetitive cycle of pain and violence inflicted by the inescapable system.

A big concern before the season had even started was the change of animation studios from Wit Studio to MAPPA. However, fans quickly realised that this was nothing to worry about. There is no noticeable difference in animation quality between the final season and previous seasons, and overall, I’d say that MAPPA did an excellent job. The use of CGI, another worry amongst some fans, is also a welcome addition.

The final season takes on a much darker tone

A lesson learnt from the final season of Attack on Titan is that change is not always a bad thing. As well as switching animation studios, the entire feeling of the season was considerably different to the previous seasons. After many of the plot-changing revelations of Season 3, the final season takes on a much darker tone – a foreboding sense that the ending is coming, and that it may not be an entirely happy one.

Despite these changes, Attack on Titan remains as exciting and action-packed as ever. Even those who are not typically interested in anime have found themselves enjoying it. It is, without doubt, one of the most popular anime of the past decade, and it is likely to be one that is remembered for years to come. It has recently been announced that Part 2 of the final season is to be released in Winter 2022, and I have no doubt that it will be worth the wait.

4 and a half stars

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Piotr Cichosz via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @crunchyroll via No changes made to these images.

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