‘Attack on Titan’: The Final Season Colossally Exceeds Fans’ Expectations


Hadley Norris

The second part of Attack on Titan first premiered on Sunday, Jan. 10. Graphic by Hadley Norris.

On Sunday, April 4, the second part of the final season of Attack on Titan, one of the most popular anime today, concluded. The second part first premiered on Sunday, Jan. 10 and amassed vast media attention from fans all across various social media platforms. The newly released part consisted of 12 episodes in addition to the 16 released back in early 2021. The fourth season as a whole has earned an audience score of 93%, as rated by Rotten Tomatoes. 

Attack on Titan, originally a manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama, made its first broadcast in April 2013. The show takes place in a world in which humanity resides inside a collection of cities known as Paradis Island surrounded by three large walls protecting them from the titans (basically giants who eat people). The plot follows the protagonist Eren Jaeger, who vows to eradicate the titans prior to the destruction of his hometown and the death of his mother along with his friends Armin Arlert and Mikasa Ackerman. 

Although the first three seasons were generally centered around defeating the titans, the fourth has significantly broadened the scope to a vastly larger issue, tackling themes such as genocide, morality, nationalism, and parallels to World War ll. While the initial antagonists were the titans, the role shifts to an oppressive, stratocratic empire known as Marley, and it can also be argued that Eren Jaeger becomes an antagonist as well. The second part of season four follows an act known as the “rumbling,” an apocalyptic measure in which Eren Jaeger uses giant titans trapped within the walls of Paradis to exterminate the rest of the world. 

The majority of fans expected this part to finalize the series, however upon release of Episode 28, many were shocked to learn the final part of the show was actually pushed off to premiere in January 2023. This information confirmed many previous theories that a mere 12 episodes would not be sufficient to carry on the rest of the story. I began Attack on Titan a few months ago with my dad and little brother, and since then, we have found ourselves greatly entertained by the show. In relation to the other seasons I have enjoyed, the second part exceeded my expectations. The first few seasons were fun and exciting, but I am truly impressed by the complexity and development exhibited throughout the entirety of the fourth season. 

The aspect of this season that impressed me the most was the genius continuation of the storyline. Not only is it exceptionally captivating, but it delivers all kinds of complex aspects to enrich the plot. The second part especially focuses on the morality of all characters within the show. It becomes evident that there are no inherently “good” or “evil” characters, but a varying selection of those that are morally gray. This concept is reflected in a larger perspective concerning the power struggle between the three different groups: Marley, the Jaegerists, and Paradis. This realistic interpretation of warfare greatly contributed to my enjoyment of the show. 

In addition to the plot, I was also impressed by the animation, just as I was in the former seasons. Attack on Titan has always been noted for its brilliant animation of fight scenes, and the use of omnidirectional mobile gear (basically a belt with grappling hooks that allows the characters to zip across buildings), and I believe that the show definitely lived up to this reputation in the new part. The new part boasted brilliantly animated fight scenes such as the protection of the city from titans, and the battle between the main characters and the Jaegerists. While a large portion of the season was focused on more technical conflicts, it still managed to include the fight scenes I know and love. 

Specifically, I found myself most impressed with Episode 80, “From you, 2000 years ago.”  This episode consists of a series of flashbacks, and Eren’s contact with Ymir Fritz, the founder of the titans. This episode tied every loose end, filled all gaps, and reminded fans that everything that occurs in this show has some kind of foreshadowing or symbolism. Although the events in this episode were technically three seconds within the actual timeline of the show, it was nonetheless action-packed, and resulted in the apocalyptic beginnings of the rumbling. 

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend this show to anybody who loves action-packed anime, or anybody seeking to start one for the first time. As a beautiful whirlwind of action, tragedy, politics, and exciting fight scenes, this show will always be one of my favorites. The third part of Season Four is expected to air at some point in early 2023, however, the actual release date has not been disclosed yet.