「壁 ―ストヘス区急襲③―」 (Kabe ―Sutohesu Ku Kyushu (3)―)
“The Wall ―Raid on the Stohess District (3)―”
And here we go. The final episode of Shingeki’s first season has arrived and what we get is a fitting “ending” to what’s arguably been one of the most popular series in the last decade. After all, there’s nothing quite like seeing two human Titans fight each other while trashing everything around them, and it’s just a highlight reel of death and destruction as the Military Police continue demonstrating their inadequacies (THEY HAVEN’T EVEN PUT ON THEIR MANEUVER GEAR YET FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!).
MP Inadequacies aside though, this week brings us back to the notion of having to sacrifice something if you want to change something. Essentially, it’s about whether or not you’re willing to go as far as sacrificing your humanity to win, and it’s interesting to note that while Erwin seems willing to do everything it takes, Eren still finds himself struggling to do so. With that said, the secondary question then becomes “is it worth winning if you end up throwing away everything that made you human in the first place,” and it’s something that provides quite the philosophical dilemma. Because ultimately, while one can argue Eren’s hesitation effectively wasted a lot of the sacrifices they made in Stohess, one can also argue that Eren maintaining some of his humanity will be vital in a post-Titan world (provided they can win, of course). There’s also the consideration that if this operation wasn’t done, Eren would’ve been shipped to the Military Police, and really, it’s a dilemma one could debate for ages.
Either way, the fact remains that Annie’s not going to be answering any questions soon, and we’re left with more questions than ever before. The revelation that the wall’s are composed of Titans just adds further to this, and looking back, I’m amazed at how little we’ve gotten in terms of answers throughout this first season. What makes it arguably more amazing however, is how I seem to be perfectly alright with this, even though that’s probably only a short-term effect of the emotional highs coming off this episode. Looking forward, it’s undoubtedly going to be difficult trying to avoid reading on the manga to say the least, and well, I mean that’s about it really. As much as I’d like to spend a while speculating, I’m of the feeling that it’s probably just best to leave things here and just let the extra screen caps, full lengths, and the final impressions (below) do the rest of the talking.
Author’s Note: Per the usual, there’s a zero tolerance policy for spoilers that aren’t in spoiler tags or in response to a query. Please also use your own discretion (and common sense) in regards to what you decide to speculate on and how you phrase any speculation. If you’re unsure, use spoiler tags.
Quick Final Impressions:
Looking back all the way to the Spring preview, Shingeki no Kyojin was one of those series that came in with exceptionally high expectations. And now that we’re officially at the end of the first season, it’s pretty easy to say that it met those expectations by far, and even exceeded them in some respects. After all, the immense popularity this series has enjoyed is something that few series have garnered, and arguably it’s something that it’s deserved. Because ultimately—despite the occasional pacing issues, animation quality inconsistencies, the many unanswered questions, and the general feeling that none of the characters ended up particularly unique in and of themselves—this was a well made adaptation that gave us a great story, left us yearning for more week after week, and provided us with memorable developments/enemies that we’ll likely remember for a long time to come. Combine that with Sawano Hiroyuki’s epic “OST of the year” contributions here as well and you have all the makings of a series that’s worthy of being an anime of the year candidate.
Indeed, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this series end up being the Reader’s Choice AOTY winner come the end of the year, and I wouldn’t have much qualms with it doing so. It wouldn’t be my choice personally—mostly due to the many elements it borrows from the Muv-Luv VN trilogy and the aforementioned issues in the first paragraph—but I can see where people can make an argument for it being AOTY, and again, I wouldn’t mind if they say it is. With that said, I do hope that you’ve enjoyed my coverage of Shingeki no Kyojin throughout the last half a year, and I’d just like to take a moment to thank all of you out there that come in week after week to view/comment not only on this show, but the site in general. In addition, I apologize for the constantly changing policies regarding spoilers/speculation throughout the series’ run. It took longer than expected to find a good balance between preventing spoilers vs. allowing speculation, and I’d just like to thank you for bearing with me in this regard. Last but not least, I hope you guys’ll join me next season for my coverage of Coppelion and Kill la Kill.