With the final episode of the season upon us, it’s only fitting that we get one of the best episodes of the franchise to send us off, and virtually everything we got here worked to maximize the emotional impact and give us an adrenaline rush worthy of a fight with humanity’s future at stake. Unfortunately, such stakes tend to require sacrifices, and Hannes ends up biting the dust—at the hands of the same Titan that killed Eren’s mother no less—along with Erwin’s right arm and half of the Scouts veterans. It’s a high price to pay—I can’t see Erwin in particular coming into the picture much after this, and we all know how important his presence alone has been—but one that ends up potentially worth the losses. After an entire season dancing around the issue, Eren finds himself capable of controlling Titans as the one code-named the “Coordinate,” and suddenly we have one key revelation to balance around the many questions we’ve had so far. The fact that it could change the entire tide of the fight for humanity’s survival only makes it that much better, even if we’ll end up waiting up to another year to see what happens from here.
With that said, this was an episode that was significant not only for its developments, but how it made many things come full circle. For one, the arrival of the Titan that killed Eren’s mother meant that—with Reiner and Bertholdt included as the Armored and Colossal Titan respectively—everyone responsible for changing the course of Eren and Mikasa’s lives have not only reassembled, but have done so at a time where Eren finds himself truly stepping into his role as humanity’s potential savior. At the same time, the fact that said Titan dies in a similar fashion to how it killed Eren’s mother makes it a tremendously fitting method of revenge, even if it wasn’t exactly intended. Similarly, having Historia come into her own—those thirty seconds with the insert theme “Barricades” playing in the background was beautifully done—only adds to the significance of it all by culminating all the development she’s been given this season, and even Ymir’s decision to rescue and run with Reiner and Bertholdt ends up just as fitting due to their natures as Human Titans that have either lost or never really felt as though they had a place within the walls.
Suffice to say, there was much to like about this season finale, and much to look forward to in the future as a result too—especially with things pointing toward all Titans potentially having human cores. The question about how they didn’t find proof of this earlier in the form of remains from their human cores aside, it’s a significant revelation that changes the entire dynamic of the war, and both Levi and Erwin’s expressions end up representative of the feelings every Scout privy to the information is likely feeling. As Erwin says, they’re finally one step closer to the truth. The problem is that they’ve endured a tremendous loss to get there, and with the rate of losses as is, it isn’t a cost humanity can afford to pay for just one step. The fact they’ve been potentially fighting and killing humans rather than “mindless monsters” also exerts a potential mental toll on top of things, and as we’ve seen this season in particular, it’s certainly an element that plays a large part in a soldier’s success.
With that said—and I’m probably in the minority in this regard—but I think this was a season that took a step backwards in some respects. However much they wanted to play up the mystery and highlight the individual natures of each soldier and cast member, the fact remains that they spent much of the season bringing up and repeating questions that we likely won’t receive answers to for a long time. At the same time, there was little to no addition to the story in terms of revelations and developments until the very end, and the pacing dragged throughout much of the season as a result. Granted, Episode 32 and this finale made many of the season’s low points arguably worth the price of admission, but if anything—the greatness of those two episodes merely highlighted how the series falls short when deviating away from combat and the simpler stories it told in the first season, which felt much more consistent and enjoyable across the board.
In particular, I’m still torn about what to feel about Reiner and Bertholdt. I mean, the fact that Reiner has a clear mental condition sufficed as an explanation regarding some of what he’s done up until this point, but through it all, I can’t find myself satisfied with that being the sole explanation behind everything he did before he destroyed the walls and after. I suppose much of this is because I felt that his condition makes it all too easy to say “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know why” when pressed for answers in the future, though I guess time will tell in regards to whether or not I’ll look back to this moment and just go “ah, that worked out better than expected.”
As I mentioned before though, it’s important to point out that for all its supposed shortcomings, the franchise as a whole has done much to at least meet much of the hype that surrounded it previously. At the very least, I’ve enjoyed Shingeki a lot more than some of the hyped series of past years, and you can definitely count me in as someone who looks forward to seeing what the series has in store for its upcoming third season. Until then, we can only wait, and here’s hoping we’ll all meet again once the time comes.
Author’s Note: Once again, please refrain from spoilers of the source material past what’s been covered so far. Use spoiler tags if you absolutely need to mention something that wasn’t explicitly shown/covered, as there is a zero tolerance policy in effect and comments with spoilers will be immediately deleted and bans handed out where necessary.
To the manga readers, at the start of the manga, how far ahead did the author plan the series?
As an anime-watcher, the direction of the series at the end of this season is so very different from the beginning of the first season I am in disbelief. While watching season 2 and the end of season 1, I honestly wondered if the author himself even knew how he was going to explain everything.
From what I understand, his original idea for an ending was this: Everyone dies. Literally everyone. The end.
He’s gone on record saying he changed his mind as the series grew more popular. And even then, he was already questioning whether such a chicken-tease of an ending would be the right one.
Do you know where I could read more about that? Honestly an ending where everyone dies would have been incredible, and would really make a lot more sense than what is currently going on…
Hmm, I’d say I am sure he did most of his world building in advance. As to fates of individual characters – can’t have any meaningful discussion without spoilers.
There were a lot of hints and foreshadowing about Reiner and Berthold since they first appeared, so I think at least that was planned. And with that planned, it means everything (is a spoiler so I won’t go into details about it) in regard to their hometown was planned (or at least he knew some basic plot lines about it) as well.
I too remember an interview in which Isayama said that he first wanted the series to end with everyone dying and, since it was popular, he was planning to change that, but “everyone dies in the end” doesn’t imply that the ending itself (and how the plot leads up to that) would’ve been different, also it was just an idea he was planning, but we’re not sure if the editors would have allowed something like that (Sasha should’ve died but they made him change that part).
So I think he know what he’s doing
I don’t know how far he planned the manga and I dont know that he mentioned it anywhere.
I read that the editor made him change dime chapter and that the editor finished crying un the bathroom after reading one chapter.
I suppose that it’s hard to know if it’s true or only a stunt.
Anyway, I recommend to read the manga.
I think that Isayama planed his series very far in advance. For example, you can see in episode 36 in the anime that Berthold react to the Armin’s provocation saying “You spawn of the devil! I will kill you!! ”. That was too in the manga, in chapter 49, that was originally publish in November 2013. At that time, I was convinced that it was something that Berthold said in the heat of the moment … but it was only in 2016/2017 that I could understand that it was totally meaningful!! So you can say that is Isayama’s way of storytelling. So, don’t worry. You will obtein the explanations that you are expect.
You are not too far from the truth. At very last is known, that he originally, for a long time, planned to end series with traditional “everybody will die” ending. But at some point, he changed his mind and got into direction, where he is not sure anymore, how series is gonna end.
I can’t speak for everyone, but a “everyone dies” ending sounds anything except traditional to me. The feeling of awe and hopelessness that came at the beginning of season 1 was incredible. I can’t say I’ve seen that replicated elsewhere.
Texnholyze already did a Kill ‘Em All ending. C:
I hope he do not receive the same curse like Kubo. His Bleach was not meant to run that long, same as Naruto. But Naruto somehow gave the “Flame of Hope” to the new Generation
I just hope i do not toss his ideas into an swirl of Chaos, like some episodes ago when the new ED was posted here. It was just an imagination of my experience, combined with an old Fishermen Tale, i watched in my youth.. I wish this series the best of Luck
No i restrain to write my speculations now
Unfortunately, that “Flame of Hope” is more like a curse than anything given a lot of people don’t really care about the new generation and are more into seeing what the old generation is doing. They’re clearly trying to recapture the nostalgia of early part one with the Boruto anime, but it’s not really working, especially with some near-copy/pastes of characters.
i understand, but Naruto’s and Boruto’s problem is easy. It’s the same location. Because these Ninja Powers or City are hidden in the same place for eternity. So Boruto for example will never see the big World. they are chained to these hidden leaf places
Well, Naruto visit the moon and such, but Ninja’s is an Nippon only thing.. can you imagine an german one?
Well, its one of their problems, but here is the wrong place to get deeper
Well, good news. The 3rd season of Attack on Titan has been reported to come in 2018. If it’s longer than this one, it’ll likely cover more material pertaining to what happens behind the scenes before the wham moment comes that forever changes the structure of the story. Can’t wait.
Unfortunately if they’re splitting things off like this rather than giving us back to back cours in the first place, I suspect we’ll get another 12-13 ep cour and it may be an extended delay after that one before we get on track to speed through to the end. I hope this doesn’t end up the case though.
Well at least we don’t have to wait another 4 years before season 3 but yes, it sucks that they decided to have split cours rather than one continuous 2-cour run. Oh wells….budgets and other commitments make it hard =X
On the other hand, I’m seeing people saying that it’ll be two cour, because the announcement after the episode aired showed several manga volume covers, as well as a scene that comes from chapter 90, which implies that they’d adapt the next two arcs. If they were to put them into a single cour, they’d need to cut out A LOT.
This is the ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2jzElmpJeM
Just here to say: Whatever they did to make
ChristaHistoria look cool was worth it. Been re-watching that multiple times already. So cool I had to make a GIF out of it. (Oops I see like, 3 more of those are up already lol)
See you all next year where things are going to get a whole lot more complicated in season 3, it seems.
Aww yeah. I was waiting for someone to post this.
That was amazing animation, with the start of a triumphant sounding background OST. I was actually rewinding just to see that over and over again.
LoL, mikasafags were BTFO to kingdom come.
Way to reject her feelings, Eren. Damnnnm, that was harsh.
It looked like opposite though.
Then you read it completely wrong, we mean literally, Isayama already said this.
What she said is no romance is gonna happen between there, stop looking for it. It’s the anime director that has a long known obsession with Mikasa.
Director Araki even went as far as completely deleting *budding moments* and smiles between Annie and Eren in the training flashback, all for the slightest risk of endangering his own needs.
The most recent similar situation iirc is Studio Pierrot with the Rukia/Ichigo mess.
Well, it’s obvious that there is no romance here. This is a war, and it is unlikely that Eren will think about love, as long as there is at least one titan alive. He just promised Mikasa, that he will always be on her side.
Felt like he was just pulling the dense reaction more than anything. Wants to protect her but doesn’t realize the romantic implications.
I’ll give this finale one thing over how I remember the manga: I realized it was Hannes dying and not a random soldier this time
Nooooooo never forget Hannes.
You thought it was a random solider?! =O But I think they did some flashbacks in the manga too…
Although the anime does manage to hit all the right feels (during the entire season not just this scene) compared to when I read the manga, it was just like bam bam bam, no pause or real emotional impact. Just the realization that someone died again…
That was the thing: In the manga we saw him get chomped in half then straight to Eren looking at the ground (And Mikasa looking at Eren). It happened so quick and without reaction that the fact that someone we knew from the beginning just died had went right over my head
Yeah, comparing to the manga they modified the composition of what was happening in that scene and with the other characters at the same time which made it better. Great job by the studio.
All in all a good finale for the season, given that it probably answered more questions than any other episode in this series so far. But, uh…
How the heck did Hannes block a Titan’s swipe like that, lol?
What’d you think all the booze was for?
To quote a guy better than me at this sort of things.
“Doesn’t matter, that shot is AWESOME!”
Wow. What a finale! I have to admit that I was rolling my eyes as Even repeatedly mutilated himself, despite being told exactly why he can’t transform. For perhaps the first time in the series, I simply couldn’t take the scene seriously and almost couldn’t care about Hannes’ death due to how ridiculous it all felt.
But what a comeback! Even though I felt Mikasa’s “confession” didn’t fit the situation, it still managed to draw me in just in time for the big reveal (and what a reveal it was!) We finally understand what a Coordinate is, giving some perspective on Reiner and Annie’s desperation to capture Eren. I do wonder if it’s safe to assume the Beast Titan is also a Coordinate? Seeing everytone’s shock mirror my own and their disbelief at leaving behind the immense carnage, alive, was truly a sight a behold.
The score, the animation and the high-octane, bombastic nature of the show really came together in the end. I concur with Zephyr that this season was a tad disappointing, what with the deliberately slow pace and the occasionally lacklustre (or even downright appalling) animation at times, which is inexcusable for an anime that became a high-grossing cultural phenomenon, but I’m pleased to say I did enjoy the season as a whole and am carrying massive anticipation for Season 3 (which I hear will tackle the conspiracy head on!)
So you said “…what with the deliberately slow pace”
Slow pace, huh.
Well, certainly we can always have a better & faster pace. Still a long road for SnK to reach the epic adaptation of OPM, for example, but oh, yeah… The different amount of dialogue is something to keep in mind.
Anyway, slow pace compared to… what?
NOT the first season, which has ON AVERAGE about 10 pages less per episode!
Sometimes we talked about pacing but it’s not that simple. And it’s not the same 45 pages from one series than 45 pages from another. Even those stats I told you are not objective.
The pacing doesn’t explicitly need any reference point. The most prominent example of what I meant is episode 34, which was basically Eren and Reiner yelling the same things over and over again. There was good dialogue, but much of it was padded out meaninglessly, making it feel like the whole episode could have easily been fit into 10 minutes.
Now, I’m not saying the pacing of the entire season was nearly that bad, but there were many moments that felt unnecessarily long without adding much value to the season or to us viewers, and replacing those scenes with genuine character development (as a possible example) would have worked much better.
Excuse me, Sekai, but you must to value very much THAT episode in particular (34), because what you are naming “padded out meaninglessly” is one of the main subjects in all SnK. You can say that the Reiner/Berthold/Eren dialogs in 32, 34 and 36 explain very well one of the principal mysteries of the series: Who is the real enemy? It’s totally understandable that the production have had a lot of care in portray the dialogs because they explain very well the nature of Reiner/Berthold, tragic characters that are in the middle of a situation that is bigger than them. Obviously I’m a manga reader and know very well which is the meaning behind Reiner and Berthold speeches, for example, what is the difference between been a “soldier” and been a “warrior”. Is very important and meaningful for the entire series and you will see probably explained in the next season, but in that episodes was made clear that you must to pay attention to that concepts.
And, well, if Reiner suffering split personality and resolve to stick to his guns aren’t a character development (a resolve to continue with his mission no matter what, even against his truly own feelings) I really don’t know what you can consider genuine character development.
Excuses for the bad english 🙂
Just an technical question:
So when they turn into Titans, they still keep their gear when they are in this Titans neck? i mean these “jetpacks” and “Blade” Containers, they are still there after they turn back.. Awesome
i mean, they could use this as an possibly top secret Spy action…
Mikasa’s scene was really touching, and for once Eren was properly listening lol.
If anything this season, I found out that… Bertholdt is surprisingly pathetic? I mean sure he’s in the shittiest position of being the major enemy of humanity trying to escape and couldn’t use his titan powers very often… but heck sometimes he made Eren look good
It’s a really interesting observation that, I think, goes to show how these clearly aren’t battle hardened “warriors”, but just kids put in a situation beyond their will and capabilities.
I too felt disappointed by how little ground got covered. It was, however, quite faithful to the manga. Readers would have been upset if the character-building scenes got cut out even if the exchange was for moving the story a bit more forward. I do think many scenes in pretty much every episode could have been shortened.
I think the season was too much enslaved to the idea of using every reveal as an ep-ending cliffhanger. It hurts pacing. Additionally, the staff chose to hype up and draw out scenes as if they are still shocking but really, seeing the nth nameless person getting chomped isn’t a big deal anymore. Seeing shock on someone’s frozen face isn’t an emotional moment anymore. Seeing Eren fail to transform shouldn’t eat up so much time; we’re already seen it several times and can’t be surprised anymore. Let the moment pass because we’re much more interested in the moments AFTER Eren’s failed trans.
I guess I’m suggesting that the staff seem to expect the viewers to still be new to the shock and gore of the story but no, we’ve become over-exposed and jaded. We want movement toward answers. No more of this expectation that we relish every quiet slo-mo shock moment.
Still looking forward to more.
I don’t think this is a spoiler so I’ll leave it as is – I think this whole notion of “leaving you with more questions than answers” is the only mystery that compels people to keep coming back to Shingeki no Kyojin. It’s what the whole story is based upon. And yes, it’s SO ANNOYING! It’s the only reason I couldn’t take it anymore and just proceeded to read the manga instead because it feels like we’re being dragged on and dragged. You get like a bite of the carrot and it takes another year before you even see it again.
We get an entire episode after Berholdt and Reiner reveal themselves with them up in the trees and barely any words are spoken and when they are – people stop talking and don’t elaborate. Like WHY?! Why doesn’t the author just explain the motive and reasons for their actions? There isn’t enough talking before everyone starts fighting and throwing punches – and after awhile, it does get old. Rather than feeling shocked or blown away at the end, Show Spoiler ▼
I thought “FINALLY!” rather than “OMG!” because it’s taken SO long to get there and yet, all the evidence points there. So for that scene to be the season’s last, felt very “meh” and more stating the obvious than groundbreaking. A bit disappointing but we’ll see where they take season 3. There’s definitely more talking… >_>
What volume/chapter did this season cover up to?
I know this is a standard shounen trope, but I couldn’t help feeling that the “enemies all freeze whilst the protagonists are having meaningful discussions” was played out to a ridiculous degree.
What hurts it is most people has or had an uncle like Hannes.
Am I the only one who couldn’t help but laugh a little at this scene rather than feel tense or anything? lol
dude my boy Show Spoiler ▼
finally gets to shine next season :p
I did not know this was the season finale until after watching it and reading this post.. For a season finale, it left, again, just so many cliffhangers for us viewers.. I still don’t understand how Eren is able to control other Titans. Is it that he’s a special Titan? And also why Erwin smiled at the end after finding out that Titans were humans. Even Levi was freaked out a bit.
I liked the little Historia scene and not going to lie, she was a bit of a badass. And Misaka’s scene to Eren.. I feel like somehow it was Misaka’s first time expressing her emotions like that to Eren. Now, I have to wait a whole year until the next season comes out.. Might want to read the manga until then.
I think Erwin’s gentle smile was simply his joy at coming closer to the truth; his
childlikecuriosity finally being rewarded after so many losses. It’s strange, but I think it’s also easily understandable why such a small (but incredibly significant) piece of information means so much to him.
I’m also very keen to know the answer to that, and I suspect the answers lie in Eren’s dad’s basement. Such a long wait till Season 3. 🙁
The smile to protect!
Show Spoiler ▼
Next arc is so gonna be bullied haha
The next arc after the next one is where shit gets real. Like literally the whole context will change.
So now Eren has a similar power as the beast titan, but Eren’s better since he does not need to be in titan form. How are they going to decide who controls which side of titans now?…by who screams the loudest?
To be fair, we don’t know for sure if Beast Titan necessarily needs to be in Titan form to control other Titans.
that six pack in right front of you
I may be in the minority here, but I enjoyed this season a lot more than the first half of season 1. The pacing was just so much more consistent imo. Ready for next season already!
This season really felt it was more for the mange readers than for only anime watchers.
Especially since it helped me get back on track with what is currently going in the manga. I was so lost at some point. But especially the ending and Ymir’s flashback helped me focus on placing the puzzle pieces.
Show Spoiler ▼
After they found out that Annie and Eren could transform, why didn’t they think about that probably all titans have a human core?
About this season:
It felt so lame and dragged out that I can only hope that the next season will be as good as some manga readers are saying it is.