Random Curiosity

« Shingeki no Kyojin – 58

Shingeki no Kyojin – 59 (END)

「壁の向こう側」 (Kabe no Mukougawa)
“Beyond the Walls”

And with that the great adventure is over. Or at least for the next year, because you damn well knew they weren’t going to leave things off with this didn’t ya? Yes that’s right boys and girls, SnK’s recent season may have ended, but that doesn’t mean the modern anime phenomenon is over; with a season planned for fall 2020 (barring some unforeseen delay shenanigans) and some crazy material to come it’s all cylinders firing here, and this finale certainly helped reinforce the point. Walls were breached and seas were reached, but beyond into the great unknown? Oh you know the fun which awaits. There’s only so many ways to tease the upcoming good guy schism and accompanying violence after all, and with two of our main group wielding Titan power? Oh yeah, there’s plenty of drama yet to squeeze.

SnK’s grand reveal this season may have upended several years of development, but what’s to come is certain to overshadow everything up until now.

Final Impressions

SnK’s adaptation has certainly had a roller coaster ride over the years. After a frankly unprecedented mainstream start (few Japanese series can claim similar levels of international success), the franchise stumbled badly through a combination of heavy delays and lackluster sequel. Couple it with the split cour setup for its third season (and a similarly longish delay in initial airing) and you’re left with a show which doesn’t lack for impact, yet seemingly failed to capitalize on its momentum. It’s an ironic fate for such an iconic franchise, but in the face of vicious face planting SnK’s latest cour successfully did what it needed to do to help right the ship.

What helped SnK recover these past few weeks was undeniably its story. Short season or not, the movement into the meaty part of this plot meant interest from start to end, and in such a scenario a tight runtime only helps intensify the alluring suspense. Whereas before we were left dancing around the edges of grand reveals (a noticeable issue plaguing season 2 with some of its questionable scenes), this time we got them in all their glory—and the satisfaction which comes from finally learning the truth. Sure, we may not know exactly what is to come from this great paradigmatic shift, but simply knowing where we stand and the possibilities open before us is plenty more to go off of than simple “wait and see” greeting prior arcs.

Helping this aspect in particular as well is the other shift SnK made: its character focus. Unlike before with heavy emphasis on Eren and friends, we received a more “generalized” viewpoint this time around, with personal struggles and conflicts largely replaced by big picture conundrums. Make no mistake, we still got some of the issues facing the likes of Eren, Levi, and most recently Armin for example, but these took second stage to the reveal of SnK’s true state of affairs and just where each character now fits in the story. This arguably was the best thing to happen to SnK overall, because while the series has been driven by needs and wants of certain characters for revenge, understanding, or plain survival, it has always been the greater push for worldly knowledge which has defined this story. Titan fights and gorgeous tactical battles may be a treat to watch after all, but it’s the information underpinning their existence which provides logic and sustainability to the audience. Without that knowledge, without these reveals, this season simply would’ve been another visually stunning yet aggravating Ring around the Rosie with nary an answer in sight. Sometimes those infodumps (especially the well-paced variety) are just what the doctor ordered.

While SnK will never be perfect by any stretch of the imagination, this season I believe did what it needed to keep this train chugging nicely along. Nothing will top the shock and awe of SnK’s opening salvo some six years ago now (!), but if season four can match the pacing, animation, and development of this one, we are looking at one hell of a conclusion indeed. The future may not be fully known to us just yet, but SnK will definitely leave its mark on anime history, one way or another.

June 30, 2019 at 10:21 pm
21 comments »
  • July 1, 2019 at 6:26 amChris hall

  • July 1, 2019 at 1:25 pmluckyluck

    I wonder how this affects Eren. It feels like Eren as whole is thrown into a meat grinsder and what comes out of a the other side is a totally new Eren. It feels kinda cruel that Eren now also harbors even more extreme hate and vengeance that is not even his own. I hope it doesn’t break him.
    If all he has left now is hate, this doesn’t bode well for him.

    • July 1, 2019 at 2:14 pmSherris

      I wonder whether Grisha would be happy to see how Eren turned out… I mean, he’s having his wishes fulfilled…at the expense of his son’s humanity. Soon Eren will be 100% hatred and genocidal instincts, extremely corrosive, handle with caution.
      The worst anime dads – Gendoh Ikari, Van Hohenheim and Grisha Jaeger.

      • July 1, 2019 at 2:44 pmluckyluck

        Grisha’s memories are overwriting Eren’s fundamental as his own person. This is not much different than king’s will enslaving the next rulers into not acting, only differing in Eren being consumed by his father’s will into vengeful man.

      • July 1, 2019 at 4:36 pmShinji103

        I wouldn’t say Hohenheim was a bad dad.

        But either way, Franklin Bidan is easily one of the worst anime dads.

      • July 1, 2019 at 9:42 pmPancakes

        @luckyluck
        Welp that explains the foreboding atmosphere at the end and why Eren is even physically starting to look different, thanks for mentioning that!

  • July 1, 2019 at 2:16 pmSherris

    I wonder about the symbolism behind that shell…

  • July 1, 2019 at 2:57 pmGabi

    Annie still not getting any screen time

    • July 1, 2019 at 3:46 pmKhalid

      Who?

    • July 1, 2019 at 9:47 pmPancakes

      No surprise when she’s still encased in her crystal prison :P

  • July 1, 2019 at 3:46 pmKhalid

    Aside from symbolizing the world beyond the walls, I don’t know what else the shell could be alluding to.

  • July 1, 2019 at 4:02 pmstarss

    BEACH EPISOOOOOODE! What a great way to make best girl Armin’s dream come true. And we got a whole nother season to look forward to. I am following the simuldub and it’s already on par with Season 1! This has been utterly fantastic!

  • July 1, 2019 at 8:19 pmOne Pinch Man

    And season 4 has been confirmed for 2020!

  • July 1, 2019 at 9:40 pmBambi

    Can’t wait to see what the next “stage” will be, I know next season is the “last” but hopefully the story is not completed in a rush

    • July 1, 2019 at 9:49 pmPancakes

      Rushing is unlikely, the manga is also wrapping up shortly and the show’s producers are known to be in contact with the author so they know what’s coming. Only risk will be if the final season is one cour.

      • July 4, 2019 at 9:03 amRedvsBlue

        Hope Sasha is alive in the anime, because mad I’ll be piss. They can change that right? Like butterfly effect thing or whatever.

  • July 1, 2019 at 10:12 pmIncognito

    https://randomc.net/image/Shingeki%20no%20Kyojin/Shingeki%20no%20Kyojin%20-%2059%20-%20Large%2035.jpg
    A smile worth protecting.

    https://randomc.net/image/Shingeki%20no%20Kyojin/Shingeki%20no%20Kyojin%20-%2059%20-%20Large%2031.jpg
    Where the heck are the Marleyans guarding these port walls? Did they no longer keep a garrison there after Eren Kruger’s Titan rampage?

    Whew! This season was one hell of a ride! Shingeki no Kyojin has had its game-changers over the years, but I dare say this season pretty much tops the rest with Grisha’s backstory and the big reveal of the world beyond the walls. That being said, for those who can’t wait for Fall 2020, which manga chapter did this episode adapt? (Might have to switch gears to the manga and pick up from where this season left off.)

  • July 2, 2019 at 12:07 amjdiaz3

    Much of the problems could be solved using Historia in many possible ways right now.
    But I think it’s being hinted that Eren has begun to fall for her from their interactions at S3, so putting her at risk is not an option for Eren anymore.

  • July 3, 2019 at 5:09 pmAnton

    Still.. how did Grisha wrestle out the Founding Titan? Presumably a royal family member owning it has absolute control over each and every Eldrian, definitely over all titans. So how the heck could Grisha+Singeki-no-kyoujin possibly overpower that?

  • July 4, 2019 at 9:01 amObserver1

    The titan nightmare is over, a new madness will rise and begins.
    Hope Sasha is be alive in the anime :(
    U guys admit she’s funny and cute. Vote for Sasha to live :)

  • July 5, 2019 at 2:36 amReDeYeZer0

    This season hit all the expectations for me even as a manga reader. Animation was on point and story pacing with Grisha’s past was even better in the anime. Cant wait for next year. You guys are in for a treat

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