OP: 「僕の戦争」 (Boku no Sensou) by Shinsei Kamattechan
「海の向こう側」 (Umi no Mukougawa)
“The Other Side of the Sea”
Admit it, you’ve been waiting. Eagerly. Every day has been a curse of patience, but the wait is now over, because SnK is here for its grand finale. Or at least the first bit, because oh yes, there’s still more yet to come after this 16-episode season finishes its run. I’m honestly shocked they’ve found a way to drag this damn series out more (read: not in the slightest), but to be fair, when you’re a fan of SnK, you’re down for whatever pops out the Titan hatch. Best prep yourselves boys and girls, we’re in for the long haul.
Right off the bat the important thing to note about this season of SnK is that entering blind or without a refresher will be very painful. Absolutely no time is wasted in recaps of last season’s battle of Shiganshima or the overall history of Eren and friends, the Wall, and why the world is as it is: from the word go it’s all un-adapted manga material and you best learn to love it because it ain’t slowing down (yes, that’s a firm recommendation to go watch the earlier stuff if you already haven’t). This episode effectively occurs four years after those previous events, with Marley—i.e. the bad guys—launching an attack against one of their many enemies and the key enemy Fort Slava using enslaved Eldians—i.e. the progenitors of Eren and company. Only major plot detail here is the anti-Titan weaponry: for the first time Marley is dealing with technology that nullifies the advantage its Eldian shock troops under Zeke (Koyasu Takehito) and Reiner (Hosoya Yoshimasa) provide. It’s a portend of things to come for Marley, and when attention returns back to Paradis and cast we’re familiar with next week (although spoiler alert, best to keep tabs on the utterly zealous Gabi; Sakura Ayane), it’ll all start making better sense.
Otherwise what we got with SnK’s return was classic whetting of the appetite. As fully expected 3D SGI will feature heavily when it comes to the battle scenes, however I have no real issue with what we’ve seen so far; compared to last season’s Colossal Titan, this is heaven and hard to really nitpick over outside the occasional rigid movement. Likewise is art; MAPPA may not be Wit, but this has been a fairly seamless transition quality-wise if I have ever seen one (and oh boy have there been some bad ones in anime history). While I’m probably not alone in disliking the OP received this time, given how damn long SnK has dragged out over the past decade, any amount of consistency should be appreciated considering we never were guaranteed to get this season (or a full adaptation) in the first place.
It’s pretty much SnK as SnK does, and one way or another, you can bet this laden train and its over the top story hasn’t even started hitting the gas.
ED: 「衝撃」 (Shougeki) by Yuko Ando