「戦鎚の巨人」 (Sentsui no Kyojin)
“The War Hammer Titan”
Now this is where the fun begins. As promised in the final moments of last episode, war is now back on SnK’s menu, and we received the first course of many to come. After all, when you’re getting the gang back together, don’t be surprised if things get a little rowdy.
Given all the trepidation about MAPPA taking over the production helm, I must admit the results aren’t that bad. Action-focused episodes—particularly SnK’s—are always the tell for animation quality, and while a drop off is undeniably noticeable compared to Wit’s earlier work, what we got here is frankly that bad. Those CGI Titans for example (Eren’s especially) look a lot better than last season’s Colossal Titan, and with blood and explosions flying every which way, a lot of the issues you’d normally expect (e.g. stilted movement, obvious CGI textures) largely blended into the background. It reminds me of Polygon’s work with Sidonia no Kishi, which given how that series was in terms of production isn’t a bad comparison to have.
In terms of plot, however, I don’t think there’ll be as many complaints. Besides the slight shock of seeing Willy Tybur deliberately choosing to be a martyr (itself not that shocking considering it retains the Tybur family’s power and status), the main eye opener was the appearance of all the old characters in their glory. Levi; Connie; Sasha; Jean; and oh yes, even Mikasa (among others), all are back and in peak Titan kicking form. Well, not entirely Titan kicking. The perceptive will start getting an idea of what’s coming down the pipeline here, as the shock of the sudden attack, the killing of soldiers and civilians both, and the subtle (yet strong) distinction over whether such action is valid and its likely fallout spreads among Marley and Paradis both. It doesn’t take much to guess what the likes of Gabi will now attempt to do after all, or how differences in opinion amongst the raiding force could turn into defined battlelines down the road. And once Eren collects yet another Titan trophy to accentuate his already impressive power (because I don’t think anyone expects the War Hammer Titan to escape this situation)? Yeah, don’t expect this train to slow down anytime soon.
This was just the opening salvo of Paradis’ plan to help secure their survival; rest assured what comes next will pour some further fuel onto the fire.