「人類の夜明け」 (Jinrui no Yoake)
“The Dawn of Humanity”
Let’s kick off with the blatantly obvious: yes, SnK is not over, yes it’s returning again next year for a final season – and, oh yes, you damn well know that final season to the final season won’t even be the last of this story in anime. When a cash cow is found it’s milked for all it’s worth, and by hell SnK has milk yet left to give. Annoying in all the ways long-lived shounens turn out when watching week to week, but cannot fault this franchise for knowing how to keep itself going. After all, I’m effectively honour bound to cover it now.
As for actual events for this finale, we left off with a long flashback which solidified just how far back Eren’s grand plan of genocide truly went. Seeing this through the eyes of Mikasa was especially nice because it should highlight how a lot of the developments from before are more down to Eren’s own increasingly rigid thinking than any measure of crazy abilities. The Ackerman curse of loyalty? As Zeke said probably just down to love which Eren, in his future sight mind could’ve easily gotten confused with something he previously saw or experienced. No absolute guarantee mind you (something something best parts yet to come), but as Historia leaned into Eren isn’t exactly considering the thoughts and feelings of others when executing his grand plan.
Part of this too is fairly evident given Eren’s whole supposed reason for doing this: giving everyone he cares about peace of mind and happy lives. By itself such thinking is a laudable goal, god knows these kids-turned adults have suffered a bit, all distantly separated from the original sins of Eldia itself – but as we should all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions and Eren is arguably doing his utmost to prove the point. The cycle of hate doesn’t need the other side to be completely eradicated to properly end, much can be solved through discussion and accepting that certain grievances can never truly be rectified (as Armin now personifies), yet such soul searching would go against both Eren doing Eren things and SnK indulging in the over the top. This story is only going to end with bloodshed, it’s simply a matter of who must die for it to finally end.
Considering yet another season awaits us I’ll hold off the final impressions (again) until then, but suffice to say SnK is going to go about with a bang. If you thought this season was crazy best prepare yourself for what’s to come, because one way or another the real insanity has yet to begin – and when it does there’s going to be a lot to talk about. Keep those hype engines revving boys and girls, the 2010s’ biggest anime hit still has plenty left in reserve. Next year is going to be wild.