Header Ads

Attack On Titan [Season 3, Part 1] (2018)

When Attack On Titan first arrived on the scene back in 2013 it made quite an impact. With its intense atmosphere and blistering set-pieces it was like nothing else the anime world had ever seen. By the time the second season arrived in 2017 it had a lot to live up to. After such a long wait, the shorter sophomore season was arguably a bit of a disappointment and didn't seem to get nearly as much attention as the debut series.

The third season returned to a full 22 episodes, with a split run with 12 episodes running in 2018 (contained in this release) and the concluding half running in the first half of 2019. But does season three see a return to form for Attack On Titan?

That's an interesting question to answer as this third season is really quite different from the earlier seasons. When the show started out, viewers felt they quickly got a handle on what it was. But from the moment that the revelation came that some humans ("shifters") could transform into Titans, the seed was planted for it to become a different type of show. Questions were posed, but were put aside to deal with more pressing issues (such as Titan attacks). The second season added more questions, provided few answers and felt mainly like it was treading water. But in this first half of the third season more is finally answered, as the truth behind the Titans begins to be revealed.

It all also ties into political machinations featuring forces within the government too. Every good horror fan knows that in any zombie or monster film, the real threat is just as likely to come from other humans and the beasties themselves. Similarly, for much of this volume the Titans take a backseat as Eren and friends find themselves fighting other humans for the first time.

These action scenes are just as tense and well executed as any Titan attack, as the
is forced to fight for their lives. With betrayals, coups and revelations galore, the half season is full of as many twists and turns as some series three times its length. The mystery of how the world the series takes place in came to be is finally beginning to be revealed.

These episodes introduce a number of new characters, the most memorable of which is a figure from Levi's past with the unlikely name of Kenny. Nicknamed Kenny The Ripper, he cuts quite the figure with his cowboy hat and swagger. In fact, he almost seems to have wandered in from another, less self-serious anime series.

With all the politicking, plotting and backstabbing going on, it can seem that much of the original cast has been sidelined. Eren spends much of the time as a damsel in distress come plot-device, Armin has little screentime and Mikasa has barely had anything much to do since the first season.

The change of direction will not be for everyone, but with the original set-up in danger of running out of steam it seems like a smart move. The action sequences featuring human on human combat are executed by Wit Studio with a similar panache and intensity to the Titan attacks. And even though they are fewer, it's not like this doesn't have some pretty spectacular Titan setpieces too.

The animation continues to be consistent- solid not spectacular, with only some slightly subpar CG occasionally letting it down.

The series is also fairly atypical in its consistently serious tone. Unlike most anime, the sombre moments are rarely balanced out by lighter touches like humour or romance. One sequence, where the squad enjoy a feast before a dangerous mission stands out in that offers some life relief in a series where its in short supply.

As a series that has raised so many questions, it feels good to finally be getting some answers. Of course, those answers won't please everyone, and there will be some viewers disappointed with the change of direction. Personally though, I was just happy to go along with it and found it to be if not quite on a par with the first season, not a long way off either. And it'll leave you on the edge of the seat dying to know where the story will go next.

FORMAT: DVD/ Blu-Ray/Digital/Streaming  FROM: Manga Entertainment/Funimation RATING 15/TV-MA RUNNING TIME : 12  Episodes

IN A NUTSHELL: Full of intrigue, action and revelations galore, Attack On Titan shifts gears in style.