“I’m humanity’s biggest enemy. Got it?”
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Military, Shounen, Fantasy
- Airing Date : July 2018 – October 2018
- Studios : Wit Studio
Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3, 1st Cour Introduction
Attack on Titan Season 3, 1st Cour diverts its attention away from the battle between humanity and titans and turns its focus on the internal politics within the walls. After Pastor Nick is murdered by the Military Police, Commander Erwin is arrested, and many Survey Corps members are killed in a conspiracy to kidnap Eren Yaeger and Historia Reiss, it becomes clear that titans aren’t humanity’s only enemies. The Survey Corps become fugitives and are forced to engage in a race against time to rescue Eren and Historia as well as prevent the execution of Erwin.
It turns out that Historia and Eren were kidnapped by Historia’s father, Rod Reiss. Historia rejects her father’s proposal that she eat Eren to take back the powers Eren’s father stole so she can protect humanity and saves him instead, declaring herself humanity’s enemy. This causes her father to take a serum that transforms him into an enormous and uncontrollable titan bent on attacking the walls. After the Survey Corps manage to reveal the conspiracy behind the fraudulent royal family currently in charge, they save Eren and Historia, kill Rod Reiss, and make Historia the new queen. Now, humanity can turn its attention to reclaiming Wall Maria and continuing their war against titans.
1. Humans vs. Humans
The change of conflict from humanity against titans to humanity against humanity is a welcome change of pace for Attack on Titan. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that humanity was its own worst enemy all along. Characters like Armin, Jean, and the other Survey Corps members having to contend with killing other humans presented an interesting moral quandary since they had only taken the lives of titans up to that point. Furthermore, the increasing political conflict and mystery offered up a different sort of conflict than the straightforward one of overcoming titans we had before. All of this served to shake up a story that could have become somewhat stagnant if it hadn’t shaken up the formula.
2. The Animation
One of the reasons Attack on Titan rose to prominence was because of its animation when Survey Corps members would zip through the air battling titans. This season, we see the Military Police’s Interior Squad as the gun-wielding antagonist battle in the air against the Survey Corps’ titan-slaying blades. This makes for some incredibly hectic and brutal battles that stand out from the fights we’re used to seeing but still maintains the slick and frenetic feel of earlier seasons. Once again, Attack on Titan does not cut corners and becomes a worthwhile watch for the fights alone.
3. Fleshed Out History
Attack on Titan Season 3, 1st Cour uncovers a lot of the events that have led up to the start of the show. We learn about Historia, Levi, and Erwin’s origins and come to understand what motivates and drives them to live the life they currently live. Furthermore, we uncover how Eren got his powers as a titan and find out that he isn’t any more special than anyone else in the Survey Corps. This fleshed out history removes some of the mystery that shrouded Attack on Titan up to that point, but still left quite a bit to be learned going forward.
1. Eren’s Angst
It’s almost to be expected that a shounen will feature a moment of angst and heavy self-criticism from its hero and Attack on Titan upheld that tradition, but that doesn’t mean it’s a pleasant sight. After discovering that Eren’s powers came from his father’s meddling, he has a mental breakdown when he realizes that means he isn’t special. Thanks to the help of other Survey Corps members, we’ve passed Eren’s existential crisis, and we’re hopeful we’ll be seeing him be a lot more confident and steadfast in his convictions.
2. Armin and Mikasa Fall to the Wayside
While we’re grateful for Attack on Titan giving a bit more spotlight to underdeveloped characters, that unfortunately meant that Armin and Mikasa fell to the background so far in the season. In fact, Eren could be included in this as well since he spent most of season 3 in chains while Historia learned about her past. Nevertheless, by the end of the 1st Cour, the trio that started our Attack on Titan journey were reunited and are certain to become the stars of the show for the 2nd Cour.
Attack on Titan Season 3, 1st Cour takes risks by taking the attention away from Eren, Armin, Mikasa, and the Titans, and putting its focus on fleshing out the background of many secondary characters and a conflict within humanity. Although it’s unfortunate that the main trio takes a backseat, the conflict is a welcome change of pace and freshens up both the plot and provides us with more gorgeous battles. Furthermore, a lot of the questions we’ve had building up between the first two seasons are finally answered in the 1st Cour, and we can’t wait to see how the 2nd Cour plays out.