Criticism of ‘Attack on the Titans’ (T4, Part 2): An ending that is not full of ups and downs

Almost ten years have passed since the premiere of ‘Attack the titans‘, the animated series that, based on the popular manga that it adapts, became one of the most followed anime in recent years. Throughout this journey, Eren Yeager has been unraveling the mysteries of her world while he has been facing all kinds of increasingly powerful threats. Finally, the last chapter of the second part is now available, in Spain through Crunchyroll, and with it continues a season that It was already beginning with the difficult challenge of maintaining interest after a change in the studio that animates it, from Witt Studio to MAPPA. Despite these and other inconveniences derived from the pandemic in Japan, the series has managed to maintain some of its characteristic features, although in exchange it has lost others, resulting in a final firework that is less intense and round than other previous moments in the series. .

Eren and Zeke very shocked in the final season of'Attack on Titan'

Eren and Zeke very shocked in the final season of ‘Attack on Titan’

After the trip to Marley from the first part, where we met and empathized with the enemy of the inhabitants of Paradis, it’s time to solve the dark conspiracy hatched by Eren and his true intentions. With the power of the ominous rumble under his belt, he can become a greater threat than any titan and even any war, but to do so he mustHe will have to cross all the barriers and face those who were his allies. As Paradis breaks apart under a new attack from Marley, new impossible alliances are forged, old familiar faces return and the wounds of war are finished licking.

like always only sometimes

The titans besiege Paradis in'Attack on titans'

The titans besiege Paradis in ‘Attack on titans’

After a very atypical first part of season 4, the beginning of it brings us back to the warlike character that characterizes the most frenetic episodes of ‘Attack on Titan’. Eren’s Machiavellian plans and his alliances with forces of all kinds star in a beginning that promises to return us to the purest action of this series in an epic battle. for some time it is achieved that this season has the essence of those that preceded itboth with battles such as the initial one or the one in the penultimate chapter, as well as with the huge revelations about the particular mythology of this universe. Some stellar moments that manage to hook the viewer as in the best moments of the series that, however, contrast greatly with the slowness and clumsiness of other episodes.

Because if something has always characterized this anime, it is its particular way of narrating, which has even managed to hide well the few inconsistencies that it has had in the narration. With an always accelerated rhythm and a constant use of the cliffhanger, this fiction always led its viewers to new scenarios that turned everything upside down to get them out of there abruptly and present new foci for the action that were equally interesting. A rhythm that was already hit slightly in part 1 of this season, but that in this part 2 it does so in a very remarkable way. Particularly between his last episodes, unnecessary plot detours are given, like the one given by the characters in “Pride”.

One night that is everything

Hange makes a soup in'Attack on Titan'

Hange makes a soup in ‘Attack on Titan’

This general trend does not prevent other chapters, such as “The Night of the End”, from knowing how to slow down to propose a reflection that also contrasts with the action that has fundamentally prevailed in the series, but with a tone that may even be necessary to settle some concepts. In particular, it is a chapter that exposes, through the interactions of its characters, the pacifist and humanist messages that, although they had already been pointed out more timidly before, in this new batch of chapters they become such a brazen allegation that, at times , can even become excessively repetitive.

In the same way that it exemplifies well that message that becomes more explicit throughout the season, “La noche del fin” is also perhaps the best example of the erratic direction of the visual section this season. Although it was a real challenge to tackle a chapter so based on static dialogue in an animated series, and more so in one accustomed to action, the truth is that the narrative solutions sought are so clumsy that they cannot overcome it even remotely. The transition between the differences in style between Witt Studio and MAPPA when animating could have gone unnoticed as it accompanied the change in register experienced by fiction this season, but the tight release schedules that have impoverished the visual have ended up validating the nostalgia of the first seasons. Yes indeed, MAPPA also shows that it deserves the prestige it has with episodes that exude dynamismlike the penultimate, “Traitor”.

Squeezing the characters

Despite going through the difficulties and circumstances surrounding its production, the characters continue the development started in the first part, which makes them explore their full potential. Precisely, the rushed and spectacular action of other seasons, which barely allowed their characters time to breathe, greatly conditioned the construction of some protagonists who, despite everything, managed to be interesting. The new times of the series, together with the proximity of an end that can be definitive for many of them, make explore aspects of its evolution that had barely been intuited, as in the case of Connie. In return, it is true that Relevant characters and very loved by fans, such as Captain Levi, are relegated to the background.

Levi in ​​the final season of'Attack on Titan'

Levi in ​​the final season of ‘Attack on Titan’

Who without a doubt is favored in this season is the main trio, formed by MIkasa, Eren and Armin. The three childhood friends are more interesting in this final fireworks than in all the previous chapters., when exploring dimensions and possibilities of them that, in some cases, were impossible to imagine. The most flagrant case is, obviously, that of Eren, which opens all kinds of speculation about her motivations and alliances, providing some of the most shocking surprises in anime so far. Not for nothing, ‘Attack on Titan’ replaced the enigma around the world and the monsters that devastate their Earth by the enigma of the change produced in Eren himself Already at the beginning of this fourth season.

a missed opportunity

Probably, the fans of ‘Attack on the titans’ are in this second part of the fourth season of the series giving the best of themselves, but also the worst. Some ups and downs that tarnish an anime that since its inception has stood out for the regularity in its narrative quality and impeccable rhythm, but that in this final phase of its production it begins to limp, although it continues at a high level, especially for its plot. All this to lead to a resolution that is most unexpected, especially since the hope was that there would be some resolution.

Horrified Scanning Body Part in'Attack on Titan'

Horrified Scanning Body Part in ‘Attack on Titan’

And it is that this season was always presented as the final season, this being its name in English, “The Final Season”. It was divided into parts, like the previous one, but at that time there were only two. At the beginning of these chapters, it seemed that the same thing was going to happen with this iteration, so that this second part would be the last we would see of Eren and company. However, as the chapters progressed, it was clear that the climax necessary to end the series was going to need more space than the few chapters that were left. It was speculated that it would be chosen to end with a film for its theatrical release, given the success of this formula with other anime, but finally I know has confirmed that there will be a third part of this final season, which will arrive in 2023.

The idea, which forces the scant remaining manga material to be adapted over several chapters, could enhance the rhythm problems that fiction has already shown in this, now penultimate, part. However, we don’t even know the number of those final chapters and, with a whole year of preparation, MAPPA could unleash the animating talent that has been amply demonstrated at several specific moments of this fourth season. Thus, we will have to wait to know and judge the resolution of this exciting story that he still knows how to keep the interest in his charactersdespite the fact that it begins to show symptoms of worrying problems.