The second part of the final season of Attack on Titan continued with episode 18, ‘Sneak Attack’. I’m keeping this one as some quick-fire thoughts. I feel like that works better than full reviews for this season so far. So, let’s dive in.
Here’s the thing, a lot of what I said in last week’s review holds true here. The soundtrack continues to be phenomenal, and the animation at its best is really nice. This primarily extends to the titan battles again, with the human-on-human violence getting a little less attention in terms of quality. The bigger issue for me though was that the humans themselves had a mixed bag of things this week. Like, when the now released regulars stopped on the stairs it felt like they did just that: the animation stopped. Nobody changed position, nobody breathed, they just froze in an unnatural manner. And that scene with Yelena…I’m really not sure what her face was supposed to represent.
These things aside though, the story continues to be fun. This week was really a lesson in determination led by faith in oneself. Reiner, Galliard, and Pieck would not keep getting up and struggling against Eren if they didn’t believe that what they were doing is right. That belief that their cause is just is a major driving force for them. In particular, that applies to Reiner, who despite knowing there aren’t really any devils on the island, pushes on relentlessly to keep Eren from achieving his goal.
On the other side of the battle, Eren too is clearly very determined when it comes to his plan. He won’t stay down, and he walked towards Zeke with clear purpose as the episode nears its climax. His friends too, after some rousing words from Armin, stood by him and had some faith that Eren is still the same guy they knew and trusted. To that end, they were willing to fight alongside a group that they view as enemies, placing their faith in the greater good.
The episode is also reliant on the truth coming out, at least when it comes to the kids. Gabi is forced to acknowledge that the island dwellers are not the menace that she was raised to believe they were. There’s just no way around it for her now; she may have been stubborn in her beliefs before, but stubbornness is a fragile thing. Meanwhile, Falco is potentially staring death in the face and decided to be honest about his feelings for Gabi.
In a way, I miss the simple nature of the older seasons. Humans struggling against mysterious giant monsters held some appeal, and the visual style of those seasons made it all the more enjoyable. At the same time though, the way the current season relies on basic human traits is differently enjoyable, and it feels like the season will reach a satisfactory conclusion.
Next week, the battle will clearly continue. Since my predictions for this week were wrong, I’m going to try again here. Eren eats another titan. I have a feeling it may be either Zeke or a returning Female Titan. We’ll see if I’m right.