It’s time for another Attack on Titan: The Final Season double episode review!
Kicking things off, S4E21, From You, 2,000 Years Ago. This was, in all honesty, a mixed episode for me. In terms of the story, I really did enjoy what we got. The tragic backstory for Ymir combined with Eren’s resolve launched us off towards the end game nicely. The same can be said for Armin and Mikasa’s reactions as they saw hope in Eren still being their ally, only for it all to get turned around when they realised the lengths to which he was about to go. It left a real sense of Eren not really being the bad guy he seemed to be, but at the same time, becoming a different type of antagonist rather than a hero.
The thing I struggled with was the art direction for the episode. For the most part, we were given some very static faces again. They felt far less alive than they did while Studio Wit was working on the series, and the colour work was far less vibrant than the best we’ve seen this season. Some design choices – such as the lengthy section where eyes were just solid colour with shading around them and lines through it all – felt off to me. There were moments too where the animation was a little lazy, like when the horses were gently bobbing up and down rather than moving forward.
The flip side to this is that the Founding Titan looked great in both versions. Both Ymir and Eren’s take on the monster were well animated, and both held a suitable amount of menace. It feels like the animation is being focused on key moments this season, which I’m sure isn’t uncommon. The issue is, for a series that has been so consistent in previous runs, it stands out in a bad way. Credit where it’s due though, the aforementioned key moments have impact, at least.
Then came S4E22, Thaw. Now, I’m going to start with the negative here, and there really is only one: some of the animation was among the worst of the series. When the Titans started attacking and we go a shot of a group of them in the distance, clambering over the buildings, it was really bad. Similarly, some of the shots on the walls coming down were really low detail and just didn’t look right in action.
That being said, there were times the art direction of the episode really shone. Basically, anything featuring Gabi was given a lot of attention and really stood out. When the big assault against the Titans kicked into full gear too, there were moments that, while not on par with Wit Studio, were still very nicely done. That was all aided by an insert song that felt very 90s. Honestly, the song felt very unlike Attack on Titan, but somehow, was just perfect for the moment.
From a story standpoint, this was the best of the season for me so far. Everything came in short bursts that made their point without overstaying their welcome. The struggle about whether Falco should be fed to someone to bring them back, the death of Pyxis, Gabi’s beginning her quest to save Falco, and the revelation that Eren dropped all the hardening. It was really well done and felt far more like an Attack on Titan episode to me than the series has in a long time.
So, overall, this was a mixed duo of episodes, but it ended on a high, and that gives me some hope for things moving forward. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy the episodes? Let me know in the comments below.