Seven years of titan-enge carnage are coming to an end this season with “Attack on Titan Final,” and for seven years the entire anime community was thrilled by the struggle to survive the small, closed area in the middle of a medieval fantasy world against the man-eating giants and the secret behind their motives. How did the new studio fare in the first episode? We found out!
Sunday, in the evening, half the country was ready to click on the big, “Play” button at Crunchyroll – time that the fourth season of “Attack on Titan” finally gets underway! But not even the streaming provider could count on this gigantic rush and the servers were paralyzed for some time – few people had the chance to enjoy the first episode without jerking.
The curiosity of the fans also had a reason: There was a lot of speculation about the actual start date of the series, the studio change from Wit to MAPPA made many people skeptical, and last but not least, the “Attack on Titan” hype was to blame for the onslaught that has haunted the series since its first season of the Spring Season 2013. Eren’s revenge story has burned into our hearts since Episode 1 – but does the anticipation live up to the actual quality of the new season? We looked at it!
What Has Happened So Far!
Full of courage, confidence, and with a sophisticated plan, Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and the entire Reconnaissance Force went into their great battle to drive the Titans out of the Shiganshina district and finally make sure that none of the monsters would ever make it to their beloved lands. After a fierce battle against countless of the man-eating giants and the victory over the dreaded Beast Titan, the squad was able to reach its goal – Wall Mary is closed and the Shiganshina district is finally safe from the Titans again!
But the victory also claimed his victims. The Beast Titan and Reiner were able to escape, the reconnaissance squad had only nine members and behind the walls an almost infinitely large salt lake was discovered, the fabled ocean. Above all, however, are the answers found in Eren’s basement: their true enemy was never the threat of the titans, but a whole plot beyond the ocean, who know a lot more about the gigantic monsters and make secret plans against the inhabitants behind the walls.
Attack On Titan Season 4 Episode 2 Release Date
The second episode of Attack On Titan Season 4 is scheduled to air on December 14, 2020. Moreover, the anime will run from October to December with around 16 episodes.
Contents of the First Episode
After such a spectacular battle, the discovery of the legendary ocean and all the answers to the true background of the Titans, the first episode of the final season does not even try to trump the tension of the third season, but greets us with a timeskip – four years in the future, to be precise. For the first time, we are not on the island of Paradis, where the humanity we know so far is hiding behind the gigantic stone walls, but on the mainland, on the front line in a war between the military nation of Marley and the Alliance of the Middle East.
In the absence of information about this timeskip and this foreign country, however, unfortunately also “Attack on Titan Final” could not shy away from a non-so-elegant story element: the first episode begins with lengthy exposition,minute-long explanations of the events that have happened on the mainland, so that the viewer does not lose the connection. But if you appreciate the show’s ingenious World Building, you won’t be bothered by it – Marley’s past and the history of the titans in this nation are interesting and ultimately worth telling the viewer.
Of course, the episode isn’t just about retellings – we’re getting to know new characters, Eldia boys and girls like Falco and Gabi, all of whom have made it their goal to inherit the powers of Reiner Braun’s Armored Titan,and not stop at almost insane ideas to defeat the enemy on the battlefield. The new characters don’t have any real depth, but depending on how the season goes, the Eldia children become new main characters who show a complexity that we already know from so many people on Paradis.
But at the heart of the plot was the action: thanks to Gabi’s sophisticated cunning, the storm on the fortress of Slava begins, and not only with foot soldiers and tanks. The reason for Marley’s military supremacy is also used, and an entire battalion of Eldia soldiers crashes out of a plane directly onto the bulwark, only to turn into powerful titans just before impact and tear down the protective walls in a wild spectacle as if they were made of paper! As an armored and animal titan, Reiner and Zeke take the lead role in the attack, and without spoiling the end: the offensive is not as successful as one might think!
In any case, the first episode manages to arouse curiosity about the whole world of “Attack on Titan”, although we can be sure that Eren and co will have their appearance again – but how to evaluate the “good” and the “evil” side is no longer so obvious.
“Attack on Titan” had a somewhat bumpy career in terms of production quality. For the TV broadcast of Season 1, both the drawings were occasionally deformed and the CGI animation was partly unfinished, and yet the then Studio Wit had to outsource about a quarter of the animation production to another studio – which is also partly understandable since the rather detailed art style of the series does not offer much space for efficient limited animation. In Seasons 2 and 3, this circumstance slowly improved, and at least from the 3D action camera rides it can now be said that the staff has now mastered this technique.
For the final season, however, Wit is now retiring and leaving studio MAPPA on stage. On the Internet, it was rumored that MAPPA was one of the last studios to dare to approach an action-packed, visually detailed series like “Attack on Titan” and therefore the anime was not under a good star. After Episode 1, we would now claim that “Attack on Titan Final” does not reach the quality of the third season, but does not look bad – on the contrary!
The 3D-animated titans are, of course, the first to catch the eye. 3D animation is considered expensive but time-saving in the anime range, and although the computer models stand out from the two-dimensional, optically high-quality backgrounds, their quality is sufficient that it doesn’t seem too disturbing – this compromise was probably the only right decision for Studio MAPPA, which, due to the elaborate action animation of “Jujutsu Kaisen” from the case Season 2020, probably had little time for “Attack on Titan”.
Thanks to Tomohiro Kishi, the character design is also slightly different from Yabuta’s previous drawings and once again forms a compromise between optical ambition and efficiency. Not only in the action sequences, but also in the quiet scenes, the characters appear “streamlined” with simplistic details on the edges, faces and clothes to facilitate animation production without losing the typical feeling we know from the previous seasons.
The director Yuichiro Hayashi, who is considered adaptable, also understands his craft and was able to offer us a production that is in no way inferior to the previous seasons – at least as far as the action is concerned. The quieter conversations did not offer any room for kitschy-dramatic camera shots, but at least as far as the action is concerned, the new director is in no way inferior to the old director Tetsuro Araki in terms of spectacle!
Perhaps the new opening, which goes in a very abstract, artistic direction and also leaves a strong negative impression of organized warfare and its victims musically, is quite different from the almost patriotic sounding songs from the previous seasons. It is definitely unusual, but it also leaves an effective impression!
Spoilers For Attack On Titan Season 4 Episode 2
Season 4 Episode 2 has been titled: “Midnight Train“.
The four-year long war between Marley and the Mid-East Allied Forces is over. However, the loss of two Marley titans shows that the era signed by the power of titans that ruled over everything is coming to an end. In order to make up for the fact that other countries are developing anti-titan weapons, Zeke Jaeger advises his military superiors about a plan.
Where to AOT Season 4 Watch Online?
Crunchyroll and VRV are streaming the anime series in its original Japanese dub with English subtitles. However, if you are currently residing in Japan then you can watch it through Netflix too. Moreover, the series will run from December 7th, 2020 to March 15th, 2021 for a total of 16 episodes.