Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
And welcome back my friends to our continued coverage of the “final” season of Attack on Titan (for those unaware, the final is in quotes because it has been confirmed that the series will be continuing for one more cour sometime in 2023). We took a bit of a break in order to finish up the coverage for the spring season. Now, though, it is time to find out more.
This series of episodes focused a lot on the politics of the Island of Paradis which were happening before the invasion of Marley, both internal and external. The military retains a large degree of power, by which I mean pretty much all of it. Zachary is still large and in charge, and the major generals, including Pyxis, are also making a lot of decisions. On top of that, it is shown that the nation of Hizuri, Paradis’ sole ally and the place from which Mikasa is a descendent, is primarily interested in Paradis for its natural resources.
As a side note, I also want to talk about the incredibly smart commentary which is happening in its external political affairs. If the traditional Japanese art and the name Lady Azumabito were not obvious enough, Hizuri seems to be a stand-in for Japan. Historically, when it comes to economic policy and foreign relations, Japan has often been incredibly self-interested, even to the point of being fairly amoral. This can be seen even in recent history in its decisions to engage in business with African dictatorships. While this is not particularly relevant to the overall story, at least not yet, it is a smart bit of world-building that is worth pointing out.
Meanwhile, after a mostly successful invasion, Eren is locked up for going out on his own. However, the mission also cost the life of Sasha at the hands of Gabi and Falco who snuck on board the ship and are consequently locked up. This causes a lot of distrust even among his close friends, the most centered of which are Conny, Jean, Armin, and Mikasa.
The show also gets around to explaining why Eren ventured out on his own in the first place, the most likely reason for which is Yelena. Yelena is the leader of an anti-Marleyian force that hid inside the military and ends up siding with the people of Paradis. Yelena’s character is interesting for a number of reasons. First, her motives at this point seem to be unclear, but the show does draw an interesting parallel between herself and the anti-military uprising which is happening among the people of Paradis.
Because of this uprising, Eren is seen as a leader in his own political faction. Near the end of episode 71, Eren breaks free from prison and causes all hell to break out while the military looks to keep him from speaking with Zeke. The “Jaegerists,” as they have been dubbed, are looking to support Eren in any way they can.
Gabi and Falco’s journey during this time ends up being a lot more philosophically involved. After coincidentally being taken in by Sasha’s parents, they agree to lay low for a while. Yet, one of the other orphans, the girl who was saved by Sasha during season two, sees through them pretty easily. As she tells the story of her mother dying at the hand of a titan, questions of generational guilt arise: Are the Eldians who are long removed from the horrors of their ancestors still responsible for those actions? What sort of punishments do they deserve? Much like in reality, though, these questions are not so easily answered, and Gabi, stunned by her inability to see the people of Paradis as anything other than devils, is left speechless.
The final episode ends with a shot of a stranger reading a newspaper, who is revealed to be Pieck before the credits roll. This seems to confirm what the Marleyian officers were planning, which is to attack Paradis before they are ready, rather than waiting for a worldwide invasion. This, of course, complicates an already tense situation and may result in more lives being lost.
At this point, though, only time will tell.
We’re a little less than halfway through what is out of the final season, and wow this has been a lot of fun. Have you seen all of Attack on Titan at this point? What are your (spoiler-free) thoughts? Let me know down in the comments.
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