What a journey.
Since it first graced our screens almost nine years ago, Attack on Titan has been jam-packed with thrills, suspense, agony, and the indelible moment Captain Levi showed off his mad cleaning skills.
With Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 now upon us, all of these emotions are reaching a boiling point. No better time, then, to throw fuel on the fire by reeling off some of the epic events that have brought us here. It was too hard to rank them in any particular hierarchy, so we’ve opted to present them in the order they occurred on-screen. Follow along as you give it a re-watch, and see if you agree!
You can anticipate spoilers ahead, but we will stay mum on any specific fatalities. So grab some snacks — and pray you don’t become one — as we venture past the walls and count down some of Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1’s most hype moments… so far!!
The very first episode pulls no punches, dropping us into the Battle of Fort Slava and imprinting upon our memories a sinister sight that gives us the shudders. Hope you brought an umbrella, because the forecast calls for a high chance of showers.
Where Pure Titans were once seen as nigh unstoppable behemoths, advances in technology have rendered them into more of a garish inconvenience. Powerful Anti-Titan artillery can bring the beasts to their knees, suggesting their effect in this skirmish may be minimal. The best way to combat this weakness: kinetic bombardment, which is a fancy way of saying Titans raining from the gosh darn sky, yo.
A battalion of Eldian ‘recruits’ are deployed from an aircraft and, upon hearing Zeke’s shout, morph into Titans en masse. It’s an image that is equal parts iconic and unnerving. Skydiving Titans, plummeting onto the targets below… The impact of their considerable frame is problem enough, just wait until they get to their feet and begin the feast.
Titans may not be as potent in this new era, what with all of the cannons and the explosives and the smart phones (that last one doesn’t exist yet, though you’d have to think a Titan would really struggle with those touch screens). Plant them in front of infantry soldiers in large abundance, however, and they’ll make a lasting impression.
Eren invades Liberio
Obviously this one was going to be included, as it is among the most spectacular moments in Attack on Titan’s history. Omitting it would be like having The Beatles without Ringo. Do you want an empty drum kit sitting sadly on-stage? No, of course you don’t.
After Willy Tybur has completed his rousing speech on the evils of Paradis, Eren assumes his Titan form and, more or less, proves him right. The chaos and destruction in Liberio is quite unlike anything we’d seen in the series up to this point, taking us to a morally grey area that makes us question who the true heroes and villains are.
Throughout Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1, Eren Jaeger, our former protagonist through whom we viewed the world, has shown an unshakeable apathy towards his fellow man. We were aware of his vendetta against Reiner and those who have oppressed him, but here? It’s simple townspeople getting caught up in the collateral damage. The battle lines between the Eldians and Marleyans have been drawn, definitively, in the blood of the innocents.
Whether you want to cheer for the crowning moment of Eren’s ascent from defenceless child to vengeful wraith, or recoil in horror as his virtuous crusade takes a sickening turn, you can’t help but watch it all unfold. Also, if you’re in the former camp, you may be a closeted Jaegerist. Just saying.
Eren vs the War Hammer Titan
Among the thousands of Titans roaming the lands, the Nine Titans are of particular import. As such, we’ve been hanging to see the War Hammer for quite some time, and in Final Season Part 1, at last, it made its chaotic debut.
Likely the most unique of the Nine Titans, the War Hammer’s abilities are swift and ferocious, capable of covering long distances in a flash. With its penchant for manifesting structures out of hardened flesh (which sounds super yucky when you think about it), it quickly has Eren’s straightforward offensive outmatched.
Throw in the covering fire of the Marleyan army, peppering him with shots like thousands of biting little bugs, and Eren may have bitten off more than he can chew this time. It isn’t until Mikasa and the Scout Regiment hit the scene that the balance sways back in Eldia’s favour. That isn’t to say it’s a surefire victory, with more and more combatants entering the fray and turning this into an all-out melee.
This battle shows exactly how high the stakes have been raised in the war between the nations. Where it was once as academic as fending off lumbering creatures, there are now multiple pieces in play, and even the slightest miscalculation could be devastating.
The revolution has begun
In the midst of the war against Marley, tension is rising within the walls. The civilians have become restless, many still viewing Eren’s heroics as beyond reproach. Splinter factions are inevitable, and one group of extremists are about to make their impact felt. Quite literally.
A shocking explosion at the military headquarters deals critical damage, and in the confusion, Eren Jaeger escapes captivity. It proves more than a prison break, however, marking a defiant statement that the New Eldian Empire has officially arrived.
As Eren approaches his newfound army, a look of quiet confidence on his face, we know that he has passed the point of no return. Any hope for reconciliation with his former comrades is all but disintegrated, and their next meeting will surely not be on friendly terms.
In a way, we as the viewer find ourselves determining our true allegiance, with reason to distrust anyone. Paranoia, betrayal, propaganda… It’s all whirling about in spectacular mayhem, and can even cause you to view previous seasons through a different lens — perhaps certain agendas had been set in place long before we reached this juncture.
Zeke makes a break for it
The escalating drama surrounding the Marleyan wine has brought the military to their knees. It’s not the sulphites you have to worry about, but the special ingredient: a heaping dose of Zeke’s spinal fluid.
Its presence in the bloodstream turns unsuspecting Eldians into ticking Titan time bombs, activated by a mere shriek from Zeke himself. Though lifetime stick-in-the-mud Captain Levi didn’t bother partaking of the libation himself, he soon learns just how potent it can be when he finds himself surrounded by a gang of newly formed Titans.
Of all the rivalries we’ve seen in the Attack on Titan series (Eren vs Reiner, Mikasa vs Annie, Oruo vs tongue), Zeke vs Levi is, without a doubt, the most brutal. Pitting the pragmatic, calculating Jaeger sibling against the lethal blades of Levi Ackermann is bound to end in a bloody mess, especially when the latter is motivated by malice.
There’s a sickeningly poetic level of cruelty here, underpinned by the reality that both men are simply fulfilling their duty. Neither of them revel in the notion of war, but you can be certain that they will perform acts of unrivalled violence without a moment’s hesitation. This matchup is definitely not for the fainthearted.
Weary, adept and cunning, Pieck is a fan favourite among Attack on Titan aficionados. There’s something truly relatable about her, whether it’s the compassion she shows for her allies or the fact that she always looks like she hasn’t slept in months.
When she slips into Shiganshina undetected and comes face-to-face with Eren, you cannot be exactly sure of her intentions. She professes to support the Jaegerist ideals, and considering her proficiency as the Cart Titan, her alleged defection could make for a useful acquisition.
She talks the talk, but will she walk the walk? Pressured to reveal the location of her comrades, Pieck springs a surprise attack from below, setting up a grudge match between the Jaegerist movement and the Marleyan invaders. It’s where Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 comes to an end, making for one heck of a cliffhanger that has been eating away at us the whole time!
Also, for the record? Technically speaking, Pieck did actually hold up her part of the deal, revealing the location of the invaders as requested. It just wasn’t expressed in a way that Eren appreciated at the time.
Attack on Titan has been a marvellous staple for anime fans, and we could not be more thrilled to witness the battles that lie ahead. As always, trying to narrow down the highlights is a maddening practice, and there are so many more that we didn’t get a chance to discuss here.
Such is the plight when dealing with a tour de force of animation, and it’s all right here on Funimation for you to enjoy. Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 is airing now, and make sure to check out the OADs as well for more chompy, stompy action!!