Attack on Titan: The Final Chapter Part 1 marks the beginning of the end of one of the most captivating works in recent years.
The Beginning of the End
The proverb “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves” is the simplest way to describe the tragedy of Eren Yeager. Once a hero who vowed to protect humanity, he has become a manifestation of the very thing he loath. All to protect the ones he loves. But is it worth it if those he cared about reject his actions?
This is what you’re left with thinking about by the end of Attack on Titan: The Final Chapter (Part 1). It’s a story of the effects revenge has on those around you, the cost of keeping the flames of hate burning, and the need to end the cycle it fuels. While only the first half of the end, it already will take an emotional toll on you.
It should be noted that I’m mostly anime only (I’ve read some of the manga). Hence this review will not be comparing The Final Chapter with the manga. Instead, my critique will be based on the anime adaptations’ own merit.
Fear the Rumbling
Starting right where The Final Season Pt. 2 ended, we witness the horrors of the Rumbling as cities and towns are reduced to nothingness, and people from all walks of life face a gruesome demise. This is Hajime Isayama’s way of conveying to fans that the Eren Yeager they once cheered for at the start of the series is no more. In his place stands a monster consumed with nothing but uncontested power and raw hatred.
The only hope to stop Eren is for his former comrades to work with the Marley Warriors (made up of Reiner and Pieck). A task that will not be easy for Mikasa, Armin, Jean, and Connie given their history. Making matters worse is that time is not on their side as a hoard of Colossal Titans is making their way to their location.
A State of Collapse and Chaos
Part 1 of The Final Chapter most impactful moment is when it showcases the Rumbeling. We witness firsthand the carnage and horror inflicted upon the world by Eren’s lust for revenge. Entire towns and cities are reduced to barren wastelands. We watch as innocent people, both Marleyan and Eldian, suffer horrendous deaths. This moment wants to deliver a powerful message about the devastating consequences of unchecked hatred. It succeeds in doing so.
At its core, Attack on Titan serves as a metaphor for the geopolitical landscape of the modern age, conveyed through the tragedy of Eren Jeager. Like our reality, this world is characterized by a history defined by an unending cycle of war and hatred, which has led to a desperate call for genocide under the guise of survival. It’s during The Final Chapter this cycle reaches an unprecedented extreme. At its center is an idealist who was once curious about the outside world, only to be transformed by his thirst for revenge and the atrocities of war.
In contrast to Eren’s thirst for vengeance, his former family, friends, and allies serve as a foil, banding together with their former enemies to put an end to the cycle of violence. The focus of the story is not solely on Eren, but rather on everyone who has been affected by his actions. Although their alliance is initially uneasy, the events of The Final Season Pt.2 brought them closer together. While forgiveness remains a point of contention, their top priority is to stop the Rumbling.
This serves as a testament to the overall series’ ability to succinctly portray the struggles and horrors faced by individuals in a complex geopolitical landscape. It highlights the humanity at the core of these struggles, showcasing the individuals who take center stage amidst the chaos.
The Last Stand
Attack on Titan: The Final Chapter will undoubtedly be one of the most unforgettable anime of the year. However it does have one flaw, the abrupt ending in the middle of the climactic battle. It feels off and undermines much of the tension that had been building. Instead of allowing for a moment of uncertainty or a glimmer of hope, the story immediately launches into action before coming to an abrupt halt. Fortunately, this flaw is relatively minor and can be overlooked in light of the series’ many strengths.
This is the End
The Final Season Pt. 1 marked a significant departure from the series’ beginnings, while also laying the groundwork for its conclusion. The Final Season Pt. 2 served as the long-awaited payoff for fans. The Final Chapter Part 1 has effectively set the stage for the series’ conclusion, which promises to be both challenging and satisfying. Although the wait may be difficult, its legacy has already been firmly established.
Attack on Titan: The Final Chapter Part 1 marks the beginning of the end of one of the most captivating works in recent years. Both Eren and our beloved heroes we have come to admire are at a point of no return. With the foundation set for the grand finale, this is a series that promises to end not with a whimper but with a bang.
Disclaimer: I watched it on Crunchyroll, which I pay for myself.
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Attack on Titan: The Final Chapter (Part 1)
- The Rumbeling showcases the devastating consequences of unchecked hatred.
- Thought provoking metaphor for the modern geopolitical landscape.
- Emotionally driven story with complex themes.
- Proper foundation for an unforgettable ending.
- Sudden ending undermines the build-up.