Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 1 concludes this week with a cliffhanger as Marley begins its attack on Paradise Island. This episode turns on the engine of the hype train to full power by teasing us a climactic battle between the Warriors and Paradise Island. This along with the announcement of Part 2 in Winter 2022 has gotten fans absolutely brimming with excitement for what comes next. Overall, this episode was a near-perfect way of ending this half of the season and preparing us for the next. This review will contain spoilers so read at your own risk.
For about 5 minutes, I was actually fooled into thinking that Pieck had actually betrayed Marley and joined the Scouts. They did a very good job at making it believable that Pieck would actually join their side. That talk she gave to Gabi where she said Marley would never accept them makes a lot of sense. Once their Titans were no longer usable, Marley would probably just k*ll them all so it’s understandable why she would switch sides. They also have both the Founding Titan and the Rumbling, so it’s a safe bet that they could win a war against Marley. Also since Zeke betrayed Marley, it’s certainly not a stretch that other Warriors would do the same.
However, what raised my suspicions was that this character transformation was never shown to us. I was certain that it wasn’t because of bad writing since, unlike another show this season, Season 4 has taken the time and effort to develop its characters. This had me on the edge of my seat as I searched each scene to see if there were any clues to what was really going on. You could just feel the tension in each scene with Pieck and the Jeagerists as you never know what could happen next.
The Last Attack Begins
The truth is finally revealed in one of the best scenes this season. Pieck’s true colors are revealed as Porco a*tacks Eren while a group of airships (With Reiner onboard) appear signaling the beginning of Marley’s invasion of Paradise Island. In the end, we are teased at a final battle between Marley and Paradise Island.
I just cannot express how epic this final scene was. From the tension that had been built up during this episode that finally explodes. Pieck’s awesome one-liner of “there” as she points at the “enemy” and Eren’s “Reiner” as he looks at the descending airships. The presence of all the titan shifters ready for battle. The epic soundtrack that plays in the background And, I’m not sure if this is exactly 2D animated but the Titans here look significantly better than they did in previous episodes. I also just love the attention to detail and foreshadowing. In the scene where Pieck says “Hi, there” to a group of soldiers you can spot Porco among them. After 4 seasons and 70 plus episodes, I’m still surprised that this series can consistently continue to come up with ways to blow me away with how epic and hype-inducing moments that rival anything I’ve ever seen on screen.
This was also the perfect way to cap off part 1 of this season. At the pace they were going with the story, it was clear that they would never be able to finish it. It was best that they leave things at a cliffhanger to hype up the audience. Leave a good impression on them so they are excited for the next part which this episode certainly did. I personally was so pumped by that ending and eagerly looking forward to how this story will finally conclude.
For some tangential points, we finally get to see Ymir for the first time in the anime in Zeke’s vision while wounded. I was expecting to see more of her in this season since she plays such a large role in the manga. She and all of her scenes are definitely some of the things I’m looking forward to in the future.
We also get to figure out what Zeke’s plan is, which is to stop Eldians from having children to wipe out Titans in the future. This series has never failed to surprise me by having the guts to tackle such dark and controversial topics especially in a time where pol*tical correctness dominates the media. This is seen in the scene where the Jeagerists are using the same armband system used against the Eldians on the surrendered military personnel. This show has progressively become bleaker and more depressing and this trend won’t seem to end in the future.
Part 2 Confirmed
Speaking of the future, the recent announcement of part 2 for Season 4 is one that I’m very excited about. We knew there was going to be some sort of sequel for Season 4 since there are still a lot of manga chapters left but it was never confirmed and in what form it would be. The confirmation of part 2 is such a great one for multiple reasons. First, it shows a commitment by the staff to finish the story. After following this series for 8 years it would be very disappointing if they left such a great anime in an incomplete state.
Second, it gives the studio more time to work on the show. Despite the praise I’ve given this season I will admit that it has several problems rooted in the lack of time given to MAPPA such as the weird animations. Hopefully, they’ll have enough time now to deliver their best next year. After that banger of a cliffhanger at the end, I simply don’t have the patience to wait for a year to watch this show again. If this is the quality of a “rushed” production then I’m so hyped to see what they’ll make with the time they have now.
To conclude, this episode provided a great ending to an excellent show. Despite some flaws, Season 4, from beginning to end, was fantastic with a compelling conflict, well-written story, and characters, amazing soundtrack, and epic action setpieces. It got me to tune in every week to watch the latest episode as early as possible for 4 months straight, something that very few anime have done to me. It is one of the best shows of this season and deserving of all the praise that it has received from fans and critics alike. I eagerly await to see the conclusion of this story and am confident that MAPPA can do this anime justice based on what they have done here. Sinzou wo Sasageyo and farewell for now.