I may have already been emotional from just watching Demon Slayer before this, but BOY was I emotional all throughout this episode. This episode felt so reminiscent of the first season with how it was presented with the characters having to fight titans again. However, the circumstances couldn’t be any more different with the fact that they KNOW who the titans are, making it all the more personal and painful. While it felt like not too much progressed in the overall plot, there were several character plots that were highlighted.

I think out of everyone, Reiner definitely knew Eren the best out of everyone. Or at least how far he would take things. No one else, not even Armin or Mikasa, though they may have seen the hints but chose to ignore it. “Because you’re important to me. More than anyone else” sure rings a lot different after seeing just how far he’d go to preserve that. Reiner seemed to have a very good grasp on Eren’s character since season 2 and would constantly repeat the phrase of how he was the worst person the coordinate could have fallen to. And he was completely right with how things are going currently. Reiner already suffers from a tremendous amount of guilt and the fact that he once again failed to stop Eren must have absolutely crushed him. Especially when not stopping him now meant that his family back at home were now in danger of being wiped out. Ugh… Reiner’s life is just suffering… I just want him to find happiness. T^T

Speaking of wanting a character to be happy, that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for poor guy Connie. Ever since his entire village was turned into titans, the guy’s life has just been a living hell. Not to say everyone else’s lives weren’t hell, but it just seemed like the constant losses Connie experienced just broke him more and more. The tipping scale being Sasha’s death and the final straw of having Yelena’s group having gone behind their backs and slipped the higher ups with Zeke’s spinal fluid. I can’t imagine the pain he must feel having to visit his mom as a titan for the past four years. She’s there, but he can’t do anything to help her. The sheer amount of helplessness he must be feeling now is probably overwhelming. So I can hardly blame him for seeing Falco as the opportunity to bring back his mom and get back a semblance of hope. I really do feel for him, but sacrificing someone like Falco to bring back his mom… we may not know much about Connie’s mom, but I don’t think she’d be someone who would be happy to have had a child sacrificed to save her.

The way this episode was depicted, it felt like an episode out of the first season. Especially with them using the old maneuver gear again. And then they used an old track from the previous seasons as well, just hitting us with nostalgia on all angles. Not to mention the way that they started the attack on their comrades turned titans, felt reminiscent of that time Marco and Armin lead the plan on defeating the titans at the refill station all the way back in season 1. And man… Shadis coming in like that (music an all) just hit so hard. These ungrateful cadets were the ones to beat him bloody just to prove themselves to the yeagerists all the while bad mouthing him since they didn’t believe fighting titans were a thing anymore. Yet Shadis didn’t blame them and came to rescue them. He proved them oh so wrong and it was glorious. There were so many callbacks to the previous seasons as if saying, what happened then isn’t forgotten and it is what pushed them to be where they are right now for better or for worse. They weren’t discrediting anything that is “outdated” and that those things have their time and place. And that’s one of the reasons why this series is just amazing. Everything comes back around in one form or another. Nothing is a waste.

And while I do think that WIT did a better job animating the maneuver gear, MAPPA did an okay job at doing it. Their forte is definitely more in animating hand to hand combat and natural character movement. Like with what they did with Grisha’s mental breakdown scene.

Just seeing characters we’ve grown to love just be mindless titans was hard to watch. For me, Niles becoming a titan hit the hardest because I just really came to love his character growth. Despite him being a side character, I appreciated how Erwin was the one to spur him into action instead of just doing as he’s told. In a way, a piece of Erwin was left to Niles so the fact that he was done so dirty by being given Zeke’s spinal fluid stung. Pixis was also extremely hard hitting, especially for Armin and the others. Pixis was probably one of the first adult characters that the fanbase came to love, especially with him taking the risk to use Eren to seal up the hole in Trost. He was also the one to inspire both Armin and Eren during that whole ordeal. He was a constant source of support through out the series and it was hard to see him go.

I’ve said it once, but I’ll say it again, I think through out my watch of this final season, I’ve come to really appreciate Gabi as a character. Her story and development has just been so good. She has fully come to terms with the fact that the people of Paradis are not “devils” and even realizes that SHE’S the one fitting of a “devil” with everything she’s done. She even realizes that everything she did was just to earn praise. This is such a huge turnaround for her especially with how stubborn she was about the whole thing. To turn your back on your initial beliefs is a tremendously hard thing to do and I have to commend Gabi for realizing that what she did and thought were wrong up until this point. And this development probably would have never happened if not for Sasha’s family. While I still don’t like the fact that a character had to die for someone else’s development, I feel like Gabi’s story was important to show just how the cycle of hatred continues and also how it can be stopped.

After saving her so many times, only to end up wanting to kill her, Kaya ended up being saved by Gabi in a situation that mirrored how Sasha saved her all those years ago even shown with how she ended up seeing Sasha in her. The callbacks in this episode… they sure knew where to hit us. Even after knowing Gabi had killed their daughter, Sasha’s parents still went above and beyond to protect her. Even Kaya ended up being the one to lead the charge in protecting her, which hit all the harder since she was the one who didn’t forgive Gabi for what she did in their last encounter. There isn’t one particular group that is a “devil” everyone is capable of becoming one. I love how it’s Nicolo to bring back Mr. Braus’ words of “keeping them out of the forest.” And that’s just what Sasha’s parents did for Gabi. They helped bring her out of the “forest” with their love and kindness and not blaming her for being the one to kill Sasha. They knew the bigger picture and in the end didn’t succumb to blaming her in hatred. I really like how it was Gabi, Nicolo and Kaya who were talking about this since it was those three that had succumbed to hatred earlier in the season. It felt so poetic for them to acknowledge the “devils” inside of them.

And with all that out of the way… MY GIRL IS FINALLY BACK. I think everyone was waiting for when Annie would come back after she crystallized herself all the way back in season 1. Though I am still a little annoyed that the opening gave it away that she was going to appear again. But I guess you can chalk it up to we all probably knew she’d come into play eventually since they brought her up multiple times in the first part of the Final Season. Not to mention that her dad of all people was shown at the start of the episode reacting to Eren’s mental message. So I think one could theorize that Annie had to somehow be involved in some form or another in this episode. I cheered pretty hard when it was revealed in the manga that she was released from the hardening. You all aren’t ready for what will happen with her! I always really liked Annie as a character even if we didn’t get that much time with her. There was always this sense of intrigue towards her and I wish we got to know her more. It makes me wish we had more time with them as cadets so we can really see just how they interacted with each other more. Though I guess there are OVA’s depicting their time as cadets that do lend us a little more of their time together.

Speaking of which, Berry and I just recently watched the OVA where it focuses on Annie and it definitely gave us a little more on Annie as a character and her current headspace. I definitely recommend watching the OVA’s dedicated to Annie if you want a little more of her and just feeling nostalgic of seeing the WIT style again because boy do I miss that artstyle.

This episode felt so nostalgic in both the best and worst ways possible and I absolutely loved it. Sure it didn’t really move the plot along too much, but there were just so many different insights on a lot of the characters that it didn’t feel like a waste of time. The only thing that bothered me was just how dark a lot of the scenes were that made it hard to see even with my brightness turned up all the way. But that’s just a nitpick. Overall, I really appreciate this episode and with everything that’s been put into place, things are going to get even more exciting if they weren’t already.


A passionate yet somewhat awkward individual who just wants to talk about anime