I was pretty speechless for more than an hour before I could start writing this.
If I recall correctly, the last time I was this excited for a release was for part 1 of AOT: The Final Season, and for Jujutsu Kaisen. I waited and waited and searched and searched for a functioning link I could watch the episode on. It was crazy because I’d never gone out of my way to watch an anime before, but it was also very refreshing. I’d never seen myself this desperate, nor have I seen myself look forward to something so intensely.
This time, however, I’d made a bit of a fool of myself. I got the dates wrong. I’ll be forever confused about how it happened, but it did, and we’re moving past. I was a day early for this release, so I spent all my energy all night waiting for this episode to come out. It was hilarious. This is why I think when today finally came, I decided I’d take it easy. I just waited for the episode to come to me. (Thank you to my friend for eventually giving me the link, I know you’re reading this and I’m very happy you decided to not binge this time.)
I didn’t wait too long for the episode, but I still got bored while waiting for it. The opening was already out, and I wanted to listen to it as I watched the anime, but I gave in. The opening is called “The Rumbling” and was performed by heavy metal band SiM. SiM is a band I’ve listened to only once because of a fan-made Chainsaw Man opening, but I LOVED their vibe. I’d already heard that they were behind the new OP, and I was naturally curious. After Boku no Sensou, I felt we’d get something similar for part 2 of AOT: The Final Season, but I was very wrong.
I love this OP and I can’t wait to listen to the full version. It was incredibly surprising for sure. I had a lot of inhibitions about the new OP, but “The Rumbling” really managed to stand its ground. I’m so happy that it is what it is, because, one, I love heavy metal, and two, I think it goes so well with the general theme of the season. The opening is a wonderful build-up to what is coming – The Rumbling – which is why I enjoyed it so much. The anticipation of the season and maybe even Eren’s side were well expressed and really, what more can you ask for from an opening? I just wish the visual aspect of it was more obscure and covered in suspense, like in Part 1. Or maybe a more artistic route was something I would’ve preferred. Nonetheless, I felt the intensity of the season, and I was there for it.
I still can’t tell if I’ve processed everything or not. I don’t have any complaints at all over the animation, once again. It was spectacular and felt like a genuine treat to watch. The episode felt even sharper in fact, and I felt the anger and desperation of the characters from their expressions. Hearing everyone’s voices made me feel so happy, even if the episode started with “Levi’s death.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t all ‘good vibes’ from here.
Magic and Mystery
Zeke was somehow magically, (quite literally) revived. He was on some path, with this shiny ghost-like girl, who was probably experiencing her first time at the beach.
This made me think about the preview poster and the ending of AOT: The Final Season. I sincerely hope this war doesn’t come to an end because of some sort of divine intervention, or some fantasy being. Obviously, the ‘Titan’ aspect of the series is not rooted in reality, but so much of the story otherwise is a solid reflection of our society. I’d like a more believable or acceptable ending if not “the best”. I’ve seen way too many comments about how disappointing the ending was, and I’m trying not to let that affect me, but I’m not going to lie when I say I’ve already lowered my expectations by a lot.
The next thing I want to talk about is why Eren chose to fight when he was incredibly outnumbered. He even felt Reiner was pulling a stunt by going so far. Unless we’re getting “The Rumbling” in the next episode, I don’t understand his basis for ignoring Yelena’s warning. Was he counting on his friends to help out? Did he have something else up his sleeve apart from ‘The Rumbling’? Or was it simply a matter of not backing down from a challenge? It wouldn’t have taken Eren too long to figure out that the Marley’s motives were to not let him and Zeke meet and to eat him and not the founding titan. So why’d he accept the challenge instead of trying to meet Zeke and I don’t know, tag-team them?
Finally, Armin. We all know he’s the softest boy, but I felt he was naive in this episode. He has far too much faith in a far more pressing time than mine, and I’m not sure if I should applaud him or call him a fool for it. I can see why he’d believe Onyakopon’s explanation, but to try and defend Eren and his schemes is a whole other thing. However, if it does turn out to be exactly as Armin believes, then my next question would be: Was the bad guy act the only way? Because Eren has caused a lot more damage than he has in his progression, so this plan of his does warrant this question.
This is pretty much all I have to say about this episode. I’ll comment on the ending theme in the next episode, after giving it a few more listens. I like the lyrics so far though! As for any predictions I have none, which I feel will be my state for most episodes this season. I can tell you this though.
The pain of having to wait for a whole week for the next episode is particularly excruciating this time around.
See you on the next episode of AOT: The Final Season! Keep track of this series here.