It’s finally back. After 6 months off, the 2nd cour is here for Attack on Titan, and well … all I can say is, it’s gonna be fun. If the last cour bored you with all the politics and backstories of characters you don’t care about, and all you wanted was ass-kicking Titan fights, don’t worry. This arc is going to have a ton of it, and then some. The Battle of Shiganshina arc is finally here, as we are finally going see what is in that basement (for anime-only people). That will come soon, but for now, let the battle commence.
After a quick recap of what has happened through the whole show and all, we get the OP, and it’s the return of Linked Horizon once more.
— 諸星きらり (@Kirari_star) April 28, 2019
Now, this is just my opinion, and I do like Linked Horizon songs a lot, but… this is their weakest opening, and I honestly liked their ED in the 1st cour better than this one. Maybe I will grow to like it in the future like other songs (I thought the new JoJo OP was merely okay at first, and now I can’t stop listening to it), but right now, their other AoT OPs are way better than this one.
Moving on, the Scouts are moving towards Shiganshina by night and are still not there yet. They hope to get there by dawn. Eren is suppose to be resting for the big battle ahead, and others can’t say his name if the enemy is around. Jean then spots a Titan that they couldn’t see. They light it up with lanterns (with that new Titan ore they got from last cour), and they see it’s sleeping. It’s one of the old types that can’t move without light. There’s no moon, so even the slightest of moonlight could make them move like before in the S2 battle, but Hange does want to capture one of them someday.
Eren starts to shake, but he doesn’t know why. He doesn’t want to be nervous and scared before the big battle and starts to doubt himself. Mikasa and Armin see this, and Eren tries to play it cool, but Armin is scared as well. Armin remembers when he first fought the Titans and was almost eaten by one until Eren rescued him, and this makes Eren flash back to when he was a kid looking at clouds. He had no ambition then, but when Armin showed him the book of the world and talked about wanting to see the sea, this made Eren realize the Titans had him “trapped in a cage” with no freedom. This makes him stop shaking and gives him strength, hoping that by next year, they will see the sea. Mikasa sees that they’re in an area they’ve been to before as kids, and she can even hear the river. Jean sees a trail that leads to the town up ahead. They are finally here. They are back in Shiganshina.
At dawn, the Scouts advance into town, with Erwin leading them. The operation has begun. The troops switch to their ODM gear and take off over the walls. Their objective is to seal the Inner and Outer Gates, as this will not only isolate the town, but any Titans caught in the town can be eliminated. Plus, if the enemy knows the plan and goes after Eren, they won’t tell since everyone has their cloaks covering their faces. As they start, Eren stops to see the town once more and starts to shake again, but Levi tells him to keep moving, as he has a job to do. He does, but Armin stops and notices a burn mark left from a fire. He knows Reiner and Bertholdt are close by and alerts Erwin to this. Eren moves again, remembering his house and family, as he and Mikasa are determined to take their home back.
Even though they’re here, Hange thinks it’s strange there are no Titans anywhere. Even so, they fire a green signal flare to start operations. Eren transforms into his Titan form at the Outer Gate, as Reiner and Bertholdt look on from nearby. His transformation crystallizes the Outer Gate, and Mikasa gets him when it’s done. He lost his cloak, so Mikasa gives him hers to cover back up. The first part of the operation is successful.
They fire more flares to signal that it worked, and Eren can’t believe it as he flashes back to when the hole was created. Levi knows that even if they get the other gate sealed, it’s not over until all their enemies are killed.
Even though the first gate is sealed, Erwin knows it’s weird there have been no Titan sightings yet. Armin comes back to tell him that someone was camping as there were pots and cups on the ground below. There were 3 cups full of black stuff in it, meaning there were at least 3 campers here (Even though I’m pretty sure there were five campers). Plus, the metal pot Armin found was cool. The Scouts got to town at full speed. If the enemy saw them or heard them coming, it would take at least 2 minutes to react. The pot being cooled means the enemy knew 5 or more minutes beforehand they were coming, as they were prepared and might have a scout of their own. Since Erwin knows how many times Armin has helped them in the past with that brain of his, he tells him to take over and find the enemy, using as many soldiers as need be under his orders. Armin is hesitant at first, but he gives the orders to search everywhere and report among the Inner Gate for the enemy. This isn’t even Erwin’s gamble. He knows Armin has proved himself and is one of their greatest weapons. Erwin knows this is their only chance to win this fight. If the enemy knows their plan, then they’ll have to deal with it. Even so, the group has a secret weapon of their own.
Armin wonders himself why the enemy hasn’t shown yet. He knows that the enemy always attacks in unpredictable ways, causing them to be at a disadvantage. He then remembers the Wall Titan from long ago, and it gives him a hunch for the others. After shooting another flare, he tells everyone to search the inside of the walls. The others are skeptical, but Erwin fires a red signal flare this time, telling everyone to halt the mission. Erwin knows there’s no time for arguing this. He tells them to follow Armin’s orders, and they do. Armin tells the groups what to do, and they start hitting the walls with their swords. Eren and the others don’t know what is happening, but they hope Armin found a way to win. Armin knows if there is a position to see and react to everything, it would be the walls.
One soldier hits a part of the wall that makes a weird noise. He found the spot, and he fires a flare to warn everyone. However, Reiner pops out from said spot to greet him…
… and stabs the poor bastard through the chest.
Reiner comes out from the hole, but Levi attacks immediately, and gets Reiner through both his neck and chest. However, because of Reiner’s tough Titan power, it doesn’t kill him. He then transforms once more into the Armored Titan. As he does this, Erwin tells everyone to be on the lookout for more enemies, but lightning strikes from behind, signaling that it’s too late.
The Beast Titan is here, and he has brought along many friends, but everyone can’t believe it. Beast Titan grabs a boulder, winds up, and tosses it right at Erwin and co. The boulder lands below them, but it covers the hole they came through. Now the horses they came on can’t pass through, as they now also blocked off their means of escape. Like the Scouts have, the enemy is here to kill them. The Battle for Shiganshina has begun.
The first episode is over, and well, this is pretty much a breather for what’s to come, if that’s saying something. Trust me on this, I been hyping this cour for months now, and I’m not backing down on it. The manga delivered this big battle and all the shit that’s going to go down, but this is just the first of many things to happen. I’m just saying you aren’t prepared for it if you’re an anime-only person.
The highlights for this episode were the animation as usual and seeing them actually praise Armin finally. He’s going to be important in this arc as well, and he did use his head for this episode. Plus, the dark and depressing mood of the town during the early daylights really sets this in place. When we were in the town before the attacks way back when, it was peaceful, bright and cheery. Now, it’s nothing more than a ghost town that’s been torn apart… and about to be torn up even more.
One more thing to highlight is the ED of this cour.
— 諸星きらり (@Kirari_star) April 28, 2019
The song, “Name of Love” by cinema staff, is actually pretty lovely and full of the good times the everybody has shared together. It definitely will hit some people, even if there is not much action like in the OP. I like it, so I may enjoy this song immensely later on. Either way, this is only the beginning. Enjoy this episode, as there are more battles, pain, Titans, baseball (yes, baseball), and lots of blood to come. Let’s have some fun these next 10 weeks.
Attack on Titan Season 3 is licensed by Funimation. Episodes can be seen on both Crunchyroll and Funimation on Sunday at 1:35 PM ET. The dub version is coming to Toonami and Funimation later in May.