‘Attack on Titan’s’ final season returns after hiatus, brings series closer to finale


Photo Courtesy of MAPPA Studios

Attack on Titan’s Final Season Returns with higher stakes after almost a year long hiatus.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

When “Attack on Titan” first premiered in 2013, it radically changed the perception and influence of Japanese media not just in America but across the entire world with action and drama comparable to the heights that other dark fantasy shows such as “Game of Thrones” achieved. When its fourth and final season began in 2021, the show took a dramatic turn as it transitioned from an action-thriller where humanity was united against a singular, monstrous enemy, to a deep and complex war drama that tackled themes of racism, prejudice and oppression. After taking an almost year-long hiatus following a significant cliffhanger, “Attack on Titan’s” final season has returned, and its fittingly titanic plot developments are helping push the series closer to its finale.  


The second half of “Attack on Titan’s” final season takes the moral dilemmas and situations introduced and established in the first half and expands upon them exponentially. No longer are our protagonists Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlet paragons of heroism and virtue, but complex characters that struggle to deal with the reality that in order to fight for their freedom, they now have real blood on their hands and have to contend with their decisions. This is especially true with the series’ main protagonist Eren as his radical shift that the situation forces him into is one of the standout moments of the series’ final season. With his race and nation of Eldia being labeled as the entire world’s enemies due to bias and prejudice, Eren has progressively gone from a hero of a protagonist to a questionable anti-hero over the course of the final season as he fights to try and do what he believes is ultimately the best for him and his people. This second half of the final season, however, has effectively transitioned Eren to the ultimate antagonist of the series, and, in an exciting twist, the rest of the cast of characters are now forced to contend with Eren’s actions which will have immense consequences for all parties involved.  


The pacing and animation of this season have also been stellar, and the year-long hiatus has provided the animators with much more time to polish some truly exciting pieces of animation. While there were growing pains as the series transitioned between animation studios for its final season, the animation in this second half helped bring out the raw energy and emotion of this finale. The voice cast also does a fantastic job of emphasizing the drama of the story. The performances are so strong that one standout episode revolves entirely around one conversation and the strength of the narrative and drama help elevate it to being one of the best episodes of the season despite having almost no action whatsoever.  


Those that have read the manga that the show is based on will know that with only three episodes left in the season at the time of writing, there is still plenty of material that simply cannot be covered within the time left. It’s yet to be announced if the show will return after another hiatus or if the series could conclude through a theatrical release. Despite this, “Attack on Titan’s” final season continues to impress and provide a heartbreaking, action-filled conclusion for this landmark series.