Moments of the final season were exciting and cool: the timeskip had interesting moments, the budget was well-spent on some terrific action sequences, the production quality was overall high.

But the entire thing was incoherent, an incoherence which existed back in its first season but has only grown over time and with stakes. Characterization is minimized in favor of "how do we get people to move this plot forward in the most surpising way"; power levels are absolutely random in a way that makes it hard to empathize or invest in any single conflict since the answer to "who wins?" is "whatever services the arc most conveniently"; every single character is shrouded in plot armor.

The closest thing I think the show has to a coherent thesis is this: the cycle of war is interminable, and horrific, and corrupts everything and everyone it touches. But despite that, life is worth living and peace is a cause worth fighting for. There are points in this season of television that portray that subtly and gracefully; there are points where I am not quite sure that the show even believes that message.

All of this is to say: Attack on Titan certainly lacked the enduring warmth and charm of Mob Psycho 100, and it has less trenchant and cogent things to say about war and the human condition than Vinland Saga. I am glad to have finished it, and do not think it was very good.


Lightning bolt
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