Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 Episode 1 review: The carnage is here

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
attack on titan season 4 MAPPA

Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 Episode 1 is the beginning of the end, but does this beginning pack a punch? Let’s find out.

Attack on Titan has been one of the most influential animes of recent years, so its conclusion is obviously a very big deal. Despite the fact that the final season has been stretched into three parts over almost three years – and this final part has been stretched into two movies – fans are still on the edge of their seats.

The anime, which first began as a take of the remnants of humanity fighting off giant monstrous titans, has taken many a twist and turn since it first came out in 2013, and its finale is set to be the most gut-wrenching chapter yet.

This new episode – Season 4 Part 3 Special Episode 1, which just dropped on Crunchyroll today – sees the Rumbling come to fruition, but does the episode live up to the hype? Let’s get into it, but first, SPOILER WARNING FOR ATTACK ON TITAN AHEAD!

Attack on Titan does what it does best: Destruction

The episode begins in what can only be described as carnage. Harking back to the very first episodes of the series, we see families, including children, get decimated and crushed by oncoming Titans. The Rumbling is here, and it is certainly an opening that makes an impression. The danger feels inescapable, and the overwhelming size and scale of the threat expertly created through animation.

Saying that the animation of the show is incredible feels redundant at this point, Attack on Titan is known for how well the characters and monsters move, and it has only gotten better over time. The iconic score of the show is also present, though perhaps not as well utilised as it could be.

But it’s enough to get across the danger of this anime’s endgame. Especially since Levi is injured, so while its sad not to get to see him kick titan butt, Levi’s absence in the action makes it clear that our heroes now have to think outside the box.

Granted, sometimes the tension isn’t built as much as it could be, you don’t really feel the danger, when our characters are trying to escape on a plane, but that may be more due to plot armour than anything else. Though there is a character death that truly feels like a big sacrifice, and while the depiction of the afterlife may be a little cliché, the death scene itself it is played out in a blaze of glory, giving one of the most memorable deaths so far in the series.

The episode doesn’t get to reap what it sows

However, while the episode certainly has its highs, it is weakened by being one of a two part final section of the show, Meaning that this episode is relegated to setting things up, without being able to finish things off.

There’s’ lots of quiet exposition conversations, quiet strategic plans, which all feel rather bland to watch. Since this finale is so dark, we only have one blink and you’ll miss it moment of humor, which leaves the episode feeling a little dull, despite the big stakes.

That being said, some of the conversations are genuinely impactful. A teary discussion Eren has with a child is hauntingly emotional, as is the moment when all of our main heroes are yelling at Eren in the metaphysical desert. Mikasa’s line of “I want to shoulder your sins with you” is sure to become a well-remembered one amongst fans.

These types of conversations also show the nuance and growth of the characters. None of them are simply good or bad, with straightforward goals. They are layered and interesting, making for one of the most adult Shonen series we’ve had in the past decade.

Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 Episode 1 review score: 3/5

Ultimately, the episode doesn’t quite reach the highs of the show’s past, and has some rather dull moments, but the gravity of the situation and the stellar animation packs a punch.

While we have criticised this episode for not being able to stand on its own two feet due to it being the first of a two parter, it is also why we’ll give this episode the benefit of the doubt. This is only the beginning of the end, and it has definitely managed to be an impactful beginning. No doubt a great final episode is on the way.

Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 Episode 1 is now streaming on Crunchyroll. For more coverage of Attack on Titan, click here.