Why You Need to Get Back on the Attack on Titan Bandwagon!
Dearest friends, Attack on Titan (or Shingeki no Kyojin for the weeby weebs) Season 3 is upon us and it truly seems like none of you give a damn. To my fellow manga readers who know what this current season will entail, let’s rejoice that WIT Studio is determined to keep us all engaged with the tight direction of AOT vet director Araki Tetsuo despite the political and philosophical exploration ahead of us.
When this segment in the manga hit, I dubbed it “Attack on Politics.” It dives into the underpinnings of the government and factions within the ever-restricting walls. It’s also an angle on what defines “humanity” as we learn more and more about the origins and functions of those creepy ass titans.
In case you haven’t already started tuning in, the current season is available on Crunchyroll as of July 22 and will simulcast every Sunday around 2PM EST for premium members; episode 38, the first of the season, is now available to free members. With all that said though, why should you get back on the hype train? Why should we even attempt to put wheels back on this bandwagon and continue on this wild ride? The gap between the releases of season 1 and 2 definitely deflated much of that energy.
To be completely upfront with you without spoiling too much, titans will be talked about more than seen in this season if it’s following the manga. I don’t know anyone who’s watching for them, but fear not: episodes 38 and 39 showed us that we’re still in for an action-packed season.
This brings us back to the nature of “Attack on Politics”: it’s a window into how humanity is a perpetual threat to itself. If you haven’t been too distracted by the tantalizing visuals and paid attention to the dialogue, we’ve constantly gotten hints that things aren’t as it seems with the military, the walls, and the government. All of this is interconnected with the titans and ultimately, Season 3 will be a deeper look into how Eren, Mikasa and Armin can potentially imagine a life outside of their seemingly safe prison.
The best part of revisiting this arc of the story as a manga reader is knowing that the animation will offset a lot of the underwhelming pages and speed up (at least) a year’s worth of material with engaging conflict in-between. With the military police using guns with 3D manuveur gear and their training squeezing out any hesitation in their fights, we are forced to see our main trio of heroes and fellow 104th squad soldiers go against their principles of ensuring humanity’s survival at all costs.
Especially after the major reveals in Attack on Titan season 2, we continually have to question who exactly the true enemies are and question if humanity is truly at risk.
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty. I know the opening song “Red Swan” by YOSHIKI of Japan X featuring HYDE of L’arc En Ciel is a bit jarring compared to the epic, patriotic tones of the previous 3 openings by Linked Horizon. Red Swan is fitting for the overall tone and pacing of Season 3. It’s going to be a very introspective arc for Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Christa/Historia and fan-favorite Levi and again, the lack of combat against titans naturally calls for a new angle. I haven’t read the lyrics yet but I really do think it’s fitting, especially if season 3 ends on a major spoiler note where we find out a little bit more about the truth of their world.
If you’re starved for Linked Horizon to belt out some inspiring notes, you can find that in the ending. It’s yet another creepy mini-story similar to the ending of Attack on Titan Season 2.
We’re getting 24 episodes, so you should buckle back in for the ride! Consider this view: the break between seasons 1 and 2 allowed for Isayama Hajime to produce more than enough content. Here’s to hoping that season 4 will be out in less than 2 years! If you’re a busy body who can’t afford to spend time with Japanese and subs, the Funimation dub simulcast will start August 19.
Oh, and there’s more.
Let’s go beyond the anime: there’s the tough ass manga and the two games that came out over the past 2 years that no one talked about! What are any of you even doing? I know My Hero Academia is bomb, but since the beginning of this year, AOT’s manga has come back hella hard. As a slight spoiler, there has been a 2-year time skip with some substantial changes in the world and our main trio of characters. To those of us who read the manga, watching the anime is pretty painful—much has happened with the Survey Corps and a handful of those characters are no longer with us.
That said, I’m sure you’re one of those people who can’t stand Eren and never liked him from day 1. I’m with you there. He was a somewhat generic shonen shit who acted too rambunctious at times and in the end, proved to be somewhat useless. Let me say that his time to shine has finally arrived in the manga and, by god, he’s actually matured. Tying this into Season 3, you will get to see the beginnings of epic-tier Eren has his sense of identity and ideals are torn apart with his destiny and ambitions. It’s great to see him as conniving and battle-hardened and the root of his determination turns into something more… twisted. It’s great.
Though politics are still prevelant in the manga, I’m satisfied that the Attack on Politics arc happened as it set the tone for a lot of amazing and unexpected shit that transpired! If at the end of Attack on Titan season 3 you’re left hungry for more (pain because your feelings are gonna be hurt), I highly recommend diving into the manga.
I will say that Mikasa isn’t any less boring than before and I highly doubt that’ll change.
Now about these Attack on Titan games. I haven’t had the honor of playing them yet because, ha ha, MONEY, but they look equally dope and goofy as all hell. Published by infamous Koei Tecmo, the lords of Dynasty Warriors and clone games, Attack on Titan and Attack on Titan 2 appear to successfully plant players within the world of the anime and bring the mechanics of titan-slaying to your hands. I mentioned the games look a bit goofy because of the rag doll-ish physics, but I will give props to the developers Omega Force for following the anime/manga’s story formula.
In addition to having a large character roster featuring pretty much every soldier in the game (Dot Pixis? Zachary Dalis? Random non-niggas who died within the first 5 minutes of second Colossol Titan attack?), many of the characters of an array of DLC costumes. Some of those costumes are nods to current anime and some are just random slightly off-character bits. Still, I’m relatively impressed with how Attack on Titans 2 was expanded: there’s a customizable soldier option and Predator mode where you can play as a titan against human players. As teamwork actually is an important aspect of combat in the Survey Corps, there’s also co-op options, which can be utilized in Story Mode.
If you’re about that Steam life, AOT1 is currently 50% off and AOT2 is 30% off. I’d love to try it out, but ya know HA! Money and my Surface isn’t about that computer gaming life. Let us know how you feel about the game if you’ve got the moolah or if you’ve already been playing it and enjoy the experience! If you’re considering buying it, know that it wasn’t in the budget to record the English cast, so the spoken language is only available in Japanese. Maybe JaxJax and I can link up and stream for you all by the end of this year.
So, my friends and fellow weebs, if that hasn’t gotten you to at least dip your toe back into the Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin fandom, you’re hopeless and lame. Juuuust (kinda) kidding. This series requires a degree of patience, especially when it comes to the manga, but I wholeheartedly think it’s worth investing your attention. As long as the anime stays on schedule and Koei Tecmo continues pumping games out, this bandwagon will definitely serve you well for the next decade.
We’re going to continue forgetting that the live action movie happened though. If you know Japanese or at least find use out of the translation option, keep up with Shingeki no Kyojin updates on Twitter.