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‘Attack on Titan’ S3, Pt. 3: The Old World Crumbles

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The following article contains spoilers for episodes 7-10 of Attack on Titan’s 3rd season. 

Well it looks like Kenny the Ripper’s reign of terror is officially over. With the end of the first part of season 3 looking well within sight, Attack on Titan has made some very radical changes to its mythology, as well as shifted a few pieces around on the chess board.

As mentioned in our last article, the false king has been officially deposed, and his corrupt government officials have been sacked as well. Now, with Queen Historia propped up to the most powerful position in the walls, the survey corps have officially been cleared of any wrongdoing, and the truth has never been closer at hand.

Historia didn’t just accept her place as the rightful monarch, she earned it.

As a great bonus for the survey corps, Historia has proven her worthiness to the crown as well. Having dealt the finishing blow to the massive titan that was attacking the walls (a titan that happened to be her father no less) in front of the eyes of the citizens themselves, she is destined to be a beloved monarch as well as the true heir of her position.

Of course, Historia has been a major focus in the third season of Attack on Titan, with another key moment having occurred during the final stage of the secret titan ritual. As Eren lost hope and asked to be left to die, it was Historia who came to his aid, abandoning her father and proving her loyalty to her friends. Historia may have dropped the facade of her former character, but she’s never been more brave and true then during that cave battle.

Eren came very close to losing hope for good during the cave rituals, but he managed to get by with a little help from his friends.

Speaking of Eren, now that he’s got the titan hardening ability down once and for all, the city can finally seal the destruction on the walls, enabling the survey corps to set out and find whatever secrets are hidden in the basement of the Jeager house at last.

Not only that, but stronger and more resilient than ever, Eren remains humanity’s greatest trump card. He demonstrated this handily during the battle with the massive titan by hurling a huge cache of explosives into its face, blowing it to bits, and allowing Historia to deliver the killing blow. With Rod Reiss (who drank the titan serum Historia refused) and his shadow cabal out of the way for good, this will give humanity its first real chance at freedom from the chains of oppression and the insurmountable fear of the titans.

Though there was a last minute fake-out which suggested Kenny might live on as a titan, he ended up succumbing to his injuries instead.

It wasn’t all excitement and mayhem however. What appears to be the final episode of the first arc of Attack on Titan season 3, or certainly close to it, wrapped things up on the melancholic note of Kenny’s demise. Though we should be happy to see him go for all of the atrocities he’s been a part of, the fact that he went out striving for goodness and remembering the only bits of kindness he was ever shown made the victory over his anti-personnel corps somewhat bittersweet.

As usual, Attack on Titan only doles out its mythology in small doses, so the revelation of Kenny’s past, and his role as a member of the cult that worshiped the Reiss family as a messianic legacy, only leaves us with more questions. How important is Uri in the history of this world, and will we see him and the underground city again in future episodes? Only time will tell.

Though we weren’t privy to the battle between the Beast Titan and the Armored Titan, we now know what this result means.

Finally, we were left with even more things to consider as the cliffhanger ending of “Friends” returned us to the central struggles of season 2 once again. In the aftermath of what looks like a ferocious battle between Reiner’s Armored Titan and the Beast Titan, the Beast Titan reigns supreme. This seems to put Reiner and Bertholdt under his thumb, and with that in mind, their focus is retrieving the primal scream ability from Eren once again.

But what we still don’t know is who the Beast Titan is, or what his end game will be. Does he work for someone as well, or have we finally made our way to the top dog in all of this? As we head into the second half of season 3, these are the questions we will be left to consider.

You can watch Attack on Titan on Crunchyroll HERE.

Mike Worby is a human who spends way too much of his free time playing, writing and podcasting about pop culture. Through some miracle he's still able to function in society as if he were a regular person, and if there's hope for him, there's hope for everyone.

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Anime

Anime Ichiban 33: Coming into Maturity

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Anime Ichiban welcomes our anime waifu overlords, old and new. Join Matt and Kyle this episode as they discuss the return of the Goddess of Anime, Haruhi Suzumiya herself, then hop on over to the new virutal sensation that’s finally sweeping English-speaking nations: Hololive Vtubers!

For this episode of Anime Ichiban, the SHITSUMON! topic will have the duo diving into recently released Aggretsuko Season 3 and The Great Pretender and explore how the two shows work with mature themes.

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 – Introductions and what we’ve been up to
23:33 – The Return of Haruhi Suzumiya(‘s light novels)
37:23 – The Debut of Generation 1 of Hololive English Vtubers
53:07 – Minor news roundup: (Shenmue anime announced; Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel Part 3 movie debuts to huge success; KyoAni fire updates)
58:35 – SHITSUMON! How does anime portray mature themes in its storytelling?

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Anime

Anime Ichiban 32: The Art of Following a Formula

Corporate shakeups and Galapagos Syndrome spell omens of a changing global landscape for the anime industry.

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diary of our days at breakwater

Corporate shakeups and Galapagos Syndrome spell omens of a changing global landscape for the anime industry and that the crew digs into along with how a series can effectively perform within its genre conventions.

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 – Introductions
12:28 – Legacy piracy site KissAnime shuts down
28:45 – AT&T reportedly looking to sell Crunchyroll
43:27 – Galapagos Syndrome: Is anime in danger of losing its global identity?
58:41 – News Reel
1:02:20 – SHITSUMON! How do shows perform effectively and still entertain in genres whose formulae are already well known and expected?

TRACKS

Intro – “Cagayake! GIRLS” by Houkago Tea Time (K-ON! opening theme)
Outro – “Tsuri no sekai e” by Umino High School Breakwater Club (Our Diary at the Breakwater ending theme)

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Anime

‘One Piece: Stampede’ is an All-Star Behemoth Buckling Under Predictability

Does One Piece: Stampede sail all the way to Laugh Tale, or remain anchored in an East Blue of mediocrity?

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As the fourteenth film in Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece saga, One Piece: Stampede was released in 2019 to critical and financial success. As a big-budget commemoration of the anime’s 20th anniversary, Stampede has lots to live up to, from successfully stamping a momentous two decades, to satiating the hype of a passionate global fanbase. Does it sail all the way to Laugh Tale, or remain anchored in an East Blue of mediocrity?

It’s party time at the Pirate Fest!

The Pirate Fest, a grand gathering of the sea’s most infamous individuals, is underway! At the festival, the Straw Hats compete with their Worst Generation rivals to retrieve a treasure of Gol D. Roger. But behind the scenes, festival organiser Buena Festa and legendary pirate Douglas Bullet are scheming something sinister.

Cutting to the chase, One Piece: Stampede soon kicks into an all-out battle against said Douglas Bullet, with Luffy working with friend and foe alike to fell his opponent.

Much like Dragon Ball Super: Broly, also animated by Toei Animation, each frame of One Piece: Stampede is a treasure to behold. Fluid animation and colors spell eye-candy magic, and the odd bit of 3D animation isn’t (too) visually jarring.

One Piece: Stampede nails its mission statement of lightning-paced popcorn entertainment to a tee. Goofy shonen films don’t have to transcend ‘awesome action and silly superpowers’. Rather than shooting for the moon and coming up short, Stampede settles for smashing the sky. With white-knuckle fights and satisfying character moments conveyed with a zippy pace, One Piece: Stampede assuredly brings what fans want. And whilst not as developed or memorable as other film baddies (One Piece: Strong World’s Shiki or One Piece: Z’s titular Z), Douglas Bullet is terrifyingly tough enough to tick the boxes.

Playing It Safe

Whilst the ‘playing it safe’ ethos of One Piece: Stampede succeeds on the surface, the imaginative innovation of One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island is missing, and the excess of characters prevents the possibility of channeling the simplicity of One Piece: Dead End Adventure. Stampede works as anniversary celebratory bombast but isn’t the series’ smartest, and with the core of the film occurring in a single spot and under dull skies, location fatigue rears its head.

For some, the draw of One Piece: Stampede is its constant character cameos. From the instantly recognizable to the deep cuts, it’s a fun gimmick for fans, although the absence of big names like Kuzan and Jinbei are noticeable. Some cameos fall on the side of groan inducing-ly forced, shoehorning a requisite Zoro fight, or overtly shouting to audiences “Remember them?!” Having no effect on the story, these cameos are clunky and break narrative immersion.

Far from the worst of One Piece’s wildly varied films, Stampede is what it needs to be. It lacks the creative spirit of One Piece’s heights and is dampened by its inconsistent cameo execution, but it’s a fine anniversary celebration for one of manga and anime’s, if not the world’s, best works of fiction. For the uninitiated, it’ll be like an avant-garde acid trip, but for those clued-into Luffy’s antics, it’s a barrage of ballistic glee!

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