It has been a long one and a half years since anime watchers first entered the basement and heard terms like Eldian and Marleyans for the first time, but now Attack on Titan the Final Season is finally here. There’s no better way to help fill the time between episode drops than unpacking everything we saw together, so let’s do just that! Watch our Attack on Titan The Final Season Episode 1 (60 overall) Discussion video, or read the text version below.
First things first: New characters. New warrior candidates to be exact. Attack On Titan The Final Season honestly could have gotten away with a series name change like Attack On Titan Shippuden for how much new is going to be in this series. Although we get familiar faces like Reiner and Zeke, we’re introduced to four major new warrior candidates whose names you’re going to want to remember. Gabi, Falco, Udo and Zofia. A big theme of this episode and this season is certainly going to be seeing things from another perspective, and you can certainly think of these new Warrior Candidates like a twisted parallel of The Scouts of Paradis Island.
Just as a refresher, these characters are all of Eldian blood living in Marley camps on Marley mainland. The Marleyan government, who possessed a majority of the Titan shifters at the start of the series, has a program that pulls Eldians from the slums and trains them up to be the people who will inherit the special Titans. Annie, Reiner, and Bertholdt were once in these new kids’ exact same shoes. In exchange for their services, the Warrior Candidates’ families are basically granted citizenship and allowed to leave the Eldian camps freely.
Gabi, Falco, Zophia, and Udo
Gabi is a character who we’re going to want to keep our eyes on. Huge Eren Yeager energy from this one, except instead of demonizing mysterious man eating Titans, she has demonized the monsters of Paradis Island that she’s heard about all her life. She is intent on proving there are good Eldians in contrast to the devils of Paradis Island, and she’s intent on proving SHE is one of those good ones.
It’s quite tragic knowing this young girl is playing right into her government’s hands and complying with their wishes to try and prove that THEIR biases are wrong, when — knowing what we know about Marley — they the people of Marley have no intention of ever changing their perspective of Eldians. No matter how much work Gabi will give these people, they will never see her as an equal, or even as human.
Next is Falco. If Gabi is like Eren, Falco is kind of a cross between Armin and Mikasa: Gabi’s right hand man, support, but also someone who is deeply protective of Gabi. Falco also has a brother who is in the program too, which gives his family double the chances of escaping the slums if even just one of their sons gets accepted. While the four younger kids are auditioning to be the next Armored Titan after Reiner, Colt is actually on standby to be the next Beast Titan.
Zofia is an Annie Leonhart type, serious and focused on one goal: getting accepted into the program and being chosen to get the next Titan. She’s a little less cold than Annie, though, showing us that these aren’t just clones.
Last is Udo who is a more studious and more worried character than his competitors. In that regard there’s some Armin in him for sure. He speaks the language spoken by the soldiers of Fort Slava and tragically it allows him to hear just how cruel other nations are too Eldians.
Attack On Titan Time Skip Explained
A big thing that’s going to matter this season is that Curse of Ymir. Remember: Titan shifters’ lives come to an end after 13 years, no matter what. We are coming off of a time skip of a few years, plus the 1 year between the basement and the Scouts reaching the sea, the 5 years between the attack on Shiganshina and our main characters getting inducted as Scouts. So, Reiner is entering the Twilight years of his Titan tenure. Even though he is well respected among Marley and the Warrior Candidates, everyone knows his time is up, and these 4 kids we just talked about are really competing to inherit his armour.
Also keep in mind Eren Yeager has had his Titan powers for almost as long as Reiner, same with Annie. And What about Zeke? Just some stuff to think about as we start to brace ourselves for the impending season and how dark things are presumably going to get.
So I know the other question you’re probably asking yourself. That time skip, and where the heck are the main characters? It’s been approximately 4 to 5 years since Eren, Mikasa, Armin and the others first witnessed the sea. As we saw, Marley has been fighting its own wars during this time. Keep in mind: we now know other nations exist and have their own stories. Just like in our world, when two nations are at odds it doesn’t mean every other dispute pauses and everyone takes their turns hashing things out.
Although Marley and the island of Paradis have their own beef, between the fossil fuel underneath Paradis and Marley still wanting to reclaim their Colossal, Female, and Founding Titans, Marley has other wars to fight as we saw at the start of the episode. Importantly, as we saw in this episode, Titan Strength is still impressive but it’s not the O.P. weapon of mass destruction it was in centuries past. Machine guns, tanks, and other titan killing weapons exist that pose legitimate threats to Marley’s greatest asset in battle.
As for what our Eldian Scouts have been up to, well, we’ll see more of that in the next few episodes. But let’s just say they have not been sitting still at all. Just remember. These guys are scouts. It’s in their blood to go out beyond their home base, “sent out to gather information about the enemy’s position, strength, or movements.” That is literally the definition provided by Google for the word scout, and, I think we’re soon going to see that it’s extremely accurate.
There has been all kinds of rumours and speculation, theories about internal chaos at MAPPA, but I’m not seeing that on screen yet, knock on wood. Keep in mind this studio’s track record just in 2020 alone is unreal: they worked on Dorohedoro, Jujutsu Kaisen, and God Of High School, all of which had gorgeous animation. If they stick to the manga for story, get the pacing right, and do what they do best with the animation, I think we may be in for a treat.