Still threatened by the "Titans" that rob them of their freedom, mankind remains caged inside the two remaining walls. Efforts to eradicate these monsters continue; however, threats arise not only from the Titans beyond the walls, but from the humans within them as well. After being rescued from the Colossal and Armored Titans, Eren Yaeger devotes himself to improving his Titan form. Krista Lenz struggles to accept the loss of her friend, Captain Levi chooses Eren and his friends to form his new personal squad, and Commander Erwin Smith recovers from his injuries. All seems well for the soldiers, until the government suddenly demands custody of Eren and Krista. The Survey Corps' recent successes have drawn attention, and a familiar face from Levi's past is sent to collect the wanted soldiers. Sought after by the government, Levi and his new squad must evade their adversaries in hopes of keeping Eren and Krista safe. In Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3, Eren and his fellow soldiers are not only fighting for their survival against the terrifying Titans, but also against the terror of a far more conniving foe: humans. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
In a desolate world where corruption, power, and control rules all, Attack on Titan feels like a story that goes far deeper than just survival. As someone who has been following the series for several years, this franchise has really made a reputation. I’m not even talking about the commercial sales revenue or fan base. I’m talking about how this show evolved from a war between Humans and Titans.
After only a year, Attack on Titan made its grand return. Given the popularity of the franchise, this was inevitable but the big surprise was how soon it got announced. The first season ran for 2-cour in 2013 while the second season ran for only a single cour in Spring 2017. Yet, here we are with a third season after just one year. As a fan myself, I’m more than pleased to say that the third season continues to live up to its household name. It’s a franchise that truly deserves its acclaim.
Watching the third season will make fans quickly realize the change of mood in the very beginning. In fact, this season may not be what you are used to and will take some time to adapt with. The lack of Titans is evident from the first few episodes. Attack on Titan has been praised in the past before for its great action. Not only does the production quality and rhythm enhance the experience, the show itself always managed to capture the momentum of every battle. Here we are in third season and it takes a step back with the fighting between Titans and humanity. Rather, we have humanity dealing with its own problems – internal issues and political conflicts along with deep secrets that runs in the veins of key characters.
For a long time, we’ve seen the political conflicts inside the walls and government. Coming into the third season had me wondering how much we take a dive into exploring that side. And to my pleasant surprise, this season made a clear point that Titans are not the only enemies in their world. In fact, humans are also part of the problem and our main characters have to find a way to deal with it. For instance, Levi’s Squad faces off against adversaries that challenges them to life-and-death scenarios. Levi also faces a dangerous individual from his past, a man named Kenny. You may have heard him screaming in the promotional video but that scream isn’t just a battle cry. It’s the realization that he has to deal with his own personal demon. It’s not just him either but the realization of actually having to kill humans will test the mental limits of our characters.
As in all of the Attack on Titan seasons so far, we take a look at background storytelling for some of the important characters. From this season, we take a look at Historia, Kenny, Keith, and even a bit of Eren’s mother, Carla. The key selling point is how these characters’ stories connect with the overall plot. It’s imperative that viewers understand them as these stories reveal characters’ motivations and how their actions influences the present. To me, I think Attack on Titan always managed to capture a viewers’ attention through its characterization. The creator wants the audience to understand these characters by both telling and showing. It’s accomplished with important dialogues and actions motivated by a clear set of goals. I can’t really talk exactly the precise details as it would be spoilers but the big picture to realize here is why these characters are created. Attack on Titan Season 3 also made me understand why characters are motivated to do certain things and is an accomplishment not to be overlooked. The amount of psychology and emotions makes the story impactful too even for newer characters like Kenny. In terms of plot elements, the show continues to heighten the mystery. Attack on Titan has been known to create a feeling of suspense and there’s no doubt this season will surprise you.
In the present, main protagonist Eren finds himself in more trouble than just a death sentence. I would say this season made him feel less relevant at first until you realize what’s at stake. Eren’s connection to the past is one of the key mysteries in the show that probably had fans formulate theories all the way back in 2013. Here we are 5 years later and some of that mystery has answers. In the meantime, characters such as Erwin and Pyxis also play important roles with consequences. The plot evolves to become much more complicated than just a war against Titans. It becomes an internal war of complex ideologies. There’s also many revelations that shows how certain characters have connections with each other. And to add on to the cherry on top, we do still get fighting segments for you action junkies.
Season 3 takes a different approach this time but retains its ability to tell a memorable story. It managed to hook me in the beginning once realizing how important character roles are. Through its characterization, it showed me that the show doesn’t need fancy action and cinematics to make a well-polished anime. Sure, that part isn’t entirely absent but is limited compared to the previous seasons. Whether that’s an appeal will be for you to judge. Just do realize that Attack on Titan doesn’t always need people drawing out their blades and sticking it into Titans’ necks.