Fans have been waiting for the better part of a year for the next chapter in the Attack on Titan megahit, and true to fandom form, you guys haven’t waited to start hating it.
With the premiere of Attack on Titan’s third season on July 22nd, the world finally got its first look at the “Uprising” arc that will most likely take up the first half of the 24-episode season. The biggest thing in the premiere is the fact that it sets the tone with a focus shift completely away from Titans as a whole and introduces a very human serial killer with intimate ties to the Scout Regiment’s resident messiah, Captain Levi.
We’ve already reviewed the premiere, so I won’t go too in-depth about it. What I’m here to talk about is the fact that so many people have already lost their goddamn minds about what this means for the series as a whole.
If you’re here for the Titans and the humanity against all odds story, it isn’t going to get better. Not for a while. Good lord, no. And unlike many other times when this comes about in the knee-jerk response fandoms have become notorious for, this one may actually be justified.
In the manga, the “Uprising” arc takes place over three volumes and does indeed shift the focus away from the monsters outside the wall to the monsters inside it. The entire arc is about the central government that has been keeping information away from the public and the military for quite some time. The knowledge that both an illegitimate heir to the church (Historia) and a boy who can shift into a Titan (Eren) exist puts the government center-stage in wanting to contain and control their fates. As one would imagine, the drama and intensity that the series has become infamous for takes a drastic downturn from here. The stakes are still high and we learn so much more about the world the 104th live in, but the scope is shrunken down and the pacing crawls to a clip probably more akin to the also divisive first half of Season 1.
Series creator, Hajime Isayama, has gone on record saying that he absolutely loathed this saga in the manga and gave specific instructions to the anime production team to actually make it better. So of course you’re going to hate Season 3 for a hot minute – the guy who forgot to eat while he was making it hated everything about it. If that prompts you to leave and turn away from the series, then so be it. After all, slow-burn is not exactly what the series has been known for. It’s the closest thing this series has to filler. Personally, I absolutely loved it in the manga, but liking things in anime isn’t exactly in vogue right now (I’m lookin’ at you, Broly.) So I can’t blame anyone for wanting to can their interest in the show.
But you’re going to miss out on what will likely be the second half of Season 3 – the “Return to Shiganshina” arc. It is by far the greatest, most intense, and dramatic section of the entire series to date (at least in my opinion). If the manga version of it is that damn good, I can’t imagine just what the anime is going to do.
So fans and fandom alike. You’re going to have to bear *gasp* Captain Levi at the forefront. You’re going to have to sit down and *sharp inhale* take in some previously nebulous world building. I know it’s not exactly the mode for this series or its fans, but can we please all just wait for it?
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