Attack on Titan Season Four (Part 1): Once again, it surprises and surpasses its predecessors.
Commander Erwin Smith’s death didn’t go in vain. Season four goes beyond the walls to find the truth as Erwin dreamed.
For months, I stayed off from all anime sites, so I wouldn’t be disappointed by spoilers when I binged AOT. All my waiting and effort didn’t go to waste. I had a blast watching this season. AOT season four is unique and satisfying to watch; it explores beyond the Paradis island for the first time, tying all the plot threads and twists.
The story picks up after four years from where Season 3 Part 2 left off. It opens in Marley, a nation located beyond the walls and across the ocean from Paradis Island. Following Gabi Braun and Falco Grice, young Eldian warrior candidates battling in the war with Mid-East Allied Forces, destroying the fortress with the help of Reiner’s Armoured titan and other titans. After winning the war, Zeke (Beast Titan) proposes to claim the Founding Titan by capturing Eren Jaeger and eradicating the Eldians on Paradis. However, Zeke’s plan was trembled by the arrival of Eren Yeager and the remaining members of the survey corps to Marley.
After magnum opus AOT Season 3 Part 2 (one of the series that I rated 10/10), my expectation for this season is high. This season takes a giant leap of risk by opening with new characters and the story of Marley nation for almost half of the series without our favorite original characters. And the risk is immensely paid off by the title, the best anime of 2021. It gives the perspective of enemies how they became victims of past political agendas. This is exceptionally well shown with Gabi’s character, an Eldian warrior candidate, to inherit the Reiner’s Armored titan power.
In the conversation between Gabi and Kaya (the kid who Sasha saved in season one), Gabi rails against Kaya for being a “devil” and says you should pay the price for sins committed by Eldians hundreds of years ago. These arguments make viewers frustrated with Gabi (and people like her) for not seeing the reality. And also feel sympathetic and pity towards them how they are blinded from the truth deceived by old-generation politics. These kinds of great philosophical questions are common in AOT. Still, here, it is well explored in many scenes than in previous seasons. I bet you will be stunned by Eren’s questionable paths to seek the truth and save the world from lies, classism, and oppression.
This is the most rewarding season; it finally answers the many questions that we desperately seek to uncover from the start, like why Reiner destroyed the wall of Maria in season one, the titans buried in the walls, the purpose of founding titan from season two, the intentions of Grisha Jaeger, Eren Jaeger father, from season 3. It masterfully kits all the plot threads from previous seasons. The tight narration, unpredictable plot twists, and well-suited execution is arguably the best from 2021. Still, it surely misses the suspenseful and blood-boiling direction we saw in the last season. The revelation and the emotional drama could be more intriguing, then again, compared with masterpiece Season 3, part 2 isn’t fair.
The only criticism I had is the animation. It tends to suffer at times, especially the CG in battle scenes; it is not even close to the standards of AOT. This is due to shifting the studios from Wit Studio to MAPPA and tight schedules in the pandemic. Hoping this will resolve in the final season. Like always, the music score is hauntingly beautiful.
Conclusion: Eren’s journey to truth and save the world from lies, classism, and oppression is epic. Like Levi said, “I save the best meal for the last” Season 4 part one cooks the meal with all flavors from the plot, pacing, execution, characterization, and soundtrack. I can’t wait for the feast in finale part 2—my rating 8.5/10.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Release: 2021 I Status- Finished Airing, Finale Part 2 in 2022.