Attack on Titan Season 4 has finally come to an end with a nail-biting cliffhanger. Marketed as the final season of the show, it turns out that the 16 episode run was merely a part one. The season, though lacking in action, packed a different kind of punch from its previous season counterparts.
Picking up after a four year time skip from the end of Season 3 part two, the story moves forward at a breakneck speed. The first episode of the show might confuse some viewers as everything seems unfamiliar other than the titans themselves. We are introduced to Falco and Gabi, two aspiring warrior candidates who wish to inherit the Armoured Titan.
The charm of Attack on Titan is in its storytelling method. Instead of simply pushing viewers into a chaotic battlefield, the show pays decisive importance to the backstory of the characters. From Zeke to Reiner, the show bridges the character development beautifully which allows us to relate, sympathize, and understand the driving motives of all the characters.
Perhaps the biggest change in character arc was seen in Eren Yeager, the main protagonist of the show. We no longer see the teenage immature Eren we last saw at the end of season 3. Instead, we are greeted by a calm, mature and tactical character. Captain Levi, as we are well aware, is an absolute beast against the titans. His rematch against Zeke saw him shred the beast titan without even losing a sweat.
The attack on Marley was an absolute visual delight to watch. The phenomenal music backed by powerful punchlines led to a childlike shriek as we saw Eren transform into a titan underneath the podium. The fight between Eren and the Warhammer Titan was beautifully visualized and proved the latter’s ability to fight strategically against his opponents.
The mastermind behind Eren’s character change is Zeke aka the intellectual Beast Titan. As a shocking development, it turns out that Zeke’s spinal fluid has been distributed among the Paradis military in the form of fine wine. This enables Zeke to transform most of Paradis’ army into a bunch of mindless titans – leaving them as mere puppets.
If this was alarming, there is a more sinister motive in motion. Zeke has a plan to free Eldians from their hatred and oppression from the world. Eren and Zeke have come to a mutual understanding that the only solution to truly free their race… is by ending it, with the euthanization of all Eldians. While the latter might think that it’s a more humane option to save future Eldian children from a lifetime of suppression, it still rings the moral bell of free will in others.
Attack on Titan started as a show about survival but is much more than that now. It showcases how every character is driven by their motives on what is right and how other’s may consider that motive as sinister. The characters aren’t iniquitous per se, but they fight for what their belief lies in. And that’s what makes them humane and relatable.
Since Eren, Reiner, Zeke, and Gabi are victims of circumstance rather than motivated evildoers and mass murderers, then pointing fingers is no longer an option as an unspeakable act of violence is justifiable by someone’s logic.
As it turns out, episode 16 isn’t the last in the series. The climactic episode ends with Marley beginning their retaliation attack against Paradis island. With the Jaw, Cart and Armoured Titan ready to drop hellfire on Eren Yeager, it will be interesting to see what holds in the future.
While this season has been largely met with mixed reactions from fans, it still holds up quite well in our books due to its mesmerizing storytelling technique. Irrespective, Season 4 part one has made it crystal clear that every character is so invested in their own sense of justice that there is no alternative anymore.
Final Verdict: 4.5 stars (out of 5)