Attack on Titan’s 78th episode was the best by far in the current Part 2 of the final season, both in terms of animation, action scenes, and the story. War for Paradis rages on, Zeke is down, and desperate Eren is trying to reach him so that he could finally fulfill his goal. But, does that goal match Zeke’s euthanasia plan?
As mentioned above, the animation took a step forward in this episode. The fighting scenes were exhilarating, reminiscent of WIT Studio’s style. Even though some details were lackluster it still managed to deliver. Fans of Hiroyuki Sawano’s will also be delighted to hear the “ətˈæk 0N tάɪtn” theme again.
An interesting thing to note is that Mikasa had some really amazing scenes in this episode, although her contributions were minimal.
Although the episode is titled “Two Brothers” a more appropriate title would probably be just “Brothers“. It’s wasn’t just about specific characters, but instead a more broad theme of brotherly love and sacrifices made for the loved ones. Eren and Zeke, Colt and Falco, but also Porco and Marcel. We haven’t seen that much of Jaw Titan, but Porco managed to take a stand and honor Marcel’s memory by saving Falco from a terrible destiny, just like his brother tried to do for him. Colt also sacrifices himself for his little brother, leaving only Zeke and Eren.
And as we know, Zeke and Eren both have a lot of issues. It appeared as if they were trusting each other, but we already discussed Eren’s motives in the previous review and it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that he had his own ideas. The first hint in this episode was him screaming at Zeke to wait and not unleash his titan-turning attack. Zeke struggles with the decision but ends up doing it anyway, leaving destruction and terror in his wake.
Eren Loses His Head
Eren’s reaction to all this appears calm, but he is still frantically trying to reach Zeke and outrun Reiner. But, as luck would have it, Gabi jumps out of nowhere and tries to stop him by shooting him. The time stops, as Eren’s head flies off into Zeke’s arms.
What follows is one of the most impactful sequences of MAPPA’s Attack on Titan. We get to see Eren and Zeke’s meeting in the Marley hospital yard and we finally get to see that Eren never caught the ball. Paths are shown as Eren travels down memory lane. Grisha’s memories, his memories, Reiss’ family memories are all shown as fragments (including some meme-y scenes like the Bessatsu Shonen Magazine cover from May 2020, which featured the male cast in a sauna). At the very end of this sequence, right before we meet Ymir, we see three girls we haven’t met before in the anime.
Eren comes to and finds chained up Zeke just sitting in a mysterious plane that connects every Eldian through Paths. The first titan, Ymir, is also there, but as a slave without a will. Zeke tests Eren, and as always Eren’s hastiness gets the better of him as he finally admits that he doesn’t share Zeke’s ideas. Their heads touch, but who will win this battle? Zeke still wants to save Eren, but Eren just wants his birthright – freedom. Since Eren is the one controlling the Founder, Zeke’s decision wasn’t well thought out, but we also don’t know what kind of rules this plane has. Is Eren even alive outside of it? Will Ymir be able to put him back together? And just why is she stuck there?
Attack on Titan: Final Season Part 2 – Pacing?
MAPPA certainly delivered with the 78th episode of Attack on Titan, but we need to mention the pacing. Admittedly, it’s been great in this season, with just the right amount of details, action, and story. But, this episode covered the 119th and the beginning of the 120th chapter. There was a total of 139 chapters in the manga, meaning there’s a little under 19 left to adapt. Funimation listed the season with 12 episodes, which is just one cour. Could the remaining chapters fit? Probably, but at a risk of rushing the story. Could there be more episodes? Also a possibility, but quite weird that it hasn’t been announced and it would spill over into the Spring 2021 season but wouldn’t have enough material for a whole cour.
This leaves us with another simple possibility – a movie. There has been zero mention of this, and as stated above there are other options, but seeing as the Attack on Titan anime adaptation has nearly blindly followed the manga so far it is very unlikely that bigger parts of the story would be cut or changed to fit. This isn’t something the fans would appreciate either, since Isayama’s storytelling is a big part of what makes the anime good.
MAPPA is no stranger when it comes to movies. Their most recent one is Jujutsu Kaisen 0 – a movie adaptation of Jujutsu Kaisen one-shot prequel manga. The movie was a hit in the Japanese cinemas and judging from the reviews it was very well animated (undoubtedly with a nice budget too). All things considered, this wouldn’t be that bad for Attack on Titan fans, but I think that at this point we are all very, very tired of waiting to see the grand finale.
The director of Attack on Titan episode 78, Teruyuki Omine, drew this week’s illustration:
In addition to Omine’s illustration, studio MAPPA also revealed a special one of Connie and Sasha during their training days. Attack on Titan is streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll this season. If you enjoyed it, consider voting for it in Anime Corner’s weekly poll.
The next episode is titled “Memories of the Future” and is set to air on Sunday, January 30.
©Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/”ATTACK ON TITAN” The Final Season Production Committee