Season 4, Episode 1: The Other Side of the Sea
Attack on Titan makes it an anticipated return for its final season, and it didn’t disappoint. Episode 1, “the Other Side of the Sea,” introduces us to several new characters and two returning ones. Falco, Colt, Gabi, Udo, and Zofia are “warriors,” a select group of Eldians that are in line to inherit Titan powers. They are on the frontline of a 4-year war against the Mid-East Allied Force. The mission is to destroy Fort Slava, according to Gabi if they’re successful in doing that, the war would end in favor of Marley. Meanwhile, Colt tells Commander Magath that it’s too dangerous to destroy the railroad. The Allied forces have the advantage and will “slaughter” them with machine guns. Furthermore, the Fort gives them the ability to attack whenever they choose. Colt suggests they utilize the Jaw (Galliard) and Cart (Pieck) Titans.
However, Magath is resistant to the plan. He fears that if they “play their cards wrong” they might lose. Suddenly, an armored train with four “anti-Titan” cannons. Magath points out that one of the “150mm rounds” can kill a Titan in a “single hit.” The Marley nation is still reeling from the failed attempt to take the Founding Titan that cost them the Colossal and Female Titan. After that hit to Marley’s military apparently, the Mid-East Allied Force thought they had a chance to defeat Marley. The Power of the Titans is Marley’s greatest asset, although they seem to hate the Eldians. To this point, Magath prepares to send 800 shell-shocked Eldian soldiers to their deaths. Gabi offers to use her makeshift bomb to destroy the armored trained alone. Magath agrees.
It’s raining Titans
Gabe strips down to her underwear and tricks the Allied forces into thinking she surrendering. Gabe “falls” and uses the feint to wait for the train. She tosses the bomb perfectly and derails the train. As she flees, a soldier fires his machine gun at her. Falco rushes to meet her and the two take cover inside a foxhole. The Jaw Titan appears and rushes the enemy with agility. Hovering above is a blimp with over a dozen Eldian’s captives that appear sedated. Reiner and Zeke are also on board. The Eldians rush the Allied forces, while the Jaw Titan rips up the track and the Cart Titan carries several shielded soldiers with machine guns. The captive Eldian soldiers are dropped from the blimp, they’re bound at the arms and the legs. As the last one falls, Zeke lets out a scream transforming the Eldians into Titans. The Titans then fall like massive cadavers onto the Fort.
They destroy the building and cannons as the Allied forces scattered. The Titans aren’t unharmed but if they aren’t killed on impact, they will recover. However, the Allied Forces use the cannons to blow holes in the Titans. The weapons are effective proving that the Titans have a new problem to deal with. Meanwhile, Reiner parachutes in and reassess the situation, and transforms. Now the Armored Titan, Reiner destroys many of the cannons but is wounded by one that pierces through his arm and shoulder. Before he can regain his composure he’s shot by another armored train, which rips his left forearm off. Reiner rushes to crash into the train but gets exposed to the mounted cannons. Suddenly, the Jaw Titan emerges crushing the Allied Forces. Reiner sends the train flying killing everyone inside. With all of the Allies defeated, Zeke arrives and turns into the Beast Titan.
The war ends, Paradis Island is next
He grabs a fist full of artillery and launches them at the enemy navy with his trademark baseball skills. They respond by firing their cannons. Before the Beast Titan gets hit, Reiner shields him. Zeke hits throw a second round, finishing the Mid-East Allied Forces. Defeated, they sign a peace treaty with Marley. With the Allied forces subdued the Marley nation has an opportunity to refocus on Paradis Island. Attack on Titan season 4 episode 1 is a perfect opening to the final season of one of the greatest anime series. Well crafted, paced, and animated I was engrossed from the first minute. MAPPA is starting to become the standard for the industry. I didn’t even notice the CGI used for the Titans, which can be a problem for some animators.
For some focusing on the Marley nation might have been confusing but I think it was important for setting up the enemy. At the end of last season, we learned that there was a country across the sea, and our main protagonist would have to fight them to survive. It’s necessary to see what the enemy military can do. Titans now have to deal with new cannons that are effective at killing them. Will the Marley military use them? Do the Scouts have the tech to make them? Have they learned any new methods for killing Titans? With the time skip, I think we’re going to be surprised what Eren and the others have gotten up to. The skip allows Attack on Titan to change the main characters off the screen. They don’t have to be like we remembered them because (in this case) four years have transpired. Armin, in particular, needed to grow as he became the Colossal at the expense of Erwin. Anyway, this season is off to a magnificent start and I expect that it will get better.