Attack on Titan season 4 has been one of the most highly-anticipated anime series of all time.
It follows the story of Eren Jaeger, a young boy whose home was destroyed and his mother killed by “Titans” – mindless humanoid giants.
The first half of Attack on Titan season 4 has now finished – and it’s certainly lived up to the reputation of the previous series, with shocking plot twists, explosive fight scenes and gut-wrenchingly emotional moments.
At the end of season 3, Eren and the rest of the scout regiment discovered the truth, that the world outside of the walls hadn’t been destroyed by Titans but was in fact thriving. They now knew that the Eldian race were exiled to the island of Paradis to live behind the walls, and that the Titans were actually Eldians that had been transformed by the kingdom of Marley.
This completely changes the entire premise of the show, the overarching theme and message – which has always been the question of what it means to be a human and the struggle for survival against the Titans. These revelations, however, mean that the real enemies are human – and the theme that shapes this season is the question as to whether the Eldians on the island are “devils” or whether the humans are all the same regardless of where they were born.
Here are some of the top moments from the new series:
1) Zeke turns the Eldian prisoners into Titans
The season starts with the Marlian forces laying siege on a foreign city. This battle is ultimately won after they drop a group of restrained Eldian prisoners in parachutes out of an airship.
The man who controls the beast Titan – who we now know to be Zeke Jaeger, the half-brother of protagonist Eren Jaeger – lets out a scream which transforms each of these prisoners in to Titans.
The foreign troops look up in horror as these terrifying, mindless Titans crash into their city before standing up and eating any soldiers they encounter. This whole scene is shocking; up to this point we had no idea of the world outside the walls, or that Titans even came from humans, so to see these Eldians herded like cattle, then transformed in such a way as a weapon of war is mind-blowing.
2) Eren bursts out of stage in Titan form
A couple episodes on, the Marlian government gathers leaders from all across the world, in an attempt to unite them against the Eldians on Paradis Island. This entire episode is filled with revelations, as Willy Tyber explains to the world that everything they know about Paradis is false.
Meanwhile, Eren is underneath the stage after reuniting with Reiner and emotionally confronting him over everything he had done. Meanwhile, up above, Willy Tyber declares war on the island of Paradis, which Eren takes as a que to transform in to his Titan form.
Bursting out from under the stage and eating Willy Tyber, the leaders of the world watch in horror. This scene is so cool to watch; season 4 is set four years on from season 3, so seeing an older, stronger and more intelligent Eren transform into his Titan in the most dramatic manner possible is amazing.
3) The entire battle in Marley
The entire battle that follows Eren’s entrance and spans over the next three episodes is spectacular. Eren’s Attack Titan in action against the terrifying Warhammer Titan and the entrance of Mikasa, Captain Levi and the rest of the scouts is amazing.
The technology of Paradis is 100 years behind Marley’s, but they have spent those 100 years fighting off Titans. The peak of this battle, though, was when Eren’s Titan rips the Jaw Titan’s arms off, then uses its jaw to crush the shell protecting the lady who was controlling the Warhammer Titan, then drinking her blood and consuming her power.
4) Levi is forced to kill all of his comrades, after Zeke turns them all into Titans
A good chunk of the season is spent questioning Zeke’s motives, whether he can be trusted or whether he is working for Marley.
While being kept captive by Levi and his men in a forest, it is revealed that the wine that everyone but Levi had been drinking contained Zeke’s spinal fluid. When Zeke learns that all the wine has gone, he makes a break for it, and lets out a cry that turns all of the men into Titans.
Levi looks around at the Titans, seeing his former comrades’ faces in each one, before his eyes go cold and he is forced to kill them all before setting his sights on Zeke and taking him out. It’s devastating to see so many men killed in an instant, but fantastic seeing Captain Levi in action again.
What does it all mean?
The first half of this season has been so packed full of amazing moments, twists and thrills. It’s going to be a long wait until the second half at the end of the year but, if the first half of the season is anything to go by, then it will surely be worth it.