Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 1

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 1

Attack on Titan season 3 part 1 anime cover art
Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 1 Cover Art

Overview

Attack on Titan season 3 is much different from the previous two seasons in a number of ways. The biggest difference, however, is the fact that regular, old titans are no longer the enemy; instead other humans are the enemies our protagonists must fight.

This may seem like it makes no sense, and that’s correct, it doesn’t really make sense yet. You see, the series has been building up to some dark secret about the origin of the titans, and through this buildup we’ve learned that there are those who seem to be on the side of the titans, such as Reiner and Bertholdt.

However, it now appears that this isn’t really the case. Reiner and Bertholdt are members of some faction which is helping the titans from beyond the walls, but there’s also a seemingly unrelated faction which is helping the titans from within the walls. It’s this second faction who are the main antagonists for this season.

For now it doesn’t seem like the two factions are working together, and I’d even venture to guess that they’re actively working against each other. That said, it’s likely that both sides view themselves as the saviors of humanity, though the rest of humanity doesn’t seem to view either side this way.

Season two covered the faction outside the walls (somewhat) so I’ll skip them in this post since they don’t really make any major appearances this season. As for the faction inside the walls, their leader is Rodd Reiss, the true king of humanity, and their goal seems to be keeping humanity confined within the walls.

Notice how I’m not saying their goal is to keep humanity safe within the walls, but instead confined within the walls. This faction has the power to control all of the titans, and yet, for some unknown reason, they refuse to use this power to help humanity.

But, that doesn’t mean they want humanity to be destroyed and devoured. While they don’t use this power to help humanity, they don’t use this power to hurt humanity either. Figuring out just what this faction knows, and what their plan is, is the current goal of the Scouts.

However, we know that fighting against the interior as we knew it would be a walk in the park for the Scouts, so a new branch of the military has been introduced to combat them. We previously had the Scouts, the Military Police, and the Wall Garrison, but now we also have the Interior Police.

Levi Ackerman killing an Interior Police member from the anime Attack on Titan season 3 part 1
Levi Ackerman

The Interior Police are essentially the special forces of the Military Police, and their primary duty is to protect the king. Yes, all of the Military Police protect the king, but they’re real duty is to protect the civilians of the inner walls as essentially regular police do.

Scouts specialize in killing titans, Wall Garrison members specialize in drinking on the job, Military Police specialize in being corrupt, and Interior Police specialize in killing other humans. So, just based on those descriptions, you can see how the Interior Police are the antagonists here.

Instead of using rifles or replaceable blades to fight, the Interior Police have special 3D Maneuvering Gear equipped with dual pistols with replaceable barrels. I’d assume the idea is that it’s easier to snap on a new barrel than it is to reload the regular way while zipping around using grappling hooks.

Along with all of the new revelations that happen during this series, we’re also given background information on two of the major players within the Scout Regiment, Erwin and Levi. Levi’s background is directly connected to one of the new characters of the season, so I’ll wait until the characters section to go over that.

Erwin’s backstory, however, doesn’t involve any new characters and simply explains why he decided to join the Scouts and what drives him towards his end goal. When he was a child, his father told him that there was a secret history of the world which nobody knew about.

Erwin then went out and told (bragged) to his friends about this secret history (as you do) and because of this, his father was murdered by the Interior Police. This act reinforced Erwin’s belief that there was a secret history, because why else would his father have been silenced like that?

And so, Erwin decided that he would work his way up the ranks of the Military until he got to a position from which he could actively search for the answers he so desired. As it turns out, being the commander of the Scouts is the perfect position for this because he’s able to go on expeditions beyond the walls.

We also learn that Erwin cares more about discovering the truth than saving humanity. Overall, his backstory reminded me of Nico Robin from One Piece, because her goal in life is also to learn about the secret history of the world in which she lives.

Characters

The first of the two new characters I want to discuss is Kenny Ackerman. Kenny is the uncle of Levi Ackerman, as well as the leader of the Interior Police. He works directly under our next new character, Rodd Reiss.

As I mentioned before, Levi’s background is tied into Kenny’s character. After the death of his mother, Levi was taken in by Kenny and taught how to survive on the streets. It’s here that Levi learned how to fight, leading him to eventually join a gang in the interior as we learned in season one.

However, as you may be able to tell, Kenny didn’t really care all that much about Levi. He cared enough to not leave him in the slums to die, but not enough to properly raise him. Instead, Kenny just cares about himself and what’s best for him.

In the first season, we were introduced to the idea that Mikasa Ackerman’s monstrous strength was due to her oriental blood, but it’s in this season that we learn it’s actually likely due to her Ackerman blood. As members of the same family, Levi and Kenny have similar traits.

This season we learn that the Ackermans’ strength isn’t their only power, and they aren’t the only family with some sort of special ability. The ruling Reiss family has the ability to brainwash the masses, which is how they’ve kept the peace and erased part of human history from existence.

However, as I just said, the Ackermans have another ability beyond just their strength, they’re immune to the Reiss’ brainwashing. Because of this, the two families have always had a strained relationship. The Ackermans served the Reiss as their bodyguards, but at the same time are the ones most likely to overthrow them.

At some point the two families had a falling out, and the Ackermans were shunned by the Reiss and therefore the rest of the population. This is the catalyst for Kenny’s actions. Kenny wants to see the Ackerman family restored to its former glory, and also wants to know the secrets of the Reiss family.

To this end, he became the leader of the Interior Police, pledging his life to Rodd Reiss in the hopes that one day he would be able to take the Reiss family’s power for himself.

Rodd Reiss, on the other hand, is less ambitious than Kenny. The leader of the Reiss family has always passed down the “power of the titans” to the next family member in line, but Rodd notably declined to have this power bestowed upon him for some reason (fear maybe?).

Instead, this power was passed on to his daughter, Freida, but then she, along with the rest of Rodd’s family, was killed by Grisha Yeager, Eren’s father. It seems as though Grisha was actively fighting against both those inside and outside the walls who were allied with the titans.

Rodd then attempts to pass on the power of the titans to his illegitimate daughter, Historia (Krista), by having her turn into a titan and devour Eren, who currently holds this power thanks to his father. Historia chooses not to cooperate with her father, and as a result Rodd is forced to turn himself into a titan out of desperation.

Although Eren holds the power of the titans within him, it’s important to note that while he has the ability to control titans because of it, he doesn’t gain the full benefits that the Reiss family does. If someone from the Reiss family gains the power of the titans, they learn the history of the world (allegedly).

Before gaining this power, each Reiss leader has vowed to defeat the titans and restored humanity, but once learning the history of the world, ends up upholding the status quo. This is likely what Rodd is afraid of, and the reason he refused to have the power of the titans passed on to him.

I’d love to learn what this secret history of the world is that makes the Reiss family leaders decide keeping the status quo is the best option, but since Eren still holds the power of the titans, and he isn’t a member of the Reiss family, we may never know.

Rodd is eventually killed in his titan form by his daughter, Historia, who then goes on to become the next Queen of humanity. Kenny also dies due to injuries sustained while fighting the Scouts, but not before entrusting Levi with the serum that turns humans into titans.

Conclusion

The cour ends with the Scouts about to go on an expedition to reclaim Wall Maria once and for all with Eren’s titan hardening ability, but during the credits we get an ominous flash-forward hinting at what’s to come in the second cour of the season.

We see Eren, Mikasa, and Levi surrounded by a destroyed city, blood (and bodies if I remember correctly) everywhere. Levi then attacks Eren and demands to be told what he was thinking, implying that the destruction we see around them is a result of Eren going berserk in titan form.

However, that seems all too predictable, so there’s likely to be more than meets the eye. Unfortunately, this second cour isn’t going to start next week or even the week after. For some unknown reason, there’s a full six months between this cour and the second cour.

At this point, they shouldn’t even call the second part a second cour, it should simply be season 4. There was a three-month gap between Overlord II and Overlord III, but Attack on Titan can have a six-month gap right in the middle of a single season? That doesn’t make sense.

Finally, this first part of season 3 is a 7/10, which follows the trend of each season of Attack on Titan being worse than the last. Hopefully cour 2 isn’t a 6/10, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

And, if you’re looking for more Attack on Titan content from me to hold you over until cour 2 (I don’t have six months worth of AoT content, sorry), then you should check out my review of the 4th AoT OP or my Steampunk in Anime posts.

If you enjoyed this post and want to let me know, click the like button down below. You can also leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on this first cour of season 3. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama to stay up to date with everything I upload.

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