Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 Episode 81

Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 Episode 81

Eren’s Genocide for Friendship

In my review of Episode 80, I mentioned that Eren wants to destroy the rest of the world beyond Paradis so that he can be free. That’s still true. But in this episode, we were also reminded that he’s not just doing this for his own freedom. He wants his friends to be free too.

And, possibly more importantly, he wants his friends to survive. With the power of the Founding Titan, Eren could easily threaten the rest of the world into leaving Paradis alone. He could even destroy their militaries as Gabi mentions.

However, there’s no guarantee that either of these will be 100% effective. Threatening the world could easily backfire. In fact, that’s exactly what happened in the past. Remember Paradis was originally safe because the king threatened the rest of the world if they attacked it.

Connie, Mikasa, Armin, Jean, and Falco from the anime series Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 Episode 81
Connie, Mikasa, Armin, Jean, and Falco

These sorts of threats only serve to reinforce the idea that Paradis is dangerous and needs to be dealt with. So too would Eren destroying the militaries of the world. That would simply cause them to fight back using guerrilla warfare.

So, what’s the one way he can protect his friends, guaranteed? He can simply kill everyone beyond Paradis. To Eren, it doesn’t matter if he’s killing innocent people who have never hurt, or never even considered hurting, his friends.

All that matters to him is that those who are most important to him are safe. Everyone else is simply an afterthought. And as I’ve said before, this is one of the reasons I really like Attac on Titan. Yes, I have plenty of issues with how it ends. But I love Eren’s character arc throughout the entire series.

One of the most consistent things about the series that Isayama never appears to have retconned is Eren’s character.

Gabi the Hero

You know what? While I’m feeling in the mood to praise Attack on Titan, I think Gabi is a great character too. After Eren, Gabi probably has the next best character arc and development in the series. And that makes sense considering she’s the protagonist of the final season.

Eren is the protagonist of the first season. The supporting Scouts (Jean, Connie, and Sasha) are the protagonists of the second season. Levi is the protagonist of the third season. And the Marleyan Warriors (mostly Gabi) are the protagonists of the final season.

But, what is it that makes Gabi the second-best character in the series? It’s the fact that she’s basically the polar opposite of Eren. Look at Eren’s whole character arc and development. Gabi’s is the exact opposite.

Gabi pictured as Sasha from the anime series Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 Episode 81
Gabi pictured as Sasha

Eren was raised in a peaceful society that was abruptly destroyed and thrown into war. He then became more and more radicalized as war consumed every part of his life. And now, he’s committing the largest genocide the world has ever seen — in the name of peace.

Gabi was raised to be a soldier from the start. She grew up in a society that was built on war and she always wanted to be a soldier in order to bring honor to her family. But once she saw the true horrors of war, and that the other side wasn’t made up of devils, she began to simply want a peaceful life.

At this stage of the anime, Gabi no longer wants to fight. She wants to rescue Falco and then run away. And, this transition is highlighted by Gabi being depicted as Sasha in this episode.

It shows that Gabi has transitioned from a bloodthirsty soldier into a protector.

Annie Who?

If you forgot Annie Leonhart existed, I don’t blame you. I almost think Isayama himself forgot about Annie until his editor brought her up. I say almost because Isayama has given us a little Annie content since she encased herself in hardening.

My guess is that he just didn’t know what to do with Annie’s character for most of the story. She played her role in the first season, and he didn’t have anything else for her to do after that. So, he placed Annie in a time capsule and left her there until he could think of another use for her.

Now, something you may be wondering is, “If Isayama didn’t know what to do with Annie, why not just kill her off at the end of the first season?” I have two theories for this, and they’re not mutually exclusive.

Annie Leonhart from the anime series Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 Episode 81
Annie Leonhart

First, we have to remember that none of the main characters were killed off in the first season. This could be because Isayama was afraid to do that. He’s said in interviews before that he was concerned about how fans would react to their favorite characters dying.

Second, if Annie was killed off, the power of the Female Titan would arise in another character. Why is that an issue? Because the Female Titan is the most boring of the Nine. It’s just not an interesting Titan, and so he may have chosen to lock it away for that reason.

Think about it. What are the abilities of the Female Titan? Most notably, it’s female. That’s not really an ability, though. Other than that, it can call pure titans to it. But that’s not a great ability when you consider the Beast Titan can both create and control pure titans.

Annie and her Titan form were good as antagonists in the first season. But after that, there wasn’t really a place for them in the story.


What do you think of Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 Episode 81? Do you think there’s a better way for Eren to achieve his goals? What’s your opinion of Gabi’s character arc? And what role do you think Annie is going to play in this final part of the series? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 82 is available now.

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