As Attack on Titan closes off the second part of its third season, it is on a hopeful note but also one with a promise of pain. While Eren, Mikasa and Armin have reached the shores of Paradis, as they have long dreamed of doing, across the turbulent waves of the ocean lies their greatest battle yet.
Like a soldier says earlier in the episode: “This world is our enemy.” It’s a sentiment Eren echoes himself in the closing moments of “The Other Side of the Wall” as he stands on the edge of their island prison and stares into the eternal blue of the ocean: “If we kill all of our enemies, will we finally be able to grasp freedom?”
It’s an ominous statement, particularly coming from such a firebrand as Eren, but with the Attack Titan nestled safely inside of him and the Colossal Titan now at home within Armin, their chances have never been better to crush their enemies once and for all.While the arrival of our heroes at the ocean is a happy moment, it’s also colored with dread for what’s to come.
And crush them they must, if crush them they will, because the announcement came out very recently that the fourth season, set to premiere in the fall of 2020, will be the last. This news comes as especially surprising when you consider how much the mythology of Attack on Titan has been expanded upon in the third season, but one supposes that it’s better they end it sooner rather than dragging the story out indefinitely like so many other anime.
Still, with Eren’s declaration of war, and the already dark tone of the third season, this information may not bode well for Eren’s future. In the short teaser for the fourth season, we only hear Mikasa say: “Eren, please come back.” Has Eren become a monster in order to fight one in the final season of this story, and further, how many episodes will we have to explore the last arc of Attack on Titan?
Also, what of Ymir, Annie and other characters who have been out of commission for so long? Will their stories be resolved as well in the remainder of Attack on Titan? With so much material to cover, we can only hope that the remaining 6-12 hours is enough time to wrap up the dangling threads of this story successfully.Many of the questions we have going forward circle around Historia and her role going forward.
Which leads to another series of questions: what of Historia and Eren? Eren is now harboring a secret in hopes of saving Historia’s life, and Armin seems to suspect as much. Will the person Eren fought so valiantly to save be his undoing? And will Historia and Eren finally show their love openly, or will Ymir return to put a wrinkle in their romantic relationship? Further, with Historia at the helm of the Eldian struggle, and the long sordid history of her family hovering in the background, the enemy may also be dead set on getting their hands on her once again.
Finally, we still don’t know how the Beast Titan and his ilk tie into things in regard to the oppressors of the Eldians. What is his end goal, and if he’s not at the head of the enemy on the mainland, then who is? All of these questions and more will be on our minds as we patiently await the last arc of Attack on Titan next fall.