Forum - View topic
EP. REVIEW: Attack on Titan The Final Season


Goto page Previous    Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Gem-Bug



Joined: 10 Nov 2018
Posts: 292
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:20 pm Reply with quote
This was a great opener to a new season. It's almost hard to believe that it's another studio doing it, to be honest. They only thing I'm not 100% on is the opening, which has enough vague scenes that I could see it changing as it goes on. I think folks who are upset at the very mention of CG or that this isn't by Wit are going to find faults in this season regardless of there being any. I'm very excited to see more!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Doodleboy



Joined: 23 Dec 2013
Posts: 293
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:20 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
Oh yeah, Gaby, the lovely Gaby... everybody loves Gaby!


I unironically like Gaby. I think at this point of the story I started thinking of her as FemEren. Although looking at the episode that's not entirely fair. She has different motivations then Eren did.

She's also way more cynical and competent than Eren was.

But eh, I like her, the war-crime committing, genocidal gremlin. She's a good protagonist for this part of the series.

For the CG, it is good CG (with the exception of the beast Titan). It could be better, like if they removed some of the detail during distance shots. I just hope that they add some 2D cuts at some point. While the action was a solid B plus or even an A, it doesn't really reach the highs of some of the 2-D scenes of the original series. Eren's first match against the Armored Titan, and the 3D-maneuvering tracking shots. There is less "flexing" of animation spectacle.

Honestly part of me wishes that the models were less detailed to make way for more 2D cuts. Do we really need all that random hatching?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kirki



Joined: 11 Jun 2019
Posts: 114
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:32 am Reply with quote
Doodleboy wrote:

I unironically like Gaby. I think at this point of the story I started thinking of her as FemEren. Although looking at the episode that's not entirely fair. She has different motivations then Eren did.


Of course she works as Eren's projection. Their motivations are not vastly different, she might be after personal glory as well, but her main motive is still to save her people, as she understands it through her own crooked perception of the world. I was actually amazed that MAPPA managed to depict her as likeable, since she was made to be irritating on purpose as a brainwashed, violent, immature and stubborn child in the beginning.

Other than that, I am completely in love with the opening. The song stuck in my head WAY too quickly and I can't help it. The visuals hit me as strange at first but now they accompany the music in my head and if that's not pure art, I don't know what is. I am completely drunk with an AoT opening all over again.

Unfortunately, to the bad stuff now. Muddier color palette, too much exposition at the beginning that felt awkward and slightly unnatural, and really stiff animation movements throughout, more noticeable in the non-CGI parts. The Armored Titan had some nice choreography but that's as far as it goes.

But, it's still AoT. How bad could it get. Even if MAPPA are slightly awkward in their approach, like a new boyfriend who has full realization that his girlfriend's ex was a Hollywood star, the material is still strong - Gaby's scene with the explosives was spot-on engaging. There is some good sense here. It will never be WIT and it will not interpret the story in WIT's special, almost personal way, but it has all the potential to be good enough. Looking forward to see the rest!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4937
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:50 pm Reply with quote
I’m a manga reader with lots of complicated feelings about Attack on Titan, and I don’t want to accidentally spoil anyone, so I probably won’t comment much (until we get to the really juicy, controversial parts). I’m glad the reviewer is anime-only, I’m looking forward to reading first impressions.
Some quick first episode takes:
—How can anyone see MAPPA’s oeuvre and be worried about production quality? They’re a fantastic studio!
—It was an uncomfortable episode to watch. War is Hell, indeed.
—-Count me in as someone who unironically likes Gabby. And Falco, but he’s easier to love.
—Not feeling the OP. The colors are pretty, I guess. The ED is great.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BodaciousSpacePirate
Subscriber



Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2941
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:20 pm Reply with quote
The Gabster is unequivocally my favorite character in all of Attack on Titan, but I can't really say that I "like" her. As others have noted, she's almost tailor-made to be unlikeable (and not in that "the Danganronpa characters that were designed to be most unpopular always end up at the top of fan polls" way, either).

That being said, there was a fascinating Reddit post a few months back, about a guy who told his friend to start reading Attack on Titan from the beginning of the currently-airing arc, without providing him with any knowledge of anything that happened in the story up until that point. After that friend got completely caught up with the manga, the guy asked him what his impressions were of Eren, Gabi, Reiner, Levi, etc. without the benefit of the story's earlier arcs to provide context for what happens in Attack on Titan's "final season".

I think about that post a lot when I go back and revisit this particular part of the story, as I am pretty sure that the author also approached this arc (and, in particular, the characterization of Gabi) from the perspective of "okay... what if I had started the story here?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
vonPeterhof



Joined: 10 Nov 2014
Posts: 716
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:11 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
—How can anyone see MAPPA’s oeuvre and be worried about production quality? They’re a fantastic studio!
This isn't really about any studio in particular, the production schedules spelled nightmare from even before the studio for the season was decided. It's pretty telling that the producers outright admit that nobody else wanted the project aside from MAPPA, who in the past year or so has acquired a reputation (at least in the sakuga circles) of a studio that basically won't turn down anything. And now there are 7 animation directors and more than 30 key animators (since NHK's credits have a character limit the actual number is almost certainly higher) just on the first episode, which really isn't a good sign.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
lossthief
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 831
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:29 am Reply with quote
vonPeterhof wrote:
. And now there are 7 animation directors and more than 30 key animators (since NHK's credits have a character limit the actual number is almost certainly higher) just on the first episode, which really isn't a good sign.


Actually that seems to be a misunderstanding of another NHK crediting quirk. They grouped the Effects Animation Directors and assistants under "Animation Directors" and didn't separate Key Animators and 2nd Key Animators. The actual production credits are pretty typical for TV anime, with 3 ADs and 18 KAs. That doesn't mean the production couldn't still melt down, but it's not a disaster as of this episode's creation
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nordhmmer



Joined: 11 Feb 2017
Posts: 816
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:45 am Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
I think about that post a lot when I go back and revisit this particular part of the story, as I am pretty sure that the author also approached this arc (and, in particular, the characterization of Gabi) from the perspective of "okay... what if I had started the story here?"



For me Gabi was intended to be the next MC, had the story gone the way Isayama. originally planned.

(sill don't are for her and a few other certain characters)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 2360
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:25 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:

—How can anyone see MAPPA’s oeuvre and be worried about production quality? They’re a fantastic studio!
.

well, that gave us the best joke of the season, people saying this is as bad as one punch man season 02.

i am not scared about production failures for this season , we got those in previous seasons and aot turned out fine in general terms . even a friend who is not into anime in particular noticed that.

also i love how this episode confirms the low key death of a popular character. i wont lie and say i was too clever and noticed right away when I read the manga, when in fact it took me a while to notice. i wonder if anime only viewers can reach the conclusion just with the info presented in thia episode.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Doodleboy



Joined: 23 Dec 2013
Posts: 293
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:01 pm Reply with quote
You know when I read the opinion pieces that the Sakuga websites had on MAPPA's tenure with Attack on Titan I figured that this adaptation would be competent but pedestrian, but right now the series is making pretty ambitious directing decisions.

With the first episode most of it's decisions made sense but weren't surprising. Directing the first half like a war-movie, and the second half with pure action bombast.

But this week's episode made some interesting decisions. Most productions would use episodes like these to start easing-off, use less ambitious cuts, give the production team some rest before the action-scenes start again. But this series seem to have a lot of ambitious cuts, going for tracking shots and naturalistic acting. It isn't always seamless, the animation gets jittery and somethings moves in weird ways. I won't be surprised if some of it is rotoscoped, or at very least I think the animators took reference footage for the acting and used it to inform how they animated the characters.

But it gives the episode the vibe of a live-action movie or a documentary. Shots like these and animation like this isn't something you see a whole lot in anime. I'd be interested in an interview with the directors on what movies were influencing this episode.

And it does work in grounding this part of the series, by adopting a documentary style format and adopting more referenced acting these people seem more like real-people. Like they put a camera down on the street and we're following them.

For the last three seasons we've seen these titans as these operatic larger-than-life villains. The Beast Titan being cartoonishly cruel and evil at times, the Colossal Titan taking on a Darth Vader like iconography before we find out who he really is. They were symbols of the enemies of humanity. But now we see that these people are just... normal people. Reiner and Bertholdt were just scared kids without a plan when it got revealed that they were Titans and now we're seeing these titans outside the warzone in civilian life. I remember reading this part of the manga and finding it surreal that Zeke was greeting his grandparents like a normal guy, seeing Reiner's parents for the first time and eating a family dinner when a couple of chapters ago he was trying his best to commit genocide.

There's a couple of instances where I don't agree with the direction. Like when Reiner talked about his time as part of the Survey corps, I think a more warmer/sentimental tone would've suited that section more than the horror/paranoia of how that scene was directed. Yes the paranoia of always being watched is part of this scene, but shattering the illusion of the demonic other and driving the point home that these are real-people who contain multitudes was the more important intent. I also miss Wit's character designs, although these designs are more faithful to the manga.

But overall I like the ambition that Mappa is showing. Marathoning Titan when it's over will be interesting because this feels like a complete reinvention of tone. The high-stakes operatic Titan-battle of the last arc making way for this more grounded arc.


Last edited by Doodleboy on Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 2360
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:38 pm Reply with quote
very enjoyable spoiler[eren cameo] just like that other guy in the previous episode.

i am glad i still find the anime more enjoyable than the manga, i am pretty sure is the direction and pacing. this episode made think that this is how kyoani would have made aot
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Everlasting Coconut



Joined: 22 Jul 2019
Posts: 84
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:40 pm Reply with quote
Episode 2:

After last week's intense opener, this is just what we needed. A nice, slow episode where we get to know all these new characters better. I love Gabi's energy and the way she steals the spotlight every time she's onscreen. I love Falco's kindness and his little crush on his warrior friend. I love Colt's drunkenness and Galliard's rudeness and Pieck's laid-back nature. And I love seeing Reiner suffer. Poor guy can't get a break.

One of my favourite scenes was seeing all the soldiers reuniting with their families in Liberio. It was so heartwarming and sad at the same time.

All in all another great episode, even if the animation quality took a bit of a dip. Hope the guys over at MAPPA are doing well. They're handling a lot of shows at the moment.

I will say though, I'm not happy with Pieck's design in the anime. Looks a little... plain? And not just because they stole her nose (seriously, give her nose back).

Doodleboy wrote:
But this week's episode made some interesting decisions. Most productions would use episodes like these to start easing-off, use less ambitious cuts, give the production team some rest before the action-scenes start again. But this series seem to have a lot of ambitious cuts, going for tracking shots and naturalistic acting. It isn't always seamless, the animation gets jittery and somethings moves in weird ways. I won't be surprised if some of it is rotoscoped, or at very least I think the animators took reference footage for the acting and used it to inform how they animated the characters.


Yeah, the scenes where Udo got angry and Gabi was talking to her parents at dinner definitely looked rotoscoped to me.

Those scenes and the tracking shots kinda stood out like a sore thumb to me. I really do love the fact that they were trying something new and going for some more expressive character animation, but the end result didn't look that good.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gem-Bug



Joined: 10 Nov 2018
Posts: 292
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:55 am Reply with quote
Yep, this episode looked pretty different compared to the first. To me, the animation/movements look very much like Mappa's work in Dorohedoro. It fit much better in that series, with it's fantastical characters and costumes. Here it looks a bit jankier and uncanny, and there's definitely a fair bit of rotoscoping going on. This part of the series hits different, and I was expecting it to look different with a new studio, so for now, I'm okay with it.

Also, the dinner scene where Reiner describes the incredibly trite, human foibles of Sasha and other former comrades was executed perfectly. The slow panning shot towards his face, complete with partial "thousand yard stare" and eerie music was excellent.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
KaidoYuji8Shinji



Joined: 15 Mar 2016
Posts: 18
Location: Manchester, NH
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:34 am Reply with quote
I haven’t noticed a HUGE difference yet in animation. I guess we will see once the action starts. I still liked the general direction WIT had with AoT. From direction to script to animation. It will be interesting to see where this goes, but I’m excited
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 2086
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:43 pm Reply with quote
The character animation this week definitely felt off to me as well. I wonder if they have different people working on slower episodes like this compared to the faster action heavy episodes like last week and if we'll see the trend continue in the coming weeks shifting between slow and fast episodes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous    Next
Page 3 of 19

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group