The Summer 2018 Anime Preview Guide
Attack on Titan season 3

How would you rate episode 1 of
Attack on Titan (TV 3/2018) ?

What is this?

Eren and his companions in the 104th have been assigned to the newly-formed Levi Squad, whose assignment is to keep Eren and Historia safe given Eren's newly-discovered power and Historia's knowledge and pedigree. Levi and Erwin have good reason to be concerned, because the priest of the Church that Hange had hidden away was found tortured to death, making it clear that the Military Police are involved with the cover-up. Things get more harrowing when the MPs make a move on Erwin and the Levi Squad narrowly avoids capture. Eren is also having problems with his Titan transformation, and a deadly killer has been hired to secure Eren and Historia, one Levi knows all too well from his youth. Attack on Titan season 3 is based on a manga and streams on Crunchyroll, Sundays at 2:00 PM EST.

How was the first episode?

Theron Martin

Rating: 4

The wait is over; Attack on Titan is finally back for its third run. While its first episode (38th overall) starts out sedately, it definitely doesn't end that way. After all, what would the series be without a few grisly deaths?

The difference is that this time the Titans aren't involved; except for Eren-Titan they don't appear at all beyond brief flashback references. No, this time around it's humans – and not even Titan-shifters – appear to be the enemy. The first two seasons have offered sparse, vague hints that there are some special interest groups within the government who might have less than savory designs on Eren and Historia. This episode makes it clear that the Reiss family – who Historia stands as an illegitimate heir to – is powerful enough to command the Military Police and have some influence over policies in the name of the king. What's so important about the secrets of the Wall that they would have to go to such extreme measures as torturing the priest to death is still unclear, and it will presumably be one of the big mysteries to be unraveled this season.

The other party we meet this week is the special ops team led by Kenny the Ripper, a notorious serial killer who Levi apparently lived with as a child. Levi having a dark past was indicated by one of the OVA episodes but it's hardly been hinted at in the TV series, and his troubles seem to go a level beyond what even the OVA suggested. I'm actually more curious about Kenny's current goals than his past with Levi, but Levi's comments also beg for some flashback explanation. The heavy emphasis on the main characters in their younger days in the opener suggest that we'll get lots of backstory this season.

Speaking of the opener, while I love the song by Yoshiki + Hyde and the visuals, it doesn't really feel like a proper Attack on Titan opener, as it's a much more graceful and melodic song than the bombastic openers of the first two seasons. The franchise's penchant for sudden and bloody character deaths is certainly back in full force; I should know better by now than to start getting attached to any characters beyond the main leads. Whether or not Eren's problems with transforming are connected to his new ability offers another good hook, and Historia's future characterization should be interesting to watch. I certainly have no concern about the visuals, since they look as sharp as ever.

I may not have been as hotly-anticipating this new season as much headed into it, but this episode does its job well in renewing enthusiasm for the franchise.

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