WARNING: The following review of the eleventh episode Attack on Titan: The Final Season contains spoilers.
Important lessons in tolerance and against prejudice are given in “Farsante”, an episode centered on Gabi and Falco, after their escape from prison. The would-be warrior is confronted with her racism and the nuances of the world she learned to hate. In addition, a leak of information reveals loyalties and the attack on Paradis is already imminent.
This week’s episode features some of the most detailed and beautiful backgrounds so far this season. The character animation has some slips – lack of details or not very organic movements – but MAPPA prints quality backgrounds: the different greenish tones in the trees, the clarity of the water, the texture of the rocks, the lights and shadows in Exteriors and interiors, outlining the direction of the fall of light and the formation of shades that are shady or close to violet, contribute to making this chapter something very pleasant to see. Also, it has a narrative function: it accentuates the beauty of the island to contrast it with the dark idea that Gabi has. It is not the place of death that I expected, it has tranquility.
The escape from the prison is brutal, although it occupies little on screen. Once again, the teenager shows that she is willing to do anything to regain her freedom, even if she has few options in an enemy environment. When Falco tries to remove her bracelet, another pillar of her identity is expressed: she thinks that it separates her from the “demons”; it is a distinction that prevents you from identifying with them. There, in Marley, it is a symbol of oppression, something that serves to keep her “in her place”, charging her with a negative perception for others. But in his head, he has appropriated it, modifying its original connotation to make it a hallmark of identity. With that he assumes his belonging to the “good” Eldians. The labyrinths of the mind meet the force of ideology.
Everything around her seems to contradict her, as if trying to tell her that the label of “demons” explains little and that hatred runs into a wall before kindness. By an irony of fate, they end up having breakfast at the same table as the family of the woman he murdered and everyone reaches out to her, giving her food and shelter. Gabi’s behavior evidences the confrontation between her deeply ingrained prejudices and a reality that does not confirm them, but rather contradicts them. She is even shocked when Kaya reveals that she knows they are Marleyans and still decided to help them, protecting them from the adults so they wouldn’t find out that he was trying to kill her.
Falco’s attitude is more conciliatory, strategic and empathetic and, with this, he also proves to be less indoctrinated than Gabi. If she has fully internalized the discriminating Marleyan teachings, Falco has questioned them. He senses that there is something wrong in learning to hate a people you do not know, that this intolerance hides something of fear. His development as a character follows that line: he is a teenager among soldiers, a peaceful soul who is required to wage war.
Upon arriving at Kaya’s old house, the script leaves more questions than answers, demonstrating how complex the anime’s treatment of the subject is. On the one hand, Kaya asks what her mother did to deserve a death like that. If she did not oppress anyone in her entire life, did she deserve to be punished by the actions of her ancestors? How far do the sins of the past extend? On the other hand, Gabi argues that his lineage oppressed, murdered and plundered other peoples for years and that these barbaric acts are not easily erased. For her, history (with a capital letter) is made up of indelible, transcendental marks that mark a people centuries after they happened. Where should the limits of historical consciousness be set? Do individuals share collective crimes? And if they do, how do they wash them? Is all this fair?
Kaya asks if there is a reason her mother was eaten and Falco explains that it was all a recon mission. Sad answer, since it places the death of the woman in a context of war: it is connected with a decision made on the other side of the sea. The chain of choices that impact other lives continues.
In the end, Kaya tells them that she will help them contact a Marleyan to return home. He knows that they are away from their country against their will and that this situation is painful. In an emotional moment, in the heat of twilight, she remembers Sasha (although she does not know her name) and how he saved her from the titan who killed her mother, saying that she wants to be more like her. A reminder that a moment of kindness can be decisive in a life, that that feeling of protection can be replicated to build walls of hatred.
Eren’s followers and the impending attack
The other story line of “Faker” shows that Eren has a following. Holger, Wim, Louise and Floch, not to mention the mob demanding answers from Hange. Eren’s ideas that Paradis should strike with the Rumble have been replicated among his comrades and, surely, a portion of the island’s inhabitants. The Legion’s plan to act methodically will not be lacking who interprets it as weakness or as a strategy that does not meet the demands of dignity for Paradis.
The leak of information is an attempt to spread its feelings in the public opinion to win followers, turning Eren’s idea into a popular demand that the Legion will not be able to counteract in moderation. This forces Hange to respond harshly, befitting his role as commander. The underlying danger is ideological division, which will fragment strategies with consequences that are difficult to reconcile.
The post-credits scene brings us back to Marley. In addition to unspeakable destruction, we discover that the warriors have become aware of Zeke’s betrayal. They sense his alliance with Paradis and that he has provided them with Marleyan technology. They make a decision: attack the island immediately. They know that if they wait they will only enter the game of the Eldians, so hitting, in addition to being the option that best responds to their desire for revenge, is better because of the surprise factor.
Tempers are heated on both sides of the ocean and various fronts are about to break the fragile impasse after the assault on Marley. The situation will dynamite soon and it remains to be seen who will make the first play.
Attack on Titan: The Final Season Is available in Crunchyroll and in Funimation.
Original title: Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season (進 撃 の 巨人 The Final Season)
Director: Jun shishido
Actors: Yūki Kaji, Yui Ishikawa, Marina Inoue
Release date:February 21, 2021 (MX)
attack on titan review review
Carlos Carrizales Communicologist. I learned to graduate in everything as an apprentice. Irredeemable cinephile, who can never see everything he wants. Aspiring, too, journalist. Lover of series, trova, and everything that involves knowing new things.