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Sassy Sasquatch
Feb 28, 2013



New Leaf posted:

My wife and I have only watched the dubbed anime and we're really struggling with the last season. Are we just dense or is it really hard to follow what's going on sometimes?

There's a dedicated anime thread if you don't want to spoil yourself inadvertently: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3950431

I haven't watched the latest season yet but the last third of the manga is bloated in terms of setup yeah. That would be fine if it delivered some serious payoffs but uh... well let's just say we're looking forward to how the anime is going to handle its ending.

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Saagonsa
Dec 29, 2012

It means everything.


Man remember how Mikasa was secretly a princess?

In It For The Tank
Feb 17, 2011

But I've yet to figure out a better way to spend my time.


Remember how Eren told Louise to throw Mikasa's scarf away? I guess he expected Mikasa to go rifling through the garbage for it.

YF-23
Feb 17, 2011

My god, it's full of cat!




The whole "forgiving a person who has committed crimes against humanity" thing isn't new to shounen series, it's just usually reserved for antagonists to have them join the protagonists (think Piccolo and Vegeta).

https://twitter.com/Struggle_Tweet/status/1380997484235747330

More seriously, I am firmly of the belief that the problem here is mostly an overestimation of the author's chops, and a misreading of authorial intent in terms of morality and violence. The violence of AoT is portrayed as gross and gruesome but it's also always been portrayed as necessary: without a violent, militarised society the people of Paradis would have forever been unable to survive and learn the truth about the world. The basement reveal and Marley's role in Paradis' state of siege, with Gabi and Falco's arc were a shift to a cycle-of-violence theme - but one that was used not to refute, but to understand and affirm the necessity of violence.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





YF-23 posted:

More seriously, I am firmly of the belief that the problem here is mostly an overestimation of the author's chops, and a misreading of authorial intent in terms of morality and violence. The violence of AoT is portrayed as gross and gruesome but it's also always been portrayed as necessary: without a violent, militarised society the people of Paradis would have forever been unable to survive and learn the truth about the world. The basement reveal and Marley's role in Paradis' state of siege, with Gabi and Falco's arc were a shift to a cycle-of-violence theme - but one that was used not to refute, but to understand and affirm the necessity of violence.

I mean, the thematic purpose of violence in the series was most clearly shown in the chapter that was reprinted in color alongside the final chapter, Friends.

Uri Reiss uses violence to prevent Kenny from attacking him, then abandons his power to talk. Violence is meant to create a situation where other methods can be used, but even when necessary, it's tragic and a tool to be abandoned at the first opportunity. (Thus the emphasis in the leadup to the timeskip on Titans as fellow victims. There was no solution other than force, but that didn't make force good.)

The Alliance using the rumbling (bad) as an opportunity to create an environment where peace could exist through diplomacy (good) is keeping with the past attitudes of the series. The area where it feels like a break from past chapters is in Paradis moving to take up the role of the oppressor rather that stepping out of the cycle and trying to open diplomatic channels on its own. (Well, that and the reactions to Eren. If you held a gun to my head and made me talk about the hypothetical ending we didn't get that I believe existed, I suspect Eren would live and have his remaining friends distance themselves from him, burdened for the rest of his life by the weight of unforgivable sin. Having everyone talk about how great he was is a kind of half-assed replacement to give Eren a conclusion as a character.)

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008



Buglord

Well, that was definitely an ending.

KazigluBey
Oct 30, 2011

boner



lol called it way back and even got poo poo for saying it's not great that we get a sympathetic take on camp kapos, glad the story really stuck the landing and managed to pay off all the years of buildup. Peace sure is looking promising, what with one side the terrified survivors of global genocide and the other being We Aren't Titans Any More, Citation: Bro Trust Me (plus, you know, their nation back home gearing up for the inevitable retaliation, which makes diplomatic efforts seem a little duplicitous at best even if the characters don't intend it to be). Say what you will about Watchmen, regardless of Moore/Snyder/HBO version, the idea of a unifying threat is that it's external. Again, all those 20% have to go on is Trust Me Bro, and even if they take that step it's rational to ask "well what if they get the powers back, we don't understand how they work".

If this is an intentional way to sneak a bleak as gently caress ending under editorial notice (which still feels a little like copium to me, but hey stranger things have happened) then you know what, it's still dumb but I can at least appreciate the attempt to salvage a different vision.

Release the Isayama Cut. :v:

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Fister Roboto posted:

Well, that was definitely an ending.

Technically, yes.

I think I'll feel good about Attack on Titan as a whole again once I've cooled down, but it's less thinking better of the ending than it is how detached the ending feels from the rest of the series. Even as the climax, it doesn't feel organic to the events leading up to it.

Getting into a rant a little bit, I think that the obviously abandoned Historia and Eren subplot's kind of necessary for the final events here, and the manga replacing it with Farmer kept the harm (sidelining Historia, weakening the emotional weight of her relationship with Ymir, which was really drat good) and lost all the benefit that could have justified the decision.

Previously in the arc, the conflict was between Armin and company being right, but philosophically unfocused, while Eren was wrong, but philosophically strong and coherant. The obvious endgame would be for Armin to get his poo poo together, convincingly present a thematic argument for a (tentative, fragile, but real) peace ending, and defeat Eren, just like Eren defeated Zeke earlier, with Mikasa delivering the finishing blow to conclude her arc by splitting from Eren, even if she still loved him. (The kiss panel was a great, hosed up way to end things for them. Too bad this chapter had to ruin that, too. Seriously, this chapter gets worse the more I think about it.)

Instead, we just had Eren rendered incoherent and (worse) kind of vaguely right. Previously, Eren had the unspoken but implied motive of saving his love interest and child from slavery, even at the cost of the world. The logical ending would have that goal achieved with less brutal methods, allowing Eren a victory and acknowledging the good in his motives (hatred for slavery, pro-natalism) without justifying the evil.

His new goal, by contrast, had Ymir imprisoned by herself rather than by Karl, making freeing her not a logical extension of the Eren who killed slavers to save Mikasa, but a vague plot device.

Worse, if Eren just wanted to save his friends, his plan is worse at that than Zeke's approach or the 50 year plan. Sure, they were still terrible, but they didn't kill hundreds of millions including, most relevantly, Hange and Sasha.

Basically, prior to this chapter Eren was a driven, complicated villain with sympathetic motives. After it, he's the world's crappiest hero.

chiasaur11 fucked around with this message at 23:15 on Apr 11, 2021

Another Person
Oct 20, 2010


imagine being able to sympathise with eren or his motives

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Another Person posted:

imagine being able to sympathise with eren or his motives

Eren's motives as suggested by previous chapters:

"I would like my loved ones to be safe and live long and happy lives. I do not want the woman I love and our unborn child to be enslaved as broodmares, doomed to short and miserable lives as weapons of the state."

What he does is monstrous, but the motives that inspire the actions are human and sympathetic.

Eren's motives in this chapter:

"I guess I want to make the world look flat like in books? And to make my friends heroes by killing millions of people, maybe? gently caress, I dunno."

The actions are just as bad, but the motivations are no longer relatable or coherent.

Super Rad
Feb 15, 2003
Sir Loin of Beef

What even was the point of revealing that Ymir freed the pigs only to have it revealed that she loved her slaver and rapist for 2k years... smdh

threeagainstfour
Jun 27, 2005




I think there was some stuff here that had potential, but it feels extremely rushed. I think it's interesting that in wiping out 80 percent of humanity Eren became the apocalypse that never happened in the fake history of the world that those within the walls were taught.

Also did I miss it, but is it ever stated that Eren knew about the titan worm and that killing it was key to ending the Titans? Also what exactly did Mikasa do that freed Ymir from her love of King Fritz? I think I need to give this last chapter another read.

threeagainstfour fucked around with this message at 23:58 on Apr 11, 2021

hatty
Feb 28, 2011




Pork Pro

The Worm does nothing but muddy the plot. Pointless final boss

Relin
Oct 6, 2002

You have been a most worthy adversary, but in every game, there are winners and there are losers. And as you know, in this game, losers get robotizicized!

make a sequel where someone finds another hallucigenia but they aren't a pickmeisha or a hitler

Eej
Jun 17, 2007

HEAVYARMS


The Titan Defender has logged on

https://twitter.com/mayu_t0m0/status/1380941287113691140?s=19

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012






A quick glimpse suggests it's been better received in Japan than in other countries, but all I've given it is a glimpse. Curious if I missed something, or if there's cultural considerations that make things land much better in Japan than anywhere else.

It's funny. Figured I'd be done with things after 139, for good or ill, but the ending left me confused enough that I'm looking for interviews to clarify how things landed the way they did.

I find it hard to believe this was the ending we were going to get six months ago, let alone from the beginning, so finding out what went down feels much more interesting than it would have if I felt satisfied with how this ended.

Super Rad
Feb 15, 2003
Sir Loin of Beef

threeagainstfour posted:

Also what exactly did Mikasa do that freed Ymir from her love of King Fritz? I think I need to give this last chapter another read.

It's pretty dumb, but all she had to do, apparently, was kill Eren. Like I guess that somehow showed Ymir that loving someone doesn't have to bind you to blindly support them no matter what. You'd imagine another example would have come up in 2k years but lol.

You do NOT have to give this chapter another read, hth.

hatty
Feb 28, 2011




Pork Pro

Some of these fan changes make a lot more sense

Vagabong
Mar 2, 2019


loving paths man, all that time travel shite always makes a right mess out of any story.

Frionnel
May 7, 2010

Friends are what make testing worth it.

That's weird because the paths are not what's wrong with this ending.

The spacetime shenanigans were actually pretty well done in this story.

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008



Buglord



I like how it looks like Armin is handing him a pile of poop.

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN


If Isayama comes out and says this was his ending, not editorialized, Iím not sure if Iíd feel better or worse about the whole thing.

I donít regret buying this series on bluray, because itís still really strong up through season 3. Coincidentally, all my favorite anime have controversial (or nonexistent) endings. Hunter x Hunter, Bebop, Eva, and now AoT.

Asuron
Nov 27, 2012


Tenzarin posted:

Wow did I miss a page of the last chapter?






This is actually how that line feels.

Anyone who says itís better with the proper translation is fooling themselves, itís just as dumb and itís not salvageable.

They all knew that he was doing it for them before this chapter, itís just they could not reconcile with that idea and wanted to find another path. Thanking him for putting them in a world that is worse off is not something Armin of all people would be doing.


Frionnel posted:

That's weird because the paths are not what's wrong with this ending.

The spacetime shenanigans were actually pretty well done in this story.


Thatís correct. The Paths stuff was all good and made sense, itís the utter assasination of the storyís themes, retroactively ruining character arcs and moments, the atrocious dialogue and the complete sidelining of certain characters like Historia who apparentlly one was big fakeout is what went bad. I just canít believe it could all go so wrong in just one chapter

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





bees x1000 posted:

If Isayama comes out and says this was his ending, not editorialized, Iím not sure if Iíd feel better or worse about the whole thing.

I donít regret buying this series on bluray, because itís still really strong up through season 3. Coincidentally, all my favorite anime have controversial (or nonexistent) endings. Hunter x Hunter, Bebop, Eva, and now AoT.

I haven't seen much controversy around Bebop's end, beyond "So, you think Spike died?"

Seems to be pretty accepted in general.

As for this, though... even if it was purely Isayama's choice, it's obvious it was a very recent choice. Even 138 feels odd in this context, with so much emphasis put on this being it for Jean and Connie... then they're fine, it didn't matter. None of it mattered. And Eren puts emphasis on Historia again, before not mentioning her in 139 at all. If Isayama freely chose the chapter he released as an ending, with no revision to try to please the audience... well. That's much stranger than the alternative.)

(Rereading 138 also was... surprisingly good. Divorced from the tension of worrying how things would land, it has some great character moments, solid dramatic irony, a conclusion to Mikasa's arc, and a decent enough resolution to the opening dream. Meanwhile, rereading 139... it still doesn't work.)

Strawberry Pyramid
Dec 12, 2020

by Pragmatica


Asuron posted:

They all knew that he was doing it for them before this chapter, it’s just they could not reconcile with that idea and wanted to find another path. Thanking him for putting them in a world that is worse off is not something Armin of all people would be doing.

I dunno, if some I cared about windmill slammed a "Kill Everyone Besides My Family" button so that I wouldn't die... I feel like I'd feel thankful, if uncomfortable.

Feelings are complicated, you can't expect people to react perfectly rationally and morally to someone so close to them, you know?

Frionnel
May 7, 2010

Friends are what make testing worth it.

Yes, but it's the conclusion of the story, we don't have time to deal with Armin's complicated feelings (or rather, Armin is not given the pages to do so) and the author needs to present a clear moral.

Frionnel fucked around with this message at 03:32 on Apr 12, 2021

TheKingofSprings
Oct 9, 2012



Frionnel posted:

and the author needs to present a clear moral.

They actually have no obligation whatsoever to do this

Captain Invictus
Apr 5, 2005


Clever Betty

I honestly was personally hoping that after eren got decapitated that it stopped following anyone and just had an animal house-esque epilogue instead of explaining anything, since eren died and it was mostly following him through the series.

I still wish it was that. :negative:

Super Rad
Feb 15, 2003
Sir Loin of Beef

Strawberry Pyramid posted:

I dunno, if some I cared about windmill slammed a "Kill Everyone Besides My Family" button so that I wouldn't die... I feel like I'd feel thankful, if uncomfortable.

Feelings are complicated, you can't expect people to react perfectly rationally and morally to someone so close to them, you know?

Except Armin literally fought tooth and nail to stop this from happening for like, the past 8 chapters - it's not like the situation suddenly arose, Armin has had plenty of time to process what is going on and everything until the last chapter indicated that he was not in any way thankful.

Strawberry Pyramid
Dec 12, 2020

by Pragmatica


Side note, I really wish the anime season had been able to end on Eren's Declaration. I can't imagine how interminable the discussion about how awful the Sterilization Plan is for nearly a year will be for them without knowing Eren's alternative is even worse.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Fister Roboto posted:



I like how it looks like Armin is handing him a pile of poop.

I too thought this immediately.

I momentarily thought we were going to transition into paths and have everyone hurling their poo poo at Eren like apes. I was disappointed.

Elias_Maluco
Aug 23, 2007
I need to sleep

Szmitten posted:

I too thought this immediately.

I momentarily thought we were going to transition into paths and have everyone hurling their poo poo at Eren like apes. I was disappointed.

Ok thats the real ending for me now

Captain Invictus
Apr 5, 2005


Clever Betty

Why would julias leave that loving meme in the rear end in a top hat's spoiler post and then put the note above it lol

Vanderdeath
Oct 1, 2005

I will confess,
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.





drat, just saw that the bird Eren turned into is a kind of parasitic jaeger (which actually do nest around South Africa and Madagascar). As expected of Pieck the master Isayama.

Vanderdeath fucked around with this message at 15:44 on Apr 12, 2021

Julias
Jun 24, 2012



Captain Invictus posted:

Why would julias leave that loving meme in the rear end in a top hat's spoiler post and then put the note above it lol

Point taken. I edited the picture out.

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


The anime thread is great because it is an uncanny look into how seriously this thread took the manga a year or two ago. Do not troll it and ruin it pls.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




So many more people watch the anime than read the manga so it's going to be interesting the hysterics that occur when the anime reaches...this end.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Ccs posted:

So many more people watch the anime than read the manga so it's going to be interesting the hysterics that occur when the anime reaches...this end.

If it does.

I'm not expecting an anime original ending, but from how clear it is that this was a total pivot from whatever the original 139 was, it seems likely the anime is going to adjust things to fit together better.

We already have less of the manga's blatant "THE FARMER IS A RED HERRING, EREN AND HISTORIA TOTALLY hosed!" hinting (still some, but notably less), which makes abandoning that line of things easier. Assuming that Isayama wasn't trying for intentional sabotage, or at least that he gets it out of his system before assisting on the final part of the final season, we should get a less dramatic response. Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut, not the original release, where people who see it first go "Eh, that was fine, could have been better", even though it doesn't satisfy the people who were upset with the first release.

Or it could be even worse somehow, but Promised Neverlanding this one would be a pretty standout bit of failure.

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


I'd be willing to believe in an anime-only ending. I haven't watched it but I feel like it has to do something differently from the manga to get so many people to start thinking Eren is ultra competent, Eren doesn't like Mikasa, Eren and Historia are actively engaged in a romance, flawless super genocide is the correct thematic end to the story, etc.

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Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008



Buglord

Ccs posted:

So many more people watch the anime than read the manga so it's going to be interesting the hysterics that occur when the anime reaches...this end.

Maybe the anime will pull a reverse GOT and actually have a good ending.

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