The Other Side of the Sea – Attack on Titan S4 Ep 1 Review

Four years has passed since Zeke, Reiner, and Bertholdt fought the Survey Corps in Shiganshina. Marley is now at war with the Mid-Eastern Alliance.

It’s been four years since the survey corps retook Wall Maria and Armin, Eren, and Mikasa saw the ocean. Now, Gabi, Falco, Reiner, and Zeke are fighting in Marley’s war against the Mid-Eastern Allied Forces.

Catch up on my Attack on Titan Season 3 reviews.

Howdy, Howdy! I want to welcome all of you reading this to my Attack on Titan the Final Season weekly anime reviews!

So just as a heads-up before I begin this review, I wanted to let you know that I have already read the manga from where the season 3 adaptation left off. I currently do monthly chapter reviews of the Shingeki no Kyojin manga as well, which you can read to learn my thoughts going into the new season if you are interested.

I do have some character bias based on how the story progresses, but for the most part – I don’t want that to get in the way of these reviews.

Also, very important point I need to make:

I support Eren Yeager 100%.

Again, as the current manga story stands (with chapter 135) I support Eren Yeager and his cause 100%.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the season premiere! ☺

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 1 Recap

Oh.

I’ve been sitting here now for about five minutes with a smile on my face.

Just basking in the glory that is AoT Season 4. Other manga readers will know, that this season will. Change. Everything. Even the show’s genre.

As I listen to Shock by Yuko Ando, I can’t help but think about how perfect this all is. Yes, I currently do have some gripes about the manga – but man oh man is this adaptation beautiful. I have read manga before and then watched the anime adaptation, but for this series, it’s particularly special.

I love the color scheme, the undertone of foreboding in each scene, and the gorgeous animation and character models.

I love that the OP is filled with nothing but death and destruction, with Eren’s Attack Titan on the top. I love that the ED focuses on Falco and the wings of freedom to fly away.

I love the callback to Reiner thinking about how much he hated the walls on Paradis Island before leaping out of the plane and destroying the Middle Eastern Federation’s fortress wall.

I loved Falco’s little speech about thinking he was actually soaring through the air duel-wielding swords and slicing titan’s napes. I don’t remember reading that in the manga.

What Was Falco Dreaming About?

Falco hit his head on the battlefield and became freckled Ymir for a few minutes
Falco hit his head on the battlefield and became freckled Ymir for a few minutes

When Colt drags Falco off the battlefield, Falco tells Gabi and friends that he had a dream where he was flying around with a sword and that there were titans everywhere.

Falco’s hallucination of Ymir’s memories has been confirmed to be a requested insert from Isayama-sensei himself.

Now while this doesn’t make much sense now, there is a theory that Eren Yeager is the bird Falco sees in the sky. Falco reaches out his hand and is ‘transferred’ the memories similar to the “Shock” by Yuko Ando ending theme animations.

What Was The Meaning Of Falco’s Dream?

Falco reaches out to grab the memories left to him by Eren through PATHs in the AoT S4 Part 1 ED "Shock"
Falco reaches out to grab the memories left to him by Eren through PATHs in the AoT S4 Part 1 ED “Shock”

Many people seem to think that Falco was seeing the future with his dream, when in reality he was actually seeing the past. Specifically, Falco was seeing the previous Jaw Titan Freckled Ymir’s memories from before the AoT Season 2 Battle at Utgard Castle.

Afterward, Ymir agreed to go with the Warriors to “give back” the jaw titan power she stole from Marcel back to Marley.

Falco may have received Ymir’s memories from AoT Season 1 during the fight to capture the Female Titan Annie Leonhart or even the Stohess District Raid. The battle at Utgard Castle would have been Ymir’s final battle with the scouts where they were flying around without swords and there were mindless titans everywhere.

After encountering Eren in bird form, Falco receives memories from the future from Eren using the Founding Titan’s Powers in PATHs after his death in the manga timeline.

Could Falco’s dream be a little…hint so to speak for events yet to possibly come?

The other additional animated scene not in the manga of Jean reading the newspaper with his hat down low in Marley was also a great touch.

The Manga Adaptation is Great So Far!

It’s been nothing but unbridled praise so far in this review – I know.

You don’t understand how long I’ve waited to see all of this animated. To see how the characters were meant to be colored, to hear their voices, to be able to witness life being breathed into the pages I’ve been reading for almost a year now.

The manga readers from the very beginning must have had such a hard time waiting for the anime adaptation.

Marley vs Mid-East Allied Forces

Marley uses Eldian dissidents as soldiers  and turns them into pure mindless titans during their war against the Mid-Eastern Allied Forces
Marley uses Eldian dissidents as soldiers and turns them into pure mindless titans during their war against the Mid-Eastern Allied Forces

Another thing I want to applaud the show for is letting the audience see right off the bat how horrible the Marleyan military is to Eldians and even their Warrior Candidates. This sort of mistreatment does come through on the pages, but added with the music and tension surrounding each scene it really hits home.

It was especially heart-wrenching when Falco (who is genuinely a good kid) is trying to save an enemy soldier and Udo translates what he’s muttering.

The Eldian kids look so dejected, while their Marleyan supervisor just laughs. I know the kids are Warrior Candidates, but it’s not their fault they were brought into this war.

Who Are Marleyans Fighting Against?

Gabi Braun, Falco Grice, Udo, Zofia, and the Horker Koslow sit in the trenches during Marley's war against the Mid-Eastern Allied Forces
Gabi Braun, Falco Grice, Udo, Zofia, and the Horker Koslow sit in the trenches during Marley’s war against the Mid-Eastern Allied Forces

In the Attack on Titan Season 4 premiere, Marley is actually fighting a war against the Mid-East Alliance.

The fight introduces two new central protagonists: Warrior Candidates Gabi Braun (cousin to Armored Titan Reiner Braun) and Falco Grice (nephew to an Eldian Restorationist that helped Grisha and was turned into a titan on the wall at the end of Season 3.)

Why Is Marley At War With Other Nations?

Due to Zeke, Reiner, and Bertholdt’s failure to recapture the founding titan in Shiganshina on Paradis Island, Marleyan Warriors lost some of the status they had around the world.

Marley is generally unliked by other nations because of their imperialist tactics, and the Mid-East Allied Forces took advantage of the Warrior’s perceived weakness to begin a war with Marley.

Marley’s Treatment of Eldian Warriors And Candidates

Gabi Braun is essentially Marley's idea of a perfect Warrior Candidate who is completely dedicated to the Fatherland
Gabi Braun is essentially Marley’s idea of a perfect Warrior Candidate who is completely dedicated to the Fatherland

Why should a child have to be at war for four years?

Why should a child have to run barefoot across the desert dragging explosives that could have blown off her foot just to prove herself to an enemy state?

Children shouldn’t have to go to war. To be soldiers. To be so indoctrinated and brainwashed from an early age that they don’t even have the luxury to form a personality. To even be told – rather – reminded in the heat of the battle that they are monsters and deserve what is coming to them is just cruel.

As most of you will soon learn anyway, Gabi is Reiner’s cousin.

Gabi wants to inherit his Armored Titan.

Gabi’s need to prove herself a ‘Good Eldian’ in the eyes of the world by stopping the ‘Island Devils’ who are giving Eldians everywhere a bad name is a driving factor of her personality. Besides this, she has no other ideals. She has no other thoughts. No other feelings.

She’s a perfect child soldier, unfortunately.

With utter loyalty to her nation.

I believe that the Braun family has a propensity for mental illness, and this all adds to the child soldier which is Gabi Braun.

I won’t say anything else, but just know that I’m not going to hate on that little girl. She is just a child who never had a chance to know any better. In all future reviews, despite what may happen – I have no interest in trashing that poor child.

But, I do have an interest in next week’s episode. I’m thinking maybe 4 – 5 more episodes and then we’ll be back to the Paradis crew?

(Update: just saw on Anichart that it’s only 16 episodes. So maybe 2-3 episodes before the festivities start?)

Either way, Attack on Titan Season 4 is really Attack on Titan Season 1. All of the events that have happened the past three seasons have just been prologue.

The real story begins now.

And like the previous Season 1, if you look closely in the coming episodes you should see hints of what is to come. Just as Annie, Reiner, and Bertholdt were shown (as refugees after and) before the attack on Wall Maria in Episode 1, so were the new infiltrators…because horses can cross the sea.

But, I’ll leave this one here.

Reiner Braun - wielder of the Plot Armor Titan
Reiner Braun – wielder of the Plot Armor Titan

What are you most excited to see this season? (let’s keep this spoiler free, please!)

Which of the new Marleyan Eldian titan shifters do you like the most? Zeke Yeager (the Beast), Reiner Braun (the Plot Armor), Porco Galliard (the Jaw), Pieck Finger (the Cart)…?

We’re in Reiner’s hometown now…Are you digging the new batch of Warrior Candidates?

And…

Can horses cross the sea? (AKA Jean in Marley?)

Jean Kirstein buys a newspaper to read about the Warrior's victory over the Mid-Eastern Allied Forces while in Marley
Jean Kirstein buys a newspaper to read about the Warrior’s victory over the Mid-Eastern Allied Forces while in Marley

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Attack on Titan the Final Season weekly anime reviews.

We are also creating AOT-inspired merchandise for fellow fans, drop by our Redbubble store if you have a chance – you get cool gear, and it helps support the blog!   

次のエピソード: Midnight Descends on Marley

☆ In Asian Spaces            

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

3 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Sea – Attack on Titan S4 Ep 1 Review”

  1. This episode was so good!!!
    Im not a manga reader but I did see a lot of controversy for certain characters on twitter (particularly Eren and Gabi). I think I understand why, putting the pieces together( wont spoil for those who dont know), but I’m not going to hate on them either! With that aside, this review did well explaining what happened- I think the time skip was a bit confusing to some people but I found it interesting learning about these new characters and some more insight on titans and the Marley vs Eldian war. Great review as always^^.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wasn’t it?? ☺I was so excited watching it the whole time!

      (I actually love Eren and a certain character that I absolutely deplored last season.

      Both Gabi and Eren become a lot more controversial in the story…especially towards the final arc because of their actions. I might catch some heat for supporting him but at this point…I’m all in.)

      I noticed that, a lot of anime-only watchers were confused. I watched a ton of reviewers on youtube last night (and basically this morning since I stayed up haha) and many didn’t notice the timeskip or recognize some of the characters. It all should become clearer soon, especially in about 1-2 more episodes when our old gang is introduced again.

      Thank you for reading! ☺ You are seriously going to enjoy the final season so much. I can’t even describe how amazing it’s going to be once certain things are revealed!

      Liked by 1 person

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