If there was something that Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 12 did differently than the finale of AoT Season 1, it was the fact that it stayed true to the manga. The Season 1 finale was epic, but it took a number of liberties with its source material. The final episode of Season 2, on the other hand, followed its source practically frame-by-frame for the most part, and it came out near-perfect. Overall, "Charge" proved to be one of the strongest episodes of the acclaimed anime series, concluding the Clash of the Titans arc and setting up Season 3.
Warning! Spoilers below!
"Charge" began at the same point where AoT Season 2 Episode 11 ended, with Eren and Mikasa facing the Smiling Titan, the giant that ate Carla Jaeger years ago. Unlike their first encounter, however, Eren and Mikasa were saved by Hannes, who failed to protect them during the Fall of Shiganshina. As Hannes tried his best to keep the Titan at bay, Eren attempted to transform. There was just one problem, however. He could not summon his titan form anymore.
The sequence of events that transpired in the anime after that scene were no less than poetic. Eren and Mikasa ultimately shared what could only be the most intimate scene in Attack on Titan so far. At the other side of the battlefield, Armin attempted to save an unconscious Jean from an advancing giant and Ymir continued to fight alongside Historia, regardless of the fact that the Giants just kept coming. Reiner and Bertholdt, on the other hand, continued to be stopped by Titans who were blocking their way.The episode ultimately reached its turning point after Hannes fell and was consumed by the Smiling Titan. With Eren unable to transform, he eventually ended up unlocking a power that might very well turn the tide of the war -- the Coordinate -- which enabled him to control the titans in nearby areas temporarily. With this power under his command, he was able to destroy the Smiling Titan and overpower Reiner and Bertholdt with a wave of rampaging giants. With this, the Survey Corps was finally able to retreat and get to safety.
The latter half of the Season 2 finale was nothing less than a build-up to the upcoming third season of the anime. The three defectors, Reiner, Bertholdt, and Ymir, were shown after their battle against the Survey Corps. Connie and Hange were also able to confirm that Titans were once humans, much to Levi's chagrin. True to form, Erwin stated that while their losses were huge, the discovery of the Coordinate, as well as the revelations of the Titans' identity, ultimately proved to be a step forward for humanity. Eren, for his part, swore to make the traitors pay, using every power that he has.
The finale episode of AoT Season 2 has been received quite well by the Attack on Titan community in online forums such as Reddit, with many fans praising the anime for its admirable quality and direction. Considering the way the score, the animation, and the dialogue all blended seamlessly together, the acclaim that the episode has received among fans is well-deserved. It did, after all, cap off the Clash of the Titans arc with an authoritative bang.Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 12, however, did not escape criticism, with some stating that the finale was not as epic as the final episode of Season 1. While this is true to a point, however, it must be noted that many key sequences in the last episode of the first season, such as Eren's berserk Titan state, did not happen in the manga. Season 2 followed its source closely, and the recently aired finale all but confirmed this point. Overall, it should be noted that while it might seem like Season 2's final episode was not as intense as the finale of Season 1, it did ultimately highlight a key theme of the Clash of the Titans arc -- Control and Temperance -- and how it matters greatly in battle.
Attack on Titan Season 2 might not have wrapped up the ongoing conflict in the anime by any means. Despite this, however, it perfectly sets up the events of the anime's third season. If any, AoT fans could have some respite in the fact that the wait would not be long for Season 3. Immediately after the Season 2 finale aired, the official Attack on Titan Twitter account confirmed that the third season would begin airing sometime next year. That, of course, is the best news that an AoT fan could receive right now.[Featured Image by Kodansha]