Chaotic in a Bad Way, Attack on Titan, Season 4 Part 2, Episode 23 “Sunset” Review

Gloom and Doom. What happens when you take away the central character of the show? You get chaos. This episode is about the rest of the main cast, trying to put pieces together that make sense for them.

Building Annie’s Backstory and Motivation

AoT has a huge lineup of characters that the viewer needs to care about. Now, we have a character being re-introduced, who hasn’t been important since season one. The first half of the episode is straight up her backstory. She was found by another encampment Eldian in Marley, that trained her to become the fighter she is today. Without any real family, she is basically an orphan and her one true connection is this father figure that helped build her into who she is now. After she became a soldier, she was praised to kill, but to her, it didn’t matter either way. Being awake now, she could care less about what Eren is doing, except her sole reason is to try to save this father figure of her. Then, she relates that she is no different than everyone else that wants to save a family member. Moments later, we get a scene with said father, that may have been shot dead.

My biggest gripe regarding this whole Annie situation, is the fact that the writer couldn’t have done anything more for her. After everything that she’s been through, her one sole motivation that is sold to us, is a father figure that we should be caring for? Are we really suppose to care about Annie after she turns her ‘dad’ into disable handicap person? Like really? This is a type of motivation and added depth that should have been added long before the beginning of the end of the show. This is a type of situation that needed some seasoning and development over time. It just feels like we are bombarded with a story that doesn’t exactly make anyone like Annie.. Right after trying to buy into Annie being back, they seemingly throw away the one motivation for this character and possibly kill off her father? What was the point of that here? What kind of reaction of emotion was Hajime Isayama trying to go for?

Bringing Everyone Together

Continuing with the dreary, somber and chaotic vibe of the episode, Armin and Mikasa continues to talk about their next moves as Mikasa is worried about Eren and Armin is like, “yo, there’s too much s**t going on. I’m not Erwin, I’m just going to try to stop Connie.” Armin’s whole spiel completely addresses what we are all thinking about him and that is our expectation of him being someone he is not and won’t ever be. Although, lacking composure, he still displays a very thought out reason why is going to stop Connie, as he 100% needs to earn Gabi’s trust. What Armin lacks in confidence and composure, he certainly shows enough smarts to keep the audience in their good grace.

“When I find Connie, I’m going to bust his balls!” -Armin

Then, it ultimately leads us to Gabi with Kaya’s group. Before heading out to stop Connie, they have a little nice chat that closes out Kaya’s disdain for Gabi. Gabi’s character development seems to be completed, as it seems that she is now a full-blown “good guy.”

What a weird way to end this squabble..

Shifting now to Jean’s point-of-view. Here, he is trying to be the reasonable guy, but Floch is here blowing heads off. Floch is the show’s most radical idealist and Jean is clearly wanting to go into another direction. The development here for Jean, is going to be important for what comes next. He might have one of the cleanest rap sheets that the audience can cheer for as the show moves on.

– “This boy Floch is wild ” -Floch’s inner thoughts

The subplot regarding Connie and Falco, seems to be something that gets in the way of the season, than do anything to help it. Two episodes after the start of the rumbling and here we are, having to watch this Connie situation play out; before the rest of the characters decide on what to do with Eren.

By the episode’s end, Hange and Levi, crosses path with Pieck. Here, we are about to get a gathering of the show’s most important characters. This is where all of the chaos starts to come together for the beginning of what will make or break the show.

This is an episode that involves so many different characters, it’s really hard to make a decision about liking or loving this episode without addressing how the viewer sees the characters and story itself. I just want to pose a question to anyone reading this blog post, do you even like what’s going on right now? Doesn’t it seem like a rush to wrap up all of these character’s stories and motivations to conveniently, somehow end with Eren?

Last Thoughts

When it comes to the animation or feel of the show, I think the show is great! When it comes to the story or character related issues, that is where most of my concerns lie. The episode really lacks in tying together a story that relates to what the viewer really wants to be addressed and that is Eren. Instead, we are pushed with this lackluster Annie backstory and then a series of short scenes involving many different characters.

This episode lacks a real leader, to lead the show. There are like 4 different events going on and Eren has yet, to be a central part of it. In the same way the main character, Eren, is out rumbling across the world doing his own thing; this story became a gumbo of slops that just got thrown into a pot—that we are suppose to accept as good soup. What this episode lacks and season in general, is a central identity.

Please let me know what you guys thought about this episode! Are you liking the story so far? Do you care about Annie? Do you care about Connie and Falco? What is the general consensus?


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