'Attack on Titan' Is Returning to Finish Things — Here's a Recap of the Devestation

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Dec. 21 2021, Published 2:45 p.m. ET

It's the end of an era for anime. The return of Attack on Titan is on the horizon, and with it comes the epic final battle. As Eren Jaeger continues his vengeful fight against the Titans, the conflict has since reached new and earth-shattering heights. The popular and critically-acclaimed anime is fast approaching its conclusion, and it's been a long and winding path to get to this point. So long and winding, in fact, that a recap of recent events is in order.

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The 2009 manga by Hajime Isayama was adapted to an anime in 2013. Humanity lives in a walled-off city while human-eating Titans roam the land outside. After the walls are broken down and countless lives are lost, Eren Jaeger and his friends enlist in the Survey Corps — a military group tasked with eliminating and researching Titans — as Eren vows to eliminate every Titan in existence.

Of course, his path to revenge became far more complicated than he could have ever imagined.

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Here's a recap of the first half of the final season.

After learning that their island of Paradis is essentially a concentration camp for "Eldians" — a race of humans who are being oppressed for their inherent ability to transform into Titans — the Survey Corps plans to invade the outside world of Marley in order to obtain freedom. Three years later, Marleyan child soldiers Gabi Braun and Falco Grice prepare for combat under the watchful eye of Reiner Braun, a double agent between Marley and the Eldians suffering from the trauma of war.

As Marley tries to strengthen its tenuous political dominance with other nations, Eren and the Survey Corps invade Marley. After using their Titan powers to devastate their military forces, they escape back to their home of Paradis Island to recuperate. Meanwhile, a vengeful Gabi and worried Falco become stowaways on their ship. The Survey Corps cooperates with Zeke — a double agent for the Eldians and wielder of the Beast Titan's powers — in trying to build a new empire.

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But Eren himself has other plans. Years of warfare and the revelations of his lineage have worn away at him. After the attack on Marley, he was arrested for treachery after acting violently against their initial invasion plan. But an extremist faction of Eldians known as the Yeagerists break him out, believing him to be a savior of sorts. Seemingly working alongside the Yeagerists, Eren willfully cuts ties with his close friends Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert.

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The Yeagerists assume control of the Paradis government and military in their efforts to initiate the Rumbling, the plan to unleash an army of Colossal Titans on a march to mow down the world. In conjunction, Zeke plans to use the power of the Founding Titan to sterilize the remaining Eldian population in order to prevent the births of new Titans and eventually eliminate the race entirely. Meanwhile, Falco and Gabi are caught in the middle as they begin to question their anti-Eldian sentiments.

The fourth season ends with Eren preparing to use his Attack Titan powers to take on a Marleyan ambush, with his rival Reiner leading the charge.

The second half of Attack on Titan: The Final Season will premiere on Jan. 10, 2022.

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