Long before I sat down to write these 12 Days of Anime posts, I knew that I’d be writing about Attack on Titan Season 3’s basement reveal. How could I not? It was, arguably, one of the biggest anime-related events of 2019. I would be remiss, as an aniblogger, not to write about it!
There are a few reasons why AOT S3’s basement reveal was one of the highlights of my year, the first being that I had such a blast joining in with the collective excitement of the anime fandom leading up to and directly after it. I know that a lot of people prefer to watch only the more niche shows and look down on the mainstream anime watching peasants from atop their elitist thrones. I’ve definitely been guilty of this, in the past. But there’s something to be had from watching something that everybody else is watching and getting excited over something that everybody else is getting excited over. In terms of AOT S3’s basement reveal, it was so much fun anticipating it, theorising what could be down there, and picking apart the small tidbits that we were initially offered alongside other equally as excited fans.
In part due to the mass hysteria surrounding it, watching AOT S3’s basement reveal truly felt like watching a piece of anime history unfold. Though I’m sure the fact that anime-only AOT fans had been waiting to discover just what laid dormant in the basement for seven long, agonising years, since the show’s very first episode, also played a significant part!
Thankfully, the seven-year-long wait was absolutely worth it! I reckoned that Eren’s father, Grisha, had some kind of laboratory down there and that he was somehow responsible, at least in part, for the titans’ creation. But I’m so glad that the basement’s secret was nothing as straightforward or predictable as that! Speaking of predictable, I’m not sure that anybody could have guessed what our characters would find down there – documents that revealed a hidden piece of humanity’s history. This hitherto untold chapter in humanity’s history was simply astounding, not just in terms of the uncomfortable parallels that it drew with real-life history, but because it blew the cramped and claustrophobic world of AOT wide open. Suddenly the world was bigger, much bigger, than we or the wall dwellers could have ever thought possible, and more frightening too. The documents revealed that our characters had, not just the titans to worry about, but a whole nation of enemies with fearsome, never-before-seen technology, including the technology to turn other people into titans. It was kind of poetic, drawing this season to a close just as the scouts caught their first-ever glimpse of the sea, because the basement reveal brought us viewers to the frightening realisation that everything we thought we knew about AOT was just a drop in an infinitesimally large ocean…
We’re yet to see all the fallout from our characters obtaining such mind-blowing and terrifying knowledge. Is it something that will cause them to go mad with fear? Or something that will unite all of them as they face off against their common foe? One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait to see what happens next!