Attack on Titan: No Regrets

Attack on Titan: No Regrets

Thugs in the Underground City

Since there’s a one-week break before the final episode of Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2, I figured I’d review the No Regrets (Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku / 進撃の巨人 悔いなき選択) OVA to fill the gap. This OVA consists of two episodes and tells the story of how Levi Ackerman came to join the Scouts.

Now, you might be thinking that we already got episodes of Levi’s backstory in the main series. And you’d be correct in thinking that. But the backstory we got for Levi in the main series focused more on his childhood. This OVA takes place much later.

At this point, Levi is the leader of a gang that’s located in the underground city beneath the capital.

Farlan and Isabel taking care of a wounded bird from the Attack on Titan: No Regrets anime OVA
Farlan and Isabel taking care of a wounded bird

It’s unclear exactly what the structure of Levi’s gang is. We see a decent amount of members. But, it appears that most of these members are more like contractors who are brought on to complete specific jobs. The only full-time member at the start seems to be Farlan Church.

Isabel Magnolia also joins the gang as a permanent member at the start of the first episode. From then on, Levi, Farlan, and Isabel are the core members of the gang. I think only one other member was named.

Also, before I move on to the next section of the review, I’d like to point out that the underground city could actually be a nice place to live. Obviously, it’s not. But at least if you’re down there you’re safe from the titans. With the exception of the one hole up to the surface we see, there’s no way for titans to enter.

Freedom on the Surface

Levi, Farlan, and Isabel make their way to the surface after they’re recruited into the Scouts by Erwin. However, they’re actually on a mission to infiltrate the scouts, steal a document from Erwin, and then assassinate him. This mission was given to them by a member of the government.

I have some problems with this whole situation. There are two things that the government official offers in exchange for their help. First, he said he’d pay for their comrade’s treatment in a hospital in the capital. And second, he promised them citizenship on the surface.

The first problem is that once these three join the scouts and are taken to the surface, they never mention their injured comrade again. It’s as if they completely forgot about him. And, sure, maybe they talk about him off-screen. But as far as the viewer is concerned, he no longer exists.

Farlan Church seeing beyond the walls for the first time from the Attack on Titan: No Regrets anime OVA
Farlan Church seeing beyond the walls for the first time

Why is that a problem? Well, it’s because of the second problem which is that Levi, Farlan, and Isabel already have citizenship on the surface. Simply by joining the Scouts, they now live on the surface. So if they live on the surface and they’re no longer concerned about their injured friend, why are they still carrying out their mission?

It seems like they’re so blinded by the mission that they were given that they don’t realize they already have everything they wanted. And do they really think the government official would grant them the citizenship they were promised?

To me, this seems like the perfect setup for Levi, Farlan, and Isabel to become scapegoats. If Erwin was actually killed and there was any suspicion surrounding his death, you know that official would throw those three under the bus to save himself. They’re thugs from the underground. They’re the perfect scapegoats.

RIP Farlan and Isabel

Once they made it to the surface as members of the Scouts, I knew Farlan and Isabel were going to be killed by a titan. Since we never saw them in the main series, it was clear that they either died or went back to the underground city. And I think we can all agree the latter was unlikely to happen.

In the end, they were killed by an abnormal titan, along with many other members of their platoon. Their deaths were also some of the most explicit in the entire series. That may be because this is an OVA, so it can get away with more than the TV anime can.

Their deaths also came very late in the OVA. There were only a few minutes left of the second episode when it happened. And I think that hurt the narrative a bit because it meant the ending was a bit too open-ended.

Erwin telling Levi to not regret his decisions from the Attack on Titan: No Regrets anime OVA
Erwin telling Levi to not regret his decisions

I enjoy open endings a lot of the time. But the issue here is that the ending of this OVA has to connect to what we know happens in the main series. That connection was left up in the air. It ends with Erwin telling Levi not to regret his decisions and to stay on as a member of the Scouts.

We know Levi did end up staying a member of the Scouts. However, we got nothing in terms of explaining why he made this decision. Levi says that Erwin is looking at something Levi himself can’t see (the future, the bigger picture). But that shouldn’t mean Levi suddenly wants to follow Erwin now that his friends are dead.

It just seems like there’s a huge disconnect between what we see happen at the end of the OVA and what we know happens later in the series.

Conclusion

Have you watched the Attack on Titan: No Regrets OVA? If so, what did you think of it? Despite my complaints, I still enjoyed it enough to give it a 7/10. It had great action and I liked seeing Erwin again.

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