Attack on Titan has yet to officially premiere in Japan, but some lucky fans already got a chance to see the first episode at either its world premiere at Anime Expo or in theaters. So fans have already noticed the major shift in tone.
Attack on Titan's third season gets to a surprisingly bloody beginning, and it all stems from a major betrayal sparking the clash for the rest of the season.
Warning! Major spoilers for the Attack on Titan Season 3 premiere follow!
Although Eren and the other members of the Survey Corps have done their best to protect the kingdom and those within the walls from the Titans, they are quickly betrayed by the kingdom at the beginning of the third season. Former Minister Nick is revealed to have been murdered, and it's highly implied that it was the Military Police that actually committed the act.
Nick had information as to the wherabouts of the Survey Corps, and more importantly Historia and Eren, but he never divulged their location in the end. Levi and the others deduce it was Nick's refusal to give the interior information on the wherabouts of the Survey Corps that led to the degree of torture suffered before his eventual death.
So although Nick never betrayed them, they have a much bigger political and military force on their heels in the Kingdom. This threat is magnified tenfold by the episode's end as Levi is surrounded by a group of soldiers touting a new, deadlier maneuver gear.
Attack on Titan is officially scheduled to premiere its third season on July 22 on NHK in Japan. During its panel at Anime Expo 2018, the series confirmed that the simuldub will begin in August along with further confirmation of its upcoming simulcast on Crunchyroll.
The first episode of the season premiered during the panel to great response as well. Here's what Comicbook.com's Megan Peters had to say about the first episode in her review:
"If you can get through the premiere's slow opening, Attack on Titan rewards fans with plenty of action at the end thanks to Captain Levi. Season Three has a lead-in worthy of the Survey Scouts, but its second episode has some serious responsibility to follow through on the action promised by the premiere's ringing cliffhanger."
For those unfamiliar with Attack on Titan, the series was originally created by Hajime Isayama. Starting its run in Kondansha's Bessatsu Shonen Magazine in 2009, the series has been collected into 23 volumes as of 2017. It's set in a world where the last remnants of humanity live within a walled city in order to escape the danger of the Titans, a race of giants monsters that eats humans. Eren Yeager joins the military with his two childhood friends Mikasa and Armin after the Titans break through the wall and attack his hometown.