Monolithic mononymous musicians’ titanic team-up trumpets anticipated anime’s arrival.

After keeping fans waiting for three-and-a-half years between the series’ first and second seasons, the producers of the Attack on Titan anime have acted with a lot more urgency getting Season 3 on the air. Shortly after midnight on Monday, Attack on Titan’s third season debuted, coming just over a year since the end of Season 2, and hopefully while fans still have a hunger for new content that rivals what the Titans have for human flesh.

But the speedier turnaround doesn’t mean that the production is simply staying the course. After three consecutive opening themes from rock band Linked Horizon, Attack on Titan has suddenly switched horses, with Season 3’s opener coming courtesy of not just one, but two of the biggest names in Japanese rock history: Yoshiki, front man for X Japan, and Hyde, vocalist for bands L’Arc-en-Ciel and Vamps. The pair have collaborated to create “Red Swan,” Attack on Titan’s new opening theme, which is previewed in this tweet from Yoshiki himself.

Compared to the operatic/militaristic-sounding bombast of Linked Horizon’s relentless and raw themes, “Red Swan” has a more melodic feel and a cathartic atmosphere, at least in the section provided in Yoshiki’s tweet.

▼ The visuals also give plenty of screen time to ostensibly supporting cast member Levi, in what seems to be an implicit acknowledgment that he’s always been more popular than protagonist Eren.

The song had initially been credited to “X Japan feat. Hyde,” but as per a request from the artists, that’s now been changed to “Yoshiki feat. Hyde,” making this the latest of Yoshiki’s side projects independent from the band with which he’s most strongly associated.

▼ Oh, there you are, Eren! So you are still part of this show.

But while “Red Swan” played as part of Season 3’s television premiere this week, the song isn’t actually finished yet. Viewers heard the roughly 90-second “TV size” edit of the song, which is also already available for digital purchase in Japan. However, Yoshiki says that he’s still deciding between multiple options for the composition of the full version of “Red Swan”, which he doesn’t expect to be finished until early August.

Between his dinner show series and charitable disaster relief activities, it sounds like a busy summer for Yoshiki, so hopefully he’s got a large supply of the cheese crackers he’s so famously fond of to fuel him through his latest musical endeavor.

Sources: Twitter/@YoshikiOfficial, Music Natalie via Hachima Kiko via Anime News Network/Crystalyn Hodgkins
Images: Twitter/@YoshikiOfficial

Follow Casey on Twitter, where L’Arc-en-Ciel’s “Shine” is part of his karaoke repertoire.