Attack on Titan Episode 4 Review: Trust

The last episode of Attack on Titan was important to expanding the background of characters Erwin and Historia. It also was dark, draining any since of hope from the series. This episode injects some hope back into it. Marlo Freudenberg and Hitch Dreyse are searching for the scouts in the woods, Marlo questions why the scouts would kill a civilian and flee. Considering the fact that they always risk their lives for humanity against the Titans. If you don’t remember, Marlo and Hitch were featured earlier in the series, in episode 23, entitled Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1. In that episode Marlo claims to have joined the Military Police “to uphold justice and do what’s right.” He’s mocked for this goal by Hitch, but seems sincere when he tries to stop some of superiors while they illegally sell ODM gear.

Anyway, They see Armin taking water from the river. Taking the bait when he surrenders, they are quickly ambushed by Mikasa and Levi. Marlo represents the theme of this episode the governments “truth” is starting to unravel. Nile Dawk tells two journalists that “judging by the evidence,” the scouts did kill a civilian. The younger journalist seems to be more interested in getting all the details, but is cut off by the older one. Dawk shows a concern that the new ODM gear is “perfect for killing people,” in particular scouts. He concludes that the Military Police will likely find themselves staring down their guns eventually.

Flegel Reeves is being chased by the Military Police, he’s chased into a dead end alley, but is rescued by Hange. She tries to get him to stand up against the government, which he is unwilling to do. Hitch is still concerned about Annie going missing, Levi informs her that Annie was the Titan. He decries the fact that ” Nobody knows a damn thing about this world . . . Not us or anyone else.” This is true of course, but is also the goal of the government. The government deliberately miss informs and keeps secrets from the Military Police and civilians. They can’t stop something if you don’t know what going on right.

Marlo asks to join Levi, but he’s rebuffed. Jean asks to tie them up himself, he “attacks” them. I’ll admit that considering Attack on Titans dark theme’s and event that have transpired, I almost thought Jean was going to kill them. However, Jean has always represented the humor in this series (along with Hange). He mocks Marlo for his terrible ” Bowl cut” hair style. Marlo quickly understands that it was a test. Marlo and Hitch aid the scouts in finding the checkpoint, and are told to return to their squad. The scouts take the checkpoint, taking the leader. Levi tortures him but only learns the last name of Kenny, Ackermann. Which is also the last name of Mikasa. There’s no way that she’s not related to Kenny, the question I have is Levi related to her as well.

Finally, Flegel gets “caught” by the Military Police. He gets them to give him a death wish, tell him why his father was killed. It was obvious that he would get the Police to reveal what really happened, but I was surprised that so many civilians witnessed it, as well as the previously mentioned journalists. However, can Flegel be the boss if the Military Police and the government know he’s a witness? Won’t they kill him and all the civilians anyway? Maybe the civilians, journalists and the Reeves family can start a resistance within the walls. The episode ends with Erwin telling Dawk that “When, and if the time comes, he will only watch,” and that “it’s up to you (Dawk) to decide. You and them.” Erwin is clearly going to be heading for execution the question is will it happen?

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Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Old Story

In contrast to the last episode, this one entitled “Old Story” may seem slow, but I think it’s has more impact. In typical Attack on Titan fashion the stories told aren’t uplifting but rather dark. We start with Historia. She tells the scouts that she was born on the land owned by the Reiss family. This episode focuses on the negative effects parents in the series had on their children. Historia’s mother (if we can call her that), literally goes out of he way not to speak to her daughter. Her mother simply reads a lot, while ignoring her. When Historia tries to emulate her mothers reading she realizes through the stories that her relationship to mother is uncaring. When finally makes physical contact with her mother, she’s meet with a violent reaction.

Her mother then utters her first words to her daughter, “if only I had the courage to kill the girl.” Her mother then leaves for fives years only to return with Rod Reiss. He admits to being her father but the government intervenes. Father leaves her mother for death and Historia’s mother final words to her daughter is “if only I never had you,” before her throat is slit. Historia’s mother is a very sympathetic character, so her death didn’t really bother me. However, the reason for her death was clear due to having a daughter with Rod Reiss. Basic giving birth to Historia cost her, her life and she likely knew that it was always going to. Her behavior toward Historia seems reasonable in that context. I don’t know how redeeming Lord Reiss “saving,” of Historia is, and I don’t trust that he truly cares for her to be improbable. He’s likely using her to gain something.

Hange reveals to the scout that Eren is likely going to be “eaten.” After overhearing a conversation between Ymir and Bertholdt, we learn that Ymir ate their comrade. Eating a human that turns into a titan, while being a titan may result in that titan reverting back into a human. Hange believes that they will also gain the powers of that titan. Meaning that the government may want to have a titan under their control eat Eren and gain his ability to control other titans. I assumed that they would use Eren’s power to turn into a titan for their own ends, however, that was a ridiculous thing for me to assume considering that Eren would never do that. Killing him, while gaining his power make much more sense.

The third flashback we get is from Commander Erwin. He speaks to Pyxis regarding his desire to “retake Wall Maria and overthrow the government.” Apparently, he plans on doing so without the need for the military or death. That seem implausible but he’s vague as to what the actual plan is. Erwin recounts the story of his fathers death. His father was a history teacher, however, he taught an edited version of that history. He trusted Erwin with the truth and Erwin went a told his classmates. The military found out about it and killed his father. He believed that the the King had the power to alter the memories of the people, making them easier to rule. This is just a theory, but one that Erwin aims to prove.

Erwin elaborates on his plan when Hange returns, the plan is to put Historia on the thrown as she’s the Queen. Hange Zoe becomes the next commander of the Scout Regiment. Meanwhile the scouts are declared enemies of the state, to be arrested on sight. They are accused of being responsible for the death of Mr. Reeves. Considering the fact that Mr. Reeves son is the only living witness he may be the key to aiding the scouts again the government.

I like the way that they used flashbacks, furthermore, the contrast between Historia’s relationship with her mother and Erwin’s relationship with his father is clear. While, Historia’s mother barely communicated with her, Erwin’s father often did, teaching him History during the day and educated him on the truth at night. It is this communication that costs him his life. Both of them are “responsible,” even if by accident for their parents deaths. Erwin has taken this reality and turned it into a mission, it’s unclear what impact Historia’s past has had on her. Finally, with all the betrayals, lies and conspiracies it’s difficult to trust some of the secondary characters. Will Commander Pyxis betray them too? What about Mr. Reeves son? Regardless, another amazing episode.

 

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Smoke Signal

Attack on Titan finally returns, this time it looks like titans will not be the only threat to the scouts. This episode increases the stakes and enlarges the world of AOT. Levi takes the lead, as our primary protagonists become members of Levi’s squad. The protection of Eren and Historia is now paramount. The first episode shifts focuses from Eren, to larger threats. Eren and the others hide out in a cabin as they recover from injuries from the battle with the titans.

Eren has become an important part of a plan to “rebuilding the damaged walls,” with Hange (one of my favorite characters) in charge of the experiments. Eren’s titan form in weirdly short and emaciated. When pulling Eren out of his titan form part of his face is torn off, leaving part of his skull expose. This is dark humor played for laughs that Hange often creates in this series, of course Eren isn’t in danger and will heal.

In Trost, Pastor Nick is murdered. Having given the scouts information, he’s tortured, but doesn’t give up any information. However, it’s clear that Levi’s squad is a target. With the military police aiming for the scouts, it starts to become clear that the government is up to something. They have frozen the activity of scouts outside the walls, arrested Erwin and have demanded Eren and Historia be turned over. The government has always been portrayed as corrupted, but now they’re murdering innocent people.

Hange heads off to save Erwin, while, Levi takes off with her remaining scouts. Levi and the others head into Trost with a plan. Eren and Historia are abducted, but it turns out that they are impostors. Armin and Jean have replaced Historia and Eren respectively. Mikasa and the others quickly rescue them, as Levi heads to meet with Eren. Before he does he give Mikasa a message to tell the other, it’s not made clear what he says though.

Finally, as the carriage carrying Eren and Historia is stalled, Levi is unsettled. He asks Nifa if she’s heard of “Kenny the Ripper, a mass murderer who slit the throats of a hundred MPs in the capital.” Levi says that he lived with him as a child. Kenny sneaks up on then killing Nifa, his many followers prepare to attack as does Levi. I like the shift from Eren and Titan focuses, to focusing on a corrupted government and large conspiracy. While this episode starts off slowly and end before the action, I thought the shift was needed to set up the new threats. This episode provided a great start and with 23 episodes remaining I can’t wait.

Shingeki no Kyojin: Episode 37

The Smiling titan

The final episode of the second season of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), entitled Scream, begins when the last episode ended. As Reiner throws titans at the scouts, they get up and begin to attack them. Ymir rescues commander Erwin from a titan, while cursing him for ruining her plan.The smiling titan attacks Eren and Mikasa, but Hannes intervenes. How he manages to physically take a hit from the titan and stand tall is beyond me, but he does.

He quickly engages the titan, hoping to get revenge for Eren’s mother. Hannes holds his own against the smiling titan, managing to cut the achilles of the titan, however, its at this moment that he’s captured . I’ve been predicting that Hannes was likely going to die, but the manner of his death was striking. His death is almost shot for shot the same as when Eren’s mother was eaten.

Eren’s Scream

Witnessing Hannes death, Eren becomes distraught, as he foolishly bites chunks of his own hand, attempting to transform into his titan form. Eren tearfully decries how nothing has “changed,” he yells at himself, calling himself “useless as ever.” Mikasa tells him that “it’s untrue,” she tells him that “he’s always been at her side.” She talks about how he wrapped the scarf around her and thanks him. Eren faces off against the smiling titan, letting out a scream. However, he doesn’t manage to transform but all the titans refocus their attention towards eating the smiling titan. Ymir and Reiner confirm that this is a power called the “Coordinate.”

Ymir’s decision

Since revealing her titan status, Ymir has been questioning where she belongs and what to do regarding Historia. She finally makes her decision that now that Eren is revealed to be the coordinate, there’s hope for Historia within the walls. Watching as Reiner and Bertholdt are besieged by titans, she chooses to save them. When Reiner and Bertholdt ask why she helped them, she admits that she owes them for killing their friend. At this point it seems that Ymir’s purpose in the series is over, and it’s unclear that Bertholdt and Reiner will return.

Overall, the series remains a one of the top anime of all time. The series manages to balances emotional intensity, action and good plot development. This season did focus on some of the characters, mainly Ymir, Reiner, Bertholdt and Erwin. However, Levi took a major backseat, I hope he’ll return to the forefront in the following season. The season ended with a mild cliffhanger, introducing a new character. Luckily, we would only have to wait a year to get the next season.

 

Shingeki no Kyojin: Episode 36

Ymir’s confusion

After Ymir removes a saliva covered Christa from her mouth, they engage in a conversation about who’s side she’s on. Ymir attempt’s to convince Christa that life outside wouldn’t be unsatisfactory. Christa ensues Ymir that she is on her side no matter what. She believes that Ymir has been forced into following Reiner and Bertholdt. However, Ymir tells that she was using to save herself and to make her crimes go away. Regardless, it will be interesting to see where this friendship will lead, Christa’s blind devotion may get her killed.

Mikasa has no chill

Mikasa is probably the my favorite character in this series, she is incredible intense and has a unbridled devotion to Eren. As the scouts begin their assault on Mikasa is the most predominate. She quickly attacks Ymir, cut her eye and preparing to kill Bertholdt. Reiner is successful in protecting him from her and she turns her attention to Ymir. Christa interferes, hoping to convince her that Ymir isn’t an enemy. Mikasa is having none of it, stating that she only has “so much in heart to care,” and Christa is “mistaken to assume she has compassion.”

Erwin takes charge

Commander Erwin leads scouts towards Reiner, as a horde of titans follow behind. Reiner charges into the horde, but is tackled by some titans. Erwin continues the assault, telling the scouts that “there is no future where humanity can inhabit these lands without Eren,” the plan is simple, retrieve Eren then retreat. Reiner has no choice but to use his arms, leaving Bertholdt exposed. As Erwin leads the scouts he shockingly has his arm ensnared in the mouth of a titan. Regardless, Erwin continues to lead, telling the scouts to continue the plan. Many of the scouts are killed by titans, as Mikasa attacks Bertholdt and misses.

She quickly is grabbed by a titan, but is saved by Jean. Armin arrives and attempts to manipulate Bertholdt and Reiner. Armin’s best asset is his intelligence and he uses it for a negative reason compared to what he usually does. He asks them how they can abandon their comrade Annie. He tells them exactly where she’s being tortured, and what’s happening to her. Bertholdt becomes enraged, but before he can do anything, Erwin (missing his arm) attacks him, freeing Eren. Mikasa grabs Eren and the scouts begin their retreat. As the scouts flee, Reiner begins throwing titans in their way. Eren and Mikasa are knocked off their horse and see a stunning sight. The titan that killed their mother, walking towards them.

The penultimate episode of Shingeki no Kyojin, entitled Charge, was an episode that featured the essential elements that make this series great. High on emotion, anticipation, shocking twists and action, this episode set up what is likely going to be an even better finale. It’s safe to assume that, Eren snaps and goes full titan rage at the sight of the titan that killed his mother. Of course the fact that titans can only be killed by cutting the nape of their necks, the titans thrown will get up causing trouble for the scouts. I still can’t shake the feeling that someone major will die in the next episode, it will be interesting to see who.

Attack on Titan: nearing towards the climax

Confirmation of human to titan transformation

One of the previous mysteries introduced this season is what happened to Connie’s village. We got confirmation this episode that Connie’s family and the other villagers were turned into titans. The lack of blood, use of horses and normal titan behavior has convinced the scouts that the were transformed. The found photograph of Connie’s parents are telling and it is concluded that Connie’s mother is the remaining titan. Furthermore, during the Ymir flashback we see that her punishment, along with her followers was to be turned into a mindless titan.

Ymir and Reiner want Christa

Reiner uses Christa to manipulate Ymir into working with them. Christa is also important due to her connection to the a family of the church. Ymir uses Reiner’s attraction toward Christa as a litmus test for where he can be trusted. Reiner doesn’t think they should risk themselves for Christa at this points. Ymir makes a passionate case for kidnapping Christa and turns into her titan form.

The Scouts close in

The scouts head into the forests to follow Reiner and the others. However, the are attacked by the titans, they begin to use their 3D gear. They run into Ymir thinking that she was still on their side. However, when she spots Christa, she swallows her and flees. The scouts give chase but she is too fast, as Reiner transforms, together with Ymir, Bertholdt and Erin they begin to escape. The Scouts get on their horses and give chase. With only 2 episodes left in the season the climax is coming and likely to be explosive. I predict danger for the scouts as the no longer will have the cover of the trees. Finally, it seems heavily implied the Hannes will meet his end.

 

 

Attack on Titan: Eren vs Reiner

Scout’s verses the Colossal Titan

Mikasa wonders why she was unable to decapitate Reiner and Bertholdt. She blames herself for the entire situation. Hange orders the other scouts into battle against the Colossal Titan as it begins its assault against them, while consuming Ymir and another scout. The scouts put on an impressive aerial assault, managing to outmaneuver the slow titan. However, the Colossal Titan’s ability to release steam as a defense mechanism stalls their attack. They prepare for it to leave an opening, while they aid Eren. Meanwhile, Conny has managed to miss the fact that Reiner and Bertholdt are the titans.

Colossal Titan attacks

Eren’s Rage

Eren is initially dominate by the stronger Armored Titan. Eren remembers his history with Reiner and becomes angry. Eren’s rash personality is he best and worst asset. He often attacks without reason, leaving him in dire situations. His rage was on full display during his fight against Reiner. However, unlike previous fights Eren channeled his anger into the fight, while using the fight strategies that he was taught. Along with Hange, Armin and of course Mikasa he was able to gain the upper hand. However, the Armored Titan manages to place itself and Eren in place to be eaten by the Colossal Titan.

Eren getting punched by Reiner

This episode was amazing, mostly action it went by quickly. The CG of the Colossal Titan takes getting use to, although it looks better up close. Mikasa may have revealed that she cares about more people than Eren or Armin, when she hesitated to kill Reiner and Bertholdt. She does make up for it during the fight with the Armored Titan, but it may not have been enough to save Eren. Mikasa will likely blame herself if he’s captured. Eren has matured and began using his head for once, resulting in turning the tide of the battle.

 

The truth about Ymir and Historia

Episode 30 of Attack on Titan was mostly split in half. The first half was a flashback that gave us background on Ymir and Historia (Krista). I mostly focused on Ymir, we learned that Historia is the illegitimate child of some royal. As a result she was rejected and was given another name. Ymir takes to Historia due to their mutual life experiences.

The flashback didn’t quite peak my interests, it might have been better to weave the flashbacks in between action scenes to keep the intensity. Regardless, the most interesting thing was the suppose secret that Ymir was going to share with Historia. She was blatantly asked by Reiner, whether she knew that Ymir was a titan. Either she was lying, Ymir told her a false secret or a completely different secret.

We return to the present, as Reiner and Bertolt realize that Ymir was the titan that killed their friend. Ymir’s titan form is rather small, her arms are elongated with claws. It appears as if it shouldn’t be balanced, but moves with impressive agility. However, her lack of strength makes it difficult for her to defeat all the titans. Seeing Ymir struggle causes Historia to shout towards her to live. Ymir changes tactics and knocks the tower over on the titans, as she rescues the scouts.

The titans are unharmed and emerge from the rubble. The titans overwhelm Ymir and begin to cannibalize her. Historia foolishly tries to help her, but the great Mikasa rescues her. The result of the Corps arrive and defeat the remaining titans. Ymir survives, but at the cost of her leg. Despite the beginning I still thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I liked the way this series plays with our expectations of who will and can died. Twice I assumed that Ymir was done for. The question becomes is her loyalty ONLY to Historia or the larger corps as well.


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Ymir the hidden titan

In my previous review I questions Ymir’s motives and thought she was acting oddly. I had no idea what she was hiding but it was big. It turns out that like Eren, Ymir is a human-titan shifter. Early in the episode we are shown a unsettling scene between two small titans, the more energetic one pushes the other to the ground, rips its ear off while making weird panting sounds. I don’t know what the significance of that scene was but it stood out.

The episode then flashes back 2 hours as we witness what transpired before the titan emerged. Connie explains to Ymir what he believes happen to his village, she doesn’t buy his theory that his mother might have been the titan he saw. She rudely mocks him, later she and Reiner look for food and find herring in a can. The language seems to be foreign and Reiner can’t decipher it. He seems to conclude that she’s from a specific part of the country.

We return to the present, as the scouts face off against the titans. A small titan breaches the tower, Reiner encounters it in the narrow hallway. He flashes back to earlier times when he’s and Bertholdt saved by one of his friends, whom is then consumed by the titan. The unarmed scouts defeat the titan, but Connie almost gets eaten by another one. Reiner intervenes and is bitten on the forearm, he lifts the titan on his back intending to jump out the window with it.

Connie slices the jaw of the titan open releasing the grip it had against Reiner’s arm. Scouts seemed to be successfully dwindling the titans down, but the Beast titan throws a giant bolder and horses at the scouts, killing Lynne and Henning instantly. The beast titan calls for more titans, the scouts become overwhelmed. Gerger falls of the wall but Nanaba saves him using the last of her gas. Gerger appeared to be saved, however, he along with Nanaba are killed. Without anyone to battle the titans hope seems lost.

Christa begins to consider what she needs to do to “fight and die” with their comrades. Ymir chastises her for thinking about “throwing away her life.” She takes the knife from Connie and tells the other she’s going to fight with it. She tells Christa that she should remember her promise, then she jumps off the tower cutting herself and turning into a titan.

I’ll admit that the minute Ymir took the knife I figured she was a titan, it was the only thing that made sense. This season has manage to increase the intensity of each episode. The episode also played with or expectations, I assumed that Gerger was safe since Nanaba risked her life for him. Of course this is Attack on Titan, so that was naive of me. Regardless, the secrets of Ymir have been revealed and only more questions remain.


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What is the mystery of the titans?

I am tempted to go on google and spoil the Attack on Titan series for myself, but I promised that I will stick to the anime only. Regardless, the third episode of Attack on Titan, titled “southwestward” begins were we left off in the previous episode. Connie mourns the destruction of his village, however, Gerger notices that the village lacks the general destruction associated with a titan attack. There’s no bodies, remains or blood left behind. The horses are still in the stables, meaning it is implausible that the villages left without them.

Before Connie leaves with the scouts, he hear what appears to be a strange and strained, “Welcome Home.” The trapped titan appears to have been speaking to him. I predicted that Connie might be related to this titan in my last review, I think that I might be correct. However, I does seem odd that Connie doesn’t seem to recognize her. That said we do know that titans can be created with injections, I think the reason there’s no bodies is because they were kidnapped and some were turned into titans. If the titan is Connie’s mother, she must be a failed experiment.

The scouts plan to follow the wall and locate the breach. Meanwhile, a group of scouts kill off another titan, with Captain Rico delivering the death blow. She notice the patterns of the titans are strange, elsewhere, Captain Hannes also releases the strange behavior. 11 hours later the team lead by Gerger, meets with another scout team. They confirm that neither group could locate the breach in the wall. Moonlight breaks through and a castle is revealed. The scouts take shelter in the castle, meanwhile, Hange reveals that the skin of the female titan is the same “pattern and composition,” as the wall.

A massive group of titans most likely under the control of the beast titan, attack the scouts at the castle. The beast titan as pointed out by Connie, heads for the wall. Hange, Levi tells Armin, Eren and Mikasa their mission. Gerger becomes enraged as the titans continue the assault on the castle. He and the other scouts with gear attack the titans, meanwhile the beast titan scales the wall. The rest of the scouts travel towards the castle, I wonder who will still be alive? This episode featured no action, but still manage to remain intense. A partially striking moment was when the scouts were using torches to illuminate the night.

The lack of visibility was frighting, I assumed that they would be attacked. That thought alone created the frighting moment. I was understandably relived when they meet with another scouting team. Armin and Hange together make a formidable team, their logic and reason are probably the best. Finally, I would say that, Ymir, stood out this episode, but not in a good way. She seems suspicious and the squinting eyes and close ups didn’t help. I don’t know what she’s up to but its not good.