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The Marleyian nation invades in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 16

Eren is ready

Above and Below

Mistrust leaves Paradis Island unprepared

The sound from the Thunder Spear echoes through the valley. HangeFloch, and the other Jeagerists notice. Zeke lies on the ground near death. His body above the upper chest remains. He contemplates the possibility of dying. A Titan appears. Shockingly, she doesn’t eat him; she tears open her stomach and places him inside. The last episode of Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 16 Part 1 opens in a surprising fashion. Elsewhere, Commander Pixis is being held by Yelena and the Jaegerists. Pixis surrendered without incident. With the military “dosed” with “spinal fluid”, he felt like he had no choice. Pixis notices Yelena has replicated the color-coded armbands that Marley used. The Red ones symbolize those that were forced to submit, the Black for those who refused, and the white for the Jaegerists.

By creating this hierarchy, the Jaegerists know who they can trust. Yelena argues that she’s just learning from her enemies. Pixis believes all she’s accomplished is making more enemies. She suggests that all this could have been avoided if they were just accepted. However, because they tainted the wine from the beginning, it’s hard not to see the military as being justified in not trusting them.

In the prison, Yelena, Onyankopon, and Greiz arrive. After Jean and Conny berate Yelena and Onyankopon for betraying them, Nicolo and Greiz argue over Sascha. Greiz calls her a “whore” and says that he “hoped Nicolo would have come to his sense after she died.” Nicolo tries to strangle him through the bars. Suddenly, Yelena kills Greiz by shooting him in the head. Yelena says that the “island no longer needs any who would curse them as devils.” As an olive branch, it’s an extreme act, but it might be effective.

As Yelena tells the captives Zeke’s plan, we cut to Gabi. Eren enters the room and tells her he wants her to help. Before she can consider it, Pieck kills the other guard and aims her gun at Eren. She orders Gabi to grab the dead man’s rifle. Eren is calm despite the situation. He calls Pieck’s bluff. She can’t shoot him because he has the Founding Titan, and she’s under orders not to kill him.

He reminds her of the consequences of disobeying a military order. She surrenders, but not before revealing that she think’s he can “defeat Marley.” Gabi is confused, as I think most of us would be. Who can she trust? What are they fighting for? Pieck asks, “Are we Marleyan? Or are we Eldian? Gabi still believes that their “Honorary Marleyians.” Pieck makes an excellent point I hadn’t realized. With the military weapons becoming more capable of killing Titans, the value of the warriors will decline. Meaning they’ll probably all get killed.

The Consequences of Mistrust

So far the theme of this episode is the consequences of mistrust. The military on Paradis Island didn’t trust Yelena and her group, so there couldn’t be camaraderie between them. The relationship between the Eldians and Marley is even more toxic. Naturally, the result is betrayal, mistrust, and revenge. If they can’t get their right themselves, they will never have them. Back at the prison, Yelena explains that both the Foundering Titan and Royal family will need to be maintained if the plan is going to work. As Yelena admires Eren and Zeke as “Gods”, Armin cries. He just didn’t understand their “noble” intentions. I don’t buy it. Armin has a manipulative streak. It doesn’t matter, they’re interrupted and told of the intruders. Eren escorts Pieck to the roof. She’s chained together with Gabi so she can’t transform.

Suddenly, Porco (Jaw Titan) emerges from the floor and bites both Eren’s legs off. From the air, five blimps from Marley arrive, and Eren prepares to meet them. Well, that was an ending. Part 1 of Season 4 of Attack on Titan ended with all the Jaegerists, Paradis Military, and Scouts unprepared. As I predicted in earlier reviews, the infighting left them fractured and exposed. Levi is possibly dead, and if not, he certainly can’t fight. Zeke isn’t in better shape. The Scout’s particularity, Mikasa and Armin are trapped in the prison. Armin can’t transform without killing everyone. The military is in shambles. The Marley military has the advantage. It probably won’t last, but it will cause casualties.

Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15: Recap and Review

Eren agrees to Zeke's plan in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 15
Eren agrees to Zeke’s plan

Sole Salvation

Attack on Titan season 4, episode 15, “Sole Salvation” focused on Zeke Jaeger. Since he told Eren that he would return to save him, his motives have been in question. We find out what his end goal is. Saving the world with his “Eldian Euthanization Plan.” Attack on Titan has given most of its characters more sophisticated portrayals this season. It makes sense that Zeke would get this treatment as well. All we knew before this episode was that Zeke turned his parents in to the Marleyian authorities. In “Sole Salvation” we find out why. Zeke’s parents pressured him to become the perfect warrior to save the entire Eldian race. In the effort to mold him into a freedom fighter, they destroyed the innocent boy Zeke was. Feeling distance between himself and his parents, Zeke finds a father figure, Tom Ksaver.

Ksaver was an Eldian researcher and warrior that possessed the Beast Titan before Zeke. He mentions to Zeke that he became a Titan researcher to cure his curiosity. Ksaver hated being a warrior. He considered it “stupid to shorten one’s lifespan just to invade other countries.” He suffered a personal tragedy. After his wife learns of his Eldian heritage, she kills their son and then herself. This made him into a bitter man that joined the warrior program as a “means of suicide.” This relationship filled the void in both Zeke and Ksaver’s lives. Zeke got the father he didn’t have, and Ksaver got the son. Ksaver treats him like a child and the two play catch. We know Zeke has a love of baseball because of his tendency to “pitch” when he’s killing enemies in Titan form. What at first appeared to be a strange behavior is actually a sentimental habit.

Eldian Euthanization Plan

Ksaver influence isn’t just fatherly. He encourages Zeke to turn in his parents and unintentionally leads Zeke to his master plan. After Ksaver tells him that “the Founding Titan doesn’t just have the power to change the Eldians’ memories; it can alter their physiology, too.” Zeke wonders if the Founding Titan can sterilize the Eldian. Sterilizing is far more preferable than genocide, but it’s still a shocking plan. That both Eren and Zeke have concluded that Eldian should be eliminated, despite being Eldian themselves, is interesting. Especially, if you consider even the Marleyian want to keep the Eldian’s alive, at least to use the Titan powers. That said, this plan would at least end the oppression between the Marley and Eldians. Despite that, war between nation would remain.

In the present, Levi overhears Zeke recalling his memories of Ksaver. He tells Zeke that “eaten by a Titan seems to be a merciful fate for him after killing so many of his comrades.” Zeke claims he saved “children from being born into this cruel world.” Suddenly, he jerks his head, pulling the trigger on the Thunder Spear. The resulting explosion sends Levi flying and splits Zeke in two. Levi and Zeke aren’t likely to be in excellent condition after the explosion, however, Zeke can heal. Would Attack on Titan kill Levi? I would say yes, but in a more epic way. I would guess that he survives.

With Levi unable to battle for a while, this will probably allow Eren and the others to succeed easier. With only one episode left, it’s difficult to imagine this season will end neatly. Despite the thrilling climax, the last episode can only leave us disappointed it wasn’t a longer season. Regardless, I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Anime

Attack on Titan Episode 14: Recap and Review

Savagery (Boaku)

With only two episodes remaining, Attack on Titan Season 4 episode 14, “Savagery” steps up to the action. Eren, Mikasa, and Armins conversation ends in violence. Armin and Mikasa believe Eren was being manipulated by Yelena. He claims that he’s “free.” Eren starts verbally attacking his friends. He says that neither Armin nor Mikasa has “free will.” He tells Armin that he’s part Bertolt, now that he’s absorbed his memories. Then he turns on Mikasa. We had always assumed that Mikasa’s love and devotion to Eren was because of her gratitude. However, Eren claims that the Ackerman family are programmed to “obey orders,” and to protect. Mikasa refuses to believe him. It’s impossible to tell if Eren is merely trying to break the bonds between them or if he’s sincerely turned on them. Regardless, I think it will not work. AT least until Eren and his followers kill their friends. Armin attacks Eren. However, he’s no match and Eren beats him bloody. It’s difficult to watch as the trio’s friendship appears to have dissolved. That said, this is Attack on Titan. All this could be a plot.

Zeke’s Escapes (Kinda)

Zeke’s attempt to escape was only a matter of time. In the last episode, his spinal fluid scheme was exposed. Zeke runs off and lets out a scream. All of Levi’s squad falls out of the trees and transform into Titans. The rest of the Scouts feel the sensation, suggesting that Zeke needs to be closer to them. Once again, Levi has witnessed the death of his squad. This time it’s by his own hands. Zeke assumes Levi couldn’t do such a thing and would accept his death. He’s horrified when Levi catches up to him. It’s hard to believe that Zeke ever cares about anyone, so his “concern” for the lives of the Scouts comes off insincere. Desperate, he transforms into the Beast Titan. It’s remarkable that the once intimidating Titan is no match for Levi. The Beast Titan barely puts up a fight anymore. Levi quick defeats him with a barrage of Thunder Spears to his nape, blowing him up. Levi keeps him alive, hoping to pass the Beast Titan on to someone else.

Things are different now

The 109th Training Corps is preparing to simulate the defense of the Shiganshina District. The recruits are concerned that they will be unprepared to fight human enemies. One trainee believes they should create an Eldian army instead. Eren’s Jaegerists have inspired the next generation. They want him to lead them. Suddenly, Hange, Floch and the Jaegerists appear. They take over. Floch is right when he suggests that the “outside world” is a bigger threat than Titans. He asks for volunteers to join them. Several trainees step forward. Floch then demands that they “show their resolve” by beating Commander Sadies “until he can no longer stand.” They comply. Finally, Levi ties a Thunder Spear to Zeke’s neck with a rope. He then hacks his feet off. Zeke asks for his glasses before we get a flashback. The next episode will probably focus on Zeke. I wonder if we will learn the whole truth. It’s difficult to tell who’s the most sympathetic and I can’t pick a side. However, Eren and his Jaegerists are becoming monstrous.


Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 13: Recap and Review

Children of the Forest (Mori no Kora)

I have to be honest at this point in Attack on Titan I do not know who to root for. The hatred between Eldians and Marley’s is getting confusing. I can’t keep track of who’s an Eldian, who’s a Marlyean, who’s a Marlyean who betrayed Marley, and half of them are Eldians who wish to be Marleyan’s. This on top of all the conspiracy. It’s a lot to take in and keep straight. I’m not sure any of this is bad. The characters aren’t aware who’s on their side, why would the audience. It concerns me that there’s only three episodes left of the anime series. How will this series stick the landing? Attack on Titan episode 13, Children of the Forest, begins with the revelation that Zeke used his spinal fluid to transform the villagers of Ragako. Levi questions Zeke’s sincerity, when the latter claims that he “did not want to do it, but it was to provide cover while he was working for Marley

Keep children out of the forest

As I predicted, the Gabi and Braus storyline was going to end in disaster. After enjoying some excellent food, Falco fakes an illness. They find Nicolo in the wine cellar and during the conversation Gabi gleefully admits to killing Sascha. Nicolo snaps and attacks her with a wine bottle. Falco once again takes the brunt of the assault for Gabi. Nicolo brings an unconscious Falco and a bloody Gabi into the dinning room. He reveals to the Braus family that Gabi killed Sascha. Artur Braus forgives Gabi and hopes to spare children from fighting. Nicolo puts Falco down. Artur asks Gabi “if she is okay.” It shocks Gabi that they don’t hate her. However, Kaya is different. She charges at Gabi with a knife. After Mikasa stops her, she breaks down crying with the rest of the Braus family.

Zeke’s spinal fluid

After the chaos dies down, Nicolo tells Hange to wash Falco’s mouth out because the wine has Zeke’s spinal fluid in it. He’s speculating, but recalls that Zeke used wine to transform enemies into Titans. Yelena appears to be responsible for this plot. In the other room, Armin notices that Gabi only thinks about killing. She can’t believe that they don’t want her dead. Suddenly, Eren appears, waving his bloody hand. The Jaegerists take everyone hostage. Floch Forster stands out. He was once an irrelevant character, now he has become more consequential. Floch also seems deranged. Floch and the Jaegerists knew about Zeke’s plan. Eren, Gabi, Armin, and Mikasa sit around the table, as Eren says he “wants to talk.”

Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 12: Recap and Review

Dot Pyxis suggests giving up in episode 12 of Attack on Titan.
Dot Pyxis suggests giving up

Guides

Attack on Titan season 4, episode 12, “Guides” introduces the emergence of the Jaegerists. They accuse the Paradis Military using Eren to “cling to power.” As the public turns on the military, protesters demand Eren’s freedom. Dot Pyxis and Yelena have a discussion when she admits she encouraged Eren to act without military approval. However, she didn’t specifically tell him to invade Marley. They kept her meeting with Eren a secret even from the other Anti-Marleyan Volunteers. Meanwhile, Hange Zoe and Onyankopon play cards. He’s upset that the volunteers are treated poorly despite aiding Paradis after three years. There’s so much distrusts between everyone the only logical conclusion is for those groups to separate. Onyankopon accuses Yelena of killing those that “doubted” Zeke Jaeger.

Dhalis Zachary

Give your hearts

Elsewhere, Dhalis Zachary tells Mikasa and Armin that they can’t visit Eren, and the military isn’t certain that he’s not being manipulated by Zeke. Armin suspects the military is planning on finding a new Founding Titan. Suddenly, Zachary’s office explodes. His death excites the protestors outside who begin chanting the slogan “Give your hearts!” The culprit is unknown, and the volunteers are under house arrest. Armin expects some Scouts are responsible. A MP emerges from a meeting to announce that Eren had escaped. The following day, it’s revealed that hundred soldiers have defected forming a group Nile Dawk calls the “Jaegerists.” Hange suspects that their goal is to “reunite Eren and Zeke and then reform the military with Eren as its head.”

Pyxis takes over. He demands that Hange bring three soldiers that deliver supplies to Levi’s camp. He believes Eren will try to reach both Zeke and Historia. Armin asks Pyxis what they should do? He responds, “surrender to Eren.” From his perspective, finding the traitors would be too costly. He hopes they can use Zeke’s location to negotiate with Jaegerists. Hange suspects that Zeke and Yelena are in on the situation. With the new fractions, Paradis Island is vulnerable to Marley’s impending attack. The Titan and military power are now fractured. Are the factions going to clash? How far is Eren will to go? I’ve been predicting that Eren might become the new villain. Although, that probably is too black and white for this series. Attack on Titan has entered uncharted territory. Eren is now on the opposite side of Armin and Mikasa, at least for now.