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Anime

Attack on Titan Episode 11: Recap and Review

Deceiver

Attack on Titan episode 11 opens with the prison escape of Gabi Braun and Falco Grice. Fearing being killed, Gabi plans the escape. She pretends to be ill and bashes the guard in the head with a brick. Falco doubts they can escape at all. Gabi responds that death would only await them if they remain. In Marley, Reiner awakens in a hospital. The first question he asks is “where Gabi and Falco are?” Back in Paradis, Gabi and Falco have been running for hours.

Gabi is determined to get information from Zeke. Suddenly, they’re interrupted by Kaya. She invites them to eat breakfast. Falco tells Gabi to “let him do the talking.” Gabi’s bigotry is on full display here. She doesn’t want to be touched by “the devils,” and she doesn’t want to eat. I suspect that her views on the Paradis Eldians will soften or she kills the family before that can happen. I think the former is more likely, but Gabi is at ease with violence and combined with her bigotry might not be reasonable.

The fissure between Eren and the Military widens. Hange is confronted by the public who questions their treatment of Eren. They believe all members of the Eldian community should have a say. Hange seems frustrated. She tells them, “the situation has changed now that their Walls are open.” Inside, Hange meets with Floch Forster, who leaked the info that they imprisoned Eren. He claims Eren did “nothing wrong,” and is a “savior.” Hange agrees with some of his arguments but arrests him and three other dissenters. If Eren now has a cult surrounding him, I definitely believe he will betray Paradis (or at least the Military) and put himself in conflict with Armin, Levi, and possibly Mikasa. However, Mikasa’s blind devotion to Eren most likely will see her join him.

The Sascha connection

At the Braus family ranch, Gabi and Falco clean the stables. Kaya comes for lunch. Gabi says that Kaya “has not accepted her guilt and asks if she has forgotten the atrocities committed by the people of the island.” This is in response to Kaya telling Falco that most of the workers are orphans. When Kaya asks if that “what’s taught in Marley” Gabi grabs a pitchfork. Kaya tells them what happened to her as a child and asks “what her mom did to deserve that.” She’s aware of the outside world’s bigotry, but doesn’t understand it. Predictable, Gabi holds on to the stories of Eldians from history. Kaya counters with logic, it doesn’t work.

It didn’t dawn on me until this moment that Kaya is with Sascha’s family. During the Clash of the Titan’s arc, Sascha rescued her from a small Titan that was eating her mother. This being Attack on Titan, this situation will only end in tragedy. Finally, Zeke is exposed as a traitor. Magath tells the remaining Warriors that the world will attack Paradis Island in six months. Reiner notes Marley needs to launch a surprise attack, considering the damage they took. With Zeke now with the Scouts (although they don’t trust him), that gives them (in theory anyway) the power of the Beast, Colossus, Attack, and War Hammer Titans. However, with this new cult of Eren, Paradis may not be at full power to stop Marley from devastating the Island.


Anime

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) Season 4, Episode 1: Recap and Review

Titans fall from the Marley's blimp, crushing the Fort below in episode 1 of season 4 of Attack on Titan.
Suicide Titans, the Marley army has a new tactic

Season 4, Episode 1: The Other Side of the Sea 

Attack on Titan makes it an anticipated return for its final season, and it didn’t disappoint. Episode 1, “the Other Side of the Sea,” introduces us to several new characters and two returning ones. Falco, Colt, Gabi, Udo, and Zofia are “warriors,” a select group of Eldians that are in line to inherit Titan powers. They are on the frontline of a 4-year war against the Mid-East Allied Force. The mission is to destroy Fort Slava, according to Gabi if they’re successful in doing that, the war would end in favor of Marley. Meanwhile, Colt tells Commander Magath that it’s too dangerous to destroy the railroad. The Allied forces have the advantage and will “slaughter” them with machine guns. Furthermore, the Fort gives them the ability to attack whenever they choose. Colt suggests they utilize the Jaw (Galliard) and Cart (Pieck) Titans. 

However, Magath is resistant to the plan. He fears that if they “play their cards wrong” they might lose. Suddenly, an armored train with four “anti-Titan” cannons. Magath points out that one of the “150mm rounds” can kill a Titan in a “single hit.” The Marley nation is still reeling from the failed attempt to take the Founding Titan that cost them the Colossal and Female Titan. After that hit to Marley’s military apparently, the Mid-East Allied Force thought they had a chance to defeat Marley. The Power of the Titans is Marley’s greatest asset, although they seem to hate the Eldians. To this point, Magath prepares to send 800 shell-shocked Eldian soldiers to their deaths. Gabi offers to use her makeshift bomb to destroy the armored trained alone. Magath agrees.

It’s raining Titans

Gabe strips down to her underwear and tricks the Allied forces into thinking she surrendering. Gabe “falls” and uses the feint to wait for the train. She tosses the bomb perfectly and derails the train. As she flees, a soldier fires his machine gun at her. Falco rushes to meet her and the two take cover inside a foxhole. The Jaw Titan appears and rushes the enemy with agility. Hovering above is a blimp with over a dozen Eldian’s captives that appear sedated. Reiner and Zeke are also on board. The Eldians rush the Allied forces, while the Jaw Titan rips up the track and the Cart Titan carries several shielded soldiers with machine guns. The captive Eldian soldiers are dropped from the blimp, they’re bound at the arms and the legs. As the last one falls, Zeke lets out a scream transforming the Eldians into Titans. The Titans then fall like massive cadavers onto the Fort.

They destroy the building and cannons as the Allied forces scattered. The Titans aren’t unharmed but if they aren’t killed on impact, they will recover. However, the Allied Forces use the cannons to blow holes in the Titans. The weapons are effective proving that the Titans have a new problem to deal with. Meanwhile, Reiner parachutes in and reassess the situation, and transforms. Now the Armored Titan, Reiner destroys many of the cannons but is wounded by one that pierces through his arm and shoulder. Before he can regain his composure he’s shot by another armored train, which rips his left forearm off. Reiner rushes to crash into the train but gets exposed to the mounted cannons. Suddenly, the Jaw Titan emerges crushing the Allied Forces. Reiner sends the train flying killing everyone inside. With all of the Allies defeated, Zeke arrives and turns into the Beast Titan.

The war ends, Paradis Island is next

He grabs a fist full of artillery and launches them at the enemy navy with his trademark baseball skills. They respond by firing their cannons. Before the Beast Titan gets hit, Reiner shields him. Zeke hits throw a second round, finishing the Mid-East Allied Forces. Defeated, they sign a peace treaty with Marley. With the Allied forces subdued the Marley nation has an opportunity to refocus on Paradis Island. Attack on Titan season 4 episode 1 is a perfect opening to the final season of one of the greatest anime series. Well crafted, paced, and animated I was engrossed from the first minute. MAPPA is starting to become the standard for the industry. I didn’t even notice the CGI used for the Titans, which can be a problem for some animators.

For some focusing on the Marley nation might have been confusing but I think it was important for setting up the enemy. At the end of last season, we learned that there was a country across the sea, and our main protagonist would have to fight them to survive. It’s necessary to see what the enemy military can do. Titans now have to deal with new cannons that are effective at killing them. Will the Marley military use them? Do the Scouts have the tech to make them? Have they learned any new methods for killing Titans? With the time skip, I think we’re going to be surprised what Eren and the others have gotten up to. The skip allows Attack on Titan to change the main characters off the screen. They don’t have to be like we remembered them because (in this case) four years have transpired. Armin, in particular, needed to grow as he became the Colossal at the expense of Erwin. Anyway, this season is off to a magnificent start and I expect that it will get better.