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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 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 Episode 8: Recap and Review

Episode 8 – “Assassin’s Bullet”

Reiner attacks Eren and is quickly knocked down after Eren destroys his jaw with the Attack Titan’s hardened fists. Despite his defeat, Riener grabs the Jaw Titan from Eren. Out of energy, Eren emerges from the nape of the Attack Titan. The conflict finally ends. The Scout Regiment retreats to the airship. Gabi Braun refuses to allow them to escape. Armed with her rifle, she vows to “kill Eren.” On board, Levi kicks Eren and has him restrained.

The fallout from Eren’s manipulative behavior is just starting. Outside, Jean and the other Scouts board the airship while defending it. Former commander Lobov stays to defend the rear. Gabi races toward the airship, while Falco chases behind. Gabi’s perspective is irrational. Part of her drive to “improve herself” is based on the bigotry of Marleyians. She knows they hate her, and yet she aims to gain their approval. She engages in bigotry towards the Eldians from Paradis Island, calling them “devils.” Her desire for revenge is justifiable because the Scouts attacked her home. However, she denies that this is an acceptable justification for Scout’s.

Gabi kills Sasha

She’s spotted by Lobov, who hesitates to kill her after seeing that she’s a child. Gabi has no hesitation and kills him. His corpse drops to the ground, still tethered to the airship. Gabi with Falco grabbing on use the wire to get aboard the airship. Gabi fires at the celebrating Scout’s hitting Sasha in the torso. As Jean and Connie rush to the aid of Sasha, the other soldiers beat and restrain Gabi and Falco. Heading towards death, Sasha asks “whether they will eat soon,” ending with “meat.”

Elsewhere, Commander Magath and Pieck discusses the soldier she suspected. Most of us assumed incorrectly that the soldier was Armin, turns out it’s Yelena. She a soldier that was onboard the one of the missing fleets, she’s also a devout Zeke Jaeger follower. Yelena’s on the airship with the scouts, and so is Zeke. Hange leaves the cockpit and as Zeke, if “all has gone according to plan.”

Eren’s recknessless

Sasha’s death was shocking, but I think they foreshadowed it when Gabi witness her killing the two soldiers. Sasha is loved by the Attack on Titan fandom, but she never was a significant character. Her death will have an emotional impact on fans and of course her friends Armin, Mikasa, Connie, and Eren, but little effect on the actual story. I could be wrong, of course. Eren seem to take her death hard. Hearing her last words from Connie, Eren remembers Sasha wishing for the day that they can recover her lands so she can raise livestock.

While I don’t think that her death will have a narrative impact, it serves to make Eren look worse. He didn’t want her to get killed, but his behavior got her killed. As Jean points out, “she died because Eren had dragged the Scouts into battle.” Zeke’s betrayal is surprising. It explains why Levi’s and the Beast Titans fight wasn’t that intense. Regardless, Levi hates Zeke. He threatens Zeke when the Titan jokes he must have “wanted to kill him.” Zeke’s plan will unfold in later episodes, but in it seems to include getting the Founding Titan and a Titan “of royal blood.” With Gabi and Falco captured and Zeke “missing” I wonder what the Marley’s response will be.