Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 21: From You, 2,000 Years Ago

Ymir has been an important figure in Attack on Titan. Considered the mother of Titans. Ymir was a slave, who was orphaned by the Eldians. There cruelty extended to cutting out the tongues of the survivors. When Ymir is blamed for a pig escaping, she sentence to be hunted. While fleeing for her life she falls into a pool of water. There she comes into contact with a spine-like creature who turns her into the first Titan. Ymir doesn’t use her newfound power to liberate herself and her people but she serves Fritz, using her Titan form to build massive wealth for the Eldians. Ymir then becomes Fritz “concubine,” giving birth to three daughters: Maria, Rose, and Sina. Ymir’s devotion to Fritz costs her life, when a spy tries to assassinate him and she jumps in front of a spear. Fritz maintains Ymir’s power by having his daughters eat their mother.

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 21 shows the tragic past of Ymir.
Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 21 shows the tragic past of Ymir.

In the Paths, Ymir builds Titans for her descendants to command. Eren embraces Ymir and tells her that “he will end her slavery,” and that she “has a choice.” Ymir has been waiting for someone to free her for 2,000 years, Eren is that someone. In Shiganshina District, a creature similar to the one that birth the first Titan, connects Eren with his body. The sky darkens and the walls begin to crack. The Titans emerge from the walls. Eren transforms into a massive Titan and marches the wall Titans toward Marley. However, Armin deduces that the number of Titans are unnecessary to defeat Marley, Eren must have something else in mind. Suddenly, Eren speaks to the Subjects of Ymir. He tells them he wishes to protect the “people of Paradis Island,” and since the outside world won’t stop hunting them, he must “trample every inch of the world beyond the island until nothing is left alive.”

Let the rumble begin

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 21 marks the major turning point in the series. Ymir Fritz’s backstory was depressing to say the least, but being enslaved made sense. The Eldian race have been tools for others power for centuries. Eren has always sought to free Eldians from their bondage. While this episode explained the origins of the Titans, I now want to know where the spine-like creatures come from. I doubt we would get that origin story. MAPPA has been making a point of zooming in on the detailed eyes of the character’s. However, in this episode Ymir and the Eldian’s eyes are “scratched out.” I can’t figure out what it means but it does have a major effect when Ymir begins to cry.

I was disappointed that Ymir didn’t just kill her enslavers but it’s understandable that a slave would accept their position in life. I would have been better to at least hear what Ymir was thinking as an adult. We also don’t get other details like why did the slaves turn Ymir in? Regardless, Ymir’s life is full of betrayal and brutality. I makes perfect sense that she would have rage. Which makes her very similar to Eren. Both are justified in wanting revenge and I’m excited to see if they get it.

Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 20: The power of the Attack Titan

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 20, ends with a major reveal. Zeke takes Eren through the memories of their father, Grisha Jaeger. Zeke has one goal to show Eren how his father’s ideology is manipulating him. Zeke is clearly bitter for being “abandoned,” accusing Grisha of forgetting he “had a first son.” Zeke tells Eren that their father of using his position as a doctor to “cozy up to those in power,” so he can “hunt down the king,” and “steal the Founding Titan.” If Grisha fails his wife and son (Eren) would suffer as well. It’s Zeke not Eren that is shocked early in this episode. Eren and Zeke learn that Grisha found the King’s hideout years before they expected. Grisha appears to have stopped the pursuit of the King at this point. Zeke assumed that Grisha never loved any of his children, but he realizes that he did love Eren.

Eren gets more intense in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 20
Eren gets more intense in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 20

After travelling through several more memories, Eren tells Zeke that the reason he betrayed him wasn’t because Grisha manipulated. He’s always destroyed those that tired to “steal his freedom.” We also learn that Eren wanted to join the Survey Corps since childhood. Eren doesn’t want to remain ignorant of the outside world. His father is terrified at the revelation. He goes to beg the royal family to stop the Titans and save his wife, daughter, and son. Eren begins to rage in the background as Grisha explains the significance of the Attack Titan, to “defy self-righteous kings.” Furthermore, Grisha claims that the Attack Titan “allows its holder to glimpse the memories of its future inheritors.”

The past can’t be changed

Grisha removes a scalpel from his jacket and prepares to eliminate the royal line. However, he can’t bring himself to do it. Grisha is a doctor. He can’t bring himself to take lives especially children. While he hesitates, the royal family beg their sister Frieda to kill Grisha. Eren tells his father to stand up and remember what he’s fighting for. To avenge his sister, comrades, Dina, and, Kruger. It turns out Grisha killed the Reiss family on the orders of Eren. With the Attack Titan’s ability to see the future, Grisha tells Zeke his dreams are dead. He’s seen the future, Eren wins, and it’s horrible. He tells Zeke, he have to “stop Eren.” Suddenly, Zeke returns to the Paths, with Eren looking down on him.

I will admit, I find the fact Eren is responsible for everything to be confusing. Time travel always has the potential to confuse. Eren is given more agency that everyone else and turns out to be the manipulator of events. It’s farfetched. Attack on Titan also rewrites it’s own story. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Regardless, I’m excited to see how this series ends. Eren violent behavior is getting worst. I guess he’s still the “good” guy, but I’m not sure what that even means in this series.

Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 18: The Brothers Unite

Armin maintains his belief that Eren is faking in order to gain control of the Founding Titan. His goal is to “protect Paradis Island with the rumbling.” Despite remaining skeptical, Jean and Conny agree to save Eren. Outside, Eren is pinned down by Reiner Braun. Eren continues to struggle against Reiner, summoning more War Hammer spikes. Reiner wants to end everyone’s suffering. He wonders why Eren continues to fight. He doesn’t see why he and Eren are so similar but they’re both fighting desperately for those they care about. Suddenly, The Beast Titan hurls a bolder at Reiner, sending him flying. For the first time in the series I was happy to see Zeke. Attack on Titan Season 4 has successfully blurred the lines between friend and foe. I’m still bias in favor of Misaka and Armin. I’m uncertain which side Eren actually is on but I don’t want him to died.

Zeke turns the tables in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18
Zeke turns the tables in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18

Zeke’s arrival dramatically turns the battle. His trademark pitching, overwhelms the Marleyian forces. He takes down the Marleyian airships down as the creepy Yelena enjoys the destruction. Armin, Jean, Mikasa, and Conny finally reach the roof. Jean notices Zeke and concludes correctly that something happened to Levi and Hange. Elsewhere, Colt and Gabi find Falco. Gabi releases that they were wrong about the Eldians. They aren’t devils just “people.” Both Falco and Gabi accept their roles in the current cycle of violence.

Yelena is just so creepy

Death of the Beast Titan?

With the introduction of the mysterious girl in the previous episode, it’s difficult to determine if Zeke will die or not. So when he’s shot through the nape by Pieck’s cannon I was shocked but not concerned. Maybe I should be. Attack on Titan has no issue killing off characters but the series haven’t killed any major ones in a while (Sasha wasn’t a major character, just a beloved one). Zeke is only useful for his ability to create Titans with his scream. If Eren eats him then the plan still worked. It’s unlikely he doesn’t turn at least some people into Titans. Considering Falco, Colt, and Gabi are rushing to stop Zeke. It seems obvious to me that Falco gets transformed, especially since he poured his heart out to Gabi. Zeke’s will probably die at some point but I don’t think it’s now.

Anime

Attack on Titan, Season 4, Episode 17: Eren rages, as Marley invades

Short Summary:

The Marleyan’s invade the Shiganshina District. Eren Jaeger is confronted by Porco Galliard, Pieck Finger, and Reiner Braun. Overwhelmed, Eren is under threat of being killed. Onyankopon free’s the scouts, hoping they will rescue Eren. They don’t trust him. If they rescue Eren that means supporting the “euthanization plan.” Armin tries to convince them that Eren isn’t planning on euthanizing anyone. His words are met with silence.

Levi is in the worst way in Attack on Titan Season 4
Levi is in the worst way in Attack on Titan Season 4

Attack on Titan Season 4 continues exactly where episode 16 left off. Hange Zoe is holding the motionless body of Levi. She tells Floch that Levi’s dead. Attack on Titan is willing to kill off major characters but I don’t think they’ll kill Levi, yet. However, he likely won’t return to battle for a long time if at all. With all the betrayal in this season, it’s difficult to keep track of who’s on who’s side. I had completely forgot about the Jaegerist and the fact that Hange was their hostage. While they’re distracted by the return of Zeke Jaeger, Hange grabs Levi and jumps into the river. Zeke explains that he was in the “paths” a channel that connect all Titans and Subjects of Ymir. While there, his body is remolded by a strange girl. Episode 17 introduces some questions regarding the Titans. Who’s the girl? How did she control the Titan that resurrected Zeke?

In the Shiganshina District, Eren transforms in to the Attack Titan and faces Porco Galliard, Pieck Finger, and Reiner Braun alone. With all the power he’s gained and cult he’s inspired Eren has become arrogant. He marches into the fray certain of his victory. At least in this episode it appears he miscalculated. Pieck snipes at him from a distance, while Reiner and Porco engage directly.

The Cost of Betrayal

Having betrayed all his friends, Eren has no allies with the skills to combat the other Titans. While Eren struggles to fight Reiner, Pieck, and Porco the Marely army slaughters the Jaegerists. This was the most unrealistic part of this conflict. Even though Marley surprised them, it doesn’t make since that they would make better use of the environment than the Jaegerists. There were several moments when the Jaegerists were just standing there out in the open being massacred. Meanwhile, Yelena is just standing there talking about how “special” Eren is.

The most proactive member of the Jaegerists was Onyankopon. In his panic state over Eren’s possible death, he releases the scouts. Conny Springer isn’t so eager to help. With all the betrayals he doesn’t know who to trust. In my review of the last episode, I argued that the main theme was the “consequences of mistrust.” As part of the audience you feel like Conny. Who can they trust? Armin makes one final plead. Arguing that Eren is still worthy of their allegiance. Is he? Eren’s behavior was out of character for him. Armin’s argument feels plausible but are we just giving into wishful thinking? At this point everyone’s confused. Especially the scouts.