The second part of the Attack on Titan Season 3 got it’s promotional trailer from Pony Canyon, the trailer confirms an April return. It’s epic, I can’t wait, watch:
Attack on Titan won’t return until this spring but according to comicbook.com, Araki Tetsuro and Koizuka Masashi spoke with Animedia about what to expect from the rest of the season. Tetsuro stated that “things will kick off fast when the anime resumes.” The director said that “It will go straight into everyone’s much-anticipated combat with Titans. After that it’s battle after battle after battle – we’ll finally have a sudden death confrontation with the Titan Shifters.”
Koizuka “teased” the arrival of new weaponry. “Speaking of combat, there are new weapons in play. That weapon will become the responsibility of someone from Episode 49.” While I thought the pacing and focus on story was a refreshing change to the series and fighting and killing humans instead of Titans created an interesting conflict, I did start to miss the harrowing fights between Titans and humans. Of course I also believe that the second half of the season will feature deaths of some of our favorite scouts.
The massive titan of Rod Reiss continues to drag itself toward Orvud District. Erwin’s plan becomes more clear as Hange explains why it would be a bad idea to evacuate the citizens. Because Rod is an abnormal Titan he would be drawn to a larger crowd of people. If they evacuate it simply will change direction, potentially destroying the wall itself and killing more people.
Erwin acknowledges that the scouts are duty bound to protect the citizens and that even though they will use them as bait, they have developed a plan to save them if needed. The scouts will have the citizen participate in a “emergency evacuation drill.” They begin in the morning, but the citizens aren’t interested. They complain and question the authority of the scouts. Considering their attitude I can only conclude that these people haven’t been exposed to the Titans much.
Regardless, they quiet down as they notice the smoke coming from Rod’s Titan form. Cartsen orders the scouts to shoot Rod with cannon’s from a top of Wall Sina. This goes as well as I expected, which is to say not very well. Erwin has a seemingly ridiculous plan that of course is going to work. As Titan battles tend to go this one wasn’t the most action packed, but it made up for it by being the most disgusting. Rod having been crawling with half his face buried in the ground and well as his stomach, no longer has either.
His entrails fall out on top of Wall Sina. Finally, the citizens see the Titan and begin to flee. From this point the main scouts take over. After blowing up gunpowder near the Titans hands, it falls over. Eren carrying barrels of gunpowder, literally throws it into the Titans face. The heat causes them to blow up, resulting in an chain reaction that destroys the top half of Rod. Piece’s of the Titan fly off and Erwin order’s the Scout’s to cut up the chunks. The Scouts do so with Historia finally delivering the death blow to her father.
We finally see the results of what happened to Kenny and his squad. He appears to be the only survivor and is fatally wounded. Levi and another soldier find him sitting against a tree. As Levi noted his likely fate is death, Kenny shows him a syringe. There’s no way that this series will have another human made Titan so close to Rod. I think Kenny dies before he can use it or he gives it to Levi to use. The action in this episode was simple and mostly secondary. This episode was largely about the character growth of Historia and Eren.
Eren realizes that he was too arrogant. He seems to come to terms with the fact that despite his Titan abilities he’s not the “main character.” Eren of course remains very important to the series but it feels like he’s at peace with his place in the Scouts (and hopefully the series). I still think Historia’s transformation was too quick and not earned like Eren’s, but it will be good to see them accept themselves. With Historia now Queen, the scouts have a powerful ally, while killing off almost all of their non Titan enemies. A perfect time to head to the basement.
Rod beings transforming into a Titan that is twice the size of the Colossal Titan. While transforming Rod destroys the cavern. In order to survive they turn to Eren. As typical of him, Eren has been begging to be “eaten.” He continues to be a “crybaby,” calling himself “useless.” Eren continues to apologize, but Jean does accept it stating that “that Eren has never accomplished anything by himself.” Conny reminds him that “collectively they have been through worse.”
Finally, Eren decides to grab a bottle labeled “armor” and breaks it in his teeth. He transforms and pillars of crystal beings to reinforce the ceiling of the cavern. The squad hides underneath Eren. The Anti-Personnel Squad is harmed however. Caven and another solider are crushed by debris form the cavern ceiling. Unsurprisingly, Hange survives, as Armin and Moblit escape with her Erwin arrives with the scouts.
Meanwhile, Eren is freed from his crystallized Titan and has apparently gained the ability to “harden,” his skin. Levi points out that this is can be used to rebuild the Wall Maria. Interestingly, Rod’s Reiss Titan is strange. It’s large and seems to have a torso too long to stand, along with arms and legs too weak to lift him. Instead of walking upright it crawls and burns everything in it’s wake. According to the Scouts they believe that Rod is an Abnormal Titan.
Historia is asked by Hange if she’s okay with her father being killed. Considering the fact that a Titan of that size must be killed. If find the attachment between Historia and Rod to be weak. It’s really unconvincing to me that she would sincerely care about him. However, she accepts that her father must die.
This episode wasn’t really as entertaining or interesting as the previous ones. That’s no real issue, all episodes don’t need to be spectacular. Mostly the episode felt slow and there wasn’t anything new revealed. Regardless, I’m curious why Erwin won’t evacuate the civilians, the next episode is going to be very interesting.
Rod Reiss gives Historia hope that she can “meet” her sister. He claims that she’s not “entirely dead” he takes out a syringe that Eren quickly recognizes and begins to panic. Meanwhile, the scouts begin their assault on Chapel and the Anti-Personnel Control Squad. The doors open, then the scouts roll barrels of gunpowder down the stairs. Levi and the other enter. Sasha uses her bow and arrow skills to shoot the barrels with fire arrows.
Using signal flares, they are able to create a smokescreen. Levi quickly counts the numbers of Anti-Personnel Squad-members (35). Armin informs the others of the weakness of their Anti-Personnel ODM because it “requires that they fire in the same direction they intend to shoot their anchors, so they are unable to attack someone directly behind them.” Jean and Conny both get their first human kills, signalling a major change in the series as particularly Jean was apprehensive to do so.
Unsurprisingly, Mikasa and Levi overwhelm the Control Squad, taking out several of them each. Kenny attacks Levi, who then manages to wound Kenny in the stomach. Kenny flees. Hange approaches Caven. She manages to shoot Hange in the shoulder with her ODM gear piercing Hange’s shoulder. She then throws Hange against one of the crystal pillars. While, Attack on Titan is know for killing off main characters, I don’t think THIS is will be the moment that Hange will die. Caven takes this moment to flee with her squad.
We finally get to see what happened in the past. Basically, a titan created the cavern, the 3 walls and altered peoples minds. When Frieda was 15 she ate her uncle and inherited the Founding Titan and memories of the of the old world. This process has been repeated over and over in the Reiss Family. He claims that Grisha stole this power from Frieda and “gave” it to Eren, who lacks the Reiss blood and cannot make it work properly.
Kenny is upset once he here’s this. Disappointed that he cannot become a titan and eat Eren, he pulls his gun on Rod. Up until this point Historia was buying what Rod was telling her, but Kenny throws a wrench into it. He asks Historia “if she remembers everything Rod has done to her,” and that “the only thing Rod cares about is her blood because he does not want to become a Titan himself.”
If it’s not obvious, Rod is clearly a coward. He positions himself as some sort of steward of his families control over the titan power. Considering how quickly he goes to get his Historia after his families massacre is questionable. Regardless, Rod encourages Historia to inject the syringe and become a titan and eat Eren.
She’s hesitant and realizes that Eren hasn’t transformed yet. She asks him why and Eren begins to cry and explains that “they would not be in this position if his father had not come here five years ago.” He recalls all the “costs” that Frieda’s death resulted in. Eren has his moments in this series and sometimes if find his emotional complexity endearing. However, he can be needless self-deprecating and it can become annoying.
Historia changes her mind as she remembers Ymir. She throws the syringe to the ground and begins to free Eren as he begs her to eat him to stop everyone’s suffering. She pulls out the first set of chains as she tells him that “that she wants nothing to do with exterminating the Titans. Let humanity get wiped out.” Rod begins to crawl his way toward the puddle and licks it, turning himself into a Titan.
I’m glad to see Historia come to he senses. I predict that Eren should transform to save himself from Rod, but in the state that he’s in maybe not. I’m assume of course that Rod would be a mindless Titan, which could mean that he attacks Kenny and the control squad as well. Being an “ordinary” titan should make him easy to kill anyway.
In the underground chapel built by the Reiss family, Historia reveals to Eren that “everything is all right,” and that her father is “an ally of humanity.” An ally despite the issues he caused for the Scouts, the murder of Pastor Nick and Dimo Reeves. I like Historia but she is rather naive to believe that he father is an ally of anyone but himself. Considering her childhood I think that she really wants to believe that her father is sincere so that she can have a family. Regardless, Rod decides that he will explain it everything to Eren. Having himself and Historia place their hands on Eren triggers memories from Grisha Yeager (Eren’s father). These memories depict Grisha’s “sin.”
Historia recovers some of her memories after touching Eren and realizes that she wasn’t alone as a child, but a dark haired young woman helped her and taught her to read. Rod tells her that woman was his daughter Frieda and she was Historia’s half-sister. Grisha’s sin was the killing of Frieda Reiss. He reveals that Grisha killed Rod’s entire family after he ate her. Gaining the Power of the Titans from Frieda. Grisha has been a mysterious figure in Attack on Titan. It’s stunning how monstrous he turns out to be or was he. Was the Reiss family really for humanity or for their own power? I’m betting their own power. We also learn how Eren received his powers, he ate his father. Knowing Eren this truth is going to weigh on him for some time even if it was an accident. However, considering his fathers knowledge of titans, I get the suspicion that he wanted Eren to eat him.
Kenny the Ripper interrupts them, telling them of the coup. Kenny seems to be subservient towards Rod, whom he calls King. Rod orders him to prepare for the Scouts to arrive. Meanwhile, we see how Zachary plans to treat the nobles, torture them. Basically he strips one naked and feeds him from the “bottom up.” It’s all quiet grotesque but I have no sympathy for the noble anyway, so I don’t care. It also turns out that Erwin’s father was right, the Royal family has the ability to erase memories. Of course certain bloodlines are immune to it’s effects. The nobles are telling all these secrets because they expect that no one will remember anyway.
The scouts prepare to get Eren and Historia. Armin, Mikasa and the others contemplate what their plan should be. Kenny is considered by Levi to be their biggest obstacle. He states that it would be smart for them to consider Kenny the “enemy version of him,” but “deadlier.” We finally get more clarification on Levi and Mikasa relationship with Kenny. Mikasa reveals that her dad did tell her that the Ackermann family had been persecuted. Levi asks her about a moment when she felt a “hidden power,” she says that she had. Levi states that both himself and Kenny felt it as well. In a flashback from Kenny we see that the Ackermann family use to be the warriors that protected the King.
Kenny’s grandfather tells him that the King does hate them, but he can’t control them. The Ackermann family and the Oriental Clan are immune to the King memory erasing power. This all of course makes sense. Mikasa, Levi and Kenny are clearly among the best warriors in the series, the fact that they are also immune to the King’s power does add some comfort. I be interested in seeing if Kenny and Mikasa face off. The scouts arrive at the chapel and prepare for a fight, meanwhile, the Military police are already prepared to greet them. The series has scaled back on the action in favor of more world building, it appears that the next episode will see Attack on Titan return to that action. Which is great, I was starting to miss it.
This episode largely takes place in the throne room. Erwin makes a impassioned plea for the value of the Scout Regiment. The nobles seem to be hasty in their decision to disband the scouts. The Scout Regiment are the branch of the Military that faces off against the Titans the most and they do so deliberately. It features the best soldiers and have the best at using omni-directional mobility gear. Disbanding without having a replacement is short sighted and will cost everyone at some point if implemented.
Erwin claims that if “Wall Rose was breached, its residents would take refuge in Wall Sina again, but the earlier evacuation decimated their stockpiles. This time the residents would be forced to fight for resources and a civil war would erupt between Wall Rose and Wall Sina. Furthermore, Wall Rose is always suffering from a food shortage, so the best way to avoid war is to reclaim Wall Maria. It is the duty of the Scouts to charge at the enemy.” The nobles don’t care, avoiding answering whether they have a better plan to deal with the Titans.
Aurille instead focuses on Erwin’s violation of the “Charter of Humanity,” which reads: “Thou shall not prioritize one’s own gain over the longevity of humanity.” Erwin’s refusal to hand over Eren to the Military has resulted in the Charter being violated. Predictably, he’s sentenced to death. Nile Dawk’s sort of represents the audience here, I think that many of us watching shared his confusion. As Erwin is being lifted to his feet, Anka Rheinberger enters the thrown room and states a clearly false claim that the “the Colossal and Armored Titans have broken through both gates of Calaneth District. The reaction from the nobles is predictable as they demand the gate be closed, leaving half of humanity to death.
Nile disobeys the order, stating that he’s “a human of Wall Rose and he will not allow the gates to be closed.” Dhalis Zachary arrives with armed soldiers. He reveals that the report was false. Pyxis admits that he orchestrated the plan. What surprised me about Pyxis confession is that he was willing to let Erwin die, if the Government made a better choice for humanity. He declares a “coup d’etat.” This moment illustrates how the real power tends to be with the Military forces, after all they have the guns right.
The most surprising thing about this scene in the throne room is the incompetence of the “King” Fritz. His personality and psychical appearance gave off the impression that he was a ruler not to be messed with. It turns out that he was actually asleep with his eyes open. This episode plays with this fact by constantly showing him motionless over and over again. At first I assumed he wasn’t threatened, then I though he might have been dead and propped up somehow, the truth is played for laughs as when he is woken up by Aurille he’s ask if “it’s time to eat.”
So far each episode has solve some mysteries while creating new ones. This episode is no different. Hange explains the report that Erwin gave her. 5 years prior, the Reiss family save Rod Reiss were killed by bandits while praying in a Church. Rod found Historia right after they were killed. Levi concludes that there must be something in the blood of Reiss family. Hange suggests that the story doesn’t add up. The chapel was destroyed even though it was made of stone. Personally, I think he may have had his family killed, destroying the chapel to cover his tracks.
Finally, we see that Eren is chained in the Underground Chapel. I’ve mention before that Eren constantly getting captured seems to be a theme in this series. However, I wonder if the series is trying to turn the “Damsel in Distress,” motif on it head, by constantly having Eren (a male) getting kidnapped and being saved by Mikasa (a female). Anyway, Armin wonders that if “a Titan gains the powers of a person who can change into a Titan by eating them, then when did Eren become a Titan and who did he eat?” I don’t know if that’s how Eren got his powers. Considering their closeness from childhood wouldn’t Eren tell him he ate a Titan?
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?
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.
This episode steps up in it’s intensity. Eren and Historia are quickly tranquilized as Levi gives chance. Levi is quickly attacked by Military Police, lead by Kenny. The chase scene is spectacular, Levi’s skill isn’t surprising but still exciting to witness. Watching Levi and Kenny match wits, Levi outsmarts Kenny. Managing to shoot him with shotgun, although Kenny seem unharmed. Kenny is a odd character, his mannerism are rather relaxed he seemed unfazed by being shot.
Meanwhile, the other scouts hear the commotion. Mikasa finally tells them what Levi told her, “from now on, we’ll be fighting humans, too, and not just Titans.” The shift in dynamic from killing Titans to killing people was always going to be a dramatic shift in the series. It isn’t surprising that many of the characters are apprehensive regarding killing humans. It’s much easier to kill Titans not so much in from a technical standpoint, but from a mental.
Levi tells them that they “can’t hesitate,” when it come time to kill. Of course Jean and Armin struggle with this. After capturing the wagon, Jean does indeed hesitate, but so does the woman aiming her gun at him, it’s Armin that kills her saving him. Despite, Armin’s efforts, the Military police succeed in capturing Eren and Historia. Armin has a profoundly negative physical, emotional and mental reaction. He starts to cry, throw up and lose his appetite.
He concludes that “the person he killed must have been a nice person and more human than he is.” Levi tells him to “embrace the new him,” that Armin is the reason that Jean is still alive. This seems to be mild comforting to him. Jean questions the morality of “hurting people,” Levi states that he’s not certain of the morals of his orders. The complexity of characters, their lives and decisions are part of what makes this series so enthralling.
Is it weird that I enjoyed the torture scenes? Probably. The scouts are cleaver in how they manipulate their captives, when physical pain doesn’t work they use the other captive to demoralize the other. This episode has introduced some dread to this season. Armin will clearly struggle with his new experiences.
We find out that Historia is the “true royal successor,” and she with Eren are with Rob Reiss. While Levi was successful at besting Kenny, his team did fail to rescue Eren. I mentioned this before, but it is surprising and refreshing to see that Eren has taken a backseat to other characters. Even-though it is becoming a troupe that Eren gets kidnap so often.