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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.