I went into this week’s episode of Attack On Titan with a healthy amount of trepidation, because I had no idea what was going to happen in the conflict, my trope loving mind could not work it out. And that’s partly why Attack On Titan is so great, we’ve just had this reveal, surely Bertholdt and Reiner can’t die this soon after it, but maybe one will, or maybe they’ll kill someone, or maybe we’ll have a huge shonen titan battle after which no one will die. I can’t quite call it.
Attack on Titan really is a beautiful show isn’t it? The opening sequence with a flashback to Bertholdt, Reiner and Eren during training, looking over that clouded lake, it’s stunning. As is the modern day show with the opening to the fight scene and it’s just about to get bigger and better.
Okay, I do have a criticism this week, and that’s that we got to go back inside Eren’s mind again. While his ‘you damn traitors’ cry was a really cool moment, Eren angry at titans is something that is best received in small doses and his inner monologue as he pounded at Reiner went a bit too far down the anger route. From an analysis standpoint, this does reveal parts of his psyche but it is also very grating on the audience, we know he’s mad at Reiner, we know that Reiner is an evil scumbag at this point but Eren just keeps going like there’s nothing else to punctuate the fight scenes.
Other than that, it was great to see Annie in the flashback, she’s a character I never tire of (perhaps in part because I once knew a girl called Annie who looks quite like her except cheerier (of course), but also because she’s really cold and aloof and well worth watching) and this tied well into the episode, as it led to Eren finding a way to beat the Armoured Titan back, for a problem he was always going to have is that his Titan is really weak compared to the Titans that Annie, Bertholdt and Reiner have at their disposal. That he had Reiner cornered by the end of the episode was a real achievement for him.
Bertholdt managed to eat a couple of people, one Ymir, one a character who’s identity has been kept from us. Thankfully Connie (who remains adorably naive) and Sasha appeared on screen after that so we can rule their death slipping past us (although surely Ymir isn’t dead yet), but that’s a mystery that the episode hasn’t answered, as is what will happen when the Colossal Titan’s torso falls on the ground. There are plenty of main characters there and Mikasa especially seems vulnerable, being close and in a tree.
She was on form this episode, Mikasa, we got an explanation for why she couldn’t just kill Bertholdt and Reiner, she was here there and everywhere, going straight into battle against Reiner to help Eren, and I was fearful for her life all the way. This could be the point where someone like her is killed just to make a point – and I really can’t tell if Attack On Titan is going to strike at a main character at this point, it so easily could.
Also for next episode, will Titans answer the call? Will the group now get overwhelmed? It’s certainly not safe for them right now.
This wasn’t quite as strong as Soldier overall but it gave us a great fight that, even though I’ve never really watched any mecha anime, made me realise that Titans are essentially just mechas with flesh. And the cliffhanger is one of the best, the episode was over in almost no time at all.