Shingeki No Kyojin

September 14, 2014

Have you ever known true fear and oppression? The kind that makes you feel that you could be killed the next very second. Even the sanctuary and protection of whatever that keeps you safe isn’t enough as much a guarantee that you will see tomorrow’s sunrise. Or even tonight’s moonrise. Have that feeling of helplessness that there is an all-powerful enemy with seemingly no weaknesses that threatens your very survival? No matter what you do, you’ll never have a fighting chance. Yes, people. Happiness is only a false sense of security if you think you are living in a cage protecting you from such predators. Because if you look at it from another point of view, you are just a caged bird or cattle livestock in the enemy’s ‘farm’.

The caged bird and cattle are humans. The predators: Titans. The cage: A huge impenetrable wall that serves as the last bastion of mankind. Yes, everyone. Know thy true fear as you see it in Shingeki No Kyojin or Attack On Titan. As you could have guessed it, humans lived their puny lives behind great big walls from the threat of huge giants who seem to have a taste for mankind. Humans get to go on living happily like as though Titans never existed. And just true to our human nature, we eventually forget. We take things for granted. Happiness is only fleeting and lasting because the wall is doing a great job. What happens if it doesn’t?

The idea of giants terrorizing and craving for human flesh make some feel like this anime is very similar in many aspects to the Hollywood version of Jack The Giant Slayer. As I have not watched this movie, I can’t really compare it but I can’t find any sources over the internet to say if the American movie copied the idea from the Japanese manga series. Obviously the manga came out first (published in 2009) while the Hollywood movie was released in early 2013. However as I read, development of the movie began back in 2005 and was of course based on the English fairytales, Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer. So did the manga creator get the idea from this? Or is it just a big coincidence?

Episode 1
In the district of Shiganshina, Eren Jaeger and Mikasa Ackerman are carrying wood back when they meet Garrison unit leader’s Hannes. Eren is not pleased they are slacking off and getting drunk in the middle of their job despite peace reigning for 100 years. It is like as though they have no resolve to fight back and even though everyone is eating and sleeping peacefully within the confines of the walls, it just feels like they are cattle. They then witness the return of the Survey Corps. Sombre mood. One of the mothers of the men wants to know if her son is alright. Well, here is his arm. That’s all that is left of him. Heart breaking. Mother thought her son carried out his duty significantly but the leader breaks down. He screams out that after all the sacrifice and years of venturing out, they have learnt nothing about the Titans. Eren wants to beat up a guy who badmouthed Survey Corps but Mikasa brings him away to cool down. She hopes that after witnessing what happened, should change his mind to join Survey Corps. When they return, Mikasa tells Carla (Eren’s mom) about Eren’s dream. Mom is of course against it but his father Grisha was calm. Learning that Eren wants to know what is happening to the world outside instead of living in cages, he understands his son’s inquisitiveness. When he returns, he will show him the basement that he has always kept a secret. Eren ends up arguing with Carla before storming out of the house. A group of boys are bullying Armin Arlert. They see Eren coming to help but it is the sight of Mikasa that scares the sh*t out of them that they pack and flee! Armin was bullied because he too would like to go outside the walls. Peace has reigned for 100 years only because the walls have been doing their job. Suddenly they hear a loud explosion. Before their eyes, a Colossal Titan! Its head is peeping out from the highest wall! With a big hole in the wall, other Titans start streaming in. The people run helter-skelter in panic. Eren realizes one of the walls that were sent flying flew in the direction of his home. To his horror, he sees Carla pinned under the rubble. Mother wants the kids to run but Eren is going to pull her out despite her leg has been crushed and cannot run herself. Hannes comes by and Carla orders him to take the children away. However he wants to play hero and slay the Titan so that they all can be saved. But when he sees the approaching Titan, he chickens out, makes a u-turn, take the kids and run! Eren sees before his eyes his mom being devoured alive by the Titan.

Episode 2
Eren is upset Hannes didn’t save his mom. Hannes bluntly puts it Eren couldn’t save her because he lacks the power and he himself couldn’t because he lacks the courage. The people are panicking to get onboard a boat to the inner walls. Some desperate to get onboard despite being full. Women, children and old folks get priority. To make things worse, an Armoured Titan runs and smashes through another wall and sends all the soldiers flying. Within hours, the southern Wall Maria has fallen and news spread like wildfire through all the human districts about the fall of Shiganshina. Eren is so upset in seeing this and that his last memory with Carla is that petty argument, he vows to eradicate every last Titan on the face of this planet. In the aftermath, the central government has reduced mankind’s territory to Wall Rose. 10,000 lives were lost. Because of the refugees, this means there is food shortage. Eren is still hot-headed. He is not happy to hear some guards commenting that they have to share their food with outsiders and should have been devoured by Titans. Had Armin not stepped in and quell the tension, who knows what might have happened. Eren even wants to head back to Wall Maria and doesn’t accept the argument to live like a cattle and coward. Mikasa beats him up, telling him they were no different. They were just as powerless and had no chance. Survival must be their main goal. Although the refugees were made to cultivate the land for food production, the food shortage was still an issue. Thus under the guise of capturing Wall Maria, 250,000 refugees were sent to ‘war’ and only hundreds survived. That solved the food shortage problem. One of those refugees was Armin’s beloved grandpa. Eren is still adamant to defeat the Titans so he wants to join Training Corps next year. Mikasa will also join to keep him from dying. Armin too.

Episode 3
Under the strict guidance of Keith Shardis, the new recruits experience the tough military drills. But among them, Sasha Blouse was brave (and dumb) enough to eat a potato right before Keith and has the cheek to share it with him! She is made to run laps till sunset. As Eren was the witness during that fateful day, everyone is all ears to his story. He is still adamant of joining Survey Corps to rid the world of every Titan. But fellow Jean Kirschtein has a different ideology. He wants to become the Military Police Brigade and live inside the inner walls of the city. Both of them butt heads but back down since it’s futile to fight against each other. They’re not the enemy. Sasha is on the verge of collapsing from all that running, Krista Lenz helps her but Sobakasu thinks it’s stupid to be kind. However she also helps Sasha to put her in her debt. She can count on her stupidity for that. Keith trains the trainees how to use the basic Three-dimensional Manoeuvre Device (3DMD) but it seems only Eren has problems maintaining his balance. This is a blow to his aspirations. After talking big of slaying very Titan and he can’t even do this simple stuff? It’s just embarrassing. If he can’t pass this, he might even be dismissed and drop out. He tries to seek tips from the rest but they can’t help much since using 3DMD is somewhat of a ‘feel’ kind of thing. Even top students Bertolt Hoover and Reiner Braun can’t do much. However they understand Eren’s feelings because they too experienced firsthand the terrifying invasion of the Titans. Unlike many others here who do not know such fear, they are mainly enlisted just to abide by society’s expectations. It’s D-Day for Eren to show he can handle 3DMD. At first he seems to finally get a hang of it before flopping shortly. Does this mean it’s over for him? Keith wants Eren to switch his gear. Seems Eren had a defective equipment all along. Usually such equipment is never faulty (how sure are they?) but this made everyone think that if Eren was able to stay up for a while even with this faulty device, it means he is a talented guy, right? Eren is so relieved that Mikasa sees in his victory eyes like as though he doesn’t need her anymore.

Episode 4
As the trainees continue their training, Keith makes remarks on each of their character, skill and progress. Among them include, Armin, Bertolt, Reiner, Jean, Sasha, Annie Leonhart, Connie Springer, Mikasa and of course Eren. Eren and Reiner are in hand to hand combat training. Because Annie has been slacking off while eluding the instructor’s attention again, Reiner wants to teach her a lesson as a soldier. He makes Eren fight her and he instantly loses! Of course Reiner himself has a go. No chance! Annie hints to Eren the irony of this world. The more you can fight against the Titans, the further you can get away from them. Because she is not stupid enough to go play soldier. It dawned to Eren that those enlisted in Training Corps are perhaps those who want to get away from Titans by living in the inner walls. Eren and Jean get into another argument. This time a fist fight was inevitable. Eren uses a move that Annie did on him to put him down. They are stopped when Keith comes in after hearing a commotion. Mikasa quickly blames it on Sasha’s fart! As the Training Corps will soon graduate. They are told they have 3 options. 1) Garrison – responsible for wall fortification and defending the towns; 2) Survey Corps – venture outside the walls into Titan territory; 3) Military Police Brigade – governs the citizens and maintains order. Only the third option is available to the top 10. And the top 10 are (from top to bottom): Mikasa, Reiner, Bertolt, Annie, Eren, Jean, Marco Bott, Connie, Sasha and Krista. Eren maintains his ambition to join Survey Corps as his goal is to fight Titans. Some are being pessimistic as they think humans have no chance of winning against them. But Eren remains optimistic. Mankind has been losing because they lack information but now they can use that obtained through fighting and bring hope. He is not going to wait for Titans to devour them. Mankind has not lost yet. He will exterminate them all and escape these walls. This is his dream. Of course Armin and Mikasa also will join him. They don’t want to lose anymore friends and family. Thanks to Eren’s moving speech, some even changed their mind and want to join Survey Corps like Connie and Thomas Wagner. Sasha is still causing trouble since she stole precious meat for them to eat! As the graduates are cleaning the cannons, suddenly the Colossal Titan appears and smashes a hole in the wall! Where the hell did it pop up from? Ah well, there goes 5 years of peace…

Episode 5
Eren is ‘happy’ to see the Titan and goes into swinging action to kill it. However it suddenly vanishes into thin air! Just like how that Titan did came and go so suddenly back at Shiganshina. Eren notices this Titan has a mind on its own because it destroyed all the cannons in one swing. The soldiers scramble to their posts as panic spreads of another Titans invasion. Armin becomes a nervous wreck but Eren calms him down. Meanwhile the noble marquis of the Trost district, Bart is drinking with a high ranking military officer, Dot Pixis. When word reaches them that the Titans have invaded, Bart panics but Pixis wants to go into action. Bart doesn’t want him to leave his side and couldn’t care less about the other soldier. Pixis doesn’t pay heed and leaves. Some of the soldiers especially the newly graduated ones are feeling scared. Especially when they learn the vanguard squad are the front has been eliminated. Jean is upset that the Titans had to pick today to invade. For tomorrow he would have been in the inner walls. Eren gives him a pep talk that they survived hell and made it. So he is going to survive today and be in the inner walls by tomorrow. Mikasa is on a different squad from Eren (her top skills means she is needed to protect the elite and other residents). She wants Eren not to die. Duh… Eren and his team await the incoming Titans. He remembers those Titan lessons at school. Their origins unknown, have no reproductive system, show no interest in any other organisms except humans. Because they have survived without humans for 100 years show they do not need sustenance to begin with. It could only mean that their goal is to slaughter humans. However defeating a Titan is not easy. Even when a part of their body and their head is blown off, they can regenerate. It’s like they are immortals. However they have a weakness. If there is substantial damage to the back of their neck, they will die. That’s why it is essential to hack through their flesh with 2 blades. Now that it’s time to go into action, the horrors of reality sink in. They see Thomas getting devoured by a Titan. Eren is upset and tries to go after it but was slammed away by another Titan. Slowly, every team member gets devoured and Armin is about to meet the same fate. Eren remembers Armin telling him about the fascinating world outside as read from a book he ‘stole’. Seems they have never seen what an ocean is. Eren gets the strength to pull Armin out from the Titan’s throat but he himself gets devoured.

Episode 6
Armin is the only survivor of his squad and is reeling from the trauma of seeing Eren devoured before his eyes. He thinks a useless person like himself should have died instead. Elsewhere, a selfish merchant is blocking the entrance simply because he wants to get his overloaded wagon through the narrow passage. Obviously it won’t go through but he remains stubborn and reminds the people that his resources are what makes them survives. An Abnormal Titan comes rushing into the scene like a crazy madman. The crowd panics and starts pushing. However Mikasa swiftly cuts it down. When Mikasa sees the lagging evacuation due to his selfishness, she wastes no time to prepare cutting him down. After all, what is one sacrifice compared to the hundreds of lives that can be saved. Instantly the merchant becomes scared and withdraws his wagon. An earnest thank from a little girl brought back memories she doesn’t want to remember. She lived a peaceful life with her parents till one day kidnappers killed them and kidnapped her. Because of her rare oriental looks, she would fetch a high price to those with such fetish in the black market. Though, it was her mother who would have been their fine catch had not for a panicking kidnapper who killed her when she tried to attacked back. Grisha and Eren visited their home for the usual check-up but find the dead bodies. Although Eren was told to wait at the base of the hill, Eren went to the kidnapper’s base and killed them to free Mikasa (they were animals and not humans he reasoned). He was unaware there was a third one and was ambushed. Eren is on the verge of being killed. He tells Mikasa to fight. If she doesn’t fight, she cannot win. It was then Mikasa realized the cruelty of the world. Even in nature, a mantis eating a butterfly or her father shot a duck for dinner. It’s kill or be killed. Mikasa never hesitated since and took up the knife to kill the kidnapper. As Mikasa has no home to return to, Grisha suggested living with them. Eren gives her his scarf to keep her warm, something she wears till today.

Episode 7
Although there were no civilian casualties in the evacuation, the fighting squads are stuck. Their equipment is out of gas which makes them unable to climb walls. They’re like sitting ducks. Worse, the Titans are swarming the supply building and killing everyone there. Those trapped, some killed themselves as not to be devoured alive. Mikasa arrives and asks Armin about Eren’s whereabouts. He emotionally reports his squad’s death. Mikasa was calm. She thinks they can win if they eliminate the Titans swarming the supply building. The rest think she’s crazy doing this suicide mission. She can. Because she is strong. Stronger than all of them cowards. So sit back and watch her defeat every single one of them. This motivated the rest to not lose out as they follow her lead. But Armin knows Mikasa is not her usual self. She may look calm but her rash actions indicate she is taking out her emotions via her actions. At this rate, she will run out of gas and true enough it happened and Mikasa crashes below. Armin and Connie go to her aid and leaves Jean with responsibility in leading the rest. However Jean is paralyzed in fear when he sees some of his comrades get devoured. He questions himself if he has the right to shoulder such responsibility. Meanwhile a Titan approaches Mikasa. She is on the verge of giving up when her body suddenly moves by itself to avoid the Titan’s slam. She realizes that if she dies, she cannot remember Eren anymore and vows to fight and live on. She is about to get into action when another Titan approaches. However, this one beats the crap out of the Titan and smashes it till it died! OMG. Never heard of a Titan fighting among themselves?! Not only that, it ignores Mikasa, Armin and Connie to go fight and kill another Titan! Armin switches gear with Mikasa because his has some gas left. He wants to be left at least a blade as he doesn’t want to be devoured but Mikasa throws it away. Mikasa notes the awesome scene of a Titan killing another Titan was uplifting. She felt a great morale booster like as though that Titan was the embodiment of humanity’s rage.

Episode 8
Armin has an idea to make use of that ‘friendly’ Titan. As it attacks other Titans and shows no interest in humans, they should guide it to the supply station where other Titans are swarming. It’s a risky move, either they all end up being saved or be eaten but it’s better to do something than to wait to be eaten. Jean is still in a dilemma about his leadership. As he is paralyzed in fear watching his comrades get eaten, an idea suddenly hits him. While the Titans are busy devouring his dead comrades, he yells to the rest to take this chance and move to the supply building. Everyone follows his lead and but only a few land safely into the building. However Jean is left feeling guilty once more as he ponders how many died on the way. Mikasa’s group also arrive and tells about the ‘friendly’ Titan. While it is taking out the other Titans, the smaller ones are inside wandering around the supply room. Armin hatches a plan to fill the elevator with people armed with guns. They are used as bait to lure the Titans close. Once that happens, they will fire and temporarily blind them and the best soldiers will swiftly jump down to cut their back necks simultaneously. It is a big gamble as everyone must succeed in this one shot. Everyone gets into position. It is nerve wrecking for those in the elevator as the Titans get close. Once close enough, they fire and it is signal for the rest to jump down and cut. Most succeed however Sasha and Connie blunder theirs. Sasha is on the verge of being eaten but Mikasa was quick enough to cut down the Titan. Connie’s is done in by Annie. Sasha feels bad that she almost surrendered to a Titan. After everyone resupplies, they are surprised to see the ‘friendly’ Titan being overwhelmed by the rest. It cannot regenerate anymore. Mikasa thinks of saving it since it might be the weapon that may pull them out of this hopeless situation. When the Titan that devoured Thomas appears, the ‘friendly’ Titan becomes enraged, breaks free and quickly bites it to death. But the most shocking revelation is that when the ‘friendly’ Titan collapses, they see Eren emerging from its back!!! Mikasa dives down to retrieve him and is surprised-cum-relieved that he is still alive. However Armin is baffled. His limbs are still intact when he clearly saw his leg severed and his left arm bitten off.

Episode 9
We are told about the Survey Corps and how 30% of those sent out never make it back. Also introduced are some of the greatest elites of the military of the Survey Corps. First there is Commander Erwin Smith. Then there is Lance Corporal Levi Rivaille and the crazy Hange Zoe who is always excited wanting to meet an Abnormal. We see Levi’s unrivalled skill and agility in taking down Titans like as though it is child’s play. Each of his comrade’s death spurs him on despite putting a brave strong front. Meanwhile Eren is in a pool of blood. Possibly inside the Titan’s stomach. He sees dead bodies floating everywhere. He cannot accept this reality and the fact Titans have robbed them of everything. So upset that he vows to kill them all. That’s when he emerges and breaks through from the Titan who devoured him as that rampaging ‘friendly’ Titan. When Eren wakes up from his daydream, he is shocked to see Armin and Mikasa by his side and the rest of the military pointing their blades at them. It’s like they’ve become a villain. They heard him mutter he’ll kill everyone. The squad captain, Jesus (I can’t remember his real name but because he looks like a crazy version of Jesus Christ…) wants to know Eren’s true identity because everyone saw him emerged from the Titan. He thinks he is another version of a Titan and will not risk more of their kind to breach beyond the walls. Mikasa defends Eren and warns them that her special ability is to cut flesh. Those who want to experience it personally, please feel free to approach her. Eren feels weak and he doesn’t have memories prior to what happened. He thought all that was a dream. When he answers back he is human, Jesus isn’t convinced and orders his men to fire. As Mikasa takes Eren away, he remembers about the key and basement his dad wanted to show him. He was told he must survive and recapture Wall Maria to go to that basement. In tears, Grisha injected some drug that would affect his memories. It is some power that should prove useful then and his memories will teach him how to use it. The path is tough and harsh but he must succeed and master this power if he wants to save his friends and everyone else. Eren bites his thumb. Though the cannon fire hits them, what everyone sees next leaves them in true shock. Eren has turned into a Titan to protect his friends!

Episode 10
The soldiers’ morale are low, the reason why Jean and the rest can’t let the word that Eren turned into a Titan spread. Then they hear the cannon shot and swing over to see what’s happening. But the thick smoke is blocking everything. Eren is able to get back to his conscious and break out from the Titan, though it’s bones are starting to crumble. He thinks the mystery in the basement will contain some useful information on Titans. If so, he is upset his dad kept it locked up instead of sharing with the rest. So many lives have been lost. There are 2 options now. One, he goes solo from now on and will leave this place and try to get to the basement. Armin feels he has been a useless coward and will die as one when Eren explains the second option. Armin must convince that Eren is not a threat, he will stay. Whatever his decision, Eren will respect. Why him? Because in dire situations, it is always Armin’s decision that brings them back alive like how he called for Hannes’ help 5 years ago. Otherwise they would have been Titan’s meat. The choice is obvious. Without hesitating, Armin drops all his arms as he goes to convince Jesus. He believes he was always convincing he was powerless and a burden. He can’t doubt himself now as the most trusted people are trusting him with their lives. Armin suggests having a Titan as an ally but Jesus is too scared and has abandoned all reasoning. He wants to eliminate the ‘threat’. Armin is willing to lay down his life for mankind’s revival but before Jesus can signal the order to shoot, Pixis stops him. He heard from a messenger what’s going on and wants to hear what they have to say. Survey Corps once predicted the Titans will attack from the south. Wall Maria of the southernmost district, Shiganshina was attacked. Based on this prediction, next will be the south wall of Trost. Pixis is the executive in charge of all southern territories and is given full authority to implement whatever defence tactics for it. Pixis hears them out on this Titan power thingy. But Armin too wasn’t sure. He said it out on both believe and an act of desperation. What he wanted to say was to suggest Eren trying to move the boulder to seal the broken wall where the Titans broke in. Hence Pixis asks Eren if he wants to seal the gate. Eren is frank that he is unsure about his powers so Pixis rephrases his question. Will he do it or not. Eren notices him overlooking his shoulder. Behind him is mankind’s civilization. I guess he got the hint. Whether can or not, he will do it.

Episode 11
Pixis is going to execute the plan now and assembles the soldiers. He reveals Eren’s ability to transform and the plan that in his Titan mode, he will lift the boulder and seal the hole. Because Titans are attracted to large groups of people, the soldiers are to lure them to a corner while Eren and a small group of elites tasked in protecting him get their mission done. However there are some who are still afraid. One in particular is making a fuss that he is going to quit this suicide mission and return to his family. Although the officer threatens to cut him down for treason, he doesn’t mind it and prefers to die this way then being devoured. This fear spreads to the other sections of the soldiers. They’re having doubts now. They begin to leave in droves when Pixis tells them those who want to leave can do so. He doesn’t blame them after coming face to face with a Titan. But if they want their loved ones to experience the same thing, go ahead. Instantly, everyone turns back. Pixis continues that the operation to reclaim Wall Maria 4 years ago was just a sham to reduce their population due to limited resources. The rest survived thanks to their sacrifices. Mankind including himself bears that sin. Nobody made a fuss since the population of Wall Maria is small but if Wall Rose falls and mankind is driven back to Wall Sina, not even half the remaining population can be supported. It is not Titans who will end mankind but themselves as they will kill each other over limited resources. Pixis assigns the best elites of the Garrison squad to protect Eren: Jan Dietrich (squad leader), Riko Brzenska and Mitabi Jarnach. But they question if this plan can succeed as they are relying on a vague factor called Eren the Titan. Pixis wonders if they love losing to Titans that much. He wants to win so badly even if this vague factor is their only chance. Eren is not amused that Mikasa continues to be a worrywart over him. Yeah. She wants to come along with him despite being assigned to the luring squad. However that changes when Jan wants Mikasa on his team. Happy? As Eren’s team head to position, Riko talks to him how everyone here is willing to die for him although if this mission succeeds, nobody will die. So she wants him to fulfil his duty with his life on the line too so as not to let those deaths be in vain because they too like everyone else aren’t just disposable pawns. They have families and feelings too. The operation begins and Eren changes into this Titan form. Instead of lifting the boulder, he suddenly attacks Mikasa!

Episode 12
Riko fires a flare to signal the plan has failed. Mikasa’s persuasion to Eren also fails. Because Mikasa was like a fly on his face, he punches himself and gets knocked out! Pixis sees the flare but he wants everyone to maintain their position. The mission continues. Although there have already been casualties, he has given the elites a task. They are the best of the best so conceding easily is not an option and must struggle till their last breath. Mikasa still clearly wants to protect Eren but Riko and Mitabi are against it and want to retreat. Jan as the leader is in a dilemma. Worse, bigger Titans are coming in. Jan decides that they stay back and protect Eren. For he is valuable and may hold the answer in defeating Titans. He is irreplaceable unlike them. As they know no other way to defeat Titans, the only way left is to become brave sacrifices to this questionable human weapon. Riko does not agree with him but will obey his command. They head off to cut off other Titans approaching. Mikasa thanks him but he doesn’t need it. It’s to protect her lover. Mikasa blushing? Mikasa then notices Eren not regenerating. Will it affect the real Eren? Speaking of him, he is inside still in a daze. He sees a vision of his family back in his comfortable home. As Mikasa cuts down Titans, she wonders why there are so many more streaming in. Could it be they are attracted to Eren? Armin has rushed all the way here and heard from Mikasa. Armin will try and get Eren out. He remembers how Eren emerged the last time and carefully aims his blade so as not to hit his vital part. He stabs through and the pain jolts Eren. He tries to convince Eren to wake up but why would he? It’s comfortable back here… But the question of why he wants to go outside makes him realize something. Meanwhile Jean’s team is supposed to handle stray Titans that aren’t at that corner. Jean’s 3DMD malfunctions so he is forced to run away from hungry Titans on foot and take shelter in a shop. He sees the 3DMD equipment of a dead comrade nearby. Can he reach it in time? Armin continues his ‘sweet talk’ about their goal of going outside. He asks why he wants to do that even if it means death. Eren in a fit of rage now awakens from his slumber. His response is because he was born in this world.

Episode 13
Jean tries to take the 3DMD but the Titan is closing. Marco, Connie and Annie jump back down to distract the Titans and from heart stopping action and manoeuvres to another they amazingly manage to climb back up to the safety of the wall. The ground is felt shaking. It is Eren the Titan. He is in control, picking up the boulder and making his way to seal the hole. Jan orders the rest to keep the other streaming Titans away from him. Their best bet is to stay low on the ground. They will put their lives on the line just to let Eren complete his mission. As Eren trudges on, he sees the deaths of many of the soldiers including Jan and Mitabi. He finally drops the boulder to block the hole. Riko fires the flare indicating success. Pixis orders a team to go rescue the elites. Armin is having a hard time pulling Eren out. His body is burning. A Titan is approaching. It wasn’t Mikasa who cut it down but Levi. As narrated, the Survey Corps and Garrison annihilated the remaining Titans crowding at the wall, though it took the entire day. Over 200 soldiers died and close to 900 were injured. As they have reclaimed Wall Maria, corpses are being identified and picked up to avoid epidemic. Jean is shocked to see Marco’s body. He cannot accept it is him but was told by the emotionally-numb nurse to do so or else disease will break out. There is no time to mourn. Jean with a heavy heart identifies him as Marco. Also all over town are giant spit balls believed to be from Titans containing devoured soldiers. As they have no digestive system, once they are ‘full’, they will be spit out. Eren wakes up in prison and chained. Erwin and Levi are here to interrogate him. Erwin has his key and knows about the basement. What he wants to know is Eren’s intention as it may be the key to mankind’s freedom. Eren’s answer is that he wants to join Survey Corps and slaughter every Titan. Levi likes the looks in his eyes and will take responsibility of him. Not because he trusts him, it’s so that he can cut him down when he goes berserk. Welcome to the Survey Corps, kid.

Episode 13.5
Recap episode! Although no new scenes, it is basically a recap of important scenes that involve Eren. So you can take out all those boring drama parts and see Eren in swinging and slashing Titan action. Okay, for most of it. From when the Colossal Titan first broke through the wall to his mom’s devouring to the second attack again (thank goodness they skipped the training arc) and the intense battle between everybody and himself as a Titan to seal the hole. And it’s like they prepared all this beforehand because the first scene of the first episode has young Eren waking up from such long dream and in tears. A premonition of things to come?

Episode 14
Different people have different ideas about Eren. Those living in the inner walls think Eren will turn into a Titan and attack them. The rest believes he is mankind’s saviour. Pixis and Erwin talk. It seems the Military Police Brigade wants custody of Eren and kill him as many among the soldiers still fear Eren’s power. Currently Eren is in the custody of supreme commander Dallis Zacklay, the big boss over all 3 of the army factions. A trial will be held to determine whether Eren lives or not and Zacklay is the judge, jury and executioner. Eren is brought to the trial and he sees lots of odd faces, new faces, fearful faces and familiar faces. Mikasa and Armin are also summoned as witnesses. With Zacklay entering the courtroom, he wastes no time in telling Eren what the trial is about: His continued existence and which faction will take custody of him. Military Police Brigade is represented by Nile Dok. He proposes to get rid of Eren once they have squeezed every information about him. So much about gratitude. Erwin representing Survey Corps proposes using his power to recapture Wall Maria. That is all. Of course those fearing Eren’s power quickly jump to conclusions he should be killed. Levi had to tell those bastards off that the Titans won’t just sit around for the wall to be resealed. He hints people are starving due to lack of land and you know what capturing Wall Maria means, right? Zacklay has read reports about him in Titan form attacking Mikasa. To Mikasa’s dismay, Riko didn’t lie in her report. How could she? Mikasa tells the truth but also how Eren saved her on 2 occasions.

Nile rejects her argument and adds that their investigations show they killed kidnappers when they were young. Although it is self defence, their basic human nature needs to be questioned. Can they be trusted? When everybody starts thinking Mikasa is also a monster, Eren blows his top. He tells off those f*ckers that they’re just cowards. What are they so scared off if they haven’t even seen a real Titan? So just shut the f*ck up and bet everything on him! Nile’s side get ready to shoot him but Levi beats up Eren till he loses a tooth! This is training? Mikasa is so mad… But she have to hold it in… Levi continues to beat him up till the opposition feels pity. Shouldn’t he stop now? Levi says Eren in this form is no match for him. But can you bastards kill him? Erwin adds although Eren’s power has lots of uncertainty, he wants Eren to entrusted to Levi and venture outside the wall. He will be judged based on results of the expedition. Zacklay wonders Levi can do the job. He is certain he can kill him. The problem is that there is no other alternative. Zacklay has made his decision. And so Eren gets to live and in the custody of Survey Corps. Erwin thanks Eren for holding out so long, otherwise they couldn’t have gotten that proposal through. Hange has collected his broken tooth as experiment sample. Glad Eren isn’t going to be dissected by the other side, eh? But now he has to put up with weirdoes of the Survey Corps. Like Mike Zacharias who loves sniffing people… Hange takes a peek into Eren’s mouth and finds that missing tooth has already grown.

Episode 15
Eren and the Survey Corps are making their way to the outskirts where an old abandoned castle will serve as their base of operations. Oluo Bossard thought he could be cocky giving Eren some ‘advice’ but when his horse trips on a stone, he accidentally bites his own finger!!! Comical! Eren notices the elite members under Levi’s squad, each with their own impressive record of Titan kills and assists. They include Oluo, Petra Rall, Erd Gin and Gunter Schultz. As they clean up the castle, Eren is being told his quarters will be the basement. In case if he turns into a Titan, they can better restrain him underground. During dinner, everyone talks about the new recruits that will be joining them. Some want to know about Eren’s power but he himself is surprised he somewhat knows what to do to be a Titan. When did he know something like this? When Hange comes in, this crazy woman hopes Eren can come with her tomorrow for a Titan experiment. A what? Everybody starts leaving when Hange starts explaining what it is. Oh no… It’s about those Titans they have captured and she’s using them as experiments. And so it begins… Her long story… There are a couple of Titans pinned down with pins and wires. Hange begins her once-upon-a-time story about some cannibal tribe, blah, blah, blah, which turns out to be some naming ceremony of hers. Yup. She names them Sonny and Bean!

She also narrates the various experiments done on them like cutting out sunlight to see their reaction since they are less active at night. The result differs. Sonny became less active after an hour while Bean lasted a full 3 hours. There are many more experiments she wanted to try but had to be careful so as not to kill them like how it happened to some. There were also experiments to test their pain reception! Hange was crying as she stabbed them! I think it hurt her more than it hurt the Titans! Eren wonders how she can stay so cheerful before mankind’s enemy. She entered Survey Corps to avenge her friends but one day she realized something. She kicked a decapitated Titan’s head and finds it very light. Even cut off parts are lighter than they seem. So when she heard Eren became a Titan out of thin air, she thinks the essence of what they see and think are completely different things. She wants to view Titans differently from her comrades. Eren realizes Survey Corps is a home for weirdoes but also people who want to change. He is interested to hear more of her stories. She couldn’t be happier. Yes, every one of them… And it lasted till morning… Oh those bags under Eren’s eyes… Regret? Don’t sleep yet, there’s more! Suddenly there is a report that Sonny and Bean have been killed! They rush to the scene and Hange goes crazy. Seems the attack was done before morning and witnesses saw a couple of guys in 3DMD fleeing. Erwin whispers to Eren and asks what does he see? Who is the enemy here?

Episode 16
Everyone has their 3DMD equipment checked. Although the culprit is never found. This has Connie remember when everyone learnt about Marco’s death. Jean seems distraught that if he had known this was coming, he would never have become a soldier. Even though he is scared, he told them he was going to enlist in the Survey Corps. He asks Annie for her opinion but she tells him to decide himself. She has already decided a long time ago. It was to save herself. The day all the trainees are they choose where they are to be enlisted, Jean tells his pals about his reason of joining Survey Corps. Well, sounds more like he-is-not-joining-because-of-this-because-of-that. Erwin makes his speech and gets straight to the point to recruit soldiers for Survey Corps. He lists down all the facts that would easily scare them off from the mortality and survival rate in Survey Corps and the basement in Eren’s house that holds the key to mankind’s victory. He wants them to ask themselves if they can offer their lives for mankind and those who do not want to enlist here can leave. Soon, droves of trainees start streaming out. Jean and the rest are having doubts to stay. This is their chance to escape. But why aren’t they moving? In the end, with the exception of Annie, everyone stays back. I hope they won’t regret their decision. I just thought they were too scared to move so they got stuck. Haha… Eren finally meets up with his friends (though Mikasa has a bone to pick with Levi for going too far with Eren). He is surprised everyone has joined Survey Corps. Even more surprising, Jean is here. He learns the shocking truth of Marco’s death. Nobody knew how he died. As everyone gears up for the next expedition, Jean asks Eren about him attacking Mikasa in his Titan form. He doesn’t deny it. Mikasa wonders why he is driving Eren to a corner. Jean replies that everyone else isn’t ready to die blindly for Eren like her. They need to know what they’re risking their lives for otherwise they’ll waver at the moment of truth. They expect something out of Eren and whether it is worth their lives. That’s why Jean is seriously counting on him. Soon, Erwin leads the next expedition to Shiganshina.

Episode 17
As the expedition gets on the way, Survey Corps maintain their long distance scouting formation created by Erwin. Some support units act as diversion for Titans as the big group makes its way out of the wall and into Titans’ territory. We learn the different smokes fired by the formation when encounter a Titan (red smoke) and formation of a new course (green) to avoid facing off with Titans so they can advance to their destination. Of course Abnormals can cause such formation to break as we see in Sasha’s case. She’s a damn lucky girl to have escaped one by the skin of her teeth! Or its teeth rather. Squad leader, Ness and Sys protect Armin from an Abnormal. They thought they have to quickly deal with another one but this Female Titan surprises them. It is running at full speed heading their way and when it is aware they are going to cut her nape, she smashes them away! Armin flees for his life. He notes this Titan has intelligence. It cannot be an Abnormal. It must be someone like Eren who can control a Titan. Armin is smacked off his horse and he thinks he is going to die. But Female Titan takes off his hood, stares at him and continues her running. Jean and Reiner rendezvous with Armin as they chase the Female Titan. They relay to him that the right flank has been entirely wiped out. This Female Titan was the one that brought hordes of fast Titans with it. Seems she came from the direction they came from and Armin wonders if she was leading the Titans here and for what purpose.

Armin explains his analysis about the Female Titan who is no ordinary Titan like how she flung and crushed Sys when he wanted to cut her nape. Also, she didn’t come to consume humans but came for the sake of killing. When the Colossal Titan destroyed the wall, she must be the one who brought the hordes of Titans and their goal has always been to attack mankind. Armin thinks Female Titan is looking for somebody and it’s Eren. Jean plans to get her attention so that the formation can withdraw so Armin suggests to put their hood on because she won’t mindlessly kill them until she knows who they are. When Jean is about to cut her heel to slow her down, it’s like she knows when he is about to move and slaps Armin off his horse. Jean closes in trying to cut her nape to save Armin. However she covers her neck back! Jean is forced to swing around avoiding her punch but knows the next blow will be fatal. He is only seconds from death when Armin yells out to avenge that reckless idiot. This causes the Female Titan to completely stop. Armin continues about his death in the right flank. Reiner thought he could finish her off in this distraction but she grabs him! Jean fears he has been crushed to death but Reiner breaks free from her grasp. There are other exceptionally capable soldiers other than Mikasa, you know. Reiner grabs Armin and calls for a retreat since they have bought enough time. Female Titan continues her running but Armin realizes that she is running towards the centre rear, the safest spot in the formation where Eren might be.

Episode 18
Reiner tends to Armin’s little injury as they take a rest. But Jean is very worried. They have only 1 horse and the thought that somebody must be left behind is weighing on his shoulders. Armin volunteers to stay behind but in exchange he wants a message to be relayed only to Erwin. Thankfully nobody will be left behind since Krista saw their smoke and came with a couple of extra horses. As they continue their journey, they see green smoke and this means the operation is continuing as normal. They are appalled that a retreat order wasn’t issued and wonder what Erwin is thinking. Soon Eren’s side receives word that the right flank has been annihilated. Eren is worried because he thinks Armin is there. A black smoke is fired (signalling an Abnormal) nearby. It is the Female Titan and she is massacring all the soldiers who try to cut her down. Squashed by her foot, smashed like a fly, tossed like a rodeo rope and even kicked away like a football! There’s no stopping her! The formation now enters the Forest of Giant Trees and the soldiers aren’t too happy of entering this place which was once a tourist hotspot. Because there is no room to see if a Titan is approaching. Erwin orders the centre line and supplies are the only ones allowed to enter the orders. This means the rest have to go around it. However a squad leader orders everyone to be on standby on the trees and take out any Titan that approaches it. So the soldiers are just standing there, doing nothing and wondering what the heck is going on because hell they didn’t even get an explanation about this. But it seems they don’t need to fight Titans as they’re high above the ground and the Titans without any climbing abilities are just ‘stuck’ at the bottom. Eren questions Levi about the tactic to run into the forest. He hints about the best place of using their 3DMD. Eren admires these experienced Titan slayers but when he looks at the faces of his other comrades, they have this freaking scared look! Does it mean they don’t know what is going on? More importantly, does Levi know what is going on too? Then a black smoke is fired right behind them. Levi orders to unsheathe their blades and when this Titan appears, it will be over in a second. But when the Female Titan appears, the backup squad quickly gets terminated. Her swiftness stuns everybody as she closes in on Eren’s group. The comrades are panicking and scream to Levi for orders to switch to 3DMD but he remains silent. Finally he speaks. Everyone, cover your ears.

Episode 19
Levi fires a sound blast that does little to slow down the Female Titan. He reminds everyone about their mission and getting overwhelmed by emotions isn’t it. Their job is to guard Eren even if it costs them their lives. Eren is distraught seeing more backup reinforcements getting massacred. He wants to prevent more deaths but the rest tell him to move forward and obey Levi’s orders. Eren wants to turn into a Titan and surprisingly Levi tells him to do what he wants. He calls him a monster not because of his Titan abilities because holding him down into submission is impossible. So he has to decide to believe in himself of the Survey Corps. Even when Levi believes in himself and the outcome comes out a mystery, that’s why he wants Eren to do what he believes is the best and leave no regrets. Petra reminds Eren to believe in them. Flashback to before the expedition when Levi has found a way to not kill him in Titan form although it will severely injure him (cutting him out him from the nape). Hange has Eren enter a well for an experiment. She wants to see if Eren will be trapped when he transforms into a Titan. As they wait, nothing happens. Then they go check it out. Eren has bitten himself many times but didn’t transform and his wound doesn’t heal. So Levi orders him to do something about it or sealing Wall Maria is nothing but a dream. The other comrades seem to be relaxed and don’t want Eren to worry too much about it. But when Eren accidentally drops his spoon and decides to pick it, he suddenly transforms into a partial Titan! His comrades are ready to slice him for transforming without orders but Levi orders them to back down. Emotions are running high as they want Eren to prove he is not a hostile. Hange is ecstatic of seeing a partial Titan but when Eren pulls his hand out, it disintegrates. There goes her hope.

Back in the bunkers, Levi tells him that based on popular survey, his comrades don’t consider him as one of them till he completes a mission, thus it’s reasonable that they had little faith in him. Therefore quick action and extraordinary determination are emphasized. Hange points out to the spoon Eren’s Titan’s hand was holding. For some reason, it was not deformed from heat or pressure. It could be the reason why he couldn’t transform before. Because when he did, he had a clear goal in his mind before transforming. It is unlikely self injury will trigger it on its own. The rest realize he didn’t act against orders on purpose. So they all bite their own hand as form of apology. Petra explains they want to rely on him but also on themselves. That’s why she wants him to trust in them. And so, Eren decides to believe in them and move forward. But the Female Titan is picking up speed. When they pass a certain point, Erwin orders to fire and all the spears simultaneously strike into the Female Titan, immobilizing her in an instant. Though, she is still alive. Levi is going to act separately for a while and has Erd lead the squad to hide Eren at a good distance from that Titan. Levi meets up with Erwin and reports all that happened, including the backup reinforcements that gave their lives to buy them time to reach here. Now they’re going to find out who is behind this Titan.

Episode 20
Outside the forest, some Titans show learning ability as they’re trying to climb the trees albeit with not much success. We hear the similar conversation among Eren’s group as well as Jean with Armin about Erwin. Because if his trusted aides weren’t even told about this operation to capture the Female Titan alive, it could only mean one thing. There might be a spy among them. Only those survivors from 5 years ago were informed of it. Assuming the enemy slipped inside when the wall was broken for the first time, he might be narrowing down the suspects. Perhaps the same person who killed Sonny and Bean. Eren now understands what Erwin meant when he asked who the enemy is. Also, Erwin is entrusted the commander of Survey Corps because he is able to abandon everything including humanity. That’s why many died in this operation. Because those who are unable to abandon everything cannot change anything. Levi and Mike continue to try and cut the Female Titan’s hands but each time she armours part of her body. Though with each attack, the armour weakens. Erwin knows he has no time to experiment this and wants explosives set to sever the wrists. Levi is provoking the Female Titan that she enjoyed killing his subordinates. Now he is enjoying this moment subduing her. He wonders if he should sever her real hands and feet because it will be a pain to kill her.

Suddenly the Female Titan starts to fear. She screams a loud deafening voice enough to shake the entire forest. Even more shocking, all the Titans turn into Abnormals and start rushing to where the Female Titan is. All soldiers waiting outside are ordered to engage to prevent them from getting in but there’s just too many. They even ignore the humans and go straight to attack her. Erwin orders everyone to defend her but seeing the overwhelming numbers devouring her, he orders their withdrawal and retreat to base. He realizes they’ve been had and this proves the enemy was prepared to abandon everything and devoured themselves to avoid leak of information. Erwin also orders Levi to resupply his 3DMD even though his current supply is more than enough to get back. The smoke signal to retreat is fired. Everyone prepares to withdraw. Eren’s group sees a green smoke signal and thinks it is from Levi telling them to regroup with him. Hange wonders why Erwin ordered Levi’s resupply. He explains when the Female Titan was devoured, he didn’t see anybody inside. If the enemy is a type that can move to the extent even after transforming, furthermore assuming they even have a 3DMD and wearing the same uniform as them, the one controlling the Female Titan could have slipped through their ranks. Gunter thinks he has spot Levi but he realizes this hooded person isn’t him. He is attacked, slashed and killed!

Episode 21
Erwin thinks the person inside the Female Titan had prepared 3DMD for escape but from Hange’s observation when Eren emerged from his Titan, his uniform was burnt and he barely had enough energy to stand. Erwin notes if the Female Titan had the ability to call other Titans, then Eren is an amateur if powers as Titans are commensurate with one’s skill. Armin continues to talk to Jean as they withdraw. He thinks Erwin knew the Female Titan was targeting Eren based on the Titans suddenly stopped attacking during the last incident. When The Colossal Titan broke through Trost, the Titans stopped attacking. The same when Eren transformed into a Titan and sealed the hole. Was there something more important than destroying the walls? It could mean that there was somehow who saw Eren’s transformation and could be the one controlling the Female Titan. Though Eren is distraught with Gunter’s death, the rest tell him to keep moving. The enemy is in sight again and as Erwin fears if the enemy had conserved enough energy, he can transform into another Titan again. And true enough, it happens. Erd, Oluo and Petra want Eren to head back to HQ and believe in them to stop the Titan. Eren watches as the trio trick to slash and blind her. In the span of 1 minute, they are going to kill it but she covers her nape and leans back against a tree. They cut her shoulder muscles to weaken her arm muscles. Once they are going in for the kill, suddenly she has an eye regenerated. She sees Erd coming in and bites him into half! Petra couldn’t believe that it isn’t even 30 seconds and is it possible to prioritize to heal a part? Petra gets stomped. Oluo cut have cut off her nape but she armoured it. He got kung-fu kicked.

With all his comrades down, Eren becomes so mad that he now transforms into a Titan to kill her. Eren’s Titan screams resonate throughout the forest and everyone recognize this Titan shriek. Mikasa heads back into the woods. Clash of the Titans if I should say. Eren beats up the Female Titan who is no pushover either. Whenever he strikes, she dodges. When she has a chance to fight back, she punches and kicks. Eren still feels guilty only if he had believed in himself and acted faster, many would never have died. There was no need to even capture her. Probably the punches are tiring out Eren. The Female Titan wanted to use this change to escape but turns back and throws a powerful punch that severs his head! Then she devours Eren. Right before Mikasa’s eyes. Now she is a mad girl as she tries to cut this giant b*tch down. She’ll follow her to hell if it what it takes to bring Eren back. Despite continue to cut her here and there, the Female Titan armours her important parts. Mikasa is taken away by Levi. He saw the bodies of his comrades and thinks Eren is dead after being bitten out from the neck. But Mikasa believes he is still alive. They maintain their distance following the Female Titan. Levi notices she is tiring out as her pace is getting slower.

Episode 22
The plan is to get Eren out assuming he is alive. Mikasa will distract it before he goes in to cut her vital parts. The Female Titan knows Levi is coming and turns around to punch but Levi saw it coming and does some fast cutting manoeuvre to take her by surprise and blind her. Her muscles weakened, Mikasa thought she can cut her nape but Levi recognizes this pattern and saves Mikasa before she gets slammed by her hand. After Levi cuts her muscle jaws, Eren is seen covered with slime in her mouth. They rescue him and quickly evacuate. Levi sees tears streaming down the Female Titan’s eyes. The Survey Corps are outside the forest and have done a herculean job to recover dead bodies of their comrades or part of them. Those who cannot be found will be listed as MIA as ordered by Erwin. But one of the soldiers, Dieter is not pleased. Because his friend, Ivan’s body is not retrieved and wants to head back to get it. Levi says confirming his death should already be sufficient and it doesn’t matter if there is a body or not. His death is final. This causes Dieter to accuse them for not having a shred of human emotions. When Survey Corps continue their return to the wall, a couple of Abnormals are seen. Seems Dieter defied orders and went back to get Ivan’s body. Eventually he had to drop the body. The dead body or you life. One of his buddies got eaten and it took Mikasa to save him before he gets devoured. Meanwhile the other Abnormal is gaining and there is no choice but to dump some corpses to outrun them. After a safe distance, Dieter regrets his decision but Levi gives him Ivan’s badge. He breaks down. When Eren wakes up, Mikasa is by his side. She tells him the mission has failed and the Female Titan got away. He isn’t pleased that she saved him again. Once they return behind the walls, if their defeat wasn’t bad enough, they had to hear hurtful comments from others that this expedition is another failure and wasted tax money. Eren is seething with anger but when he sees a couple of kids admiring them of how brave and strong they are, they remind him of how used to be, admiring from a distance. Survey Corps is in gloomy mood. Petra’s father keeps talking to Levi about her daughter’s bright future while many others hound Erwin for answers about the sacrifices. Was it worth it? They didn’t say anything and trudge on. After this humiliating defeat, Erwin and those responsible are summoned to the capital and Eren gets a new supervisor.

Episode 23
Annie gets in line along with the new recruits of the Military Police Brigade. Their job will be escorting several Survey Corps passing through the streets to the capital. One of the recruits, Marlo wonders about taking precaution of petty criminals but the superior shoves the responsibility to him. He’s busy, you know. Busy drinking and playing poker with his buddies. With the recruits bumming out, Marlo mentions about his goal to change the Military Police Brigade and his brand of justice. Of course this is laughed off by his fellow colleagues. But Annie surprises everyone by talking (she normally doesn’t). She views if there were more ‘good’ people like him, that would hardly be the end of them. She knows there was this idiot brave enough to go against the system and respected him. Marlo knows who she is talking about and doesn’t want her to categorize him as the same. As they patrol, they see several corrupted seniors misappropriating government equipment by selling them to the black market. He goes to tell them off but they give him some money to shut him up. Marlo refuses to do that and gets beaten up. Annie stops the fight and hopes he will leave it there because their commotion has caused quite an attention. Marlo thinks of taking the gun and shoot so Annie wonders if he can do it. She doesn’t mind helping him out. Marlo bitterly remains a ‘good boy’.

Once the Survey Corps’ carriage passes through the gate, Annie is called by Armin in the alley. Surprised? He hopes she can help to assist Eren in escaping. This in turn he hopes will overturn the commission inquiry’s decision. Annie denies to at first but after Armin begs that a Military Police Brigade is crucial to pass the Wall Sina inspection and something about being good guy or bad guy, Annie agrees. She leads Eren, Mikasa and Armin through the streets. Seems Eren swapped places with Jean. Yeah, they don’t look alike except for that evil glint in their eyes. Annie wonders why they’re going through all this trouble so Armin explains that it is better to feign obedience than openly defy to decrease suspicion. As they are about to enter the underground ruins, Annie seems ‘afraid’ and won’t follow. If they’re not moving above ground, they’re on their own. She also notices that this section of town has been void of people for a while. Armin asks why does she have Marco’s 3DMD (he recognized the scratches and all). She somehow picked it up. Armin seems to be hinting that Annie is the one who killed Sonny and Bean and that she is the Female Titan!!! The guys are getting desperate wanting Annie to come with them but Mikasa can’t hear anymore of this and will cut that Female Titan down. Annie laughs like a maniac and is glad Armin’s gamble paid off. Now she wants to see if hers does. Before she can bite her finger, he fires his gun to signal all the guys hiding in the corners to jump in and restrain Annie. However she has a ring with a spike on her finger and uses it to cut herself.

Episode 24
A few days before when Erwin and the rest of the Survey Corps meet, they are planning an operation that they will put all their bets on because they have a suspect of who the Female Titan is. As they pass through Stohess district, Eren will lure the suspect into the tunnel to restrict movement. Eren could not believe when Annie is named as the suspect. So the trio are now running underground and Annie is stomping the ground above to bury them. Eren bites his hand but doesn’t transform. Mikasa thinks he is not resolved to fight Annie. Don’t tell me he is still thinking they were mistaken that Annie is the Female Titan. Eren remembers how Armin deduced it was her. She reacted to Eren’s nickname that only their group would know. She was the one who probably killed Sonny and Bean as she is highly skilled with her 3DMD. Although she passed the inspection test, it was because she was using Marco’s equipment. The big hint: Doesn’t the Female Titan look a lot like Annie? Still can’t believe, Eren boy? What’s more, when Eren was fighting her in his Titan form, she was using a unique martial art stance. So… Shouldn’t Eren be fighting? Or is there some sort of emotions hindering him? Mikasa’s staring eyes are scary! Armin has a plan. He and Mikasa will simultaneously exit one end of the tunnel. Whoever Annie chooses to be distracted with, Eren will escape with the other. Yeah, one of them may die but it’s better than all of them dying. So you have any other bright ideas, Eren? Annie goes with Mikasa and she toys around with her. However Eren is still reeling from everything and almost gets stomped. Though, the building debris is crushing him. Armin tries to pull him out.

As the explosion is heard, Erwin initiates his men to go into operation. Jean gets out of his disguise and makes his way to Eren. Along the way, he sees the citizens panicking while the Military Police Brigade just standing there watching in shock. Is this what he would become had he joined them? Erwin loads his gear but Nile and his men arrest him for treason. When Jean reaches Eren, he learns that he cannot transform due to the fact that Annie as the Titan is hindering him. Jean gets upset and lashes out about him being entrusted mankind’s future. But they can’t stay here and lecture half dead Eren and need to go settle Annie. Armin lets Eren know one last thing he told Jean. Something about tossing aside humanity in which Annie was capable of. Those who can do so is victorious. Armin and Jean go lead and distract Annie. They lead her to where Hange and her men are hiding. Once Annie crosses them, the same spear traps are fired to pin her down. It works like a charm but Hange had to go say something that scares the sh*t out of Annie as she uses her strength to break free and runs like the wind. Eren thinks back at all the deaths he has seen and the vow to exterminate all the Titans. There’s no time to think about ideals because this world is a cruel place after all. In his rage, he finally transforms into a Titan and runs up to Annie to payback the favour. Eren Punch! Go, Eren Go! Woot!!! Man, he is one mad Titan!

Episode 25
Stohess becomes a giant playground for the Titans playing tag. Yeah, better get out of the way if you don’t want to be stomped of the debris smashing onto you. Eren continues to fight Annie and he is so mad this time that whatever punches and kicks she throws at him, he just gets back up and returns the favour. Nile is ready to execute Erwin at where he stands but Erwin doesn’t mind. As long as Nile takes over the operation of not letting the Female Titan escape, he is willing to die. Not willing to take responsibility, eh? Erwin is taken into custody and Nile will let the law pass judgment on him. Annie pounds Eren hard but even her armoured skin isn’t enough to put him down. She remembers something between her and her dad. When Annie realizes she cannot win against this rampaging Eren, she is going to climb the wall. If she does, the operation to capture her will fail. Mikasa swiftly cuts her fingers to send her falling. Her head is torn off and Eren seems like as though he is going to tear the real Annie apart too. Annie remembers her dad telling her even if the entire world turns against her, even if everyone hates her, he wants to know he will always be by her side and promise that she will come back. Eren although rips out the Female Titan’s neck flash, he stops short of killing Annie after seeing her tears. Then it’s like he is trying to fuse themselves so Levi cuts Eren out to stop him from killing their important witness. However Annie has been crystallized in a hard crystal and in a coma state, she is practically useless. They can’t draw any information out from her this way. The costly operation may have failed. Erwin is being questioned by the higher ups and he didn’t waste any time to spill the truth. Even if this operation may be all for nothing. He believes he has grasped a great potential to save mankind. Compared to the time they couldn’t fathom humans transforming into Titans, they have come a long way in restraining their enemies. This time it is their turn to attack the Titans and bring all the enemies down to their knees, all the Titans within the wall. Eren is recuperating with Mikasa by his side. Annie may have given them the slip but it’s partly thanks to Eren who ‘aided’ her in that. When he saw the real her, he froze. All Mikasa cares is that she is glad he is back. In the aftermath, the Survey Corps and Eren’s summon to the capital is put on hold, Annie is given to the Survey Corps and is held deep underground. Lastly, a wall cracks and we see a Titan’s face lying beneath it.

OVA 1
Taking place while Eren and co are still in training, this chronicles the Survey Corps during their 49th expedition. Hange’s suggestion to capture a Titan alive is shot down by Erwin simply because they have no manpower to spare. When a Titan is sighted, Hange disobeys orders and goes off herself. She runs into a Titan in the forest and the Titan seems dumb enough to chase her and crash into trees. But halfway, the Titan gives up and runs back. Hange follows it to a tree where it bangs its heads on a giant tree. Hange approaches it but was it a feign by the Titan just to get her? Hange isn’t so stupid to be Titan chow and avoids in time. Much to her dismay, Levi kills it or it would have devoured Oluo. Petra is terrified to see a decapitated soldier inside the tree hole. Based on the emblem, Ilse Langnar is from the 34th expedition and died a year ago. A little notebook of his is seen on the ground. It chronicles Ilse’s journey during his return. He lost all his comrades and even his horse when they ran into Titans. His 3DMD malfunctioned and he had no choice but to run on foot. Chances of him reaching the wall are slim but he vows to carry on and keeps writing all that he experiences. Wow. He can write and run together. Then one night, he runs into a Titan. He is backed into a tree and shivering in fear in his last moments of death. But oddly the Titan didn’t straightaway devour him and stared at him. And then it spoke! It said something about Ymir, Ymir’s people and welcoming her back. It even bowed to her in respect! Ilse tries to ask questions but it remained silent. Then he snaps about devouring humanity. The Titan goes crazy as it rips its own face flesh. Ilse panics and runs but the Titan goes after him and grabs him. It bites his head off. That’s the end. It’s amazing that he is still writing describing this even when his head is being crushed!!! The note ends there and Hange assumes the Titan stored Ilse’s body back into the tree to worship it or something. Hange then writes a letter to Erwin about her goal to capture a Titan alive. It shows how little they know about them and have a responsibility to use all the information they get even from Ilse’s little notes. Hange returns Ilse’s stuffs to her parents. A few days later and with Levi’s support, Erwin approves of Hange’s suggestion and they captured their first Titan alive using Hange’s method. Not a single soldier’s life was lost.

OVA 2
This episode is about Jean. And he is full of angst. He isn’t particularly fond of his loving mother, though. Taking place after they have completed 2 years of training and returning back to the city, during one of the mock Titan battles, Jean leads his team but everyone cuts in on him to slay a Titan each. This causes Jean to be pissed especially with Sasha. He wants them to settle in a battle to see who can take out the most Titans but Pixis heard everything and has a better idea. They will battle it out in a cooking showdown. Jean is shocked but meat lover Sasha is rejoicing it. Because of his pride, Jean is forced to accept it. Jean and his little team of Armin and Annie go out hunting for ingredients. Same case with Sasha along with Connie and Gunter. Though they get lost, it is Sasha’s team who finds the colossal boar first. Soon both sides engage in combat to get the boar but Sasha wins the right to it when she fires an arrow into its head. That evening, Jean’s mom comes looking for him as she is worried he didn’t come home. Jean is probably embarrassed by his mom so he scolds her and tells her to get the f*ck off. I can’t believe he chased her away after she was so nice to bring apples and pleaded to everyone to be his friend. Jean is desperate and plans to steal meat in the officer’s pantry. Armin panics and he ends up hurting himself. He is out. Annie doesn’t want a hand in this too so Jean is alone. While he is at it, an officer finds him but is to give him a meal his mom left for him. It is an omelette dish that he loves. Memories of them flood through his mind. Nostalgia. He gets fired up to cook. Sasha is crazily fired up cooking. And Mikasa is fired up training. Check out her abs! That night, Sasha goes first in the showdown. Her meat is so delicious that an earthquake occurs! Heck, I thought a Titan was attacking!!! Hell, it is Pixis’ super exaggerated reaction to how freaking awesome this meat is that he becomes a rampaging Titan! Now it’s Jean’s turn. A simple omelette? Pixis finish his dish without any reaction whatsoever. Sasha is confident she has won when Pixis declares Jean the winner! How could this be? He asks her what meat is. Meat is meat. Exactly. Nothing more, nothing less. Sasha breaks down believing those words. She forgot to put carrots and potatoes? Woah… She’s getting emotional… Enlightened? But Jean is humble in victory and extends his hand to her. New friendship? And this cooking contest was probably Pixis’ intention to get a decent free meal… Anyway Jean has his mother to thank and thinks of visiting her tomorrow.

OVA 3
Taking place sometime during the Training Corps, to say this is Marco’s big episode is a little misleading. We all know that guy died and this had to be some sort of tribute to him for some screen time, right? Well, not really. Our trainees are split into 2 groups for an exercise that has them ride into the woods and record everything and anything. Yes, this includes the behaviours of the teammates and evaluating their ability to sustain themselves in the absence of a crisis. The first group has Marco as the leader while Armin as the record keeper. Eren, Jean, Connie, Sasha and Krista are part of this group. Everybody else is in the second group whereby Thomas is the leader and Mikasa the record keeper. Because Sasha says she can cook and Jean spots a lizard, he tries to go catch it for their food but somehow Eren had the same idea too. Their swords clash and the lizard got away. And then you get Sasha screaming how delicious it would be. I wonder how Armin is going to record this. Meanwhile at the other group, they realize somebody stole their 3DMD. Deducing their tracks and all, there could be several bandits who have stolen them during the night. Their priority now is to speed up the exercise, tell Marco’s team and return to base.

That night as Marco’s team eat the tasteless rations, Jean and Eren get into another useless argument. Krista thought she saw somebody moving in the woods. When everyone is asleep, Krista couldn’t and is alone by the pond. The bushes rustle. Before she knew it, somebody jumped on her. Eren and co get a rude awakening when the bandits point their guns at them. They want them to hand over their 3DMD because it will fetch a high price in the black market. They don’t believe the trainees will survive Titan attacks anyway and better off selling those ‘useless’ equipment. Eren won’t take this sh*t so he fights back. He tells everyone to do the same but since they are in disarray, one of the bandits fires and the bullet grazes Jean’s cheek. Back to square one. Though the bandits let them live, all their equipment are taken and are warned not to come after them or they will really kill them. Krista is taken along as well. Everyone especially Marco doesn’t know what the next step is. Do they report back to base? But will they make it in time? Eren won’t accept this and will save Krista. Jean won’t either. Everyone feels the same. But their horses have been released, how are they going to find where the bandits are? Sasha shows her brilliance by suggesting climbing to a higher place. They spot the bandits’ resting spot and need to cut them off before they reach some wide exit. Although without horses, they still can get ahead of them by leaving the forest. Everyone wait at their designated position. To tell which carriage is carrying Krista or their equipment, Marco waits for the rattling sound their equipment made when the carriage hits the bump. Once he identifies it is the second carriage, Eren and Jean jump into it and throw out the baddies. The bandit in the first carriage starts shooting but since Krista was freed during the commotion, she distracts him. Although the second carriage crashes, the gang retake their 3DMD. Armin gets an idea and shoots the flare. Eren and Jean go after the first carriage and cut the horse loose till the carriage crashes.

The bandits hold Krista to hostage and tell the kids to throw their weapons. Krista could hear the bandit murmuring about his fate. He laments he should have taught her daughter something about taking risks. The gang is about to drop their gears when suddenly Mikasa and Annie drop in to slice the weapons off the bandits’ hand. If not for Krista’s quick plea not to kill them, Mikasa could have slit their throat. In the aftermath, the bandits were arrested. Although the exercise is suspended, Armin is still required to submit his records of the incident in all honesty without pretence. He asks Keith if they should have turned back when their gear was stolen or continued pursuing the bandits. Keith doesn’t think there is a need to answer that because it doesn’t matter what you are, everyone responses to crisis differently. He asks back, between those options which would he considered as important. Armin couldn’t answer. He even thought that meeting the bandits during the process was imposed as part of the exercise. Marco talks to Eren that he wasn’t fit to be a leader. He thinks Jean would make a better one. Eren isn’t confident about that. Marco wonders what kind of soldiers everyone will be in the future.

Specials

Was it too shocking for you? Is something scaring you? After all that tension, it’s time to loosen up with 10 minute specials of the DVD: Shingeki No Kyojin: Chimi Kyara Gekijou – Tondeke! Kunren Heidan. With everyone in their chibi form, expect funny gags from the gang to bring in the smiles after heartbreaking frustrations against Titans in 9 short specials. Oh, somebody will always get devoured by a Titan in the end… And they do a South Park by coming back in the next episode unscathed…

Special 1
Eren is late for his class and tries to sneak in through a hole but gets stuck. Mikasa and Armin wonder why he is late and Armin thought Mikasa would have woke him up since she shared a ‘deep relationship’ with him. Deep relationship as in being family. Disappointed? Once Eren arrives, he blames Mikasa for not waking him up so she replies weird rumours will spread if she enters the boys’ dorm. Eren dismisses that they are dating and this breaks Mikasa’s heart. A Titan appears and swallows them! Next day, Armin passes out during Keith’s speech. Because it was long and boring so he fell asleep! But Mikasa is more concerned about Eren if he could remain standing in that speech. Eren wants to go back but Mikasa won’t let him go back to that hell and punches him out! He wakes up and starts crying after knowing Mikasa did that. Then the Titan swallows them! Armin is too lazy to come up with a plan to escape in such notice while Mikasa is happy as long as she gets to be with Eren.

Special 2
It’s the first day of training. Keith is ‘interrogating’ the newbies. Eren is thinking hard what he wants to say. Very hard indeed. As Keith questions Mikasa, Jean is smitten with her. Then when Keith goes up to him, he had to say he loves girls with long straight black hair. WTF. Head butt! When it’s Eren’s turn, he is really looking forward to it but Keith passes him! So much for the build up. Jean mocks him and they get into an argument. This has Keith reprimand them that they should be food for Titans. Speaking of which, here comes one and devours them! The blame game continues… Next day, Jean sees Mikasa cut her hair. Was it what he said? He thinks of pairing with her for cleaning duty but apparently she paired up with Eren and Armin. Since all other groups are fully taken, Jean is the odd one out. He tries to act cool and leaves but since nobody gives a damn, his heart breaks and shows his uncool side. During dinner, since Eren had trouble with his 3DMD training, Jean offers to show him. Impressive jump. But it has nothing to do with 3DMD. The rest aren’t impressed and his heart breaks when Mikasa also shares this same view. If that is the case, might as well be eaten by a Titan! You don’t say… Here comes one now!!! Into the tummy they go again…

Special 3
When Reiner lost his lunch money goes missing, Sasha becomes the first suspect. Obviously. But do they have proof? Howzabout that bread you’re holding and eating right now? Armin becomes a detective but eventually pinpoints Sasha since she was the one who stole meat from the officer’s room. This has Keith reprimand her. Just when they found Reiner’s lunch money in the dustbin (Armin threw it away thinking it was rubbish), the Titan devours them. Next day, Armin finds a porn magazine and reads it with the guys. They know they’ll get in trouble if Keith finds out. True enough he does and ‘confiscates’ it. Because Eren is the last to deny, Keith thinks he is the owner of this book and will reprimand him. After he is gone, Armin revs up the guys with his speech to convince them to retrieve the book. They manage to distract and knock Keith out. Then they argue about reading the book when the Titan swallows them. Still got time to argue in the stomach? Yeah, porn is important. Next day, right from the start Armin gets devoured. Eren wants to save him but Mikasa seems reluctant and giving lots of excuses. So she has him ask Keith the Titan’s weakness but he is in trouble of going through the entire lesson about Titan habits! Then he is made to complete his cleaning duty (which takes like forever) followed by food since they can’t fight on an empty stomach. Just when Eren had his fill, Mikasa stuffs him with more and has him prepare for bed. Next morning, looks like Armin has been forgotten. They only realize it when the Titan swallows them. Since they needed time to ‘prepare’ to get ready (Mikasa’s answer), Armin has been enjoying the hot bath in the Titan’s stomach.

Special 4
Eren is late for class so when he barges in, he didn’t realize the girls were changing clothes and got kicked out. Mikasa thinks Eren wanted to look at her body so badly… Armin pesters Eren to tell the guys what he saw and not keep the memories to himself. Sobakasu decides to take advantage of the situation, accusing Eren of making Krista cry (in which she didn’t). The shock makes them unable to do cleaning duties. Get what she’s saying? Mikasa stands up for Eren and that he wants to see her body. Eren disagrees. Mikasa disappointed. Titan swallows only Eren. Next day, the canteen is serving pudding and unluckily for Eren he is not around. This means an extra pudding so Sobakasu decides to take it for Krista. Mikasa vows to protect this pudding that she believes rightfully belongs to Eren. Sobakasu suggests deciding via rock-scissors-paper. Armin teaches Mikasa a trick. She announces out loud she will put rock. Only dummies like Sasha and Connie put scissors. Sobakasu won’t be fooled and puts scissors. In the end, Sobakasu wins. Mikasa is going to resort to take by force so Krista doesn’t want them fighting. She thanks Sobakasu for her feelings and gives the pudding to Mikasa. But that is not to be because the Titan devours them. Maybe the Titan wants some pudding too? Next day, Krista and Sobakasu want to go shopping in town but Krista think of asking more people to come. Of course Sobakasu dislikes the idea and argues why that person isn’t suitable. Jean? He is a Mikasa stalker for Christ’s sake. Reiner? He always looks at Krista with dirty eyes. Besides, he is closer with Bertolt. Sasha? That glutton? No way. Armin? That weakling can’t even rescue them from burglars. So it has got to be Eren, right? Definitely no. Mikasa the stalker… Besides, those guys always attract Titans. And so that is how they decide not to call anyone and go alone together. Just as they’re about to leave, they see Eren and co outside. Nice timing. Here comes the Titan to eat them all up. There goes the date Sobakasu wanted so much…

Special 5
Eren wakes up in the middle of the night screaming he’ll kill those Titans again. Armin thinks he should stop talking about this since he hasn’t even defeated Mikasa once. He suggests asking Reiner for advice. So Eren sits next to him and tries to copy his every move. Who can eat the fastest? Eren thought he won when Reiner vomits but he didn’t realize Mikasa already had several servings. Of course nobody could beat Sasha. She’s a monster. Speaking of that, here comes the Titan to devour them all! That is the undisputed fastest eater, right? Next day, Bertolt seems depressed because nobody notices him so Reiner to be more confident and his presence will show naturally. So he tries to be a punk hogging the seats but when Eren tells him nobody else can sit, he apologizes and runs away. Then he tells Eren and co about his problem and Armin gets this bright idea to give him wear a red cape. Keith sees this and is appalled he remodelled the uniform and takes him away for punishment. Hey, in this sense it is a success because the instructor noticed him, right? But then the Titan devours them! Armin laments the plan is a failure as the Titan didn’t notice Bertolt but devour them instead. Next day, Eren trains with Annie but cannot best her. Mikasa is giving that death stare. She views Annie is hurting him more than necessary and wants him to train with her. She gets pissed when Eren wants to continue his training with Annie instead. This causes the ladies to enter a showdown to see whose technique is stronger. They’ll each take it out on Eren and let him decide. But he is out cold after taking in Mikasa’s punch and Annie’s kick. No response. Looks like they’ll have to settle it themselves. The Titan eats them and all Mikasa can think of is whose technique is better. Neither! Being at the receiving end is definitely not it!

Special 6
Because Connie and Sasha seem like fooling around, Keith reprimands them. This has them thinking that they’re being discriminated and feel that they are in fact more serious in training than others. Yeah, right. They want to get back at him. So the old trick in the book of putting a duster on the door. Too bad Eren comes rushing late in and got the duster fall on his head. He thinks a Titan has attacked. Next trick is a trap in the woods but Eren gets tied up. Why him? Lastly, they dig holes but as usual Eren and co fall into it. Since they dug too many, they too fall into their own trap. Easy pickings for the Titan to eat them, eh? Next day, the guys are abuzz because of Krista’s braided hairstyle. Only Eren is oblivious. So what? They comment on Connie’s buzz cut in which he thinks makes him a better soldier. Look at its practicality. Hygienic, aerodynamic, no vision blocking and certainly Titans can’t easily grab you, right? Eren is disheartened that this makes Connie a better soldier than he is so he gets Armin to cut his hair. He would gladly to if not for Mikasa stopping him. If Eren insists, she too wants to cut hers. The guys argue she is a girl, blah, blah, blah. Armin’s concern is that if 3 of them have buzz cuts, how can they tell them apart from Connie? The Titan doesn’t care and swallows them! Next day, Keith hangs back the test results and those who do not pass must take a supplementary test. Those who failed: Connie, Sasha and… Eren! How can this be? He got the worst score: Zero! WTF?! So Armin becomes their teacher but why is Mikasa here? Worried about his grades? How will that help him? At the end of the lesson, Connie and Sasha become like goldfish. Eren is bored with the basics but why did he fail in the first place? Reviewing his test paper, they find his answers are off by 1 question. Otherwise he is mostly correct. This means he can ace the supplementary test, right? What about Sasha and Connie? Don’t care about them. Sasha is upset and hopes they get devoured by a Titan. You don’t say. Down the throat they go! Hey, at least they don’t have to sit for the supplementary test now.

Awesomeness Of Titanic Proportions!
No words can describe how awesome, epic, cool, amazing, exciting and superb this series is. Even that is very much an understatement. In a nutshell, this series has done a very good job in execution of just about everything and is definitely one of the best series there is. In fact, it could be one of my all time favourites too. It had kept me glued to the screen for each and every scene. Including scenes that are slow and those that are non-eventful. I don’t think there are many animes out there and in my entire history of watching them that has kept me glued so intensely to the monitor like this. Because time really flew by while I was watching this. By the time it ended, I was really amazed and in awe, partly disappointed that such awesome episode has ended and time has already zoomed past me. There was this feeling in me that I wanted the episode to continue further and hoping that this isn’t the end, please oh please but alas, 24 minutes is the usual duration for such weekly series, right? The only downside to this series is that it ended! Yes! With so much things going on, I thought it was really sad and a shame to just end it with just 25 episodes. So far I haven’t heard of another season but I am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be one. Yup. This is how much I really liked the series.

As much as I hate animes to end with such a cliff-hanger and questions go unanswered, the awesomeness of everything made me forgive it. Although I would have been more satisfied if it did. But then again, you can’t just end such awesome series in just 25 episodes and you need time to flesh everything out and tell the story slowly. That’s how you narrate a proper and good story. So it is just sad that we’ll never get to know about Annie’s reason for doing so and more importantly how she was able to become a Titan. That is the most curious question but given her situation as of now, the mystery of the Titans continues. There are so many other mysteries and questions surrounding this anime but the way it is presented makes it good instead of leaving you feel awkward. Things like how the Colossal Titan and Armoured Titan show up and disappear into thin air and even their very quirky traits shows how much human knows nothing about them. Even the mind boggling fact of how the walls were made and withstand Titans could be left unanswered. Certainly you don’t want to think this is just a convenient setting that everyone should accept, right? I am sure the Titans didn’t wait just for humans to complete making the wall, right? So was it really a God gift? Or something even more nefarious? Perhaps even the narration of how humans were made to remember they were living their lives as cattle is the biggest him. It is just one big farm where Titans go to harvest their meal. But that is just me thinking too much.

All the characters play a great part in this series no matter how small their roles are. Although I feel that there isn’t enough prominence given to the other trainee corps of the same alumni with Eren as this season focuses its lot mainly on Eren himself. Despite having not as much screen time and sometimes to a point of being reduced to mere supporting characters, I feel they have a lot of potential in driving the story and plot and especially the direction of where mankind is heading. Like Jean, he was such a stuck up guy who wanted to become part of the Military Police Brigade. Then he changed his mind after meeting Eren and Marco’s death spurred him further. It’s like he is so much facing a dilemma after his death, wondering if he had chosen the right path or not. The best character among the trainees is definitely Sasha. She’s just crazy. Only food occupies her mind. She has this crazy look on her face like as though she’s afraid she is starving even when she has food stuffed in her face. Sometimes it looks so funny that in real times of danger it just looks comical to see that kind of face when she just escaped from being devoured by a Titan by the skin of her teeth. If I should classify her, she is the joker of the pack. Put her together with Connie and you might have a manzai comedy duo. Not much is known about the other characters in this alumnus especially Reiner-Bertolt and Krista-Sobakasu pairs. Especially the latter with Sobakasu having this weird obsession with Krista just like how Mikasa does with Eren. Always sticking around her.

Eren as the main character isn’t perfect. He has got his quirks and weaknesses but he is still hanging on to grow stronger. His obsession with taking down Titans might get him killed as seen in certain situations. But I suppose he has lady luck with him that he can’t die that easily. The power of transforming into a Titan is also another big mystery. Something in his home’s basement may be the key to victory or failure. It doesn’t help that Grisha is currently missing. I hope he hasn’t become Titan’s food. Every soldier’s death spurs Eren to get stronger (and madder) so theoretically once he becomes the ultimate Titan killing machine, nobody will die? Impossible, right? Yeah. Then maybe I’ll term him as Eren The Giant Slayer.

Mikasa is a great character. Stoic, strong, independent and to some she’s like the cool beauty but with no emotions in her face. Maybe she shows no emotion just to hide her sadness. Now that she is the top graduate of her grade, if she breaks down, what will others think? It would be a big demotivation. Her goal in life is to be with Eren. Not so much about cutting down Titans. He is her reason for living so what good is this world for her if she doesn’t have him around? That’s why she became so good just to be able to protect him. But I think obsessive isn’t just the word to describe her. Add possessive to that. It might seem that she wants to do things with Eren or do not allow him to do certain stuffs just for the sake of his safety but sometimes I feel it is because she considers him as hers. That’s why I think she is a very possessive woman and won’t let go of Eren. It’s not like she does not believe in him either. Just crazily possessive and obsessive in him. But then again, maybe she doesn’t. Worst than a controlling mother or wife. I can’t imagine if she ever gets married to him. I don’t know if deep down inside her heart harbours some sort of romantic feelings or not but I guess it’s not the time for that when Titans can just waltz into your town and make a meal out of you. Likewise, I don’t know if Eren truly likes Annie in a romantic sense, the reason why he couldn’t face her head on initially. Or that he really puts his trust a lot in his fellow comrades of the same trainee division. Armin although the weakest of the lot, he has the brains to make up for it. Whenever this guy comes up with a strategy or reason, you better listen to him because it could be the difference between life and death.

Members of the Survey Crops are probably the quirkiest but the bravest of the lot. They dare venture into unknown territory risking their lives. People like Erwin, Levi and Hange are probably what mankind needs to make a difference because you have to be different and think outside the box to survive. Wait, on second thought, they may not be thinking outside the box as there is not even a box! Because by doing so, you are already establishing there is a box. Erwin’s exceptional strategy, Levi’s unrivalled skills and Hange’s fearless and even perverted obsession with Titans make them a truly formidable force. It is sad that the other elites had to bite the dust because they too are funny in their own ways like Oluo, he likes to talk tough like he knows everything to Eren but usually ends up biting his own tongue or finger due to a little trip. I thought this was going to be his running joke. Looks like it won’t be anymore. Pixis isn’t bad too but he is more in charge of the Garrison section. Speaking of Garrison, what happened to Hannes? Not relevant for now?

So many mysteries surround the Titans that it makes them both fascinating and deadly. The lack of knowledge about these giants is what makes us fear them. It is as though the Titans are there to put humans in their place. Despite this is just a show, sometimes I could feel the fear when the brave soldiers or the common people have a close encounter with them. I know it is just me being engrossed in the show but besides proving that this series is damn interesting for me to be so fixated on every frame, sometimes I feel that the Titan’s face is too close that it might pop out of the screen and devour me! Can’t say. There are lots we don’t know about them, right? Any small characteristic that deviates from the norm of what we know generates more questions than answers. Think they can never do that? You’d be surprise. It got me even thinking that maybe the Titans are the good guys and we humans are the evil pests that need to be eliminated. Why not? Titans are painted as villains because we seen it from humans’ perspective, no? That’s why Titans are truly fascinating yet deadly. Ultimate killing machines if I should say.

Besides Titans, the other true enemy is humans. As seen even living among ourselves is such a big pain in the ass. Limited resources only worsen the relationship. It makes you think that if the Titans really do make mankind extinct, it will be doing us a lot of favour. In fact, sometimes you just wished that the Titans just gobble up these arrogant and ungrateful bastards living in their ivory towers (how long would this last anyway if you consider the Titans are making progress in breaking down all the walls). It is ironic that people try to climb as high up as possible of the hierarchy just to avoid Titans. That is what the Military Police Brigade is for, right? And look at how some of them become? Therefore it is such a great dilemma. To live a safe life in your comfort zone or build character and risk your life. I’m glad that Eren and many of his comrades chose this path. Personally, I think that everyone should undergo military training so that in times of crisis, everyone can help kill some Titans instead of just panicking or evacuating to safety instead of leaving it to the young ones. Whether they want to do it or not is up to them but don’t you see at least if they receive military training, there is a better chance for them to survive instead of becoming sitting ducks waiting for Titans to snack on. It’s such a good idea so why won’t everybody do it? I speculate that there isn’t enough equipment and supply to go around. As said with the limited resources, not everybody can get to wear such sophisticated gears and wield cool blades. Besides, I don’t think old people’s muscles are flexible and shouldn’t be swinging around that much. But still, I think everyone should get some military training like how people when they reach a certain age, it is compulsory to be drafted into the military.

It goes without saying that the action is super awesome, nail biting, heart pounding, nerve wrecking, excitingly cool and each time the humans engage in a life or death battle with the Titans, some will die and you can’t help feel sad about the way they get crushed, smashed or even devoured. You want to root for them so badly but because the Titans put on some near-eternal cheat code of being in God mode, you can’t help feel the sense of helplessness each time one of them bites the dust. And each time a Titan is cut down, I can’t help but cheer out loud (in my heart of course) like as though your favourite football team has scored the winning goal. I want to sing out loud to Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust. However seeing the numerous Titans takes away all that joy because they pop up like cockroaches. How many more can you take down? Just depressing, isn’t it? But I really love to see them swing into action with their 3DMD because it feels like they are flying. Just like Spiderman but without shooting those sticky webbings from his hands. Even if they don’t use their equipment, riding on their horses and trying to outrun the Titans in the vast lands is equally good action stuff. In short, the execution of the action is done superbly well. You won’t be disappointed.

The drawing and art seems pretty cool too. Gritty, if I should say. Sometimes the art is cell shaded so I think it gives this unique feel. But the most outstanding part of the drawing is the eyes of the characters. They are so damn real! Especially when you look into the iris, you can see all those lines in it which makes it very real. So real that it is sometimes scary. The characters too look good and okay although the Titans may look comical and funny. However having said so, it isn’t any laughing matter because despite their funny looks and odd shapes (oversized heads), it makes them scary. It is like a clown. Some see them as funny but those with phobia would definitely see them as something evil, right? So it’s the same case. The Titans’ surreal look may want to make us laugh at their stupid facial expressions and grin but that is what makes them scary. As they are not dressed and fully naked too, thankfully as they lack any reproductive system, you don’t get to see any anatomy parts down there. Just imagine a human stripped of his skin and walking around only in his exposed muscles. Scary, right? Speaking about the scenery, the setting gives off this medieval feel with the houses and buildings having the European design and feel. On a side note, when the characters go into depression, typical animation would be your top face blackens, right? Somehow this effect looks comical even though it isn’t supposed to be. Like when Erwin and Levi returned from another failed expedition and the people hounding them for answers, that depressed look makes them look funny (though I know it is not). It’s like they may burst out into a joke or something. Speaking of jokes and puns, there are lots of them circulating around the internet. Just Google them. Some are just so ‘creative’ you’d really want to laugh… Attack On Puns, literally XD.

On a trivial note, the mid-intermission is a very interesting section because it lets viewers know about the ‘currently disclosable information’. From how the 3DMD works to the walls protecting and acting as mankind’s last bastion to even certain facts about Titans (as what we think we know about them), it gives a deeper sense and feel to everything instead of making things up. Just like obsessed Star Wars fans have a complete guide to everything they need to know about the Star Wars universe. I’m sure they can do a good compilation of this and turn it into an encyclopaedia guide for fans who hunger to know more about such stuffs. Although the one for the final episode seems to be like some long-winded fairytale-cum-myth-cum-legend about the wall. Not that it answered anything, though.

Thanks to the epic of everything else, even the voice acting department is great. Everyone truly fit their roles well. Yuuki Kaji once again is casted as the heroic kid of Eren like he did in so many other animes like Haruyuki in Accel World and Alibaba in Magi. This is my first time hearing Yui Ishikawa as Mikasa (though she had a handful of voice acting roles, they were from animes I didn’t watch like Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor and Gundam Build Fighters) and she does a good job bringing out the stoic and level-headedness in the character. The rest of the extensive casts include Marina Inoue as Armin (in one of her rare boys’ role like Wataru from Hayate No Gotoku), Hiroshi Kamiya as Levi (Trafalgar Law in One Piece), Daisuke Ono as Erwin (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji), Romi Paku as Hange (Hitsugaya in Bleach), Yu Shimamura as Annie (Hare in Guilty Crown), Kishou Taniyama as Jean (Natsuki in Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 1000%), Yu Kobayashi as Sasha (I thought it was a waste that she didn’t go into her crazy voice like Kaere in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Reiner (Arata in Chihayafuru), Hiro Shimono as Connie (Keima in The World God Only Knows), Shiori Mikami as Krista (Ecarlate in Ixion Saga DT), Saki Fujita as Sobakasu (Ao in Yozakura Quartet), Tomohisa Hashizume as Bertolt (Mithrenes in Fate/Zero), Ryota Ohsaka as Marco (Jun in Rozen Maiden Zuruckspulen), Shinji Kawada as Oluo (Shino in Naruto), Natsuki Aikawa as Petra (Baker in Gundam Build Fighters), Susumu Chiba as Erd (Kondo in Gintama), Kouzou Mito as Gunter (Kanon in Code Geass R2), Kenta Miyake as Mike (Sydonay in Shakugan No Shana), Masahiko Tanaka as Pixis (Kyouichi in Initial D), Keiji Fujiwara as Hannes (Sven in Black Cat), Hiroshi Tsuchida as Grisha (Daikichi in Usagi Drop) and Anri Katsu as Nile (Tsuchimikado in To Aru Majutsu No Index).

The opening theme, Guren No Yumiya by Linked Horizon is also epic. With all those choir voices in the background like as though they’re singing a song for going into battle, it just enhances the awesomeness of what is to come. Although the second opening theme, Jiyuu No Tsubasa also by Linked Horizon is equally epic, but I don’t find it as good as the first one since I thought the opening choir voices sounded like some national anthem or a victory anthem so it feels a little odd. The first ending theme, Utsukushiki Zankoku Na Sekai is a slow rock ballad with a hint of sadness and struggling to survive in it. Oddly, despite sung by Youko Hikasa, she doesn’t have a voice acting role in this anime. Maybe as a very minor background character but not that I noticed it as the credits didn’t even list it down. The second ending theme, Great Escape by Cinema Staff is a rock piece but I still prefer Guren No Yumiya anytime. There is an insert song, Call Your Name by Hiroyuki Sawano but this slow rock is sung totally in English. Needless to say the various background music from the OST are good with some heart pounding scores to exciting battle themes, fitting the scenes well. Most of them employing the use of choir voices and drum covers. The rock pieces aren’t too bad either and usually employed during fight scenes.

I don’t know what else more to say. Even if there were stuffs that I missed out in this blog, probably I have forgotten them due to the awesomeness of everything. So my verdict (and everyone else), this anime is totally the best and it is no wonder why many would consider this the best anime of 2013. I know it is not perfect and has its flaws but like I said, the awesomeness of everything overwhelms and overshadows everything else. Therefore people, don’t just sit there. Go watch this anime! Highly recommended. Except maybe not so appropriate for your 2 year old kids in the midst of trying to learn his/her ABCs. Don’t want to scar and traumatize them about the scariness of Titans for life. That would be much worse than being devoured by one, bob around in its stomach undigested before finally being spit out. Ugh! I guess they like their meat raw without any sort of seasonings, huh? And remember people, always eat your vegetables ;p. (Sorry for Attack On Lame Jokes).

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