Rod Reiss’ abnormal titan is barreling towards the closest city it can – a city whose only hope are the Recon squad. If Eren could figure out how to utilize the founding titan he could end this all, but his mental faculties are compromised as he faces his own uselessness. Can the rest of the crew save the day as they normally do, or will Eren’s state of inconsolable self-hatred be the catalyst for another catastrophe?
I’m not sure how I feel about Eren’s inner monologue here. It’s very true that for the most part Eren has always viewed himself as someone who is special and capable of getting revenge on the titans, but I’m not really following how any of his ordeals make him not special. His father was able to get lucky enough to defeat a normally unbeatable titan and that meant for the first time in the history of the walls they could potentially move forward and liberate humanity. His existence is incredibly special.
That being said, I do think it is important for him to understand that his existence is not perfectly protected. Because you can just eat anyone and gain their powers in this world, I would almost believe it’s much more in character to feel existentially threatened. I know why he feels the way he does, but it feels like a fundamental misunderstanding of his situation. How dare you not feel the way I think you should about an existential issue, fictional character in this anime!
Of course since titans and walls are concerned no one handles it well and everyone panics. After that, I was deeply unsettled by the imagery in the episode. It’s no longer muscles, it’s intestines, organs, it’s everything. This is just too much for me man. The kids who saw this titan are way more lucky than Eren Mikasa and Armin. Jesus Christ, can I even show images of this episode? I don’t know why but Attack on Titan is just capable of regularly creeping me out and grossing me out. Jeez.
When magical mcguffin power fails, might as well throw a bunch of gunpowder into the dismembered face of a giant titan to stop it, right? This is what actually happens. I have to applaud them all for going about it in this way, but Historia is easily my favorite character in the show after this arc. Historia demands to be allowed to fight and then turns out to be the one who stops her father. Even though this episode is largely an eye roll to me, having Historia’s arc turn out so beautifully made this episode more than worth it.