And we’re back! Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long. But boy did they leave us on quite the cliffhanger that probably caused severe pain for anime-onlys. Especially since fan favorite Levi was left in an unknown state of being alive or not. This season has already started off with multiple bangs and we’ve gotten to a point where there is no where to go but forward. Buckle your seat belts because we’re in for a bumpy ride. A lot definitely happened this episode where it was honestly really hard to find a place to breathe since it was just nonstop action.
Also can we just talk about that opening??? On my first viewing, I didn’t really like it all that much. But the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me and man it definitely makes a statement lol. Though I was a bit miffed that they put in several spoilers that would have definitely made people excited if they saw it happen in the episode rather than it being shown in the opening. Which is disappointing. But it is what it is I guess. The ending however is a lot more subtle and I absolutely love the song. The lyrics depict Eren’s character perfectly. Giving us a sense of hope but also a dreaded violence underneath it with him holding that bloody sword as a kid. It’s such a beautiful sounding song despite having the name “Child of Evil.” Beautifully terrifying. The animation for both the opening and the ending was also really fluid and hope that some of that gets translated into the episodes. Though a lot of it was rotoscoped and people who have read my past posts for this season know how I feel about that.
For those left in despair of not knowing about Levi’s fate, thankfully the anime was kinda nice to the viewers by showing his current state at the very start of the episode. Big emphasis on the “kinda” though. Obviously the guy isn’t looking too good as he’s lost multiple fingers, his body is in tatters, his face is torn up with shards stuck in it… this is probably the worst situation he’s probably in. He was most likely just barely alive and would have died if not for Hanji. Levi probably means a lot to her now that he’s like the last person from the original scouts. If not for Hanji’s quick thinking, Levi would probably have had a hole blown into his head by freaking Floch. Not only that but Zeke just suddenly appearing from the corpse of a titan proved to be a useful distraction as well. SAVE YOUR MANS HANJI.
Speaking of Zeke, the guy is also back and seems to have had a weird otherwordly experience with having this dream of a girl forming his missing body parts out of sand. I can’t really talk too much about this part since I feel like I know too much about it lol. So I shall just leave it at that. Looks like the euthanization plan is still in motion as Zeke is making his way to Eren now that his determination is stronger than ever. Especially since it seems as if his plans are fully recognized by “destiny.”
While the whole thing was happening with Zeke, we go right back where the last episode left off with Marley going full assault mode on Paradis. Since this whole mission was set into motion to prioritize saving Gabi and Falco. And while I still don’t particularly care too much for Gabi, the moment between her and Magath was actually pretty touching. Especially since it also builds upon Magath’s character. Despite being shown as a gruff military man, he does actually care for Gabi and the others. There have been several hints to him not having the typical mindset of a Marleyan towards Eldians. Such as allowing the Eldians to celebrate on the train despite being noisy and has also shielding Gabi and Falco from harm back when Eren initiated the attack on Marley. Seeing him genuinely worried for Gabi’s safety was rather heartwarming. He’s like a prime example of there being good amongst the bad. Not everyone in a particular group is good, but not all of them are bad either.
I know I shouldn’t be laughing, but the part where Porco slices off Pieck’s hand to free her from Gabi and allow her to transform just tickled me way more than it should have. Especially when she just launched herself off the side of the roof to transform. AOT, you have no business being that funny when a war is happening lol.
While the fighting was happening I actually felt really conflicted. A part of me was actually rooting for Marley to defeat the Yeagerists while another part of me was reminding me that the Marleyans were the ones who attacked first and allowed the deaths of so many innocent people of Paradis. Though at this point, I feel like both sides are equally terrible. But at the moment, I feel Marley has been painted in the more “just” position with them going out of their way to rescue two kids who got themselves captured. At least for this episode. I guess it just goes to show how good the writing in this series is where you can’t tell who is in the right and wrong. Both sides believe they are fighting for the right thing, but we’ve seen how cruel both the Marleyans and the Yeagerists have been to others. It honestly feels kinda wrong to root for either side. At this point, I can only root for specific characters and maybe not the entire group as a whole.
Eren and Reiner’s rematch is in full swing now that Reiner has the will to fight and protect those he cares about. Though I will say it was rather presumptuous of Reiner to claim that Eren wasn’t a big threat on his own. Bruh, the guy has three different titans in him. I think he is quite a big problem. And it did take at least three different titans to incapacitate him, at least for now.
Also, is it just me, or was this episode a lot more bloody than usual? I know AOT is pretty bloody already, but I feel this episode was especially bloody. As shown with how brutalized Reiner’s face was, the amount of blood shot out of Eren’s titan and how all of the yeagerists were gunned down. It was just a blood bath this entire episode.
The person I probably feel the worst for right now is most likely Connie right now. When Onoyakopon desperately tried to get Armin and the others to help Eren, my reaction basically Connie’s. Why should they even help him after everything he’s done. Connie has lost his entire family and village, his soulmate Sasha is gone, he’s been betrayed by people he felt close to… the poor guy has gone through way too much in such a short amount of time. My heart definitely went out to him when he shouted how much he’s tired of people betraying him. The poor guy was a silly dummy at the start of the show, but everything he’s gone through made him into such an angry and distrusting person. It’s really sad to see just how jaded he’s become. I can hardly blame him for lashing out of hurt and frustration.
I also have to give some sympathy to Mikasa as well. I still am not particularly into her as a character, but I do feel bad at how hurt she was to have Eren just trample all over her feelings. She even has taken off the scarf that he gave her all those years ago. Which says a lot about her emotional state. She treasured that scarf because it’s what Eren gave to her as a comfort. But now she just holds it to her side. She can’t find comfort in it anymore but she also can’t let it go.
And while I love Armin, I can’t completely side with how he thinks about Eren. I do agree that Eren was most likely lying about what is seemingly controlling Mikasa and Armin’s mental states or at least partially lying. But when he tries arguing that Eren can’t possibly be going with the euthanization plan, with how he’s been acting, it’s almost impossible to really trust what Eren is doing. If there was anyone I side with the most in this situation, it’s probably Jean. He understands that Eren isn’t the type of person to go with the euthanization plan, but he can’t trust him after all he’s done. Eren has done nothing this season to warrant anyone’s trust. So why should anyone trust what he’s doing? And while it’s true that Eren ultimately makes the final choice on what to do with the Founding Titan’s power, we also don’t know if what he plans to do with it is right or wrong. This whole thing is such a mess…
What a way to start off the second part of the season: ABSOLUTE CHAOS. Not to mention just feeling torn about how to think about the situation. While I have read the manga, I definitely skimmed through this part and don’t quite remember how everything quite plays out. I remember the big things that happen, but not the little things in between. So it’ll be an interesting experience to revisit them in animation form. I’m sure Eren isn’t done yet and will most likely be causing more trouble for Marley’s forces.