This had to be one of best episodes this season and that’s saying a lot as it came from such a stacked season. Great action and choreography, great character moments, emotional moments. It made me hyped, it made me conflicted, it made me emotional. This episode had the whole package. I’ve missed the Attack on Titan action and this episode delivered. While I will say that Wit Studio still had the best 3D maneuver gear animation, MAPPA certainly stepped up their game on this one.
Time just isn’t on Armin and company’s side. Not only are they battling against the clock of getting to Eren, but now they have to deal with the time it takes the flying boat up and running which is said to take a day to get it functioning. Not only does that allow more people to die due to the Rumbling, but there was no way that Annie and Reiner can fend off the Yeagerists for that long. So now they have to get everyone to Odiha so they can get the flying boat up and running in a shorter amount of time. Things just feel like they’re getting worse and worse for the group as not only do they have to kill their friends from the cadet days, but they’re on a pretty severe time crunch. It was hard enough watching Connie have to kill both Daz and Samuel the first time… but then they show us part of the build up to it along with the aftermath. Armin reaching out to a sinking Daz made me go: WAS THIS REALLY NECESSARY??? I already feel bad over what happened, why you got to hurt us more?!
Things continue to look more dire when both Annie and Reiner get overwhelmed. It seemed like they were doing fine at the start, but then started struggling when they had to protect others. And I gotta give props to Reiner for just going above and beyond in protecting the mechanics and Annie. Poor guy seriously needs a break. Just as things were about to get even more difficult with the reinforcements about to arrive, the tides shift when the train somehow explodes and Connie comes in clutch to save both Reiner and Annie. Speaking of, let’s talk about freaking Connie. MAPPA literally gave him the “Levi treatment” in animation as everyone seems to be saying as he shows us just why he was in the top 10 of the cadets. Funny how this was the same guy who was accidentally bouncing off of titans’ heads and being a clutz on the field. Now he’s proving himself to be quite resourceful in battle. Also the fact that Connie goes in to save both Annie and Reiner felt poetic. Not only were they the ones that betrayed him, but they both rescued him at one point. It’s like he’s finally returning the favor.
And then we finally get to see Falco’s Jaw Titan. And true to his name, it certainly does take on a bit of bird qualities with the claws that look like talons and the freaking beak. But man does it look cool even if the jaw on it… doesn’t look quite as efficient as say Galiard or Ymir’s Jaw titans. People have pointed out that it looks more like a Beast titan than a Jaw titan but it may have to do with the fact that Falco had ingested Zeke’s spinal fluid to become a titan in the first place. So that may be why his titan has taken on some beast qualities.
At this point, I think everyone has in the Paradis squad has resigned themselves to fight their former comrades and know that if they hesitate even for a second, they will end up losing their lives before they can even get to Eren. This is like the fight with Kenny and his squad but 100x worse. After all of this is over, they’re going to be so messed up emotionally and mentally.
As much as I dislike Floch, I do have to give him credit for being such a driven person, being able to get things done and he catches onto things pretty fast. Not to mention he is doing all that he believes he can for his people because it is true that if they kill Eren, Paradis will most likely be destroyed out of revenge. He was also able to hold his own and get past Falco as the Jaw Titan, Hanji AND Pieck. If that’s not an accomplishment, I don’t know what is. Not to mention the animation team really gave it to him this episode. However, that still does not change the fact that I still greatly dislike him for all the cruelty and mercilessness that he’s shown to others. But I can admit that he is a well written character and there are positives to him even if I cannot perceive him in a positive light. And man, I had to just give a clap to Gabi for being the one to stop him. Gabi… you freaking sharp shooter you. After this episode, it wasn’t hard to see where she got her amazing shooting skills from. Finally, someone was able to take Floch down a peg or two.
Over the course of the second part of the season, Magath has definitely grown into quite an endearing character. At first he was such a hardened man and seemingly firm in his beliefs, but he genuinely cared for the warrior candidates. I love that he was the one to risk his life to cut Falco out of his titan all the while telling him that he did a good job. Magath’s development especially comes into perspective when Shadis makes his return. Magath and Shadis on paper should hate each other considering they were the ones to train and build up the child soldiers on opposing sides. However, in this instance where they came together to blow up the cruiser, it showed that the two were very similar.
Both Shadis and Magath were bystanders who finally ended up doing something for the better of others. Magath just stood by and allowed the warrior candidates to be used as tools of war until finally realizing what would make him the happiest is if they could all lead normal, happy lives. Which is extremely heartwarming but also really sad because most of the people in that group shot were already gone. And then there’s Shadis who mostly just watched things happen around him, finally took the initiative to help the others after seeing the others with Annie go and try and stop the Rumbling. To which we find out that it was him who spotted them escaping a few episodes back. Not to mention he came back all decked out in the old uniform that he must not have worn for YEARS.
Both of them ended up sacrificing their lives to allow the others to escape, entrusting them to save as many people as they can. In the end, the two instructors showed mutual respect to each other despite them having been on different sides. But man, the shot of the explosion and the music made me misty eyed especially when Gabi was shown crying out for her former commander and Pieck trying to comfort her. And probably one of the saddest things is that I don’t think anyone knew that Shadis was there besides the ones who got blown up. Poor Shadis will be forever remembered as just a bystander despite him finally taking things into his own hands at the very end. But he’ll always be a hero in my heart at least. RIP both Keith Shadis and Theo Magath. Both you shall be missed.
And just continuing the sad feels train, I feel so bad for Annie. She was doing everything in her power to get back to her dad, only to find out that her hometown has most likely been destroyed already and everyone in it. Seeing her just sink to the floor in utter defeat just hurt especially since we’ve always seen her push through all hurdles thus far. She and Mikasa are similar in the regard of caring about a single person so much that they would fight tooth and nail to be with that person. And without that person, they most likely wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. Speaking of, seeing Annie and Mikasa work together through out this episode was something I didn’t know I needed. The two were at such odds whenever they would interact so seeing her hang off of Annie’s head to relay information and helping her after she got out of her titan was endearing. Not to mention she was actually trying to comfort Annie after she heard the news about her hometown.
Annie’s breakdown at the end of not wanting to fight everyone anymore hit really hard. At this point, she’s just so tired of fighting people, which is probably how everyone in this series feels. So once again, she asks Mikasa if she would be able to sit by and allow whoever to kill Eren. And I can’t help but feel that they purposefully used the phrase “stand by and watch” after just killing off Shadis and Magath who were bystanders. Which means, Mikasa most likely will not stand by and just watch Eren die. However, what that entails is yet to be determined
in the anime at least. But man, this was probably the most emotional Annie has ever been and her voice actress absolutely nailed just how defeated and in pain Annie must feel in this moment. Just her performance alone made me tear up a little. Especially when she even says that she doesn’t want to fight anyone anymore. Be it Mikasa, anyone else in the group and even Eren.
Man, this episode had it all. Crazy action, great character moments, great animation and emotional moments that just punch you in the heart. I forgot a lot of what happened during this part from the manga and I’m glad they were able to do some scenes justice. The whole situation is pretty dire, especially taking into account both sides. It honestly feels like a lose lose situation since the world most likely won’t forgive the utter destruction Eren is causing. So on one hand, Floch is correct in saying that Paradis will be destroyed if Eren dies. However, the methods they’re using and their mindset towards the rest of the world is as equally disgusting as the world’s view on them is. This series sure loves to mess with everyone’s mindsets and morals. The last episode is two weeks from now so no new episode next week. I am wondering just what do they have planned for the rest of the series since there is absolutely no way they are ending it all in just one episode. In any case, see you guys in two weeks for the finale of part 2!