Are you ready for a big-ass Titan? Because we have a big-ass Titan in this episode.
Levi and co. make it to where Squad Kenny cut off the route with a net. Even a small opening has been plugged off, and they’re all out of gunpowder to blow it up. Right Hand and her mates are ready to fight, but then the Titan light from Rod illuminates the cave. As he transforms, Kenny tries to escape, but the hot wind and steam makes it difficult, as well as the pillars breaking from this. The hot wind reaches Kenny and Levi’s squads, and Sasha can see the ceiling is going to collapse, but the wood that covered the small opening breaks. Levi tells Armin and Molbit to take the injured Hange and get out through there. Even with all this happening around, Eren still wants a Reiss member to eat him, so Rod will do. He tells Historia to leave, but she isn’t having that. She’s still on his side
She may not be a good girl or God, but (as it flashes to Ymir again) if she sees people crying and saying they aren’t needed, she wants to tell them it’s not true. She’ll do it for anyone, anywhere. She unlocks one of the locks, and the wind blows her away. Luckily, Mikasa arrives to grab her, as Levi, Connie and Jean try to unlock the rest of Eren’s restraints. He wants them to run as well, but Jean disses him and points out that they have Kenny’s squad after them too.
As they watch Titan Rod start to form, they can see it’s bigger than the Colossal Titan. The ceiling starts to break, but they free Eren in time before the boulders smash him. Kenny gets away, but he sees his squad is still there, as Eren and co. are trapped. This Titan isn’t going to eat him, so he thinks of fighting it, but he knows his Titan form would be crushed by this Titan easily. He starts to cry and apologizes to everyone, as he tells them he’s useless and wasn’t humanity’s hope. He also notices a bottle labeled “Armor” that’s filled with the Titan Juice (Yup, still calling it that). Jean and the others have had enough and call him out for this pathetic showing. They’ve all been through this like he has and worse, so now they have to get through this big Titan. Eren thinks it’s hopeless, but Historia doesn’t want them to sit around and either be crushed or burn to death. Levi hates doing this, but he has to have Eren choose what to do. After Eren remembers when the Female Titan chased them and he choose to follow Levi, he decides. He grabs the armor bottle, and runs towards Rod. Eren wants to believe in himself, and protect his friends. He bites down on bottle, and it makes him transform. Crystals start to come out from him, as the crystal barrier surrounds the cave and his friends. Levi tells the others to get under Eren.
Kenny sees Right Hand (who we find out does have a name right then and there: It’s Caven) get crushed by the falling ceiling, as do the other members, and Kenny has to make it out of there. Titan Rod starts to stand up and break the cave. Armin and Molbit make it out of the chapel with Hange in time, just as the chapel and the land around it begin to break apart, with hot steam coming from underground. They make it as far as they can, and they turn to see Titan Rod appearing from underground and beginning to crawl. Erwin and the others arrive in time to see this all play out. Even from a distance, they can see how big this Titan is, as it’s twice as big as the Colossal Titan. The wall wouldn’t stand a chance if this Titan attacked it. Even so, Erwin advances his troops.
The show comes back to an image of Eren’s eerily blue spine, as we can hear Mikasa’s voice call for him. He snaps out of it as her and Jean free him from the crystal. It’s a very nice looking crystal.
This is Eren’s first successful “Hardening,” as the crystal doesn’t disappear even with Eren being cut loose. It’s all thanks to that bottle Eren took. Even with its shoddy design, they can now plug up Wall Maria with this power, and when they do, they can see what Eren’s dad left behind in the basement, even if Eren is having second thoughts on it after what his dad did. Sasha and Connie return to give all the good news from above. Sasha is also grateful for Eren saving them, even if she backhand compliments him afterwards. With all of this done, they can go after that “Big-ass Titan.”
As Eren and co. make it out of the cave, they can see all the damage Titan Rod is doing. He’s moving slowing as his head is literally dragging in the ground, but as the Scouts try to get near, they can see everything in his path catching on fire because of how hot he is. They can’t stop it, and like Abnormal Titans, he doesn’t care for them. They just need to figure out where it’s heading.
Squad Levi finally returns to Erwin with their once-kidnapped members, as everyone but Hange are fine. They first report about the Big Titan being Rod, so it’s Erwin’s call to make. He decides to go back to Wall Sina, specifically the Orvud District, where he believes it is headed.
As they head back with Titan Rod crawling in the background, Hange recaps all that happened, even though she is injured. She knows that even if Reiss got this power, the First King’s will would brainwash him, making for a weird way to true peace. Eren thinks he has one option: Rod eats him, Rod turns back into a human, and they get a Founding Titan. They do this and undo the First King’s brainwashing on Rod, and it can open a path to save humanity. Eren is all in on his plan, but Historia knows that this idea has flaws aplenty. They don’t know if they can undo the brainwash to begin with. Plus, if Rod does become human, he could still alter everyone’s memories, making this null and void. And even if Rod eats Eren, they don’t know if Rod will become normal again. This may have been the fault of Eren’s dad, but Historia doesn’t blame Grisha. In fact, she thinks him brutally murdering Frieda and the others helped save everyone from the First King. That gives us the flashback of Grisha telling Eren how he can save everyone by controlling this power. Armin and Mikasa agree with Historia’s reasoning, as they only have one chance to fix Wall Maria and get to the basement (Which Sasha forgot was a thing. I don’t blame her). There’s just one problem left that Hange gets to: Is it okay to have that big-ass Titan roam inside Wall Sina? Since they can’t capture it, the only option left is to kill Rod. This makes Historia remember the (very short) good times with her dad. She apologizes to Eren because she thought of turning into a Titan and eating him, but not to save humanity. She didn’t want her dad to hate her. However, Historia is now ready to end him, as they get to the Orvud District.
At the Regiment Branch, Levi forgot to tell Historia something they need her for under Erwin’s orders. After this battle, they want her to become the new Queen, and this shocks everyone, including her. They need someone to have the citizens believe in, and they need a story of how the true heir retook the throne from the fake one. Connie interrupts, trying his best to help her, but he can’t say it properly, so Jean does it for him. Basically, Historia broke free from her old burden, and now they are forcing her into another role, and that’s not fair for her. However, Historia understands it’s her duty, and she will do it, but she does have one condition: Because it’s her own fate, she wants to join the others in this fight (Mikasa does point out that if she’s Queen, Historia can punch Levi any time in the face. Good on you, Mikasa). Titan Rod is approaching Orvud soon, and he’ll be there by dawn. Now it’s on to evacuate everyone. However, Erwin tells them they aren’t doing that, as everyone will remain in Orvud with Big-Ass Titan Rod closing in.
There was a lot to digest in this episode (no pun intended). We finally got to see Titan Rod fully animated, and we saw Eren’s first Hardening (make your own jokes there). We saw how Kenny’s squad got killed easily, as their deaths were only there in a flashback. A lot of deaths for some characters come in one-shot panel flashbacks in the manga, so seeing them happen in real-time is better for the brutality. Plus, the growth of Historia as a character the last two episodes have been exciting to watch. She’s not the scared girl she was long ago, as she is now her own person, which in turn made Eren do a complete 180 in his personality. Getting back to the animation, this episode was excellent. Studio WIT has done a fun job animating this series so far, but one thing they show here is all the background work being done on this episode, be it Titan Rod and how the characters were making their way back with him, the cave in all of its glory, and even shots like this of Orvud District.
It’s a beautifully done shot of the calm before the storm, as said storm is making it’s way to the next phase. Speaking of that storm, Titan Rod was done justice by Studio WIT. They made him look like the uniquely, physically imposing Titan you would expect to see from someone who makes the Colossal Titan look puny. He looked like a real beast of a Titan to handle. Because in the manga, it’s a whole different story.
I said before the art in the AoT manga is bad. It took me a couple minutes looking at this giant Titan before I could recognize it was a Titan pic.twitter.com/EUx9bogj7Z
— Daddy Cedric (@cedric_alpha) July 28, 2018
I said before that the manga art was bad, and this proves it. As someone who commented on this said, Titan Rod looked like “a roasted chicken.” It’s amazing how WIT has been able to animate this series when sometimes you have no idea what the hell you are looking at. Going by the manga itself, you wouldn’t think Titan Rod was a big, red Titan, but just a black charred mess. It’s why I liked this animation compared to the manga. A lot would say “stick with the manga” with shows that don’t produce like the manga. Attack on Titan is one of those rare instances where the opposite is true. It’s just a wonderfully animated episode that helps make this show look better than it should be.
Attack on Titan Season 3 is licensed by Funimation. New episodes can be seen on Crunchyroll and Funimation at 2 PM ET Sundays. The dub version can be seen Saturdays at 11 PM ET on Toonami.