I didn’t even know how to explain this episode, but I’ll just start with this: It was amazing, explosive, and filled with guts. Literally. Read the recap, and all will be explained.
It starts after a quick recap with the moving animation of Titan Rod closing in on the unsuspecting Orvud District. He’s getting there slowly, and OH DEAR GOD, THIS THING HAS EYES!!!
Orvud District has no idea what is in store. Meanwhile, the captain of that district thinks Erwin is insane, and he doesn’t want to evacuate the town. Hange points out it’s an Abnormal, meaning it is attracted to a high population, so it won’t hit a small village. In other words, if they did evacuate, it will follow to wherever the evacuees went, destroying everything in its path. If it hit the Capital, there would be more deaths, and it would be a big blow to humanity. Plus, they tried to use Eren’s power on Rod to control him, but it didn’t work so smoothly.
Punching the air like an idiot? Who knew it wouldn’t work?! Either way, to stop Titan Rod, they will need to have the citizens act as bait. They will still do whatever they can in their powers as soldiers to protect the people, so they decide an emergency evacuation drill will be done if they need to evacuate. They have no other choice. The good news is that since Titan Rod is so damn big, he makes for an easy target. They’ll use cannons on him, but the Scouts will still be there to do anything. Dawn finally arrives, as Titan Rod approaches.
A female soldier tells the citizens what is happening with this “exercise” and hopes they don’t panic. However, an old man wants to get back to his daily work and fights her to go back. The other people don’t believe this either, as they think it’s just a way for the military to seize control. Some even want the fake king to rule again. It’s then that a couple see smoke appearing from behind the wall.
The soldiers on the wall begin firing on Titan Rod. It hits him good, but it basically does nothing. There are ground troops who see everything in the big-ass Titan’s way get leveled, so they begin firing too. And like the wall troops, their cannon fire is ineffective.
These soldiers who have no battle experience because they’re from the northern region, with scrapped-together cannons and poor leadership, makes for an unwinnable battle, but it’s all the Scouts have, as they have to lean on another one of Erwin’s gambles. However, Hange has the others scrap up all the gunpowder, ropes, and netting they have here. They also have two machine gun-like cannon barrels that come back like the ODM Gear when shot. As they wrap up the barrels, Erwin talks with Historia about this battle. Having confirmed she got his message, he still doesn’t want her to be in this battle, but she doubts his plan for her to become Queen, as she doesn’t think the citizens will bow to her in name only.
As they go back-and-forth, and the cannons fire on, Eren can see Historia isn’t the weak one. It was him who was weak. He thought he was special, so when others died for him, he thought it was natural. Same with his Titan powers. He thought about nothing but killing Titans, and that strength was from him. He wants to take that next step. He’s a nobody, but humanity is stuck with him as their trump card. He looks down and sees some city kids below. They remind him of when they were kids as the Titans attacked. Armin knows that nobody down there today is safe when a bigger Titan attacks, as those kids might see what they did. But there is a difference: Soldiers like them are standing on the walls to face this threat. This cause Eren to flash back to all that happened back then, and he decides on a logical choice: Punch himself in the face repeatedly.
He was, and I quote, “Just beating the shit out of an useless brat.” He hopes this one is dead and gone for sure (Take this advice yourself, Sakura). The soldiers on the wall adjust their cannons and fire on Titan Rod’s nape. It does rip out its flesh (as the cannons do leave marks on him), but Titan Rod then releases his hot steam on them. This, with the wind changing direction, blinds the troops, but they keep firing on him. However, it’s too late as Titan Rod’s head is at the top of the wall. It lifts his giant hand high into the air, and comes crashing into the wall. The kids below see Titan Rod coming from the wall.
Just like the first episode, huh? Titan Rod then shows his face to all. Oh wait… HE HAS NO FACE!!
Scraping your head on the ground does that, as does crawling on the ground with your giant body, since Titan Rod’s chest is all open. Some of his guts fall on top of the wall soldiers and over the wall, causing some good nightmare fuel.
The townspeople see this, begin to panic, and run. Everyone on the wall begins to retreat as the captain can’t believe his town is going to be destroyed, but Levi and co. are ready, as they dump water all over themselves. Eren tells Armin there’s another difference than before: It’s not what they wanted, but they have a secret weapon. The kids see Eren transform into a Titan, and they’re ready to fight Titan Rod.
Erwin fires a flare to commence the attack. Sasha and Armin fire the barrels with the ODM anchors into Titan Rod’s hands. They release the levers, as the anchors make the barrels retract into Rod’s hands, and they explode. This rips the hands from the arms, causing Titan Rod to fall face first onto the wall. Eren then runs towards Rod with the wrapped-up barrels in hand. It flashes back to them making their strategy, which involves stuffing Rod’s throat full of the gunpowder barrels to blow up his nape. They figured they don’t need a detonator because of how much heat he’ll produce. The big gamble is that Erwin hopes its mouth is wide open from dragging itself on the ground, which Titan Rod did to protect itself because hitting the nape alone wasn’t doing it. Luckily for them, it paid off. Eren takes all the barrels and stuffs them into Rod’s wide-open mouth. The barrels explode from the heat, causing a mass explosion within his body. It then detonates into one giant explosion on the wall.
Oh yes. That one, giant explosion.
However, this explosion sends chunks of Titan Rod flying everywhere, but the Scouts planned for this as they fly up to cut them down. Erwin explains how it still has a regular Titan’s nape measurements, and how Titan Rod will regenerate and form another heat shield if it’s not cut down. The members all cut down the flying meat chucks, trying to find the nape. Historia joins them, as it flashes back to her talk with Erwin from earlier. It continues on with her saying she knows now her duty to fulfill. As much as Erwin wants to stop her, he can’t with the way his body is. Through it all, she finds the nape. As she goes for it, Historia apologizes for being selfish, as she is now going against her parents for the first time and fighting her dad. She slices the nape, killing her dad.
But, as she does, a rush of Rod’s memories flow through her, be it him arguing with his own dad (in a jail cell?) about wanting to kill the Titans, his brother saying not to worry, having (I’m assuming) Historia’s mom, Alma, only understanding him, and regretting her death, seeing Frieda, just a whole lot of stuff. The nape explodes, and Historia comes flying down into the town with the meat chunks. Luckily, she lands on mattress in a cart, as some of the citizens come to see her, asking her if she saved her town. She wonders if she just imagined this all, doing this on her own accord. She doesn’t know, but she will just go with it. She gets up and tells them who she is: Historia Reiss, the true ruler of the walls.
After the battle is over, the show then goes back to the destroyed chapel, and it shows Kenny has survived. Except, he is not looking well at all.
It shows some stuff from his past, including first meeting Uri, and how the older bro tells Kenny he can’t die yet, and another where we meet an almost starved-to-death kid. There’s also a meeting with … The Wallest, or whatever that religious group is called again? Anyway, it also shows his meeting with Right Hand for the first time, and her being crushed. He also remembers Levi fighting random people in town, and leaving him. He sets himself on a tree, face half-burned and severely injured. He looks to find two people who have him at gunpoint. It’s Levi and another Scout. Levi tells Kenny what he already knows of his squad, as he’s the only one left. Seeing Kenny in the state he’s in, Levi decides to handle this on his own. He knows he can’t help Kenny as he is, but Kenny smiles and takes out a last resort: A syringe full of Titan Juice.
This episode was … WOW!! That’s all I can say. Studio WIT did an amazing job animating this episode, with everything about Titan Rod that made him the big, absolute beast that he is. And to be honest, I was surprised with him having no face and his chest hanging out. Not because I didn’t think they have the guts (pun definitely intended) to do it, but because I actually didn’t know the motherfucker looked like that. It’s like I said it the last recap and other times before: The manga art for this series is crap. I had to go back after this episode to see if he really had his face and chest out. Turns out he did, but man, the art for this is so bad, it looks like one big, black scorch mark than it does showing Titan Rod’s brains and insides. His guts were just one, giant black smudge. You have to give Studio WIT credit again for animating this into full effect, and props to them for coming up with an anime-only idea of having Rod’s guts spill out. That was a fun move.
The animation this episode was fantastic. With all the bloody red details, the reds, orange and yellows of the explosion, to the dark flashbacks, and the hilarity of Eren beating the crap out of himself. The color detail was phenomenal, and the fluid way they handled the flying scenes and all of Titan Rod’s movements was excellent. There was some bad CGI at some points, mind you, but that was only used a little here, and it’s not the worst CGI I have seen in an anime. Again, gives props to WIT for making basically a work of art from what was equivalent of Erwin’s bad Titan Rod drawing. And speaking of Titans …. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!! ARE YOU SATISFIED, PEOPLE WHO WANTED SOME TITANS?!! DOES THIS BIG-ASS TITAN DO THE TRICK, FOR YA?!! YOU WANTED SOME TITANS!! HERE’S A TITAN FOR YA!!!
Yeah, they probably won’t be satisfied with just one Titan. That’s why we got the 2nd half of the show to come soon. For now, you’ll have to wait some more, as we get more detail into Kenny’s past next week.
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.