And so we’ve reached the thirtieth episode of this series, not quite a milestone but still an evened-out number, so that’s cause for a small bit of celebration for maybe one or two people. So go nuts, you select few. Also, a syntax clarification: who I call Krista, the official subs on Crunchyroll say as “Christa.” It’s a tomato-tomahto situation, but for these reviews, I’m going by my spelling of the name. Just so we’re all clear. One other thing, this is a pretty talk-heavy episode, so I’ll try my best to keep it as succinct as possible.
DISCLAIMER: There is a scene from this episode included in at the end of this review containing graphic violent imagery.
NOT continuing off from last time, we start this episode with our young’n soldiers traversing through a snowy field toward home base. Final time, 9 hours and 12 minutes. And that’s a GOOD time. At least Sasha’s on the up and up, thinking about the wonderful food they may be making for them; ever the stomach-centered optimist, she is. Sasha’s great. But there’s one problem afoot: Krista is missing from the group, as is Ymir. (And someone else, but they’re not important.) And instead of going out after them, everyone is ordered to stay put until morning, which prompts Eren to exclaim only one word: “S**t.” I better hear Papenbrook say that in a few weeks when this episode hits Adult Swim. But fear not, as both Krista and Ymir are dragging their frozen counterpart to their base. Anyone else feel reminded of The Hateful Eight from this scene? Only, you know, without the brutal violence and racism. And as they’re going along, Ymir gets into her schtick of “you suck and here’s why,” and that’s getting on Krista’s nerves, for you see, Ymir knows quite a bit about Krista and who she really is.
Here’s the short version: she’s the illegitimate child of a clergyman and his mistress, and given these circumstances, she could not ascend to nobility. However, if she changed her name and lived a different walk of life, the clergy would look past it all, and into the military she went. So how does it all tie back to Ymir? Well, when she was younger, being a pillager for survival, she managed to overhear this conversation in a church – yes, a church – and it would appear to be that she joined the military just to track her down. But, sure enough, within their own second chances at life, fate decided to draw them together. I won’t say to what extent, but there’s definitely a connection at work here. However, sometimes connections have their own ways of being a bit off, as is the case of what to do with their frozen stowaway, Daz. Short version, Ymir suggests letting him fall off a cliff to the ground below, Krista argues against it, so Ymir throws her into a pile of snow, and then they both disappear with Krista unsure of where they are. And at this same time, Eren is planning to go out and go on rescue to find Krista and Ymir. To no surprise, everyone joins in, but somebody’s already nearing the base. Of course, it’s Ymir, and Krista follows along some time after. As for Daz, somehow, he’s alive and recovering inside the cabin at the base. Makes you wonder just how she got down so easily, doesn’t it? As it turns out, Ymir’s got a secret of his own, and before entrusting Krista with it, she wants a promise made: when it’s revealed to everyone else, she wants Krista to take back her old name and go back to her old life. And then we get this very ship-fueled shot of both Krista and Ymir looking at each other with the sunrise in the background, it’s a wonderful shot to see.
Whew, 12 minutes of backtracking and flashbacks, let’s get back to the ass-kicking now.
Now that we’re up to speed, that little secret of Ymir? Yeah, she’s a Titan shifter, just like Eren and Annie. But she’s more of a “normal” looking Titan, not like Eren’s Titan form. Both Reiner and Bertholdt take notice at Ymir’s Titan form, and suddenly, they get a bit of PTSD, reminded of a day from their youth where they encountered a Titan that looked just like this one. Hmm, I wonder. And so, the usual banter of “is she friend or foe” comes up, AGAIN, because obvious reasons of this world. I’ve been saying it for years, it still rings true – Titan shifters are living WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. Let the military harness them and use them to their advantage instead of being so damn scared of them, LEVI. I’m sorry, I’m still mad over that episode from the first season. Anyway, Titan!Ymir is still fighting, but the tide starts to turn, so this prompts Krista to enter “ANTA BAKA!?” mode, exclaiming for her to not die, pretend that she’s not good, and lastly, quote, “Live for yourself, goddamn it!” So what does she do? She tears down the tower, takes everyone down to safety, and continues kicking major ass. That is, until MORE Titans show up, like this is a frigging Dynasty Warriors game. But, sadly, it all grows to be too much, and the rogue Titans start devouring Titan!Ymir, which prompts Krista to run to her with tears in her eyes. Then Mikasa Ex Machina happens, with the rest of the Survey Corps coming in to join in to take down the Titans, along with Eren, who’s rather joyous to get his first (ahem OFFICIAL) kill. And so, the day is saved, but how’s Ymir holding up? She’s had better days, that’s for sure, now missing her right leg and forearm and part of her stomach.
There’s one thing left, though, and that’s what Krista’s real name is. If you can guess by the title of the episode, you’d be on the money, it’s Historia. And that’ll give way for a bigger story plot much later on, but here, the episode closes out with a shot of Ymir shutting her eyes, passing out from the pain. Don’t worry, she’s not dead, at least not for a loooooooong while.
Talk about a packed episode, it had everything: a deep backstory, imagery straight out of a Quentin Tarantino film, major Titan ass-kicking, well-earned emotional investment, and there was even a little bit of 3DCG animation towards the end. So far, I’d call this episode the best one yet, and we still have a lot more to cover in the next batch of episodes coming up. Now’s a good time to jump in and get into this season, if you haven’t already, things are looking on the up and up with no signs of slowing down.
Attack on Titan is licensed by FUNimation Entertainment and is simulcast subtitled Saturdays at 10:30am EDT on Crunchyroll and FUNimationNow, with an English simuldub on Saturdays at 12:30am EDT on Adult Swim and Sundays at 10:00pm EDT on FUNimationNow.