Attack on Titan Season 3 – Episode 53 – “Perfect Game”

Are you one of those people who still can’t believe Game of Thrones ended and there are no more episodes? Are you one of those fans who hated how it ended and want to see more bloodshed? Well, this is the perfect anime for you! Or maybe not, because things may end in a bitter rage when that character you like dies, like with how [CENSORED] and [CENSORED] and especially [CENSORED] died in that last season. Good times. Another question: do you like baseball and kamikaze attacks? They don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but they are on this episode.

The Colossal Titan is still dropping houses on everything, and Connie points out that one could be Eren’s house… and makes a terrible pun. That’s how we start out, and Sasha smacks him for it. The group knows Bertholdt doesn’t know where they are, but because every building is on fire/falling down all around them, they know they don’t have time. They want Armin to give them orders, but he’s still feeling down over how his last plan with Bertholdt didn’t go so well, so he has Jean take over. Jean tells them to head towards the river riding on Eren, hoping they don’t get seen. Jean is good at reading situations, but he doesn’t have a plan for all this, so he needs Armin to get them out of this.

After the OP, we meet up with Levi again as his group has taken out most of the smaller Titans. He doesn’t have a plan for the “cowardly” Beast Titan, who is still sitting there.

The soldier he is with wants him to take a break as they take care of the rest of the smaller Titans, and he takes off to the front. Levi wants to know what that explosion was past the wall and also if Hange, Eren and everyone else are okay, but he has no time for this as a small stone passes right by his face. Then many stones of bigger proportion sail by, and Levi tries to protect himself. The stones destroy all the houses around and decimate the front line where the Scouts fighting the Titans were.

As you can see, there was a *lot* of bloodshed. Who did this? The Beast Titan, of course. Getting boulders from his Quadruped Titan pal, he takes the boulder, crushes it in his big hands, then winds up and throws it. The first one was a “warm-up pitch,” and he’s looking for a Perfect Game here.

Erwin sees the 2nd batch coming and tells his troops below to take cover as Levi tries to get to the front line. The soldier who was with him is barely alive from the 1st onslaught but sees the Beast Titan throw the 2nd barrage. This one takes out the rest who were alive, as Levi barely dodges it, listening to all the screams following the debris and blood raining down. The group with the horses don’t know what’s happening and are scared as shit, with Marlo trying to calm them down. Levi arrives and tells them what’s going down as he issues them to retreat to the wall, but more crushed boulders rain down near them, destroying everything. They do retreat, but some are scared to move in this baseball-like destruction.

Erwin arrives and gives them all the bad news. They can’t stay where they are with the Beast Titan throwing giant stones their way, but they can’t get across the wall as the Colossal Titan is wrecking things. They can’t retreat because they can’t leave the horses, plus they don’t know if Hange and Eren’s groups survived the explosion. Beast Titan planned for them to fight the smaller Titans just for this, and so now the Dirk, Marlene ,and Klaus Squads are all dead, with only Erwin, Levi, and these recruits left, with more boulder bits crashing on them. In every sense, they are fucked. So now what will Erwin do?

Back to Eren and co., Jean tells Eren to roar to get Bertholdt’s attention away from the wall. Eren does, but when Bertholdt looks at them, he ignores them. The next plan from Jean? Have Eren stop Bertholdt’s legs. They still can’t stop them with their ODM gear as it’s is useless against his steam, but they have to find his weakness. Mikasa will attack him with the Thunder Spears as Armin observes this from afar. The group scatters, and Eren attacks with all his rage at Bertholdt’s left leg. He stops him and even pushes him back, so it’s working, right? One problem:

As you can see, Eren has a slight disadvantage when it comes to height. Basically, Bertholdt lifts his leg with Eren still hanging on and flings him right into the wall with ease, knocking Eren out.

Jean knows they still have to take out Bertholdt and now without Eren for their sake and humanity’s sake, so they all try to distract him… badly. This is to let Mikasa get behind Bertholdt and launch the spears. She does, but Bertholdt is on to them. He lets out his hot steam, which sends not only Jean and co. flying, but has the Thunder Spear go behind Mikasa, causing her to cut the lines before they explode on her. This only injured them, and now they need a counterattack strategy from Armin. He doesn’t have one, as not only is Bertholdt still a problem, but Reiner is back up on his feet.

After another boulder gets tossed their way, Levi wants them to retreat from this fight so that Eren and Erwin can both make it out alive. The scared soldier starts to argue with Marlo, as he saw how many just died, and you can’t protect the horses without any people. It focuses on him for a bit, showing how he became a soldier that wanted to be someone who protects people and not become meaningless victims in all this. Erwin asks what Levi would do because Levi want to draw the Beast Titan away from them, but that’s impossible. Hell, even Levi thinks getting Eren and Erwin out of here is impossible, as no one is making it.

But Erwin does have a counterattack: he thinks Levi can take the Beast Titan down. However, it will cost not only Erwin’s life, but all the recruits here. He just needs to be the con man and trick all of them into this plan for a slim victory, but the downside is that Erwin won’t see what’s in the basement. Erwin thinks death is easier to get than being able to see what’s hidden in there. His moral consciousness takes over, as he remembers all the people they sacrificed to get here. Levi drops to his knees and makes a choice from all this: he will let Erwin go to his death with the recruits and will take out the Beast Titan himself. It stuns Erwin, but he is happy with this decision.

As the Beast Titan starts another attack, Erwin leads a loud, kamikaze charge with the recruits right at him, which doesn’t please the Beast Titan. Erwin and the troops fire green signal flares in the air, and as the Beast Titan lines up another pitch, he has all of the recruits split off to cut the Beast Titan’s accuracy down. It flashes back a bit to when Erwin tells of his final mission for him, the recruits and Levi, who will use his ODM gear to get to the Beast Titan. Levi will sneak up on him by using the larger Titans to get around as he cuts down the first one he gets to.

The recruits do not like this plan. Literally, one throws up hearing it. Erwin knows it comes down to either doing this plan or standing here and getting killed by the flying rocks. The one soldier argues that no matter what happens, they’re all going to die meaningless deaths, which Erwin agrees with, but he twists it so that he has them think that they’ll be remembered for this if they pull through, as others who sacrificed themselves before aren’t meaningless and hopes those that they protect will find meaningful lives. Anyway, this somehow works as Erwin leads them straight into the Beast Titan’s attack. Many of them lose their heads, limbs, body parts, and so do the horses. And Erwin? He isn’t spared either.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: in this universe, it seems there is baseball. How else would the Beast Titan know what a Perfect Game is? How does he know what a warm-up pitch is? In fact, how would you play baseball in this world? Do you call the game off when there’s a Titan attack? Do you just go on playing as they do? Would you use your bats to beat up the Titans? Would Joe Buck still hope it goes 47 innings before being eaten? I have a ton of questions on how this would be possible without some type of shit going down. Either way, I kind of want an AoT spin-off where they play any sports with this happening.

Moving on, this was an episode that was all about stuff being destroyed, lots of deaths of people we don’t care about, and conning others into doing a kamikaze attack on a hairy giant. The animation was on point this episode, with all the destruction looking marvelous. The flow of how the boulders rained down in some scenes, especially the Levi/Erwin scenes as the stones fell, made this as well done as the manga did.

Sure, there are still some spots where the animation isn’t as good, especially with the CGI. The Colossal Titan still looks weird from afar, but his form in regular animation is well made. We mostly get good scenes in this episode from the Eren/Bertholdt fight, to the kamikaze charge, to even the soldiers being scared and reacting as such. Seeing the morality of Erwin and him wanting to get to his dream of that sweet, basement goodness and him more than knowing he won’t make it also hits really well. His smile to Levi said it all, as he knows his ride is almost over. Is this a spoiler? Only manga people know this, but that hole he just got isn’t helping things. Overall, this was a fun episode with a lot action, questions about what is meaningful, baseball, and bad attempts at trying to psyche someone out.

Before I end this, here is a bit of Attack on Titan news to close this out.

As you can see, Japan, Funi and others have been having issues with other outlets launching the anime earlier than the intended premiere time. So instead, they were going to launch it on Wednesdays, but an update on Friday has them now still on Sundays, but later at night. It’s annoying, yes, but what can you do. It won’t affect the dub at all, which is premiering this weekend. Enjoy the show however you like. Just don’t be the shitheads who leak it early.

Attack on Titan Season 3 is licensed by Funimation. Episodes can be seen on both Crunchyroll, Hulu and Funimation on Sunday at 9:45 PM ET. The dub version is airing Saturday at 11:30 PM ET on Toonami and Sundays on Funimation.

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