Attack on Titan ep21: trust is overrated and victory is delicious
I suppose this battle could have gone better, but I can’t see how it could get any worse also. With a lot of dead soldiers and wasted resources, there’s nothing to show for what they’ve done. And now, with all the layers of defense peeled away, there’s nothing standing between the Female Titan and Eren aside from three very good, but very scared and over matched soldiers. And I have to say, for a moment I was impressed, though not fooled.
Using their incredible skill and chemistry, they’re able to blind the Female Titan and force her into a defensive stance against a tree. They even slice and dice her to the point where she isn’t even able to defend her neck because they cut the muscles on her exposed flesh to the point where she can’t lift her arms. The only thing left to do is kill her by cutting the back of her neck. It’s too bad that in there desperate fervor they couldn’t pull back enough to take stock of the situation. Even taking that into account, their ignorance doomed them from the start.
They did not know have any idea that the Female Titan could harden her skin to a diamond like appearance and hardness, they also underestimated her cleverness, survival instincts and mastery of her titan form. As Urd went in for the killing strike, he’s bitten in half by her; as Petra tries to escape, she’s smashed into a tree. Her innards and the tree are as good as the same thing now. The Female Titan was able to prioritize the regeneration of one of her eyes in order to get her sight back much more quickly than expected. The last bit of resistance, douchebag guy whose name I can’t remember, makes a final desperate strike. It’s a complete failure as she was ready for the strike at the nape of her neck, and therefore protected it buy hardening the skin over it. He’s given a swift roundhouse kick that probably kills him instantly as the force would probably be enough to liquify his insides.
Eren sees now that there’s no one to protect him, and that perhaps maybe he should have been protecting them instead. The decision is made, and we now ourselves a titan on titan battle.
The rampaging titan that awed all of us when it first appeared is back! But the setting and circumstances now are completely different from its first two appearances. The Female Titan may be tired and injured, but it’s not too stupid or slow. Eren’s wild swings and screaming aren’t enough to cut it. but he does manage to have a better measure of control now than before. He is able to get the female titan to the ground and mount her, but his gigantic wild swings, and his distracted mind allow the Female Titan to survive, while netting him a pair of destroyed hands that he has to allow time to regenerate. This gives the already healing female titan time to wring herself free and struggle herself to an advantage. She proves herself too smart and powerful, as she is able to not only break Eren’s titan form jaw (nice diamond punch lady), but she musters enough strength to punch right through one of those giant ancient trees and sever Eren’s titan head right off!
Eren’s transformation is not a thing that goes unnoticed. The moment he transformed, it was a signal to everyone for miles that things had gone completely to sh*t. And of course Mikasa is first on the scene, with Levi not far behind. While Levi covers the path that runs right through the Female Titans charge of destruction, showing Levi each and every murdered member of his squad, Mikasa arrives just in time to see the Female Titan rip Eren’s body from his titan flesh and be devoured.
We all know how protective Mikasa is of Eren. This won’t go unpunished.
The Female Titan runs off with her hard earned bounty, but Mikasa gives chase, viciously slicing chunks off of the Female Titan to the point where she’s actually forced to her knees. Though, at the rate she’s attacking, Mikasa will probably run out of fuel before she can finish the job. This is when Levi swoops in and tells the rabid Mikasa to try a smarter strategy. They’ll give chase the visibly worn down titan. I wonder if Mikasa will be able to hold back her bloodlust long enough to see his strategy to the end.
End of episode.
Aside for that annoyingly elongated recap at the beginning of this episode, I had no problems with anything that was going down. I was just a little bit in disbelief when the Female Titan (man I’ll be glad when I can use her real name and stop using this stupid one) showed up and killed Gunther real quick and then turned right back into her titan form. I was just thinking, “what the hell? Does this chick ever get tired?!” I mean it! Ever since she appeared, she’s been doing nothing but running and killing for miles upon miles. She’s had to heal at almost a constant clip from all the sniping attempts made at her by the Recon Corps, too. So what she’s done up until this point has been absolutely amazing.
While it seems as though all the old rules no longer apply, as was discussed early in this episode between Erwin and Hanji (this show needs more Hanji), what we initially believed from early observations are nothing short of misconceptions based on already incomplete knowledge. Hypotheses based on flawed experiments or knowledge and flawed from the start. Eren is nothing more than a complete novice. It’s akin to studying what can be done with a bicycle by someone who has just learned to ride. He’s practically a child taking its first ride down the street, while the Female Titan looks like a pro athlete, putting her life on the life with each and every measured stunt.
Eren’s suffering from some pretty bad guilt right now, and I can’t blame him. The call to go “titan” or not was a very tough call under extreme pressure, but it surely does look like the wrong call in the eyes of us with hindsight. The assumptions and the ignorance spawned from them have had dire consequences for those who drew their bravery and tactics from that well. It’s something that everyone got wrong. It’s strange, but at the same time realistic to me how Eren’s attempt to fall in line, trust others and be a good boy have all come back to haunt him. It makes me wonder exactly what direction this show is trying to push him?
It’s funny, there are so many more surprises in store just in this arc. And until we get to a certain point, I don’t want to start getting into my theories. I’ll just say that through this arc and the Female Titan, we’re learning so much more than we thought we knew before that I think the series is changing. The world inside the walls really is a tiny place, and just as the world opens up for humanity, it opens up for those of us watching.