Attack on Titan ep22: everybody gets an “F”
Well, I hope you guys like failure. Because there’s a hell of a lot of it in this episode. Given that this show gives off the strong vibe of a shounen battle manga, I doubt all this failure and loss will be the immediate end of things. I get the feeling that this battle is going to come back harder and stronger than before. But for now, drink in the river of tears that is Attack on Titan.
Say what you want about titans, bad ass as this new female one may be. Given the terrain, I’ll take the combo of Levi and Mikasa any day. And that’s what this episode comes down to, I dare say that’s what this whole arc comes down to. With Eren defeated and stuck in the mouth of the female titan, she jogs away with her admittedly hard worn prize. The only people left between her and victory are Levi and Mikasa. I’d say she’s gonna lose.
Levi wastes no time taking control. He’s not hopeful that Erin’s alive, but Mikasa insists. The funny thing about this meeting of the Recon Corps’ best is that Levi didn’t even know who Mikasa was when they first met. It was only when her rabid loyalty to Erin came through that he recognized her through sheer reputation. Levi’s plan is simple, Mikasa keeps the female titan distracted while he goes for the takedown. And it’s here that we see what a beast he really is. With the viciousness of a buzz saw, he’s able to blind and cut down the monster by himself. Though he injures himself when trying to protect Mikasa. Regardless, he’s still able to incapacitate the female titan, cut her jaw loose and extract the still breathing Erin. The attack is a resounding success, and Erin and Mikasa leave in haste. Though Levi does notice something strange as he leaves. The female titan is crying.
Back in Trost, we see various family members receive word of the return of their loved ones. Though it seems some who receive the news understand that what they learn may not be anything good. It has only been a day, so everyone is quite surprised to learn that the Recon Corps is already returning.
Speaking of the Recon Corps, they’re just a wreck. Dead soldiers are just piled into carts and final reports are being made, but some soldiers are visibly not happy with their hasty retreat. Two of them to be specific are whining and crying about their dead childhood friend being left behind. And despite words straight from their superior and Levi that trying to save them would just yield more dead bodies, they still insist that something could have been done. Morons.
These morons end up causing huge problems when they actually go back and retrieve their friend’s body, but in the process lead two aggressive abnormals back to the Corps! MORONS! When the news reaches Erwin, he tells everyone to make a break for the Wall. After all, they’re on practically flat, open land. They wouldn’t stand much of a chance against titans on this stage. Unfortunately for the rear guard, some of their carts are stuck hauling the majority of the corpses and they’re not able to simply outrun the giant retards. Attempts to engage the abnormals lead to predictably horrific results, so the corpses are forced to be dumped in order to save the living. For the life of me, I still cannot understand what is up with these mindless titans. They pursue humans obsessively, doggedly as long as their alive, even if they don’t need to eat to “live”. And when human corpses are thrown in their way, they pay no mind. It’s so strange and unnatural that I can’t even think of a parallel for it. Even another similar mythical creature, zombies, don’t act this way. They don’t pass over human corpses. So why the hell do these abnormals, or normal titan in general, only care for living breathing humans? Hmmm, it’s a question I might pay good money to learn the answer to.
Back safely inside the walls, we see deja vu rears its head. As the same scene we saw involving Eren in the first episode is repeated at the end of this twenty second one. The beaten, disheartened, ruined Recon Corps comes back to harsh words, livid and crying family members and loud questions of whether the Corps is even necessary. It’s enough to get the exhausted Eren to sit up and scream in rebuttal at the crowd, but he doesn’t get that far. Off in the back of the crowd, he sees a young boy looking on in admiration just as he had about five years ago. All he can do is cry as he sees that what he has done so far has not amounted to anything more than a repeat of time.
End of episode.
This episode went by very quickly for me. And I think that’s a good thing considering that most of this arc has been a non-stop action ride for about five straight episodes. The battle between the female titan and the Recon Corps’ best was extremely fast and impressive, though I wouldn’t count that as a great victory for them. The female titan had been running and fighting and regenerating for quite awhile before finally engaging Levi. And though she did dominate almost the entire Corps by herself for the majority of this romp, she had still been worn by greatly by this point. And I have to say she did a hell of a job almost successfully performing what I can only imagine is a super difficult mission. Yes, I am somewhat praising the villain here. And it’s deserved. You can tell she tried her hardest from the tear her titan form shed as Levi and Mikasa took off with her hard won prize. And those same tears are shed by the members of the Recon Corps as well. This was a battle that no one won.
In retrospect, this mission looks like a completely embarrassing defeat for the Corps, especially in the eyes of the citizens. They have no idea how hard and scary this mission was. As we saw when they first set out from the wall, just entering into titan territory is immediately harrowing. In less than five minutes, they’re swarmed by all sorts of strange, giant oddities. The situation is unpredictable and chaotic, even with the well worn military precision that was pulled off in the operation. And then the female titan comes along, a monster they’ve never come close to engaging before, and she completely ruins any and all efforts the Corps was making. It all may have paid off if they were able to capture the female titan, which they just barely failed to do. And now with this swift and embarrassing failure, it looks like they’ll be forced to give up their trump card and greatest asset, Eren. The little punk is sure to be dead if given over to the Military Police in these circumstances.
Going forward, I’m interested to see what becomes of the Recon Corps after all of this. If the setting is going straight back to the trial court, then Eren won’t be their only problem. The shortened mission apparently went so badly that it may have discredited and ruined some of the Recon Corps’ backers. Then there’s the matter of logistics, they lost many, many soldiers in this battle. There were a lot of supplies expended in this mission, too. Though the Corps has been through this before, I wonder how much of a functioning unit they have left?
But all of these questions and worries pail in comparison to the monster questions still hanging over this show. Who is the female titan? Who are the traitors? With the Recon Corps safely back inside the walls, and it being pretty clear that the female titan is someone within the Corps, it means that this little ride may not be over just yet. Also remember that it was hinted at that the Collossus Titan and the Armored Titan may both have used soldier gear and the steam of their transformation to disappear. I don’t know if the Collossus Titan is still wandering around, but I get the feeling that the Armored Titan may likely remain in the walls, as well. That means two of the ultimate forms of humanity’s greatest and strongest enemy are in the walls right now. I don’t think anyone is safe. Least of all, Eren.