Despite all of humanity's setbacks, losses and at best Cadmean outcomes. The triumph of the human will is what propels a few extraordinary individuals to overturn monsters, corrupt kingdoms, religious conspiracies and totalitarian warmongers. As dark as things get, it only makes those moments of triumph and magnificent scale all the more earned and all the sweeter for it.
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The Fall of Shiganshina
"To You, in 2000 Years: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 1"
- Eren's short but passionate Motive Rant to his parents when confronted on his desire to join the Survey Corps.
Carla Jaeger: Eren! What are you thinking?! Do you know how many people die outside those walls?!Eren Jaeger: Of course I do!Carla: You clearly don't!Grisha Jaeger: Eren. Why do you want to go outside?Eren: ... I want... to see and understand the world beyond. I don't want to live and die within these walls without even knowing what's out there. On top of that, if no one continues the work of the Survey Corps... Then those who have lost their lives trying to uncover the truth will have died in vain!
- When we first see Armin, he's getting beat up by a trio of bullies because he was talking about the outside world. But he's not scared or submissive, he's defiant, and he knows not to fight them on the issue because there's no point to it.
Bully: Heh, where's the sacrilege now, huh? Or does your philosophy say it's wrong to fight back, too?Armin Arlelt: As a matter of fact it does. I'd rather take a few lumps than brawl like a beast.Bully: Oh, so now I'm a beast?Armin: Take a good, hard look at yourself and tell me you're not acting like one. You resort to violence because your brain's the size of a walnut! So pummel me all you want, I've already won!
- Then Eren and Mikasa come running in, ready to kick their asses for messing with Armin.
"That Day: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 2"
- It's a villainous one, but the first appearance of the Armoured Titan in the anime is simply beyond epic. Especially considering how brief this scene is in the manga where it's mostly off-screen, and only a handful of panels at best.
- When humanity is reminded what fear truly is, only one ten-year-old boy promises them an entirely different meal.
Eren: (fist clench) I'll... erase their existence from this world...Mikasa: (worried) Eren?Armin: What's the matter, Eren? (gets shoved aside) Eren?
"A Dim Light Amid Despair: Humanity's Comeback, Part 1"
- The moon-lit mountain lake that Reiner and Bertholdt show Eren and Armin. Just a gorgeous scene and Reiner assures Eren that he will pass basic on the morrow. He's certain of it.
- Eren being able to hold steady in an ODM-device with faulty belt clips is treated as one In-Universe, due to how nigh-impossible doing so must have been.
- "Grisha... Today your son has become a soldier."
"The Night of the Graduation Ceremony: Humanity's Comeback, Part 2"
- The 104th, including Reiner and Armin, are running through the forests carrying huge backpacks for a training exercise. Armin falls behind, so Reiner takes his burden for him so he could catch up. But Armin won't let anyone treat him like extra baggage, no-matter how unintentionally good-natured the gesture, the Badass Bookworm snags his pack back and sprints ahead of the column!
- Sasha showing lightning quick thinking and reflexes to save Samuel from falling to his death. It's one of the first real indications that she's more than just a ditzy food-junkie.
Battle of Trost
"First Battle: The Struggle for Trost, Part 1"
- Eren is the first to jump into action against the Colossal Titan. He manages to rouse the others from their shock, execute a pretty sweet spinning landing on his way back to the top of the wall, and then attacks the Colossal Titan without hesitation. It's his first encounter with a Titan since the fall of Shiganshina and he shows absolutely no fear.
- When Armin is about to make a tasty morsel for the Santa Titan, Eren flings his smashed and maimed body down after his best friend, wrenches him from its oesophagus and flings him out of its mouth. Heroic Resolve thy name is Eren Jaeger.
"The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2"
- When Mikasa initiates the first death of a Titan in the series. She kills four total without breaking a sweat. The only other people with a higher Titan kill count than her are Eren in his Titan Form, Reiner and Captain Levi. That makes her a One-Woman Army, acknowledged In-Universe.
- After this, her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the guy who was blocking the gates with his merchandise because he thought it was more important than the lives of any of the people trying to evacuate Trost.
Mikasa Ackerman: What... are you doing?Entitled Bastard: Perfect! You there, make them help us! We'll pay you well!Mikasa: Right now, my comrades are dying. Because the people haven't evacuated, they're dying, fighting the Titans.Entitled Bastard: Of course! It's your job to sacrifice yourselves to protect the people's lives and fortunes! You parasites think you're so special just because you're finally being useful for the first time in a century!Mikasa: (Death Glare and Slow Walk commence) If you expect someone to die for the sake of another as a matter of course, I'm sure you'll understand this. That sometimes, a single noble sacrifice can save many lives.Entitled Bastard: Try it! I've known your boss for a long time... I can decide your fate with a single word!Mikasa: (casually knocks out all of his bodyguards) How is a corpse going to talk?
- We find out that when he was nine, Eren slaughtered two grown men, both hardened killers, to save Mikasa from a life of child prostitution, with nothing more than a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, a honking big hunting knife, and an Improvised Weapon. The second sex slaver had an axe, two and a half feet of height and outweighed the lad by two hundred pounds. None of his advantages helped.
- The English dub is freakin' epic, Bryce Papenbrook really sells the sheer blistering idealistic homicidal fury of young Eren and the translation is changed up for the better with two killer segments.
Human Trafficker: Lost in the woods, huh? A kid your age shouldn't be out there on his own to begin with. Big bad wolves are liable to pounce on you from out of nowhere. It's alright now though, you'll be safe here. My buddy and I will be happy to take —Eren Jaeger: (sinks blade up under the fuck's jaw) I appreciate that, sir. But I'm not stupid! And I'm the last thing you'll ever see! (slits the bastard's throat)Eren Jaeger: YOU'RE AN ANIMAL, YOU HEAR ME! NO, YOU'RE A DISEEEASE!!! THIS IS WHAT YOU GET YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH! THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR BEING WHAT YOU ARE! DIE! DIIIE!!!
- Mikasa, helplessly watching Eren get choked to death, activates her latent ancestral powers and seems to remove all the neural limiters placed on her tiny form. Charging forth with a scream like a banshee she drives the knife right through the third kidnapper's heart. The movement was so explosive she crushed the hilt of Eren's knife and the floorboards from which she sprang her hind foot to execute the attack.
- Note that it was Eren's spluttered, near Madness Mantra that is his personal creed, which galvanizes her into saving his and her own life.
"Small Blade: The Struggle for Trost, Part 3"
- Right after Mikasa's despair over Eren's apparent death causes her to crash. Two Titans close in on her, and she is on the verge of giving up. Then she remembers Eren telling her to fight, and with tears in her eyes she vows to somehow live on. From what we had seen up to that point, the viewer could be forgiven for thinking she would die. Then we get this.
- What's both awesome and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming is that scene can also be seen as proof that, even in his Titan state, Eren still protects his sister from danger, and is subconsciously saving her life by destroying that Titan, not merely satisfying his unquenchable thirst for revenge.
- That moment of sublime awesome when the Rogue Titan left hooks another Titan's head ACROSS THE TOWN. The close-up of its stupid face embedded in the window of a tower is the icing on the cake.
- The visual effect of these first two kills, showing the energy transference from enormous legs, through hips to abdomen, pectorals, arms and finally the knuckles of a titanic fist. *KA-POW*.
- Eren's (Japanese) Titan roar, Mikasa describes him as the physical manifestation of humanity's rage and you believe it. Whenever one hears this unholy bellow of unmitigated fury and yearning for freedom, prepare for those neck hairs to raise.
"I Can Hear His Heartbeat: The Struggle for Trost, Part 4"
- While making a run for the HQ, Jean gets grabbed mid-air by one of the Titans. With a single swing of his sword, he cuts off one of its fingers and frees himself.
- The Super Window Jump that the group pulls off when they bust into the HQ. Bonus points for everyone except for Jean pulling it off in a synchronized fashion.
- When those Titans stick their faces into the walls of HQ, Jean is feeling too hopeless to act... and then suddenly Rogue Titan outta nowhere!
- The defeat of the Titans in the supply warehouse. The cadets do not suffer any casualties.
- Even better when you realize that Mikasa unknowingly avenges Mina's death when she kills the same Titan who ate Mina earlier.
- Eren, in his Titan form, is getting swarmed and the Titans are chowing down on his body faster than it can regenerate... and then the jumping Titan who ate Thomas happens to come by. Eren sees the fucker and tears through the Titans holding him back even though it costs him his arms, and then kills it by crushing the nape of its neck with his teeth . Eren had been single-mindedly chasing this exact Titan when his leg was bitten off; he got revenge for Thomas after all. And if that wasn't enough, despite his bones breaking under the strain, he uses the jumping Titan's body as a mouth-held bludgeon to wipe out all of the remaining Titans.
"Whereabouts of His Left Arm: The Struggle for Trost, Part 5"
- During the intro we get a proper introduction to the infamous Survey Corps Captain, Levi. His first moment in action has him mowing through two huge Titans with effort comparable to swatting a fly. He even audaciously stands on one's head and casually reloads while it wails in pain due to having a pair of three-foot-long blades jammed in its eye sockets.
- Eren's first transformation is one of the most striking in that it includes two of the most gruesome kills he scores and establishes his style from then on. First his arm erupts through the mouth of the Titan that swallowed him, flooring the bastard, upon which he bursts out of its body and roars over its corpse. Then he sees the smaller one that bit off his leg, he delivers a mental Badass Boast and uppercuts it mid-leap through its mouth so hard its neck is pulverized from the front side if the steam that spurts out of its nape is any indication. Not content with that, Eren proceeds to stomp its corpse to paste, telling it to get up so he can kill it again. Sure, his rage and bloodlust had already been shown in the previous episodes, but this is the first time that we see the character behind this ruthlessness. And it's every bit as brutal as it is glorious.
- Mikasa's Badass Boast, where she reminds the Garrison at large that she's spent the last couple years honing the skills to carve up flesh with absurdly sharp blades, and being damn good at it. And that if they come any closer to Eren, they'll get to see her use them.
- Eren's second partial transformation: he manages to shield Mikasa, Armin and himself from cannon fire. Keep in mind, Eren just woke up from his last transformation, and he could barely stand. Then he remembers all his father has told him about his responsibility to save everyone within the Walls as long as he has the discipline to master his new-found abilities. He overpowers Mikasa as she tries to carry him away, sprints back to Armin, grabs them both in his arms and bites his hand, triggering his Titan form. In that instant of mortal danger, his first instinct wasn't to save himself, but to protect his friends with everything he had left.
- Eren's remembrance of Grisha's speech to his son before he gives him the Titan Serum is just so many levels of Large Ham, Manly Tears, Chewing the Scenery sheer awesome, whether in Sub or Dub, there's nothing more awesome than a father entrusting his son with a sacred mission.
Grisha Jaeger: Listen to me. It's vital that you keep this key on you at all times. When ever you look at it. Let this thought flow over you. I must return to that cellar. This injection will cause some immediate short-term memory loss — forgive me; for there's no point in explaining further. When the time comes though, know that you must reclaim Wall Maria and make it to the cellar. It won't be pleasant... But in my heart I know what I'm doing is for the best! When the ability confuses you, let their memories act as your guide! ... EREN! One day the truth will come out! I swear to you! It will be a painful and merciless journey — but it is yours to make! MIKASA'S LIFE! ARMIN'S LIFE! EVERYONE'S LIFE! HINGES ON YOUR BEING ABLE TO CONTROL - THIS - POWER!!!
"Response: The Struggle for Trost, Part 6"
- After finally realizing he's not the burden to his friends he thought he was, Armin gets a serious confidence boost and marches straight out of the smokescreen to confront the Garrison troops that were threatening them. The guts he showed to not only stand his ground with his argument, while facing certain death of the cannon they got readied mind you, is truly something to behold. And this is just the start of the amazing Character Development he receives.
Armin: I AM A SOLDIER! And I have dedicated my heart to the restoration of humanity, sir! Nothing could make me prouder than dying for such a noble cause! If we were to use his Titan ability and combine it with the manpower we have left, I believe we can do it! We can retake this city! For humanity's glory, and what little time I have left to live, I WILL ADVOCATE HIS STRATEGIC VALUE!
- Dot Pixis might as well be a walking one, purely because in a world full of meaningless violence and wasted deaths, when things are making less and less sense every day, he never loses his cool and never lets the (increasingly horrifying) circumstances cloud his judgement.
"Idol: The Struggle for Trost, Part 7"
- Morale is low among the soldiers after the Titans assault Trost. Crushed by the fear the Titans instil in them, they attempt to desert their posts in order to spend the little time they have left with their families. So what does Dot Pixis say to convince them to fight?
Dot Pixis: Those of you who would leave their parents, siblings and loved ones to experience such terror for themselves... are all free to walk away!
- Eren's second transformation, with an astounding ODM-flight Oner that sees Eren at one point grinding the tanks of his gear down the length of a street to launch himself across several blocks before triggering his Shifter powers in mid-flight. (After all of a couple of hours rest and for the second time that fateful day) the Rouge Titan blasts back into life in a cocoon of molten energy, crashes into a tenement block before bursting from the rubble with that now iconic bellowing roar to the heavens.
"Wound: The Struggle for Trost, Part 8"
- Even after nearly being squished twice at his hands, Mikasa will not even hear of abandoning a newly feral Eren.
- Ian's absolute faith in Eren and his introspection that this is a war between the Titans and Titan Shifters, while all humanity must be willing to throw themselves in the meat-grinder to ensure his success. He further cites that he will continue the mission and protect the boy even if it seems hopeless, since the alternative of giving up is NOT. AN. OPTION.
- MVP, Armin Arlelt hauling ass to where Eren has fallen, then using one of his blades to pierce the nape in an attempt awaken Eren from his hallucinogenic state. He also holds himself in place with his grapples to prevent himself from being shaken off by Eren's subsequent thrashing.
- Jean using the hooks on his ODM Gear to shoot a Titan that was about to grab Connie in the hand, drawing its attention over to him. He claims that the reason he did this is: "I've had enough of people dying on my account."
- Armin using his shared dream with Eren of having the world laid out before them, free of the Titans; to break him from an aspect of Ymir's Curse. Heterosexual Life-Partners can overcome losing your mind to Lovecraftian metamorphoses any day of the week!
Armin: Eren, please... Hear me... Wake up... Remember when we were kids? All we could talk about was the world outside. Beyond the Walls... Frozen tundra that stretches to the skies... Oceans of sand... Flaming water... Vast jungles. The world my parents wanted to see. I'd always thought you'd outgrown that dream... You never brought it up anymore... But then I realised you let it go because you didn't want me to join the Survey Corps.Eren: (dawning) The... Outside World...Armin: Tell me. Honestly. If you were to step beyond the Walls where the difference is between a warm hearth and hell on earth. Even though it meant risking your life, gambling against the possibility of dying like my parents; why? Why throw caution to the wind and venture outside?Eren: ... What kind of question is that? Don't play dumb. You know damn well why... BECAUSE THE WORLD BEYOND THE WALLS IS MY BIRTHRIGHT!!!
"Primal Desire: The Struggle for Trost, Part 9"
- First we have Marco, Connie and Annie working together to save Jean.
- Dietrich's rallying cry when he sees that Eren is active and carrying the boulder to the gate. They have one last trump card, now they must make sure humanity can even play it.
Team Leader Ian Dietrich: DEFEND HIM WITH YOUR LIVES!
- There is also just something inherently awesome about Eren hoisting the boulder on his shoulders as he heads towards the gate. Not only because of the fact that he's holding it up despite it being twice his size and he even states that he feels like he's about to buckle from the weight, (probably in excess of 4000 metric tonnes) crushing down on him but perseveres anyway, maybe it's the jets of steam billowing around him as he pushes the fabric of his being to the limit, accompanied with his glowing green eyes, along with the inspirational score. Perhaps it's also down to the fact that he bears a striking resemblance to the Greek Titan Atlas, or maybe it's all of the above combined. Whatever the reason, it is simply awesome.
- When the situation looks bleak because of too many Titans in Eren's path, Mitabi and his squad yell at them to get the Titans' attention. It works, and they die so that Eren could plug the breach.
- Then we have Ian's death, successfully saving one of his fellow soldiers by grabbing him from a Titan's mouth and throwing him out at the expense of his own life.
- One last Titan remains in Eren's path, and suddenly Rico comes out of nowhere and stabs its left eye out. Then Mikasa finishes the job.
- Eren blocking the gate, giving humanity their first true victory over the Titans with "Call Your Name" playing in the background. "Everybody... didn't die in vain.", indeed.
Armin: Gooooooo! Ereeeen!Titan!Eren: RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! (human voice within) FIIIIIIIIIGHT!
- The several different shot angles of Eren as, with one final monumental effort, he lifts the boulder clear above his head and drives it into the breach with the force of a juggernaut, sending shock-waves out in all directions.
- And finally there is Levi's Big Damn Heroes moment, saving Eren, Mikasa and Armin from two Titans without breaking a sweat.
The 57th Expedition
"Can't Look Into His Eyes Yet: Eve of the Counter-attack, Part 1"
- Eren's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, at his Court Martial to deflect the hysterical blame that has fallen on Mikasa being a Shifter in disguise as well, true it nearly ends with him getting an impromptu date with the firing squad but who can deny the awesomeness of yet another one of the lad's epic soliloquies.
Eren Jaeger: STOP IT! (the whole of the prosecution does so in fear) You're wrong... About it all... But you're so intent on pushing selfish agendas — you're blind to what's in front of you.Commander Nile Dok: Wait... What do you mean?Eren: What does it even matter? None of you have even seen a Titan! So why are you so afraid, huh?! There's no sense in having power if you're not going to use it to fight! If you're too scared to fight for your lives then fine! Let me do it! YOU...! YOU'RE ALL COWARDS!
- While Levi beating up Eren during his trial isn't that much for him since it was only a necessary evil, it's really the analysis behind it that matters: Levi was putting Eren through brutal violence the likes of which he had never experienced. It was unflinching and merciless, attacking the very core of his body and soul. In short, it was hell. Think about it, Humanity's Strongest Soldier beating the shit out of a 15-year-old, you would think the poor kid would be begging for him to stop, but no. Not even when there was blood pretty much pouring out of his nose and mouth. Instead, he held his stare. Levi wasn't just beating him to submission, he was testing his resolve. Seeing if he could break his spirit. But it only made him stronger. It proves that yes, time and time again, Eren Jaeger really does have a spirit that cannot be broken.
"What Needs to be Done Now: Eve of the Counter-attack, Part 3"
- When Erwin faced everyone who had remained to join the Survey Corps. His speech at the end was chilling and indicative of his boundless charisma.
Commander Erwin Smith: I hereby welcome you all to the Survey Corps! This is a true salute! (puts fist over heart) Offer up your hearts! ... You have done well to endure your fear. You are all brave soldiers. You have my heartfelt respect.
- The way everyone followed his lead and did the salute simultaneously has quite an impact as well, even as some of them looked scared to death.
- The scene where the new recruits donned their green cloaks with the Wings of Freedom emblazoned on them for the first time was quite the sight as well.
- The launching of the 57th Expedition, even though you may know what is to come, it is still such a truly inspirational scene.
Commander Erwin Smith: ADVANCE!!!
"Female Titan: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 1"
- Jean, Armin and Reiner attacking her in order to buy time for the main formation to retreat, despite all evidence pointing to them being severely outmatched.
- Armin figuring out about the Titan looking for Eren and screams to Jean about avenging his death, causing the Female Titan to hesitate when she was about to kill Jean.
- Multiple people have noted that it's extremely hard to use the ODM Gear with no buildings, trees, or other tall structures in the vicinity. Does that hinder Jean at all? Nope.
- Reiner managing to cut his way free of the Female Titan's hand. This is after it looks like he's completely done for after she pops him like a grape; after escaping he's still healthy enough to walk it off and carry a shocked Armin with him like a sack of potatoes. Although this is significantly less awesome if you're up to date on the manga.
"Forest of Giant Trees: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 2"
- The Female Titan massacres three senior Scouts simultaneously by leaping while their grapples are embedded in her body. Then she pulls off the sadistic yo-yo moment that has to be seen to be believed.
"Bite: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 3"
- Erwin's Xanatos Gambit bearing ripe fruit when they unleash the Survey Corps newest piece of Steam Punk kit upon the Female Titan, capturing an intelligent 15-metre-class Titan with military training is a true achievement for a technologically-stunted military force.
"Erwin Smith: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 4"
- Armin's introspection continues to lay bare the scale of the Titan Conspiracy and the forces arrayed before them of which they can only guess. While we can fully appreciate the Chess Master that is Commander Erwin Smith, as he scrambles to account for new and shocking abilities an advanced Shifter like the Female Titan can bring to bear. He may come off worse in nearly every battle, but his tactical brilliance brings them new information on the capabilities of their enemy and one inch closer to discovering the mystery of their World. He is the Hope of Humanity.
- This is juxtaposed with Armin likely to be the Commander's successor. As he understands that one must become He Who Fights Monsters in order to have any chance of furthering a seemingly hopeless cause.
- The Female Titan's advanced Shifter techniques. From hardening parts of her anatomy with a chrysalis, directing common Titans into a feeding frenzy with her screams, to safely ejecting from the pilot spot with full ODM-gear intact and transforming again mere minutes later instead of the hours it took Eren.
"Crushing Blow: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 5"
- The Levi Squad's co-ordinated flight-pattern attack upon the Female Titan. Eld blocks her sight with a reverse-stream of gas as he avoids her grasp, allowing Petra and Oluo to slough her eyes out, they then use combination attacks to split all the tendons in her trapezius and latissimus dorsi muscles, causing her hands to fall away from covering up her nape and leaving her near-defenceless. But then it all goes wrong...
- As she kills Eld, Petra and Oluo with her teeth and the latter two with her foot and shin respectively.
- This is instigated by her selectively channelling all her regenerative powers to one eye instead of her numerous torso and shoulder wounds they're inflicting. Further proof of what an intermediate to master level of Shifter prowess can offer.
- The third full transformation of Eren into the Rogue Titan is nothing short of breath-taking.
- Eren's throwdown against the Female Titan in the redwood forest. Despite her advantage in skill and experience, Eren's unfathomable strength and Unstoppable Rage could serve to dispatch her in one clean hit to the head. So she spends most of the fight scrambling to avoid his vast array of thrown swings, hay-makers and uppercuts, until one just grazes her cheekbone, sending her tumbling back against a tree and for Eren to tower over her with an ungodly bellow that shakes every bough in the forest and for her cool facade to crack into an Oh, Crap! expression.
- The Female Titan's pitch-perfect head-movement, dodging every other one of Eren's frenzied blows until she hits him with a perfect Power Fist Cross Counter, which rips off his jaw.
- Of course Eren proves his potential when he instantly dives into her attack instead of being thrown back, his teeth grinding along her arm with fountains of sparks, penetrating her guard to drive a gargantuan breath-busting uppercut into her gut. This blasts her clean off her feet and lifts her about three times her own considerable height straight up into the air.
- However, this effort gases Eren momentarily, allowing the Female Titan to survive his follow-up knee, gain some space, then get the KO with a diamond-crystal roundhouse kick that cuts through Eren's hand, his head and the trunk of the redwood he was leaning against!
"Defeated: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 6"
- Levi proves why he's Humanity's Strongest Soldier by effortlessly subjecting the Female Titan to his special brand of buzz-saw flesh blending. And doing what his whole team couldn't manage in less than a quarter of the time.
- Up until this point, Levi's face was locked in an eternally bored expression. But, as he looks at the thing that just killed his closest friends, a red gleam appears in his eyes. He then shreds the hell out of the Titan with an expression of utter ferocity that looks almost demonic. He's showing her just how he feels about her murdering his comrades. Lest you wish to die a horrible death, you do not cross Captain Levi. Ever.
- Mikasa watching in awe as Levi lacerates the Female Titan into ribbons, commenting that he moves so fast, the Titan cannot even harden her skin in response to his strikes.
- Levi blocks a backhand from the Female Titan, meant for Mikasa with his foot. This in all likelihood shattered every bit of cartilage in his ankle yet he still utilizes the momentum he got from the encounter to rescue Eren and complete his mission.
"Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1"
- A subtle example, but the entire build up for revealing Annie as the Female Titan, starting with her refusing to follow Eren and co. underground. The intensity of their voices, the Dramatic Wind accompanying Annie while she's given a menacing look, Armin's panicked voice while revealing the clues he saw, Eren's desperation for her to prove she's innocent and the soundtrack in the background perfectly accompanying it all, culminating in Mikasa dropping her cloak and drawing her blade, declaring as it dramatically zooms out on Annie: "I'm going to carve you up again! Do you understand me, Female Titan?!"
"Mercy: Assault on Stohess, Part 2"
- Just consider for a moment that Erwin and Hange had two contingency plans to subdue Annie in case Plan A of the capture fell through, and they need them both to win the day.
- Armin calling Annie out in order to distract her from Jean's attack on her nape.
- Hange's explosive wire-barrel and and weighted net traps temporarily downing Annie.
- The moment Eren finally gains the resolve to fight and possibly kill the Female Titan, he's already been Impaled with Extreme Prejudice and crushed by debris. So he uses his agony by physically pushing himself up against the beam that has pinned him through the chest. Blood spurting everywhere as he takes on his most furious, bestial appearance yet: veins popping at his temples, pupils more dilated than most anime villains and his teeth clenched in the epitome of pure rage. He recalls both Armin's and Mikasa's and even his own urgings to fight and for what causes and then we get probably the largest bolt of vermilion lightning, both issuing up from the ground and striking forth from the heavens all while Eren screams like an angry god.
Eren Jaeger: I'll kill... them all. No... I'll exterminate them! Every last one... Forget about right and wrong! Just start moving! Because it is a cruel world...
- Then he wastes no time in running up to and slamming a Megaton Punch right in Annie's bitch face, propelling her backwards into a Wall Church. After everything she's done and the people she killed, there's nary a more satisfying punch in the history of fiction.
"Wall: Assault on Stohess, Part 3"
- The Rogue Titan grabbing Annie and throwing her across several buildings.
- Erwin getting Nile to stand down from executing him by scaring the twonk with the responsibility he will be saddled with if he elects to shoot him.
- Annie using a sweep kick that cuts Eren's leg off.
- Which doesn't slow down Eren, he just bounces using his remaining leg and flying punches the Female Titan back down the street.
- As the Female Titan tries to dispatch him with her roundhouse kick again, Eren catches her leg using his mouth and actively starts to crush the crystal armour with his teeth!
- After the Female Titan has pretty much knocked out Eren and is heading for the Walls, Eren gains his Heroic Second Wind, comes leaping out of the crater of a building he's in, on fucking fire and hauls ass towards the Female Titan (let's note he's missing an arm and a leg at this point) and tackles her into the ground. When she covers her neck, he decides that the obvious answer to this is to tear off her face. The Female Titan freaks out completely and tries to climb the Wall, even severing her own leg to get away from the demon she's fighting. Then Mikasa cuts her fingers, and Eren decides it's lunch time.
- "Annie. Fall."
- Erwin's titanium balls, even when Eren punches a downed Annie in the neck so hard that her head and left arm fly off; he doesn't even flinch from the limb nearly wiping him out as collateral, all while the MP's flee for cover.
Clash of The Titans
- Yep, Sasha's hunts-woman-ingrained super hearing can pick up a Titan presence within Wall Rose before Mike can smell them from hundreds of metres away himself.
- Mike shows off what Humanity's second strongest can do, kicking Titan ass (five Titan asses to be specific) when he acts as bait to let the unarmed rookies of the 104th get away on horseback. Shame the Beast Titan happened to stroll by...
- When shooting into battle he actually dirt-skis for a few seconds.
- Plus he takes out the five on flat ground with only one two-storey building around, which is far harder than with sufficient environmental elevation and all without taking a single wound.
- The Beast Titan's Let's Get Dangerous! moment after he grabs Mike's horse, when he has a terrifying Held Gaze with Mike and the music starts to pick up. You just know the poor man is doomed.
- The ludicrous litany of powers the Beast Titan shows off. From complete telepathic command of his Joe-Bloe Titan forces, to Improbable Aiming Skills, eloquent speech and genius-level deductive reasoning. He snags the manoeuvrer-gear's emission system and black box from Mike's belt in order to analyse the technology!
- Sasha takes on a 3-metre-class Titan with a hatchet, then holds it off with a bow in order to buy time for a child to escape. After shooting one of the Titan's eyes out, she jumps at him with the last remaining arrow, screaming a battle-cry and plunges it almost up to the fletching in his remaining eye, she then escapes his death grip with the same move that foiled her dear old dad when he tried to stand between her and venison jerky!
- The horrific conclusion that most must come to in the aftermath of Connie's village is that the Beast Titan also has the vastly over-powered talent to turn humans into Titans!
- The Wall Rose Garrison takes out titans on the ground using live bait and cannons. They might not be as flashy as the Survey Corps but they know their stuff and are willing to put their lives on the line.
- Nanaba and the other senior members of Mike's unit jumping of Utgard tower at the end. Might not seem so special but the level of veteran attitude they exude is worth an entry.
- Where do we begin? Bertholdt stabs a Titan in the eyes with a pitch-fork; Connie, Ymir and Krista immobilize the same Titan by rolling a cannon down at it from on top of the stairs; and Reiner saves Connie from another Titan by blocking its bite with his forearm, putting it over his shoulder in a fireman carry, and was planning to pitch it out a window along with himself. Thankfully, Connie cuts the Titan's jaw muscles, freeing Reiner's arm, then Ymir boots it in the face while Bertholdt also helps push it out the window.
- To say nothing of the moves Nanaba, Lynne, Gelgar, and Henning display when the Titans swarm Castle Utgard. But like Mike, the Beast Titan shows up to spoil their awesomeness.
- The astounding detail and number of animation cells used to illustrate Ymir's mid-air Titan transformation.
- Ymir shifting into The Dancing Titan and ripping into the tower's besiegers. Especially since, as Krista says, she could have escaped with her immense agility but instead puts her own life on the line to protect her comrades. And when it seems like she's about to be overrun rather than compromise the tower's safety, Krista gives her a How Dare You Die on Me! speech, telling her to survive even if it means tearing down the tower. So Ymir does just that, pelting the Titans with granite building blocks and causing the tower to topple. She commands her friends to grab hold of her hair to get to safety. All while Utgard crushes the second wave of Titans and she leaps them clear of the destruction.
Krista: Don't you die on me! Not in a hovel like this, damn you! YOU WANNA BE THE HERO ALL OF A SUDDEN?! HA! HOPING TO GO OUT IN A BLAZE OF GLORY?! DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH! TOO LATE TO THINK ABOUT HEAVEN NOW! YOU'RE A SELFISH BITCH AND YOU KNOW IT! YOU'LL DIE PROTECTING THIS STUPID TOWER! TEAR IT TO PIECES! LIVE FOR YOURSELF!!
- The rest of the Survey Corps arrive killing off all of the remaining Titans in a single impressively coordinated assault. Eren even scores his first kill as a human before his wires tangle and he tumbles back to the ground.
- The Reveal of Reiner Braun and Bertholdt Hoover as the Armoured and Colossal Titans. The build-up after Reiner's out-of-the-blue nonchalant confession, the suspense, the conflict of loyalties, Eren's uncertainty, his maturation from Blood Knight into a cunning hunter like his namesake, when the Eren of a few episodes back would have tried to kill them then and there. But the highlight has to be when we see, for a split second, a superimposition of their manga Titan faces as they are wreathed in orange lightning. Twin bolts of heaven combine atop Wall Rose and a One-Woman Wail heralds the arrival of humanity's most imminent threat to their existence.
Reiner Braun: I've been here too long for my own good. It's been three long years... Surrounded by nothing but idiots. We were just children... We didn't know anything. If only I never knew there were people like this... I... Wouldn't have become... Such a half-arsed piece of shit! It's too late now... (begins removing Historia's sling from his injured arm) I don't know what's right anymore. But the only choice left for me now... Is to face the consequences of my actions... and as a Warrior... (holds up now steaming arm) Fulfil my duty to the bitter end! (it heals fully in a crackle of embers)Bertholdt Hoover: Reiner! Are we doing it?! Now?! RIGHT HERE?!Reiner: Yeah. We settle this... Right here, right now!
- Mikasa taking her swords to the pair as they advance on Eren. She almost ended the battle then and there before it even begun.
- Reiner gets one for surviving Mikasa's effort to bisect his skull by throwing up both arms, even with his Shifter!human form's increased durability, he loses his right hand and the ultra-hard steel blade breaks off embedded half way in his left, leaving him with a gash at the temples instead of a moderate to severe case of death.
- He then shoulder-barges Mikasa clear off the Wall when she turns her back on him to try and dispatch a critically wounded Bertholdt.
- But lo! She recovers with her ODM-device's grapple lines with ridiculous ease.
- He then shoulder-barges Mikasa clear off the Wall when she turns her back on him to try and dispatch a critically wounded Bertholdt.
- The rapturous shot of Reiner abducting Eren in his clenched fist and proceeding to slide down Wall Rose to the exterior with nothing but his heels and elbows for purchase. Goosebumps City.
- Seriously though. Eren's sheer strength of character to do what must be done; even against two men he looked up to as brothers.
- Eren's transformation blasts off Reiner's hand and this is followed up with the latest overhand from the Attack Titan that slams the Armoured Titan's face against the Wall strut. Finished? No. Eren then grinds his head down for tens of metres before his arm looks like it's ready to pop from the strain, but he then pushes all the force through the contact and it propels them both into the earth at terminal velocity, levelling a crater.
- Hange leading the fight against the Colossal Titan. The anime makes it even better with stunning CGI of the Colossal Titan's movements, and the Scouts skilfully dodging its ponderous attacks.
- Bertholdt was going easy on Eren in Trost, he unleashes so much steam from his body and at such a temperature that he almost sears the skin from Hange's three squads and can then maintain the heat venting as a tangible Battle Aura that knocks away ODM grapples, rendering humanity's finest to sword-wielding worker ants.
- Reiner pays Eren back for the slug by absorbing the Rogue Titan's next blows then giving him a left straight of his own; sending Eren clear across several grassy plains and through a copse.
- Although his combat acumen is not similarly boosted, we see that Eren's Limit Break that he used in Stohess District against Annie has helped him to master the rapid focused healing powers of his fellow Titan shifters through The Power of Hate; recovering from his concussion, regenerating the entirety of his hands: bone, nerves, arteries, muscles, sinews, skin (and nails) in all of a seconds' conscious thought. That and his subsequent "World of Cardboard" Speech is accompanied by an epic lying to standing bridge from the lever-point of his Achilles tendons. A feat of strength that is pretty much impossible. And one that causes Mikasa's jaw to drop in no inconsiderable amount of awe.
Eren Jaeger: Hey, Reiner... I don't know what kind of face you're making right now, but... You guys... You really are the worst pieces of shit to ever live. I bet in the history of mankind nobody's done anything as terrible as you two. I am going to erase you... You shouldn't be allowed to exist anymore. What the hell are you thinking? I've never felt so revolted. Just remembering you and your self-righteous face makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me want to vomit, you... BIG DAMN INSECT! IT'S TIME TO EXTERMINATE YOU!
- Reiner planting a face-pulping Megaton Punch to Eren's kisser in a Cross Counter, Reiner doesn't budge from his opponent's gale-force-creating impact, while Eren is thrown into a spiral lift-off that leaves him nearly comatose.
- Eren's come back. He gets in close with a superb fake-out of continuing the brawl, then utilizes Brazilian Jujitsu and ground-game to overcome Reiner's brutal knock-down power and tank-level physique. First utilizing Annie's hideously impressive arm-triangle clinch, leg-sweep hip throw, then when Reiner tries to reverse top-mount, he gets caught in Eren's trap. A triangle-choke that begins to crush Reiner's armoured plates like so much glass with Eren's thighs. When Reiner tries to scramble free, Eren pulls him into a Gogoplata, then a double axe-kick arm-bar that shatters the ground and uproots trees. He finally turns Reiner over onto his belly and bends the joint of his right arm so far back that the armour shell bursts and Eren proceeds to rip his arm off at the elbow!
- The Guillotine Submission. "BRING IT! GIVE ME THAT NECK! YOU'RE MIIINE!!!"
- Mikasa's Wall-running, base-jumping hamstring slice, which causes Reiner's knee (and his take-down defence) to crumble, thus allowing Eren to put his entire back into the choke and shatter most of Reiner's nape plates.
- Hannes gets a surprisingly subtle one after Eren is kidnapped. Not only does he prove that he's not the useless, drunken layabout he was five years ago, but he also makes it very clear that, even with all that's happened, he understands the bond between Eren, Armin, and Mikasa, probably even better than they do themselves. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming; he's been watching over Carla's kids long after he rescued them.
- In a flashback to the trio's childhood, Eren gets into a brawl with Armin's bullies because they stole bread from him, which he bought out of his own pocket, and ate it. After his demands weren't being met, Eren decides to slug it out with them, despite being outmatched. Luckily, Mikasa shows up to even the odds, and effortless hands those punks their asses.
- Hannes also duking it out with an asshat salesman, whose stall just got totalled by the kids' fight, especially after that salesman throws an empty bottle at one of Hannes's friends.
- Chapter 49 should be called "Erwin Smith is awesome-incarnate". When caught by a Titan, he screams for the others to continue the mission. Later on, he shows up missing one arm and rescues Eren before leading the retreat.
Jean: Is this hell?Erwin: No. This is the beginning!!
- There's also this line from Erwin.
- In the same chapter, when Mikasa gets grabbed by a Titan, Jean flips out and stabs its eye out, saving her.
- Then there is Krista saving Ymir, killing her first Titan in the process.
- And the real crowner is Armin showing off some impressive Manipulative Bastard cred to get Bertolt to lose his cool and allow Erwin to make his move to cut Eren loose.
- Chapter 50, we finally see why everyone is after Eren so much.
- After a heartwarming speech from Mikasa, Eren gets his heroic will back, and punches the Smiling Titan, the one responsible for eating his mom and who has just eaten Hannes as well, in his human form. It goes about as well as expected. But Eren doesn't give up and from his back a Titan roars and attacks the Smiling Titan. And is followed by every normal Titan around them. Revealing Eren has the ability to CONTROL ALL NORMAL TITANS. Eren takes this chance to escape, when Reiner approaches, Eren threatens him and commands the Titans to attack Reiner, stopping them from following and letting everyone get away.
- Krista boldly correcting Connie about her name and then tearing Ymir a new one for lying to her once again. Followed up immediately by declaring that from now on, they should live for themselves only and that she will never fear anything as long as they can be together. Cue them charging into battle together with renewed determination, and kicking ass along with Connie.
- For Character Development. What does Armin do the first time he's faced with a Titan eating one of his friends right in front of him? Absolutely nothing. He's too afraid to move, and Eren gets eaten. What does he do the next time this happens, in Chapter 50? Drags Jean, who's unconscious, away from an advancing Titan with one arm, then manages to get him onto a horse so they can escape. He's still got maneuver gear and even a little bit of tree cover, but he stays on the ground, the single worst place to face a Titan, to protect Jean until Eren's new powers open an escape route. Holy cow, did Armin take a level in badass.
- Chapter 52: Pastor Nick endured brutal torture and still refused to give up his secrets, taking them to the grave. Dude's got balls.
- Also in Chapter 52, although it's a minor example, when some Military Police members start physically and verbally harassing Hange when she questions them about Pastor Nick's death, Moblit grabs one of them by the wrists with a seething glare and very firmly states their positions in a way that just screams for them to try to disrespect her again.
- Chapter 54 is just one massive moment of this. Mikasa and Levi effortlessly subdue the kidnappers who abducted Armin and Jean disguised as Historia and Eren respectively without even giving them a chance to fight back. Keeping the awesome coming, Levi browbeats the leader of the abductors (who turns out to be the Jerkass merchant who blocked the escape tunnel in the Battle of Trost) into telling them what he knows, blatantly dismissing his fears for his and his men's lives. However it is the way Levi does this that is the most amazing; he compares the situation to the risks the Survey Corps take fighting Titans in a way that can't be called sympathetic yet is at shows he understands what the leader is going through. This results in the capture of a high-ranking member of the Secret Police and perhaps the first answers on what the hell is going on with the Government Conspiracy.
- Also Sasha showing off her Improbable Aiming Skills by destroying an extremely tiny pistol the leader of the kidnappers pulled on Mikasa in desperation, her only response to Jean's furious protest that Mikasa could have been injured being, "She shouldn't have taken her eyes off the prey". Way to go Potato Girl!
- Levi's "Aberrant Among Humans" speech in Chapter 56:
You've been told all of the sudden to become the most authoritative figure among the people of this world. After all, there aren't very many people who could possibly answer right away, ďYes, thatís fine.Ē But none of that is important. Do it. If you donít want to, then run away. Run away from us with all your power. We will use all of our power to capture you, and use whatever means necessary to make you obey. It seems this is your fate. If you dislike that, then fight. Try to defeat me. What do you all think youíre doing tomorrow? That youíre going to eat tomorrow? That youíll be able to sleep again? Is that what youíre thinking? That the person next to you will still be there tomorrow? I donít think that. And normal people donít think about that every day either. Which is to say, Iím not normal; Iím an aberrant among humans. I think itís because I've seem too many abnormal things. But if tomorrow, if Wall Rose were to be broken, in such abnormal circumstances I can respond faster than anyone and fight, even if that hell were to begin tomorrow. You've seen it with your own eyes. Who can say it wonít be tomorrow? However. As much as we want to prevent this from happening, there are people that want to get in our way. Iím fine playing the role of the aberrant who would murder all of those people. And this may very well require beating people until they are unrecognizable. Because I would choose the hell of people killing one another rather than the hell of being devoured by the Titans. Because at the very least, all of humanity wonít need to take part. However, if we were able to hold true authority in this world, then perhaps those who would have died can instead survive. Thatís pretty good, right? Itís all up to you, Historia. Will you follow? Will you fight? Theyíre both fine, so pick one. However. 'There is no time, so decide now.
- In Chapter 57, even though it resulted in the deaths of the rest of Hange's squad, seeing the antipersonnel 3D maneuvering gear in action for the first time was pretty incredible, especially since it basically makes its user a gunslinger, perfect for killing humans.
- How Hajime Isayama brought the antipersonnel 3D maneuvering gear into the fold. It swiftly establishes that this weapon is going to make things hell for anyone on the receiving end, even Levi.
- The entire fight sequences of chapter 58. Words cannot do it justice, lest they give away too much.
- Highlights include Levi using the reflection on alcohol bottles to fire a rifle at Kaney, and later blocking a bullet with his blades!
- Bonus points for killing two military police by slashing them across the backs of their necks like they were common Titans.
- The looks of stunned silence on everyone's face when Levi uses his maneuver gear and cuts an MP in half while flying towards his squad.
- Chapter 59 is a huge Crowning Moment of Awesome for Armin, who shot the Central MP soldier who was about to kill Jean. Though it becomes more tragic when you find out why he was able to kill her before she pulled the trigger on Jean.
- Marlow. His sense of justice is truly something to behold.
- As of Chapter 60, Squad Levi has stormed the Central MP's main headquarters and disabled every single person inside. Yes that's right disabled—they did not kill a single person during what is assumed to be quite an impressive battle.
- Furthermore, Flegal tricks the remaining Military Police into gloating over the murders of his father and his men, as well as their coercion of the Reeves company. Unfortunately for them, he had led them into an area full of Trost's citizens--thus exposing them for the corrupt and power-mad bullies they really are.
- Chapter 61: Erwin's plan has worked spectacularly, the first reaction when presented with the thought of the titans breaking into Wall Rose again, to seal the gates to leave half of humanity for dead. They freaked out infront of their own soldiers, and loud enough for the head of the military to declare that all of the military branches will no longer support the monarchy. Added with the news exposing the Central MP's actions, the monarchy's power is falling apart.
- Chapter 64: Levi's group note versus the Central MPs. The Central MPs lose badly through clever deception note , and are decimated to the point where Kenny's second in command (herself a skilled soldier who is able to knock Hange out of the fight) has to force a retreat midway through the fray.
- Chapter 66: Turns out Historia was just putting on an act. She destroys the Titans syringe and reminds everyone why she was in the graduating Top Ten when she flips Rod Reiss, a full grown man, over her shoulder and down on his ass after he snaps and attacks her in a rage. She then goes on to release Eren. Even Kenny Ackerman approves.
- Seeing the look on Rod's pathetic face and his ensuing Villainous Breakdown can be considered cathartic after everything's that's happened. At least until he manages to bring himself to lick up the serum himself and transform...
- ...prompting Eren to snap out of his Despair Event Horizon and Take a Level in Badass involving a mixture labelled Armor!
- Chapter 67: Eren finally masters the armor ability, saving the whole squad.
- Historia, by virtue of being Queen, should have been moved to a safe location while the army fought against Rod's Titan: Levi says as much to her. Historia's response? To remind Levi that he himself told her to either fight or flee, but most importantly, to choose. It's such a badass moment, even Levi finds himself unable to properly respond, merely noting that it's too late to get Historia out of there.
- Chapter 68 has a few.
- The Survey Corp vs Rod Reiss' Titan. The Survey corps rigs a explosive bundle made of explosive casks which Eren throws in Rod's mouth, causing his head to be blown off. Temporarily disabled, the Corps kills him. The largest Titan in the series gets killed in one chapter without any casualties in the Survey Corp.
- In the confusion to kill the Titan, Historia is the one who kills him. It then cuts to the after the battle where she proudly declares that she is the true ruler of the walls.
- Chapter 69 presents a quick but awesome moment for Historia. She is ceremoniously granted the title of Queen in front of a large crowed, and has earned the respect of nearly all of the citizens who praise her for winning against her father. Then when she and the rest of the group are walking down the hall and see Levi waiting for them, her first response is to quickly punch him in the shoulder and proclaim how she's the queen now and if he had a problem with that then he should say it now.
- Kenny's flashback reveals the difference between a master of the First King's Titan power and a novice like Eren. Rod's brother Uri curbstomped Kenny by summoning a partially formed Titan body and controlling it like a puppet to grab Kenny.
- The launching of the 58th Scouting Expedition in Chapter 72. Finally seeing the Scouting Legion getting the send-off it deserves by the cheering masses, Erwin finally dropping the mask and leading his men in a battle cry, and the familiar shout of "ADVANCE" as they set off for Shiganshina is enough to send shivers down the spine.
- Chapter 74. Levi shows his No-Nonsense Nemesis tendencies, He immediately stabs Reiner while saving Armin, damn near decapitating him with one sword, while shoving the other clean through his chest! While Reiner also gets points for barely surviving this, it's impressive how quickly Levi leaps into action.
- The next chapter reveals that Reiner survived by dispersing his brain functions into his whole body. And had he not done so a moment later, he'd be dead.
- Chapter 75. Erwin comes up with a plan to use Eren as bait against Reiner to prevent him from killing the horses so soon. Reiner knows it is a ploy, glances at Erwin, who simply stares right back at the Armored Titan with a smile on his face. Reiner then immediately starts chasing Eren, knowing full well that is just what they want! Eren starts kicking his ass pretty quickly, too.
- Some credit must be given to Reiner. Though Eren can now stand up to his armor, Reiner shows in Chapter 76 that he's not falling for Eren's holds or locks anymore and that he can adapt his fighting strategy to a new opponent as well. Though he has some trouble keeping up with Eren, Eren forgets that though he can break Reiner's armor, it's still armor, and the Titan underneath still suffers little damage. The moment Reiner gets a foothold (heh heh), he SWINGS THE ROGUE TITAN OVER HIS HEAD BY HIS ANKLE LIKE A SACK OF POTATOES AND SMASHES HIM INTO THE GROUND. Just before the Corpsmen arrive, it looks like he's about to rip Eren's entire leg off, and was about to go for his nape. Eren is only still safe because the Survey Corps intervened with their Thunder Spears.
- The combined Levi and Hange squads, under the direction of Hange, using the Thunder Spears to deadly effect on the Armored Titan. One the the most dangerous characters in the series, and they take him out smoothly and effectively.
- Chapter 77 reveals that The Thunder Spear succeeded in blowing off the top half of Reiner's head, killing him...or so it seems. Before the Corps can properly celebrate, Reiner's corpse and the Titan attached to it move, and then the Armored Titan roars . There is apparently nothing that can effectively put down Reiner for good. It's incredibly unnerving, but awesome at the same time, especially for those that were dreading his death.
- Also in chapter 77, the Beast Titan reveals his strategy for inserting titans beyond the wall; by chucking them over the wall while they are in human form, and having them transform in mid-air. He's not just a competent tactician, but innovative and audacious to boot.
- Chapter 78 Bertholdt. It is not the same Bertholdt. He he immediately makes it clear he's not falling for Armin's sick lies a second time, and fends off Mikasa when she attacks him from behind, only losing an ear and kicking her right in the face. That's savage right there.
- Bertholdt's entrance at the beginning of the chapter also warrants mention; the Beast Titan was expecting him to transform into a Titan in midair, but when Bertholdt realizes that doing so would hurt Reiner, he busts out of the barrel and engages his ODM gear. No other character in the series has ever fallen from such a height or had to deal with that much velocity, but that doesn't stop him from sticking a perfect landing.
- Chapter 80, quite possibly the most terrifying and nerve-wracking chapter yet, with each and every main character knowing full well they're in the worst situation of the entire series, and they're all very aware the chances of them coming home alive, let along victorious is so close to nonexistent that it's not even funny. Erwin's plan is to lead the entire half of his regiment into a suicide attack specifically designed to give Levi even a slight chance of taking down the Beast Titan. He remarks to Levi that his life's work was to go to the basement and see what was inside, learn it's secrets and finally reveal the answers, but in order to make the mission mean something, he has to give it up. The entire last half of the chapter is summarized in his epic speech to end all epic speeches.
Erwin: I will now announce our final operation!! All soldiers, line up!! All units will now perform a mounted charge! Our enemy is the Beastial Titan! Obviously, this will make us a perfect target for the enemy!! We will wait for the enemy to begin throwing rocks, then all fire signal flares at once! We'll do everything we can to reduce the accuracy of those rocks to whatever extent possible! While we act as a diversion, Captain Levi will go to kill the Beastial Titan! That is all! Standing around here simply means waiting for rocks to come raining down on us! Now hurry up and get ready!!
Soldier: (Terrified out of his mind) Are we... about ...to die?
Erwin: That's right.
Soldier: ...so you're saying... if we're going to die anyway, we might as well die fighting?
Erwin: That's right.
Soldier: No... if we're going to die anyway... ...we can die however we want... ...we could even die while disobeying orders... ...but it won't make a difference...?
Erwin: That's absolutely right. It doesn't make a single difference. No matter what dreams or hopes you may have, no matter what kind of blissful life you've lived until now... what happens to your body when it gets crushed bya rock... is the same. Everyone dies sooner or later. Does that mean all life is meaningless? Was the fact you were born meaningless from the start? Would you say the same of your dead comrades? Were those soldiers' lives... meaningless? No, they weren't! It's us who give meaning to those soldiers!! Those brave fallen men and women!! Those poor fallen men and women!! The only ones who can think of them... are us, the living!! We will die here and entrust our own meaning to the next generation of the living!! That is the sole way we can oppose this cruel world!! Soldiers! Let your blood boil!! Soldiers! Let me hear your voices!! Soldiers!! Let us fight!!
- A meta-example for the author, Hajime Isayama, for writing such an amazingly heart-wrenching and intense chapter.
- In Chapter 81, we have the fight between Levi and the Beast Titan/War Chief Zeke, who was called the strongest Titan and whom Reiner considered more than a match for Levi. And how does this fight between the two strongest fighters on either side go? Levi tears Zeke apart in under ten pages, leaving his Titan form a dismembered wreck and cutting both arms and one leg off his human body, without ever coming close to getting hit himself
- Zeke's Villainous Breakdown throughout the whole thing only makes it even better; he goes from smug satisfaction to incomprehension to abject horror as Levi tears into him.
- The expression of rage on Levi's face after Erwin falls to an unknown fate and the rest of the Corps is killed is awesome to behold.
- It's also an awesome moment for the Red Shirt soldiers getting torn apart. Zeke is noticeably getting nervous as they just keep charging him even after he killed most of them with his barrage of rocks, being positively baffled that they're even trying. That's right, the random soldiers nearly put him into a Villainous Breakdown just by themselves. And Levi then seals the deal.
- Chapter 82 gives us the defeat of Bertolt and Reiner. Bertolt gets Out-Gambitted by Armin, who sacrifices himself so Eren can take him out. Eren's move even mirrors the first time he's fought the Colossal Titan, but Bertolt doesn't manage to escape this time. Meanwhile the other 104th squad members use their remaining spears to force Reiner's jaw open and, when they not quite manage it, Hange turns out to have survived Bertolt's explosion and gives Reiner's jaw the last needed cut enabling Mikasa to impale Reiner through his now open mouth and finally beat him.
- In case no one caught that, Eren and Armin took out the Colossal Titan, the monster that started it all, the icon of the horrific hopeless war humanity fought against the titans.... and they did it as HUMANS.
- And yet another Levi moment in chapter 83. As Eren is struggling to come to terms with Armin's apparent death, Zeke and the Mule titan drop down from the Wall and start hauling ass. They don't get far before getting into a standoff with Eren as they try to rescue the incapacitated Bertolt, which allows the reason for their flight enough time to catch-up. Levi appears at the top of the Wall, drenched in steaming titan blood, apparently having slaughtered the rest of Zeke's titan hoard while giving chase. Zeke decides it's time to get the hell out of there.
Zeke: What...?! Are you kidding me?! He followed me all the way in here...Zeke: ...Monster...
- Hanji being able to stop Mikasa from attacking Levi and calming her down with hard reasoning in Chapter 84.
- After an endless string of setbacks and watching countless friends and allies perish along the way, in Chapter 85, Eren finally makes it to the basement of his old home and successfully retrieved what his father left there for him.
- Chapter 86. The truth comes out. Also, Bestial Titan's name is Zeke Yeager!
- Chapter 87. In probably one of the most awesome scenes in this series to date, Kruger pushes Sergeant Major Gross off the wall into the sand dune before Gross can push Grisha off. Gross comes face to face with the recently titanized Peering Titannote and it tears his face off giving him a slow, agonizing death. After that, Kruger tosses his headgear away and reveals himself as the Elodian Revivalist's informant "Owl". Kruger slashes his own hand, revealing himself as a Titan Shifter... and the original Rogue Titan! The next scene is pure unadulterated awesomeness as the Rogue Titan breaks the Marleyan ship in half in a pose resembling a fireman's carry while Grisha looks on in awe.
Kruger: Remember well Grisha, this is how the titan's power is used.
- Chapter 91. Gabi's outrageous plan to destroy a Middle-Eastern Union bunker: removing her uniform (and Eldian armband, with permission) to look like an ordinary citizen; walking towards the bunker arms raised and dragging a bundle of dynamite with her right foot; throwing the dynamite and running back as fast as she possible can. Somewhat downplayed due to her fighting for Marley.
- The introduction of the ninth titan. As Gabi runs back into the crater while being fired upon, the Jaw Titan suddenly appears and shields Gabi and the rest of her teammates. He then obliterates the enemy bunker. The Survey Corps will have a very hard time indeed.
- Chapter 92, basically all of it. The attack on the bunker continues and through it we see the Jaws Titan rip a train track off the ground, we see the Mule titan covered in armor with four machine gunners on him, and then the Marleyans air drop a good 60 titans into the bunker from a Zeppelin before dropping the Armored and Beast titans on them. The Beast then grabs a hand full of munition shells and throws them towards a large number of battleships in the bay winning the war.
- Of course the Middle-Eastern Union are not free of any awesomeness either. Through they never once gave an inch to the titans as their weapons not only were able to pierce the Armored Titan's armor but a volley from the ships almost killed the Beast titan. By the end it is made very clear that the time of the Titans is coming to an end.
- In Chapter 93, Zeke has a discussion with his superior, who reminds him of how in the past few years, all 32 warships they've sent to Paradis Island have been destroyed and no survivors have returned to Marley. This is accompanied by a panel showing Eren and Armin in their Titan forms near the ocean, implying an Off Screen Moment Of Awesome for both of them.
Related examples outside the series
- The manga has sold over 500,000 volumes in North America and has beaten The Walking Dead in the number 1 position in the Nielsen BookScan's list of top 20 graphic novel sales in September 2013!
- ACWNR: How about Levi's first Titan kill? He, Farlen and Isabel effortlessly take down an abberant with coordination and teamwork that was on par with veterans. It's safe to say that more than a few people were sharing Erwin's grin on the last page of the chapter.
- Wall Sina, Goodbye: It's revealed that Annie once attacked her father as a child out of frustration at his Training from Hell, to which she beat him so severely he ended up with a permanent limp (she badly regretted it afterwards however and never disobeyed him again). While it's tragic, the fact that Annie as a presumably 8-9 year old was able to beat up an adult man to the point of crippling him is undeniably badass. Further proven by how her father was so impressed with her strength, it had an opposite effect and he only increased her training as a result.
- The entirety of Wall Sina, Goodbye may count as an awesome moment for Annie, as not only does it showcase her strength, it turns out she's smart to the point of Sherlock Scan abilities. She single-handedly solves the mystery regarding an illegal drug sale and an abducted girl, and calls out a culprit on the basis of what cigarettes he smokes (she had seen the cigarette butts in the apartment of a murdered victim). Thanks to being a Shifter, she recovers from a fatal gunshot wound to her torso in a few minutes, and gets to show off her martial arts skills by beating up five adult men at a time. Regardless what one's opinion of Annie is, there's no doubt a huge shame that she's not on the good side.
- The second OVA may be a parody, but the moment when Sasha headshots a massive rampaging boar, with a bow and arrow, while using ODM Gear, is undeniably awesome.
- The incredible bravery of Ilse Lagnar in the first OVA, Ilse's Notebook. Left behind by her expedition, with no maneuvering gear and far from the walls, she writes her experiences in a notebook, the only weapon she has left. Though she's crying with terror she keeps writing even with her head between a Titan's teeth.
I am humanity's Wings of Freedom. I do not fear death.
Meta and Out of Canon Moments
- One guy spent 6 MONTHS creating this video. Not only the result is awesome, it's made even more awesome when it is revealed to be HAND DRAWN!!! Salute this guy.
- And the reason why it's taken so long for the second season to be released? The team doing it didn't expect the success it met with.
- While the Attack on Titan parody of "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" was equal measures funny, cute and sad, the parody of "Let it Go" by the same creator, which has Eren embracing his destiny as a Titan Shifter, is nothing less than awesome.
- Pretty much everything the fan group Survey Corps Dance Crew makes is this, but Beyond the Northern Wall, a 35-minute long, fully choreographed and voice acted Massive Multiplayer Crossover performance, takes the cake.