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.
Warning: Spoilers Off applies to these pages. Please proceed at your own risk.
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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 in his Establishing Character Moment, a trio of delinquents fight him 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. Defiant to the End, indeed.
Delinquent: 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.Delinquent: 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!
"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?Edward "Dimo" Reeves: 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.Dimo: 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.Dimo: 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. But against all odds, she still fights back.
Mikasa: Why...? I thought I'd given up. Why am I standing? Why am I struggling? Why? My life has no meaning anymore. What's keeping me going? (Another Titan appears behind her, pinning her in the alley — and then a Flash Back to Eren telling her to fight back) Eren...
Past!Eren: You must fight! Fight! Fight!
Mikasa: I'm sorry, Eren. I won't give up. I'll never give up again. If I died, I won't be able to remember you. So I'll win, no matter what! I'll survive, no matter what!
(The brown-haired Titan goes past her ''to kill the other Titan, smashing it's jaw in one blow before caving in the back of its neck'')
- 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 Mikasa 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 instill 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 clearing the district's river, wall-running, then grinding the tanks of his gear down the length of a street to bungee launch himself up across several streets 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's upper torso blasts back into life in a cocoon of molten energy, crashes into a tenement block; before a giant foot steps forth from the brick dust and Titan!Eren bursts from the rubble with that now iconic bellowing roar to the heavens.
- Said roar is still the longest in the series, at a whopping nine full second crescendo.
"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 to 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, especially as Eren gives his Motive Rant.
Eren: From the time we are born, we are free... It doesn't matter how strong those who would deny us our freedom are... flaming water, frozen earth, I don't care what it is! The one who sees them will be the freest person in the world! Fight... I'd willingly give my life for that! It doesn't matter how terrifying the world is. It doesn't matter how cruel the world is! Fight... fight! Fight! Fight!
- It's even more awesome in that the linked song above is sung by two Japanese singers in Surprisingly Good English, with tearjerking lyrics to boot.
- 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! Just shut up! AND PUT ALL YOUR FAITH IN MEEEEE!!!
- While Levi knocking seven bells out of 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 kicking 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 just glares up at his torturer with a look of pure defiance. Levi, by beating him to what he thought would be the point of submission, was testing the junior's resolve. Seeing if he could break his will. 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, hooks 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 punches until Eren winds up a haymaker and she intercepts him with a textbook Power Fist Cross Counter, (albeit ducking under his arm), the resulting blow rips off his entire jaw.
- Of course Eren proves his potential when he instantly dives into her punch 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 monumental 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 wrist, 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 at the fact that the entire area had been "conveniently" completely deserted* , 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 drive her out... No... I'll annihilate her! 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 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 blocking Annie's kick, closing her hamstring up before swinging around and throwing her across several city blocks.
- 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's hardened leg kick that slices through Eren's own calf like butter.
- Which doesn't even slow Eren down, he just springs up on his remaining leg and flying punches the Female Titan back down the street.
- Even though Annie blocks this, the force carries through her guard and squashes most of the muscles in her face, even throwing her into a childhood flashback. There's a reason Annie runs from Eren apart from making sure the Corps can't get the elevation around her; he is just too strong for her.
- As the Female Titan tries to dispatch him with her signature roundhouse kick again, Eren catches her shin in his mouth and actively starts to splinter 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 off, 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!
- It's worth noting that Sasha most likely was prepared to die when she chose to stab with the arrow instead of shooting it. After escaping the titan, she comments that the blood on the titan (from the little girl's mother) enabled her to slip through. She did NOT expect to be able to slip away from the Titan's hold, but nevertheless jumped in close to blind the titan for sure. Shooting the arrow was a gamble with both her and the girl's lives on the line, and instead of risking it Sasha chose to save at least the girl for good.
- 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 off Utgard Castle's round 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 a spectacular meteor punch from the Attack Titan that not only sends sparks flying from the impact against Reiner's faceplate (meaning he actually chipped said armour with bare knuckles) but also slams the Armoured Titan's face back against the Wall strut. Finished? No. Eren then grinds Reiner's head down for tens of metres before his triceps look 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.
- The short but epic Rousing Speech from Squad Leader Hange Zoë, before they launch their attack on Bertholdt.
Squad Leader Hange Zoë: All soldiers, prepare to attack! We're taking down the Colossal Titan! It's a threat to all humanity! SWARM THE HUGE BASTARD!English translation
- Hange leading the fight against the Colossal Titan. The anime makes what were already pretty awesome panels even better with the stunning CGI of Bertholdt's movements, and the Corps skilfully dodging around his ponderous attacks, so much so that they all secure anchor points along his back and try to shred his nape to ribbons.
- 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 wall slug by absorbing the Rogue Titan's next blows then giving him a left cross of his own. The resulting tap, smashes half of Eren's teeth out and sends him clear across several grassy plains and through a copse, ploughing up tracts of land to slide to a halt, barely conscious. Just in case we needed a clearer example of Reiner being in a weight catchment all his own.
- 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!
Eren Jaeger: Hey... Reiner... Asshole... I don't know what kind of face you're making right now... But I hope you miserable pieces of shit are pleased with yourselves! I bet I could scour through the history of mankind, and not find anyone a fraction as evil! You should be erased... Trash like you can't be allowed to exist! What was going through your head? You disgust me. Just thinking about your face makes my insides churn. You make me wanna puke! You're a pest! A revolting... PARASITE! PEST! AND PESTS... HAVE TO BE EXTERMINATED!!!
- Or, from the English Dub, where Papenbrook goes full-blown garbling guttural Angrish, so much so that you can barely understand the crescendo of his speech!
- Eren's aforementioned incandescent, twisted Rage-Face has to be seen to be believed. If looks could generate heat Reiner would be reduced to a scorch mark.
- Reiner planting a face-pulping Megaton Punch counter straight to Eren's kisser while absorbing Eren's magnificent overhand with his iron chin, Reiner's neck bends under the sheer force but he doesn't even budge an inch on his feet from his opponent's gale-force-creating impact, while Eren is thrown into a spiral lift-off that mashes his skull in and leaves him with his life flashing before his eyes.
- It should be noted though that Eren has quite a chin of his own, as he recovers seconds later after he comes to a stop and resolutely clambers back to his feet again, his cheek bone and jaw restored, even though he's: "the worst I've ever felt in my life" from the battle fatigue.
- Eren's come back. He gets in close with a superb fake-out of continuing the brawl, roaring spit, blood and teeth at Reiner, but 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 steel-trap thighs. Before Reiner can attempt to complete a lift and slam, Eren pulls him into a Gogoplata, then a double axe-kick arm-bar that shatters the earth and uproots trees. He finally turns Reiner over onto his belly, clamps down on his shoulder and throat with his calves then bends the joint of his right arm so far back past the point-of-no-return that the armour shell bursts asunder and Eren proceeds to rip his arm off at the elbow!
Eren Jaeger: You know what? There's no telling what you murdering hypocrites were trying to accomplish, but now that I think about it, your master plan seems to have a few holes in it... Wanna eradicate humanity?! MAYBE NEXT TIME DON'T TEACH ME HOW TO KICK YOUR ASS!!!
- From the English Dub:
- Reiner, though obviously in pain, doesn't let the injury faze him, shedding his calf plates to achieve maximum mobility, before abruptly sprinting like a speed demon and spearing Eren into Wall Rose.
- Eren trying to go for a knee-joint lock from his back, dodging Reiner's one-armed ground-and-pound attempts before heel-hook tripping the lumbering oaf backwards and leaving him room to regain his feet.
- The Iron 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 heave his entire whiplash-strong spine into the choke and shatter most of Reiner's nape plates from the pressure.
- "I CAN WIN... AGAINST, REINER... I CAN WIN!"
- Reiner and Bertholdt's last-ditch tag-team plan to take out Eren succeeds, with a rapidly losing Armoured Titan pushing a triumphant Eren into range for the forgotten Colossal to head dive body-slam the grappling pair.
- The Colossal Titan's landing takes out Eren, Mikasa and the rest of the Survey Corps in a Meson Bomb explosion of supra-heated steam and wind.
- The fact Levi manages to defuse a couple of egotistical Military Police members with just a few short words, by reminding them that if they are so sure they can handle Titans, then they are more than free to join him on the next expedition... Naturally the braggarts quickly retract their bravado.
- 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 meet the problem head-first, then brawl it out with them, despite being the smallest boy there. Luckily, Mikasa shows up to even the odds, and lets loose with a flying kick that smashes the spiky-haired ringleader into the stall again.
- Eren leaping back into the fray when Armin tries to restrain him, knocking down the fattest bully.
- Mikasa's technique where she torsion twirls the leader through the air from an arm lock.
- Hannes also duking it out with an ass-hat salesman, whose stall just got totalled by the kids' fight, especially after that salesman throws an empty bottle at one of Hannes's friends.
- "IF YOU WANT TO DIE! JUST KEEP TALKING!"
- For as tragic as the Shifter Trio are, Eren spits on sympathy for the crimes they've committed and rightfully so. Although his "The Reason You Suck" Speech came across as more apoplectic raving in the manga, Yuki Kaji's delivery turns Eren into the absolute incarnation of justice. His every horrified word falls with the weight of hammer blows and there is a shuddering yet calculated malice to his voice that is chilling in its promise of rightful retribution; we are seeing our protagonist on the journey to mastering his rage and making it his weapon instead of his detriment.
Eren Jaeger: You've got to be kidding me... Why are you pretending to be the victim here? What's your deal? That day, what the hell were you thinking when you spoke to us? Tell me, Bertholdt. I'm talking to you, you damn lackey. I told you everything... While you dared look me right in the eye; about the day my mother was eaten alive. All because of you, right? Thanks to that piece of the gate you kicked that went flying straight into my home, my mother hadn't a hope of running away. Remember? What did you think? What were you thinking that day?Bertholdt Hoover: Back then... I thought... I felt very sorry for you.Eren: Oh. I see... You guys... You two... You're not soldiers or warriors. You're just murderers. You're psychotic mass-murderers who've killed countless innocent people who never did anything wrong!Reiner Braun: YOU DON'T THINK I KNOW THAT?! I DON'T NEED YOU TO POINT THAT OUT FOR ME!Eren: THEN DON'T PRETEND TO HAVE EMOTIONS LIKE YOU'RE ONE OF US! YOU GUYS AREN'T EVEN HUMAN ANYMORE! IT'S THE TWO OF YOU WHO HAVE TURNED THIS WORLD INTO A LIVING HELL! DOES THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY, MURDERERS!
- Of course Reiner doesn't take this vitriol lying down when his original personae surfaces.
Reiner: WHAT ARE YOU AFTER BY CALLING US MURDERERS?! DO YOU WANT US TO REGRET IT?! DO YOU WANT US TO APOLOGIZE?! Would that give you satisfaction?! THE PEOPLE YOU THOUGHT WE WERE NO LONGER EXIST! If screaming will make you feel better, THEN SCREAM YOUR DAMN HEAD OFF!!!
Eren: I swear to you... one way or another, the two of you will pay, and it's gonna hurt.
- And Eren, not allowing himself to continue raging, calms down and gives a Slasher Smile and a vicious Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
- For those paying attention, Ymir's backstory finally revealed several vital facets and lore-building regarding the Ontological Mystery we've been wondering on since the very first episode.
- Somewhere far beyond the Kingdom of the Walls, the people of the Walls exist under the tyranny of what seems to be a middle-eastern nation.
- Every Mindless or Abnormal Titan was a human injected in the spine with an as-yet-unidentified serum, to serve A Fate Worse Than Death for practising a forbidden religion, (or any other capital crimes for that matter).
- This totalitarian civilization is using said Titans as slavering shock troops against the Wall Kingdom.
- Any Titan Shifter had to consume their predecessor to inherit the power and regain their humanity.
- Thus, Titan predation behaviour is explained as them vainly searching for a way to become who they once were.
- Eren smashing Reiner in the face with his stubs. And for a moment nearly overwhelming him with frenzied elbow strikes.
- When Reiner is blood-choking Eren, it takes him over a full minute to subdue his former comrade and Eren is fighting him all that time, even resorting to gnaw on his nub to try and transform.
- When the cult is raided, Ymir tries to take the blame so the authorities will spare her people. A shame she misconstrues her follower's head shake and damns them all with her words.
- Ymir's rebirth. What Catharsis Factor is all about, along with Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- The shot of Team Titan (plus a swallowed Christa) running into the sunset pursued by the 104th and Hannes.
- Mikasa taking the Death Glare to the next level, her usual jet eyes separated by two white limbus circles, scaring Bertholdt shitless.
- Historia throwing herself between Ymir and Mikasa, shielding her soul mate from Mikasa's swords.
- Erwin Smith is the GOAT when it comes to commanders of the Survey Corps, beginning with him leading at least two score of Titans against Reiner with blue fire in his eyes, similar to Eren's emerald eye after-trails when in Titan form.
- Reiner football charging his way through the Titan horde, blasting several fifteen-metre classes across the plains until a smaller one latches onto his legs and trips him, allowing the others to pile on.
- When one of the big bastards tries to snatch Historia from the Dancing Titan's head, Ymir is having none of it, slashing his face off and diving into the fray in an all-out skirmish to keep her girl safe.
- There's this exchange.
Jean Kirstein: Is this hell?Commander Erwin Smith: No. But it soon will be!
- Erwin's Rousing Speech when Reiner is driven to his knees by the crush of Titans trying to consume him.
Commander Erwin Smith: All soldiers, charge! The fate of humanity will be decided in this very moment! There is no future where humanity can once again inhabit these lands without Eren! We recover Eren and retreat immediately! OFFER UP YOUR HEARTS!
- For further clarification, a quadrupedal five-metre class hoicks Erwin from the saddle by biting three-quarters of his right arm past the bone to the last several shreds of tendons. The agony must be overwhelming, the blood loss should send him into shock, his being has suffered such whiplash from the sudden change in momentum, that it's inconceivable to think he can form a coherent thought. None of those things faze Humanity's Greatest Hope. There's only the mission and Erwin's absolute dedication to see it through, damn his body and damn his life.
- The bravery of our heroes as they ride forth through the press of Titans in what is obviously a Suicide Mission.
- Special mention for the shot of Mikasa weaving her mount in and out between a half-dozen grasping Titan hands.
- Then using Reiner's fist as a grapple-point to swing around and launch her rescue attempt of Eren.
- Bertholdt foiling Mikasa's assault, diving under her blades just in time. He wasn't the top third cadet for nothing.
- Eren desperately trying to warn Mikasa through his gag as she's blind-sided by a Titan which grabs her.
- Mikasa is being crushed by a Titan's grip around her torso, who should come to the rescue but Jean-boy! Who flips out and shoves his blade into its left socket, causing it to release her.
- Armin showing off some impressive Manipulative Bastard credentials to quickly discern and hammer Bertholdt's Berserk Button, forcing him to lower his guard.
- To which Erwin bounds up (heedless of his missing arm) and slashes Bert across the chest, cutting Eren free for Mikasa to catch.
- Followed by Erwin's almost Troll Face to Reiner as he falls back onto his white steed.
- He also, to add injury to insult, somehow slices off Reiner's thumb at the first joint during the same slash before the blade cuts into Bert! So it was a weaker backhand arc with his less dominant hand! We were robbed of never seeing Erwin fight in his prime!
- The iron will of Mikasa; using ODM-gear while most if not all her ribs are fractured and a few floating ones are likely scraping her innards.
- Historia's first Titan kill is astounding considering she was only the eleventh most skilled soldier in the 104th. Ymir is pinned underneath a seven metre-class, only for our little goddess to come zipping along upside down and carve out his neck with both swords before skip-vault landing against a low tree. Perfect tens across the board for the dismount!
- Reiner will not be foiled after losing all his prizes in Eren, Ymir and Historia, plucking Titans off of him and hurling them with such power at the retreating Corps that their bodies explode on impact.
- Ymir saving Erwin from a Titan even though she's furious that he has ruined her plan to ferry Historia beyond the Walls.
- Mikasa can't fight in her state, so she resorts to throwing her body atop Eren's to shield him from the Smiling Titan's grasp.
- But Hannes then interposes himself between the youths and blocks the Smiling Titan's hand dead in its tracks with his forearm! Before shoving it back a couple of paces and slicing its thumb clean off!
- Hannes' character arc comes full circle from the very first episode. He has come face-to-face with the Smiling Titan again after five years, once more being the only one present to save Eren and Mikasa. This time though, he shows not a hint of wanting to flee and is actually glad to get such a rare opportunity to take revenge for Carla and her children.
Hannes: Ha! how often do you get a chance like this?! Right, you two?! Just watch! I'll avenge your mother's death! I'll butcher the shit out of this thing!
- And from the manga we have an extra line from Hannes after the same boast where he growls up: "Oh, how I've wanted... to see you again!" To the Smiling Titan's hideous visage.
- Historia first embracing her true name then recognising Ymir's pure motives for what they are and daring her partner to truly abide by her own words and live for themselves.
- We then get Ymir and Historia charging into battle as one to the vocals of 'Barricades', with Historia proclaiming that no matter how bad the situation gets; when they are together she feels no fear.
- The animation of Historia's ODM acrobatics just looks majestic as fuck, followed by Sasha and Connie not even hesitating to join her in the fight and for Ymir's face to split between both forms as she goes all Screaming Warrior on the Titans.
- Eren has bit himself to the bone before, but this time he's ripping chunks of flesh off his Opponens Pollicis note with his teeth in a desperate, frenzied effort to transform and aid Hannes as he manoeuvrers around the Smiling Titan.
- Hannes, a Garrison Engineer Captain, (read: a glorified maintenance man with some small rappelling skill) who has never fought a Titan in his life before now, confounds and even manages to deeply slice the Achilles tendon of a fifteen-metre class Abnormal; before he's nabbed from the air and devoured waist first.
- Poor Hannes' death was foreshadowed in the very first episode of the series, during Eren's prophetic daydream. We see the exact same shot of the violets being spattered with his life blood as Eren's peace devolves into a nightmare of the Titans invading.
- If Yuki Kaji hadn't already earned his pay-check ten times over, he should be nominated for voice-acting excellence as he devolves into blood-chilling howling hysterical laughter at his own helplessness to save either his beloved mother or the man who he thought of as an uncle from the same gruesome death. The man is quite literally blowing out his vocal chords for our entertainment and to immortalize the performance.
- Mikasa realises that this is their Darkest Hour and beautifully embodies poise and beauty amid the chaos as their comrades fight desperately to the last or are about to die; fondly telling Eren that he should never take stock in the lies and trauma he's placed like a millstone around his neck and that has done everything to show her and everyone else how to hold their heads high despite all adversity, snapping Eren out of his Heroic B.S.O.D..
- After Mikasa more or less confesses her undying love for him, Eren refuses to believe this is the end, denying Mikasa what she must feel will be the only Big Damn Kiss they'll share, to instead stand up and face the Smiling Titan. Even if he has to do it as a mere human being, resolved to protect her no matter what, as his mother reminded him was his duty and bond. The last joints of his fingers zap into existence with a crackle of multi-coloured electricity, the nerve grooves under his eyes manifest again as he rears back, screaming the greatest of all do-or-die battle cries and punches the Smiling Titan straight in the centre of its approaching palm.
- It is in this moment he instinctively awakens the power of the Coordinate. The other Shifters can all feel the presence of such will and power as Eren's Over Mind unconsciously possesses a nearby Titan with every iota of his undying hatred and unfathomable rage. The Titan takes on a familiar expression of righteous loathing, barrels up behind Eren as he lets loose with another piercing scream, engulfed in a lime nimbus, then as he left hooks the air, it leaps over him and flying slam tackles the Smiling Titan while the score swells.
- But this is far from the end of it, as every Titan present, of which there must be at least fifty, stops doing their best to stuff the Corps in their mouths and makes a bee-line for the trapped Smiling Titan, they proceed to gang up en masse and rip it limb-from-limb. Everyone is gobsmacked and stunned speechless at the spectacle, even Erwin, who DISREGARDED HIS OWN ARM BEING BITTEN OFF in the previous episode to urge his soldiers forward!
- Annie could only call and direct Titans with herself as bait, keeping ahead of them with her speed. The Beast Titan can control only those he seems to have transformed and sometimes has difficulty reining in their instincts. While Eren designated three far more difficult targets than the copious humans present and all with a seemingly unlimited range of affect when the pulse of energy burst forth from within. Eren is officially the King of the Titans.
- In this way, Hannes' sacrifice was not in vain, as he enabled Eren to discover a more vital factor to Humanity's survival than even his Titan-shifting ability.
- Eren then piggy-back carries Mikasa to safety by sprinting the hell out of dodge. Attention is not drawn to this, but this must mean that Eren successfully serpentine ran his way through the horde of bloodthirsty Titans while carrying Mikasa on his back.
- For further 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? Drags Jean, who's been concussed, away from an advancing Titan, then manages to get him onto a horse so they can escape. He's still got ODM-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 ever grow up.
- Ymir comes to the realisation that with such power at his disposal, Eren could do what she can not and keep Historia safe within the Walls, allowing her to fulfil both her obligations.
- Now unburdened of the Titans dragging him down, an exhausted Reiner, with Bertholdt on his clavicle, lumbers to intercept and capture Eren again. But their former friend is having absolutely none of it, swearing he'll kill them both if they come near him, and his rage activates a second burst of power to hijack and direct the feasting Titans against Reiner and Bertholdt; going from their helpless captive to nearly killing both of them with his meat puppets in the span of a few minutes.
- The electro-connectivity of the Coordinate giving the Titans glowing red eyes of doom through the steam of the Smiling Titan's butchered body as they make to savage the traitors.
- We have never seen an expression on a Mindless Titan's face save for placid blankness, whose face does Reiner see on three dozen Titans as they bear down on him? Eren's. All of them with open-mawed, wide-eyed looks of unabating white-hot hatred.
- Plus the scene is accompanied by the stunningly haunting track: 'Attack on D'.
- When he sees Eren controlling Titans, Reiner has a magnificently understated Villainous Breakdown as he agonises over the fact that for his faction, Eren possessing the Coordinate is the single worst possibility imaginable.
- Ymir making the decision to save the most unworthy of souls just because her compassion is that damn overpowering a lake that wells up within her. The looks on Bert and Reiner's faces as she joins their struggle to the death is sheer disbelief that anyone could find them worthy of rescue and sacrifice.
- At the finale, while Eren laments his capture being the cause of the loss of so many of his comrades — including more than half the Survey Corps' veterans, which would seriously impact their performance — Armin and Jean both tell Eren they believe he was the cause of the Titans' swarming the Smiling Titan and the traitors. Jean gives him a short speech urging Eren to show that he was worth the price that was paid, to which Eren emphatically agrees.
- Erwin Smith's very OOC Grin of Audacity when it is absolutely stated that the Titans are humanity and that they have taken another massive step towards the truth and final victory. It even freaks out Levi.
- Only Erwin deserves to once again deliver the closing lines of the season and boy does he deliver. That Kubrick Stare from under his Kenshiro-worthy eyebrows, accompanied by the guitar riffs of 'Eren the Coordinate' just nails the overwhelming human desire to discover every last mystery of our world.
"One day we'll break it down. This wall hiding the truth... Will fall."
- The closing cells of the season as we see our remaining heroes standing resolute to continue their mission and we take a great sweeping journey from Trost across the lost lands within Wall Maria to the very top of Shiganshina's breached gate, where the Beast Titan awaits them. But we don't just get the mug shot of the big ape but also a pan up to the Shifter pilot as he stands from the self-opened nape to don his specs and tease his identity.
The Uprising Arc
- 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 many people who could possibly answer right away. Yes, that's fine. But none of that is important. Do it. If you don't 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 you're doing tomorrow? That you're going to eat tomorrow? That you'll be able to sleep again? Is that what you're thinking? That the person next to you will still be there tomorrow? I don't think that. And normal people don't think about that every day either. Which is to say, I'm not normal; I'm an aberrant among humans. I think it's 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 won't be tomorrow? However. As much as we want to prevent this from happening, there are people that want to get in our way. I'm 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 won't 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. That's pretty good, right? It's all up to you, Historia. Will you follow? Will you fight? They're 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 anti-personnel ODM 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 anti-personnel ODM 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 Kenny, 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 cuts an MP near 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: Historia, after recalling Ymir's advice to live a life she can be proud of, 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 calls him out for coming up with excuses to justify his actions and that she wont let him kill her. She then goes on to release Eren and slaps him upside the head for giving up and almost letting her eat him. 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.
Return to Shiganshina Arc
- 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 however, then dodges another of Reiner's punches then gets him in an armlock, and flips the Armoured Titan right off him! His training with Annie saves him again!
- 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 Bestial 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 Bestial 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 by a 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 Bertholdt and Reiner. Bertholdt 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 Bert 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 Bertholdt'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 stand-off with Eren as they try to rescue the incapacitated Bertholdt, 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, the 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 Eldian Revivalist's informant: "The Owl". Kruger slashes his palm, 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 steam ship in half in a pose resembling a fireman's carry while Grisha looks on in awe.
Kruger: Watch and learn, Grisha. This is how you use the power of the Titans.
- Chapter 88. All of Kruger's Dare to Be Badass speech to Grisha to make him take a stand and to fight anew for Eldia's freedom and dignity.
Eren Kruger: Each of the Nine Titans has a name. That includes the one you're about to inherit from me. No matter the Age, this Titan has always moved ahead, seeking freedom. It has fought on for freedom. Its name is...
- Topped by one of the best title-drops in all of media ever.
Eren Jaeger: ... The Attack Titan.
The Truths of Marley
- Chapter 91. Gabi's outrageous plan to destroy a Middle-Eastern Union armoured train: removing her uniform (and Eldian armband, with permission) to look like a POW; walking towards the bunker arms raised and dragging a bundle of grenades with her right foot; throwing said charges perfectly onto the track and running like hell or high-water. Somewhat downplayed due to her fighting for Marley.
- The introduction of Galliard's Titan form. As Gabi leaps back into the crater while being fired upon by a machine-gun, the Jaw Titan leaps forth to shield Gabi and Falco from the fusillade. He then obliterates the enemy bunker with his claws while charging through the hailstorm of bullets. The power of the Titans is an absolute indeed.
- Chapter 92, basically all of it. The attack on Fort Slava continues and through it we see the Jaws Titan rip a train track off the ground, we see the Mule Titan covered in steel protective gear with four machine gunners mounted on her back, and then the Marleyans air drop a good 60 Titans onto the bunker from a Zeppelin before sending the Armoured and Beast Titans in after. Reiner wrecks house, at one point ripping up a radio-tower and scraping the battlements clean of artillery; then Zeke grabs a handful of munition shells from the busted foundry and pitches 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. They never once gave an inch to the Titans as their weapons were not only able to pierce the Armoured Titan's plates, but a volley from their ships' cannons almost killed Zeke. 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.
- The fact that even after four years, Zeke is still terrified of Levi (and by extension, the Ackerman clan) and he openly admitted he never wants to meet them again.
- Chapter 96. Despite bordering on Nightmare Fuel and Tear Jerker due to it's context, it is thoroughly satisfying to see young Reiner (who up till this point has been regularly belittled and humiliated for being the weakest of the Warrior candidates) Take a Level in Badass in the aftermath of Marcel's death.
- Two years after the fall of Wall Maria, Reiner closes down the plot-hole of why the Warriors didn't just make a bee-line for the Capital and force the holder of the Founding Titan to reveal themselves. To protect the entire world from the Colossal Mindless Titans within the Walls. He expounds this point to Annie and Bert while levering an entire tree stump, roots and all out of the earth; showing just how much he's pushed himself to grow physically and mentally since Marcel's sacrifice.
- Topped off with six words to Shadis during his initiation into the Cadets. "I came here to save humanity." Reiner and Eren are two sides of the same coin and many readers are starting to hope that Reiner will be a surprise protagonist going forward, instead of the stand-up Anti-Villain he's always been.
- Colonel Magath, during his meeting with the head of the Tybur Family, deduces with minimal hints, that Lord Tybur is the true ruler of the Marleyan nation.
- Apparently, Eren has successfully infiltrated Marley. Reiner immediately recognises him despite growing out his hair and the eye bandage. He also had the chance to meet at least one of his living relatives in Marley, his grandfather, now a mental patient who blames himself for the death of his daughter and driving Grisha to rebellion.
- In Chapter 99, Eren demonstrates just how well he's prepared for meeting Reiner, pointing out how he arranged their meeting directly under the stage where Lord Tybur and all of the top ranking Marleyan elite are located, and how he's already wounded himself in preparation for transforming into his Titan form. Reiner realises that Eren is in complete control of the situation and has no choice but to sit down and listen to what he says.
- Chapter 100. It's heavily implied that Eren used the Coordinate once more, this time to ensure Falco followed his instructions to the letter. He then forgives Reiner his transgressions and goes Titan on the world delegation, busting through the entire apartment complex and easily standing over twenty metres tall, before splatting Lord Tybur like an insect, splitting the stage in two and flipping his bisected remains over his head as he roars for every nation to hear and witness! Billy longed for the genocide of his own race while maintaining the facade of a hero, instead he died a traitor's death... Eren just wants freedom for his friends and countrymen, diplomacy was never going to cut it. Even before he inherited the Attack Titan, Eren's defining characteristic that Grisha saw in him was that he already wanted to advance, whatever the cost, and topple the giants of the earth.
- The fact that Eren flings Tybur's gibs over his mouth makes for more than an epic splash-panel. It's likely he means to swallow the corpse whole so Eren can absorb the power of the War-hammer Titan!
- Chapter 101: The War-Hammer.
War-hammer Titan: The Usurper... Eren Jaeger... In your final moments, do you have any last words?
- Eren indeed swallows Lord Tybur whole then proceeds to leap and belly-flop the stands holding the entire Marleyan Military High Command! Before rampaging through every other official of the hideous regime on his hands and knees, smashing the ground with such force that he sends huge swathes of personnel flying up into the air with every blow.
- Lady Tybur, Willy's sister, survives the stage crashing down around them and annihilating the rest of her family and servants, then reveals herself to be the true holder of the War-hammer Titan, crackling into being in an awesome power pose, screeching at Eren as she's wrapped in musculature; either as a promise of revenge, or taunting Jaeger for outmanoeuvring him.
- Eren was never one for the Marquess of Queensberry Rules however and interrupts Tybur mid-transformation by charging in and overhanding her in the freshly-formed face, blasting her through the apartments before raining down hardened hammer-fists on her stunned form, pounding most of her face and torso into a fine red mist and plummeting most of Magath's troops into despair.
- But the Tybur family were not indolent in training their powers like the Reiss line. The War-hammer is the adept of the hardening ability, a true master builder. Tornadoes of energy gather through the earth as Lady Tybur's remaining eye glints in promise and she's able to instantaneously manifest a forty meter obelisk of crystal that impales Eren through his chest and renders him near-helpless, dangling above the plaza; all while he was subjecting her to an Extreme Mêlée Revenge that had her seconds away from being torn out of her Titan.
- The panel where, after so many issues, we finally see familiar soldiers zipping through the night sky on grapnel wires, along with a freed and usually unflappable Pieck quickly devolving into Oh, Crap! as she spies them from street-level.
- Lady Tybur regenerates her entire upper-torso, skull, plus a lost arm in an instant before cladding herself in a seamless flexible shell of armour complete with grille-helm, giving her the look of a Roman coliseum executioner. But the centrepiece is when she equips the most technically effective battle maul you've ever seen out of thin air. A tenderizing mallet twice her height, with a small but hefty head that bends the entire stave under its incredible weight. You just know one hit from this baby will obliterate anything in its path as she winds up to execute Eren, laid out for her on the stalagmite.
- But Eren snaps off the tip of the spike he's stuck on with his hardened fingers and flips over her down-swipe. Unfortunately despite all his strength, skill and battle experience; Tybur has smarts to go along with the incredibly vast utility of her Titan power, as she had already prepped the arena by summoning barbed caltrop spikes that puncture Eren's feet and hold him in place as he dismounts.
- The War-hammer Titan then pulverises not only Eren's armour-plated cross-block, but his whole head into ludicrous gibs with a single over-head strike.
- To which Eren coolly ejects from the nape, shocking Magath, his cronies and even Miss Tybur herself with the most glacial of all death glares. For Eren, losing one Titan body seems to be the smallest of set-backs — and now he knows what his opponent is capable of. It just goes to show how far he's come from when Annie bisecting his skull caused his pilot nerves to seize up and now; he's not only unphased by a similar loss up to the point of his Titan body still standing but he's more than ready for round two.
- This exchange.
Eren Jaeger: Do it now, Mikasa!
- Cue splash-panel of Mikasa Ackerman, wielding a battery of eight thunder-spears from mechanized gauntlets and rocking a dual propulsion system upgrade of the old ODM-devices, like a steam-punk version of the rocketeer on amphetamine. She jets up behind the arch-traitress of the Eldian people and nails her nape with every last one of the lightning rounds, blasting the nape to kingdom come and toppling the invincible War-hammer Titan as she flips over her shoulder and lands next to Eren, imploring him to come home.
- The new Survey Corps uniform is a now an efficient flight-suit, no longer burdened by the gas tanks on their thighs, they have more space for larger blade holsters instead and the triggers for the grapples seem to be housed in what are either automatic pistol shrouds or even SMGs! The people of the Walls have accelerated their technology massively and we see who can only be Jean peppering a Marleyan soldier with shots as his comrades wipe out the anti-Titan artillery emplacements with thunder spears of their own.
- Chapter 102: It's Too Late.
- We begin with Commander Magath somehow surviving both hails of gunfire and aerial drop-charges from the Survey Corp to phone in reinforcements of 30,000 Marleyan infantry of the Special Watchguard Training Division; boasting how the world will not allow Paradis to exist after their pre-emptive attack.
- Jean, who has gone from horse to stallion, utilizes his grapple to impale, reel-in and fling a Marley soldier clean off the roof.
- Floch of all people has stayed in the Corp and has found a new demon overlord to admire in place of Erwin. Eren of course.
- Sasha is now the team Cold Sniper. Connie is still a block-head. But a block-head with a perfect pompadour.
- Lady Tybur has tanked Mikasa's bombardment and forms a fully functioning micro-crossbow of all things in an attempt to skewer her and Eren, but Mikasa swings off the Attack Titan, holding her man aloft, all while Eren rattles off the War-hammer's abilities as cool as ice. Along with Hanji and Armin; Eren is now The Strategist.
- The Warhammmer's holder does not reside in the nape. In fact, if she had, Eren would have won last chapter! And while Mikasa swoops in and blasts Tybur in the face with two thunder-spears, causing her to keel back and rip her knee asunder, she lashes back in turn with a new weapon. An urumi, a multi-stripped whip of swords that readers of Berserk may recognise.
- All while Eren watches the show from above, on the ruined apartment's roof like Washington crossing the Delaware. He susses out that Tybur's War-hammer Titan was built up from the feet when she transformed. Therefore her pilot is not anywhere in the body but under the rubble of the stage; connected by an umbilical cord to her literal Achilles' Heel! Eren leaps out into the night air and activates his second shift with the old thumb-biting method, before meteor punching through the concrete and pulling Tybur from the earth, encased in a very familiar crystal; he snaps the strands that transmitted her consciousness and causes the War-hammer to crumple like a puppet with its strings cut.
- Levi's return, backing up Eren as always. Slicing Porco's masseter muscle as he attempts to rip Eren out of his nape before he can consume the War-hammer. Eren then bucks him back into the buildings and rips him off by the hair, holding him up for The Ackerman to slice and dice. The Jaws tries to escape by gouging out Eren's wrist and scuttling away on the walls, but Mikasa brings him down with a thunder-spear and if not for Pieck saving his ass with her panzer squad; the Demons of Paradise Island would have butchered Porco where he lay.
- Lady Tybur utilizing a last-ditch Desperation Attack from within her crystal, shifting the ground underneath Eren and perforating his torso with what seems to be a tree formation of hardened branches, stopping Eren from devouring her.
- It's all topped off with Zeke lumbering into the square and standing alongside his Warrior compatriots; opposing Levi, Mikasa and the rest of the Corps. Just who's side is he really on? Magath and Pieck don't look overjoyed to see him...
- Chapter 103: Assault.
The Beast Titan: Eren Jaeger is not my enemy.
- Reiner's now-revealed split transformation, shielding Falco from the collapsing apartment in his clenched palms; the fingers representing a partially opened lotus blossom.
- The splash panel of Falco witnessing the madness that is the Second Great Titan War getting underway.
- Galliard swatting a Survey Corps-man out of the air to cover Pieck's blind-side, his hardened claws turn the man and all his equipment into mist.
- Eren's conservative fighting against Lady Tybur pays off, while she has thrown all her trump cards at the Usurper in order to annihilate him; Eren is still fighting fresh; boasting that he still has plenty of cards left to play; ejecting from the nape once more and transforming into the Attack Titan a full third time without any discernable loss of size or strength.
- We also see that Eren managed to block Tybur's transforming branch spikes by armouring his forearm and covering the front of his neck so that it didn't penetrate straight through and into his nape. Super Reflexes much?
- Six words from Zeke as he faces off against his little half-brother.
- The return of Armin Arlelt. The God of Destruction. He shifts in the midst of the bay as Marley's warships move into dry-dock. The pressure bomb lights the horizon ablaze and sends the pride of the Marleyan navy flying into the sky like toys.
- Galliard dooms his comrades by breaking formation but he has balls to charge both Eren and Mikasa all on his lonesome.
- Levi brings Zeke down with a single solitary pass of his patented tornado cut. In the kind of whiplash whole-sale sweeping aside of common expectations that started the series off when Eren's first battle saw him getting eaten alive.
- He then drops a fragmentation charge into the sliced nape and blows Zeke to kingdom come.
- This causes both Porco and Pieck to falter at a critical moment and although we don't see what happens to Porco, poor Pieck is immobilized by the roof giving way under bombardment, Sasha takes the opportunity to head-shot one of her gunners, causing Pieck to rush enraged at the Potato Girl only for Jean to ricochet shot a thunder-spear right off her war-mask at near point-blank-range and clean through her left eye.
- Jean then orders his comrades to fire at will and the panzer unit and the Mule Titan are reduced to scrap and bloody tatters, falling from her perch to smash into the street below.
- While Pieck may already be dead, Falco proves his courage and heart once again when he throws himself between her ruined form and Jean's coup de grace thunder-spear.
- Chapter 104: Victor.
- Armin's Colossal Titan form is like the Crimson King himself striding onto the battlefield. Oh wait, Armin's transformation has turned several square miles of civilization into charred rubble instead. His design is also suitably awesome as he marches onto the shore to survey the devastation he has wrought; looking like Jack Skellington's morose elder brother.
- Pieck, incredibly, manages to survive Jean's thunder-spear by ejecting her nape with so much high-pressure steam that she knocks the mine off its trajectory while fast-muscle-twitching her head out of its path. We should have expected the wiliest of the Warriors to not be done for so soon.
- Falco and Gabi heroically carry Pieck to safety while Magath and his few remaining troops give them covering fire.
- Eren and Mikasa are still an unmatched Battle Couple, keeping Galliard's Jaws from taking a complete Blitzkrieg offensive by swapping out offensive strategies. But when the Jaws outwits the younger Ackerman he's able to catch and crush Eren's knuckle-duster fist with his mouth and hit him with five consecutive claw swipes alternating between his hind and front legs.
- Yet Eren stops the final slash that could in all likelihood have decapitated him by using Lady Tybur's chrysalis as an impromptu buckler. And then it's revealed, the Jaw Titan's true power is not that it is the second-most mobile of all the Nine, but that it's hardened teeth and nails are the pinnacle of Titan petrification mineral toughness. He's gouged four deep tracks in the thought-impenetrable crystal cocoon.
- Armin grapples onto a dirigible which Hange is in command of in order to extract the rest of the Corps. But it's piloted by an African soldier, implying that either Zeke has brought other defectors of Marley's World-wide dictatorship to Eldia's side, or that other countries have already opened up secret alliances with Paradis.
- Mikasa's trap-door spider ambush. She cuts off one of Porco's legs and hamstrings the other when he moves to stop the dirigible from closing in. He slides to a halt right under Eren's tender mercies. Who choke-slams the Jaws by the hair, pins him underfoot, then rips both of his arms off before stuffing Tybur's Crystal cocoon in his mouth. Eren hoicks Porco overhead and uses him like a massive compound lever, pressing his jaws and forehead together with that vaunted Attack Titan strength, all while opening wide for that War-hammer ju-ju.
- Lady Tybur somehow manages to pull an Oh, Crap! face even while frozen, as her protection cracks, splinters and finally burst asunder. She's reduced to her juiced component parts that cascades in a waterfall of blood and other viscera directly down into Eren's waiting maw. And we see Eren insensate with shock as something unseen surges through his eyes and the prior panels break up into lightning forks; signifying that Eren is now the new holder of the War-hammer Titan.
- Eren might have also just consumed the spinal fluid of a descendant of one of Ymir's three daughters, meaning that the strength of the royal bloodline is now his on top of the new powers; perhaps gaining the ability to use the Coordinate unimpeded, or that he has even witnessed a key memory of Eldian history that Willy held back during the speech.
- The true understated victor of the whole issue is Reiner Braun, as, (under urging from Gabi and Falco), he's able to dredge up a final burst of will and manifest an astonishing partial-full transformation that more or less looks like a Titan version of himself with some small shred of armour and no face-plating whatsoever. Signifying how all he wishes for is to die whilst protecting his last charges. He takes a supersonic left straight from Eren that sends him skidding to the rubble but in the process of his lunge, he denies Eren the Jaws Titan Power by snatching Porco away; paying his comrade back for the save at Fort Slava.
- Eren shows mercy on the two Warriors, exfiltrating the festival's ruins with a hand from Mikasa. He could take their powers. They're at his mercy. But he doesn't. Jaeger has already won.
- A Choice With No Regrets: 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
- 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!
- 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.