Warning: Spoilers Off applies to these pages. Please proceed at your own risk.
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 in Attack on Titan all the more earned and all the sweeter for it.
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The Fall of Shiganshina
"To You, in 2000 Years: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 1"
- Our first ever demonstration of the Omni Directional Manoeuvrer-Gear. These men and women are brave and driven enough to exceed Cirque du Soleil levels of gymnastic skill and utilize their talents in high-speed mid-air battle situations against freaking giants who can kill them with ease.
- The Unknown Soldier's Badass Boast as he executes a Spin Attack with his blades to slice out the Titan's nape.Survey Corps-man: TASTE THE POWER...! OF THE HUMAN RACE!
- Also a spectacular delivery in the English dub.FOR MY BROTHERS! FOR HUMANITY!!!
- 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 group of delinquents pick a fight with him because he was talking about the outside world. But he's Defiant to the End and knows not to fight them on the issue because there's no point to it.Delinquent: Heh, where's the sacrilege now, huh? Or does your philosophy say it's wrong to fight back, too?Armin Arlert: 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!
- Then Eren and Mikasa come running in, ready to kick their asses for messing with Armin, and they get the hell out of Dodge.
- Our first glimpse of the nigh-unstoppable Colossal Titan as it raises its hand and then its head above Wall Maria. The Grim Reminder is ours as well as the trio's and the amount of explosive power it creates from one kick to the gatehouse must be in excess of several tonnes of TNT. The track XL-TT couldn't be more fitting for this scene.
"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-page, 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 Ackerman: 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 Jaeger: 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 shaggy-haired Titan looms over her before smashing the other Titan on the jaw, the force of his foot planting behind her sends Mikasa flying)
- The Rogue Titan ripping the Fat Titan's arm off then caving in the back of its neck by stomping through its face and upper chest.
- What's both awesome and 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*.
- Armin gives Mikasa his gas so she can fight her way to the HQ, and asks her to leave him one blade so that he'll be able to avoid being eaten alive. Without missing a beat, Mikasa casually takes the blade from him and throws it away, because No One Gets Left Behind. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment.
- Eren's 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 Arlerthauling 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. Followed by the Stunned Silence of everyone as they look on in awe. Rico falls to one knee in tears.
- 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 when you know the real reason he does this.
"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 Steampunk 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 accomplish.
- The third full transformation of Eren into the Rogue Titan is nothing short of breath-taking. The way he lands with his feet planted but is still rocked backwards from the momentum, roaring in anguish and fury, arms spread wide, tearing deep furrows into the earth with his heels as his eyes leave emerald glow-trails is hands down one of the most epic and beautifully rage-filled things you can ever witness.
- 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 from it. His teeth grinding along her crystal-plated arm, issuing fountains of sparks and penetrating her guard to drive a gargantuan breath-busting uppercut into her gut. This blasts her clean off her feet and sends her about three times her own considerable height straight up into the air!
- A Freeze-Frame Bonus will also reveal that the Female's reflexes were such that she was just able to throw up a cross block against Eren's counter, meaning that Eren's generated force per square inch from said punch still carried through her defences and gave her lift off. If she hadn't blocked at the last second, Eren's uppercut would likely have torn her in two.
- In the manga, this uppercut does in fact splinter both of the Female Titan's arms and rips her abdomen open, Eren then does a head-flung-back victory roar worthy of Wolverine and his running knee charge actually bends the redwood like a longbow when it connects.
- However, this monumental effort gases Eren momentarily, allowing the Female Titan to survive his follow-up knee-strike, gain some space, then get the KO with a diamond-crystal roundhouse kick that cuts through Eren's guard, his head and the whole trunk of the redwood he was leaning against!
- Mikasa slicing into the Female Titan in a berserker rage of her own, at one point even standing on her foe's hand, then leaping in and cutting her opponent's nose off! Before hamstringing her to a halt.
"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 rebound he got from the encounter to slice open the Female Titan's cheeks, nab Eren off her tongue 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?!"
- A dark one for Annie - knowing she's likely being led into a trap, she wears an unadorned ring with a concealed barb that can be flicked out to draw blood from her thumb. When the Corps restrain her limbs and gag her she still has a last-recourse way to transform amidst them, obliterating her captors in a tesla field of crackling energy that even blows away nearby houses.
"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"
- Eren's first thrown punch glances off Annie's hardened elbow check, the Newtonian impact generated from the collision still shatters nearby windows and even cracks the housing facades.
- The Rogue Titan blocking Annie's snap 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 low kick that slices through Eren's own shin like butter.
- Which doesn't even slow Eren down, he just springs up on his remaining leg in a plyometric jump and superman 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 flying limb nearly wiping him out as collateral, all while the MP's flee for cover.
- Yes, you read that right - Eren punches Annie in the neck so hard that her head and arm go flying. And his own hand is essentially destroyed by the impact as well, for good measure.
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!
- Even the Beast Titan's presence exudes overwhelming power. Just the simple act of squatting down causes the behemoth to stir up so much air displacement that he makes all the nearby trees bend from the wind.
- 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, then hauling it over his shoulder in a fireman's carry, and was planning to pitch it out of 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 Beast tossing two pieces of Wall Rose from what looks like a near mile away, in the dark. The first wiping out all the Corps' mounts, the second clipping the top of Utgard's tower and smashing Lynne and Henning to death. His rumbling roar then drives a second larger wave of Titans towards the defenders.
- The astounding detail and number of animation cells used to illustrate Ymir's mid-air Titan transformation, not to mention her sheer balls in throwing herself into the jaws of death for her comrades.
- Ymir shifting into The Dancing Titan and ripping into the tower's besiegers. Especially since, as Christa 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, Christa 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.Christa: 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 Survey Corps arrive killing off all of the remaining Titans in a single impressively coordinated assault. Eren even manages to score his first Titan kill as a human and with the Corps mid-air blade pirouette to boot.
- 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 "No More Holding Back" 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... OVERSIZED 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 power produced 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 throwIn the manga . 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 utilizing wrist and shoulder control with his hips. Clamps his neck down 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 Reiner's entire 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... I CAN... BEAT REINER!"
- 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 Heartwarming Moment; 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 instead utters a vicious promise that he will make their deaths as excruciating as possible.
- 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 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 Kirschtein: 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!
Erwin: I said ADVANCE, GODDAMNIT! Eren is right in front of you! DO NOT FALTER!
- 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. Even as he's dragged off to be eaten, Erwin doesn't scream in pain or fear, he doesn't call out for someone to save him, he just shouts an order to his troops to continue the mission at any cost.
- 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 BSoD.
- 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 The 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. Little guy has really come a long way from the snivelling bookworm he once was.
- 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.
- Pastor Nick endured brutal torture and still refused to give up his secrets, taking them to the grave. Even Levi expresses quiet admiration for the man of the cloth as he lectures the group on how someone who has had all his finger-nails ripped out clearly refused to speak after the first. Dude had balls as big as the Walls.
- 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 the one's wrist who seized Hanje's jacket, fixes him with a seething glare and very firmly states their ranks in a way that just screams for him to try to disrespect her again, squeezing until the bigger man lets go.
- How Hange bamboozles Djel into giving away information that the Interior Squad knew of Nick from the beginning and that they report to the highest level of government. She also takes in his scraped knuckles and deduces that he beat Nick to death and promises to do the same and worse to the murderers right to his face.
- Mikasa effortlessly subdues the kidnappers who abducted Armin and Jean disguised as Historia and Eren respectively without even giving them a chance to fight back, pulling off a flying knee to the jaw on the first mook, a reverse policeman's collar choke-slam to the second and a roundhouse kick to the chops that blasts the last, (who is made of suet and must outweigh her by 100 pounds), into 360 free-flight!
- It's revealed that Armin and Jean have had some major escape-artistry skills drilled into them by the Corps or even Levi, when they fling off the ropes that tied them to their chairs in an instant!
- Also Sasha showing off her Improbable Aiming Skills by pinning an extremely tiny pistol the leader of the kidnappers pulled on Mikasa in desperation to the floor with a single arrow. In the manga, her only response to Jean's furious protest that Mikasa could have been injured is that, "she shouldn't have taken her eyes off the prey". Way to go Potato Girl!
- Even though it resulted in the deaths of Nifa and Goggles, seeing the First Interior Squad's Anti-Personnel ODM gear in action for the first time in motion is incredible, especially since it basically makes its user a jet-packing gunslinger, perfect for killing humans.
- Why Isayama brought the anti-personnel ODM gear into play. It swiftly establishes that this weapon is going to make things hell for anyone on the receiving end, even Levi, who barely survives a spray of magnum buckshot headed for his crown as he ducks under the fusillade, all thanks to his wily instincts and honed reflexes.
- Just the fact that Kenny is able to track our heroes down to Trost far quicker than in the manga and blind-side Levi with tactics he taught him. There is one man within the Walls that is on the level of Humanity's Strongest Soldier. And he is The Unfettered!
- Levi pulls off his old blade throw, but Kenny just deflects it with his arm guard and fires again. To which Levi uses his cape to obscure his profile, weave between two other blasts from above, then slide down the roof in one smooth motion and take flight.
- Instead of the rather understated capture of Eren and Historia in the manga. Here, Kenny's Squad-mates shoot the pair dead-on in the necks with gas-powered tranquillizer round attachments that can be swapped around from the lethal gadget. All while zipping around on their gear! Improbable Aiming Skills much?!
- The sleeping agent knocks Historia out instantaneously when hitting the bloodstream to the brain. But on Eren, he's almost able to fight it off for a few seconds before his Healing Factor fails him. Likely because he's still too inexperienced with the intricacies of that aspect of his power to flush the toxin from his system or Titanize in response to even minor flesh trauma.
- Levi leading the First Interior Squad on a blistering chase through Trost's backstreets. At one point sliding under a horse-drawn carriage, wending through scaffolding and even flipping forward on a springboard maneuver. Not to mention that he dodges shot after shot from three pursuers while near ground level, suffering only a shallow cut to the brow from shrapnel. He changes directions on a dime, sliding on his tanks, weaponizing physics like a complete boss. He needs absolutely no elevation and takes Omni Directional Manoeuvring to a level entirely his own.
- The great shot of Levi exiting a pool of shade, only for Kenny's own shadow to appear above him like a hunting hawk. The cinematography is off the scale.
- Levi using the reflection on an alcohol bottle to gauge exactly where to blind-fire the bartender's musket right into Kenny's chest. Kenny himself just manages to survive this through a combination of his armour and blocking the brunt of the blast with the second chair he was about to throw. The kick still knocking him through the waterhole doors and clean out of the saloon for a good few meters.
- Levi hurling a chair through a window, making the nearest ambusher loose his rounds in advance at the movement and giving their prey a way out of the encirclement. Levi then impales the fool through the throat with his grapnel's claws, pulls him to his grasp even as he uses his other grapple to take to the roof and use his newly acquired Bullet Proof Human Shield at a sprint to get in close to two more as they try to spray him down with lead. No dice, he butchers the two MPs by slashing them across the backs of their necks like they were common Titans.
- The looks of horrified awe on everyone's face when Levi channels Scorpion again and cuts said MP near in half at the waist while in flight.
- A huge Moment of Awesome is given to none other than Armin, who caps the Central MP soldier right in the dome when she was just about to kill Jean!
Captain Levi: If you walked up to someone and told them to become the ultimate ruler of humanity... Not too many people would have the nerve to look you in the eye and say "sure." But that doesn't matter. Do it.Historia Reiss: I'm... unfit for the role...Levi: So no?Historia: I'm... unfit...Levi: Fine. (lifts her off the floor by her collar) Then run.Sasha Blaus: Captain Levi!Levi: Run away from us as fast as you can. Because we're going to do everything to make you comply. Looks like this is your destiny.Jean Kirschtein: Captain... What are you?!Levi: If you don't like it, then fight. Beat me back.Historia: Let go!Levi: (does so)Sasha: (comforts her) Historia... (glares at Levi)Jean: ... You're going too far!Levi: What do you see yourselves doing tomorrow? Will you have food on your tables? Do you think you'll get a good night's sleep in your beds? Is that what you're thinking? That the person next to you will still be there tomorrow? I never think so. And I doubt normal people think about these things on a daily basis 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, Wall Rose were to be breached, in such abnormal circumstances I can respond faster than anyone and fight, even if that crisis were to begin tomorrow. You've seen it with your own eyes. Who can say it won't be tomorrow? I want to... to put an end to that recurring nightmare. However, there are those who would get in my way. But I'm fine playing the role of the lunatic 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 humans killing each other over the hell of being devoured by the Titans. At least that way... all of humanity doesn't have to be damned. Of course, there's another way. If we could seize the true authority in this world, then a lot of people who would have died will live. That'd be nice, right? It's all up to you, Historia. Follow? Or fight? I don't care which. Just... CHOOSE ONE RIGHT NOW! WE DON'T HAVE ANY TIME!!
- 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 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.
- Levi's "Aberrant Among Humans" speech in Chapter 56 to both Historia and the rest of the Squad:
- Unknowingly, Hange avenged Erwin's father by incarcerating Djel for the rest of his days. The very man who was initiated to the First Interior Squad after he'd tortured Mr. Smith to death. And she coolly turns the tables on Ralph when he calls her a devil by firing back that Nick must have obviously thought the same about them.
- Erwin's proclamation to Pyxis that he will affect a bloodless coup on the Royal Government that has ruled the Walls for 107 years. He may be a betting man as he says self-deprecatingly, but this is Commander Bad-ass Eyebrows we're talking about here. Under his leadership the unstoppable might of the Warriors was countered, their hosts revealed and they were either captured or driven back to Wall Maria. This is just another day for the Survey Corps!
- Erwin's realisation and promise to ensure the Central Assembly, composed of the detached, uncaring nobility will be made to answer for their crimes against his father and the people of the Walls.Commander Erwin Smith: Ever since I was a child I've been wondering... why did my father have to die for nothing more than getting close to the truth? Even those at the highest ranks of government must believe what they're doing is just. However, I realised one thing about them... What they're trying to protect is not humanity, rather it's their gardens, houses and lands.
- The fact that Kenny made sure to use the Reeves Company to publicly kidnap Eren and Historia, so that he could later frame the Survey Corps for Dimo's murder. In one fell swoop he has Erwin, his officers and all the remaining unit members arrested. With only Levi, Hange, Moblit and the rest of the Special Operations Squad still on the run.
- Marlowe. His sense of justice is truly something to behold and he puts his life in Jean's hands in their first meeting, before aiding the team without any questions asked.
- Squad Levi non-lethally taking down an entire checkpoint of Military Police recruits, who remember, were all drafted from the top ten Cadets from the North, East and Western Training Divisions. The difference being, our heroes were also in the highest percentile of skill, except they are from the Southern Training Division. You know, the one on the front lines of battle where you accrue REAL combat experience fighting Titans.
- As of Chapter 60, Squad Levi storms the First Interior Brigade's headquarters and disables every single combatant inside. Yes that's right disables — they did not kill a single person during an impressive battle where Sasha and Jean are puncturing legs and blowing out kneecaps with bow and rifle covering fire respectively, while Levi, Mikasa and Connie slash the tendons of anyone resisting into compliance before making off with their ranking officer. These were men Kenny had trained and under Levi's leadership our Squad makes mince-meat of them.
- Flegel Reeves 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.
- Hange and Moblit swooping in to save Flegel by drop-kicking an MP-a-piece, before Hange leaps in close to the third, gets inside his musket barrel just as it goes off and apes Eren's overhand which he used on Reiner with much greater effect on a squishy faced human; sending the twonk sprawling and insensate.
- Erwin's Grin of Audacity as he's about to be led to the gallows and falsely executed for treason.
- Anka Rheinberger, Pyxis's aid in the Garrison has to convincingly present a false apocalypse-scenario to the nobles and she gets a pretty epic entrance into the throne room as well, complete with dramatic gust of wind.
- The only high-ranking commander not privy to the coup's plan is Nile himself. And he's the first one with the stones and integrity to refuse to follow orders and seal Stohess' Gate; without any assurance that he'd have anyone backing him up.
- Erwin's, Dot's and Darius's stratagem has worked spectacularly, the first reaction of the Central Assembly when presented with the reality of the Warrior Titans compromising Wall Rose through Calaneth District, is to seal the eastern gate of Wall Sina and leave half of humanity for dead.
- During the "trial", Erwin described exactly what a nightmare it would be if Wall Rose fell and Wall Sina had to take in all the refugees. No doubt to make sure that those images are fresh in nobles' minds when the fall of Wall Rose is announced. Either they make the right decision knowing full well how difficult it is, proving themselves worthy of their position, or they selfishly abandon most of humanity to save their comfortable lifestyles, proving themselves unworthy.
- This degenerate level of cowardice and selfishness displayed in front of their own soldiers, and what Darius believed them capable of all along, causes him to gather enough musket-toting Garrison and Military Police loyal to him and restrain the Interior Brigade Unit Members protecting the Capital of Mitras and overthrow the entitled twats.Premiere Darius Zackly: Regarding soldiers, they'll obey their superior officer over the king.
- Pyxis calmly telling the Fat Bastard who leads the Central Assembly that they will not follow a puppet king controlled by his ministers and that if they had shown the dignity and responsibility due to their station; he would have gladly offered up his own neck as well as Erwin's for committing unjust treason.
- Then Erwin puts the final nail in their coffin by reminding them that the technicality they were trying to get him executed on all applies to themselves for putting their own interests above humanity and hoarding Royal Power under the guise of it being their monarch's will.
- Not to mention in the manga, Zackly brings the Berg's first non-conformist newspaper print to court as well, exposing how the government has suppressed the people's free-speech, investigations into the nature of the Walls and the King's Power, as well as their technological growth.
- Flegel and Beaure convincing Roy to print the truth before its too late. Reeves' own written testimony that it was the Central MPs that murdered his father and his men is what gets the Survey Corps exonerated!Flegel: Don't you get it?! Those government pigs don't give a shit about saving any of us! Face the truth now, because it'll be too late when you're dead!Beaure: That's right! If the Titans attack again, there'll be nothing left this time! Not the company! Not our families!
- Hange acknowledging that everyone's individual choices, even the smallest and most insignificant of them like Marlowe and Flegel, led to the change in their World for the better.
- Darius Zackly proves that not giving a shit is a superpower and that regardless of the Central Assembley's reaction he would have overthrown them anyway because he's despised their privileged, closeted attitude his entire career and thought them undeserving of the Military's loyalty.
- The Royal Family's Crystal Caverns being fully animated. Everything is comprised of the Titan's Ossification Ability and is casting out a blue-white alternative to daylight from the glowing gemstone walls and floors.
- Eren wakes up a bit earlier than his manga counterpart and actually has the presence of mind to try and free himself; straining against his bonds to pull out the steel pegs that have been hammered deep into the crystal. But to no avail.
- The animated version of Eren's suppressed memories being unlocked. We get some great imagery of blazing neural synapses, electro-conductive pathways and even DNA strands as Eren realises his Titan Power was given to him by his father through his own willing self-sacrifice. In a twisted way, his father has always been with him, saving the Walls alongside his son.
- Papa Jaeger has his own way of going Titan. Plunge a scalpel through your own palm because you're just that awesome and ready to kick some pseudo-pacifist's snooty ass.
- Grisha single-handedly severing a millennia-old bloodline by absolutely trouncing the greatest of all the Titans in single-combat. Freida gets one blow in before he savages her with his teeth, ripping off a bit of her clavicle, grips her right arm with such force that it begins to snap under the pressure, flattens her with his bulk, rips said arm off; before laying her out with a left that smashes out a chunk of her skull. Then to up the metal-factor, he rips out her nape with his teeth with as much surgical precision as he can manage, taking her cranium and most of her spinal column with it and crushes Freida's real body between his teeth, severing her Titan's head and acquiring the Royal Family's Co-ordinate Power. This is the power of the Rogue Titan.
- Armin is such a baller now after losing his killing-virginity that he surmises Kenny must, for all his Ackerman-gene super competence, have less actual combat-experience than the Levi Squad and is therefore at a disadvantage.
- In an Off Screen Moment Of Awesome, Traute grimly reminds her remaining comrades that Levi killed twelve of their fellows in the Anti-Human Suppression Task-Force while ambushed in Trost District. We only see him kill five! And now he's gunning for them as the hunter with prep-time. In other words, they're doomed.
- Levi's Squad, comprised of himself, Mikasa, Hange, Moblit, Jean, Armin, Connie and Sasha versus the First Interior Squad. The Central MPs lose badly through being overcome by superior tactics. Even though it's six combatants (with two offering smoke-shell covering fire) against thirty-five! Armin makes sure they use smokescreens, exploit the human-suppression ODM-Gear's weaknesses to their fullest and send in their Ackerman super soldiers first to break up the MPs formation. They are decimated to the point where Kenny's second in command has to force a retreat midway through the fray.
- Jean's first kill. He decapitates an MP all while he looks him dead in the eyes as he does it!
- Connie's first kill. Rebounding off the ceiling to blind-side an MP and slice his skull open.
- Sasha's first kill. Shooting an arrow, with perfect accuracy, right above an MP's breastplate and piercing her heart when she tries to blow Connie away.
- Hange impaling a poor mook as he tries to reload.
- Mikasa dodging buckshot with propulsion-flight alone and killing four MPs in as many seconds.
- For the anime adaption. We get a true Levi vs Kenny Ackermanbowl! With both Ackermans using everything at their disposal to take out the other. From Kenny trying to collapse a walk-stand on his nephew's head by blasting it to smithereens with his guns. To Levi throwing an oilskin into his line of fire, then diving through the conflagration and forcing Kenny's guard aside, slicing him across the abdomen and causing his uncle to back down.
- Traute defeating Hange by impaling her in the shoulder with her own grapple line, then hurling her into a crystal pillar.
- There are eight survivors (including Kenny and Traute) after this battle on the First Brigade's side. Meaning while his subordinates racked up eight kills of their own, Levi butchered twenty all by himself in the same amount of time!
- Historia, after recalling Ymir's advice to live a life she can be proud of, destroys the Titan-Serum syringe and reminds everyone why she was in the graduating Top Ten and took her CQC classes dead-seriously when she flips Rod Reiss, a full-grown man, over her shoulder and down on his ass after he freaks out. She then calls him out for all his manipulations and his cowardice and that she won't let him kill her. Before going on to release Eren and slaps him upside the head for giving up and almost letting her eat him. Even Kenny Ackerman approves, laughing like Ryuk, an appreciative bystander to the unexpected entertainment.Historia: GOD, MY ASS! If it's such an honor to become him, then why didn't you do it yourself? I'm done with your shit, and I'm not going to let you murder me!
- 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 into the biggest Titan in the series so far!
"Outside The Walls of Orvud District"
- Rod's Titan transformation being too big to be held by the cavern. So the expanding ribcage starts to buckle against, splinter and rip clean through the bedrock instead, causing a tectonic event, completely unstoppable.
- The genius of Eren Jaeger's character. He's been broken down, his world-views shattered by the betrayal of a mentor, two brothers and seemingly his own father. Everyone that died for him was doing it in vain because his power was handed to him not earned. It cannot even manifest enough to do what their sacrifices hoped to achieve. Only rage, hatred and an abstraction of achieving freedom have kept him going until he must finally reflect on the nature of his courage and see that he has always been a suicidal blockhead with an unknowing hero complex. But now, when Levi asks him to make the choice: believe in them, or in his own power once more. At his absolute lowest, Eren finally resolves his heart into that of a man who can embody Humanity's Greatest Hope. That even though he believes all his trials for nought; that he can perhaps at last save those who came to save him.
- He snaps out of his Despair Event Horizon, snatches up the vial of Titan Serum labelled 'Armour' and charges head-long towards Rod's Titan transformation, running through gale-force winds, screaming to the heavens while he entreats his own shattered ego to do the impossible and have faith in himself one last time before the end. And with that, he bites clean through the rounded-glass bottle to consume some of the concoction; before bursting his Titan's spine into existence in a blaze of fiery ball-lightning.
- Stunning anime-only animation of Eren's Titan telekinetically sending out lattices of mineral that weave into gemstone webbing constructs, holding back the tens of thousands of tonnes of collapsing cave ceiling and the heat-blast threatening to set his friends alight as he roars his defiance.
- Rod's Titan as shown from both Armin's perspective when he crawls from the shattered earth and a bird's-eye view shot where he's some monstrous flesh-accordion pill bug stretching across the fields.
- The exquisite drawing of Titan!Eren's face carved from petrification crystal.
- Historia laying out why Eren's martyrdom in order to restore the Founding Titan to the royal bloodline is a dead-end plan. Pointing out that as much as she loved her sister, she was a self-destructive pacifist who wouldn't have done anything to stop the Warriors' advance. She assures Eren that his father was trying to save them all from the machinations of the First King and that Grisha was left with no choice but to commit his atrocities for the good of his family and the people of the Walls.
- Historia demanding of Levi that if she must become the Head of State, she'll put everything on the line and be a part of the operation to kill her father's Titan.
- In the manga: Historia, by virtue of being the-queen-in-waiting, 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.
"Ruler of The Walls"
- We get lots of gorgeous hand-drawn animation to accompany the CGI of Rod's Titan and even a perspective from that of a Royal-blooded Aberrant, with his vision able to stretch across the horizon and see the teeming masses of human life as sparks of light, irresistible to the instincts that now control him.
- Orvud's Garrison Regiment, who man the northern inner-most Wall and are therefore the least prepared of any military branch, still manage to scrape together several impressive cannon batteries and lay down enough artillery shelling to wipe out an army of Mindless Titans. At one point even doing a near tandem set of shots, one after the other like running your finger down every piano key.
- Of course Rod's Titan doesn't even notice this barrage of explosives peppering his body. It's only until he reaches the foot of Wall Sina that the volley manages to have some stopping power and by then it's far too late.
- Armin inspiring Eren to take up the torch of hope once more with a short but awesome speech.Armin Arlert: ... Unlike that day, there are soldiers on top of the Wall who can fight back. And we are those soldiers.
- Eren whooping his own ass onto the path to become the man he knows he can be. No more fretting, no more believing his valued situation as an indispensable asset gives him free rein to indulge his emotions and stifle self-reflection. He recognises his flaws and determines to build himself back up by emulating Historia's resolve. Now that takes obscene strength of character and profound humility.
- Rod managing to scrape his giant-maggot carcass up and over Wall Sina, propping himself up with his spindly arms and towering at one hundred and twenty meters tall even at a squat.
- Eren actually brings himself to crack his first ever Grin of Audacity when preparing to transform. Free of the cock-sure arrogance that infected him before the Battle of Trost when he put on a battle-ready grin for Armin's sake.Eren Jaeger: Armin, there's one other thing that's different from then. It might not be all they hoped for, but now... Humanity has an ace up its sleeve.
- The Levi Squad vs Rod Reiss' Titan. The team makes grapple bombs on wheels to take out Rod's palm support, then utilise Eren's Titan to sprint along the ramparts while carrying a netted bundle made of a good thirty or so black-powder casks. Since he's the only one who can muscle through the heat shield and get close enough to throw the explosives into Rod's open mouth. We even see Eren's renewed purpose as he roars an internal battle-cry during the run and of course he succeeds in one go. "Jackpot."
- Eren's Titan has an epic Kubrick Stare moment, when he hurls the black-powder payload into Rod's mouth.
- The Akira-level quality of animation as the multiple explosions cause Rod's nape to bubble and expand before bursting in a pressure-wave explosion that is so powerful it causes a mushroom cloud and rains his flesh from the sky.
- The Squad taking to the winds like super heroes to cut said meat slabs apart, Historia is fittingly enough the one who manages to slice the chunk that contains Rod's spinal cord in another showcase of stunning one-shot animation, and as the memories of her dying father rush through her, a finishing conflagration lights up the sky over Orvud District, overlaid by Rod Reisss final terrified scream.
- Bear in mind that the Squad is skilled enough in ODM-gear usage to grapple onto free-falling debris from about a hundred feet and survive the drop by latching onto different pieces as they descend since they're far too clear of the Walls to grapple back to it. That is Super Reflexes levels of awesomeness.
- "I am Historia Reiss. The true ruler of the Walls."
- 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 embarrasses Kenny by summoning a partially formed Titan body and controlling it like a puppet to grab the assassin like an unruly pup.
- Uri blocking Kenny's thrown knife to the throat with his own forearm. It sinks up to the hilt between radius and ulna but he doesn't betray a peep of pain. He then goes on to release his attacker and convert him to his side with sheer presence and understated charisma.
- Kenny, assumedly because some local toughs thought he'd gone soft taking Levi under his wing; wipes the floor with the whole nine-man-strong gang of them.
- The spine-chilling moment when Kenny realises that his friend lives on in Uri's niece, Freida, as she fixes him with that all-knowing gaze and a soaring instrumental of 'Barricades' plays in the background.
- Levi beating up a full-grown man, who was armed with a cleaver, and stomping his head into the mud when he's all of eight to ten years old; his only injury being a bloodied nose.
- Kenny, as his strength and life fades from him, gives up his dreams of power and make a difference by thrusting the syringe case's contents into Levi's chest. Dying free of being a slave to ideals. Or did he want to be the hero he cynically pointed out his nephew really was?
- Historia is ceremoniously granted the title of Queen in front of a large crowed, and has earned the admiration of nearly all of the citizens who praise her for defeating her father. She even wows the populace of Mitras further by performing a military salute; offering her heart to her people like no monarch of the Walls has done before.
- The Beast Titan utterly demolishes Reiner's Armoured Titan in ritual combat. We only see the aftermath but Reiner is insensate from concussion, lying twisted in the rubble of one of Shiganshina's now obliterated neighbourhoods, and his Titan's plates have been ripped off piece-meal by the Beast's finger grip-strength, we can see the grooves where he's gripped his shoulder. Monkey Trouble is a Titan-sized bipedal orangutan; his strength must easily eclipse both Eren and Reiner's and its likely that Bertholdt thought Reiner had the better chance of defeating him between them!
- Eren using his newly acquired ossification abilities over the course of days or even weeks to create a massive crystal structure protruding from Trost's Gate, thereby allowing Hange's engineers to safely build a massive counter-weight drop. This 'Titan Guillotine' is comprised of a red-wood tree trunk shod with steel at the end and it picks up enough speed when left in free-fall to splatter even a 12 metre Titan's nape under its kinetic force. As Hange describes it: it's an executioner from hell that merely requires time to be reset and a soldier to act as bait from the safety of the gemstone webs to lure Titans in to the bottleneck. It ensures no more lives and resources will be spent against the Titans!
- A major one for Grisha. Remember how Hannes mentioned him saving Shiganshina from an epidemic? This is finally brought to light, where he saves his future wife, Carla, her entire family! Especially his confident manner throughout the intense ordeal:Grisha: "Don't worry. I'm going to save everyone."
- Grisha firmly stating in no uncertain terms and with the absolute conviction of Odin, that Eren isn't like Keith. "He's my son." A father's genuine faith in his child is an awesome thing you can't deny.
- Carla's poise and social grace when she disarms a maddened PTSD outburst from Keith, putting all his actions into perspective with a simple pertinent question.
- Baby!Eren also gets one, considering Shadis is spitting grief and fury at his mother and he doesn't even get upset at all, more interested in playing with his mother's hair!
- In the manga, he even looks curiously at Keith when he's insulting Carla as if to reprimand him with his chubby innocent expression.
"Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall"
- The launching of the 58th Scouting Expedition to reconquer Maria. Finally seeing the Survey Corps getting the send-off they deserve by the cheering masses, Erwin finally dropping the mask and leading his men in a battle cry, and the familiar bellow of "SUSUME!!!" as they set off for Shiganshina is enough to send shivers down the spine.
Return to Shiganshina
"The Town Where Everything Began"
- After years of toil, Eren seals the breach Bertholdt made all the way back in episode one. Descending from on high (like a fallen angel!) after jetting over Wall Maria as a thunderbolt and crystallising his entire Titan in an epic, amorphous, molten glass-blowing display that travels all the way to the pilot nerve-housings, before ripping himself free of the nape.
- Levi shows his No-Nonsense Nemesis tendencies, He immediately stabs Reiner through the neck while saving Armin, damn near decapitating him with his sword, while shoving the other clean through his chest!
- Reiner survives the first fatal wound by dispersing his brain functions into his body's nervous system. And he gets the honour of horrifying Levi himself, who kicks his foe down the Wall so he doesn't have Reiner transform beneath him at point-blank range.
- The Beast Titan's encirclement and his Slasher Smile Grin of Audacity to Erwin; from one master tactician to another.
- 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 Armoured Titan with a smile on his face. Reiner then immediately starts chasing Eren, knowing full well that is just what they want!
- Eren reveals that he has fine-tune control of his own armour abilities, plating his fingers and knuckles with concentrated Titan mineral to create gauntlets of enough tensile strength that he can now avoid pulping his hands as he did in all his fights prior.
- Armour vs Rogue Round 2. Eren's superior foot-work has Reiner stumbling around like a prat, slipping out of the way of Reiner's punches and take-down attempts. And when Reiner flings a left hook, Eren bobs under it and hits him with a counter overhand that shatters Reiner's face-plate and sends him sprawling across the central square in a heap.
- "Do you have any idea where we're standing right now?! This is the place where we... Where I... ONCE CALLED HOME! I'm going to crush you... And take back everything... you stole from us!"
- Eren's first right and left strike Reiner with enough power to cause air-burst explosions or sonic-booms that rip entire roof-tops free of their tiles. Eren's punches are breaking the sound barrier.
- The moment Reiner gets a foothold (heh heh), he drags Eren off his feet before flipping him bodily over his head like a child with a stuffed carnival toy, to smash through an entire house. It looks like he's about to rip Eren's whole leg off as he drags him out by the ankle and slams Eren to the earth with a pile-driver punch strong enough to cause a minor tectonic event.
- Eren however dodges that punch, immobilises his wrists before once again winning over a heavier opponent while in the X-guard leveraging him into the famous Kimura elbow-lock and Reiner, (who doesn't want to lose an arm again) is forced to forward roll out of the situation, allowing Eren to flip the Armoured Titan right off of him and down the street.
- The combined Levi and Hange squads, under the direction of Hange, using the new Thunder Spears to deadly effect on the Armoured Titan. As soon as the Corps' engineers get their hands on the MP's redacted technological research, they invent man-portable bunker-buster rockets!
- The Thunder Spears 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 Armoured 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.
- War-chief Zeke, The Beast Titan, reveals his strategy for inserting Bertholdt beyond the Wall; by chucking him in a barrel while he's in human form, and having him transform in mid-air to flatten the Survey Corps. He's not just a competent tactician, but innovative and audacious to boot.
- When Bertholdt realises that transforming upon his air-insertion could kill 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.Bertholdt Hoover: REINEEEEEER!!!
- Bertholdt is not the same "meek and timid" Bertholdt from earlier in the series. 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 to her blade and wheel-kicking her with such force that she's sent flying and has to nurse her arm from blocking said blow. He also deflects one of her thrown spinning blades with his own sword.
- Reiner mentions that the Colossus Titan possesses "the greatest power of them all." While we've been led to believe that Bert is an unstoppable siege unit, he has proven more of a liability than an asset against ODM-gear users, who can fly circles around him. Then Bertholdt stops holding back. He ascends into the sky and transforms while weaponising its energy to the extent that he is a living hydrogen bomb. Which vaporises Hange, Moblit and her squad, levels a dozen neighbourhoods, shatters the earth's mantle and sets fire to anything that survives within a good five-hundred meter radius.
- The Colossus then starts scooping up tonnes of flaming rubble and tosses it up high in order to flush out Eren and the Levi Squad. Raining the burning houses down on Shiganshina like the meteor stars of Ragnarök.
- Levi comes closer to death than ever when his Ackermann senses kick in as a storm of shrapnel whistles past his head and we see he can follow a piece with his naked eye.
- Warchief Zeke further proves the power and versatility of the Beast Titan by ripping boulders in two like he's twisting a bisected mango in half, before impacting it into rubble between his palms and casting the handful of stones with leverage greater than any trebuchet. He's effectively an organic rail shotgun on the level of a couple hundred grapeshot-firing cannons!
- Erwin's plan is to lead the entire remnants of the Survey Corps into a suicide charge 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 prove the answer to the question he shared with his father. but in order to make the mission mean something, he has to give it all up. And inspire the green recruits with the epic speech to end all epic speeches.Commander Erwin Smith: I will now announce our final operation! All soldiers, line up! All units will now perform a mounted charge! Our objective is to rush the Beast Titan! Obviously, this will make us a perfect target for the enemy! We will observe and take into account the target's throws, then, we will all fire signal flares simultaneously! We'll do everything we can to reduce the accuracy of his attacks to whatever extent possible! While we act as a diversion, Captain Levi will take down the Beast Titan! That is all!Nameless Soldier: (falls to her knees and voids her stomach's contents)Erwin: Standing around here simply means waiting for rocks to come raining down on us! Now hurry up and get ready!Floch Forrester: (Terrified out of his mind) Are we... about... to die?Erwin: That's right.Floch: So you're saying... if we're going to die anyway, we might as well die fighting?Erwin: That's right.Floch: No... if we're going to die anyway... we can die however we want... we could even die while disobeying orders... There's no meaning to any of it, is there...?Erwin: That's absolutely right. It is all utterly meaningless. 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 shredded by a rock... is the same. All men die sooner or later. Does that mean all life is meaningless? Was there no purpose to any of us ever being born? And if so, would you say the same of our dead comrades? Were all of their lives... meaningless? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! IT IS UP TO US TO GIVE MEANING TO OUR COMRADES' DEATHS! THOSE BRAVE FALLEN MEN AND WOMEN! THOSE POOR FALLEN MEN AND WOMEN! THE ONLY ONES WHO ARE CAPABLE OF PAYING RESPECT TO THEM, ARE WE, THE LIVING! WE TOO SHALL ALL DIE HERE TODAY, AND ENTRUST THOSE NEXT IN LINE WITH THE SAME DUTY OF GIVING MEANING TO US! THAT IS THE SOLE WAY WE CAN OPPOSE THIS CRUEL WORLD! RAGE, MY SOLDIERS! SCREAM, MY SOLDIERS! FIGHT, MY SOLDIERS!!!
- A meta-example for the author, Hajime Isayama, for writing such an amazingly heart-wrenching and intense soliloquy and for both Daisuke Ono's and J. Michael Tatum's incredible, passionate performances.
- Marlowe and The Red Shirt soldiers getting torn apart by Zeke's shrapnel barrages do not falter from their suicide charge, even after Erwin falls. Zeke is noticeably getting nervous as they just - keep - charging at him, being positively baffled that they're even trying. That's right, the random soldiers insane courage nearly put him into a Villainous Breakdown just by themselves.
- The Porkins soldier who is one of the three left alive after Zeke's second pitch, fires the fated shot of green smoke, right at Zeke's eye-level before being obliterated. That random poor, brave soldier ensured that Zeke couldn't see Levi coming for him until it was too late.
- Levi's expression of sheer, blistering rage after his comrades fall and he closes the gap to latch onto Zeke.
- Captain Levi Ackermann verses War Chief Zeke's Beast Titan, whom Reiner considered more than a match for the mighty midget. And how does this fight between the two strongest fighters on either side go? Levi tears Zeke apart in under ten seconds, leaving his Titan form a dismembered wreck and cutting a hand, an arm and one of his legs clean 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 rips him to pieces.
- The anime one-ups what was already a glorious and cathartic massacre with more magnificent oner-shots of Levi first spiralizing Zeke's arm into hock-ham, bungee-jumping down his back to spin-slash his Achilles tendons. Then a uniquely experimental view for an anime, a flight-cam shot of his ODM-Gear as he dives at Zeke's exposed nape, like he's a living harrier-jet! Before he beyblade tornados Zeke's other hand into giblets and unleashes a flurry of dual-wielding domination strikes that put Kirito's Starburst Stream to shame; hacking mercilessly through Zeke's attempt to crystallise his nape before reverse-slashing him out of his Titan in a tidal wave of blood.
- Manga Zeke gets a small awesome moment in that for all his being utterly thrashed; he spins to face Levi on his one remaining leg with fury in his eyes and not terror; as if to continue to fight with his sheared stump.
- The Levi Squad members aim to use their remaining Thunder spears to blow Reiner's jaw off and Hange even turns up to give the final successful shot, enabling Mikasa to fire their last charge down Reiner's throat and pressure blast him out of his Titan's nape backwards in an epic slow-motion humiliation sequence.
- Bertholdt gets thoroughly Out-Gambitted by Armin, who tanks his steam attack until he's burnt to the bone so Eren can seal Shiganshina up and create a dummy Titan to disguise his movements all in one. Armin has cahonas of ultra-hard steel to endure such unimaginable pain and he only lets go once he's been reduced to a blackened, unrecognisable chunk of carbon and the gas within his trigger pommels ignites like St. Elmo's Fire.
- Eren utilises his friend's plan to the utmost, blind-siding Bert entirely, his moves even mirror the first time he fought the Colossal Titan at Trost, as he zips up behind him and latches onto his nape. Before copying Levi's technique perfectly and lopping off all of Bertholdt's limbs with two dual-wielding strikes and ripping him out of his Titan. Yes, 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.
- 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 horde 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 here...
- In the manga, Zeke even calls Levi a "Damn monster...!" Due to his sheer implacability, quite cathartic considering what he himself can do.
- The dub deserves mention for actually restoring this, leading to a moment where the dub is more faithful to the manga than the sub as what was initially a silent moment of Levi's rolled back eyes now has Zeke quipping "What a monster..."
- In the manga, Zeke even calls Levi a "Damn monster...!" Due to his sheer implacability, quite cathartic considering what he himself can do.
- Eren, despite losing half his teeth to Levi's hammer-fist to the face, is still able to deliver an impassioned plea to both Mikasa and Levi about why Armin needs to live.
- Floch gets quite an awesome soliloquy of his own.
- Hange being able to stop Mikasa from attacking Levi and calming her down with hard reasoning and emotional support.
- Armin's rebirth as the Colossus Titan, accompanied by an Angelic Choir as the Titan powers restore him from an unrecognisable burn victim to a shiny good-as-new out-of-the-package state.
- When Bertholdt realizes what's about to happen, he starts screaming in terror until he sees the rest of the Scouts watching from afar. After everything he's done—especially to Eren, Armin, and Mikasa in particular—he has the gall to beg them for help. They don't, and Titan Armin cracks his skull between his teeth like it was a peanut.
- After an endless string of setbacks and watching countless friends and allies perish along the way, Eren finally makes it to the basement of his old home and successfully retrieved what his father left there for him.
- The truth is revealed. Mankind has not perished. Also, the Beast Titan's name is Zeke Jaeger! Eren's half-brother is also his destined arch-enemy.
- Grisha may be a misguided firebrand revolutionary who starts making the same mistakes as his enemies. But damn can the guy deliver a good speech! Especially when it's backed with an instrumental of Barricades.Grisha Jaeger: I'm sure of it! King Fritz took the Founding Titan with him inside the Walls! That is the key to Eldia's restoration! It has the ability to rule and control all other Titans. If we could obtain it then we could utterly annihilate Marley! ... Let us fight. It's clear what we have to do. We'll take the Founding Titan back from the king who abandoned us and fled inside those Walls. And we will return it to the true royal family! The line that stayed behind on the continent for our sake, the Eldian people! My brothers! Let us overthrow Marley! Let us right this false history! Let us regain our pride as Eldians! Until the day Eldia is reborn!
- 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 smashes the Marleyan steam ship in half with an Argentine back-breaker rack while Grisha looks on in awe.Kruger: Watch and learn, Grisha. This is how you use the power of the Titans.
"The Attack Titan"
- 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.
- Topped by one of the best title-drops in all of media ever.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...
Eren Jaeger: ... Shingeki no Kyojin. (The Attack Titan).
The Truths of Marley
"The Other Side of The Ocean"
- Colt Grice's rescue of his little brother, Falco, from no-man's-land.
- Gabi's outrageous (and perfidious) 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 storm of bullets. The power of the Titans is an absolute indeed.
- The attack on Fort Slava continues and through it we see the Jaw Titan clear out trenches and rip a train track off the ground with his teeth. While the Cart Titan, (covered in steel protective gear with a quad-machine-gunner nest mounted on her back), is flipping pillboxes and supporting infantry.
- Then the Marleyans parachute-drop a good sixty or so Eldian convicts down towards the base from a passing air-ship. Though horrific, Zeke shows the power of his lineage and his closer connection to the Coordinate by transforming all the doped war-fodder with a single scream into a living, raining cluster bomb comprised of 10-15m class Titans! Their landing causes immense property damage, followed up by psychological warfare as many of the Mid-Easterners are gobbled up by the surviving giants.
- Acting in concert, as shield and spear: Reiner's insertion wrecks house, crumbling their gun placements with his palm at a fierce sprint, 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 magazine storehouse and pitches them towards a large number of battleships in the bay, scuttling them all and striking the final blow of the four-year-long war.
- Of course, the Middle-Eastern Union are not free of any awesomeness, either. They never once gave an inch to the Titans or even the Nine as their weapons mince Pure Titans like fish in a barrel and once they see Zeke preparing to pitch, they launch a retaliative cavalcade from their ships' heavy-bore cannons. A hail of destruction that would almost certainly have killed Zeke and shreds Reiner to bits until his Titan is a head and a clavicle. By the end, it is made quite abundant that the age of the Titans is coming to an end.
- In a bit of Adaptation Expansion for the anime, Reiner gets an extended showing in Fort Slava. The biggest arguable improvement? Instead of the radio-tower sweep, Reiner battles another armoured train on an interior track; while his left arm is sheared off.
- He reuses the famous shoulder charge to derail the early tanks, then uses them as an impromptu flail against the remaining battle-stations! Before then, using its chassis as a shield against a volley of 150-mm Howitzer shells.
- The episode ends with the awesome implication that regular weapons technology has finally reached a point where the individual power of eight of the Nine Titans is irrelevant and that has Marley scared.
- 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. Cut in the anime, but in the manga 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.
"The Door of Hope"
- 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.Eren: Evening. It's been four years... Reiner.
Reiner: (Shocked) Eren...?
"Declaration of War"
- 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.
- Eren 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!
- The fact that Eren flings Tybur's gibs over his mouth makes for more than an epic splash-panel.
"The War Hammer Titan"
- 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.
- Lara 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, gaping at Eren as she's wrapped in musculature.
- 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.
- While his man are screaming about the entire command structure being lost and the warriors being MIA, Magath fires a single rifle shot at Eren. He acknowledges it's completely harmless, but states that it's the first shot of Marley's counter offensive.
- 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.War Hammer Titan: Usurper... Eren Jaeger... Before you die, you may utter your final words.
Eren Jaeger: It's time, 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 Tybur 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.
- Commander Magath somehow survives 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 Hange and Armin, Eren is now The Strategist.
- The War Hammmer'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 Ackermann 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...
- Reiner's now-revealed split transformation, shielding Falco from the collapsing apartment in his clenched palms; the fingers representing a partially opened lotus blossom.
- In the manga: 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. He ejects from the nape once more and transforms into the Attack Titan a full third time without any discernable loss of size or strength.
The Beast Titan: Eren Jaeger is not my enemy.
- 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 Arlert. 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 Cart 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.
- 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.
- The anime improves on what was already a spectacle with a satisfying Call-Back. A remix of XL-TT accompanies his transformation, making it clear that Armin has become Marley's Grim Reminder.
- 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 team, 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 most mobile or bitiest 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 a jet-black-skinned 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 he probably 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 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.
- Reiner 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 magnanimity towards the two Warriors who are his brainwashed kinsmen, exfiltrating the festival's ruins with a hand from Mikasa. He could take their powers. They're at his mercy. But he doesn't, because Jaeger has already won.
- Gabi proves her mettle when she manages to take out Lobov of the Survey Corps like some kind of 12-year old Max Payne, sliding on her back to gain a head-shot on someone using ODM-gear is no mean feat. Even she is surprised that she managed to hit him. She then susses out how the wire retraction works and jets up to the dirigible on his corpse and even though she collides roughly with the airship, manages to hang on for dear life. Then she commando rolls into the hanger while holding onto her rifle all this time before taking a knee and firing at the first soldier with a visible weapon before anyone can react. Unfortunately, that soldier turns out to be Sasha.
- Falco, who followed Gabi at the last second, manages to unintentionally rescue both Gabi and Jean from a Mutual Kill when he knocks the former off balance as she opens fire for a second time.
- The Jaeger Brothers are playing Xanatos Speed Chess. Zeke has likely been the new Owl all along, opposing both the Tybur's beast that is Marley and what he thought to be the Reiss Family's Will when he attempted to capture and convert Eren five years prior. He faked his own death with Levi's aid to clandestinely join up with his half-sibling heading back to the Island. Even with his limbs shorn off and at the mercy of a man who promised to kill him, he knows that his Royal Blood is what Paradis need to survive the World's combined military forces. And he confidently reassures Eren that every sacrifice will be repaid, every loss and injustice visited upon them will be rectified by granting the Eldians their freedom when they use the Coordinate together unimpeded by the vow of pacifism and make their enemies slink back from whence they came.
- In return for the lives of eight Survey Corp members, including one veteran, Paradis obtained both the War-hammer and the Beast Titan, defeated the other Warriors, wiped out Marley's entire fleet along with the port's infrastructure and even nabbed two Warrior candidates on top of that. Floch and his comrades may be dangerously close to being the Eldia Restorationists 2.0, but he's right. Even reclaiming Wall Maria couldn't be called a win when you merely drive the enemy away at the cost of a 25% loss of life to them verses a 99% mortality rate among your own troops. The Battle of Liberio is Paradis's first true, unequivocal victory in the entire series.
- Eren's personality has not been subsumed by Grisha and Kruger's will. Underneath all that stoicism and ruthless pragmatism: the empathy, idealism and sheer fighting spirit that allowed him to come this far still burns as brightly as it did that day in Shiganshina all those years ago. And we see Eren struggle not to break down as he hears of Sasha's death, his eyes promising to finish this once and for all.
War For Paradis
- Eren once again proving his unmatched strength for the size of his Titan. He lies in wait, submerged as a Marleyan destroyer arrives on Paradis' shores, before surging his shoulders upwards, effortlessly hoisting a 1000-tonner naval scout-ship out of the sea all while facing along the bow, and beaching it with terrifyingly casual ease.
- The flashback panel of Zeke standing tall in the ocean, protecting Yelena and the other Marleyan Empire's conscripts from enemy shelling. Even as he was used as a tool to subjugate other countries he in turn gained the Undying Loyalty of those who were made to fight alongside him after. To the point that his most ardent followers... Well...Yelena: He's [Zeke's] a god. We were helpless but he showed us there was hope. We are volunteer soldiers from the anti-Marley faction. Our purpose... Is the liberation of the Eldian people.
- Yelena and Onyankopon are not only agent's of Zeke but representatives of their chattel countries to the Marleyan War-machine. They've had enough of living under Marley's yoke and see the Paradis Eldians as the power to bet on to free the World from Marley's Empire and restore the sovereignty of their nation-states. To do so they share gunsmiths, radio technology, naval logistics, dock-building, train engines and their accompanying infrastructure. They even promise to act as intermediaries to their home countries; to the point that Armin actually thinks they have enough international support to avoid war.
- Yelena's hypothesis is right about why the Eldians aren't afraid to be caught outside the Wall during the day, it has been confirmed that the Survey Corps have wiped out all the Mindless Titans on Paradis Island; a feat that even a modern military soldier is impressed with.
- Levi's greeting to the floundering Marleyan Second Reconnaissance Unit, once Armin scares them into jumping overboard in Colossal form.
- Chapter 107. Visitor.
Eren Jaeger: Historia... If all this means we'll only be allowed to live after having our walls broken, our land trampled and our children bred and killed like livestock. I will absolutely not accept Zeke Jaeger's plan. It is nothing but folly to entrust our fate to the maintenance of the rumbling. Wouldn't it be the best course of action for us to use all the time we have left to consider every available option?
- Zeke's ambitions to restore the Eldian Empire are nothing short of breath-taking. Without any guidance from Kruger and at the tender age of seven, Zeke unilaterally decides to pre-emptively betray his parents to gain Marley's loyalty when he recognised that the authorities were closing in on their whereabouts regardless. He pushed forward to reclaim the Founder even if it meant splattering every corps-man in his way to reach Eren and activate the Wall Titans. He also personally procured an ODM-gear's black box from Mike in order to exploit the Asian nation of Hirazu's desire for mineral wealth. The Magnificent Bastard ties their self-interest in keeping Eldia free so they can claim Marley's own aspirations for resources through alliance rather than conquest.
- Zeke even indicates that the geological riches of Iceburst Stone, native only to Paradis were not mined but created by the Power of the Titans when they carved out the Royal Family's Crystal Caverns. That's right. The Titan ossification ability is not only a nigh-unmatched military weapon and building material but is also an energy source malleable enough to be used in the creation of an entirely new breed of weapons. All fuelled by a gem that is non-fungible and that can never run dry as long as the power of the War Hammer Titan exists!
- Eren's actions in the past chapters are given massive context here when it is revealed that all the atrocities he has committed he will do again and continue to do in order to halt the indignity of restoring the Royal Line of Titan succession. For Historia, for her child, for every one of them not yet born. He will end the cycle of inheritance by taking the deterrent of the Earthen Rumbling and using it against his foes until they are ash!
- Historia's courage to bear the Beast Titan for the sake of her people and Eren's stirring speech in response.
Eren Jaeger: This Titan's power allows its wielder to freely create weapons and more through the earth by manipulating the chrysalis abilities. It was a troublesome foe. All that's to say, you can't contain me, no matter how strong the walls are, or how deep the dungeons. I can leave... whenever I want. (looming over Hange, we see how formidable Eren is in stature, the Curse of Ymir has already accelerated him into manhood) And... You also can't kill me, of course. For I have the Founder. And regardless of all your threats, you can't kill Zeke either. In other words, Hange. I want to know. What can you do? (grabs her by the collar through the bars) Huh?! Tell me Hange! IF THERE'S ANOTHER WAY...!! (Titan nerve grooves start etching themselves down his face) THEN TELL ME WHAT IT IS!!
- "I... ate the War Hammer Titan."
- Eren's latest Badass Boast to Hange, showing our anti-heroic protagonist back in all his glory and hinting that his powers can now be activated at will without the trigger of blood-letting injury.
- Yelena's knack for diplomacy is something else. Despite all the mistrust the Marleyan Rebels are faced with from the Paradis Eldians and even being held at gun-point under Pixis' orders; she calmly looks forward to the day when their differences will be put aside. Not to mention that she and her agents managed to steal a good twenty-five vials of Titan Serum from Marley during the Battle of Liberio, allowing for the controlled acquisition of one of the Nine.
- Gabi being the quintessential child-soldier, just how many bodies does she have to pile up before the military takes her seriously?
- Chapter 108.
- Each one of Eren's friends unhesitatingly volunteering to inherit his powers before his tenure as the Attack Titan is up in order to uphold his abilities for the sake of protecting Paradis. Naturally, Eren turns down such a notion for their own sakes, but their brave offer to take his place even at the cost of any chance of living their lives to the fullest should they win the war is an impressive display.
- Lieutenant Reiner Braun, the Armoured Titan and Marley's Shield tells Magath, Colt, Pieck and Porco in no uncertain terms that in order to thwart Zeke Jaeger's betrayal, they cannot afford to wait for the six months it will take the Allied Forces of the World to come together and enact their scorched earth initiative on Paradis Island. The Warriors must make their move and assault the last bastion of Eldia before her Empire can be reborn now. THERE IS NO PATH OF RETREAT FROM THIS BATTLE!
- Chapter 110.
- Eren has become his father's son in full; leading an underground revolution of countless Eldians against the old guard of the Paradisian Military. His supporters in the Survey Corps leak information of his imprisonment to the public; causing popular opinion to turn against the junta. More of his own agents blow up Zackly and three higher-ups in the MPs with a bomb concealed in the very device the Generalissimo was planning to torture Eren with. Guards sympathetic to his cause release all his followers and he himself proves what the energy efficiency and reserves of the Attack Titan can do when combined with the War Hammer Titan's mastery of the chrysalis ability. He tunnels out of his prison cell for what must be miles underground to avoid any civilian settlements and covers the entrance with enough mineral webs to make it virtually indestructible to conventional explosives.
- Eren going Liquid Snake when he pulls off the dark trench-coat over chiselled nude torso look. He's also joined by a following that only promises to grow larger and he tells them all that he is making for Zeke's location.
- Chapter 111.
- Nicolo's verbally ripping Gabi to shreds right before Sasha's family and friends when she accidentally outs herself as his girlfriend's killer, forcing her to face everybody she has affected for having killed Sasha and with it, the grim reality of the cause to which she until now was blindly devoted. Worthy of note is that she is being called out by a former soldier of her own country, one who has long since become disillusioned with the war to which they were both once committed. Finally, for the first time in her life she is forced to face the consequences of not only her actions but also her words which have endangered herself, Falco and so many others.
- Mr. Blouse also deserves a mention, as he has every right to take the opportunity to avenge his daughter's death right then and there, and yet refuses to go through with it as he knows to do the same to those who like Sasha herself had been forced into such unfortunate circumstances would only continue the cycle of violence that has pitted the two sides against each other. It's his and his wife's act of mercy to her that finally forces Gabi to see things in a new light.
- Mikasa and Armin not only spare Gabi, but they also protect her when Kaya attempts to kill Gabi herself with the very knife with which Falco intended to kill both herself and Falco. Knowing full well the senselessness of the war that took their friend's life, they too follow Mr. Blouse's example by not resorting to revenge against Gabi.
- Admit it, seeing Kaya call out Gabi for the murder of her adoptive sister after having trusted and protected her up to now was highly cathartic. Also doubles as a massive Tearjerker as Gabi is now forced to see the pain she's caused so many people for having shot Sasha. For the first time, Gabi feels shame for what she has done.
- Chapter 112.
- It took a hundred and twelve chapters, but Armin finally reveals his War Face and leaps over the table to clobber Eren with a punch to the nose after he degrades Mikasa's protectiveness as a master-slave mentality. Armin truly is the bravest of them all to attack Eren, who he knows is FAR more dangerous and versatile than him, whether in human or Titan form.
- To which, Eren takes the assault perfectly in stride; throwing his old friend back into the drinking cabinet and beating him to a pulp within five blows: finishing him with a knee-strike liver-shot that lays Armin out. At one point, throwing a one-two-three combo that has shades of Fist of the North Star.
- But Armin gets the moral victory when he verbally bitch-slaps Eren that for all his talk of freedom: being unfettered enough to burn their friendship down and follow the example of a ruthless pragmatist like Zeke just makes him a slave to being a piece of shit like his half-brother.
- A more minor one before Eren takes charge of the room goes to Gabi, who finally takes responsibility for what she did to Sasha and offers Mikasa and Armin her life to save Falco's. Once again, the duo refuse the opportunity to kill her, even though she knows she can never know full forgiveness for her crimes.
- Chapter 113.
Levi: "You look desperate, hairball. All you had to do was read your damn book. What gave you the idea that you could escape from me? If you really thought I'd hesitate to kill my comrades once you turned them... then you have no idea how many friends I've had to KILL."
- Keith Shadis shows impressive resolve when refusing to submit to the Yeagerists. He mocks them as "a bunch of pissants who need to wave guns around to get anyone to bother with them," and doesn't bat an eye when Floch fires a warning shot at his foot. He even refuses to be cowed when Floch turns the trainees against him, resulting in each of them being forced to participate in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on him.
- Zeke has transformed Levi's squad into a mob of mindless Titans. He clearly expected the shock of having to suddenly fight his comrades to be enough to finish Levi off, so when Zeke realizes that Levi killed every single Titan and is coming for him, all he can do is transform in a blind rage. Then Levi completely demolishes the Beast Titan, leaving Zeke a smouldering but still-breathing corpse and mocking him for thinking that after all he's been through that he wouldn't instantly skewer the traitor.
- When the anime adaptation reached this part, what is the music accompanying this scene? K21, which used to be Kenny's theme. Now, in this context, it's a fitting way to demonstrate how Levi has truly become just as brutal as his uncle before him. On top of this, the instrumental is heard as Levi kills one of the mindless Titans accompanying Zeke, but when Zeke transforms, the vocals kick in, which will make your heart pump.
- To put this in context, everything that Zeke tries to use against Levi utterly fails. The instant Zeke realizes Levi's coming for him, he completely loses his shit.
- Sics one of his two Titan guards on him? Levi speed blitzes it.
- Transforms and rips his other Titan guard into pieces to use as throwing ammo? Levi dodges all around, or cuts down random branches so that the noise distracts Zeke.
- Hardening his nape so that Levi's blades can't cut through? Levi literally descends like Batman towards Zeke's blind spot, and fires no less than four thunder spears into it, giving Zeke a split-second to realize how fucked he is, before he's blown to smithereens.
- By the end of the battle, Zeke's a burnt up, mutilated, barely invalid wreck; with a thunder spear lodged into his healing stomach that will kill him if he so much as twitches, and if that weren't enough, Levi starts dismembering him again, partly to make the bastard suffer and partly to prevent him from transforming.
- Chapter 114
- You have to admit, it takes a lot of guts on Zeke's part to deliberately trigger the thunder spear embedded in his torso to escape his tormentor. Levi underestimated his foe's resolve and exacts a hefty toll for his arrogance, the shock-wave and shrapnel clearly blasting the Captain as he tries to leap backwards. After getting (albeit deservedly) mauled and tortured by Levi several times over the course of the series, Zeke risks his life and permanently cripples (Levi loses some of his fingers and has an injured eye later) and nearly kills him with the same weapon that Levi used to take him down and restrain him. Now that's an Arch-Enemy
- Chapter 115
- Zeke's resurrection via having what's left of his head and torso placed in his last surviving Pure Titan's belly. The same said Titan that he ripped apart for ammunition, almost fully regenerated and crawled for miles after Zeke and Levi's cart.
- Hange managing to rescue a wounded Levi and escaping the custody of the Jaegerists by diving into a nearby river.
- Pieck infiltrating Shiganshina's Military HQ, knifing an MP with ice-cold detachment and holding Eren himself at gunpoint.
- Chapter 116
- Eren, cool as a cucumber, stares down Pieck with two guns pointed at his head and gets her to back off and admit she can't kill him for fear of her own family's safety if she disobeys orders to acquire the Founder.
- After Griez starts running his mouth off at Nicolo, calling Sasha a whore and devil multiple times, Yelena casually blows his brains out.
- Pieck goes right up to Gabi and tells her why her belief in being a "good Eldian" is pointless as it will only lead to the death of all the Eldians.
- After leading Eren to the roof of the military fortress, Marley begins their counter attack. Galliard, disguised as a Garrison trooper, launches up through the top floor from below as he transforms, literally trying to devour Eren like the famous 'Jaws' poster!
- It gets better with the anime adaptation. Eren had believed he got Pieck wrapped around his finger. Once they get to the roof, Eren asks "where's the enemy?"... Only for Pieck to turn around and point at him. Cue Galliard.
- Eren leaps / surfs the exploding rubble enough that he avoids being bitten in half, escaping with his legs severed at the knees, but all this does is royally piss him off. And he transforms to challenge the Jaw Titan once more; who is fast becoming Eren's true Worthy Opponent.
- Then we pan out to see a small fleet of airships break cloud cover to oppose the Founder. Aboard are Theo Magath, Colt Grice and Reiner Braun leading the charge. Reiner seems utterly resolute and restored to confidence as he looks down at Eren with shades of Asuka mocking Shinji levels of "pathetic".
- Chapter 117: Conviction / Judgement
Reiner Braun: What's the purpose of you living any longer?! Eren... Enough already. Just... Sleep...Eren Jaeger: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA - !!!
- Magath's battalion task-force parachuting from the dirigibles, most of them toting early anti-tank rifles alongside their breech-loaded carbines!
- Pieck offers up her hand getting sliced off by Jaw's talons so she's no longer chained to Gabi before rolling off the roof in agony but still transforming to nab the Warrior candidate in her mouth and escape from Eren.
- Despite all the odds stacked against him, Eren ignores Yelena's urging to retreat and leaves the military HQ roof to face Reiner once more; so as not to endanger his friends and those tainted with Zeke's spinal fluid.
- A huge artillery piece, clearly inspired by the Schwerer Gustav Cannon is air-dropped for Pieck to strap to her back and is manned by Magath; it's truly a weapon to surpass Metal Gear!
- Reiner striving to halt Eren, who bashes him to a pulp and leaves his jaw hanging off with a one-two punch combination; only for Reiner, in desperation, to dive under his straight and spear him to the ground. Eren still proves his superior CQC skills though when he push-kicks him in the face before he can get into top mount.
- When Eren nearly skewers Galliard with spiked armour issuing near instantaneously from his spine; the Jaws is still able to wend his way around this surprise counter in mid-air and shred the spikes to rubble with his claws.
- Eren single-handedly takes on both Reiner and Galliard, using his new War Hammer Titan powers to impale them with a geo-kinetic stalagmite eruption that leaves them dangling in the air.
- Eren gets shot in the skull twice by General Magath's BFG, affecting his motor abilities and leaving his left eye dangling from its socket. Still, he channels every iota of his healing powers to his brain and manages to retaliate against Reiner and Galliard after both cranial splatterings.
- Almost 500 Jaegerists strap up in Anti-personnel ODM-Gear to aid Eren with Thunder Spears, but they are quickly caught in a cross-fire from Magath's paratroopers on the roofs and the machine-gun nests above; attached to the underside of the dirigibles.
- Onyankapon, seeing that Eren is on the ropes, makes to run back inside, yelling that they have to do something before the Founder is taken by Marley. Hopefully he's making to release the Levi Squad. We need the War Goddess and the God of Destruction!
- Yelena prays for Eren's success against overwhelming odds and Eren, (minus a good chunk of his Titan's brain) still activates another War Hammer shock-wave; driving off Galliard. Eren is shot again and Reiner shoves one of the crystal shards through Eren's shoulder like a spear, (evoking the Helos statue) imploring him to stop this vain struggle and let him grant his former friend the peace of oblivion. The Attack Titan utilizes another War Hammer geomantic transformation, faster and stronger than the last, before back-hand pimp-slapping a pouncing Galliard across Shiganshina, obliterating multiple houses as Pock rag-doll spins through them! Finally, Reiner pins Eren just as he did outside Wall Rose all those years ago.
- And then we get this immortal exchange.
- Eren roars to the heavens for every life he's fighting for, all while he grabs Reiner by the palate and starts crushing his face from the inside-out; denying him the ability to bite and stopping every other character in their tracks, such is his bellow of denial and unadulterated berserker rage. We even see the Attack Titan start to manifest the sharpened teeth from episode 25 for the first time in the manga!
- But before Eren can rip Reiner's head off with one arm, Zeke arrives in all his beastly glory to save Eren, hurling a chunk of wall into Reiner's face, blasting him off his little brother. And he swears then and there to finish this battle with his own hands. Against three Shifters (one a mobile heavy weapons platform), hundreds of soldiers, (some armed with AP-rounds) and six air-ships. You've got your work cut out for you, Mr Jaeger! Show us what the Beast Titan can really do!
- Chapter 118: Foul Play
- Zeke's Big Damn Heroes moment pays off when he not only wipes out Marley's entire Zeppelin fleet in a single attack. He then continues to keep Pieck & Magath, Reiner and Galliard suppressed with pinpoint rock throws. And this time, the contrails of his projectiles are drawn as white-out frickin' laser beams, which vaporise anything in their path and send Titan limbs flying.
- Armin quickly deducing that Eren's recent actions were merely a facade to fool Zeke and Yelena into thinking he agreed with the euthanasia plan. He then manages to convince his friends to protect Eren from the Marleyans.
- Jean staring down the Jaegerists attempting to stop him and bluntly pointing out that they need the help of the rest of the army if they have any hope of fighting off Marley's raid.
- Despite having just been freed from prison, Pyxis quickly takes command, ordering that soldiers that haven't drunk Zeke's wine be given priority for ODM-gear while those that drunk the wine (including himself) will be heading to fight the Marleyans directly on the front-line, so they'll cause minimum damage to friendlies in the event Zeke forcibly turns them into Titans.
- Gabi finally breaking her Marleyan indoctrination and realizing that Eldians and humans aren't so different.
- Falco finally getting the courage to admit his feelings for Gabi.
- Pieck playing dead, pretending her Titan was destroyed, causing the Paradisians to lower their guard and giving Magath time to fire the anti-Titan cannon at Zeke. While the shot fails to outright kill Zeke, it definitely seriously cripples him, turning the tide of the battle once more.
- Chapter 119:
- Eren rains hammer-fist bludgeons down on Galliard's nape and head; turning his Titan to a pulp and caving in his pilot's skull; when the fool hangs onto Eren's calf by his teeth like a runty dog!
- Reiner regenerating the entirety of his Titan form from catastrophic damage twice within the same battle, then keeping Eren pinned for most of the chapter!
- Pieck is ambushed and loses her primary weapon once again. But this time, she uses the Gustav Cannon as a bludgeon, swatting Floch's Corps-men out of the air! She and her support wipe out all of Floch's squad and at the end of the chapter, she prepares to take on Mikasa and Armin at the same time.
- Armin of all people fires the first Thunder Spear into Magath's artillery-seat, either injuring or killing the leader of the Warriors and saving Eren from a fourth head-shot.
- This heroic move puts Armin in the Marleyan trooper's sights though, but before they can open fire, Mikasa zips over the wall backwards and half decapitates the pair of them!
- Galliard, having linked up with the paths when Reiner touched him and seen his brothers memories, lets go off his grudge against Reiner and allows the Titanized Falco to eat him, saving his childhood rival and subordinate in one move.
- Reiner, having just witnessed another of his friends die in front of him, flies into a rage and tries to beat Eren to death. Eren manages to survive by crystallising his body around Reiner's hands but then Reiner tears himself out of the hardening all so he can get to Eren. If not for Jean and Connie's intervention Eren would probably have been eaten.
- Jean and Connie managing to arrive in the nick of time to deliver a one-two punch of Thunder Spears against the Armoured Titan to save Eren's life. While the two of them may no longer trust Eren anymore they are still committed to protecting him for their comrades' sake.
- The final moment of the chapter. It seems that, with Porco dead, the Armoured and Cart Titans engaged, and the rest of the Marleyan military overrun by Titans, nothing can stop Eren and Zeke from touching. Suddenly Eren looks to his right and sees Gabi, the girl who lost all of her friends to Eren's rampage and just now witnessed Colt burned to death by Falco's Titanization and Galliard's sacrifice, holding a high impact sniper rifle. Everyone present barely has a chance for a quick Oh, Crap! face before Gabi fires a round that pulverises Eren's spinal column into red mist a scant few feet away from Zeke.
- Chapter 120
Zeke Jaeger: Why... Eren...? Tell me.Eren Jaeger: Because I was born into this world.
- When Eren meets Zeke in the Paths, Eren reveals that he never agreed with Zeke's euthanasia plan and only worked with him to gain access to the Founding Titan's power.
- This god-damn epic response.
- Zeke then reveals that their meeting in the Paths was a Secret Test of Character set up by him, and that thanks to Eren's help, he's already overcome King Fritz's will. He only asked for Eren's help to confirm whether Eren was truly on his side or not.
- Eren not being fazed at all when Zeke dives into Grisha's memories in an effort to prove Grisha brainwashed him, and being ready to pounce when Zeke is hit with the Heel Realization that Grisha still loved him even after starting a second family.
- Chapter 121
- Eren is the original Attack Titan! Since Grisha finally reveals to Frieda Reiss via flashback that the Attack Titan is the Distaff Counterpart to the Founder. Its power is to also have its past holders gain the memories of their successors instead of just their predecessors like the other eight of the Nine. Therefore, with Eren likely being the last of the holders; it is his will that has influenced every prior holder to advance forward!
- When married to the Founder, the Attack Titan can influence the past through prior memories, (though this does seem to only be through a stable time loop that has already been predetermined). We see 19-year-old Eren convince Grisha to go through with the massacre of the Reiss family by using a variant of Kruger's rousing speech. Likely meaning that Kruger too used this speech on Grisha first because he inherited the memory subconsciously!
- Zeke commands Ymir to sterilise every Eldian in fear of what Eren can accomplish in the Paths Realm with the Attack Titan. So Eren pulls against his chains until he rips his thumbs off and flays most of his hands to wrench out of the manacles he's been locked in. Rushing forth to stop Ymir's Avatar from stepping into the Coordinate World Tree to carry out Zeke's command. An unstoppable force is about to clash with an immoveable object!
- Chapter 122
- After witnessing Ymir's Dark and Troubled Past, Eren realizes that the decision to start the Rumbling is not up to him, and instead passes the responsibility to Ymir, giving her the very first measure of free will she's had in over 2000 years. This is enough to convince her to actively disobey Zeke's command to sterilize all Eldians.
- A captured Marleyan general picks up a hidden spear and attempts to assassinate the Ancient King Fritz. Sadly(?) Ymir gets in the way, meaning this brave man killed the first and strongest Titan to ever live.
- In the real world, Eren's spine extends out from his body and reconnects his decapitated head, keeping him alive and triggering his Titan transformation.
- The walls come tumbling down. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!
- Chapter 123
- The Awakened Founding, Attack, War Hammer Titan is a Lovecraftian Kaiju-sized Behemoth with vertebrae that stand at least twice as tall as its army of Colossal Titans! We cannot even see how long it is... But its armour exoskeleton resembles nothing less than a fleshless World Serpent, combined with Cambrian prehistoric influences. An Eldritch Stegosaurus if you will. It's also likely that Eren is permanently fused into his now voice-blessed 15m Titan and that Titan is in turn controlling the World Ender Titan.
- The full scope of Eren's plan is finally revealed: he plans to take control of every single Colossal Titan from within the Walls and have them trample over everyone outside of Paradis, to ensure that nobody will ever threaten the home where he was born and raised ever again.
- Eren proves his nigh omnipotence by transcendentally addressing every man, woman and child of Ymir's bloodline on earth through the Paths Realm at the same moment. This includes the Ackermans, meaning that whatever genetic manipulation the Kings of the past used the Founder for; Eren can do as much and more...
- Chapter 124:
- The Survey Corps team up for possibly the final time and easily trounce Zeke's mindless Titans.
- Eren once again proves his power by simultaneously shredding Reiner's armor and blasting apart Annie's crystal with a mere thought.
- Annie is finally revealed to be alive!!
- Instructor Shadis pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment when he rescues his trainees from Zeke's rogue Titans, the very same trainees that had ridiculed Shadis for trying to teach them how to fight Titans. He then inspires them to help the Survey Corps. This is the same Shadis who, at the very beginning of the story, was unable to down even one titan despite the grievous losses to his squad. Now not only did he singlehandedly take down numerous titans, but made sure not a single one of his cadets were harmed.
- The Blouse family once again saves Gabi by claiming she's part of their family to allay the suspicions of the Eldian troops.
- Armin saving Falco by offering himself to be eaten by Connie's mother to restore her human form. This finally causes Connie to realize that feeding Falco to his mother would make him the type of soldier his mother would hate.
- Onyankapon remaining Defiant to the End and refusing to side with the Yeagerists, even if it means his execution.
- The ultimate Enemy Mine situation where Mikasa, Armin, Levi, Hange, Jean, and Connie team up with Reiner, Annie, Magath, and Pieck to save the world from Eren.
- Chapter 127:
- Jean beating the crap out of Reiner after finally learning the truth of how Marco died. After five years of not knowing how his best friend went out, he finally exacted a bit of justice for his long dead comrade.
- For those still bitter about what she did to Sasha, Gabi getting called out on it by Yelena and then kicked by Jean for protecting Reiner, albeit accidentally, felt well deserved.
- Jean beating the crap out of Reiner after finally learning the truth of how Marco died. After five years of not knowing how his best friend went out, he finally exacted a bit of justice for his long dead comrade.
- Chapter 128:
- Lady Kiyomi, even as she's being held at gunpoint and threatened with execution by Floch with several of her comrades dead at her feet, maintains a level head with the fanatical Yeagerist until she sees an opportunity to seize the treacherous soldier, forcing him to the floor and twisting his arm and declaring she did not intend to die quietly at the hands of the raving fanatic. And then Mikasa launches a one man assault on the room, disarming Floch's comrades and forcing him to flee as the ragtag alliance launches their assault on the Yeagerists.
- Reiner and Annie launching a two-man assault on the Yeagerists, transforming into the Armored and Female Titans. For fans of the Female Titan, it is a grand return that was long deserved.
- After all she did to royally screw over the islanders in her service to Zeke, one can't help but find it cathartic when Magath threatens to beat the ever-living shit out of Yelena, and for a moment the woman who had been fighting for nothing more than personal glory finally expresses something we haven't seen from her: Fear.
- Connie's execution of Daz and Samuel. As horrific as it was that he was forced to kill his former friends and comrades, their attempted murder of Armin and their loyalty to a fanatical movement made their fate feel rather deserved.
- They are finally on the defensive against their own comrades. Even if they manage to destroy the airships the alliance must commandeer in their pursuit of Eren, there's no question that they are cornered and badly overpowered, up against no less than five Titan Shifters in the alliance. Admit it, you don't feel sorry for the ones who betrayed their own people and became the very murderers they once fought against. It's a war between two groups: the one who wants the Cycle of Revenge to end, and the group who care about their own people, instead of enemies who spent decades trying to kill whole nation.
- On the villain side, after all the lives they took in their genocide against Paradis (and the rest of the world in their campaign of conquest), you can't help but feel satisfaction in knowing that Marley is already at the total mercy of the Colossal Titans, and is likely no longer in any position to lay any further harm to the island, which only succeeded in triggering the very apocalypse they sought to avoid. It may be karma at its most damning.
- Chapter 129 / Episode 86 Retrospective:
- Reiner and Annie as the Armored and Female Titan give it their all to fight the Yeagerists, killing plenty and taking a ridiculous amount of punishment from the many thunder spears shot at them in the process, including when they use their arms to shield the Azumabito and Magath, ensuring the latter survive. Reiner in particular utilizes every bit of armor and natural resilience of his Titan to absorb as much damage as possible, occasionally shielding Annie who at that point had never seen the thunder spears in action before.
- Falco transforms into his Jaws Titan form for the first time. His particular incarnation has beak-like armor covering his face and talons that emphasize his falcon/bird motif, and it looks quite awesome. He manages to use it to great effect too in fighting the Yeagerists, though he does end up losing control and manages to pin Pieck's Cart Titan down. Fortunately, Magath has likely witnessed first-time Titan Shifters losing control many times before and is quick to cut Falco out of the nape before he can harm Pieck.
- In a masterful display of anime-only ODM-Gear Oner, Floch faces down Falco as he roars a challenge at the Yeagerist de facto leader. Floch responds in kind and with a war cry of his own he charges forward, manages to outmaneuver the fastest of the Nine by latching directly onto his clawed hand then zipping between his fingers. Then, running down the roof, he survives Hange trying to decapitate him by deflecting her blade's strike with his thunder spear before roundhouse punting her away. Then he zips under Pieck and through her legs and when she makes to grab him, he unleashes and detonates his right hand's thunder spear at near pointblank range, breaking his own arm but knocking her attack off course. Undeterred, Pieck dives through the explosion to snap at Floch's legs but he backflips in midair out of the way and makes it to the waterfront to make his shot on the ship's hull.
- The one responsible for blowing up the train that would have brought in a large number of Yeagerist reinforcements was none other than Keith Shadis, who wastes no time to save Magath from several Yeagerist soldiers and directs Magath's attention to a Marleyan ship they must destroy to prevent the Yeagerists from using it to catch up with the alliance.
- Keith Shadis and Theo Magath sacrifice their lives by blowing up the Marleyan ship, thus ensuring the alliance can move forward with saving the world. Especially in Magath's case he well and truly got to redeem himself for having been a cog in Marley's war machine.
- Chapter 130: A brief flashback shows how the Wall Titans reached Marley while Hange and co were still travelling towards the Paradis port.
- The Wall Titans can swim like a shoal of whales, and they can move at tremendous speeds.
- When the Global Allied fleet fires at the Wall Titans, the latter take cover under the sea, swim beneath the warships, kill all the soldiers by steaming them alive, and sink the entire fleet within seconds.
- The Wall Titans emerge from huge clouds of steam and line the entire shores of a Marleyan city. They easily shrug off Marley's artillery barrage and commence with the Rumbling.
- Eren is right behind the Wall Titans in his Titan form... which is essentially an overarching walking ribcage that soars far above the Wall Titans. Eren's Titan face is a sight to behold. It is unknown how Eren crossed the sea in that form.
- Chapter 132:
- Hange's last stand. With the Rumbling closing in on the alliance, Hange deems Reiner and Armin too valuable to stay behind, and charges the advancing enemy with nothing but the maneuver gear and Thunder Spears. Not only does Hange go out on their own terms, they're shown to have died as they had lived: admiring Titans. That aside, slaying multiple Wall Titans while catching fire is easily one of their most definitive moments as commander of the Survey Corps.Hange charging the Wall Titans: Titans really are incredible.
- Floch gets an Offscreen Moment of Awesome and a Dying Moment of Awesome in quick succession; after getting shot and left for dead by Gabi, a half-dead Floch clung to the boat all the way from Paradis to Odiha, all so he could launch a suicidal attack on the flying boat to sabotage the alliance.
- In the same scene, Mikasa deserves mention for finally putting Floch down in suitably dramatic fashion by anchoring the hook of her ODM-Gear straight into his throat.
- Hange's last stand. With the Rumbling closing in on the alliance, Hange deems Reiner and Armin too valuable to stay behind, and charges the advancing enemy with nothing but the maneuver gear and Thunder Spears. Not only does Hange go out on their own terms, they're shown to have died as they had lived: admiring Titans. That aside, slaying multiple Wall Titans while catching fire is easily one of their most definitive moments as commander of the Survey Corps.
- Chapter 134:
- When the airships prepare to bomb Eren and the Colossal Titans, Eren reveals another power of the Founder/War Hammer. He creates a silvered copy of the Beast Titan, attached by umbilical cords between the points on his spine and uses its signature throwing attack to obliterate the Marleyan airships in three flings. All of which easily eclipse the distance Zeke was capable of pitching.
- Reiner skydiving past the falling 104th (being one of the few there actually trained in parachuting) and transforming for all the remnants of Liberio to see above Eren's spine. His slowed descent allowing him to Meteor Move The Beast Titan off its moorings and pin him on Eren's vertebrae. Maybe Helos will not be just an empty brass platitude anymore.
- He's soon joined by Armin, Mikasa, Connie, Jean, Levi, and Pieck, who all survived the free-fall and look ready to throw down against the Jaeger Brothers. After Commander Arlert pronounces his Badass Boast, Eren's only response is a slightly disappointed frown.
- Chapter 135:
- Ymir gives the interlopers on her new friend's back one hell of a welcoming party and pulls out all the stops, revealing the true power of the Founding Titan — the ability to summon every past incarnation of the Nine Titans simultaneously. Suddenly, the alliance finds themselves completely surrounded by a veritable army of intelligent, superhuman Titans, each with equal or more power to their own shifters and enhanced mobility from the Founder's manual control.
- In mere moments, the wannabe heroes are completely overwhelmed - with Armin instantly incapacitated by a past Cart Titan and locked in a python-tongue and saliva-bath straitjacket. Pieck fairs no better, her admittedly brave rush to suicide bomb Eren's nape with the reams of dynamite being suddenly interrupted via impalement on a fishing-spear by the resurgence of Lady Tybur's War Hammer
- The Galliard brothers' Titans make their return also. Needless to say, the reappearance of these deceased shifters puts Reiner right on the back-foot.
- Reiner's Titan is eventually picked up, his head crushed, then yeeted by a dangling half-formed variation of Bertholdt's Colossus. This attack, even though it misses, causes enough air-pressure to blast the team off Eren's spine to dangle beneath the ribs; battered and bruised.
- The ancient incarnations of the Jaws, Beast and Cart run the gamete of saurian and ungulate animalistic qualities, while the past Female and War Hammer Titans are eldritch-looking monstrosities that wouldn't be out of place among the Archangels of the Godhand.
- Jean acknowledges that they have virtually no chance of victory anymore, but he resolves to die the only way he knows how - fighting. Mikasa in particular screams defiance at the encroaching army despite her abysmal chances.
- Annie and Gabi return, riding on the back of Falco's Jaw Titan, who yes, now resembles a giant, flying shoebill stork. The two of them pull a Big Damn Heroes moment, saving the alliance from the clutches of the Titan army and soaring towards Salta Airbase on a 20-m wing-span.
- Chapter 136:
- Annie arrives on the back of Falco to save the day with Gabi in tow, she's made quite the admirable transformation from murderous traitor to hero.
- Falco's flying Jaw Titan form is a sight to behold, resembling an enormous, prehistoric bird with its clawed wings and feathered tail. Some Marleyan soldiers stationed at the fort are clearly in awe as he soars over them. Falco also demonstrates impressive control over his unprecedented Titan form, soaring around Eren's gargantuan Titan body, avoiding projectiles hurled/shot at him by Warhammer Titans and dropping his allies in strategic locations on Eren.
- The Alliance literally leaps into action, against an army of Titans with their twin goals: Save Armin and defeat Eren once and for all. Things look dismal, but it's awesome to see the heroes get their second wind.
- Pieck shows off a little known power of the Cart Titan: Thanks to her insane endurance and the low energy cost of the Cart Titan's transformation, she can Titanize instantly with no need to recover. This allows her to use her Titan body as a meat shield, eject and then transform again in a matter of seconds. She then proceeds to defeat a Warhammer and several Jaw Titans by sacrificing her Titan body, ejecting then transforming right behind them, leaving their napes right open.Pieck: Jean... if you think I'm a Titan that's only good for odd-jobs and not suited for combat... you're dead wrong.
- Chapter 137:
- The return of almost every single Titan Shifter featured in the manga. Bertolt, Grisha, Ymir (of the 104th squad), the Galliard brothers, Eren Kruger, and even Tom Ksaver (whom we get to see in his Titan form for the first time) all return to save the world from the Rumbling.
- While it's not yet certain if he's gone for good, the alliance working together to kill Eren is pretty sweet to see in action. Jean sets off the explosives to separate Eren's head from his shoulders, while Reiner tightly holds on to the Source of All Organic Matter to keep it from reattaching Eren's head to his body, giving Armin the chance to deal the finishing blow by activating his Titan transformation to destroy Eren's body completely.
- Gabi nails a Boom, Headshot! with her anti-Titan rifle on the Titan that's captured Armin, setting it up for Mikasa to eviscerate its face, freeing Armin. Keep in mind that Gabi only had a split-second window to take the shot, while she was clinging onto Falco's fast flying Titan form, (an unstable surface), from a long distance, against a rapidly moving, evasive target!
- Levi FINALLY kills Zeke, cutting the man's head clean off. Erwin has been avenged.
- The above example counts for Zeke as well, as he sacrifices himself willingly to stop the Rumbling and in his final moments makes peace with his past and just enjoys how beautiful the world is.
- Chapter 138:
- At the climax of Eren's last stand, all of the surviving Titan shifters and Ackermans work together to put a stop to Eren for good. Reiner, Annie, and Pieck work to keep the Source pinned down, while Armin, in his Colossal Titan form, engages in a fistfight with Eren's own Colossal Titan form. Despite having his head punched off by Eren's Titan Armin holds on to his body to prevent Eren from moving. Meanwhile, Falco carries Mikasa and Levi to Eren, where Levi uses his thunder spears to blast a hole in Eren's Titan's mouth, allowing Mikasa to enter and decapitate Eren's real head.
- Chapter 139 - The Final Chapter
- Armin's true purpose finally comes to light as he steps up to negotiate peace between Paradis and the world as the hero who defeated Eren Yeager, the Attack Titan.
- A Choice With No Regrets: Levi's first Titan kill. He, Farlen and Isabel effortlessly take down an aberrant 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 manoeuvring 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! And as of fall 2018, the manga has officially sold 86 million copies, making it the 18th best-selling manga series of all time!
- 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.
- The Season 4 trailer was released, and manga readers will immediately recognized iconic scenes brought to animation, such as Levi's forest escape and Eren confronting Reiner.
- Isayama's art evolution is absolutely worth a mention.
- This EMA statue◊ built in Japan, especially at this angle◊, mirroring arguably one of the most iconic moments in the series. Bonus points: this statue is located at the Oyama Dam, Hajime Isayama's hometown.
- This manga dub compilation by electricmercury. For a fan, his voice acting is stellar, and he clearly puts passion into the characters he voices, especially Eren. Combined with the series' amazing soundtrack playing, it makes the experience twice as awesome.
- The hype for season 4 was so much that on its premiere day, it made Crunchyroll servers crash.