Attack on Titan's premise is a conflict between normal humans and enormous, man-eating Titans. Hajime Isayama plays up every Primal Fear of giants and being eaten by them to the hilt. Naturally, there's many cases of Squick, Gorn, and Cruel and Unusual Death as characters find themselves being Eaten Alive.
Warning: Spoilers Off applies to these pages. Please proceed at your own risk.
- The very premise mentioned above is quite disturbing. The only means of combat is a parkour-manoeuvring machine — which can and does malfunction — and a pair of katana, amplifying the terror of being close to a Titan. All it takes is a split-second of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and being Half The Man You Used To Be is the kindest fate that may befall you.
- Those damn ''grins'' on the Titans' faces. Them looking stoned out of their gourds no matter what happens doesn't make them goofy, it only makes them unsettling, especially because they don't stop grinning even after having pieces of their bodies hacked off.
- Titans themselves, even without the whole eating people trait, almost always have varying degrees of Body Horror. The lucky ones look a bit malnourished or have heads too big. Some others are clearly deformed beyond all reason.
- The very concept of Titans, thought of from their point of view. It's one thing to look up at a Titan and think about how big it is. It's another thing entirely to think of yourself from a Titan's point of view and realize that you barely classify as an insect.
- Titans, not just because the basic idea of a race of deformed-but-identifiably-human giants that eats people is terrifying, but because nothing about them makes any sense. They derive no nutrition from eating humans because their digestive systems are vestigial, but they don't eat anything else, they regenerate at an alarming rate as long as one piece of their body stays intact, no one knows how (or if) they reproduce without sex organs, they're devastatingly fast, especially for such large, ponderous creatures, and no one knows where the hell they came from.
- In general, the Titans are a little bit smaller in the manga. You'd think that would be of some comfort as far as fighting them might go, but... all it really means is that most of them have to bite you in half.
- The fact that Titans are primarily diurnal is also quite terrifying. Though it's a justified case, since they seem to extract most of their energy from the sun, it's still very unsettling because you can see that the world isn't some crappy and desolate place, but a beautiful one. The world itself isn't a bad one: the Titans make it bad. And the fact that a person's last sight before they get eaten are gorgeous snow capped mountains and rolling valleys is not only horrifying, but depressing.
- Even during 100 years of peaceful living, the fact that Titans just hung around the Walls like a bunch of vagrants is creepy as hell.
- In general, any time someone gets eaten by a Titan. The very idea of being Eaten Alive is already terrifying enough, and the scenes are usually extremely gory, too.
"To You, in 2000 Years: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 1"
- Eren's strange dream from the 1st Chapter of the manga was given a genuinely disturbing update for the anime: It begins with a peaceful view of a field of flowers complete with birds chirping in the background, and then suddenly blood splashes over them. This is followed up by a slew of horrific images of Titans eating people, Titans appearing out of thin air by a windmill, a decapitated statue, a bunch of dead Survey Corps members in the forest, and ends with his mother being picked up by the Smiling Titan. After he wakes up, he couldn't remember what he dreamt about, but begins to cry without noticing.
- Just the astonishingly tense atmosphere as Armin ponders how their peace within the Walls is an illusion. It's the proverbial calm before the storm. And then the Colossal Titan comes a-knocking. And the world turns into Hell with a scene that will go down in Anime history for the sheer dread and awe inspired.
- The level of pure desperation Eren exudes as he tries to dig Carla out from under the beam his mother is trapped under. Uncaring of the splinters being driven under his nails, or that he's scraping all the skin off his palms until he bleeds.
- Hannes comes face-to-face with his first Titan. The page image's Smiling Titan. Like any of us would be, he's struck cold with mortal terror and decides to flee with the children rather than risk his life fighting it.
- Carla's death. In the manga she's crushed in the Smiling Titan's grip, her innards vomiting out of her mouth before she's tossed head first down its gullet. Its teeth snapping shut on her legs, severing them. All as her son, Eren watches powerlessly, unable to tear his eyes away. The anime censors this with an ironically worse death, where Carla has her spine snapped at the waist, like you or I would to a twig, then she's bitten in half upside-down - her life's blood falling like snow or flower petals down the street and scarring Eren for life.
"That Day: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 2"
- The scene where a woman tries to find safety in an alleyway, only to see a Titan staring directly down at her from above. Too frightened to move, it plucks her off the ground by the head, and we listen to her terrified screams for mercy as her shoe falls into view of the camera. Her terrified pleas, all of them in vain are heartbreakingly disturbing, to say the least.
- The Armoured Titan. While not as large as the Colossal, it is equally terrifying. Cannon-fire is generally ineffective against regular Titans, but against this monster, it does absolutely nothing.
Hannes: "This is the end."
- And then it smashes through the inner gate of Shiganishina, paving the way for the Titans to swarm into Wall Maria.
- Eren's dream about his father, Grisha's return to him after Carla's death. Only tragedy and suppressed memories of another horrific event was there that night. A guttering torch in the black of night, a syringe containing a clear serum and the key to the mysterious cellar back in his Titan-infested home city are all Eren can recall; as he wakes up to see his father has abandoned them.
- With Wall Maria abandoned, the survivors are forced to withdraw behind Wall Rose. During that period, an estimated 10,000 people were eaten. Even with that loss, humanity soon faced a hunger crisis. In desperation, a Suicide Mission is made, conscripting young adults and seniors still capable of walking to retake the wall. Of the 250,000 sent, nearly 20% of the population... not even 200 survived.Narrator: "Although it wasn't much, their sacrifices did improve the food shortage situation for the rest of the population."
"The Night of the Closing Ceremony: Humanity's Comeback, Part 2"
- The Colossal Titan reappears again after five years and breaks through Wall Rose enabling hordes of Titans to advance further into human territory.
- Once again, it appears out of nowhere.
"First Battle: The Struggle for Trost, Part 1"
- While battling the Colossal Titan, Eren realizes that It Can Think, as shown when it targets the mounted cannons. This Titan is not like the others.
- The Titans eat for pleasure, and only for pleasure. Despite how they all have mouths full of horrifying teeth, chewing is optional. It would almost look like they're playing with their food just to show off for the survivors... if their faces weren't such glazed-over masks of orgiastic bliss, completely ignoring everything but the struggling bodies going down their throats.
- Eren, Armin and the others head into live combat for the first time to provide support and are all secure in their abilities, even cracking jokes about how they won't exaggerate their kill-counts. Then they run across their first Aberrant Titan and everything goes to hell.
- One by one, Thomas, Mina and the others are picked off and killed by the Titans, dying in horrible ways. Eren loses his left leg below the knee, then his left arm to them. As Armin sees this happening he can only collapse to his knees and watch in silence, despite his mind telling him to run he sits perfectly still as a Titan approaches and lifts him over its mouth to eat him.
"The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2"
- The scene where Hannah is trying to revive Franz might have flown over some heads in the anime thanks to the view (if you don't look too carefully at the scene, it makes it look like his lower half is still there). However, in the manga, it comes as quite a shock since it's smack-dab in the middle of the page and completely unhidden.
- If you do notice it, it is much more chilling in the anime by how slowly it sinks in. You see her trying to revive him, and then ask Armin for help. His refusal at first seems strange... then you see the blood... then notice Armin's expression as he refuses. It suddenly clicks, but you can't be too sure. You keep trying to see his lower half, but each camera angle shows exactly the same portion of his body as the one before. It can be a very stressful scene to watch.
- Mikasa's traumatic past, having to watch first her father and then her mother be slaughtered by the human-traffickers. At first she can't even comprehend her father has been stabbed in the heart. But when the other brings an axe down into her mother's clavicle and releases a damn torrential geyser of blood, causing her to twist and reach for her daughter in the throes of death before collapsing in a growing crimson pool. We see Mikasa's innocence die, sheer incomprehension written across her face, before her eyes turn blank and she goes catatonic from the horror of it all.
- Although also awesome, Eren suddenly developing a predilection for calculated murder at his tender age is all manner of disturbing. He's nine when he butchers two grown men to save Mikasa. First luring them into a false sense of security by crying in the entrance of their hideout, pretending to be lost, and then he stabs the first guy right in the throat, mockingly thanking him for the lesson on how the world works before drawing it across and finishing him without a care. Then he just gives the creepiest stare to the other bandit, as he slowly closes the door!
"Small Blade: The Struggle for Trost, Part 3"
- The chilling scene where we witness a group of soldiers trapped inside the military head-quarters of Trost with the Titans leering through the windows. This alone would be cause for terror, but what truly makes it extra unnerving is the way one of the soldiers cheerfully smiles as he loads a musket and stuffs the barrel into his mouth.
- The ear piercing screams from the recruits getting devoured trying to save their friend.
"I Can Hear His Heartbeat: The Struggle for Trost, Part 4"
- The need for the Cadets to let the Titans in the supply depot close to point-blank range of their muskets without their resolves breaking.
"Whereabouts of His Left Arm: The Struggle for Trost, Part 5"
- We see how Eren got out of that Titan's stomach. But first, we see Eren being eaten alive. He falls into a damn lake of the Titan's digestive juices, where body-parts of dozens of fellow soldiers are floating. Someone else is even still alive and mumbles a plea for her mother as she sinks into the boiling goop. Eren breaks down in anguish at his own helplessness, triggering his first Titan transformation, which bursts the Santa Titan apart to paint the streets red like Alien Up to Eleven. And the Rogue Titan stands up covered in steaming blood from head to toe.
- The cavernous and extremely red insides of the Titan that ate Eren (as opposed to the black-and-white of the manga) is absolutely Hellish. It also illustrates the truly horrifying results of being eaten whole by a creature that has extremely high body temperature and doesn't actually have a working stomach: you are boiling in your comrades' blood.
- Eren grinning in a really maniacal way, whispering about how he'll kill all the Titans, not even noticing that his best friend Armin has probably been listening to his Madness Mantra of "kill more" for the past few minutes with a horrified expression.
- That... THING that Eren created to stop him, Mikasa, and Armin from being killed by cannon fire, which can only be described as a giant skeleton with skinless flesh attached to half of the bones.
"Primal Desire: The Struggle for Trost, Part 9"
- The piles of regurgitated, undigested limbs, and the fact that it is somebody's job to clean them up. The waste of so many lives for no apparent reason is bad enough, but every soldier who has to mop up Titan vomit can't not realise that they're elbow deep in what's likely to be their own future: a pile of anonymous body parts clogging the gutters.
- The aftermath of Marco's death. Not only is the way they portray his bisected body unusually grisly (with the realistically shrivelled back lips after a few days of decomposition), the monotone and fish-eyed method of addressing Jean as used by the female dead-counter is almost equally disturbing.
"Can't Look Into His Eyes Yet: Eve of the Counter-attack, Part 1"
- It may all just be an act, but the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that Levi gives Eren at his trial can be a little hard to watch. It doesn't help that the first blow knocked a tooth out and he didn't stop there. Granted, the tooth grew back, but still.
- The brutality of the beating was largely the goal from an in-universe perspective, too. People in the courtroom were starting to shout about how not only should Eren be executed and subsequently dissected, but Mikasa might also be a candidate for such treatment just to be on the safe side after a declaration that her role at age nine in killing the kidnappers who had taken her and murdered her parents cast doubt on both her and Eren's humanity. Levi savagely beats Eren and then calmly asks why the onlookers are so squeamish when they'd just been proposing a far more gruesome fate just moments earlier.
"Female Titan: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 1"
- The Titan that chases Sasha's squad. Just... how it moves so fast on all fours like a great spider, hip to thigh
- The Female Titan is absolutely terrifying, both in-universe and to the audience. Not only is her appearance pure Fan Disservice and Body Horror, with exposed muscle and bone over what SHOULD be an attractive female figure... but she shows just how utterly terrifying an intelligent Titan can be. She's incredibly fast, able to easily run down the soldiers' fastest horses, and relentlessly chases down her prey while tearing through anyone in her path.
- It doesn't help that she racks up a massive body count, apparently wiping out the ENTIRE right flank of the Survey Corps, considered to be Humanity's strongest military division.
"Forest of Giant Trees: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 2"
- The way the Female Titan kills some of the Survey Corps members is downright cruel. Most of them get crushed underfoot or otherwise smashed by her limbs. Some less fortunate victims die an even less dignified death, varying from having their spinal column broken against a tree, to the upper half of their body grated and smeared out across a tree's surface and being spun around by their 3D Maneuver Gear's cable, reduced to a shower of blood due to the sheer force. To call her style merciless would be an understatement.
- One unlucky soldier arguably gets the worst of it. Ever twirl a yo-yo? That's what the Female Titan does to him, and the results are graphic, if brief. His spine is snapped in half, the force of him spinning is forcing all the blood out of his body, and if that's not enough to kill him, he's likely suffocating even before she decides to let go and send him rocketing off skyward.
- By the time it finally catches up to the Levi Squad, the cream of the crop, every last one of them except Levi himself is panicking. Even Eren himself is momentarily terrified.
"Bite: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 3"
- A flashback reveals that Eren, in the middle of having tea after failing to activate his Titan powers, they spontaneously activated and formed a fleshless arm and torso. It is part unnerving because it shows just how little Eren understands his own powers, and part because of how viciously the Levi Squad reacts to it. Then again, the mood doesn't last long as Hange charges in, practically squeeing at the sight.
"Erwin Smith: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 4"
- The series of deafeningly loud shrieks the Female Titan lets out are pretty damn unnerving. The massive wave of Titans that comes ravenously to her call? Even more so.
"Crushing Blow: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 5"
"Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1"
- Armin realizes Annie was the Female Titan all along. Mikasa drops all pretence and decides to kill her then and there. The Female Titan's reaction is to laugh and start blushing with a smile. The creepiness of this is aided and made even more surprising by the fact that she maintains a stoic face throughout the rest of the anime, never smiling even once (until now).
"Mercy: Assault on Stohess, Part 2"
- Eren desperately tearing into his hand with his teeth in an attempt to transform. His hand is gushing blood, his mouth stained, and those sounds he was making are awful to listen to, all gristle and sinew being gnawed on and snapping — and bones scraped by teeth.
- And when he finally does turn into a Titan, it's part awesome and part this. While Eren has lost control in anger before, here he goes absolutely apeshit with Unstoppable Rage. His crazed, twisted facial expressions and the fact that he's covered in blood only make it worse.
"Wall: Assault on Stohess, Part 3"
- Eren goes Guts-level berserk, restating his vow to kill all the Titans, complete with a voice that sounds like he borrowed it from the Zerg Overmind and a monstrously bloodthirsty grin that would make Alucard proud.
- The fight between Annie and Eren's Titans leads to the destruction of the city and the deaths of many civilians who are caught in the wake of the behemoths, including children! Worse, it's an insane Eren whose responsible for all this, all for his single-minded goal to kill the Female Titan, who is not only horrified by what he has done, but is also so terrified of him that she desperately tries to escape!
- "I'LL DESTROY...! EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD!"
- The reveal of the Titans in the Walls. As a piece of the Wall broke off when the Female Titan was climbing it, Mikasa sees a very large eye. It's revealed to be part of an Ancient Conspiracy that only the top Wall worshippers and the royals knew, to subjugate the masses.
- And as terrifying as that concept is, even scarier are the questions it raises. Who put them in there? How did they get them in there? And most terrifying of all: Why? This is a revelation that turned the entire series on its head, due to all the disturbing implications and questions it raises for the future.
- The titular Sasquatch himself is the definition of unsettling. It is the only Titan to look like an animal, giving us all that primal fear of an alpha predator. It is also the only Titan so far to clearly communicate with humans. Not to mention the disturbing implication that it has the ability to turn humans into Titans it can then control.
- Mike completely snapping when the Beast Titan looms over him and strikes up a conversation. As the big ape quickly susses out, he's "simply too frightened to formulate a response". And we all know we would be voiding ourselves and worse when confronted with an intelligent higher power to which we're just a large cockroach.
- The way it casually fed Mike to three mindless Titans chills the blood. The last we see of Mike is him getting torn apart and begging pathetically for his life. It's even worse in the anime, it ends with Mike being devoured in very, very graphic detail. Never before has a death been that cruel or brutal.
- "Ah. So you can speak." The Beast mutters drily as Mike's death throes are unleashed. The blasé, indifferent nature of his cruelty being somehow even worse than if he were relishing it.
- The ED to season 2: it shows masses of people being massacred by the Titans without any means to stop them. It is quite visceral in the details as well. The music playing makes it worse.
- That description alone doesn't do the Season 2 ED justice. Particular horrors to note scene by scene...
- In the first scene, Titans, from 3-meters to Colossal Titans, emerge from the sea and quickly overwhelm the soldiers posted on the battlements.
- In the second scene, Titans start killing and eating civilians. What's particularly chilling is a smaller Titan can be observed with a body still in its mouth chasing fleeing civilians. The Colossal Titan can also be seen destroying buildings in the background.
- In the third scene, numerous Titans of various sizes corner hundreds of civilians and a gruesome, visceral bloodbath starts. Something particular to note is that there is a child or baby at the very front of the crowd.
- The fourth scene shows the aftermath as a Titan stuffs its cheeks full of civilians and is chewing on them as various Titans fight over the rest in the background as a Colossal Titan is standing over the horizon...
- The scene where a Titan casually holds a grown woman by her leg, slowly tearing pieces of flesh from it all the while she is still alive and her fear-stricken child sits in a corner, completely frozen. The quiet tension of the scene made it far worse than most occasions where people get swallowed whole or bitten in two.
- Somebody give Connie Springer a hug! Just put yourself in his shoes for a second. You visit your old home village that was destroyed by Titans. Bad enough already. But, then you find that the place makes no sense. There's no blood or corpses, so everyone must have run away, but the horses are still tethered in the stables, and everything is just quiet. Too quiet. And worst of all, there's a Titan with deformed limbs on your house, one that looks strangely like your mother... and it welcomes you back.
- The Titan that confronts Reiner on the dark spiral staircase in Utgard Castle. You know the one.
- Ymir, aka the Dancing Titan, is smaller than the rest of the abnormal Titans, but looks far more feral and is much faster, like a rabid demonic animal.
- Reiner's crazed expression when he realises that Ymir was the one who devoured his friend. He then follows that up by slipping into a state where he could have unknowingly snapped Historia's leg in his grip even as he saved her from falling. Reiner's the man who makes even a cold Tranquil Fury look like blistering heat.
- The Colossal Titan and the Armoured Titan, responsible for countless deaths, were just kids. And even up to now their motives remain unknown.
- The way in which it is revealed is given an unusual lack of gravity through cuts and audio mixing that makes it look like casual background dialogue. You could have missed it — just like the 104th did.
- Ymir mentions being a Titan for over 60 years, and that it felt like one big nightmare.
- Eren and Mikasa come face to face with the very same Titan that ate Carla five years ago, complete with that familiar toothy grin.
- Reiner chucking entire Titans at the Survey Corps in a desperate attempt to stop them is pretty unnerving, too.
- The Smiling Titan that ate Eren's mother returns, and the first thing it does is tear Hannes in half and eat him before going after Eren and Mikasa. The Survey Corps and the Military Police are being snapped up by the dozen, and Armin is frantically trying to protect Jean with only a single blade to raise in defense against approaching Titans.
- Expanding on Hannes' death, it's rather unsettling how he opens his eyes to look at Eren when the latter starts laughing, apparently still having a bit of consciousness left even as he's torn in half.
- Eren has the ability to control normal Titans and if Reiner's thoughts are anything to go by... it would be one of the worst case scenarios.
- Considering the person thinking this is an enemy, this comes off as an in-universe villainous version of Nightmare Fuel. After all, the Titan Shifters can't fight an endless swarm of normal Titans. And considering how much Eren despises them...
- The Titans invading Wall Rose are confirmed to have been the missing residents of Ragako village. Connie has lost every single person he knew growing up, as they were killed by the military after being turned into Titans. His mother has been taken into custody by the Survey Corps, and may exist only as a test subject for further experimentation. The photograph of his parents also reveals the Titan that Sasha fought off in her village was Mr. Springer.
- Armin and Erwin are the kings of nightmare fuel facial expressions, both Armin's grin in episode 11 of season 2 before he lies about Annie being tortured and Erwin's smile in episode 12, are both sanity-questioning and creepy, and the latter even freaks LEVI out!
- The veterans of the Survey Corps realise that because Titans are humans transformed against their will, they have been experimenting on and killing innocent victims this entire time. Of course, the killing part could be interpreted another way.
- Normal Titans do not have a "pilot", as Shifters do. Instead, their bodies have been completely absorbed by the Titan form with only their spinal cord remaining. Titans can be killed through slicing out the nape of the neck because they are decapitating what remains of the human.
- Anyone could become a Titan. ANYONE. It is unknown how the Beast Titan transformed the villagers, or if there are multiple methods to induce transformation. And it seems that most can never become human again, once changed.
- The refugees from Wall Rose were forced into the ancient Underground cities beneath the Capital with only a week's worth of rations. They came within moments of open and violent rebellion, barely avoiding the Civil War that Pixis warned about early on in the series. Humanity is hanging on by a thread, one disaster away from slaughtering each other.
- There's some pretty scary implication behind whoever the boss of Reiner, Annie and Bertholdt is. Imagine the mindset of people sending three kids to exterminate humanity. Made worse when Bertholdt confesses while crying that he genuinely cared for his comrades, but he's too scared not to follow orders, and Annie would rather seal herself away in crystal (possibly forever), than give up information.
- A flashback in the Lost Girls Part 2 OVA, shows that Annie is being sent on that mission by her own terrified father. Who apologises profusely but still insists that she love him even if it means making an enemy of the world.
- Eren's Titan form becoming smaller and malformed after repeated transformations in too quick a succession for Eren to handle. He becomes hideously emaciated from the waist down. Hip bones sticking out like a starvation victim. The flesh of his traps and other back muscles is stripped away until you can see Eren's real body attached to the Titan's neck with only his head and arms subsumed. Hange even notes in the manga that Eren might be permanently fusing with his Titan form before they manage to drag him out; but not this time without some grisly consequences. Good Thing You Can Heal, Eren.
- The anime ups the Body Horror of what were already gruesome black and white panels, with the nerve muscles becoming so much a part of Eren's face that his eyeballs have melted and sloughed out of his head. His lips, cheeks and nose are ripped off in the process of freeing him so that we can see his skull and even worse... Eren's tongue has grown to the proportional length of his Titan's, lolling out of his mouth like a great red snake and his ears appear to be turning pointy... Just what the hell would he have become if left hooked up for too long?
- It is implied that anyone staying in their Titan form long enough may lose themselves and revert to a mindless aberrant. Since Eren's intelligence degrades after he runs his Titan form for an unprecedented hour and a half, when he'd only used the power before in quick intense bursts of activity. He even loses memories of what he was even doing.
- Poor Nick having his finger nails torn out, (and a few teeth as well by the looks of it) with pliers before Djel and his compatriot tire of the priest's resilience and simply beat him to death with bare knuckles while he's tied up in a chair. When Hange comes on the scene they transparently and audaciously claim it was a robbery gone wrong. Not even bothering to put any real effort to hide the signs of torture on the body or even the fact that their hands are bruised from punching Nick until he stopped breathing. they've done this kind of wet-work before, to the point that it's routine.
- Armin being molested by a drooling thug while posing as Historia's Body Double. Armin's terrified, humiliated expression and Jean having to look away only exacerbates the horror of the situation, in what might be played off as comedy in a different series.
- Kenny the Ripper, apparently slitting the throats of over a hundred Military Police members. His blood-drenched exploits propelling him to full-blown urban legend and eventually leading him to become the primary agent of the Crown's version of the NKVD.
- The Anti-Personnel ODM gear. We're seeing a weapon that's supposed to be used for killing Titans, now modified and used for the sake of killing humans. It's chilling to see it in action as the primitive exoskeleton is used to murder two members of Hange's squad with startling speed and accuracy, before they even knew what hit them. Levi himself is struck speechless for a few seconds when witnessing the damage their disposable sawn-off rounds can do to human beings.
- Nifa and Goggles undergoing surprise cranial readjustment. Read, everything above her jaw is shredded into red gloop from Kenny's shot, while Goggles has his own head split in two from the spray of metal, to topple into the street and splat-land at the feet of a mother and her child, who naturally screams bloody murder.
- The fact that Kenny doesn't even hesitate from opening fire on a man he fostered. For him, it is kill or be killed and he must have raised Levi with a similar Darwinian mind-set.
- Fortunately for some, the anime adaption of the events covered below are rather toothless in comparison to the near Gorn of the source material.
- Eren and Historia being confined and transported around in coffins would look pretty unnerving to anyone with the slightest case of claustrophobia.
- The way Levi slaughters Kenny's Squad whenever he gets a chance. From impaling one in the throat. Slicing one's spinal cord and cutting a chunk out of another's medulla oblongata and seeing their faces spasm horrifically in death. To leaving another with his legs and buttocks dangling from a strip of flesh still connected to his waist after he reverse-grip cuts him across the abdomen. They also cut the kill Levi scores when he flings another blade clean through an MP's eye and nearly splits his head in two.
- When Armin shoots the female MP, saving Jean's life. We get a clear panel of her bloody and clearly shattered skull from the impact of his bullet entering one temple and exiting the other in a welter of brain matter and bone chips. Worse still, Jean explains that the reason for his hesitation to kill her was that she was hesitating to kill him. It may have been possible to talk her down, but of course no one could risk it. For readers upset with Jean for not just shooting her, it is an unsettling revelation to say the least.
- The uncensored tortures Levi and Hange subject Djel to. From Hange crushing and ripping off his first finger nail, (after she's snapped the first joint of his finger by accident) and then going on to the other nine, to Levi breaking his nose by literally bending it out of shape with his bare hand. Hange also rips out one of Djel's molars with a pair of pliers and is even about to use a thumb-screw on whichever testicle he prefers to lose!
- When Kenny cuts Reeves throat with what looks like a wicked skinning knife, he holds his head at an upwards angle like he's bleeding a goat or a pig. To ensure every drop of his arterial blood gushes from his heart all the faster. The anime censors this in favour of us watching his pupils dilate massively in shock as his life leaves him, which can be just as creepy.
- The abusive neglect Historia's mother subjects her to. Ignoring your child is just about the worst psychological damage you can inflict on them. And it's further escalated in the scene where she bodily hurls a five or six year old Historia off her lap by the face, cracking the cartilage in her daughter's nose and making her bleed is nothing short of horrific in its understated mundane realism compared to the fantastical deaths in the series by Titan. And then, the first words she says to her progeny?
- With Alma crying when her daughter tries to interact with her, it's implied that this kind of upbringing is probably the best a royal bastard like Historia could expect to receive. With the alternatives likely being aborted before you're born, smothered in the crib, or, if no-one has the stomach to end her life: treated as if you don't exist.
- Kenny and his Men in Black goons melting out of the darkness, sent by the Central Assembly to disappear Rod's little affair. Kenny even ironically refers to Alma as an Unperson before slitting her throat from ear-to-ear right in front of Historia and then how he idly prepares to do the same to a ten year old little girl.
- Rod saving Historia on a whim, only to have her shipped off to the Cadets to die on the front-lines and when he hears of Eren's power to use the Coordinate from the MP's that survived the rescue operation last Season; the opportunistic bastard seizes the pair of them. He starts laying the regret on thick, pouring poisoned honey in her ear to which an affection-starved girl like Historia is of course too receptive to notice that she is being blatantly emotionally manipulated. All while poor Eren trembles with fury and all-too-familiar helplessness.
- Levi continues his career as an amateur torturer, kicking an MP in the face, before shoving his foot into his mouth and levering out two of his lower front teeth. He then proceeds to pop his right shoulder joint out of its socket with a half-nelson that doesn't go half way. He's in the process of taking the man's other arm, even stating that he has a lot more bones to break when the weeping MP breaks down and calls him a mad-man.
- In the anime, Levi is completely morose as he dirties his hands and bluntly admits that he most likely is insane. In the manga, Levi, like a certain Lannister Patriarch, actually responds to this accusation by threatening to smile while quipping "maybe", and it is terrible to behold.
- Zackly's out-of-nowhere reveal of being a remorseless and selfish human being that is only aligned with our heroes for his own gratification. Not to mention, that he deliberately kept up a facade of loyalty to the nobles to ensure they all believed him their unfailingly well-behaved dog. When in actuality he despised them with every fibre of his being and his capitulation to their foibles and demands his whole career has only festered his hatred until he's ironically as demented as they are; if not more so.
Premiere Darius Zackly: I know you wanted to see their pitiful howling faces too! You wanted to see those hypocrites get what was coming to them! Of course, that display was more than I could have hoped for! Did you expect those grown-men to go out whimpering?! But the real fun is yet to come... After all, I've been thinking of ways to degrade and insult them for decades now!!
- Zackly pointing at Erwin during this little extra speech as he addresses not only the Commander but also us, the readers, and making sure The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You as he gloatingly asks pointed rhetorical questions about whether you wanted to see justice done or to simply Kick the Son of a Bitch until you feel uncomfortable?
- The specialized Titan-Shifter restraints that Eren is placed in. With not only a horse-bit gag to stop him biting his lips or tongue, but enough chains to immobilize his waist and wrists, plus fetters around his ankles, placing his toes in a horribly uncomfortable position for an extended stay as he's forced into a thigh sit. Kenny's even had his arms pulled into a crucifix-hold and had wrappings to bind his fingers into useless mitts so that he can't scratch his palms with his nails to draw blood.
- Towards the end of the mostly awesome Chapter 61, we get Rod Reiss's creepy grin. It's especially jarring, since the only expressions we've seen him wearing so far are either grim seriousness or apologetic worry. Worse, this face is shown as he and Historia stand before a chained and bound Eren. Eren's position and the shot of Kenny sharpening a knife imply they are moments from doing something horrible — and the Survey Corps aren't even close to finding him, having only vague clues to go on.
- So it turns out that Eren's father didn't make him a Titan Shifter, the injection initially made Eren a regular mindless Titan, and, hard as it is to believe, mindless!Titan Eren looks EVEN CREEPIER THAN THE SMILING TITAN.
- What happened after that is even worse. Eren's father was a Titan Shifter, and when he turned Eren into a Titan, he was promptly attacked and bitten in half, granting Eren his Shifter powers. Eren immediately turns back to normal, and the first thing he sees is his father's mangled corpse.
- The manga of course ups the gore-factor. With Grisha's legs twisted in the last spasms of life so violently that he loses a shoe; just as Carla did in the manga. We even see the giant god-damn teeth-mark shaped lacerations where his waist used to be.
- The... process of how the bloodline of the Walls turns from a human to a Titan and back again. Their bodies being subsumed into flesh, nerves and a spinal cord which is unidentifiable from the Titan's musculature. No wonder they lose short-term memories as their organs and minds are uploaded to the neural network on another plane of existence!
- In the manga, Grisha and Freida's Titans look absolutely nightmarish. With Grisha's barbarian bearded, blood-soaked, lipless fury and Lovecraftian transformation panel making him look like the Devil himself. And Freida's triple limbus popping eyes of crazy, accompanied with a heart-shaped face and white-blond hair that makes her look disturbingly like a demented Titan version of Historia.
- Freida, in her Titan crying out in pain as Grisha rips her arm off. One of the Rogue Titan's overpowering abilities is quite clear against other Shifters, its berserker fury will shrug off all distraction from harm, while even the Original Titan feels agony. Annie and Reiner, being hardened Warriors had high pain-thresholds but obviously still suffered when the Corps or Eren managed to harm them.
- Grisha's absolutely brutal massacre of the Reiss family. As Frieda gorily loses her short-lived Titan vs Titan battle with him, he proceeds to flatten a twelve year-old Abel and a fourteen-year-old Dirk like flies as they helplessly run to aid their sister, then he stomps their mother to death while her ten-year-old daughter, Florian, is still clutched in her arms and finally squeezes the eldest son to death in his grip. It is horrifying and the fact that he murdered children like that without a thought but to eliminate their family completely is almost on par with the Shifter Trio's crimes.
- The fact that Rod "miraculously" survived Grisha's rampage. The Dirty Coward seems to throw the rest of his family in Grisha's path and bolt for the hills. We even see Urklyn, his second-born, screaming and reaching for his father to help him as Grisha snatches him up.
- Darius Zackly's idea of Fine Art. The infamous and fabled 'Shit Machine' torture device that he subjects the deposed Central Assembly to. Not to mention the utter demented glee he showcases while feeding them their meals in reverse. It's straight out of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
- The parallels with Rod preparing to inject Historia with the same concoction that transformed Eren, gently pushing her with the idea of "meeting" her kind half-sister through memories. It seems eerily manipulative and in a way Grisha's frantic and forceful methods towards Eren are preferable.
- Kenny revealing that his "dream" is to steal the power of the Titans that the Reiss family wields. Considering that Rod just explained the heights the wielders of the Founding Titan can reach in their abilities — and from the dialogue of the Interior Squad loyal to him — it is possible that Kenny is planning to use the power to reign like a god over mankind. The thought of those abilities in the hands of a man like that... brr...
- Kenny forcing Rod's mouth open, before sticking a knife down his throat and jiggling the blade about! Then notching Eren's forehead, causing a cascade of blood to weep over Eren's face.
- Eren's Heroic BSoD has him ready to give in entirely and let himself be devoured after witnessing his father's memories and knowing what the Coordinate can do in the right hands. Seeing the normally driven and Hot-Blooded Eren weeping encouragingly to Historia to eat him is chilling.
- In the manga, volume 16 ends with Historia seemingly crossing the point of no return by becoming a Titan. Even worse, the last shot of the rapidly growing Titan body bears a sinister resemblance to the Titan that wiped out Keith Shadis' squad at the beginning of the manga. That combined with Rod mentioning that he chose a "combat Titan" for Historia makes it clear a terrible battle is about to take place.
- From the same chapter we get Frieda's completely unexpected Nightmare Face as she rants and raves at a young Historia for daring to climb the fence around her farm.
- The reason for it is also horrifying: she was suffering a Split-Personality Takeover thanks to the memories of the First King she inherited and it's implied that they sometimes overwhelm her own will.
- Rod's entire Villainous Breakdown, beginning with stoic shock as Historia destroys the syringe, before he snaps completely. A crazed expression distorting his features, passing beyond deranged to certifiable as he violently grabs Historia — who he had up until now claimed to love — and ending with him licking up the spilled Titan serum and going One-Winged Angel.
- Historia's shoulder-flip-throw on Rod, from the sound of its impact and him crawling in the next scene, breaks his back and cripples him.
- Rod's shifting is easily one of the creepiest transformations in the series. With a gigantic spinal cord and skull erupting out of the ether, hellish light glowing through his hollow eye sockets, staring soullessly straight at Eren and Historia. It doesn't help matters when we see that he is at least as large as the Colossal Titan and getting bigger.
"Outside The Walls of Orvud"
- Rod's mindless Titan form is bigger than the Colossal Titan, possesses an exposed rib-cage and freakishly over-sized torso compared to its arms and legs. Worst of all, it is an implacable juggernaut that is nigh-impossible to even approach due to the immense heat radiating from its body. Due to it being a Deviant type, this monster is seeking out densely populated areas and Hange theorizes that standard evacuation methods will only worsen the situation, as it will follow the fleeing humans all the way into the capital, destroying Wall Sina in order to get at them.
- Adding to the above horror is the way the Rod-Titan moves — it drags its huge torso across the ground with its comparatively small arms and legs with its face digging into the earth, in a manner reminiscent of an insect.
- The anime manage the feat of making its movements even worse once revealing how it moves. Its torso compresses and elongate akin of a giant maggot, supported by the legs. A ribcage should never be moving like that, ever.
"Ruler of The Walls"
- You know how the Colossal Titan first appeared? That image of it reaching its hand and head over the Wall that's become an icon of the series? In a disturbing sort of recreation or Call-Back, Rod's Titan form has to use Wall Sina to drag himself upright as support, eventually towering over the Wall even at a squat he is twice as big as Bertholdt at 120 meters!
- Since Rod's Titan face was stuck in the ground as he dragged himself from the caverns to Orvud District, it results in the bone being scraped off, leaving a flapping nub of a tongue, gloopy, empty orbital lobes, exposed naval cavities and a cut-away of his brain. Since it dragged itself on its belly, the same thing has happened to its upper torso, exposing its spiked a hundred long ribcage and vestigial organs. The citizens take one look at this monstrosity and break into a full out riot of terror.
- The anime for once ups the grotesque by showing Rod having several holes punched in him from the cannon-fire, which is bound to trigger trypophobia in some viewers. When it stands up, its nose and eye holes weep blood and most of its guts spill out of its abdomen and drape over the wall, sweeping some Garrison troops clear off!
- Kenny's injuries after barely surviving the collapse of the Crystal Cavern aren't a pretty sight.
- Kuchel's emaciated corpse, complete with the shrivelled, desiccated lips of a body that must have been a good week of decomposing.
- Levi's state as a young'un. His cheek-bones are sticking out sharply and his eyes are sunken in from starvation.
- The Beast Titan and the Armoured Titan fought. Reiner was curb-stomped. His armour is completely missing from half his face, and there are several punch marks along his body that look like craters while The Beast Titan doesn't even have a visible scratch. Reiner and Bertholdt are taking orders from this monkey boy. We don't know what his end game is, but it can't be good, and he all but promises a horrible surprise for those who come to reclaim Wall Maria.
- A meta example from the original chapter release. When the Beast's Holder revealed himself for the first time to readers, a caption read: "THE STRONGEST TITAN AWAITS IN THE SHIGANSHINA DISTRICT." Those words should fill one with dread.
- The Season Finale caps off with the cast in high spirits and a strong Hope Spot of the return to Shiganshina, and the triumphant episode credits playing - until it glitches out, showing Levi saying something and then rewinds. Then it happens again, and the series briefly jumps into a Flash Forward to the next arc with Levi covered in steaming Titan blood, blaming Eren and Mikasa for something as everything's gone to hell in a handbasket, and Mikasa's verging on murdering Levi. Even worse, the Freeze-Frame Bonus moments that pass by in the flash forward show the Beast Titan, various elements and a charred corpse, which both work as a method of Foreshadowing, and an effective method of a subtle Jump Scare - even for those that already know what's in store next arc.
- The deeply unsettling nature of how Titan Shifters happen. Titans become Titan Shifters by eating a Titan Shifter, which is already messed up, but it's not actually eating them that does the trick, it's ingesting their spinal fluid, and that's not the horror part. The horror part is that this has been well known by at least some of the people at the root of the conspiracies. This implies that there actually is a humane cure for Titanism: just perform spinal taps on the already-existing Shifters. The problem? You then have a legion of Titan Shifters, possibly billions of them, which means anyone who isn't one already is much more likely to be dominated by them because of the extreme imbalance of power. Even if it's possible, it wouldn't solve a goddamn thing for humanity because we're our own worst enemy. When it comes right down to it, Humans Are the Real Monsters.
- Chapter 74. Oh, sure the scouting legion had a Hope Spot when Levi curb-stomps Reiner. Then enter the Beast Titan. With dozens of similarly sized Titans flanking him.
- Oh, and all those Titans? Take a look at the panel before they appear to attack. The entire horizon behind Erwin lights up with a familiar lighting — The light of a Titan Shifter assuming their forms! The implication? The Beast Titan doesn't just have a regular Titan army, he has an Army of Titan Shifters! 'Screwed' doesn't even cover it.
- Still too early to say if it's an army of Titan Shifters or regular Titans. Especially since the Titans look like the deranged, misshapen Uncanny Valley ones instead of more refined Shifters. Of course, all this brings forth the implication that the Beast Titan has kidnapped a lot of people and turned them into Titans in an instant...
- Chapter 75? That supposedly lethal attack from Levi? Reiner survived it. He got a blade through his spine and heart by the second blade, which is bad enough, but Isayama was kind enough to give us a diagram of the first blade◊. As he notes, he very well should have died. Reiner just one-upped the only known way to destroy a Titan Shifter. He then proceeds to Titan-Shift, and then climb the fucking Wall with the blade still in his neck before casually pulling it out. He then takes apart Erwin and Armin's plan in ways even they hadn't thought of.
- Oh, and all those Titans? Take a look at the panel before they appear to attack. The entire horizon behind Erwin lights up with a familiar lighting — The light of a Titan Shifter assuming their forms! The implication? The Beast Titan doesn't just have a regular Titan army, he has an Army of Titan Shifters! 'Screwed' doesn't even cover it.
- Chapter 77 shows us Marco's murder at the hands of the Titan trio for the crime of merely being at the wrong place at the wrong time and overhearing things he shouldn't have. Its hard to tell what part of it is the worst, Marco's confusion and terror as he comes to the realization that the two comrades he fought alongside of are the very monsters who destroyed the Wall, the doomed hope on his face when he sees Annie come to his "rescue"...or Warrior Reiner's utter disdain for humanity as a "cursed race" Take your pick, but all of them are pretty chilling.
- The above information almost makes this poetic justice, but the shot of Reiner's body missing its head from the lower jaw up, while still stuck in his Titan's nape, is pretty nasty. What's worse is that this is still not enough to kill him outright.
- Chapter 77 reveals the Beast Titan's known as a warchief among the Titan Shifters, and he calls the people within the Walls "evil."
- As pointed out by some folks on Tumblr, the Beast Titan (or Zeke) discusses letting other children eat Reiner with the same air of parental patience you might use on a misbehaving child. Reiner and Bertholdt are visibly shaken by this.
- Chapter 78. The matter-of-fact way Bertholdt confirms that the Warriors' goal is not only the Coordinate but the deaths of every man, woman, and child within the Walls, while assuring the 104th that they haven't done anything wrong, they just have to die. It goes even further downhill when he transforms into the Colossal Titan, causing a mushroom-shaped eruption that may have annihilated Hanji and her squad as well as countless other soldiers.
- Adding insult to injury Reiner still isn't dead, having transferred control of his bodily functions to his Titan's nervous system, allowing him to live through having his head blown off. Our last glimpse of him is with his head regenerating, complete with his bulging brain and newly formed eyes peeking out from a mass of blood and steam.
- Chapter 79 has Zeke hurling boulders at the soldiers alarming accuracy and speed, and how it's drawn makes it look as if he's breaking the sound barrier. What results is one of the biggest gorefests in the manga yet, with body parts being splattered everywhere as they are being pulped, sending humanity into the direst straits yet. Zeke manages to make it worse by likening to his performance to baseball and quips on how he's aiming for a "perfect game".
- As if that weren't bad enough, Bertolt ends up setting fire to the houses, then flinging the pieces to other houses to set the whole town inside the Walls on fire. Him and Zeke end up forming a duo that traps everyone between them.
- The fact that Zeke both knows what baseball is and apparently winds up like a pitcher would suggests that human civilization still exists outside of the walls. Given that the inhabitants of the Walls were the rich 1% who left behind the rest of humanity to die and that the First King was some sort of Titan Shifter with the Coordinate ability, you get the impression that there might be a very good reason why Zeke's people are so hostile to the humans living within the Walls.
- Chapter 81. Zeke reveals in his thought bubbles that he's doing what he's doing in the way that he's doing it purely to have as much fun as possible.
- Chapter 82. Armin's body, or what's left of it, after he was roasted alive by the Colossal Titan. It's clear that his death was an agonizing one.
- The chapter's biggest "Hell Yes!" moment also has a bit of Fridge Horror for Anti-Villain Bertolt. The chapter ends with him utterly helpless (his limbs chopped off and exhausted from going all-out in Titan form) in the hands of Eren; Who, it must be mentioned, promised to make Bertolt's death "as excruciating as possible" the last time they saw each other.
- At first, you think the "Mule" Titan is a funny throwaway character that won't impact anything. Then things like◊ this happen◊.
- Chapter 84. Bertold gets what Eren promised was coming to him, a death as excruciating as possible, being chewed up, one piece at a time, with his head going last, all while he's awake, aware of what's happening, and unable to do anything about it.
- Worse still, he probably didn't die from the first bite, thanks to that liquid. Even as he was being chewed up, he still would have been alive.
- Mikasa's reaction when Levi initially chooses to save Erwin instead of Armin. She's more than ready to kill him for it, and the only reason she doesn't act right away is because she realises that he's been weakened. Considering that the scene early on when she's ready to attack Levi when he's beating Eren was played for laughs, it sheds new light on just how terrifying Mikasa can be if you mess with her friends.
- The Reveal of the state of humanity in Chapter 86. Just as the end of the previous chapter more or less revealed, civilization was thriving... as an Orwellian nightmare. The population is divided by class, and absolute obedience and protocol is enforced with extreme prejudice, that not even children are safe.
- This is exemplified when curiosity gets the better of a young Grisha Yaeger and his little sister, Faye, to go outside their district without a permit so that they could see a zeppelin land. Grisha is beaten by an officer under the promise that Faye is let go, with the officer's partner even saying that he's going too far... except Faye never returned home. Instead, her body is discovered washed up from a river, blood pouring from her eyes and mouth... and an industrial factory in the background suggesting why.
- Essentially, the world outside the Walls is a nightmare combination of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Which may answer a lot of questions regarding the existence of the Titans, why a big portion of humanity is trapped behind the Walls, and why Mikasa is the only Asian in the Walls.
- The entire backstory of the two factions. The Eldians used the second generation of Titan Shifters to rule over the Marley people and it's mentioned that they 'forced them to breed' with them to produce more of their population — they spent hundreds of years committing mass rape. Then the Marley managed to turn the tables and keep the remaining Eldians in a ghetto, and are able to kill children without fearing any consequences. It's one big cycle of horrific revenge.
- Chapter 87 reveals that all Titans are Eldians, as only they will transform into Titans when injected with a Titan's cerebrospinal fluid.
- The torture scene at the beginning of the chapter, with multiple panels focusing on Grisha's fingers being cut off with scissors.
- At least part of Paradis Island is lined with a wall, which is used as a makeshift execution site by the Marleyan government, but rather than outright killing people there, they are pushed off to make a soft landing in the sand below... just so the Titans can eat them alive. It gets worse. Grisha and his fellow revolutionaries are brought there and Grisha bears witness to all of his comrades being injected with Titan fluids, pushed off the wall, and transforming into Titans. What does this mean? ALL regular Titans shown in the series thus far were once Eldian people, punished by being Titanized at the outer Paradis wall (minus the ones transformed by the Beast Titan).
- Grishas comrades are rightfully terrified of becoming Titans, knowing they'll lose themselves. Moments later, we see them transform after being injected; Grisha calls out to them, but they no longer remember who they are.
- The reveal that the Smiling Titan, the one that ate Eren's mom, was Grisha's former wife Dina. The Moe Titan is also revealed to have been one of Grisha's comrades, forcefully transformed in front of him and deliberately made to be a 3-4m class by being injected with only a small dosage of fluid. Going all the way back to the battle of Trost reveals some of the Titans there (such as the the one that eats Eren and the one that bites his leg off) were also comrades of Grisha.
- The Government meeting to discuss the information gained from Grisha's diaries. Namely, the top brass being eager to learn how to use the Coordinate so that they can unleash the Wall Titans on the world. We've reached a point where the leadership of both sides are prepared to cross the Godzilla Threshold and exterminate every last living soul on the opposing side. Since the entire world considers the Eldians their enemies, both sides are geared up to commit genocide.
- Chapter 90: While everyone else, even Mikasa, celebrate killing all the Titans on Paradis Island and finally reaching the ocean, Eren doesn't even care, instead choosing to focus on his new goal of killing the Marleyans for everything they've done. By Chapter 92, it's obvious how much the rest of the world hate the Eldians, meaning even if he accomplishes that, it still won't be the end. It's starting to look like Eren will never be satisfied with just his vengeance.
- Chapter 92 reveals how the Beast Titan uses his technique to turn the people in Connie's village into Titans. After injecting them with a bit of his spinal fluid, Zeke simply gives out a huge roar that turns the nearest Eldians into Titan. Zeke uses it on a group of Eldians that look either drugged or mentally ill, and has them transform while in mid-air as falling bombardments on a walled fortress and said fall killed 60 percent of them!
- The entire context of what transpired with the results of Marleyan government's dehumanization of Eldians not only treating them as demons but also as expendable with exception of the best in the Warrior program. It doesn't help said dehumanization spread all over the world with a Middle East Union soldier even cursing Falco and the others despite the former trying to keep him alive.
- Chapter 93: Reiner gives better insight regarding what happens when candidates for the Warrior program are even suspected of betrayal; They're not only kicked out of the Warrior program, they along with their entire family will be turned into mindless Titans as CannonFodder for future battles. Trapped in Villainy indeed...
- Chapter 94 gives us several horrible details:
- Falco notices a line of soldiers being escorted to a ghetto hospital, all badly wounded and traumatized by their ordeals. One of the Marleyan soldiers explains that they have spent the last few years digging trenches, and are now mentally broken. They have no families or friends, and therefore no one to miss them...
- The Braun family dinner is filled with subtle horror, demonstrating how mindlessly obedient they are in condemning the island "Demons" and offering up their own children to Marley's war machine. The family celebrates the thought of two of their children becoming Warriors, by one killing the other. And Reiner is forced to describe his former friends as monsters and demons to appease his family, who are visibly horrified when he fails to sufficiently demonize them. Gabi picks up on this and questions what Reiner meant by "different types of people", and is immediately subjected to her aunt screaming about how everyone on the island is evil... while glaring across the table at Reiner.
- On top of that, Gabi's aunt, and the expressions of the others, implies that, deep down, they know Reiner is right, but to acknowledge that, or even to not immediately deny that the Paradisians are anything more than monsters, brings the threat of Marley's police coming down on their entire family. It just goes to show how much of a grip of terror and propaganda Marley has on the Eldian populace.
- Chapter 96 keeps it coming:
- Seeing Annie and Reiner, who at the time are preteens, arguing over whether to abandon their mission in the immediate aftermath of Marcel's death, not sure if their superiors will execute Reiner or all of them for their failure. Upon being violently beaten up and told to die by an enraged Annie, we witness the beginning of Reiner's Sanity Slippage as he finally snaps: Tackling and choking Annie while declaring that he will become Marcel if that is what they need. Made worse by the fact that his face is completely covered in his own blood.
- The Fall of Wall Maria, seen from the other side of things. Reiner and Annie were nearly devoured by Titans, while Bertolt emerges from his Titan... and sees the Smiling Titan staring at him as it calmly walked past and into the city.
- The Sole Survivor of a mountain village, telling the Warriors about how he abandoned his children to die. He ends up hanging himself, with the other refugees not even able to remember the name of his village or particularly caring about his death. There is the implication that the Warriors got him to talk about his village so they could create a believable backstory and then killed him, making it look like a suicide so they wouldn't be found out.
- 12-year old Annie suggesting that she go into the city, and seduce a noble in order to get closer to the royal family. She claims she's joking, but it's also pointed out that only female refugees are allowed to go into the city. Doubles as Fridge Horror.
- Chapter 97:
- The Splash Panel of Reiner with a rifle in his mouth, preparing to kill himself. Even involving a character that has survived incredible violence, it's a horrifying image.
- Because War Is Hell, the veterans shown at the ghetto hospital are fairly horrifying in their own way. As Eren points out, none of them would have wanted to go to war if they'd known what would happen to them. Several amputees are seen, as well as several men that have clearly been driven insane by their experiences fighting in the trenches. Sadly Truth in Television, since it parallels the horror of veterans returning from the first World War maimed and broken.
- Chapter 98:
- Marley isn't the only country that has Eldian Internment Zones, as Udo is revealed to have moved to Marley after being accepted into the Warrior Program. He states that things are so bad in other countries, that Marley's treatment is considered good. That's right, the horrors the audience has seen Marley subject the Eldian people to is considered "moderate" or even "humane" in comparison to how other countries treat them.
- During a fancy dinner party, the recruits are forced to serve the guests. Udo bumps into a foreign delegate and spills wine on her clothing. He remains frozen in terror when an official comes over, though the woman lies to defuse the situation and pretends nothing happened. Afterwards, she whispers a warning to him, reminding him that there's no way to know what they might have done to him. Even a "valued" Warrior Candidate could be taken off and killed (or worse) for stepping out of line, and the only thing that saved Udo was bumping into the one sympathetic guest at the party.
- Chapter 99:
- At the ceremony where Willy is declaring war on the "Demons of Paradis", Reiner finds that Eren is right underneath the stage and has a cut on his hand, meaning he can transform at any time.
- Even though Eren is The Hero of this story, the way he acts in front of Reiner and Falco is disturbing. His calm and collected demeanour is such a contrast to his raging bloodlust that it is actually MORE TERRIFYING.
- The Reveal that the "hero" who ended the Great Titan War was none other than King Carl Fritz. He not only made a pact with the Tybur family to end the war, but then he made a vow of pacifism that would prevent all of his descendants from using his power against the Marleyans or anyone else ever again. Even if the Titans were to breach every Wall, whoever was King would let it happen. The King was so horrified by his people's actions that he believed it would be better if they never existed.
- There's a reason why Chapter 100 was anticipated to be "Grim Reminder 2.0":
- Willy emotionally manipulates the audience into agreeing with full on genocide. And even though he dies immediately afterwards, he gets exactly what he wanted out of the ordeal.
- It's after the speech that really solidifies the horror — out of nowhere, just when the world leaders believe themselves secure and righteous in waging a war of extermination on the Eldians, Eren turns into the Attack Titan, bursts out of the building overlooking the conference and swats Tybur like a cockroach in front of thousands, murdering countless civilians (including children) along the way. It's in direct parallel to the Colossal Titan's first manga appearance all those years ago; instilling absolute mortal terror in the hearts of the people.
- Chapter 101 continues to parallel the carnage of the first issue.
- Eren's horrifying Titan version of Belly Flop Crushing, leaping from the stage and crushing the audience of military officials underneath his 15 meter body.
- The deaths of Sofia and Udo. The former is killed instantly when debris falls on her, leaving only a bloody mess with legs sticking out. The latter stands still too long, and is trampled to death when the audience stampedes out of the fairgrounds — his body getting kicked around, his head practically rolling off his shoulders as multitudes of sprinting feet snap his neck like a twig and we later get a panel showing a chunk of his skull missing.
- Colt desperately trying to save his younger colleagues, only to be swept away by the panicked audience. He ends up stuck behind a large piece of rubble, cowering behind it to save himself and Gabi while the crowd stampedes around and even over them like tidal waves in their panic to escape Eren's rampage. It drives home just how harrowing being stuck in a frenzied crowd actually is.
- Gabi's horrified, broken expression as she watches the people around her devolve into animals unheeding of any ideology except survival.
- All this while the Attack Titan shakes the earth, slaughtering Marleyans indiscriminately with that wild mane of hair shrouding his screaming skull face and truly living up to his name as a demon. He's like Kayako from the Grudge sized up to city-levelling proportions.
- Chapter 103 is a particularly shocking and gruesome chapter, even by the series' standards.
- Armin deploys his Titan in open war — its initial detonation sends battleships flying into the sky. One can only guess at Armin's now truly colossal body-count.
- The defeat of the Panzer Unit is Bloodier and Gorier, with the Cart Titan and her crew being blown to pieces. There's brain matter, eye balls, teeth, and chunks of unidentifiable flesh exploding all over the place in graphic detail. It doesn't help matters that Pieck is an Ensemble Dark Horse, and fills roughly half a panel with vomited blood before her eyes roll into the back of her head from her injuries. Said slaughter starts when Sasha shoots one of the unit members through the head. We get a good look of the lifeless body with the bullet hole in his head as the other members cry out for him.
- Jean committing himself to a final attack on the downed Pieck, only for Falco to throw himself into his line of fire to protect her. Jean promised Armin and Levi all the way back in the Uprising Arc that he wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger next time but he's likely damned either way; if he does then he'll snuff out the last vestiges of his humanity, if he doesn't — then his own life could be forfeit. Cemented with the closing author caption of: When will this cycle of tragedy ever cease?!
- Chapter 104:
- We finally see Armin's Titan up close, with its gaunt, skull-like face, exposed ribs and spinal column, stomping across the ruins of the docks it just destroyed. Both it and Armin look mournful and traumatized at the sight of a recently-deceased child trapped under the rubble with tears in their eyes, the only sign of the life that had been there just minutes before.
- Eren finally manages to crack through the Warhammer's crystal... by jamming her into Porco's jaws and forcing them shut, slowly cracking her open like a nut and holding her above his mouth so that the resulting spray of blood and spinal fluid will pour into his own mouth. The look on her face, and the sight of her body as it fractures apart along with the crystal, is chilling. Then, right after making Porco kill his own ally, he tries to eat Porco too and is just barely stopped. Again, Eren shows not only a lack of remorse for these brutal killings but a lack of any emotion at all.
- Chapter 105:
- Sasha's death is horrifyingly swift, sudden, and out of absolutely nowhere. It goes to show Anyone Can Die, and that absolutely no one is safe.
- We see the extent of how brainwashed the well-meaning Gabi has been by the Marleyan Regime. Falco is utterly powerless to keep his love from going on a suicide mission, who resolves to either kill all of the "bad" Eldians or die trying. Even after being captured and beaten she is utterly rabid with hatred in the face of the Eldians of Paradise, threatening to curse and kill them all on behalf of the "true Eldians", horrifying even Falco. Her recent personal tragedy and a lifetime of stigma has twisted her into exactly what Reiner was trying to prevent her from becoming.
- Chapter 108:
- You know things are going to shit when Connie of all people can pull off a Death Glare frightening enough to stop Mikasa in her tracks as they discuss Eren's motivations.
- Eren is shown to be so uncaring and apathetic towards Sasha's death, that even his sworn friends have slowly begun to turn on him. Eren's bland attitude towards his murder of innocent people, children and even the death of one of his comrades, for whom once upon a time he would have gone on a rampage for, is cementing that perhaps Eren's mind is compromised by the memories of past holders and he cares for nothing and no-one besides his mission.
- Worse is that Connie, Jean and even Armin all are considering his death if it's confirmed that he wishes to commit further war crimes.
- Chapter 109:
- When Kaya, one of the people who took in Gabi and Falco, reveals she knows they're from Marley, Gabi immediately grabs a pitchfork and tries to murder her. Prior to this Gabi rants that Kaya is evil and her people deserve everything they get for the crimes of their ancestors centuries ago.
- Four years ago, Kaya's village was attacked by a three meter titan. Kaya and her mother couldn't flee due to her mother's injured leg. Kaya hid and was Forced to Watch as her mother was eaten alive, telling Gabi that her mother only stopped screaming after her throat was too damaged to continue. Despite it happening before that attack on Marley and neither having ever known of the other country, Gabi still insists that Kaya's mother deserved what happened just for being an Eldian.
- Chapter 110:
- We are finally shown the means by which Zeke transformed the people of Ragako village into Titans. He, Pieck and at least three Marleyan soldiers flooded the entire hamlet with a gas that was comprised of mere drops of Zeke's vapourised spinal fluid amongst a heavy blanketing chemical agent. Like the war-fodder we saw him use in the middle-east, this biological attack caused paralysis and mental deprivation, leaving them helpless until Zeke used his version of the Coordinate Scream to make them transform all at once. Worse, he explains that inhalation of even the tiniest atomic particles of his spinal fluid allowed him to "lock on" to each of their personal Paths, meaning that even had the victims been removed from the area, he could send the Titan Power through the invisible Pathways and transform them no matter how far they fled. Zeke's cold and clinical explanation of the logistics and mechanics of this kind of experiment cause Levi to state that even if he is operating with the best interests of the Eldians at heart, he clearly has zero regard for individual human lives.
- When Mikasa demands of Zackly what will happen to Eren after he refused to answer any of the military's questions, the creepy geezer glances at the fabled, the legendary, the unrivalled Shit Machine bondage chair that he has had brought up to his personal office!
- Zeke, Yelena, Floch and who knows how many others seem to have already made a cult of personality around the salvation Eren's existence promises. It's implied that the fresh recruits of the Survey Corps smuggled an explosive device into Zackly's "art-piece" in order to assassinate him for daring to consider the replacement of their hero. His bisected carcass being blasted out of HQ is a gory enough sight, the fact that said bomb could have killed Mikasa if she'd ignored Armin's advice to not listen in at the door is another chilling reminder that Eren doesn't give a damn about collateral damage.
- The Dark Reprise of "dedicate your hearts!" by the crowd as they take pleasure in Zackly's demise; promising the return of the Eldian Empire when in actuality everything is going to shit within the government.
- This chapter firmly emphasises the violent wedge that has been driven between Eren's rebelling faction and the Old Guard including all of Eren's original comrades. This is highlighted by Eren's determined and villainous demeanour after he has escaped his cell and meets up with his followers, barely reacting when Floch hands him a coat while casually mentioning that their infiltrators have just outright assassinated Zackly, Paradis's Head of State.
- Chapter 111:
- Nikolo being so overcome with rage that he plans to have Gabi executed with a knife right in front of the Blause family in order to exact revenge for Sasha's death. He even hands Sasha's father a butcherer's knife so he can do the honours on the spot. Despite what Gabi has done, seeing a child essentially being put up for execution is chilling enough. To top it all off, when Mr. Blause voices his unwillingness to kill Gabi in order to end the cycle of revenge, Kaya charges Gabi from behind with a knife of her own. Doubles as a tearjerker, as both sides have lost people dear to them due to the actions of each other or each other's allies, which justifies the intense emotions from both sides.
- The wine that Nikolo was acting so zealously protective over? It has been laced with Zeke's spinal fluid and has apparently been served to a host of higher ups from the Survey Corps military. What this means? Anyone who has drunk the wine is now at the mercy of Zeke, a mere shout away from being transformed into mindless Titans, ones that Zeke can control as he sees fit no less. It adds another horrifying chapter to Zeke's unknown plans and his methods of going about them.
- Chapter 112:
- Eren's merciless and cold demeanour when faced with Armin and Mikasa. The latter two think they may stand some chance to get through to Eren, but the former makes sure to let his now former friends know he has broken with them, calling Mikasa a slave by means of her Ackerman heritage (see below) and Armin soft and useless. It's all capped off by Eren declaring he's always hated Mikasa for being the way she is, before beating Armin up.
- Eren reveals to Armin and Mikasa that the latter, as an Ackerman, is essentially a glorified slave. Members of the Ackerman family were originally designed to protect a host, originally the King of Eldia. Should an Ackerman recognise someone as their "host", they will receive heightened physical abilities and all the combat experiences of previous Ackerman members through an invisible path, much like how the power of the Titans is transferred. Suddenly, Levi's devotion to Erwin and Kenny's devotion to Uri make more sense.
- Levi thinks he has Zeke cornered, with the latter stuck in a forest guarded by him and a squad of armed soldiers, meaning that even as the Beast Titan he wouldn't stand a chance if the attempted to fight his way out. Unbeknownst to Levi, all of the soldiers with him have been laced with Zeke's spinal fluid through the contaminated wine and when the latter suddenly runs away and shouts, Levi realises his miscalculation. Cue a number of panels showing the nasty transformation sequence, with bright light and fluids bursting out of the soldiers' eyes and orifices, followed by Titans falling all around Levi.
- In a cruel twist of irony, this also marks the first time when we see members of the military of Paradis, wearing their anti-Titan gear, turned into Titans on-panel.
- An snapshot of the past shows how horrifying Zeke's ability to turn Eldians drugged with his spinal fluid into Titans can be. 10 years before the current events Marley snuck hundreds of drugged Eldians into a enemy country's capital. The result was 100s of Titans suddenly appearing out of nowhere during a calm evening to destroy everything and kill defenseless men, women, and children. This tactic was likely used a lot to terrorize enemy nations during past wars.
- Chapter 113: The aptly-named "Violent".
- All across Paradis, the various people that were served tainted wine experience a brief "jolt" when Zeke uses his Scream. While it isn't able to transform them into Titans, it demonstrates that the remaining commanding officers and named veterans (besides Hange and Levi) have been poisoned. Falco, Pixis, Nile, and Anya have all consumed the tainted wine at some point and could be turned into Titans if Zeke gets near them.
- Levi's entire squad-turned-Titans surrounding him, while he muses on the past and seemingly gives up.
- Floch conscripting the 109th Cadet Corps into the Yeager Faction, ordering them to beat Instructor Shadis within an inch of his life to prove their loyalty to the new regime.
- Levi's rampage and battle against Zeke are this, if only because of the sheer brutality displayed by both parties. When sending Titans to attack him fails, the Beast Titan begins tearing Levi's transformed subordinates to pieces and throws them. Levi ends the battle by firing multiple Thunder Spears into the Beast Titan, blowing Zeke to pieces with his limbs gone and intestines falling out, knocking Zeke out in the process. Zeke awakens some time later with a Thunder Spear lodged in his stomach and Levi casually slicing his legs off to ensure he doesn't attempt to escape again.
- Chapter 114:
- The chapter ends with Zeke intentionally setting off the Thunder Spear, causing an explosion and blowing Levi away. If one or both of the men aren't dead, then Levi's definitely going to be unable to fight again.
- We also get more examples of how bad the propaganda is for both the Eldians and the Marleyans:
- First a Marleyan cleaner meets the Yeager family on a roof and as soon as he realizes they are Eldian he throws his bucket of water on them and calls for their extermination and on their way home they are jeered at by the people.
- We see Grisha propagandizing Zeke in much the same ways as his grandparents. It amounts to if they said we did something bad its a lie because we are too good to do something like that.
- We learn that Tom once lied about his Eldian heritage and married a Marleyian woman and had a son with her. After she discovered that he was Eldian she killed their son and then herself.
- And we finally discover Zeke's real plan. To use the power of the founding titan to make all Eldians sterile to prevent any more Eldians from suffering.
- A recently released prequel comic shows a cult opening one of the outer gates seventy years before the events of the main series and a lone Titan gets in, killing a couple dozen people, maybe more. Not only is the Titan much fatter than usual, but the uniforms and equipment of two soldiers who respond to the situation heavily imply that 3D Maneuver Gear hasn't been invented yet... meaning if the Titan hadn't been lured out by people sacrificing themselves, it could have very well have been impossible to stop. And that's without getting into how he swallowed a pregnant woman whole, and how the baby survived his mother's remains being thrown back up.
- Let's not forget that said chapter opens with a severed head falling from the sky, complete with a zoom in on the deadened expression and plenty of blood.