During the 49th Exterior Scouting Expedition Section, Commander Hange Zoë of the Survey Corps desperately appeals to Commander Erwin Smith the need to capture a Titan alive for experimentation. Erwin refuses and Hange goes off alone in order to find a Titan. Hange locates an Abnormal Titan that leads the Survey Corps to a tree containing the body of a fallen comrade. Inside this woman's notebook is the story of how she met this Abnormal Titan, as well as some new horrifying truths about the Titans.
- Butt-Monkey: Oluo who, throughout the source of the OVA, gets choked damn near to death by Hange, bites his tongue whist riding his horse, almost gets killed by the Talking Titan, and ends up passing out when Hange accidentally ends up choking him (which somehow also leads to him biting his tongue again).
- Petra tells Oluo that he should change up his impolite manor of speaking now that he's apart of the Survey Corps. Anyone who's seen the show will know that he eventually starts emulating Levi.
- The Talking Titan revers to Ilse as "Ymir-sama", mentions "Ymir's people" and seems to worship Ilse when it believes that she is Ymir. Suffice to say this will be a lot more relevant later on in the story.
- A Day in the Limelight: This OVA focuses very heavily on Hange trying to convince Erwin to capture a live Titan.
- Death Notification: After all is said and done Hange goes to Ilse's house to deliver her cloak and notebook to her parents.
- Determinator: Ilse shows to have the true determination of those within the Survey Corps as, after her entire squad is eaten by Titans and she loses her horse, she precedes on foot to the Wall writing in her notebook all the while in case she can't make it back alive. Then, once she encounters the Talking Titan, she continues writing in her notebook even as she tries, and fails, to communicate with her and even once the Titan prepares to bite her head off.
- A Father to His Men: Levi's care for his men is shown once again when he saves Oluo's live from almost being killed by the Talking Titan. He then tells Hange point blank to never get one of his men almost killed again for Hange's Titan obsession.
- First Contact: Ilse Langnar becomes the first person to make contact with a Titan that can talk and attempts to gain information from it. Unfortunately for her the Titan isn't interested in talking and, once it figures out she's not the "Ymir-sama" it was worshiping, proceeds to bite her head off.
- Interquel: The episode takes place between episodes 3 and 4 during the 49th Exterior Expedition whilst the 104th Cadets are still in training. This is represented by the fact that the episode is given unusual numbering of 3.5.
- Irony: Petra is shown being annoyed with Oluo because of his impolite way of speech and tells him he needs to start shaping up now that he's a member of the Survey Corps. As will be shown in season 1 Oluo will begin emulating Levi, both in speech and dress sense, which ends up annoying Petra even more.
- Secondary Character Title: Despite Ilse Langnar being the named character for the OVA she's long dead by the time this episode starts and her story isn't shown until halfway into the episode. Instead Hange is the true main character of the OVA trying to convince Erwin that the Survey Corps should try and capture Titans again and using Ilse's notes to show why they should do it.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Ilse Langnar, who whilst having been dead for some time, her notes prove that their was more to the Titans then initially perceived and provides humanity with it's first true step forward into understanding and combating the Titans for the first time in decades.
- Unusual Chapter Numbers: This episodes official episode number is 3.5 because it's placed between episodes 3 and 4.
- Wham Line: Ilse is conered by the Abnormal Titan and it seems like there is no way out. Then suddenly:Talking Titan: Ymir's people. Ymir-sama. Welcome.
- You Can Talk?: This OVA introduced the audience to the first chronological appearance of a talking Titan in the series thus far. It won't be the last either.