Attack on Titan Season 2 returned for it 7th week in a row with an action packed extravaganza, pitting Eren against Reiner, Titan against Titan; and this establishes that my preferences when it comes to entertainment are more story and plot driven rather action-orientated, because I was mildly disappointed with this weeks episode. That being said this episode wasn’t sub-par at all, I just prefer more story driven episodes like last weeks episode. However the action was handled beautifully because of the stunning animation that accompanied it. So if action is why you watch this show or even one of many reasons you watch this show I can understand why this episode blew you’re mind…
A particular moment in this episode that did blow my mind, was the flashback Eren had that revolved around the whole Annie and Mikasa confrontation. This section is directly from the manga and just like the manga the resolution of the fight was never revealed, but if I were to predict who would come out on top; it would have to be Annie, and it’s not just because she’s my favourite character either because there are several indicators to support her outlasting Mikasa. The most glaring indication is the simple fact that Eren utilised her technique in his fight with Reiner. If the technique was unsuccessful on Mikasa I don’t think Eren would even bother to attempt it against Reiner. Also in Season 1 there seems to be underlining issues and even respect between Annie and Mikasa, which could have resulted from the events in the flashback. But I did read somewhere that in an interview our author said the fight was broken up by nearby officials and was never resolved.
Another common subject of contention from this episode was the CGI used for the Colossal Titan, and my opinion is that it’s still awful and distracting. To me it was another issue that hindered this week’s episode. As a result we were jobbed of what could have been some epic moments between the remaining scouts and the Colossal Titan. Oppositely, a positive aspect of this episode (and its manga counterpart) is the restraint shown to not show Reiner’s emotions at all while he was in titan form. They highlighted this in some of the dialogue when even Eren mentioned that he would love to see what Reiner’s face look like in that particular moment. This was effective because it didn’t allow the audience to sympathise with Reiner at all, he was only represented as an antagonist that needed to be overcome. This is an interesting contrast to Annie in her final fight with Eren, when she was in certain ways portrayed as the victim, and was even given a tragic flashback. This all leads me to believe that Annie will be redeemed later in the story whereas Reiner will not be.
Finally I would like to clarify something that many anime only viewers may be concerned about, and that’s the lack of motivation that the titan shifters have been given, to justify their actions. There motivations will eventually be revealed and there real characters and personalities will we explored in the remaining episodes of this season, especially in the case of Bertolt. He will likely do more talking in the following 4 episodes than the entirety of the rest of the show up until this point. For all the reasons discussed above, this episode gets a 7. Anime only viewers should get excited because these final 4 episode of the season, if they cover what I expect them to cover, will be insane. You will be getting at least two major story developments a major character death and an overall sense of absolute dread!