Attack on Titan Episode 29 – Soldier

Z

Yeah, I know, I should be studying but it’s Attack on Titan and I am a weak, weak human being. To be fair, typing up this review was way more interesting that contemplating all the ways in which I do not give a shit about advertisement layouts.

Please keep in mind that this review takes a closer look at some of the foreshadowing that I missed while reading the manga and are way easier to spot and appreciate when caught up with the story. I haven’t spoiled anything but I do draw attention to the important hints dropped.

Also, this is long. Oops.

 

This is my favorite episode so far and for good reason. You want the trademark gory action? It’s here. You want character moments that hint at shared secrets? It’s here.

The 104th and senor scouts around an indoor campfire with real monsters waiting outside

The entirety of Soldier is set in Utgard Castle where the 104th graduates – Connie, Ymir, Christa, Reiner and Bertolt – along with four senior scouts have taken refuge in. As titans can’t move at night, they seem to be safe. In the conversation that follows, we see that Connie seems to have latched on tight to the hope that his villagers have all escaped despite being aware of the problems with that theory. When he brings up the titan that reminded him of his mother, Ymir pulls a Ymir (i.e, a concentrated dose of pure bitchiness with some practicality as garnish) and mocks the hell out of him.

I now have the image of titan sex in my mind. Thanks for that, Ymir.

Later, the veteran scouts keep watch while the kids rest, save for Ymir and Reiner who have an odd encounter. There are a couple of things that’s remarkable about this scene. First is the unsubtle but confusing conversation about sexuality. When Reiner interrupts Ymir as she’s searching a chest for some food, she teases that she didn’t take him for someone who had an interest in women. Reiner agrees coolly and retorts that Ymir has no interest in guys. The latter is true since Ymir seems wholly Christasexual but Reiner’s situation is a bit more puzzling. He admits to not having interest in women but there’s been two instances – one later in this episode and one in the first season – where he says he wants to marry Christa. And while this seems unimportant at first glance, it’ll soon be revealed to be only one of the inconsistencies concerning Reiner’s character.

Ymir and Reiner being fishy little fishes over a can of fish

Now for the second thing. Ymir finds some canned food and identifies its contents as herring. But when Reiner takes the can from her, he’s unable to so much as identify the language on it. A tense exchange follows where both of their expressions express more shock and hostility than a strange language warrants. Speaking of, how’d canned food get there in the first place?

Unfortunately, they’re interrupted just then by those pesky titans who are somehow able to move at night. The kids are told to barricade themselves in the castle while the other four fight them off. But despite their best efforts, it’s too late and a few of the smaller ones get inside.

Reiner opens the door and is greeted with a wide, man-eating smile

The 104th work together to get rid of the first one and manages it with a cannon. During this scene, there are once again a couple of things that stand out. First of all, we’re treated to a flashback where little Reiner and little Bertolt are with another kid. Reiner is pushed out of the way of a titan’s grasp by the unknown kid and eaten in his place. Secondly, there’s a slightly strange conversation Reiner and Bertolt have as they’re pushing the titan back. Reiner says he wants to survive and go home and Bertolt happily agrees. However, we’re told back in season 1, episode 3 (I think) that these two lived in Wall Maria. They don’t have a home to go back to. So what are they talking about?

(Yes, I know what they’re talking about but I’m trying to keep this spoiler-free.)

Tiny Bert and Tiny Reiner looking on in shock as their friend is eaten

Back in the present, a second titan catches the group off guard and for a moment, it seems like Connie will be titan chow. But Reiner pushes him away in a move reminiscent of the kid who saved him. Though only Reiner’s arm is the casualty rather than his life. Things seems grave for an instant but then Reiner just…fucking lifts the titan still chewing on his arm and goes to jump out of a window with it.

This guy’s really something else.

Weights are not macho enough for Reiner so now he's lifting a titan twice his size

Thankfully, he’s saved from dying along with the titan by Connie who slices its jaw open and Ymir who kicks it out the window. Christa patches Reiner up and Connie thanks him for saving him. Reiner brushes it off, saying it’s his duty as a soldier. Connie asks Bertolt – Reiner’s closest companion and the only other person from his home village – if Reiner has always been like that to which Bertolt replies that no, in the past, Reiner was more of a warrior. Reiner just seems confused by that.

Soldier and Warrior. They’re synonyms but the way Bertolt phrases it makes it clear that there’s a significant difference between the two. The questions keep piling up.

Back with the senior scouts, things are going well. They’ve decimated most of the titans and hope is in the air.

Remember the similar situation with Mike back in episode 26?

Yeah, shit hits the fan. Never trust hope spots in this show. The Beast Titan throws huge rocks at them from Wall Rose, killing two of the scouts and leaving only Nanaba and Gelgar alive. Even that would have been a salvageable situation were it not for the huge wave of titans rushing the castle while the Beast Titan hollers like a demented banshee. It climbs down the Wall afterwards but the damage is done.

The Beast Titan playing bowling with human pins. Guess who wins? Hey that rhymed.

Nanaba and Gelgar fight valiantly but it’s no use. There are too many titans and they’re out of both gas and blades. Gelgar has the fortune to have his head bashed in before being eaten but Nanaba doesn’t have the luxury. Just like with Mike’s death, it’s disquieting to see someone who fought so bravely until the last moment completely lose it as they’re torn apart and eaten alive. The moment her head’s bitten off seems like a blessing.

Dammit, I liked Nanaba. Why do I get attached to characters in this story? They all die anyway.

Ymir jumping out of the tower as Christa reaches for her - guess what's my new wallpaper?

Now that the veterans are all dead, only the 104th kids remain. Christa states her wish to fight and die with the scouts but Ymir berates her, saying that their deaths are more than an excuse for Christa to get herself killed. That came out of nowhere. We really do need some background on these two girls because at this point, the only people who understand them are each other. Ymir goes on to say that Christa is not like Connie or the others. They don’t want to die while Christa doesn’t even care. She just wants to die as a hero.

Yeah, that sounds like a totally normal and completely healthy mentality.

Ymir borrows a knife from Connie, saying she’ll fight with it. She asks Christa to remember their promise and live a life she’ll be proud of…

And then Ymir jumps off the castle roof and turns into a fucking titan.

Ymir in all her skeletitan-y glory

Next episode will be wild.

 

And here’s some impromptu Nanaba appreciation:

 

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About D

Just another avid anime fan.
This entry was posted in Anime, Attack on Titan and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Attack on Titan Episode 29 – Soldier

  1. GeekyGirlWrites says:

    I love this episode so much! The action’s great, a new plot twist is added, and there is some funny comedy with Ymir, Kirtsta, and Reiner (I almost died laughing when Ymir asked Krista if she could patch up her scrape after seeing Reiner getting patched up XD).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. raistlin0903 says:

    Oh yes, this episode was freaking amazing, I could not agree with you more. It is so worth it to not study for seeing this lol 😂 Back on topic though, there is a lot of cool stuff going on in this episode and that ending was seriously off the charts. Ymir a Titan….seriously who would have thought that would happen. Then again..as you say, why grow attached to characters in this series anyway. It pretty much does ‘t matter, they could either die, turn evil or become a Titan. That said though: I so love this series. Can’t wait for the next episode…hate that we have to wait a week for it each time 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      Right? Studies got nothing on this.

      I was a bit overwhelmed by all the things happening in this one. I missed so much when I read the manga and I never reread it soooo.

      I love this too, even when it keeps killing off characters I like. Nanabaaaa~

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Karandi says:

    The discussion around the writing on the can kind of came out of nowhere but now I’m really curious, as did the whole solder/warrior comment. This whole episode was really interesting, both for giving me things to wonder about having not read the manga and just because it was a very cool fight for the scouts, even if their fate was more or less sealed from the beginning.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • D says:

      It does come out of nowhere but it makes sense a long way down the line and I’m kinda impressed with Isayama for it. Guy’s got plans.

      The fight was amazing. There were just four of them but they took out so many. They might even have survived without the Beast Titan. But yeah, this isn’t that kind of show.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karandi says:

        I think that was the best part. That the Scouts actually could fight and if the Beast titan had just left after sending the first wave, they really might have made it. But of course, this show never was big on hope.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Keiko says:

    Now that you mention it, that can conversation is actually pretty intriguing. It was pretty much overshadowed by everything else but Ymir being able to read a language which resulted in the shocked and almost hostile look from Reiner does warrant attention. This past of Ymir’s is probably of importance both to her character and the reason for her being a titan. That’s just my hunch though. :’)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Akaluv says:

    Thanks for the review! I’ll probably skip this episode again, but I appreciate your re-caps.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Adam says:

    I like subtle character building techniques, little moments like this quiet “warrior/soldier” reference. By itself it doesn’t say much, but it does establish a question mark without really framing the question, leaving audiences free to make what they will of it.
    And I really like discussions along the lines of “what’s the difference between a soldier and a warrior?”
    I think we’re in for a real treat over the next few episodes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      This episode gives us a lot of those question marks. Like you say, they don’t mean much now but later, when we get more information, it all comes together beautifully.

      I think so too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Im interested in seeing how Ymir holds out the other titans, I also can’t wait to see Eren V.S. the Armord Titan

    Liked by 1 person

  8. auradis says:

    Yours is the best AoT recap I’ve found! 🙂

    What amused me the most (other than the stuff you already pointed out) was how tiny Titan Ymir seemed compared to the other titans as well as Titan Eren and Titan Annie, who both seemed pretty big. Titan Ymir in comparison looked like a little monkey at the end of this episode!

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      Thank you!

      And oh yes, she does seem pretty small. The size of that titan Sasha fought off maybe? It’ll be interesting to see her fight in that form though.

      Like

  9. Pingback: In Case You Missed It | 100WordAnime

  10. Remy Fool says:

    Phew I caught up.

    I was actually really sad over how the veterans died. This show really gets you in the feels sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Attack on Titan Episode 30 – Historia | D Talks Anime

  12. kenneth says:

    It does, even when we know it’s coming. !

    Liked by 1 person

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