Attack on Titan Episode 34 – Opening

Opening is another episode that’s all talking and no acting but this one’s got more depth to it than the last episode.

Eren wakes up in the company of Ymir, Reiner and Bertolt. His arms are gone and though they heal a bit, they’re still only stumps. Ymir is in the same predicament. Eren does try to shift but Ymir stops him, explaining their current situation. They’re far from both Maria and Rose and also surrounded by titans while Reiner and Bertolt both have 3DMG. In short, they’re at a major disadvantage.

Reiner helpfully informs them that they couldn’t shift even if they wanted to since their bodies are at their limits and just trying to heal up. Clearly, Reiner and Bertolt know more about how the whole titan stuff works than Eren or Ymir. Now how much are they willing to share?

Reiner confirms what Hange figured out last episode, that none of them can leave the forest until nightfall. Even if they fight, that will just make them vulnerable to the prowling titans. Eren is displeased (understatement of the millennium) but in an uncharacteristic display of level-headedness, he resolves to remain calm and extract as much information as he can in the mean time.

He manages to maintain that right until Reiner abruptly starts talking about their ordeals with the titans and possible promotions like he’s just a normal soldier of humanity. Everyone is supremely confused but Bertolt just seems resigned after a while. Reiner rambles on about their contributions and crushing on Christa until Eren snaps and yells at him. Ymir is once again the voice of reason and asks Bertolt what’s going on since Reiner’s behavior is weird no matter how you look at it. Case in point, why would he risk his life to save Connie when he’s the Armored Titan and humanity’s enemy?

Bertolt reminds Reiner that they’re warriors, not soldiers. This triggers what seems to be a panic attack and we see Reiner remember Marco’s death (remember Jean’s friend in s1 who was bitten in half?). Annie, Reiner and Bertolt seem to have caused his death somehow and that incident is hinted to be where Reiner’s dissociative episodes began.

Ymir theorizes that Reiner’s guilt got too much and so his mind kinda split; a part of it started earnestly believing that he actually is a soldier working to keep the titans at bay.

You know, I’ve been waiting for this revelation. Reiner is one of my favorites in this series and it’s not that I like him so much as find him really interesting. I don’t think his head is a really fun place to be in but damn, it makes for a compelling story thread. Now we know why Reiner has been acting inconsistently a lot. I kinda want to re-watch season 1 to figure out when soldier!Reiner made his appearance. It makes me wonder if that’s what happened in Trost. The Colossal Titan attacked but the Armored one didn’t. Did the shock of Marco’s death push Reiner’s warrior mode to the back? It’s possible.

Anyway, Reiner breaks down in the present and has a sobfest followed by a ragefest when Ymir spouts her theory. She backs down but Eren only get angrier to see him act as a victim. There’s a lot of yelling involved. And honestly, I get both of their perspectives here. Eren is faced with the people who were directly responsible for the death of his mother (Shiganshina) and countless friends (Trost). Of course he’s angry enough to fuel a nation. But Reiner’s garners sympathy too. He must have been a kid when he attacked Wall Maria. I don’t imagine he had any idea about the damage he’d cause. He’s clearly not immune to guilt either.

That said, the part where Eren promises to make Reiner and Bertolt die and suffer with that flat smile on his face was wonderfully eerie.

Ymir, again, is the one with her brains about her and tries to make them tell her about the Beast Titan, whom Eren is unaware of. She also points out that Eren killing Reiner and Bertolt won’t do much since they’re not the only enemy. This is common sense since there’s no way two kids are plotting humanity’s demise on their own but Eren seems shocked all the same (this is why we need Armin). Ymir also seems to know more about this enemy but before she can divulge much to Eren, Reiner proposes that she join them.

Sure, she can’t trust them and sure, her life is probably forfeit if they take her away but he also knows that Ymir’s priority is Historia’s safety. He claims that “this world” – which I take to be the world inside the walls – has no future so Ymir could probably protect Historia better by joining them rather than depend on Eren to get them to safety.

She agrees. Sucks for Eren and also us since we still don’t know who the enemy is.

Right then, Eren sees the flares in the distance showing how Erwin and the rest are getting close. Sunset is close though.

Amidst all the above events, we also see glimpses of the rescue team getting close and also a scene where Hange gets her assistant to investigate Connie’s village further.

 

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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.

11 Responses to Attack on Titan Episode 34 – Opening

  1. GeekyGirlWrites says:

    This episode was not bad, but what I didn’t like about it was the lack of information on Marco’s death. There was so much more to his death in the manga (heck, there was pretty much a whole chapter dedicated to him). But I did like the development for Eren, Reiner, Bertholdt, and Ymir. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      True. I was actually a bit confused about that since I remembered more details but the anime showed so little. It was an interesting moment for Annie’s character too…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Karandi says:

    I really felt this episode did nothing other than give us some insight into Reiner’s mental state. We learned absolutely nothing about any of the plot points. It was really incredibly frustrating because we had a perfect opportunity to finally get some understanding of the motivation behind the initial attack or anything that has been going on and we got nothing. Still, there were some great lines between characters in this episode.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      That’s true. The bit about Reiner was great for fleshing him out more but you’re right, we still know nothing. Ymir seemed about to reveal something for a bit there but nope. And from what I remember of the manga, it’ll be a while before we get any answers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karandi says:

        I don’t mind waiting for answers but really they didn’t offer much else this episode. It’s why Attack on Titan tends to run hot and cold. The second half of the first season kind of spaced out as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. F says:

    “Eren is displeased (understatement of the millennium)” LOL god I love your reviews

    Liked by 2 people

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    Sorry for responding to this review so late. I have been suffering from a seriously annoying flu, and am finally feeling a little bit better (at least for the moment). If some of my response were a bit shorter than usual I apologise for that.
    You are not the only one who wants to rewatch the first season. There have been a couple of things they have been referring to in this second season that I had all but forgotten. I agree with pretty much everything that has already been said in the comments above, there were a lot of questions raised that I had hoped we would get an answer to, but alas it was not to be. Still, this episode was better than the episode that came before it. The real question is: what now? I mean it seems to me that even Reiner himself doesn’t seem to know what he is anymore, and it will be interesting to see how that is going to develop. And an even better question is: who is this enemy they are talking about? I do hope the pace will pick up in again in next week’s episode. Even though I don’t mind seeing episodes that focus on the characters and the story, I agree with Karandi that this season seems to be heading in the same direction that the second half of season 1 did. We will have to just wait and see though. Great post as always 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      You’re not late at all! And even if you were, it’d be just fine since flus are evil and they screw us up without mercy. I hope you recover soon 😦 Being sick sucks.

      My months-long obsession with the first season helped me retain a lot of the details but yeah, a rewatch would be great now that we’re finding new things. Unfortunately, the questions still keep piling up and we don’t seem to be any closer to answers. The thing is that I was actually fine with s1’s second half but this season, I can see how the pacing is faltering. But hey, it should pick up soon in wonderful ways.

      Like

  5. auradis says:

    I thought it was so funny when Reiner used Christa as a bargaining chip. I’m imagining her living among the titans and them keeping her in, like, a birdcage or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      Ain’t that an unsettling image. I doubt Christa would be all too pleased if she were to find out about that though.

      Like

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