Attack on Titan Episode 35 – Children

 

This week’s Attack on Titan gets a little wild and I’m still not sure whether that’s good or not.

Children opens in Ragako village where Hange’s assistant, Moblit, and some others find the immobile titan on Connie’s house. The same speculations we’ve heard before about whether the villagers escaped or not are rehashed again. Then one of them brings Moblit a portrait of Connie’s parents and well, seems like the titan on the house has an uncanny resemblance to his mother.

Let that sink in for a moment.

After that, we’re back with Eren, Ymir, Reiner and Bertolt. After spotting the rescue party, Reiner prepares to leave. Eren tries to stop him but that boy can’t shift or use his arms so he’s subdued in the end. He does delay them a bit though which is helpful.

Meanwhile, Bertolt asks Ymir if she remembers the boy she ate – their friend Marcel whom we’ve seen in a previous flashback. It seems that he was also a titan shifter and eating him was what made her become human again. But she can’t remember him and Bertolt says that it’s the same for them and Eren as well. None of them remember who they ate to become titan shifters. Ymir also drops the bombshell that she was a titan for 60 years and that it felt as if she was trapped in an endless nightmare. She returned to human form five years ago, which would be when Wall Maria fell.

The four of them take off – Eren’s knocked out though – and that’s when Ymir finds out about the scouts coming after them. She knows Christa (Historia? I’ll use Christa for now) well enough to figure out that she’s coming to rescue Ymir. She insists that they take Christa with them now but Reiner vetoes it, saying it’s better for Christa if they escape now and return for her later. Ymir is clearly desperate and her words imply that she will be eaten by another ‘warrior’ before she can see Christa again but Reiner’s insistence that his idea is better for Christa gets her to back down.

Or so it seems.

This is where we finally find out who and what Ymir really is.

There’s a lot of confusion about exactly where this happens and what’s going on but the basic gist is that some guy takes a little girl from the streets and gives her the name Ymir which makes others treat her like a divine figure or something. They make a cult around her and Ymir is happy to go along with the lies because not only does it allow her to live comfortably, it also makes her feel like she has a purpose in life.

Naturally, it all goes to hell one day when men with guns crash the party and the guy who made Ymir into what she is betrays her. Ymir does consider spilling the beans but in the end, keeps up the façade for her followers’ sake. That doesn’t help though – they’re arrested and stoned and eventually turned into titans. We don’t see how this happens but it’s clearly an artificial process.

Ymir runs around outside Wall Maria as a titan and then she chances upon little Annie, Bertolt, Reiner and their fourth member Marcel. She ends up eating him and later regains her human body. Ymir promises herself that she’ll never lie to herself again and also live for herself. That plan goes well and then she meets Christa whom Ymir recognizes as being similar to her as Christa is also living by lying to herself.

We already know how close Ymir and Christa are but it’s nice to see how it all began.

Back to the present, Ymir goes a bit berserk and turns on the Reiner and Bertolt. She’s willing to use her advantage among the trees to take Eren and return to the scouts. Of course, this is unless Reiner agrees to let her take Christa with them. She even admits that she’s not doing this for Christa’s sake – Ymir just wants to live and see her again. It’s clear that Ymir believes she won’t live long enough to see her if she goes with Reiner and Bertolt and is thus really desperate.

Reiner has no choice but to agree.

Elsewhere, the scouts (and also some from the other two branches) are entering the forest, breaking through the titans and suffering losses in the process. The 104 kids end up finding Ymir and go to her thinking that she’s still on their side. Connie even tries to get her to tell them where Eren and the others are but Ymir just waits for Christa to show up.

And Christa does show up, all happy to see Ymir, only to get swallowed the next second.

It’s a given that she’s alive and fine but damn, that must have been a shock.

Ymir returns to where Reiner and Bertolt are waiting with a still unconscious Eren. Reiner becomes the Armored Titan and runs off with everyone else piggybacking. The scouts give chase. The end. Whew.

 

Well, wow.

This episode was one hell of a surprise. We get Ymir’s backstory which raises a hell of a lot of questions at this point in the story. Where actually is she from? Why was her name so important? Who were the people that arrested her? Why did they arrest her? And most importantly, how in all the everloving hells did they turn her (and others) into titans?

Yes, folks, we find out that titans are made from people and that it’s other people who facilitate this. We don’t know how or why.

In the manga, we find all of this out in chapter 89 (it’s only up to 93 even now) after we’ve been given enough information to figure out where and why this happens. Here, all of this is dumped on us with no context save for how it relates to Ymir’s mindset.

I can’t accurately judge whether this makes the story better or worse so I’m curious to know what your reactions to Ymir’s backstory is? Did it help flesh out her character in a good way or does the confusion hinder your enjoyment?

Other interesting reveals include the one about eating titan shifter allowing normal titans to regain their humanity while maintaining the ability to shift. That brings us to the golden question – who the hell did Eren eat and when did it happen?

My personal favorite bits in this episode were Ymir’s thoughts and feelings on Christa. I don’t know how healthy their relationship is but it was touching all the same to see the intensity of Ymir’s love for her, especially after seeing Christa herself act the same way in a prior episode. The line ‘That girl knows how awful I am and still smiles at me’ got me good. They’re without a doubt one of the most fascinating couples I’ve seen in anime.

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About D

Just another avid anime fan.
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15 Responses to Attack on Titan Episode 35 – Children

  1. Sam Brewer says:

    Ymir’s feelings for Christa were without the most interesting thing (for me having read the manga at least) to come out of this episode. Does she care for Christa or is she just desperate to cling on to someone like her? I’m still not sure if I know. Thanks for this 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Keiko says:

    I quite enjoyed Ymir’s backstory. Even if it does raise a lot of questions, it does tell us a lot about Ymir as a character which is important in its own right. Ymir’s love for Christa may have stemmed from her realising they’re similar but I feel like at this stage, it’s grown to be more than that especially because Ymir is willing to sacrifice Christa’s well being just to see her for what she believes is the last time. It is slightly scaring and it does raise the question; how far is Ymir willing to go for Christa before she says stop?

    The thing about who Eren ate to become a titan shifter is indeed a good question. I’d like to know too. Who was the unlucky person to be eaten by Eren and when exactly did it happen?

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      Agreed that the backstory does some great things for Ymir’s character. She was already interesting at this point and now we know why she is the way she is. As for how far she’d go for Christa, I’d say very far. But then again, Christa herself seems to be the one person that can influence Ymir into changing her stance so we might get to see that next episode.

      Right? Plus that person also had to have been a titan shifter, making their identity even more important.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Keiko says:

        That’s true. Christa does seem like the only one who can influence Ymir so we’ll have to wait and see of that does happen.

        Exactly! I really want to know who Eren ate but I doubt we’re going to find that out this season.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Akaluv says:

    I actually watched this episode, so go me! Honestly, I don’t like how they stuck her backstory in so quickly. At least in the manga, we got some context what the name Ymir means. In this episode, it only leads to more confusion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      Yay, you watched one! Though I guess this isn’t really the best the season has to offer. And I can see why you feel that way. I’m pretty torn too. On one hand, it was nice to see Ymir’s story animated but on the other hand, showing us that now makes little sense because we’re still in the dark about so many things.

      Like

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    Well…I haven’t read the manga, nor do I plan on doing so, at least not until the series ends one day. It’s a bit like Game of Thrones really, I started watching the show beforevreading the books, so I now don’t want to start reading in order to avoid spoilers. That said this week’s episode raises a lot of questions. But this season seems to be doing that anyway. I do honestly have to admit that to draw a parallel it is beginning to remind me a bit of the tv series Lost. That series began to throw around so many questions instead of answering them, that it became very annoying at one point. Attack on Titan has not yet reached that point yet mind you. I actually quite liked this episode and it was great to see more of Ymir’s background, as she is a character that is fast becoming one of my favorite ones. It also raises a lot of questions again: just who are these people that turn men and women into Titans. And for whatever purpose are they doing it? I don’t think we will be getting answers to those questions any time soon. At least not in this season anymore that’s for sure. Looking forward to next week. Great post as always 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      I swore up and down once that I wouldn’t read the manga but well, here I am 😀 I still prefer anime to manga but gotta admit that the AoT manga gets a lot of things right.

      As for this episode, I’m with you liking Ymir’s background, especially the way it all tied to her attachment to Christa. As you can tell, I love the two of them together so much it’s ridiculous.

      But yeah, lotsa confusion. A lot of the context behind the people who hurt Ymir won’t be revealed till way later so showing us her past at this point looks like an unwise choice to me. I mean, how many people are going to remember it by the time season x rolls around? I’ve heard of Lost but never watched it. Same with Game of Thrones but in that case, it’s deliberate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        Yeah….I do hope the series will continue though. I have been hearing some pretty negative vibe for this season, and there are rumours that a third season is not in the cards. I hope those rumours will prove to be false though 😊 Lost is a seriously cool series…that I pretty much know you will enjoy 😀 As for Game of Thrones, let’s just say it is an acquired taste 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • D says:

        Not getting a third season is probbaly unlikely…or so I hope. There’s a lot of fun stuff to follow though there will still be pacing issues.

        Acquired taste sounds about right. A friend who shares my taste warned me off of it a while ago 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Karandi says:

    While it was nice to get some background on Ymir, there isn’t a lot we can actually conclude from this given how much information we’re still missing. Like most of this show they are giving us tantalising hints at a greater story and hopefully it will eventuate and be worth the wait, but there are a lot of basic questions (like who built the walls) that have never been addressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      This seems to be the general sentiment. It was good to see more of Ymir but yeah, at this point, it just raises a lot of questions. And it’s not like we’re lacking questions anyway. Not to mention the mystery about how titan shifters are made, how humans become titans and who Eren ate. I doubt this season will answer any of them so we’ll have to wait again, hopefully not for another five years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karandi says:

        And that’s the issue because season 1 set up the whole there’s an answer in the basement and to be honest this season hasn’t really done anything about progressing toward solving that mystery but has layered on massive amounts of other mysteries. While these are fun and all, eventually a show does need to provide answers because you can only keep us following a trail of breadcrumbs for so long before we accept that there is nothing waiting for us at the other end.

        Liked by 1 person

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