This week, we’re back to the crazy over-the-top action with charged emotions that’s characteristic of Attack on Titan. Needless to say, I loved it.
I’m going to skip a recap this time and just assume most of you have watched the episode. Instead, I’ll talk about the parts I liked best and why. This post would be a monster otherwise.
First up is Ymir and Historia. I’ve already made it clear how interested I am in their relationship, complicated as it is. And the first several minutes of Charge is devoted to them. I love how from the beginning itself, Ymir corrected herself from using Christa and started calling the girl Historia. Everyone else is still sticking to Christa which makes sense since you don’t just wipe away three years of habit in a day but Historia revealed her name in the first place for Ymir’s sake. It was a revelation meant for her. So it’s sweet to see Ymir remember that despite her state and use it.
After that it’s back to these two’s habit of doing extreme shit for the others’ sake. Ymir has already made it clear that she’s expecting to die and wants to see Historia one last time. At the same time, she wants to take Historia with them because she believes, for reasons yet to be revealed, that the people inside the walls do not have a future and wants to take Historia away from there. But when this vague explanation doesn’t fly with Historia who insists on Ymir returning with her, Ymir chooses to say that she’s planning to use Historia to save her own life.
It’s a big fat lie. Literally everyone other than Historia figures it out, even Connie and he’s a self-professed idiot.
But Historia believes it (for a while) and since she’s a girl who joined the scouts with a heroic death wish, she agrees with a 100W smile and just reiterates that she’ll be Ymir’s ally no matter what. We know that Historia already puts everything above herself and she puts Ymir above all else so her response is no shock and Ymir clearly used that to her advantage. Still, girl’s got…issues
Still, it’s sweet in a sad kind of way to see Ymir willing to paint herself as the villain and use her knowledge of Historia’s unique mindset to keep her safe. It’s not noble or nice but we’ve long since established that Ymir is neither of that. But like Connie later says, there’s no way someone who fought so desperately to keep Historia safe would turn around and use her like that. And maybe if Historia got out of her own head, she’d see that too. As it is, these two are a trainwreck in motion and it’s as beautiful as a tragedy can be.
Oops, got a bit carried away there.
Then we have the kids of the 104th confronting Bertolt and Reiner, but mostly Bertolt. Unlike Eren, Mikasa and Armin, the rest of them haven’t had the time to come to terms with their comrades’ betrayal. And this shows in the way Jean, Sasha and Connie start by talking quite amicably to Bertolt, even coaxing him to talk back, but ends on a much less pleasant note where they voice their hurt that’s not yet morphed to anger. Bertolt is also visibly affected by their words and his outburst later makes it evident that he’s as full of guilt as Reiner. I can’t tell if that guilt is doing everyone more bad than good though. Bertolt and Reiner feel like they’ve done too much to be forgiven and are therefore determined to finish what they started. There’s no redemption anyway so why bother to make amends?
Unlike Connie and the rest, Mikasa is as blunt as a hammer and acts the part. She’s willing to kill even Ymir and Historia for Eren’s sake. As she says, she can only care for a few people and Eren has priority. I don’t think she actually wants to kill her (former) comrades but I have no doubt that she will if she needs to. Seriously, we get some golden shots of her crazed eyes in this episode and I think her glare shaved ten years off Bertolt’s lifespan. She’s scary.
But the real star is Armin. He can’t do much physically and he knows that so he opts for psychological assault and it works. It’s already been hinted that Bertolt has a thing for Annie so mentioning n detail how she’s being brutally tortured – another lie; this is the episode of lies – sets off the guy and ultimately leads to Eren’s release. It’s a devious thing to do and shows that while Armin is not the single-minded determinator Eren or Mikasa can be, he too is willing to cross lines and “abandon his humanity” for the sake of his goals. He’ll just do it in a different way.
Speaking of which, Erwin was pretty amazing this episode. Sure, all that yelling made me laugh more than I should have but the guy has some serious guts, being able to give commands while dangling by the arm from a titan’s mouth. It’s nice to see him survive sans limb because frankly, humanity inside the walls would be fucked without him. Plus I like him. He’s cool.
This is all I’ve got to say about Charge. Well, there’s also the bit at the end where Eren and Mikasa come face-to-face with the same titan that ate their mother but more on that the next episode.
You know, I’ve decided not to review this season after it ends. It’s clear that I can’t divorce the story I see onscreen from the knowledge in my head of what’s going to happen. I love Attack on Titan a hella lot and am biased as fuck about it. I really don’t think I can just take this season and only this season into consideration and write a balanced review of it. Sorry.
I’m also not going to do this in the upcoming seasons. Reviewing an airing show has been fun to an extent but I do not want to keep doing it. I have a whole new level of respect for bloggers like Karandi, Remy, Marth, Keiko and many others who blog multiple seasonal anime. I don’t know how you guys manage but kudos to you!