I swear each episode of this series is the fastest twenty-four minutes of my week. Episode 17 just kicked things in to high gear with the appearance of the Female Titan (someone should let Dot Pixis know about her) that we saw hints of in the opening.
I like that this episode really focused on other members of the Corps. Poor Sasha has a close call, Reiner shows a little more humor, Jean displays courage beyond what we’ve come to expect of him, and Armin… Armin, Armin, Armin. Armin has always been clever but we were treated to some unexpected bravery in our boy wonder this week.
The 57th expedition has gotten underway and for the most part they manage to avoid running in to any Titans. Commander Erwin’s plan is based around avoiding conflict as they move forward. Ideally, the only Titans that will pose a problem are the Aberrants.
As the name suggested the Aberrants are Titans that are in one way or another unusual. Some are extremely fast or have other unpredictable behaviors. Other than these special cases and Titans that for some reason are hidden from view until they’ve gotten in to the formation, the need to battle Titans will be minimal. That is IF thing go according to plan.
But if things went according to plan, Wall Maria would never have fallen and so it makes sense that Armin is as nervous as a the proverbial long-tailed cat. The veteran members of the Survey Corp do a good job looking out for the new kids which we see in the case of both Armin and Sasha (a.k.a Potato Girl). At least until the Female Titan appears. Her arrival changes everything we’ve known about the Titans to this point.
First off, after taking out Both Sys and Commander Ness , she has Armin pinned down and yet all she does is lift his hood. Now Armin’s cute and all but I’m thinking this Titan was doing more than just oogling the boy wonder’s cherubic features. I felt like she recognized him and that made me very suspicious.
Second off, Reiner apparently has either a sense of humor that we were previously unaware of or has a thing for very large women. I nearly spilled my wine when he asked Armin “Was it that one there with the nice ass?” I’m can’t decide whether to be disturbed or amused. A human eyeballing a Titan’s derriere is weird enough but the fact that it was Reiner, of all people, just left me speechless. He’s such a serious character that it was flat out comedic for him to say it.
As for the Female Titan, her appearance is strikingly familiar. I know who I think she is and I’m struggling not to order the manga (yet) to confirm my suspicions. I’ve seen numerous suggestion on who it might be but I think the anime gave some fairly strong (Read:obvious) hints as to the identity of the Female Titan. What I am waiting for now is the HOW and the WHY. I have a feeling those are in the cellar of Eren’s old house.
What made this episode work was the way we’ve come to care for these characters. There’s a moment at about 19:00 that just really gets the blood pumping. But moments like this are only because the writers have crafted character so realistically that we are invested in them. We’ve watched Jean go from a self centered bore intent on hiding from battle into a soldier willing to sacrifice his life to give his fellow soldiers time to escape. We’ve seen Armin learn that strength in body is not the only strength that counts in battle. Even Reiner’s stoic persona has grown on us so much that the last thing we want is to see any of them die. Yet, it’s hard not to feel like we are about to say good-bye as they chase down not only a Titan but an intelligent one at that.
Armin clues Reiner and Jean in to what they are facing and points out the fact that she didn’t eat Sys and Commander Ness. We see her cover the only known weak spot on a Titan which is something we’ve never seen a Titan do. After she crushes Reiner, the fact that she doesn’t bother to press the attack but instead moved on speaks volumes. Sure, it indicates That Armin is right that she’s searching for something. But is she is looking for Eren or just looking to destroy the formation?
Given her response when she heard Armin say that he saw Eren’s dead body when the right flank was destroyed; I’d say he’s right. Moreover I imagine that if Hanji survived this she’s going to explode with excitement. We have a Female Titan and it apparently has the ability to understand human language. Does that mean it’s another one like Eren? Are we looking at a race of shifters? Moreover what does she want?
It’s going to be far too long until episode18. Attack on Titan airs on Crunchyroll.com at 7pm EDT, and on Funimation.com 1:00 PM EST Sun. Even if you are not into anime you may want to give this a shot. It’s a hell of an action show.