“Pāfekuto Gēmu” (完全試合)
Bertholdt is destroying the city, they have the Beast Titan still on the other side and no one really knows what to do. One thing is for sure.
The future of the Scouts is a combination of Jean’s ability to read what is happening and cool head (when he isn’t raging at Eren) and Armin’s strategies when he’s calm and able to think.
This episode wasn’t about them though.
It was about the absolute horrifying realisation that regardless of whether Eren’s group can take down the Colossal Titan, whether or not Armin wakes up with a plan or Jean finally finds a weakness the other Scouts, all the recruits outside facing the Beast Titan, are going to die.
From the beginning of the episode until their suicide charge this entire episode was the daunting reality that even with this boost in confidence, even after trying to predict the enemies movements and the feeling that they could possibly defeat these monsters. No matter how hard they plan, no matter what they do in their fight for freedom so many people will die.
Call it a useless death, a meaningless one or a tragic waste of life but that is the fate of the Scouts.
No matter if this battle is in the end won the recruits were going to die so in the end Levi forces Erwin to go down with them and lead a charge at the Beast Titan, a suicide charge, so that he could attempt to take down the Beast himself.
It really was a episode that hit hard that we are basically seeing people whose only goal was to be heroes. To save the people within the walls and give them all a little breathing space. None of them probably deep down thought they would die in such a horrible fashion but at the same time they probably thought that this time it would be different. This time the Scouts would win.
What they don’t know is every victory no matter how big or small is going to have casualties.
Whilst Erwin was able to gather them all to charge their target they didn’t go to their deaths, and lets face it some might survive, thinking they could win.
THAT was probably the hardest part to watch.
Erwin didn’t sugar coat what was happening to them he was honest with them and lead them from the front. It was hard to see even anime characters come to terms with their own deaths.
Stay here and die, follow Erwin and die…
There was no escape.
Everything about the episode just made you despair so much about what was happening it was a emotional struggle to get through it all. By the end of the episode it was easy to forget that half the problems now actually lay in the fact the Colossal Titan is on his way to the other side of the wall and would have thrown flaming debris at them therefore if they weren’t crushed by the rocks the Beast was throwing they’d be crushed, surrounded and burnt to death by the Colossal Titan’s debris.
The small amount of time given to the guys fighting the Colossal Titan just made it even more sad.
We saw Armin totally shut up, Jean trying his best to lead but unable to come up with a plan. Between the two of them they have the heart and brains of Erwin but even Erwin lacks something in these battles, he lacks the determination of Jean and the innocence of Armin. He admits as much himself when once again he goes on about wanting to know what was in the basement at Eren’s house.
Two of the best Attack on Titan episodes they’ve ever made.