Attack on Titan: Close Combat Recap

Synopsis: In this episode of Attack on Titan, Eren becomes locked in a duel with the armored titan, whose identity as big brother Reiner shocked us all. Meanwhile, the rest of the garrison regimen finds themselves playing the waiting game with the colossal titan.

Rating:
Another flashback? Okay, we get it, Reiner and Bertholdt were the older brothers that the garrison trainees felt they could rely on most and confided in several times.

In current day, Eren transforms into a titan and lands a blow on the armored titan as they plunge to the ground below. 

While the smoke clears, Mikasa blames herself for not relieving the enemies of their heads when she had the chance. She can’t understand why she was unable to, but we know. She didn’t have the strength to kill two fellow soldiers who were friends mere moments ago.

Up on the wall, the colossal titan swats at the soldiers and they fly from the wall like gnats. With the opportunity presented to him, he tosses Ymir into his mouth.  The soldiers launch into battle. They evade his swings and aim directly for his nape, but he releases a powerful steam to protect himself. The steam is burning to the touch and destroys any chance of using maneuvering gear. He’s like the end-of-game boss, who enacts some cheesy move when he’s being beaten and spams with it until you meet an unfair death.

Back on the ground, Eren’s going head to head with the armored titan, but the titan is more than he can readily handle. The armored titan’s skin is strong enough to withstand attacks both from Eren and the blades of the regiment.

But, this is anime, so we all know what happens now, or at least we’d think so. Eren summons enough typical rage and determination to bring himself to his feet and land another blow. His blow connects, but the titan’s returning blow knocks Eren off of his feet. Well played, writers.

This episode’s Main Flashback
(since we need to have at least one an episode ya know)

Eren looks back on training with Annie. As bad as Annie was for betraying humanity, she seems more charming in this flashback, like the older sister who lives for her brother’s perpetual embarrassment at her hands and her hands only.

Annie teaches Eren a submission move for use against humans and refuses to let him free until he agrees to two conditions: to use his strength and to learn how to speak to women. She lets him out only after Reiner almost crushes them both after being thrown through the air.

When she stands, Mikasa confronts her and asks to learn the move as well. Annie accepts the challenge and they square off. As we can see from the excited chatter of the other troops, we aren’t the only ones who’d appreciate a fight between Annie “the ice queen” Leonhart and Mikasa “the stoic whirlwind” Ackerman. Of course the flashback ends before we get to see the only fight we really care about.

See, this is why we can’t have nice things.

From the flashback, Eren remembers Annie’s move and he pulls it off with flawless execution, slamming the armored titan to the ground. The titan resists, but Eren just puts him into a different lock. We’re talking WWE: titan edition. He rips the titan’s arm clean off.

Best Moment of the Episode

Hange gives Eren orders as she’s perched on his shoulder. When he turns to her and nods to show his obedience, her cheeks blush and she lets out a sound that’s very difficult to describe, so bear with me here. I’d call it an airy, high-pitched neigh. Never heard a horse neigh? Check it out on youtube and get back to me. Hange embraces her true fan-girl, reminding us of her eerie fascination with titans. I swear she’d have a pet titan if she could.

The armored titan sheds some of the armor on his legs and charges at Eren faster than Eren can think. Regardless, this is some of the best fighting, not just titan fighting, I’ve seen so far. The armored titan charges again, directly into Eren’s guillotine choke. Eren’s choking him so hard, splinters of armor chip off into the air.

But, the armored titan’s got another trick up his armor. He pushes himself and Eren along on the ground until he can bring himself under the colossal titan and lets out a large roar.

The armored titan answers his call and lets himself fall from the tower, straight down with his jaw wide open onto Eren and the armored titan.

To be continued…

Lately, it seems as if Attack on Titan has fallen into a habit of delivering exposition through flashback. I hope this doesn’t permanently become the case and if it does, then I hope the flashbacks at least serve a distinctive purpose other than lazy exposition delivery.

What did you think? Did you appreciate Hange’s fangirl moment? Do you wish we got to see Annie’s “rumble in the jungle”(it’s not as dirty as it sounds, I promise)? Leave a comment and let us know, we’d love to hear it.