For everyone that was waiting for the big reveal – there you have it! Out of the blue, the Colossal and Armored Titan reveal themselves! And not just to Eren, but everyone else that’s standing on the wall at that time. There’s no going back now for Reiner and Berholdt as they make themselves public enemy number one. It’s literally an explosion of information coming at you about the two; everything except an objective. For now, all we know is that they’re scooping up the people in their group that have been revealed as titans and “trying” to escape. And that cliffhanger?! Shingeki no Kyojin pulls out a lot of cliffhangers, but I don’t know how anyone can sit around not itching to read the manga now (so if you’re eager to keep the action going, the story picks up at chapter 43). This next arc is probably one of my favorites in the story so it’s amazing to see it animated and it spares no expense in doing so.
Say what you will about all the episodes leading up to this moment, but when reality settled in and the backtrack started playing, I got goosebumps. When you hear all the doubt and self-reflection hitting Reiner in the face, the awkward silence, and the stares, gosh that scene is just ideal for that type of epic reveal. If you guessed it before this moment, that’s great, but as for myself – I thought this moment was perfect. The story leads up to it, like a background/second dialogue going on and you don’t really take it seriously until the backstory starts rolling as well. When Hange starts revealing the facts of the investigation going on (does anyone else also immediately think of Ed when he talks?), and even Armin chimes in about Annie, it’s hard not to believe that it’s true – Reiner and Berholdt are the reasons that so many humans died 5 years ago. The evidence piles up against them and even Reiner knows that now that he’s said it out-loud, there’s no going back. They have to continue going forward with whatever mission they were assigned way back when and that’s what makes them true warriors.
When I first read this chapter, I never really understood or grasped just how strong of a connection Reiner and Berholdt had with the other cadets. I get the they’re friends and comrades, but seeing it animated with all the flashbacks and soundtrack just made it all the more convincing that Reiner does struggle with what’s real for him. Whatever Reiner and Berholdt (and Annie) were trying to accomplish being a cadet, just seemed to have lost a lot of momentum while they were held within the walls and busy trying to blend in. The anime did a great job here showing all of Reiner’s inner turmoil and it certainly made me pity him (and Berholdt) a lot more than I did in the manga (which just made me feel more mad than sad). Whereas I think being mad, helps reaffirm what Eren and company must be feeling, I think Reiner and Berholdt getting some sympathy votes helps illustrate how complex and dimensional they are as characters. I’m a very empathetic person to begin with though, so maybe I just feel sorry for everyone! Even seeing Eren’s denial stage turn into acceptance and rage got me all emotional.
Now while it’s awesome that we got to finally see the Colossal and Armored Titan reemerge after all these years – the question still remains: a) where did all the titans come from (if there’s no hole in the wall)?; b) what do Berholdt and Reiner want?; and c) what about Ymir? I think these are probably the three biggest questions that I’d like to see answered before the end of the season, fully understanding if it never does get there. It’s also nice to see other characters shine rather than the focus being on Eren all the time. I’m biased to seeing more of Levi (which might not happen, given his current condition) but more Armin, Hange and Ymir would be awesome too. Let’s see if they all survive this upcoming battle though and just how far Berholdt and Reiner are willing to go for their resolve.
Author’s Note – I don’t normally notice things like these, but since I rewatched this episode quite a bit, I noticed a small goof in animation. When Mikasa first strikes, she cuts off Reiner’s arm and then goes to attack Berholdt by slicing his throat. Just as she’s about to finish Berholdt though, Reiner charges at her – and it’s at this moment, you can see, he has two arms again! And then in the following episode, he’s missing it again. Oops! =X
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: I didn’t feel much for Reiner and Berthold in the manga, but the anime did a good job showing their struggles since finding Eren. Say what you will about the “slow” parts of the story, but when I see endings like these and that music…omg, this is why I enjoy #Shingeki
Full-length images: 06.