「打・投・極」 (Datoují)
“Close Combat”

And so, the lull before the storm culminates in a showdown between some of humanity’s best and two of the greatest threats to their continued existence. While I’m still of the opinion that the build-up leading to this wasn’t the greatest, the fact is we’ve gotten back to the general formula that allowed Shingeki no Kyojin to hold its own many years ago, and we’re all the better off for it.

I mean, the sheer amount of action-packed goodness—mostly in the form of classic fisticuffs no less—is something that not only makes the wait worth it, but also shows off just how strong the Colossal and Armored Titans are individually. The former’s size and steam defenses make it literally untouchable, the latter’s armor makes it just as strong, and suddenly we’re put into a perspective where we realize how powerless the typical human truly is in the grand scheme of things. Even with Eren in his Titan form using Annie’s techniques—the irony!—what we get is only the near defeat of one, and at the cost of many injured and a great deal of pain. With the epic toss over the side on part of Bertholdt though, it seems like even that result won’t hold, and—assuming the fight ends in a stalemate and both sides retreat—things look more grim than ever before.

After all, both Reiner and Bertholdt have nothing to lose, meaning they could just decide to try and finish off humanity sooner rather than later. At the same time, there’s still the threat of the Beast Titan looming, and suddenly there’s three potential threats just roaming around that can both bypass and/or destroy any of the walls shielding humanity’s last bastion. The question is—and of course there’s more than ever before—why exactly Reiner and Bertholdt decided to halt their annihilation of humanity in the first place, and while it’s easy to point to the influence of their experiences in the Survey Corps, it doesn’t explain what happens between their initial attack years prior and their joining of the Survey Corps. At the same time, we’re still unsure about the origins of their power in the first place, although the fact that all the human Titans so far (aside from Eren) have come from around the same area does seem like a big plot point that’ll be investigated in the future.

In the meanwhile, this week was also refreshing in the sense that Eren manages to show a cool head despite his obvious (and understandable) anger, and it was certainly a nice change of pace seeing him utilize lessons learnt previously, listen to orders, and do everything in his power to shield his teammates at the same time. There’s a steady growth in his capabilities and mindset as the series has gone on, and it’s certainly a welcome addition to a series that hasn’t always put that aspect of its characters on the forefront. That and the emotional highs from seeing him fight people he considered comrades (and even learned from previously) made this the best episode of the season by far, and it’ll be interesting to see the mental and physical toll this takes on everyone next week once it’s all said and done.

Author’s Note: Once again, please refrain from spoilers of the source material past what’s been covered so far. Use spoiler tags if you absolutely need to mention something that wasn’t explicitly shown/covered, as there is a zero tolerance policy in effect and comments with spoilers will be immediately deleted and bans handed out where necessary.




    1. That cliffhanger pissed me off so much, but in a good way. I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t even realize that the episode was already coming to an end!

      1. It’s also interesting that the very last scene was literally under a second long too.

        Took quite a few retries with it playing 10x slower just to get that last screen shot, haha.

  1. Whoa!!! They had grappling!!!!! Yes!!! And it was the most accurate depiction I’ve seen on tv or anime!!!

    First off, Annie demos a head and arm triangle and uses an osoto gari to take down Eren, and continues the lock for the sub. I’ve always wanted to try that combo on a competition.

    Then when Eren is fighting in Titan form after pulling off that combo, he goes for a triangle and transitions into armbar then sweeps Reiner so he can tear his arm off in top position!

    Eren then does some sort of x-guard later to push himself away.

    Reiner then goes in for a double leg takedown, and Eren catches his head in an arm over guillotine and closes his guard (wraps his legs around him) to lock it up! That move has totally been used irl fights to win matches! (See Werdum vs Velasquez).

    I’m still totally geeking out!

    Viva Judo/BJJ!!!!!!

    Bamboo Blade Cat
    1. Correction, Annie’s move was osoto guruma (was talking about it with a Judo guy I know)

      osoto guruma sweeps both legs when you step by your opponent

      osoto gari sweeps just the one leg (thought she just swept one leg)

      You can do either in depending on your body type* and position.

      *Longer legged people will have an easier time sweeping both legs.

      Bamboo Blade Cat
  2. I might be out of line saying this, but….

    …did anyone find that whole Eren/Annie segment to be depicted a bit… erotically? I know it was srs bisnes and all, but the way it was animated…. I dunno, maybe I’ve been watching too many ecchi anime recently or something =01.

    1. It is erotic indeed, and much more in the manga.

      Anime seems to cut Annie/Eren moments to the minimum since the first season, a shame.

      The director is some huge Mikasafag and he really lowers the story in many points to focus on his waifu.

      1. I’ve never really understood the appeal of Mikasa. She’s got serious skill but her whole personality consists of her obsession over Eren, which isn’t really a personality at all.

  3. Wait, just how big is the Colossal Titan? In the last few screencaps it looks like it’s as big compared to other Titans as ordinary Titans are to Humans, but it’s holding Humans in its hands in one of the early screencaps and the scale there doesn’t seem to match. Those Humans would have to be as big as Titans.

    1. From what I could tell, that was only a portion of the Colossal Titan we were seeing (much like how Eren partially transformed to protect Mikasa and Armin from being hit by his execution-by-cannons early on in the series). If you look through the steam, you can see that Bertholdt seemed to be using his rib cage to stay anchored to the top of the wall and, aside from the movements with his arms, he never actually moved from his spot after transforming. Why he fought like this rather than completely transforming, I have no idea.

  4. Can someone explain to me why Mikasa made that face ( like she was deep in her thoughts ) after Hanji got excited that Eren responded to her? (17:30). It seemed like it has some kind of meaning.

    1. For one, she gets a bit murdery every time any other female interacts with Eren… especially if she feels like they provide something she can not (see also for this: her reactions during Annie’s training with him)
      There’s also the long running fear of hers that he’ll leave her behind / won’t need her now that he has a new found source of power / strength / independence in both his Titan form and growing acceptance within and importance to the Survey corps.
      As far as Mikasa is concerned she’s mostly a blunt force instrument that wants to be close to him, so seeing someone who is not only strong but also a capable strategist and high ranking leader figure plan with him (something she can’t do) on how to use his power which makes her obsolete… well… she’s not taking it all that well…

      At least that’s how I interpret the moment based on her previous actions / reactions / etc…

      1. Actually in that flashback scene, Mikasa was just pissed off that Eren was getting beaten up by another person. Don’t think that person being a strong female made much difference.

      2. Could certainly just be that, as I said, it’s just my personal interpretation of things…

        But I would point out that Eren has been beaten / hurt in training (and otherwise) before without such a strong reaction from her, so it stuck out to me that she’d go as far as throw Reiner at them to make them stop.
        Which is to say, while her reacting negatively to him being hurt is a constant, she has been shown to accept a certain level of damage in cases where it’s clear he’s not actually in any real danger.

        All of which is I guess proof that I am completely able to put way too much thought into the speculative psychology of fictional people… …
        but hey, who needs healthy hobbies =D

      3. @eamonx @sylias But I didnt mean moment when she was going to fight Annie. Check the time (17:30). And i think it was just coincidence that she made that face after Hanji spoke to Eren. I mean she wasnt even looking in their directions, so i dont think she would be that possessive of Eren to get jealous even of that.

    2. Another question for you. When Annie was trying to cut the armored titan she was able to visualize and ‘rewind’ the scene in her head like a video/tape. The way it was presented could just be the way the director wanted it to look/in that style, but if not it seemed a teensy bit hinky. Maybe I am reading too much into it…

  5. Both the moves and the fight were pure gold.

    All of the creators affection for WWE and UFC shined through on this one, which makes a lot of sense.

    After all Reiner’s Titan form is based in Brock Lesnar, from WWE, and Eren’s titan form comes from Yushin Okami, a UFC fighter. Adding the moves to the likeness was a killer idea 😀

  6. Mikasa was questioning herself why she didn’t cut off their heads, but the bigger question is why didn’t Reiner try to swat her off his back when she was trying to stab him?

    1. I suppose Reiner simply had no interest in Mikasa. After all, his objective is to kidnap Eren (who actually poses a threat), whereas Mikasa is completely powerless.

    1. The key words were “assuming things work out that way.”

      A stalemate would occur if neither got what they wanted but neither killed off the other. Eren getting beat down early doesn’t change that this scenario could occur and that Eren ultimately turned things around to the point where he was pretty much the victor.

      The question is what happens now that Bertholdt literally jumps into the equation (which is something we don’t get to see this week), and even then I didn’t think it would necessarily leave one side completely victorious over the other.


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