Ymir’s past and some huge secrets are uncovered, but more questions arise from those revelations. If it’s the questions that drive us, do we really want answers? Yes. Definitely yes.
Joining Eren and the traitors back in the treetops, it’s time to start ramping up to the end of the season – an explosive conflict against a fleeing Reiner and Bertholdt against the survey corps. This episode was expected to be a little more action packed after last outing’s bout of standing around and talking, but it is actually so much more. Not only do we find out about Ymir having wandered for 60 years as a titan, Reiner and Bertholdt are overheard talking about a ‘coordinate’ as the focus of their mission – something that they suspect Eren to be.
The extremely interesting moments of this episode are to do with Ymir’s past. Again, I have read all of the manga, but I don’t remember learning this much so soon. There are some big revelations in her past and this flashback sequence throws a lot of them at us. Who is the church that is worshiping her ‘blood of the king’ and why give her the name Ymir? More importantly, who the heck are the soldiers in this sequence, as they are nothing like anything we have seen up to this point. But there’s even more! These cultists of some kind are being punished by getting pushed off a wall and… turning in to titans! It’s not clear exactly the process from the angles we see, but there is a distinct sound of stabbing right before Ymir is pushed off. A syringe, maybe?
The montage of Ymir’s life from turning in to a titan until joining up with Krista is wonderfully sentimental, and the music helps that quite a bit. This is the other half of Hiroyuki Sawano’s explosive battle music style that play off each other very well. As for Ymir’s craziness, it is pretty much expected at this point. The flashback does a good job of confirming her love for Krista and the bond they have formed over the past few years together. So when it comes to Ymir eating her, of course she’s just kidnapping her as we’ve seen titans do before. But is she really better off with Reiner and Bertholdt, and whatever world they come from? They do seem to have all the power and knowledge, plus it could be seen as an escape from Krista’s messed up life already. Once again we look to the next episode for an epic rescue operation.
- This episode is almost frame-for-frame chapter 47 from the manga, except for Ymir’s background story, which comes from way later.
- Big hints at how Eren became a titan as well, with Ymir and Bertholdt talking about how they don’t remember their first time as titans.
- There is some rather lazy animation in the scenes that involve flying through the trees and discussing. To be fair, they are just talking, but it is also so hilariously obvious the disconnect between the characters and background animations.
- The final line from Hannes continues to build suspicion around his chances of survival, don’t you think? He was already so sentimental last episode. Stop raising so many red flags!