WARNING: Contains spoilers. Written from the POV of a manga reader, so anime-only viewers please beware.
There was an earthquake in eastern Japan the other day, off of Fukushima. I was about to go to bed when the entire apartment began to shake. It wasn’t a big quake in Tokyo, just weak tremors going on for what seemed like eternity. Made me think, is that what the world’s people in the AoT universe felt when the wall titans were coming their way? Everything starts with a soft tremor, like aftershocks after a massive earthquake, and then all hell breaks loose.
In the anime we’ve not yet reached that part of the story. Instead we are brought back to a nostalgic time and place, back when the 104th still spent time together as friends with the same mission.
The episode opens with Hange annoying Eren in prison, and then with Levi and the 104th at the port meeting with Yelena’s group after they completed the port. Levi not even allowing her to shake Eren’s hand was too cute; brings me back to that time long ago when he had been so protective of the titan shifter.
Descendant of a Shogun
Then we see Mikasa learning about her heritage:
I’m so pleased the MAPPA animators decided to show the family crest in the form of a wrist tattoo like in the manga, as opposed to the embroidered handkerchief in WIT’s version.
I love this interaction between Mikasa and Historia. Look at them blushing at each other! How utterly sweet, how incredibly cute! I can’t get enough of this moment, they both look so different and yet totally adorable.
And then, and then, OMG, Eren smiles at Historia. See the look on his face? So tender, so loving. He is obviously happy that she’s happy. I think it’s the last time we see Eren smile. It was in this chapter (107) that I became convinced he truly did love her, and later on we see him being very angry indeed when he hears of Zeke’s proposal predicated on sacrificing her.
Another thing I love about this moment is seeing Hange in the background, observing them. I like to think they saw what I saw: the fact that Eren will do anything, anything at all in the world, just to protect Historia.
The anime cuts off part of Zeke’s dialogue with Kiyomi Azumabito: the manga panels in Chapter 107 where he talks of betraying his parents. They also change her literally salivating over her plans to profit from Paradis’ ice burst stone mines. Instead she’s just made to lick her lips. Rather disappointed here!
I really liked that manga version of a drooling Kiyomi and couldn’t wait for it to be animated. It shows just how much of an opportunist she was. (Much later we see her regretting her greediness, and willingly sacrificing her life so that the remaining soldiers and warriors can stop the rumbling.) I thought the manga moment was important in showing what she’s like as an unscrupulous business person. Too bad the animators didn’t feel the same.
When they illustrate Hange’s thoughts with a titan succession ritual showing a blonde woman with her hands tied, the titan about to devour her is pictured as a bald old man. I wonder why that is? If the girl is Historia it would be the titan of her thirteen-year-old child. In the manga only a mouth is shown in front of the girl. I wonder if there’s any significance to the full-head view of this new anime titan?
Historia accepts her fate, but our indignant protagonist declares it is out of the question.
I absolutely adore Yuki Kaji’s voicing of this moment. Eren in crazy angry super mad furious mode, he won’t hear of Historia being sacrificed. Incredible voice acting! The closeup of our titan shifter’s infuriated eyes is also on point.
There is that barely perceptible moment in the anime where Mikasa seems to be whispering to Eren, 「ヒストリアが・・・」(Historia ga) “Historia will be…”. I love this teeny weeny change from the manga. In the manga it looks like Mikasa is addressing the queen, just saying her name「ヒストリア・・・」”Historia…”. But in the anime it’s as if she’s telling Eren, Historia will be sacrificed, what should we do? For me it shows Mikasa caring for the queen just like their other friends. I love it!
Historia listens to Eren’s outburst and she tears up. Eren, kind, caring Eren. Yes, Your Majesty, someone does love you, very much so.
And then, and then, in one of the most beautiful transitions I’ve ever seen, we are carried from the queen’s tears in the palace to a droplet of water falling into a basin inside Eren’s prison cell.
Ahhhh, isn’t this amazing? Isn’t this fabulous? Isn’t this superb? I can’t get over the wonderfulness of this transition, so much so that I’ve screencapped it for posterity. I never thought I’d end up screencapping a washbasin! xD
Be still, my shipping heart! I adore Historia so much that if she’s walking in the palace gardens and there’s a mud puddle getting in the way, I’ll willingly lay down on it so she can walk over me without ruining her outfit. Eren cares for her so much that he’s willing to rumble the entire world, meaning we’re on the same page when it comes to Hisu adoration. So I totally love these gorgeously-executed erehisu moments in the anime. Thank you, MAPPA!!!
Eren is Hopping Mad
We are then pulled back into the present, with Hange questioning Eren in prison. “Don’t you care about Historia anymore?” they ask. To which he replies he inherited the Warhammer Titan and can get out whenever he wants, then demands that they come up with a better plan. He becomes genuinely scary here, grabbing them by the collar and being so angry lightning flashes across his face, as if he’s about to transform. Another incredibly well-animated moment, with stellar performances from both voice actors.
Historia is shown in her cabin’s veranda with the farmhand, and then we see the MPs arguing amongst themselves in Nicolo’s restaurant, where Nile Dawk proves he’s a decent human being. I wish they animated that manga panel of a mysterious hooded figure looking on as Historia speaks with the farmhand inside the barn, to encourage anime-only viewers to guess who it could possibly be.
After that we move on to the seminal railroad scene in Chapter 108. Hange and Levi arrive and the commander tells them of their plan to do some spying on Marleyan soil.
The anime scene on the rail car, however, cut off some of Jean’s dialogue. In the manga, he says that in Marley he wants to drink the various wines Nicolo has spoken of, but this has been cut in the anime. In the manga, he enumerates three reasons why Mikasa can’t inherit the titans:
- She’s an Ackermann, a clan they don’t understand too well.
- She’s half-Oriental, and they can’t tell if her kind can actually titanize.
- Kiyomi wants to make plans with her regarding Hizuru.
- All of which Jean sums up as being too many reasons for her not to inherit the titans.
(Of course, he doesn’t say what he really thinks: “I love you and don’t want you to die in 13 years.”)
In the manga, Eren listens to Jean’s reasoning, looks at her and says, “He’s right, Mikasa.”
Unfortunately, they removed (2) from the anime, and more tragically, Eren’s agreeable response to Jean’s dissuading. I really loved that moment in the manga because it shows just how far our two precious boys have come in their relationship: no longer fistfighting, they now listen to what the other has to say. Including these few lines in the anime wouldn’t have taken a few seconds. I’m really disappointed they decided to make these cuts; the Jean stan inside me is weeping 🙁
Still, I enjoyed the way they showed Armin chasing after Sasha’s barrel of water, and also Mikasa displaying her massive strength, walking by with these large steel beams hoisted over her shoulder. I liked the anime-only sight of the ants walking in line. Eren blushing courtesy of the sunset is pure gold. I think it’s the last time we see him being this cute and adorable with his friends.
Rift Amongst Friends
Next we see the friends back to the present and arguing amongst themselves, with Connie blaming Eren for Sasha’s death and demanding that Mikasa explain why he would laugh upon hearing of the tragedy. This event was truly heartbreaking to witness in the manga, and even more so in the anime because it feels more real with the voices. Very good performance from all the VAs here. I also liked the anime-only transition from flashback to present time, with Mikasa climbing a flight of stairs and looking out the window at the sunset.
MAPPA has done an excellent job as usual with the cinematography: good artistic vision, tone, look and feel. We get immersed in the SnK universe and can see clearly how in the span of four years they go from having some hope to seemingly none at all. The interiors and exteriors were all perfectly lit, with great camerawork and musical score. Aside from what I think have been unnecessary cuts, another neat anime adaptation.
Thank you so much for reading! What did you think of this anime episode? Please take a moment to share a thought or two in the comment section below. xoxo – hana
Next – Season 4 Episode 11
Back – Season 4 Episode 9
Love your blog! I’ve read several posts but this is my first time commenting. I wanted to ask about your thoughts on when Season 4 of the anime will finish – they say it’s the final season but right now there is still so much material from the manga left to cover (over 25 chapters worth). At this rate, do you think they will split Season 4 into two parts and release the finale in 2022?
Hi Hill! Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it!
Sorry I haven’t kept up with the anime episode reviews. I do watch the latest episodes in real time here in Japan, but I’ve been really busy at work lately and screencapping is such a chore so I just decided to stop writing reviews. There’s still a bunch of merch reviews as well fanfic stories already written which I need to upload before the manga ends, so the anime kind of takes a backseat.
I think anime scheduling has a lot to do with how the broadcaster works. NHK, the Japanese public broadcasting station, schedules its programs in クール “kuuru” cours or quarters (winter [January-March], spring [April-June], summer [July-September], fall [October-December]), so that’s give or take 12 episodes per quarter. The final season was supposed to air in the fall quarter, but due to the pandemic has been moved to the middle of December. Since the animators seem to be covering about 1.5 to 2 chapters per episode, with 25 chapters left that’s maybe about 16+ or so episodes. Some possible scenarios:
So, to answer your question, yes, I do think they’ll split the anime into two parts (that is, two quarters), but I’ve no idea how long a break they’ll take between quarters. Honestly, I’ve no concrete info or relevant opinions about the scheduling, sorry!
oh and i forgot about levi complaining because the 104th grew a lot xD
a few weeks ago i met an old friend from high school (i hadn’t seen him since we graduated in 2017) and when i saw him (he is 1.85m now) i had the same reaction as Levi plus i am the same height as him (1.60m) so xD
You’re the same height as the captain, that’s super cute! Wah, your classmate is almost as tall as Reiner, wow!
Do you remember when Levi was injured by Zeke inside the cart and he disappeared for a while? There were tons of fanart of him being rebuilt as a 6 ft (183 cm) tall man by Founder Ymir, using sand in Paths, because Isayama seemed to have mentioned in an interview that Levi wanted to become taller. The drawings were all too adorable for words! xD Can you imagine a tall Levi? It’s just so hard for me to picture. I love him just the way he is!❤
aaaaandddd *taps the mic* the time of day came where i, myri, am being delusional xD
ok, first we start with the train scene. ok, i was waiting a long, loooooong time to finally see it animated. jean telling mikasa that she can’t inherit eren’s titan for many reasons *coughs* because he loves her *coughs* soo sweet and adorable.
obviously it was not perfect for those details you mentioned before, if they included those small but IMPORTANT details i would feel that all my chakras aligned (now i have them half aligned xD)
another moment that my damaged and sleep-deprived brain caught was the last scene, during the exchange of words between mikasa and connie. i noticed how mikasa looks at jean when she needs support or comfort in something, like she knows that his opinion is impartial and that in many moments where they found themselves in critical situations he was the voice of reason. idk these are my thoughts xD
well like i said this is a moment of myri being delusional, good night (good morning for you) xD
Aww, Myri, that’s so sweet! Thank you so much for sharing! I LOVE your delusions, I really do! It’s so funny because *we* see those little details and think, OMG he loves her and she’s into him, but then *other people* are like, “Huh?” xD
I’ve already gone off the deep end because my fantasies involve an all-grown-up Eren saying to Mikasa, “Jean’s such a great guy, what gives?” Ahaha, as if!
And Mikasa goes, “I like him, but I feel he’s still not over Marco…”
Eren laughs and says, “Are you crazy? Marco’s his best friend. Armin’s my best friend and I defo don’t have the hots for him.”
And then shy Mikasa asks, “Do you think Jean likes me?” and Eren looks at her like she’s mad and shouts, “OMFG yes!”
Jean overhears them in the next room and thinks Eren just accepted a marriage proposal from Mikasa, and he’s ready to cry. But then Mikasa enters the room and says with a pretty blush on her cheeks, “Jean, would you like to have bubble tea with me? There’s a new shop down the road…”
Ahaha, stupid fantasy! xD Oh Myri, now you make me want to write a modern AU! xD
i enjoyed the flashbacks, i liked how isayama and mappa were able to represent the closeness that existed between the members of the 104 without the need to stuff ourselves with many memories or with an overload of funny scenes!
btw, armin chasing sasha who had the barrel of water seemed to me the peak of comedy xD i never thought i would see that kind of scene this season, it was too fresh! i also enjoyed that little discussion between connie and sasha xD yesterday i had to wipe my tears, but tears of laughter hahaha
Sasha and Connie were just too adorable for words! I miss Sasha so much already. I can’t believe she’s gone in both the manga and anime.
I think the barrel of water chase scene was my favourite in the episode. They showed Armin losing, the barrel being empty and Sasha with water dripping from her mouth, if I remember correctly. It was really amusing! xD Whenever Armin is shown with his other friends I’m really into it, because I like to think of him as a real pal to everyone and not just a part of EMA.
few times i felt “disgusted”? towards eren. how he treated hange upset me from start to finish and triggered horrible memories i have of an ex-boyfriend of mine. obviously the two of them were in another situation, another context but i couldn’t avoid that feeling of anxiety, fear and repulsion that i felt when i saw that part finally animated 🙁
it also made me remember that time that an MP also grabbed hange with the same violence, but at that moment they had moblit to defend them. how i wish i had a moblit back then, and how i wish moblit was there to defend our henge 🙁
and talking about MPs, i was disgusted how that pig talked about historia! i wanted to go through the screen and slap him!
Oh Myri, you poor baby! I’m so sorry to hear about your horrible ex-boyfriend. What a cad! 🙁 There is absolutely no excuse for physical violence in a real-world relationship. I can’t say I understand how you feel because I hadn’t experienced that with a partner, but I do hope you’re healing from the trauma. Please email me anytime if you ever feel like talking about it (I won’t judge you, but I’ll certainly upbraid him!)
Ah, Moblit Berner! My god, I love him so much! He’s only had a few scenes in the manga and speed readers don’t even remember his name, but he’s definitely one of my favourite characters. I just loved the way he looked after Hange, even when she was being a difficult boss. I tried to give Jean a Moblit-like assistant in the Chronicles, Corey Feldman. Afterwards I found out there was an actor by the same name, so I was like, eeep! xD
ooh what a detail! i don’t speak japanese so these little details pass by for me, thank you very much for highlighting it here! 🙂
ps. it seems incredible to me how some people keep passing eren’s actions! xD i mean i understand that they may not like the ship or it does not excite them, but it is like ignoring the big pink elephant in the room hahahaha
Thank you, Myri! I might not have liked MAPPA’s cutting of Jean’s dialogue, but I do like the additions they made to the episode.
Regardless of how the manga ends, I will always think of Eren as choosing the queen. It’s really the way my mind interprets his actions and words and no one can convince me otherwise, ahaha! I love that metaphor you used, “ignoring the elephant in the room”! That’s exactly what’s happening, millions of readers turning a blind eye to what the protagonist is actually saying.
My problem is that I always end up shipping impossible ships (I used to ship Jamie with Brienne in GoT, ahaha! xD), so I have zero confidence about any of my ships becoming canon. Still, I do it as a writing exercise! I think it’s more challenging to write about minor ships that just go along with what the majority of the fandom like.
Iiwas also disappointed that they did not include that panel of kiyomi salivating at the mere idea of exploiting that natural resource that paradis has. i mean, it would have helped to show her growth in the future, wanting to sacrifice herself so that the alliance can stop the rumbling.
in addition, it also represented the harshness of reality, how an entire nation takes advantage of another that is just emerging from its isolation from the rest of the world
IKR! When the episode was being aired and Kiyomi was speaking I was going, “Here it comes, here it comes!” only to go, “Whaaaa? Where? Why? Noooo!”
Totally agree with you there. It would have made for great contrast, and also to emphasise just how much Kiyomi Azumabito has grown and changed as a character. Before, she was all about Hizuru’s national interest, but after the rumbling she saw the error of her ways and became repentant. I like that Isayama has given an older person character development. Too bad the animators decided to make that scene more “staid”, so to speak.
That’s really true about more powerful, established countries taking advantage of newer ones. A friend of mine was explaining to me years ago about why she hated the Carmen Miranda logo and everything it stood for: all about wealthy nations taking advantage of the national resources, cheap labour and poor environmental laws of less developed countries.
One of the coolest things about the SnK universe is that it’s a reflection of ours (so much hate, so much division, so much strife, and all the wars that never seem to end). I think that’s why we really feel very deeply about the events in the manga: we can relate to all of them somehow.
that scene of mikasa and historia was really cute!! i liked how mappa animated them <3 historia was beautiful as always and mikasa honestly looked adorable with her lips parted in amazement and her cheeks flushed xD i sincerely love her hehe (if jean had been there i think she would have fallen even more in love with her)
you have no idea of the pitched battle that took place yesterday on twitter! both eremikas and erehisus fought over “which girl did eren really smile at”, it was really funny xD in my opinion he was smiling at historia, but i wouldn’t dislike the idea that he was smiling because of the scene those two were doing 🙂
Ahaha, that twitter battle you speak of sounds hilarious! It reminds of a time years ago when people were having the Twilight shipping battles (Edward vs Jacob) and there was so much blood! It was really awful, I never looked at twitter again, ahaha! Watching the shippers try to murder each other was like taking part in an IRL slasher horror movie of the worst kind. Of course, I shipped Jacob with Bella (he’s the underdog and I usually cheer for underdogs, ahaha!), but really, he didn’t stand a chance. Poor sweet baby!
Isayama must be having the time of his life seeing his fans try to kill each other. There’s a part of me that hopes he won’t end the canon manga with any ship, otherwise he’ll be deluged with hate messages from the losing camp!
also wondering why they removed that it was important in the whoddunit solve the mystery department come to think of it i dont like this episode too many badly thought out cuts
Yeah, it was such a powerful panel in the manga, making us speculate and theorise and put our deer caps on and go all Sherlock! Fun times in the mangaverse 😀
I didn’t like some of the cuts but I did like the additions in general, so I’m trying to be positive and just hope there’ll be as much Jean in future episodes.
aahhhh waited 2 fucken yrs for this to be animated why mappa why it wouldve been a blast
Me, too, I waited for so long for… lip-licking, ahaha! I wonder if there were some who didn’t like Kiyomi being portrayed that way and complained? I want to know what lead to such an editorial decision xD
just wanted to say jean haters r the most pathetic people in the fandom
IKR! Let’s not mind the clueless sods, it’s their loss! Let’s just stick together, Jean stans forever! We’re lifetime members of JAS (Jean Appreciation Society)❤
dunno why they removed this in the anime twas a dick move imo also dont like the way jean was voiced n this episode he sounds like a 12yo kid he should sound older and calmer bec he actually is
I was so happy they kept all of Jean’s dialogue in the past episodes, so this latest one was really a disappointment. I just hope they don’t chop off his talk in the upcoming episodes, otherwise I’ll be wailing so hard xD It’s just so important for me for Jean to be treated better this time around, given the way he was dealt with in the past seasons.
Taniyama was somewhat over-the-top with the voicing, that’s true! xD
really not into mappas character design hisu looks like a 10yo child she looks a million times better in the manga also for jean n eren n well everyone
Yeah, me, too, I was looking at my screencaps and the manga side by side, and they almost look like different people! xD I really don’t want to diss MAPPA, though, I want to encourage them, so I try not to focus too much on the character design.
lolol ill do the same for levi lol oh n also erwin tho hes so big ill get crushed lol
Ahaha, Levi can walk all over me, too! I mean, I feel I can take his weight. Not Erwin’s, though, surely not! xD Hisu will be light as a feather, she’d be easy to plank for xD
u forgot to mention levi grumbling abt how much the kids have grown physically didnt like its animation twas as if levi was only speaking to connie when in the manga hes addressing all the boys it looked a lot cuter there
Ah, yes, that one! I actually took a screencap of the scene, but it didn’t look nice composition-wise. In the manga our captain is surrounded by the lads, who all look adorably flustered. But in the anime scene, like you say, he’s only shown with Connie. It didn’t look balanced. Since this “review” consists of my fave screencaps, I decided not to upload it.
Im going to look like a bad bitch but..
First I don’t like Historia and i don’t know why. Also i don’t like Eren. Just look the picture and in Eren’s memory Jean is like a meme. I don’t feel his “friendship” with Jean I just don’t feel it. I can’t feel it. Sorry. I never see any respect scene from Eren to Jean. I don’t feel they are friends. I don’t know why.. Jean always understand Eren but I don’t or i never see the second one to act the same thing. But i must comment Jean’s mistake. He is blaming Eren. Bug mistake from him. Please don’t kill me! And also most of Eremika and most of Erehisu shippers are pathetic. They are fighting for the ships..
The second picture is from Eren’s memory. For me when there’s not respect there os not friendship and there is no love.
And the last picture