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Attack on Titan Anime Review – Season 4 Episode 9 (#68)

WARNING: Contains spoilers. Written from the POV of a manga reader, so anime-only viewers please beware.

They say there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. I haven’t been through the former yet, which means I have to deal with the latter. I spent the entire weekend working on my income tax returns. In the past years the deadline for submission was on the 15th of March, but due to the pandemic it’s been extended for another month. Still, old habits die hard, and since I’ve been doing my tax returns in February each year I’m doing them in the same month this year, regardless of the extension. Talk about humans being creatures of habit.

Anyway, the good thing about finishing up this type of paperwork (well, online work as the case may be) early is that I don’t need to scramble when the deadline looms. Also, I really needed something to get my mind off the dreaded upcoming Chapter 137 of the SnK manga. In that sense this type of cumbersome, mind-numbing activity of filing tax returns kinda helped. Never thought I’d see a good use for it, ahaha!

Moving on to the latest anime episode, I liked it very much and wanted to post a ton of screenshots. I decided to ditch the flat-screen TV style of visuals and make a simpler, lighter template. That way I can put up a dozen images without compromising loading times. 

Here are my favourite scenes:

Mikasa the Hair Puller

I don’t know why I love this scene so much. It shows Mikasa grabbing Sasha’s ponytail. 

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

She’s supposed to be on watch duty but has fallen asleep instead. “Don’t nap, Sasha!” Mikasa admonishes her.

Jean looks on toward the port, not minding the girls. I’m always so stoked when I see Mikasa interacting with people other than Eren or Armin, as these moments are so rare I consider them very precious.

Hange Being Hange

Our super enthusiastic, ultra eager commander is in their element, welcoming the Marleyan scouts to the island with enough energy to lighten up the night sky.

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Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

I absolutely adore Hange in these scenes. Soldier, scientist, explorer, adventurer, inventor… all their myriad roles are on glorious display at this point in the story. Their oohing and aahing over the visitors’ high tech weapons made me want to cry. It’s such a Hange thing to do! And then I laughed at Levi kicking their foot under the table, warning them not to sound like an imbecile else the enemy will think they’re a bunch of ignoramuses. Ah, these Levihan interactions simply warm my heart! I love these two so very much. 

Yelena putting a bullet through a comrade’s head was, I’m sure, quite shocking when seen for the first time in the anime. She’ll go on and do this same thing at another point in the story. Referred to as a デカい女 dekai onna (huge woman), I estimate she’s around 6 feet 6 inches tall or thereabouts. I mean, Jean’s over six feet tall already and Yelena towers over him.  She kinda reminds me of Brienne in GoT, because of the height and blonde hair. But Brie was a good egg through and through, while Yelena is certifiably insane.

Bow Before Your Queen

Our Queen has finally made her first appearance this season! All hail her Royal Highness! I really, really missed this special gal. 

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.
  • Me: Your Grace, please make more public appearances. 
  • Puppet Master Isayama: No. 
  • Me: *Weeps*

It was just lovely to see Historia, with her hair up and sitting next to Zackly. We see Pixys, we see Floch, we see Nile Dawk… everyone’s still alive! How nostalgic. Makes me want to cry, again. We manga readers know all of these soldiers will soon be dead. I love seeing them here decrying Zeke’s conditions for cooperation. In the end, they were right: Monkey Boy’s solution to the Eldian Problem is a real stinker.

No Hot Spring For Baby

Why oh why didn’t they voice out this scene??? I was dancing with anticipation, waiting for the smooth VAs to give life to the silly dreams of our babies. In the manga, Onyankopon talks about building a port, and our three stooges have no idea what that’s for. Connie thinks it’s a playground, while Sasha hopes it’s something edible.

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

And Jean? Our hottie has fantasies of a 混浴 konyoku (mixed male-female) public bath! We know exactly whose semi-naked body he wanted to see when he came up with this crazy idea xD Jean’s such a bawdy lad! Ugh, please just let him soak in a hot spring bath with his lady love already! xD

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Anyhow, I blame the conservative, ultra prudish NHK channel for the animators’ decision not to voice this moment. Maybe it was too R-18 for the station’s puritanical sensibilities? Who’s at fault here, really? I don’t know, but I know I’m not happy 🙁

Oh Nicolo!

Aaaanyway, moving on to the most hilarious event in this episode: Nicolo finally meets the girl of his dreams. Doesn’t turn out the way them fairytales go: he’s scandalised by uncouth Sasha’s lack of good table manners. He hates being on this godforsaken island, he doesn’t want these devils to touch the food he’s made since he’s sure they have no sense of good taste whatsoever. 

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

And then lovable Sasha starts crying, nay, bawling her eyes out at the supreme deliciousness of the food. She’s in heaven, she’s never tasted anything so fine in her life. Even Nicolo, pissed off as he is, cannot help but blush at her effusive praise coming straight from the heart (and the belly). 

The camera lingering on Nicolo’s blushing face (see cover image) is pure gold. Ah, what a happy, refreshing, darling moment! I loved Nicolo straight away in the manga, but the anime makes me love him even more. 

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

The blue skies, the colorful delectable cuisine, the sun-drenched landscape by the sea were so beautiful in this memory of Armin’s.

At the Cemetery

From these lighthearted, happy events we are brought to a place of grief. The animators made sure we didn’t get to see poor sweet Nicolo being abused by Eldian soldiers. Doesn’t this level of physical violence classify as PG-13? Isn’t the show being aired past midnight? What’s going on with all this censorship? 

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Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

Anyway, Jean and Connie come to the rescue of the grieving chef. I was so relieved they voiced out this scene fully: Jean apologises to Nicolo, saying it was negligence on his part that got Sasha killed. As commanding officer, he takes responsibility for what happened, a far cry from his jerk leg reaction of blaming Eren in the previous episode. 

Now, the reason I’m not mad at the animators, in fact, the reason I LOVE them is because of the frame below:

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

Aaaaaaahhhhh! A jeankasa frame! Be still, my shipping heart! Can you believe it? It was such a small panel in the manga, but they gave us this full screen thingy here in the anime. I LOVE YOU, MAPPA! I really do! You have no idea how much joy this moment has given me. I mean, we seldom see these two together in the same space. What a treat! What a glorious treat indeed! 

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

The lovely Brauss family have come to pay their respects at their beloved daughter’s grave. We see Mr and Mrs Brauss, and their adopted daughter Kaia, a young girl Sasha saved once upon a time. Nicolo invites them to his restaurant, in which they agree to go as long as the food’s free.

In contrast to the clear blue skies and fluffy summer clouds of the tableaus along the port, this graveyard scene is in the appropriate somber tones. Thumbs up to the animators for the wonderful cinematography!

The Mental Battle Begins

Speaking of great cinematography, don’t you just love the lighting of this sunset scene featuring Captain Levi with the disappointed, open-mouthed Zeke? Our royal prince doesn’t like his new accomodations and he says it out loud.

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

I love the sharp exchange of words between these two, starting from that scene on the airship to the intimate space inside the carriage to this picture-perfect moment by the Forest of the Giant Trees.

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Crystalised Annie

We are back inside the dungeon, with Armin sitting cross-legged before the crystallised Annie. He’s narrating the story and speaks of his regrets. Eren would’ve done Liberio, with or without the Scouts’ help. Before he realised what was bound to happen it was already too late. He begs Annie to say something, but she’s mum.

Screencap from Season 4 Episode 9 (#68) of the anime “Shingeki no Kyojin” ⒸHajime Isayama/Kodansha Comics/Shingeki no Kyojin FINAL SEASON Production Team. Aired February 8, 2021 on NHK G channel.

The episode ends with Mikasa by Sasha’s graveyard muttering about having to fight in order to survive, while Eren is in prison hyping himself up: “Fight, fight.” He looks like a grey Incredible Hulk in the anime; I like his sleek manga look so much better. But I’m not complaining too much. It’s still our beloved Eren, and I like the way they made him look properly scary.

From Strength to Strength

All in all, another great episode. I loved seeing all the characters still alive, and even the tiny additions have been such a joy (See that little crab crawling up the rock in the opening sequence? Cute!). I might not have fulfilled my dream of seeing Jean talk about wanting a mixed bath, but at least they gave us a frame of him with that naughty look on his face, with his two friends on either side.

Cheers, MAPPA! Can’t wait for the next episode!

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 10

Back – Season 4 Episode 8

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myri

oh that jeankasa fragment, after how long did we get fed again? maybe they were small crumbs but i ate them as if they were a gourmet dish from niccolo xD

anyway now everyone is jumping off this boat to get on the pikkujean one. me as the cliche loving lady that i am i keep holding this little candle for my beloved jeankasa till the end of time lol. it’s really ironic how jean and pieck’s pairing doesn’t catch my attention!!! am i crazy? my two favorite characters have interactions that could be interpreted differently and i don’t blink? i’ll be fine? did i lose my mind? tell me!!! xD

myri

oh, that time i didn’t say anything about it because i honestly had nothing to say xD being honest, that ship doesn’t generate anything for me and i see it more as a way of wanting to get Jean out of that unrequited love and not because something is really happening there beyond companionship because they are comrades at this point in the manga (obviously it’s just my opinion, anyone is free to see chemistry and development wherever they want hehe).

if at some point isayama decides to pair these two, i really hope and wish it to be in an organic and meaningful way and not out of a magic hat just for the sake of it (i mean jean and pieck are in my top 3 favorite characters i really want them to be happy and have a long and happy life). i wouldn’t want pieck to be a consolation prize just because jean couldn’t keep with the girl he liked for almost ten years lol

and the same goes with jeankasa, i see them both in a realistic and meaningful way long after the rumbling (if they both survive) and when they have both healed their past wounds. that is also why i liked your ADITM story so much and left me wanting more and more, you were able to develop them in such a realistic way! 🙂

ps. i also want pieck to meet his father again, if that happen, i would be very happy for them

Last edited 2 months ago by myri
myri

and finally i don’t know if to define myself as an aruannie shipper but i really enjoyed the scene of armin talking to that crystallized annie and waiting for some kind of response

i loved the interactions and little moments of these two in the first season of the anime and after the timeskip in the manga. i really see a foundation and development in this couple. maybe isayama didn’t develop them as obvious as yumihisu, but, in my case, icould notice that something was happening there xD

myri

it’s so sad that they’re still under ymir’s curse, their kids would really have the best genes. let’s hope they can reverse the curse and that all bearers can live long lives. the one that causes me the most sadness is falco, he is still a child but he has already sentenced the day of his death 🙁

myri

levi is really sick of being the jeager brothers babysitter xD poor man

myri

niccosasha is so cute and adorable! niccolo feigning annoyance at sasha eating his food without any manners really filled my heart with bubbly happiness hahaha i would have liked to see more of these two in both the manga and anime 🙁

are you going to publish that niccosasha story that you had planned? how long is it? because if you think people could quickly lose interest in the ship (i doubt it) you could put all the chapters into one (or two) and make a short story. obviously that would depend on how long the chapters are and the pace you chose 🙂 !

myri

for me, be assured that i will be reading it without any doubt!
right now there isn’t much niccosasha content on almost any platform so i’ll be happy to read the story you wrote:D

myri

i also love when mikasa interacts and shows love and concern for anyone other than eren or armin! i mean, i know she cares about her comrades but i like it when she shows it.

and it’s really sad that she no longer has sasha with her </3. right now twitter is full of these kinds of tweets and honestly it makes me too sad

**to add a little bit of humor** imagine how difficult it would have been for them to be surrounded by so many men xD surely it was a relief that both had each other during their teenage years

myri

ohhh i also expected that scene where they know for the first time what a port was xD hahaha we all know why jean wanted and i expected a port to be a mixed sauna lololol he was going through thaaaaat age xD bees and flowers

and that section reminded me of a question that i always had but always forgot to ask you, why is jean an admiral in your chronicles story? is there a specific reason or someone you have been inspired by?

myri

that would have been something really hot to read xD

oh, it’s too bad you’re feeling listless 🙁 i hope the outlook for the story stopped being so depressing and isayama gives us some content again so you can find some inspiration 🙂

kriss

am surprised u didnt upload a single eren screenshot i liked his hair in this ep n his depressed voice

kriss

was disappointed nicolo didn’t have blue eyes i mean why r these animators so ケチ when it comes to giving characters baby blues theyre a germanic people there should be more blue

kriss

nicolos a total darling when r we gonna get this fanfic of urs i need more nicolo in my life a dude who can cook real fine who wants anything more lol

kriss

my fav part was zeke whining to levi i rofled so hard i mean hes a fucken monkey he ought to love the forest or something lolol

kriss

love ur new visuals lighter n cleaner not as fun as the treasure hunt level previous ones but if this new kind loads faster then im fine with it

Chanique

Honestly I’m more excited to see how Mappa gonna adapt everything in 7 episode. What do you think there gonna cut? I’m thinking some Gabi scene and some of the government talking about Eren moments. I know there adapting to 122 so that at least tells 139 will a Ymir related Chapter.

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