What They Say:
Many years ago, the last remnants of humanity were forced to retreat behind the towering walls of a fortified city to escape the massive, man-eating Titans that roamed the land outside their fortress. Only the heroic members of the Scouting Legion dared to stray beyond the safety of the walls – but even those brave warriors seldom returned alive. Those within the city clung to the illusion of a peaceful existence until the day that dream was shattered, and their slim chance at survival was reduced to one horrifying choice: kill – or be devoured!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
2 years have passed since the previous episode, and the training period is about to finish. We learn a bit more about each of the new recruits through the eyes of their trainer. Each of the graduates will have to choose which faction to join next: the Garrison, who protect outer towns and maintain the walls; the Survey Corps, scouts who venture out into Titan territory; or the Military Police, who enjoy a life of relative comfort “protecting internal order” deep within the walls. Only those who score in the top ten of their class will have access to a spot in the privileged Military Police.
Predictably, all the recruits we met in the previous episode make it to the top ten, which leaves each of them with a tough choice. Eren, however, has had his mind set from day one: he’s going to kill every last Titan, and to do that he needs to be a part of the Survey Corps. The ever-determined Armin decides to go along with him, as does Mikasa, saying that Eren would “send himself to an early grave” without her.
Jean Kirschstein, a fellow top ten trainee, argues loudly with Eren about the option of joining the Military Police. Eren’s response is to repeat what Annie Leonhart pointed out to him earlier: it’s deeply ironic that the best-trained Titan fighters are the ones who get invited into the inner Military police. They’re honing their skills only so that they’ll never have to use them; shouldn’t the top soldiers be the ones fighting on the front lines? Eren’s moving speech ultimately convinces nearly every other side character to join the Survey Corps.
The group is celebrating their decision to stick together, hanging out at the military section on top of the wall, when a single bolt of lightning strikes the ground behind them. The Colossal Titan is now standing in its place. Just as it did before, the hulking monster kicks a hole in the wall to let its brethren walk inside. But this time, Eren is ready. He hesitates only for a moment before yelling directions to the others and propelling himself up to the top of the wall. The episode ends as Eren stands before the Colossal Titan’s face, staring straight into its eye and uttering the words, “Hey, there…It’s been five years.”
So, it’s starting to look like the Colossal Titan and the Armored Titan are unique. There might be alternative types of specialized Titans, but these two individuals appear to be one of a kind. And we’ve learned more about that mysterious lightning that accompanies the arrival of the Colossal Titan. We couldn’t really see over the wall in Zhiganshina, so it wasn’t clear before what connection there was between the two. But in episode 4 we get a much better view, and now it seems that the lightning is actually what summons the Colossal Titan. The creature appeared out of thin air in the exact spot the bolt struck the ground. It’s as though the Colossal Titan was being sent down from the sky—which would be fitting, since “Titans” originally come from Greek mythology (and heavenly lightning tends to be associated with Zeus). The Greek Titans were basically proto-gods: very large, very strong, and immortal. Now I’m starting to wonder where the ones in Attack on Titan came from, or if the show has any intention of telling us.
Episode 4 finishes the process of physically and mentally preparing the characters for war, thus priming Attack on Titan to jump right back into the action. Everyone is graduating from military training, and it’s time to make a tough decision: should they join the Military Police and live a life of relative safety, or should they follow Eren into the Survey Corps, and risk their lives outside the walls? From a viewer’s standpoint, the choice is obvious: of course they’re all going to go with the protagonist. Just as it seems like the episode is going to end on a high note, there’s a great flash of lightning, and suddenly the Colossal Titan is standing right outside the city. The next episode will likely be 21 straight minutes of intense aerial acrobatics and direct combat with the Titans. This is going to be a long week…
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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