Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), episode 18.

That episode was pretty good. And if I could watch it right after I finished the 17th one, it would be just so much better. The two episodes go together very well. They both are sad, at least I feel that way. They show us how one by one the best fighters humans have are getting pointlessly killed by the force they can’t possible overtake.

Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) episode 18 Annie titan

Namely by that titan, that kinda looks like Annie

Let’s think about it. How many new soldiers Recon Corps are getting each year? Maybe a hundred, probably less. They showed the recruiting process, and they got about 20-30 people from this year cadets. Now how many operations each year there are? I think dozens. And here, during this single mission they have already lost more people than they recruited. And they are nowhere near retaking the wall Maria or getting to Eren’s house. So you see why I said that the episode is sad. We are watching the decline of Recon Corps. One or two blows like this one and they will be no longer effective as a military force.

Well, I hope I am exaggerating. Let’s take a deep breath and look at something nice.

Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) episode 18

That’s better ^^

Now, as I said, the episode was good. And not only because it made me feel bad for the Recon Corps. It also gave us some ground for new speculations. Ok, why did Erwin make them go to that forest, even though it was obvious that there was some unexpected danger taking down the whole formation from the right? Why didn’t he make them retreat? Why go the forest, which is good for fighting but no good for keeping the formation and for communication?

There is only one answer, that I can think of. From the very beginning Erwin suspected that the moment they take Eren out in the open their opponent will make a move. That would require two thing. First, the opponent has to be intelligent. Second, the opponent has to have allies in the ranks of Recon Corps.

Now, what Erwin decided to do? He decided to take a walk outside the walls and see what would come. And if something comes, he made a plan, that consists of bringing Eren into the forest and thus making the thing that would attack them come there.

Was it a good plan? Well, kinda. Normal titans can’t do something intelligent on their own. So the attack would be lead by one of those who pull the strings behind this war. So, if the operation goes well they will start to uncover, whom exactly they are fighting.

That all is very dandy, but here is the thing. Why would he sacrifice so many people? If I was in his position I would have made it clear to people, that if they something that is too powerful to be beaten by 2 men, they should fire special rounds and go to the center of the formation. And everyone who sees the smoke should get away from the source, towards the center. That way they would have been able to deal stop people from fighting something they can’t defeat.

And the last piece of thought. Remember in the last episode, when they were discussing where Eren is? They revealed that they all had different information about his location. That is a standard tactics to locate a spy in your ranks. Giving every suspect a different piece of information, and then see what information ended up in the hands of the enemy. And now, who said that “Eren is on the right flank” (the flank that was attacked)? Reiner. See you next time (^_^)/

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16 thoughts on “Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), episode 18.

  1. Ah yes your right, I forgot about those shows. Well, my anime friend makes good arguments.

    Your right. I guess its a choice between making it easier and cheaper for the top brass to have their trainers train soldiers with the same weapon. It is also easier for the trainer to train soldiers with the same weapon rather than having everybody have custom weapons. I understand what you mean. However, I would think that the swords were designed so that a average-strength soldier can penetrate and cut off the neck of a titan. And in my opinion, that is more important than having strong force behind the blow. The blow may be strong but what’s the point if the person is not used to the weight and doesn’t cut out the chunk of flesh, the titan will just regenerate.

    Oh I just realised you are wrong about the scouting missions. They actually do scouting missions every month since the fall of the wall (rhyme intended). They are on their 57 expedition/sortie. So its basically a personalised, longer to train but more skilled warrior vs quick, uniform soldier. I guess they chose the soldier route.

    • I agree, unification always makes sense. Though if we look at our history, most armies did not go too deep into it, there always were some variety to the weapons. But well, it is not like we can draw a good parallel between normal warfare and anti-titan defense.

      Yeah, still each soldier is a high class professional there, or so I see them. And each loss is a blow to the strength of the organization, so I guess they would try to minimize the amount of casualties at all costs. One expedition a month is still a lot.

      So, would you gamble on that Reiner is a traitor? =) Or that Annie is a titan transformer? Pure guess work on my part, but it makes me a little excited. Also, if both the statements are true, then Reiner’s miraculous escape from the hand of that titan would start to make sense.

  2. And BTW after this arc I had opinion on Erwin as “badass insane commander”. After the latest chapter of the manga, I wil go with “totally insane commander”.

  3. Well, i’m pretty sure that Annie is a titan transformer, although the cracked skin around the eyes and the fact that its a hot titan suggest that it’s Pixis.

    Miraculous escape? I dunno. The whole relationship between everybody confuses me but here goes. I’ll just say it as it comes into my head.

    If Reiner was a traitor trying to give Annie information, why didn’t they or he or she kill Armin and Jean. His ‘miraculous’ escape would raise suspicion. Why not just take the safe bet and kill the witnesses? Annie would have no trouble doing that from what we saw. As for miraculous escape, I assumed he used his 3DMG gear to blow himself out like that, since we see it still works a second later. So he didn’t really get crushed, that was just the female titans blood when she tried to crush him (you can see he broke his swords breaking out as well).

    So maybe Annie didn’t get the update that Reiner’s a fellow traitor? Still same reasoning as above, Reiner just busted himself out using his 3DMG and skill as the 2nd best trainee in the 104 squad. I don’t understand the reasoning in- ‘oh-ma-god he must be a traitor to humanity for surviving that’.

    So if Annie doesn’t know Reiner’s a traitor but Reiner knows that she is and has to reveal the information no matter the cost, it must mean they have strong ties to humanity, otherwise they would have just killed the witnesses. And that raises a whole new bag of problems that I’ll address shortly.

    In my opinion, Reiner as a traitor is like trying to add a third wheel to a bike that doesn’t need it (for now at least). I’m sure I missed something but to me it just confuses me to try figure out how Reiner could be a traitor so for now I don’t consider him to be a traitor. He still could be but the information we’ve been given can be interpreted either way.

    To me, Annie is a weird ‘traitor’. She only attack humans when the humans themselves attack her. So does she just have very strict orders not to fight unless attacked? Well, from that you can guess that someone doesn’t want humans to die. So are her superiors human or titan? If she worked for the titans, they wouldn’t mind a few less elite soldiers to deal with. So they must be human. Either that, or she has strong ties to humanity herself and is being forced to do this against her will. That would fit in the line of people being injected with titan-transforming abilities and sent to do specific missions like Eren.

    So I consider her, if anything, to be an infiltrator, not a traitor. Its possible she’s not even an infiltrator but working for someone within the military or another secret organisation we do not know about. So basically, she’s either working for a human, hidden faction within the walls or a human faction outside the walls.

    Now trying to add Reiner to this. We’d have to go through the whole procedure above. Is he working for someone outside the walls whilst Annie is working for someone within? Is he revealing information because the outside faction supports the inside one? As you can see, there are just too many factors to go through :-(. I’ll wait for the anime to reveal more until I go into all that.

    • Yeah right xD My reasoning is based only on the assumption that they would not make this anime too smart.

      Why didn’t Annie (if it was her) killed Armin? I say, she didn’t want to. She probably have some human feelings. And well, if in reality the female titan is not Annie, why didn’t it kill Armin? It is a good question, but we don’t have any theory that explains it properly.

      I agree about Reiner being able to escape using the 3DMG, in fact I was defending this point of view not so long ago =) The problem is, that female titan is no push-over. She can kill a flying target pretty easily, so being able to escape from her palm is a bit of a miracle. Not impossible, but not plausible either.
      At any rate, that doesn’t mean he is a traitor. The only evidence against him (and a very weak one too) is the right flank being attacked.

      I try hard, but still can’t make any sense out of the idea that some humans would try to kill all the other ones. Unless there is some sort of a super-villain plan going on (like building a new race or something). But the bad thing about such a plan is that there is no way we would deduce this part of the plot before hand =)

      Come to think of it, Annie being blackmailed into attacking Recon Corps is not as crazy as it sounds. If someone, whom she can’t dispose off, knows her secret, well, this person can easily ruin her life. It is not like being a titan can make her able to survive alone in the wilderness, so she’s got to keep her “secret” at all costs.

      Yeah, it might be that. Annie might have her mission planned for her before she started her training. Maybe she was supposed to become a royal guard, and you know, kill the king in a very flashy way : D

      Don’t waste you brain energy on trying to rationalize my crazy ideas xD What we can wrack our brains about is how Erwin is going to deal with the threat. I think he is going to use explosives (why else would Levi ask his people to cover the ears?). Those wagons they were taking with them might be loaded with gun powder or something equally destructive. But if he does that, he might end up hurting his men more than the titan.
      They also might have taken cannons with them, but that would be too heavy and not at all effective.

  4. Oh, the problems with being genre savvy.
    Time is the best answer. Sadly, my genre savvy- I mean superior intellect tells me that the ‘big’ reveals will only occur towards the end of the anime/story, since figuring this stuff out will ultimately give answers or new clues as to how the whole situation started, which is sort of the ultimate goal of the anime. I doubt it’ll be something as simple as destroying all humanity, although at this stage there’s not enough information to make any judgement.

    I bet that once the titan transformer ‘creator’ faction/origins is exposed hell is going to break loose. It’ll be interesting to see how the Garrison will react. As such a large organisation that is divided into multiple parts, whichever side the Garrison mobilised to will be the side that should win in battle. Of course the real, important battle will probably be much smaller scale and won’t involve the Garrison at all.

    What changed your mind about Reiner? Well, he is the 2nd best
    trainee and has a stocky build, so it basically boils down to possibilities. As you said, there is probably going to be an investigation after the battle. If I were Erwin, I would have everybody who had plans that Eren was on the right flank be suddenly ambushed and their hand cut off. Preferably by Mikasa, she would be very dedicated to this important task. If they turn into a titan, their guilty. If not, well, oh well. Collateral damage is always present in war… I’m terrible at jokes I know.

    I wouldn’t mind a non-canon scene Gendarmerie having to combat her in the street Legend of Korra style, although they don’t seem to use 3DMG but rather rifles. That raises an interesting point. Is Eren that important that they would change their initial objective?

    Aw, don’t sell yourself short. I was being a bit harsh because I’d been reading a lot of comments about the blood issue, saying how had he survived being crushed etc.

    I’m going to go against the crowd here (just ‘cos it’s cool) and say they are going to capture her. How? With the invention the Garrison made during the battle of Trost. Namely, the wall of spikes to trap titans in. If I were Erwin, that’s what I would do, since he needs more test subjects. Additonally, she is pretty fast from what we saw and she may be able to dodge the cannon fire. I guess it depends on how many cannons they brought. Thought I don’t know about covering the ears, since it would be relatively silent. Maybe the impact itself? Well, we shall know in a few days.

    • Even if they are going to hold up all the big reveals for the last episodes, there are only 7 left and I don’t think they will jam all them reveals into the last one.

      If the goal of the enemies will be just to destroy the humanity I will be very disappointed.

      You mean, you think there is a possibility that Garrison force will be used by the ‘enemies’ (anti-Eren faction)? And yes, the main fight will be done by Eren.

      It i snot that I changed my mind about Reiner. I still think that he could have gotten out of the hand of the titan just by using bare strength and skill. But I started to contemplate the possibility of him being in it together with that terrifying woman. And this idea made more sense to me. I can see later in the series Armin saying “B-but Reiner could not possibly be a traitor!.. Remember he was almost killed by that titan! *sudden idea flash* Wait, that is right! He could not possibly escape that grip! Everyone, stop Reiner by any means, or it will be too late!!!” : D

      Oh my, I hope my prediction is wrong, it sounds so bad xD

      About the cut hands… Well, witch-hunt methods are very effective, as you can see there are no witches left. So, yeah, let Mikasa have fun ^.^

      I wouldn’t mind seeing her fighting Gendarmerie too. But if that happens I’m afraid you will have to say goodbye to that military force, and wouldn’t that be sad : D

      Sure Eren is important. Even from what we know he is capable of messing up enemy’s plans and his strength and control is progressing. And he can give Recon Corps some ideas about how this transformation thing works, which I imagine is enemy’s well guarded secret.

      Oh, that was obviously titan’s blood.

      Capture that titan? I would not bet on that horse xD I think she would destroy any trap, and if she can’t do that, she would jump out of it. It is 15 meters tall athlete, I don’t think it is a good idea to mess with that. And if Erwin is so good at thinking, he might have been able to guess that they will get an Eren-like titan attacking them, and that it is easier to kill it and then pull out the human from the inside of it. I just hope the next episode will make some progress.

  5. “If I were Erwin, I would have everybody who had plans that Eren was on the right flank be suddenly ambushed and their hand cut off.”

    Getting damaged is not the only factor that must be met turn into titan. So yeah, it wouldn’t work. I think it was already partially mentioned during “Defense of Trost”, tho they will say it officially in few episodes.

    “Is Eren that important that they would change their initial objective?”

    But what was the initial objective?

    “I was being a bit harsh because I’d been reading a lot of comments about the blood issue”

    Blood issue? What is that?

    • Ah, okay. I haven’t read the manga so i just based that off what we knew from the current episodes aired.

      I don’t know, maybe killing the king since Annie was joining the military police. I don’t have enough information to really make an justified conclusions right now.

      The blood issue being the female titans blood on Reiner, which people said was Reiner’s.

  6. Ah, no I mean for the end-end of the series, not the end of this season.

    No, I just meant that the Garrison is a very large mass and it’ll be interesting to see how such a large mass would react. I was more thinking that since they are so large, they won’t really mobilise well and only a small force (probably Pixis’s troops) will do serious fighting not around the Wall.

    The idea isn’t bad and would be very interesting if expanded upon but yes, the way you imagine it is very cliche haha.

    Your happy face makes me suspicious. I won’t condemn the Gendarmerie until I see their corruption first hand (from the screen I mean). Nile Dawk was a pretty decent guy. He was also patriotic when he saw the supreme commander.

    Eren is a great weapon for the recon corps and if the theory is right, he’s practically been made for it. I wonder if they will use him next episode or keep his powers in reserve for something more important. I was worried in episode 8 when the show took a change of plot but they’ve been handling it well as part of the world building mystery. When I first saw Eren as a giant, I was thinking ‘oh no, now it’s gunna be titan vs titan fist fights, not tactics and teamwork’. Now I’m looking forward to Eren getting the crap beaten out of him, since the show basically portrays him as a subversion of the typical strong-headed protagonist placed in a world with more realistic consequences for his attitude and actions.

    That’s true. We saw that soldier at the ambush leaped away and was zipping up a two storey building but since she was 15m tall, she just kicked him. Of course next episode will make some progress, the preview guarantees Eren character development and the effect of Erwin’s plan, whatever it is. Plus soldiers being slaughtered. Place your bets on how many soldiers will die this episode!

    • Oh, I see. I don’t think they mobilize more than 5-10% of their people. Most of them have to stay on their posts to guard the wall and stop potential riots. Also it is not like titans can be effectively killed with numbers.I guess Garrison would create a couple of plans and try to execute them using local military power.

      And if they have to do operations outside the walls Garrison will have big troubles with morale. Not to mention that those slackers from other divisions wouldn’t know how to use the 3DMG on the flat terrain.

      Yep =) Now it is up to them to put those stupid lines in the up coming episodes xD

      Nile Dawk looks like a careerist, just a little bit. That is not a bad thing. Mustang is bad case of careerism and he is one of my favorite anime characters =) But in Nile Dawk’s case I am not sure. I am not saying that the organisation is corrupt, but it might have been worn down by the dirty work they have been doing. All in all, I would want them to have anything to do with actually military operations.

      As for the use of Eren’s power. I have just seen the episode and I think that there will be another enemy titan shorty, kind of like a back up. And then Eren will have no choice but to transform and (not) save the day.

      Talking about crap being beaten out of Eren, how did you like that flashback in 19th episode? =) I was a little hard on it in my post, but I always am ^_^’

      Now when I am thinking about this flashback I wondering if Eren did grow up a little. I mean mentally. He was upset after he failed to transform and he was frustrated by people yelling at him. But still, he was holding up quite well.

      Before I watched the episode I said “there will be between 7 and 10 casualties” But there were only two, so I lost : D Good thing that, too, even those two deaths made me sad a little.

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