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)
Jean, Reiner and Armin are stuck in the middle of an open field with only one horse between them. They’re beginning to contemplate leaving someone behind (Armin volunteers himself) when their smoke signal is finally spotted. Krista Lenz shows up with two extra horses, saying that they ran to her in distress. I’m glad she was picked to be their saviour; she’s been in the background for a while and hasn’t said or done anything in a long time. All three of them think she’s really cute and fall for her instantly. Can’t say I disagree.
Much of episode 18 is an exhibition, or maybe a reminder, of the female Titan’s strength. Three survey corps. members attack her at the same time, each aiming for a different vital point (spine, Achilles tendon, and back of the neck) in the hopes of hitting at least one. She jumps into the air, sending all three of the attached soldiers flying, then swings one around on his wire like a toy before tossing him off into the distance. Their leader tries to escape to pass on news of this creature’s existence, but she chases him down with ease. Two separate survey corps. members spot her in the distance and ride toward her thinking she’s a regular aberrant. She glances at them, expressionless, as somber organ music begins to play. It sounds like a funeral.
At this point the plan has clearly fallen apart, and Erwin has mysteriously directed the entire formation toward the Forest of Giant Trees. It’s a confusing choice: the left and right flanks will have to travel around the forest’s sides, while the elite center group rides straight through it, along a narrow path, unable to dodge Titan attacks or communicate with anyone outside.
No one really knows what’s going on. Armin’s group is ordered to stay in the trees and keep Titans from entering the forest. Not kill them—keep them outside. As a mosh pit of Titans grasps hungrily up at the treetops, it becomes clear that they’re all being used as bait. But at least it works: no Titans will bother to enter the forest when there are people waiting for them right at its edges. None except the female Titan, who, as Armin predicted, appears to be heading straight for Eren.
Erwin’s strategy begins to reveal itself: since the female Titan can’t be defeated in normal ways, he’s going to isolate it in a forest where the 3D maneuver gear provides the greatest advantage, luring it toward both the survey corps.’ most powerful fighters and the only human-allied Titan. After a long, tense build-up, the female Titan crashes through the trees in the blink of an eye. This time her musical accompaniment is a strange, haunting chant. There’s a scene here that happens so fast I wasn’t able to get a good screenshot of it. She’s outrunning their horses and everyone is descending into panic. Levi responds by preparing to shoot some sort of round into the sky. No one outside this dense forest would be able to see a distress signal, so what could it possibly be?
Armin, Jean and Reiner are stuck with only one horse, but Krista Lenz saves them by showing up with two more. The female Titan continues her hunt, casually destroying everything and everyone in her path. Erwin seems to realize that his plan is failing and orders the formation to move toward the Forest of Giant Trees. Armin’s group ends up acting as bait for Titans on the forest’s outskirts, while Eren’s marches straight through it, breaking off communication and trapping Levi and Eren on a narrow path. The female Titan suddenly appears from behind; it seems that this is where Erwin intends them to kill her.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Insignia 1080p TV, PS3 with Crunchyroll App; Occasionally 17” Toshiba Satellite Laptop, 2.13 GHz Core i3, 4GB RAM, Windows 7