Previously on Attack on Titan:
Eren is taken to the capital to be put on trial after the failed Survey Corps mission. As they get inside Wall Sina Armin approaches Annie and asks her to help he & Mikasa sneak Eren outside the walls. As the group reach an underground tunnel, Annie reveals that she knew Armin’s plan all along and Mikasa reveals that Annie herself is the Female Titan! Spoilers Ahead!
Annie transforms into a Titan in the middle of the Stohess district. Mikasa grabs Armin & Eren and takes them further underground in order to regroup and get away from her. While underground the trio hopes to initiate plan b of the operation, but are soon caught off guard when Annie begins stomping into the tunnel. Other members of the Survey Corps begin to take the fight to Annie but things soon become grim when Eren reveals that he can’t transform.
As the penultimate episode of Attack on Titan “Mercy” certainly does the job of escalating the tension and excitement perfectly. This episode is all about the action and the animation sure keeps up with it.
This episode is all about Eren and his indeciciveness. As he, Mikasa, & Armin escape into the underground tunnel he tries to change halfway into a Titan (like he did in episode 9 to stop the cannonball) but finds himself unable to do it no matter how hard he bites himself. After trying a couple more times Mikasa comes to the conclusion that Eren can’t transform because he doesn’t want to, he can’t come to terms with the fact that Annie is the Female Titan.
Speaking of Annie’s revelation we take a look at just how the Survey Corps came to the conclusion. A few days before the operation took place Erwin called a meeting of a few Survey Corps members (which included Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi, Jean, Hanji, & a couple others) where they discussed the plan to uncover and capture the Female Titan. There is a scene before the meeting starts where Eren & Levi are alone and talking. This is pretty important to note as they are sitting on opposite ends of the table setting the mood of the conversation. Eren is still upset about the death of his squad mates and apologizes to Levi for not changing earlier but Levi comforts him (sort of) by saying he couldn’t know what was going to happen (Levi is still shown to be in pain from when he injured himself in episode 22). As the facts about Annie come to light, the only one still in denial is Eren. While its understandable that he doesn’t want to believe one of his friends is a Titan it should still be obvious to him, especially during his fight with her. Back in episode 21 when they fought there was a scene where Eren was against a tree while fighting the Female Titan, it showed his eyes widening but the audience never saw what he saw before the Female Titan defeated him; this episode shows us. Erens eyes widened in shock because the Female Titan got into the same fighting position that Annie used in training to flip Eren waaaay back in episode 4.
Back in the present Eren is still conflicted over what to do. Realizing that Annie is still after him, Mikasa & Armin run outside the tunnel to distract her along with the rest of the Survey Corps. There is another powerful scene when Eren asks how Mikasa & Armin can just fight Annie without problem to which Mikasa replies “The World is Cruel” (something she learned after her parents were killed and she saved Eren years ago). Jean eventually joins after the ruse is uncovered but Erwin is stopped by Nile of the MP as he demands to know what’s going on.
The fight against Annie is animated pretty damn well, lots of fast paced action and lots of movement. In some scenes where the 3DMG is being used it looks more like the characters are flying instead of hooking onto buildings. Hanji makes a welcome return this episode when she captures the Female Titan. We get a look at her more sadistic side (which is kinda sexy by the way) when she talks about dissceting Annie and learning her secrets although Annie breaks out.
Eren eventually gets trapped under rubble and is found by Jean and Armin who try to dig him out. Jean asks why Eren won’t transform but when Armin says because the Titan is Annie, Jean gets mad and makes Eren remember what Jean told him before they went on the mission outside the walls (which was that everyone was counting on him) he also mentions Marco before swinging off to fight Annie again. Armin also gets fed up with Eren’s crap and tells him what he told Jean about Erwin, “those who sacrifice nothing can change nothing”, before swinging off. As he sits under the rubble thinking about what led him to where he is now…this happens:
[springboard type=”video” id=”795851″ player=”ulfb001″ width=”480″ height=”400″ ]
“Mercy” succeeds in basically every area it needs to in order to get viewers hyped for the finale. The drama, tension, excitement, it’s all wrapped into a neat little package for your viewing pleasure. While we do get the “can’t fight a friend” cliche the show handles it well and doesnt feel forced when Eren finally makes a decision. With all the pieces set, the war comes to an end next week as Eren & Annie have their long awaited rematch.
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