ANIME MONDAY: Attack on Titan – “Hearing the Heartbeat – Defense of Trost Pt. 4” Review

Previously on Attack on Titan:

The Wall Rose HQ is swarming with Titans and the trainees hatch a plan to get over there. Mikasa finds out what happened to Eren and races towards HQ on her own, but her maneuver gear runs out of gas and she falls into an alley. Just before she gets killed by an advancing Titan she is saved by…another Titan. Spoilers Ahead.

Jean’s not a real fan of spoilers.

Mikasa regains her composure and regroups with Connie & Armin. Armin initially wants to stay, fearing he will slow them down but Mikasa refuses to leave him. Noticing the Rogue Titan is fighting based on instinct and hasn’t attacked humans, Armin devises a strategy to lead it to HQ in order to get rid of the other Titans. Meanwhile on the other side of town, Jean and his group make their way to HQ. With everyone in the same place the trainees mount their assault on the Titans inside, after the fight they go back outside, where the mystery of the rogue Titan is revealed.

The trainees as a group get development as opposed to one single individual in this episode. Well, that’s not totally true as Jean gets a lot of scenes this episode but we’ll get to him in a moment. They manage to work well together (despite the fact that 90% of them are scared out of their minds) and work as a cohesive unit to take out the Titans in their HQ. This is where Armin shines, devising plans to effectively take out the Titans when Jean finds a weapons cache housing rifles. Having a group lure the Titans with the elevator and blind them with the rifle bullets, while 7 others (6 of them being Mikasa, Connie, Jean, Sasha, Annie, & Reiner) attack their weak points from the ceiling. Suffice to say Connie & Sasha screw up, prompting Mikasa & Annie to save them. This gives Sasha some development as she freaks out before Mikasa saves her.

Annie going in for the kill

Jean gets a good amount of spotlight this episode, though I don’t know why. I mean there is nothing particularly wrong with his character besides being a cocky dick but still. Anyway, his scenes really started to irritate me as they kept along. He mostly laments over the fact that he allowed some comrades to be killed while he used others as distractions to head towards HQ. While this does come into conflict with his desire to be a leader, they are varied as he is fine one minute and angsty the next.

Then there is the case of the rogue or “Aberrant” Titan. This thing honestly kicks ASS. Basically doing what it did last episode, running around taking down Titans. Punching, kicking, arm bars, even biting another Titans neck then using it to BEAT other Titans when it loses both of it’s arms, this thing is ruthless. The best part of it however, is that the Titan is EREN. When the Titan goes down, Eren comes out of its neck, somehow having regained the limbs he lost in episode 5 when he was eaten. This in turn leads to the best scene in the entire episode when Mikasa runs to him and hugs him, crying that her “brother” is alive. It is a pretty powerful scene and signifies that the fight in Wall Rose is over and shows Mikasa vulnerable and emotional which hadn’t been shown too much till this point.

“Hearing the Heartbeat” is another great episode that boasts great action & even greater drama. Characters are once again fleshed out, Titans are taken out in spectacular fashion, the emotional scenes really grip you, and while the animation quality isn’t as high as usual, it is still far from mediocre. The fight to survive continues next week as the Garrison decides what to do with Eren.