Hello again! Last minute quick thoughts about Shingeki no Kyojin latest episode – episode four, named Soldier. I really just want to scream – I knew, I knew, I knew it! I was right! A big reveal at the end of the episode finally confirmed my suspicions! Also, this episode was cruel. Dawn right cruel and sad and really just tries to break your heart.
The whole episode actually happens in one spot, right where the episode three ends and it may not seem as much, but there are some major things going in this one! The episode never, not even for a second shows the usual core characters – Eren. Mikasa, Armin, Levi… Instead it focuses on the Survey Corp members trapped in the ruins of an old castle. The Utgard castle ends up bloody and ruined and well, they may not be main characters, but I still felt really bad for them. From the start of the episode I was wondering if they are actually going to kill everyone, all of them in 20 minutes. Because that would have been just too much! Even for an anime as this one who is no stranger to killing.
The focus of this episode quickly shifts to Ymir. She always appeared to me a bit cold hearted and bitchy, but I guess they just had to make at least one character like that. Her intense dedication to Christa was never really explained in the anime and I just thought that she must somehow feel very protective, but in the previous episodes I thought she might be there because of the origin of Christa’s family.
Connie tells the others what happened in episode three – the titan on top of his house looked like his mother and talked and Ymir starts to laugh at him, her reaction was super weird and not funny at all. In the next scene we can see her reading a label that no one else can – weird right, how can she know another language? And the end of the episode shows the big reveal – she’s a titan shifter!
The shifting and coexisting was never much explained and I seriously doubt that the anime will serve any real answers in season two. She is just like Annie and Eren, but she seems to be hiding. Or maybe, if I understood right, she seems to be working for someone, looking after Christa. So maybe someone else also knows she’s a shifter as well? I have also spotted theories that she may be in love with Christa and that guided her to stay, but I don’t know about that. To me they always seemed more like just friends.
The episode was brutal and the pile od dead is rising. However, they haven’t killed all of them yet, but all four fully equipped veteran Survey Corps members meet their ends at the castle. Nanaba, Gelgar, Henning and Lynne gave their lives to protect the other members who were there without the equipment to protect themselves. Two members, Henning and Lynne died on impact, the Beast titan threw boulders at them and their death was instant. There was nothing anyone could have done to prevent it. Gelgar’s death though was really sad to watch. He has given up, ran out of gas, used up all of his blades, he accepted his fate. However Nanaba saved him for a moment longer, risking herself and the last drops of gas she had. He falls inside the tower and sees a flask on the floor. His last wish was to have one last drink and then he was denied even that. That was really depressing to watch. Nanaba ended up in the midst of titans and as she used up all of her gas she could not escape. Her death was painful, brutal, bloody and sick. In the last moments she went insane, reverting back to her child self when she was abused by her father. There was nothing to help her ease her last moment, just screaming and more screaming.
The whole episode was dark and the smell of death was present from the start. I guess the rest of the characters now face a sliver of hope as Ymir showed her true self and transformed into titan. She might end up actually saving at least some of them? But the titans are still coming.
Thanks for reading!
**Photos are all screenshots of the anime, I do not own them or the rights to them.