Last week’s episode gave us several interesting insights on various characters and the world of Attack on Titan as a whole. We learned that Titans are no longer the ultimate weapon, and we see a side of the “enemies” that we haven’t seen yet, making them more human and relatable than what we’ve seen them in the previous seasons.
Episode 3 continues that style of storytelling, giving us a more detailed backstory for Reiner. And contrary to what Isayama told in his twitter account last week, the episode didn’t exactly make Reiner lovable. But it made him even more relatable than what the previous episode has shown.
Reiner is a warrior; as such, his first priority is his duty for his country. And you could see it in the various flashbacks during the first half of this episode. He’s driven, passionate, and determined. In fact, in what is one the episode’s ironic moments, he is no different from Eren, and his experiences allowed him to give our protagonist a much-needed advice during their training as a member of the Survey Corps, even though they are actually enemies.
His main driving point, which has shaped his decision to be the Armored Titan, is directly tied to the history of his birth. And this is the part where some would say he is relatable. After all, this is a pretty common problem, and is one of the main reasons why some people strive so hard to achieve greater feats. Not to mention, it happens every time a nation conquers another.
But of course, that didn’t mean Reiner is a saint—far from it. He’s also vindictive and a little arrogant once he gets a taste of power. Not to mention, he didn’t really get along well with any of his comrades at first, which proved costly on their first mission.
Apart from Reiner, other characters received a brief spotlight as well. We finally learn a little more about Annie’s dark past before receiving the Female Titan, and we see just how brutal the training is to be given the Titan powers. The criteria is strict, but catered to each individual’s personality and skills. And this is a really nice touch of worldbuilding in Isayama’s part.
Perhaps the best scene in here is a heart-to-heart talk between Falco and a disguised Eren. Much like Reiner, Falco parallels Eren in the kid’s desire to achieve his goals and save someone. And just like Eren, Falco receives an advice from an unknown enemy.
You can tell that Eren is no longer the boy he was used to be. He’s weary, more wiser, and essentially a different person. It’s the way he talks like an old soldier who has witnessed every horrifying thing imaginable, which is technically the truth. And Yuki Kaji did excellently in portraying this older version of the character. Of course, his determination and resolved burned just as hotter as before, perhaps even more now that he has seen what has become of his people, and it is something that would surely explode in the coming weeks.
Overall, episode 3 takes us to a trip down several memory lanes, providing backstories for several characters that let us understand them better. There is no epic action scenes except for a brief showcase of each Titan’s power, but it gave us quite a lot of information to digest, especially those involving the characters’ motivations. Definitely a great 9/10.