I’m sure it is pure coincidence that the last three episodes have been among the best Attack on Titan has delivered and Eren being bound and off-screen for the majority of it is not the determining factor. However, I do have to wonder if this should have been the story all along, dealing with the commanders and the politics that have always been behind the scenes, with Eren and the other soldiers simply being the side story. I know which one has been more entertaining so far.
There was a lot to love about this week and how Erwin’s plan, or at least his hope, came together as the selfish and egocentric natures of those in power was demonstrated in its full glory leading to a coup d’etat. However, in case you are thinking we are done with the self-serving and fragmented rule, those who were at the centre of orchestrating it all admit in their own way that they are only acting on their own self-interest. They don’t know that their actions will actually lead to the survival, or even a better outcome, for humanity. All they do know is that they either opposed those in charge, or in Erwin’s case he had come to the end of his road unless he incited this action.
And while Hange might try to put a more positive spin on it by saying individuals all made small choices that resulted in a positive outcome, the outcome is only briefly positive and only for those characters we’ve been asked to care about. We still have no overall plan or understanding and ultimately there’s no guarantee that anything these characters are doing will work out. For all we as the audience know, the false king and those who ruled him might very well have actually been the ones keeping humanity from extinction and now that they are gone its inevitable that they will lose.
I think though, what I loved about this episode is that at first it presented Erwin as a martyr, then as someone who would incite a rebellion and a potential future leader, before admitting he was just doing as he pleased because there was something he wanted. Whether or not he’ll be judged as good or bad in the history books of this world will entirely depend on how his gamble plays out and how many lives are lost or saved.
We could try to put the characters on a sliding scale and we’d probably realise that those who were overthrown were significantly worse because they didn’t even try to pretend that other lives mattered, but ultimately, Attack on Titan reminds us once again about the very ugly side of human nature. While the scouts in the forest might cheer at the news that they are no longer wanted criminals, let’s take a moment to remember that they have in fact killed and tortured to get to this point and they’d do it again in a heart beat if they needed to in order to accomplish their goals. These are the heroes this world has given us and while they fit the world entirely, it paints a pretty bleak picture.
Though, speaking of bleak pictures, things are not looking so great for Eren. If he wasn’t the main character, at the centre of the OP, and if we hadn’t started the season with a vision of him looking much older, I might even be mildly worried for his safety.
- Attack on Titan Series Review
- Attack on Titan Season 2 Series Review
- Season 3 Episode 1: Why Not Add Another Faction
- Season 3 Episode 2: Whatever It Takes
- Season 3 Episode 3: Rewriting the Past Won’t Make It Go Away
- Season 3 Episode 4: A Time For Everything
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12 thoughts on “Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 5: Yourself or Humanity?”
About time people saw Eren as the little [insert vulgar word] that he is. Seeing him and Mikasa getting slapped about is prolly the best thing in AoT.
As much as I don’t like Eren, there was always something fairly interesting about the world of Attack on Titan. I’m just kind of glad season three is spending some time focusing on it rather than watching Eren shout at stuff.
“I might even be mildly worried for his safety.”
I LOLed. 🙂 It is always hard to be worried when you know the the MC will survive.
Plot armour is a marvellous thing in stories. Very occasionally a story defies expectations, but I’m not expecting this one to.
I do think that the more interesting characters have been put into play this season so far, but I do want to see if Eren stops yelling. Hard to tell with that mussel around his mouth though.
I’d love to see a more adult Eren, and the first episode of this season actually did seem promising. But I’ve been enjoying the show so much without him I was starting to wonder if we even needed to rescue him (other than to find out what the key opens – and who has that at the moment).