Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 12 Review: Scream

In an anti-climatic finale episode, Eren discovers a new power that opens doors of possibility for the Attack on Titan universe in season 3.

To be honest, “Scream” seems more like a setup episode than a finale episode, but it may just be me having been spoilt by the epic showdowns typically expected of season finales on western television.

I wanted to see a fight between Reiner, Bertolt, and Eren of Season one Eren-Annie proportion. I thought when Eren accidentally discovered his new power of controlling normal titans that there was going to be more happening than just the Survey Scouts retreating back to the safety of the Walls—although to be fair, that was the smart thing to do under the circumstance. I thought the episode was going to conclude the season on a higher note than rehashing certain information that are beyond clear by this point and ending with a zoom on the Beast Titan, whom we know far too little to really get the true impact of the terror he’s supposed to convey.

I’m not mad, I’m not even disappointed. I’m just unfulfilled. This episode is like eating a really good, but rather small slice of cake. It’s not bad. It’s pretty great, in fact. But it’s just not enough.

Hannes’ Death

The most emotionally dominating scene of the entire episode would have to be Eren desperately chomping on his own hand, even tearing some flesh off the bone at one point, trying to turn into a Titan so he wouldn’t have to lose another person he loves to the same Titan that ate his mom.

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I wasn’t surprised that Hannes died since, in fictional worlds like this one, parental figures like him are made to die for the sake of furthering the protagonist’s personal pain. And the setup made it pretty obvious. Hannes, who maybe had minimal training decades ago as a cadet, and who has spent the better of the passing years at a cushy position as part of the garrison, just didn’t stand a chance against a real-life Titan.

Rest in peace, Hannes. You tried, and you did good.

We Have to Talk About Mikasa’s Confession

Hannes’ death, of course, prompted Mikasa’s speech to Eren where she all but said she planned on going Kamikaze, leading to one of the greatest, most baffling love confession scenes I’ve ever witnessed.

What made it great was Mikasa and the general setup: Her and Eren were in the middle of a battlefield. Their comrades were dying left and right. They themselves were moments away from being snatched up and eaten by the same creature who ate their mom and paternal figure. And in that moment of life and death, she gave him one of the most touching thank-you speeching in existence, blushing and eyes sparkling (an extremely emotional reaction for someone like Mikasa). Then she leaned in for a kiss and— 

bafflingly

—Eren dodged her.

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He didn’t give her a yes or a no, he literally swerved out the way and ignored it.

First of all. Rude.

Second of all, I don’t know how I feel about it as an audience member invested in the overall story. On one hand, I get that romance don’t generally have a place in most shounen anime. Even though I think it should. Why not? The world is a complicated place and so are human feelings. On the other hand, because I know they’re never going to address this issue due to the nature of the genre (unless there’s going to be a sequel taking place in some far future where Mikasa and Eren suddenly got married. Like what Naruto did with Naruto and Hinata, or so I’ve heard…), I’m kind of ticked that they brought it up in the first place.

One of the great things about Mikasa and Eren’s relationship is that up until this point, it can be interpreted as purely platonic. And when that was all there was, you can make the argument that because those feelings were technically never out in the open in canon, it doesn’t have to end up part of the story. Now, having seen that head swerve, I hope the series gives us an answer because whether you’re rooting for them or not, a response like that to a confession like that is a whole can of worms they’ve opened.

Ymir’s Choice

“In that moment, I couldn’t understand the motivation behind Ymir’s action.” – I couldn’t tell who said this, since it was a voice over. But I wholeheartedly agreed.

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Throughout this season, Ymir has been one of the most difficult characters for me to understand; a lot of her choices didn’t make sense to me on face value. This episode, however, I got her.

One of the most perplexing things about her that I now connected is how often she reiterates how selfish and self-serving she is when every single major decision she’s made (that I remember) has been for the sake of someone else. Mainly Historia.

I understood Ymir’s choice to save Reiner and Bertolt instead of rejoining the Survey Corps to be with Historia—because she knew their “hometown”, and she probably knew the consequences they would have to suffer for going back empty handed and failing a mission, whatever that mission is, and she’s repaying a debt to them for taking away one of their friends. Ymir’s a much better person than she’s ever given herself credit for, and I’m amazed by how far she’s grown.

So What’s Going to Happen in Season 3?

This whole episode was basically just setting us for season 3:

– We now know that the population density to food ratio has reached a boiling point within the Walls, which means social and economical turmoil like they’ve never seen before

– There’s a whole other civilization out there with far superior knowledge about Titans that seems to be hell bent of destroying theirs.

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– There are titans in the Walls, which never got addressed again in the second half of this season

– They now know that titans were once humans, and they’ve basically been killing people this whole time

– Eren can now control said titans because he’s something called the “Coordinate”

And those are just what I can think of off the top of my head. Your move, Wit Studio.

Rating:

3.5 out of 5