Painful Memories Come Back | AOT Season 4 Episode 13 Review

Attack on Titan returns this week with another great episode. The gears are now in motion and there is no turning back, the road to war is now set. This episode primarily follows the series of events that unfold as the Braus Family, accompanied by Gabi and Falco, visits Niccolo’s restaurant. Great voice acting, character development, and plot build-up came this easily the best episode of this half of the season so far. This will contain spoilers so read at your own risk.

Credit: Crunchyroll

Upcoming Free for All

The thing that I praise the most about this episode is how much information it reveals to us. While the previous episodes were by no means bad, they did lack new content and information for us. However, now we get a lot of new, juicy details for us to think about. First, we learn how Zeke can turn people into Titan by using a special gas. Second, we now learn that the same Titan spinal fluid used to turn people is in the wine at Niccolo’s restaurant. And most importantly, this wine has been served to the military officers. This is legitimately some riveting stuff. Based on this information, we know that s*** is going to hit the fan. It is clear that they are building up to something truly climatic for the season finale. I simply cannot wait to see it.

Source: Crunchyroll

I’m also really curious to see who is really in charge here and who is planning what. Who is actually orchestrating things behind the scenes? Is it Zeke, Eren, or Yelena? With all of the conflicting interests and allegiances, what we now have is a multi-faction conflict/ civil w*r. I simply can’t wait for all of these to be shown on screen and since we’ve had enough time to develop the motivations and justifications of each of the factions and characters, the story is going to be a lot more compelling since it will be harder for us, the audience, to pick a side. I just hope that this final battle will be as epic as I imagine it.

A Eventful Meal

The main event of this episode is when Gabi, Falco, and the Braus family visit Niccolo’s restaurant. From there, things just go to hell. Niccolo finds out Gabi ki**ed Sasha and attacks which only injures Falco. Niccolo seeks his revenge on Gabi but is stopped by the rest of the Survey Corps. This was such an excellent scene that had me on the edge of my seat while watching.

Credit: Crunchyroll

First, it was some excellent character development for Gabi. There had been cracks forming in her worldview that the Eldians were evil but it is here where she comes to the realization of just how wrong she was. The moment when they don’t seek revenge against her is the moment when she finally realizes the delusions of her dangerous beliefs. It is a very powerful moment of character development that had been built up for the whole season. Of course, Gabi is a very flawed character but I think that this episode showed that she is worthy of redemption. Given time she may even become one of my favorites in the show.  

Niccolo and Sasha’s Dad also have some fantastic moments here. Niccolo, who basically before this episode was a one-off character, now gets some depth to him. We know now that he did love Sasha and that she brought him happiness. It does raise his status from being a no-one to having actual depth and I hope we get to see more of him in the future. Sasha’s Dad had such a powerful scene where he spares Gabi’s life and laments on how it is the parents’ responsibility to deal with the sins of the past. This one scene endeared in me with such a high level of respect and admiration for this man since he shows wisdom and maturity befitting of his age. This episode established both of them as very likable characters and I do hope to see more of them in the future.

Credit: Crunchyroll

This scene also perfectly illustrates the themes and messages of this show. About how fear, rac*sm, and vi*lence only lead to an endless cycle of revenge. Now, this is certainly not the first anime that has covered such themes but this show has certainly done a very good job of presenting them. This show took its time to develop these themes (all the way back in season 1) which has fully paid off in scenes like this. It also doesn’t feel preachy or biased since these themes are not pointed at any particular group but at all people in general which made its messaging feel even more sincere and honest than most other shows.

One aspect that I must praise from this episode that made this scene so good would be the fantastic voice acting. The VAs for Niccolo, Gabi, Kaya, and Falco gave praise-worthy performances. The rest of the cast was also excellent. I would like to give a special mention to Kaya’s VA especially in that scene when she tried to kill Gabi. Holy crap, you could just feel the pain and anguish in her voice. It just adds to the sense of immersion while watching. Yeah, it’s not real but the performances make you think it is. 

Source: Crunchyroll

The Party Crashers

Probably the best scene of the episode was when Yeagerists showed up at the restaurant. I was surprised by how smooth and casual Eren’s entrance into the restaurant was. It was basically the equivalent of “yo, what’s sup”. But his appearance was also saddening. The look on his face says it all; he’s tired, exhausted, and depressed. He looks as if he just doesn’t care anymore, only his mission remains. The fact that he cut his hand in his confrontation with Armin and Mikasa shows that he has no trust in them. It is honestly saddening to see Eren become more depressed and cynical as each episode passes.

One thing that I did not expect was for Floch to rise to be one of my favorite characters. Initially, I thought he was going to be some generic side character however that scene where he asserts his dominance over the captured Scouts and ends with him giving this absolutely devilish smile has established him as a pretty cool villain. The way he moves and speaks (Props to the VA) gives him such incredible screen presence. I used to not care for him before but now I’m genuinely interested in what he’s going to do as Eren’s right-hand man.  

Overall, this was another fantastic episode that will certainly make me come back for more next week. Honestly, this episode went by so quickly for me that I didn’t notice that 20 minutes had already passed and I was actually disappointed when the episode ended since I really wanted more. This got me even more hyped up because, from my knowledge of the manga, the next episode will probably break the internet. Only time will tell if they’ll be able to live up to all the hype that has been built up but what they have shown right now has made me confident that they can pull it off.

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