After yet another unexpected plot twist in the previous episode, episode eight continues to deliver high quality writing, animation, and action.
*Major Spoilers Ahead*
With HQ still overrun with Titans and the others low on gas, Armin thinks of a plan to lure the new "Traitor Titan" to HQ to help take it back. After the characters reach HQ, Armin continues to demonstrate his strategic skill with a plan to take back the inside of HQ. While Armin might be a little cowardly, he is a skilled strategist, and I like that side of his character. His plan to use the muskets and the elevator thing to distract the Titans was a cool and practical plan. When the characters are walking down the steps to execute the plan, animation turns into a slide-show with just pictures as they talked, which was odd. Honestly, I did not notice it much until my second viewing of the episode, but it is still worthy of note. Also, the joke about the Titan's other weakness being their butt was admittedly humorous.
During the planned attacked, Sasha and Connie Springer (or was it someone else?) which left the resident bada** ladies, Mikasa and Annie, to save the day. I am sure everyone recognized the attack from the opening animation as well. As for the Titans themselves, seeing the smaller four meter Titans up close for the first time was interesting. If my memory serves right, those Titans have not been shown up-close before until now or at least not close enough to reasonably judge their size. Also, the infamous "Kawaii Titan" was a little unintentionally humorous, although I did not think it was as bad as others have said.
One minor thing is that the conversation Jean had with one of the other characters, whose name I cannot remember, while running towards HQ, is not kind of a terrible idea. It is really not the time for a chat when you should be running from the Titans. It is not a big problem, but it still kind of odd, but not uncommon for anime or any TV series for that matter.
After killing the Titans and taking back HQ, the "Traitor Titan" is seen fighting off more Titans outside HQ, and, unlike the other Titans, he does not appear to be regenerating as fast as the others. But what comes next is the major plot twist: Eren is the Titan! As stated last week, I already kind of heard that he turned into a Titan, so it was not a huge shock, but the scene gave me chills nonetheless. Also, I think I would have figured it out anyway. To my surprise however, Eren turning into a Titan happened much earlier in the series than I expected. I thought it would happen towards the finale. Now that his major plot point is out of the way, I do not believe I know anymore spoilers! Hopefully, the next few episodes provide a decent explanation as to how he turned into a Titan. Otherwise, this is going to be the deus ex machina plot twist that I did not want to happen, but considering the series' praise and popularity, I do not believe it is going to disappoint.
Overall: 9.3/10- Ramping up the epic action to yet another level, episode eight, "Hearing the Heartbeat: Battle of Trost District, Part 4," delivers in spades.
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