Attack on Titan is back with episode 80 and the continuation of the amazing last week’s episode. After finding out what Attack Titan’s true powers are, we are once again sent into the past. This time, we get to learn more about Ymir, the first titan, and the Founder.
Before we get into the story, let’s talk a bit about the animation. The episode does start off a bit clunky, with some very weird shots of Eren’s face and very noticeable CGI. The color is beige, but it actually works well with the theme. Another thing we should mention is the voice acting in this episode. Although Ymir never speaks, Eren is her voice in a way. Yuki Kaji does a great job, even though he stated earlier that this episode was one of the most challenging ones so far.
Attack Titan’s Powers Explained
We know that Attack Titan has more than the ability to go “seeking new things”. Its holders can see snippets of memories of the future holders, but what exactly does that mean? As we saw in the previous episode, Eren was able to show some of his own memories to his father, even though these events occurred before Eren even got the titan powers. He can basically share what he sees with Grisha, but he can also choose what to share, meaning that Grisha doesn’t know how exactly certain things will play out. Add Founding Titan powers into the mix, and you get Eren’s ability to influence Grisha directly by looking into Grisha’s memories and seeing himself there.
Grisha does know that Eren will fulfill his goal and that Zeke will fail, but he is unable to resist Eren’s influence. A similar situation happens with Eren Kruger, he knows he has to give the titan powers to Grisha, in order to save Armin and Mikasa. But, he has no idea who they are and whose memories he is seeing.
Why is this relevant to Ymir’s backstory? Well, the cryptic title “From You, 2,000 Years Ago” and a simple line from Eren were all that was needed to tie in the story. Was Ymir the one who led Eren there? She is, in a way, the first Attack Titan, and she has been waiting all this time for someone to free her. Another issue is Eren himself. What if he sent a message to Ymir through Paths and manipulated her into leading him there? Currently, that is a less relevant question.
The Origin of Titans
Endless war and suffering is the tale as old as the time, so it comes as no surprise that the first titan, Ymir, was just a girl caught up in it all. Enslaved and unloved, she ends up fighting for her life and stumbling upon a parasite of some kind. What this creature is we may never know, but titan powers being parasitic in its essence explains a lot about the transmission and inheriting titans.
Ymir dedicated her whole life to King Fritz. Her children, Maria, Rose, and Sina, were forced to eat her corpse after she died protecting their father. We don’t know a lot about Ymir, after all, she never speaks, but it is evident that she wanted to be loved by the king. Call it Stockholm Syndrome if you must, but she was ready to give up her own life for him, even if she seemed relieved that it was finally over.
Did she guide Eren to free her? We can’t be sure, but deep down it seems that she also wants to be free, which, incidentally, is something Eren has been yearning for his whole life. She is not just a slave, nor is she a god, she is merely a human being, sometimes Eren recognizes right off the bat. Activating The Rumbling and destroying the world may not be what she wants, but does willingly give Eren power to go through with his plan. She must be aware of what is happening and she possibly knows what the future holds (and seemingly so does Eren). Rumbling won’t free her, but whatever Eren is planning after might.
Ymir grants Eren’s wishes and he unleashes The Rumbling. It seems like Ymir herself built these titans, bound by the will of King Fritz. Everyone outside is caught up in it, as they now have thousands of Colossal Titans marching towards Marley to destroy everything in their path. For Armin, this is a glimpse of hope, until he realizes that all the walls are gone and that Eren doesn’t plan to stop.
This is the first time in the past 100 years that Paradis is standing without walls. Although it seems like Eren is unstoppable, the fight still rages on and we will have to wait until next week’s episode to see what will happen. The end is definitely close. Episode 81 is titled “Thaw” and will air on February 13.
Attack on Titan is streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll every Sunday. If you enjoyed the episode, consider voting for it in Anime Corner’s weekly polls.
©Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/”ATTACK ON TITAN” The Final Season Production Committee