Hello, fellow anime and pop culture fans! Welcome back to another recap of Attack On Titan! Episode 3, titled “Southwestward”, follows separate groups of the Scout Regiment as they rush to clear out the Titans after Wall Rose’s breach.
The last two episodes were extremely good. They were well-written, fast-paced, and interesting. This one? Not so much. “Southwestward” isn’t a terrible episode in the slightest. It’s just that the prior two are just much better.
I do really enjoy the way the story plays out in this episode. I like the way the episode is split into sections, focusing on one group, then shifting to another, and then focusing on Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi, and Hange before concluding with a group of Titans closing in on the abandoned castle filled with Scouts. Overall, pretty solid storytelling in the episode. So where do the problems lie? Here’s the issue with “Southwestward”: barely anything happens. Based on the teasers, I was hoping the series would give deeper insight into Conny’s past like how they did with Sasha last week. Unfortunately, they chose the path of only setting up what is to come. However, the opening scene did provide some emotion that conveyed Conny’s grief over the unknown fate of his family.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some great plot elements featured in this episode. For example, we finally get an explanation of what Hange is onto. It turns out that the rock she was examining in last week’s episode is actually a piece of the crystal shell Annie encased herself in at the end of Season 1. Her theory is that the Walls are actually made out of Titans and that the surface of the walls is one of the crystal shells they can create.
The episode was light on action, which I was not happy about. Even though last weeks was lighter than most were, it still had great pacing and story elements. “Southwestward” just had a lot of exposition instead of actual events occurring. That’s not to say that the episode itself wasn’t good, it was. It just didn’t feel as complete and fleshed out as the prior two did.
Seeing the Beast Titan in action at the end of “Southwestward” was refreshing and wrapped up the episode nicely. I’m very excited to see where this arc goes. While the episode definitely didn’t provide the strongest addition to the series, it was still a good episode overall. “Southwestward” gets an 8/10.
Stay tuned next week for my recap of Episode 4, “Soldier”.