And on that day humanity received a grim reminder – of how awesome Attack on Titan is! Welcome back to the Multiversity Summer TV Binge. We will be diving, swooping, and swinging our way through Attack on Titan season two. Get yourself amped for some titan on titan combat, because things are about to get sweaty in season 2 episode 6: “Close Combat!” Seriously, folks are gonna get burned.
1. That night by the lake
Last episode flashed us back to the night Eren and Armin went to the lake with Reiner and Berthold. It was a long time ago, but the animation really captured the beauty of the night. Eren was going through some difficulties with his training, and Armin was questioning if he was even cut out to be a soldier. The two older boys gave them confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most talented if you’re the most passionate.
We start this episode with that flashback once again, and that’s sort of the theme of the episode. Not only is it a great contrast to how betrayed everyone feels now, but this is an entire episode of brutal fighting. Ultimately, it’s less about the technique or the superpowers of the various combatants, and more about the insane passion they bring to their cause. It’s very Attack on Titan. Lucky for Eren, infinite wells of crazy passion are what he does best. Unfortunate for Eren, he gets Pac Manned by a hundred-foot tall monster.
2. Colossal Titan vs the Scouts
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The last few times the Colossal Titan has shown his ugly skinnless face, he’s fought mid-tier soldiers. Drunken Garrison Troops or the fresh faced grads from the 104th. Now he’s up against the best of the best. Levi and Erwin are still no shows, but Zoe has the best Scouts in the army, and they are fighting smart.
They know that the Colossal Titan is big and slow, so they try to use that to their advantage. It’s the first time someone has fought the uber-enemy with any plan, and it isn’t entirely foolish. What’s crazy is that Berthhold and Reiner have total mastery over their titan powers. Titans run pretty hot, and give off steam when they heal. The Colossal Titan blasts the Scouts with a full wall of boiling steam and practically melt flesh from bones. Yowza.
3. Going full Eren Yaeger
We haven’t seen a whole lot of Eren this season. That’s sort of surprising, but looking back this has been the Sasha and Connie and then the Ymir and Krista show. As such, this is the first episode that Eren has offered us the full Eren Yaeger. That is to say, smiling like a psycho killer and conjuring up a tremendous bloodlust.
He flashes back to his training with Annie, who totally kicked his ass back in the day. Annie was a martial artist, and he borrows techniques he learned from her but applies them as a supersized monster made of flesh and rage. It’s scary. It’s pretty cool.
4. Float like a Mothra, sting like a Beedrill
Sometimes you get episodes that are heavy on characterization and reveals. Sometimes you get fighty-fight episodes. This is the latter. What’s there to say? This is a show about giant monsters, and every so often you want to see giant monsters pummel the crap out of each other. In that, this one certainly delivers. Eren has never been more in control, and he’s never fought a tougher opponent than the Armored Titan. As a brilliant Japanese scientist so eloquently put it:
5. A chink in the armor
We haven’t gotten a weird stupid graphic in a while. Hange Zoe explains how armor works, and how it’s weak at the joints. Cool. Eren goes full kung fu master, and starts to wrench the Armored Titan’s limbs out at the joints. Even though Reiner has mastered a slew of titan abilities, Eren is crazy with rage. He knows a thing or two about close combat (hey, that’s the name of the episode!) and nothing is holding him back.
Until we witness the comical sight of the Colossal Titan tipping over ever so slowly… and falling mouth-first onto Eren! Womp womp.
And that’s… pretty much it. The fight ends with a goofy CGI titan falling face first towards the camera, and then cuts to a pretty dramatic “To Be Continued…” Maybe next week we’ll get a long conversation about our feelings, but for now I’m more than content for no holds barred monster on monster punchdowns.