Attack on Titan Episode 71

Attack on Titan Episode 71

Yelena and the Yeagerists

With Attack on Titan: The Final Season episode 71, the Yeagerists have officially been recognized as a group, and we’re starting to move into another arc (sub-arc, maybe?) of the story. I believe I touched on this last week, but at this point, we’re seeing that there are more factions than just Paradis and Marley.

We have other peoples from around the world who have a stake in this conflict such as Yelena, Onyankopon, and the Azumabito clan. Then, even within Marley and Paradis, there are separate factions. Marley has both the Warriors and Restorationists while Paradis has the Scouts and newly named Yeagerists.

These factions can also get a bit messy when you consider that there’s a decent amount of overlap between them. For example, Zeke could be viewed as a Warrior, Restorationist, and Yeagerist.

Commander Pyxis meeting with Yelena from the anime series Attack on Titan: The Final Season
Commander Pyxis meeting with Yelena

What this episode really showed us about these factions, though, is how Yelena appears to be playing them all against each other. Originally she was a member of Marley’s army, but it turned out that she was really a Restorationist. That’s pretty understandable considering her background.

Then we learn that she’s actually a diehard Yeagerist and was using the restorationists to gain access to Eren. And then there are some other bits of information that come to light, such as her meeting with Eren in secret and seemingly being the one who pushed him down the path he’s currently on.

After all, according to Yelena, she was the one who put the idea of attacking Marley directly in Eren’s head. So what is Yelena really playing at? Is she truly a Yeagerist, or is she just using that faction to achieve some other goal like she’s done with the other factions she’s been a part of in the past?

Yeager Bomb

I know I referred to the Yeagerists as just another faction in the previous section. But the truth is that they’re a terrorist organization. They assassinated Premier Zachary, leader of all three branches of the Paradis military, helped a prisoner escape, and are actively working to undermine Paradis’ diplomacy with other nations.

With that said, the Yeagerists do have some valid concerns. From their perspective, Paradis doesn’t have time to go through the diplomatic process. They know that Marley isn’t going to allow Paradis to forge relations with other nations because that would result in Marley’s power and influence in the world being diminished.

And even if Paradis did have time to meet with the leaders of more nations than just Hizuru, that’s still not a guarantee that Marley would back down. There’s still the very real possibility that Marley would attack anyway and attempt to crush Paradis.

Premier Zachary about to be Yeager bombed from the anime series Attack on Titan: The Final Season
Premier Zachary about to be Yeager bombed

It’s been over a decade since the walls fell, and yet the Paradis military didn’t make all that much progress towards eliminating the threat of Marley. But, with a single attack, Eren was able to cripple Marley’s military and buy a little more time for Paradis to prepare for the incoming invasion.

When you look at it that way, it’s no wonder that the Yeagerists, who are generally all on the younger side, have lost faith in the Scouts and Paradis military as a whole. In their eyes, the established military had plenty of time to solve the problem of Marley but failed to act in a timely manner.

Did they need to resort to assassinating the Premier? Probably not. What was Premier Zachary really going to do to get in their way that Pyxis and the other commanders aren’t going to do now? His assassination was effectively just a display of the Yeagerists’ conviction.

Eren is Still Beautiful

In this episode, we finally got my favorite panel from the manga in anime form. Of course, it’s the scene of Eren throwing on the coat with the sunset in the background. Honestly, Attack on Titan peaked with that. Who cares about the fate of Paradis? Just give me more shots of Eren topless.

However, I am going to be that person and say the manga did it better. First of all, the art of the Attack on Titan manga is great. It doesn’t matter that it’s in black and white rather than full color. But more than that, I really liked the details of the panel as a whole in the manga, and the anime reduced that (as is expected considering it’s an anime).

Obviously, the anime isn’t going to be as detailed as the manga. That’s not a realistic expectation to have for any anime, even if some might rarely pull it off. My point is just that I preferred the manga’s version of this scene. It includes a full-body shot of Eren rather than the cropped one shown below, and it includes more of the surrounding landscape.

Eren Yeager being beautiful from the anime series Attack on Titan: The Final Season
Eren Yeager being beautiful

Eren’s appearance aside, this is also an important moment for his character. Up until this point, he hasn’t directly gone against Paradis. He may not have always agreed with the ways the military did things, but he went along with them for the most part — such as back in season 1 when Levi Squad is escorting him into the forest of giant trees.

Even when he went rogue and attacked Marley, he wasn’t directly acting against Paradis. But now that he’s aligned himself with the group responsible for the assassination of the Premier, things are different. He’s still driven by his goal of freeing Paradis. But at this point, it’s hard to justify his actions.

Conclusion

What do you think of Attack on Titan: The Final Season episode 71? Have the Yeagerists chosen the correct path to follow? Did they go too far by assassinating the Premier? And do you prefer the anime or manga version of the shot of Eren putting the coat on? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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