Mid-Week Review: Attack on Titan – Episode 40: “Old Story”

I’m kind of amazed a show that started off with suck relentless, non stop action has managed to become one about political intrigue has managed to keep my attention so keenly, especially  when when it produces an episode like this which is basically all dialogue and backstory.

Mid-Week Review: Attack on Titan - Episode 40: “Old Story"

There is an old adage in storytelling; it’s always better to show than to tell. I guess it’s not a viewpoint that’s universal because boy does anime like to talk at you as it shows you. A good portion of this episode shows us Historia’s backstory, how she was most likely born a “bastard”, Game of Thrones style, and her difficult upbringing with a mother who outright rejected her.

The world in this story really is one of extremes, because if Historia’s story is to be believed, her mother neither spoke, nor touched her until she was nearly a teenager, despite the fact that they apparently lived together. And the one time she did attempt some kind of physical contact with her own parent, the mom flips out and leaves her for a couple of years.

Mid-Week Review: Attack on Titan - Episode 40: “Old Story"

We learned at the end of the last episode that Historia is the true heir to the crown withinin the Walled Cities and her existence is extremely problematic for the current regime. Her father, who seemed like a soft touch for her, despite only ever meeting her the once endeavours to keep her alive by sending her away when, really, everyone around him should have said no and just slit her throat.

Meanwhile, Erwin lays out his plan for a coup to overthrow the corrupt government who are planning on having one of their own Titan Hybrids consume Erin to take his Titan powers for themselves. Thankfully, we get another episode in which Erin spends the extend of it tied up and gagged, which is my current favourite use of Erin.

Mid-Week Review: Attack on Titan - Episode 40: “Old Story"

The government begins enacting their own plans, using a dead body found in the street as an excuse to extend even further restrictions on the Scout Regiment, and the military police begin taking them all into custody, meaning that Squad Levi are going to have an even harder time rescuing Erin and Historia going forward.

We also see Erwin all but pass the torch of leadership to Hange as he is mostly likely to be assassinated sooner rather than later. I mean, we got his back story about how the government assassinated his father because of his blob mouth, he’s almost guaranteed to be dead within the next couple of episodes. I’m sure he’ll go down swinging though.

Mid-Week Review: Attack on Titan - Episode 40: “Old Story"

Attack on Titan is still going strong, and as I said last week, I’m enjoying the show more and more with a lack of titan action. It’s also reminding me a lot of Full Metal Alchemist, which is always a big plus in my mind, it just needs a big scoop of a Major Armstrong-like character and it’ll be my show of the season.

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