Image source: アニメ「進撃の巨人」公式アカウント on Twitter

Attack on Titan’s second season has begun, and with it has come a bevy of surprises, the biggest of which includes one particular character’s reveal as one of the series’ namesakes. Where were the signs? There weren’t really any for this bombshell, which is why it seemed to come so completely out of nowhere.

[Note: This article contains major spoilers for Attack on Titan.]

We’re talking Ymir, of course, who was just revealed as a Titan Shifter in the episode “Historia” of Season 2 of Attack on Titan. To save her companion Christa, she asks Christa to go by her real name (later revealed to be Historia) and to live life as her true self before jumping off of a tower, transforming into a Titan, and attacking an entire wave of Titans below. It was clear how much she actually cared about Christa then, which opens up a completely new can of worms for those who haven’t read ahead with the manga chapters.

It’s crazy, though, because Ymir has been a character that we’ve followed since the beginning of the Attack on Titan anime series, but never one we’d suspect as a Titan. Of course, the same could be said about Annie as well. In fact, until we had definitive proof that she had become a Titan Shifter during one episode, it wasn’t really a topic of discussion.

In previous episodes, Ymir has blended into the background as someone who seemed like a loner—very manipulative and cunning—with little use for the people around her. She seemed selfish to a fault and even uncooperative—speaking only when she had something to impart, or when someone irritated her like with Sasha Blouse masking her natural speaking voice.

She was another part of the group to watch, but not one that was particularly interesting. If anything, it speaks to the narrative power of Attack on Titan that a character we paid little mind to before has suddenly taken center stage and has managed to captivate our imaginations.

Image source: アニメ「進撃の巨人」公式アカウント on Twitter

Ymir’s background is something we certainly want to know more about now, and if you haven’t read the manga, you’re about to enter a whole new world of surprises. There’s about to be a whole bushel of information pouring out about this character we let slip under the radar for so long. Ymir never aroused much suspicion, if any, until the previous episode, “Soldier,” where she was able to read the label on a can of herring that Reiner isn’t able to decipher.

This may have seemed like something simplistic (or perhaps you didn’t catch why it was important) but it is a huge turning point that let us know something big was about to happen—even though it was just one small scene out of the over twenty episodes before it. It proved that Ymir was able to read a language apparently no one else could read—which in turn makes you wonder how she could read such a language unless she lived outside the walls at some point before?

But this is largely one of the hints—if not the first hint—that the anime has pointed to for any real indication that Ymir might be able to turn into a Titan, so of course it’s one of the most shocking realizations and a huge turning point for the series.

Of course, we do have to take note of a particular OVA episode, namely “Ilse’s Notebook: Memoirs of a Recon Corps Member.” It wasn’t a part of the main anime series, obviously, so regular viewers may have missed this nod. Those who did look closer, though, would have been treated to a side story about Hange and the Recon Corps in the forest.

Hange discovers a particular Titan there, which she finds banging its head against a tree (a bizarre behavior, to say the least.) When she tries to get close, it turns very hostile. Levi and crew end up kiling the Titan, but not before discovering that the Titan had decapitated Ilse Langnar, a soldier from the 34th Recon Corps division. The Titan spoke to her in human language and referred to her as “Ymir” before killing her. Obviously it’s inconclusive in the context of the OVA episode, but an intriguing development nevertheless.

Learning about Ymir’s bizarre experiences as a Titan along with Christa’s (Historia’s) past is set to play a large role in the second season, and it’s all going to become much clearer soon.

Image source: アニメ「進撃の巨人」公式アカウント on Twitter

That’s the genius of Attack on Titan, taking you on a thrill ride with so many twists and turns that you can never quite decipher what’s coming next. You’ll definitely want to hold onto your seats for what’s coming, especially when it comes to Ymir’s neck of the woods.

Attack on Titan can be viewed with English subtitles or dubbed in English on FUNimation in the US and on AnimeLab in AU/NZ.

Comments (2)
  1. Episode 29 was easily one of the best of the whole anime franchise.
    I really can’t wait for tomorrow’s episode where we get a long awaited reveal (I just wish i didn’t get spoiled)

  2. All i can really say is how much i love this series for multiple reasons. The word, the lore, the tone of the series. There is a lot of mystery behind it too. I’ve been reading the manga since they first released the first few chapter in English. Where the series is at now is even more exciting, and i love it so far. I cant wait for everyone to see it when they animate it. But yeah so far watching it all being animated has been awesome they been doing such a great job on Season 2 so far and been really happy with it.

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