Attack on Titan Part 1: Crimson Bow and Arrow (「進撃の巨人」前編～紅蓮の弓矢～ Shingeki no Kyojin Zenpen ~Guren no Yumiya~?, lit. "Attack on Titan" Prequel - Crimson Bow and Arrow~) is the first recap movie, part 1, that retells the story of Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama until the end of the Battle of Trost District arc.
The story continues in part 2, which covers the story until the point where the first season of the anime ended. It was released on November 22, 2014 in theaters across Japan. It was rebroadcast on January 2, 2017 on MBS.
The giant hand of a Titan is seen above Wall Maria, ominously looming over the Walls, as the onlookers below gape in awe. On that day, humanity received a grim reminder, on how they lived in fear of the Titans and were disgraced to live in the cages they called Walls.
The Scout Regiment are travelling through a forest. As they encounter a Titan, they attempt to assault it in an effort to establish humanity's first base outside their own Walls. Closing in, they break into five groups and start using their omni-directional mobility gear and launch the attack.
A child called Eren Jaeger awakes from a dream crying. His adoptive sister Mikasa Ackermann asks him the reason but he is unable to remember what he was dreaming. While walking through the Shiganshina District city, Eren and Mikasa encounter a group of soldiers guarding the gates, including Hannes and Hugo, who are laughing and drinking on the job. Eren, voicing his concerns that the soldiers will not be ready in the event of an emergency, is reassured that the Walls are 50 meters high, taller than any known Titan, and there has not been an incident in the past 100 years. After speaking his mind on the situation, Eren and Mikasa continue on their way, with Eren expressing his desire to join the Scout Regiment in the future. Just as Mikasa starts to discourage him from that suicidal goal, bells begin to ring, signalling the latter's return from a mission.
Their parade through town leaves Eren commenting on how so few have returned; one of them looks at a smiling Eren and turns away in sadness. Soon after, a mother starts to look for her son, Moses among the survivors only to find that his arm was all that was recovered. Trying to rationalize the sacrifice, she asks if his death contributed to humanity, even if in a small way. Sadly, the commanding officer says that their expedition accomplished nothing
As bystanders start to give their opinions about the deaths and the waste of tax money, Eren retaliates by jabbing one of his firewood sticks at one of the complaining citizens. Mikasa quickly drags him away from the crowd and throws him against a Wall, causing the firewood he had bundled on his back to scatter across the floor. Continuing the conversation she started earlier, she asks Eren if he still intends to join the Scout Regiment after what they witnessed today. After a brief pause, Eren asks Mikasa to help him pick up the wood.
At the Jaegers' home, Eren and Mikasa join the dinner with Eren's father Dr. Jaeger and his wife Carla. Not long after their return, Dr. Jaeger announces that he has to leave for a couple of days to see a few patients. Against Eren's wishes, Mikasa tells the family about his plans to join the Scout Regiment, leading to an enraged objection from his mother. With his father asking why he wants to go into the outside world, Eren tells them he wants to know what is going on and to pick up where others left off so their sacrifice would not be in vain. At this, Dr. Jaeger says he must go. Eren's mother asks him to talk some sense into him, to which he replies that "human curiosity is not something [one] can restrain with a lecture." He then tells Eren that, upon his return, he will finally show him the room in the basement which he has kept secret. With his father gone, Eren's mother insists that he must not join the Scout Regiment and that only a fool would do so. Eren replies that to buy one's safety at the cost of living like cattle is even more foolish. With this, he runs off and Carla asks Mikasa to watch out for him.
As Eren runs, he sees his friend Armin Arlelt is being bullied by a group of boys, who get angrier the more Armin uses reason. Eren shows up to defend him but the boys are not surprised and prepare to beat him as well, but when they see Mikasa trailing behind Eren, they retreat in fear.
As the three sit by the river, Armin explains the source of his assailant's anger: believing, as Eren does, that humans eventually need to explore beyond the Wall, effectively renders him a heretic in the eyes of the public as the government has declared any interest in the outside world a taboo. The conversation then circles back to Eren asking Mikasa why she told his parents about his intentions to join the Scout Regiment. Armin concurs with Eren, wondering if humanity is truly safe with the Walls. As soon as the words leave his mouth, the ground starts to shake, leaving the three worried about what happened. Running out into the open streets, Armin is the first to see it. The hand of a gigantic Titan taller than the Walls appears above the structure.
People are watching shocked and curious, and just at that moment, the Titan begins to lift its leg, plunging it through the Wall. The onlookers are thrown back, and the remnants of the crushed Wall plummet into the city, crushing houses and squashing people. As an entire horde of Titans forcibly enter the breach, the city turns into a panic-stricken area. Eren and Mikasa hurry through an already severely damaged residential area, hoping that their home is still intact.Turning the corner, he sees that a boulder has landed on his house with his mother still inside. Finding her pinned under the rubble, he and Mikasa try to pull her out. A roar from a nearby Titan adds more stress to the situation. Eren looks beyond the houses, seeing more Titans prancing through the city, and attempts to pull the rubble over Carla. She insists that he take Mikasa and run. Eren, still struggling with debris, objects and continues his efforts. His mother then tells him that her legs were crushed by the rubble, so even if he manages to get her free, she will not be able to walk. Eren yells that he will carry her, then. In tears, Carla asks why he never listens to her.
The argument is cut short when a Titan is seen moving closer to their position. After more pleading from his mother and the Titan still approaching, Hannes arrives. Carla begs him to take the children and run. At first Hannes refuses, vowing to repay the debt he owes the family for all they have done for him. As he charges the Titan towering above the family homestead, he suddenly stops, horrified at the frightening appearance of this Titan. He withdraws his blade and runs, grabbing the two children. With Carla grateful and Eren protesting, Hannes makes a run for it. Carla covers her mouth, crying, silently begging for her children's return. Eren, looking behind on Hannes' shoulder, gasps as he sees the Titan move debris of the house away, eyeing Carla. The Titan grabs her and Eren screams for it to stop. It breaks her back with its hands and devours her, blood spewing from its mouth. Eren can only look back in despair as the Titan swallows down his mother, blood splattered over itself and the ground as well.
Armin is on a ship preparing to leave Shiganshina, scanning the crowds for Eren and Mikasa. When he spots them in a large crowd of refugees, but refrains from calling them when he sees the looks on their faces. Hugo shepherds a group of survivors through the gates, and takes charge in defending the ships used to escape the district. While he and his comrades fruitlessly defend the inner Wall, Hannes and another officer debate about whether they should close the gate and abandon their comrades, or leave them open for the comrade's retreat. This debate is short-lived as an armored Titan appears, crashing through the inner Wall and killing its defenders, including Hugo. The gravity of the situation dawns on Eren when he realizes he can never go home again. Seeing the weakness of humanity, he vows to erase the Titans from this world.
Two years later, the graduation of the trainees from the next military generation draws closer, until finally the top 10 graduates and those eligible to apply for the Military Police Brigade are shown to be from lowest to highest: Christa Lenz, Sasha Braus, Conny Springer, Marco Bodt, Jean Kirschtein, Eren Jaeger, Annie Leonhart, Bertholdt Hoover, Reiner Braun, and the best soldier of the class, Mikasa Ackermann.
As the graduates are celebrating, Thomas Wagner asks Jean what division of the military he will be joining. Jean happily declares that he will be joining the Military Police Brigade for an easy life in the interior, along with Marco, Annie, and Bertholdt. Eren angrily confronts Jean, reminding him that of a time when Wall Rose was considered part of the interior, and claims that Jean is a blind simpleton living a life of ignorance. Jean, annoyed at Eren's claims, reminds Eren of all of the people who died when they tried to take back Wall Maria, and how they died as nothing but fools, leading humanity to realize something: they can not cope with the Titans. Eren angrily tells Jean that the reason they have been training for years is because they are humanity's last hope against the Titans, and that they can not just let the Titans win after so many sacrificed themselves to fight the Titans, declaring that he will join the Scout Regiment and end the Titans. Jean calls Eren a fool, wondering aloud who would willingly join the Scout Regiment, leading to a fight between them that Marco, Franz Kefka, and Hanna Diament have to break up while Mikasa carries Eren out of the room.
Outside, Eren asks Armin and Mikasa what military branch they will join, and is surprised to learn they will also join the Scout Regiment. When Eren tries to dissuade them, Armin wishes to be useful to the cause of humanity while Mikasa will follow Eren wherever he goes to protect him, the vestige of her family.
As the graduates are maintaining the cannons on the Wall, some of them, including Conny and Thomas, reveal their intention to join the Scout Regiment after listening to Eren's speech last night. Sasha, meanwhile, reveals that she stole meat from the higher-ranking officers, and forces the dumbfounded others to not tell. The graduates are all motivated when suddenly lightning hits the ground outside of Wall Rose and the Colossal Titan appears.
It quickly breaks the gate leading out to Wall Maria, and the intense heat released from its body throws the graduates off the Wall. Most are able to reorient themselves and latch onto the Wall, but one of them Samuel Linke-Jackson, is knocked out by falling debris, until he is saved by Sasha at the last minute. Eren rallies the graduates to prepare for battle before leaping onto the Wall and confronting the Colossal Titan.
While Eren is running on top of the Wall, the Colossal Titan charges at him, destroying the upper portion of it. Eren sees that the Titan aimed for the cannons, realizing that the gate being destroyed is not a coincidence either - the Colossal Titan is intelligent. With his omni-directional mobility gear, Eren rushes towards his opponent, while dodging the Titan's slow attack. However, just as Eren is about to strike a fatal blow, the Colossal Titan releases a huge amount of hot steam, slowing Eren down. Eren attempts to approach his target one more time, but as he tries to slash with his blades, he realizes there is no contact - the Colossal Titan has disappeared.
The soldiers quickly begin their attempts at dealing with the Titans, not wanting to repeat the hell from five years ago. While the civilians continue their evacuation, the new recruits are preparing to head into action. Armin panics, claiming that the Titans can annihilate them at any time, and is only calmed down by Eren, who assures him that this time, humanity will defeat the Titans.
At Trost, most of the soldiers are in a state of panic or despair as Jean walks through the area, annoyed, knowing that he was supposed to go to the interior next day. He bumps into Eren, which enrages him even more. However, Eren makes him remember how they survived their training, claiming that they will come out of this alive as well. As Jean leaves, Eren is approached by Mikasa who tells him to look for her in case of trouble. However, they are interrupted by Ian Dietrich who tells Mikasa that she is been specially assigned to the rear squad. Mikasa tries to argue, however, Eren snaps at her, saying that nobody cares about what she wants as it is mankind that is in danger right now. As they are about to part, Mikasa begs Eren not to die.
Eren and Armin are standing by with the rest of their squad, waiting for orders. Eren claims that this is their chance as doing well in the operation before even joining the Scout Regiment will surely lead into their promotion. The rest of his squad is also eager to prove themselves. At that moment, they are ordered to assist the front guards. Running through the city, they find out that the Titans are already inside. Suddenly, they are targeted by an abnormal Titan who jumps at them. Thinking they have evaded it, the group realizes that it is Thomas being held in the Titan's mouth. Before he can react, the Titan devours him, much to the horror of his teammates.
An enraged Eren then rushes forward with his omni-directional mobility gear in order to slay that Titan, but is intercepted by another Titan who bites off his leg, causing him to fall down. His teammates are in shock just as more Titans appear, killing them one after another, much to the horror of Armin, who starts exhibiting the thousand-yard stare. He is then approached by another Titan who puts him into his mouth.
As a half-conscious Eren sees all of this, he recalls part of his childhood living in Shiganshina District. At that time, Armin comes looking for him, carrying a book containing the information about the outside world with himself. Eren's interest grows as Armin reveals many secrets of the outside world. Just as Armin wishes to go outside one day like his parents will soon, Eren, now in present, stands up and instantly grabs Armin's hand, throwing him out of the Titan's mouth. Using a blade as a way to keep the Titan's mouth open, Eren states that he will go to the outside world. Armin urges him to hurry, but it is too late, as the Titan shuts its mouth, biting Eren's arm off while devouring the rest of the body. Elsewhere, Mikasa looks towards Eren's direction, sensing that something is off.
Armin comes out of a trance to find Conny shaking him, trying to find out what happened to the rest of his squad. After snapping out of his trance, Conny asks Armin what happened to the rest of his group. Ymir states that they were obviously wiped out and criticizes him for being a coward as only he escaped death. Conny is about to fight Ymir, but Christa breaks them up and attempts to calm everyone down.
Armin leaves because he feels he would simply bring everyone down again and realizes that the world has always been weak, and that Eren and Mikasa viewed him as someone to protect because he is so weak. He soon after comes across Hanna, who is attempting to resuscitate Franz who was torn in half. She continues to administer CPR and begs for Armin's assistance, but Armin sees that Franz has been bitten in half and cries, pleading for Hanna to stop her futile efforts and expresses to himself that he can not take this any more.
Conny talks to Jean, who has become demoralized as everyone has run low on gas and with the Titan attack on the HQ, they cannot resupply. Conny wonders if the supply team has been killed, but Jean states that they have most likely barricaded themselves inside HQ, which is surrounded by Titans.
The only people who have not totally given in to despair are Annie, Reiner, and Bertholdt. Annie asks Reiner what to do, but Reiner says the time is not right and that they must group up first, and a stunned Marco wonders if he will die, stating that he is okay with dying, but wants to know what he is dying for. At that moment, Mikasa comes by looking for Eren. Annie directs her to Armin who, upon hearing Mikasa, begins stressing about the fate that had befallen Eren. He lists the names of all who died in Squad 34 while crying. Seemingly emotionless herself, Mikasa tells him they cannot afford to be emotional now and bringing Armin to his feet, goes to Marco to confirm that getting into the supply HQ will allow the trainees to escape. As she is preparing to head for the HQ, the rest of the trainees tell her that she cannot make it to the supply HQ. However, she brags that she is strong and can make it there without the needing the others. She calls them cowards and belittles them for giving up so soon. When some try to complain and say she will die, Mikasa acknowledges the risk involved. However, she adds that if she wins, then she can live and leaves for the HQ. As everyone is in stunned silence, Jean is heartened and rallies everyone to follow Mikasa's lead and the trainees leave with new determination.
Mikasa kills all the Titans in the way, but Armin notices that she is using too much gas. He realizes she is suffering from losing Eren and by fighting, can relieve the pain. Armin's prediction turns out to be true and as Mikasa crashes onto the street below, Armin and Conny leave to rescue her with Jean becoming the next vanguard. Falling onto a market tent, Mikasa thinks about how she has lost her family again with Eren's death, remembering her parents' deaths, how Eren saved her from her kidnappers, and being taken in by him and his family. As she ponders what to do, a Titan begins walking toward her. Mikasa stows her blades away and reminisces about her time in the world. For all the ugliness in the world, she believes she had a good life, meeting Eren and submits to her fate. Another Titan appears down the street, cornering her. As the first Titan reaches down to pick her up, Mikasa suddenly cuts off its finger and evades its grasp. It continues to attack her, but she dodges all the blows instinctively and wonders what is keeping her from letting herself die. It is then that she remembers Eren's command to fight when they were children. She promises to never give up, saying if she dies she will not remember him. She says that she will fight, raising her blades and is about to strike when the Titan in the distance appears behind her and punches the other Titan in the jaw hard enough to destroy its mouth and thrust it several yards away.
Dazed, Mikasa looks up and gasps. The Rogue Titan lets out a whiff followed by a savage roar, and begins stomping the other Titan to death. The stunned Mikasa watches in awe, witnessing a Titan turning on its own kind. Armin, soaring through the air on his gear, spots Mikasa and grabs her, thrusting them both onto a rooftop. Conny lands on the same roof, asking if the two are okay, but Mikasa is still out of it and cannot answer. Conny spots the Rogue Titan, but Mikasa points out that it is not like other Titans. The Rogue Titan approaches a normal Titan and they both exchange loud roars of anger. To the group's shock, the Rogue Titan raises its fists and prepares for combat. The normal Titan bellows and charges, but the Rogue Titan throws a punch to the side at the Titan's neck, beheading it and sending the disembodied head careening into a bell tower. The force of the punch is shown to have peeled some of the flesh of the Rogue Titan's fingers that it easily heals before continuing on its rampage. Conny proposes that they leave before the Titan turns on them, but Armin points out that the Titan does not seem to care about them, and proposes that they use it.
As the trainees approach HQ, Jean is caught by a Titan, but manages to slice off its fingers and escape its grip, arriving at HQ. Most of the trainees manage to reach the building and break in to the upper levels by crashing through the window panes. Jean notices a couple of members of the supply squad and punches one of them for abandoning everyone outside. Marco pulls him off as they begin to argue, but Titans begin to break through the windows. The trainees evacuate to the HQ interior, but Jean loses heart as he questions the ability of humanity to challenge such huge monsters. At that moment, a fist enters Jean's view and he sees the Rogue Titan punch the Titans attacking the HQ to the ground as he lets out a tremendous roar. Mikasa, Conny, and Armin successfully make it to the HQ as they point out the rogue Titan's instinct to ignore humans and target other Titans. Jean and the other trainees are mystified, but Mikasa states that they will be able to use this habit to their advantage and get everyone out alive as the rogue prepares to engage more Titans around the building.
Jean brings in some old firearms and Armin lays out their plan of action to take out the 7 3-4m Titans currently infesting the supply room. By using the guns to blind the Titans, the most physically capable soldiers can leap down from the rafters and dispatch all the Titans simultaneously. Although Armin harbors doubts about the plan, everyone agrees that it is the best thing available and Mikasa further reassures Armin by telling him that his plans have saved Eren and Mikasa's lives before.
The lift is ready and everyone gets into position on the lift or in the rafters. A bit of humor results as Reiner tells Conny that the second Titan weak spot is a sword up their butt. As expected, the Titans begin to close in on the human concentrated lift and when they are closest, are exposed to the devastating volley of gunfire to their eyes. At that moment, Mikasa, Reiner, Annie, Bertholdt, Jean, Conny, and Sasha leap from the rafters and kill their designated Titan. However, Sasha and Conny fail and Mikasa and Annie come to their rescue. Reiner comments that he is happy Annie was not hurt in the attack. The trainees, although shaken, are elated as the supply room is cleared and begin refueling their gas tanks.
When the trainees finish refueling, they all leave the HQ and begin heading for the safety of the Wall. However, Mikasa is watching the rogue Titan as it has been pinned down by multiple Titans. She believes this anomaly could help unravel some of the mystery surrounding the Titans and contemplates aiding it. Reiner agrees saying that if the rogue died, they will have learned nothing.
When Jean argues that it is still a Titan, Annie replies that it could be a potential ally. At that moment, Armin spots the abnormal Titan that killed Thomas to which the rogue Titan angrily bounds toward, losing both arms in the process, and slays the abnormal by biting fiercely into it is neck. The rogue Titan then lifts the Titan's corpse-turned-weapon, and crush the Titans pursuing it, before sending the body and another Titan flying into a house. Grimly, Jean asks which Titan needed help, but then the rogue Titan lets out one final roar before falling to the ground. Jean remarks that it probably ran out of strength, and turns to leave, but the others look speechlessly at the rogue Titan's corpse as a figure removes itself from the nape of the neck.
The figure who emerges is Eren, unconscious but alive. While the others are in shock, Mikasa quickly goes to check on Eren. She is in shock, but embraces him before listening for a heartbeat, and cries as soon as she finds it. The scene shifts to Stationary Guard spotter monitoring the situation in Trost before turning back to the top of the supply HQ, where Jean, Armin, Reiner, Bertholdt, Annie, a crying Mikasa, and an alive Eren are now present. Armin notices Eren has regenerated his missing limbs, but questions arise, as he saw Eren get eaten. He grips Eren's hand and breaks down into tears as well. Jean, one of the speechless spectators, realizes something and turns around. He observes the disintegrating corpses of the Titans and asks, "Then Eren... did all of this?"
Before the Colossal Titan breaks through Wall Maria, the Scout Regiment departs on their latest expedition. Among the townspeople, Eren, Mikasa and Armin watch their departure. One of the townspeople spots Levi, and then says that in battle, he is worth as an entire brigade. Levi, hearing this, gets a little irritated. Hange Zoë makes a joke that they would be heartbroken if they knew how much of a clean freak he was.
The soldiers entrusted with the mission this time are mankind's best and brightest soldiers. Even so, when troops advance into Titan's territory, the casualties still exceed thirty percent. While out for the mission, one of the soldiers is caught by a Titan. Half inside the giant's mouth, he threatens him, saying that humans will exterminate them, particularly Levi. As he says this, Levi shows up and disposes of the Titan. With reinforcements arriving, he orders Petra Rall to take care of the wounded soldier. He then orders the reinforcements to take the right flank, while he takes the left.
As Levi approaches the two Titans on the left, he thinks to himself that they are all the same; the same ridiculous faces. He gets blood on his hands when he finishes a Titan off, causing him to take pause and immediately clean it up. Taking a short break, he rejoins Petra and the soldier he saved earlier. The Soldier, with his last breath asks Levi if he had been useful. Encouraging him, he takes the soldier's hand and tells him he has done more than enough, which allows him to die in peace. Commander Erwin Smith approaches them on a horse, informing them that they must retreat. When Levi questions him, Erwin informs him that the Titans are moving north - towards the city. Worried that the Wall may already be breached, they leave.
Inside Wall Rose, Conny explains how they were able to refill their gas and escape from Trost to Ymir, Christa and the other soldiers. Christa asks about the rest of the soldiers that are not there, and Conny announces their dooms with mournful expression. Ymir questions Mikasa's whereabouts, and Conny replies that he thinks Mikasa has come back late with Jean. She asks Jean if Mikasa was wounded, but Jean refuses to answer it, saying that he has sworn to keep it secret from the others, but believing that soon everyone will know it.
Elsewhere, Kitz Woerman orders the cannons on the Wall to fire on Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. Mikasa grabs Eren and Armin, telling them that they are going up the Walls. At that exact moment, Eren witnesses a key coming out from his shirt. Remembering he has the power to save Armin, Mikasa, and humanity itself, Eren almost instinctively bites down on his hand and appears to catch the cannonball. When the smoke partially clears, it is shown that Eren has partially transformed into a Titan and did in fact save Armin and Mikasa by catching the cannonball with a Titan hand.
Inside the Titan, Eren comes to his senses and gets out, surprised to see a figure of a Titan in front of him. Wasting no time, approaches Mikasa and Armin as the Titan starts evaporating. Armin attempts to ask Eren about his ability, but Eren informs them that he can not remember anything that has happened after he was eaten. He then shows them his key, telling them that he has remembered his father's promise that he would understand everything if he went the Jaeger's basement. Eren recalls his father's last words to him; that he needed to keep the key with him always, and his father injecting him with an unknown syringe. He tells Mikasa and Armin that if he can reach his basement, he might be able to learn the truth about the Titans. He tells them that the basement of his house is an answer to everything and states that from now on, he must work alone, but Mikasa takes offense to this. While they quarrel, Armin ponders their predicament. Then he remembers that Eren and Mikasa always fought for him and thinks to himself that even in the end, he acts as a coward.
However, just as the cannon is being reloaded, Armin decides that he can not give up, and interrupts Eren and Mikasa, claiming that he will convince the rest of the soldiers of Eren's worth, asking Eren to do his best to convince them that he will not resist them, to which Eren agrees.
Armin walks out of the smoke and faces Woerman, and the rest of the soldiers. He tries to convince them that Eren is not an enemy of mankind. Woerman is unconvinced, telling Armin that not only did he witness the Rogue Titan emerging from inside of another Titan, he also saw Eren emerge from the Rogue Titan's nape, and orders Armin to prove that Eren is not a threat. Armin argues that there is no need for proof, as back then, all of the soldiers present could see Eren fighting the Titans and that the Titans viewed Eren as a prey. However, Woerman, overwhelmed with fear, refuses to believe this and orders the soldiers to be ready for an attack.
Refusing to give in, Armin salutes, and, for one last time, asks for permission to explain Eren's strategic importance, as they may even be able to recapture Trost with Eren's powers. Ian Dietrich tells Woerman that Armin's plan should be considered, but Woerman refuses to listen and attempts to give a signal for the cannon, but is stopped by Commander Dot Pyxis. Pyxis orders him to stand down, saying that he would like to listen to what Eren and others have to say. He then orders Woerman to organize the reinforcements.
Pyxis is then introduced as a man entrusted with complete authority over the key area of mankind's defenses. On top of the Wall, he listens to Eren and others, asking Armin if he genuinely meant what he said or if it was just to save his life. Armin replies that it was both; he explains about the boulder in the middle of the city and that if Eren can carry the boulder over to the gate and seal the breach, the Titan advance will be halted. Pyxis asks Eren whether he will agree on using his powers to move the boulder and block the hole in the gate. Looking behind himself, Eren witnesses the area that would be lost if the gate were to fall and ultimately agrees with the plan.
Before the operation begins, Pyxis orders Ian Dietrich, Rico Brzenska and Mitabi Jarnach to guard Eren while he worked on his end of the operation. With the operation underway, Eren, Mikasa and a small group of soldiers get into position. They head for the shortest route and find no Titans in their way.
Commander Pyxis tells the soldiers in the crowd that if they accomplish their task, it will be humanity's first victory over the Titans. As Eren and his group reach the boulder, he bites his hand and transforms into his Titan form. Seeing him walking toward the stone, Mikasa states to herself that she believes that Eren will accomplish the mission, but things go horribly wrong; Eren takes one look at the boulder, and attacks Mikasa instead.
At the boulder, Mikasa manages to dodge Eren's punches and much to the rest of the team's surprise, she hangs herself at Eren's face in an attempt to talk to him. Seeing Eren getting ready to launch another attack, Ian warns Mikasa to get away from him just as Eren punches his own head as Mikasa manages to evade. As Mitabi wonders what is wrong with Eren, Ian is alarmed to hear from the rest of the squad that two Titans are approaching them. Meanwhile, Rico shoots a red signal flare as a message that the plan has failed.
On top the Walls, the soldiers witness the red signal flare. Seeing this, Armin decides to head to their location. A soldier then proposes focusing on defending and calling off the elite team, however, Pyxis orders them to continue luring the Titans and puts all his trust into the elite team, saying that they will not give up so easily.
Inside his Titan form, Eren is barely conscious, and begins dreaming about his family before the fall of Shiganshina. In the dream, Eren is surprised to find himself back in his home with his parents and Mikasa.
Mikasa saves Mitabi by killing one of the Titans, but then they see more Titans coming in, much to their surprise. Mikasa then realizes that it is Eren who is luring all the Titans in. She notices Armin who asks about the plan and Eren's state and tells him that Eren is unable to control the Titan. Believing that Eren coming out of Titan's weak point back then is related to the mystery of Titans, Armin stabs the Titan's nape, leading the blade through Eren's left arm inside of the Titan. He tells Mikasa to defend everyone from the Titans and then attempts to talk to Eren.
In Eren's vision, he sees Armin banging on his house's window, trying to talk to him, and is confused by when Armin demands to know if he still plans to avenge his mother's death, claiming his mother is fine. He then wonders aloud why he would want to go outside the Walls, but pauses when asking why he would want to join the Scout Regiment.
In the streets below the Wall, Jean, Annie and Conny continue their mission. While Annie and Conny manage to reach the Wall, Jean's omni-directional gear breaks, and all he can do is run away on foot. He hides himself inside of a building and through a window, he spies a corpse of a soldier still wearing their omni-directional mobility gear. Meanwhile, Armin continues talking to Eren, asking him if he remembers that they want to explore the outside world. He questions his motives for doing so and Eren answers that it is because he was born to this world, just as his vision erupts in flames and the Titan with Eren inside wakes up.
The elite soldiers continue to lead the struggle to defend Eren. However, Rico's squad, excluding Rico herself, are completely wiped out in the battle, leaving only her and one female soldier. As they are forced to retreat to the boulder's location, they witness the arrival of more Titans heading their way.
At this time, Jean is attempting to take a dead soldier's omni-directional mobility gear as his own one broke, while being watched from top of the Wall by Annie, Conny and now Marco as well. Having trouble with their gear, Jean is approached by a Titan. Luckily, Marco manages make it to Jean's location in time to distract the Titan long enough for Jean to acquire the gear and escape. Conny and Annie also rush in to help, and when Jean finds himself having difficulties controlling the gear, Conny distracts the Titan pursuing him in order to give Jean time to readjust. Jean finally manages to control the gear just to be approached by another Titan, however, he ends up being ultimately saved by Annie and all four of them successfully escape to the top of the Wall. Suddenly, they hear loud footsteps and much to their surprise, they witness Eren in his Titan form walking towards the gate, carrying the huge boulder.
The elite team, along with Mikasa, also watches in surprise. They are approached by Armin who tells them that "Eren won," and is trying to do his job now. He notes that if he manages to reach the gate, they will win. Seeing this as their ultimate chance, Ian orders the soldiers to protect Eren, even if it costs them their lives. Jean, Annie, Conny and Marco also descend from top of the Wall with the intention to support Eren. Afterwards, Ian tells Armin and Mikasa, to go directly to Eren, and then goes into action himself, but suddenly stops, surprised to see Mitabi and his squad approaching the Titans on ground. Armin claims that staying on ground is suicide, but Ian states that it is the only way they have left to keep the Titans distracted from Eren and heads down to successfully distract a Titan, creating a path for Eren.
As Eren keeps walking towards the hole, he notices Armin and Mikasa and becomes worried that they may get eaten by Titans. The soldiers continue luring the Titans, however, some of them are caught in the battle, including Mitabi, who gets crushed by a Titan's hand while distracted by the death of one of his comrades. Eren then recalls Armin questioning his motive for going outside. He states to himself that, "when people are born, they are free and people who deny that, no matter how strong they are, don't matter." Believing that seeing the world outside would make one the freest person, he keeps walking forward, determined to fight, no matter how cruel the world is.With tears in her eyes, a relieved Rico says that the soldiers did not die in vain and shoots a yellow signal flare as a message that the mission has been accomplished.
At an unknown place, Eren suddenly wakes up, and finds himself being watched by Erwin Smith and Levi Ackermann. Erwin asks him if he has any questions, and Eren nervously asks where he is.
Characters in Order of Appearance
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