Crushing Blow: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 5 (鉄槌 ―第57回壁外調査⑤― Tettsui -Dai Gojū-Nana Kai Hekigai Chōsa (5)-?) is the 21st episode of the 1st season and the 21st episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G.
Trusting in the abilities of his comrades, Eren retreats as Squad Levi attacks a newly transformed Female Titan. However, its abilities catch the Scouts off-guard before all are killed one by one. In a rage, Eren transforms into his Titan form to battle the monster himself.
Eren relentlessly assaults the Female Titan, but eventually he is defeated as Mikasa comes to his aid. Biting Eren out of his Titan's nape, the Female Titan retreats while Mikasa pursues it. Levi arrives afterwards, joining Mikasa to pursue the Titan from a distance.
As the soldiers continue their retreat, Erwin and Hange discuss the way the Female Titan escaped. Erwin believes that it used the same tactics as Colossal Titans, using omni-directional mobility gear to flee in the steam. Hange argues that back then, Eren's gear was destroyed and he had no stamina left after his transformation, however, Erwin claims that using Eren as a basis for their inference was wrong, seeing that he is a novice. Meanwhile, Armin and Jean wonder if the person inside the Titan was captured. Armin then deduces that it was Eren's transformation into a Titan that stopped the attack on Trost midway, concluding that the culprit is someone who witnessed his Titan form.
In the meantime, Eren and the squad attempt to escape from the mysterious attacker. Eld concludes that there is no time to reach the horses and they head to the rest of the Scout Regiment. However, Erwin's hypothesis is proven to be correct as the attacker still has enough stamina to transform and the squad finds themselves to be chased by the Female Titan yet again. This time, Eren wants to fight it, but he is ordered to escape while the rest of the squad takes care of it. After a moment of uncertainty, Eren decides to trust them and heads for the HQ. From afar, he watches as Petra and Oruo manage to slice through the Titan's eyes and together with Eld continue attacking its arms until they are able to reach its neck. Eren considers the reason for them being able to fight in complete sync to be the trust they have each other. Believing to have made the right choice, Eren looks forward, but then he remembers Levi's words and looks back on more time to witness Eld rearing up to attack the Female Titan's neck muscles only to be suddenly caught by the Female Titan and bitten in half.
Witnessing Eld's death, Petra states that it should be impossible for the Titan to see again in such short time. She notices that the Female Titan prioritized one eye for faster healing. The Female Titan then sprints towards Petra as Oulo frantically tells her to regroup, but Petra is too shocked by Eld's death. She realizes her situation too late and can only stare as she is crushed against a tree by the Female Titan's foot. In a desperate last attempt, Oruo grapples on to the Titan's neck and swings at its nape, but his blades are shattered by the Titan's hardened skin before the Female Titan knocks him out the sky with a roundhouse kick, breaking his spine and ribs. Seeing this, Eren yells out in horror and anger, wanting to kill the Titan and transforms. His roar is heard by Mikasa and Levi and both of them rush to Eren's location.
Eren takes the initiative and attacks the Female Titan, with the Female Titan trying to avoid Eren and kicking Eren to keep distance, as her arms have not healed yet. At the same time, Levi looks at the bloody corpses of his squad's members. Meanwhile, the fight continues and Eren manages to throw his foe down and attacks from above only to destroy both of his hands. Eren then blames himself for not transforming into a Titan and preventing the deaths of his squadmates and others in the Scout Regiment before remembering that the Female Titan is the real cause and roars at it in anger. Eren promises that he will tear the Female Titan as his Titan body begins seizing up and twitching as he loses control, seemingly moving his mouth along with his thoughts. At that moment, the Female Titan's injuries finish healing, she breaks from his mount, kicks him in the stomach, sending him into a tree, and they resume combat. With Eren repeatedly swing and missing, until the Female Titan delivers a hardened punch through Eren's mouth, tearing it. However, Eren takes advantage of this and uppercuts the Female Titan hard enough to launch her into the air.Eren charges at the Female Titan only to ram into a tree, tiring him. He then turns around and raises his fist only to halt just before the Female Titan performs a hardened roundhouse kick to swiftly decapitate him. Eren's human form is then bitten out of his Titan carcass. Mikasa arrives just to see Eren getting devoured by the Female Titan. She quickly recuperates from what she just saw and begins chasing the Female Titan, repeatedly slashing all over its body in an attempt to get Eren back. However, her final strike is proven to be ineffective due to the Female Titan's hardening ability. At that moment, Mikasa gets grabbed by Levi who orders her to fall back and maintain a certain distance. He questions Eren's fate, knowing that he was bitten out of his Titan's neck, but Mikasa looks forward, angered by the thought of Eren being dead.
Currently Publicly Available Information
Scout Regiment Horses
Their top speed is between 75 and 80 km/h, and they can maintain speeds of 35 km/h. Horses are about the only way to escape a Titan.