This article is about the seventh episode of the anime. For the seventh chapter of the manga, see Small Blade.
|I bore witness to the manifestation of humanity's rage|
|— Mikasa on the Rogue Titan|
Small Blade: The Struggle for Trost, Part 3 (小さな刃 ―トロスト区攻防戦③― Chīsana Yaiba -Torosuto-ku Kōbōsen (3)-?) is the 7th episode of the 1st season and the 7th episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G.
The attack of the Titans continues on Trost District. Due to the army's poor manpower, the squad in charge of supplying gas are held back into the HQ by the Titans, but these soldiers are neither allowed to leave to the inner Wall. Mikasa comes along a group of cadets that has not retreated. There she finds that they are scared, for example Jean, who saw a comrade get eaten, but a few of them that are still trying to fight. There Armin tells Mikasa that Eren has been killed. She takes it cool and leaves alone, killing every Titan in her path until the gas of the omni-directional mobility gear runs out, making her fall on a alley.
Mikasa accepts her death when a Titan comes to eat her, but in the last second she remembers how Eren wanted her to fight. Mikasa is finally saved by an unknown Titan and watches how it kills the prior one. Then she is picked up by Armin and taken to a roof. Up there, both of them and Conny sees how the Titan kills another one of his kind. Mikasa, at shock, compares this Titan with the manifestation of mankind's anger.
As Titans continue ravaging Trost, the cadets in charge of supplying gas are seen begging Captain Woerman not to leave the HQ. Without proper manpower, any Titan attack would cut off soldiers on the front from resupplying runs and leave everyone vulnerable. While Woerman says that he must leave to oversee the organization of reinforcements, the cadets imply that he simply wishes to go to the safety beyond the inner gate. He grows angry at their implications and silences them under threat of treason.
Meanwhile, Mikasa arrives just to find out that a large group of cadets have not retreated yet. She notices they are focused on the supply HQ and realizes that it is under attack and suppliers cannot leave the HQ. Inside the HQ, the soldiers are hiding in hopes not to be found out by Titans. One of them works on reloading his gun. As he is done, another soldier asks him about the point of his action. Without any reply, the soldier inserts the gun into his mouth and shoots, much to the horror of other soldiers.
Outside, Conny talks to a demoralized Jean as everyone has run low on gas and with the Titan attack on the HQ, they cannot resupply. Conny says they should all go to the HQ because they are out of options and to do nothing would attract Titans to their current position. However, Jean notes that the low number of cadets and lack of a capable leader among them would stop the formation of such a plan. Sasha offers to take point, but no one listens to her as they are all traumatized or demoralized.
The only people who have not totally given in to despair are Annie, Reiner, Bertholdt and Marco. Annie asks Reiner what to do, but Reiner says the time is not right and that they must group up first. Marco begins to lose hope, wondering if his death would mean anything. 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 cadets to escape. As she is preparing to head for the HQ, the rest of the cadets 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 cadets 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. As she ponders what to do, a Titan begins walking toward her. Meanwhile Jean and the rest of the group are on a roof closer to the HQ as they survey the situation. Multiple Titans are blocking the path when they notice a cadet who has run out of gas, attracting the Titans. Some people try to help him, but they are devoured as well.
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. As the 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. Another Titan appears behind her down the street, cornering her. 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 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 Titan approaches another Titan and they both exchange loud roars. To the group's shock, the rogue Titan raises its fists and prepares for combat. The other 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 Titan's fingers that it easily heals before continuing on its rampage. Focusing back onto the problem at hand, Armin trades his nearly full gas canister with Mikasa's and gives her his compliment of blades.
She realizes that in her own remorse at learning of Eren's death, she endangered the lives of the other cadets by having them follow her. Moreover, she gave up on life when they were counting on her. As Armin is about to leave himself behind with a single broken blade to commit suicide with, Mikasa takes the small blade and flings it off the roof, promising Armin that he will not be left behind. Mikasa then recalls the moment of the rogue Titan's appearance and states that even though she was initially confused, the sight of the Titan felt like the manifestation of mankind's anger.