Assault on Titan beforehand engaged in an train in pressure and psychological horror that’s not not like the ultimate act of A Clockwork Orange when Gabi and Falco needed to spend time with Kaya and the Braus household. Kaya, a beforehand passive particular person, is pushed to almost kill Gabi when she learns that she’s the one who’s accountable for Sasha’s dying. On this second, Kaya learns that she’s misplaced her position mannequin, however that her new buddy can also be a fraud and her religion in humanity drops just a few notches decrease.
It’s past fulfilling that Gabi is then capable of swoop in and save Kaya’s life (and from Nile Dok no much less, who simply did a stable for her and Falco) and heal all of this trauma by bringing it full-circle. Gabi, throughout her second of victory, appears to be like almost equivalent to Sasha. Kaya’s reverence in direction of her new hero can also be depicted in the identical means as when Sasha initially saved Kaya from a Titan. Kaya actually thinks that she’s seen a ghost. It’s a potent illustration of how conflict modifications people, most of the time for the more serious, however it might probably additionally result in transformative shows of empathy that might have in any other case been unattainable with out this ache and loss. Gabi’s full-blown evolution from Sasha’s killer into Sasha 2.0 is the proper flip for her character and is metonymic of Assault on Titan’s largest themes in regards to the underlying humanity that unites everybody.
These emotions of progress and redemption are rampant all through “Thaw” and even the motion sequences crystalize into character catalysts. The Survey Corps’ battle towards Titans is gorgeous on an aesthetic stage, but it surely’s extraordinarily cathartic to observe Jean lead everybody to success as he embraces his position as chief. Marco would truthfully be proud. This scene is without doubt one of the greatest animated sequences from the season, however “Thaw” additionally amplifies the nostalgic emotions that encompass this second of triumph for the Survey Corps as soon as “Barricades,” a observe that I don’t assume has been used because the present’s second season accompanies their assault.
“Thaw” achieves an eerie stabilizing calm because it returns to those older comforts. The Survey Corps’ framing whereas they obtain orders from their stalwart chief particularly mirrors comparable moments of honor and admiration from again in Assault on Titan’s first season. Whether or not the viewer picks up on these traditional touches or not, Assault on Titan desires the viewers to subconsciously really feel prefer it’s again to its roots, proper because the sequence returns to its unique mission assertion: kill all the Titans.
“Thaw” brilliantly makes use of Assault on Titan’s soundtrack to additional intensify the expansion that each member of the Survey Corps experiences as this ongoing battle mutates into its ultimate stage. The nostalgia for Assault on Titan’s second season and the virtually harmless high quality that occupied these characters absolutely comes along with the episode’s massive reveal–which can also be the installment’s namesake–that Annie Leonhart has lastly thawed out of the crystal jail that she’s occupied for seasons.
The addition of the Feminine Titan doesn’t appear that groundbreaking in distinction to the apocalyptic doom that Eren wields with the Founding Titan, but it surely’s nonetheless extraordinarily thrilling to have Annie again within the image. The novelty of all of those disparate characters needing to come back collectively to tackle this final risk, which simply so occurs to be Eren, continues to be an efficient setup for Assault on Titan’s endgame. It’s already satisfying to have Gabi, Yelena, and different Eldians coming along with the Survey Corps earlier than Annie will get added to the equation. It actually creates a sense of unprecedented hazard. Characters may as nicely put apart what are actually petty grudges as a result of nothing is extra essential than Eren’s Stroll of Ache and the Rumbling that he brings together with it.