Eren Jaeger of the Attack on Titan franchise is many things. He is hot-headed, almost suicidal, extremely stubborn, and overly emotional during battles. If there’s anything that Eren definitely appears to not be, it is smart, calculating, and calm. However, in Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 7, “Close Combat,” Eren displayed a remarkable amount of composure, and as Reiner eventually found out, a smart, calculating Eren is a very dangerous threat.
Warning! Spoilers Below
“Close Combat” started off with the final scenes of the previous episode, delving right into the first strikes of the battle between Eren’s Rogue Titan and Reiner’s Armored Titan. As stated in an Inverse report, Reiner and Bertholdt, who revealed himself as the Colossal Titan, have gone too far to turn back. Thus, the only way out left to them is to ensure that they can at least capture Eren. Both Reiner and Bertholdt transformed, and a battle ensued.
The fight between Eren and the Armored Titan was nothing short of glorious to watch. Attack on Titan Season 2 has so far been all about building up the tension in the anime. Thus, seeing things finally explode onscreen in all its raw fury was incredibly satisfying for avid fans of the series. It was quite a while before viewers were able to see a battle between Titan Shifters, which simply made the fight between Eren and Reiner all the more satisfying to watch.
— M.M (@ReviewAnimeYT) May 6, 2017
The first part of the fight between the two shifters went in the way that fights usually go for Eren. This means that for the first few minutes of the battle against Reiner, Eren was practically being thrown around like a rag doll by the more powerful, bulkier Armored Titan. The anime was able to do this very well, too, showing Eren’s full strikes being harmlessly deflected by Reiner’s armor and the Rogue Titan practically getting deformed every time it gets hit by the Armored Titan. Even Mikasa’s assists proved useless against Reiner’s thick plates, with her blades being unable to penetrate the titan’s armor. Outmatched and outgunned by his more powerful opponent, Eren then decided to do something that he has never done before: strategize.
Eren’s strategy was notable in the way that he used the exact same moves that Annie, the Female Titan, became famous for. Tackling the Armored Titan to the ground with some good, old-fashioned ju-jitsu, Eren was able to finally fight back. For the entire duration of the battle, Eren was depicted by the anime to be completely lucid, even acknowledging Hange at one point. Gone was the berserk, uncontrollable Eren of Season 1. Eren of Attack on Titan Season 2 was straight up calculating.
— Funimation (@FUNimation) May 13, 2017
Annie’s ju-jitsu worked perfectly against the stronger, larger, Armored Titan, as noted by several fans in online forums such as Reddit. Eren was able to rip off Reiner’s arm completely, and after the Armored Titan decided to let go of its plates for some speed, Mikasa was able to tear into his flesh, leaving the formidable giant’s neck open for the taking. With Mikasa’s assist, Eren was able to trap the Armored Titan in a headlock, before Reiner finally asked for help from his ally. The episode ended with Bertholdt, most of his muscles evaporated from attacking the Survey Corps with a ton of steam, dropping his entire frame on both Eren and Reiner.
Overall, “Close Combat” proved to be the most intense Attack on Titan Season 2 episode yet. For an anime that has spent the first six episodes building up to a grand reveal, Ep 7 was able to provide viewers with some much-needed catharsis. If any, it was able to prove that over the course of the first season and Season 2’s episodes so far, Eren has become a far more dangerous fighter. Though the AoT Season 2, Episode 9 preview teased that the battle between Eren and Reiner would be abruptly ended, their skirmish ultimately proved that the anime’s main character is also evolving into one of the most compelling protagonists in the entire franchise.
[Featured Image by Kodansha]