Well, the Gabi hate train has officially left the station.
In all seriousness, I was both excited and dreading Episode Eight of Attack on Titan‘s Final Season, “Assassins Bullet.”
I was dreading it because it would deliver one of the moster heartbreaking deaths of the series and excited because, well, it would deliver one of the most heartbreaking deaths of the series.
The death of Sasha Blouse is one of the most tragic moments in Attack on Titan and it was adapted perfectly, in my opinion.
Directed by Hidetoshi Takahashi, Lie June Yang and Yōsuke Yamamoto, “Assasin’s Bullet” begins by slowly building up to Sasha’s death, first by showing the quick defeat of Reiner by Eren.
Anime only viewers may have thought an epic fight was about to happen, based off the previous episode’s cliffhanger but no, at least not this time.
Reiner’s Titan wasn’t formed well enough to handle Eren, both because of his injuries and his suicidal thoughts.
However, Reiner’s goal wasn’t to fight Eren here but to rescue Porco, which he succeeded in doing, managing to outsmart Eren.
With his power spent, Eren decides to flee with Mikasa, showing Reiner a sympathetic look before saying he’ll see him later as he and Mikasa take off for the airship with the rest of the Scouts.
Seeing this, Gabi decides to make her last stand, taking off with the gate guard’s gun and ready to shoot Eren Jeager, who is currently boarding the airship.
It is here that we get Eren’s reunion with Armin and Levi, which is tumultiuous to say the least.
First, there is Armin pulling Eren into the airship, a blank stare on his face, where there is a clear difference to Armin’s happy expression when similarly giving Eren a hand back in Season Three, when they were leaving the Reiss’ crystal cavern.
Then, there’s Levi who, in classic fashion, kicks Eren in the face, sending him crashing into the wall.
Levi places him under arrest, before telling him he looks like every hopeless person he meet in the Underground, showing how far Eren has fallen.
Armin even stops Mikasa from helping Eren here.
Eren’s actions have clearly driven a rift between him and the rest of the main cast, which will only widen further upon the death of Sasha, which is built up to from this point on in the episode.
This build up to her tragic death is started first by, of course, reminding us all of how close Sasha is with Connie and Jean, just to drive the knife deeper into our hearts, when she finally bites the bullet.
As Floch starts a victory cheer in honour of the six Scouts who lost their lives (soon to be eight), Connie embraces Jean and Sasha, telling the two that they are important to him.
Way to jinx it Connie because down below the airship, Gabi is racing to attack the Scouts, with Falco right behind her.
Coming from a family of former restorationists, Falco is obviously not as brainwashed as Gabi, who comes from a Warrior family, so he sees the truth of the situation.
He tries to tell Gabi as much by stopping her and informing her that this attack is revenge for the attack on Paradis nine years ago.
Gabi, however, can’t break through the brainwashing because of her upbringing, which is only reinforced by the horrors of war she has just experienced.
Bringing up the deathsb of Udo and Zofia, how she never saw this attack on Paradis, and how it has always been normal to kill those on the island because they are devils who may have just ruined whatever chance of Eldians being accepted, Gabi races off once more.
Shooting a former member of the Garrison, Lobov, Gabi prepares to use his ODM Gear to launch a suicide attack on the Scouts, planning to take out as many as she can.
As Colt approaches, Gabi plans to part ways with Falco, telling him he was one of the good ones.
Unfortunately for her, Falco is not going to just up and abandon her as he grabs hold of her when she takes off, remembering the promise he made to Reiner.
All Colt can do is watch as his brother and Gabi descend up into the enemy’s clutches to deliver Sasha her death.
It is here that Floch’s intent to create a cheer for Eldia comes back to bite him, everyone, and especially Sasha in the behind.
Not being able to hear anything because of the chanting, Gabi is able to sneak onboard and get a shot off… right into our beloved Potato Girl’s chest.
Just like that, the cunductor has screamed “All aboard!” for the Gabi hate train.
While many people may have boarded this train, hating Gabi for killing Sasha, I, for one, remain firmly on the platform.
Ever since I read the manga, I have never hated Gabi for killing Sasha because she is a brainwashed child who just saw Sasha kill people she cared about.
I will miss Sasha in the anime just as much as I did in the manga but I am still personally looking forward to see Gabi and the other characters grows from this.
Sasha’s death is honestly one of the most impactful moments in the manga, both because of how emotional it is and its long term effects on the story.
We will some of these effects in the next episode but back to “Assassin’s Bullet”, following Sasha being shot we get absolute craziness, as Gabi and Falco are beaten by Floch and the other Scouts while Jean and Sasha try to get a tourniquet wrapped around Sasha and keep her concious.
However, with blood leaking from her mouth, it is clear that Sasha has internal bleeding and does not have long.
This is further confirmed by her haziness, as she seems to be hallucinating that she is about to be served meat to eat.
Sasha’s voice actor, Yū Kobayashi, does an excellent job here voicing Sasha’s final moments, as she struggles to speak through her slowly escaping life.
Then, we get the big twist of the episode because, as Jean prepares to bring Gabi to “the mastermind” of this attack, Magath comes to see an injured Pieck and learns of the Marleyan soldier who trapped her and Porco.
This soldier, named Yelena, is one Pieck recognized for one, very specific reason: she is a devout follower of Zeke.
With that line, comes the reveal that Zeke has been working with the Scouts to orchestrate this attack on Liberio to extract him.
Zeke seems to want Eldia to be free based on what he is says and has been using Yelena to communicate with the Scouts over the years.
Speaking of Yelena, it was funny to see various anime only viewers think for a couple of weeks that she was actually Armin, who had gone through a growth spurt during the time skip.
As for Zeke, despite it being revealed that he is now working with the Scouts, things are not obviously good between them, considering all that he has done.
Levi especially has an axe to grind with Zeke, promising that he still plans killing him to be the last part of a meal that he will savour.
It seems that Eren is in a similar state of tension with the Scouts, as Hange states that, by going rogue and forcing the Scouts hand through making himself a hostage, he has lost their trust.
Before the tension can grow any further, however, Connie comes in with the hearbreaking news that Sasha has died and, at that very moment, the OST kicks in.
For Sasha’s death, an instrumental version of “Call Your Name” was chosen.
The combination of the OST and the shots of Mikasa and Armin crying over Sasha’s dead body had me tearing up.
It was the perfect way to portray Sasha’s death in all of its tragedy.
This tragedy is hightened when Eren learns of her last word, which was “meat.”
One could be mistaken for thinking this is some kind of joke but it’s really not.
For Sasha, food represented the freedom she would obtain when she and the Scouts were finally safe and got to eat whatever they wanted.
In this moment, Eren realizes that Sasha has lost her chance at this freedom, which is why he laugh-cries, similar to what he did when Hannes died.
And, with this, the tragic “Assasin’s Bullet” comes to a close.
Overall, I would say this was a perfect adaptation of the manga, with Sasha’s death in particular being tear inducing.
I for one am interested to see if the Gabi hatred will last, or if more people will start to warm up to her character as the season goes on.