I remember reading Chapter 107 of Attack on Titan and feeling quite disappointed with the direction Hajime Isayama took Historia’s character.
To me, the idea of her sacrificing herself and any children she would have went against everything that her character development in the Uprising Arc was about, so to see her pregnant for this sacrifice plan really did not sit well with me.
Thankfully, with the benefit of hindsight as a manga reader, I now look on this scene, and the potential it has for the end of the story, a lot more favourably.
Historia’s sidelining after this point, though?
Well, I am pretty sure that I will always believe that was a mistake.
In any case, Episode Ten of Attack on Titan‘s final season, “A Sound Argument”, adapts both Chapter 107 and 108 well, albeit with a few hiccups.
Directed by Kaori Makita, the episode follows up on the serious cliffhanger from “Brave Volunteers”, which featured Eren standing in front of a mirror in his jail cell and proclaiming that he has to fight.
This is continued in the episode with a not so serious beginning, as Hange interrupts Eren’s talk with himself and humorously comments on it.
I had honesty forgotten how funny Hange could be but seeing her scenes adapted in the anime really drove it home for me, especially with this scene.
Just take a shot everytime she says “fight” during this conversation.
You will pass out in a matter of seconds.
It’s not all humorous, though, as Hange switches to serious, reminiscing on her talk with Eren about Titans, all the way back in Season One, and how he let her ramble on and on about pointless things.
However, these happy times are no more, unfortunately showcased by Hange’s next line about how she believed Eren would never sacrifice Historia.
From there, the episode delves into the flashback that puts Zeke’s supposed plan to save Eldia into motion.
This comes from a flashback of the Volunteers introducing Paradis to an ally, Kiyomi Azumabito from the nation of Hizuru.
It is through this flashback of her meeting those on Paradis that we learn not only the effect Zeke’s plan will have on Historia but also of Mikasa’s “importance” to Hizuru as well.
It is revealed that Mikasa in actually the descendant of a lost Shogun from Hizuru and thus essential to the nation.
This is proven through a tattoo Mikasa has on her hand.
Now, while my opinion about Historia’s pregnancy in the manga has gone from negative to more mixed over the years, my opinion on this scene has not, and the anime makes its reveal a little more problematic.
Mikasa being the descendant of a long lost Shogun always felt a little too convient to me, what with five Titan Shifters and the heir to the throne all coincidentally coming from the same training corps.
Not only this but Mikasa being important to Hizuru has so far amounted to absolutley nothing in the manga.
The anime makes this reveal even weaker with how its revealed, although that is not entirely Mappa’s fault.
You see, Mikasa having this tattoo should have been set up all the way back in Season One but, for whatever reason, Wit decided to remove it.
So, now that the tattoo is revealed in this episode, it has absolutley no buildup and feels like a retcon.
Following this reveal, we get a brief happy scene with Historia, where she is excited for Mikasa being important because it means she has someone to relate to.
Eren then comments that Historia looks happy, to which she replies that she is.
You know, just to drive the knife deeper into her hearts when she looks so unhappy with her pregnancy later in the episode.
The plan for this pregnancy is revealed in the flashback by Kiyomi, who reveals that Zeke gained her trust by gifting her with ODM Gear, which he got from Mike, who he gruesomely murdered all the way back in Season Two.
With the Ice Burst fuel as a resource, Zeke gives Hizuru a reason to get in bed with Paradis: profit.
This causes Mikasa to realize she is a pretext pretty easily and it is following this that Kiyomi reveals Zeke’s plan to save Eldia but also sacrifice Historia and her descendants.
Paradis will need 50 years to catch up with the rest of the world’s military technology and, in order for the island not to be attacked during that time, the threat of the Rumbling must be maintained.
Therefore, the Founding Titan and a Titan of royal blood must be passed down, meaning that Historia must have children who will then be sacrificed to the same fatal cycle that her family subjected themselves to for centuries, which, again, goes completley against all of Historia’s character development.
Historia agrees to this nonetheless and this is where Eren steps in, furiously proclaiming that Zeke can take his plan and shove it.
Eren’s reaction is a lot more volitle than it was in the manga here and I am personally all for that.
This violence is then continued when the episode cuts back to the present and Eren angrily attacks Hange, after telling her that since he has the Warhammer Titan, he can escape anytime he wants.
Eren furiously demands to know if Hange has some kind of backup plan, as Titan marks and sparks briefly flash up his face.
Hange backs off, playing off Eren’s lunge as a perverted move, before showing the audience how she feels depressed about the state of things, as she tells herself that Erwin made a terrible choice making her Commander.
After this scene, we get the big reveal of Historia’s pregnancy, with her looking dead inside, and a mysterious farmer telling her she needs to take better care of herself.
This farmer is apparently the father, according to members of the Military Police, including Nile, who are shown enjoying some wine togethor, before one drunk guy starts committing blasphemy by degrading Historia.
In all seriousness, this part of the episode was another problem I had with Historia’s pregnancy in the manga.
Historia just gets togethor with a random farmer who we have never seen and have no reason to care about, and also bullied her as a child, contributing to her suicidal ideology when we first met her in the story?
If the farmer is the father then, in my own opinion, this reveal was pretty poorly done.
However, notice that I said “if” because there are a lot of signs for this being a red herring.
Some of these signs, like Historia being said to have never married the farmer and also a panel of a mysterious, hooded figure watching Historia talk to the farmer, were cut in the actual episode.
Still, there are enough signs to make anime only viewers question it, just like us manga readers did.
Only time will tell if I am reading too much into these supposed signs or not.
One thing that is made explicitly obvious rather than just a sign, though, is Niccolo with the wine.
In the manga, this moment was subtle and some people did not pick up on it.
In the episode, however, Niccolo giving the Military Police officers the wine is highlighted by dark lighting and threatening music.
It makes it very obvious that something is up with the wine and I do wish it had been kept more subtle.
After this obvious scene, we get yet another flashback, to one of the last times Eren and his friends were truly happy, as they built a railway togethor, accompanied by a humorous background moment of Armin trying to stop Sasha from drinking all their water.
Levi and Hange show up, giving us another funny moment when levi is offended by how much taller the 104th has become, before Hange delivers the bad news that Hizuru is not willing to help Paradis negotiate with other nations because it wants their resources.
This most likely means they will have to sacrifice Historia, something that is already happening in the present time of the episode.
Yet, Hange has not given up hope and suggests sneaking into Marley to try and make connections because surveying is what the Scouts are all about.
This excites many of the 104th as they ride back on the train, which leads into a heart warming scene of them all discussing who should get Eren’s Titan when his 13 years are up.
Mikasa volunteers first but Jean counters this because she is still important to Hizuru and they don’t know if the Ackermans can become Titans.
Jean then says he would be best but Connie also counters this by saying he is too important and offers to take on the burden himself.
Next comes Sasha, who tells Connie that he is too much of an idiot to handle the responsibility, so she will do it, even though she doesn’t want to.
Connie fires back, declaring that she is just as much of an idiot as he is.
This leads to them both proving themselves idiots, as they comedically state, “Eh?” to each other in confusion.
Eren breaks this comedy by deciding he will not give the Titan to any of them because he wants them all to live long lives, leading to a whole lot of embarrassed blushing among the 104th, to which Armin blames on the sun after Jean yells at Eren about it.
Following this happy, heart warming flashback, it cuts back to the darker times where Mikasa, Armin, Connie and Jean are all reflecting on Eren’s actions, which lead to Sasha’s death.
Connie is particularly angered about this because of Eren laughing when he got the news, not aware that this is how he handles grief, and says they may have to cut Eren down if it comes down to it, which horrifies Mikasa.
Armin also says that the military may be planning to give Eren’s Founding Titan to someone they can trust, as the episode ends with shots of a suspicious looking Eren in his jail cell and even more suspicious Zeke at his “hotel”, still under careful watch from Levi.
Overall, “A Sound Argument” is a decent episode of Attack on Titan.
There are some great moments, like Eren and Hange’s scene and the flashback between the 104th.
However, some things I personally didn’t really like from the manga, like Mikasa’s convient importance that is actually not all that important, are kept and sometimes made weaker.
There are also a few animation issues here and there, like Pyxis’ bulbous head, which had a lot of people comparing him to Megamind.
Still, all in all, “A Sound Argument” is an enjoyable episode.