My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There are things I very much love about Armin and his intelligence tops the list. He takes a hell of a beating at the hands of the female Titan, losing his horse twice (a literal death sentence because humans can't outrun a titan) yet he retains the presence of mind to realize she's checking faces. Armin assumes she's looking for Eren.
Unfortunately for Armin their flare communication system is incapable of transmitting that sort of message and they are powerless to warn Eren's group once the female titan (who knows to protect her weak spots) gets by them.
The second half of this is Levi and Eren's team in the forest, running from the female Titan. Eren is faced with an existential crisis. Is his life worth the lives of all the survery corps members dying to protect him and should he not transform and confront her. His team wants him to trust them but is that trust there?
To highlight this lack of trust, there is a flashback to when Eren is first brought into the team a few weeks before and Zoe is trying to get him to transform on command. I'm not a giant fan of flashbacks but it does work here.
Eren makes his choice and learns that Commander Erwin and Levi had a plan not only to protect him but to further their cause entirely because the existence of both Eren and a female capable of human to titan and back again transformations means a) there is a human hand in the Titan invasion b) there is a spy among them and in fact may be in the survey corps itself.
This cliffhanger has Levi and Erwin about to discover something that might save humanity. The art is much improved at this point and the storyline is getting more complex.
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