Crunchyroll dropped the latest episode of Attack on Titan this week, and fans had it trending on Twitter with the “DeclarationofWar” hashtag. It’s one of the most exciting episodes in the series to date.
There’s a lot to unpack in this part of the anime saga, and given the weighty dialogue, viewers may not have noticed some of the finer details in episode 5.
One of the most thrilling elements was Eren Yeager confronting Reiner directly for the first time after years, ready to uphold his vow. But here’s what else fans should pay attention to.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Attack on Titan, Season 4, Episode 5 “Declaration of War”]
Eren has memories from both the past and future
After devouring his own father, Eren — like other titan shifters — gained memories from the people that previously held his titan’s ability. But we look back in season 3 when Grisha was first bestowed the Attack Titan’s ability from Owl, and Owl knew the names of Mikasa and Armin, despite those two not even being born yet.
Eren’s plan, especially the timing of it, might be the result of having these memories of things that have not actually happened yet. It may also explain his reserved response to all the things that have been happening around him, such as meeting his traumatized grandfather (who he definitely remembers after seeing him in his father’s memories).
This episode contains several callbacks to previous seasons, one of them being Annie’s promise to her father — in which she vowed to come back alive no matter what. Despite being out of commission for some time, it is highly likely that Annie is still alive, and even likelier that she will make an appearance later on this season.
Since Attack on Titan is very particular about which details are in each episode and rarely kills off major characters off screen without a big payoff later — such as with Marco’s death — it’s a safe bet. Don’t be too surprised if we see Annie returning from her crystal nap later this season.
It seems likely that outsiders have allied with the Paradis islanders at some point during the time skip, most notably none other than Miss Kumiko.
From her initial appearance in the previous episode, Miss Kumiko of the Azumabito clan stood out as one of the kinder individuals from outside the walls. While many of the other world leaders have been disdainful towards Paradis Island Eldians, Kumiko protected Udo after he spilled wine on her kimono. She knew what might happen to him if she had not.
In this episode, she decides to the leave with her two associates BEFORE Willy Tybur gives his grand speech to the world leaders, which is awfully suspicious given the weight of the occasion and how far she traveled.
It would also make sense in explaining how Eren and crew were able to seamlessly infiltrate this nation without having knowledge of how to build or even steer large boats or planes when they were inside the walls for so long.
The 104th Squad’s infiltration
As we have learned from this episode and the one prior, Eren has been manipulating the young Eldian boy Falco in order to safely smuggle letters to his comrades. But who exactly has Eren been contacting?
At the end of episode 1 this season, there is a small scene of Jean buying a newspaper in Marley right as the credits rolled. It is no stretch to think that most of the remaining 104th squad cadets have also infiltrated Marley, as well as Captain Levi, who vowed last season to kill Zeke in order to avenge Commander Erwin’s dying wish.
Watch episode 6 of Attack on Titan on Jan. 17.