The shocking implications of the previous episode’s climax has opened a can of worms for several anime fans.
As manga readers remain mum regarding the explosive events yet to follow; anime fans are both, confused and invigorated, by Eren’s new sizzling design.
Granted, the anime has not explicitly established the man speaking to Falco as Eren. However, the final shot of his impassioned teal-green eyes were a major give-away.
But this man who’s lost an eye and a limb – surely that can’t be the Eren that we knew! If yes, how did Eren lose his leg and eye?
Brace yourselves for the information that you’re about to read. Fair warning! They’re spoilers for anime-onlys. But if your curiosity trumps that, then scroll ahead.
Chapter 130 of the manga finally reveals that the temporary loss of Eren’s eye and leg was just due to his unshaken commitment to his disguise at Marley, and within a larger context, his plan.
Two panels within the chapter illustrate Eren himself cutting his left calf and stabbing his left eye.
1. Is that Eren at the end of Episode 3? / Post-timeskip Eren – Hobo Eren?
Episode 3 of Attack on Titan’s season 4 ended on powerful note, to say the least.
The episode in itself was an exemplary work of adaptation – possibly one of the best Attack on Titan episodes! The episode majorly focused on Reiner’s ascent into, what he believed to be, a “hero”.
One of the surprising aspects of this narrative was the fact that Reiner’s abilities were considered inadequate for becoming a Warrior.
And it was by pure manipulation on Marcel’s part that he gained his opportunity to become a Warrior.
As Bertholdt breaks the wall, not only did they instigate a change in Paradis Island but they also did within themselves. We see Reiner shed his insecurities to take on the role of a ‘big brother’ to fill in the gap that Marcel left upon his demise.
And the best way the story presents this change is his brotherly and supportive moment with Eren who feels inadequate during their training days.
Seeing himself in Eren, Reiner guides him by telling him to just “keep moving forward”. And it is this very sentence that Isayama and Studio MAPPA use to implicit Eren’s true identity post-timeskip.
As the episode draws to a close, we encounter the same war veteran that Falco comes across in the previous episode.
Falco confides his deepest concerns with this man and for a good while, it seems that a sense of carmaraderie has been established between the two since.
It is until the camera pans to reveal the man’s face as he utters “keep moving forward” that fans felt a chill down their spine. In short, yes that is Eren.
Frankly, I’m surprised that Studio MAPPA chose to insinuate this a little earlier than expected.
Due to the monochrome scheme of the manga, it was harder to gauge his identity while reading. So the reveal was stretched a bit further and was extremely shocking.
I was afraid it would be way too obvious in the anime due to the voice actor and obviously, the input of colour.
However, this decision to reveal his identity in a tacit manner with a dramatic sound effect seemed to elicit a similar reaction. So kudos to MAPPA there!
It won’t hurt to know that this Eren is affectionately termed as “Hobo Eren” by manga readers.
But why does Hobo Eren only have one leg and one eye? Read further to your own discretion! If you choose to make the leap, you’ll find some interesting facts laid before you.
2. How Did Eren Lose His Leg & Eye?
Without giving much away, I’ll answer this for you curious cats! Eren may have lost his leg and his eye, but it’s important to remember, that he hasn’t lost his Titan-shifting abilities.
Therefore, this shouldn’t be a cause of alarming concern as he still possesses his regenerative abilities.
And it seems like Eren has been pushing his limits during these four years. He has greater control over his regenerative abilities, enough to maintain his disguise.
In Chapter 100, which will be adapted into either Episode 4 or 5, we see Eren regrow his leg and his eye. This establishes the fact that the disability merely had a strategic value.
The why of it is as simple as Eren’s commitment to his future plans and his disguise that plays a part in it. Chapter 100 hinted this but Chapter 130 confirms this.
Chapter 130 takes a deep dive into Eren’s monologue with an array of flashbacks laid out before us.
Most of them fill the gaps within the story as we finally get to see Eren’s perspective and the events that lead up to his actions in the final arc.
And in this temporary narrative shift, Isayama reveals to us that Eren stabs his own eye and cuts off his left leg. Its scary implications really tap into Eren’s nature and his commitment to Paradis Island’s future.
3. Has Eren changed? What Is His Plan?
After this reveal and some consequent actions, one of the discussions fans were embroiled in was whether Eren changed. And funnily enough, characters within the story grappled with this thought as well.
Has Eren changed? Yes and no. Eren has grown up and matured with respect to ideations of what is right and wrong. He has left go of the stark dichotomy between right and wrong, heroes and villains after seeing life in Marley.
But has he truly changed? No. Fans have misleading beliefs that Eren shedding his headstrong and loudmouth attitude to problems is him “changing”.
However, his core nature hasn’t. Mikasa’s monologue in Chapter 123 addresses this.
She recalls the incident of Eren murdering the human traffickers – a foundational event that reveals Eren’s true nature. Fans complain about Mikasa’s lack of understanding towards Eren but this chapter negates that.
While she may have lacked an understanding before, but she comes to a realisation that maybe Eren hasn’t truly changed after all.
Eren establishes this in Chapter 121 during his “memory-walk” bonding time with his brother, Zeke. In reference to the murder, he says “it’s who I’ve been since I was born”.
He also claims that he wouldn’t hesitate to take freedom from someone who was willing to take his away.
Anime fans felt a wave of his sombreness back in Season 3 during the ocean scene.
The only important clue I’ll leave you is – go back to Episode 22 of Season 3 and notice Eren’s expression after he kisses Historia’s hand during the ceremony. It will provide greater context for what it is to come.
As to what his plan is, a spoiler-free answer is that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the freedom of Paradis Island and help his friends live a long life.
One of the stronger reasons why this season is going to set a benchmark for storytelling is Hobo Eren himself.
One can debate over his nature as much as they want, but the excellence of his character cannot be underplayed from any perspective.
4. About Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. Kodansha publishes it in the Bessatsu Shonen Magazine.
The manga began serialization on September 9th, 2009, and continues to date with 30 tankōbom formats.
Attack on Titan follows humanity settled within three concentric walls to protect themselves from the terrifying titans that prey on them.
Eren Yeager is a young boy that believes that a caged life is similar to that of cattle and aspires to go beyond the walls one day, just like his heroes, the Survey Corps. The emergence of a deadly Titan unleashes chaos.Originally Written By Epic Dope