Unbelievably, it’s been three years since Attack on Titan first aired. Season 2 is waiting for the manga to advance four story arcs ahead – for the content to match up without the anime creators having to create original content, so fans have been waiting for a resolution to that cliffhanger from oh so long ago.

But we can get our fix of this morbid fascination of man-eating giants with the video game that will be releasing this month on August 30. It’s been a while since the first episode aired in 2013, but in order to catch up and get excited for the release – especially because the video game will pass where the anime left off – here are some of the best episodes of the series.

“To You, in 2000 Years: The Fall of Shinganshina, Part 1”

As with many other episode lists, the pilot usually makes an appearance and this one is no different. The first episodes set us up for the coming plot and conflict. And boy, does it not disappoint. We’re gifted with our first Titan right from the get-go, followed by the introduction of the awesome omni-directional tool, and then the absolutely epic opener. This is all just the first five minutes. And within the first 10 minutes we pretty well know what the tone will be for the remainder of the series: ridiculously depressing. So enjoy!

“A Dim Light Amid Despair: Humanity’s Comeback, Part 1”

There’s not much humor in this show, so the brief glimpses we get are remarkably refreshing. And not only can we chuckle at Jean’s crush on Mikasa and Potato Girl liking food a little too much, we’re introduced to the rest of the supporting cast in the this episode; this is before everything totally goes to shit, so it’s nice to see these soldiers as just cadets instead of the hardened and frightened fighters they are now.

“The World She Saw: Battle of Trost, Part 2”

If anyone wondered as to why Mikasa lived with the Jaegar family, the answer is in this episode. We not only get to witness Mikasa slicing away at Titans because she’s a badass, but also delve into her past and why she wears that scarf. And that makes her discovery of Eren’s supposed demise all the more heart wrenching.

“Bite: 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 3”

One of the satisfying and inspiring episodes, this one flashbacks to when Eren was still training and living at the castle grounds with the Scout Regiments. While they’re being chased by the Female Titan in the current storyline, Petra urges Eren to trust her and the team instead of going off and changing into a Titan. He goes on to remember both a tense and tender bonding experience that convinces him to go along with their plan and continue forward without venturing out alone.

“Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1”

Although many saw it coming (who else has blonde hair and a pointed nose?) it was a nice confirmation that we know who our female Titan is with this episode. But how she’s revealed is dramatic and frightening, not only because she explodes into Titan at the end of the episode, but because Annie is always so stoic and straight-faced, it’s hard to read her, and when she starts laughing and yelling, the effect is disturbing.

“First Battle: Battle of Trost District, Part 1”

This is probably one of the most shocking episodes in the series despite it only being episode number five. In the most anticlimactic way, especially with how spirited and determined Eren is, he’s taken out of the first large-scale battle by getting his leg bitten off and then he gets eaten. Not the most fitting end for our protagonist.

“Hearing the Heartbeat: Battle of Trost District, Part 4”

The raging Titan is discovered to be Eren and there’s a heartwarming moment where Mikasa rushes to his side and finally breaks down and cries. And before that, we get to see little Armin come up with a number of battle strategies to get them out alive. From meek little boy to aspiring commander, he’s becoming more and more confident in his abilities and that’s evident from here on in until the end of the season.

“Wall: Assault on Stohess, Part 3”

There’s fighting and angst and drama – and the things you need for a cliffhanger ending to a popular seires. This one has everything and more with Eren raging (as usual) in his fight against Annie, Annie taking a bit of a hiatus, and still leaving us wondering what the hell is in Eren’s basement. Maybe we’ll get to find out soon.

Photos via Attack on Titan Wikia

Born in Michigan and the graduate of a small college that no one has heard of, Jess is a freelance writer and document designer who loves pastries, Bob Ross, Miyazaki films, and Halloween.