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This article is about the 38th episode of the Attack on Titan anime. For the manga chapter of the same name, see Smoke Signal (Chapter).


Quote1 Beyond the Wall, there's a sea, or so Armin said.... But past the sea...I always wondered what's past that.... Quote2
— Eren wonders what lies beyond the sea

Smoke Signal (狼煙 Noroshi?) is the 1st episode of the 3rd season and the 38th episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G.

Overview

In a cabin in Wall Rose, the top ten and Armin are surprised by their inclusion into Squad Levi. Eren is made to run some tests in Titan form, but fails to harden his body. Hange brings news of Pastor Nick's death at the hands of the interior MP's. The Scouts then flee to Trost after hearing from Erwin.

The government is opposing the Scout Regiment, demanding custody of Eren and Historia. Levi runs a decoy strategy so Jean and Armin are abducted instead of the targets. Mikasa subdues the kidnappers as Levi watches Eren's hearse. While looking on, Levi is ambushed by an old adversary and his team.

Summary

Somewhere, Eren Jaeger looks out over the sea as gulls fly overhead. His hair has gotten long and shaggy, and he reflects on how he has always wondered what was beyond it.

Levi Squad in the middle of shenanigans

The new squad bonds in the cabin

In the present day, Eren and the remaining top ten members of the 104th Cadet Corps and Armin Arlelt settle into a remote rural cabin. They bicker over cleaning, Sasha Braus stealing food, and Mikasa Ackermann working out so soon after having been grabbed by a Titan. It reminds them of their time together in the Cadet Corps, but times have changed. The group of them have been organized into the new Levi Squad to protect Eren and Historia Reiss.

As the group confronts Sasha to get her to put back the stolen bread, Levi arrives and swipes his hand underneath the table. He notes with disappointment that they should have had enough time, but postpones that discussion for later, instead taking the squad out to work on Hange Zoë's experiment regarding Eren's powers.

The experiment goes poorly, with Eren exhibiting increasingly less control over his transformations, to the point his Titan no longer appears at its full size and has lost significant muscle mass. Additionally, most of Eren's body is hanging out the back of the nape.

Hange tries to pull Eren out of his Titan

Hange tries to pull Eren out of his Titan

When he does not respond to Hange's shouts, Mikasa jumps off her horse and runs up to him with her blades drawn. Hange also comes down to Eren and tries pulling his body from his Titan. Eren's face has withered away to Hange's excitement and she asks Moblit Berner to make a sketch. Mikasa cuts him free though, giving Hange another look at him, and she apologizes, realizing that she had gotten carried away.

Seeing Eren in this state, the Scouts conclude that they are a long way from using his hardening ability to seal Wall Maria. Hange announces that the experiment is done and Keiji informs the Scouts to make sure there are no witnesses. However, in the distance, two people are watching the smoke from Eren's transformation.

That evening in Trost District, Erwin Smith reads the report Levi has brought regarding Hange's failed experiment. Levi believes the problem is that they lack information about the hardening ability. He wonders if they could get the information they need through Historia. Erwin says he looked into her background and she is the illegitimate daughter of Lord Reiss, but the real mystery is why a regional lord like him would know the secrets of the Wall.

Conny realizes his emotions are getting the better of him

Conny realizes his emotions are getting the better of him

After sleeping for a full day, Eren comes into the kitchen of the cabin to help his fellow squad members prepare food. He is disappointed that the plan to repair the Wall has been shelved because of him. Conny Springer admits that all he cares about now is getting a chance to fight the Beast Titan. Realizing that he is getting caught up in his anger and the memory of his mother being transformed into a Titan, Conny says it is about time to change the lookouts and leaves with Mikasa.

Historia comments that it is nice that Eren and the others have goals, even if they are not easy ones. Now that Ymir is gone she no longer knows what she wants. At first, she wanted to save her, but then she realized that Ymir leaving was her own choice, and she has no right to change that. Eren is glad that Historia has started speaking again, but she apologizes that the good-girl Christa that everyone knew no longer exists. However, Eren admits that he never liked her previous self, because it felt forced and unnatural. Now she is like a normal, honest girl. As he also remembers Ymir, a memory of her and Bertholdt Hoover comes back to him.

Eren and Historia are called to join everyone else, and Hange goes over the death of Pastor Nick. He was tortured and then killed earlier this morning in the Trost District barracks by the First Interior Squad of the Military Police Regiment, a group that normally operates in the capital. Hange was not able to get more than a glimpse of the body, but it was enough to see that all his fingernails had been torn out. From this Levi is able to conclude that Nick had not talked before being killed, which means the Military Police does not know the Scouts are looking into the Reiss family.

The Scouts after abandoning their cabin

The Scouts abandon the cabin

Nifa arrives with a message from Erwin. On reading it, Levi orders everyone to move out, and to leave no trace that they were here. By sunset, the cabin is swarmed by Military Police, but Levi and Hange's squads are already outside in the woods. Levi reveals that the government has frozen all Scout activity outside of the Wall and demanded that Eren and Historia be handed over. Nifa adds that after she received the message from Erwin, the Military Police came to arrest him.

Levi decides to take everyone to Trost District, because it would be safer than the interior and they can use omni-directional mobility gear in the city. Hange decides that she and Moblit will go after Erwin, but she leaves Abel, Keiji, and Nifa behind to assist Levi. Before she climbs on her horse, Eren hands her a note covering the conversation he remembered between Ymir and Bertholdt.

The next day in Trost District, Conny notices that the royal family's flag is hanging everywhere due to the anniversary of the King's coronation. The Military Police takes the opportunity to distribute rations from the royal family's reserves to the population of Trost and build public favor of the King. This is a calculated move by the King and his court. Lord Reiss tells the other advisors assembled that the more important thing for them is to obtain the power and the vessel. They already have a plan in motion.

Mikasa warns Levi about Armin's disguise

Mikasa warns Levi that Armin's disguise is not going to last

Meanwhile, a wagon barrels through Levi and the Scouts with him. The people inside grab what appears to be Eren and Historia, but they are really Jean Kirschtein and Armin in disguise, while Eren and Historia are being transported in a different, enclosed wagon by Keiji. Levi and his squad chase after the kidnappers. Due to one of them molesting Armin, Mikasa warns Levi that their disguises are not going to last. Noting that the kidnappers appear to be amateurs, he leaves the situation in his squad's hands while he goes to Eren.

As the lead kidnapper and his henchmen enter the warehouse where Jean and Armin are being held, they notice the guard is missing. Mikasa and the rest of the squad, including Jean and Armin, who have already been freed, attack the remaining kidnappers. The kidnappers are quickly restrained and Mikasa informs the rest of the squad that after tying them up they are to meet with Levi.

Elsewhere, Levi joins Nifa on a rooftop where they have a good view of Keiji's journey through the city with Eren and Historia. However, even though the body double decoy was a success, Levi realizes that using such amateurs does not feel like a Military Police operation. He asks Nifa if she has heard of Kenny the Ripper and assures her that the legendary mass murderer is a real person. Levi grew up with him, and this operation feels like something Kenny would do.

Levi confronts Kenny

Levi confronts Kenny

He realizes too late, that in Kenny's place, he would have two groups tailing the wagon from the rear, from a high place with a view, just like where they are now. Levi tries to warn Nifa, but is too late as Kenny blows off part of her head using ODM that has been modified to carry a shotgun instead of a blade. More soldiers appear, of a unit that has not been seen before, and one of them kills Abel. Kenny taunts Levi as he stalks up the rooftop and reloads his guns, and Levi screams as he draws his blades to retaliate.

Currently Publicly Available Information

Titan Bodies

ACPAI38

The body of every Titan varies significantly, but each has a weak spot of height 1 meter and width 10 cm at their nape, corresponding to the size of a human's spinal cord through to their brain. When severed, this area ruins a Titan's regenerative ability and results in their destruction. It is thought that this vital organ, the source of their being, is none other than a human inside.

Characters in order of appearance

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Start a Discussion Discussions about Smoke Signal (Episode)

  • Episode #38: "Smoke Signal"

    37 messages
    • Freeman1378 wrote: This was an ok episode in my opinion as it was mostly good but also had some easy to spot issues. - I agree with every...
    • Tdfern14 wrote: Freeman1378 wrote: This was an ok episode in my opinion as it was mostly good but also had some easy to spot issues. - I ag...
  • Episode #38 Poll, Featured Article, and Featured Image

    23 messages
    • LOL I had to prioritize the spinning while still keeping a reasonable file name :P
    • Ha ha ha ha! Always amazed by your skills Ahmed :) Wasn't sure about the feature and still isn't but that's hilarious.