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Why Was Armin Crying on Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 16?

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There was one moment on Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 16 that anime-only viewers will be wondering about until the show returns. Why was Armin crying? The moment seemed really odd, but viewers have a lot of theories.

This Attack on Titan article will have spoilers for Season 4 Episode 16, but the article itself is manga-spoiler-free. For anime-only discussions, join us on Discord or in our AoT Facebook page.  We’ll be analyzing this anime in-depth until the show returns.

When Yelena talks with Connie, Mikasa, Jean, Sasha’s dad, Armin, and the others, she reveals Zeke’s ultimate plan, which basically involves euthanizing all the Eldians by making them incapable of procreating. This, he believes, will wipe out the Titans once and for all and end the suffering they’ve caused. (I have my doubts about this plan, since it only ends one type of problem. Marley still wants to essentially subjugate the whole world. Not to mention, this is a bit “blaming the victim” on Zeke’s part. Eldians are only turning into Titans because Marley is using this as a punishment. King Fritz declared peace a long time ago.)

But back to Armin’s crying scene! There’s a weird moment where Armin starts crying and talking about how beautiful Yelena’s euthanization plan is. Others, like Jean, are NOT on board. But Armin thinks it’s a beautiful plan.

There are different ways to look at it. On one hand, you might think he’s being authentic because Bertholdt’s personality is invading his own. Bertholdt might believe similarly to Yelena and Zeke if he was presented with Zeke’s real plan. And Eren already warned Armin that his obsession with Annie was a sign that Bertholdt was getting to him.

But there’s another possibility.

Some fans think that Armin’s crying scene is all an act. We know from the past that Armin will do whatever it takes to get his enemy to lower their guard and trust him. He convinced Bertholdt that Annie was being tortured. He convinced Titan Annie (before he knew the Female Titan was Annie), that Eren had been killed in a battle, so he could gauge her reaction. In a different scene, he tried to convince Annie that he just wanted to talk to her as friends to get her into the tunnel. Armin’s not above lying to his enemy in order to advance his cause. He may not be the best actor and they don’t always fall for it, but he’s tried so many times before that I can only imagine he’s doing it again.

Many fans believe he’s fake-crying.

Some think it’s a little of both. He’s faking it, but there’s a small part of him (the part that is influenced by Bertholdt) who feels her motives are at least noble.

On Reddit, some even think it’s more of a cry of relief, because he realized in that moment that Eren would never go along with a euthanization plan, so he must be conning Zeke.

What do you think? I personally am leaning toward Armin faking it, based on what he’s done in the past.

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Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. Her favorite shows of all-time are Attack on Titan, Battlestar Galactica and Lost, and she's always happy to talk about her cats. 🙂 She's a licensed attorney (currently not-practicing) and has a master's in science and technology journalism.

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