Death and life go hand in hand in Attack on Titan. The Titans' powers have brought the world to a military, repressive halt, and not a single second should be taken for granted by the people of Paradis, Marley, or the rest of the planet. Throughout the series, Eren Jaeger and the 104th Cadet Corps witness the deaths of innumerable comrades and allies in the fight for liberty.

Because of the serious tone of Attack on Titan, it has a few of the most emotional episodes in anime history. While a couple of these episodes include some happy moments, the vast majority are a tribute to the challenges and tribulations that the show's protagonists face on a regular basis.

10 "A Sound Argument"

Season 4, Episode 10

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_0

The emotional weight of Attack On Titan is mostly due to the death and loss that many of its characters experience. That isn't to suggest the series is devoid of lighthearted moments, as illustrated by the flashback in the 69th episode, "A Sound Argument."

This flashback takes place during the timeskip that occurs between Attack on Titan's third and fourth seasons, providing a rare glimpse into the daily lives of the 104th Cadet Corps. Watching the group relax as they lay down railroad tracks feels like a scene from a slice-of-life anime, and it captures one of their last fleeting moments of happiness as they prepare for Attack on Titan's climactic conclusion.

9 "Attack Titan"

Season 3, Episode 21

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_1

During her time as a member of the 104th Cadet Corps, Ymir plays a major role during Attack on Titan's first three seasons, forming a bond with Historia Reiss that defines the trajectory of both characters. Their relationship makes Ymir's death an emotional gut punch when it finally happens in Season Three.


Ymir decides to return to Marley with Reiner and the Marleyan forces, but not before leaving a heart-breaking letter for her closest friend, Historia. As Ymir is fed to the next Jaw Titan, the Queen of Eldia reads her friend's final words, including the confession that Ymir's only regret was not marrying Historia.

8 "That Day"

Season 3, Episode 20

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_2

Grisha Jaeger's origin remains shrouded in mystery for most of Attack on Titan, but in Season Three, fans finally receive some much-needed clarity regarding his past. "That Day," primarily consists of a flashback that tells Grisha's story, focusing heavily on the loss of his sister and wife.

Grisha and his sister ventured outside Marley's detention zone as children. They were finally apprehended, prompting the guards to execute Grisha's sister in cold-blooded murder. This, as well as Grisha's wife's execution in Paradis years later, are both represented in "That Day," giving life to the poisonous force that is Marley.

7 "Descent"

Season 3, Episode 15

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_3

Although Marco Bodt doesn't receive much screen time in Attack on Titan because of his death in Season One, his death continues to play a role in multiple narrative arcs. During the Return to Shiganshina Arc, this build-up culminates in the reveal that Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie were forced to kill Marco after he overheard their plans as Marleyans.

Knowing that Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie killed Marco is bad enough — seeing it unfold is an entirely different type of torture. His confused cries send the trio (and especially Reiner) spiraling down a path of guilt and trauma, and they only add to what is one of the series' most painfully evocative flashbacks.

6 "The Door of Hope"

Season 4, Episode 3

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_4

Virtually no topic is too extreme for Attack on Titan, but even with this in mind, Reiner Braun's depression and suicidal thoughts are a bit of a surprise when they manifest during the show's fourth season. In Attack on Titan's 62nd episode, "The Door of Hope," Reiner reflects on his troubled childhood in Marley, leading him down a dark path of doubt and self-loathing.


Reiner was completely indoctrinated as a child and strongly believed that the only way he could make his mother proud was by becoming one of the Nine Titans. However, by the events of "The Door of Hope," it's painfully clear that becoming the Armored Titan did little for Reiner. Were it not for the upcoming generation, it's likely that he would have taken his own life during this sequence.

5 "The Final Chapters (Part One)"

Season 4, Episode 29

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_5

"The Final Chapters (Part One)" is the hour-long first part of Attack on Titan's finale, and despite enormous expectations, it wonderfully represents the world's ultimate stand-off with Eren Jaeger. This special's runtime, around three times that of a typical episode, allows it to deliver a cinematic experience that is far more fitting for such a spectacle.

As Eren nears his goal of world annihilation, Attack on Titan's protagonists prepare for one final stand that will determine the future of humanity itself. Along the way, characters like Hange Zoe must sacrifice their lives, setting the series up for a breakneck finale.

4 "Memories Of The Future"

Season 4, Episode 20

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_6

Eren Jaeger's relationship with his half-brother, Zeke, is as nuanced as any in anime. The pair experienced vastly different sides of their father, Grisha, so when they stroll through his memories in Attack on Titan's fourth season, their personal identities are at stake.

Zeke slowly starts to question his hatred of his father after watching Grisha give Eren the love and affection that he deserved, but in an unexpected twist, this sequence reveals more about Eren than his two family members. A slave to his self-imposed vision for the world, Eren does the unthinkable by using his powers as the Attack Titan to communicate with his father in the past. He drives Grisha to kill the Reiss family with this ability, setting himself up as the final villain of the entire series.

3 "Midnight Sun"

Season 3, Episode 18

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_7

The minds of Erwin Smith and Armin Arlert are two of the most important weapons at the disposal of the Survey Corps. They save their peers from death on countless occasions, so when these same peers are forced to decide which of their lives will be saved, it creates one of the toughest decisions in Attack on Titan.

During "Midnight Sun," the Survey Corps realize the magnitude of their losses from the Battle for Shiganshina. Erwin and Armin are both clinging to life, forcing the survivors to decide which one should be saved by transferring the powers of the Colossal Titan.

2 "To You, In 2000 Years: The Fall Of Shiganshina, Part 1"

Season 1, Episode 1

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_8

Attack on Titan predominately takes place after the initial fall of Wall Maria. However, when the beloved shonen first begins, its protagonists still enjoy a life of nativity, blissfully unaware of the threats that lie outside their walls.


"To You, In 2000 Years: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 1" captures this quaint lifestyle perfectly, comforting the viewer with scenes of Eren's peaceful life before bringing it crashing down with the attack of the Colossal Titan. Despite only knowing the characters for tens of minutes, the death of Eren Jaeger's mother hits as hard as any in the show's subsequent seasons.

1 "Assassin's Bullet"

Season 4, Episode 8

10 Most Emotional Attack On Titan Episodes, Ranked_9

The decision to start Attack on Titan's fourth season with a brand-new set of characters in Marley is bold, but it pays off wonderfully thanks to the presence of characters like Gabi Braun and Falco Grice. Eventually, this group collides with Eldia's familiar characters, spawning a conflict that leaves many dead and even more injured. However, there's no doubt which loss affected viewers the most — Sasha Braus.

Sasha's aloof nature and voracious appetite gave Attack on Titan some much-needed levity, and her death signals that the final stretch of the series will not be easy. Her life is ripped away immediately after Eldia's biggest victory, proving that the cyclical nature of war spares no soul.

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