Attack on Titan: Sasha’s Bravest Act Still Resonates Four Years Later

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 11 of Attack on Titan, "Deceiver," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Amazon Prime and Hulu.

In Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 8, "Assassin's Bullet," Sasha was killed by Gabi, who snuck onto the Eldian airship with Falco. The two Warrior candidates were then arrested, and fans, as well as the Survey Corps, said goodbye to the fan-favorite character. While Sasha is dead, the impact she had on those around her still resonates, with her bravest act even impacting the girl who killed her.

Sasha's Bravest Act

Back in Season 2, Episode 2, "I'm Home," Sasha heads toward her hometown after learning there are Titans nearby. On her way, she comes across a village, which seems abandoned except for an unlucky mother and child, Kaya. The town abandoned them, making them easy prey for a Titan, who eats the mother as Kaya sits in horror. Unlike the villagers, Sasha jumps in to try and save Kaya and her mother, even though she does not have her ODM gear. Unfortunately, she can't kill the Titan or save the mother, but she can drag Kaya out. After the town abandoned Kaya, this act of kindness takes her by surprise.

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With the Titan catching up to them, Sasha tells Kaya to keep running while she holds him back, knowing her chances of survival are slim. However, Sasha refuses to give up, successfully blinding the Titan to buy them time. This episode captures some of Sasha's best qualities, and while she's often been one of the more silly characters in Attack on Titan, that doesn't change the fact that she's one of the bravest and kindest members of the Survey Corps.

How "I'm Home" Impacted Kaya, Gabi and Falco

In "Deceiver," Kaya now lives with Sasha's family at Braus Stables, and they help support the children who've lost their families due to the Titan attacks four years earlier. While in the woods, Kaya comes across Gabi and Falco, who are arguing about what to do in order to get back to Marley. Unbeknownst to them, she overhears them, but despite this, Kaya invites them home.

Gabi and Falco are nervous at first at the idea of eating with "devils," but what takes them back, even more, is the Braus family's kindness. Gabi still holds onto the anti-Eldian rhetoric Marley drilled into her, and she doesn't accept that any Eldian from Paradis can be genuinely kind, even accusing Kaya of not taking responsibility for her ancestors' sins. It's here that Kaya reveals she knows they're from Marley, and instead of judging Gabi for her offensive beliefs, Kaya simply asks if that is what they teach them in Marley. This, along with Gabi attempting to kill her moments later, would be enough for most people in Attack on Titan to turn the two in, but Kaya covers for them and takes Gabi and Falco to her former home.

Once there, she explains her mother's death in hopes of getting answers for why this happened. Gabi blames the Titan attack on her mother because of Eldia's atrocities a century ago, but Kaya reminds her that her mom wasn't alive then, questioning how it's possible for those alive to be responsible for the sins of those long dead. Gabi, trying to prove herself right, then blames Kaya and her mother for the Liberio attack, but Kaya reminds her that her mother was dead by then, so it couldn't be her fault.

While this appears to shatter Gabi's worldview, Kaya isn't trying to attack her, only losing it because she's defending her mom and wants answers about why the attack happened. After learning the truth from Falco, he apologizes, and Kaya calms down, but she also expresses that it's weird he's apologizing for something he didn't do. Where the Eldians from Marley believe they need to be held accountable for everything wrong in the world, Kaya assures the Warrior candidates that it's not always their fault.

Falco also asks how Kaya escaped a Titan, and she shares Sasha's story, adding that Sasha wouldn't abandon "people like you with nowhere to go." Like Sasha, Kaya understands Gabi and Falco are in need of help, and regardless of the risks, she's willing to assist them, not only offering to take them to Niccolo, a chef from Marley, but also changing their worldviews on Eldians, which will hopefully lead to the deconstruction of their internalized hatred.

This already seems to be the case, with Gabi unable to understand Kaya's kindness, but for Kaya it's simply because she wants to be like Sasha. While Gabi ended Sasha's life, the impact Sasha had on Kaya is now affecting her and Falco as they learn more about Paradis.

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