Shingeki no Kyojin – 13

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*daintily sips out organs* Ahhh yes, a fine brew, this one.

I’m back! I tried to make my absence as undetectable as possible by getting Kyokai’s help. It’s kind of nice to come back from a trip and not have to cram two episodes into one post. So much has happened that it would be hard to cover everything without making a giant wall of text. So thanks again, Kyo! The boss lady always comes through.

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Finally, the hole has been sealed. Mission complete. The plan had a few Titan-sized hiccups , but at least everything wasn’t in vain. Pointless sacrifice is not an option when the population is already dwindling so rapidly. The sentiment is still bittersweet though. It may be a step up, but many lives were still lost. This is a huge milestone for humanity, and it hints at better times to come if they can learn to use Eren’s abilities effectively. Rico cries tears of joy and everyone sighs in relief now that their mission is over. The bitter part of that sweet deal? Their victory is tainted with the deaths of hundreds and the injuries of nearly a thousand.

I found the aftermath of this mission to be especially depressing compared to the previous post-battle scenes. The explicit death count was a nice touch, but so was Jean’s encounter with the half-rotted body of his friend and savior, Marco. I wouldn’t call Jean a main character, but he’s certainly been playing his part consistently as the up-and-coming leader. Marco has been cheering him on and supporting him in his moments of doubt. Nothing too extravagant or scene-stealing, but enough that we can recognize his freckled face immediately compared to the other nondescript soldiers. I never thought I’d care about him dying, but the way his death was handled made me genuinely sad.

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Don’t eat him, he’s too high in fat content! I’m much leaner!

Like Jean, my first thought upon seeing his body was disbelief. Surely this was just another, unfortunate lad with freckles and not Marco. He’d jump out any minute and laugh with Jean like it was a big joke, right? Right? Well, that never happened, leaving me to slowly realize the truth at the same time Jean did. All of this was curtly sped up by a coroner with an “I’ve seen some shit” face that made it all even more eerie and depressing. It’s one thing to rattle off the number of casualties, but it’s another to see someone you care about die. Even Annie – the total hardass with a constant deadpan expression glued on – was mourning the loss of a friend. Seeing just how extensive the damage was and how it affected people like Jean and Annie really made me ask the big question this episode was hinting at: was it worth the sacrifice to block the wall?

The ball of Titan puke didn’t bother me all too much though. It’s hard to make the fact that Titans solely devour humans just for funsies any worse, so this didn’t really add any new layers to their horribleness. It only makes me wonder, yet again, why on earth these creatures think eating humans is a good idea when they just throw them up at the end of the day. This does explain why Eren wasn’t dissolving in the Santa Titan’s belly though.

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All in all, this episode was a bit of a hodgepodge (but pleasantly so, like delicious trail mix). It started with a high-octane, jaw-dropping action sequence then kind of slowed down and made us depressed with the aftermath. The rest was dedicated to Eren befriending the Recon Corps, which isn’t a big surprise to me. He had always wanted to join them, and they have the right levels of kooky and clever to want to use a wildcard like Eren. I doubt the regular soldiers would want to work alongside Eren since he indirectly caused the deaths of so many people. They already tried to shoot him when he hasn’t even hurt anyone, so just imagine their opinion of him now. It wasn’t technically his fault, but I don’t think people think rationally when they want revenge for fallen comrades. The Recon Corps however…well, they’re outcasts themselves in a way, so they won’t be so quick to toss him aside.

Eren fits in with Levi and the Recon Corps. Levi in particular seems like a good match for his babysitter because he’s rather similar to Eren. They both have the burning desire to kill Titans, good fighting skills, and the courage to save their comrades. The key difference here is that Levi uses his brain and Eren just lashes out like a puma being poked with a stick. I think Eren needs that kind of discipline and control to not only curb his recklessness, but to help him develop a strong enough will to use his Titan abilities properly. His inefficiency had next to nothing to do with being too weak, and almost everything to do with his mental state. The basement may hold the true secret to his abilities, but some good old-fashioned discipline might go a long way in helping him until then.

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Obligatory “do you even lift?” joke

I’m kind of excited to see the Recon Corps take a more prominent role. I wonder if they’re as quirky as I imagine, or if I’m just assuming they’re all clones of Zoe in the crazy department. All I know is that these guys are incredibly strong, and anyone who has survived more than one trip outside the wall must be an elite fighter or better. It’s a nice way to start a new arc as the show progresses, and I’m excited to see where things go next. With Attack on Titan, it’s never quiet for long.

Before I wrap this post up, it’s time for some real talk. Can we talk about the animation for a second? I’m usually gushing about how incredible it is (it really is incredible) but this week things were…off. There were periods where it looked amazing, and then sometimes it just cut to scenery or Annie’s nose when action was happening. Yes, Annie’s nose. I thought my computer was lagging because the movements seemed so jerky at times. What happened? I don’t mind using stills to save budget money, but wow, I had to check other blogs to make sure I didn’t download a janky file or something. Guess we can’t have it all, huh?

 Preview: Please tell me this isn’t a recap episode…Oh God, it’s a recap episode, isn’t it?

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Budget saving tips 101: skip the whole “colour” thing

About

A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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22 Responses to “Shingeki no Kyojin – 13”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    They held on to the current OP so it means that we might be looking at the new one for next time. The animation was good in some parts, I’ll give it that, but I was mostly digging the futuristic background music for a show that’s supposed to set in an almost medieval age.

    I don’t recall ever seeing one series taking nine parts to cover an arc. It’s a record in my book but it was well played. Shingeki no Kyojin does a good job of pumping up the excitement. Every time an action sequence hits its climax, it feels as though we’re on the last episode even though it’s not the case.

    One can sympathize with how bittersweet things turned out. A sour side of “The ends justify the means”. Yes, the mission was a success but was it worth the lives of so many in the process? All the deaths, even those of supporting characters manage to tug something out of you. 207 dead or MIA and 897 injured in battle. That’s 1104 lives. It’s a question destined for an endless debate with neither side gaining the final word. At the same time, it’s a look at how soldiers would develop PTSD.

    Eren getting jailed after saving what’s left of the population wasn’t surprising. He got what he wanted: joining the Recon Corps but surely not in these kinds of conditions with Levi having him on a short leash but with that psycho smile on his face, I’m sure he couldn’t care less. What you said is true: Levi is calm and collected while Eren is a hothead on a short fuse.

    There is some interest in Erwin’s speculation of Eren. Some of the Titans may be more than they appear to be. The Colossal Titan appeared and disappeared in the same flash of light Eren did to transform and that could mean he isn’t the only Human/Titan hybrid around. When the Colossal Titan came to Trost’s gate, his actions were as if he was self aware, almost human-like, while the rest of the population ran purely on instinct.

    Side note: Though I said this on RDG already, congratulations on your comment count, OC! It’s over 4000!!

    • Overcooled says:

      I hope so! That opening is just too iconic. I say they just change the ED song, since I always skip it anyways.

      This arc took a while, but I think they did a good job with the pacing on average. There were some slow parts, but nothing too bad. Every episode is so exciting that I wouldn’t mind if one arc took 26 episodes haha.

      A lot of people just freak out at Eren’s presence…thank goodness some people are actually trying to figure him out. I like how Pixis and Erwin think – they wanna get inside the heads of these Titans.

      I saw your thanks, but didn’t get time to reply to comments on that post! Yes, I’m past the 4k mark! I feel like you’ll beat me soon though lol

      • BlackBriar says:

        I hope the new OP is on equal grounds or maybe even better than this one (If that’s even possible). The ED is alright. It highlights the shipping between Eren and Mikasa.

        If Trost took nine episodes to complete, there’s no telling where things will go from here. There are 12 episodes remaining so there might be enough room for two arcs if split evenly.

        This is speculation but I think someone other than Eren’s father is tapping into Titan power. While the lesser ones run on instinct, the Colossal and Armored Titan seem artificial. They’re the only ones that either armor or no skin at all and they did their attack in synchronization.

        Thanks for the compliment. I have the Summer Anime Catalogue to thank for the huge comment increase. I was either talking about upcoming shows or brainwashing people with some of my anime suggestions. The ones who got hooked were Skylion and Irenesharda. 😀

        • skylion says:

          Hooked? No, my rival was just in an interesting direction. He might have said something I took well as a passing fancy, but that is all.

          It’s not like I wanted to watch the show anyway….

        • Awesomeman!234 says:

          pfffft, two arcs, hahaha! The way I see it, they’re just gonna put in the next arc, and give it a somewhat open ended ending, so that they can claim that it was an ending and still shoehorn in the next season (they’ll probably wait a bit to let the manga progress more, though.

      • Highway says:

        I might be the only person who actively dislikes the OP song and animation for this show. I like the ED… when it gets to the chorus, but boy it takes it’s sweet time getting there. Almost nobody can sing full-throated and stridently like Hikasa Youko (the reason that Pure Pure Heart is my favorite Mio song).

        • skylion says:

          I can’t say I dislike it as much, I thought it was a good piece all said and done, but never the EPIC that many lauded it for. And then the darn AMV just never stopped. I hated those.

  2. Irene says:

    “Hanji cries tears of joy and everyone sighs in relief now that their mission is over.”
    ? She didn’t appear in this episode, I thought. Are you talking about Rico (the girl with the white-ish hair)?

    By the way, the part with Annie that seemed “off” to you /does/ have significance. Just sayin’

  3. skylion says:

    I did like how Eren felt that he had alot riding on him, carrying that weight. He could see his friends and comrades fighting and dying to keep him on course, free from any other obstacle. That had impact.

    The rest was, as you say, a nice trail mix. I felt pretty bad about Marco’s death, but since this series is built on the Anyone can Die model, the impact is somewhat less severe.

    Yes, colour is expensive….

    • Overcooled says:

      I liked that too. I’m glad he was finally aware of his actions in his Titan body instead of conveniently having amnesia for everything upon waking up. Now he knows what kind of responsibility rests on his shoulders.

      It’s almost more of a surprise when someone doesn’t die, so I feel you there. Given those expectations, his death was pretty darn sad. D:

  4. Namika says:

    Marco was such a sweet kid. At first I didn’t believe that it was him. So what, Jean is staring at him. It’s like half of his whole body is gone. But then you realize, that it actually IS what you initially thought it would be. That scene was done so well. And that woman…. I just can’t praise this scene enough! Her monologue was so callous, pragmatic and true.

    I agree that announcing the casualties was a great thing to do. It made me realize just how great was the sacrifice for their first true victory. But won’t this affect the troops in a good way? I mean, they may get motivation. Because, before, they had never succeeded, and now, regardless those casualties, they had finally won. This proves that now humanity at least has a chance.

    OOOh~ what’s in that basement?! All of my friends who read the manga tease me to death. “It’s gonna get so complicated..” and blablabla. I hate everyone who reads the manga TT^TT The temptation is so great. But I want to see and hear it, not read and imagine. But I want to know wth is happening….. awwwwwww I don’t know what to doooooooooooooooooooooooo TT^TT

    Levi is so cool. The way he saved Armin and Eren. It was so badass and cool. I wonder, how will he treat Eren. Will he bully(-ish) him? Provoke? :3 Or will it be another blooming bromance… tbh, after Devil Survivor 2, I’m kinda starting to get afraid of bromance

    • Overcooled says:

      I knew I wasn’t the only one in complete denial at first. I think that made the scene even better for me. If I had immediately known it was Marco without any naive doubts, it wouldn’t have affected me as much.

      They can’t show 100s of people die onscreen so that was faster. “Remember all those gruesome deaths you saw? Yeah, that was only a small fraction of the horrors that went on on the battlefield.” It’s a bitter pill to swallow for sure.

      Ahhh my boyfriend keeps teasing me about that too since he’s read it. They know what’s happening next but we have to wait. Oh the agony!

      There is always room for bromance…always.

      • Namika says:

        Depends on how much there is. Bromance is majestic. Too much bromance isn’t really bromance anymore 😀 I’ve learned that after DS2 and KnB

      • Awesomeman!234 says:

        They don’t know whats in the basement either, it hasn’t been revealed in the manga yet.

      • BlackBriar says:

        They know what’s happening next but we have to wait. Oh the agony!

        It’s better to not know and wait for things to come along or it ruins the surprise. Sure, the readers will know what’s next but they won’t be as excited as the non readers.

  5. Namika says:

    Why, spammy, why are you doing this to me???? :(

    And BTW, the OST album is pure awesomeness *~*

    • BlackBriar says:

      Why, spammy, why are you doing this to me????

      It’s his twisted way of showing love towards us regulars.

  6. Irenesharda says:

    “From the time we are born, we are free…
    It doesn’t matter how strong those who would deny us that freedom are…
    Flaming water…frozen earth…I don’t care what it is! The one who sees them, will be the freest person in the world!
    Fight…
    I’d willingly give my life for that! It doesn’t matter how terrifying the world is. It doesn’t matter how cruel the world is.
    Fight…
    Fight! Fight! Fight!
    FIGHT!!!
    -Eren Jäger, Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

    “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
    -Winston Churchill

    “My dad’s philosophy was (and I think still is) that life is a malevolent force, which seeks to destroy you, and you have to struggle with it. Only those who are hard enough will succeed. Most people get crushed, but if you fight, in the end life will go, Fucking hell. This one’s serious. Let him through.”
    -Russell Brand

    Well, we finally, finally, FINALLY finish the Battle of Trost.

    Everyone works together to protect Eren as he, now awakened, moves the boulder through the city to block the wall. It is a powerful and epic scene as everyone does their best, some living to continue the fight and some dying horribly for the cause.

    Eren’s monologue as he goes to fulfill the plan is very powerful and carries great impact even as we see the death surrounding him. Mikasa and Armin work with him to clear the way and in the end, the humans succeed and win for the first time against the Titans.

    However, once again it’s a Pyrrhic victory as they have lost over 200 people and almost 900 have been wounded. We find that another named character has bitten the dust in the form of poor Marco. The guy had a horrible death and it was off screen at that! To see all of these trainees go through this death and devastation, and to see the looks on their faces, you can see they’ve encountered horrors they will never forget.

    We also finally have the arrival of the Recon Corps who’s late to the party. After Eren is fished from out of his Titan body, he’s imprisoned in an underground dungeon (ungrateful ingrates!) and he has a meeting with the Recon Corps’ Erwin and Levi. They basically want what he wants, which is to travel out and retake Wall Maria and then further get to his family’s home basement, using Eren’s Titan powers. Levi doesn’t like Eren much but he seems to admire the look in his eye as the two have a very similar goal. He decides to take responsibility for him and add Eren to the Recon Corps.

    I know that many manga fans seem to love Levi, and I can admit that he is a good fighter and has some honorable qualities about him. However, after only meeting him twice I haven’t really made much connection with him. In fact his abrasive, superior attitude annoys me a little. Especially since the way he talks to our main three heroes who we’ve grown to know and love, is derisive at best. I just keep looking at him and say to myself, “I don’t know you, so you don’t get to talk that way to them.” Yet, I hope as I’m able to get to know him better, that I find more to like about him.

    Well, I will give this episode a 8/10. The beginning was awesome and powerful, but the second half was laying the misery on a little too thick. Next time is a recap episode, but thankfully they won’t count it in the episode count. I might glance through it, but I generally loath recap episodes.

    Oh, and by the way, seeing as today is pretty special day where I’m from, I’ll add a post-review quote that is apropos to the holiday, as well as this series. For though the setting is different, the meaning still carries through.

    “Good morning…Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We’re fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”
    -President Thomas J. Whitmore, Independence Day

    (:P, I just had to do it.)

    • BlackBriar says:

      Eren’s monologue reaffirms that mankind has a birthright the Titans have no right to interfere with and that he wants to see what lies beyond these isolated walls.

      “The health of the eye seems to demand the horizon. We are never tired so long as we can see far enough.”
      – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • Overcooled says:

      I loved how things were set up from Eren picking up the boulder to finally completing his mission. It really was a great sequence of hope followed by despair. The fact Marco died offscreen was even worse. Jean even mentions how tragic it is that no one saw his death or could praise him for his heroism before he was killed. He saved Jean’s life and then ended up rotting in an alleyway without anyone even knowing his name. That’s not how a hero should die.

      Levi seems like one of the more popular characters for sure…and I don’t know why yet either. Yeah, he’s cool on the battlefield, but otherwise he just doesn’t make much of an impression. He’s so deadpan it’s hard to tell what he’s like at the moment. :/ I wanna know more about him too to see where the appeal is.

      Oh right, you guys have fireworks and stuff today. Happy 4th of July! That quote works pretty well if you imagine them going to war with giant, man-eating behemoths

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