It’s cleaning time on this week’s Attack on Tide.
|Attack on Titan is known best for being a crazy action series that relentlessly throws punches to the guts of the audience by layering despair atop of yet more despair. Character deaths, massive suffering, torture – you name it. That visceral component is what makes this show so addictive and exciting. This week abandons that for a little down time. That’s right, it’s time for some spring cleaning.|
If you ever doubted that the Recon Corps was short on crazy, then episode 15 almost certainly dispelled such notions. They’re not just a little crazy…some of them border on full-time psycho. We all know the “sniffing guy” (Mike) was a bit kooky, and sure, there are quite a few odd ones. However, there’s no doubt that some of them are more than just odd. Hanji is one of the more extreme ones, and I’m starting to suspect that the other members aren’t all as they seem. Erwin explicitly states he’s hiding behind a mask, and may be the one behind the killing of Bean and Sawney. His motives? Impossible to tell from that stoney gaze. I still suspect that he may secretly be the craziest of them all.
One of the more subtle ones is Auruo Bossard. As Eren rattled off the kill tallies of the Recon corps soldiers, he was the only one to not fall into a very marked pattern. Most of them have a very high assisted kill count (because it’s easier) and a lower individual kill count (because no one is crazy enough to take on a Titan by themselves). Auruo killed more Titans by himself than with the help of others. A lot more. He’s either a super killer or he hates helping others. Or both. Either way, the guy is some sort of frightening fighting prodigy to take down almost 40 Titans single-handedly. Compare it to the stats of everyone else and you’ll see why it’s such a big deal.
I really liked learning all about the Recon corps. Even just little things, like how Levi likes to clean and used to be a thug. I really can’t wait to see that explained to us a little more in the future. For now, I’m content learning just a little at the time. This episode doesn’t overwhelm us with facts. It slowly lets us meet and greet the soldiers one at a time so we feel comfortable with all of these new faces. The overall feeling was quite pleasant for a change. Everyone was getting along (for the most part). There was no scaling walls and slashing the necks of Titans, but it was still interesting. Good to know this show can still hold its weight during the slower episodes that focus on characters.
We glean a few tidbits about everyone except Hanji – who gives us a whole chunk of info about herself. She talks to Eren for 12 hours straight, after all. The take home message here is that Hanji is a mad scientist and one of the best characters in the show so far. Anyone suffering from a lack of Sasha’s antics can hopefully satisfy themselves with Hanji fangirling over Titans. They look like giant sacks of potatoes anyways, so there’s not much of a difference in their interests (aside from the fact that one is something you eat and one eats you).
Where to start with my dearest Hanji? Well, she loves Titans for one. She didn’t used to be fond of them though. Whether she developed this interest out of pure curiosity for why their decapitated limbs were lighter or out of a sense of duty is a bit hard for me to tell. She says this unique way of thinking is something she needs to maintain in order for humanity to succeed. It’s true. Not many are willing to study Titans to try and find alternate weak spots or find a peaceful solution. Maintaining the status quo won’t help humanity survive because their population is going down as is. What they need is something new. Either something clever from Hanji or something from Eren. It’s tough since they might not have microscopes or anything, but perhaps Hanji can recreate the shot given to Eren that made him into a Titan. If not, I’m sure her science will play some sort of role in helping humanity.
Not sure which one is scarier
Unfortunately, Hanji learns absolutely nothing new about the Titans after all that time and now her samples are dead. However, we do get to see some amazing scenes with her treating the Titans like they’re actually humans. It’s funny because it’s usually the opposite that makes you uncomfortable. Usually the mad scientist dissects an innocent subject who screams in pain and you feel bad for them acting so cold. This is the case in anime like Shiki, where a callous doctor experiments on a live vampire. Despite being a creature that kills other humans, you feel bad for them because they still don’t deserve to be brutally tortured. They still have some resemblance to humans, and therefore are capable of earning your sympathy.
The difference here is that Titans are 100% bad and 0% deserving of sympathy. You would expect (and hope) that they would be treated with nothing but loathing, fear and the worst of punishments imaginable. Seeing them nailed down and harnessed isn’t disturbing because – yeah – those bastards deserve it! If it was a human, that’d be different, but we’re talking about brainless monsters here. The way Hanji is so nice to them is actually off-putting for the same (or opposite, I suppose) reason it feels bad when someone abuses an innocent subject. It’s a clever reversal that achieves the same unease, and I really liked the scenes where Hanji was doing various experiments on them. The way she started to cry when stabbing them and talked about them like they were her lovers or something was nothing short of terrifying. Hanji is messed up and I love it. She’s become my new favourite character next to Sasha and Armin. Trust me – when all the crazy people run away from someone, you know that person is grade A insane. This may be one of my favourite episodes to date because of how utterly memorable it was. Hanji’s face will haunt me tonight, I’m sure…
Preview: Back to Mikasa, Armin and the gang to see where they’re going next. Also, more Recon Corps shenanigans.
Guess things have to get serious again