Shingeki no Kyojin 16-17

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Maybe if we didn’t nickname her something yummy like “Potato Girl” the Titans wouldn’t eat her

Gah, sorry for the delay. I’ve been getting a lot of important stuff done, like filling out forms and sending e-mails so I can get cool jobs to do during the school year. I have a lot of interviews coming up soon so I can’t see myself being the most timely blogger in the next while…u_u

 

Episode 16

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After being so completely enthralled by Hanji’s charming insanity, I must admit that episode 16 was a bit of a disappointment. It wasn’t a bad episode, but it certainly didn’t have the same impact. I’ll give them a break because so far the show has just steadily gotten better and better, so a little dip every now and then is inevitable. Part of why this week wasn’t as good was that it focused on some less interesting characters, all of which were feeling almost exactly the same thing.

The Recon corps are so crazy that by comparison, everyone else just seems a little dull now. It doesn’t help that we’re only getting to know some of these characters now. Armin compliments Annie by saying she must really be nice, but we’ve never seen much of Annie being anything to really appreciate that revelation. Characters like Connie, Ymir and Krista haven’t done much to earn my sympathy either. I fear it may be too late to really introduce us to these characters and make us care about them. For now they’re just cannon fodder with personality quirks. Even the fan favourite Sasha has been reduced to the standard “scared shit” rotation of faces and remarks.

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The bright side to everyone being so shell-shocked is that it gives Jean the perfect chance to shine. Jean is one of the few “side characters” who has gotten a lot of attention. We’ve seen him develop into a strong leader almost as much as we’ve seen Armin grow into a fine strategist. Much like our blonde friend, Jean is not a fearless leader who drinks raw eggs and laughs in the face of danger. Jean is just as terrified as everyone else, if not more. He’s deeply traumatized by Marco’s death and he’s desperate to stay alive. Despite all this, he raises the morale of his friends ever so slightly by firmly stating his decision to join the Recon corps. He conquers his overwhelming fears by joining and trusting Eren, even against the odds.

It’s very endearing to have a character like him in a leadership position, because we see that he still doubts himself and feels guilty. He’s far from perfect, but he does absolutely everything he can. In a way, he puts naturally talented people like Mikasa to shame since he conducts himself with far much more logic than she does. Her love for Eren at this point is almost a joke now. I cringe – and laugh – every time she needlessly fusses over him. I sincerely hope she dies soon so we won’t have to deal with this anymore, but I doubt that’s going to happen.

Aside from Jean being kinda cool, the rest is a rather boring set-up of horses riding around and soldiers being terrified. Yeah, we get it, you guys are scared of the Titans. Once again, I feel like they drag out the despair a little too much.

Episode 17

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She’s on the lookout for hot guys. You better watch yourself.

Now here’s where the real fun starts. It’s probably a good thing they prefaced this crazy-ass episode with a low-key episode to avoid over-saturating us with despair, death, and flashy barrel rolls in the air. So although episode 16 wasn’t a show-stopper, episode 17 looked even better in comparison. It was an absolutely jaw-dropping episode. You can tell which scenes and episodes they use their budget on, and this is one of them. The fighting is amazing and I really liked the way they showed just how much space was in between each different unit. It was very reminiscent of a video game cutscene, and very effective at showing just what a large-scale mission this was.

The whole mission itself is fascinating because it’s different from the usual “protect the city” strategy. They’re riding across the flatlands, and that essentially reduces their one combat weapon to nothing more than 2 butter knives and some string. It’s interesting to see them desperately avoiding the Titans and using flares to communicate across the vast expanses of field between them. Erwin’s plan is solid, but the signal flares obviously have huge weaknesses. Sasha was too frightened to fire one (I don’t blame her) and the black flares don’t exactly spell “TRACK RUNNER FEMALE TITAN” in the sky. I suppose they don’t have much of a choice given the technology in that day and age…although that feels odd to say when they have created these magnificent 3D maneuver gears.

The type of mission changing was already a lovely change of pace. There didn’t even need to be a female Titan appearing out of nowhere and wreaking havoc. That just made everything go from a 10 to an 11. The female Titan is absolutely terrifying because she’s fast, extremely intelligent, and kills people for the sake of killing them. She is not just obeying some lower instinct to gobble up people like jellybeans, but she is systematically killing people in order to achieve her goal. For now, that goal is staying alive and finding Eren. What’s even worse is that if she is as Armin says – a human in a Titan’s body – then she will have to deal with the consequences of slaughtering half of the Recon corps when she turns back to normal. I’m assuming (hoping) that like Eren, she’s just going berserk right now.

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I loved watching Armin, Jean and Reiner attempt to fight her. It was a battle they could not win from the very start, yet they tried anyways just so they could help their comrades. That’s real devotion. They’ve come a long way from being scared newbie recruits and doubting themselves every step of the way. Furthermore, they now trust each other with their lives. Armin has the respect he finally deserves, Jean is praised as a leader, and Reiner…well, Reiner was always a bit of a powerhouse, so not much has changed there. All in all, there’s something really special about the panicked way they try and stop the female Titan in a last ditch effort. I truly thought Reiner died until he sprung free in the most dramatic fashion, carrying off Armin like a loaf of bread to add to his badass levels. The pacing and the timing was just so perfect.

Part of what made things flow so evenly was Armin. He immediately deduced that the Titan was like Eren, was looking for him, and wouldn’t kill anyone without seeing their face. His sharp wit saved a lot of time that’s usually devoted to characters being insufferably stupid and dicking around while they try and figure out what’s happening. Armin cuts out all of that and immediately understands the truth, which isn’t easy when you’re in the middle of a ruthless battlefield. I really see nothing wrong with Armin being the new main character here, because he’s proved himself so many times within the past few episodes.

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Anyways, enough gushing about how great that episode was. I can’t ignore some of the nagging questions in my head. First are foremost, who is that Titan and where did it come from? If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s Mikasa. It looks like her and it single-mindedly is trying to find Eren…which makes sense since her strongest instinct is to always find him. Eren’s strongest instinct is to kill Titans, which is why that’s usually what he does whenever he turns into one. However, it’s hard to imagine her as this Titan because how could she transform without anyone else seeing? She’s also in the preview for the next episode…as her normal, human self. So what I’m really saying is that I have no idea who it is. It’s an interesting new mystery to keep us interested, and perhaps it will be answered once they finally reach the basement and learn more about human-Titans like Eren. Ah, I can’t wait. This arc is proving to be very impressive.

Preview: The Titan with nice ass finds Eren

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About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things lead to blog posts combining a love for anime, psychology, and watching boys cry.
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27 Responses to “Shingeki no Kyojin 16-17”

  1. Namika says:

    Okay, Reiner has a thing for asses, that’s for sure.
    But that dreadful moment kicked all air out of my lungs. I was like “No… Reiner, too? He was so cool TT^TT” and then BAM. That happened. But that scene made me suspicious. Either I’m stupid, or blood disappeared off his face rather quickly. And with that steam effect too. I don’t know, I’m probably just being paranoid, but….

    Okay, Sasha really needs to get it together. She became rather annoying and almost obnoxious in her panic attacks. Sure, titans, verge of death, all that good stuff. But if she decided to join the recon. corps, she could have mentally prepared herself. Like Jean, for example. I liked him from the very beginning, but I’m starting to like him even more. I’d dare to say that he’s up there with my other favorite character from this anime. He really started to shine and stand out.

    I love how they introduced us to the details of the mission and showed the positions of all important characters. It really makes you think and roll your brain around, and overall, makes the experience of watching this episode amazing. And generally VERY interesting, in my opinion. But I wonder, why did everyone have different information about Eren’s location? That’s very odd, tbh. Did they think someone would try to attack Eren because he’s a.. half-titan? o-o That doesn’t seem right to me.
    And Erwin didn’t change the direction of the movement, either.

    I liked this episode so much! Show ▼

    • Awesomeman!234 says:

      To those who haven’t read the manga, don’t check the spoiler. Seriously, it will spoil a lot for you, although it won’t be in /this/ season.

      • Awesomeman!234 says:

        accidental typo, what I meant to say was do not check it.

        • Jrow says:

          Thanks for noting that. I corrected the typo in your previous comment and will not be clicking on that spoiler because I plan on reading the manga once we reach the end of the anime run.

        • Namika says:

          Good. Because the spoiler is pretty spoilerific, I can guess. TT^TT damn youtube! And tumblr! And all my friends who read the manga.

    • Tofu says:

      I think the idea of not revealing the exact location of Eren to everyone was a strategy playing on the Captains suspicion of “who is really the enemy here?” or that maybe he had a hinch that there were other human’s that can change into titans like Armin did.

      Altough it felt really weird. It was like as if I had missed an episode where they knew there was other humans out there who can turn. What made Armin think it was actually a human? Just because it was abnormal? That’s not enough proof right? :S Idk… I think they jumped to that conclusion a bit too soon.

      • Namika says:

        The first version is more likely, though stll feels a bit strained.

        That was so strange to me too, why did he jump to the conclusion that it’s someone like Eren, rather than just an intelligent titan.

        • Awesomeman!234 says:

          I think that was a slip on the script writers’ parts. In the manga, Armin just assumed she was an intelligent Titan that knew about Eren, at first at least. As for Irwin’s decision, he had a whole month to plan for every possibility, and he gambled on there being others like Eren.

  2. Awesomeman!234 says:

    A very enjoyable read. You provided good commentary and analysis. I agree heavily on you with Mikasa. I’m not sure why, but after the development on her, the author turned her into a 2D character who will protect Eren and is a good fighter. That’s it. It’s rather upsetting.

    I also found my foreknowledge of events making me smile and frown at your comments. The smiles are for obvious (to me) reasons, the frowns I can safely explain without spoiling.

    1) The exposition of the training group is more set up for later down the story, where they really shine in character development. It wont be included in this season, but will most definitely be in the next.

    2) The signal flare’s don’t need to be very specific. They’re unlikely to encounter unexpected complications out there, so the general meaning communication method works wonders. So, yeah they’re making do, but it’s not as big a problem as you implied.

    3) Why does everyone assume the Female Titan is berserking? She has already displayed a level of control an consciousness that Eren did not exhibit. She actually took the time to look Armin over, and eliminated threats before they grabbed her attention. Eren, on the other hand, just attacked Titans. He didn’t care for what was going on around him, and always went for the enemy closest to him.

    Also, look forward to coming episodes, because things will get, interesting, to say the least.

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks! I used to really like Mikasa but now she’s so robotic it’s a chore to get through scenes with her.

      The flares are probably the best choice given their current level of technology. However, it really can’t communicate special cases like REALLY abnormal Titans or someone dropping their flare and potentially getting eaten before firing it. It’s not a problem in normal missions, I’m sure, but it really messes things up a lot for this particular outing.

      Ah, I assume the female Titan is going berserk because it’s actually killing other humans. If it was under complete control, why would it resort to such violence?

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Epic as ever. Shingeki never disappoints. Though I don’t understand what happened, I’m glad I watched these two episodes back to back. I’ve been scrambling around my usual anime downloading site for episode 16 for days.

    I liked how episode 16 went because it was a period to prove one’s self and asking the question “What are you willing to fight and die for?”. And all the likable characters (I’ve even given Jean a second opinion. He’s grown a lot since the beginning) have joined in and I’m hoping none of them gets killed.

    Sasha has Titan PTSD and hopefully she’ll bounce back. It would be a shame if she stayed like this. If this show is known for anything, it’s that it pushes its characters to the edge, testing them to see if they’ll become badass and most pass the test. Like Reiner when I thought he had been killed by the female Titan.

    So my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me during the OP, there is a female Titan and I agree, it has a nice ass which is odd for me to say because it’s already killed people. I’d say the female Titan would be a transformed Mikasa but the blonde hair also made me think of Annie. If it is Mikasa, it’s probably from the scratch on the face she got trying to get Eren under control back at Trost which could mean that power is contagious and she’s most likely out of control like him but not to his degree.

    • Namika says:

      Why ‘even’? It’s been quite a long time, since he started developing and becoming a character worth approving. He’s such a potential badass <3

      The hypothesis about that is actually pretty interesting. And if you think about it, Reiner breaking out of the grip of that titan was suspicious, because one moment he had blood all over his face, and another – he didn't. And he didn't get a single injury after her trying to smash his head. Like, srsly?

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m sad that Sasha has been reduced to being “that one character who is terrified of Titans and screws up” now. I miss her fun antics! Now she’s just like every other background character.

      Yeah, I was trying to look and see who it looked like and I can see a resemblance to someone blonde like Annie as well. Now I’m going to stare at every female character’s ass to try and match them up…

      • AngelGallows says:

        I suspect Annie as the Titan. Though I have only two theories to go on, but one of them is damn good. First of all, blonde female, which I thought ‘Annie’ immediately, but soon realized that Reiss is also blonde, but Reiss is so sweet, yeah? Ymir’s cute little angel~

        Unless that was all an act and Reiss is really a manipulative mindfuck.

        But what really made me thing of Annie is the female titan’s nose. I’m just being speculative, but I’m really placing my bets on Annie because that nose is too damn familiar.

  4. Highway says:

    This show jumped the shark as far as a serious plot with actual reasons for things for me 10 episodes or so ago. As far as I’m concerned, now they just throw *amazing revelations!!!* at us as a sort of “Ha HA! Bet you didn’t expect THAT!” thing. I enjoy it much more watching with that realization.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s really fun if you don’t take it too seriously. I’m pretty sure that’s the way to go when watching Attack on Titan

  5. Gecko says:

    This show is still keeping me interested, and I’m glad. I’ve had a few spoilers here and there, but I’m not super concerned about it, since this show likes to throw so much around that’s “here, have something crazy you might not have been expecting!” Like in 17, with the Female Titan, who is pretty smart about survival.

    As for Sasha not being able to fire off the flare, I’ve read on tumblr that she was going really fast on the horse, and it would have been really hard for even a pro horse rider to fire off a flare (which requires letting go of the reins) at that speed, much less want to let go of the reins. I’m not as concerned with her and the other side characters being really, really scared of everything. I hope they’ll grow out of it, for now, it might just be the shock of the fact that they joined the Recon Corps and whatnot.

    I’m also fine if Mikasa dies at some point now. She’s really been reduced to “Let me protect you, Eren” and it’s no fun. Armin, though, he needs to stick around. He’s getting better every bit of the way.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’ve come across some minor spoilers, but it never prepares me for what actually happens week to week. This show just gets crazier and crazier.

      That’s why I said I don’t blame her for dropping the flare – she’s trying to multi-task while being chased by one of the most terrifying Titans we’ve ever seen. My only concern is that her personality has all but vanished now that she’s become so frightened all the time.

      Oh man, I love Armin now. Mikasa can go if it means he gets more screentime!

      • Gecko says:

        My spoilers have now reached a level where I know a lot more than I want to. T.T

        Yeah, I’m worried that the craziness is going to push the characterization back a couple of steps. If that happens, eh, I won’t be super pleased, but I like the craziness as well. Just not as much.

  6. iron maw says:

    Damn that crawling Titan was even more unsettling animated. ;_:

    As for other side characters they all get fleshed out as series progress (some of which we won’t see in this season). Some like Annie already had a good deal done with them thanks to the long flashback that occurs before this arc. The anime rearrange this by putting at the beginning and cut out some scenes. Some of them (particular the ones with Annie) could still possibly make it. She’s got plenty stuff in store for her character anyway heh.

    As for Mikasa, she was just pointing out Eren didn’t attack her conisciouly she just worded it badly. To frank for all Eren has done even at cost of himself, he has been treated pretty terribly all over around. So I van understand where she’s coming from her. It’s not she has always defended Eren In past either.

    • Overcooled says:

      Out of all the Titans so far, this one was the scariest..for me, at least.

      Oh, I’m glad Annie will get some flashbacks. Well, hopefully. I hope they add some in soon because we really know nothing about a lot of these side characters.

  7. Namika says:

    Hey Cool-chan, this is totally unrelated to AoT, but I just found it and had to share it with you. ^_^

  8. Irenesharda says:

    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
    – Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome.”
    ― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

    “People trust their eyes above all else – but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there”
    ― Zoë Marriott, Shadows on the Moon

    “Betrayal and dishonor is usually an inside job.”
    ― T.F. Hodge

    “Her words were like tinfoil; they shone and they covered things up.”
    ― Helen Cross, My Summer of Love

    Well, a lot truly went on in a couple episodes. At first glance Episode 16 might not seem like much, however, the more plot and action packed Episode 17 begins to bring some things to light that we never thought about before, requiring you to have to go back to 16 and others beforehand to see that it’s the small telling thing that led to this point, things we might not have noticed as important before.

    With the arrival of the mysterious Female Titan who was introduced first by the 2nd OP, many have wondered who this new opponent will be. She has finally arrived and brings with her quite a few questions. Episode 15 really began the idea there was more going on behind the scenes than we had first thought. There are more plots intertwined within this story, ones that we had have been cleverly hidden behind the deceptively bombastic black and white simple plot of surviving and fighting back against the clearly seen enemy of the Titans….little knowing there was a hidden enemy that neither we nor the main characters could see that was sitting in plain sight.

    It has been hinted for a bit now that there were several hidden agendas that are going on here. This involves not just the politics surrounding the walled city, but the origin of the Titans themselves, and who and what they really are. We discovered with Eren that Dr. Jaeger had a large secret knowledge of the Titans and knew enough about them to make a serum of sorts that can give a normal human the ability to transform at will into a Titan with a human mind.

    However with the arrival of TitanEren, this begins to bring into question earlier episodes and makes us realize that the Colossal Titan and Armored Titan might not be the same as abnormal Titans, but are more than likely human-Titan hybrids like Eren. The arrival of the female Titan tells us that not only is that true, but there is much more than that. The enemy is no longer just the mindless giants out to make any human their next meal. There’s actually a worse enemy out there that’s closer to home. These human-Titan hybrids are actually helping the Titans destroy their fellow humans for what reason we don’t know, and that they aren’t some faraway villains, but ones that happened to be right in the backyard.

    This new Female knew the plans of the Corp and the military ways of taking down Titans, was perfectly serene and savvy and intelligent, and she could actually recognize the new Recon Corp scouts. This tells us that not only was this a hybrid Titan, but that she was in the same training troop that Armin was in and that we have met her before! This same Titan that is deliberately killing several members of the Recon Corps and sabotaging this mission that could help save humanity, was someone that we’ve effectively already met and gotten to know. This was someone that was effectively called “ally” and “friend“.

    In a way this new unseen enemy is worse than the Titans themselves. These are men and women working side by side with our heroes on one side, and then effectively slaughtering them on another. This despicable and vindictive betrayal of humanity is what makes these human-hybrids more reprehensible than the Titans themselves. True, we might get some future reason as to why they are doing what it is they’re doing. But will it ever be truly enough in light of what they’ve done?

    While part one of this series had Eren and Mikasa as our MCs, part two is beginning to zoom off of them and spread out to the other members of the cast such as Jean and Armin. At first it was a little jarring for me, but now that the Recon Corp is on their mission I can go with it. Jean has especially been developed very well as the show has gone on, and I am interested at seeing how far his character is going to go. I’m assuming that the rest of the series is going to take place in the Titan-dominated realms so it will be very interesting to see how there are going to be doing this with the new Recon cast as well as the newly-adjusted Training Corp class cast.

    As for speculation, I’ve done my absolute best to not read any spoilers and so far I have succeeded in my endeavor. However, I have to say that just from my first look at the Female Titan I am 95% sure of who she is, and after having thought about it, and having a blog writer tell me that it would prudent to look through the previous episodes and the OPs for extremely subtle included clues, I am 80% sure I know who the Armored Titan is as well. There were parts of Episode 17 that looked off to me on first viewing, and I have it under good authority that this is intentional. I do love a good mystery and I will now be on a closer lookout for even more clues. And if the two people I think are the Female Titan and Armored Titan end up being correct, then I will definitely have to go back to all the previous episodes and see if I can spot any subtle show or spoken indications that were glossed over. As Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in The Boscombe Valley Mystery,

    “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

    I am actually really excited as to where this series is going. I’ve just gotten my best friend into it, and we’re watching it together. I’m going to guess this show is definitely going to get a second or even multiple seasons since there is no way that this thing is going to solved in 9 episodes. This show is so intensely popular that if they don’t they would truly have to be insane. I give Episode 16 an 8/10 and Episode 17 an 8.75/10. I am anticipating to see what the 18 will give us. :D

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m so excited to see all these hidden agendas get revealed eventually. It’s fun to see the humans quarrel amongst themselves. I wonder why on Earth another human would want to sabotage the Recon corps efforts. I agree that it’s even worse that human-Titans are killing other humans – especially if they’re under complete control of their bodies.

      Wow, good deduction skills. I’ve only got a few vague ideas about the Colossal Titan. Care to put the two suspects under spoiler tags? I’m curious!

      I really hope they keep this series going. Even if we have to wait for the manga to end first, it would be worth the wait.

      • Irenesharda says:

        SPECULATION TIME!!!

        I suspect that:

        Show ▼

        Now all of this can be purely circumstantial, but my powers of deduction have yet to lead me astray. I have not and will not read the manga until the series is done. And don’t bother anyone, telling me that my suspicions are right or wrong, I will find out soon enough. I refuse to be spoiled if I can help it.
        However, who can resist some speculation? That’s half the fun! :D

      • Irenesharda says:

        Oh, I also forgot to mention is a little more detail:

        Show ▼

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