Shingeki no Kyojin – 19

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Further evidence that fangirls are terrifying.

Last week, the Female Titan busted out from behind some trees and set off on a course for total destruction. It would be nice to know what happened after that cliffhanger, no? When everything can go wrong in this show always goes wrong (like Murphy’s law times ten) then you gotta stay on your toes. So what’s the damage this week? Not much, surprisingly.

 

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Sometimes Shingeki no Kyojin nails the exact right pacing for things. There’s usually a good mix of adrenaline, despair, and some downtime to make all of these horrors seem even worse. This was not one of those perfect episodes. I’m so used to this show being so dazzling that even a slight dip in quality makes me feel bitter. The flashback ate up so much time that I can summarize the present events in one sentence: they caught the Female Titan. After that crazy cliffhanger, they have the nerve to give us another one – just a few moments after the first. There was too much time spent recapping last week’s episode, showing us the flashback, and over-emphasizing what a difficult decision Eren had to make. Just about everything was dragged out to a painful extent.

I don’t like how this show tries to hit us over the head with the same points over and over. Yes, we know the Recon Corps is anxious about Eren and ready to kill him at any second – yet still wistful and protective of him. That has already been established. The flashback was quaint and showed us some cute (and creepy) Hanji faces, but wasn’t substantial enough. It felt more like a bonus – something that could have been cut or at least shortened. The only new message here is that Eren needs a goal to transform. In this case, his goal was picking up a spoon. Did anyone else burst out laughing at that point? I couldn’t believe they tried to play it straight the entire time, given the absurdity of the situation. The next thing we know he’s gonna go full Titan just because he needs to pick his nose. The more they tried to make it seem like we should feel sorry for Eren, the more I was rolling my eyes. It just didn’t work.

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What I did like was Levi telling Eren how they’d cut off all his limbs and then making him feel like a baby for complaining. It sounds like an odd thing to say and I smirked at first. However it quickly became clear that losing some limbs that could grow back is a better position to be in than the soldiers that have to subdue a rampaging Eren. It was a grave reminder that the ones in danger here are the Recon Corps.

As scary as it seems to be constantly monitored to the point where your guards will draw their swords at the slight provocation, it’s nothing compared to what the Recon corps have to go through. They are literally pawns. Erwin strategically uses some lower level soliders as cannon fodder just so Eren can make it out from this whole ordeal alive. He’s the golden goose, and everyone else has to be ready to die to make sure they get that golden egg. It’s interesting, because I always felt bad for Eren and never stopped to realize how bad it was for people like Levi. It all naturally lead to Eren deciding to trust them, and being rewarded for it. It was a great, dramatic moment, although it came after a bit too long of a build-up to be truly worth it.

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I bite my thumb at you, sir. Wait, no, I take it back!

After deciding to have some faith, Eren is rewarded. He gets away with the elite soldiers, minus Levi, who will make sure the Female Titan gets chopped up reallllll nice. Good to know Erwin actually had another plan aside from “trees = good for fighting.” I knew that couldn’t be enough, although I was way off with my guess. It’s a sound plan, although I’m scared she won’t be trapped for long and that next week we won’t actually find out her identity. I’m dying to find out the secret behind her, almost as much as Hanji is to touch her.

All in all, it was not a very exciting episode. It wasn’t bad, but certainly not up to snuff with the usual Shingeki no Kyojin standards that have been set. I suppose it’s good to learn about the other Recon Corps members, but I’m too impatient for that now. There are so many questions waiting to be answered and I’m hungry for the truth!

Preview: They try and cut the nape of the Female Titan to reveal her identity, but something happens…

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NEXT WEEK: The Titan is actually a giant birthday cake and a hot girl comes out and starts dancing.

About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things leads to blog posts combining a love for psychology, violence, anime and watching boys cry.
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21 Responses to “Shingeki no Kyojin – 19”

  1. skylion says:

    Putting this here, cause it’s just too darn cute not to.

    Man, Erwin needs that cake and dancing girl. He may not want it, but he neeeeds it. He has alot on his shoulders and it is spilling down to the rest of the Corps.

    I agree, the build up was wierdly paced, and the spoon was even weirder. But overall, just like last episode, there is nothing like a full out galoop to the finish to put me on seat’s edge.

    Is Titan Cake delicious?

    • Overcooled says:

      Awwwwww~

      Erwin has been getting more and more uptight (or it’s just showing more) as the episodes progress. I guess that’s what happens when you’re trying to run a tight ship.

      Titan cake is as delicious as it is dangerous, I would imagine. One bite and you’re down for the count!

  2. Namika says:

    Oh I really liked this episode. Oh it was so good. Yes, half of it was a flashback, but regardless. I love seeing Eren break in and just…. grow up. The flashback was indeed too long, and a little awkward, but still, I liked it. If you ask me though, I think that this flashback was more for Eren’s development. How he also had doubts about the other troops, but, even so, decided to trust them and follow orders, rather than acting on impulse.

    Levi, that manipulative bastard. He’s so cool.

    • Awesomeman!234 says:

      Levi didn’t do any manipulating, actually. He was being completely honest when he said he wasn’t sure what the best option was, and he meant it when he said ‘make the decision you will regret least.’ Of course, he is happy that Eren chose as he did. I honestly found it very refreshing, as Japanese society is kinda against acting on your own.

      • Irenesharda says:

        Eren’s going to need to learn how to act on his own, since as of right now, he’s the only Titan-hybrid that stands with humanity and is the only one that could have a hope of fighting against those like the FemTitan.

        Eren is going to have to learn how to truly fight using his powers, and unfortunately the only way he’s going to be able to learn is through experience and trial-and-error.

      • Namika says:

        He was honest, but he voiced his opinion in a way that made others step in and tell Eren to trust them. What I’m saying is that he did manipulate in a way, by choosing very correct words in just the right moment. If you ask me, that’s still manipulation, in a way.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I didn’t think Levi was manipulative. He simply laid out the facts and let Eren make the decision. No manipulation there. Eren could have just as easily decided not to have faith in his comrades and gone ahead and transformed.

      Yes, Eren is growing up, but I think people forget that they guy is only 15. He’s already “grown up” more than your average 15 year old, and he’s actually more mature than even some of his fellow trainee teammates. Here, I think he’s becoming used to being a soldier, and he’s having a crisis of faith seeing so many go to their deaths. However, remember he wasn’t the only one. Jean, Armin, and many of the other soldiers were having major doubts as well, and if they had Eren’s powers, would have probably transformed much sooner. I am glad that Eren’s growing even more into maturity, he’ll make a good leader some day.

      • Namika says:

        Yup, it’s exactly as you say. He’s a very nice main hero, and already proved his potential as a future leader when the colossal titan appeared in 850. I can’t wait how will he turn out.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    It wasn’t as eventful as the previous episodes but it did well in giving insight about the conditions for Eren’s transformation into a Titan and I agree the flashback was too long. From a point of view, the revelation just managed to make things more strenuous than they already were, not to mention that the changes put a toll on his body. He did have a clear goal the first time he changed and it was what saved his life.

    “Have you finally learned to do what is necessary?”
    - Ra’s Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) (Batman Begins)

    Though the situation was dire and seemingly hopeless, I’m glad Eren chose not to be reckless by changing and learned to trust others. Up until now, he always believed he had to shoulder everything. It’s good to be skilled and have an advantage but not to the point you believe you have to do everything yourself. Like that, you lose sight of what’s important, you forget others and you become arrogant and egotistical.

    • skylion says:

      You have hit on some very salient points. He is also trusting the fact that the Titan form is one that takes a tremendous amount of currency to spend, so to speak. So, when he needs to trust in allies, trust in allies and spend the big bucks when it gives the best return.

      If I was writing this, I would have him transform, not just for his sheer strength in arms, but to demoralize the Female Titan in some way.

      • Overcooled says:

        Yeah, I almost forgot this was the guy who would dive headfirst into battle no matter what he was up against. Heck, he dived into the open mouth of a Titan to save his friend. Good to know he’s learned to curb that impulsive edge a little more.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Eren pretty much had the mind of a traditional shounen protagonist back then. At least now he’s learned to put his brain in gear before making his actions.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I liked the flashback, as it showed some of the dynamics of the team and the essence of faith for both Eren in his teammates, but all that the teammates needed to have faith in Eren. I actually feel sorry for and understand Eren’s frustration. He never asked for any of this, and these powers were forced upon him without much instructions and he now he is not only forced to shoulder all of humanity’s hopes on his shoulders, but he now has this great power that he knows can help save lives but he doesn’t know how to fully use them or can fully understand them.
      Now, pile on top of that, the fact that Eren has gone through quite an emotional upheaval in the last five years, losing his mother and home so traumatically, having to adjust to injustices against people along the way, going through military training, and all this time never knowing what happened to his father. Yet, when he get’s his memories back, he realizes that his father not only kept a secret so big it could shake the very foundations of humanity, but he kept it right in their very house and lied to his family everyday. On top of that, he forcibly injects his own son with some serum that could have cost Eren his life, and then disappears off the face of the Earth. And now that he has these power, Eren has become and always will be both a hero and a pariah to almost everyone around him.

      I think because of the nature of this world, that people write off the fact that Eren and friends are human, with human emotions and psyche just like us. And this has got to have been a lot for him. Because of this, I don’t mind so much when he complains, or whines, messes up, or feels depressed. He has a lot on his plate now, so I can forgive him some things.

      Not to mention that the changes put a toll on his body

      I totally forgot that the ability to become a Titan puts some kind of strain on his body. That ominous nosebleed quite a few episodes ago was almost forgotten until you mentioned it. I wonder what the physical consequences are to becoming a Titan-hybrid and when they are going to again bring that up?

  4. Gecko says:

    Well, I for one am really glad they did the flashback, although I was wondering why it was so long. The spoon thing was so funny and so terrifying. This is one of those times when the manga made it work because of paneling, page numbers, ect. and the anime couldn’t because of how the timing worked for actual minutes and seconds. It’s too bad, because the flashback really shows how trust works for the Recon Corps. (There was less yelling than I expected as well.)

    I probably would have made the flashback shorter, but it would be annoying to drag out the horse riding and yelling any more than it has been.

    …And now I’m going to shut up because most of what I would say about this episode relies on future events that I refuse to spoil. (ARGH)

    • Irenesharda says:

      I thought the whole spoon thing was played pretty well, especially since the angle of view during the scene never let you see the spoon until Hanji actually looked at it. They always expertly covered it up, put it out of focus, or out of scene.

      Actually, I didn’t get the whole “must have a goal” plot point until they said it. I honestly thought that there was something about the spoon that Eren reacted to that was readily available in the city but not in this countryside.

      I thought the flashback was excellently done. I enjoy flashbacks as long as they are revealing previously unknown information, or another side to a previous scene that we hadn’t seen before. It’s only when flashbacks are of things that we’ve seen before, exactly as we’ve seen them before *cough*Naruto*cough*, that it gets on my nerves.

      • Gecko says:

        Personally, I liked the manga version of the flashback a bit better, but overall the anime did fine with it.

        There was just more yelling in the manga version compared to the anime, really. I think the more yelling added some.

        I would say more about the flashback, but that’s going to wait until next week or so until I can really say why this episode of flashback matters so much.

        • Overcooled says:

          The spoon thing just didn’t work for me. It was just lame instead of channeling the usual “so crazy it’s good”, bombastic tone.

          I figured the flashback was important, but it sure as heck was lengthy. Looking forward to the next episode though to see what’s up with that!

  5. Irenesharda says:

    “To hear with my heart,
    To see with my soul,
    To be guided by a hand I cannot hold,
    To trust in a way that I cannot see,
    That’s what faith must be.”
    -Michael Card, That’s What Faith Must Be

    “Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see.”
    -Hebrews 11:1 (NIRV)

    “Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder and not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”
    -Unknown

    “I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.”
    -Lauren Kate

    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
    ― St. Thomas Aquinas

    “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
    ― George Mueller

    I thought this episode did an excellent job of not only teaching Eren to have faith, but of really nailing what trust and faith really are. And surprisingly, it does much of this through flashback, as we see scenes of Eren feeling his way through with his new comrades and of him learning more about his new powers.

    We learn he can’t just do it on a whim, he has to have a clear goal in mind in order to transform. His powers place a burden on him as well as his comrades, and both sides have to learn to have faith in the other. Eren must learn to have faith and rely on those around him, while the Recon team must learn to actually put their trust in Eren and to not give in to preconceived notions, fears and emotions when he makes the slightest mistake.

    Honestly, I understand their fear, but I thought their reaction was a little overboard. It was like the last few episodes had never happened and we were back to when Eren’s abilities were first made known to the military, and everyone was demanding that he prove himself and prove that he’s not a threat. I seriously was watching my screen and asked, “Are we back to this, now? Have we truly made no progress here?”
    Levi has slowly been gaining my respect and I’m beginning to understand him as a man and as a leader. I liked that he stood up and defended Eren and didn’t just leave the guy to fend on his own. My thing though is, that they can’t keep having this reaction every time Eren purposefully or accidentally transforms. If they want to be able to use Eren as the secret weapon of the human force, they are going to have to let him have a little freedom to understand and grow in his powers on his own. Unlike the other Titan-hybrids who are quite experienced and comfortable in their powers, Eren is as new and green being a Titan as he is being a soldier. He needs time and allowance to gain experience in both forms in order to be of any true use to humanity.

    Now, the plan to take down the FemTitan was actually pretty simple and straightforward when you think about. It was only the fact that NO ONE, including the audience knew about it, that made things tense. And in a way, that makes sense that no one but the very upper echelon would know, just in case there were traitors in their midst that could have warned the enemy. It was a simple “drive the enemy into an ambush without them knowing” tactic and it succeeded, as FemTitan has been captured. However, somehow I doubt that things are going to be this easy. I don’t think they introduced FemTitan just to have her taken down after one go. I wouldn’t be surprised if another traitor comes out of the woodwork and releases her, or if she’s rescued by one of her fellow Titan-hybrids.

    I don’t know if this is the show’s doing, or my own intuition, but even after this, I still don’t trust Cmdr. Erwin. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong in the future, but as of right now I’m wary of him. As his name is the title of next episode, it makes me even more nervous about this guy.

    As to the identity of the Titan-hybrids we so far know of, I am 99.9% sure who FemTitan is, I’m 85% sure who Armored Titan is, and I have a candidate for who I think the Colossal Titan is, but I don’t have anything concrete yet.

    Man, I am so attached to all these characters, Eren and Mikasa are still my favorites, but each of the others are important to the story, and I feel for most of them. Armin, Jean, Reiner, Levi, Hanji, Petra, each of them have grown on me, even in such a small time. We have six episodes left, how shall this season go down? With a bang or with even more ominous whisper?

    I give this episode a 7.85/10.

    • Gecko says:

      With the fear and the overboard reaction, I did not think it was so overboard. The Recon Corps weren’t all there to watch Eren beat up other Titans, or carry the rock and close the gate. So seeing him make an arm out of nowhere is really a big deal because it’s the first time they’ve seen it happen. And while they’ve begun to put their trust in Eren and he’s putting trust in them, they’re still going to be wary until they have solid proof that he can be trusted. They’ve trained themselves to be wary of any potential threat. Sometimes their fear of a threat comes out as yelling.

      Maybe it’s just because I’m a wimp and can’t even handle a lizard in my house that I didn’t think it was overboard. Probably is.

    • Overcooled says:

      The relationship between Eren and the Recon corps is certainly interesting. They have to trust each other, but it’s also a bit of a dangerous relationship since one can turn into a giant beast any second. If even one of them decides to betray the other, things could go terribly wrong. Fortunately, things go right for once in that department. I’m really impressed at Levi’s ability to keep everything under control too.

      It’s a bit too soon to take her down, so I think she’ll somehow escape as well. That or something WEIRD will happen when they try and pry the human out of her. I dunno if anyone will spring her loose given how many eyes are there at the scene though. It would have to be someone who has already transformed.

      Everyone is suspicious in this show…I still know far too little about Erwin to feel any one way about him. I mostly ignore him. I wouldn’t be surprised if your intuition is right on though! I might have to pay attention to him now.

      I don’t want this show to end….

      • Irenesharda says:

        Well, I don’t know if everyone is suspicious. There are some that I usually can cross off my list pretty early since we’ve pretty much have grown up with those characters. Ones like Eren, Mikasa, and Armin I can usually count out, since unless they’ve spent a long period of time from out of the audience’s eyes, then I usually place them above suspicion. Everyone else? All fair game. ;)

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