Shingeki no Kyojin – 21

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Titan lasers! Pew pew!

Summer is ending and I am trying to get every last drop of fun I can before the monotony of school begins once again. I have no idea how I will balance a full courseload, working as a research assistant, karate and blogging. My head says “blog only one show!” but my heart says “blog ALL OF THE THINGS!”. It may be hard to imagine, but soon Attack on Titan will end and we must all move on. That, or read the manga. Maybe then I won’t be left in the dark as much as I am right now.

I feel like we’ve been stuck in the forest for ages. It’s been a bit of a slow arc, sparsely peppered with bursts of actions and suspense betwixt long flashbacks or conversations. Now it’s time for some pay-off. My favourite part about this episode is how Eren gets completely screwed over in every way imaginable. Just as he learns to trust his comrades and feels comfortable following their orders, he sees them annihilated before his very eyes. It all ties back very neatly to Eren’s past decision to trust them when they were running away and Erwin launched a multitude of harpoons at the Female Titan. That worked out swimmingly and Eren was all abuzz with confidence and awe at the Recon Corps. All of that growth is effectively shattered with what Eren sees as he looks back over his shoulder at his friends being ripped to (literal) pieces.

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It will be very, very difficult for Eren to be able to trust in people again. Keep in mind his instinct has been to risk his life fighting with reckless abandon, treating his own life as a throwaway as long as he can do some damage to a Titan. He’s been trying hard to overcome that, and now he’s regressed once again. It will be hard to see the effects of this trauma immediately since he’s stewing away in the Titan’s gut for now, but once he rejoins the troops he should be fine. The last time he was devoured, he came back with superpowers so yes, I’m pretty skeptical that the one tool humanity needs to win this war has been unceremoniously digested. He should be indigestible. I can’t say the same for his comrades, unfortunately. The brutality of seeing all them die at once when we’ve just been getting fond of them was perfectly timed, and a wonderful way to set Eren off. Another quality “oh shit” moment to record in the history of this show.

The Titan vs Titan boxing was a real treat to watch. Not only was it fun hearing Eren scream violently about killing in increasingly barbaric measures, but the action was stunning. Eren’s all-or-nothing hits that dissolved his own hand were in stark contrast to her refined movements. Not only can she heal different parts at different rates, but she can harden certain areas of her body when needed. Her superior control of her body overall was what allowed her to beat Eren, who stupidly aimed for her face until he had no hands left to beat her with. I’m surprised he didn’t shove his stumpy wrist bones into her eye sockets or something equally impatient and violent. Once again, Eren still fights like an animal. The Female Titan seems to wince in pain more and recoil when hit. Eren doesn’t even seem to notice when entire patches of skin and muscle just slough off. It’s good for going berserk, but I imagine not feeling your body at all means you suck at fine movements and exerting any sort of control.

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About to get smoked…literally.

It’s no wonder that the more experienced Titan wins. She’s not only a better fighter, but she can transform twice – so she’s got enough stamina to really go at it. I have no idea why she would eat Eren though. I can only assume she’s transporting him…somewhere. Now that Eren’s out of the way we can finally have some Mikasa and Levi screentime. They’re an odd couple since they’re both on the stoic side, but it should be interesting to see two elite soldiers strategize together. That is, if they can even launch an attack against something so powerful. Although she’s tired now, we should still remember Sasha’s warning about cornered animals.

We’ll see how the unlikely duo of Mikasa and Levi fare in tailing the Female Titan, but it should be really cool. I feel safe in the hands of these two, because they’re so darn strong. Mikasa is especially strong when her psychotic, over-protective tendencies start to kick in. Levi must be equally pissed after seeing his entire squad wiped out in the blink of an eye. The only other character I feel comfortable with (in terms of not suddenly dying or making a dumb mistake) is Erwin. So far he’s been absolutely right about everything. He even (ominously) says that humanity must be on guard for the unthinkable when facing Titans, because the unthinkable happens all the time. This is what ultimately kills the unit protecting Eren. The sad thing is these units are trained to expect the unexpected, but the Female Titan was so vastly outside of those battle instincts that they were outclassed. These are the best of the best, and they still were taken by surprise. Erwin has all the psychology behind properly leading a team of soliders down pat. I’d trust him with my life too.

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The topic of being able to make a decision that can result in deaths is brought up again. Erwin was praised for being a leader capable of making hard decisions driven by logic instead of by a stomach-gnawing terror. He can formulate risky plans that will kill his own soldiers if that plan is the best option for the job. He can make sacrifices, basically. Eren is still shaken by the fact that his decision to leave instead of fight gets his friends killed. Unable to handle that guilt, he flies off the handle. It just goes to show that Eren still has a lot to learn…and I’m not talking about fighting techniques as a Titan, either.

Preview: Levi and Mikasa follow “the Titan with the nice ass” to take advantage of this lovely view

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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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19 Responses to “Shingeki no Kyojin – 21”

  1. skylion says:

    I nearly went mad with rage. I hurled insults at the screen, and gnashed and gnawed, hurled invective….Levi’s squad taken down just hit me way to hard.
    But then, it has the effect it intended….Levi can feel the Abyss staring him down. And I think he’s so happy with it. It feels like with his squad’s death, that the restraints are off. And with Mikasa in full “have to rescue Eren” mode, she won’t care one bit what methods he takes.

    There is something of Accelerator in Levi. Erwin has command decision, so him thinking in terms of lives vs. results is natural. Levi looks like he is about to go psycho….He will love to play the villain.

    I am missing Petra already

  2. sadakups says:

    I would have raged so hard if Eren was able to go against the female Titan, simply because of all the trust bullshit his teammates keep on telling him, only for them to get screwed so hard. But given how the female Titan was already a pro at this transforming thing, I already know that Eren isn’t going to win it.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Well, let’s give Eren some props, he got some really good hits in, and he had FemTitan on her toes. She was taking him seriously.

      What I’m kind of interested in, is what she did when she turned around for the final blow. She literally stopped running, came to a halt, thought about something for a second, before turning around and looking at Eren. ErenTitan is staring angrily at her, but then he stops and gets this shocked look on his face, which is reflected on Eren’s face inside as well. Was it a look of fear, or more likely…recognition? Was there something about her look or her coup de grace move that Eren recalled that he had seen before?

      I went back to episode 4 (which is chocked full of clues by the way), and noticed that Eren really noticed Annie’s look of fury, as well as the looks she gave during certain fighting moves. Could he have recognized one of those looks here? Again, totally speculation.

  3. Irenesharda says:

    “Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art.
    Thy tears are womanish. Thy wild acts denote
    The unreasonable fury of a beast.
    Unseemly woman in a seeming man,
    And ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
    Thou hast amazed me.”
    -William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet III.iii.110-114

    “Sir, What is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank president.
    “Two words.”
    “And, sir, what are they?”
    “Good decisions.”
    “And how do you make good decisions?”
    “One word.”
    “And sir, what is that?”
    “Experience.”
    “And how do you get Experience?”
    “Two words.”
    “And, sir, what are they?”
    “Bad decisions.”
    - Unknown

    “When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take – choose the bolder.”
    – William Joseph Slim

    “Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”
    ― Brodi Ashton, Everneath

    “When things like this happen–when what was meant to help results in harm, when a salve brings pain instead of healing–it is clear how wrong even choices intended to be right can become.”
    ― Ally Condie, Reached

    “So, what can’t you take? Decide which of the two options is harder, and do the other. That way, no matter how hard your choice turns out to be, at least you can find comfort in knowing you’re avoiding something even worse.”
    ― Josephine Angelini, Starcrossed

    “Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a fucking sharp knife to it.”
    ― Banksy

    Oh wow…oh man… just let me catch my breath…

    That was just amazing. There is no other word for it. The animation, the emotion, the drama, the music, it was all just breathtaking. At first, I was becoming a little annoyed with the lack of Eren transforming. The guy is supposed to be humanity’s savior, but how will he be able to learn how to hone himself into a weapon if you guys keep stopping him? All these other Titan-hybrids are masters at their craft, and Eren’s pretty much a baby in comparison. He needs to learn, especially if it seems that each hybrid has their own unique talent (CT being so gigantic, AT able to create armored-plating, and FemTitan’s ability to harden parts of her body into a crystal like substance)…I wonder what’s Eren’s will be?

    Well, most of the elite recon squad is dead; they sure didn’t last long. I love that they didn’t go the traditional way and have the elites be able to use their power of camaraderie and nakama, to win the day. Instead the tide turned and all three ended up dead, with the lovely “Vogel im Kamfig” playing in all its glory. That scene had to be Eren’s most powerful transformation thus far, Titan-Eren displaying some mix between the rage and fury of a beast and the despair and sorrow of a human.

    He and the FemTitan go at it and it’s quite a spectacular fight to behold. Right away you can see that Eren is not as powerful and he is quite raw and inexperienced. However, even then he is able to hold his own, as of course a male has the stronger upper body strength, as well as the fact that in the field of determination and tenacity, Eren is unparalleled. However there is also the fact the this is FemTitan’s second wind, and she was injured and pretty weak at this point, so we have to count those as factors as well. At any rate, what we DO know, is that Eren has a bit of learning to do.

    So Eren got captured did he? I can’t say I wasn’t expecting it. He’s definitely not dead. You can fool us once when he got eaten the first time, but not a second. Mikasa’s going after him was awesome and fits her personality. Seeing Levi come back and the looks he gave his comrades’ corpses was just haunting. Having him and Mikasa team up was a match made in heaven. The two look and fight alike, and slight animosity between the two makes for good chemistry. (I already firmly ship MikasaxLevi ;) )

    I can’t wait for the next episode, that Titan female is going to have hell to pay, and Mikasa and Levi are demanding recompense–with interest.

    I give this episode a 9.75/10. One of the best of the series thus far.

  4. Highway says:

    Eren fought, of course, like an idiot. If she’s faster and more in control, then grappling is a way better way to deal with her. And instead of winding up big roundhouses when you’ve got her down, lean on her neck and punch her face with the other hand.

    But then, that just gets back to my annoyance overall with the show that it’s mostly about throwing up things that it thinks are cool and awesome.

    Also, for anyone who’s interested: You can pre-order a Mikasa Nendoroid. I think the Colossal Titan playset is a little bit cooler, but I know people like Mikasa. I’m not getting this one, tho, I sprung for the Tohka one a few weeks back. :D

    • Japaninspired says:

      I’m waiting for the figma’s. They look fantastic. Nendoroids are cute and all, but I think the Shingeki no Kyojin characters look better in figma form, Mikasa and Eren are already done and look amazing, so much detail, next is Levi.

      • Highway says:

        I saw a preview of the figma Mikasa. It looks ok, although kinda reminds me of a character from Busou Shinki. I think personally I’d go for the Nendoroids, they’re just easier for me to think about owning. But then I just have gotten a couple (that haven’t arrived yet: Maou from Maouyuu and Tohka, cause I like the characters, and I like the accessories for both (that dakimakura and the swooshy sword).

        • Japaninspired says:

          Yeah, nendoroids come with cool accessories.
          Something kind of stopped me from getting the nendo Mikasa right from the start, when she wasn’t even colored(Maybe it’s her face or something.).
          Nendoroid Eren is on his way too(he’s not colored yet though). I guess Ravioli will get one too.
          I don’t know why, but just as with the figma’s, a nendoroid of Armin is just being ignored. It will be sad if GSC and Max Factory decide to skip him.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Well remember that Eren was outclassed by her, even in human form (I’m convinced she’s Annie). However, he did well considering. He’s a good melee fighter, but he lacks tactics and strategy. He fights with passion, but not always skill.

      • Highway says:

        See, I’d say the opposite: He’s a terrible melee fighter, because he lacks tactics, strategy, and any sort of ability to gain an advantage, even against a half-blind and disabled opponent.

        You’d have thought with what, 3 years of military training (or was it just one, but that should still be enough) that they’d have learned something about fighting different kinds of opponents. And maybe the rest of them have. But typical Eren, he’s *all* passion and *nothing* else. If he had fought smarter, even against someone better, he would have at least come out with better than a draw. To me it’s an example of limited character development.

        • Irenesharda says:

          Maybe it’s I’m using the wrong term, when I say “melee” fighting, I usually mean, passionate, disorganized, brawl fist-fighting. We can see that he does have training and some skill in fighting, going back to episode 4 when he was fighting against Reiner and Annie in training. Eren could hold his own against the likes of Jean and Reiner, but Annie had already been expertly trained by her father, and thus she was pretty much better than anybody sans Mikasa in hand-to-hand combat.

          He has a fighting form and skill and actually has been shown to employ tactics when he’s thinking clearly, but when he’s in Titan form or enraged, he relies more on instinct and thus we’ve seen the result. However, I think he was against a lesser opponent, he would have won, simply because of strength, size, adrenaline, and passion. Eren is a very passionate person, and he had just seen his new friends, all people he had idolized even before he joined the Recon Corps, be slaughtered before his eyes, and I can’t blame him for being enraged. Yes, he should have been thinking clearly and used those skills and tactics he had learned, but considering his emotional state, I can cut him some slack.

  5. anonymous says:

    Hindsight is always perfect. Levi has it right. There’s no “right” choice, just choice and living with its consequences

    • BlackBriar says:

      True. There is no right choice in all of this. It’s just action and reaction, cause and effect. What matters is how you choose to deal with the outcome of your choices.

      I’d even throw in the popular Assassin’s Creed quote: “Nothing is true, everything is permitted”.

  6. Krono says:

    It’s sad how predictable this show is becoming. I don’t know about everyone else, but to me it was obvious when the female titan appeared again that the squad was going to die. I do have to give Eren credit though he did a lot better than I thought he’d do. I have no idea how they are going to wrap things up in the few episodes remaining, but hopefully it will be with all the other humans that can transform into titans being killed (at my current count there are 3).

  7. BlackBriar says:

    “Our doubts are traitors,
    and make us lose the good we oft might win,
    by fearing to attempt.”
    ― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

    “Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.”
    ― Voltaire

    “Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.”
    ― Paul Tillich

    “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

    “None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”
    ― Paulo Coelho, Brida

    Simply too epic to describe. Does any anime have a right to be this awesome?! My heart was racing the entire run. The music, drama, regret, pain of loss and rage. There’s absolutely nothing negative I could find here. I’d go as far as to say that I’ve cursing that Female Titan in my mind every time she killed someone.

    I’ve got to stop getting attached to these characters. Knowing that they’ve been killed brutally and that they won’t be back is making me numb. There really is no room for exception here on who dies. Because Petra and the others were in Levi’s squad, who are supposed to be the elite of the elite, naturally I thought they could hold their own and did so for a while but it was nothing short of a shock to see them wasted so easily. There’s no way of fathoming how pained Levi is seeing their bodies.

    Eren wasn’t bad fighting in Titan form but you can see he was easily outclassed in every way. He’s still a novice when it comes to his transforming and he was too blinded by rage to really anticipate anything or use any proper techniques. To me, the Female wasn’t even trying, just stood there taunting him. Not to mention it’s obvious she’s has more endurance, is more experienced and ressourceful than him. I mean, she was fighting with one eye and he needed both to keep going.

    It’s almost a guarantee Eren is still alive, that being eaten trick has already been tried and didn’t keep him down. What concerns me is where he is being taken. I don’t know how to explain it but after a while, I’ve been starting to think the Female Titan is nothing more than a foot soldier. And if she’s this terrifying being able to take out most of the Recon group and Levi’s squad of veterans singlehandedly, I can’t begin to image how adept the one she’s working for is. However, she’s brought herself to the gates of hell pissing of Mikasa and Levi. Never take or destroy something precious to these people. She should have seen the movie “Taken”.

    • Namika says:

      Even if you’re not very attached to these characters, you’re still gonna feel those feels. The best of the best, beaten so easily. That’s despair in one of it’s purest forms.

      He’s definitely alive, I’m almost sure that she ate him to transport him easily. The other question is where.

  8. Irenesharda says:

    LOL, I love “Taken”. Mikasa should have been Liam Neeson’s daughter, it would back total sense. :P

    I don’t know about her taunting him, per say. She actually looked pretty scared in some of those fight scenes. and he did get her with a few good blows. And to be fair, she got her second eye back mid-fight.

    ErenTitan does seem to be stronger physically than FemTitan, I don’t know if that’s because of mass or that he’s male, be he does seem to be able to overpower her through shear strength alone. If he had more skill and was thinking clearly, I have no doubt that he could have easily won. But could that be a clue about his unique Titan ability? His strength? Or it it something more spectacular?

    • Namika says:

      She totally did. The only thing that helped her win was the fact that Eren was going crazy and just trying to banally punch her in the face. She, on the other hand, thought everything through and…. ate him TT^TT I wonder, where is she taking him.

  9. Namika says:

    Okay, Levi and Mikasa have to be an epic pair. Two strongest fighters in the world, what can possibly go wrong??/ ^_^ Other than this show being Attack on Titan. Everything goes wrong here. Oh, WhatisgonnahappenWhatisgonnahappenWhatisgonnahappen~
    This was such a good episode. This arc was a little slow, that’s true. But this episode made up for it. Seeing Eren going bonkers was so satisfying and yet so “NO, DON’T DO IT, USE YOUR HEAD YOU IDIOT!” when he was going on about ripping her apart and then eating her I actually squealed in delight and anticipation. Predictably, that didn’t happen but still.
    But Levi was right about Eren, he needs some discipline. If he didn’t give in to his emotions as much, he would have been a great soldier.

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