At this point, I’m more afraid of Hanji than the Titans.
|Sorry for being late again. My body has nearly been destroyed, but at least I am now up to date with all of my readings for school! It was painful, but the feeling of being up to date is just so, so good. I felt so accomplished I baked cookies and ate half a dozen of them while watching Attack on Titan. The stress of work tearing me apart aside…today was a damned good day.|
Sometimes Attack on Titan is just plain depressing. I tend to watch Gatchaman and Titan one after the other because that’s just how my schedule has been working out, and it’s usually a very, very weird mix. I watch Hajime chatter about how wonderful the world is and neon-coloured robots jump around like kangaroos before transitioning into Attack on “every character you love is dead” Titan. It’s not my best strategy for blogging, that’s for sure. However, the sudden change wasn’t quite so sudden since this week’s episode was more uplifting and exciting than depressing. I suppose it’s hard to call a bloodbath “uplifting” but the beautifully animated action scenes were so captivating that I didn’t give a damn who or what Annie was turning into a fine, red mist. It was exciting! I always forget just how fun the Titan fights are in this show. This is the real strength of the Shingeki no Kyojin, and the finale is not going to let us forget that.
First of all, the whole concept of Annie’s last stand is great. She’s been cornered by all of her old friends and is forced to transform in the middle of the city. She’s so desperate that she’s willing to be totally violent and risk accidentally killing Eren. She’s still the same powerful beast as she was when she fought the Recon corps in the woods, but now she’s lost any hope of ever returning to her old life. The only way to go from here now is up, so she’s going to risk it all. This makes her extremely vicious – as you can see from the huge death toll she racks up in a manner of minutes. She’s still just as fierce as ever. You really have to hand it to Erwin to plan all the way up to “Plan C” just to make everything is under control. I haven’t seen him slip up as a leader once yet.
I like how Eren is supposed to be the trump card for humanity, yet he’s almost constantly outshone by Mikasa and Armin. He’s so stubborn that he can’t get anything done unless he’s got Armin or Mikasa to save his ass and talk him through it. With all these hopes weighing him down, he falters. Meanwhile, Armin and Mikasa have earned my respect. Mikasa may be overbearing at times, but she always aims to get the job done. Her dedication to saving Eren is borderline psychopathic, but that’s what makes her so great. It’s nice to see her fighting competently again and giving Annie a real hard time instead of just aimlessly rushing in. As for Armin, he’s a genius. He pulls Eren out from under the rubble and pep-talks some sense into him before flying off to battle a near-invincible foe. Eren isn’t a weak person…but those 2 certainly make him look like a wimp in comparison some times.
Thankfully, he does transform once he’s nearly dead. I hope he learns to transform when he’s not totally consumed by malevolent rage so he can competently control his Titan form for once. That would be, you know, helpful. I’m not looking forward to seeing him go berserk yet again, if the preview is any indication of what Eren is going to do. At the very least, the battle so far has been awesome and I doubt Eren will spoil it very much at all. Still, he needs to learn to control that thing before I get sick of him always acting like an overleveled Pokemon disobeying a trainer without the right gym badge.
All that’s left to improve the fight is the inclusion of pros like Hanji, Erwin and Levi. I’m worried Levi’s bum leg will get in his way…which makes me even more sure he’s going to fight anyways, screw up somewhere, and commit a grave error. It’ll be great! What they need to bring down Annie isn’t traps – it’s skills. Every time they trap her, they’re so intent on keeping her alive (which is nigh impossible) instead of killing her. If they’re gonna be that difficult, they might as well just kill her on the go. Hanji has some great mad scientist moments, but I feel like that menacing gleam will be even better if we see it while she actually battles Annie, the object of her Titan-affection. The action has been amazing so far, and it can only improve once the professionals come out to play.
I’m still taken aback by how immensely fun this week’s episode was. The animation quality was at a peak (choosing screencaps was so hard!) and the music was spot on for every scene. Even the flashbacks – which are usually either too long or too boring – were well placed to show us the origin of Eren’s hesitation. If the finale tops this then I imagine we will all have wonderful memories of Shingeki no Kyojin to carry us into the next season.
Preview: Annie vs Eren in an epic battle! Also, Eren vs everyone and everything, apparently. That’s not gonna be so great.