Shingeki no Kyojin – 24

Shingeki no Kyojin 005

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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23 Responses to “Shingeki no Kyojin – 24”

  1. Irenesharda says:

    “Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.”
    -Sun Tzu

    “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.”
    -Ayn Rand

    “To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.”
    -George Orwell

    “If you don’t hunt it down and kill it, it will hunt you down and kill you.”
    ― Flannery O’Connor

    “As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “I have learned to hate all traitors, and there is no disease that I spit on more than treachery.”
    -Aeschylus

    “We march and fight, to death or on to victory. Our might is right, no traitors shall prevail. Our hearts are steeled against the fiery gates of hell. No shot or shell, can still our mighty song.”
    -George Lincoln Rockwell

    Okay…I’m ready now. It actually took me about a day to recover from the awesomeness that is the penultimate episode of Shingeki no Kyojin.

    Now, where to start? Well, really as great of this episode was, not much actually happens. Its basically a flashback to how we got to the point we’re at now, and then a big battle. And, yet, this is still one of the best episodes in the series. Not as good as Ep. 21, but really close.

    Now, let’s handle the elephant in the room: Eren’s hesitance and indecision to fight Annie. I have already heard many berate him and ask why is he really taking so long thinking about this since she is clearly the enemy. These were the feelings I had at first as well, but then as I thought about it, this aspect of his character is actually rather clear.

    First off, a good majority of why he took so long to go into Titan form was because of the studios’ decision. They needed to pad and fill up this episode so that it could end at exactly the point they wanted it to, and therefore the season finale could also show what they wanted it to. They’ve been doing this throughout the series which is why at times it feels like events are taking forever, especially in the Trost arc and the Expedition arc.
    Now, despite that, I still think that I can understand what’s happened with Eren. As we watch these events unfold, we forget that Eren has in all honesty, not really experienced the same horrors of war as all the rest of his friends. During the battle of Trost he was taken out of it pretty early, and then spent all the rest of it in Titan form, sometimes dreaming and sometimes awake. He was then taken into custody and stayed with the Recon Corps for a while before we head to the expedition, where he stayed mostly in the protective company of Levi’s Special Ops team, before they were all killed and he was forced to defend himself once again in Titan form. He was then defeated and unconscious again, until he woke up in the cart heading back to the city again. Let’s just say that in comparison with his friends who have been fighting the good fight, Eren (or at least the human part of him) has never really done so. And because of this, is still naive as a soldier. Now Eren has matured quite a bit mind you, he has grown up more than before, but he’s no emotionless automaton and he still has morals towards fighting his fellow man.

    Now this is important because if you remember all the way back to episode 4, Eren spoke about why do they have to learn to fight humans when it’s Titans that are the enemy. Eren’s mind has been pretty black and white as most children’s minds tend to be. To him, there is US and there is THEM. There are your teammates and there are your enemies. There are humans and there are monsters. In his mind there has never been a blending of the two. Even when he was ten, killing the men who had kidnapped Mikasa, he though of them not as humans but as monsters not fit to be called human. Annie however, challenged and shook up that mindset. It wasn’t really that they were close or anything, but she was a human being that he learned from, sat and ate with, trained with, and considered his teammate. For her to also be this monster that has killed thousands has shaken up the foundations of which his mind thinks. Also, on top of that she is also the only one he knows that is Titan-hybrid like him, which also causes him to pause. Eren is perfectly fine with killing monsters. He has actually made that his life’s goal. However, he does consider it wrong to kill his fellow men, and the fact that Annie is both his fellow man and a monster at the same time, causes great conflict within him.

    Now, it shouldn’t have taken him as long as it did to finally decide, however that goes back to the studio decisions again. But he’s basically come to the conclusion that not only did it no longer matter what he morally thought was right or wrong when it came to survival and war, but that also, as he equated Annie’s massacre to the killing of his mother, he completely shifted Annie from the category of “humans/teammates” to that of “monsters”, which effectively places her as someone that he must kill. She is now a Titan in his eyes and that means she falls under his vow that he made all those years ago. And this is what allows him to transform and confront her for the second time as a Titan.

    Now other than Eren, we can see a change in other characters who have also grown during the course of the series. We have Jean, who once had the dream of joining the Military Police and now looks at them and sneers. He has become a strong and passionate individual who is okay with his own weaknesses and now readily works with others. Armin has grown from a kid who couldn’t even fight back against some alley bullies but now is not afraid to take on a full grown Titan head on. He too knows his weaknesses and his strengths and he is now using his mind to best of his ability to fight against the enemy.

    The transformation this time was really, really epic. Eren’s rage and determination knows no bounds. I found out it was not this way in the manga and a lot of this was filler, but they still did a very good job with it. It felt different then his transformation back in episode 21, but still really really good. The OST was amazing, not as good as it was in episode 21, but still the music was spot on. I think Eren has a good chance of beating Annie this time around, especially considering his rage at this point. Well, I can’t wait till next week’s finale, especially as the studio seems pretty confident in it.

    I almost made it through this series with little to no spoilers, however one of the blog reviews I read told me some things regarding Wall Sina, and unfortunately I can’t unlook at it. But it’s almost the end, and and I looked away from reading anymore once I realized that it was a spoiler so I don’t think too much damage was done. I’m hyped for this last episode and will have to have great patience until the second season.

    I give this episode a 8.95/10. A really great episode, one of the best. Probably the best of this seasons’ penultimate episodes.

    • Overcooled says:

      Eren taking so long to transform is partially for time padding and partially because empathizing with Annie is just a really human thing to do. Eren hasn’t thrown away his humanity yet. As you said, Eren is definitely a very black or white person. He either hates something so much he wants to go nuts and kill everything affiliated with it, or he sees them as a friend so dear he’s willing to hop in a Titan’s mouth to save them. The fact that Annie is a bit of a gray area totally throws him off.

      His actual transformation was really damn cool though. I didn’t realize a lot of this was filler, but it didn’t feel like it at all. I can’t believe the finale is airing in theatres! Wow.

      I’ve been spoiled pretty hard by fanart. I think I know who the Colossal Titan and Armoured Titan are because of it, which really really sucks -_- It’s so hard staying clean. Anyways, this is gonna be a great finale. I’m so hyped!

  2. Namika says:

    OH GOD the last episode. NO, I DON’T WANT SUNDAY TO COME. TT^TT I’m dreading that feeling of a void that is yet to come. Today, I finished Free, Ghost Hunt manga, plus I marathoned Gin no Saji yesterday. I feel like I’ll become a black hole soon TT^TT

    This was such a great episode. What especially hit me was Rivaille. It’s like everyone knows how much he struggles now, losing your squad, along with your lover, it must be painful as hell. But nobody really talks about that. Most of them probably didn’t even know about Petra, but still. Somehow, after this episode, I like this character even more. But MAN I fear that that leg of his will become a serious problem. I sure don’t want to see him dead yet! Rivaille and Jean, that’s who I REALLY don’t want to die.

    I can’t wait to see the final ep, but I dread the moment I start watching it.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I doubt Levi or Jean would die anytime soon. Levi is good at what he does, but he’s also very smart and from what I can gather from his character, he takes on the lives of his fallen comrades in a way, and promises vengeance on their behalf. Well, the only way he’d be able to fulfill that vow, is if was alive, so I don’t think he’s going to be any more reckless that he has to be.

      Jean, has been slowly evolving to main supporting character status, and this gives him more plot armor. He doesn’t have as much as say Mikasa or Armin, or God forbid, Eren…but it’s enough that I think will last him for a while.

      • Namika says:

        That’s all understandable, but I can’t help but be a little nervous about that. It’s Shingeki no Kyojin we’re watching, after all.

    • Karakuri says:

      Hey, if Levi does end up dying soon, at least there’s that inexplicably shoujo prequel manga about him coming out.

      • Namika says:

        Hey, really. I didn’t know that, since I don’t go near the manga. But I bet that would be a tear-jerker.

        • BlackBriar says:

          I haven’t read any related mangas but I imagine it would be. Given the look on his face when he saw the bodies of his own squad members in the forest, he must have gone through hell until this present point in the story.

          • Irenesharda says:

            When I saw the look on his face when he lost his men, it was so powerful. You could just see the silent pain and grief just from the use of shadows and coloring. That scene and the later scenes in episode 22 has really won Levi over for me as a character.

            I really would like it if we got some more of his backstory as well, so I could connect even more with him. I think we actually saw him and Erwin way back in the first episodes when Eren was a kid, and both Levi and Erwin were not as stoic then as they are now. I hope they animate some of the prequel manga since I won’t be touching any of the manga until the entire series is over.

            • Overcooled says:

              I would love to hear about Levi’s backstory. He apparently used to very different, and that intrigues me. I didn’t know about the Levi-centric manga coming out though…I guess that would cover everything.

            • Namika says:

              I remember someone mentioning Rivaille being like a … thief or something like that? I don’t remember exactly, but he certainly had dark past.

            • Namika says:

              Yeah, that episode basically showed us who he really was.
              And you said well, those moments were so powerful and emotional.

            • Irenesharda says:

              That was Petra, back somewhere in Ep. 16 or 17, I think she said he was part of some thieves guild or some sort of organized crime, something like that. He was from poverty and the wrong side of the tracks to put it simply. Erwin found him, mentored him, and made a soldier out of him.

  3. 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

    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston Churchill

    “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    “Your will shall decide your destiny.”
    ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

    Hahaha!! Watching the 85% of optimism in Gatchaman Crowds to later drop in the dark abyss of death and despair that is Attack on Titan? You must be a masochist, OC

    No matter what, my mind is still blown away by the epic developments. I hate the feel of knowing there’s a penultimate episode of a good show. It puts a lot of pressure on your mind hoping it ends well when in actuality; you don’t want it to end at all and like some series I could mention, Shingeki no Kyojin is no exception.

    Annie’s reckless assault is the example of a wounded animal capable of doing anything and everything once it’s forced into corner. The soldier’s need to capture her alive is what keeps her on the rampage with a glimmer of hope. She knows even if they have a chance to kill, they won’t take it while she takes to opportunity to do the opposite. And she was spinning soldiers like a yo-yo again. Sadistic beast… What I think the soldier’s are aiming for is to ship her off to possible dissection in Eren’s stead for her treason.

    Luckily Mikasa and Armin are always within reach as I had to roll my eyes at Eren’s reluctance to fight Annie. Baseless accusations against a friend and ally is completely understandable but it should have been all bets off and him accepting it the moment he saw the proof first hand as she transformed then proceeded to kill more soldiers, especially when he made the resolve to avenge those Annie killed in the forest. Like Mikasa said: “That bitch killed your comrades!”.

    At this point, I’m more afraid of Hanji than the Titans.

    There are so many psychotic facial expressions. I don’t know who does it better: Hanji or Mikasa.

    • Overcooled says:

      I have an odd habit of watching shows that are on different extreme ends of the spectrum one after another, and I don’t know why…It’s still weird, but now it doesn’t bother me as much lol

      Yeah, they probably want Annie alive to squeeze info out of her (if they can) and dissect her. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible with the strategies they’ve been using. She’s just too strong.

      I wish Eren had just jumped into the fight because it would be faster, but I get why he’d be so hesitant to fight her. He’s a bit more stubborn than Mikasa and Armin, so it takes him a long time to make the switch.

  4. Soliia says:

    Wow, this was a great episode! So intense. Everything was so intense – the music, the action, everyone’s facial expressions. I mean, Hanji. Damn. And Mikasa was pretty terrifying, too.

    I am so excited for the next episode. The last episode. Until the inevitable 2nd season, at least. It’s really hard to believe it’s coming to an end.

    • Overcooled says:

      Intense is right! Everything came together beautifully to give us an exciting penultimate episode. I especially liked how the animation got really gritty when Eren was struggling under the rubble and finally transforming.

      I’m almost certain they’ll give us a season 2 once the manga has caught up. This series not only has a huge budget, but it has a huge following. It just makes sense! I’m going to miss it though

  5. sadakups says:

    >At this point, I’m more afraid of Hanji than the Titans.

    I actually like her character a lot. I rarely like crazy characters, but she’s the exception. I’ve never seen any one in the show who lavishes at the thought of fucking up Titans with so much gusto than her. It’s fair, considering that the Titans are the ones usually fucking up humans.

    I hope she doesn’t die.

    • Overcooled says:

      I love Hanji and her psychopathic ways! The way she mixes creepy, scientific interest with the urge to kill makes her a really, really interesting person. Scary, but interesting.

      If she dies I will be so mad.

  6. anonymous says:

    Just want to note that they are basically asking Eren to regress back to his time when his life was filled only with hate.

    Though the episodes, he has gradually left that life behind by making friends so those who disliked his earlier utter focus on killing, you can now blame the entirety of humanity for it.

    • Overcooled says:

      Ideally, he should find a balance between throwing away his humanity and being a good person. If Erwin, Mikasa, Armin etc. have managed it, then Eren should consider it. It doesn’t have to be so extreme, but I suppose Eren doesn’t realize that yet.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Eren is stubborn and at times a hothead. So he’ll stumble through things before he can find that balance. He’s like a kid that would jump into the deep end of the pool without a floatation device.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I don’t really know what was meant about him getting rid of his humanity. There seems to be a difference in translation in the subs with him indicating in one version that he’s been failing because of his ties to his friends, where as the other actually indicates the opposite that He’s failing his friends by sitting here while they are out there fighting.

      So, I don’t think he’s regressing, or destroying his humanity or anything. I think he’s just becoming hardened, less naive, and being reminded of what’s important and the vow that he took as a child.

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