Shingeki no Kyojin – 09
「左腕の行方 ―トロスト区攻防戦⑤―」 (Sawan no Yukue ―Torosuto Ku Kobo Sen ⑤―)
“The Left Arm’s Whereabouts ―Defense of Trost (5)―”
The train of suffering just keeps rolling along in Shingeki no Kyojin―though in a notably different manner this week, as rather than open things off naturally, the episode does a kind of flashback to start things off. Admittedly, I was a bit caught off guard here (especially considering some of the recycled footage) and was slightly worried they were going to spend most of the episode recapping, but it turns out my worries were for naught…
…because the way this episode ended up being done really just highlights how the producers know how they’re doing. Indeed, the additional insight into some of the elite Recon Legion members (Captain Erwin, Corporal Levi etc.) was quite well done in the time span given, and it gives us a nice unofficial introduction to characters that will likely play a big part in the future. Perhaps the most notable thing though is how they ended up tying Levi with Eren―both via their similar demeanor towards the Titans and the subsequent literal shift from Levi to Eren’s time spent inside the Titan. Needless to say, the link (and transition) between the two was just superb, and highlighted especially by the scene where we see Eren floating around in Titan stomach juice with dozens of maimed allies along with him. I guess it’s just par for the course in the end―considering the insanity of this series―but even then, I couldn’t help but just go “WTFBBQ” at that moment… and I’d think many of you likely ended up doing the same.
Either way though, all of the above ends up notably paling in comparison to the major developments toward the end, where Eren finds himself on the cusp of execution due to his supposed potential to transform into a Titan and devour all the others from within the wall itself. As it turns out, that fear ends up being warranted for the most part―in terms of Eren being able to transform seemingly at will now―and it just really makes you feel for the commander in charge there. I mean, sure, it’s easy to say it from our viewpoint that Eren shouldn’t be executed… but if you really look at it from a military standpoint, it’s an insanely big risk to shoulder if they chose to keep Eren around. There’s just too little you know about what this phenomenon is to believe he won’t just go berserk on everyone, and the commander’s really stuck in between a rock and a hard place having to decide what to do here―especially when Mikasa’s (she’s worth a hundred ordinary soldiers you know!) also in the line of fire AND you’re expending valuable time and manpower every second you spend sitting there. Just not a nice place to be in, and really, there’s no real right or wrong answer here.
Ultimately though, it looks like things will really blow up with the coming of the next episode, and I’m admittedly wondering how things are going to work out from here. Armin looks like he’ll play some part in resolving this impasse next week, but it doesn’t really look good for Eren. There’s just nothing like saving all your friends and then being looked upon like some monster―even if it’s to a degree warranted―and it just hammers in how the suffering just never ends with this show. Just when you think you get a breather, the suffering just returns in another form, and it just all comes tumbling down… tumbling down… tumbling down…
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