Shingeki no Kyojin – 13
「原初的欲求 ―トロスト区攻防戦⑨―」 (Gensho Teki Yokkyu ―Torosuto Ku Kobo Sen ⑨―)
“Basic Needs ―Defense of Trost (9)―”
Weeks of reduced pacing has finally led to this climactic episode in the defense of Trost, and it’s arguably been worth it. Granted, it’s difficult to say anything’s worth the length of time it took to develop this, but the general thing is that people keep watching this series because they expect something epic to come from it all… and that patience has been rewarded this week as Eren finally responds and picks up the @#$%! boulder.
To that end, what commences is an all or nothing fight to ensure he survives to complete his objective… and it’s something that really makes things even more desperate than they were before. And as desperate times call for desperate measures, we got Jean salving (yes, this apparently means the same thing as salvaging actually) maneuver gear from a dead comrade, Connie kicking Titans to distract em’… and dozens upon dozens of soldiers literally sacrificing themselves via the use of themselves as lures to distract the Titans from Eren. Combine that all together and we get nearly 10 straight minutes of adrenaline rush induced carnage… epicness matched notably by the budget expended on this episode, which is likely the reason behind the slight, occasional decrease in animation quality in past weeks.
All in all though, Eren’s quote…
“When we’re born, all of us are free.
People who deny that, no matter how strong they are, don’t matter.
The burning water, the land of ice… I don’t care.
Anyone who saw such things would be the freest person in the world.
Who would value their life over something like that?
No matter how terrifying the world is, it doesn’t matter!
However cruel the world may be…
It doesn’t matter!
…just captures this episode better than anything else, and I really don’t know what else to say here. The aforementioned quote, combined with all the death and destruction we get this week, just come to a head with humanity’s first successful operation against the Titans. To say that I got chills was an understatement (heck, I even teared up a bit at the end of the fight)… and again, while it’s hard to say the wait has definitely been worth it… it sure at least feels like it. The superb insert vocal in particular added even more GARRR to the moment and really, it was like humanity just screaming out that “WE’RE HERE, WE’RE ALIVE, AND WE’LL KEEP FIGHTING!” Indeed, their success goes to show that the many deaths that came before this moment were not in vain, and it’s a damn spectacular episode for emotional release… especially with the return of the Recon Corps (how about that epic Levi?)… and their exceptionally fitting Wings of Freedom (AMERICA, *** YEAH! < -- Not PG-13.) symbol highlighting the end of the fighting.
Still as it turns out, even with their first real victory… the suffering never stops. Marco is found dead, two days of corpse recovery still hasn’t recovered everyone, and there’s a realistic chance that failure to properly dispose of their bodies could start a secondary catastrophe via an epidemic. Talk about suffering. But that’s what this war is about. There’s no time to sit there and mourn. All you can do is continue pushing forward. Once you win, then you can sit back and survive. Until then, you fight for those that have fallen and those who have yet to be born…
…and that’s what Eren gets a chance to do especially, now that he’s officially been accepted as a part of the Recon Corps due to Levi’s help. To that end, it’s amazing how similar both of them are personality wise, and it’s just exceptionally fitting to see that both of their fates have crossed like this at this point in time. Beneath everything though, it goes without saying that there’s nothing like the twisted irony of relying on a Titan to defeat the Titans, but it looks like that’ll have to do—especially if they want to somehow find a way back to the Jaegers’ basement. Interestingly enough though… even though we’ve been told this before, I can’t help but suddenly feel like the fact that Eren’s dad being currently missing being mentioned again will play a key part in this (perhaps he was involved in some kind of Titan related plot?)… though it might just be me grasping at straws at this point.
Either way, it’s just a damn spectacular episode… which makes next week all the more disappointing, as it the recap episode makes its way in between the change in airing seasons. Notably, due to the nature of this episode, I likely will not be covering it at all, so it’s likely that the next Shingeki post will be in two weeks instead. Until then!