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Shingeki no Kyojin – 15

「特別作戦班 ―反撃前夜②―」 (Tokubetsu Sakusen Han ―Hangeki Zenya (2)―)
“The Special Ops Squad ―Prelude to the Counterattack (2)―”

Before we start things off this week, let’s take some bets for how many parts this prelude will last. 3? 4? 5 episodes? TAKE YOUR PICK! Going once, going twice. SOLD.

Jokes aside, one of the more important things when joining a new group/organization is first impressions. Generally, this applies mostly to the person joining or trying to enter it… but sometimes, it’s equally important to give the newbie a positive impression so you know, they’ll actually stay. But hey, I guess when you’re in the Special Ops branch of the Recon Corps, it doesn’t really matter much does it? I mean, no cares if you almost kill yourself biting your tongue as long as you got 39 Titan Kills (and 9 Assists!) on your belt, right!?

With that said, this week brings with it the introduction of the remainder of Levi’s Squad (see Petra Ral, Auruo Bossard, Erd Gin, and Gunther Schultz), as well as the re-introduction of various other members as well (see Hanji etc.). And as a fan of such “introductory” episodes—especially if the group’s full of “freaks” like this one is—I quite liked this episode. There’s just something about seeing the main character reconcile reality with his initial expectations that makes it fun to watch, and it’s likely that Eren in particular won’t be forgetting his first impressions of the Recon Corps anytime soon—especially considering he’ll be shoved in a basement to sleep from now on as well.

Still, the first impressions go far beyond just the Recon Corps this week, as Eren finds out the hard way that there’s more than meets the eye in the background. Indeed, the killing of the live Titan subjects highlight the politics (and potential conspiracies) behind everything going on so far, and it really goes to show that the enemy isn’t so much the Titans as it is other humans as well. I mentioned this last week already, but the suffering just never ends, and it’ll be a wonder if they don’t end up killing each other off at some point even if they somehow successfully eliminate the Titan threat.

While we’re on the Titans, it was quite the surprise that this week also gave us a bit of information in regards to the experimentation done on whatever live subjects the soldiers have managed to get, and what they’ve found out regarding them (apparently they’re all like Superman and power up using the Sun). The bit about the body parts being much lighter than they should be was especially interesting in particular, as it notably addressed the question many people had about how they’re able to stand in the first place.

As nice as the aforementioned was though, all of it pales when compared to how it was presented through the insane Hanji’s perspective. After all, when you got someone who has faces like this, causes heart attacks (and vomiting) for those guarding her and the Titan subjects day after day, and screams in place of Titans being tortured, you got a recipe for some epic win. Indeed, the entire sequence just ends up ridiculously funny—especially when Eren finds out that one should never ask her about the gritty details. The bit where Hanji says “sadly communication proved impossible” while putting on a troll face just put icing on the cake, as did the part where she named the individual Titans too.

In the end though, all the above just highlights how the Recon Corps are a kind of haven for freaks, which arguably makes them the most human out of any other group. Considering how messed up this world is, you’d be abnormal NOT to be kookoo/broken/weird in some way, and it arguably shows how each individual member has really grown to overcome whatever respective traumas they may have had initially. Looking forward, there’s definitely some crazy times ahead. One just wonders how many parts we’ll get for this “prelude” though…

Author’s Notes:

  • As usual, there will be a zero tolerance policy on spoilers. Spoilers should generally not be written in general if it can be avoided and any spoilers should have a comment detailing what kind of spoiler it is and should be in response to a query. Those found violating this will find their comment deleted and multiple violations (in the form of comment deletions) will lead to bans. Note though, when deletions of the offending comment are removed, so will accompanying replies. This does not mean that those whose accompanying replies are at risk of being banned, unless they also violate the rule in some way.


    July 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm
    • July 20, 2013 at 7:42 pmHidan

      Damnit I’ll never want to be part of Hanji’s team . Doing those crazy things

      • July 20, 2013 at 7:54 pmMasterDragonKnight

        The fastest way to get results is to think outside the box and throw reason out the window.

        Commander Irvin’s team is composed of the best and quirkiest people. And speaking of quirky, have another parody picture.

        • July 20, 2013 at 8:21 pmHidan

          You sir, win a cookie from me with that ‘cannot unsee’ picture.

        • July 20, 2013 at 8:25 pm7godeohs

          You can take my eyes now, I won’t be needing them anymore.

        • July 20, 2013 at 10:46 pmufobaby


        • July 22, 2013 at 3:39 pmNaYa

          OH GOD.

    • July 20, 2013 at 7:43 pmEspada

      Wohlan Freund! Jetzt hier ist ein Sieg. Dies ist das erste Gloria. O, mein Freund! Feiern wir diesen Sieg, für den nächsten Kampf!

      • July 20, 2013 at 10:39 pmhaseo0408

        Sorry, I fall sleep during german class in high school.

        • July 21, 2013 at 3:57 pmTobiko

          But what will you do when we try to conquer the world again! Uh? UH?

    • July 20, 2013 at 7:45 pmInferno

      I used to think that Hanji is crazy, but now I know for sure she’s crazy. lol Titans now have another addition to the “to watch out for” list.

      • July 20, 2013 at 10:43 pmhaseo0408

        Well, the best way to defeat a mighty enemy is get to know it better but Hanji´s level of entusiam for the titans goes far beyond that. I could be wrong but she might be the very first titan groupie ever.

    • July 20, 2013 at 7:46 pmMeldoy

      Hanji is freaking gold. I love her.

      • July 20, 2013 at 8:16 pmfrubam

        And I was worried that we wouldn’t have our comedy gold without Sasha around….Hanji is a perfect replacement =03!

        • July 20, 2013 at 8:33 pmZephyr

          Must construct additional pylons potato farms acquire more live Titan subjects.

      • July 20, 2013 at 10:36 pmhaseo0408

        Hanji is awsome but I can Asure you she´s the only human in that whole world crazy enough to get exited over examining a titan up close, way to close for my taste.

      • July 20, 2013 at 11:17 pmShoukoChan

        Hanji’s way of living will get her killed one day…

        • July 21, 2013 at 1:51 amJHN

          And she’ll love it.

      • July 21, 2013 at 11:14 aminfo600

        Speaking of Hanji-san, I can’t shake off the feeling of listening to Edward talking about alchemy throughout that “monologue”.

      • July 21, 2013 at 4:40 pmHakumen

        Park Romi is the best

    • July 20, 2013 at 8:20 pmHorus

      I feel sick for reasons I will not specifically disclose. It’s not the stomach churning feeling of seeing something disgusting but the heart dropping empty void of helplessness.

    • July 20, 2013 at 8:24 pmtsukioniisan

      I… I never thought Petra was this cute.

      • July 21, 2013 at 12:10 amfrubam

        Was it me, or did I feel a small PetraxEren moment somewhere in there =03?

      • July 21, 2013 at 2:15 amRyuuzaki

        all i think about after hearing petra is a horse :3

    • July 20, 2013 at 8:52 pmmahja ramen

      5 i think 5.

      I can’t decide if I like Levi or Hanji more. It’s killing me.

      • July 21, 2013 at 2:17 amRyuuzaki

        why not pick both? its like having hot milk on the left and chocolate cookie on the right.

    • July 20, 2013 at 9:01 pmvane

      Levi Sexy Clean Mode ON… Oh my my! I love this part. Hanji, I love her too… she’s so crazy.

    • July 20, 2013 at 9:14 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Zoe is already one of my favorite characters so far, lol.

      It’s just refreshing to see her kind of character in this otherwise dark and grim setting that only looks to be getting worse with each episode (much like how I enjoy Helen’s character, and others, in Claymore for those who read it). Not only that, but the fact that she started out like Eren and joining the Recon Corps and fighting the Titans solely out of hatred (for decades no less) only to turn out how she is simply by changing her view on things, as opposed to the common view everyone else, had makes her more relatable to Eren on a closer base level and, as we see, Eren seems to realize that (as well as how the whole group is in general) and starts to change his own viewpoint bit by bit when it comes to the Titans (especially since he partly IS one now).

      A lot of people, understandably, seem to have the impression that the Titans somehow meticulously, or at least maliciously, target humans for some sick fun or something, constantly forgetting that they’re, at least based on Zoe’s flashbacks, much more like wild animals following instincts. I mean, if you were to snatch a grown lion, tiger, or something out of its natural habitat and try to house-train it and such, the results wouldn’t be pretty.

      • July 21, 2013 at 5:31 pmSekai

        Wild animals must eat to survive. Titans don’t.

        • July 22, 2013 at 7:24 pmRob

          Cats don’t need to hunt to survive, but they still kill birds and mice

    • July 20, 2013 at 9:37 pmJel

      Rather than freaks or weirdos, I would think of the Special Ops of the Recon Corps more as quirky. Hanji’s obsession with Titans, Levi being a neat freak, Mike smelling people, Auruo biting his tongue and seemingly talking like Levi. Sure it’s “weird” and “freaky” but I find those to have much more negative connotation than quirky.

      Some interesting points of this episode were when…
      -Mike tells Eirwen to cut the crap (pretty much) and tell him what’s going on, but he merely replies with a you’ll find out later…
      -The Titans bodies are really light for their size
      -after Sawney and Bean were killed, Eirwen asks Eren who Eren thinks the enemy is. Now why would he ask that?!

      Also, props to gg for translating the name as Sawney since that is the reference that Hanji is making, and I was actually able to look something up versus when I read scanlations that spelled it as Sonny.

    • July 20, 2013 at 9:39 pmKurama

      I… have a crush on Hanji. Is something wrong with me?

      • July 20, 2013 at 10:34 pmMarc

        Nothing wrong at all! Mad scientists are HOT!

      • July 20, 2013 at 10:37 pmhaseo0408

        Not at all, all humans are a little crazy in the inside, embrace it proudly!.

      • July 21, 2013 at 2:21 amRyuuzaki

        the manga never confirmed hanji’s gender. is it safe to say hanji is 100% girl now that the anime shows some boob curves?

        • July 21, 2013 at 1:38 pmKurama

          They’ve referred to her as “she” multiple times in the anime.

    • July 20, 2013 at 10:50 pmTremste

      Don’t worry Hanji Zoe. You can always sacrifice your right arm and left leg to summon those two titans back. *props to anyone that gets the reference*

      • July 20, 2013 at 11:05 pmJel

        Fullmetal Alchemist!

      • July 21, 2013 at 12:53 amJel

        Hanji would love the automail and enjoy the automail attachments every time. Lol.

        • July 21, 2013 at 4:25 amStarFang

          If Automails existed in Shingeki, they would do a great service to all the soldiers fighting the Titans (e.g. replacing missed body parts, improving defense and agility, weaponry, ecc).

        • July 21, 2013 at 5:50 amSchniffen

          Lol both Hanji and Edward have the same VA. One of these days she’ll clap her hands and next a blade will appear on her right arm.

        • July 21, 2013 at 2:11 pmLinkark

          And then she will shout: Bankai.

    • July 20, 2013 at 11:19 pmMi-Chan

      Dammit! Those freakishly upclose Hanji moments with the titan bites made my stomach heavier, gosh! Though the most prevailing part for me this episode, aside from the apron-levi opening the window, is Smith’s words to Eren. Was it to test Eren’s loyalty? or was it implying that the titans and all those killings are nothing but a higher-ups plan all along, I want to know!!!!!!!! Thanks for your review, M.

    • July 20, 2013 at 11:27 pmMac

      1. Listening to the opening as German…the beginning isn’t bad, it’s even better than average German which most non-Germans speak. But the German words inbetween are way too cheesy for me. XD

      2. Favorite moment was Eren cleaning up:

      *somebody comes around the door*
      “You’ve got quite a despairing look on your face, Eren”

      She must have X-Ray or else I cannot explain how she can judge his face by seeing his back side. O__O
      But I giggled pretty much at that.

      • July 23, 2013 at 3:55 amRailing Pleb

        that’s just your subs. Commie subs- “Disillusionment setting in, Eren?”

    • July 20, 2013 at 11:45 pmNaYa

      • July 22, 2013 at 9:28 pmhaseo0408

        Incredible that Levi ranked first place in the character popularity poll but understandable considering how awsome in battle he is. But also, I have to wonder what goes through that guys head when he cleans everything until it´s shining, in a way I think he is even crazier than Hanji.

    • July 21, 2013 at 12:03 amechykr

      One of Hanji’s subordinates sure nailed it on the head:

      “You’ll really die, dammit!”

      LOL It takes a nutter like her to be able to conduct experiments like those with little regard to her own life.

      Gotta love how the rest of Levy’s team escaped when Hanji began her long lecture to Eren, who unwittingly asked for more and ended up hearing for the whole night. XD

      Oh and.
      RIP Sawney
      RIP Bean

      • July 21, 2013 at 12:06 pmVagrant

        For a while I saw that as RIP Sean Bean o_o;;;

    • July 21, 2013 at 12:07 amReianz

      My favorite scene of the week:

      Levi: “Hey, Eren!”
      Eren: “Yes, sir?”
      Levi: “It’s no good at all. Redo it all from scratch.”

      I can totally relate to this scene. Getting sh*t from my superiors, and them telling me to redo it all over again… =P

    • July 21, 2013 at 2:29 amTheOrangeOne

      When getting your grandparents into anime, you should definitely show them this pic first: http://randomc.net/image/Shingeki%20no%20Kyojin/Shingeki%20no%20Kyojin%20-%2015%20-%20Large%2031.jpg

    • July 21, 2013 at 2:34 amyoaken

      I don’t like Hanji but I don’t know why… Her voice is the same as Armin’s?

      For people who have read the manga, the pace may seem terribly slow, but for people who haven’t read it yet, they can enjoy it, I think.

      It’s me or there are some ”original” scenes??

      • July 21, 2013 at 3:26 amJayDrink

        Nah, Armin and Hanji do not have the same VA.

        • July 21, 2013 at 3:55 amMi-Chan

          hahahahaha! omg I thought Hanji sounded like Edward from FMA LOl epic!

      • July 21, 2013 at 9:02 amZelos

        Mii…that’s because IT’S Romi Park (VA for Full Metal Alchemist’s Edward) that’s voicing Hanji Zoe.

    • July 21, 2013 at 3:31 amWanderer

      Am I the only one who kind of felt bad for what happened to Sawney and Bean ?

      • July 21, 2013 at 9:26 amYOLO_MLG_420BlazEit

        After seeing how Hanji cared about them so much and then her reaction when they died… definitely yes for me :’(

    • July 21, 2013 at 3:56 amboingman

      I lost count of how many times I LOLed. Great/very funny episodes thanks to Levi’s cleaning antics and Hanji’s crazyness.
      btw. anyone knows the Titans kill count of both Hanji and Levi? Over 100/200?

      • July 21, 2013 at 11:01 pmSaki

        I also want to know Levi/Hanji’s Titan kill stats! Anyone who can share?

    • July 21, 2013 at 5:15 amhibari

      is stiffing gay thing to do?

    • July 21, 2013 at 7:06 amKenbu

    • July 21, 2013 at 5:40 pmKaris

      I always wonder: If you put Deadpool in the world of Titans, how will mankind react?

      • July 21, 2013 at 7:51 pmCorey

        Deadpool would probably kill all the Titans while breaking the forth wall saying how the series is so Dark and emo. lol

        • July 22, 2013 at 9:31 pmhaseo0408

          Yeah we get rid of the titans but how do we get rid of Deadpool? Domino always said that Deadpool is so annoying that either you kill him to make him stop talking or you kill yourself.

    • July 21, 2013 at 7:50 pmCorey

      OMG..Hanji is sooo hoooot! I can’t describe it. It’s is it her character or probably that Romi Paku is voicing her but she is becoming my number one favorite character in the show next to Mikasa, Eren, Sasha, and Jean. My God I think I’m in love! HNNNNGGG!!

    • July 26, 2013 at 11:33 amHikapo

      Now ,we get to know a little bit more about the titans. It was a very informational episode.