Shingeki no Kyojin – 16
「今、何をすべきか ―反撃前夜③―」 (Ima, Nani o Su Beki Ka? ―Hangeki Zenya (3)―)
“What Should Be Done ―Prelude to the Counterattack (3)―”
As the trainees grapple with the potential of the Titan killer being in their midst, it’s also time for the cast to decide on which force to join, and there just ain’t no time to rest. Combine that with the suffering they’ve had to go through, and it’s no wonder that one of the big topics this week is how some regret signing to be soldiers in the first place. Really, you can’t blame them considering how different the real thing is compared to the training simulations, but at this point there’s no way out and they’re just going to have to move forward regardless.
Still, the fact that they’re not doing any kind of operation/task at the moment just forces the soldiers (like Jean) to think about the aforementioned even more than they otherwise would, and it’s a nice highlight as to how in certain circumstances, you’d much rather go from one kind of work to another just to avoid those creeping thoughts. At the same time, there are also some notable benefits to these moments too―assuming you aren’t on the brink of insanity―and some may end up coming out better than ever before. It remains to be seen whether or not this does much for our cast’s long term survival, but at the very least it seems like most will benefit more than not from this exchange, as they seem to have all come out with some kind of realization about their kind of personality, their feelings about the situation, as well as what they think they should do.
As the dialogue between Annie, Connie, and Armin shows us though, it arguably just boils down to whether or not you’re prepared to die and the kind of death you’d like to have. Do you want to be someone that determines when you die? Do you not care as long as there’s a reason? Or would you be okay with someone ordering you to your death?
All of this ultimately leads up to the induction ceremony/recruitment free for all, and it’s here where Erwin does a masterpiece of a speech to try and get people to join. On one hand he tells them of hope (due to Jaeger and his basement), then he slaps them in the face with reality (60% dead in four years), and then he culminates it with the lure that those that survive will become superior soldiers with high survival rates. Just superb. I’d join him. Maybe. Probably.
As it turns out, only a handful remain, including a majority of the main cast. The latter fact ends up as expected for the most part, but the thing that really got me was just how superb this induction was done in general. The scenes where the other potential recruits just started walking away, the great use of the vocal song from a few episodes back, the dramatic twirl of the Survey Corps’ uniform, and the remembrance of Marco all of just sent some chills down my spine and signified just how this really is a prelude to the counterattack in more ways than one. Everyone is counting on Eren at this point, and he really has to carry the weight of humanity on his own two shoulders from now on.
Looking forward, the 57th expedition beyond the wall starts now, and I’m getting the feeling that this is probably the highest point we’ll get for a while. Undoubtedly, there’s going to be an endless amount of suffering and losses before things get any better again (assuming it happens in the first place), and it’s no wonder why people are so hyped up about this series. Sadly though, it doesn’t seem like we’ll see Annie for a little bit, but if there’s one thing yesterday’s WonFes showed, we can at least live knowing there’s a bunch of Shingeki figures coming out soon (even if it’s only Levi, Eren, and Mikasa for the time being).