Shingeki no Kyojin – 21
「鉄槌 ―第57回壁外調査(5)―」 (Tettsui ―Dai 57 Kai Kabe Gai Chosa (5)―)
“Crushing Blow ―57th Expedition Beyond the Walls (5)―”
The suffering never stops. Thought it was tough enough facing an intelligent Titan, now you gotta face someone who can camouflage as one of your own and transform back at will. Really, if this was a game I’d be saying just “gg, no re” (good game, no rematch) at this point, because any normal guy would’ve given up on it by now. Shingeki’s like the SNES Contra on steroids, and well, if you haven’t played that game before… let’s just say there’s a reason it’s labeled as one of the toughest games of all time.
Game references aside, Erwin’s quote says it all:
“We were mistaken to use Eren, a novice, as the basis of our assumptions.
If we are to outwit our enemy, we need to think outside the box.”
Indeed, the Titans’ secrets continue to be plentiful despite the big steps they’ve taken recently, and it just adds further to the difficulties our characters are facing. Not only are they dealing with the natural issues the Titans bring, they now have to deal with intelligent ones and saboteurs within their own ranks, as well as the continued uncertainty and lack of knowledge regarding anything Titan-related. You can plan all you want, but the fact remains they’re on their back foot no matter what the situation, and the failure of Erwin’s plan (despite its sound nature), demonstrates just how grim things are here.
With that said, the resumption of the Female Titan’s chase not only hammers in that fact, but also highlights notion that regular military tactics and lines of thinking just won’t work here if they want to win. Like my sentiment from a few weeks back, Erwin ends up expressing this himself, and it’s something that will test exactly whether or not he’s worthy of being humanity’s hope. At the very least though, everyone still believes in him (myself included), and that leads us into another key aspect of this episode: the strength you can possess if you know just exactly what you can do, believe in yourself, and believe in your comrades.
Granted, this strength only means so much in the end though (as the deaths of Petra, Eldo, and Oluo show), and Eren ends up having to transform into a Titan. Suffice to say, it’s quite fitting to say the least, because it reasons that if you’re going to take down another intelligent Titan, you’re going to need one of your own (insanity vs. insanity / fantasy vs. fantasy). Furthermore, it’s fitting in the sense that Eren falls outside of what we’d consider “normal military tactics/weaponry” too, and thus is exactly what Erwin means when he says they need to start doing something different to win, even if they’re forced to rely on someone that’s potentially a double-edged sword.
As it turns out, even that’s not enough, and both Levi + Mikasa end up arriving too late to assist Eren’s efforts. And well, what can I say? This week was just an amazing, action-packed episode that culminated a lot of what was built up in the previous weeks and fulfilled a lot of the writing on the wall as well. Admittedly I’m quite skeptical that Eren’s truly dead at this point (considering how “early” in the game it is, how he “died” once before already, and how he seems to have been swallowed whole), but that doesn’t change the fact that even if he’s just lying around being partially digested at this point, it’s gonna be quite something to get him out regardless, even if Mikasa’s solo show already got the Titan on its knees. As such, there really is nothing else to say except that next week just can’t come soon enough. It’s just too bad that this episode also heralds the last month of Shingeki no Kyojin’s first season too.
Author’s Notes: Preview