「少女が見た世界 ―トロスト区攻防戦②―」 (Shojo ga Mita Sekai ―Torosuto ku Koubousen ②―)
“The World She Saw ―Defense of Trost (2)―”

It’s amazing just how big of a tone shift Shingeki no Kyojin made. You could almost say the shift was titanic. (Alright alright. I won’t do that ever again.)

Coming from the pulse-pounding action and brutality of last week’s episode, the first thing that struck me about this week’s Shingeki no Kyojin is just how overwhelmingly sombre it was. It wasn’t just in the narrative –which I’ll quickly get to– but in the presentation in the episode as well. The colour palette is noticeably muted, the pacing feels far more deliberate, and moody piano pieces punctuate the general dreariness of what we’re seeing on-screen. There’s almost none of the asserted bravado that’s been so predominant in the past month; except of course, in the depiction of just how tragic a world this is. Even so, this episode feels far more subdued than anything that came before, and I’m thankful for that. As much as I’m enjoying string of high-tension episodes we’ve been getting, having a breather here has brought some much needed tone balance to Shingeki no Kyojin.

To talk about the manga, this was the point that really sucked me into the series. Director Araki captured this moment of transition from Eren’s death brilliantly, the moment where Shingeki no Kyojin showed it could match its high-note action with an equal amount of human drama. We see a devastated Armin topple over himself in guilt, before coming upon a bereaved Hannah trying to resuscitate the dead Franz. It’s a deliberate moment that punctuate the scope of tragedy Shingeki no Kyojin seems to be aiming for– and what can I say? It works damn effectively to show us the realities of Shingeki no Kyojin‘s world. Through the clutter of this narrative comes the notion of just how insanely cruel the world is, and it isn’t just in the Titans that perpetuate this. Episode after episode we get examples of the atrocities humans are capable of; from the dispatch of the refugees to Titans land to the noble who wanted to forsake the commoners last episode, and the greedy merchant here who prized his cargo over the lives of others. As Armin so aptly puts it, “The world’s been hell all along”.

If you’ve been clamouring for more Mikasa, you’re won’t be disappointed with this episode that puts the spotlight on her. It’s surprising then, to see how relatively normal a girl she was in the flashback; before she’s put through the trauma of watching her family get killed by slave traders. With this, her backstory finally sheds light on the critical details the narrative’s been holding back; such as why she was adopted by the Jaeger family, and why she’s been so overprotective of Eren this whole time. Eren was her saviour during her darkest moment, and gave her the will to live once again; it’s no wonder she would do anything to protect the person that amounted to her reason for living. And I suppose that’s how she changed into the aloof guardian we see in the present. But the really interesting part is what would come after this. Throughout the episode, Eren’s death hung at the back of my mind as grim reminder of the present, and I’m more interested in watching how Mikasa would eventually react to this news, especially in light of the flashback.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the flashback, one that underlines the overarching mood in the episode, is just how simply the two children killed the slave traders. “You must fight. If you win, you live. If you lose, you die.” Eren’s words and Mikasa’s subsequent realisation struck at the merciless, live-or-die truths of Shingeki no Kyojin’s world. And up till this point, it’s through their acts of killing that this message gets most effectively conveyed.

Coming from the manga, it’s great to see all this material hasn’t been lost in translation; in fact, Araki’s superb presentation of the adaption seems to be adding so much more to it. There’s no doubt Shingeki no Kyojin will continue to excel. Araki has now shown with this episode that he’s perfectly capable of handling both the bombastic and nuanced sides of the narrative, and I’m hoping he’ll be able to keep this balance up till the end.

Author’s Notes

Zephyr will be returning to continue coverage on the series next week on. It’s been really fun covering Shingeki these two weeks, hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did.




    1. After that last episode, I’m considering if we should have a zero-tolerance policy for spoilers just for this series. But ultimately, I’ll leave it to Zephyr to decide on this.

      1. we really need to remove spoilers from this show period, there’s idiots out there who just do it for fun…or are too stupid to realize. Plus there’s some actually giving out false spoilers and people actually believing them, like saying a so-said character other than Eren gets killed when in all actuality the so-said character lives, plus when people correct them, its kind of a spoiler as it is because they’re saying that so-said character never gets killed in the book so far. So yeah, something needs to be done to get rid of the spoilers on here.

      2. Or comments can be disabled for a time after the author’s post so people could read the impression from the writers and leave the page, limiting the chance of spoilers; Maybe 2 days after the post.

      3. I like Flappy’s idea of comments disabled for a period of time after an article is published. I do agree that at this point in the anime, there is no need for spoilers especially due to the adaptation’s thorough coverage of the manga thus far. If someone wants to find out something, they can use Google instead of people answering it here.

    2. With how the show is moving along anyone have a guess as to when the big spoilers start to pop up?

      If I read the manga to avoid being randomly spoiled I just know I’m going to read the entire thing straight through and ruin the suspense that would otherwise build up over the remaining months.

      1. Wow to answer your question without spoiling anything is hard XD
        Id say you should wait another 1~2 episodes and then ask again – because by then it will be a bit easier to predict how long it will take until the spoiler-contents “starts”.
        Of course, some people are also very nice and not only do they spoiler stuff that happens in the middle of the manga but also in recent chapters, which manbe wont be even covered in this season (wishful thinking;)
        So its your decision to make!

    3. Ha, I feel you. I finally gave in and started reading after today’s episode. I’m nowhere near the latest chapter, but holy shit, we’re in for one hell of a ride.

      I’m amazed as to how faithful this adaption has been until now. I rarely read mangas, but I have to say Araki is really on the spot.

      Really looking forward to next week’s episode.

      1. I will admit, didn’t exactly cross my mind that Mikasa was out there, and now that it is shown she is a competent Titan killer, being able to fell an abnormal on her own with little effort.

        I’d say it wouldn’t be too surprising if she caught up with gramps and diced him up so bad she got Eren out. Well, she was able to crush a knife handle and floor boards so either that was exaggeration, or there is more to Mikasa than meets the eye.

        But of course, Titans appear to regenerate pretty fast so that makes it highly unlikely, especially with those blades.

  1. I’m amazed at how calculative and calm (relatively speaking) Eren was when handling those guys. The acting at the beginning, claiming he was lost, and then closing the door as a deceptive tactic. You have to hand it to him, especially given his age at the time.

  2. Mikasas words at the end of the episode were so sad 🙁
    And wow, Im really starting to hate Ymir. In the manga, I didnt mind it that much that she b*** around, but here…

    1. That was really sad. It was enough for Hannah to say “I quit”. Such a shame though, I really liked her character design. I also liked Mina Caroline’s design as well – too bad she was eaten by Kawaii Kyojin.

  3. I’m starting to wonder with whom Dr. Jaeger didn’t temper…

    Nevertheless, great episode! [Asobi: Spoiler-tagging just in case] Show Spoiler ▼

    Without Eren that whole (somewhat naive) energy and forceful optimism is suddenly gone and we are reminded about how cruel and dark a place this world really is. Can’t wait to see the next episodes and how this whole atmosphere-building will pay off!

  4. If there’s one thing I have to criticize this show on…well not the show particularly, is the fanbase and what its becoming. Ok, I’m not saying all of them are bad, its just that a great amount of the fanbase (which is hard to tell on RC because we’re all level-headed people) is a bunch of spoiled idiots. Ok, to clarify, on a whole bunch of other websites, the moment the RAW was uploaded saturday morning came the onslaught of complaints about why there isn’t a sub when in actuality the sub doesn’t come out until Saturday night, they had like 8 hours of waiting time and yet they were too spoiled to continue asking. Plus, a lot of people actually thought this episode was filler and was pissed, like seriously, I have a feeling none of them bothered to look at the manga and assumed this was an all action show. Hell, they don’t even realize the anime is basically word-for-word from the original material, if anything, better considering the anime does better transitions…its to the point where a lot of the fans are acting even worse than how they acted while SAO was around.
    but on a brighter note, Mikasa is so badass that her gas is faster than everyone elses

  5. My opinion of Eren has changed completely. Wow, he’s gutsy.

    Also, I read about the first 5 chapters of the series. I think the order the anime is going in is a bit easier to understand than the manga, so I’ll stick with the anime and read the manga later. (No offense to the manga but it’s just confusing me to switch back and forth lol)

    1. That being said, I gave in and am continuing the manga now because I couldn’t stand the suspense. Man. Hope I feel the same impact of scenes during the anime now that I know what comes next.

    1. I was just about to post this one xD

      Eitherway, great episode. Finally we get to see some titan killing action as well. I was starting to wonder if anybody was capable of killing titans, as we hadn’t seen it yet (I still have my doubts tho, maybe Mikasa is the only one who can kill titans). Can’t wait till next week!

  6. Just wanted to give another applause to the animators again for their attention to detail in their work. I was absolutely beside myself when I saw Mikasa inspect her blade and you could see the wear her recent actions had on the blade. It really gives a sense on how tough the Titan’s flesh must be.

    Other than that, great episode and the long awaited look into Mikasa’s past. Eren, certainly was pretty set, back when he was young.

  7. I don’t know why, but Mikasa looks a lot better in this episode than in previous ones. Then I got impression that she has a just pretty face, but now she looks cool and like someone with guts, not just pretty girl with brother complex. ( I’m reading manga, so I liked her from the start, but I was a bit bothered with her too pretty and plain characterization in first episodes ).

  8. The other elites couldn’t keep up with Mikasa. That kind of speaks volumes of where she is ability wise.

    I’m thinking Eren’s team wouldn’t have been demolished if they had set up an attack zone along a street similar to the one in this episode with the running titan. They were killed mainly because they didn’t ensure their zone was clear especially Eren’s leg biter and simply charged the closest mass of titans. This episode, Mikasa’s team didn’t have surprises jump out and thus could concentrate on 1 titan at a time.

    Eren really shattered any illusions young Mikasa had. There’s no happily ever after nor a prince on a stallion to save the day. Choice was simple. Lie down and die or fight and fail (and still die) or succeed and live.

    Eren’s background should have something further. You don’t end up being like him, coldly killing adults as a kid without a catalytic event of some sort. However i liked the villainous look he had when he slowly closed that door, seemed to be something out of a horror film.

    1. If anything Eren was a much more efficient and calculated killer as a kid than anything we’ve seen in the present time. I wonder if his father had something to do with turning Eren into such an odd character. His only reaction was to scold Eren for being reckless, not about anything Eren actually said or did. I’m still waiting on that explanation for WHY Eren acts the way he does because without that I’m never going to be able to buy into his character.

      1. It does seem like a huge change from his earlier self, but neither seem particularly natural. Could be his father?

        I just hope he doesn’t come back. 100% prefer Mikasa!

      2. It would be good to note the difference of Eren’s motivation for fighting when he was a child compared to his motivation as of recent.

        As a child, he fought to protect, while of recent, he fought for revenge. As you have seen, his lust for revenge blinded him to the dangers around him and the condition of his squad. But notice that he picked himself up when he resolved himself to save Armin rather than just revenge?

        Also if you remember back during the military training, he was a natural competent, hand-to-hand combatant albeit not on the same level as Annie and Mikasa. While during that training, he never did show any outstanding potential for Titan killing besides his diligence. He was an average user of the 3DM gear, he even failed to cut deep into the dummy’s nape as well.

        In conclusion, Eren is more competent when he is protecting something, and he is also more expert at melee combat. While fighting Titans I’m not too sure if you can call that a “melee”.

  9. I think the reason why not many liked this episode is because the events kind of just stopped and we’re still left hanging on Eren’s fate. I understand that, and I’m just as disappointed as they are but it doesn’t mean this episode was bad. In fact I’d say it was necessary for someone like Mikasa. As awesome as Mikasa is I found her pretty shallow and this episode gives her some much needed depth.

    And speaking of which, the flashback has me even more convinced that Eren is alive and that his comeback will probably be awesome. He’s probably going to cut his way out with his limbs missing andnd then get new better limbs somehow. There’s enough supernatural elements around this show that can convince me that this will be plausible. I’m almost tmepted to go see the manga now but I’ll hold of for now.

    P.S. It might be my goggles again but is this yuri I see?

  10. Having read the manga already, I wonder if it’s taken away a lot of the impact anime viewers have experienced. The shock of all these events don’t move me as others feel. Maybe because I’ve read the manga and as a medium, anime is more effective in delivering the drama better.

    Though I’m not putting this series as one of the top ever, the one thing I like is how they didn’t turn the Mikasa/Eren relationship into a generic romance. It would be tempting to just pair the two and build the little character development in the series around their romance. Instead, we get a more platonic, sibling like relationship which I feel is more normal and appropriate in this setting. No friggin tsundere or yandere, or whatever “-ere”. It’s a sibling like relationship also different than most. Eren almost doesn’t care about Mikasa’s concern for him. He just goes off and acts recklessly throughout the series. It’s not the some ideal generic sibling relationship. It’s a bit more refreshing.

    1. I feel like reading the manga kind of takes away impact when you’re watching the anime as well. Since you’re already aware of all the major crazy plot developments, all you’re really looking forward to is how the animate it. So, all that’s left when you’re watching is the animation, the shock from “new” revelations are lost.

    2. When Mirai Nikki was airing,I couldn’t help myself and went to read the manga when only like,4 or 5 episodes were out.Boy….talk about difference.I was pretty much just half as excited when watching the anime after and even less when some interesting twists came up.I threw away lots of hours of enjoyment,including the suspense of the days waiting for the next ep to air,always spectulating what might happen next all for the sake of a short number of hours of manga reading which wouldn’t have had the same impact as the anime anyway.

      I’ve totally learned my lesson from that and will never read the manga of a already airing or soon to be aired anime.

    3. I went and pretty much binge read the manga up to the latest chapter after episode 5. Even though I already knew what was going to happen, there’s a huge difference between the black and white panels and the anime because of the OST, the animation, the wonderful casting etc
      I think I’m more excited now because there’s so many scenes I look forward to seeing, and episode 6 exceeded my expectations n___n
      So unless you absolutely need those cliffhanger endings to keep you interested, reading the manga shouldn’t be too bad.

  11. …well…that’s one hell of a way to make a friend…

    And the general theme throughout the episode; the world is a cruel and unfair place, and most of us know next to nothing about it beyond our own perceived view of it. We see it with Armin in the beginning, we see it with that greedy and no doubt corrupt merchant, and we see it with Mikasa and Eren.

    Given what we saw in the flashback, I think it’s safe to say that if that merchant hadn’t had his cart moved, then Mikasa would’ve took his head right off along with any of the lackeys that tried to stop her without so much as a blink of the eye…too bad he didn’t. I would’ve loved to see her do that.

  12. That titan that ran with his arms flailing around literally shouted “I am so fabulous!” I couldn’t help but laugh at that part despite the overall atmosphere of the episode.

    All in all, as a manga reader, I am really liking the anime adaption. They didn’t skip over
    any details and it’s by no means rushed. I felt having a flashback at this moment was a great way to flesh out both Mikasa, Eren, and even Armin. Definitely a good breather episode (if you could even call it that), for what’s in store in the next few episodes. Even though I already know what’s going to happen, this is still my most anticipated anime of the season to see how well the anime delivers the amazing source material.

    1. I couldn’t wait last week and read the manga. Its been faithful so far and I believe it wiil continue to be. Only thing I think they changed was Mikasa’s mom was giving her a tattoo of there family symbol not teaching her to sow it.


    Mikasa is …the last of the Orientals… and the first oriental hero…

  14. Really, seeing it animated is so different from just reading the manga.
    But seeing as I’m reading the manga, maybe I should wait until the anime overtakes the manga(or goes into an anime-only route). Knowing what will happen next before seeing it kinda gives this “meh” feel.

    It’s a great show, just that I know that fact already way before.

    The Moondoggie
    1. Despite being made by Japan, it is not set in it since most characters have western names. Also, the blades most probably get dulled due to lack of proper materials around to make them with and the Titans’ skin. But replaceable blades does seems like a neat idea for efficient killing streak. Kill. Kill. Kill. Replace blades. Repeat.

    2. Didn’t make myself clear. I meant the source of the show not the location of the story. I’ve seen those utility knives used as weapons in a number of anime. Bakemonogatari (Hitagi used one) for example. For whatever reason, it almost is an anime trope.

  15. So Mikasa is the last Asian… There goes my theory where there’s another human population inside the wall/underground somewhere in Asia.

    Also Armin being alive shows that there is some hope for Eren. Given that the Titan eat every human they see, there is no way he left out Armin after he eat Eren.

    1. Last Asian within their walls maybe but of course they wouldn’t know if she is the last in the world and if they are any other walls protecting any other people elsewhere.

      1. Granted that Mikasa maybe not the last Asian in the world, but it was mentioned that they escape from “The Orient” into the wall somewhere, maybe in Western Country. so I assumed there is no wall or some defense mechanism against Titan that they need to escape so far away.

    1. Well to be fair, Eren caught the first adult off guard by pretending to be a lost child. Then he proceeded to bait the second adult to follow him out the door where he was impaled to death. He did get caught by the third adult, who was later killed by the amazing Mikasa. What surprises me most is just how Eren was able to have the guts as a child to decide to kill two adults, and then continuously stab them after they were dead. I guess it was the heat of the moment, but the fact that both Eren and Mikasa didn’t seem to have had a much bigger psychological trauma afterwards is surprising. Or perhaps they did, but the flashback just happened to end after that point.

  16. I’m starting to lose my enthusiasm with this series. Backstory is all right, but not when we have a cliffhanger like the last episode. This is starting to look like a “downward spiral” story, where I’m inclined to use an Aliens movie quote.

    “Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

    Granted, after 100 years of complacency there’s bound to be casualties with the first re-counter with the Titans, but this is taking it too far. Humans can act worse than animals to each other, but Shingeki no Kyojin is laying it on thick – wealthy corruption, human slavery, greed and fear over self-sacrifice.

    We still know almost nothing about the Titans – where they are coming from, what makes them so varied now after a century of being the same, what drives them to eat humans. Is the rest of the world just empty?

    1. Considering this series has been logical and realistic about everything it’s presented so far, I’d say there’s a good reason behind the titans. That will be explained latter at least.

      I haven’t read the manga, so I’m watching this series with a fresh set of ideas.

    2. Wealthy human corruption? Still around today all over the world with big businesses and corporations largely controlling the politics behind the scenes.

      Human slavery? It’s only been 148 years (1865) since human slavery was abolished in the US, so it really wasn’t THAT long ago that we had it, and even then, there’s still, much like in the anime, underground human smuggling, trafficking, and slave rings.

      Greed and fear over self-sacrifice? Not everyone, even soldiers today, are SO eager to ACTUALLY go out and die for their country, especially after their first taste of actual combat and/or especially in a war that SEEMS hopeless/pointless as it feels at the moment in the series. Heck, I’m sure many soldiers in real life, much like they do in the series, merely join and deal with the hard training solely for the perks and benefits that come attached with being called a “soldier” and not to actually participate in any battles or wars.

      As for the story, again, it’s similar to how Claymore has been. For quite a while, we knew little to nothing about the warriors or the Yoma creatures, and even quite a bit of what IS eventually learned even turn out to be lies or just outright wrongly speculated or thought of later on. While this may seem boring and drag for impatient people expecting nothing but action-packed battles every episode/chapter, there are a lot of people who DO enjoy it for the story, the character development, backstories, and the general path of discovery to learning the answers to such questions.

      Of course, it’s also marketing. By keeping the story going longer, it allows the material to remain more relevant while many shorter series’ eventually fade.

  17. If Mikasa is one of the last asians, what about blacks and latinos? Maybe some characters could pass as latin, but I dont recall seeing any black people. I really like to see diversity in anime and manga.

  18. This is another episode that shows why Eren is badass. I mean, he was very young at that time and seeing that he killed two people to save Mikasa, and he doesn’t show any regret or trauma about doing murder. That makes him as much of a badass as Mikasa is.

    And even though he is swallowed by a Titan, I am sure that he’s alive and he will appear again some time soon. And I’m not talking about flashbacks and the like.

  19. Eren wants to fight a titan that’s thousands of times bigger than him. There’s no way you could get me up against that even if you fed me a kilo of cocaine. On top of that he killed two men at half my age, this kid has bigger balls than any titan could possibly posses.

  20. Anyone else know why Mikasa’s family is living in the woods? And is that forest somehow outside of the walls (because the inside of the walls doesn’t look like it has woods, or maybe I just didn’t notice it)? Because somehow it looks remote enough for the cops to take a significant amount of time to go there. Was it detailed in the manga?

    On a side note, why does every comment here have at least one downvote, even if the comment is a neutral one? What’s becoming of RC’s audience?

    1. Something that doesn’t really come across in either the manga or the anime is how incredibly huge the areas within the walls are. Think the size of a small country for the outermost wall. That’s why there’s stuff like fields and forests and people living there.

      As for the downvotes, I think those are proportional to the amount of people posting spoilers.

  21. Also if these titans can regenerate then why did we see the same half blown titan crawl into the city bit confused. How long is the regeneration process sometimes it is quick like the one who face was blown off other times it slow like the half blown one?

    Also also if the face is blown off surely the back of the neck is also affected so doesnt that kill them?

    Any one?

  22. I used to think the giant concept is extremely stupid. Was I ever wrong….more like, with such good storytelling, even a stupid concept like naked giants invading can be so thrilling and heartfelt.

    Mikasa’s “There will always be a home for me to return to. As long as Eren is here, there’s nothing I can’t do”

  23. I also hope there’ll be some clarification to Eren’s uncontrolled ruthlessness when he was 8 and the almost inexistence of that same ruthlessness as he grows up. Freaked the hell out of me by the way knowing that he was 8 or 9 and he not only killed 2 adult men, but actually had strategy as to how he was gonna kill them?? What kind of 8 year old does that? Also Eren did not show any self-restraint whatsoever once he’s stabbed that 2nd guy…? SERIOUSLY, what kind of 8-YEAR-OLD does that?? I hope this will be further explained or it’ll just be uncommitted, sloppy characterization for me :S (out of everything in the series, this is the most baffling to me and I had hoped that RC would enlighten me on this, but I guess my guess is as good as anybody elses so far :S)


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