「小さな刃 ―トロスト区攻防戦③―」 (Chīsana Ha ―Torosuto Ku Kobo Sen ③―)
“A Small Blade ―Defense of Trost (3)―”

Did I ever mention the definition of insanity? Because of there’s one thing this episode in particular demonstrates, it’s that Shingeki is pretty much what that definition is―especially in regards to the situation the people of its universe are in. Just when you think things can’t get any worse… well, things find a way to get even worse. At this point, it’s just ridiculous how grim things are―this my friend, is the face of defeat―as commanders are running for their lives, survivors are killing themselves just so the Titans can’t reach them, and everyone’s so low on reserve gas that they can’t even scale the wall to retreat. Just insane stuff.

Either way though, the focus on Mikasa continues, and I ain’t minding it one bit. Her whole “shock value” speech―”I’m stronger than all of you. I can take care of them myself. You guys are either incompetent or spineless. You cannot win if you don’t fight. So I will fight and I will live.”―was just spectacular and really hammers in the kind of character she is. Undoubtedly, she’s one of the strongest heroines in recent memory to say the least, and it’s something I feel is part of a rather nice trend―Zetsuen no Tempest, for instance, had not one, but two such heroines―in anime recently. To top things off, she’s not simple by any meaning of the word―something that shows in her reckless abandon in gas consumption after finding out about Eren’s death―and it just makes for an amazing, emotional thrill when watching the events of this episode, especially with the return of the epic vocal theme from episodes prior.

Still, all the above―as well as all the great commentary about the responsibility of those still living―pale in comparison to the last thing we get this week… which is the Titan that attacks other Titans. Needless to say, it’s exceptionally abnormal in the context of Titan behavior and something that seems to allude heavily to Eren still being alive… except not in the same form he was before. Of course, I don’t quite have much actual proof, but considering the strange circumstances―that is, the fact that this comes on the heels of Eren’s rather premature demise, the remembering of Eren receiving that mysterious shot in the flashbacks way back when, and the fact that the Titan’s gestures and face even look somewhat similar to him… I don’t think I’m the only one pondering this potential outcome―regardless of how insane it might be. But then again, Shingeki no Kyojin is the definition of insanity, so I guess it wouldn’t be something too out of place in a show like this.

Ultimately though, Connie’s comments about how “there’s still too much we don’t know” just summarizes everything―and I guess it’s something we’ll undoubtedly get some answers about in the near future (hopefully).

Author’s Notes:

  • Due to requests, comments for Shingeki no Kyojin will be locked for a few hours after the post comes out as an anti-spoiler measure. Comments will be restored at 1:30AM EDT, Sunday Morning. are now open.
  • I must once again reiterate that spoilers not in spoiler tags will not be tolerated. Indeed, I ask spoilers in general of any kind should be avoided as much as possible. This especially goes in regards to major twists/plot details, which should not be in the comments WITH OR WITHOUT spoiler tags, unless in response to a specific query. Those who violate this policy more than twice after being warned (this will show itself in the deletion of your comment) will be banned with no exceptions.



    1. Author’s Note:
      I must once again reiterate that spoilers not in spoiler tags will not be tolerated. Indeed, I ask spoilers in general of any kind should be avoided as much as possible. This especially goes in regards to major twists/plot details, which should not be in the comments WITH OR WITHOUT spoiler tags, unless specifically requested in a query. Those who violate this policy more than twice after being warned (this will show itself in the deletion of your comment) will be banned with no exceptions.

    2. I have no idea what this anime is doing to me, could someone just make that one thought in my mind to stop pounding the way up to my fingertips? If Erin had become a Titan, I have no idea how many stress balls in this world will sustain my anxiety. I tried to avoid this thought as much as possible, but that titan has blue eyes and brown hair, but I mean it’s a little darker than Erenn’s… yes, I’m going insane.
      Great episode. That Mikasa speech was not the only thing to have had an impact, but rather that moment when she gave up but hasn’t given up. I can’t wait for that moment when Erin comes out of that “Da Vinci” titan and tell us he’s alive and he’s not some dam titan now -_-‘ please!
      I feel bad for Armin, but I want to see his growth. Most people would hate that person who can’t stand on his own feet, but I guess, even I, as a viewer, had the same thought when I saw what I saw. I learned my lesson, I’m really scared of ‘smiles’ now, those titan’s smile is way too creepy, my sis had even said “for some bad guys, those people sure smile a lot.”
      I had this thought ever since the titans showed up, and there’s this bit in the intro where a titan that looks like one of those soldiers (the one with the bold grey head, sorry I stink with names), it does make me wonder, if titans swallow humans to bring the humans to their side, their loved ones, perhaps, and they were actually humans. I don’t know, I’m just guessing.
      I’m glad you brought up that needle thing Zephyr, but it still doesn’t add up, but I guess his dad has not yet showed up even though around five years had passed.
      Thanks for your review, I’m a late viewer, and if someone did spoil this for me I’ll unleash my titan army lol (the thought of that sends shivers down my spine). Thank you, Cheers! M.

        1. That long haired Titan is a deviant one…
          They are the most dangerous among them cause they don’t usually go and try to eat a human… It’s punching other titan (boxing?) rather than eat them…

      1. Mmmm I guess my post got deleted? I haven’t read the manga; it was all guesses.
        1. I think that titan is probably Eren.
        2. Why did that large titan disappear? The other 2 odd titans (large/armor) may be similar to Eren in their origin???
        3. Where is Eren’s father??? I guess this will surely be revealed later on.

    3. Attack on Titan just continually blows my mind every episode. It’s like this steady train of dread, gloom and doom. Yet in a way it’s realistic, watching mankind devolve in the face of overwhelming fear.

      In a way it reminds me of Battle Royale. Watching what happens to ordinary people when death is forced upon you. Some give up and choose to die under their own terms, some huddle together and pretend like nothing is wrong until death claims them. And others fight, fight to live and survive or die trying.

      Also this episode highlighted something. I brought up Mikasa in an argument about Saki in the comments of Valvrave episode 6, and he tried to comment that Mikasa is too perfect to warrant the argument at hand.

      This ep shows just how utterly broken at the core Mikasa is. Her seemly perfect and hard exterior is just a mask, a means through which she shows the world to hide the broken little girl inside. She doesn’t even allow herself to cry when she hears of Eren’s death. She just dives straight into battle with every intent to die in battle now that she’s lost another family.

      It was a touching moment watching her reflect on Eren and the words he said to her as a child.

      “Fight. If you win, if you live. If you lose, you die.”

      Sums up the whole series.

      1. Epic: this series just keeps getting better and better.

        If anything this episode shows just how strong Mikasa is at her core to able to pull herself together again after losing everything for the second time takes a very emotionally strong person.

      2. Its like each episode of this series is being produced on the same standard as a full length feature movie. Crazy animation, epic music, good drama… We’re not even past the halfway point of 2013 but I think we can pretty much say that ‘Shingeki no Kyojin’ is gonna sweep most of the animation awards for this year.

        1. Hah! That’s what I was thinking at first but then I was like, no wayyy. Besides, it would look way more badass if Eren had prosthetic parts, he’d be like the darth vader of his village.

    4. I saw someone mention on the Valvrave post that Mikasa had no flaws and was there pander to otaku.

      Uh, where is that in this episode? Because I saw a fully-fleshed out character with clear motivations, strengths and weaknesses who was at or near literally the lowest point I’ve ever seen a character be at.

      Needless to say, I’ll be picking this up when it gets dubbed and released.

      Captain Sunshine
      1. Lol I believe the posts you are referring to was someone’s response to my distaste of Saki now. I was just commenting on that above. Cracks me up how people were trying to see she was flawless. That girl is broken as hell, but still so loveable in her own way.

        1. Sasha Blaus. Ranked 9th as one of the Top 10 graduates. Heroically saved a comrade falling from the 50 meter wall with a mad skill. Show Spoiler ▼

          Known by everyone as “Potato Girl”.

      2. Honestly, Mikasa’s character has to be done very carefully in order to avoid being a Mary-Sue. Strong-willed, beautiful, stronger than anyone else, good at everything she does and everyone knows it.

        It’s total Mary-Sue behavior.

        I want to see Mikasa’s bad side already. I want to see a character who has faults, detriments. I think I saw this when Mikasa was thinking in her head something about Eren in a previous episode, but Eren was completely the opposite. But this wasn’t ever expanded upon. This show just has to be very careful with Mikasa to not turn her into a Mary-Sue, because she’s definitely on that path.

        As for her “weaknesses”, well, what true weakness is there? She pulls herself out of the rut that is Eren’s death in a mere one episode, doesn’t truly give up, and even inspires her comrades to fight the titans. I’m not seeing weakness in her, and that bothers me.

        It’s honestly the only think about this show that bugs me, and I hope that they can flesh her out to be more well-rounded.

        1. I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t look like she got over Eren’s death in an episode. Neither do the events that followed.

          And that “inspiring speech” was pretty much just Mikasa stating the facts (and regurgitating what Eren told her when they first met). Fight and you might live or you can stay put and most assuredly die. It was a wake-up call, plain and simple.

          I feel like you’re looking at Mikasa’s character superficially just to label her an almost-Mary Sue.

          Strong willed -> Eren says “cut your hair”, Mikasa asks “how short?”. Eren says “stop being selfish” and Mikasa pouts. Mikasa’s world revolves around Eren, and that’s not always a good thing.

          Stronger than everyone else -> You’ll see soon enough how silly this statement is. Or, if you can’t wait, just read the manga. Though Mikasa is classified as an elite, that does not mean she is the only one, or even the best. Bear in mind that in this episode, Mikasa is surrounded by normal soldiers mostly comprised of fresh graduates, and Mikasa is ranked at the top of this batch of graduates. Arguably, that’s not accurate, but that’s a whole different story involving a lot of spoilers, so I’ll stop the defense for this point here.

          The only claim I can agree with is beautiful, but even then that’s up for debate. Yes, that’s official art.

          Personally, as much as I like Mikasa, I love Annie more~!

        2. I feel like you’re looking at my argument superficially.

          Mikasa has no true weakness. To say that her entire world revolves around Eren is just paying lip-service to the idea of character weakness. Eren dies, blah blah blah, she supposedly doesn’t know what to d with herself, her world is falling apart. Yet despite this earth shattering revelation, she still commands a group of desperate soldiers to fight (keep in mind that other guy, Jean, tried to do the same and failed, even though he used the same argument) and fails at killing herself when the titan comes for her.

          So you say her entire world revolves around Eren? Yet, the example you gave is fairly weak. Cutting her hair is nothing compared to Eren’s death, yet Eren’s death doesn’t faze her in any noticeable way. Oh, sure, there’s some shocked look, but can you really say she did anything differently in this episode than she would have if she had no idea about Eren? She still would have accomplished the same. Maybe she wouldn’t have run out of gas, and wouldn’t be reckless, but there were no true consequences to her recklessness, so on a literary standpoint, it was a meaningless fault.

          Now, she is stronger than everyone else, as shown so far in the anime. My entire point is taking the anime’s perspective only. The commander stated Mikasa was “a genius the likes of which has not been seen in an age”. Nobody else in the show has come close to her abilities so far. It is rational for me to assume the anime is painting her as overpowered. So it changes in the manga? Good. That doesn’t change what has happened so far in the anime.

          So yeah, you can accuse me of looking at Mikasa superficially, but that’s only because she is only a superficial character right now. You are merely looking too deeply into a very shallow pool. I would love to see true character development for her to keep her from being a Mary Sue, but I’m not seeing it yet.

        3. Not any noticeable way?! She literally gave up on life for the sake of the mission. At the beginning of the episode she’s all “as long as I have him, I can do anything!” then she finds out he’s dead and she flings herself at a Titan and gets her ass beat. She only got the strength to carry on because she remembered how important he was to her and even if she HAD gotten back up again, she’d never be able to take that thing on with her equipment like that.

          That’s called CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

        4. My point is just that she can be given the most devastated facial expressions ever, but if she is still doing the same things as she would if she didn’t know Eren was dead, then his death is not affecting her meaningfully.

          There has been zero development so far.

        5. So, what would be a sign of it being meaningful? Her being killed by the Titan? Her being too depressed to carry on? These people are on the brink of extinction. They don’t exactly have the time to sit around and mope.

        6. I would have liked for her to be killed by a titan. It would make the show even more interesting. But that’s not the meaningful actions I’m talking about. She’s just not behaving differently from normal. It’s as simple as that.

          I am dissatisfied with her not only spending a few seconds being devastated, but also with her accomplishing great, amazing things while supposedly in mourning. Her behavior is entirely too Mary-Sueish.

        7. So you’re saying people can’t accomplish great amazing things while in mourning? The whole previous episode was how she realized that the world is not going to slow down for her to mourn. And really? Killing off ANOTHER main character would be more interesting? No offense to Armin, but I don’t think he can carry this show.

        8. I’ve repeated this a few times now. Her mourning makes no impact on her actions. That’s what I’m bothered about. It didn’t seem like true mourning because the only thing different about her was her inner monologue and facial expressions. She was still being badass every other step of the way.

          She’s trending towards being Mary-Sue because nothing can stop her. She’s perfect in every way. The supposed “flaw” of her being overly attached to Eren doesn’t even impact her meaningfully. It’s not fully fleshed out, and even with Eren’s death, she’s still the same old Mikasa.

          You’re not looking at her critically enough.

        9. Mikasa didn’t get over Eren, and she was acting differently from usual. She tries to rally the troops, yes, but she’s mostly just repeating Eren’s philosophy; recklessly, she wasn’t even thinking of the weight of the lives on her shoulders and of the responsibility she had taken on in leading them into battle. In fact, she was expecting to die and had given up on life, and she was absolutely not fit to lead (remember, Jean had to take the lead instead, because she ran out of gas). If she had really been okay, she wouldn’t have used up all her gas and then sat around with her eyes closed waiting for death. By the time she had regained her will to fight, even with that will, without her gear having any power left she would have almost certainly died if Angry Titan or Armin and Connie hadn’t shown up. Because of Eren’s death, she had felt she had nothing to live for. She had been truly dependent on him. Her character development came when she realised how self-absorbed she had been and the responsibility she held to save her comrades, not to mention her resolve to never give up again so that she can live and remember Eren.

          I think you’re missing the point of Mikasa’s behaviour in this episode. Remember when Connie was thinking about how amazing Mikasa was when she’s rushing into battle? If you were thinking like Connie there and were only looking at the very surface, I could see why you’d be thinking “wow, what a Sue! ” but the actual situation is the one that Armin picks up on and spells out for the audience, that she’s not thinking clearly and that no amount of skill will save someone who can’t use their 3D gear any more from the Titans. That’s the situation for a human in Attack on Titan, even if they’re a prodigy.

          The situation now is that Armin is out of gas and weapons because Mikasa’s were wasted, and Connie, Armin and Mikasa are separated from the others, and they were in a great position to see the Angry Titan before the others and speculate about it.

          I firmly disagree with your apparent belief that characters’ motivations and development are irrelevant and meaningless as long as there are no obvious short term consequences (which apparently should be nothing less drastic than death!). For example…it matters that Eren’s mother in ep 1 stayed strong almost until the end but then wavered with a “don’t leave me”, even though she would have got eaten either way. It matters that kid Eren flew into a hate-filled rage towards the kidnappers when he fought them, even though he could have fought them and saved Mikasa without doing so. And it matters that Armin froze up in his first combat situation, even though he could just as easily have been shoved into a Titan’s mouth if he’d been attacking fearlessly.

        10. Okay first, stop saying it has no impact on her actions, because it clearly did. The whole episode was her trying to basically indirectly kill herself because she felt she no longer had a family.

          Second, what is this show about? It’s about the human spirit overcoming impossible odds when they become the prey instead of being the predators and are driven to, again, the brink of extinction. To follow up two episodes with major deaths with another major death of a character we’ve been following goes completely against that and would completely omit the triumphant nature of the show.

          “Well, our best soldier is dead. Human race loses. gg, man, gg”

          BUT. I know what you’re saying. The characters themselves, the main especially, do fall a bit flat compared to the setting, tone, and scale of the story and conflict itself. However, the theming of the story, the way it’s presented, the way the odds are stacked up and especially the introduction to the whole thing actually keep me on these characters’ side despite all that. At the end of the episode, I’m happy when they win. I’m sad when they lose. I’m scared when they’re in danger. I’m relieved and restless when they’re out of a battle because they tend to just come right the fuck out of nowhere. And I think that’s an accomplishment all on its own, so I can accept that that they’re not the most unique bunch because the story still grabs me and still keeps me invested. Not a lot of shows are able to do that as well as this one does, so I’m not complaining.

        11. @sands76

          I am not one to give negative commentary but I really just can’t sympathize with your statements or replies in anyway… They are wrong in so many ways which other users have pointed out.

          Just my word of advice, go and look up examples of what a Mary Sue is. If you just simply said you didn’t like Mikasa, fair enough, but Mary Sue is just an insult to the fiction.

          My second word of advice, maybe drop the series since you are showing a lack of comprehension with the themes present.

        12. The level of fanboy here is just astonishing.

          I love this show, dammit, but Mikasa has been an incredibly perfect character from day one. There hasn’t been any real flaw. That is, indeed, an example of Mary-Sue behavior. That doesn’t mean I don’t like her character – she’s great, honestly. But she’s been described as a prodigy, everyone else recognizes her superiority and she’s not only good at everything, but beautiful to boot. I just want to see her taken down a notch, and I really didn’t feel like Eren’s death did that to her.

          Also, when did I say that Mikasa’s death would be the only way you could develop her character? Way to use a straw-man argument. Great job on that. I stated before that I wanted to see Mikasa’s obsession with Eren expanded on, and I saw that as a potential Achilles Heel for her. However, I didn’t see a losing, devastated Mikasa in this episode. I saw a Mikasa who was still pretty much a badass despite losing a close childhood friend. As I said before, what the hell did she do in this episode that she would not have done if Eren was alive?

          Yeah, yeah, I get it. This show’s theme is about surmounting impossible odds. It’s been thrown at us from day one. That’s why I liked it so much when Eren’s death subverted that. And yeah, Mikasa is continuing this theme. However, Titans have lost a lot of what made them scary these past few episodes considering that Mikasa is wrecking them up like nothing. When Mikasa killed the first Titan in the series last episode, I felt like it was anticlimactic. She did it really easily, and we even got a nice little pan over a bunch of dead titans she killed. Mikasa has single-handedly made the titans not scary. I don’t ever feel like she’s in danger the same way anymore. That’s not the same as surmounting impossible odds. I hope this changes, and Mikasa is put into real danger, but I can’t see myself fearing for her life the same way as I can fear for other characters. She’s just too damn perfect.

          Fucking forgive me for expressing a contrary opinion. I should remember not to do that here. Jesus. I mean really, it’s not often I get torn a new one despite being civil about how I was dissatisfied with an aspect of the show.

        13. @sands76

          Shock is a very powerful emotion that defies logic. I think I see
          the heart of your (2nd) comment, but what I believe the writers are
          trying to show is Mikasa’s shock to Eren’s (apparent) death.

          I think they did a good job.

          To put it in a picture for you consider this true story. I used to
          live in a four-plex apartment. One of the units caught on fire.
          After the firemen subdued the fire, there was a couple who entered
          their (water-drenched burnt-out apartment) and proceeded to try to
          turn on their TV to watch it. That’s what shock looks like in real
          life, and that’s (pretty much) how IMHO they portrayed Mikasa after
          she heard the news.

        14. sands76, I was quick to initially dismiss your argument, but you made a good point. There is no net development in her character; Eren’s death brought her down, only for her to recover within the episode.

          However, I don’t think she’s as perfect as you make her out to be. Like many have said, she was broken from the beginning. Her obsession with Eren really is a serious character flaw. The only reason she’s even in fighting the titans is because Eren wanted to, and the only reason why she’s continuing is because Eren told her to fight and live. She can’t live her own life since it completely revolves around Eren.

          Like you said, this doesn’t change the fact that Mikasa’s still OP, but her Eren obsession does keep her from perfection. This flaw results in her having no charisma, leadership, and most importantly, no drive. She lacks Eren’s desire to save the human race, the noble cause that is necessary in a perfect character. And for me, the motivation is just as important as the character’s actions.

          And lol at your downvotes. Those are usually reserved for trolls and spoilers.

          mi casa
        15. See, this is what I mean when I say we should get rid of the up/downvotes or at least the down, like most sites do. People shouldn’t have their opinions blocked just because others disagree, especially when they’re just trying to add to the discussion.

          Captain Sunshine
        16. @sands76
          Eren’s death clearly did affect her. She overused her gas which she wasn’t paying attention to (as noted by Armin), and subsequently was almost got eaten by a titan.

        17. @Captain Sunshine

          But the comments aren’t really blocked, everyone can still read them. Plus the downvotes show disagreement. It is like a poll of sorts – how many people agree with this Vs how many people disagree. It just so happens that lots of people disagree.

        18. But more than often, it’s not an “agree-disagree” matter, because a lot of these comments aren’t just statements. Some people just hit the downvote to be jerks, and what’s worse is it’s anonymous and very easy to fake.

          Captain Sunshine
        19. His comments weren’t downvoted just because people wanted to be jerks. The comments were whiny, disregarded other people’s attempts at discussion/debate and amounted to “I didn’t get character development of the scope and type that I wanted therefore this character is a Mary-Sue.”

          Yeah, he had something of a point wrt Mikasa’s reaction being a bit flat, but there’s plenty of reasons why that could be – denial, shock, people’s tendency to just try and concentrate on the task at hand when they hear news they just can’t deal with…

          What everyone else says about her lack of drive and individual will is also true. She’s more of a super killer robot than a perfect character. “Perfect” characters tend to be ridiculously obvious to people at first glance because of how cheesy they usually are. The show has plenty of shounen elements but at least it doesn’t ham them up as bad as most shows.

          Uncle Fester
        20. Then what about Kairi’s post about Amy being a flat character or that saying the fanservice was gratuitous? If she wasn’t an author, she’d be getting the same treatment just for having an alternative character interpretation. Was she being whiny for saying this while everyone else was drooling?


          Or Da5id’s post about Funimation having the streaming rights to this show or that they always have dual audio on their releases? That’s an actual fact presented in a non-offensive way, so why is it downvoted?

          Captain Sunshine
        21. @sands76
          You gave an interesting perspective, although I disagree that she is a Mary Sue, BUT it’s only because of her obsession with Eren.

          For the impact of Eren’s death to her, you somehow got me thinking that it might have really been too shallow or too short (but definitely not non-existent as you say it is). So I rewatched what happened and it became clearer to me that it’s still Eren who made her move. That’s one heck of an obsession. Dead or not, Eren is absolute to her and unless that changes, she won’t be a Mary Sue in my book.

          BTW on the downvotes, I think it’s because your first arguments came off as “she’s Mary Sue and that’s it”. But don’t mind them, we need healthy discussions here too from time to time.

        22. Can’t really comment too much on the Garnatia stuff… haven’t read through them thoroughly. But I’d suggest the difference there was just that an opinion was offered, expanded on and that was it.

          Sands started getting heavily downvoted only when he kept repeating his stance with the addition of some form of “that’s not character growth”/”she just kept being awesome”. I think there’s a difference between comments getting one or two downvotes (the funimation example you pointed out was truly lolwut?) and the avalanche that sands was buried under.

          From my point of view he wasn’t trying to discuss anything and just made a statement (which wasn’t stupid or anything but was a bit flimsy on evidence) and then ignored every counterpoint people tried to make. So I reckon he got downvoted because people made the effort to engage him in intelligent discussion and he steamrolled over everything with some form of “Nope, she’s a Mary-Sue coz she didn’t die, sorry.” I don’t think anyone would disagree about Mikasa having certain elements which lean toward being OP, just that her character isn’t as cut and dry as Sands kept insisting it was. So I’d say it was the stubbornness that got him downvoted, not his opinion per se.

          Uncle Fester
    5. If this did not say that Mikasa lost her head and her will to live, I don’t know what will…

      in other words, EMOTIONS CONVOYED.

      (I know that was temporary, but her behavior was almost no different to her usual demeanor it’s kinda scary in hindsight.)

    6. Much respect for Mikasa after this episode. The way she held her ground when Armin broke the news about Eren to her won me over. And then how she regained her will to fight afterwards T_T. This series is just resonating on so many levels right now.
      And kudos to the epic titan fighting titan. 😀

    7. Very nice episode….can’t wait for the next one, and the revelations that are to come. I’m not spoiling myself with the manga, lol, just watching the anime as it comes.

      1. notice the context. She was forcing herself to find an excuse for her suicidal tendency after hearing the horrible news. Her tone is exactly like when Armin deliver the news, but only calmer

    8. I’m thinking the new Titan is Eren too. Its the eyes, they kind of resemble him, not to mention Mikasa’s description is pretty unsubtle foreshadowing. The question is how. Posession? Transformation? Really awesome steroids?

      I guess its safe to say my Cyborg Eren prediction is way off. Instead we get ……Ultraman? You know I’m okay with that, I think this is way more awesome. I love me some good Kaiju (I wonder if anyone is old enough to know what Kaiju is).

    9. I’m so glad Mikasa is getting so much focus. She’s such a strong heroine. I understand the stereotype of weak female anime heroine still exist, but in anime these days strong heroines, either physical, mentally, or both, are not that rare and Mikasa is one of those heroines who I think are portrayed so beautifully (and Potato Girl :P)

    10. holy zamboni. what the hell is going on with that rogue titan… why does it feel like some crazy ass twist is about to happen. this series has become my #1 favorite of this season.

    11. Oh no…. I really like this series, but if they keep this titan vs titan a thing, then I got a feeling that it will lose some major points for me. It feels like the show will lose its sense of thrill and fear and the horror of humans fighting a giant monster if they keep this up.
      I don’t want to see another mahoushounennarutotransformingsupersaiyannonsense protag (yeah like every shounen anime out there, “doing the exact same thing over and over again”).

      1. That’s how I feel. If that indeed is Eren and that is the way he’ll be now and fight the Titans then call me disappointed.
        I’d prefer him kicking ass by using 3d maneuvers instead of turning Super Titan.
        Or imagine him using custom made 3d gear to fight. 😉
        No seriously, I cant imagine Titan vs Titan fights as human vs Titan ones.

      2. on the other hand this series kind of needs something like a Titan( on the side of humanity) vs Titan thing to happen. If you think about it, Humanity as it is simply can’t defeat the Titans with just 3D maneuver gear as it’s been shown to us in explicit detail over and over again.

        If the rogue Titan really is Eren then I think that makes this series even more awesome because it will bring hope to humanity’s situation. Humanity actually has a fighting chance and a secret weapon they can use against an opponent they once thought they couldn’t defeat. And what better way for Eren to murder all the Titans than for him to actually murder all the Titans as a Titan with his bare hands?

        1. After watching the intro again and again showing 3D-capable humans by the thousands swarming on the Titans, yes, I’m disappointed in the deus ex machina of a rogue Titan killing other Titans. But I’m going to go with the flow here and just watch the anime to see where it takes us.

      3. I know,I also feel the same 🙁 And hell,I don’t think I need to read the manga or read spoilers to know that there’s a 90% chance of Eren being that Titan(‘dat injection scene by his dad and the him knowing how to fight like a human amongst others).It’s also the perfect way for them to ‘unscrew’ themselves for handicaping the main character and pretty much killing him off.But damn it!They could’ve just let him regenerate limbs or something but remain human and use at little shounen-esque-Deus-Ex-Machina power ups as possible.Human vs Titan fights are amazingly well done but Titan vs Titan just isn’t the same for me either.

        Some people have previously said how Shigeki gives them Muv-Luv vibes and I also agree.Well,those people should imagine how silly it would look if Takeru or even Yuuya somehow turned into some sort of special BETA that would be stronger than any other TSF force humanity had.

        1. The small hints (dat pomegranate) in this episode, this and Enzo’s blog pretty much paints the picture for me, only question left for me is “how?” and “why?”. And yeah, its kinda lame and boring if we see some giants play boxing at each other, if you compared it to a group of medieval Spiderman strategically pouncing on a titan.

    12. @Zephyr: Ppl should also ALWAYS exactly tag what they are spoiling. Be it character info, major spoiler or just a joke. Spoilers which don’t have any explanation what they’re talking about should be deleted.
      Happened to me more than once that a spoiler spoiled something else than could be expected.

    13. Hiro Shimono really shined in this episode. Guess he got a knack for voicing idiots. First Yoshi Akihisa in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu and now Connie Springer. Extremely faithful adaptation so far, but not quite getting the pomegranate picture, though I kind of enjoyed the extra little scene of Mikasa fighting back to prevent being eaten.

      Obligatory “I’ll send your head flying!” gif that I saw somewhere on another forum:

    14. Those eyes of Mikasa when she delivered that speech and her suicidal actions (rapid consumption of pressurized gas) clearly showed she just lost her will to live after Armin told her of Eren’s death. At least she regained her composure near the end.

    15. Is it just me or do I hope that Misaka will at least once go on a rampage out of anger or something? I just think she would look completely badass if she was slicing things while she lost her cool. Well, that’s just me, but I think we might have one seen where that happens.

      1. Yeah it probably would, but the show’s already had enough Leeroy Jenkins behaviour from Eren and his squad from the previous episode, we don’t need any of it from Mikasa too (not to mention that it would be totally out of character for her).

    16. I like Mikasa’s, Armin and Jean’s characterization this episode.

      Armin has survivor’s guilt and with his intellect, it was obvious to him that the weakest should be sacrificed for the good of the many. If he was not filled with guilt for Eren’s death, he would have attempted to make his way to the foot of the walls. If anyone he knew made it to the top of the wall, they could refill and pick him up at a pre determined point.

      Mikasa’s flow from suppressed anger and despair to full blown despair to the strength of her self preservation instinct and finally to her rationalization of why she’s not yet totally given up was very nice. Her speech was blunt but utterly true. It was the truth of what she said that forced the others into action.

      Jean knowing that Mikasa’s speech was simply provocative to get them moving shows he’s not dumb and his inability to process what to do when things fell on to his shoulders shows he’s not yet able to handle the reins of command. I think he would be pretty capable if he could only get past his fear for his own hide

      Several other very nice points. The commander of the wall rose defense force abandoning the logistics base to save his own ass and his attempt to find an excuse for himself was realistic. The problem laid with how the entire military was structured. People work hard to avoid having to face the titans and with the entire thing seeming to be who panders and flatters the nobles best gets promoted (which I think was why Pixis was willing to make himself look bad so at least someone capable could be in the hot seat if/when the titans come)

      The guy calmly cleaning his gun even when the building was surrounded was both funny and provoking.

      A few things that the abandoned defense force could have done would be to salvage gas tanks from any casualties whose gear was intact. Another thing would be for someone who was through to the interior (like the cowardly force commander) to drop tanks from the top of wall rose. It would be relatively risk free as only the colossal titan could attack the top of the wall

      Zaku Fan
    17. sands76, you need to stop having the anime spoon feed you everything. Things are read between the lines and it is this subtlety that marks good anime from the mediocre.

      A mediocre anime would have her smashing Armin against the wall or screaming at the sky. However the episode showed how she attempted to refuse to accept the news by walling it off. Her wall was pretty much swiss cheese though. Its a bit similar to how people bury themselves in their work when they are hit with grief. They simply do not want to face that grief full on.

      Zaku Fan
      1. I’m getting really tired of that term, “spoon feeding”. There are actually times when shows simply don’t explain enough when they should. To ask for explanations when there are none or not sufficient ones is not asking to be spoon fed, it’s asking for the writers to do their damn job.

        Luckily, this show is not one of those. Regardless, sands’ problem doesn’t seem to be lack of information, just lack of emoting.

    18. I did predict that Eren could “become” one of the titans, or maybe control it from the inside like a robot or anything (thanks to people, mostly commenters who keep on chirping “THERE WILL BE HUGE TWISTS IN THE FUTURE”), but I set it aside because I thought it would be too weird. But the show itself is already weird and insane in every good way possible, and now IF that badass titan is truly Eren, they handle this twist with such class 😀
      The character development is beautiful, and it is so natural. I hate cowardly characters like the person next to me, but somehow all the characters’ fear and “selfishness” is really justified, it is hard to do anything other than screaming supportive words at your monitor! and more of the potato girl, please!!
      And those characters in the end card look pretty badass, hope they will play significant parts in the future 😀

      1. Jesus, man. Are you going around everywhere in this post trolling and deliberately trying to spoil us all, or did you upload that yourself and just label it based on your current theories? (BTW: please do not answer that question.) Or I guess you could be being innocently careless. Please try to take a bit of care with what you link to and what the URL titles include…

    19. I’m glad you brought up Zetsuen no Tempest when thinking of strong heroines. Hell, all the heroes and heroines, Yoshino, Mahiro, Hakaze, and Aika were all very strong people from episode 1-24. Mikasa has been no different, even when she has been bent, she didn’t break.

      Even Eren had strength before the titan. As a matter of fact I won’t call that strength, but more cocky and ignorant. As well as blind to the reality of how hard things are. He gained much more strength after the attack and that’s where it started for him.

      Armin is a weak character, but the most realistic there. 3-4 years of training I think it was out of the 5 years (The first being the colossal titan debut) and to see his fucking squad die in a matter of seconds to 2 abnormal and regular titans is bound to break someone. I’m surprised he hasn’t committed suicide before his meet up with Mikasa.

      As much as I love Mikasa, and loved Eren(I hope for a miracle)Armin also has my respect for acting naturally, instead of strongly.

    20. I said it before, this is a horror flick.
      It has the feel of Claymore, but obviously gutsier.

      Don’t know the episode count, but nothing seems predictable in
      the plot so far. At first I though he’d cut his way out, but
      Eren hasn’t really been mentioned at all in this episode beyond
      his getting et.

      I’m at the point in the series where I’m wondering what insane
      thing they’re going to do next that almost seems believable…

      …and that’s the thing about this series, as outrageous as it is,
      it’s plausible…

    21. Note to myself: Never go “I’ll watch the new episode of Attack on Titan and then go study” again.

      Right now, I’m like jumping on my chair out of excitement so I can do all but study =_=. Awesome episode. The animation and soundtracks are godly!

    22. Haven’t seen a show this good in years! This is the reason why I started and continue to watch anime. Every episode ignites an internal fight where I try not to go watch the manga. And the fights keep getting harder as this show gets better.

      The Shizard
    23. I’ve been lurking around RandomC ever since early 2012 and i have to say this is the first time i’ve actually been inspired to post based on people’s posts about Mikasa. First things first, Mikasa is a normal girl. She’s no different than any other girl when you take away her extreme protective nature towards Eren. Yes, her parents were killed in front of her and that has made an effect on her, but she was able to move on with Eren and his family. Almost like she was able to suppress everything because she was able to have someone to depend on. Oh and spoiler alert: She kind of has a thing for Eren. Does that matter? absolutely.

      This chapter is my favorite Shingeki “moment”. I say my favorite because this is where everyone is saying that Mikasa is on a completely different level when that’s as far away from the truth as they can get! She does not take Eren’s death well. But what roots her back into being just like everyone else, happens very soon after she gives up on life. She may be a genius (she’s asian) but she’s just a girl who has seemingly fallen for a boy. Tell me she wouldn’t act differently if she learned that he died. After she swore she would protect him. I have a good feeling about the next episode because everyone who has read the manga knows what i’m talking about. If there’s anything i have against Eren, it’s that he makes Mikasa cry. T-T

      This is where I admit that the comments on this thread made me a little angry. Mikasa hasn’t had any character development? Her mourning had no effect on her actions? WHAT ARE YOU, BLIND!?

      “Parents get killed in FRONT OF ME (no dirt off my shoulders), guy who gave her a new reason to live dies. oh well there goes another one. I’m going to call out my comrades as the useless pieces of shit they are because i feel like it and don’t harbor ANY sad feelings because of any logical reason other than the fact that just around 18 minutes ago at the start of the episode i said, ‘Eren, as long as you’re with me, i can do anything!’ I’ll be just like Eren, reckless, and waste my gas as i kill two titans because NO ONE else can. I’m a bad ass. Damn, I just ran out of gas. Pffft, no matter. I’ll kill this titan with my broken blade. My name is Mikasa. I was always this way. Come at me.” – Ackerman Mikasa


      ^If this is how you see Mikasa’s growth, by all means continue watching the show/ waste your own time. But don’t post on here ignoring what’s happened in the story. And to anyone who has read the manga and posts spoilers: Shame on you. But then again, everyone else shouldn’t feed the trolls. The manga and anime are arranged slightly differently. So even I’m anxious as hell to watch next week’s episode.

    24. Eren represents raw emotion. He fights against what he perceives as evil. His power resides in his anger. Misaka represents emotional control. Misaka fights to protect that which is important to her. Her power resides in her ability to suppress her emotions.

    25. Wow, that was intense. Especially that scene where that new titan literally STOMPED that other titan to death. Really gave me shivers at how it emphasized the whole atmosphere of sheer insanity there with just those motions and growls.
      Also, great character development for Mikasa, felt really realistic.
      And Armin. Armin just stays my most favorite character just because how well he portrays the reactions as a “normal” human being – and still somehow pulling through despite all the horrors around him. (Not that he does too well right now… but he at least didn’t just kill himself off like others did and still cares for those around him.)

    26. Honestly I’m leaning on the side with everyone here that Eren is probably that Titan and I really don’t want it to be , I mean that’s just weird in so many ways. I was quite shocked to hear Titans making sound I mean for the whole time they were attacking they were silent and that in itself is creepy now we got creepy grunts etc to boot. Yay more cringing for me….

      1. I’ll just dump this in spoiler tags although it is just an assumption.

        Show Spoiler ▼

    27. I see this theory that eren is the new titan, and I think I’ve got a better theory to it.

      What we know so far
      -The titan hates other titans
      -The titan has some sort of “remnant” hand-to-hand combat experience – the same type that recruits learned.
      -It didn’t bother to care for the humans, it nearly crushed our protagonist with it’s foot.

      Those two things point that whatever this new titan is, it has to have some part of it human, but it’s definitely not all human.
      Then Miss. Badass said something that I’ll put as the nail to this theory: It looked like the embodiment of human rage”

      Perhaps, one of the abnormal titans, killed plenty of soldiers, and since it was an abnormal, what happens if instead of digesting them, it instead assimilated them in some way? Then all these thoughts and emotions somehow overwhelmed the titan and turned it rampant.

      1. Definitely need to hire some Claymores for sure. More Human testing….
        Maybe thats it. Eren’s dad took some Titan DNA and injected it into Eren. So Eren can now some how turn into or merge into a Titan? Then Im pretty sure like Claymore, is to make sure Eren wont lose his hummanity and become a full Crazy Titan. We will have Mikasa and Armin keep insane. What a brilliant idea! lol

    28. Attack of the Titan is a great anime and storyline but one I can’t watch. I can read the manga alright since it’s more censored when it comes to certain deaths, it’s just scenes when the girl who trying to rescue her comrade was caught by a titan and crying for her life…that kills me.

    29. yes, i am so happy that we are being stricter on spoilers from this series !!

      i had to stop checking on the blog, of this series, because of all the “this character is going to be eaten” posts without spoiler tags.

      but anyhow, even thought the comments spoiled the show for me, this was a fantastic episode ^_^”

      and i hope this trend is continued to keep great shows like this one from being spoiled.

      1. I have a feeling it was a subtle way of saying Mikasa loves Eren. A pomegranate usually means “love”, “true love” and implies fertility. It’s because she loves Eren she can’t give up. Especially when it was him that shocked her into action the first time her life was in danger.

        But then again the pomegranate was sliced when she saw it so this could take on a different meaning but i like to keep it positive. the anime could definitely use some positive emotions haha.

    30. I wasted my second weekend in a row getting caught up in a number of this season’s anime titles. Surprisingly, I found a few shows I liked. To my regret, Shingeki no Kyojin has been my only disappointment. That is because this was the only one I had any hopes for properly entertaining me. Still, it will end up being my second or third favorite anime for these three months. Not bad. But very disappointing for me.

      It is not hard to get excited for this show once you’ve seen the op and ed. The crazy op song by Linked Horizon and the lovely ed song sung by Hikasa Yoko accompany two thrilling and quite sexy bits of animation. The design of the op and ed requires seriously high skill in the conception. And the glorious execution follows through with confidence and flair. Theses are animators who truly know they are badass and they know how to prove it.

      I thought the part where the soldiers spiderman-ing their way above the streets resulting in Eren whiplashing a kyojin would be the most outstanding bit of animation I’d see this season, but then I saw the scarf unwrapping to show a young girl turn into a badass bare-necked Mikasa and I instantly knew that would be the animated bit I would admire most from this season.

      But the show itself–the parts between the op and ed–are not as good as I think it could have been. The problem is not that Shingeki is bad–it’s actually pretty fun and I am enjoying it. The problem is that it could have been a much better story and it should have been much greater drama than it is. But it is not. The potential here is enormous. You really feel for a lot of these people who end up dying–even the “extras.” And you really feel the characters straining under the knowledge that extinction is a real possibility for the race. These are signs of a good writer.

      But the execution never manages to maximize on the potential. The main problem is Isayama Hajime. He is just not skilled enough as a story teller to realize he ought to care more about including better information-coloring details.

      He is weak in telling stories through epic or cinematic visuals. He does not have to be at the level of Miyazaki Hayao. But he needs to be better than he has been doing. My favorite image up to now is still of the kyojin that ate Eren’s mom and my favorite moments are Eren tossing Jean using Annie’s move and Sasha saving Samuel’s life.

      But this is wrong! It’s the seventh episode already and the best images and animated moments should be dominated by the soldiers’ assaults on the kyojin using their 3dmg. This is what seemed to have been promised in that glorious crazy OP!!! Instead, the 3dmg battle scenes have either been visually uninteresting or is happening off-screen completely. The most visually interesting 3dmg scenes were of Eren chasing the kyojin that caught Thomas and then crashing after getting a leg bitten off and Eren’s assault on the colossal kyojin.

      But what if instead we were allowed to see the vanguard fighting and getting annihilated against the kyojin before Eren and his team left for the front? What if this imagined scene utilized dynamic camera swerves and pans to show the ill-fated defense collapsing in for-, middle-, and background layers of animation so that when Eren and his group criticize the vanguard it becomes terrible dramatic irony. Wouldn’t this have been a better way to tell the story, for instance? That is the kind of thing an epic moving image ought to show. Instead, we see close ups of Eren’s team’s ride to the front using minimal animation framed in an uninteresting way.

      I guess I realized we really were going to get inferior PIG work when I saw the drill practice scene between Eren and Annie. They pose for battle, then Eren is on his back with his head between his knees. Can you imagine how different Seirei no Moribito would have looked if it was animated like Shingeki? Would Barusa and Jiguro be as interesting if it were so? Conversely, don’t you think Mikasa would be more badass-seeming to us if she were riding her 3dmg in battle during the show like she does in the op? Even if extravagant, this is anime and style points have substance.

      Saber’s duels vs Lancer in Fate/Zero is so moving in large part because of the seriously beautiful work done on the animation. It’s a pas de deux of amor. The animation adds to the substance because it is hard work and the work itself is appreciated. The good will is then lent to the character being animated. If interestingly animated, the character is given the skill of grace in movement. Mikasa deserves better than her own animation team.

      The disappointing art is a major flaw in the script. It is a major flaw in the manga, though it gets better. And it is a major flaw in Wit Studio’s handling of the show. Compared to the amazing work done on the op and ed, the animation work in the actual show itself is disappointingly lame. With what seems like an automatic marquee property, it is hard to believe that Production IG couldn’t animate it to the quality of something like Seirei no Moribito. But there is no polish to this show. By comparison, team Railgun on JC Staff is far superior in talent and we are likely to end up with more beautiful and possibly even more epic looking battles on Railgun than here. Now, I have read the Shingeki manga but not Railgun so I know Shingeki will get better. But even so, the emotional potential is never quite as high as the manga masters he borrows from in these later scenes.

      Simply, Araki Tetsurou seems completely over-matched by the work. He should know that if you are attached to Production IG, then you have access to skilled and imaginative key frame artists. He and the script adapter should have let them have more say in the development of this show. Araki himself is surprisingly weak here in developing the dramatic stakes, which is what I suppose he was brought in to do. But some of his direction is puzzling.

      The scene where Eren headbutts Mikasa highlights one of the great flaws in the directing. We may understand Mikasa’s actions, but Eren’s actions toward Mikasa is often a complete mystery. Why does he head butt her? Why does he pull his arm away from her and scowl at her when she tells him not to get himself killed. Sometimes, Eren looks a lot like actors I see on stage who does not quite understand what his motive is for saying a certain line. But here, the fault lies with Araki not the manga artist. After all, this is an anime, not the original manga. Certain desires and motives should have been laid out by now: we are after all just over the quarter mark in this two cours anime. That’s enough time to have established certain things about their relationship.

      But this has not happened. And it has not happened in the manga either.

      This touches on the uninteresting way Isayama has told the tale of Mikasa. Mikasa’s first kllling is not an unfamiliar scene in anime and manga. Basically, the point is to establish that sometimes you have to fight for life and even kill…if you want to survive some kinds of ordeals. For whatever reason–maybe it is because of the monster factor and European setting–I thought of the scene from Berserk in which Casca first encounters Griffith. Griffith comes upon loli Casca being sexually assaulted. Instead of defending her, Griffith tosses a sword at her and tells her to defend herself if she wants to survive.

      That scene is full of sympathy for Casca’s spirit and admiration for Griffith’s almost indifferent coldness. It helps that the flashback is shown deep into the story when we have already come to enjoy both characters. Here, Mikasa’s story is given too early before we really even care about her. And there is no interesting variation in it from other kill if you want to live scenes, like that scene from Berserk. As is, it feels weak compared to the scene from Berserk. But what if instead Mikasa didn’t act fast enough and the kidnapper had actually injured Eren. That would have been an interesting variation and would have put their relationship in a more interesting light.

      But as I said, Shingeki does get better. And it is fun right now. I’m just saying it probably wouldn’t have taken much to make it even better.

        1. Do you think I am wrong? Can you honestly say the level of animation is as good as Seirei no Moribito? Can you honestly say that you were expecting the quality of animation you are seeing now? I doubt it.

        2. 2 things.

          i) Budget. If you sponsor them with a few million, they’ll up the number of frames just for you.

          ii) This is not an anime focusing on action. Yes there are a few fights here and there but it has mainly been focusing on the human response. And when you do that, the focus of the animation then becomes facial expressions and body language. Dead eyes, shadowed eyes, vomiting in fear, these are the things that are the focus.

          Your idea of showing the vanguard dying is bad. By doing so there is no longer any shock value when the “heroes” get eaten. By deliberately only showing the vanguard charging then being referenced as annihilated, you are left with a feeling that it may be simply because the vanguard suck and the “heroes” have a chance.

          Simply put, you’re looking for the wrong thing in this anime, you might consider dropping it.

        3. [, you are left with a feeling that it may be simply because the vanguard suck and the “heroes” have a chance.]

          But why would that feeling change if you were to actually have seen the vanguard? We know Eren is among the top cadets. We saw him go at the colossal kyojin. We know he is one of the three protagonists. I do not know why seeing the vanguard collapse would make you less shocked by the sudden annihilation of Eren’s team. The speed and depiction of the annihilation of Eren’s team would still be shocking to me.

          Without seeing how the vanguard fought, it is hard to judge the strategy the humans employed. For instance, the town layout is awful and does not seem to have been made with the defense of the city in mind. It may be the case that it couldn’t be helped. But at least some sort active recon service would have been helpful. Say a system of flares or smoke signals to notify the rear of the pace of the kyojin’s advancement through the city might have been useful to Eren’s team.

          Depictions of large scale battles and intelligent strategy are pretty important things to include when you are creating what is basically a kind of fantasy epic. And just because you are creating an epic does not mean the story can’t be personal. War and Peace is a famous epic that depicted famous battles while also focusing on the human element. These are not mutually exclusive.

          Your point about the funding is valid. But my disappointment does not only concern the number of frames of animation but the appeal of the actual key frame art.

          Your point that this anime is not about action in not valid, however, as battle and fight scenes are clearly a major and key component of the show. And again, there is no reason why you can’t show fight scenes a certain way and also show the aftermath of a bloody rout.

          If money is the issue then I guess what I am surprised by is that Shingeki cannot afford better art. I mean, is Railgun really that much more profitable?

        4. [ By doing so there is no longer any shock value when the “heroes” get eaten. ]

          I guess what I am saying is that you not only retain the shock of the heroes getting eaten but also the dread about their chances before they actually set out .

        5. If you saw titans jumping, grabbing enemies in mid air, etc, impact of Tomas getting eaten would be reduced. You already expect it.

          If you saw the vanguard destroyed out of hand, you have 2 things going.

          One, Eren’s team is going to get eaten. Maybe not Eren and Armin due to plot armor but his team is toast. The impact of their talk about how many kills they will get will be lost. There will be no irony, simply a feeling of naive bravado.

          Second, you will be thinking that there will be an asspull to ensure Eren and Armin does not die and realistically there is no way they can stand up to what destroyed the vanguard. Instantly the “hope” generated by that scene becomes a “meh” as you simply wait for them to die.

          As the episode handles it now, the words of how they were talking about the vanguard being useless IS irony. It is ironic in hindsight after the squad gets eaten and that is way more impactful than already telegraphing the futility of the entire battle.

          As for battle and fight scenes being a “major” component, let me ask you this. How many actual “fights” where there was a chance of winning was there? When did we, the audience, actually SEE a titan go down? What instead dominated the episodes?

          I get the feeling that you have failed in attempting to understand the experience the author is trying to bring across because you feel it MUST be like this, MUST be like that because that is how YOU would do it. That’s backseat driving and you will never appreciate the anime for what it IS.

        6. [The impact of their talk about how many kills they will get will be lost. There will be no irony, simply a feeling of naive bravado. ]

          Huh? What you are saying is basically that Aliens would not be as fun a movie as it could be if you saw Alien first…because “The impact of their talk about how many kills they will get will be lost.” This is nonsense.

        7. Your Jaws example kinda works against you. The reason the shark is scary is because we rarely see it. We just catch glimpses or see the outsider’s perspective of the shark’s attacks (before you say it, I know there’s the shark cam, but you still don’t see the whole shark and just how dangerous/big it really is).

          Before episode 5 of Attack on Titan, I was wondering just how the humans were having such trouble against these big, lumbering giants. It confused me on the first episode, when the large team of soldiers couldn’t take down one Titan (there was probably more, but it wasn’t shown). I mean sure, against normal people, Titans can slaughter humans by the hundreds. But those soldiers? They’re soldiers! They’re prepared, they have the skills and technology! How could they lose? It must be that those soldiers were just terrible at their job. There’s no way soldiers could lose to these big, dumb brutes.

          Then episode 5 happened. Eren’s team was just slaughtered effortlessly. They didn’t even last a minute against the Titans. Before that scene, the audience has never seen a Titan in action against soldiers. We expected this result against the defenseless townsfolk, and we’ve seen glimpses and an outsider’s perspective of just how dangerous the Titans really are, but we do not see it until that scene. If the audience saw the vanguard being slaughtered by the Titans, Team Eren’s death would not have been as shocking.

          I’ll preface this next section by saying that I saw Aliens before Alien.

          If you saw the first Alien movie, you’ll know going into Aliens that Xenomorphs are dangerous. But, that group was just a towing crew with little to no actual military experience. The guys in Aliens are military tough guys with giant guns and advanced training. If Ripley could take down one Xenomorph with a fucking grappling hook, then these big, macho soldiers with their skills and technology, will absolutely massacre the aliens like they were nothing.

          And then most of the team gets completely wiped out. It’s not even a close fight. The soldiers the audience had faith in were destroyed and refused to a handful of scared survivors. We saw the signs of the destroyed facility, we knew about Ripley’s account with the Xenomorph, but it doesn’t sink in until that scene. If the audience saw the facility staff being massacred by the Xenomorphs, the soldier’s deaths would not have been as shocking.

          If I’m sounding repetitive, that’s the point I’m getting at. The reason all three series (Jaws, Alien, Titan) works as well as they do is because all three set up a vague threat that the audience only sees glimpses of. We get our expectations that, despite the threat, the human experts (shark hunters, soldiers, and more soldiers, respectively) can overcome it and emerge victorious. And then the threat shows itself to the experts and absolutely slaughters them. Every time it’s shocking, even if we had the outcome blatantly foreshadowed to us well before it happens. Each series leads the audience in a kind of denial, then hammering reality down with Maxwell’s silver hammer.

          I think that the lack of a clear evaluation of the threat in all the series is key to the reveal that, as much as the characters and audience denied it, the threat is overwhelming. In that regard, I argue that showing the vanguard’s massacre beforehand would diminish the shock value that scene holds otherwise.

          I have not read the manga for Attack on Titan, so I will not begin to state that you have no understanding of the direction this series is taking. I just think that you are wrong in this regard, but I value your opposing opinion as they spark great discussions such as these. :3

        8. @shifobrains

          1. You make good and valid points. You also wrote a wall of text because you give a shif. 😉 I mean there are a number of other animes this blog follows, but I don’t really care to write anything on most of those shows.

          2. Now some points on your point on Aliens and Jaws:

          Eren’s team is actually composed of freshly minted soldiers. They are nothing like those unsuspecting but thoroughly veteran colonial marines. The vanguard is presumably manned by more experienced soldiers. So, imagine that the first Alien movie was about an elite unit that gets chewed up and the second movie is about a bunch of unsuspecting miners who respond to the colony’s distress signal. Would that really have weakened the dread in this second hypothetical movie? I don’t think so.

          Let me here explain why I even brought up this imaginary scenario. When I first saw Eren’s team deploy to the front, I realized that I wasn’t feeling anything like dread or terror or worry. And upon numerous re-viewings, my feelings have not changed. I do feel concern for Eren. I could see that many characters were terrified and doubtful about their chances. But none of these characters elicited much sympathy from me. I didn’t really care about what would happen to Jean either. There has not been any reason thus far to care about him.

          But to the point, what these characters did not do was elicit the feeling of dread and looming ominousness. I suppose that is the point you are trying to make in your response to my Jaws and Alien references–that by not seeing the killings we somehow find ourselves experiencing heightened tension and dread. But I didn’t feel anything. The reason is because I didn’t know what the capabilities were of the soldiers going up against the kyojin. I didn’t know what to make of the wretching character. And I didn’t know what to make of the scouting party from episode 1. It looked like they would end up killing the kyojin. We never saw the actual attack by the soldiers and how the kyojin responded.

          Let me tell you the characters I have most sympathized with. They were those civilians from episode 1, which culminates with the killing of Eren’s mother. I was still thinking about them several episodes later. These scenes had my heart racing. And the mother’s death scene accompanied by that music was outstanding. I love how her eyes are full of fear and how she tells the kids to run for it. And I love how she then whispers to the fleeing trio–but only long after they are out of earshot–for them to either not leave her side or leave her behind. I am unclear about what she actually says here. But either way, it’s powerful stuff. I also care for the old lady who learns that her son died to no advantage for the people.

          It’s because you could see what the civilians are up against. Jaws is frightening, not because you cannot see the shark, but because you know what the shark can do and how it operates. It’s a stealthy killer. The fact that the water makes it harder to see the shark clearly serves to amplify the dread. But it is not the cause of it. Let’s imagine a Jaws made by some inferior director. In this movie, let’s say that we never see the shark attacks. Let’s say that instead we only get to see the fished out corpses in the morgue with large chunks of body chewed off–or maybe just a rotting forearm. If that is all you saw, would this movie have you feeling dread? Hardly. Of course it wouldn’t. Jaws is scary when you actually see the girl twitching and the water thrashing and turning red.

          Kyojin become terrifying only after you actually see how fast and agile they are. Only when you see how they actually move do they really become scary. Before that, you just cannot know what to make of it. In fact, you seem to be suggesting that this was your own reaction to the scouts’ return in episode 1.

          We knew basically nothing about the kyojin vs 3gdm matchup. And Eren’s team’s virgin sally is not my idea of what the elites are capable of.

          So, coming back to episode 5, I found myself not really feeling concerned for Eren’s team. Instead, I was filled with curiosity over how the kyojin would move in the anime and how the 3dgm would work in the anime. I was thinking more about how they would animate everything than what would happen to the characters. This was before I read the manga this weekend. So I didn’t know anything about anything.

          But ultimately, I just never cared for these characters because the manga artist and Wit Studio never gave me reason to care. Just because we spend some time with them doesn’t mean we ought to care. These characters are not witty. They are not funny. We never really get to know them. We don’t know their story and what their stakes and deep motivations are. And they haven’t been hurt yet.

          The other way to have made us care more would have been if we got to spend time in boot camp much longer with these characters, like in Full Metal Jacket. As with my criticism on the telling of Mikasa’s story, a lot of things feel rushed with this artist. He rushes from plot point to plot point without fully exploring the dramatic possibilities. And sometimes, my feelings get a bit detached from the characters. And sometimes, he forces characterizing moments and the false ring of these scenes make me care a bit less about these characters as the story moves forward.

          Shingeki is fun. But it may not reach its potential.

        9. Now I can see you totally missed the point of that kill competition scene. Dread? No it wasn’t to inspire dread. It was to inspire hope. Hope that the characters would succeed by the standard shonen determination > reality method. By refuting that scene almost immediately, the impact is heightened.

          Maybe you did not expect most of the marines in Aliens to die after seeing the first Alien, but I suspect most people were already waiting to see HOW the marines bite it, not IF. The scenario and the experience the director was going for Eren and his team does not correspond to the marines in Aliens.

          Like I already mentioned, forcing your expectations on another’s work makes you fail in understanding the impact that work is going for. Unfortunately, thus far the general approval of the episodes renders your view of “correctness” and “best potential” questionable at best, nonsense at worst

          Zaku Fan
        10. [Now I can see you totally missed the point of that kill competition scene. Dread? No it wasn’t to inspire dread. It was to inspire hope.]

          There is your problem right here. You want to hope for the best for characters who most people wouldn’t give a damn about. You are a great fan for this kind of show–a show that tells you to care about various characters just because you occasionally see them talking to the protagonist. You barely know these other characters–who are all green and rookie soldiers–and you are already thinking that they might kick ass?

          And what quality of hope are you even talking about. You’re describing a pretty wan and feeble sounding sort to me.

          Hope? Hope they are going to survive? You say you want to experience a feeling of hope where the feeling of dread is absent? You think hope is interesting when you don’t really feel fear or even care about these people? You are ridiculous and have no clue about what makes good dramatic or situational tension.

          Sorry Zaku Fan. But only in dread and despair is hope most interesting. When I say the scene lacks dread, I mean that the scene lacks reason to care about it…AND to desire and HOPE for the safe return of these characters.

          When the colonial marines start investigating, you feel a great deal of dread. The reason in part is because you know what they are up against. But just as important, you dread because in a matter of a few scenes, you have already come to like and appreciate a few of these characters. You like them because they have wit, humor, personality, and attitude. You know instantly that you like these few marines and why. And so even though you KNOW most or all of them aren’t going to make it….you still HOPE they will.

          That’s a difference between good writing and otherwise. And it is something you completely fail at understanding.

        11. While I agree with your point Zaku Fan, saying Tadaima just misses the point is a little snobby. He/she just sees it differently. That kind of attitude snubs out good counterpointing, like the guy a few scrolls up said on Mikasa being a Mary Sue. I don’t agree with that assessment of her character, but she did “get over” Eren’s death in the span of an episode. Even great shows have their flaws, but people shouldn’t be downvoted/insulted into oblivion just because they point out those flaws.

          I wish I could give a proper response to your new wall of text, Tadaima, but that last one wore me out. After writing it I had to watch Aliens again (for pleasure, not research :3) and now I’m spent. I’ll give you a short summary of what I think.

          What it really boils down to is that you value different things more than I, and probably a majority of the commenters here, do. I’ll use some terms I learned in my time in a Horror film class to illustrate it. My professor gave me three definitions to explain the scary shit in horror films. Shock is the stuff that catches you by surprise with little to no warning (jump scares or Samuel Jackson’s death in Deep Blue). Fear is something physical that you can see and be afraid of (Freddy Kruger or the shark from Jaws). Horror is knowing that there’s something to be afraid of, but you don’t know what exactly that is (the scenes in the Bates Motel in Psycho).

          You seem to be a “fear” guy in this situation, and I am leaning towards “shock” with an inkling of “horror” instead. You want to see everything the Titans do with their uncanny movements and features as they rampage through town with no way to stop them, while I want to see shock of watching team Eren being ripped apart by a threat they gravely underestimated. Perhaps it would be better defined as explicitness vs. subtly. And there’s nothing wrong with that (unless I said something wrong in which case please call me out on it).

        12. Seems you made a new post at the exact same time as I responded to your older one, and I don’t care if I double post. :3

          I think that the “hope” Zaku was talking about was not hope for the characters (Team Eren), but hope for humanity. These new cadets have trained for years to slowly gain ground against a foe that they’ve only been losing to. The hope we get from the team, Eren specifically, is that they/he will finally make progress and show what humans are really made of.

          Turns out it’s all guts and very little glory. :3

          Ahem, I agree that it’s hard to care about most of Team Eren as characters in and of themselves. But I argue that it’s easy to care about the motivations behind their actions. They want to take back what they’ve lost and/or they want revenge for the torment the Titans have unleashed upon the human race itself. The audience wants Team Eren to counterattack the Titans and succeed, and watching them fail despite the built up hope is what gives us such great shock value.

        13. @shifobrains

          1. [. I don’t agree with that assessment of her character, but she did “get over” Eren’s death in the span of an episode.]

          I really need to point out this is just factually wrong. Several times in this thread this point was brought up and others have properly answered it. Mikasa has not “gotten over” Eren’s death. This is made explicit in both the manga and in episode 7. Armin properly realizes that Mikasa riles up the soldiers to action because she wants to bury her grief through physical exertion.

          Armin explains that Mikasa is so preoccupied with trying to suppress her grief that she is failing to realize that she is using up her gas too quickly. And he properly predicts that Mikasa will run out of fue, which she does.

          After crashing, she experiences a partial emotional blow from her grief which leads to a sort of personal existential crisis. It is her decision to live for Eren’s sake that leads her to choose to fight to survive just as a massive kyojin assaults her.

        14. I completely agree with everything you and the others that have argued for Mikasa have said. And it all happened in a single episode. :\

          I never said it didn’t affect her, because it clearly did. It just didn’t last very long. I also put “got over” in quotations as a sort of paraphrase. Somebody else put it down better:

          There is no net development in her character; Eren’s death brought her down, only for her to recover within the episode.

          I’m sure there will be fallout for Eren’s death after all the fighting is over (assuming Mikasa survives, which I honestly can’t be sure of after Eren’s death), but as she stands now, she’s as functional as a soldier as she’s ever been.

        15. @shifobrains

          re: shock, fear, horror.

          Actually, I am for all of those. But what I find most satisfying is when the story explores the emotional gravity of a messed up situation. The talk about depicting the vanguard’s fight was only a part of my original point. You and Zaku Fan have brought up several good and valid points about why it is understandable why we have not seen a number of good 3dmg scenes. I mean I don’t mind conceding this particular point.

          But I think I am right that Isayama ought to have at least spent more time in boot camp exploring the stories of the recruits and given us a chance to bond with the characters. When I saw Eren’s team basically evaporate, I thought it was just a massively lost opportunity not to have created a sense of regret, loss, horror, and a sickness about what happens. All you had to do was spend time with them and tell their stories and explore their personalities.

          This general poverty of characterization becomes even more regrettable as some of the upcoming plot twists could have elicited greater sorrow, regret, and bitterness. But Isayama is very much a “shock” fan who dabbles in “fear.” I just don’t feel that he is into creating a psychologically oppressive atmosphere or burdening us with deep regrets.

          As for the case of hope as you mean it, I see what you mean. But I don’t know that it needed to be either-or. I think hoping that minor characters you have come to know and to like might survive and hoping that the soldiers will put up a good fight for everyone’s sake ought to be going hand in hand.

        16. [And it all happened in a single episode. :\]

          hehe. I finally understood this point. This is a great point by the way, which I think most readers and viewers would totally miss! She really does make a sudden and quick recovery from her existential crisis. It kind of goes back to what I was saying about how Isayama tends to rush the emotional lives of these characters for the sake of progressing the plot.

          On the other hand, she has to make a decision real fast because there really is a giant monster coming at her real fast with every intention of deciding her existential fate for her. I think ultimately, she really doesn’t want to be kyojin snack. Her private promise to Eren would then be both sincere and yet also perhaps a rationalization–a way to make herself get up and out of her stupor.

          If seen this way, would it be more acceptable to you? 🙂

        17. Well thanks for proving what i said right

          “I get the feeling that you have failed in attempting to understand the experience the author is trying to bring across because you feel it MUST be like this, MUST be like that because that is how YOU would do it. That’s backseat driving and you will never appreciate the anime for what it IS.”

          Reminds me of a scene in Oreimo where it was mentioned that the anime adaptation writer who failed in publishing anything, ripped apart Kirino’s popular novel to write his own. Obviously that was destined for failure which is a something you might want to consider 🙂

        18. [Reminds me of a scene in Oreimo where it was mentioned that the anime adaptation writer who failed in publishing anything, ripped apart Kirino’s popular novel to write his own. Obviously that was destined for failure which is a something you might want to consider :)]

          1. I am published.
          2. I am not a novelist.
          3. I make a good earning.

          Thanks for caring. 😉

        1. Do you have any idea how hard a director’s job is? I can’t even begin to explain how the workplace falls apart without one.

          But on the side of praise, the director has done an amazing job but right now I can’t be bothered listing off all the good points as I don’t have the time. If anyone will be so kind as to list off what he has done right and great, by all means go ahead.

        2. @Ananas

          Araki is actually a respected veteran with a great deal of skill. He was at the helm of the anime adaptation of Death Note, which is one of my all time favorite shows of any genre, animated or otherwise, and has been in charge of numerous well-received projects and talent-packed teams.

          His effort here is actually a disappointment for me.


          You do not need to offer a list. But I’d be curious to know what are your one or two favorite examples of good direction? And why?

          As for the difficulty of the job, it depends on what Araki’s actual role is. In a big project on medium to large sized teams, different people can be given charge of the various organizational and workflow management duties so that the director can concentrate on being the creative lead with final cut responsibilities.

          In this anime, it looks like the animation team had decided to do an almost completely faithful adaptation to the manga with mostly subtle differences. These differences give clues to how we may judge Araki’s performance. One example is in the headbutting incident. There are small differences here. For one, the manga makes it more clear that Eren strikes Mikasa to indicate that he thinks she needs to act more professionally when an order is given. Another difference is that in the anime Mikasa takes hold of Eren’s cuffs in the moe anime schoolgirl way, when she pleads with him not to die. It makes her seem childishly helpless. In the manga, Mikasa is looking away and putting her hand on his chest when she tells him. This pose makes her seem as if she feels regret, helpless, and resigned to being unable to protect him. But the pose is a much stronger one, befitting the girl we hope Mikasa will turn out to be. For his part, Eren does not look as if he is glaring at her. Instead, he looks like he is trying to steel himself from his fears and doubts. But mostly, he looks like someone determined to survive no matter what. The manga provides more clear information and does not weaken Mikasa’s body language. Yet, the anime makes intentional, though small, changes that inevitably do color our perception of their relationship.

          It looks like the studio decided to not fund the project like a triple A anime title. That’s surprising. What I am saying is that I think these choices were mistakes. The company, IG Port, is capable of doing more with the material and actually fund it. But I do not understand anime economics. I do not know what financial risks the company is under. So I am assuming that IG Port is using the likely hit status of Shingeki as a primer to allow it to grow the financial health of the newly formed subsidiary, Wit Studio, without overly burdening the company as a whole. Shingeki, after all, represents, I believe, Wit’s first major anime release. This choice was likely made with great consideration.

          And I’m saying that’s all too bad.

    31. Shingeki no Kyojin is a good anime if not the best. This is just a comment similar to a constructive criticism but what really takes me back from putting it up there among the greats is Mikasa. Mikasa is one of my favorite characters but there is something in her actions that I don’t quite put into the her characterization. Mikasa, as we have been introduced to, is a quiet genius type who makes her actions speak for her (forgot which exactly from tvtropes) , while in contrast, Eren is the brash & loud type who has not yet reached that elite level yet.

      What does not sit well to me (and I have read a few chapters beyond this episode) is whether Mikasa can deliver a good speech (think LOTR: Return of the King, Gladiator, Independence Day, etc). And since Eren got lost in the action, she must have the limelight and the delivery of the studio gives justice to the awkwardness of this event.


      Mikasa’s personality does not fit the speech, speech type.

      1. I agree that her usual personality type would not match her speech as she definitely is someone who speaks through her actions. However in that scene in particular, she is already grieving for Eren. The usual Mikasa we know and love “shuts down” because she has lost the will to live. She even admits a little bit afterwards that she was not thinking about the soldiers’ lives at that time. She was going to her death, or at least she thought she was.

        “If i fight, i’ll win. If i lose i’ll die.” – said right after Commie and Jean said she was crazy to fight all the titans by herself.

        Zaku Fan said it perfectly, “Its a bit similar to how people bury themselves in their work when they are hit with grief.”

        Mikasa is sad about Eren. Give her a break 🙁

    32. all hail the grapefruit of destiny….

      btw can anyone tell me what the triggers on their sword handle actually do? theres a shot of mikasa holding it up close…from what i saw these are 2 triggers on the side of the handle and one on top?

      1. I believe they also control the launching, reeling, and releasing of the grappling hooks/lines. Right and left sets of triggers for the right and left grapples.

      2. This would be my guess even though the anime has been inconsistent about it (but oh well, still awesome detail).

        My guess is that first trigger is to shoot the grapple (more accurately to release gas into the chamber and possibly ignite the gas if it is a combustion mechanic), pressing it again, will rapple (retract the cable). While the second trigger is to eject the blade or more accurately, control the blade clasp.

        Now, you notice the object which appears to be a bike break trigger? I believe that is to release the grapple after it has expanded inside an object. Why? Because the whole cable is pretty much one giant break cable. You would have two wires running through the interior of the casing, one which is the foundation cable that supports the grapple while the other is attached to the break handle. When the latter cable is pulled via the trigger device, it will compact the grapple, releasing it from the object it is embedded into.

        And since the users of the 3DM gear are using two control devices, it goes without say one for each grapple.

        The grapple itself is pretty self explanatory, you can look up big game hunting arrows that do the exact same thing if you want the gist of the mechanics.

    33. i like how people are trying to write full novels as “comments”

      side note: this episode was awesome but can i get some more of those hopeless human vs titan scenes please

    34. So I’m at the point where I am checking daily for the OST. I haven’t heard anything this well matched to a show since…FMA with michiru oshima or cowboy bebop and yoko kanno…dang

    35. -Felt so empty when that girl said “What good will that even do-” and the guy suicides. Whoa.

      -Mikasa’s reckless actions after hearing of Eren’s death was appalling. Trying to take her mind off of the situation by using the 3D gear past it’s extent, and not landing on her feet (not that she NEEDS to, it just seems to be go against her usual skill/personality but Eren’s death must have had taken its toll on her). Giving up life. Yet also still feeling the need to protect herself, as if it were an instinct.

      -Jean watching his comrades getting eaten. Can we blame him? He saw what would happen if he tried to help, not that he would be the type to impulsively risk his life anyway, but he wasn’t being completely unreasonable when he merely watched in despair, shaken up and couldn’t move due to the shock of his comrades being caught/eaten. Titans are a terrifying size after all.

      -The animation and sound during the hand-to-hand fighting Titan was great. Loved every second of those scenes. The punches… omg. Lol.


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