OP2: 「自由の翼」 (Jiyuu no Tsubasa) by Linked Horizon
「まだ目を見れない ―反撃前夜①―」 (Mada Me o Mire Nai ―Hangeki Zenya ①― )
“Can’t Look Into His Eyes ―Prelude to the Counterattack (1)―”
What do you want to do? I want to kill as many Titans as I can, SIR!
That’s the spirit. Shingeki’s back after a two week hiatus, and it starts off with one of the more epic opening sequences I’ve seen in a long time. There’s just nothing like having a sequence that they obviously butchered the budget on—images on top of others, fade effects, camera movements and pans every scene, everything moves—to start the second half off, and the new song from Linked Horizon matches perfectly with the fast-paced nature of it as well. Arguably, it may have been a tad bit too fast for some people though, but either way, you have to be in awe about how awesome this new OP sequence is as a whole (even if they seem to have inserted a potential spoiler in near the end of it).
In any case, word spreads about Eren and the Titan that’s siding with the humans, and true to human nature, they’re quick to label him their savior. The problem? The fact that human nature also comes with its dark side and inner-wall politics now threatens to incite a conflict between the people of Wall Rose and Wall Sina.
And so starts the prelude to the counterattack―a prelude that involves sorting out who gets to have Jaeger. It’s tough to be popular to say the least, as both the military police and the Recon Corps want him (for completely opposite reasons), and I suppose it’s just as fitting that the Supreme Commander himself (Dallis Zacklay) makes his appearance to resolve this matter.
But… it just highlights how Eren really brings with it a load of problems. People will support him, but people are understandably scared too. His very existence could lead to rebellion, but it could also be the key to humanity’s salvation. One could speed up humanity’s extinction, the other could lead to humanity’s victory. It’s a hard choice in many ways, but this is what makes Colonel Smith’s proposition so great as well, as his offer to take back Wall Maria is something that will either demonstrate Eren’s usefulness… or his uselessness (in which he would die anyway). Arguably the trial shouldn’t be happening in the first place, considering how at this rate, they’re going to die anyway… but yeah, Smith’s proposition really tiptoes the political boundaries quite well.
Notably however, the trial also serves as an interesting plot development point that lets Eren realize that he actually did lose control initially in Trost to the point where even he attacked Mikasa―a key point that may loom large in Eren’s future ability to either control or be consumed by the power. Furthermore, it gives Eren the time to finally say what’s on his mind (and countless others as well):
If those with strength don’t fight, who will?
If you’re too scared to fight for your lives, at least don’t hinder me!
Just shut up and let me shoulder it all.
Interestingly enough, this also gives Levi the chance to literally hammer in the fact that only the Recon Corps can deal with Eren, and the episode ends up concluding as expected for the most part. With that, the second half can start in earnest, and it looks like it’ll be even better than the first.
Suffice to say, it was a pretty nice episode after a two week hiatus, and it was quite nice how they managed to gradually introduce new members of the Recon Corps while also giving some additional insight into just how twisted this world is. Ultimately, you’re not just dealing with Titans here, but also other humans as well (potentially in more ways than one)… and really, the suffering just never stops. At least for now though, all Eren loses is a tooth―or at least, for all of a few hours―but it’s all worth it, because as Smith said: “your pain is our gain.”
Full-length images: 03.
Author’s Notes/Additional Comments:
ED2: 「great escape」 by cinema staff