「巨大樹の森 ―第57回壁外調査②―」 (Kyodai Ju No Mori ―Dai 57 Kai Kabe Gai Chosa (2)―)
“Forest of Giant Trees ―57th Expedition Beyond the Walls (2)―”

This week on Shingeki no Kyojin, the 57th Expedition continues… and it’s probably best to just name it the 57th massacre or something. After all, when you have one Titan single-handedly demolishing everything in sight while playing yo-yo and soccer with human bodies, there just aren’t any other words to describe it. And ultimately, it’s just as the group says it themselves:

Things are even bleaker than expected.

The suffering just never stops with this show, and it’s something that starts right off the bat this week as Jean, Reiner, and Armin are almost forced to leave one of the group behind. As it turns out, they end up being saved by Krista before they have to make that decision, but gosh darn, things really could’ve turned out quite grim for one of them there. Either way though, it just goes to show that despite all this suffering, there’s still some kind of hope—in the context that you just might find the person you want to marry sometime during all the fighting. Of course, Reiner ends up having those exact thoughts this week, but yeah, that’s probably the only light hearted moment we’ll get for a while, heh.

In any case, the majority of the episode ends up being devoted to Erwin’s intriguing decision to continue the operation despite the entire right flank being demolished. At this point, it’s quite obvious that he has something up his sleeve—aside from the fact that the forest is theoretically the best place to fight using their 3D gear—although it seems like they won’t be revealing it just yet. Normally it’s here where I’d start speculating a bit, but considering the sheer amount of possibilities, I’ll instead focus on one of the things I felt was important this week.

And that thing involves how most of the soldiers didn’t seem to have any idea why Erwin decided to continue the operation (let alone lead them to the forest), but decided to follow their orders regardless. Likely this was in part due to the soldiers’ innate trust in Erwin in general and the belief that they likely wouldn’t have any additional luck dealing with the Titans themselves even if they did try to run off, but at the same time I felt like it was symbolic of the things mentioned last week. At this point, Erwin’s decision clearly has some tactical basis for it, but there’s arguably more to it. In many ways, it’s a confirmation and a test of the resolve they had when they signed up to join his squad, as well as of their ability to obey orders that could lead to their deaths.

In the end, It’s one thing to believe you can do something, but a whole other matter to actually act on your convictions when push comes to shove. Of course, it’s highly possible that this wasn’t part of the equation at all—in terms of being actually a reason why Erwin decided on this tactic—but it’s still interesting regardless because of how it theoretically serves an additional purpose either way. Indeed, it can’t be a good feeling just sitting in the trees waiting for the enemy to come (and potentially surround you while they’re at it), and it definitely feels like there’s a lot more going on here besides just tactical maneuvering.

Overall though, it looks like we’ll be hovering around a bit in a kind of “wait and see” mode over the next few episodes as we let things take their course and develop. Generally it looks like there’ll be less things to analyze as a result, but it seems like it’ll be in exchange for a large amount of action scenes (not that I mind in the slightest). Until next week!

Full-length images: 07.

Author’s Notes:

  • Please scroll down to the first comment for important changes in policy regarding spoilers and speculation. Note that the zero tolerance policy on spoilers still applies.
  •  

    Preview

    109 Comments

    1. New Policies Regarding Spoilers and Speculation

      After taking into account what happened last week and considering the various views regarding speculation being allowed or disallowed, I have decided to try implementing some new policies in order to try and compromise between those that want to speculate and those that would rather have the show reveal things instead. As such, please note the following:

      For Speculation

      EDIT: Please note that there’s a bit of a hiccup here at the moment, regarding tags specifically for speculation. So if you’re speculating on something POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT TO THE STORY, please use usual spoiler tags and write in bold that it’s speculation, and I’ll edit it for you.

      For Spoilers
      Please keep these to a minimum and try to only use this if you’re responding to a question someone asked. Make sure to use spoiler tags when responding to a comment with a spoiler. As usual, any spoilers without tags are subject to the zero tolerance policy as per the usual. This involves deletion of your comment and a banning.

      Otherwise, there is no change in the tags used for this. For your reference though, the html for putting in spoiler tags has been included below:

      https://randomc.net/image/Miscellaneous/Spoiler%20Tags.png

        1. Indeed. But yeah, I mean it’s just a testament to how popular the series (and the site is), so it is what it is.

          The general thing is I don’t exactly want to make it so people can’t/don’t speculate at all, as it’s part of the commenting/blogging experience, but at the same time it’s also quite obvious how such speculation could lead to spoilers very easily etc.

          So I’m hoping this compromise works out. Bit more work adding those tags in, but at least it’ll be better than not having any speculation at all, and those who don’t care for it can ignore it as they please. Also, this way we shouldn’t have speculation being downvoted to oblivion either.

      1. we don’t have such policies with other anime based on manga
        so why does SNK has this special policy?
        why dont we remove for us to comment for such anime like you did with the chatbox

        Espada
        1. Actually, it’s always been site policy that you shouldn’t be spoiling things past what’s covered in the anime when it’s based on a manga. It’s just usually been loosely enforced. And if you’ve been looking at the comments and reactions over the last 18 weeks, Shingeki isn’t something we can afford to loosely enforce this rule with.

          Even then, I’m still at least considering ways to let people comment as they please, so let’s not make it look like I’m just preventing you from discussing or anything. If anything, I’m trying to give you more ways to comment, as otherwise you’d be downvoted to oblivion immediately and there really wouldn’t be a point for you to comment at all.

      2. Just a Question to be sure. Is this Rule for all the Postings on the entire Website? or just here for this Anime?

        If the 1st is True, then i must go back to my old Forum pals. Sorry, but Speculation is Salt and Pepper for me. I can not life without them

        Germanguy
    2. in that scene where the Female Titan suddenly appears in the Forest I jumped from the chair… I think that even for those who follow the manga, Shingeki no Kyojin anime is being a surprise.

      vane
    3. I like the new policy, Zephyr. Thank you for keeping an open mind and compromising with your readers instead of trying to rule with an iron fist like some other, shall-not-be-named blogs.

      Bass.EXE
      1. they change the way the one legion reinforcement’s way of dying, im pretty sure he was smashed in a tree, im actually looking forward for that to be animated. what a let down. dahell is wrong with me starting to get hyped on how people will die in this series :S

        Ryuuzaki
      1. Ahhhh, damn it, I’m sorry, I did it wrong. You can delete my comment, I’ve never used a tag on here before, and I thought you had to write your comment below it, but then I realized that’s what “Speculative comment here” meant. Sorry, I feel stupid.

        Kurama
      2. You’re missing the ‘Speculation’ ‘Hide Speculation’ bit on your tag before.

        It’s spoiler ‘Speculation’ ‘Hide Speculation’ within the <>.

        **Updated it for ya. And don’t worry about it. 😛

      3. Kurama, I totally agree with you on that one. Adding that with that thought, the person I linked most to that titan suddenly didn’t add up, there’s someone else in the equation. I want to know, I want to know! *waits patiently for another week*, there’s many things I enjoy about this anime, and perhaps this weekly wait that makes my blood boil, cheers!

        Mi-Chan
      4. My own $0.02:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        jhpace1
    4. now this is really the mark of a good anime, it is still extremely thrilling to watch even when you’v already read the story and knew what was coming ! this episode ws too good and too short !

      selma
    5. There are cliffhangers and then there’s “I just went over the handlebars” cliffhangers. That dead stop as Levi was about to fire his flare gun totally caught me off guard.

      The animation certainly enhances an action story like this.

      1. I’m thinking Levi is going to run. The problem is, the Female Titan doesn’t tire, as long as she has sunlight, she can regenerate any injuries, so what’s the max speed of a thoroughbred horse? And for how long? The Female Titan is running better than that.

        jhpace1
    6. Back when I read the manga, I was under the suspicion that Krista might (keyword: might) be the Female Titan. Obviously I’m wrong.

      That aside, the animation for this ep are simply superb. Hope it’ll continue for the next ep.

    7. I am loving Jean’s development very well in this series, up from the start and to here, you can sense it very well. Armin’s quick wit was just nice to follow through. I think it wasn’t fair why Erwin did what he did, not telling people why they are to jump to their deaths for, I do believe though that he had two thoughts in mind: (1) he either didn’t want any spill of information since this isn’t the first time the female titan has come (obviously they knew her well), (2) he wanted to affirm the new joiners position. Either way, I am not happy about it. [don’t know if I should put speculation tag, this is in your post anyway.] I can’t wait to see Mikasa though, I’ve missed her xD I want the trio to be on one team again ;__;. Thanks for your review, M.

      Mi-Chan
        1. More like an old-fashioned slingshot, aka David and Goliath. But since it’s steel cable and a body harness, those G-forces must be up in the teens. The guy was dead before he was let go.

          jhpace1
    8. SnK is like GoT.

      The manga readers are waiting to the “red wedding” episode(s) to see/ctahc the non-manga readers reaction.

      Now you know why we we’re all depressed/hyped/shocked and stuff months ago…

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

        jhpace1
    9. Zephyr’s comments lauding the combatants for deciding to follow orders and having faith in Erwin’s decisions during battle is naive. Following a leader and a plan is what soldiers are trained to do, and there are severe penalties if they don’t in most armies. Having discipline to not break ranks under intense pressure as the Levi group did at the end with the female titan bearing down on them was laudable. Even a whiner like Jean stuck in there and fought well. I guess his constant bitching and questioning is needed for the storyline but it is annoying. Armin deserves the goddess, they make a good couple.

      1. Errr… I never exactly lauded anything. You’re mis-reading.

        I just said a statement that the Erwin’s decision could be construed as something more than it is (that is, a test of resolve). Considering Jean himself mentioned how commanders that lose their soldiers’ trust tend to be back-stabbed earlier in the episode, it’s important to note that because Erwin himself may not be immune to a back-stabbing of some sort (especially since you’re still dealing with a lot of fresh recruits rather than fully trained, experienced soldiers).

        If anything you’re incorrectly applying real-life military scenarios to Shingeki and assuming everyone there is as well-trained or disciplined (when they’ve obviously shown times when they haven’t been). Furthermore, your severe penalties thing only applies in the context of “if they get caught” or “if someone has anything against it.” Considering this isn’t a modern army in the modern age, it’s quite easy to say, off your commander without anyone noticing and then just report back to HQ that he was killed in action by a Titan (not to mention people would be more prone to doing so in the Shingeki universe just because of the kind of fight they’re in).

        Whether or not Erwin would be so easily killed is another thing, but yeah, the basic thing is you’re somewhat off base in terms of understanding what I said and in terms of applying modern military aspects to a universe whose military is equivalent to being hundreds of years behind.

      2. Jean is like,the most human character out there so it’s only naturally for him to be questioning the commander’s orders.The other members of the recon corps are either seasoned veterans,complete weirdos,superhumans or an all in one package.I think he makes an excellent addition to the Recon Corps as he’s like a breath of fresh air among them or that character that one can sympathize with the most.Armin might also fit the same category,he’s just smarter.

        Also,I agree that those two would look good as a couple 😛

        MgMaster
      1. The sad thing is, they probably do. The problem is that the female Titan is just that much better! If it weren’t, Levi would just hack its head off.

        In other news, I have to figure out a better way to play the game!

        Sekai
        1. I’d rather they cut costs in these scenes than in the more important scenes. I’ve noticed some of the repeated clips/animations, too, but they’re perfectly acceptable in my opinion when you consider the quality of everything else.

          michaelman90
      1. A terrifying episode indeed, what with the perfectly placed,cominous music.
        I loved eyeryone’s response to Kristy, as well as Eren’s: Ah, Capt.Levi wants me to think for myself in order to gain experience! Wait wha-WHAT DO YOU MEAN NONE YOU HAVEN’T A CLUE WHY THE HELL WE’RE ALL HERE??!!

        Also, if it’s not a spiler then could someone explain to me what happened to the other outlying towns (such as Shiganshina) when the Titans broke through Wall Maria?

        Sekai
        1. No mention anywhere, but I’d assume they were also evacuated and/or abandoned.

          Judging from the distance between the outer wall and the middle wall, and just how titan populated the area is, being isolated in the outer wall without a supply route or reinforcements is pretty much a death sentence already.

          But would be interesting if they actually bring it up later on in the anime/manga.

    10. Eren (thinking to himself): Corporal Levy seems to know what he’s doing. Guess the others too know that he could be trusted if he’s not panicking.

      (Looks at Petra and the other’s terrified concerned looks)

      Eren: OMGWTFFFF???

      echykr
    11. Jean is becoming the most refreshingly relatable character. Sure he’s whiny and complains a lot, but isn’t it natural to wonder what the plan is after they were told it was supposed to go a certain way, and not being told any new information? He’s much more sensible to actually kill a comrade to betray them, and will listen to orders but he probably just wants to know the reasoning behind what they are doing versus being a loyal dog that doesn’t speak.

      Armin’s train of thought is interesting as always.

      Levi’s squad has so much trust in him. Can’t believe they didn’t just attack after realizing that the female Titan was ridiculously dangerous. Props.

      Can’t wait for next week to see what Erwin has planned.

      Jel
    12. What an episode. It kept up the tension nearly the entire time. I known I’ve complained about the pace in the past, we should be at episode 6, not 18, but oh well.

      Spoilers in case I trip over something important:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      jhpace1
      1. What do you mean where does everyone watch it? Crunchyroll, Animefreak, Funimation, Animefushigi, Animeon, Goodanime, Gogoanime, and I could list many more.
        Though try to watch it on Crunchyroll, because it’s legal.

        Kurama
    13. SPECULATION
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Of course, this is all just speculation so I could be wrong.

      michaelman90
    14. I’m just sad that at this point just about all the blog and youtube reaction/review media i follow of anime only watchers have been spoiled now, the new policy is a pretty clear indication that this site was hit as well. I guess like mentioned it can’t be helped, but some of the Speculation posts I read were clearly manga readers posing as speculators. Sometimes I wish the anime watchers wouldn’t read the comments on their blog or youtube but that usually doesn’t happen until too late. ugh.

      arimpact
      1. To be honest, it’s just like anything that’s an adaption of something that has existed long ago.

        People who have seen the original medium of the intellectual property feel like they should be able to talk about and express excitement about what’s going to happen next in this new way of experiencing the series they’re a fan of.

        Likewise, these same people want to compare how things are panning out and being realized compared to the original medium the story took place. For these people, they can’t seem to grasp, although rather self-centered, why would anyone not consume the work in its original format on top of this new away of experiencing the show.

        Whether it’s a book-to-film adaption or a manga-to-anime adaption, it’s never going to go away these issues.

        In this case, what needs to happen is easier ways to subcategorize those who have read the manga vs those who merely got exposed to the series via the anime. Of course, it’s easier said than done and most bloggers don’t have the know-how to do so or the CMS they’re using makes it very hard to execute this reliably.

        If these things happened, there wouldn’t be this conflict.

        Kevin L.
    15. Okay first things first: I thank you wholeheartedly for your spoiler/discussion/speculation policies. I think it strikes a fair balance for those who want to let the series unfold without prior knowledge of the source material, and for those who are already fans of AoT and want to speculate or discuss the adaptation and/or the progression of the story beyond this point.

      As for the episode itself, I’ll borrow what I said over at Crunchyroll: Absolutely top notch. I just love this show to no end when it goes full force into battle tactics and war stratagem. I feel like it’s at its best when it shows the many facets of war (fear, cruelty, insanity, life-and-death decisions, forethought, planning, and experience vs. instinct).
      The aerial fights never disappoint, and in this case I think the anime builds on and exceeds the manga; such an immersive sense of movement, size, and speed is elevated by animation and sound. This I feel AoT has done better than any anime I’ve seen in recent memory.
      Finally, with that in mind, the adrenaline and fear are conveyed in such incredibly visceral fashion, to me it is nothing short of palpable.

      There are issues with AoT, for sure, but at times like this I feel they’re all worth it. I can definitely see myself buying this on BD someday; I can’t imagine it won’t be dubbed, being as popular and as potentially lucrative as it is.

      Thank you for continuing to cover this anime and to offer your analysis and thoughts. It makes the experience just that much more enjoyable.

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