「噛みつく ―第57回壁外調査③―」 (Kamitsuku ―Dai 57 Kai Kabe Gai Chosa (3)―)
“Bite ―57th Expedition Beyond the Walls (3)―”

Since the beginning of the series, Eren has been steadily developing both as a person and a soldier. But as this week demonstrates, he still hasn’t officially internalized it all and there’s still plenty of learning left to be done. On one hand it’s perfectly understandable to try and fight back—and try to save every life that you can—but at the same time he’s no longer an ordinary soldier, and arguably as humanity’s hope, he needs to realize that his life is worth infinitely more at this point. That and he needs to realize also that orders are absolute, that some things don’t necessarily need an explanation, and that fighting on your own is not the way to go about things.

Experience reigns supreme here… is what I’d like to say, but at the same time, one must note that Eren’s ability is such a big X-factor that regular lines of thought just do not apply. Because in the end, it’s quite possible that he’s the only one capable of taking down Titans like this female one, and arguably, at some point they’re going to need to let him go on his own if they want to win this war too. He’s going to need experience fighting with his Titan form at some point, and considering the desperate situation they’re in right now (and the fact there’s “only”one opponent), you’ll theoretically find few better chances to try it out. Indeed, the flashback just highlights the need to understand his power further (and backup plans if he fails to control it), and it’s a very important factor in the overall equation of humanity’s salvation.

Generally, it all flies in the face of normal logic and the military tactics/assumptions we know in our universe, but if there’s anything that’s been quite obvious, it’s a fact that real-life comparisons can only go so far when you’re dealing with things well beyond the scope of what we face, and this episode really highlights that. As it turns out, the decision’s pretty much made for Eren this time around (courtesy of Erwin the Magnificent’s plan), but it’s still a key notion to consider regardless.

Either way, as nothing else of note really happens this week (though the flashback and its linkage to the current state of affairs was superb) the name of the game this week involves understanding what you can and doing the best with the information you have. Eren understanding that his squad mates really will kill him if needed, Levi understanding that you can’t ever know what will happen in an always changing battlefield… they’re all key parts of the overall picture, and arguably it might just go down to what Levi says himself:

“Do what you’ll regret the least.”

It’s definitely a practical way to look at an intangible situation, and per Occam’s Razor, it might just be that “the easiest answer is the right one.” Of course, there’s plenty of ways to look at this and the above is just one of them, but it’s a pretty interesting way of seeing things.

In any case, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together in terms of Eren’s trigger to becoming a Titan, and it looks like it’ll be a race to see if he can properly harness his ability before it’s too late. In addition, we get the potential revelation of who’s “piloting’ the female Titan as well… though it’s quite obvious at this point that things probably won’t go according to plan at all, even if both Levi and Erwin are on the scene. But then again, it could just be all about making us think something’ll happen. You just can’t ever tell with this series.

Author’s Note:

  • I’ll be taking a trip overseas next week, so I won’t be here to cover episode 20. I’m still holding out hope someone’ll be able to cover the episode in my stead, but if anything, I’ll make it up in a double post the week after.
  • Per the usual, there’s a zero tolerance policy for spoilers that aren’t in spoiler tags or in response to a query.
  • After some thought (and some issues cropping up regarding the new tags I was trying to use), I’ve decided to scratch the previous week’s idea regarding the new tags. Ultimately, in regards to speculation, I want to leave it up to you guys to use your own discretion in regards to what you decide to type in a comment, so I won’t be requiring that spoiler tags be used. However, please note that if you don’t (or you word your speculation in a way that implies more than just that) there’s a chance viewers will downvote your comment to oblivion, and there would be nothing I can do to make your comment visible again. Also keep in mind that any speculation that seems beyond the scope of the word will be removed if deemed inappropriate or clearly based off the source material.



        1. If by Eren=Shinji you mean catalyst to events, agreed.

          But I hardly think Eren is a big as a tool(?) as Shinji is. He at least tries to learn, and come to his own decisions and follow through instead of being led around by everybody else.

    1. Lol when Eren’s hand shifted into a Titan’ arm, Petra was like “Dafuq” and Levi was like “Sooon of a bitch. -__-”

      I loved that OST near the end. I swear Hiroyuki Sawano and his knack for including vocals in his tracks makes him my favorite composer.

    2. I’ve been thinking what If the ones in charge the Government/Royals/Noble Classes have somehow figured out away to control and harness the power of the Titans?

      Think about it. What better way to keep the remaining population of humanity under subjugation then with fear.

      Say the people inside the walls start to get a little too comfortable and begin to forget who is providing protection for them. Well then what if an “unforeseen” attack happens to befall one of the communities within the walled nation. The rest of the commoners would be more then willing to sacrifice whatever it took for their leaders to grant them more safety even if that meant fare less freedom.

      However Eren suddenly goes Titan in the middle of one of these attacks now the guys in charge have a rouge Titan Shifter and to top it all off some of the commoners what to rally round him. Obviously Eren can’t be allowed to remain alive but if they killed him out right people will start to get suspicious so why not let the recon corps take him outside the wall where many unfortunate events could befall Eren.

      1. Interesting idea, but I gotta wonder just how high up in the chain would be involved.

        Earlier episodes show/suggest that the noble Pixis was visiting was just as scared as the general populace.

        Also, sacrificing 20% of your kingdom’s population also means you lose 20% of your wealth in a manner of speaking (resources, land, livestock, taxes, etc.)

      2. Interesting idea. Everything was stable until the Colossal and Armored Titans showed up. Maybe there’s another group attempting to break the status quo? If Eren’s dad can make a Titan serum why not others?

      3. I’m intrigued about the idea of the monarchy using the titan’s; I think it’s been hinted/discussed already a lot of times (iirc there’s something in the manga covers that suggested or hinted at this; also the current ED suggests a lot of stuff as well such as the wall grafiti etc.)

        Although I have to wonder just how much control does the monarchy have? I’d like to think that maybe that was their initial plan, and it got out of hand.

        The monarchy so far, has yet to show any effective anti-titan approach to ensure that they keep the titan population in check.

        Also, the current suspected human-titans have yet to exhibit any clear enough signs showing their involvement with the current monarchy.

        Well the FT might be(?) but I’m not so sure that Eren is the only wild card, they can’t possibly have planned losing the outer, and potentially middle walls of the kingdom.

        1. On your 20% idea, thats not necessarily true if each section of the walls populace was meant to be self sustaining and also provide for the inner most wall. If you suddenly reduce the amount of land/resources and the population is increased or stays the same than there will be supply shortages.

        2. Actually I don’t think the cities themselves are self sustaining. I mean we’ve seen how “small” they are.

          Most if not of their resources (livestock) comes from the lands between the walls (towns).

          The large acres between the outer and the middle wall for example. That was their livestock, farm, and woods area. Now that it’s titan infested, you lose all the resources that area produces.

          Although your point did make me wonder what if the outer cities are self sustaining, and splinter/rebel/titan-power faction does hold a base on one of the outer wall cities.

      4. That could be really interesting idea but would they really give up two walls (and most of the pleace humanity share) to make that? I don’t think so. Still it could be that some titan they were using breaked out of they control.

      1. It’s true. You gotta love the soundtrack. I’m even impressed with both OPs and EDs. So many times in a series you’ll get attached to one particular OP or ED, and keep comparing the others to your favorite. Especially the OPs, which is why I’m pleasantly surprised to say I can’t really choose, I love them both. On a side note, I guess we finally know what those arrow things are from the OP now.

    3. Leave it to the loveable Hanji to break the ice in such a tense situation. She even made a revelation that allowed the rest of the group to trust Eren which kept him from making a rash decision that could have jeopardized the mission.

      I wonder how crazy she’ll go if she gets to experiment on the female titan xD.

    4. “though it’s quite obvious at this point that things probably won’t go according to plan at all”

      A scene from Stargate SG-1 popped in my head. “Not much faith in plan A? Since when has plan A ever worked.” Have to wonder if they have a backup plan.

      1. It also reminds me of a line from the game, Resistance 2;

        “This plan just went from bad to worse.”

        “What did they teach us in basics? Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.”


    5. I don’t thin I would be a good soldier.
      I don’t think I could obey an order I didn’t understand.
      Never read the manga. Prediction > Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Not obeying usually gets either you, your comrades or both dead when you’re in the thick of things. Understanding that you probably don’t know shit about what’s really going on is a key to being a good soldier. The good soldier also is one who knows when he needs to question them. Questioning isn’t the problem, balking at following them is.

      2. Unfortunately in the army (and even in work) higher ups don’t always deem it necessary for rank and file to know the “why” behind every order they give. Things are further complicated when you take spies within the ranks into consideration.

        Interesting theory
        Show Spoiler ▼

        1. Interesting observation. Although for a while I did wonder what she was doing in the recon recruitment gathering when she already planned to join the royal guard, but then I figured it was mandatory since a lot of other recruits were there and given a choice.

          However if presence during that particular’s branch is voluntary, then the motives for staying there to hear Erwin’s speech is very suspect.

    6. “Generally, it all flies in the face of normal logic and the military tactics/assumptions we know in our universe, but if there’s anything that’s been quite obvious, it’s a fact that real-life comparisons can only go so far when you’re dealing with things well beyond the scope of what we face…”

      In today’s militaries, “unique” weapons or persons are generally not liked. Generals are not allowed to put super-weapons on the front lines; politicians would rather have those super-weapons guarding them from the enemy, or political enemies, and assassinating troublesome citizens. Eren’s already seen this in how the best of the best cadets choose Military Police or home guard instead of the Recon Corps. Generals would rather have 1,000 “ordinary” weapon systems than just 1 or 2 “unique and uber-powerful” weapon systems in a battle. Or, like the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter, you use them early in a battle and as sparingly as possible, because even the loss of one stealth plane gives the enemy an untold advantage if they can reverse engineer it or find its’ faults after study.

      Since Eren’s not a brainwashed soldier guarding the life of the King or a Duke, and he hasn’t shown complete and total control over his Titan ability, everyone is suspicious of him. Some see Eren as a weapon but an untested one. So there’s going to be a lot of testing of both Eren’s Titan abilities as well as his loyalty. In past history, most aristocrats don’t trust soldiers from the common class, or the gentry, only the lords who bought their way into the army as officers.

      1. Again, the basic point is comparisons to today’s militaries only go so far. The comparison only works if the Shingeki universe has anything remotely equivalent in terms of “ordinary weapons systems,” which they do not have.

        The value of Eren in terms of his Titan killing capabilities is arguably worth way more than stealth technology and nukes in comparison, just because he’s shown the capability to single handedly demolish a Titan onslaught on a city, and is a walking mobile weapon. Compare him to the other soldiers (which are the supposed “ordinary weapons systems” in the Shingeki universe), and there’s just no comparison, because these ordinary guys don’t do nearly as much damage as say, a fighter jet or soldier can do on the front lines in real life.

        Generals in real life would rather have 1000 ordinary weapons system because they can each do some kind of damage. But in the Titan universe, the average soldier dies without even taking down one Titan, and it’s just apples and oranges in terms of how much less valuable each soldier is in Shingeki compared to ours. Furthermore, you can’t say that if there wasn’t the threat of nuclear retaliation, generals’ wouldn’t want to use nukes instead of risking their troops lives either, so in that sense the 1000 ordinary weapons systems preference doesn’t actually even hold up in real life. Either way though, it has to also be noted how it’s been established just how valuable Eren is because they’re having Levi’s squad ensure his survival, and we all know how much each member of that squad is in terms of ordinary soldiers based on the stated value of Mikasa from earlier in the series.

        In that context, the comparisons to real life militaries break down when you go down to the gritty details, just because the scope and scale of the opponents are not the same, and the scale and scope of the weapons aren’t either. You can’t apply medieval times tech to modern tech, for instance. Furthermore, there is no worry about “reverse engineering” of Eren’s Titan transformation and no untold advantage to the Titans if Eren gets captured, because he is a Titan in the first place. Also, you can mention the gentries and their trust, but considering how at this moment it’s all up to the Survey Corps, it doesn’t quite apply, and arguably this could be a key situation that let’s Eren prove his true worth too.

        As such, the basic thing is that when the scenarios are so vastly different, you’re probably going to have to start thinking outside the box if you want to win. Eren is an X-Factor beyond any comparison to real-life, and utilizing him will likely be the key to humanity’s victory. Considering no one really knew what Erwin was planning up until his plan activated, you can’t say that having Eren activate his Titan form at that point would have been a bad idea, and that’s the basic purpose of my blurb here, which is to ponder alternatives that could be done aside from ones that are strictly military.

        There’s a lot more here than meets the eye, and the general thing is that I feel like too many people are too busy applying real-life military logic to something that it can’t be completely applied to. Not only that, but there’s a lot of it being applied in a very rigid sense like there’s no alternative, and that just doesn’t make any sense because even real-life militaries have ever-changing tactics for ever-changing scenarios. Furthermore, some of the best generals are ones that think outside the box, and if there’s one situation where thinking outside the box might be vital, it’s the very one they’re in right now, especially if something goes terribly wrong next week.

    7. I was going to wait it out for gg’s release, but then I gave in and realized that HS is pretty good.

      Even though I thought it was hilarious when Auruo was suffering after he didn’t cover his ears for the flashbang (without the flash… I have no idea what it would be called), I felt completely frightened the whole episode. I thought the female titan was going to capture and/or annhilate the whole squad… I mean she pretty much caught up to them BUT Erwin pulls a fast one in what seems to be an intricate plotted out plan! Wow.

      I felt just as torn as Eren did. Should he do what he believes is right by turning into a Titan and attempting to save them all, while disregarding his comrades and subtely indicate that he doesn’t trust them, or should he merely continue the mission and trust in the squad, leaving the reinforcements to being swatted like flies behind them? How can you not look when people are being killed behind you, and you’re not doing a thing? “Do what you’ll regret the least” ?! Levi’s right but at the same time he’s just making it harder to make a firm decision! Lol come on! Eren’s going to feel crappy regardless of the decision he makes!

      That flashback was pretty down-to-earth. Seems like Levi is right that Eren is a monster who can’t be controlled (or just a rebellious kid, lol I mean he’s only 15 after all…), regardless of the Titan transforming. How can you continue to bite yourself like that so many times so that you’re bleeding on both hands? Whoa. Really like the scene where they all bit their hands to see what it was like for Eren to do it to that extent.

      Eren really is building so much as a character and soldier, just as you noted, Zephyr. He’s matured so much since episode one when he was a reckless brat, to when he first became a trainee. He’s always had a pretty good resolve, but he’s a bit more rationale about looking at situations now and listening to others.

      On a side note, I noticed that the full version of the ED is up on youtube! Hurray!


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