OP3: 「心臓を捧げよ！」 (Shinzou wo Sasageyo!) by Linked Horizon
「獣の巨人」 (Shishi no Kyojin)
It took four years, but series that blew through 2013 as one of the most popular of the last decade returns—AND SO HAVE I!, so if you’re reading this Rukia, then yeah you were right—bringing with it much of what we’ve come to expect, especially in regards to its new opening sequence. Taking bits and pieces of the first season’s two opening themes, it doesn’t capture the magic of either of its predecessors, but it’s a visual treat nonetheless, giving us trademark slow-mos of the squads’ pre-deployment preparations while serving as an important reminder not only that we’re watching Shingeki again, but that the fighting’s far from over.
You’d figure that between taking down Annie, confirming there were humans capable of transforming into Titans as enemies, finding out that Titans make up at least a section of the walls and that some people actually knew about it, humanity would get a chance to breathe, but who are we kidding? This isn’t just a stroll in the park and with all these monstrosities running around, there ain’t no rest for the weary. The breach of Wall Rose officially brings humanity down to its final defensive barrier, and the fact that they haven’t found out the identities of the other potential saboteurs within mean that it’s only a matter of time before even that falls. The surprise appearance of an abnormal “Beast Titan” only highlights the new threats on the horizon, and with the gruesome death of the one noted to be just behind Levi himself in combat skill—humanity’s also lost one of its best assets, making things ever the more grim.
All things considered, this was an episode that focused on the implications more than anything, and assuming Titans make up more than just one section of the wall, it’s significant because it provides a convenient explanation as to how humanity managed to create such fortifications in the first place. Given its enormity and complexity, one of the major questions I had early on was how humanity managed to create not one, but three concentric walls with not only a large overall circumference, but a high enough height to keep out even the largest of Titans, and the fact that the latter might’ve actually helped out in its construction certainly makes it viable while also explaining the potential origins of Titans in the first place. Admittedly, the former wasn’t an explanation the series needed to have given the genre, but it always nice to have one. Of course, there’s assumptions made and it brings with it a whole assortment of other potential questions and problems, but it’s a start—and here’s hoping that with humanity’s potential end comes the beginning of the answers we’ve been seeking from the series.
It’s just too bad the church cult seems likelier to prefer death over revealing what they know, and it goes to show not only how crazy they really are, but continues the theme of how even in the worst of times, it seems like there’s someone out there just waiting to stab you in the back—or at least, unwilling to prevent you from being stabbed. Looking forward, one wonders how many deaths their withholding of information will cause in the future, especially when you realize that the Beast Titan seems to be humanoid in origin (his mention of “you know we reside in the nape of the neck” is particularly telling), yet seems to possess no knowledge of the weapons used by the Survey Corps. The latter hints at origins outside the wall, which a curious difference compared to the “Human Titans” we’ve seen so far.
Overall, the return of Shingeki ends up a resounding success for the most part, and it’s notable how they basically resumed immediately after the events of the first season. The late revelation that it’ll be only twelve episodes likely put a damper on the excitement for many, but given how many series have been doing the every other season thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if this means we’ll get another season in the fall instead (source material willing). Here’s looking forward to next week, and yes, I’ll be returning to weekly coverage here with this series (with Cherrie’s help on caps making this possible—Thanks!) while simultaneously trying to prep a catch up of Strike the Blood II by the time the remaining episodes air.
Full-Length Cap(s): 34
Author’s Note: Once again, please refrain from spoilers of the source material past what’s been covered so far. There is a zero tolerance policy in effect as with previous season of Shingeki and comments with spoilers will be immediately deleted and bans handed out where necessary.
ED3: 「夕暮れの鳥」 (Yuugure no Tori) by 神聖かまってちゃん (Shinsei Kamattechan)