In counting back to last week and Ymir’s initial reveal as a human Titan, I’m half convinced at this point that everyone’s a darn Titan and they just don’t know it yet! Jokes aside, this week’s episode continues the general trend of focusing on particular back stories as Ymir and Christa take center stage as two people with similar backgrounds. The exactly circumstances are seemingly different—Christa’s an illegitimate child of a noble—and the explanation leaves out much about Ymir’s pre-Survey Corps past, but it does do enough to at least demonstrate why she ends up diving into the Titan horde in an attempt to protect the latter. In the end though, it does nothing but add more questions into the equation, and count me in as someone who’s starting to get worried about pacing and whether we’ll even get anything substantial answers-wise this season.
With that said, the Ymir story line seems to have come to an end, and given the preview—with its yet another potential Human Titan(?) possibly giving us even more questions—it seems like a good time to just go over some of the questions that are left outstanding. For one, there’s the obvious questions about her past—where did Ymir come from previously, how did she know a language most can’t even read, how did she gain Titan powers, and if she herself didn’t know, then when did she find out? The way it is, Ymir’s origins are all but question marks, and the fact that she has done nothing else with her Titan abilities despite killing Reiner’s buddy back then makes you wonder about what her game is. Was she someone aligned to a particular group? Or was the reason something as simple as not having enough food to eat while scrounging around? When you consider how she essentially used her powers to save Daz, she’s not exactly someone hellbent on destroying humanity, yet she sure seems to be anything but focused on saving it either.
Going back to what I mentioned before—everything we get this week helps demonstrate her reasons for being here at this moment, but does nothing otherwise. As exciting as it was to see her take off and just go off on the other Titans, I can’t say the whole “I’M DOING THIS FOR YOU CHRISTA” and “REMEMBER THE PROMISE!” bits really gave anything else on the emotional front, and it’s frustrating to see because of how this backstory clearly should’ve and could’ve done more. Unfortunately, with the “all questions and no answers” way of doing things, there just wasn’t enough revealed about Ymir and Christa for me to care as much as I should have, and it pains me that between all the drama and suspense, the two weren’t ever given the development they deserved.
I can understand they weren’t the main protagonists per se, and much of the Shingeki no Kyojin experience lies within its horrors and the suspense of not knowing when things might hit the fan again, but the latter works best with a quick pace when you don’t have the most developed of characters, and the pacing has been anything but quick this season so far. Count in the exaggerated death scenes whose impacts would’ve been much greater had it not seen constant usage over the past few weeks, and I’m not too sure how to feel about the second season so far, as there are some really good moments but also some that could’ve been a lot better given the proper pacing.
Either way, next week does promise to change the equation a bit with what seems to be yet another Human Titan reveal, and I don’t know how to feel about a preview that seems to reveal exactly what’s going to happen in a future episode. I mean, when you have a picture of Eren and Reiner like this and the name of the episode is the same phrase that was used to describe Reiner two weeks ago, it doesn’t take a genius to put things together. I just hope that if things end up the way it seems like it will, we’ll get more answers than questions this time—especially if it turns out the preview’s just a red herring and it was someone else from the current group.
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