「痛み」 (Itami)

Out of the frying pan and into the fire is probably the most apt description for SnK this week as high flying action and complementary rape faces faces of suffering fill the scenes of a quickly expanding story. Answers may remain few and far between (truly a running gag at this stage) and the true identity of the enemy stubbornly stuck as a metaphorical figment of the imagination, but with the hints dropped and pieces being assembled, one can rest assured there’s a proper ending waiting beyond the tunnel. After all the new ED beats the OP hands down.

While there’s plenty of areas to criticise SnK for (particularly its story), one thing which cannot be faulted is the show’s action sequences. Without a doubt Wit’s animation of the series’ manoeuvre gear stunts and mid-air attacks is a beauty to watch, reinforced by some intelligently subtle CGI usage and lack of corner cutting expediency often gracing less popular works. Say what you will about Levi for example—and there’ll be plenty to discuss later—but his chase scenes gracing the first half of this episode? Bloody fantastic. It helps as well that the switch from attacks on relatively immobile (compared to gas propelled people) Titans to duels between similarly equipped individuals this arc livens up SnK’s usual acrobatics by providing something different. Rather than dealing with organic Transformers we now get pneumatic box cutters versus big air guns of doom. Sure it might not have the same appeal as the David vs. Goliath theme defining much of SnK, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t wickedly fun to watch.

Action of course though isn’t all SnK has on offer this week as the show’s penchant for mystery and character suffering continues apace. Probably to no one’s surprise Eren wound up captured—again—because nothing defines the kid more than mouth gags and talks with his captor(s) at this point. It’s pretty much a given he’ll eventually either be rescued (because Mikasa is a beast) or free himself considering his importance to the overall story, but the real question is what happens before then. Historia for example, in the first big reveal of the season, is actually the true heir to the throne, a fact guaranteed to get Erwin (and Levi) to move faster in regards to a plan I’m sure any eagle eyed watcher can take a reasonable stab at. Kenny remains the primary threat against easy rescue and a happy ending of course, but as the mention of a personal goal indicates (or should), the guy is more than a simple 2D baddie here just to liven up the latest arc—expect some depth before our villainous cowboy eventually disappears into the good night. There’s a greater scheme at play now beyond simply who controls Eren, and its masterminds are quickly approaching the endgame.

All that remains to be seen are who the ultimate victors will be in this bloody game of cat and mouse.


ED4 Sequence

ED4: 「暁の鎮魂歌」 (Akatsuki no Chinkonka) by Linked Horizon



    1. Yeah, I noticed that too. For a while I was wondering if I missed it in one of the previous seasons, but considering that it’s the same name as fellow scout, I surely would have remembered it.

  1. Titan’s mangaka says the anime’s rapid pacing was done at his request.

    Isayama Hajime admitted via blog that this political conspiracy arc, lasting from Vols 13-16, moved too slowly due to his exhaustion then. (“It’s like I was out of gas.” )

    He felt the manga’s slow pace was a weak point which had to be amended for the anime, hence an adapted script was made.

    1. I was saying Season 1 and 2 was wayyyy too slow. 18 episodes that should have taken only 6. I’m appreciating the faster pace on Season 3. It’s actually adding to the suspense, as there appears to be some unseen countdown clock we’re not privy to.

      As for Eren, we’ve already had the “enemy” Titans talk about Eren being different, or given something he shouldn’t have, so his capture is no surprise.

      What gets me is all the “loose strings” murders in this episode, like the flashbacks and the merchant. Is the public really this cowed, to shrug off what looks like a coup among the Military Police vs the Scouts? The MPs are not just killing Titans, but nobody can change the status quo or be allowed to leave (the couple using the balloon)?

      1. I think the populace doesn’t raise too much of a ruckus because a lot of the fighting is still kept out of the public eye and quickly hushed up. For example it would be easy for the government to say stuff like Eren’s capture and Levi’s acrobatics this week was nothing more than a bunch of rebellious people acting out and being put down—there’s no real show of force on the part of anyone outside of the “official” government yet.

        Also helps that food remains an issue as shown last episode, as anyone can be made willing to overlook certain things if it guarantees a full stomach for the foreseeable future.

    2. Do you think the author is also worried that his work may not be finished in anime form, thus the increase in pacing? Hits only stay as hits for so long and if the series continues for the foreeseeable future there’s always the possibility it could become less relevant over time.

      This may be a poor example but the Horizon anime produced by Sunrise was a massive hit and the studio just didn’t care enough to continue despite the extroadinary sales.

  2. …….. yeah I can see what people mean now when they say this season won’t feel the same as the previous ones. We have a severe lack of Titans right now. There’s still action, but it’s all amongst the drama from our human characters. I also understand now why the opening song has such a different tone than the previous two. I wonder if it will keep bringing the fans in…

    1. It’ll depend on the payoff, once this arc is done—and it won’t be lasting 24 episodes given this pacing—it’s back to Titan fighting for the duration. Probably not enough to grow the franchise, but the series at least doesn’t entirely forget its roots.

  3. Apparently this season is confirmed for 24 episodes. Which means the story should get as far as what this season started with, Show Spoiler ▼

      1. I think I remember him stating too everyone was more or less set up to die, but popularity forced a change which is why a lot of events, characters, and arcs feel jarring and/or forced at times. Also yoloalchemist I’m pretty sure he didn’t do that much planning once he decided to continue, few authors ever plan out far in advance. If most did George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series would’ve been completed by now 😛

      2. @Pancakes
        So you’re saying…. stuff like J.J. Abrams’ Lost was more than likely not planned really far in advance? I just can’t wrap my head around how most authors do something like that. Maybe that’s the power of being an author.

      3. Yupp quite possibly (although TV script writing is a whole different beast). A lack of planning in my experience exists in two ways, either the author has a start and an end point in mind but no idea what to fill in the middle with, or the author has an arc thought out but no clear idea what comes after. SnK and similar series (ex. serialized manga/comics and light/graphic novels) are usually the latter, any sort of pre-writing planning occurs in spurts (arcs) due to the author simply being on a schedule—he could have an idea where he wants to take things, but it’s bloody difficult figuring that out and writing the latest arc at the same time, just easier putting off future events until they’re ready to begin.

        With that said though it’s not like all authors are like this, some do actually have their entire story (world building and character details included) mapped out before putting pen to paper. In the end it mostly comes down to personal preference and work-related responsibilities.

    1. Actually when Lost first started, the show producers explicitly stated that they had no clue what the story is and that they would just make stuff up as they went along depending on how popular the show turns out to be.


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