Now four weeks in and with nary a Titan in sight (flashbacks don’t count) I imagine a few are getting a little angsty at SnK’s current focus. The colossus sized terror colouring the beginning has been replaced by selfish and cowardly humanity, the true enemy is annoyingly kept out of sight, and those exhilarating high flying aerial manoeuvres? Replaced with the less demanding—but no less entertaining—Hange punch. It’s not really the SnK we all know and love, but there’s no denying the show is making the best of the material it must get through to reach the good stuff.
Arguably one of the benefits of SnK these past two seasons is its emphasis on speed. Whether out of prescience or understanding of the issues affecting its multi-year break (which ironically almost looked to be repeating with OPM’s second season) the show is doing its damn best to get through one of its weakest arcs. Scenes which otherwise would’ve taken entire episodes are trimmed down into bite sized affairs, the politicking is kept to a minimum, and torture (among other potpourri) tastefully remains mostly off-screen. It’s a fairly substantial change compared to how SnK operated before, although to be fair much of this may be due to the shift in writing and this arc’s focus: we have so far seen little of Eren and his ubiquitous fits of righteous yelling, combat has been kept on the down low, and the Titans—which I’m pretty sure we’re all here for—are nowhere to be found. SnK is not really the show most expect it to be at the moment, but if these changes carry over into the next arc (which will be back to the Titans I guarantee) the show is primed to benefit substantially from it.
Getting to the next arc too is not likely to take that long. If the past few weeks can be termed the buildup to political revolution, this episode effectively heralds the start of action in SnK’s walled world. Reeves Company’s heir revealing the truth of manipulation to the general populace is one obvious sign of course—and not something a tight lipped government wants given its significantly contagious nature—but we also have the journalism front set to drive the chaos further once the lid is thrown off (yes, these two gentlemen will be a recurring feature this arc). As to what begins the fun, well, pretty clear what that is going to be. Erwin may be set for elimination, but he’s taken a few measures to prevent it, or at worst limit any culling to himself. Pixis as shown before is already on board with the coup, and as Erwin’s words should hint towards for any keen eared viewer, the actual plan is further ahead than few could imagine. When the horn sounds the king and staff won’t have any idea what hit them and only themselves to blame.
The only question is whether Levi and scout friends can successfully extract Eren and Historia before the fireworks begin in earnest.