「壁の王」 (Kabe no Ou)
“Ruler of the Walls”
While SnK has been going strong of late with its significant story developments and paradigmatic reveals, sometimes it doesn’t hurt enjoying the simple things and this week is here to remind us of that fact. From good old fashioned Titan killing to the always entertaining Eren shenanigans, we got a bit of nostalgia to help prime the long road ahead, because if there’s one thing to except from SnK in the near future, it’s going to be hardship.
One of the things which keeps me enjoying SnK is the show’s unabashed willingness to stay excessive. Every Titan we encounter is often bigger and more disturbing than the last, every revealed plot (well, aspect of the main plot) more dangerous and insidious than before, every character in some way increasingly more off their rocker. Rod Reiss of course best exemplifies this trait by literally shaving off half his anterior and still going strong. Even for one like me who’s actually fiddled with cadavers and held human hearts and brains in my hands (biomedical engineering minor for the win), seeing stuff like this doesn’t lead to happy thoughts. Little early for the October spookies don’t you think? At least the off putting nature of Rod’s inglorious end helped to return Eren back to the proper protagonist path, for in his understandable confusion he finally saw and recognized his own weakness, succinctly ending what to now have been a couple seasons of try and fail. The kid may deserve the ribbing he gets, but he’s finally set himself along the path needed to overcome past failures and start successfully pulling the weight he’s determined to bear. Don’t deny, you know like him more when he’s yelling too.
Eren though isn’t the only one who has seen growth the past few weeks, as Historia has now finished her own transformation. While Erwin’s plan for eliminating Rod may not have been centered on legitimizing Historia’s royal ascension, there’s no denying that Historia helped solidify her position by landing the final blow, ensuring her own duties will not be overshadowed by collective doubt and insecurity. We may naturally obey leadership because they are leaders (and are backed up by weapons), but the only way to actively instill trust and affection for leaders is for them to take on the hardships of the average person. Historia’s willingness to fight on the frontlines did exactly this, a selfless act proving her convictions and showing (at least in the future) that she is no puppet of the military and is one who will act only in her subject’s best interests. Considering where we’ve come from and the level of duplicity shown by the previous government it’s a substantial change, and one—as visualized by a few kids—whose impact is going to reverberate for a while to come.
Humanity is now ready to turn a new leaf in the world of SnK, and as a bit of history between one cowboy and Scout extraordinaire will show, the fun and games of this new order are only just getting started.
Author’s Note: I’ll be away next week on a business trip to the Albertan oil sands from the 23rd-26th, so next week’s post may be delayed. I’ll try to get it, but it all hinges on how nice the camp internet (and my workload) will be.