「進撃の巨人」 (Shingeki no Kyojin)
With world shaking reveals (literally) now out of the way and the central struggle of SnK fully out in the open, it’s hard faulting the show for slowing things down and smelling the roses. Considering only one episode remains of arguably the last season we’ll see of Titan action for the foreseeable future, it only makes sense to start filling in the remaining gaps and setting up the new conflict quietly growing strong. This may have been the biggest shakeup since SnK first began, but the real fighting has yet to begin.
While the Marley-Eldia slugfest and its relationship to our friendly neighbourhood Scout boys (and girls) remains the talk of the town, the two major takeaways this week concerned the titan power itself. I imagine the 13 year lifespan of titan wielders for example probably proved surprising to some, especially those who were wholly unprepared for the consequences of it. Mikasa after all hasn’t yet progressed through the five stages of grief, and if given the chance will move heaven and earth to see to it Mr. Screamer keeps on kicking strong—because the power of childhood friendship. As for Eren that screaming ability looks to have some narrative significance behind it, because it will quickly become the key thing everyone will soon wind up fighting over to bring this conflict to a close. It’s no lie to guess Eren’s realization of how to utilize his power will eventually become known (*looks at Armin*), while his fear about what could happen to Historia will likely come to pass, because in a brave new world with an unknown hoizon ahead, you typically do what you must and damn the consequences. Some missions are quite literally worth killing for.
As for what SnK’s future holds (and how the above is ultimately brought about), that’s going to be up in the air for a while yet. For all that we’ve learned and finally pieced together, quite a bit still remains unknown, particularly in regards to the next major enemy. Zeke after all is still missing with Reiner, and if both escaped to outside the walls, it’s only a matter of time until they return, and probably with reinforcements in tow. There’s also the matter of if Marley as a whole is the existential threat, or only a part of the country, because as prior events and all the flashbacks these past couple of weeks have shown, no political entity is ever monolithic. For every Marleyan out to eradicate the Subjects of Ymir there’s likely one caring less about them—and another who may even harbour sympathies. It’s a big unknown world out beyond the walls, and until our main crew can start learning about it and where they stand (whether physically or via more predictive means), nothing as we know it will really change.
In SnK’s world reaching the sea truly has a meaning all of its own, and we’ll get to see exactly what in next week’s big finale.