「凶弾」 (Kyoudan)
“Assassin’s Bullet”

Well this week may not be as balls to wall crazy as last time, but it certainly had its own flair. After all, you don’t gut punch harder than this. Or that. Unless you’re Levi of course, but I think we all know by now he doesn’t follow the herd. Even when sorely tempted to.

Given how successful the Survey Corps’ raid went you knew something had to give, and that something unfortunately was poor Sasha. Yes, this is one of big shockers for this season, and certainly serves as a bit of retributive whiplash for all the fun of watching Eren do Eren things without a care in the world. For those who love potato girl it’s incredibly disheartening, however it serves as the big reinforcement for what this part of SnK is all about: the cycle of violence. No matter the intricacies of who did what or when, notwithstanding any and all legitimate grievances, the cycle perpetuates so long as one is committed to vengeance. Everyone understands that it cannot reasonably continue for the sake of lasting peace (a la Jean, Armin, and Reiner), but solving the conundrum requires the one last wronged to voluntarily agree to break the cycle. And while those like Gabi remain committed to the path of retribution, the cycle will remain firmly locked in its motions. Poor Falco definitely has his work cut out for him.

Outside of philosophical musing, we also got the first taste of where things are going next courtesy of the Jaeger brothers. While I imagine some had an inkling what Eren did wasn’t entirely permitted by Paradis and the Survey Corps (read: not in the slightest), Zeke actually being a Paradis informant and in on the attack? Oh now that was a surprise. Yes, this little plan on Eren’s part was far more involved than may have been initially apparent, up to and including others like Yelena infiltrating Marley alongside him to maximize the damage done. While less successful than some were probably hoping for (I guarantee eliminating or consuming all the enemy Titans alongside offing Marley’s leading officials was the primary objective), given the damage done in comparison to the losses sustained it wasn’t a bad haul. At least enough to buy the good guys lots of time before the real test begins, and best be sure Marley and friends won’t take it lying down.

Although just how much of a good guy Eren will be going forward is firmly up in the air. Power after all has a funny way with people.

Random Tidbits

To get an idea of how incredibly hard breaking the cycle of violence can be consider that it’s been an issue for most of recorded history. A prime example is Aeschylus’ Oresteia which tackles it head on and notably sees its conclusion through force of law – i.e. the means we try and control it today.




  1. I hated the way that led up to Sasha’s death.

    You could just tell with Checkov’s Last Guy Dangling from a Cable, he was probably gonna die.

    Fine. Makes sense.

    Gabi shooting him and then using his cable to gain entrance (with Falco), sure, fine.

    But just watching it unfold was so frustrating: they were celebrating, in enemy territory with a huge opening in their blimp, with no one guarding the damn opening or even near it.

    I suppose it’s showing that they were careless in their inexperience, though I’d think Levi wouldn’t have tolerated that sort of sloppiness.

    For me, it cheapened her death when it should’ve been so much more heartbreaking.

    bamboo blade cat
    1. IMO something like this needed to happen to help balance the scales, but yeah, it could’ve been handled much better. I think the problem was the rapidity and fallout. Such stuff is how these scenes normally play out in real life, but it’s not as impacting for a show. Likewise is the whole prolonging of Sasha’s death, probably would’ve been better if she immediately died from the shot rather than have the final word lamenting.

  2. I really wasn’t sure what to make of this episode. Mappa was trying to out-Wit Wit at every opportunity and failing miserably, there were more Frodos than Titans and Sasha’s last words almost made me piss myself laughing from the bathos of it.

    Is this show really trying to be as ironically hilarious as Roald Dahl’s screenplay for You Only Live Twice or Borowczyk’s Emmanuel 5? If it is, it’s certainly succeeding.

      1. You know, Anon, you really can compare works in different media. You should have seen my post here some time ago comparing Little Busters! to Kierkegaard’s The Sickness Unto Death.

  3. Honestly, Sasha’s death felt like a bit of author forcing.

    Can’t have all this mess go down with nobody dying and you want’ someone people care about but…isn’t that important to the plot going forward….Lets see.

    1)Why didn’t they gain altitude after everyone was attached? Not like radar exists.

    2)A zep should be faster than a girl running.

    2) Gabi got ridiculously lucky hitting Lobov in JUST the right place to kill him instantly AND drop him to the ground. And he had enough wire to not get dragged along the ground while she talked to falco…

    3)She then pulls off a high difficulty perfect snap shot gives a fatal wound to a single charachter. (A bit more believable considering her training, but still).

    So yeah, felt a bit like author fiat to me. YMMV

    1. Yupp fully agreed. I really thought the scene would’ve been better if Sasha just immediately died from the shot, no prolonging, no final word, just drop dead. Wouldn’t have removed the issue of forcing, but it would’ve at least made it less weird.

    2. This is the part in the manga were I stopped to care about SnK. The death of Sasha was the death of my interest in this. As you said, things are being forced by the author, and some of us have little tolerance to that.

  4. “what this part of SnK is all about: the cycle of violence … the cycle perpetuates so long as one is committed to vengeance … but solving the conundrum requires the one last wronged to voluntarily agree to break the cycle”

    I actually vehemently disagree with this statement. In my view this is not AT ALL what SnK is about. Indeed as Eren put it: “you guys were same as us, YOU HAD NO CHOICE”

    The whole story revolves around people who do horrible things BECAUSE THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE.

    The next part actually spells it out very clearly: “to live you need to win, to win you need to fight”.

    And who are we to say this is not generally true? There has never been peace on Earth without once force establishing dominance. For there to be peace wars have to be won. Sad truth. If we’re striving for peace we need somebody to win. If we’re striving for a fair peace we need the winning side to be fair. Right now USA are winning. Are they fair? Not in the slightest..

    1. Going to disagree heavily with this.

      There is always a choice, one is never forced to kill or eliminate, one can always decide to let bygones be bygones and move on. Is that going to happen in actuality? Almost never, which itself proves the point: breaking the cycle isn’t easy, and always relies on the one holding the bag to be willing to not pursue revenge.

      This is funnily enough what the following episode this week covers by showing how quixotic the concept of peace and harmony is in practice in such a world. When all both sides have known is outrage towards the other and fear that any retaliation will mean their doom, it’s no surprise both start painting each other in broad strokes and choose to perpetuate violence and end-justified means over seeking understanding. It takes a huge amount of courage, risk, and stoicism on the part of one to try and push past this, which is why you rarely see it in practice.

      Can those like Armin seeking it out actually see it happen? That’s part of what this season aims to explore.

      1. > breaking the cycle isn’t easy

        Hasn’t Marly been going to strike and striking the whole series regardless of what Paradisians do? Was there at any point any chance for Paradisians to break the cycle?

        Same question about internment zone residents: was it really an option for them not to fight for Marley? The show spells it quite clearly that Marley is tolerating the internement zone precisely because and until it’s inhabitants prop Marley military might. There’s no telling what would have happened if they collectively refused or when they stop being useful. Was it really an option for residents of the zone not to commit atrocities?


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