In order to keep to next outing as fresh as possible, I usually don’t watch the preview material shown at the end of an episode. This goes for any TV weekly show I enjoy. Yes, even Game of Thrones! However, this was one of those rare occasions where it had to be done. Let that be a clue as to how I felt about today’s chapter of “you’re all screwed”, a.k.a: Attack on Titan.
This rodeo performed on just about every level. It had action, comedy, plot advancement, character development and most of all – it had focus. Just like the characters who were camped at the tower, the episode camped out with them by buckling down on their plight and not cutting to Eren or the going on’s inside the wall. The decision to do this made for a really exciting viewing experience. Easily the best so far.
Since I can still roughly remember how this scene played out in the manga, I had a lot of built up anticipation going into this. I groaned at the “2 hours previously” at the start of the episode, shaking my fist at what I thought would be another slow ride but in came the characters and all was resolved. Ymir making fun of Conny’s pondering was genuinely hilarious. It’s not often you see playground bully-styled humour that’s actually funny. Not in real life and especially not in anime. But before we got too comfortable, we’re reminded of the mystery at hand. A mystery that’s further sewed into the ground once Reiner raises the first eyebrow at Ymir, hinting that she’s no ordinary person.
Then we get into the action which was nothing less than splendid. I did notice some signs of budget saving tactics going on, with a scene or two where all we got was a still image and a camera pan but it was easier to forgive given what came next. Not only did we get the usual 3D maneuver combat but we got some street level hand to hand brawling. I mean, Reiner was literally about to Izuna Drop a titan out the window. Give that man a medal.
One thing I adored about this episode was the scene I’ve used for the header image. Hit me up with a sweet composition and the artistic side of my brain goes into a frenzy. Let’s take a brief moment to talk about how a bottle of wine introduced at the beginning of the episode became a visual explosion of both physical and metaphorical meaning. On one hand, you have the physical manifestation of death gazing at Gelgar from behind.
Then, on the other hand, is the metaphorical side where his wanting of wine before dying is emblematic of him pretty much wanting to die. The result of these mish-mashed ideas came together into that amazing shot. Utilising Chekov’s Gun isn’t always a big deal when you can see it coming a mile away but the writer’s ability to give so much weight to a simple alcoholic beverage was very inspiring.
Speaking of which, we need to pour out some liquor on the sidewalk for the fallen scouts. They put in a lot of work but the only way you can 1 v 1 dozens of titans and live to tell the tale is if your name is Mikasa or Levi. That being said, this season has done a really slick job at teasing the audience, creating a glimmer of hope for the brave warriors only for them to meet their demise between a giant set of molars. I actually thought that Gelgar might survive after his partner’s incredible display of selflessness. Alas, I was fooled.
We end off with Ymir spewing some mumbo jumbo about a mountain where the legendary 13 captains from Soul Society gathered together to create the mysterious thing that I’m sure we’ll find out about next week. All I could look forward to was the payoff the whole episode had built up perfectly: Ymir is a titan, confirmed! What this means, how she became one and why she’s so small are all good questions that I’m looking forward to seeing answered on screen.