Attack on Titan – Episode 3


Pointless intro paragraph deleted. There’s no time for that, there’s Titans at the gates! Let’s do this.

Episode 3

2:55 – Already liking this episode. Getting its Full Metal Jacket on all over these pigshits from shit city.

5:35 – Wow, the reports of Potato Girl’s fantasticness were not exaggerated. I think the last expression was a little more absurd and hilarious in the manga, but using this anime’s super-dramatic pans and close-ups to heighten the tension of Potato Girl’s Last Stand was pretty amazing

7:00 – And here’s another scene I like – the cadets all crowding around to ask for scenes from the war front, since it’s still just a far-removed adventure to them. I really enjoy when this show just re-contextualizes classic war film tropes into the Titan world – they’re familiar, but they’re well-written, help to ground this world in something tangible, and help to round out the personalities of our suddenly formidable cast of characters

9:00 – Maybe it’s just the highlighted lips, but I feel they’ve made Mikasa more classically anime-beautiful than she was in the manga, which I don’t really like

10:40 – “Is this… BREAD?!” I’m so happy this show’s aware of the way drama can turn to silliness with these melodramatic close-ups, and is actually using it that way. If you understand the effect of your own shots well enough to use them for comedy, you’ll probably be fine when it comes to actual drama as well

12:12 – Eren what are you doing that is not how you belt-fly.

Wow, the last thing I expected was an episode full of actually pretty solid jokes. I also appreciate that they’re using the 25 episode runtime to dedicate serious minutes just to establishing their system of training and combat, so when shit goes down, it’s not just “woo, crazy action, woo,” you actually understand the stakes and powers of our protagonists, so you’ll know when something is impressive, dangerous, or foolish in the terms of their world. As I’ve said before, action scenes are just noise if you can’t tell who’s winning or losing

14:51 – Damn, Potato Girl is getting a dramatic workout this episode.

I don’t even know what to say about the drama to comedy tonal shifts going on here – because the humor is mainly created through setting these scenes with the same dramatic tricks the allegedly tragic scenes of the first two episodes used, it seems like the show is kinda making fun of itself. Which is a weird place to be

17:30 – I really like this guy’s speech. I really like a lot of things about this episode, actually; it might be the first one that’s really sold me on this show as its own thing with its own tone and ideas, and not just this season’s action spectacle

18:15 – This show keeps hammering in that theme of not being truly human if you don’t have the strength to choose your own destiny. Very interested in seeing where they go with that – this show is too dark and has too many long, character-focused conversations for an idea as simplistically optimistic as that to go unchallenged for long

21:35 – Okay, now I’m starting to see the JoJo argument as it applies to this show – it goes crazy with its dramatic angles and reaction shots, but it’s still honestly committed to those scenes, and understands it’s kind of going overboard. The contrast between those scenes, the comedy scenes where it actually makes fun of that kind of trick, and the actually very traditionally effective quiet drama scenes, is a little jarring, but I’m not against it – the show is doing its own thing, and I always appreciate that

And Done

Fun stuff! I had some misgivings about the way the comedy and drama bounced off each other, but by the end I think I just had a better grasp on what this show is actually about, and so all that stuff kind of fit into place. Overall I very much enjoyed this episode, and it gave me a great deal of confidence in the show going forward. I’m interested to see if they maintain this seemingly self-aware tone (well, the comedy makes it obviously self-aware, at least) going into more dramatic stretches, or if this was just to build a false sense of security – I honestly hope it does, cause I think I personally will enjoy the show more if it tries to have a little fun with its storytelling, and doesn’t try to make us feel the weight of all this tragedy all the time.