Attack on Titan – Episode 4

Last episode displayed a couple new strengths that both surprised me and gave me a good deal of hope for the show going forward – an ability to pull off great jokes using melodramatic direction tricks, and a genre savviness towards classic war films that led to great, evocative story-sharing and character-building scenes between the recruits. It was definitely my favorite episode yet, and has raised my expectations for this show kinda considerably. Now we just need to see how these new tricks hold up when the Titans come knocking.

Episode 4

0:15 – Categorizing them as the Colossal Titan and the Armored Titan instantly made me think of Shadow of the Colossus. This is a good thing

0:52 – Where have I seen this OP before? Oh right, on everything

4:04 – I think I’m just a total sucker for these strategic assessment styles of battle-anime, but I’m loving this stuff

5:25 – Yeah, this stuff just kills it for me. I love character analysis, and when that’s actually put to narrative purpose by having some mastermind character critically assess the usefulness of a core cast… well, let’s just say I had a really fun time with Code Geass

8:15 – “Sometimes a soldier can’t back down… like right now!” -faceplant-

Were there this many jokes in the manga? I really like how the show is balancing drama and release at the moment, but it’s a very different rhythm from the first act – I guess those first two episodes were basically supposed to act as a prologue of the level of tension we’ll eventually build back up to.

9:47 – I’m really liking this stuff. They established her personality and worldview in no time during a pretty exciting sparring match that also furthered Eren’s own thinking. Very tidy storytelling

12:30 – Yeah, this show’s JoJo as fuck. Applying the exact same level of dramatic action-line pans and close-ups to this whole “’Safe living is a farce!’ ‘Fuck you buddy!’ Cool it idiots.’ ‘…okay Mikasa.’ Goddamnit I’m so jealous!’” scene pretty much proves to me that this show is utterly in control of its own seriousness level, and is happily riding the “we love this scenario and are utterly committed to it, but fuck you if we don’t get to have some fun with it too” line

13:05 – Oh Sasha, you beautiful bastard you

14:10 – Once again, this show uses the “we’ll be right back” screens (what’s the actual word for them?) to impart some actually interesting, specific information. A good trick. Also, I extend my deepest sympathies towards the few members of that top ten who haven’t already received a few scenes’ worth of characterization. Your sacrifice will not be in vain

15:07 – I paused here just to actually check the manga and make sure I hadn’t somehow skipped chapters, but… yeah, unless there are huge flashbacks beyond the point I read to, pretty much all this training stuff was just added for the anime. Awesome. So happy to see an adaptation actually get ambitious and try to think how to best serve the core concept, not just how to directly translate the original text. All of this training stuff has been great, and has served so well to establish a diverse set of characters that I already have some attachment to. Excellent, excellent work

16:36 – “I don’t care if I die so long as I can be useful.” Well maybe using that big analytical brain of yours instead of feeding it directly to a Titan would actually serve that purpose kinda well, Armin

18:07 – No side characters stop being happy that means you gonna diiiiieeeee


I don’t why I ever doubted her. Good to have you with us, Potato


JESUS CHRIST THAT WAS EPIC. Oh man was that ending ever fucking amazing. Timing on the Colossal Titan appearance: amazing. Potato’s epic heroism in saving Samuel: amazing. Eren’s totally badass taking control of the situation as the music crescendo’d: amazing.

I had my doubts before, but this episode was so fucking good. I loved the end of the training, I loved the ways they established a core set of recon troupes that I already know and care about, I loved the mix of self-aware humor, JoJo-esque winking drama, and legitimately effective badass drama, the visual style is still really solid…

Okay, this show has entirely proven itself to me. That was sweet. Can’t wait for the next one.