Attack on Titan – Episode 16

Yep, picking this up again, again. What I’ve seen/heard about this recent arc seems far more interesting and dynamic than Trost, and this show just works better when you watch at least a couple episodes at a time. It doesn’t make its’ flaws go away, but it does make the show more enjoyable in spite of them. But enough negativity – new arc, new characters, and this time we’re working with actual professional Titan-killers, so it should be much less “let’s all die as slowly as possible so Eren can get shit done” than I was worried about. Let’s fighting!

Episode 16

2:17 – “Whoever did it must have really hated the Titans.” You never were the smart one, Connie…

And then of course Armin agrees with him, proving no-one in this show is actually the smart one.

3:30 – These quiet moments with the team are generally my favorites of the series (which might betray the fact that I’m probably not the right person to be critiquing Titan, of all things)

4:06 – “Not everyone can be like you.” Don’t knock your lack of shounen protagonism, Jean. It makes you the best character in the series

4:49 – That expression. Courage isn’t a lack of fear, it’s acting in spite of it

5:54 – “There’s a time and place where people are morally obligated to lay down their lives.” Not that humanity here has really been portrayed as a race worth protecting

6:45 – And there’s the murder-mystery angle. I’ve been liking this second half significantly more than the first so far – the characters actually have a little grounding now, there’s more going on, and each plot thread is moving forward in a way that changes the variables of the world and characters. But again, I find stuff like Levi’s guitar-solo-Titan-slaying introduction actively tedious, so that might just be me

6:59 – “I wonder if there’s anyone crazy enough to join us.” “Hey Eren! You’re crazy, wadda you think?”

8:23 – It’s like that scene in Starship Troopers where the protagonist is now the grizzled sergeant talking to the new recruits, except this isn’t a subversive indictment of jingoistic war fetishism and that comparison doesn’t make any sense

8:30 – “Unlike some dumbfucks, I ain’t got no death drive.” For this show, I actually appreciate Commie’s bullshit

10:26 – “We have the key to discovering the Titans’ true nature.”Don’t listen that dumbfuck Armin, I actually love it when this show’s leaders use a little propaganda or mob-riling for the greater good

12:13 – “Most of you who join will die. Likely slowly, almost certainly horribly. Those who survive will watch the first group as they are dying. Most of this second group will then die.” Man, he really knows how to sell ‘em

13:31 – Man, I was wondering if they’d actually switched directors for a couple episodes there. Nope!

15:15 – I actually find this show’s goofy, bipolar sense of humorpretty endearing

15:58 – “Strangely, Eren’s position was nowhere to be found.” Adding the possibility of some kind of traitor really does make this more interesting

16:40 – “This mission may have a secret objective…” You don’t say! This should be fun

17:28 – Commie contain yourselves.

17:36 – Okay this is getting out of hand. Switching back to subs written by adults after this…

And Done

Fine episode. It was a board-arranger, but it arranged the board pretty effectively, and there was plenty of Jean. I’m honestly not sure what I’m supposed to believe convinced the recruits to join the death squad – it made it clear they were all scared out of their wits, but the only motivation I’m really seeing beyond Marco’s effect on Jean and Mikasa’s motivation is “somebody’s gotta do it!” I guess that’s the best you can do in an action show with an ensemble cast, but it’s not all that satisfying. But this episode still moved well and drew the players together for the next act, so overall it was a serviceable if unremarkable episode

5 thoughts on “Attack on Titan – Episode 16

  1. Episodes 16, 17 and 18 have all been great – definitely much, much stronger than any other story arc within the series thus far. I had actually been considering dropping the show, but now that some of the major pacing issues look to be sorting themselves out (which admittedly I didn’t think would be possible), it looks like I’ll be sticking around after all.

    • Yeah, it is really pulling together. I haven’t seen 18 yet, but I thought 17 was much stronger than 16, and 16 much stronger than most of the first half. Exciting times in Titan-land

  2. Pingback: Attack on Titan – Episode 18 | Wrong Every Time

  3. Hey Bobduh love your stuff but one question, what exactly was your issue with the last 2 lines? I can kinda get your issue with the “touch you in strange places” one but I don’t get your problem with the “Someday I’ll make his ass pay” what did you want Mikasa to say in that situation?

    • Just something less flippant and colorful. The tone didn’t seem consistent with Mikasa’s personality, so it sounded more like a translation they used because it sounded funny having Mikasa say that than one they used because it was an accurate representation of her tone and intent. Which served to draw attention to the translation outside of the story itself, which is my usual problem with Commie – they really like to wave at the audience and remind them they’re reading a Commie translation, which is pretty damn immersion-breaking.

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