Attack on Titan – Episode 17

Episode 17

3:04 – This show does have some lovely backgrounds

3:48 – Solid stuff. This show is always at its best when it’s riding on action momentum

4:46 – “Don’t pee your pants!” “You too!” Goddamnit Armin he was making… never mind. Forget it. It’s just Jean being tsun again

4:59 – Okay, this is exactly the kind of shit I was hoping this show would be about

6:26 – “Thus the column can proceed without encountering titans.” Interesting. I guess the commander uses the trails to gauge where specifically the first signal came from, in case he doesn’t catch the original trail? That would make the “if you see a flare, fire as well” make sense – I assume there are more specifics to this system they’re just not explaining, otherwise I assume everyone would fire a flare as a domino effect any time a titan is sighted

7:02 – Fuckin’ sweet sequence. Titans are much scarier when it’s one horrible creature chasing a person you know, and not a wave of monsters killing a wave of faceless victims. Plus, the fact that we’ve had some breathing room helps greatly – Trost resulted in massive titan fatigue for me, with any single threat just becoming meaningless by the end

8:10 – It was an interesting choice, making the abnormals seem souncomfortable with their bodies. Definitely heightens how “wrong” they’re supposed to seem

8:49 – Wow, this job sucks. No wonder they lose so many goddamn recon troups

9:40 – This sequence is excellent, and honestly one of the first examples of truly good direction I’ve seen in this series. The whole sequence builds that “wait, something’s not right here” feeling in the best possible way – Armin’s expression, the slow pan as the sergeant gets back on his horse into the Titan in the distance, the soldiers grimly but stoically resolving to kill this one as well. All the momentum up till now has been cut out, as this scene is neither an extended Titan fight nor a series of jump-cuts as before – the very fact that they’re lingering this long on the introduction of one more titan implies something horrible is about to happen. Really, really nice

11:23 – Didn’t really want to pause for screencaps, because that whole sequence was fantastic. Great introduction, the music perfectly nailed that kind of off-kilter horror film vibe, and Armin is far more compelling to watch now that he has some confidence and resolve. It was also an action setpiece that efficiently pushed the narrative forward – the scene was visually compelling, but Armin took the time to push the dots from “Eren can become a titan and act intelligently -> that makes it likely that the other unique titans are similar -> that means they are humans as well -> what do they want,” which is ahuge progression in narrative for a show that’s so far been so miserly in its plot progression. This show is looking up!

12:20 – I mean, it looks like Annie, right? Am I supposed to think that?

12:24 – Okay, that was obviously titan-perspective, so it apparently recognized him specifically and then decided not to splat him

16:10 – Jean’s toughened up quite a bit. Not much else to say here. This exposition is fine, since it’s actually conveying necessary information, and this feels like the first time Armin’s actually demonstrated real intelligence, and not just “shounen smart one”-level intelligence. It’s not graceful, but it’s fine

16:37 – Yeah seriously though

16:47 – Okay, getting a little on-the-nose here. Goddamn is this show bad at character development

17:43 – Holy shit Armin realized Jean was insulting him

18:51 – And the show straight-up admits those two are OP as fuck

21:16 – Holy shit Reiner’s dead! Well, fuck! Two down, eight left…

21:26 – Nevermind Reiner’s fine fuck you Titan

And Done

That was an excellent episode. Some fun tactical stuff, some nice bits of direction, and several good action setpieces. I had my complaints too, but I always have some complaints with this show, and as long as it keeps up momentum in both narrative and individual scenes, any issues I have with characterization or storytelling are minimized. Those things have never been what this show does well, and when it doesfocus on what it does well (and especially when the direction gets careful), it is a damn entertaining spectacle. Definitely one of the best episodes of the series

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