Attack on Titan – Episode 18

So I’ve finally caught up on this show, and I’ve actually been really enjoying it lately. I think this second season has been much faster-paced and more full of interesting developments than the first half, and has been basically doing everything I could have hoped for – broadening the character focus, introducing multiple concurrent conflicts (the traitor, the original squad’s troubles, Eren’s own issues), and consistently adding new ideas. And I’ve got the goddamn words to prove it – if you’re interested, you can see writeups on 16 and 17 here[1] and here[2] . But screw that, I’m up to date. Let’s watch some Titan.

Episode 18

2:47 – That shot of Mikasa acting all stoic and badass always makes me wonder what she would have done if Eren had decided to be a banker or something. Would she just be running the surviving human economy at this point? I guess maybe she could do her own thing if Eren weren’t so goddamn intent on getting himself killed

2:56 – Titan is Serious Business[3]   Sorry, sorry. Sorry.

4:07 – I really think the show needs a balance between Titans as immediate obstacles and Titans as source of constant, invisible threat[4]  . I think this setup provides for a much more even horror/action mix than Trost did

4:16 – Man, Jean can get down on himself about anything[5]  , huh?

4:53 – Another war story staple.[6]   “We survived the battle, what justice is there in cold/starvation/lack of medical treatment killing us?” I’m not knocking it – knowing what sources to draw on is a key part of storytelling, and this is a good call for this kind of story

6:56 – Though this war has taken all else, moe must not die[7]  

7:17 – Moe was saved. The sun shines upon this day[8]  

7:26 – This show really is pretty funny[9]  . I think I actually love stupid jokes as long as they’re incredibly inappropriate to the tone and really stupid

9:31 – I like this.[10]   After all the chaos of the last episode, just letting us see it from Eren’s incredibly limited, claustrophobic perspective

10:09 – A nice demonstration of how much better[11]   the recon team is than the rookies we’ve seen so far. That gear is quite the superpower

12:33 – Recon team: not the best at naming things[12]  

14:09 – One of these days, Armin is gonna figure these things out[13]  

17:03 – Half-off sale at Macys you guys[14]  

17:27 – Awesome.[15]   Not only is this much more practical “intelligence” than most allegedly intelligent characters, it’s also my first rule of worthwhile criticism – assume the people making decisions aren’t complete idiots, and make deductions from there

18:24 – “Lol 2deep4u shit… wait… oh my god[16]  

Man, I’m being a dick tonight, huh? Apologies, I hit the bottle a little early

18:50 – And then the show provides its own counter-meme[17]  

19:44 – These titans[18]  . Reiner is not amused

I do like this strategy, though. They can use the trees to basically create a fence of titan-bait with the outlying soldiers, and reduce the fight to the best soldiers versus the female titan in the most fortuitous possible environment. I approve

And Done

Oh man, those fuckers. They dragged out that last moment there, but the female titan’s reentry was top-notch action drama. I think this episode was a bit of a step down from the previous one, but it was still exciting and propulsive – no true standout moments like the female titan’s introduction, but a lot of fun action and back-and-forth between the members of the various squads. They’ve probably got another couple episodes of sweet drama to draw from this female titan, as long as they keep shifting up the variables (like this episode’s wider squad focus and introduction of the forest, as compared to last episode’s more personal focus and introduction of the female titan). I’m still having a lot of fun with this second half. Here’s hoping they keep it up