Attack on Titan – Episode 19

Yep, fell behind again. What can I say, I’m pretty lukewarm on this show, and it comes out right in the middle of the Gatchaman->Monogatari->Uchouten Kazoku time frame where my anime-watching time is actually monopolized by serious business shows. Plus, like most shounens, the show just works better when you build up a few episodes anyway.

Anyway. Big female titan in the trees. What do?

Episode 19

0:52 – Man, this show really sucks for the extras

1:38 – Why is this guy always the best. This show really needed someone who drew attention to the inherent grimdark silliness of the proceedings, and this guy is serving that role with grace and distinction

3:30 – With the titan momentarily stunned, Levi takes this moment to dryly chastise his troops. Tut tut, terrified soldiers

4:07 – This is why Eren should have died. His hot-blooded shounen-protagonistness is basically incompatible with a world with actual consequences. He’s like the guy in zombie movies who opens the door to save one last person and gets everybody killed

4:36 – Someone hit him please. You’d think after Trost he’d understand the weight of responsibility his power implies

Maybe that’s actually gonna be an arc. He’s certainly the most static of the main characters so far, so I’d actually be quite happy to see a “this is a war, people will die, we are fighting for greater things than single soldiers” turn

4:44 – Oh my god get off your high horse you entitled piece of shit

4:56 – Did they not teach this on day one of cadet training? Imperfect orders followed unanimously sure beat “he’s in trouble, we have to save him!”

5:20 – Eren so help me god I will end you

6:04 – Are we… are we supposed to like this quality? He joined the fucking army. He’s not a badass, he’s just a nearsighted gloryhound shithead

6:40 – Goddamnit. This show dabbles in an actually interesting idea here, and then resolves it with “believe in your friends!” A gritty haircut and some blood doesn’t fix the shounen issues

8:05 – Okay, another chance here. This show keeps poking at the fact that Eren really has no comprehension of the true nature of total war, so hopefully it lays out some hard truths soon

8:33 – When is her spinoff coming out?

9:38 – No disappointment. Merely readjusting his plans. Nice that at least the actual soldiers act like, well, actual soldiers

10:45 – Featured: the people Eren thinks he’s better at making in-field decisions than

12:48 – Wait what now everyone’s being super stupid again. Gah, this show

13:17 – Eren really does tend to clam up in these situations. It’s not as bad as the “Eren tries to remember he’s not a monster for ten minutes” from Trost (nothing really could be), but it’s still reaaally bad pacing

13:45 – Seriously, just call me when they announce the spinoff

15:33 – Good. It’s not about courage, it’s about a healthy respect for danger

17:01 – Also good. Dragging out key constraints like this would be bad, both in a tedious dramatic irony sense (since this was pretty much audience-known information ever since the boulder) and in the sense that the soldiers fighting with full knowledge of his abilities will probably lead to more interesting conflicts

18:25 – I certainly am. But I also appreciate that they can treat him like both a threat that might need disposal at any time as well as a human being deserving of respect or empathy

19:51 – In this episode, Eren decides not to turn into a titan, largely for sentimental reasons. This show has… problems

20:36 – Sweet

22:05 – You mean Eren isn’t the only human titan? Mind = blown. Next you’ll tell me it’s the one secondary character who’s both absent this arc and looks exactly like that titan

And Done

Ending on “I hope they haven’t pissed themselves”? TITAN.

Well, that episode was pretty crap. Outside of the cast learning titanification needs a goal trigger, basically the entire episode was given over to an emotional turn that both shouldn’t have been necessary and didn’t amount to much. Eren still isn’t really any more of a soldier – he just has faith in this particular group of people. And that’s I guess fine, and pretty much how characterization goes in this kind of show, but they certainly took their time getting there.

3 thoughts on “Attack on Titan – Episode 19

  1. I really laughed at some parts of this write-up.

    I have to ask though, what’s a “gritty haircut”? Or you mean making the show superficially gritty, rather than referring to Levi’s actual haircut?

    Also, Paku Romi is really killing it as Zoe, isn’t she? To see the classic “Anime pervert” trope, but when it comes to cutting people up, and without coming off as a caricature villain, but as a legitimately troubled person.
    It’s also funny seeing how the other soldiers look at her.

    • The show’s aesthetic – maybe “grimdark mustache” would have been better.

      Honestly, Zoe still seems more like a caricature to me, but I do love the way they alternate between framing her lines as silly and terrifying.

      • I think that’s part of the point.

        See a weird person in the streets, but you keep looking at them, over your shoulder as you pass them – and you don’t know if you’re supposed to laugh, and the early reaction is usually that of a smile, which very quickly becomes a bit brittle at the edges, or one of deep concern – not for the person, but for your own safety.

        This person is armed, and the leader of others. The fine line, where you don’t know whether to laugh or to be very very scared – when she holds your life in her hands, especially when you’re Eren.

        Her lines are terrifying because they are funny. They take a character who is just in place as a modern-world pervert character, and have her say these things about killing others.. and it’s actually not as much of a caricature as it could be.

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