Attack on Titan – Episode 22

In my continued quest to put off watching more Fate/Zero (yes, I am determined to antagonize every anime fan, thanks for asking), it’s time to continue catching up on Titan. Last episode was awesome, and I mean that in the least ironic way I’ve ever used the term (meaning “only lightly tinged with irony”) – the action was sweet, the deaths were unexpected and fairly chilling, and the action was sweet. Though I know episodes like that are paid for in a whole lot of episodes like #19, here’s to hoping this show continues to do what it does best – spend money like a motherfucker.

Episode 22

3:34 – Today’s “new content appears” count: 3:34 .

Alright, kinda mean-spirited, but I actually vastly prefer longer recaps to slowing down the pacing of the actual content. Recaps I can just skip – bad pacing damages the show itself

3:39 – More logical than I remember Mikasa being.  Hopefully our whole team is growing up

The funny thing is, I could imagine a hundred episode shounen totally working if it applied the thoughtful, carefully paced character development of something like Uchouten Kazoku (one more shameless plug for the AotY) to a shounen/war film framework. I’m completely fine with shows taking a ton of episodes, those episodes just have to meaningfully build the characters and not just be a bunch of random, arc-based stuff happening

4:14 – All that cynical analysis and I’m still kinda squeeing to see the two ultra-badasses finally join forces 

5:20 – That is some lovingly animated hair. 

You know one thing I like about this arc? Oftentimes, every episode has one clearly articulated dramatic goal. I feel in the second half of Trost, there was often no real promise to the viewer of what would go down that episode, and the plot moved forward by jerking inches. Here, many episodes seem to have one central conflict (escape the female titan, regroup->defeat the titan, save Eren), which definitely gives the audience more to bite into (no pun intended) than “sometime in the next few episodes we will hopefully put a boulder in a hole”.

5:25 – Levi’s  mastery of the Dempsey Roll is impeccable

Man, I get chills just watching that shit. Season 3 this fall, guys!

(Yes I will continue to use this show’s demonic popularity to plug worthy anime. Just try and stop me)

6:21 – This sequence is goddamn awesome.  I know it doesn’t make sense for narrative purposes, but I’m surprised there aren’t more Levis. The 3D maneuvering gear has an incredible skill ceiling

6:31 – Yeah I’ll just do the whole damn job myself 

7:16 – Striking image 

7:24 – And here’s a very pretty one. 

7:43 – Didn’t think this show had shots like this in it.  Very nice work. Love the lighting and the reflection

8:09 – This actually hurts.  These characters will given far more time and personality than someone like Marco, and these moments are very personal. I almost feel like this is the writer visibly improving across chapters

9:15 – What’s this? 

Also, the show’s handling all of this quite well. Very few words are necessary for this

10:12 – Okay I said very few words stop it Titan 

10:46 – Love this line, though . Erwen does his best

11:17 – Hey look, it’s some idiots 

Seriously though, tired of any conflict resembling pragmatism versus sentimentality. This is total war. If the humans lose, everyone dies. If you’re going to be sentimental, get the fuck out of the army

11:53 – Of course they do.  They just happen to also not be goddamn idiots

12:59 – Oh look, it’s an idiot who made a terrible decision 

13:54 – I really do like the insult-to-injury effect  of how silly the titans look. Really slams home how arbitrary the food chain can be

14:56 – This show is spending a lot of time  grinding in stuff that really should just be a given

16:30 – Levi: secretly a total softy.  They’re making a surprisingly good character out of him

18:42 – Alright, I buy that flashback.  Efficient, relevant, hits his mindspace quickly. Full marks

19:38 – Again, it’s the quiet scenes that are most effective.  When writing a story, delete every single unnecessary word

(Granted, this requires mastering the intersection of style and brevity, but hey, one truism at a time)

20:11 – You’d think people would be more willing to subsidize  the Department of Not Being Devoured by Giant Monsters

20:27 – I like it.  Extremely direct, but this show always is, and it’s a pretty strong counterpoint to Eren’s worldview

20:58 – Everyone’s face is gonna get stuck that way 

21:29 – This kinda prolonged scene is well worth it for Levi’s death-stare 

And Done

Welp, shit sucks. Once again, our noble heroes will have to play nice with the fearful rabble. Which is I guess true to life as far as it goes, but certainly makes for frustrating drama – we all know the church is basically a self-propagating virus and that people are ruled by fear, we’re here to watch people fight giant monsters! But I guess this is the other side of the “to win a total war, you must abandon your humanity” coin – even as the war continues, you will be judged for the hard choices you’re forced to make by men drinking fine wine in comfortable chairs. And the trial was actually quite satisfying in its own way – I really liked how the show immediately accepted “we have the logical right of this argument, but logic wins no medals in the eye of the public, so instead we will present a graphic display of our convictions” with Levi beating the crap out of Eren. Legitimately interested to see where they take it this time.

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