Geek Spiel – The Anime N00b: Attack on Titan (Episode 8-16)

SPOILER WARNING: As usual, warning up top that this article WILL contain spoilers for the included episodes of Shingeki No Kyojin. Beware all ye who enter here.

“Okay. So Eren’s got super-titan powers now. With my cynicism goggles firmly in place, I’m ready for the inevitable downward spiral into his development of an anime savior complex.

“Oh, wait, shit, they’re taking kind of a Frankenstein’s Monster approach to this! That’s kinda cool. I like how they’re taking this as a chance to further elaborate on the political power structure within the city, and hinting at the corruption. At the same time, it’s that they’re not just sweeping the whole ‘Oh beeteedubs, Eren is essentially Fleshy Ultraman’ thing under the rug. This court scene should be really interestin-

“OOOOOOOOOOH SHIT, EREN!!!”

“You speak when SPOKEN TO when Levi’s in the room!”

“As much as I tend to dislike the “uncaring badass” character that Levi seems to represent, it IS nice that SNK hasn’t just done away with the fact that people are still more than able/willing to lay a beatdown on one another. Also, I think I dig Levi in general. The few little glimpses they’ve given that show how, deep down, he probably feels the rage and sorrow that comes with the deaths of so many comrades as much (probably deeper) than anyone else. It’s just that he’s both seen so much shit that he’s partially desensitized, AND that he’s learned that he simply CAN’T afford to become emotional. So at least his appearance of ambivalence is justified in some way by the context. I can see why the fandom loves him so much.”

“Also, the courtroom scene is cool because its the introduction of subtle political subterfuge to counterbalance the large-scale death and destruction that’s such a salient part of the show. There hasn’t been a lot of Erwin yet, but I like the game they’re playing in terms of sometimes having to have (often blind) trust in the capabilities of those around you.”

“Aaaaah, I really dig the relationship between Erwin, Levi, Hanji, and the other squad leaders! What is it about anime where they seem to do military camaraderie so WELL (thinking in particular of FMA: Brotherhood)? I just hope they continue to develop the main trio so that they don’t fall into the same trap FMA did; ie. the main characters being by FAR the least interesting of the entire cast.”

“However, Hanji’s… freakin’ me out a little bit.”

“…yeah. I mean, I kinda dig how she’s like, almost fulfilling a similar role in this world as a psychiatrist in ours. Like she’s said, she looks at the Titans as not vicious and cruel, but subject to forces we have little to no knowledge of, and as a result of those forces, being driven to commit the atrocities they’re known for. You could say those in the psych profession do the same thing with mental illness.

Still though. her obsession with Titans is kind of edging on the kind of fanaticism you only see in Jesus Camp. Mmmmmmaybe also Whedon conventions.”

I’ve seen that look before. Right before I’m unexpectedly restrained and forced to watch the entirety of Dollhouse.

“A TRAITOR IN THE RANKS. Rest in peace, Sonny and Bean. We hardly knew ye.”

“Mnnneeeehhhh… my cliche sense is tingling. The combination of mystery surrounding the origin of the Titans, and the implication of Eren’s father in giving him powers, combined with the whole traitor thing is giving me a sinking feeling they’re going to bust out the old chestnut of ‘The monster was created in a failed experiment/ritual/McGuffin by humans!! We have sown our own destruction, VICTIMS OF OUR OWN HUBRIS.’

“Well. After Erwin’s last big speech, it looks like Bill Pullman’s final hurrah in Independence Day has some serious competition in terms of ‘let’s go fuck ’em up!!’ motivational speeches. He should tour.”

“If you liked this, you can buy my book, ‘75% of You Will Probably Get Eaten’ and 37 Other Essential Truths for the Aspiring Survey Corps Soldier’, now available via Amazon in hardback or for your Kindle.”

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