Posted by psgels on 23 April 2013 with categories: Shingeki no Kyojin

I already know what’s going to happen for the first couple of episodes in this series, but this episode was a bit of an exception, in which the creators went into far more detail during the training arc. I guess that in that way, I still prefer anime over manga. It’s probably something really personal, but in animated form, I can get a better feel of who the characters are, making them easier to relate to. Eren really benefitted from that in particular.

On the other hand, the creators did spent an entire episode training, which is not the most interesting practice to watch. This episode was really interesting for the character building. It made characters stand out without using cliches, and showed a good combination of characters who were just there to live the easy life, to do something exciting, or determined to exterminate the titans. The cast is large, but everyone has his own identity. We’re going to have to wait a bit longer to find out whether the creators nailed the big strength of this series though.

This is the balance between build-up and delivery that you need to strike right. I think that that will be a very big challenge for this series: getting the pacing right to fit the story into 25 episodes. With this episode they chose for a solid base on the characters, at the expense of taking a bit of a step back. Now let’s see whether the animators can make the wait pay off!
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

42 Responses

  1. gedata says:

    This was an interesting week, out of all the series I’m watching (Gargantia, Hunter x Hunter, Hataraku Maou-sama, Devil Survivor 2, and this series) I was expecting Shingeki no Kyojin and Hunter x Hunter to be the best this week. This episode was just ok and Hunter x Hunter was a mostly filler episode. The stand outs were Gargantia and Devil Survivor 2 (this week was better for this otherwise mediocre series)

  2. Joe says:

    The anime didn’t really go into more detail about the training arc; it’s just that this material was all covered in flashbacks later on in the manga.

  3. Airies says:

    This episode tried to be funny but it ended up so bad that I cringed like 4 times. Did the creators actually think that these jokes were funny!? They were awful! Why was it necessary to show that guy who liked the sister’s hair, wipe his hand on some guys back? why did they have to show the potato chick try and take the bread from the sister (misaka?) in such a weird way, like what? the potato girl was a horrible comic relief character here. In short, DONT DO JOKES IN THIS ANIME, because its really out of place and looks stupid. the rest of the episode was alright, fairly boring if you ask me. Not too impressed with this series yet but potential is there.

    • gedata says:

      Potato-girl is the best character. I disagree with you, Airies.

      • Airies says:

        How is she the best character? Why do you disagree, did you find the humour funny?

        • Scruffy says:

          This show needs some light relief, although I agree the humour was a bit flat. Potato girl was still cool though, just because it was funny seeing the expression on the s argent major’s face as she offered him half (not that it was the small half) of the potato. I find Erin angst particularly annoying so some humour is good.

        • gedata says:

          Calling her the character is a bit of hyperbole on my part (although, none of the characters has impressed me that much) I liked her moment with that drill sergeant, a nice way to diffuse the tense atmosphere built since the series began.

          • Vonter says:

            I also agree the show needs some light. But, also this comic relief was clumsy, especially on how she looked Eren’s sister when she didn’t shared her bread.

            I don’t think characters in the series should be all cheerful and goofy. However I also don’t want them to be this lifeless. That’s the reason I didn’t watch Claymore.

    • Gain says:

      Why the jokes there? Because they’re also there in the manga and many fans except people like you, love them. Jean wiped his hand on Connie’s back because he shook Eren’s hand before and disgusted to find out that the girl he likes are actually close with Eren. Call it stupid jealousy if you want but this will be an important beginning of Jean’s one-sided rivalry with Eren.

      These jokes are necessary to create an impact for the new characters so we remember them whether it’s in a good or bad way. The only reason why you hate them is because you expected this story to be all-serious and gory. “Expectation is the root of all heartache”.

      Trust me bro, after all this, you will miss this peaceful days as it will only turn nasty later on. Now just sit back and watch, don’t expect too much or you’ll only get disappointed.

      • Airies says:

        First of all my expectations were really high or low. I just checked it out and it was interesting + some added hype but I’ll say I didnt really give into much of it or at all actually. Second, jokes are usually meant to be funny and these were horrible in my opinion. I did not see the connection to the handshake and wiping on the back but thank you for pointing that out but I still dont see it to be necessary. Its true I wasnt expecting comment and if it should occur it should’ve been a pleasant surprise which it was not. So I dont hate the fact that they tried to insert jokes, I just dont understand how they were funny and why they were needed. I didnt think the handshake/wiping hand part though is important for jean’s jealousy as you could already see it after he looked at misaka then at eren. Also I think the potato girl in that particular seen with eren’s sister made her look too much of a comic relief character as they just recycled the joke for the 3rd time there. I doubt I’ll miss its peaceful days as they are just boring and feel like they are dragging on.

        • Lily says:

          @Airies

          Just for your information.. but Misaka is not Eren’s sister. I also disagree with your taste because I find this episode really faithful to the manga which is good. I am hoping this series won’t be another claymore though. Claymore was faithful to the manga at the beginning but the mid-end was an original anime ending. Even though I disagree with your opinion and taste. I will not try or even want to dissuade you

          • gedata says:

            Tthis episode wasn’t really all that faithful to the manga, I providedan example of it doing it’s own thing below. That and the training was a bit padded. Unfortunately, there’s a decent likelihood that this will end up like poor Claymore and Soul Eater.

          • Airies says:

            I couldnt remember if they were related so thankyou for clearing that up. I havent read the manga so im not saying its faithful or not. I’m just talking about my feelings at the attempts of humor they made that irritated me. :)

          • hikari says:

            @gedata : Do you read all vol/chapters of the manga till the newest one? since this eps is exactly in the manga, precisely ch15-16 if I’m not mistaken which is a flashback. The anime decide to do it in chronological order by rearrange the chapter, so around ep 5 we’re back to ch3-4(where the big stuff that Psgels mention happened, where the event will go full speed till the end without being interrupted by the flashback.

        • Gain says:

          Well, it’s called dark humor. You don’t find them funny cause it’s not your taste. Everyone has their own taste of humor I guess.

          All build ups are boring and dragging but necessary once the climax is revealed. You will then shout “Oh now I know why he/she did that!” or “I get it why that happened!”. There are a lot of foreshadowing in this series. Every character has a reason why they act that way, just be patient.

          • Hogart says:

            That might not be true. I adore dark humor, for instance, but the humor here wasn’t particularly funny to me (mostly because of delivery, I think).

          • Airies says:

            I laughed when you referred to it as “dark humor”, mate I’m sorry but that is not what it was….

          • Gain says:

            It was to me. Jean’s tragic love story that only last for few minutes just because Mikasa obeying Eren’s hair-comment despite his praise is amusing to me. There are many more of their suffering in the manga that are funny to me which is why I called them dark humor.

          • Billsworthy / no says:

            that’s not dark humour. l o l

    • Hogart says:

      The humor didn’t work for me either. Felt like it came out of nowhere, frankly. There’s levity and then there’s Yaketty Sax.

    • Deadlights says:

      Agreed, this episode definitely was disappointing. The comic relief was executed poorly

  4. gedata says:

    I read the first volume of the manga a couple monthes ago, I remember that Eren had a full-blown fight with that dude who mad fun of him. Here the situation was handled rather tamely. I wonder why?

    • Lacie says:

      This is not part of volume 1. This came from chapters before chapter 20. This is supposed to be a flashback in the manga. Hence, what you are talking about happened after this.

  5. Hogart says:

    This ep was downright confusing right up until the end. Eren was the only one that couldn’t work the gear, which made it seem trivial to use and made Eren look downright pathetic.

    And yet, despite him obviously being more of a liability than anything, everyone was rooting for him by the end. Without really demonstrating why they would care.. because they pity him enough to send him off to kill himself and others on the battlefield?

    I guess the ending put things into perspective, but it felt like a cop-out due to how they presented the rest of the episode. Maybe it’s just me.

    • boa_sting says:

      I agree that it wasn’t all laid out that well, especially with the crowd cheering for him.

      But they do show some others having at least some difficulty, and there were those who were carted off (but not necessarily for incompetence). It also seemed like Eren was making a name for himself by rubbing off on others and also telling his stories of the invasion, so we could infer that he wasn’t really a nobody that others wouldn’t care about.

      • Hogart says:

        I agree, that’s why I’m not entirely down on the episode: I could see what they were going for. That doesn’t really make me feel any happier about the execution, though. Still, as far as training episodes go, this was hardly the worst I’ve ever seen, and the music and animation were certainly nice.

    • DmonHiro says:

      You should pay attention. Eren was working with faulty gear the whole time. The fact that he WAS able to stand upright for a few second with faulty gear is amazing.

      • JaK says:

        as pointed out i think by the instructor as well later

      • Hogart says:

        Um, thanks? I did watch the end of the episode, so that much is obvious. My gripe is that the “clue” they provided wasn’t much of a clue at all. The end result was that the resolution came out of nowhere at the end of the episode.

  6. gan says:

    For people wondering whether this episode was faithful to the manga, yes it was! The anime staff decided to adapt chapters from volume 4 and go with the flow of flashbacks before coming to the present.

    And if you don’t like the side characters at this point, then most probably you would be bored with their stories which which come later on…but the author is really clever, he never introduces a character just for the sake of it..every one of the characters you saw in this episode has an important role to play later on (Sasha,Connie, Bertholt, Reiner, Christha,Ymir) and are tied up with the main story.

    • animefan352 says:

      To be fair they haven’t really shown the side characters at their finest yet. (in the anime) The best is yet to come. :)

  7. Nebula says:

    In anime, introducing the characters first chronologically is much better than the manga version…In the manga, it’s pretty hard to memorize all those characters for the first 2 volumes…and the training arc flashback (ch 15-17) was kind of random halfway through.

    • moo? says:

      welp I assume the reason being as a brand new manga being publicized the mangaka needed to make it interesting and attract fans. If he did it chronologically then people may have lost interest, cause manga don’t get as much attention as anime does…. or something…

  8. Shirencel says:

    Potato Girl Banzai

  9. mike says:

    oh yeah training episode jeez

  10. VyseLegendaire says:

    It wasn’t that bad guys. You can’t just jump straight into killing monsters and spider-swinging through the forest right after a horrible tragedy or two. Come on lighten up the episode still portends future action, at least I was pumped at the end scene.

  11. animefan352 says:

    I enjoyed this episode a lot more than I thought I would. It does a lot for Eren’s character and was just inspiring.

  12. kero says:

    I thought the episode didn’t really flow that well.

    I did laugh at one or two of the jokes, but everything just seems a bit stilted and clumsy,

    I’m not really that keen on the anime style.

    it’s not super bad, but the interactions just seem to lack something.. I wonder if it’s the voice acting…

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  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 04:54 PM)
    Speculating is very hard with the current state of things
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 04:53 PM)
    I’m looking forward to how it’ll unravel.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 03:21 PM)
    @Bam, I was thinking of 8/10 too. The extra 0.5 is out of bias.
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 11:52 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: just look at Yukinon. She has major problems to get over before she can consider a relationship with anyone. In the end Haruno was right: she relies on Hachiman too heavily and it isn’t good. If anything they need space to let her disentangle her emotions and find solid ground to her life.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 10:42 AM)
    Now time to watch Fate/Zero and see what the fuss was all about.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 10:41 AM)
    I think that’s a great and fair review of UBW. I would’ve gave it 8/10, but hey, close nuff’.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 03:48 AM)
    How would that be toxic?
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:31 AM)
    From a critical perspective it was rock solid. Directing, writing, soundtrack – all were excellent. A great cliffhanger for this arc of the teenage condition.
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:27 AM)
    ratsgnoF: thanks, may skim through those later.
    Personal reaction to the finale: welp. Things are a complete mess, Yukino x 8man would be a toxic relationship and Yui x 8man would be far healthier, potentially even good.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:43 AM)

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