Yes! This would be the chapter for the anime where it had to boil down to whether the creators knew what they were doing or not. If they didn’t get this part right, then I had to question whether they knew what they were doing with this adaptation. But they nailed it! They actually made a smashing episode here.
This episode really meant to drive home that the characters are just completely screwed. Everyone gets slaughtered, the main character is death, the only way to escape only leads to even more giants. It’s hopeless. Even the ever-strong Mikasa gave up and just lead all of the survivors on a suicide mission. It all was meant to build up to that one giant who started to fight back.
The atmosphere was very different from the manga, but it worked! This entire episode just had me on the edge of my seat, and the characterization was great. That’s what lacked in the start of this series: it’s really good, but the characters are very one-sided. Here is where they lose all that and get multiple sides.
And the choices behind the music and animation: they really work. The style of the manga made it impossible to animate directly, but the movements here have their own styles and they were awesome! Especially near the end of this episode.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)