Posted by psgels on 13 August 2013 with categories: Shingeki no Kyojin

This string of episodes was just amazing. Really, I’ve heard that for an epic series, Shingeki no Kyojin has a simplistic story, and that is indeed true. However, this series is a master at emotions. Its aim is not to deliver the most complex storyline, but instead it’s here to deliver epic action scenes, and that’s something that was elevated to an artform here.

This just was complete despair. Episode 16 was all about everyone accepting the fact that they were all going to lay their lives in front of Eren. The two episodes featured this massive slaughter that had just about everyone run for their lives, with only some people escaping through some sort of miracle. That’s something that I have very rarely seen done better.

Oh, and tactics. Military bloody tactics. When was the last time that these were done so well? When was the last time at which you actually had an entire grasp of how big the army in question was? What the positions looked like? How the formations change depending on the situations? How well this was translated over to the animation screen? I mean, that was just brilliant. I remember how the small armies in Sengoku Basara, Guin Saga, and even Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto were just lumped together as “one army”. Here, every squadron counts. Every position has meaning and affects what happens throughout these two episodes.

Also I still love the kinds of series that downplay their main characters. Eren again had nothing to do in this episode and thus we get to see much of the side-characters who could show their characters off. And really: the main cast remains the main cast: there are people with huge talents in this series, but they are all downplayed: Eren has huge powers, but they’re incredibly random. Armin is really smart, but he’s really weak. Mikasa is very nimble, but she often isn’t at the right time at the right place, and that commander guy is also very nimble, but a total asshole who left his subordinates in total darkness about his plans, nearly killing them. It’s amazing how well this all balanced out.
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

16 Responses

  1. Twist says:

    I completely agree, WIT stepped their game up on this new arc.

    So do you think the Guilty Crown team has redeemed themselves?

  2. WatcherZero says:

    This whole arc seems to be pointing to a traitor within the recon force.

  3. NOLA says:

    Well, as for Erwin, he’s left his subordinates in the dark about much of his plan, since he believes that the Recon division has been infiltrated by the enemy. Hence, for instance, his informing different elements of the formation that Eren is located in different places.

  4. Nic says:

    Erwin isn’t doing this because he’s an asshole (although I suspect you meant Levi, in which case, he’s just following orders.)

    Erwin suspects they were infiltrated by titan shifters, you can see that from the total misdirection he gave his troops about Eren’s position. You can bet he’ll be investigating the troops who were told he was in the right flank who survive the mission.

  5. WatcherZero says:

    And the female titan changing direction after capturing the guy….

  6. JaK says:

    and here’s where the series goes down and down after the ending of this arc :\

  7. kero says:

    I loved the past few episodes. i LOOOOOVE the military tactics, just the whole explanation of the set up, and how the recon worked, and appreciated how they switched between groups and indicated where everyone was, and how Erwin was trying to lure out the spy.

    I like that it’s less focused on Eren, the other characters are more interesting IMO. Jean has had v good character development, and I like how they’re letting a smart but weak character like Armin shine.

  8. Tini says:

    these pastfew episodes been amazing! I havent read the manga so everything is exciting!

  9. QSL says:

    Levi is leaving his squad in the dark on orders. Ervin mentions something about a spy so most of the Recon Corps are not fulled in about the plans.

  10. arimpact says:

    The entire article you did nothing but praise it yet 6.5 out of 8? I’m curious, where’s that 1.5 deduction coming from (if i’m reading that right since it’s a comma at the 6,5) and why out of 8 as a scale?

    Also, what would be an 8/8 for you?

  11. Sinae says:

    I really like your review about this EP and this anime series..

    I really love those anime with emotional tension, fast action scene, deep story background and good caracter balance and interaction between them

    peace and thx for you nice blog
    Alex

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 04:48 PM)
    You know when Shinji was talking to Rin. You could have said something Lancer.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 04:47 PM)
    @Bam, Ouch. Come on I think comparing him to Kirito is a bit much. You think that Kirito would every be shown getting this much of a beating?
    I do argee that lancer should have jumped in sooner…but he did get a spear though the chest and likely did need some time to rest after attacking Kirei. But a “HEY FECK OFF YOU LITTLE SHIT” would have been appreciated.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.

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