Japanese Title: Shingeki no Kyoujin
Reconnaissance Report by: Skie
Progress: Episode 10
We’ve gone from desperate fighting with our backs up against the wall and mysterious titan-on-titan fighting to the hope of humanity rising and a (somewhat) clear path being revealed. Attack on Titan is shaping up to be one epic storyline with what feels like the first overarching story hitting its pinnacle. With only three episodes left in this season, I would be surprised if more non-core plot twists that cannot be resolved quickly are introduced. As of the end of episode ten, the series has taken on a much more horror-fantasy twist with certain revelations about Eren’s talents and the nature of the titans. Suffice it to say, the army has had division driven deeply into its ranks: to trust or not to trust Eren. We had just settled into accepting Eren’s death when it was revealed to be a misdirect of giant proportions and now the question comes down to ‘is he useful?’
His only allies, it seems, are Mikasa and Armin as even Commander Pixis, in charge of the entire southern region, doesn’t quite seem to trust Eren even if Pixis recognizes his potential importance. The remaining forces of the new trainees are disheartened and grieving as the weight of their duty, and its consequences, truly settles onto their shoulders. Some bear it better than others.
Titan continues to impress me with the sweeping consequences to both character actions and situational events – trainee reactions to their first real combat, the fallout from running out of fuel for their gear, the desperate yet determined assault on the headquarters, and the response to Eren’s startling abilities to name a few broad scenarios – but the attention to detail and time allotted to each step in the story can feel a bit drawn out. Thankfully, the means in which the story is told and the continuous engagement of the audience (evoking questions like ‘that can’t be it?’, ‘will they survive?’, ‘will it work?’, etc) counterbalances this drawn-out feeling, leaving me with a sense of thorough storytelling without toeing past the ‘get a move on already’ line.
I must admit that I’m mildly disappointed in Eren’s return, but I can forgive Attack on Titan as his return has raised many more questions about the world and the backstory of the Titans than it has answered. Aside from that, this is the first time I have seen a main character return more as a plot device and less a means to placate audiences, of which I also approve.