18 CommentsShingeki no Kyojin / By Inushinde /

Shingeki no Kyojin Episode 17: Armin’s in a Pinch

Shingeki1702

An operation going a little too well is a sign that shit’s about to get real in Shingeki no Kyojin, since nothing can ever truly go exceedingly well for mankind’s last hope. While bordering on excessively grim, the direction is fantastic. The atmosphere is electric, the pacing hits all the right notes, and the female titan’s devotion toward finding Eren elicits a mixture of curiosity and bewilderment that makes the episode go by in a flash, coupled with the Recon Corps’ desperate attempts to slow her down. After several episodes of characters sitting around and fixing up abandoned castles, we’ve plunged back into the thick of things.

And, most important of all, the female titan has a shapely ass, as helpfully pointed out by Reiner.

Despite blatantly hinting at who she is, effort is made to build up a sort of mystery; a mystery that’s spoiled when the camera stays glued on the female titan’s suspiciously familiar face, but Armin’s deductive capabilities are still put to good use. Just like other titans capable of reasoning beyond “food screams when I pick it up, but food good”, this one displays the ability to ignore the munchies in order to accomplish a very specific goal. Coupled with human features that exhibit more emotion than a drive to kill (and a nice ass), this titan being human is almost a certainty. This is hardly revelatory for this particular titan, but it opens up an uncomfortable realm of possibilities that’ll make any future operations more difficult. After all, the biggest weakness of the titans is their predictability.

The concept of beings that exist to do nothing but eat humans is daunting, but it isn’t quite as scary as the desire for one of them to hurt humanity in more insidious ways beyond wanton slaughter. Quite a lot goes into making the female titan (somehow) even more intimidating than her size and behavior would dictate. Neat little touches, like her footsteps pounding in sync with the BGM and her blocking out the sun several times, communicates the threat that her size alone poses.

Shingeki1701

While Kyojin builds up this artificial sense of mystery with some dedication, it focuses more on the Recon Corps’ attempts to either slow her down or outright stop her, and what they learn from each subsequent attempt/bludgeoned corpsman. Again, there’s even better direction than usual going on here. It has a very clear set of priorities that allows the necessary information to sink in, while not bogging the episode down with tedious dialogue, something that’s been struggled with efore. It’s more than enough to keep any niggling female titan-related complaints from overshadowing what the show does well, and it does so many things right in this episode that I can put aside any suppositions to enjoy the ride.

Since I can’t think of a good way to end this post, here’s Armin in a skirt again.

Armin in a skirt

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18 Comments

  1. Iron Maw
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Dear lord that crawling Titan is one of creepest shit I’ve seen in a long time! I don’t tthink Sasha will able to hold her sanity together if stuff like keeps showing up.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      At least he was countered with some memorably goofy fellas. Speedwalker and Potbelly in particular were fantastic.

  2. Nagisa33
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    The last few episodes have been really good stuff, this episode in particular, unlike some of the ones that came before. I would have less of a problem with the pacing of this show if I marathoned it, methinks.

    I dig how this “Titan” seems to be completely under control unlike Eren with his bouts of blind rage.

    • Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      The blind rage has no purpose other than to add tension into the story. They are supposed to be in full control of their titan form to begin with.

      • Iron Maw
        Posted August 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        …and you know this how?

      • Scamp
        Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Not really? Eren Titan is the embodiment of Eren’s rage against the Titans in general, so it’s perfectly fitting that his Titan form has those same characteristics in massive form.

      • Posted August 8, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

        The problem is, he was only losing himself during that one time. Later, this matter was never touched anymore /forgotten. He is in full control just like it’s something natural. Of course, other titan shapeshifters have never lose themselves too. That’s why, the ‘blind rage’ is a bad writing.

  3. Pusswookie
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Also enjoyed the intrigue behind Erwin deliberately misinforming the Recon Corps Corpses about Eren’s location.
    “Who do you think the enemy is?”

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      That was definitely a nice touch, knowing that there are some folks who are none too pleased with how Eren is.

  4. DarkEnergy
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m still pissed that we don’t know who killed the 2 titans they were experimenting on.
    Some predictions: Eren’s father is alive and somehow knows how to give people the ability to turn into titans. Eren’s father can turn into the Colossal Titan. The Female Titan and the Armored Titan are people that were turned into titans and know how to control them. The Female Titan is going to capture Eren and bring him back to his father so he can explain why they’ve been attacking humanity and stuff.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      While I sincerely doubt your hypothesis, given that Eren’s dad experimented on Eren in order to facilitate the fight AGAINST the Titans, I did just realize that amidst all this I’ve managed to completely forget about his dad and wherever he might be.
      A wonder what Papa Jaegar is doing during all this?

    • Nagisa33
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      I really expected Eren’s father to make an appearance by now. If he supposedly has answers, why isn’t he helping? Where could he even be?

      I agree with predictions 1 and 3. I think that the Female Titan is going to get Eren to help her with something urgent but not bring him back to his dad. Who knows though!

      • Inushinde
        Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Eren’s father is probably equivalent to Ging in this regard: He only exists to give his son more hurdles to cross/get pummeled by.

  5. Kiseki
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Maybe I’m just stupid but I didn’t have a clue about who the female titan was in the manga until
    Show ▼

    This week featured a ホモォ…┌(┌ ^o^)┐ titan…

    The director of photography(?) as always does such an excellent job with the lighting. It’s probably my favorite facet of the animation.

    Also if you could please, credit the artist of that fanart.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Ah, thanks for reminding me. Links were a bit borked when I posted the image, so I skipped the link as a temporary fix. I’ll remedy that now, since apparently pixiv loves us again.

      Also, that feature was WAY too much of a giveaway.

  6. Fumoffu!!
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Well, apart from that first incredibly obvious (well, it could be a red herring but I somehow doubt it) mystery surrounding the female Titan, I also saw a rather blatant hint. Well actually I suppose there were 3 clues in a scene, and from that… well, I think I know something major. I am so confident about it that I don’t want to say it because I’m sure it’ll be a spoiler.

    Though as you said, it was a markedly better episode than the previous ones.

  7. Posted August 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    BOKU NO ARMIN!!!

    I think the anime did an ok job in hiding the Female Titan’s identity. I remember reading that part in the manga and it just seemed hard to tell. Then again, the manga comes out in a monthly basis, so it takes a while to refresh your memory about certain things.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      It wasn’t explicit, but the resemblance to a certain other character is pretty obvious here. Not sure if it was the same in the manga.

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