Shingeki no Kyojin is guilty of eliciting a particular reaction from me nearly every episode, and I don’t just mean the urge to make up shitty puns to go along with the action. Once it reaches the credits, the realization hits that fuck all actually happened. The pacing doesn’t match the actual content being displayed. A scene that seems to go on for hours and sees characters develop themselves and each other has barely gone on for two minutes. While that sounds negative, I don’t mean it entirely in a negative sense—very often it’s a good thing when that happens, as it displays just how great the show is at presenting its content. It may be because I’m blogging the show, and thus have to look back to extrapolate what I like or dislike with a modicum of detail, but it happens more often here than for any other series that I’ve covered.
The time it takes from the episode’s end to the realization tends to dictate just how well Shingeki no Kyojin absorbed me into the goings-on of that particular episode. Last episode took three hours. This one took five minutes before the actual end of the episode for me to realize that fuck all actually happened. I guess what I’m saying is this’ll be a post on why the dialogue wasn’t up to snuff, and why titans climbing is the funniest shit ever.
Even in the more action-heavy episodes, there’s a hefty amount of dialogue in each episode—that much is a given, and it serves a definite purpose toward furthering the story, or each of the characters; it isn’t just there for fluff. It’s a satisfactory and competently-written, if uninspired, means of delivering important information. Very often it fits into the recurring element of misinformation and ambiguity by being intentionally unreliable, which suits the show startlingly well when nobody has any idea what’s going on.
What I usually like about the dialogue in Kyojin is all of it ties back to a central theme that tends to differ from episode to episode. Last episode, it was doubt. A few episodes earlier, it was Hanji’s lunacy. It creates a sense of focus that drives conversation toward different perspectives, and I admire it for not ambling about, trying to pull together important elements without knowing how to do so. (Actually, now that I think about it, this and Symphogear couldn’t be more different in this regard, and blogging the two creates an interesting contrast. But I digress.) Even if the discussion itself doesn’t induce spasms of pure ecstasy, I can get behind what it contributes to the overall package, and to my understanding of this big, alluring, throbbing package. To counter the homoeroticism of that sentence, have this nice shot of Female Titan ass.
Here though, things are a little unfocused. There’s talk here of a traitor in the group’s midst, but then there’s talk elsewhere of the titans learning how to clumsily (and hilariously) climb trees, but then Eren’s squadmates congratulate him for trusting in them before realizing that they weren’t trusted by Erwin, and then we learn a little bit about Sasha having preternatural intuition… a few of them mesh together, but they’re not presented in a terribly cohesive fashion. It’s a slapdash approach to developing both plot and characters, without rounding either out to a decent degree. It’s kind of disappointing for a show that’s usually good about tying each conversation to a certain shared point, compounded by a lack of urgency that isn’t dispelled until Female Titan is eaten.
I will say though, the literal cloak and dagger reveal confirmed at the end was built up damn well by being hinted at, but not blatantly. Also, titans climbing is the funniest shit ever.