17 CommentsShingeki no Kyojin / By Inushinde /

Shingeki no Kyojin Episode 24: Like Cat-tle to the Slaughter

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Everything in this episode pales before the sheer fortitude of this cat apathetically sitting through Annie’s rampage. Eren biting himself raw is well and good, and Mikasa’s possessiveness over Eren is reaching new, terrifying heights, but who’s the real monster? It’s that fucking cat, sitting completely still through a shower of blood like this is just the everyday life of a cat in Sina. Forget the Recon Corps, even forget Eren, the true hope of humanity is this fucking cat.

Eren’s habit of getting fatally maimed is starting to get a bit wearisome and predictable at this point. I understand that he only seems to conjure his titan form whenever his life’s in immediate danger, or when touching a spoon, but there’s still a world of difference between danger and constant near-death. It doesn’t have any impact at this point, seemingly happening with every other titan encounter to spur Eren into action. There are other ways to potentially lead to tense situations that the show isn’t utilizing.

I do like how the episode breaks up the action scenes with flashbacks to the Recon Corps planning their trap for Annie. At first I thought it killed the pacing, but it serves to break up the action into more manageable chunks, rather than bringing it to stuttering halts every five minutes. It isn’t the most engaging discussion in the world since we’ve already seen the plan in action, but it does at least highlight that not everyone is down to kill Annie—save maybe for Mikasa. Well Eren kind of is, but wooden beams through lungs tend to take the fight out of people.

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Despite having a bit part, Mikasa did a good job at showing her more unnerving side. Her obsessive, pragmatic side hasn’t really been explored as much as it could, so it’s always nice when she gets a chance to strut her psychotic stuff. She still feels like something of a missed opportunity, but her treatment of Eren is still a bit… off. The way that time is taken to compare her cold eyes with Eren’s anxiety really lets the effect seep in.

For how engaging the action is, it doesn’t really serve much of a purpose here. Usually this isn’t the case, with some kind of important revelation or character development springing from extended titan killing. In the end, we know that Eren’s going to be the one to bring Annie down, regardless of how many times he’s impaled with wooden beams. Granted, it is the second to last episode, so it can’t rush things, but it still feels like the episode’s spreading itself thin so it has enough content for the finale; just like this post, now that I think about it.

I’m sure the finale will be all kinds of good, with Annie getting beaten to a pulp and shit, but all that this buildup accomplished is making me like Hanji more, and that was hardly a difficult task.

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17 Comments

  1. Nagisa33
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I was very excited when Eren furiously sat up through the wooden beam while uttering a cool line, “It’s a cruel world out there!” This line mirrors the lyrics in the first ED and pretty much their whole terrible situation. Eren punching Annie square in the face into a building was the icing on the cake.

    I appreciated how Armin and Mikasa’s approach to Eren’s lack of instant muscle growth was them leaving, thereby forcing him to make the decision. There’s no time to be fooling around and Eren needed to get his stuff together. I like how he abandoned reason and went fully on emotion. Eren needs emotion to drive forward but he can’t be all rage mode when he fights or the outcome will end in him getting his head kicked off again.

    Armin and Jean are my favorite characters. Armin really has pulled through in the entire second half with his deductive reasoning and planning. Jean had his very interesting subplot. He leads and becomes more secure in his choices as a result, even looking down on the Military Police, which he once admired. Both of them deliver when they’re needed.

    • Posted September 26, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      Jean is a cool bean (pun intended). I wonder if he still has a thing for Mikasa…

    • Posted September 28, 2013 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      I really want to agree with you because I like the idea of Armin’s character, but I’ve actually yet to see him make any truly astute judgements or hatch any plans that weren’t either immediately obvious or complete ass-pulls like recognizing a set of gear by its tiny bits of wear.

      This almost reminds me of an episode of the old CG series ReBoot, where one of the younger characters petitioned a god-like entity to be the smartest person in the city, and in response it made everyone else incredibly stupid. Armin isn’t smart – he’s just capable of basic pattern recognition and logic in a world where these are uncommon traits. He’s never hatched a scheme that surprised or impressed me (eg. Light or L from Death Note, Lelouch, Lawrence or Horo from Spice and Wolf) and he’s forever pointing out things that should be obvious, to which the cast responds with “Wow, I never thought of that. Way to go, Armin!”

      I want to like Armin, but it just doesn’t seem like the author has the willingness or the aptitude to write schemes, insights, and plots to back up his supposed intelligence. Armin resides in a world where trained soldiers will rush to their deaths against orders to retrieve bits of their smashed comrades, men get large carts stuck in small tunnels and think that pushing them forward really hard is the solution, and somehow nobody actually recognizes Annie in titan form.

      He isn’t smart; the world is dumb.

      • Posted September 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        The cat: Aaah.. just another day in human’s town. Same old. Same old.

  2. Redcrimson
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m still not convinced Annie is entirely villainous.

    It just seems like they’ve been building her up as a Byronic hero, or at least an anti-villain. She clearly has strong beliefs, and is even shown to have a relative moral compass. She’s shown an active distaste for the corruption in the military. Even in this episode, Armin remarks that Annie was willing to throw away her humanity to achieve her goals. The question is: what exactly are those goals? If she simply wished to annihilate humanity, it seems to me she’s had more than enough opportunity. If she simply wished to survive, why risk killing the captured Titans? Why try to take Eren alive? There’s far more going on behind the scenes than her just being a vicious monster.

    • Nagisa33
      Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      I agree but right now I’d say more anti-villain. She believes that the end justify the means and doesn’t hesitate to crush anyone in her path besides her friends. We don’t know what her goal is yet but I guess it has something to do with the laziness and corruption of the higher ups. They probably know some secret and are keeping it from the general population.

  3. ANON
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    hanji was supposed to be this titan expert/genius that essentially wrote the book on everything humanity knows about titans, but when she was investigating eren at that time when he partially transformed when holding a spoon, she can’t figure out the connection between wounds, metals and the transformation? really?

    I was waiting for a scene when eren actually touches something metallic in the rubble to transform but instead they’ve shown him to be capable of transforming only with willpower (or shounen power as I like to call it), but is this a special ability only eren could use, given that his hatred of titans is the strongest among all the characters?

    we can’t see this with annie since she always has the -_- expression on her so we can’t see her “excited/angry” face but given that she has this mastery of every aspect of titan transformation, including but not limited to the ice/diamond skin armoring she does all the time, can she also transform with willpower alone? we already know how she still needs a wound and something metal to transform, does this apply to other special titans as well?

    • shytende
      Posted September 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Same opinion here.
      Why didnt’t they let him keep his key ?
      He can’t run away, and is the best placed to protect it anyway.
      I know it was a tense moment, but Armin could have remarked that he touched his key last time he transformed too.

      If you don’t give hm the right things too transform, it’s easy to blame everything on Eren when things don’t go as planned.
      That didn’t really send the intended message here

      • shytende
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        Though, there’s Iron in blood, right ?
        So it makes sense for Eren to transform when he becomes Hot Blooded.

      • ANON
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        and armin was supposed to be the brains in all of this. It looks like if armin doesn’t notice it, all the other characters will not notice it too lol.

  4. Anonymoose
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Watching Eren shitting bricks juxtaposed by that cat Not Giving a Single Fuck made me wonder who the real pussy was.

  5. Posted September 26, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Although not too much was covered in this episode, the entire second half was excellent in terms of action alone. I also loved Levi dissing that one jerkass’s stubble, and Jean being pissed off and storming out of his cosplay scheme.

    The first season is coming to an end, and whether or not I bother with the second depends on if they leave it open for later development or give it a Gecko ending.

  6. Ken
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    About the fucking cat. It was established some time ago that animals act complacent around titans. They showed a couple of dear ignoring a titan as it was walking by. I guess this cat not only ignores titans but also buildings falling over. Maybe the cat can’t hear or belongs to a noisy construction worker.

    • Posted September 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Cats are actually pretty fucking sadistic. A teacher of mine told me that her cat slaughtered a family of baby bunnies and left them sprawled out on her driveway.

      Some also don’t let up to one of the most dangerous animals on the planet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRH7HyipqtA (the alligators could have also been pacifists).

  7. Erif
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Can we for a moment discuss the second ED? I have a feeling that from that wall mural thingy, stems an ancient battle between two clans. One of those clans obtained some sort of titan-related power, etc, etc. All theories, but any thoughts?

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