30 CommentsShingeki no Kyojin / By Inushinde /

Shingeki no Kyojin Episode 3: Hello New Best Character

Shingeki301

Sorry, Mikasa, but your refreshing self-sufficiency and levelheaded demeanor pale in comparison to the new best character in the show. And all it took was a woman who had the good fortune to eat a potato in front of a drill sergeant to completely usurp your position as the only person with charisma.

For its first two episodes, Shingeki no Kyojin has been a notably nihilistic piece of work, bent on crushing everything remotely associated with hope into a bitter, gelatinous mass, slammed down the gullet of any character unfortunate enough to be a fixture of its cast. If it didn’t have some lighter elements thrown in, the grimdark would have been overwhelming almost to the point of parody. And thus, we got Potato Girl, and the levity that she brought illuminated the darkness like the foil surrounding a baked potato.

Shingeki no Kyojin knows that a nihilistic celebration of mankind’s demise needs to occasionally be tempered with a lighter tone, otherwise it risks blending together, one supposedly distinct moment inseparable from others. In that regard, this episode succeeds. It serves as a necessary reminder that joy isn’t a foreign concept just yet, and there’s more to life than fleeing from lumbering sunburn victims—like mauling helpless lumps of carbohydrates. While the comic element isn’t always effective (at least when not involving Potato Girl), it at least succeeded in making things feel more organic, and less a depression-addled haze of corpses and ominous, impeccably clean smiles.

Shingeki302

I can’t say that I’m all that won over with the way that the episode developed Eren, since it would’ve been refreshing to have an anime protagonist not quite up to snuff for once, but at least it is believable that he’s as competent as the rest of the recruits, and simply mistook failing to adjust to a broken harness for lacking equilibrium; a bit contrived, maybe, but it led to a conflict between Eren and his own very relatable insecurities that’ll assuredly make his future ass-kicking all the better for the struggle to get to that point. The fact that it was tempered by the actions of Potato Girl only made it better.

If there’s one complaint that I have, it’s that aside from Eren, nobody in the cast really feels all that necessary to the goings on. People seem to be all over Mikasa, but she has little use at this point past keeping Eren in check—something that’ll undoubtedly change, but for now doesn’t sell her enough. Still, it’s an incredibly minor gripe (for now) for an altogether satisfactory episode that does its job well, hopefully making the upcoming carnage and Spiderman-ing all the more distinct for its buildup here. I’m actually looking forward to the next episode, where we’ll hopefully see the Spiderman belts in action, with oodles of either stunningly fluid or hilariously jerky animation to make the experience fun to watch.

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30 Comments

  1. Friend_Guy
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Mikasa will change how she feels towards Eren. From what I can tell she is already the most mature out of the bunch, and has already dealt with heavy and deep trauma from a younger age then Eren. If anything I think Mikasa will tell Eren something like he is her only family left and she’d hate to see him die or something like that. Worse case: Mikasa goes Yandere (slightly rooting for that one.)

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      I don’t think she’ll change her feelings, I’d just like more of the focus to be on her.

  2. Lanf
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Yep. Pretty evident how much by this episode mankind has declined. Wait. Mankind… has declined…

    Time to spend the rest of the day photoshopping :D faces on to titans.

    • sqa
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      The fairies were already one of the most disturbing things ever committed to anime.

    • Posted April 23, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Why haven’t I think of that before?
      Shingeki no Kyojin is another version of Humanity Has Declined!
      Only that it has your standard shounen protagonist instead of pink haired girlie.

      • ANON
        Posted April 23, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!

    • Lanf
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 1:49 am | Permalink
      • R1CK_D0M
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Humans are sweet?

      • Inushinde
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        10/10, better than the actual show.

  3. Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Potato girl for the win yo! :D

  4. Posted April 23, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Something that i missed to comment the first time around when then showed the main casts and others older is the luscious lips on all the women. The manga is not beautiful in regards of the women in there, but DEM LIPS man…

    Also, how is Oh My Shoe’s performance in this. I think that he’s doing a pretty good job. *dons flameproof suit*

    • Posted April 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      The manga also had lips in some face close-up drawings, so we must assume that the ones where they didn’t, were a matter of failure to add enough details, rather than some intentional moral statement about how women don’t have lips.

      For example, this episode had scenes of both Misaka and Christa, where they were supposed to look beautiful (Misaka in Jean’s hair fetish scene, and Christa in Potato Girl’s Bubble-o-vision scene).

      There is a difference between character designs being intentionally off-putting, and bad art skills simply failing at showing intended beauty.

      • Posted April 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        No I don’t mean anything demeaning like that. I just find it interesting to note that mostly the mangaka, at least earlier, was more focused on showing a grimy, messy style and the women, even the beautiful ones, aren’t coming out nicely. The thing is though, it made them like they wear lip gloss in the anime…

        Although, with that said, I love how they replaced the rough, messy style of the manga using thicker outlines; some would even say that it hearkens back to anime of yore. And the eyes…

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      He’s not a bad VA by any stretch of the imagination, he just has shitty roles. I think he’s doing fine here. As for those lips, I’ll definitely have to agree. Fantastic.

  5. matrixEXO
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    IMO, and based only on the anime, Mikasa is a cold and calculating person who does only one thing, protect Eren. You can see it throughout the whole 3 episodes. The way she acts, the manner of speech (practically almost lifeless-like to me).

    I don’t know if you ever thought of it, but I thought that Mikasa is a character born to do only one thing, protect Eren.

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      That’s what I was implying, and I’d like to see her build a bit past that. It is Eren’s story, but I’d still like to see her fleshed out.

  6. Kiseki
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think the main cast would be important with the way they were introduced in the manga. They’re all necessary to the story, but don’t get their time to shine until much, much later…

    Kobayashi Yuu’s voice acting during the bread scene with the goddess was glorious holy shit.

  7. Stef
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I never expected any sort of subtle humor in this show, but that was waaay too goofy.

    Adjusting my expectations now.

  8. Canary Paint
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Mikasa’s look of surprise when Eren pulls it off at the end was a good story element. It was as if she was already planning their journey to the dumps or wherever it is the drop-outs go. She so expected him to be a chronic screw-up, and I think that little look of shock on her face gives a sort of foundation for her and Eren’s relationship to develop rather than remain static. This is important for my interest in this series as I get bored when relationships and personalities in fiction remain static for too long.

    As for this post’s main point, country girl’s honest surprise that the drill sergeant might not know what people want from potatoes was pretty awesome.

  9. MadU_Scientisto
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    There is a clear correlation between the anime Araki has directed that are good and the amount of potatoes to be found in the respective anime series. See: “I’ll take a potato chip and EAT IT” * for further reference.

    *with added latin chanting

  10. T1g
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    When potato girl showed up I thought the same thing as what your title says

  11. Chipp12
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s Sasha.

  12. Sarif Fice
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Can’t stand the characters, over the top one note emotions and mostly terrible/no animation. Bleh.

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Style definitely saves its lack of animation here, in my opinion. They have to save that budget (hopefully) for later, after all.

  13. gedata
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Back off, Potato-chan is mine

  14. celebrinen
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I think you’ll like this:
    http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm20579541

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Yes. Yes I did. Probably the only parody that I’ll still watch and enjoy after the craze dies down.

  15. Canary Paint
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Want to say out of a sense of nerdy loyalty that Potato Girl is not even in the same league as when Holo eats a potato…

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Nothing is even close to being in the same league, to be fair.

  16. Posted April 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink
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