Holy fuck, the titan on the right is totally Chevy Chase.
The astute among you might have realized that I skipped a week in blogging this show, partly because of obligations elsewhere, partly because of a trip to Anime Boston with co-writer Shinmaru, and partly because I just couldn’t muster up anything new to say that wasn’t “Eren really WAS a titan! Sorry for spoiling one of you folks without meaning to!” in all caps. Well this week offered several talking points to make up for my lacking performance, and the above screenshot of a titan smashing his head through the wall to get at the squishy humans inside. If there’s one thing the show’s consistently good for, it’s titans that make entrances in unconventionally spectacular ways.
Last week while attempting a post in the airport, I just couldn’t bring myself to bang on about was the bleakness that bordered on overkill, seeing as I’ve rattled that particular cage since the Battle of Trost arc began. Thankfully it’s been somewhat reduced here, so it’s not just one scene of despair after another. No longer are people being devoured with extreme prejudice like Skittles scattering across a table. Instead, they’re actually overcoming their fear and planning how to get around the titans swarming the town without flailing and panicking, while learning about how much they can tolerate sacrificing the lives of comrades for the greater good.
One guy does end up eaten, but it’s so Jean can question whether the ends justify the means of letting a comrade’s death serve as a distraction, letting him push through his doubts as to his ability to serve in a commanding role. When the deaths are curtailed like this without being entirely disregarded, they’re pretty powerful as an impetus for character development. And yes, most importantly, Eren’s back and better than ever—well, back to being a normal, four-limbed young man not in Hagrid’s stomach, anyway.
One neat detail that gave away his transformation of sorts into the rogue titan was his vicious attack on the jumping titan from several episodes ago, following a flashback to the very scene of him plucking a soldier out of the air with his teeth. Channeling Eren’s anger at the titans and his newfound power into a storm of bites and crushed titan corpses, it’s goofy but deeply satisfying to see the most impotent main character in the series thus far throw a titan so hard with his teeth that it kills another titan on impact. It’s a subtle hint, but he goes at Jumping Titan with enough blind fury to give away the fact that he’s actually Eren, and he isn’t going to take shit from Jumping Titan anymore. There’s still the question if his emotions and subconscious control any titan that he becomes a part of, or if he directly does so, but I’m interested either way.
All in all, this is probably one of the best-paced episodes yet, with several rather imaginative fight scenes interspersed by small bouts of conversation between characters that serves to flesh them out. It’s finally pulling itself out of the grimdark of people being eaten by the handful, with actual small victories to complement the grotesque defeats, and I have never liked it more.