Shingeki no Kyojin – 07

Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -19 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -21 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -24

Best strap the seatbelt on tightly, because we’re fully back in JoJo mode…

Damn, but the mystery aspect of this series is really interesting.  To be honest I still rarely find myself caring much whenever a character says anything (apart from last week’s ep, which was very effective) and I think Mikasa’s audience-pandering Knute Rockne moment this week was not nearly so different from Eren’s constant GAR proselytizing as his detractors and her fanboys would like to think.  But the action is top-notch and the plot just continues to take us deeper into the rabbit hole, and that’s more than enough to make Shingeki no Kyojin a good watch.

For whatever reason, the thing that popped into my mind as I watched the major development this week was Soylent Green – or more specifically, its most famous line of dialogue “Soylent Green is people”.  There’s the obvious fact that much of the series is taken up with lovingly patient scenes of merrily smiling titans messily devouring humans, but it goes deeper than that.  I still don’t know what the connection between the two species is, but I can’t shake the feeling that Eren’s soul is somehow inhabiting the body of that titan-attacking titan.  It’s loud, it loves to kill titans – that should be enough evidence right there – but Mikasa’s comment that it “sounded like the embodiment of human rage against the titans” was probably the thing that sealed the deal for me.

Of course, I can’t back that notion up with hard facts – hard facts seem to be in short supply where Attack on Titan’s conspiracies are concerned.  But one thing’s for sure – that titan is quite different from any we’ve seen before, and the timing is highly suspicious (as is the fact that as far as I can recall every appearance by a previously unknown type of titan has happened in Eren’s presence).  Not only is it the first sign we’ve seen of titans attacking each other, but this one was distinctly more human in its demeanor, musculature, and its attack style.  In short – as Mikasa pointed out – it seemed to fight like a person would, right down to the classic boxing stance.  Another giant (pun intended) anomaly raising more giant question marks – welcome to the world of SnK.  (Whether any of this is on-target or not, please don’t refute or affirm anything in the comments!)

Scenarios continue to outstrip character development for me, and we had another excellent one this week.  The civilians are safely evacuated, but the soldiers are stuck behind the giant wall without enough gas to scale it.  Trapped inside the cage with the tigers, as it were – and the titans have the gas supplies surrounded, along with the support squads who were supposed to get the gas to the frontline troops.  It suggests intent on the part of the titans if you ask me – they’ve headed straight for depriving the humans of their means of escape rather than fanning out through the city to hunt them down one by one – though whether it’s individual reasoning on their part (which seems unlikely based on the evidence we’ve seen) or the more intriguing possibility that they’re some sort of hive-mind under centralized control, I couldn’t say.  Many of the troops have already given up, which leads to Mikasa’a aforementioned JoJo moment.  It’s a crowd-pleaser, no doubt, though pretty low-hanging fruit from a dramatic standpoint.

More interesting is Mikasa’s interaction with Armin, and the way she reacted to the news of Eren’s supposed death.  She went into dead-eyes mode again, but she didn’t abandon Armin and the others, though from everything we’ve heard from her up to now it seemed as though protecting Eren was her sole purpose in life.  Her mission to go off and kill all the titans surrounding the depot – when she knew she didn’t have enough gas to do so even if it were possible – certainly had the whiff of an intentional suicide run to it, but it did shame the others into following her into the seemingly hopeless mission.  She was certainly right in that no matter the odds against her, they were better than simply waiting until presented with the inevitable choice of suicide or being devoured.  It’s only memories of Eren – and the thought that if she died, she can no longer remember him – that spur her into fighting for her life, when all else is lost.  That and a stray pomegranate (fruit of life?), which certainly offers another example of Attack on Titan’s facility with offering up strange and iconic imagery.

If there’s a character element that I do find somewhat intriguing, it’s Armin.  Just what is his role in all this, from the standpoint of character dynamic?  Thus far he seems to serve no indispensable purpose apart from living out the “weakling dealing with feelings of inadequacy” trope.  Mikasa appears to feel nothing approaching the affection or responsibility for Armin that she does for Eren.  He offers no urgent personal motivation, apart from staying with his friends and eventually seeing the outside world. Yet he narrates the story, and his constant presence – even as a seemingly incidental appendage – suggests something more.  He has the grace to feel shame over living and watching Eren die (though it wasn’t really his fault), and manages to muster the composure to realize that his survival is trivial for the group’s chances compared to Mikasa’s, which is why he quite rightly gives up his remaining gas to her (“Just leave me one small blade”). Perhaps Armin’s role is simply to provide a kind of viewer’s perspective in all this, someone who’s as frightened and horrified by events in the story as any sane person would be – but I hope it turns out to be something more essential and compelling that that.

Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -7 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -8 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -9
Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -10 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -11 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -12
Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -13 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -14 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -15
Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -16 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -17 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -18
Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -20 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -22 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -23
Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -25 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -26 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -27
Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -28 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -29 Shingeki no Kyojin - 07 -30


  1. A

    I had the same impression of the titan fighting titan (is there a better name?), that it was the embodiment of Eren's spirit, somehow.

    The whole time I was hoping that Eren would slash his way through the Titan's belly, but that would not be imaginative in and of itself, and I much prefer realism over shoddy writing.

  2. R

    I liked "Titan-kun"

  3. h

    Eoten. It's an archaic, grandoise title preferred by a certain, eh, subtitle group. It definitely suits the scenario better than the Engrish "attack on titan," but alas — the official term is "titan." They say "Kyojin," meaning "great/huge man" or giant, so the title actually translates closer to "attacking/invading giants." To dignify the name with cryptic olde awe, "Eotena Onslaught" is occasionally used by said groups.

    Unless you were making a joke on the phrase "titan fighting titan" (so then, tit fight? Har har).

  4. R

    Mikasa's moment here might have been audience-pandering (though it didn't feel that way in the manga) but it definitely worked for me. I think this would have worked better had it been directed more quietly (of course Araki is not known for that, but still…).

    You seem to like Armin a lot. I can't really see the appeal. He's quite bland (not just because he's a weakling, Christa based from the manga is far more interesting in that regard) and his voice acting is grating.

    This episode and the last really sealed the deal for me that Mikasa would make a better MC than Eren.

  5. R

    Ok wait,


    What's that? How does it work? And why is it bad?

  6. A

    giving us what we want without having to work for it.

    The reason why harem anime is popular is cuz most anime watchers are men who dream of the favorable attention or many women. Hence, low fruit genre that panders to the baser desires of the audience.

  7. I agree, she's a better MC than Eren. It's a low bar.

    It's not so much like that I like Armin but that he's a curiosity – his role in the story seems to make no sense. To be honest there's not much with the characters themselves that interests me enough to want to know more about it, so that makes him a person of interest almost by default.

  8. R

    How does that connect with a scene where a character almost gave up to despair? I fail to see the relationship, unless you have your own idea of what "audience-pandering" means and it's different to Rina Tan's.

  9. R

    For clarity: my previous comment was directed to AwetM.

  10. J

    Which scene are we talking about here? Her speech? What does pandering have to do with it?

  11. R

    Enzo: Ah, I suppose the reason I can't feel much for Armin (not even curiosity as you call it) is because his character is a dime a dozen in shounen manga. Had Shingeki been created on the likes of other WSJ manga, he'd be the underdog who'd eventually get stronger… or something to that ilk. The only reason I'm not completely apathetic towards Eren is that he's batshit insane (episode 6 anyone?).

    Richard: Don't get me wrong, I liked the episode a lot, but I find Araki's direction much too "bombastic". I'm ok with it, but can understand when other people find it audience-pandering.

  12. Rina, if I were to put it more harshly, we've learned quite a lot about Eren and Mikasa and I don't find either of them all that interesting. We know very little about Armin, so there's more hope that he could surprise me.

  13. Well, thanks for yet another manga spoiler.

  14. a

    Mikasa's speech might feel like pandering because if you took the words and just had Eren scream them it's pretty much one of his standard GAR moments. BUT at least in Mikasa's case her saying this is based upon her development last episode. It was one of Eren's GAR tirades that made her wake up and fight back when he was getting choked. At least from a character progression standpoint you could see why Mikasa would revert to using Eren's style of "motivation" when faced with the other cadets giving up hope.

    I'm still not a huge fan of this style of yelling/speech giving, but at least with Mikasa we've been given the reason behind it. Still haven't been given the reason for why Eren was already like that when he saved Mikasa. Though I do love the psychopath explanation a commenter made last week.

  15. h

    > "Mikasa's moment here might have been audience-pandering"

    > "Armin…I can't really see the appeal… Christa based from the manga is far more interesting in that regard"

    > Audience-pandering
    > Christa

    (I see this quote style is getting popular. Where did it come from? Am I doing it right?)

  16. G

    This is just one shock (Titan vs. Titan). There are many more big ones to follow in the comming weeks. This series is a roller coaster of "Holy Shit" and "WTF" moments.

  17. R

    Enzo, just for curiosity, what's your opinion on Jojo?

    I see you are aware of that show but I didn't find a blogpost.

  18. I like it for what it is, and find it entertaining most of the time. It's not my favorite style of shounen, but for its style it's one of the best.

  19. h





  20. K

    From this moment on i'm gonna call the "Titan Attacking Titan" "Mike Tytan" from now on (because of the boxing pose xD)

  21. h

    What are you, ten? (What are, Eoten?)

    I jest, of course. But I could not resist.

  22. T

    At this point Armin really does serve as our sanity gauge. Mikasa and Eren aren't really relatable aside from their wish to survive, and without Eren in the picture Jean is actually a decent guy – not MC material maybe, but he's the sort who can lead others in a pinch (then again, when one has to choose between Jean, Conny and Sasha the potato girl… it's not much of a choice haha)

    We're nearing the first bend in the road; while I'm looking forward to seeing it animated, they're really dragging their feet with all the material left to cover, even if there's a second season coming up.

    On a side note; it's great that you've continued blogging this series despite the commenting issue. With all due respect, viewpoints on most anime blogs tend to be… one – sided, and it's nice to see an unbiased opinion of the series.

    I almost wish I hadn't read the manga, to have a fresh perspective of it myself. Then again, it's Tetsuro Araki…

  23. E

    I think at this point, Armin is basically serving as a periscope into how a "normal" person would view the world and the situation that they are in. Both Eren and Mikasa are not "normal", with the former being a ragehol-addicted borderline psychopath, and the latter hyper-competent PSTD sufferer. Armin doesn't want to go on killing sprees; he has just seen his best friend and too many other killed in front of him, and he is about to pee his pants.

    On the other hand, I don't think he is going to be the everyman of the series, because they have put enough interesting backgrounds into his character (like his strong desire to see the outside world and he being a theoretical genius), so I expect to see a character development episode for Armin in the near future, much like how Mikasa received one.

  24. R

    Preorder news:

    New wave of sales are shooting up all Volumes. Also boosted by the new extras announced some hours ago.

    All SnK are currently among the TOP 30's best selling disks. 3 of the 9 volumes in the TOP 10.

  25. q

    Enzo, there's something big I believe you forgot. Look at the eyes of the titan with a human like appearance. The eyes are exactly like Eren's. Along with all of the other subtleties, this is clear cut evidence he likely transformed the titan he was eaten by into a new being. How he did this exactly? I believe it has something to do with that injection he got by his father in his "dream".

  26. q

    Here's an image for you to compare:

  27. K

    It also looks like his hairstyle too. If he really let his hair grow out.

  28. k

    Maybe Armin would become their sort of strategist that could defeat the Titans and hopefully there would be a time that the story would focus on that. :)

  29. R

    I think this is a much better episode than the previous, except for the last one. Perhaps it's Mikasa being the MC that it's a lot more pleasant to take, or perhaps it's right after the last episode that we know more about her. I am still not quite invested in the characters, and that hinders my attachment to the show — to simply put, I wasn't so much at the edge of the seat as when I was watching SSY or Chihayafuru. Having said that, SnK so far is enjoyable, and there were some interestingly dark moments with this episode — lIke how the captain wanted ditch his crew, and how a soldier fixed up his gun simply to kill himself.

    There was a twist for me in the episode. I was expecting Armin and Connie to come to Mikasa's rescue, but it turned out to be something different — something bigger in progressing the plot. I think everyone's right here that "Titan-kun" was Eren. With that, there is a story to tell — where these Titans came from, and how the human survive from despair. I can see that the story will get more and more interesting, but I hope that it will strike a better balance between its plot and characters in future episodes for making SnK even more engaging.

  30. S


    …was it only me who had the impression the Titan who attacked Mikasa (and got pwned by his fellow) totally looked like the "BITCH PLEASE" meme?

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