It seems odd that after something like a four year wait, this one cour is all we’re getting of Shingeki no Kyoujin. We’re talking about one of the most commercially successful first seasons in anime history, a monstrous blockbuster by any measure, and it seems as if we’re barely going to drag our toe across the surface of the conspiracy pool. What does a series have to do to get a comprehensive treatment, for crying out loud – crossing over into the general consciousness like no anime since Evangelion wasn’t enough?
This was undeniably a very interesting episode, as all the ones focused on the conspiracy plot tend to be – even if it did suffer from a massive overdose of brooding. Seriously, I can’t remember so many people sitting around staring daggers at each other since my last family Thanksgiving. But that’s pretty much all Reiner, Bertholt, Ymir and Eren were able to do – they were stuck up in trees waiting for nightfall as a veritable army of titans of all shapes and sizes milled (and lounged) about below them. That’s certainly convenient for the scouts, and it strikes me as rather odd that Reiner wouldn’t at least have considered the possibility that he’d be followed.
Speaking of rather odd, that would certainly describe the entire conversation among the four human-titans – if you want to call it that. Isayama writes unusual dialogue to begin with, but this whole business with Reiner has been bonkers right from the reveal. It seems pretty obvious now that he’s lost it to a degree – maybe Ymir is right that he’s so wracked with guilt over what he’s done as a “warrior” that part of him believes he actually is a “soldier”, but I suspect there’s more to Reiner’s bizarre behavior that that.
It seemed as if we were pretty close to something of consequence being revealed there for a second (and that almost never happens in Shingeki no Kyoujin) but Reiner cut off Ymir before she could blurt out anything definitive. All this talk of the “monkey” certainly got me thinking, though – mostly about a theory as to just who that Sasquatch is, one that seems so obvious in hindsight that I’m astonished it didn’t occur to me weeks ago. But as usual, in place of answers we got a bunch more questions.
The upshot of that long staredown is that the scouts have caught up to where Reiner and Bertholt have taken their former comrades, and even if he’s telling the truth about the local titans being unable to move at night it looks as if the cavalry is going to arrive before the sun departs. That should pretty much lead to a free for all next week, a return to the manic action Attack on Titan seems most comfortable in. The big question of the moment seems to be which side Ymir will choose to throw in her lot with – Reiner’s seductive appeal about looking out for Christa certainly caught her attention, but in the end I think she’ll choose being a soldier, and try to protect Christa that way.