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ATTACK ON TITAN #2 - - Watch & Learn

There you are, TITAN! I like you more from this angle.

As promised, I’ve returned to this season's darling for a catch-up that’ll bring me up to speed faster than you can say, “Giant, people-eating nudists!

I might’ve bagged on this show a little too hard in my last GARGANTIA write-up. I still prefer that show, of course, but the preference is maybe a little more incremental now than it was when I’d only watched the pilots. Both shows have earned their slots as #1 and #2 this season by not wasting any time before... *AHEM *... sinking teeth into the real meat of conflict.

See, there are few anime-watching sensations more pleasing than when a show skillfully spares you the hours of set-up you were bracing yourself for. We’ve essentially gone from an idyllic peace to the sort-of ongoing, Apocalyptic cataclysm that most shows would draw out until their later arcs. Adventure fiction’s always striving for tension and stakes, and neither of those can get much higher than when the main characters are on the run from a relentless, overwhelming threat that has already made good on threatening their entire way of life.

At the same time, it’s not as exciting if your heroes are passively fleeing from that threat; so I got the biggest charge over these first two episodes functioning as a sped-up origin for our lead. This kid’s suffered a personal tragedy, he feels regret about being partially responsible for that loss, he’s undergone training to push back against the monsters who’ve wronged him, he’s empowered with some spectacular gadgets and, now, he’s already on the active path of revenge. Got to love that kind of immediacy, right?

Now, I’m a lot more jacked-up to see what’s coming next in this big/small vendetta. I’m expecting it’ll be a bit like the BORROWERS (or SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY, if you want to keep it to anime) injected with a full dose of shonen kickass. Can’t ask for a better underdog than thimble-sized city guardsman taking on skyscraper-sized giants, can we?

Watch this episode, "That Day - The Fall of Zhiganshina!" here and decide for yourself, then read my write-up on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

metalsnakezeroon May 17, 2013 at 7:01 a.m.

One of my favorite scene from this episode was when Hannes told Eren that he was too weak to save his mother. But, while Hannes had the strength to fight a titan, he lacked the courage to face it. This really adds in the human factor to these characters and that what this show does very well with.

Lurkeroon May 17, 2013 at 7:18 a.m.

One of the things I have enjoyed about Attack on Titan is the honesty of the characters. When Hannes looked at the Titan and ran away it made the tragedy seem realistic. In any other shonen anime the hero would have gathered up the courage and faced the opponent even though there was very little chance of victory.

Hannes realized that fighting the Titan was a waste of time and decided instead to focus on saving the children and the village.

That scene does make me question the viability of the heroes besting the titans later.

Marshal Victoryon May 17, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.

@metalsnakezero: good point .

@Lurkero: an another good point .

Only thin i can add is “Giant, people-eating nudists!

Well that an how silly the shows premise is seems to be ofset by how well its treated as a subject matter. Their seems to be no tongue in cheek here .More gritty grim “Giant, people-eating nudists!” non fairy tale.It is almost as a modern day retelling of Grimm brotherstale that never was ,but even more bloody than it would have been.

takashichea moderator on May 17, 2013 at 1:40 p.m.

Despite it was slow, it builds up the drama for me. I loved Mikasa's speech about survival. There is a still a ray of hope.

ImageQuoteTime
Mikasa: "If Armin is a weakling, so are we. We didn't even run from the Titans or from the city on our own two feet. We couldn't even get the food we're eating today without help. Anyone so weak couldn't possibly defeat a single Titan... What matters is surival. Just like your mother said. Eat... and survive!"
— Mikasa telling Eren to survive

Silly me, I forgot my time stamp from Crunchyroll.

Will Eren and his gang get strong enough to get some payback against those blasted Titans?

DocHauson May 17, 2013 at 2:37 p.m.
You think this is a whiplash-inducing contrast? Watch episode 4 all the way to the end, now that'll make your head spin.
zaldaron May 26, 2013 at 9:57 a.m.

I find to slower build up makes the fast episodes like this mean more. In media res can work but often is done so badly I end up not caring about the characters or their problems. haven't seen this one so can't say but you shouldn't write off the slow build up completely as a way of telling a story.

Dig Deeper into Attack on Titan

Humanity fights for the survival of their very race against the gigantic humanoid Titans

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