I’ve said this before, but one of the bigger knocks bedeviling this show - - a real weight sitting on the other end of the seesaw, as it were - - is that not enough care has been given to differentiate the cast. While these past couple episodes have been wonderfully thrilling, I don’t feel any shame in admitting that the fallout of the Female Titan’s surprise hasn’t hit me as hard as it could’ve, because I keep scratching my head to actually remember the history Eren and Annie have.
When your cast is stuffed with countless soldiers of the same body type, wearing the same uniforms and using the same gear, it’s really crucial to give the important players a myriad of strong identifiers - - distinctive names, noticeable accessories, behavioral tics, even catch phrases - - to make them immediately distinguishable.
I may not recall the name of the gal in the screencap above but, when she makes her dramatic re-entrance in this episode, I remember everything else about her on the dot. Why? Because her huge, shiny glasses are a strong visual identifier, and she’s the only member of the cast who gets into creepy laughing fits. What’s more - - the other character remark on this behavior and reinforce it further. That’s a solid cluster of identifiers.
When ATTACK OF TITAN regularly goes through so much trouble, using graphic design sensibilities to convey all the detailed tactics of a battle plan, then it’s perplexing why it hasn’t extended the same careful sensibility to its cast. If the show ever gets a redux to better balance its uneven qualities, the hypothetical producers will first need to give new names to Eren, Armin and Erwin that aren’t borderline homophones. Then, they’ll really need to give Annie a makeover so - - in the immediate recall of viewers who haven’t gotten to re-watch episodes and study episode breakdowns - - there’s more to differentiate her from Mikasa than her being the blonde supremely-skilled, emotionally-withdrawn guardsmen with an affinity for Eren.
About the Author
|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|