Anime Vice News

ATTACK ON TITAN #24 - - Watch & Learn

More of the cast needs to be like this gal.

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breakdowns - - there’s more to differentiate her from Mikasa than her being the blonde supremely-skilled, emotionally-withdrawn guardsmen with an affinity for Eren.

Watch this episode, "Mercy - Raid on Stohess District" here and decide for yourself, then read my write-up on the previous episode here.

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
Marshal Victoryon Sept. 30, 2013 at 3:34 p.m.

Still have no problem telling whoes who an im near sighted.With one eye that weeps randomly to..

Good episode tho.

zeemod155on Sept. 30, 2013 at 4:48 p.m.

I feel like the show trying to play it more realistic as to NOT give each character too anime-y tropy charactures/personalities and use more natural sounding names, hair color, etc. helps to add to the show's visceral atmosphere that I rarely see in anime. I would never trade that in for more differentiating factors. I think it found a happy medium. In the brief scenes you can see their attempts to differentiate their personalities, but they rarely get enough time for that to sink in. I can understand part of you confusion (Annie and Crista look alike, Reiner and Thomas *used to* look alike) and characters like Berholdt and Ymir rarely get lines to even know who I'm talking about. I feel like Sasha, Connie, and Jean are easily identifiable by personality and haircut and are rather well developed. But I do sometimes get the Band of Brothers/Black Hawk Down effect.

salbingon Sept. 30, 2013 at 7:27 p.m.

This review was great, i totally understand where your coming from. for me i think Reiner has some pretty good characteristics about him that separate him from the rest, his short spiky blond hair , masculine build, and a general old look to him. but as for Berthold he looks like an old version of Eren, its uncanny.

takashichea moderator on Sept. 30, 2013 at 10:40 p.m.

Annie's demented laughter and Eren's hulk rage build up was a hit or miss with manga fans. In the manga, Eren just transform without having a pillar stuck inside his chest. Yeah, the characters are hard to differentiate, but I got used to it thanks to wiki editing.

@zeemod155:

For me, I sometimes confused Christa and Armin instead of Annie who has a short ponytail. It gets confusing distinguishing characters with zoom out shots when the animation isn't sharp. Trust me, I've been sorting images for the character galleries.

YotaruVegetaon Oct. 1, 2013 at 2:54 p.m.

Differentiation between the MALE cast can prove difficult. Between the women? How many female characters of importance are there? It's much easier to differentiate.

I couldn't figure out the reveal beforehand because I wasn't thinking of clues. They gave one clue in this episode, and I went "ahh" and I remember when they showed her fighting.

So I wonder, Tom, are you arguing FOR the multi-colored hairdos of less realistic anime? That's an easy way to differentiate people.

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