At last! FULL METAL JACKET’s opening scene, reimagined through the lens of alternate history fantasy anime! (They even got it right down to the same gag with a foolish recruit getting punished for sneaking in a little snack from the mess hall…)
For the record, having been in a harness quite similar to this “Three-Dimensional Maneuver Gear” myself, getting around in any sort of bungie-like is actually much more treacherous than it looks. This show doesn’t get into how painful it is for your “little giants,” but I went ahead and inferred an added level of.... conflict into every scene where Eren’s struggling with this particular skill.
Speaking of which, this episode also reminded me a bit of SPACE BROTHERS - - a very solid show I never got to follow as much as I would’ve liked. Obviously, the maneuvering is a lot like the training gear they make you wear at Space Camp (thus bringing my connection to these crotch crankers full-circle), but I think I was more taken by their common use of a particular trope. You know what I’m talking about. If an anime wants to show characters reaching a particular, non-violent accomplishment, they’ll more often show a still image of that act with vertical speed-lines over both sides of the screen.
To be honest, I associate this with gags more often, so it maybe makes the little victory a touch harder to take seriously. Eren realizing that, all along, he’s actually been doing exceptionally well? Him perhaps sensing that one of his meaner fellow recruits could have sabotaged him? That’s all solid drama that’s rendered rather… humorous by this particular storytelling, uh... flourish.
Why, it’s just like a hard-nosed drill instructor wanting you to keep a straight face when he’s betting on how good you are at sucking golf balls through garden hoses, isn’t it?